Acting newcomer Aubrey Peeples has been handed the task of bringing cult 1980s' cartoon Jem And The Holograms to life in a new live-action movie. Last month (Mar14), G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu revealed he had teamed up with Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun and Insidious producer Jason Blum to revive the classic kids' show, which was based on the popular Hasbro toyline of the same name.
Now they have cast Nashville actress Peeples in her movie debut, starring as lead character Jerrica Benton and her rock star alter ego Jem, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Her bandmates will be played by another crop of relative newcomers - Disney actress Stefanie Scott, The Fosters' Hayley Kiyoko and Lost star Harold Perrineau's daughter Aurora Perrineau, who has previously appeared on TV drama Pretty Little Liars.
Chu, Braun and Blum have also been accepting audition videos from aspiring actors online in a bid to fill other roles in the movie.
Relativity Media via Everett Collection
It seems only fair to mention that growing up, I was terrified of mirrors. Couldn't look at them, couldn't sleep with them in the room, could barely even think about them for fear of conjuring up the darkest conceivable images of what might be living on the other side of their nefarious glass faces. So, yes, I might have been an easy mark when it came to Oculus. But even without lingering childhood phobias, you won't walk away from the film free of tremors. Even more impressively, those looking for something meatier than a few jump scares won't be disappointed either.
Oculus paints itself with a long, coarse, hyperactive mythology, granting us a "history" of the demonic mirror in question that dates back to centuries and abounds many questions. But really, the conceit is simple: it's a mirror that f**ks with people. It makes you see things, makes you think things, and makes you do things you wouldn't ordinarily. It ruined the lives of two children when it corrupted and killed their parents (Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane), and threatens to finish the deed when the estranged siblings reunite in adulthood to enact revenge. Tim (Brenton Thwaites) has spent the past decade in a mental hospital, chalking up the supernatural nightmares of his childhood to psychiatric delusions. His sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan), the "together one" with a job and a fiancé, has spent her time tracking down the haunted antique to do away with it once and for all. Back in their old house with the mirror in her possession, Kaylie sets her meticulously constructed plan into action, with a reluctant Tim in tow.
And yes, obviously, everything goes awry.
Relativity Media via Everett Collection
The mirror's grasp on the minds of its victims exhibits an impressive imagination in writer/director Mike Flanagan. Oculus doesn't hit us with a long supply of ghoulish figures, opting instead for haunting mind games that really land in the construction of an unsettling aura: because of the nature of the mirror's powers, we never know if and when what we're seeing is real. It's not a particularly new conceit for horror or thriller, but it's one that works well. Especially when you're engaged with the people suffering through this tormenting reality.
And we are. The horror of the movie isn't relegated to the mirror's demonic trickery. The far more interesting material exists between the emotionally distant siblings. While Kaylie clings to the only companion she has in the trauma that tore her family apart, Tim wants to leave his nightmares behind him, and perhaps his sister as well. Jumping between flashbacks and the current timeline, Oculus plays with relationships in a terrific way: those between parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, and — most importantly — past and present selves.
Oculus is far from a "fun" movie, but it does seem to be playing a few games with its ideas — the ideas inherent in the malleability of perception, or the delicateness of relationships. Although it doesn't quite deliver in its conclusion, Oculus works through its premise with aplomb. While it might well have gotten away with the concept of a "spooky mirror" just fine, it opts instead to tackle many of the concepts that horror was invented to explore. And the result isn't just interesting, it's genuinely scary.
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Well this is certainly outrageous. Director John M. Chu, best known for helming G.I. Joe Retaliation and the Step Up films, is teaming up with Scooter Braun and Paranormal Activity producer Steven Blum to create a live-action film version of the cult 80's classic Jem and the Holograms. If that wasn't crazy enough, the trio is asking the internet to help make the film.
The original Jem television show was created by Christy Marx, and was developed alongside a line of toys from Hasbro. The show followed the adventures of Jerrica Benton, who transformed into Jem thanks to a mini holographic computer that could change her appearance on the fly. In a video uploaded today, the filmmakers are asking the most gifted members of the Tumblrverse to show their talents, and possibly earn a spot in the upcoming movie. Jem fans have taken to twitter to celebrate, and some have even given suggestions as to who they want to see as their favorite characters. They also want to hear any suggestions, casting or otherwise, in regards to the film. We decided to round up some of these casting ideas...
Jerrica "Jem" BentonJem is the enigmatic lead singer of the rock band Jem and the Holograms. By day, Jerrica Benton is the owner and manager of Starlight Music, but by night she becomes Jem, the lead singer of the all-girl rock group "Jem and the Holograms." Jerrica becomes Jem thanks to a holographic computer system named Synergy that is located in her earrings.
Twitter's Picks for Jem: Diana Argon, Jaimie Alexander
@jonmchu Also, casting wise - @DiannaAgron for Jem #JemTheMovie gets my vote.
— Darren (@DazzaField) March 20, 2014
@JaimieAlexander can you please play #jem in #JemTheMovie? I believe you and your knife collection would be #trulyoutrageous
— Tyler & Ross (@superheropod) March 20, 2014
PizzazzPhyllis "Pizzazz" Gabor is the lead singer and guitarist of The Misfits and often serves as an antagonist to Jem. Throughout the series, she frequently tries to upstage her rival. Pizzazz is spoiled by her father who neglects her emotionally. She dreams of becoming famous one day.
Twitter's Picks for Pizzazz: Lupita Nyong'o, Kesha, Miley Cyrus
Campaign for Lupita Nyong'o to play Pizzazz. #JemTheMovie
— Arya (@artboiled) March 20, 2014
If @KeshaRose doesn't play Pizzazz in #JemTheMovie I'm going to be livid. @scooterbraun @jonmchu
— Jesus Maroney (@JesusMaroney) March 20, 2014
My suggestion: Give Miley Cyrus a fright wig and cast her as Pizzazz. #JemTheMovie
— Terry Estep (@terry_estep) March 20, 2014
StormerStormer is the songwriter for The Misfits. She's the most kind-hearted of The Misfits, and often feels bad about her band's attempts to sabotage Jem and the Holograms.
Twitter's Pick: Lindsey Lohan
Also, a few years ago, Lindsay Lohan would have been a PERFECT Misfit.
— jennifer abella (@nextjen) March 20, 2014
Eric RaymondSly and manipulative, Eric Raymond is the central villain of the series. He is a ruthless music executive that continually tries to sabotage Jem and her band.
Twitter's Pick: Jon Hamm
@JoyDanielle61 @MisfitsTamara @reelsistas @ReelTalker Have we discussed who will play Eric Raymond? I'm thinking Jon Hamm for some reason
— BlackGirlNerds (@BlackGirlNerds) March 20, 2014
RioRio is Jem's childhood friend and boyfriend. He serves as a manager for the Holograms but doesn't know Jem's true identity. He develops a crush on Jem which, as you can imagine, makes things a bit awkward.
Twitter's Pick: Justin Bieber
@jonmchu @itsRyanButler justin bieber is talented at singing, dancing, and acting so.. @justinbieber #JemTheMovie
— FOLLOW ME AUSTIN (@XNASHBROWNX) March 20, 2014
Here's the video:
Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun has signed on to co-produce a live-action movie adaptation of cult 1980s' cartoon Jem And The Holograms - and he's offering fans the chance to star in the film. Braun has teamed up with G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu and Insidious producer Jason Blum to revive the classic kids' show, which was based on the popular Hasbro toyline of the same name, and they are appealing to wannabes to get involved.
In a YouTube.com video announcing the project, Chu says, "We want to invite you into our process to help us make our next movie, from making music to designing costumes, to even casting, whatever it is, we want you to be part of our creative team...
"The movie, without giving away too much, is a modern-day, live-action reinvention of the 1980s Hasbro classic cartoon Jem and The Holograms."
The cartoon centred on Jerrica Benton and her alter-ego, Jem, a singer who fronted a band called The Holograms, and the filmmakers are calling on fans to offer up casting ideas by posting videos detailing what they loved about the show on social media blogs like Twitter.com.
They are also searching for aspiring actors of "any age, any gender" to star in the movie - as long as they are "triple threats".
Interested fans have been asked to share two-minute audition videos on Twitter.
Chu, the man behind the Justin Bieber: Never Say Never concert documentary, is reportedly hoping to take advantage of social media to get production on the film started later this spring (14).
John Travolta and Ethan Hawke are in talks to lead the cast of moviemaker Jason Blum's latest western In A Valley Of Violence. Hawke already has a working relationship with the producer, having starred in his films Sinister and The Purge. The new film, described as a revenge western, is set in the 1890s. No other plot details were revealed.
Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl is set to become a dad again - the rocker's wife is pregnant with the couple's third child. The former Nirvana drummer wed Jordyn Blum in 2003 and they are already parents to daughters Violet, eight, and Harper, five.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The Force will soon be strong for The Butler star David Oyelowo and Freddie Prinze, Jr. - the two stars have signed on to be part of George Lucas' new CGI-animated Star Wars TV series. The actors have joined the cast of Star Wars: Rebels, which is currently in development at Lucasfilm Animation for cable network Disney XD.
Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Steven Jay Blum will lead the voice actors in the series, which will make its debut at the end of 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Oyelowo is currently receiving rave reviews for his role as Forest Whitaker's son in Lee Daniels' The Butler, while Scooby Doo star Prinze, Jr. is a die-hard Star Wars superfan.
Shadows and the dark, the purest representation of mystery, the unknown manifested. Director James Wan is at his best when playing with those simple elements. His sequel to the mostly creepy and mysterious Insidious, simply titled Insidious: Chapter 2, works best when characters must confront the dark. "In my line of work, things tend to happen when it gets dark," says a young Elise Rainier (Lindsay Seim), a medium in Wan's film. She seems to be channeling her director here.
Wan's horror comes from the psychological baggage of his characters. He is more interested in nightmares than in ghosts. "I've seen things with my own eyes that most people have to go to sleep to conjure up," says Rainier's former assistant Carl (Steve Coulter). It's the unconscious that brews up spirits for Wan, hence his interest in childhood traumas and how they serve to encumber our lives and ultimately make them terrifying. Transporting childhood fears to adulthood is key to Wan’s talent, even if he relies on tropes like musical stings, swish pans, and the anticipation of that frightful thing hiding in the dark. Beyond these devices, the Insidious films work best when they play with the edges of threat and mystery. Wan also deserves extra credit for keeping the frights pure and not resorting to gore, a cruel gimmick that hurts the audience more than it thrills them.
The sequel opens with a scene hinted at in the first film: like his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins), our hero dad Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) was haunted as a child by a malicious spirit. Enter the younger version of Elise, who lost her life in the supernatural struggle to rescue Dalton in the first film. To find the source of the spirit, young Elise hypnotizes young Josh (Garrett Ryan), and he guides her to his bedroom closet. When she opens the door and pushes aside some clothes to reveal nothing but pitch black, she tells the darkness: "Who are you, and what do you want?"
Those are the film's best moments: when it confronts the sublime via literal darkness and mystery. Wan pushes these moments of dread from the unknown in some scenes to the point of comedy, mostly via Elise's surviving assistants, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). "You can't be in here," one spirit, a little girl in pigtails, tells them. "If she sees you, she'll make me kill you." The threat of the unknown from forbidden trespass is encapsulated in those lines. The fact that Specs and Tucker take this warning very seriously verges on humorous because it satisfies that urge to tell the characters on screen to "get out" before anyone can yell their advice at the screen.
If there is fault in Insidious: Chapter 2, it comes in the form of further rationalizing this world Wan has created with writer/actor Whannell. The better horror movies plummet further into the darkness of mystery rather than trying to shed light on the motivations of evil spirits. This second chapter offers further explanation of the spirit world journey that closed the first Insidious. Though some may find relief in this, over-explanation also saps the film of its creepy energy, which Wan works so shrewdly to draw up.
Even though he leans on some cinematic horror tropes, as noted earlier, the film's eerie atmosphere has a signature stylistic flourish. He uses low angles to present his looming haunted houses in shadowy darkness, but Wan serves up a subtle new ambiance for the genre with the help of production designer Jennifer Spence. Bright patches of color here and there liven up the sets, especially a reliance on red accents, be it on doors, stained glass or parts of clothing. But the rest of his world features darker shades of color, often painted thick on nice solid, creaky wood. There is also a whimsy to his sets featuring clouds of fog billowing from out of nowhere and slow fade outs and fades to black, lending a surreal atmosphere to the happenings in Insidious: Chapter 2. There is nothing like the irrational to pull the rug out of reality and unnerve the audience, and the film is at its best lingering and peering at that edge.
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What do Greendale Community College and comic books have in common? The newest castmembers of Lionsgate's upcoming medical thriller, Reawakening.
Donald Glover, star of NBC's Community, and Evan Peters of Kick-Ass and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past have joined the cast of a team of student researchers in the horror thriller directed by David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi). The movie, written by Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) and Luke Dawson (Slater) follows a team of students who discover how to bring their research subjects back from the dead, resulting in dire consequences.
Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde play the other members of the team in the movie produced by Jason Blum, producer of The Purge and the upcoming Insidious Chapter 2, Paranormal Activity 5, and Jessabelle.
Will the Reawakening cast have as much chemistry as their characters do in the lab? Let's hope so!
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