What Happened With The Movie Review Dude?

Oh, you know, same old same old. I could only manage two film reviews this month, Unfinished Business and Insurgent; one went alright but the other not so good. But other than the usual Coming Attractions, Month In Review For February and three lots of Trailer Reviews (here, here, and also here) I was a little preoccupied with the genre nominations (1 and 2) for the 1st Ever Annual Movie Dude Awards! They have been time consuming and while I have enjoyed the work I’ll be glad when its over as I can finally get back to doing some old-fashion Cinema Rewinds and Series Specials. Expect those from May onwards.

What Happened In The World Of Cinema?

CHAPPiE, while a moderate box-office success, tanked with critics and was not the return to form we were all hoping for Neill Blomkamp. The Christian drama Do You Believe? also received bad reviews but has managed to make a little money.

A number of small budget films saw release this month. Faults garnered some positive reviews while the Adam Carolla comedy Road Hard didn’t fair so well, as did another stand-up comedy film, Danny Collins. The one to see is NH10, an Indian crime thriller. I don’t expect many to have heard of it (I hadn’t until now) but we need to check this thing out. Despite being made on a small budget it’s become a sleeper hit and received critical acclaim.

Looking at the big Hollywood films: Unfinished Business, despite a leading man in Vince Vaughn and an up-and-comer like Dave Franco, was dismissed by critics and a box office flop, having made only $13.5 million from a $35 million budget so far. Get Hard did a little better, making back its budget and not being totally savaged in the reviews. Then there’s Insurgent, which didn’t do well with critics either but has been a huge success. Despite not reaching the heights of its predecessor, it is pushing the $200 million mark.

Liam Neeson returned to gun-totting form with Run All Night. Though it’s been slow to make money it has received positive reception from critics and fans and should keep Neeson totting a gun for just a while longer. Sean Penn didn’t fair so well, with his action flick The Gunman sinking like a stone at the box office and getting nothing but negative reviews.

A rarity with Disney has been the critical performance of Home, which has not been received too well though it does look to be a money maker. Beating all comers this month is the live-action remake Cinderella. A roaring success, with positive reviews and a return of $337.3 million at the box office, this could very well lead the way for future live-action takes on classic Disney fairy tales.

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No Wonder Indiana Jones Had A Guy Fly The Plane For Him

The biggest news event to come out of March was Harrison Ford’s light aircraft crash.

While flying a vintage WWII plane Ford radioed in engine failure not long after take off and was forced to perform an emergency landing on a golf course in Venice, California. He was rushed to hospital with a broken pelvis and ankle as well as lacerations to the head and fractures where his condition was reported as critical. It has since been downgraded to ‘fair to moderate’. Thankfully Ford’s publicist and son have both stated that the veteran actor is ‘battered, but ok’ and ‘expected to make a full recovery’.

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Ford’s Ryan PT-22 Recruit

Ford has not had much luck in the air, having been in a helicopter accident in 1999, while this is not his first accident since filming began on the upcoming Star Wars trilogy. Last time an automated door broke his leg, and while that forced a change of schedule Ford has since completed filming and this latest incident will not effect production.

Midnight Rider Director / Exec Producer Plead Guilty, Producer and Ass. Director Dismissed

After almost a year of legal wrangling the hammer has come down on director Randall Miller and executive producer Jay Sedrish of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider. Miller and Sedrish have pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass while producer Jody Savin and assistant director Hilary Schwartz have had their cases dismissed following the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. Jones was a crew member on Midnight Rider, filming on a rail road trestle when a train came through, killing Jones and seriously injuring seven other crew members.

Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones

A 182-page investigative report has detailed how Sedrish signed Occupational Health and Safety Administration documents declaring he, Miller, Savin and later Schwartz would provide a safe work environment. They were also twice denied permission to shoot on the trestle with the second request claiming the shoot would be south of the trestle with a five man crew (the crew was 21). Rail road owners CSX, whose responses were labelled ‘confusing’, were never contacted for clarification, and their emails were never shown to the crew. Sedrish had refused to have a safety bulletin attached to a call sheet, and safety meetings and inspections of the site, documented in the OHSA agreement, never took place.

Photography by: Randy Thompson

On the day there was no medic on-site and people were assigned look out duty for cars and people, not trains. Their position on the trestle was 25-30 feet above water, the west side of the trestle had no guard rail and the walkways were only inches away from the track. When the train came the crew had less than one minute to get to safety; Sarah Jones didn’t make it.

The parents of Jones filed wrongful death lawsuits against almost all those involved, the majority of which were dismissed while Antonyia Verna, Izabeau Giannakopoulos and Joyce Gillard, other crew members who were injured, filed a suit against Unclaimed Freight Productions, Miller and Savin’s parent company. When Miller and Savin intended to continue production Film Allman LLC filed a lawsuit against New York Marine over an unpaid $1.6 million insurance claim for interruptions to filming caused by the incident. Gregg Allman would file a suit against Unclaimed Freight Productions to halt production of the film. A settlement was reached.

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Sedrish, Savin and Miller

On July 13 Miller and Savin pleaded not guilty to all charges, claiming they always emphasised safety. On March 9 Miller was sentenced to two years jail followed by eight years probation in a bargain that saw Savin’s case dismissed, during which he is unable to work as a director or in any capacity involving safety. Sedrish has been sentenced to ten years probation with the same work restrictions.

Special thanks to deadline.com for all the info To read more on this visit:

http://deadline.com/2014/10/midnight-rider-death-timeline-sarah-jones-train-accident-investigation-1201266684/

Is The Apocalypse Nigh For Jennifer Lawrence and Hugh Jackman?

To something a little lighter. There are only so many constants in life. Fire burns, you need oxygen to survive, and Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. But one constant may be coming to a close as the actor recently took to Instagram with this picture…

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WOLVERINE …ONE LAST TIME. HJ

Though nothing has yet to be confirmed, the word is that the upcoming Wolverine 3 will be Jackman’s last. Jackman has been playing the character for fifteen years and seven films; this final outing will be his eighth and tie him with Leonard Nimoy for the most films in the one role.

This comes not long after Jennifer Lawrence announced she would not be returning to the series after two appearances as the blue-skinned Mystique. On top of that both Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen have said they will not be back for next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, leaving us wondering is a huge cast shake-up on the cards?

Zoolander 2 Announced at Fashion Show

Anyone attend the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week? I won’t be surprised if you didn’t, but if you did did you happen to see those two guys dressed in fancy pyjamas walking the runway before the models? Turns out those two were once huge names in the fashion industry about fifteen years ago, and apparently this is some kind of announcement surrounding a film the two are set to star in next year. Will Ferrell and Penelope Cruz have both signed on and Justin Theroux will be making his directorial debut with the film announced for a February 12 release.

Rogue One, Standing By

The Star Wars ball is truly rolling with word the first spin-off, set for release December 16 2016, has been named Rogue One.

While details are scarce as to the content of the film the rumours are still abound about the bounty hunters plot which is confirmed to involve Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones and maybe Australian veteran Ben Mendelsohn. An interesting side-note: a character from the upcoming twenty Star Wars novels, set for release later this year, will feature in Rogue One and will apparently be the series’ first LGBT character. That just goes to show the distant future has become progressive.

Meanwhile, an everyday YouTuber named Paul Johnson has created Star Wars: TIE Fighter, an Anime-inspired Star Wars short. With word of a live-action television series already in the works you’d think an Anime series would be a) the next logical step, and b) a totally kick-arse idea. Check it out:

Even If One’s Digital They’re Still The Magnificently Furious 7

So how did they manage to finish filming Furious 7 even after Paul Walker’s unfortunate death? We do know they used his two brothers as stand-ins but a new report has stated WETA Digital, most famous for creating Gollum from The Lord Of The Rings, was hired on the side to basically layer Paul’s features over the faces of his brothers. An example can be seen at the end of this featurette:

The process has not been easy. Director James Wan has said ‘there were moments where I wasn’t sure how I could continue with this… I mean in an emotional way’, and that the film ‘has such a huge emotional impact for me and I have such a hard time watching it’, while Vin Diesel can’t hide his emotions. The action star has been seen shedding tears at a few live appearances when mentioning his close friend Walker. So emotionally invested is Vin he’s named his daughter after Paul and has even proclaimed the film will win best picture at the Oscars. To be honest I don’t think anyone would mind if it did.

Jurassic Park Remade For Just $100,000… Of Lego…

Have you ever been such a big fan of something you were willing to remake it as a stop-motion short film using Lego? A father/daughter team has done just that, depicting scenes from the 1993 classic Jurassic Park with $100,000 of Lego. Check it out:

Two New Universes Are Currently Being Created

No, not parallel universes (clever, I know), but film universes. Taking their cue from the roaring success Marvel has made out of isolating all your characters in one huge series of films Valiant Comics is making its way to the big screen while Akiva Goldsmith has been hired to create ideas for sequels and spin-offs for Michael Bay’s Transformers series.

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In case you’re not familiar with comics outside of DC and Marvel, Valiant were actually quite a big contender back in the 90’s until the company was sold. But they began printing again in 2012 and sales have been growing steadily ever since, so don’t think they’ve suddenly popped up out of nowhere.

On the other side the Transformers is a franchise everybody must know. Michael Bay has taken a long, hard look at his film series and realised it can’t stay afloat in its current form forever, so by taking stock of what Disney have been developing with Star Wars he’s un-hopefully going to reinvigorate Transformers so it can stay around for a while longer.

Super Troopers 2 Funding

Remember Super Troopers? That funny 2001 film the critics absolutely hated? Well the comedy troupe behind that, Broken Lizard, went to Fox with an idea for a sequel, and Fox said yes on the condition they fund the feature themselves. So onto the fund-raising website Indiegogo.com they went, asking for $2 million to create a sequel. They made the money in less than twenty-four hours and with twenty-four days left are currently sitting on a budget over $3 million. So it’s official: we’re getting Super Troopers 2! *cue confetti

Want Your Own Suit Of Armour?

Just saying, if I had $21,500 just lying around…

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Jesse Eisenberg Shaves His Head, Ryan Reynolds Buys A New Suit

The first images of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and Ryan Reynolds as the titular character for the film Deadpool have been released. Guess which one is which.

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And that, folks, was the month of March. I will be back with my review of Furious 7, some Quick Flicks, Trailers and the production nominations for the 1st Ever Annual Movie Dude Awards! As usual I’m always busy so until next time stay tuned and enjoy!

* Special thanks to Screencrush, Deadline, YouTube, Instagram, ABC News, Variety plus more for all sources and images.

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