Robert Downey Jr

A Look Back at the Cinematic Facial Hair of 2012

The movies released in 2012 have been notable for many reasons, impacting or reflecting news events both positively and negatively. It’s also seen new innovations, the most notable being the first release of a film in 48 frames per second. However, cinematic historians will also look back on 2012 as being a banner year for facial hair. The entire crew of Film School Rejects relishes glorious facial hair (and yes, that also includes the ladies on staff). We all wish we could have half the style that characters in the movies this year displayed on their lips, chins and cheeks. Now, as the year draws to a close, we reminisce on the many styles we’ve seen on movie screens in 2012, and maybe give some tips on how to grow your own face so glorious.

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Pinocchio

Early this year Tim Burton said he wouldn’t know a good script if it was thrown at him. Based on some of his recent works, that self-deprecation rings a little too true, especially considering how all over the place Dark Shadows was. Frankenweenie was a return to form for clean, simple, if slight, storytelling, but now it appears that Burton’s attempting to step up his game on the script front. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller took a crack at Burton and Robert Downey Jr.‘s potential Pinocchio project early on, and now another screenwriter of equal talent is getting involved. Frequent Matthew Vaughn collaborator Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, The Woman in Black) is close to signing on to pen a new draft for Warner Bros.’ live-action version of the classic puppet tale. According to THR, Goldman’s involvement may seal the deal with Burton and Robert Downey Jr., who both have yet to officially sign on. Burton and Goldman have had ties before, so her involvement makes sense beyond her talent for genre films. If the project moves forward, we’ll see Downey playing Geppetto, who goes on a journey to find the missing Pinocchio. This isn’t the only Pinocchio film in the works either, as Fox has The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto and Guillermo del Toro is working on a stop-motion animated picture. I would usually take a del Toro interpretation over a Burton one, but with his project drawing in such reliable screenwriters, it’s hard not to gain interest in a Burton film which may actually have a story.

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Sylvester Stallone in Cobra 2: Axing for Trouble

What is Casting Couch? It’s a news roundup that’s jam-packed with updates about big star doing big things. Look at this list of names! There’s barely a second-stringer on there. When you shoot as many people in the head and blow as many things up onscreen as Sylvester Stallone, every once in a while it’s nice to take a break from all of the insanity and do a quiet little indie drama. So, according to Variety, that’s exactly what he’s doing with his next film, Reach Me. Written and directed by Stallone’s Cobra co-star John Herzfeld, Reach Me is an ensemble piece about a group of characters who were all touched by a self-help book that was written by a reclusive football coach. There isn’t yet any word on what role Stallone will be playing, but, for the sake of his old knees, let’s hope it doesn’t involve any running. Those hobbling away from the explosion scenes in the Expendables movies are starting to look pretty painful.

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This would appear to be the week of Iron Man 3, at least where marketing is concerned. Yesterday we showed you a look at the teaser for the trailer that will debut online tomorrow morning. Today, we get something that will last a bit longer: a number of images from Iron Man 3 that show some of the most buzzed about elements from the film. There’s also a very fancy teaser poster. All of which can be seen right after the jump, alongside first looks at Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, an official shot of the Iron Patriot armor and a little bit of the new Tony Stark haircut.

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Thor and Iron Man

The first two films to be released in Marvel Studios’ post-Avengers, second wave of interconnected films are Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World. Through various rumor mills and casting reports we’ve already gleamed a lot about what these two sequels are going to be about, but today Marvel finally released official synopses of the two films, and have effectively removed any lingering doubts. First up is Black’s film, which the studio describes by saying, “Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?” While all that stuff about Iron Man having to go on a quest that tests his mettle is pretty vague, that last line of the synopsis about the man making the suit or the suit making the man clearly supports the rumors that have surfaced (due to various casting reports) that Iron Man 3 would largely be taking its inspiration from Warren Ellis’ […]

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Up to this point, everything has gone pretty smoothly for the folks at Marvel. In all the chaos of building a franchise that churned out the year’s highest grossing film, they are yet to really see any major production problems. Although today brings something new into the fray, an injury to star Robert Downey Jr. that will delay production on Iron Man 3.

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Drinking Games

Two and a half years ago, Guy Ritchie revived the classic Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Iron Man himself as the eccentric detective. This past Christmas, he also directed the sequel of the film, in the wake of the BBC’s brilliant Sherlock series. Now that sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is available on Blu-ray and DVD. Whether you like these new films or you prefer the BBC show, you can enjoy the new movie with this drinking game of shadows. Of course, if you want to start things off right, you can also enjoy Guy Ritchie’s original Sherlock Holmes with a few drinks here. Though we don’t recommend using formaldehyde as your spirit of choice, as Holmes does in the movie. That would kill you dead faster than Lucy Liu’s upcoming Elementary television series.

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While we all wait with baited pipe smoke-tinged breath for another highly stylized Sherlock Holmes adventure from Guy Ritchie, Deadline Trenton reports that Warner Bros. has attached the director to helm a new take on Robert Louis Stevenson‘s classic novel “Treasure Island.” And, as if there was any question about whether or not Ritchie would be straying from the high-action, whiz-bang stuff that’s made his Robert Downey Jr.-starring Holmes such a smash, the film has been set up by producer Lionel Wigram (Ritchie’s producing partner and the one responsible for ushering in the new Holmes tales). Wigram reportedly set up the project before he and Ritchie even became producing partners, and the buzz is that it will be a “stylized version of the classic novel.” So, yeah, pretty much just like Holmes. Expect the doubloons to roll in.

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It’s been no secret that Shane Black’s upcoming entry into the Iron Man franchise has quite a few villains incorporated into its plot. Ben Kingsley is in the film as a shadowy string puller who may or may not be a version of classic Iron Man villain the Mandarin, Guy Pearce is playing the scientist who invents the dangerous and tech-based Extremis virus, and James Badge Dale has been recruited to play a guy named Eric Savin who, in the comics, gets turned into a cyborg named Coldblood. That’s quite a few heads for Tony Stark to bust already, so why is SuperHeroHype reporting that yet another Iron Man character, the Iron Patriot, is also going to be featured in the film? Before any theories can be concocted, first it’s necessary to give a rundown on who exactly the Iron Patriot is. In the comic books, there was recently a storyline where Spider-Man villain Norman Osborn took control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and put together his own dark version of The Avengers, which included Osborn himself wearing a version of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor that was all painted up like the American flag to give people warm and fuzzy Captain America feelings. It was a nefarious plot that might make for a good superhero movie, if not for the fact that Norman Osborn is a Spider-Man character, the rights of which are still in the clutches of Sony…aren’t they?

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Seeing as the Iron Man franchise is coming up on its third film – and the first that’s seeing a changeover of directors – one might think that Marvel would be hedging their bets with it and lowering their expectations. How many times will audiences really keep coming back to watch Robert Downey Jr. playing the same snarky character? And even if the love for this take on Tony Stark can last indefinitely, will the loss of franchise launcher Jon Favreau in the role of director lead to Iron Man 3 being tonally different from its predecessors? And if so, how will Downey’s smitten audience react to going in for more Iron Man and getting something that feels unfamiliar? When it comes to an aging franchise that’s in the midst of creative turnover, one would imagine that a movie studio would start playing things a little bit safe. But seeing as The Avengers just came out and pretty much scooped up all of the money left in the global economy and became an international topic of culture conversation, that’s not the direction they’ve decided to go. Marvel heroes are the “in thing” right now, and their new-found level of relevance has led the studio to believe that they can do more.

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You know James Badge Dale, you just might not know that you know him. The actor has popped up in key supporting roles in films like The Departed, The Conspirator, and Shame, while also appearing in shows like 24, Rescue Me, Rubicon, and The Pacific mini-series, but it looks like Dale is about to rocket into the superhero stratosphere. Deadline Malibu reports that Dale is in talks to play a villain named Savin in Shane Black‘s upcoming Iron Man 3. While Ben Kingsley has been set as the film’s principle villain (though many are still arguing over whether or not he will be The Mandarin), it looks like the film needs another baddie to make Robert Downey Jr.‘s life harder. The outlet provides only the barest of details regarding the character, but over at /Film, Russ Fischer is guessing that he “is likely a version of Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Savin, an Army officer who debuted in Marvel comics pages in the late ’80s and was quickly transformed into a cybernetic mercenary called Coldblood-7. Think of him as something like the Marvel Comics version of RoboCop, at least from the perspective of appearance and physical makeup.” While Savin is a “relatively minor” character, Fischer also note that “he did show up in the Civil War storyline from a few years back…And the idea of an officer turned into a cybernetic killer by defense technology would fit into the rumors that Iron Man 3 features the Extremis/nanotech storyline.” Sounds like Savin just might […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This week it’s a series of second stringer fill-ins trying not to run things into the ground while regular columnist Neil Miller disappears for a while due to reasons both glamorous and mysterious (in true Lohan fashion, he’s cited both “exhaustion” and “being dehydrated”). And today it’s a laundry list of Internet people still crushing on Joss Whedon’s superhero extravaganza, The Avengers, because Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows shit the bed this weekend and we haven’t had anything shiny to come along to steal away our fickle attentions yet. Let’s get to it. The above image comes from an artist named Hannah, who has proven that her finger is firmly on the pulse of the Internet by paying tribute both to the death of beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak as well as the work of beloved nerd-God Joss Whedon by mashing up Sendak’s artistic style with the cast of The Avengers. Is cute, no?

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That didn’t take too long at all. Earlier this week, actress Jessica Chastain took to her Facebook page to announce that scheduling conflicts would keep her from her rumored role in Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3, leaving room for Rebecca Hall to step in for the reportedly crucial role. Variety reports (via /Film) that the actress is currently in talks for the part, which has been somewhat dismissively referred to as a “sexy female scientist,” but is actually one of the most important roles in the film. Hall’s potential role is explained as “a scientist who plays a pivotal role in the creation of a nanotechnology, know as Extremis, that winds up being sold to terrorists.” That means the role is almost assuredly that of Dr. Maya Hansen, as has been long rumored. And, in no-duh news, the film’s plot will reportedly “borrow elements from Warren Ellis’ six-issue ‘Iron Man: Extremis,’ that also heavily influenced the first Iron Man pic, and focuses on the spread of a virus through nanotechnology.” Most notably, the origin story for Iron Man that was presented in “Extremis” was the one used in the first Iron Man film, so the influence of Ellis’ story is indeed quite heavy. Also of note, in the “Extremis” series, Extremis the nanotechnology serum is – shock! – part of another military attempt to recreate that damn Super-Solider Serum. Seriously, guys, is it really that hard?

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We normally reserve 10 & 5 posts for big movies that are familiar to the masses, but once in a while it’s good to shine a light on a low profile indie film. This is not that time though, so instead we’re taking a look at the movie with the biggest opening weekend in history. Joss Whedon‘s entertaining as hell blockbuster, The Avengers, has already earned a rare A- grade from us (read Cole Abaius’ review), but Robert Fure and Rob Hunter wanted to take a more detailed view complete with potential and actual spoilers. Warning: There are major spoilers below. Major spoilers. You’ve now been warned about the major spoilers.

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Culture Warrior

Crowding a movie with talent often seems like a good idea only in the abstract sense. In practice, such films can easily feel overstuffed. For example, the basic conceits for both The Expendables and Grown Ups sound like products of wishful thinking held during a drunk conversation between a group of 19-year-olds at 3am. Yes, in theory a movie featuring all of the action stars of the 80s or the most successful SNL cast since the late-70s would be great – however, a bunch of famous people do not a seminal action film or great comedy make. What’s most surprising about Joss Whedon’s The Avengers is that the whole somehow proved greater than its parts. A movie with this quantity of iconic superheroes runs the incredible risk of being overstuffed and only half-cooked. The standards created by previous Hollywood films indicate that studios would be happy enough allowing the conflagration of bankable characters stand in for (or, more accurately, distract from the lack of) actual entertainment value; mammoth opening weekends, after all, are always more a sign of effective marketing than good filmmaking. But The Avengers not only stands as an equal to some of the stronger entries in Marvel’s 4-year, 5-film multiverse-building, but is arguably superior. Some of these characters came across more fully-fleshed and three-dimensional as part of an ensemble than in their respective standalone films.

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The Avengers hits theaters this Friday, but we’re looking to the future. The not-too-distant future but further out than this coming Friday. May 3, 2013, to be precise, when Iron Man 3 hits. Naturally, it stars Robert Downey Jr., still the comeback kid whose A-list status may as well be written in Adamantium. But it’s also being written and directed by Shane Black, the amazing screenwriter who brought us Lethal Weapon, The Monster Squad, The Last Boyscout, and this week’s film on Commentary Commentary, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It was Black’s debut as a director, and it’s arguably his best piece of work in 25 years. This week we’re listening to what Black and Downey Jr. have to say about this “indie” action/comedy. Val Kilmer joins the commentary party, too, because any party with Kilmer is better than any party without him. He just loves to drop names, as is indicated by this very bit of audio. With these three in the room together, talking about this very entertaining film, you know a healthy dose of fun is about to be had. So here you have it. All 38 things we learned listening to the commentary for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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The Avengers want you to see The Avengers in theaters.

It’s been open overseas for a week, already raking in more than $200m, and now The Avengers is landing on U.S. soil with one of the biggest summer openings in history. But does that mean you should see it now? Or do you wait for home video? Sure, there’s plenty of arguments as to why you can wait, including obnoxious crowds, high ticket prices, and the general hassle of getting your butt off the couch and driving to your local multiplex. However, here are seven ultimate reasons should convince you to, paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Get thee to a theater!” and witness Marvel’s greatest achievement in superhero movies.

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Did you hear? Did you hear? Go tell Paul Revere! Joss Whedon and Marvel’s The Avengers is out this weekend which marks the beginning of the summer and an end to the anticipation. To discuss the film, we turn to comic book/Avengers expert John Gholson from Movies.com. Plus, ScreenCrush critic Jordan Hoffman plays Movie News Roulette and talks Dark Knight Rises, Star Trek and texting in theaters. Download Episode #132

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The Avengers the film needs no introduction, and that’s mainly because The Avengers themselves need no introduction. A dream team of superheroes and superallies, The Avengers first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1963, so for fans of the mighty band of heroes, a big screen cinematic adaptation that would do justice to the justice-doers has been a long-held wish. With Marvel Studios churning out blockbusters for eventual Avengers like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk in recent years, it was only a matter of time before that wish was granted and the heroes united for one massive film outing. It goes without saying that Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers is already a big hit here at FSR (our own Cole Abaius called it “Marvel’s mightiest movie” in his review), and we’re all anxious to see what movie-going audiences think of it. To whet your palate for the inevitable Avengers bonanza, here are 12 things that we learned at The Avengers press conference (spoiler-free if you’ve seen a trailer or two!). The event featured a massive gathering of Avengers and pals, including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemwsorth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk/Bruce Banner), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Kevin Feige (Marvel President), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton),Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), and Joss Whedon (writer and director). Check it out after the break!

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Joss Whedon‘s excellent action geek-out The Avengers hits US theaters this weekend after a storm of anticipation that’s lasted for four years and five movies. Marvel’s ultimate team is finally together, and the results are incredibly impressive. You can read my review here, but while you sit in your Captain America uniform, unwilling to remove it or bathe for the next week, gear up to new giddy levels of excitement with these behind-the-scenes videos. From a disoriented Robert Downey Jr. to Jeremy Renner in fight choreography practice to a running Scarlett Johansson to Mark Ruffalo blissfully posing with a nude mini-Hulk, there are some really fascinating bits here:

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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