(Photo by Claire Folger/20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
Even if Chris Evans hadn’t played Captain America in the MCU over the last eight years, there’s all kind of evidence he’s some kind of secret comic book nerd. He played the ice-cool Human Torch in two Fantastic Four movies. He was the comic relief in The Losers. He played a jerk-ass ex-boyfriend of Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Casey Jones was his jam in the animated TMNT movie. And he was on the world’s longest train ride ever in Snowpiercer. And just what do all those movies have in common? Yep: They’re all adaptations of comic panel to the big screen.
When he’s not helping sequential art books go back into print, Evans’ other notable jobs include being in one of the few actually funny parody movies of this century (Not Another Teen Movie), reigniting the sun (Sunshine), and testing the waters of his dream career as a director (Before We Go).
But honestly, playing Steve Rogers, the dorky hot guy in the MCU (as opposed to Mark Ruffalo, who plays the hot dork), takes up so much time, it’s amazing Evans gets anything else done. And his recent films, Avengers: Endgame and Knives Out, turned out to be his best. And now you can see the rest as look back on Chris Evans movies ranked by Tomatometer!
(Photo by 20th Century Fox; Walt Disney Pictures)
Updated on 12/14/17.
After months of secret talks and at least six weeks of speculation, the Walt Disney Company announced it will buy most of 21st Century Fox’s media holdings. According to reports, Disney will acquire the 20th Century Fox, National Geographic, and FX cable networks, as well as various international holdings, while 21st Century Fox will spin off Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network to its shareholders.
While Disney’s acquisition of the complete distribution rights to the original Star Wars, National Geographic programming, and other properties had Wall Street buzzing, the merger means one important thing for fans of comic book movies and television shows: The return of the X-Men and, presumably, Fantastic Four characters to Marvel Studios.
In the late 1990s, when Marvel was an independent company nearing bankruptcy, Fox bought the film rights to both properties in perpetuity: As long as they made X-Men or Fantastic Four movies every few years, they retained control of those titles and associated characters forever.
But now that Disney is buying the studio, it will mean some of Marvel Comics’ most popular characters can finally appear alongside the stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and the potential for character crossovers and story line adaptations is staggering. Below are just a few ways fans win if the deal goes through.
Despite Marvel Studio’s attempts to position the Inhumans as their answer to the X-Men, fans desperately want the Merry Mutants to fight alongside (or against) the MCU’s roster of Iron Men, Asgardians, sorcerers, and talking raccoons. In fact, pitting the two groups against each other might be a thrilling way to introduce the X-Men to the MCU. Such a battle took place in 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men. The story line saw the Phoenix Force return to Earth while the Avengers and the X-Men fought over how best to protect the person destined to bond with the cosmic entity.
There are some pitfalls to adapting the story, as it relies on a lot of shared history between the two groups. Wolverine, for example, is a longtime member of both the Avengers and the X-Men. But without his presence in the MCU, those connections would have to be built anew. Going into the fifth phase of Marvel’s feature film story line, the X-Men would be a completely new element (a possibility with its own set of advantages) unless there was a way to retroactively insert them into MCU history.
The 2015 event series Secret Wars saw Marvel’s mainline universe (referred to as Earth-616) merging with a number of other alternate realities published by Marvel over the years. The story is epic and insanely intricate with Doctor Doom as the supreme ruler of a feudal universe. The end result saw Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales join the main Marvel Universe and the company’s first family (Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and their children) removed entirely.
It is easy to imagine, say, Legion’s David Haller (Dan Stevens) imitating his comic book counterpart – who once ripped apart the Marvel Universe with his awesome power – to create a new MCU where mutants are an established fact.
The pitfall, of course, is the X-Men film series’ own convoluted timeline and half-hearted reboots. Which films would be considered canon? Do you retroactively call X-Men: Days of Future Past an opening shot of the Secret War? Maybe it would be better to have Deadpool laugh it off and just accept that the characters are part of the MCU now. But fans would want some sort of acknowledgement of this monumental change to Marvel’s film universe even as X-Men films suffer from a sense of reboot fatigue.
Perhaps it would be easier for Marvel to start with the comic book concept that never generated a winning film for 20th Century Fox:
As watchers of the comic book industry know, the disappearance of the Richards clan in Secret Wars was more than just a story point; it was an allegedly cynical move in an ongoing battle between Fox and Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac Perlmutter. Knowing the studio was prepping a new Fantastic Four film – the infamous 2015 reboot directed by Josh Trank – he reportedly ordered the publishing division to cease publication of the title. According to the rumor, Perlmutter allegedly considered a Fantastic Four comic book to be free advertising for a Fantastic Four film Marvel would see little revenue from.
And so, longtime Fantastic Four scribe and Secret Wars writer Jonathan Hickman wrote the family out of the prime universe.
But with all media rights to the Fantastic Four were once again under one roof, Marvel Comics is free to publish the comic once more — and potentially giving fans something they crave: a Marvel Studios–produced Fantastic Four movie.
Imagine, as many fans do, a film set in the 1960s with Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm experiencing their original comic book origin. It could be something hip and poppy, in the vein of A Hard Day’s Night, with a Doctor Doom who looks and sounds the part. It would be easy to explain away their absence in the MCU as a plot of Doom’s to obscure the cursed Richards and his family. It could even make light of all the silly studio politics.
That said, there is one major problem plaguing the Fantastic Four as a film property: It’s already failed twice. Or three times, if you count the infamous and unreleased Fantastic Four produced by Roger Corman. The underlying premise of a science hero family does not sit well with the action-oriented screenwriting tropes of Hollywood studios. Even Marvel itself might have a problem adapting the concept. Perhaps it, and certainly other Marvel properties formerly controlled by Fox, would work better in the realm of television. Additionally, the rights to the Fantastic Four may not be as clear-cut as originally thought.
While the Fantastic Four may make a better television program, one of their supporting characters practically screams for a TV adaptation. The recently concluded run of Silver Surfer by Dan Slott and Mike Allred stars a human character named Dawn Greenwood who is whisked away by the Surfer on a psychedelic trip across the universe. As the two journey among the stars and help people out of jams, Dawn shows the often aloof and spacey Surfer – real name Norrin Radd – the value of consideration and compassion. They also fall in love, but their relationship is challenged when she learns how Norrin became the Silver Surfer.
Like Doctor Who infused with the love story between Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew Crawley (Stevens), this winning TV premise is unlike anything Marvel or Fox has produced with comic book properties so far.
Of course, having most of Marvel in one place could also clear up the way shows like Legion and The Gifted dance around their feature film cousins. Currently, the layers of bureaucracy between Marvel and the web of Fox film and TV production and distribution companies make it difficulty for either show to relate to the established X-Men film series or each other. With Marvel’s television division as the only authority, Professor X could be revealed as David Haller’s father, while Polaris could announce to her friends in the Underground that she is Magneto’s daughter. Imagine if both of these shows suddenly took to heart Marvel’s edict that “it’s all connected.”
But before we consider the potential for character crossovers, let’s go back to the Silver Surfer for a second and his possible place in the MCU. Whether he received his own series or popped up in an Avengers movie, his debut in a Marvel film or television project could herald the MCU’s next big bad.
Since the first Avengers film, Thanos the Mad Titan has been teased as the group’s ultimate cosmic antagonist. But once his defeat comes in the fourth Avengers, who will pose any major threat to them in the MCU’s fifth phase?
How about someone who eats planets for breakfast?
Though the ancient and eternal devourer of worlds known as Galactus appeared in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the film re-imagined him as an amorphous alien death cloud. The character, with his thrilling Jack Kirby–designed head gear, living spaceship, and next-level intelligence, could be the sort of opponent even the combined strengths of Tony Stark, Thor, the Guardians, Captain Marvel, and Ant-Man would find overwhelming.
Alternatively, the Fantastic Four property comes with one villain who may be worth more to Marvel Studios than anyone else in the Fox-controlled library. Imagine the sudden appearance of Latveria on the MCU scene and the arrival of its absolute dictator, Dr. Victor Von Doom. Facing just about every character from Luke Cage to Reed Richards to Squirrel Girl (and in one instance, even Superman), Doctor Doom is very much the ultimate antagonist. Everyone has a bone to pick with him, and every Marvel fan laments his absence in the MCU.
Either would make worthy adversaries of the combined Marvel Studios and Fox libraries. In fact, Doom’s ubiquity as a Marvel Comics villain underscores the most thrilling aspect of the potential Fox sale: the character interactions.
Hulk and Wolverine’s first meeting has never be realized in live action or even cheekily referenced in any film. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver’s real parentage is never discussed because Magneto is a 20th Century Fox property. And then there’s a story line like World War Hulk, which requires the presence of Professor X and Reed Richards to complete a counsel of power characters like Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, and Black Bolt.
Because Marvel Comics has always enjoyed crossing characters over into its various titles, the MCU has always been just a little poorer for lacking the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. A perfect example is Scarlet Witch, who first appeared in early X-Men stories before spending decades in the Avengers ranks. But that emotional tie is blunted in her MCU form. Imagine an Avengers film in which the veil is lifted and she remembers who her father is. Imagine a Secret Wars–style mashup in which she meets her father (in the form of Michael Fassbender or Ian McKellan) and the Evan Peters version of her brother. Imagine the drama and the confusion for a character who has had little to do in the MCU so far.
And that’s only one example. Consider the potential for laughs, should Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds find their way into the MCU. Relish the possibility of Chris Evans and a new Johnny Storm making a wink-and-nod reference to his own Fantastic Four past — Evans even recently joked about playing both characters in a buddy picture. Imagine the connections between Legion, The Gifted, and the upcoming Cloak & Dagger (coming in 2018 to the Disney–ABC Television Group’s Freeform). Then there are Wolverine’s constant guest appearances in every Marvel title clearing the way for him once he’s recast — Hugh Jackman has said about the likelihood of his return to the role, “the ship has sailed” — to venture far and wide to Avengers films and Hulu’s Runaways.
Provided, of course, the merger overcomes any regulatory hurdles. And though it will be sad to see one of Hollywood’s oldest studios disappear under the Disney banner, the return of significant Marvel properties to Marvel is just too exciting for fans of the characters. And now that the merger is on its way, the imaginations of fans can run wild.
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
If you’ve seen a sci-fi/fantasy film in the past 30 years, chances are you’ve seen Doug Jones transform himself into some of the most recognizable creatures captured on celluloid — even if you never quite knew it was him.
The actor has played a fish-man mutant in the Hellboy movies, a friendly zombie in Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, the titular superhero in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and the nightmare-inducing Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth — among many, many others. He’ll soon play a different fish-man in Guillermo Del Toro’s festival favorite The Shape of Water, out Friday, and can be seen as alien Saru on CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery.
Rotten Tomatoes enlisted Jones, movie monster extraordinaire, to pick the Five Favorite Movie Monsters that influenced his career — and to reflect on five of his own favorite characters as well.
The first horror movie I ever remember even seeing was The Mummy with Boris Karloff, so that would be my first monster that is beloved to me. Boris channeled something so haunting with that role, and close-ups on his eyes were enough to give me the heebie-jeebies for the rest of my life. The way he physically channeled that walk and the creaky movement of someone who’s been dead for that long and decaying for that long in bandages, he really gave it something beyond that era.
Number two would be also Boris Karloff, as Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein. That was another performance that left me just chilled and with such imagery that’s emblazoned in my mind, and he channeled something completely different for that. He was a completely different character. It showed his diversity as an actor, and his subtleties. That was an era of filmmaking where people over-did it a lot, and he found subtleties as Frankenstein’s monster that I just thought were [wonderful]. Less was more, and he knew that.
Number three would be Lon Chaney as Phantom of the Opera. I think what struck me was his theatrics. Again, he did go over and big, as that era of acting would dictate, but he did it with such conviction and such truth that I bought every single minute of it. He left me, again, terrified and chilled.
Number four would be the Creature from the Black Lagoon. That one, of course, was split up; two actors played him. Ricou Browning was the Gill-man in the water, and Ben Chapman was the Gill-man out of the water, on the land. The most memorable imagery for me would be Ricou in those underwater sequences, when he’s swimming underneath Julie Adams. She’s innocently having a swim in her little white bathing suit, like “la la la,” having no idea that this thing is lurking underneath her. But that underwater performance of his has channeled its way into my own creatures. I’ve played two fish-men now in my career, so I think that the Creature from the Black Lagoon actually left a huge thumbprint on me from that.
The last one on my list of five would be Tim Curry as Darkness in 1985’s Legend. He was a big, demon, Satan kind of character, which normally is not what I’m drawn to, but he — gosh. He was so present in that role, and gave it a voice and a physicality that no one else would have thought of but Tim Curry. So I just love him as Darkness.
Jean Bentley for Rotten Tomatoes: You mentioned the two fish-men you’ve played. They’re Abe Sapien from Hellboy, and what’s the other one?
Doug Jones: The most recent one, my most recent Guillermo del Toro film — which is coming out December 8th, of course — which would be The Shape of Water, and I play the amphibian man in that. He doesn’t have a name, so they just call him the amphibian man.
RT: The Shape of Water has been getting great reviews. What was your experience like on that film?
Jones: I was tickled pink with the reception it’s gotten just from the festival circuit so far. It was magical. With Guillermo I knew we were making something very special with this movie, the kind of feeling I had when we were making Pan’s Labyrinth together. This is my sixth movie with him, but most of them, the other four, have been big-budget things. We did Hellboy 1 and 2, and Crimson Peak and Mimic. But Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water are both films that were passion projects for him personally, you know? There was something very much more personal going on in those films for him, so a more artistic thing would come out of those experiences.
The Shape of Water is a love story unlike anything I knew was possible on film. But only Guillermo del Toro could pull off a young lady falling in love with a fish-man from the wild, and make it look sexy and plausible. I’ve played many creatures on film before, but never in that kind of a story, with that kind of emotional attachment to my co-star.
(Photo by Picturehouse courtesy Everett Collection)
RT: You’ve listed five movie monster performances that made big impressions on you, but what are some of your own roles that stand out to you?
Jones: Over 30 years of acting, all the characters I’ve played have become like children to me. It’s very hard for a parent to pick their favorite child, right? They’re not supposed to have one anyway. I think it was maybe Tom Cruise who said in an interview once, like, “What’s your favorite character you’ve ever played?” and his answer was, “My most recent.”
But truly, honestly, the two characters that I have that are present in the public eye most right now are the amphibian man from The Shape of Water that I just mentioned, because it’s getting so much hype and it’s coming out soon, and Saru from Star Trek: Discovery. Saru as an alien character is different than anything I’ve ever played before. He’s got the most layers, and the most backstory to figure out, and the most wide array of emotion, and the most storyline I think I’ve been given on an ongoing basis. Over the arc of this first season we just finished, I get to go everywhere emotionally and intellectually with this character. So he absolutely has become a favorite, along with the fish-man from The Shape of Water, because of that.
RT: What are some other ones?
Jones: Probably the most scary thing I’ve ever played, and that has a long shelf-life as a scary character, is the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth — the guy with the eyeballs in his hands.
RT: Oh, I’m familiar. He haunted my dreams for a time.
Jones: Yeah, right? He made his way onto many magazine covers the year that movie came out because it was such a striking image and such innovative character design. So channeling him and getting him through my body was an honor; another creation of Guillermo del Toro’s.
RT: What’s another favorite role?
Jones: I would say probably the most lovable, charming, of my characters might be Billy Butcherson from Hocus Pocus. I loved him so much. He’s a goofy zombie. I got to play a zombie before zombies were a cool thing. He was goofy and floppy, and could relate to the kids in the movie, and it was in a Disney, family-friendly, fun film that also has had a very long shelf-life. It comes back around this time of year, every year, with high-rotation television play. Even revival theaters are putting it up all the time. It’s playing at the El Capitan Theatre right now in Hollywood. So that movie lives on and on and on. I just adore Billy.
(Photo by Universal courtesy Everett Collection)
I would say, for overall physicality, and what I had to put into a character, Abe Sapien from the Hellboy movies. In a comic-book movie setting I had to make a fish-man mutant believable, but with a heightened comic-book sensibility, so that was quite a challenge for me. He’s wordy, he’s intelligent, he’s well-read, he’s cultured, he’s a gentleman, so to make all that happen in a fish-man body was — he was one of my biggest challenges, and the way the public has taken to him [is wonderful]. Also, those movies have a long shelf-life. When I’m doing convention appearances, that will be one of the biggest sellers at my tables. People love Abe Sapien. They want to talk about that movie, and a lot of people had their first date watching one of those movies. I hear lots of stories of people’s connection to Abe.
I would say, for sexy heroism, the Silver Surfer. I played him in the Fantastic Four sequel, the Rise of the Silver Surfer. That was probably the best physique I’ve ever been given, and I say “given” because I didn’t earn it. It was sculpted on me with a rubber suit, right? So at the end of the day I had to give that amazing body back to the people that made it. Which is unfortunate.
RT: Even just temporarily, that’s got to feel good.
Jones: Right, right, right. Oh my gosh, yeah. It’s funny because when people know me just as the Silver Surfer, and they haven’t really looked me up to find out anything else I’ve done or what I look like in real life, and they’re meeting me at one of those fan/comic-book conventions, the look on people’s faces. “Oh wait. Did you play the Silver Surfer? Where is he?” I’m sitting at the table, this skinny old man in a tie, in a vest, going, “Hey, it’s me. I’m sorry, that’s all you get today.”
I owe all of the above, by the way, to not only the great directors I’ve worked with, but also the creature effects and makeup people who have [collaborated]. Every one of those characters I mentioned has a completely different team attached to it that were just amazing artists. I’ve had the best makeup artists in the world put their hands on my face, so really, I owe a lot to them.
Hugh Jackman delivers his slicey swan song as Wolverine in Logan, the R-rated for-realsies conclusion to the arc of Marvel’s famous X-Man. This week’s gallery pays tribute to the Marvel movies that existed before and now compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe — read on for the best & worst Marvel movies (outside the MCU)!
This week at the movies, we’ve got a quartet of superheroes (Fantastic Four, starring Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan); runaway livestock (the stop-motion animated feature Shaun the Sheep); a veteran rocker (Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer); and a creepy acquaintance (The Gift, starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall). What do the critics have to say?
Pity the poor Fantastic Four. Marvel’s original superhero team has never been particularly well served on the big screen, and critics say that trend continues with Fantastic Four, a jumbled attempt to reboot the franchise that boasts talented actors stranded in an oddly morose, badly paced misfire. It’s yet another origin story: Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and his pals figure out how to teleport to another dimension, but after an ill-fated trip they all end up with superpowers — and make an enemy of the evil Dr. Doom. The pundits say that Fantastic Four has a few interesting ideas that are quickly pushed aside in favor of overripe dialogue, endless exposition, and so-so special effects.
The cheeky Brits over at Aardman Animations — the folks who brought you Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run — are masters of the witty, whimsical stop-motion comedy. However, critics say they may have topped themselves with Shaun the Sheep, an astonishing achievement that blends Chaplinesque silent-movie slapstick with a surfeit of hilarious visual gags. Shaun the Sheep encourages the rest of his flock to take a day off, which eventually leads to the disappearance of their owner into the big city. The sheep attempt to recover the farmer, and hilarity ensues. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Shaun the Sheep is truly inspired in its comic lunacy, and while some of the jokes might fly over the heads of the youngest viewers, it’s sure to enchant the whole family.
Meryl Streep classes up everything she touches, so it’s a little surprising to see her play a down-and-dirty rocker in Ricki and the Flash. But critics say the film has a few more tricks up its sleeve — despite its shopworn premise, Ricki and the Flash offers enough great acting and toe tapping tunes to be a little more than just the same old song. Streep stars as a singer who ditched her family to chase musical stardom. But with her estranged daughter in the midst of a personal crisis, Ricki heads home in an attempt to heal old wounds. The pundits say Ricki and the Flash isn’t earth-shaking, but it’s energetic and raggedy enough to make its formulaic elements feel fresh.
If you’ve seen Warrior or The Great Gatsby, you know Joel Edgerton has a commanding screen presence. And critics say that if the chilling, intelligent thriller The Gift is any indication, he’s got a promising future behind the camera as well. Well-to-do Simon (Jason Bateman) has a seemingly chance encounter with Gordo (Edgerton), an old high school classmate. But Gordo starts showing up everywhere Simon goes, and leaving odd gifts at his house; is there something in their pasts that prompted such behavior? The pundits say The Gift is a deeply unnerving psychological drama that sustains its tension from beginning to end.
Strike Back‘s final season promises a big finish fueled by compelling characters and sensational video game-style action.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp offers more of the the goofy hijinks that fans of the cult classic crave, but outsiders might not be quite as enamored.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
Members of the Television Critics Association gathered at the Beverly Hilton Tuesday for the first day of presentations from the networks about their original programming. First up was the streaming service Netflix, which shared insights into its original TV series and films with the help of executives, showrunners, and cast members. Here are some of the highlights, including news about Marvel, Narcos, Chelsea Handler, and Aziz Ansari. Plus, one Netflix exec took on an intriguing question: is Netflix spying on us?
Netflix chief Ted Sarandos addressed members of TCA Tuesday with the streaming service’s plans for distributing its many Marvel properties, which include series based on the characters Dardevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. With Marvel’s Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter and David Tennant dropping at the end of 2015, and Marvel’s Daredevil returning for a second season in 2016, Netflix subscribers can probably get into a rhythm of a new season of something Marvel about every six months from the Defenders group. “Then they’ll cross over and do a combined season once we’ve launched the first season of each of the four characters,” Sarandos explained.
Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg also spoke about her upcoming series Tuesday, and how it fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “The mythology of the universe is connected [to Daredevil], but they look very different; tonally, they’re very different,” Rosenberg said. “If you pick up Bendis’ graphic novel Alias, and you pick up Daredevil, they’re wildly different.” And speaking of Daredevil, season one showrunner Steven S. DeKnight shared the reason Rosario Dawson’s character is named Claire Temple in the series, rather than Linda Carter (aka Night Nurse). Marvel might be holding Linda Carter for a Night Nurse movie!
Narcos, a new series chronicling the life of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, is proudly derivative of a seminal Martin Scorsese gangster flick. Executive producer Jose Padilha told TCA reporters Tuesday, “It is Good Fellas-inspired and I love it… I thought it would be really good to do something that is not cinema — it’s not TV either, it’s Netflix — and to do that format, long-style.” One way that Narcos will draw inspiration from Good Fellas is through the use of narration. “Henry [in Good Fellas] is taking the audience into the world of mafia and telling the audience the complexities of that world — how it works — and voiceover is really good for that. We have two characters, DEA agents, who are taking us into the world of cocaine and into the world of Columbia.”
Former Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), who plays Mexican agent Javier Pena in Narcos, compared the two roles. “Game of Thrones [could] take a lot of inspiration from the story of what went down in Colombia and the war that was fought,” Pascal said. Moments later, he declared, “We don’t need dragons. We got cocaine!”
All 10 episodes of Narcos will be available on Friday, August 28.
When Chelsea Handler departed from her successful late-night E! series, Chelsea Lately, many wondered if she might take over as the host of a network show. Instead, Handler went to Netflix, where she will have her own talk show for the service — its format and frequency still unknown.
Until then, however, Handler fans can look forward to a series of documentaries on Netflix called Chelsea Does, in which the host/comedian will take on various facets of life that interest her: marriage, racism, drugs, and Silicon Valley (the place, not the TV show). “Technology makes me so irate,” Handler said with regard to the tech-focused doc, admitting that she’s not totally sure how to operate her Tesla. “Interestingly enough, this is the one I’m most passionate about.”
For the installment of the series focused on drug use, Handler will fly to South America and take ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brewed from a Peruvian vine. “It’s important to get an authentic [shaman] from Peru to explain the experience you want to have happen,” Handler said about her upcoming trip. “And, hopefully, knowing that it will be public, they will be extra careful with me. But who knows?”
Todd Yellin, Netflix’s head of product innovation, fielded questions from TCA reporters about the ways in which Netflix personalizes users’ experience. One question that came up? Is Netflix spying on us by tracking all of our viewing behaviors?
“We’re not spying and I’ll tell you why,” Yellin said. “We’re a subscription service on Netflix, and I thank God every morning I wake up that we’re not an advertising service because I have friends who work down the block from me up in Silicon Valley — brilliant people — at places like Facebook and Google, and those places are driven by ads. And so when they get your information and want to personalize the experience, they are driven by two masters: their advertisers and also their customers. My team and I have one master: our subscribers.”
According to Yellin, the goal of collecting user data on Netflix, including which titles you watch, where, when , and on what type of device, is singular: to make using Netflix easier. “Spying would be this nefarious thing that we’re trying to do something against you. We’re using the data on your behavior only to make your experience better.”
Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari took to the Netflix stage with former Parks and Recreation producers Alan Yang and Mike Schur to discuss their upcoming comedy, Master of None, which will premiere November 6. According to Ansari, the title of the series was the last piece to fall into place.
“For months, we were batting around ideas, and we never liked one… We finished shooting all the episodes and still didn’t have a title.” Finally, they settled on Master of None, an option Ansari pitched early on in production that no one else seemed too excited about. “It’s hard to come up with a title, but I like Master of None. It’s a good thing I do, because that is the title.”
Master of None will star Ansari as a 30-year-old actor living in New York who hasn’t quite figured out his life’s path yet. Leaning heavily on Ansari’s own point of view as represented through his stand-up comedy, the series will feature a number of guest stars, including Claire Danes (Homeland), Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Colin Salmon (Arrow), Noel Wells (Saturday Night Live), H. Jon Benjamin (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) and Ansari’s own father!
Enter Marvel Movie Madness, wherein Rotten Tomatoes watches all of the significant Marvel movies ever made. Full Marvel Movie Madness list here. Tune in! We give you our thoughts, and you give us yours.
Ryan: If you thought 2005’s Fantastic Four was bad, then you probably won’t be too surprised by anything in Rise of the Silver Surfer. But if you, like me, thought FF ’05 was OK despite its flaws, then RotSS will irritate you. It will probably make you regret giving the first one a fair shake.
Rise of the Silver Surfer is, at first, relatively familiar. Ioan Gruffud still suffers from an unhideable accent, Jessica Alba is still nothing more than a pretty face, Michael Chiklis is still the archetypal “big softie,” and Chris Evans again outshines his co-stars as the only properly cast character. The special effects are pretty solid, save for a bit of dodgy, of-its-time CGI in the form of the Silver Surfer, and the action pops a little bit, even if it’s ultimately forgettable — so, yeah, pretty much like the first installment.
The core problem (not the only one, mind you) with the movie is that it can’t seem to decide if it wants to be a kid flick or something for older audiences. The writing is terribly simplistic and the humor is broad (extended stretchy dance number, anyone?), but it’s intermixed with some sexual innuendo (how does The Thing, you know, “do it?”) and winks at the audience that kids just wouldn’t get. There’s just not enough of either to skew the film one way or the other, so it ends up being half entertaining for adult moviegoers and half beffuddling for kids. The first movie had a bit of that, but this was a big step down, in my opinion.
Alex: You know how some movies blur, making you aware you’re really just staring at a wall for two hours? This is one of them. Did anything of remote interest happen here? The first Fantastic Four edged itself between hokey and fun and came out on top, but everything here just toppled over at the slightest bit of drama. No good dialogue, Silver Surfer did nothing, and we see another Marvel superhero go to the dark side…by getting down on the dancefloor. How scandalous.
And, Jesus, I forgave Doctor Doom in the first movie, but this one? Julian McMahon looks barely fit to rule a Radio Shack. Hey, Fox: It’s been a few years. Please sell the rights to Marvel Studios. Tony Stark needs to set up drone strikes in Latveria.
Wait…there is something about this movie I remember…
There were Ray Bans. I need Ray Bans. And Midway’s fine video game, Hydro Thunder, available where Gillette razors are sold. And did you just say there’s a to-scale fully functional Fantasticar replica for purchase?! Wait, hold up… This Fantasticar is not manufactured by Dodge and it doesn’t have a Hemi as verbally endorsed by Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch? Well!! Good day, madam, I tip my top hat to you and bid farewell.
Ryan: Seriously! Morgan Spurlock even namechecks that exact scene as part of his inspiration for Greatest Movie Ever Sold. What’s funny is, Johnny Storm enters a scene early on in the movie holding up a NASCAR-like bodysuit emblazoned with various logos, and the others poke fun at him for being a brand whore. Haha, so meta!
Oh, and Doom? I almost laughed out loud when he spoke his first lines from the shadows of his cloak. Julian McMahon’s voice isn’t really the type to make me reach for an extra pair of boxers; he sounds like someone I might hear complaining loudly at my bank.
Jeff: I’m so mad at you guys for making me watch this movie. Someone could have at least told me that you can pretty much skip the first hour without missing anything.
Alex: It’s clear filming was compromised. Everything looks rushed. It shoots product placement out the ass non-stop. No wonder everybody walked away from this franchise.
Matt: This movie especially suffers if you’ve watched it right after the sitting through the 2005 movie. I watched both of them with a seven-year-old, and even he was getting bored with this movie.
What’s really frustrating about this franchise is that the filmmakers seem to have read a CliffsNotes version of what’s important to the Fantastic Four legacy, and then completely missed the point by making everything so bland that you just don’t care what’s happening. Doctor Doom, a wonderfully rich character in the comics comes off as merely slimy here. The Silver Surfer loses most of his nobility. Galactus is no longer a staggeringly powerful sentient being, but is now a mindless cloud of destruction; not to nerd out here, but one of the more interesting parts of the original comics plot was how Mr. Fantastic actually confronted Galactus. Even the idea of Johnny Storm using everyone’s powers at once is a bastardization of an old story about the Fantastic Four faced with the challenge of an alien soldier (the Super-Skrull) that shares all of their abilities, and could change shape to boot.
I think the Fantastic Four could be made into a great movie franchise someday, and I can only hope that the rights to these characters fall back under the Marvel umbrella someday. Marvel may not have a perfect record, but they can’t do anything worse to the Fantastic Four than what’s already been done.
When the first two installments of a film franchise rack up nearly $300 million in domestic box office receipts, you’d tend to think a third chapter in the series would be inevitable.
According to Chris Evans, however, you’d be wrong. The actor, who starred as Johnny Storm, a.k.a. The Human Torch, in 2005’s Fantastic Four (26 percent Tomatometer) and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (35 percent), tells MTV Movies that he doesn’t expect to get the call for a third installment:
“I’m pretty sure we won’t do [another] one. I’m assuming that one is a closed book. After the first one was released we got wind of potential titles and plots [almost immediately], and I’ve heard nothing from anyone at Fox [yet]…We had all planned on doing [another] one, but if there were going to be a third, I think a week after the second one was released we would have heard.”
It would be tempting to dismiss Evans’ comments as the movie-star equivalent of “I’m taking my marbles and going home,” but he’s always been admirably forthright about the weaknesses of the Fantastic films — when promoting Rise of the Silver Surfer, he expressed hope that good reviews and/or box office would enable a third installment to “inch closer to a legitimate cast and a legitimate film.”
Of course, Evans isn’t ruling out a return to blue spandex. What with all the rumors of crossover cameos in the current crop of Marvel films, MTV thought it might be a good idea to ask him if he’d be up for an appearance as the Torch in another hero’s franchise, and Evans — who is co-starring with Keanu Reeves in April’s Street Kings — responded with “Absolutely.”
Source: MTV Movies
It may not have been quite the box-office phenomenon that its predecessors were — and critics may have disliked it enough to keep it down at 20 percent on the Tomatometer — but that didn’t stop Rush Hour 3 from emerging as the top DVD rental of 2007.
The third Rush Hour racked up over $70 million in rental revenue, roughly half of what it took in at the box office, and besting another third installment, The Bourne Ultimatum. Count down the rest of last year’s DVD-rental top 25 below!
1. $71.2 Rush Hour 3 ($140.1M box office)
2. $69.7 The Bourne Ultimatum ($227.5 box office)
3. $66.4 The Kingdom ($47.5 box office)
4. $64.3 Superbad ($121.5 box office)
5. $57.2 Live Free or Die Hard ($134.5 box office)
6. $56.7 The Simpsons Movie ($183.1 box office)
7. $55.3 Night at the Museum ($250.86 box office)
8. $54.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($292 box office)
9. $51.8 Shrek the Third ($322.7 box office)
10. $51.2 The Heartbreak Kid ($36.8 box office)
11. $50.6 The Pursuit of Happyness ($163.57 box office)
12. $49.0 The Departed ($132.38 box office)
13. $47.5 Borat ($128.51 box office)
14. $47.5 Transformers ($319.3 box office)
15. $45.0 Blood Diamond ($57.38 box office)
16. $43.8 Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 box office)
17. $43.7 300 ($210.6 box office)
18. $43.0 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry ($120 box office)
19. $42.9 Casino Royale ($167.45 box office)
20. $42.7 Disturbia ($80.21 box office)
21. $42.6 The Holiday ($63.22 box office)
22. $41.8 Knocked Up ($148.8 box office)
23. $40.8 Deja Vu ($64.04 box office)
24. $40.5 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($131.9 box office)
25. $40.5 The Good Shepherd ($59.95 box office)
Source: End of Boredom
No awards season — even a strike-tainted one — would be complete without the Razzies, right? Of course not. And that’s why we’ve thoughtfully assembled all of this year’s nominees in one convenient location.
The Razzies, now entering their 28th year, have been celebrating the worst in film since 1980, when John Wilson took a raspberry trophy, spray-painted it gold, and stuck it to Can’t Stop the Music. This year’s nominees are suitably distinguished, and they all follow below (with Tomatometers in parentheses). ‘Fess up, Vineketeers — how many of these have you seen? And enjoyed?
Nicolas Cage, for Ghost Rider (27 percent), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (32 percent), and Next (30 percent)
Jim Carrey, for The Number 23 (8 percent)
Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Daddy Day Camp and Norbit
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Adam Sandler, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jessica Alba, for Awake (21 percent), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (35 percent), and Good Luck Chuck (3 percent)
Logan Browning, Janel Parrish, Nathalia Ramos & Skyler Shaye, for Bratz
Elisha Cuthbert, for Captivity (7 percent)
Diane Keaton, for Because I Said So (5 percent)
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), for I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), for I Know Who Killed Me
Worst Supporting Actor:
Orlando Bloom, for Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End (45 percent)
Kevin James, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Rob Schneider, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jon Voight, for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn (13 percent), and Transformers (57 percent)
Worst Supporting Actress:
Jessica Biel, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Next
Carmen Electra, for Epic Movie (2 percent)
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Julia Ormond, for I Know Who Killed Me
Nicolette Sheridan, for Code Name: The Cleaner (4 percent)
Worst Screen Couple:
Jessica Alba with Dane Cook (for Good Luck Chuck), Hayden Christensen (for Awake), and Ioan Gruffudd (for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Any combination of two totally air-headed characters in Bratz
Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan, for I Know Who Killed Me
Worst Remake or Ripoff:
Are We Done Yet? (8 percent, remake/ripoff of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House)
Bratz (a ripoff if ever there was one)
Epic Movie (ripoff of every movie it rips off)
I Know Who Killed Me (ripoff of Hostel, Saw, and The Patty Duke Show)
Who’s Your Caddy? (7 percent, ripoff of Caddyshack)
Geoff Rodkey and David J. Stem & David N. Weiss, Daddy Day Camp
Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, Epic Movie
Jeffrey Hammond, I Know Who Killed Me
Barry Fanaro and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy & Charles Murphy, Jay Sherick & David Ronn, Norbit
Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Hostel: Part II
I Know Who Killed Me
A delightfully mixed bag awaits us this week at the video store — a little
superhero hype (Fantastic
Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), some Stephen King suspense (1408),
plenty of TV on DVD (I
Love New York Season One,
Metalocalpyse), and an Enterprise-sized treat for
Star Trek fans!
Unless you were living under a rock over the summer, you’ve probably heard of
a little film called
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It’s a sequel. About a
quartet of superheroes. No? Well, the majority of critics passed on it
(although the film’s user Tomatometer is at a considerably higher 58 percent)
but if you care little about such things, you’re in luck: it hits DVD shelves
today! The two-disc release is Marvel-ously packed with commentary tracks by
filmmakers, including director
Tim Story and
producer Avi Arad,
deleted scenes, five behind-the-scenes featurettes, and an interactive look at
the Fantasticar. A documentary entitled "Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book
Origins of the Silver Surfer" explores the history of the character in
interviews with originator
Stan Lee and
other comic book notables and is the icing on the special features cake.
Modern horror films are rarely critic-approved these days, so take it as a
good sign that this adaptation of the
short story not only was critically praised, but is Certified Fresh to boot.
The tale of a writer (John
Cusack) who checks into a haunted hotel room is light on gore, relying on
good, old-fashioned suspense to scare viewers; check out the bonus disc for
Hafstrom‘s original director’s cut (with an ending that was deemed too
depressing by test audiences). A handful of featurettes, deleted scenes, and
commentaries round out the release.
In this moral drama from Aussie director
four buddies discover a dead girl’s body floating in a river but spend a whole
day fishing before reporting the discovery. When they return home, their
misdeed rips a divide in their community and in their personal relationships,
particularly that between Stewart (Gabriel
Byrne) and his wife Claire (Laura
Linney). Check out this intriguing Australian film, now out on DVD.
turns his scrupulous eye towards World War II in this 14-hour PBS documentary,
which aired in September. In addition to the seven-part film by Burns and
co-director Lynn Novick, this DVD release includes deleted scenes,
commentaries, and a companion book. Look for cameo voice appearances by actors
Tom Hanks, and narrator
Feral children raised by wolves never had a better champion than in the 1967
animated classic — until now! Mowgli and Co. have been given a shiny new
restoration job, four decades after kids first learned about jungle slacker
life in "The Bare Necessities." Accordingly, Disney has pulled out all the
stops to bring you two discs loaded with fascinating extras: A commentary
track by songwriter Richard Sherman, animator Andreas Deja, and grown-up
Mowgli voice actor Bruce Reitherman; Jungle Book karaoke; a 46-minute
making-of documentary; and a comparison between the original
Kipling story and the Disney adaptation. Even cooler are the seven deleted
songs by original composer Terry Gilkyson (whose score was replaced with the
Sherman Brothers’ more upbeat final songs) and a look at Rocky the Rhino, an
original character excised from the film by
More New Offerings
Night Day Night
Loktev‘s austere thriller about a young suicide bomber’s final hours in
New York City earned the director lots of notice on the festival circuit. If
that doesn’t pique your interest, consider the cinephile cred of Loktev
drawing comparisons to
Th. Dreyer in her second directorial effort, ever.
Love New York: The Complete First Season
Everyone here at RT was hoping that
Flavor of Love‘s resident H.B.I.C. (Google that if you don’t know what
it means) New York (real, less glamorous name: Tiffany Pollard) would finally
find happiness after bitterly losing the heart of reality TV hunk
straight seasons of VH1’s Flavor of Love. Did she find her dream
man? Do you need to (re-)watch a house full of arguably desirable men with
names like Tango, Real, and Whiteboy vie for her heart all over again? Is
Sister Patterson as crazy as New York’s make-up is overdone? The answer to all
of those questions, of course, is yes. After all, you’ll need a primer for
this month’s premiere of
I Love New
York: Season Two!
Metalocalypse: Season One
Adult Swim’s most popular American-Scandinavian death metal band hits home
theaters this week! The frequently drunk, probably sociopathic metal
superstars of the band Dethlok star in the first season’s 20 11-minute
episodes, with guest appearances by members of bands like Metallica,
Nevermore, and other scary offshoots of the metal genre.
Sarah Silverman Program: Season One
Shocking or hilarious?
The Sarah Silverman Program is sometimes one, sometimes the other, and
frequently both. Written as intentionally offensive fictionalized versions of
life, the six episode collection includes bonus materials like a karaoke
sing-along and additional musical numbers.
Where My Nerds At?
Star Trek: The Next Generation — Complete Series
According to Ferengi lore, the five Stages of Acquisition are infatuation,
justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. Think on that as you part
with $400 (that’s like 40 slips of Latinum) to own the 49-disc set of the
TNG series, which includes an entire disc of all-new featurettes and
an exclusive poster. (Although
DS9 was way better. We’re just saying.)
Francis Ford Coppola‘s Certified Fresh take on the classic bloodsucker
tale is given a respectable DVD treatment here, 15 years after its theatrical
debut. In addition to a newly-recorded commentary track by Coppola, you’ll get
a second disc with extras like deleted scenes and an extended ending,
trailers, and four separate behind-the-scenes documentaries; look in
particular for the
"In Camera" featurette highlighting the lo-fi special effects used throughout
Until next week, happy renting!
For most actors, roles requiring heavy makeup or prosthetics tend to be a necessary evil. Audiences appreciate the final effect, but all the hours of preparation take their toll, and the process is often described as a less than positive experience. For Doug Jones, however, disappearing under layers of latex has become a career unto itself — one which he discusses in detail for an in-depth Premiere profile.
Of primary concern to sequel mavens will be the few tidbits Jones shares about the upcoming Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, in which he reprises his role as the rotten egg-loving merman Abe Sapien. Though director Guillermo del Toro is keeping most details under wraps, the article does provide an overview of the film’s storyline:
In the follow-up, Hellboy and gang are on a mission to stop the prince of the woodland ghouls, who is hell-bent on retrieving three pieces of a key that will allow him to unlock the might of the Golden Army, a fighting force of invincible metallic soldiers. With two of the pieces already in hand, he must obtain the last from his sister. To divert a war, Hellboy and his troupe must protect the princess, but things get complicated when Abe falls in love with her.
Even if you don’t care about Hellboy 2, the article is an interesting read; Jones talks about the roles in Pan’s Labyrinth and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer that have made him one of Hollywood’s go-to guys for heavily effects-dependent characters, as well as possible upcoming projects. It’s relatively long (four “pages”), but well worth the time for film fans. Click on the link below to check it out.