Robert Schwentke

Robert Schwentke

Tucked deep in the recesses of a Tuesday night, two large bits of entertainment news hit the metaphorical wire, lighting up the echo chamber of the Internet (and especially Twitter) with some good old-fashioned outrage. Our own Scott Beggs has already shared the heartbreaking news that (sad face emoticon) indie darling Greta Gerwig is now a huge sellout who will never again make another quirky and original film and will instead toil forever in the salt mines of corporate sitcom hell. Let us mourn. Amidst the Gerwig-centric rage, another piece of news also arrived – that Robert Schwentke is set to helm the second entry into Lionsgate’s Shailene Woodley-starring Divergent series, based on the very popular YA trilogy by Veronica Roth. If the Gerwig news did not already tap your rage reserves, come with me – we shall spend it here. Divergent director Neil Burger bowed out of the second film, Insurgent, back in December, as he was reportedly disinterested in keeping up with the backbreaking filming schedule that Lionsgate has demanded of the series (with Divergent hitting theaters on March 21, the studio has already set similar March release dates in 2015 and 2016 for the final two entries, ensuring an eye-popping production pace). At the time, we mused as to who we would like to see direct Insurgent, a film marked with significantly more action than its predecessor, an action-heavy outing that could benefit from some a similarly action-minded director. We dropped names like David Yates, Paul Greengrass, […]

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RIPD

Okay, Ryan Reynolds, you can stop now. Step away from the comic book properties. They’re not doing you any favors, and you have a very nice gig voicing animated properties that’s surely much easier than jumping around in front of a green screen all day and still looking like an idiot afterwards, even when all the effects are added. Really! Turbo may sound entirely stupid, but I laugh in a somewhat admiring manner every time I hear its plot explained (please tell me how your NASCAR-racing snail doesn’t get road rash), and I really did enjoy The Croods. Just focus on the good things in your professional life and stop making films like The Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. It’s just embarrassing now. For all of us. Based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name by Peter M. Lenkov, Robert Schwentke’s spin on R.I.P.D. appears to have taken most of the originality and cleverness straight out of its source material in favor of a crafting a cheap-looking Men in Black rip-off. The film centers on Boston detective Nick Walker (Reynolds), killed off within the film’s first ten minutes by his crooked partner Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon, whose talents are wasted as he attempts to layer over a Boston accent on an already sneering performance), and sent straight up to a purgatory known as the R.I.P.D. (the Rest in Peace Department, because why not). Turns out, Nick can’t get into heaven without putting in one hundred years of work for […]

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ripd

What exactly is this new movie Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are starring in, called R.I.P.D.? In one respect it’s a comic book movie, seeing as it was adapted from a Peter M. Lenkov graphic novel. In another it’s your typical buddy cop movie, seeing as it teams the new guy on a police force up with the grizzled veteran and sends them out on a case. When you watch this new trailer for the film, you can make connections between it and Men in Black, Ghostbusters, or heck.. even Robocop, so any way you slice it, it sounds like a genre fan’s dream come true. That’s in concept though, in execution things tend not to be so cut and dry, so you’re probably going to have to hit the jump and check out the trailer for yourself.

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poster ripd

One of this summer’s less-heralded comic adaptations is Universal’s supernaturally-tinged buddy cop flick R.I.P.D. starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. The latter plays a cop who’s gunned down in the line of duty but comes back to life and joins a very special police unit. The Rest In Peace Department is staffed with undead law enforcement tasked with capturing evil souls, and with their help he sets out to find those responsible for his murder. If it sounds like a mash-up between Dead Heat and Men In Black it’s because it pretty much is a mash-up between Dead Heat and Men In Black. The film is based on the Dark Horse comic series by Peter M. Lenkov and hits theaters July 19th.

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Baby

According to Deadline Hollywood, the best-selling author Philip Kerr will take a stab at detailing the rise of the Nazi party in 1920s Germany for The Poison Kitchen, a movie being directed by Robert Schwentke (Red, Flightplan). His pedigree as a writer of detective stories set in that tumultuous time certainly qualifies him for the project, but it will also be his first screenplay so it will be interesting to see him transition his skills to a new format. The film will be drawn from the Ron Rosenbaum book “Explaining Hitler” and will pit the growing National Socialist party led by Adolf Hitler against journalists at the “Munich Post” who trash the group as thugs and criminals. You’ll never guess who wins. The world should never stop making movies about WWII and the Nazis. As long as more people can learn about their atrocities and more of us can be reminded of the modern danger they posed, the word should be spread through every medium possible. What’s more – this movie represents a chance to highlight a group of people within Germany who actively fought against Hitler, and that’s a bit of history that sometimes gets swept under the rug in favor of the myth that a country simply woke up one morning and decided to burn its citizens while invading Poland. At any rate, this project sounds like a fascinating one.

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Catherine Zeta-Jones took a hiatus from acting late last decade, but she’s been back in the game with The Rebound and Sundance Weinstein pick-up Lay the Favorite. Now, she’s continuing that working streak with RED 2. At 42, it might be a little early for her to retire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winner has signed on alongside Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Dame Helen Mirren who will be reprising their roles. The screenwriters, Erich and Jon Hoeber, are also back, but director Robert Schwentke is not. He’s currently working on R.I.P.D., which may or may not be the reason, but Dean Parisot will be taking his spot. Parisot is also an Oscar winner, having won for Best Live-Action Short Film back in 1989 and going on to direct Galaxy Quest and Fun With Dick and Jane. It’s an interesting background he brings, but the comedy angle is easy to see. So the director has an Oscar, Dame Mirren has one, Malkovich is a two-time nominee, and their newest recruit is packing a statue. Not even counting the Golden Globes, this action comedy sequel has a lot of Oscar street cred.

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We announced a year ago that Universal was pushing to get R.I.P.D. off the ground in a major way. If they can close Zach Galifianakis for a co-starring role, that ground is going to be a memory. According to the LA Times, Galifianakis is discussing playing the sidekick role to Ryan Reynolds’s Nick Cruz character – a man murdered who makes a deal to give a century of service to the Rest In Peace Department in exchange for the shot at revenge. Based on the Dark Horse comic by Peter Lenkov, the movie should have an action comedy and feature a lot of souls who don’t want to cross over just yet. This all re-raises some questions about Reynolds’s schedule. He’s said before that he would either do R.I.P.D. or Deadpool, but not both. If this ends up shooting this summer, does it kill Deadpool for Reynolds? Plus, even though David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) isn’t directing R.I.P.D. anymore (Red director Robert Schwentke is), Reynolds is set to work with Dobkin this fall on The Change-Up which features him switching bodies with Jason Batemen so Batemen’s character can score with Olivia Wilde. Regardless of the other projects, R.I.P.D. is a flick I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. It’s a different brand of comic book movie, and it could be darkly comedic like a version of Lethal Weapon done by way of Constantine. Galifianakis makes a great addition.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr makes a complete and total jackass of himself by enjoying the hell out of Red and being more excited than he should about the prospects of Jackass 3D. He realizes that it may be the beginning of award season, but that won’t stop him from watching a movie about bodily fluids flying at the camera in 3D and getting mildly turned on by Helen Mirren firing a Gatling gun while wearing an evening gown.

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There’s a world out there where people get shot more than they get paper cuts. It’s a world where alliances change, people might be out to kill you, but nothing’s ever all that big a deal. It’s just a Tuesday, and the black ops have busted into your home to end your life. Red might just be the best romantic comedy of the year featuring Helen Mirren on a piece of heavy artillery. Frank (Bruce Willis) is a former CIA agent who’s attacked in his home just when he’s close to asking out Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a woman he calls the Federal Pension Program help line to speak with on a regular basis. The retired don’t know about Facebook yet. He draws her into a world of former spooks who are also being targeted, including a suave gentleman (played by Morgan Freeman), a paranoid stuffed pig enthusiast (John Malkovich) and a gorgeous lady with a penchant for wet work (Helen Mirren).

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No matter who it is that finds his way into the director’s seat for Wolverine 2, we’ll have our fingers crossed that Wolverine doesn’t get too angered by the noticeable lack of chocolate scones in crafts services and go all Snickety-Snick on everyone, leaving the entire crew in a bloodbath of Fox-funded terror. You didn’t know they were using the real Wolverine instead of an actor? It’s going to surprise everyone, we think. The real challenge for anyone in the director’s seat is pulling the franchise out of the quality gutter that it finds itself in. Rumors are circulating that the production may have found just that – a talent that took another series from appallingly bad to mildly annoying in one fell swoop.

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marylouiseparker-header

The project that began with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman, then added Helen Mirren, is now adding the always lovely Mary Louise Parker to its cast. Oh, and John C. Reilly is coming along, as well.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr breaks down the week’s releases, looking at District 9, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Bandslam, and Ponyo.

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time-travelers-wife-header

We hate being manipulated and manipulation is all ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ has to offer.

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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