Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tom Cruise to return as Ethan Hunt in 'Mission Impossible 5'

The last time audiences saw super spy Ethan Hunt on screen in 2011, Lalo Schifrin’s iconic “Mission: Impossible” score seemed to be playing him toward the exit. Jeremy Renner’s William Brandt character had breathed new life into the franchise’s fourth installment, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” leading to speculation that the “Hurt Locker” lead would take over the reins from star Tom Cruise.
And in “Ghost Protocol’s” final scene – SPOILER ALERT – Cruise as Hunt is shown wistfully reconnecting with his supposedly dead wife (Michelle Monahan). That's a clear violation of the secret agent playbook if there ever was one.
Then a funny thing happened on Ethan Hunt’s trip out to pasture. “Ghost Protocol” took in more $700 million at the box office – a personal best for Cruise, long one of moviedom’s most bankable stars, as well as a financial high-water mark for the already blockbuster “M:I” franchise.
Now Cruise has signed on to reprise his role as the world-beating IMF agent in a fifth “Mission: Impossible” movie. As reported by Deadline Monday and confirmed by franchise distributor Paramount today, the actor will star in and produce the new sequel, developing the project with “Star Trek: Into Darkness” director-producer J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot.
Although Paramount and Skydance Productions (which co-financed and executive produced “Ghost Protocol”) have yet to reveal who will write or direct “M:I 5,” Christopher McQuarrie – who directed last year’s Cruise-starring action adventure “Jack Reacher” and wrote Cruise’s 2008 Nazi thriller “Valkyrie”  – is reportedly the leading contender to direct the new sequel.
McQuarrie would follow in an illustrious line of “Mission: Impossible” directors: Brian DePalma (responsible for 1996’s movie adaptation of the ‘60s TV series), John Woo (“M:I 2”), Abrams (M:I 3”) and animation ace Brad Bird (“Ghost Protocol”).
One message designed not to self-destruct in five seconds: The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has earned over $2 billion globally, to rank among Hollywood’s most successful movie series.

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Study Reveals Movie Trailers Are Showing Too Much, but People Don't Seem to Mind

In news that should be surprising to absolutely no one, a new survey finds that half of movie viewers think trailers give away all the best scenes in a movie. What’s next, a survey that discovers most people find visiting the dentist unpleasant?
According to results from a recent YouGov Omnibus study, 49 percent of interviewees feel that trailers give away too much these days. 16 percent of the respondents strongly agreed with the sentiment. One would think this might convince Hollywood to stop giving away endings and all the big action set pieces in their preview clips, but not so fast…
While nearly half of all respondents think trailers show off all the really cool stuff in an upcoming feature, only 19 percent said that made them less interested in seeing the full film. Twenty-four percent said it actually made them want to see the movie more. This is why we can’t have nice things.
The study also revealed that trailers are still the biggest influence when it comes to getting audiences to the theater. Forty-eight percent of the people interviewed said it was the most important factor in convincing them to see a film, while 46 percent cited personal recommendations.
So, even though trailers are spoiling all the best parts of movies months before we ever get to sit down in a theater, it looks like at least half the people out there don’t really mind. With the proliferation of social media, maybe we’re reaching a point where spoilers don’t really matter – or simply are no longer avoidable while staying connected to the rest of the world. Maybe I’m a dinosaur from a different era, but that kind of sucks.
What do you think? Are trailers too spoilery? Does a preview that shows off all the film’s biggest and best moments make you not want to plunk down $19 to see it? Partake in our totally nonscientific survey by leaving your thoughts below.

Kelsey Grammer has signed on for 'Transformers 4'

Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) is more than meets the eye as the new – and quite human – antagonist for Michael Bay’s Transformers 4.  Not too much is known about his character except that he’ll be playing counter-intelligence operative Harold Attinger – a flesh-and-blood baddie – and not a voice of any villainous Decepticons.  

Grammer will join Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor in a story that centers on “a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists [who] attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control—all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his cross hairs.”  Transformers 4 opens June 27, 2014.  Hit the jump for more.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Movie Preview: Rush

Release Date: September 20, 2013Director: Ron HowardWriter: Peter MorganCast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Jamie de Courcey, Pierfrancesco Favino, Natalie Dormer
The year, make, and model were quite different but Rush filmmaker Ron Howard has felt the rumbling power of iconic cars when it comes to engines of cinema and symbolism. It was 40 years ago this summer that one of the ultimate automobile movies, American Graffiti, rumbled into box office history and steered Howard toward television and Happy Days.

Howard is a two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker and with Rush (featured in the first-look poster to the right with star Chris Hemsworth) and its fact-based tale of Formula One racing rivalry in 1976 he found himself feeling like he was covering some familiar road — but it wasn’t films about wheels on asphalt that hit close to home.
“People ask what has Rush been like and I say from a filmmaking standpoint it’s been kind of like a cross between Apollo 13 and Backdraft,” says Howard, who other films include The DaVinci CodeSplash and A Beautiful Mind. “In the case of Apollo 13, that’s for the complexity and the authenticity and the intent to capture an era and an endeavor that blends technology, action and danger.”
Howard added a hairpin segue: “But, then speaking of danger, it reminds me of Backdraft because those fires scared me and so did shooting racing action in this film. I was happy when we wrapped Backdraft and frankly it was the same reaction this time. The relief of it, I was just as happy when we wrapped Rush.”

Rush stars Hemsworth of Thor fame as driver James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as his nemesis, Niki Lauda,but while they put their lives on the line  (like astronauts and firefighters) the Formula One demi-gods were surrounded with a bubble of glamour and rock-star swagger that makes them seem more like princes addicted to danger than dedicated souls called to duty.

The director said the elite European scene was as close to cocky Jagger as it was to quietly cool Yeager. “Folks from the era are fond of saying of the 1970s F1 racing that’s it time when when sex was safe and driving was dangerous. That’s the way they lived. These folks aren’t forthcoming with a lot of details but there are a lot of winks and nods.
I really did sort of fall in love with the sport. I love teams but yet the draivers are really unique talents and fascinating personalities, which is why I was involved in the story that [Frost/Nixon screenwriter] Peter Morgan wrote these characters brilliantly and there’s great acting opportunities blended with this cool, visceral action. I also loved the blend of teamwork and the state-of-the-art technology and, throughout, the wall-to-wall aggressive action.”