Ty Simpkins

Kings

While some potential moviegoers only needed to hear the word “Jurassic” to get excited for Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming Jurassic World, some of us needed something else – like a great cast. The news that the feature will center on a successful (and presumably safe) Jurassic World theme park that’s upended by some wild, wily dinosaurs (with a grudge? Just a hunger? Pure instinct? Who knows!) also came with the reveal that the film will find its character focus in a tourist family tossed into the middle of the dino-madness. Fair enough – after all, the first Jurassic Park included a pair of great kid actors – but the fear of a fun movie being overshadowed by bad child acting is a very real one (perhaps even more terrifying than the promise of marauding dinosaurs themselves). Fortunately, there’s little to fear here (at least as it applies to the under-eighteen set), because Jurassic World has reportedly cast two of the most exciting young actors in Hollywood – Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson – to form the child-half of the poor, beleaguered tourist family. At this point, we don’t even care about their potential parents (though rumors that they could be Jake Johnson and Bryce Dallas Howard are awesome in their own way), because we’re sold on a Simpkins and Robinson-centric picture in a big, big way. Still better? They are just two actors in a very encouraging new generation of emerging stars-in-the-making, a new class we’re lucky to have.

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The world needs more dinosaur movies. But in order to have more dinosaur movies, we need actors to be chased around and occasionally eaten by dinosaurs. So let us all give heartfelt thanks to Ty Simpkins, the young thespian who has graciously (according to Deadline) volunteered to put himself in dinosaur-shaped harm’s way in Jurassic World. Of course, the dinosaurs aren’t real. And it’s not particularly likely that a Jurassic World will end with its lead child actor mauled to pieces by prehistoric beasts. Also, starring in Jurassic World is likely to give Simpkins’ career a generous boost, so it’s not really so selfless a gesture to begin with. And for an actor who’s only twelve years old, Simpkins already has a terrifyingly great filmography going. Starting off with War of the Worlds and Revolutionary Road, audiences might know him better as either the kid from the Insidious movies or the kid who snarkily back-and-forthed with Tony Stark in Iron Man 3. The latter definitely ups my anticipation of Jurassic World – Simpkins had real chemistry with Robert Downey Jr., and one can assume he’ll have the same chemistry with the 40-foot reptiles trying to consume him for sustenance. Plus, this news seems to imply that Jurassic World will continue the trend of a vague family unit at the heart of a Jurassic Park film. For all we know, the not-confirmed-but-still-likely-to-star Bryce Dallas Howard might be a part of that same family unit.

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ironman3-commentary1

Much like The Avengers last summer, Iron Man 3 was the undisputed box office champion of the season in 2013. Building off the good buzz from The Avengers and the events in the end of that movie, Iron Man 3 offered the new director of the series Shane Black a chance to take Tony Stark to new places. Namely, he got him out of the Iron Man suit and toyed with the notion that Tony Stark was the real hero, even without all the technology. Following up two massive movies before it, and one of the biggest box office successes in history as an ensemble piece, Iron Man 3 was still a bit of a gamble. It paid off for all the parties involved. However, when Black and his co-writer Drew Pearce recorded their commentary to the film, the film had not yet proved itself completely. They had only been open for a week overseas, with the American opening on the horizon. Sure, it was a huge success at that point outside of the U.S., but so was Battleship. Still, Black and Pearce move through the commentary with confidence that it’s a hit, and that gives them the stones to explain why they chose to change some character elements from the original source material and why there were about as many revisions to the scripts as revisions to the Iron Man suit in Tony’s basement. Iron Man 3 comes out on DVD and Blu-ray next week, so take a few […]

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Insidious

Despite producer Jason Blum’s initial comments that he wouldn’t get behind a sequel to 2010’s possession horror, Insidious, unless he was presented with a story that really made sense, it always seemed like a sequel was going to be inevitable anyway. Not only is Insidious one of the mostly widely well-reviewed horror movies of the last decade, but it also managed to make a whole bunch of money without having a very big budget. That’s too good of a formula for the Hollywood money-making machine to abandon. So, sure enough, last February we got word that director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were both coming back, and Insidious 2 was officially in the works. The press release issued for the film today [via ComingSoon] brings a couple of more surprises with it as well, though. Despite the fact that the original Insidious ended with a situation that looked pretty grim for the family that it featured, and you might have imagined that a sequel would introduce us to a whole new cast of characters battling a similar evil spirit, the money men behind this sequel say that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins will all be back for this new film, reprising their roles from the original. Is it likely that Wan and Whannell have come up with a great story that will bring these characters back for more hauntings and manage to make sense in the process, or can we take the returns of the […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr recovers from a full day of watching Armageddon back-to-back to crawl back to the multiplex. He re-lived the last eight minutes of Source Code over and over, thoroughly confusing himself. Then he stumbled into the theater next door to learn about the true meaning of Easter from Russell Brand and James Marsden. Things take a decidedly creepy turn when he watches Insidious and wets himself more than once. This led to a very unfortunate scene while he watched the sexual-predator cautionary tale Trust. No one would believe him it was just wee wee.

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