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San Diego Comic-Con 2015: Just the Important Bits

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

Last weekend was the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which is increasingly less about comics and more about movie and TV studios pushing their slate of upcoming projects, while giving fans a chance to see their favourite actors and film-makers in-person at HUGE panel events. The big news for 2015 was abundant, so I picked a few of the tastiest morsels to focus on:

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

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The biggest buzz of San Diego Comic-Con this year surely came from Hall H during the much-anticipated Star Wars panel. With practically everybody in attendance — including wheeling old old-timers Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and post plane crash Harrison Ford — all cast and crew involved shared an evident enthusiasm for the project which infected the packed hall. While they didn’t reveal a new trailer, the following behind-the-scenes video actually does a better job at rekindling fond memories and selling the movie more than a new trailer ever could.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens makes its long-awaited debut this December.

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Trailer Talk: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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Behold the new theatrical trailer for the upcoming sequel to director Marc Webb‘s (WEBB!!) mediocre 2012 franchise re-start, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The trailer opens with Spidey (Andrew Garfield) in free-fall, much like Chev Chelios at the end of Crank. Unlike Chelios — even though they are both chemically enhanced — Spider-Man swings away at the vital moment to thwart crime instead of hitting the pavement.

Honestly, the trailer looks fantastic. Now that they have done away with telling the origin story (once again!), we can start dwelling on the character of Peter Parker and the action of the film. My only concern is the addition of too many new characters and plots; which, if you remember, is what made Spider-Man 3 such an overblown and underwhelming event.

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This Week in Trailers: Carrie, Elysium, The Great Gatsby, Rush

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Elysium – Trailer

2013 will be a bumper year for science fiction and the two that have me psyched are the two most original concepts: Guillermo del Toro’s giant-robot/kaiju slugfest Pacific Rim and Neill Blomkamp‘s directorial follow up to the highly acclaimed District 9, Elysium.

Blomkamp will — much like District 9 — load Elysium with sociopolitical commentary, which I always welcome. Films with a message, whether you agree with them or not, at least prompt discussion and are more likely to have a longer shelf life than films without a strong message (which is why science fiction films from the 1970’s and 80’s leave a lasting cultural impression, unlike a majority of today’s product).

Elysium stars Matt Damon and co-stars Jodie Foster, William Fitchner, Alice Braga, and Blomkamp staple Sharlto Copley; Damon and Copley both sporting striking and unique visual looks. It opens in Australia on 15 August, and I can’t wait.

via Yahoo!

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Carrie – Trailer

After the rather nifty teaser which dropped late last year, we’ve seen a series of posters for Carrie — based on Stephen King’s 1974 novel — featuring the titular heroine (Chloë Grace Moretz, following in the blood-drenched footsteps of Sissy Spacek); and now finally, a full theatrical trailer which… feels like déjà vu.

There is nothing on display which was not present in Brian De Palma’s original adaptation (or other adaptations to follow); which is clear because this trailer takes us through nearly the entire plot of the movie. Was this due to the marketing execs understanding that a large percentage of the population is already familiar with this story, or is it just a bad, spoiler-filled trailer?

Either way, this boasts all the hallmarks of an unnecessary remake — an odd choice for director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss), but I am a Stephen King fan and films based on his novels have dried up since the 90’s, so I remain optimistic. It also stars Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Gabriella Wilde, and Ansel Elgort. It will receive wide Australian release on November 14.

via Yahoo!

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This Week in Trailers: This is the End, Only God Forgives, The Purge, Grown Ups 2, You’re Next, More

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Only God Forgives – Red Band Trailer

Following up on the success of 2011’s Drive, director Nicolas Winding Refn re-teams with star Ryan Gosling and follows up with the similarly violent and atmospheric Only God Forgives.

This film has all the hallmarks of being a terrific companion piece for not only Drive, but also Pusher and Bronson; all directed by Refn. Check out the amazing Argento-style cinematography and lighting!

Also starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansrlingarm, Only God Forgives currently does not have an Australian release; which I can not forgive.

via Yahoo! 

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This is the End – Red Band Trailer

Now this is a trailer! This is the End is a high-concept comedy from the brains-trust of Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (Superbad, Pineapple Express), and they have gathered their buddies together to film what could be the greatest comedy ensemble to rival Cannonball Run or Ocean’s 11.

The cast consists of Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride as fictional versions of themselves, trapped in Franco’s home as the apocalypse rages around them. The film also includes Emma Watson (it feels so good to hear Hermione swearing), Michael Cera, Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, David Krumholtz, Martin Starr, Mindy Kaling, and Kevin Hart. It even includes the Backstreet Boys and Rhianna! Who knows what other special cameos are in store?

I’m predicting This is the End to be a massive success — it will at least be better than this years other ensemble comedy, Movie 43 — and will get a wide Australian release on June 27.

via Machinima

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This Week in Trailers: The Wolverine, White House Down, Pain and Gain, World War Z, Riddick, Kick-Ass 2, More

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The Wolverine – Domestic and International Trailers

Promotion for James Mangold‘s The Wolverine was modestly quiet for a long time. But this week we have seen a range of promotional materials trickle out including stills, posters, and the obnoxious ‘tweasers’: the micro teasers for the trailers. Then in one fell swoop Fox has released the US domestic trailer as well the considerably different international trailer. Lucky us!

This is the sixth big screen appearance of Hugh Jackman‘s popular X-Man, and by the looks of these trailers we will be getting more of a personal journey in this outing: the film is based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller‘s popular story-arc from the 1980’s which sees our hero in Japan and is the basis of a lot of the characteristics that made old Logan such a popular superhero.

Besides an appearance from Famke Janssen‘s Jean Grey, keep expectations low for surprise appearances by another other X-characters.

The film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Svetlana Khodchenkova, and Will Yun Lee as the freaking Silver Samurai!

Will The Wolverine hack its way to box office supremacy on the film’s global release on July 25? Despite the final quality of the film, and taking in to account the lack of competition on that date, the answer is probably.

via iTunes and The Wolverine UK

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White House Down – Trailer

Deep Impact versus Armageddon. Dante’s Peak versus Volcano. Here we have the 2013 equivalent: the battle of Olympus Has Fallen versus White House Down — both action films dealing with a takeover of the White House and the peril of the US President.

With Olympus Has Fallen only a week away, there will be a few months breathing space between films: White House Down is being released locally September 5.

Which movie will win the battle of the White House? Personally, I’ll take White House Down‘s director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) and stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx over Olympus Has Fallen‘s director Antoine Fuqua and stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart.

Olympus Has Fallen will probably already be available on home video by the time White House Down hits Australian theatres. Will the gamble of leaving such a large gap pay off, or will people be weary of the similar premise by then?

via MovieFone

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This Week in Trailers: Star Trek Into Darkness, Despicable Me 2, Scary Movie 5, Welcome To The Punch, More

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Star Trek Into Darkness – International Trailer

I promise this will be the last time I post any more trailers relating to JJ Abrams highly anticipated sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, as it seems the Paramount marketing machine is releasing something new almost weekly, at this stage.

As far as the trailer goes, I would have to say that — despite all the gloss and impressive imagery — I am somewhat… underwhelmed. Perhaps with all the sci-fi to be released this year all the trailers are starting to merge in to one big outer-space mess. The shot of Alice Eve in her underwear was gratuitous and obnoxious, and its inclusion is pandering towards the male audience.

One thing of note is the focus on Benedict Cumberbatch‘s UNNAMED VILLAIN, who after this trailer actually has me rooting more for his character than any of the crew of the USS Enterprise. Did anybody else have this?

Co-starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin; Star Trek Into Darkness beams down into Australia theatres wide on May 16.

via Apple

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Despicable Me 2 – Trailer

2010’s Despicable Me was a surprising critical and commercial hit, so it’s no surprise that the wheels of a sequel were put quickly into motion. And deservedly so, as I personally found it to be one of the top animated films to be released in recent years.

Steve Carell‘s anti-hero Gru is a terrific character and a handsome fit for Carell’s comedic timing and sensibilities. For light — and often hilarious — comic relief add in the extremely popular Minions and you have yourselves genuine franchise fodder.

Original directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud return for a second helping, and joining Carell are the voices of Kristen Wiig, Al Pacino, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand, and Ken Jeong.

Australians will be the first to see Despicable Me 2 on June 20, one week before any other country. Suddenly Australia is number one!

via Apple

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