When you assemble the likes of Kate Mara (House of Cards), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) you’d expect all the girl power onboard to make for some exceptionally high voltage x-chromosome electricity. I mean we’re talking Ygritte, Sue Storm, Thomasin, Daisy Domergue and Wai Lin all huddled under one hot tin roof, sermonizing, philosophizing and fisticuffing under the purview of a Ridley Scott protege. But all the estrogen in the world can’t overpower Morgan’s tepid and over-familiar “lab monster” plot nor fuel its running-on-fumes third act.
Ridley Scott’s most mainstream-minded movie in years, The Martian is 80 percent more Apollo 13 than it is Duncan Jones’ similarly themed (but wholly superior) Moon. Like Moon, The Martian involves a Starman (David Bowie’s space anthem of the same name is used tremendously in Scott’s film) contending with crippling solitude and psychological tremors when he’s left for dead on Mars. Unlike Moon, the narrative is a straight-forward locomotive, employing the mantra “I think I can” to such a degree that you can be almost one hundred percent confident that everything is going to work out in the end. Read More
My feelings for Fox’s rebooted Fantastic Four property, much like the film itself, are all over the place. With director Josh Trank squaring the focus on the men and women (or, in this case, boys and girls) behind the powers, Fantastic Four had the opportunity to be, at the very least, something different from the crop of annual superhero movies, those with their quick quips and even quicker action beats hogging the entirety of the run time. If they got it right, you leave the theater wide-eyed and sugar rushing, “When’s the next one?” Fantastic Four is not that movie…until it is. And then it tries so hard to be just that that it ends up cutting its nose to spite its face. Read More
Castings for the upcoming 2015 FOX-produced reboot Fantastic Four were released Friday last week and look very promising. Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are teaming up again after their recent collaboration in Tom Gormican‘s misogynistic mess That Awkward Moment. Fortunately for Fantastic Four fans and moviegoers alike, Teller and Jordan were just hyper-talented victims of Gormican’s hyper-awful script.
Joining them are Kate Mara (127 Hours) and British actor Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, Jane Eyre). This reboot also represents a reunion for Jordan, Mara and director Josh Trank, who worked together on 2010 UK success Chronicle.
Jordan, who has been burning his way into the public eye as of late, will play “The Human Torch” while Teller will have to flex his acting muscles as the elastic “Mr. Fantastic.” Bell will do a lot of CGI work as “The Thing,” and it remains to be seen how his plié and coup-de-pied work in Billy Elliot will carry over in his portrayal of the orange rock-man. Mara, the oldest main casting at 30 years old, will try not to be too invisible as “Sue Storm.”
This latest announcement comes on the heels of Marvel’s first trailer release for Guardians of the Galaxy last week, as Marvel is loading their plate for the upcoming year. The Fantastic Four‘s cast of young actors represents a much different direction and tone for the series than the original Jessica Alba and Chris Evans-led F4 series. The cast is notably younger than the 2005 cast, continuing Marvel’s recent trend in shifting to a youthful, less serious, more dynamic culture, as seen in recent reboots like The Amazing Spiderman and X-Men: First Class or in more unconventional billings like the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy.