The ups and downs of The Cabin in the Woods release delay had little to do with co-writer and producer Joss Whedon, or writer-turned-director Drew Goddard’s movie; rather, the horror genre hybrid was simply caught in the middle of the MGM Studios collapse. Despite a few big names being attached to the long-withheld project – Avengers star Chris Hemsworth and director Joss Whedon - does The Cabin in the Woods actually offer a fresh and enjoyable horror experience? Or is the film little more than a middle-of-the-road effort that could have easily been left on the shelf?
Much like Eli Craig’s tongue-in-cheek effort, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, The Cabin in the Woods is far-from a typical horror film. The trailers for the movie spoil one of the most intriguing elements – which not only differentiates the project from regular slasher films, but also gives the writers and cast an opportunity to poke fun at the cliches of the genre without entirely undermining the scares.
In an effort to prevent spoiling the film for others, I’m not going to directly discuss the “twist” or where the filmmakers take the especially ambitious premise; however, I will say that, for readers who are already interested in checking out the film, it’s unlikely that the experience is going to disappoint. The Cabin in the Woods is hardly the most serious, or smartest, horror film audiences will have seen in a while – there are plenty of eye-roll-inducing dialogue moments and the over-arching setup might be hard for some moviegoers to accept – but, for anyone that’s ready for an entertaining (albeit over-the-top) horror movie, avoid the film’s spoiler-filled trailer and head to your favorite cineplex knowing as little as possible.
On the surface level, the story follows five friends Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Dana (Kristen Connolly) as they journey up to an isolated cabin for a weekend of drinking, swimming, truth or dare, and other scandalous behavior typically associated with college student getaways. A pre-trip meet up spells out the group dynamics: Dana is the good girl, Curt and Jules play-against stereotype as a hot blond and jock couple that in addition to good looks are also accomplished students, Holden is Curt’s bookish but still charming friend, and Marty is the group’s lovable pot-smoker.
Once on the road, the group encounter an ill-tempered gas pump attendant that, despite his disdain for the college kids, warns the group about their destination – asserting that visitors regularly disappear up in the woods. Dismissing the warnings, the group reach the cabin where, that’s right, things quickly devolve into bloody mayhem.
While many of the proceeding events center around good girl Dana, all of the friends are utilized in interesting ways – especially as the film toys more and more with genre stereotypes. As mentioned, these aren’t the dumb college kids audiences normally see in slasher-type films – and, while the plot can be somewhat convenient at times, there are plenty of interesting twists that arise out of having characters that, despite their basic caricature origins, defy expectation by making different (and, subsequently, more interesting) decisions. Given the difficult task of both embracing and rejecting these horror stereotypes, the cast (which, at the time, included a lot of untested talent) does a surprising job with the more serious moments – coupled with plenty of humorous nods to the audience.
That said, The Cabin in the Woods isn’t just different because it includes smarter versions of typical horror archetypes, the over-arching premise of the film is a game-changer, splitting open the genre format more and more as the film progresses – resulting in a final act that offers some truly enjoyable reveals. Where other filmmakers might attempt to setup the project as the first in a multi-installment franchise, Whedon and Goddard hold nothing back – peeling layer after layer away until they show audiences all that there is to see in The Cabin in the Woods universe. Nearly every recurring piece of mythology, horror, or comedy eventually comes full circle – offering a solid pay-off for moviegoers who can lock into the film’s wild (or absurd), but still satisfying, setup.
While the movie has a lot going for it in the way of an intriguing twist, the “horror” in The Cabin in the Woods might be underwhelming for some die-hards in the genre. There are plenty of tense moments, but many of the surface-level scares will be familiar (and easily anticipated) by a good portion of the audience. This might initially come across as lazy set-piece planning, but as the story plays-out, it’s clear these were intentional choices by Goddard and Whedon – which works to the success (and logic) of the overarching plot.
Ultimately, The Cabin in the Woods is a surprisingly entertaining effort that works because it strikes a smart balance – embracing, as well as rejecting, the viewer’s expectations and knowledge of the horror genre. The set-up is executed with a tongue-in-cheek attitude but presented with a straight face that could be off-putting for viewers who are expecting a straightforward slasher film or a “gritty” and serious scare-fest (such as The Descent or Hostel). However, the final product succeeds in paying homage to the movies that inspired it, poking fun at the often static state of the horror genre, all while simultaneously delivering a few fresh surprises. Anyone willing to suspend a bit of disbelief and not get too bogged down in the film’s logic will likely be ready for an entertaining and worthwhile experience. For many, this trip to The Cabin in the Woods will have definitely been worth the wait.
Ben Kendrick blogs at Screen Rant.
The subject of Anchorman 2 has been bouncing around Hollywood for years, but it was just a few weeks ago that Ron Burgundy himself, Will Ferrell, appeared in character on Conan to announce that he and Paramount had reached a deal to bring the suave San Diego newsman back for a sequel.
Today, we have Anchorman director – and frequent Will Ferrell collaborator – Adam McKay talking about the sequel film, with a few hints about what’s in store for Ron and the Channel 4 News Team’s new adventure.
Well, first off, we went and did some other movies; that was the initial delay. By the time we heard from enough fans and heard enough of the demand for a sequel, it had been a few years. We went to the studio and they kind of weren’t into it initially. They said the original one made pretty good money, but for what it made we’ll give you this and this, and it was a very low budget. We would have all been working for free to do it.
We were playing with the idea of doing “Stepbrothers 2″ or another original movie. And just at the last second I said, go check in with them again and see if it’s just 100 percent dead. And, crazy luck, a movie had fallen through for them, their view on it had kind of changed and that was it.
Regarding how the modern media is now even more of a reflection of all that Anchorman sought to mock:
Part of what inspired the movie was just how ridiculous the news had become. It was all ratings driven. The people were getting better and better looking. The weather women were getting outrageously beautiful. It was all about the voice and the hair.
Since we made the movie it’s gone even more so in that direction. We talk about all these anchormen on the air now and they’re all kind of Ron Burgundy-esque guys. So yes, sadly, the character has gotten more and more relevant as the news has gotten to be nothing more than a ratings-driven profit machine…The ridiculousness of “Anchorman” got less and less observed.
In regards to what Anchorman 2 might be about:
I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll just give a couple pieces of ideas that we’ve kicked around. Keep in mind we’re still writing the story, but I’ll say one phrase for you: custody battle. I’ll give you that. I’ll give you one other one: bowling for dollars.
Personally, I tend to use Anchorman as my personal barometer for where people’s comedic sensibilities lie. I thought the movie was hilarious the very first time I saw it; others were brought in by home video / cable viewings of the film. Since that time, The Legend of Ron Burgundy has grown to be, well, “legendary” (at least in a cult-following sort of way). I welcome a sequel with open arms, and truly hope that early reports that the setting will be moved up to the 1980s era are true – there is so much skewering of that era still to be done.
Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.
Coming hot off the heels of the Game of Thrones season 2 premiere, which garnered record ratings for the series, HBO took no time re-securing David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ adaptation of one of the literature’s most epic novels.
Here’s what Michael Lombardo had to say about Game of Thrones season 3:
Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season – and then surpassed them. We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series, and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.
After Game of Thrones season 2 premiered to 3.86 million viewers (which is 1.64 million viewers more than the series premiere), fans of the show knew that a season 3 renewal was just around the corner. And with Game of Thrones producers already planning out season 3, 4 and beyond, it’s likely that they felt the same impending renewal as the fans.
While the second season will cover the majority of the novel “A Clash of Kings”, the next in the series, “A Storm of Swords,” is too large to be adapted into a single 10-episode season. With the intent to split the books across Game of Thrones season 3 and 4, series creators Benioff and Weiss are attempting to figure out the best way to present George R. R. Martin’s goliath novels to television audiences.
And if the past is any sign of what’s to come, it looks like the fantastical tales of the characters of Westeros will continue to be faithfully adapted for the television screen for many years to come.
…Of course, a 50% bump in ratings for the season 2 premiere doesn’t hurt their odds, either.
Anthony Ocasio blogs at Screen Rant.
Production is about to begin on the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise, bearing the punny title A Good Day to Die Hard. Bruce Willis will reprise his career-defining role as loose cannon, Irish-American cop John McClane – who’s really a fish out of water this time around, as he ends up battling baddies overseas in Russia while also reuniting with his son Jack (Spartacus‘ Jai Courtney).
While there were rumors circulating a year ago that a member of the Gruber clan could be featured as the antagonist in Die Hard 5, that was long before any official plot details had been announced. Judging by today’s casting update – which concerns what are believed to be the two primary villain roles in the movie – McClane and Son will be facing much more generic foes on their crazy trip overseas.
The most recent Good Day to Die Hard script draft penned by Skip Woods (Swordfish, Hitman) reportedly sees McClane travel to Moscow in order to get his trouble-making son out of prison. However, it turns out John and Jack are both being used as pawns in a global terrorist scheme – thus, forcing the estranged duo to (as Variety puts it) “team up to keep each other alive and protect the world from imminent disaster.”
Parts for two sinister Russian characters named Komorov and Irina - who are almost certainly involved with the aforementioned terrorist plot in Good Day to Die Hard – have now been filled. The former role will be occupied by award-winning German actor Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Unknown), while Komorov’s villainous female counterpart will be bought to life by Russian model-turned-actress Yulia Snigir.
As indicated before, Koch and Snigir’s parts in Die Hard 5 read as being very basic villain archetypes, ie. a two-dimensional baddie and his lovely assistant, respectively. Combine that with John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Max Payne) sitting in the director’s chair and it’s all the more apparent: A Good Day to Die Hard could easily end up feeling like a pretty underwhelming addition to the franchise.
On the other hand: if Willis and Courtney’s onscreen chemistry proves as entertaining as that between Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard: With a Vengeance, that could help to elevate the series’ fifth chapter above the level of being a throwaway action movie followup. Such a turn of events would also help ensure that we get to see Willis saddle up as McClane for a sixth (and, according to the actor, final) time.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
It came as somewhat of a surprise when, earlier this week, word leaked out that Hunger Games co-writer/director Gary Ross had not yet been locked down for the sequel, Catching Fire – not only because of the widespread positive response to (and massive box office returns for) the first HG movie adaptation, but also because Ross had already begun to discuss his tentative plans for shooting the followup.
Reports are now in that Ross has selected to not be involved with Catching Fire after all. That puts Lionsgate in somewhat of a precarious position, as the studio wants production on the sequel to get underway by this upcoming September – meaning that the search for a replacement helmer will have to be a relatively quick one.
The Playlist says that Ross’ decision to pass on Catching Fire stems from a desire to press ahead with a different, original project that he’s more passionate about – one which, ironically, is expected to snag him a bigger payday than what Ross might’ve fetched for directing the second Hunger Games flick. Still, by all accounts, money was not the primary motivating factor for Ross’ departure.
[UPDATE: Deadline's source are reporting that Ross has not yet "formally withdrawn" from Catching Fire. The filmmaker is currently on vacation, so there presumably won't be an official confirmation either way until he returns to work.]
Truth be told, Lionsgate had already taken precautions for an event like this. The studio recruited Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (of Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours fame) to start working on the Catching Fire script, back when Ross was still busy working the promotional circuit for Hunger Games. Hence, the ball’s already off and rolling on this tentpole production.
Couple that with Fox’s newly announced 2013 start date for filming on X-Men: First Class 2 - which will free up Jennifer Lawrence to reprise her role as Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire this fall – and (for now) it doesn’t appear that Ross leaving the Hunger Games sequel will trip up the film too much on its way down the production pipeline.
Fan reaction to the news concerning Ross’ vacating the director’s chair on Catching Fire will probably be somewhat mixed, as far the immediate response goes. On the one hand, most people seem to agree that he did an admirable job of translating Suzanne Collins’ popular dystopian sci-fi thriller into cinematic form; on the other hand, some of Ross’ stylistic choices with Hunger Games (specifically, the disorienting shaky cam/editing approach) left many viewers feeling disgruntled.
That said: a directorial switch-up can be very tricky when it comes to franchise fare – especially when studios trade in a respectable filmmaker who leaves a recognizable artistic fingerprint on the series (see: David Slade with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse or Bryan Singer with X2) for someone who delivers more of a generic take on the property (see: Bill Condon with Breaking Dawn or Brett Ratner with X-Men: The Last Stand). Suffice it to say, Lionsgate is gambling that it can avoid making a similar mistake with the Hunger Games franchise, by letting Ross go.
We’ll be sure to let you know when a replacement director for Ross on Catching Fire has been found. In the meantime, be sure to check out our Catching Fire: 5 Things The Hunger Games Sequel Needs To Do post, for our own suggestions on what the sequel’s director ought to do in order to improve on Ross’ first HG film.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
The “Dancing With the Stars” elimination round Tuesday night ended with a surprising elimination and an announcement from host Tom Bergeron that the procedure for voting off contestants would be changing starting next week.
Jack Wagner and his partner Anna Trebunskaya were sent home at the end of Tuesday night’s show after performing a samba to the song “Lighting Up the Night,” a song released on the album of the same name by Wagner, a soap opera actor and musician. For Monday’s show, contestants were asked to choose the most memorable year of their lives. Wagner selected 2011, he said, because it was the year a girl approached him at a concert and told him he was her father. Wagner’s daughter, Kerry, was present at the show Monday to watch the dance.
Wagner appeared surprised when told he was eliminated during the results show. “It was a great time,” he said when asked about whether he was taken aback. “It was fun to test myself. Thanks to the judges.”
Bergeron announced during the elimination show that a new voting-off methodology would begin next week, embracing a procedure that is reminiscent of the “American Idol” judges’ save option. Beginning next week, whichever dancing pairs land in the bottom two will dance at the same time at the end of the broadcast, then the final elimination will be decided afterwards by the judges’ panel. The move would allow contestants to stay even if viewers voted to send them home.
The bottom two couples will continue to be determined by the scores given by the judging panel and votes from the general public.
The show began with musician Seal delivering a rendition of the 1972 Bill Withers standard “Lean on Me.” Later in the broadcast, Trebunskaya and fellow “Dancing” pro and husband Jonathan Roberts performed a waltz in honor of their friend Julia Ivleva, a dancer who was diagnosed with cancer.
We’ve been hearing talk of a sequel to Dumb and Dumber, and it seems that will finally happen. Coming Soon interviewed Directors Bobby and Peter Farelly, who revealed that production on the sequel will begin this Fall. Not only that, but both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are returning!
Of course, some are skeptical after the last time studio tried to follow-up the classic film with a prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. And it’s safe to say that wasn’t met well at all. But Peter Farrelly stresses this won’t be a repeat of that. “That was a studio thing. So we’ve always wanted to do a sequel and finally Jim called up. Jeff always wanted to do it. We always wanted to do it. Jim was busy, but he called and said, ‘We’ve got to do this thing again.’ He had just watched ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and he said, ‘This is the perfect sequel. Let’s do it,” he said.
Omens, visions and rituals combine to herald the next chapter of HBO’s obsession-worthy fantasy series, Game of Thrones. After leaving the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in the hands of a despotic boy-king, the series roars back to television, picking up right where it left off like a book opened to a dog-eared page.
From the start, it’s clear that, as much as season 1 followed the reluctant exploits of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) and his ruinous turn as the Hand of the King, season 2 immediately begins gathering steam from the performance of Peter Dinklage. Yes, he was the break out star of season 1, but this season, awards and accolades aside, Game of Thrones feels very much like Dinklage’s program to carry. With his wit, charm and wry sensibilities, Tyrion easily handles the task.
At our first sight of Tyrion, it’s clear he is not taking the role of Hand of the King lightly, and knows that his family – particularly his sister and her son – are also the unscrupulous kind that, if they are to remain in charge, will require the guidance of one who – despite having many vices – is not ruled by them. That is to say: Tyrion has the mettle, and the smarts, to make the rule of Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) a long one.
And so we are introduced to the kingdom as ruled by a young tyrant – one beset by the unnervingly casual nature of extreme violence. The violence and utter disregard for human life serves a potent reminder that though the audience may favor one character over another, Game of Thrones refuses to guarantee anyone’s term on the program – especially now that war has broken out between Eddard’s eldest son Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and the Lannisters.
When last we saw them, the Lannisters seemed on top of the world, but now they’re faced with the real possibility that retribution for the beheading of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) may be coming to the south more swiftly than winter. There is an air of resentment and disgust about King’s Landing regarding the unsubstantiated (but totally true) rumors of King Joffrey being the bastard son of his uncle Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). It seems as soon as they took power, the knowledge of the Lannister twins’ indiscretion was poised to be their undoing. As Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) demonstrates, though, knowledge may be a powerful tool, but only if it is used by those with a captive audience – which, at the moment, King’s Landing is short on. But power comes in many forms, and right now, Cersei and her family still wield the kind that could end a dissenter’s life.
Meanwhile, Jamie is still held captive by Robb, who has made a rather auspicious debut by handing the wealthy and immense Lannister army three consecutive defeats. While Jamie plays mind games with the young leader, Robb reminds him without a hint of subtlety that, for the moment, control – including that of the incestuous Lannister’s life – rests in Robb’s seemingly capable hands.
For Robb to be able to take King’s Landing, however, he must be able to broker some kind of alliance with the father of Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) – an alliance Robb’s mother Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) warns him against. But this is a time of war and uncertainty, a fact Robb makes clear to his mother by reasoning the conflict may have been born of his father’s execution, but it has now grown into a fight for independence for the northern people – and that may mean adding unstable elements like the elder Greyjoy to an already tenuous and risky undertaking.
Through this conflict, the world of Game of Thrones is instantly more vast and complex than the already elaborate world detailed in season 1. Not only has the issue become the North rebelling against a fraudulent king, but the turmoil resulting from who sits upon the iron throne has set into motion many other men laying claim to such a perch. The ongoing dispute and expanse of the world is made evident through the journey of dragon-hatcher Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and the small group of Dothraki that still travel with her across the desolate expanse of the Red Waste. As her counselor, Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) elucidates the plight of the group by informing the Khaleesi that, given the hostile forces surrounding them, crossing the Red Waste is their only hope for survival. But in a fitting metaphor for the realm of Westeros, the unforgiving heath may spell doom for the small caravan, regardless what people lie beyond its breadth.
In regards to the expanded scope, it would only be fitting to mention the addition of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), the oft-mentioned but unseen brother of the late king Robert (Mark Addy). He becomes an important player in the game, as he actually has a legitimate claim to the throne. However important, Stannis’ introduction is one that also cautions a certain amount of unease considering the company he keeps in Melisandre (Carice van Houten). Her unwillingness to fall victim to a poisoned drink is yet another portent that season 2 will be filled with all sorts of unnatural (read: supernatural) occurrences.
It is a lot to take in, but writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss artfully point the audience in the right direction, even when being introduced to a character for the first time. This is why when Jon Snow (Kit Harington), and his other wall-watchers come across the hatefully possessive northerner who marries his daughters, we feel a notable amount of disgust and need for retribution on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. It may, in some small fashion, help make up for all the wrongs that have gone without retribution since the series began.
But that is how Game of Thrones works: the just are often punished while the wicked find delight in the gratification of nearly every whim. This concept is not modern, but still feels very resonant in today’s society; a testament to why this series is so easily accessible and consumed with such ferocity by its legion of fans.
Throw in some truly quote-worthy lines of dialogue, clever twists, and the scattering of hints and nods to events that will later leave the audience reeling as they did in season 1, and you have a mindful adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s books that dares build upon the world he has crafted, rather than be a shallow, visualized mimic to the printed word.
Game of Thrones gets off to a fantastic start with its second season premiere. Though it will take some time to regain the kind of velocity felt at the end of season 1, the seeds of an epic season have certainly been planted.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
Wrath of the Titans picks up about a decade after Clash of the Titans, where we find Kraken-slaying demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) having traded his sword for the mundane life of a fisherman and father to his son, Helius. (Sadly his wife Io passed away – likely because the actress playing her didn’t return for this sequel).
One night, Perseus’ father Zeus (Liam Neeson) appears to tell him of an ominous prophecy: Mankind has moved away from the gods, causing the gods to lose their powers. This loss has consequently weakened the walls of Tartarus, the underworld prison where the Olympians banished the monstrous Titans – including Kronos, the father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. Zeus needs help to hold Tartarus together, but Perseus is reluctant to return to battle – that is, until Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Zeus’ other son Ares (Édgar Ramírez) capture the god of lightning and begin to transfer his life force into the dormant Kronos.
With the fate of the world in the balance, Perseus recruits allies in the form of his old friend Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Poseidon’s demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell). The trio sets out on a dangerous quest into the underworld to free Zeus, and stop the Titans from breaking free and wreaking havoc upon the world.
Clash of the Titans was a somewhat underwhelming affair (read our review), with its wooden acting, formulaic, video game-style progression, poor 3D conversion and action sequences that were more lackluster than thrilling. Wrath of the Titans is indeed an improvement upon its predecessor – but not by much.
Battle Los Angeles director Jonathan Liebesman steps into the director’s chair in place of Clash helmer, Louis Leterrier. The two ultimately prove to be on the same skill level (average), but are slightly different in terms of their shortcomings.
Where Leterrier’s signature was stiff and contrived action choreography shot at medium range using wires harnesses and such, Liebesman opts for the same kind of shooting style he used in Battle LA - namely a claustrophobic, over-the-shoulder shaky cam perspective – which will immediately turn off a certain contingent of moviegoers. The action sequences in the first film felt like overly-contrived dance routines, but in Wraththe action (especially in the first half) is a mix of blurry up-close movement and wider tracking shots that put the human actor in the foreground, running toward or away from some CGI creature in a green screen background. Stylistically speaking it’s not very sophisticated, or believable.
Thankfully Liebesman’s guerrilla shooting style relaxes as the film moves into some of the bigger set pieces in the second and third acts, and Wrath of the Titans ultimately manages to end on a much stronger note than it begins, with some epic blockbuster sequences that make smart use of the film’s much-improved 3D format. Sure, seeing Perseus riding Pegasus towards a giant molten lava Titan is almost a carbon-copy of the first film, but Liebesman makes it look good. War simulation is definitely his strong suit.
The acting in the film is slightly better this time – though the script is still pretty formulaic, with dialogue that is wooden at best, cringe-worthy at worst. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are thankfully given more to work with, as one of the subplots has to do with Zeus and Hades confronting their sibling issues as the time of the gods nears its end. Édgar Ramírez also gets a more Shakespearean (and I use that term veryloosely) story arc, playing the god of war as a wounded, rage-fueled man-child with deep-seated daddy issues. Rosamund Pike and Toby Kebbell are good sidekicks, and character actor Bill Nighy (Underworld, Pirates of the Caribbean) shows up for a scenery-chewing cameo alongside a very special guest, which fans of the 1981 originalClash will delight in seeing.
Sam Worthington, on the other hand, is still as wooden and uninteresting as ever. There must’ve been a lot of CGI required to create the actor’s facial expressions in his Avatar alien body, because in every live-action role since then (see: The Debt, Man on a Ledge) Worthington has pretty much proven that his range extends between blank face and feral growl. Wrath of the Titans tries to give Perseus some deeper emotional motivations (family, duty), but the scenes requiring emoting just look flat and even comical set against Worthington’s blank stare. Even Pegasus manages to display more personality – and he’s a flying horse.
The Titans (and all the mystical beasts that come with them) are all well-designed and appropriately menacing – except for the Minotaur in the labyrinth sequence. Thanks to excess shaky-cam, we barely get to see what ol’ horn head looks like. But Kronos, the Chimera, the double-torso demon soldiers – all well done.
If you were a fan of the first installment then Wrath of the Titans is going to be a welcome improvement; if you didn’t like the first film, this sequel is not going to reverse your negative opinion. If you’re wondering whether to shill out for the 3D ticket: the last half-hour is worth it, and overall the format is better-utilized, but for most of the runtime it isn’t a necessity.
Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.
After weeks of discussions with 20th Century Fox, Netflix has had a change of heart and is no longer seeking to rescue Terra Nova from cancellation, leaving the studio free to shop the expensive sci-fi series to other possible suitors.
Despite the news that Terra Nova‘s best chance for survival has ceased being interested, 20th century Fox is not remanding the series to the dust bin just yet. For now, as a modicum of hope still lingers that some network will take a shine to the thought of Stephen Lang and a horde of CGI dinosaurs gracing its airwaves, the studio has kept all the actors’ contracts in place.
After a certain point, though, the cost of keeping everything and everyone on standby, while the last glimmer of hope slowly fades, will become prohibitive to doing actual business; so if Terra Nova can’t successfully woo another network, it’s going to be lights out for any more prehistoric shenanigans.
Meanwhile, perhaps as an indication of their faith in the show’s chances, many in the cast have already signed on to appear in other upcoming pilots. Most notably, series lead Jason O’Mara (Jim Shannon) has joined the impressive cast for CBS’ period drama based on real-life Las Vegas lawman Ralph Lamb. The series touts Dennis Quaid, Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Chiklis amongst its cast and comes from screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas). Meanwhile, Christine Adams (Mira) has signed on to appear in ABC’s fashion-centric drama Americana, alongside Emilie de Ravin (Lost) and Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace).
So why did Netflix pass? For one, Terra Nova cost around $4 million per episode, which may have been seen as too risky, especially since the company is seeking to define it’s brand with content created solely for its subscribers. And with word that Netflix and Media Rights Capital – the studio behind the upcoming House of Cards -are currently battling director and executive producer David Fincher on matters of that series’ budget, one can see why avoiding another series where dollars are certain to add up was part of Netflix’s decision.
Meanwhile, in addition to House of Cards, Netflix has Hemlock Grove from Eli Roth in the works, as well as a new series from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. To catch a glimpse of Netflix’s first original offering, subscribers can currently tune into the complete first season of Lilyhammer.
Whether this announcement will play into Netflix’s interest in The River is not clear, as the found-footage series’ fate on ABC has not yet been determined.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.