Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The Cold War.
136 Minutes. Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford & Samuel L. Jackson. Director: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo.
Saturday, 22 March 2014
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Way down yonder in New Orleans comes an acting talent like no other. Anthony Mackie isn't the hottest, most underrated actor of the moment...he's been that for years. Ever since the 35 year old in 2009 emotionally told fellow breakout star Jeremy Renner, all bombed out and depleted that all he wanted to do was leave the war zone of the critically acclaimed, 'Avatar' beating 'The Hurt Locker' and have a son through bitter, brilliant tears. Now a few years and many more great roles later Mackie is set to join this 'Bourne' star in the next assembling of 'The Avengers'. Mackie is currently arming up for the big battalion of Marvel sequels, starting with 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier', where he will play the first African-American soldier 'The Falcon' which he tells 'Total Film' magazine is "an honour". Soon Anthony Mackie will join the legendary legacy making likes of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Terrence Howard and Jamie Foxx as not only one of the best African-American actors, but one of the best actors around regardless of race or creed.
It doesn't end there either for the proud alumni of the Julliard School's Drama Division. The man with a voice as smooth as Morgan Freeman (he's already narrated 'The Best That Never Was' legendary ESPN '30 For 30' documentary about Philly football star Marcus Dupree) has lent his vocal and visionary talents to many films of late. In 2011 the man in all those trailers bolted up for 'Real Steel' with Wolverine, Hugh Jackman and camped it up with Captain America and co-star Chris Evans in 'What's Your Number' the first time Rodgers and the Falcon assembled...albeit very differently. In 2012 he aided the president in a right hand performance in the 'other' Lincoln movie, 'Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter' whilst tipping the balance with Sam Worthington on the surprise 'Phone Booth' esque hit 'Man On A Ledge'. With 'Ten Year' and his lead role in 'Bolden' even more is coming out of Mackie. A man that recently showed his 'Pain & Gain' with the Rock and Mark Wahlberg after suiting up with fedoras and a badge alongside fellow breakout talents Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Michael Pena and taking down Sean Penn's 'Gangster Squad' in a classic, 50's American cops and robbers tale that followed in the legendary law footsteps of 'The Untouchables', 'L.A. Confidential' and 2012's best film 'Lawless'. Even a respectable scene change (done after 'The Dark Knight Rises' shooting tragedy) didn't halt the movie from looking like a cinematic classic.
Friday, 21 March 2014
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Who's on the box?! Rumour has it from the showbiz circles of Hollywoodland that it's biggest star and one part of the greatest power couple is about to take the badge and gun off fellow Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey for the second series of HBO's new, best television series on the box 'True Detective'. The hit show that the 'Dallas Buyers Club' lead made amazing with 'Hunger Games' franchise star Woody Harrellson is in need of a new partnership for it's new season and it looks like our lead detective is going to be played by the his of the 'Mr & Mrs Smith', Angelina Jolie marriage. Now let's talk Pitt. These are the best casting Brad Pitt rumours since we thought he was going to play the magnificent Moriarty villain in the Robert Downey Jnr 'Sherlock Holmes' series sequel. If the biggest movie star in the world is about to go from the silver screen to the smaller household ones with his new Plan B, the producing giant of 2013 has plenty of beat cop experience to do the script paperwork. Fans and critics and people of the world alike often forget that the Hollywood hunk is more than just one of the most famous faces of film and female magazines. He's also arguably one of the worlds best actors too, certainly top five. With many looking to the new breed of Goslings and Hardy's people need to pay attention to the american hustle of the Bradley before Cooper. You see the Oscar's selfie. Sure, this may be Leonardo DiCaprio's movie world-even without the Oscar-but Pitt is a lot more better and versatile than most people give him credit for. The forever young 50 year old is still on the best, longest running streak of his career...he's far from just a pretty face, even if men like this writer can shamefully admit that.
It was the mid to late nineties that made this guy a true 'Legend Of The Fall'. From science fiction, envelope pushing films like 'Twelve Monkeys' to the pull no punches knockout of 'Fight Club' that everyone has to talk about for the birth of the 'twist' finale generation. Every film these days has about nine twists in it's plot before you've even settled into your cinema seat with your popcorn, but back in the golden age of everything entertainment with this brilliant pound-for-pound, by-the-book ringleader you never saw it coming. If you haven't seen it-we won't spoil it-but where have you been? Just like with the nerve wrenching, sick sin inducing, tension terrifying end of 'Se7en', Brad's true detective drama with Morgan Freeman and someone else we'll just call John Doe that is quite possibly one of the best cop genre films of all time...in fact one of the greatest movies in any arena hands down. The acting that Brad brings to the conflicting end of this harrowing case file through the seven deadly sins will whip you worse than a double barrell pistol with a shot to the skull. To say it's the best, emotional and evocative acting of his career would unfair to the beautiful body of work he's acted through since, but when you really watch this guy in his perfect prime and time you have to think in a moment of this much gravity...has anyone acted this good? This is why he's the perfect detective to cop the handed down holster of McConaughey who made 'True Detective' just that deep and dark. Fans of 'Se7en' have been waiting more than that many years for something like this. Let's hope he makes the case, because it's been quite the last couple of months for a guy who could have retired by now and already have an unquestionable, untouchable classic career and catalogue.
2013 saw Pitt's Plan B productions make a power move, but they never failed on their originial intentions and mission statement. Speaking of DiCaprio, Pitt won the bidding war for 'World War Z' and last year gave a crowded, blockbuster and science-fiction summer market season one of it's underrated and best films and the over-bitten zombie genre a fresh taste for the cinema. Based on Max Brooks brilliant book we saw a special effect of fast paced, rabid limb eaters and an arm chopping, greneades on plane tossing performace from Pitt that showed he was about to take world war three to a new trilogy of franchise formability for the flesh. Sandwiching in his own session on the Michael Fassbender, Cormac McCarthy couch, coffee table reader based all-star thriller 'The Counsellor', Pitt saved his best for movie-making history. The Oscar winning best film '12 Years A Slave' may be Steve McQueen's movie as well as Chiwetel Ejiofor's, 'Best Supporting Actress' Lupita Nyong'o's and Fassbender's again, but the story of Solomon Northup and arguably one of the greatest and most necessary movies of all-time on a 'Schindlers List' devesating scale wouldn't have been made without Pitt and he aces a critical cameo of substance over star-power to close out this best picture too. Another underrated performance for a man who you can see in the forthcoming franchise sequel '22 Jump Street' (like cameo star Depp, he was in the original series) starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, as well as the 'Fury' of his own World War II film with young talents Shia LaBeouf and Michael Peña. No wonder Clooney didn't enlist him for the Oceans 1945 of the magnificent 'Monuments Men', Brad was busy with his own battle. Still, as you see Pitt next to Matt Damon and the legend that is Clooney for the terrific 'Oceans' trilogy you see more than a sea of Las Vegas cool that redefines the Rat Pack swag of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr. You see the most underated megastar next to the most marketable one and this generations Cary Crant in an orgy of incredible and still somewhat looked over talent taking it all to the house.
Sometimes when your so good at something you just make it look all too easy and people take it for granted, just like the dark decadence of 'Killing Them Softly' where Pitt truly murdered it in his twenty twelve solo stint after one of the biggest years of his career that ironically probably led to arguably his biggest with his last calender run to date. Clicking his feet to 'Happy Feet Two' after showing more C.G. in 2010 with Will Ferrell's 'Megamind', Pitt's career sang in 2011 from the independent stakes to inspiring the industries most influential. Terrence Malik's weird and wonderful 'The Tree Of Life' showed even more range for the 'Babel' deep actor who doesn't get enough credit for his fearlessness in taking the movie world anywhere his director wants without tarnishing his own artistic and public press personified brush. Like he would care anyway, Pitt swings big and always hits like Babe Ruth and in his career home-run 'Moneyball', Pitt took Micahel Lewis' statistical story of the Oakland Athletics trip to taking the house with their own stats over stars gamble and knocked it out the park. Giving the second wind of his pre-half-century career another strike and showing Jonah Hill off to the Academy as a real big hitter this is one of Brad's best and you dont have to be a baseball fan to dig this one out and see it's a winner. Following this franchise, Jonah Hill's now the new 'Wolf Of Wall Street' go-to sidekick star and as for Pitt he's still running with home plate in sight. It's been quite the half-decade of dominance for the man that doesn't look that much over 30 between all the long hair and beards, but the leading man with real character has never really had a bad run of years when it comes to the blockbuster and billboards.
Even the new milleniuum began with a true 'Snatch' where complete with an Irish accent and a drifters wardrobe the Hollywood legend showed his legacy wasn't too powerful and pretentious to take a side role in hit Brit flicks of grit. Then of course there was the classic 'Oceans Eleven' and it's trilogy to go along with 'The Mexican' (I'm pretty sure 'The Mexican' starring Brad Pitt is a bit like 'The Last Samurai' starring American Tom Cruise, respect to Paul Mooney for that one), 'Spy Game' and 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' and 'Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas'. He's gone 'Gladiator' epic in 'Troy' before those type of films got all slowed-down and watered down, '300' silly before returning to the Wild West home of his and Hollywood's beginning for the brillaint and big-titled (hold your breath now) 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford'. A film that belongs with his boldest and best, one that really shows the depth and distinction of this mans acting ability hidden in his mild, maddening mannerisms that communicate so much more. Still after the Jennifer Aniston years (nice 'Friends' cameo to go along with the 'Dallas' and 'King Of The Hill' ones), Bradgelina made Hollwood coupling comedy history with the hilarious 'Mr & Mrs. Smith' that mixed amazing action with tongue-in-cheek hilarious marriage references for the assassins comedy creed ("I used to be married", "whats her name and social security number?", "No you're not going to kill her"). With the perfect parntership making as many big-movie hits as they did courageous charity contributions Pitt's career went even further down the aisle with his ever versatile, crazily, headphone hilarious fitness trainer, complete with dancing in the Cohen brothers classic 'Burn After Reading' with his man Clooney. Alongside Clooney's leading lady and Oscar Best Actress Cate Blanchett, Pitt defied age yet again for 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'. A beautiful love story of 'Forrest Gump' time and tide storytelling proportions Pitt played a man who quite simply aged backwards and the chamelonic character acting at an A-list level of this man made it more than just the marvellous make-up. Some didn't get it, but behind the critical, crippling pain is the heart and soul of a real love story.
Still, following all this, Pitt was after everyones scalps in his Tarantino moment for the Nazi head-hunting and killing 'Inglorious Basterds' which led the world to the talent that is Fassbender and Q.T. to 'Django Unchained' and a forthcoming third-part of this revenge redefining history trilogy. It was Pitt's understated, stiff-up-lip unique performance that snorted as much cocaine as tobbaco he spat in 'Moneyball' however that made this more than just German Christophe Walt'z wonderful Academy, coming out party. About to go to furious war once again this year brad has more in his trenches and barracks to in his and fellow 50 club Tom Cruise's decade of the 90's, as the pair sank their teeth into the industry and 'Interview With A Vampire' that could definitly drain the blood out of the teen faces of the likes of 'Twilight'. More than just a 'Being John Malkovich' or a hilarious bong-hit, scene stealing similair role in 'True Romance' Brad brought beauty to the screen with what was behind those magazine cover looks with his amazing acting. From the sweet and spiritual 'Meet Joe Black' to the harrowing and haunting 'Sleepers' he truly brought something else to the career gamble table. 'The Devils Own' saw him hold his own with the legendary likes of Harrison Ford and the girl power of 'Thelma & Louise' still had room in the trunk for this young 'Hunk'. Still it was his bread and butter in traditional movies like 'A River Runs Through It' and 'Seven Years In Tibet' (no surprising boxes in this box-office hit thankfully) that took the Southern Baptist from Oklahoma who was raised on the rivers and lakes of Springfield, Missouri to the real heart of both his career and America. From films of this 'Legend Of The Fall' type and the early promise of 'The Dark Side of the Sun' and 'A Stoning in Fulham County' name another big, blockbuster Hollywood star willing to go this deep into real America and acting? This is what lies beneath the career of a man who yet again is as versatile as he is underrated and these are the years that have birthed the deades of his long career and legendary legacy. Now with his best years ahead of him Pitt just seems to be getting started when it comes to his greatest hits. He's got as much more to come as he has in the past than people realise. This Pitt's not going to stop.
Monday, 17 March 2014
"You're going to want to see this"! This being the answer to who is the next, best, young actor rising through the casting ranks? "Now isn't that the question of the day"?! He may have been beaten to the Bafta newcomer award but one day this youth in veteran revolt talent will be counting the Oscar nominations if not the awards. Dane DeHaan is the truth and the chronicles of his career are more than just the treatment of his indie hits or his latest spin in the blockbuster web. This 27 year old is about to play the ultimate cultural movie icon in his work fast, live strong classic career thats growing by the catalogue and comic-book. After capturing the aggressive, manipulative fear and vulnerability of Jesse in the hit HBO pyschological drama 'In Treatment', Dane moved from the small to silver with his indie screen, superpowered, Seattle sky-needle hit 'Chronicle', that took a different, dynamic definition on the superhero genre. Now the acting apex predator is turning to the comic-book, dark side page even more with this Summer's latest Sony studios 'Spider-Man' sequel blockbuster that is set to be truly amazing and something to show the movie universe that this guy is something to marvel at. You can almost hear the excited, nervous apprehension of his voice in the trailer, "we...can...literally change the world". In terms of movie making from the mainstream to the motions of perfect pictures he's about to...and if you think you've seen just about how great this Dane can get then you 'aint seen nothing yet.
You really are going to want to see this. After Andrew Garfield spun a web away from the sticky mess that the Tobey Maguire 'Spiderman' trilogy had become he birthed a great new reboot of avengance that took the world by storm for the new 'The Amazing Spider-Man' franchise that sticks to the pages of the cocky, comic-book origins like it should do. Now if only Sony and Mickey Mouse Disney could work out the rights kinks to get him and 'X-Men's' Wolverine in the next 'Avengers' movie like they should be then we'd have something truly 'new' and amazing to bust the blocks of even a Superman versus Batman superpower. Still, going it alone Peter Parker has a lot to focus on in the lens of his camera. You can see the electricity from 'Django' Jamie Foxx's blue man group 'Electro' villain and the lights out anticipated showdown in New York's Times Square that things are really going to spark up and ignite in another Summer for Marvel that also sees quite literally all the X-Men from the 'Days Of Future Past' and first Avenger 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier' going to war with 'Godzilla' and the 'Transformers'. Still, even with comedian and music sensation Jamie Foxx taking some of the shine off the arrogantly charimatic new Spidey-who could give the iron confidence of Robert Downey Jnr's Tony Stark a run for his one-liners-there's more for the web-slinger and the bolt of electricity to deal with. These enemies are uniting for more star trailers then the ones your seeing before movies at the moment. You see the suit-in-tank hints of Doc Oc and the vulture in the hyped, trailers that buzz around the electric excitement to go along with the stampede of Paul Giammatti's Rhino, but there's one guy to make the 'Sinister Six' sick and green with envy.
It's going to be easy being green for Dane DeHaan and we aren't talking about some Hulk like rage issues for the blockbuster banners. This guy isn't going to be playing with Green Lantern's either like Ryan Reynolds, but instead ringing the Willem Dafoe/James Franco changes and smashing pumpkins like Billie Corgan. Call him a zero now, but face Spider-Man's Lex Luthor or Joker at your peril for a truly amazing and ultimate battle. Playing Harry Osborne's Green Goblin Dane is about to go from fantastic to formidable as quickly as he goes from friend to foe. Jealous? Well the angst ridden and riddled emotions of these young actors parts and power will play out perfectly in this high-school graduated hero who has more than just homework and heatbreak to deal with. This is the perfect formula for an unhinged archenemy, gliding and bombing his way to the forefront with hallucinogenic Jack-o-lantern gas grenades. As the electromagnetic clasps strap our actor and his spikey hair and crazy eyes in, Dane is the perfect actor for this star vehicle. From the apprentice, young rich heir Oscorp beginnings to the spoilt, schizophrenic super-villain he becomes, DeHann will capture this perfectly from his acting voice and look of a tortured soul looking to break free from the paranoia and destruction of his own inner demons. With a Foxx rivalling ultimate villain in this 'Amazing' sequel to Marvel's bold six-spin off origin movies and their own 'Sinister Six' Spider-Man less movie that flips the superhero good over evil script on its bold head, this all looks so good for a franchise that has always watched the Avengers and even the true Gotham City from a skyscraper roof-top afar. Even with the Captain back and the X-Men mutating to even more 'First Class' proportions when it comes to superheros this Summer nothing looks more exciting than the hash-tage of enemies uniting. Now enter the Sandman.
The young man from Pennsylvania has more credits to his name then this and of course the marrying of his acting sweetheart Anna Wood. More congratulations are in order for the man who deserves a hand for the work he's already put in before he made it in movies, let alone the films he's about to make. From his showing in 'Law & Order' to getting his acting teeth into 'True Blood' this mans filmography work reads like the rap-sheet resume of a television star and household name of real conviction, but it truly is the popcorn and candy land that is the butter of DeHaan's career. After getting his 'Sixth Sense' understudy acting experience with Haley Joel Osment on Broadway via'American Buffalo' this young bucks breadwinning beginnings came with his movie debut in 'Amigo' and then in front of the camcorders for the out of nowhere hyped hit 'Chronicle'. Showing and acting his way to a proof perfect skill-set that this young acting class hasn't quite seen like this before this distinct talent took everyone by surprise and began to steal the show and eyes in every film he played in, even surrounded by the acting hearthrob big-name breakout (themselves) talents of Tom Hardy, Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling. These men of the moment counted on the new kid on the block to give their newcoming star status even more refreshing shine. Over the last two years he's starred in arguably the two best if not underrated films of each calander set. In 2012, not three full films into his career he starred in the moonshine magnifence of 'Lawless' breaking new ground alongside the likes of Hardy and Guy Pearce in an amazing book adaptation with an even sweeter soundtrack. It was the high-notes that Dane was hitting however that was worthy of all the 'read all about it' and him headlines. Although this was ultimately Shia LaBouef's breakout and franchise face transforming movie, it was DeHaan's crippled Cricket character that drue the heart and praise of his pained performance.
Not only was he the emotional thread and final force of that best picture but the one of the one that came a year later. With all the Oscar awards and talk gravitating to 'Gravity' and the great '12 Years A Slave' (which features 'Ruby Sparks' star Paul Dano, a similair actor of type who perhaps is the only one to truly rival Dane's newcomer title towards the throne) and even Bradley Cooper's 'American Hustle', an Academy of people forgot that last years best movie moments lay somewhere between 'The Place Beyond The Pines' and 'Prisoners' (also starring the weird and wonderful Dano). These dark, dynamic dramas really deserved more and the epic father and son tale of 'Pines' was an April spring to the step (much like the forthcoming Spider-Man will be) of a movie world that needed it's heartbeat back after the post-season of Hollywood burying pictures that didn't work for the Oscars. As Gosling swapped his 'Drive' muscle car for the peroxide, Eminem blonde and tattoed silence behind the the sound of a Moped and Cooper traded his 'Hangover' wits for some real acting the 'Silver Linings Playbook' of an Academy class missed this one. Even with Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta bringing star power and performances to this emotional spectacle it again was DeHaan that stole the show in the second half of the movie. To say more would be to spoil a movie and its actors performance that truly speaks for itself. Still, take it from us you'll be as moved as the piano perfect trailer score that tinkles the ivories of emotive inspiration. Those in the know who missed this might need to cast themselves with some job-roles because if you don't know this actor or film then you just don't know movies like he does. At least the Academy's gave more scores to the Oscar president Daniel Day-Lewis for his lead in 'Lincoln' that also featured small roles of significance from DeHaan and the rising young star before him Joesph Gordon-Levitt. Hit record on Dane though and soon he'll be as recognisable as the former teen star of T.V. sitcom circuit hit '3RD Rock From The Sun'.
After 'Jack & Diane' and the ties that bound in 'Devil's Knot' critical acclaim finally came for Dane alongside 'Harry Potter's' Daniel Radcliffe in 'Kill Your Darlings'. A sex scene with the male lead in this, still ignorant and some, somewhat homophobic day and age for a new actor of substance may have shown the somewhat more underground mainstream more of this guys bravery and heart. D. DeHaan has truly been rocking and rolling ever since. Like in his character arc through the concert film of Metallica's 'Through The Never' that is more than an extended music video trip like Bon Jovi's 'It's My Life' for example. It's Dane's world now as his green day with Harry Osborne and Peter Parker will follow his own '500 Days' of a summer, love break-up story of zombie rom-com 'Warm Bodies' bite-neck and brains proportions in the aptly named 'Life After Beth' which might just be this acting cards real calling. Bold and beautiful breakout films below the blockbuster acting line that show real power and performance of promise. Just like the chronicles of 'Lawless' and 'Pines' gave him. A coming of age and four year career that has tripled to 12 great films. Just imagine what this guy could do in a dozen or so more years? And we thought Jennifer Lawrence was catching the fire of a hot streak. This year this guys going to have even more 'Life' to the magazine cover like Stiller's 'Mitty', playing the movie icon James Dean. The type of guy you'd expect Gosling or Cooper to be lining up to play. Still between the 'Pines' it's the scene stealer that's about to make the show his own even alongside fan-girls favourite Robert Pattison in this one. Far from the 'Twilight' of the dawn of his young career, Dane DeHaan was already done enough films to even make the great Jimmy Dean look down twice with pride. This young rebels making of an icon cause is about to effect even more people for the better as this guy goes east of eden for his own heaven sent career. He told you, you where going to want to see this.
Monday, 10 March 2014
GODZILLA! Everyone beware! Godzilla is coming! Batten down the hatches and lock the doors, because the original Kaiju is coming to destroy and dominate the Hollywood blockbuster market of the Summer like 'Pacific Rim's' monsters versus Transformer like robots did last year. It all looks truly and finally, genuinely terrifying too. Oh and the 'Transformers' are coming as well along with the 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes'. Now that's a lot of worldwide destruction and end of earth type stuff on a 'Man Of Steel' skyscraper crushing finale level. No wonder the dinosaurs of 'Jurassic Park 4' have to wait for their resurection next year. Now with all these monster movies, who could stop the machines, apes and one monster that could scale and crumble King Kong's Empire State? No, not the Justice League, their epic battle between Superman and Batman will have to wait until round 2 next year, but Marvel. Did somebody call 'The Avengers'? Because between two of the teams major players who need the rights to assemble and the one Captain to lead them all, it's going to be the year of Marvel's Avengers and cast of characters once again...and the highly anticipated, eagerly awaited 'Age Of Ultron' sequel isn't even out until next year either. Still the formidbale franchise within a franchise of franchises is still going strong in all it's spin-off main strand stories, building up fan boy and girls DVD shelves that look to one day chase down the comic-book coral of cells and cartoon strips of stories. After the conclusion of the 'Iron Man' trilogy and the super sequel to 'Thor', 'The Dark World' joined 'The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Caulson cause television show and various 'One Shots', as more superhero storytelling started 'The Avengers' Phase 2, with a continuing classic, bold bang, we now have a new 'Captain America', 'Amazing Spider-Man' and 'X-Men' film to make this Summer season even hotter than the rest they've dominated. Marvel are just unstoppable.
1939, that year tells you how long Marvel have been dominating for. Ever since Stan Lee picked up the pen and paper and created characters from his vivid imagination that would serve as heroes to kids young and old all the way until today. Even with rock stars, sportsmen and other movie stars also fitting that poster on the wall aspiration, even Hollywood's biggest names want to don a mask and cape. You can't even watch a film today without seeing some superhero link. There's Hulk getting it on with Pepper Pots in 'Thank You For Sharing' starring Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow...what would Tony think? Plus, some actors have so many superhero or comic-book characters to their credit that it's almost getting selfish. Chris Evans is Captain America, the former Human Torch (bring him back) in the 'Fantastic Four' and also in the Marvel great graphic novel adaptation of 'The Losers' alongside Idris Elba who also has parts in 'Thor' and 'Ghost Rider' too. Now don't get us started on the Marvel/D.C. turncoats led by the 'Daredevil' new Batman in Ben Affleck. Or Ryan Reynolds for crying out loud, because that's mainly D.C. As dark and deep and great they are with everyones favourite in Batman, the strongest hero in Superman and all the best villains (if they are all in Batman) led by The Joker and the unquestionable, unamiously incredible Heath Ledger (Rest in Peace) portrayal, they still have a long way to go before avenging Marvel's fun filled formidable foundation. From the headquarters in New York, the Marvel universe has birthed classic characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the Silver Surfer, and the Avengers as a whole, whilst mirroring current events and life lessons in their work. From X-Men's Magneto and Professor X representing the violent/non-violent sides of the Malcolm X/Martin Luther King Jnr debate and Captain America's super soldier living through all the world wars that have defined the last century. Marvel have always had something to say to the youth and the form of escapism from a world at war in more ways than one.
Now our Captain is back this Spring after the polar vortex (sounds like a Marvel villain in itself) that hit lower Manhattan and the rest of the world this Winter. Keeping it cold and with a similair war theme, 'The Winter Soldier' looks to lead this years blockbuster battalion by it's super strong, steel-like shield. Chris Evans is pumped up and back as Steve Rodgers who after 'The Avengers' events of New York must face life in the present day he'e been brought too. After awakening from the ice capsicle prison stasis of 'The First Avenger' movie (that was also easter egg hinted at in Edward Norton's first 'Incredible Hulk' movie), this new Avenger movie looks to have a story as sensational as the first. Although the war torn texture of the first decades past movie and it's characters including Hayley Atwell (nice 'One Shot' for the memories), Dominic Cooper (as Howard Stark) and THE general Tommy Lee ("I'm not kissing you") Jones will be missed (let's do the time warp again), this new age and phase in the capital of Washington looks to be another landmark against D.C. Armed with a new suit (like he's been shopping with the 'Anchorman' assembled newsteam) with less spang (although we have loved the previous incarnations like the Stark marks) and a new foe in Bucky's 'Winter Soldier' this could be the sensational sophmore, non-slump that could best the outstanding original like the latest Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston's respective Thor and Loki battle of wits and wonder. Of course being S.H.I.E.L.D heavy in more ways than one, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is back (he really is in everything...especially every one of these movies, he could have more cameos than Stan Lee) along with 'Her' herself, Scarlett Johansson's high-flying, ass-kicking Black Widow along with more bite from the agent core star Cobie Smulders who looks to join 'The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D' with 'Thor's', Jaimie Alexander's Lady Sif for more sex and brains appeal once she finishes wrapping up 'How I Met Your Mother'.
Sebastian Stan's soldier of the cold and the Captain America himself Robert Redford are all assembled to make this cast list truly super, but every hero need a sidekick and Captain America needs the War Machine to his Iron Man, especially with the Avengers waiting for some assembly required next year. So how about a patriot? After his breakout performance in 'The Hurt Locker' and scene stealing stars in cult classic films like 'The Adjustment Bureau', 'Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter' and many more, Anthony Mackie looks set to spread his wings as a modern, marine style look at The Falcon. The next, great actor plays one of Marvel's most loved side-characters-albeit without the red and feathers-in what looks to be an all flying, all shooting action flick of fantastic, amazing Avenger action. If that doesn't look like one of the best films this year and greatest Avenger and Marvel ones of recent time then how about something else that's truly Amazing? It's time to catch a Spider as Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker sense is back for the stunning sequel of 'The Amazing Spider-Man' a quick, franchise reboot that is more triumphant than the last trilogy and looks to truly go for bold, now the routine introductions are over. I mean, come on how many time do we have to see his uncle, or Bruce Wayne's parents die? Dubbed as the beginning of his greatest battle, the sensational 'Sinister Six' look to crowd Spider-Man's amazing, worldwide web before spinning-off to their own seperate movie announced to be coming soon. Oscorp's about to obliterate the hero movie notion for the next generation. The Marvel family is about to get even bigger, even if some of them wouldn't want to sit at the table together. Peter, please tell Doctor Octopus to pass the salt...he sure has the arms to do it! Now how many more movies can Marvel serve up on their amazing spinning of the plates? What more could you ask for from New York's best high-wire photographer...apart from some shots with the Avengers?
With Emma Stone at his side and Sally Field watching over Garfield's Spidey has plenty of star-strung A-Listers on his broadsheet but it's the bad guys that are about to break good this Summer like Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. First there's the ever great and versatile Paul Giamatti suiting up in metal as a stampeding Rhino and the great, young talent of 'Chronicle', 'Lawless' and 'The Place Beyond The Pines' Dane DeHaan (the only guy to rival rising star Paul Dano and the next Jimmy Dean, believe it or 'see it' not) as Harry Osborne's Green Goblin that will keep this new franchise flying at Parker's smashing pumpkin falling. Still, it's 'Django' himself Jamie Foxx who looks to continue his incredible comedy/music/movie award winning run with a top villain that is more than just a blue man group lookalike off Broadway. Playing the electric Electro villain, Jamie looks to outfox the Spider with a super charged performance as the bolt, bad-guy. Hey Sparkles! It's 'Electro Unplugged'! You can see in all these incredible trailers and the terrific, terrifying threats he issues that the enemies will truly unite around this source. From his pathetically brilliant, balding, geeky, comb-over original character to the formidable foe he becomes, Electro looks to be Spider-Man's greatest battle in the Big-Apple. "You wanted to be the hero...now you have to pay the price", sneers Foxx in electrical undertones (that could match Bane and other bad-guys great voices) as the two duke it out in the core, heart of New York. The battle between Spider-Man and Electro around the electric, lights-out sparks of Times Square looks sets to be the battle royale of the year and quite possibly one of Marvel's most amazing, action set-pieces ever and the whole Avengers recentely saved New York City and the world from a portal of Loki led aliens not two years ago. If only Peter Parker was there to capture it, because he would have probably brought his friend from the academy too.
Is he an Avenger? Is he an X-Men? Will he don that classic, comic-book, cult favourite yellow suit that was teased at the deleted end of his Tokyo, solo Logan's run (along with that promised, powerful, night time, neon rain fight scene in the heart of Japan)? No matter the answers, without question Hugh Jackman is The Wolverine, just like Robert Downey Jnr was born to play Tony Stark and lead his new Marvel wave that rebirthed and rebooted in 2006 with his new 'Iron Man' franchise that almost rose above 'The Dark Knight' (one of the greatest movies of all-time, superhero or not). After the singing of 'Les Miserables' and the shouting of 'Prisoners' showed there was more behind Jackman's acting claws then just the mutations, this Academy talent has never strayed from the character that took him from Australia to a pernament American Hollywood home, even if Ashton Kutcher tried to burn it down in 'Punk'd' (what a great sport the nicest guy ever, Hugh was too amongst the flames). Still following the terrific trilogy of 'X-Men' he led with a sharp cut above the rest and the fun 'Origins' and more serious sequel that Jackman's jacked-up Logan made worldwide famous, Wolverine is set to join up with the 'First Class' crew for more than a more hilarious than Stan Lee cameo. Assembling all the original 'X-Men' and new, days/past, rebooted back in time class, this Summer sees the sensational 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' star. Unlike the Captain and the Spider, teased with only one, incredible trailer, this 'X-Men' sequel looks to be the most stunning superhero film yet. With famous and favourite names like Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and her beau Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Picard and Gandalf themselves, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and many else for a true assembling what more could you need or want? With 'X-Men' rivalling The Avengers as not only Wolverines home but Marvel and the superhero world as a wholes best team and franchise, this looks to be the big-event of the year which will hopefully one day lead to Marvel's own 'Superman vs Batman' battle with the X-Men and Avengers. If those annoying rights would let it happen. Come on Mickey Mouse lets make it happen, think of the money and the smiles on the kids faces. Let the only question be who Wolverine will join?
We can all hope and anticipate like the end of most Marvel movies post-credits. Speaking of which if you saw a Bowie, stardust dress-a-like Benicio Del Toro at the end of 'Thor-The Dark World' then you know we have more than the usual suspects to Marvel at this year. Who would have thought we'd see Chris Pratt with a six-pack lead a team of heroes for hire that include Vin Diesel playing a tree and Bradley Cooper, a machine-gun totting racoon? No your not hungover, but Marvel's limitless, fast and furious talent looks to bring one of the surprise hits of the year in this surreal but super spin-off 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'. Get ready for one of the funniest films from a franchise not afarid to not take itself too seriously, but one that will still have super stakes and amazing action too. Remember these may be exciting hero tales everyone wishes to be a part of, but they are still about grown-men running around in capes and spandex. It might be time for Batman and Superman to remember this. As dark as realistic as you go you can't escape the fact that if you ran around like that in real-life it would look more than a tad pathetic, especially without all the historical comic-book back stories we are now used to. Still in this 'Big Bang', geek theory, popular day and comic-book age it's all fun and games though. Marvel are winning though, now the only thing they are green with envy about is hammering down a new Hulk franchise with both green fists. Still the Dr. Banner of Mark Ruffalo seems the right prescription to take over Edward Norton's blessing and keep this monster roaring and raging on with the rest of his Avenger team that have Phantos and James Spader to deal with next. Now could we get a new Hulk movie with all these great big-three Iron Man, Thor and Captain America ones? Or maybe a seperate Iron Man and Hulk movie together like the comics. Besides Banner and Stark did leave together at the end of the Avengers in a top-down, bromance convertible and Cap and the Black Widow are assembling again for this spring's 'Winter'. One things for sure though between all the comic-books, characters, rights and movies the fans are getting exactly what they want with no signs of things slowing down. The 'Fantastic Four' family looks to reunite with a reboot before another X-Men 'Apocalypse' too and how about that Daredevil/Luke Cage (how about the great Terry Crews?) T.V. show? Even Paul Rudd's getting to outgrow pin-up superstar Joesph Gordon-Levitt to play the 'Ant-Man'. From cartoons to toys, cells to movies and the stars that make them there will always be a hero to choose from. Even if you and your mewling quims happens to be Loki. This is more than just a phase and no 'One Shot'. The Summer's about to get real hot! Get your capes ready...Marvel are about to go supersonic. Super-who?