The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet gives us a traditional retelling of the well-known tale of passionate lovers... minus the passion. Somehow the film turns a forbidden love story, which is inherently exciting, into a rather bland and unmemorable take on Shakespeare's play. Lacking the intensity that the story calls for, this version of Romeo and Juliet fails to excite.
Assuming that the audience knows the play well enough, the film follows two youngsters, Romeo (Douglas Booth) and Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld), who are destined to never be together because of their feuding families, and explains little else. Director Carlo Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent) wants us to believe in their whirlwind romance, but the film is never able to successfully pull the audience into the supposedly heart-wrenching tale because of the lack of chemistry between Booth and Steinfeld. Steinfeld has difficulty pulling off Shakespeare's prose, Booth comes off as a neurotic boy-band heartthrob who speaks the dialogue well but doesn't seem to know what he's saying, and the both of them together play the part of star-crossed lovers, but with a veil of insincerity. Disappointingly, the story, which is meant to sweep us off our feet and make us believe that these two strangers love each other enough to die for the other, leaves us wondering why they're even together in the first place.
The restrained, and often times awkward romance is further watered down by screenwriter Julian Fellowes' (Downton Abbey) decision to streamline the dialogue and Carlei's lukewarm take on the tale. The intention was to stay faithful to the original Romeo and Juliet — like Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 adaptation did — and at the same time be as fresh as Baz Luhrmann's version with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio (so as to be hip with the younger generation), but instead it comes off as a dumbed-down take of the classic story.
While the film's leads lack chemistry, its older, supporting cast excels. With the likes of Paul Giamatti (Friar Laurence) and Homeland's Damian Lewis (Lord Capulet) — two actors who have had their fair share of experience with Shakespeare — gracing the cast with their dominating performances, the gap between the actors who have come ready to do Shakespeare's words justice, and those who have not, is quite clear. Save for Kodi Smit-McPhee's (The Road) endearing take on Benvolio, Romeo's cousin, the strongest performances generally come from the older cast members.
As for the scenery, Carlei chose to film the movie where it was set: Verona and Mantua. Unfortunately, the background is oftentimes so beautiful that it distracts from the acting, which truth be told, is probably not something to brag about.
With a new adaptation on our hands, it’s a shame that it doesn’t stand out from the rest. Yes, every generation deserves its own Romeo and Juliet, but if we have to wait almost two decades to see it, it better be worth the wait.
It’s just as Alfred Hitchcock predicted: the birds are coming, attacking, and never ever leaving.
Today is the three-year anniversary of the release of Angry Birds. That’s right, pig-haters, for nearly 1,100 days bored citizens around the world have spent their time perfecting the art of flinging different battle birds through the air in hopes of knocking through wood and debris to attack dumbfounded green pigs. Sounds like a giant waste of time when you write it all down like that, huh? For those of you who disagree, read on.
Former Marvel Studios boss David Maisel and Despicable Me producer John Cohen have signed on to take the beloved boredom-killing game and turn it into a full-fledged 3D flick. In a press release sent out Tuesday morning, Rovio Entertainment announced that the animated movie is set to crash into theaters in summer 2016.
“I’m so excited and honored to be working on this film with Mikael, David, and Rovio’s incredibly talented game developers and artists,” said Cohen. “From both an entertainment and strategic perspective, Rovio is at the forefront of game innovation and is trailblazing terrific new ways for Angry Birds fans to interact with these characters. I’ve personally spent countless hours playing the Angry Birds games over the last few years, which I can now happily justify as research for the movie.”
Since the game’s release in 2009, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 1 billion times across their various platforms and and animations. But if you don’t think a feature film will be enough to quell your Angry Birds needs, get excited because there is also a 52-episode animated TV series now in the works. Damn, that’s a lot of irritated aves flying at us in our future.
Do you think people will still care about Angry Birds in 2016? Hit us with your thoughts at us in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: Rovio]
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Rovio Mobile, the Finnish company behind the hit game Angry Birds, has a plan to break into animation. According to Variety, the company plans to “become another Pixar”, perhaps in reference to the fact that Pixar got its start as a cheap cash-in to a video game that doesn’t actually have a plot... wait, no, that didn’t happen, because that does not make any sense. Along with the animated feature, Rovio is interested in turning Angry Birds into a “larger entertainment franchise” that will include animated shorts, TV shows, and licensed merchandise, such as the plush versions of the characters already on sale. An Angry Birds cookbook is already in development.
In case you figured that this was all a post Fourth of July misunderstanding brought about by some bad coleslaw, Rovio has already brought producing talent on board. Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel has been hired as a special advisor for the fledgling film company. Rovio CEO Mikhael Hed claimed that Maisel’s prior experience adapting comic-book franchises at Marvel made the producer a good fit for the video game adaptation. "Two people I know that have gone outside the studio system and built a very significant entertainment business that managed to break through on the movie side. Since that's our aspiration as well -- and George Lucas was unavailable -- David was really the best person we could have hoped to work with." Said Hed, marking the first time that a flattering comparison was made to George Lucas since 1998.
While some critics, namely me, would point out the possible problems associated with adapting a property with less plot than your average beer commercial, Maisel seems confident of the brand’s personal appeal. "People are interacting with these characters six inches from them each time they play, and that creates an emotional connection," Maisel said. "This is not an American thing. It's not even a Finnish thing. It's a global thing that's something I've never seen before.” To give Maisel some credit, people do form intimate relationships with video game characters all the time- I’ve been deeply embroiled in a love-hate relationship with the Long Blue Tetris block for some time now.
We here at Hollywood.com will keep you updated as more information appears. At the moment, I’m going to propose Christian Bale for the role of Angry Bird #1, Christoph Waltz for the villainous Pig With A Mustache, and Ryan Reynolds as The Wall. Hopefully, it will turn out a little like the trailer below, from Roosterteeth.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Chris Evans has finally been selected to don the star-spangled superhero suit for Captain America.
After weeks of reports flying back and forth as to potential candidates, Marvel made an offer that Evans accepted last week. The deal, reports Variety, calls for the actor to star in at least three Captain America movies.
The First Avenger: Captain America is set to open on July 22, 2011. Paramount will distribute.
Evans would also reprise the role in The Avengers, which will unite Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton) in one pic, notes Variety. That film is set for May 4, 2012.
Joe Johnston will direct Captain America from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Kevin Feige will produce for Marvel, Stephen Broussard serving as co-producer. David Maisel, Stratton Leopold, Louis D'Esposito and Stan Lee will exec produce.
Deadline.com originally reported on the Evans offer from Marvel on Friday.
and her husband David have lashed out at reports stating they had been involved in a "terrifying car crash", insisting the incident never happened.
The showbiz couple were reportedly visiting their home in the village of Bargemon, close to the French Riviera, last week, August 18, before the soccer star was due to fly to Beijing, China to take part in the Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday, August 24.
And as the pair made their way to Nice airport so the star could catch his plane to China, the pair was involved in a horrific crash, which left their black BMW with a smashed windscreen and extensive damage along the passenger side.
Reports stated David Beckham reportedly smashed the car laterally into a wall, leaving his wife severely shaken, with speculation the accident occurred due
to paparazzi hounding the couple.
But the couple's spokesperson, Cheryl Maisel, has denied the crash ever happened, blaming online gossips for the false story.
She says, "There was no car crash. David and Victoria Beckham were driving a car that had been scratched the day before when it had been left parked at the
airport, they were not involved in any accident at all. There was no police, no crash, no paparazzi chase, etc., just very incorrect reports via Internet gossip sites."
(c) 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.
Well it’s about time! After a few lackluster months at the movies, Iron Man started the summer blockbusting extravaganza with a $100.7 million opening at the North American box office, making it the second-best premiere ever for a non-sequel.
"We could not have hoped for a better way for Marvel Studios to blast off," David Maisel, chairman of the unit, a division of Marvel Entertainment, told The Associated Press, which stands to pull in a greater share of box office receipts and merchandising money by financing movies itself.
Debuting in second place with $15.5 million was the romantic comedy Made of Honor, starring heartthrob Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan.
Despite the huge Iron Man opening, box office overall business was still down compared to the same weekend last year, when Spider-Man 3 had a record debut of $151.1 million. The top 12 movies took in $154.1 million, down 15 percent from a year ago.
"Nonetheless, Iron Man did better than expected," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Media By Numbers told AP. "This is certainly the shot in the arm the marketplace has needed."
The top three openers the same weekend last year were: Spider-Man 3, which opened at No. 1 with $151 million; Disturbia, which dropped to second place in its fourth week with $5.8 million; and Fracture, which dropped to third place in its third week with $3.6 million.
BOX OFFICE TOP 10 ESTIMATES (Source by: Media by Numbers)
No. 1: Iron Man (Paramount, PG-13)
• Gross: $100.7 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 4,105
• Per-theater average: $24,543
No. 2: Made of Honor (Sony, PG-13)
• Gross: $15.5 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 2,729
• Per-theater average: $5,680
No. 3: Baby Mama (Universal, PG-13)
• Gross: $10.3 million (-41%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 2,548 (+5)
• Per-theater average: $4,055
• Cume to date: $33.2 million
No. 4: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Universal, R)
• Gross: $6.11 million (-44%)
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 2,872 (+73)
• Per-theater average: $2,135
• Cume to date: $44.8 million
No. 5: Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (Warner Bros., R)
• Gross: $6 million (-60%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 2,363
• Per-theater average: $2,363
• Cume to date: $25.2 million
No. 6: The Forbidden Kingdom (Lionsgate, PG-13)
• Gross: $4.2 million (-63%)
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 2,960 (-191)
• Per-theater average: $1,419
• Cume to date: $45.1 million
No. 7: Nim's Island(Fox, PG)
• Gross: $2.7 million (-40%)
• Weeks opened: 5
• Theaters: 2,478 (-499)
• Per-theater average: $1,110
• Cume to date: $42.5 million
No. 8: Prom Night (Sony/Screen Gems, PG-13)
• Gross: $2.5 million (-45%)
• Weeks opened: 4
• Theaters: 2,434 (-387)
• Per-theater average: $1,027
• Cume to date: $41.4 million
No. 9: 21 (Sony, PG-13)
• Gross: $2.1 million (-48%)
• Weeks opened: 6
• Theaters: 2,242 (-710)
• Per-theater average: $937
• Cume to date: $79 million
No. 10: 88 Minutes (Sony/Tri-Star, R)
• Gross: $1.6 million (-55%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 1,765 (-403)
• Per-theater average: $907
• Cume to date: $15.4 million
Redbelt (Sony Pictures Classics, R)
• Gross: $68,646
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 6
• Per-theater average: $11,441
Son of Rambow (Paramount Vantage, PG-13)
• Gross: $52,549
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 5
• Per-theater average: $10,510