"They want to keep it going. Of course they do. But, it's Superman yeah? Batman and Superman together? We shall see. The thing about Nolan, there was some grounding of reality to it. In our trilogy, and as fantastical and as big as The Joker was... we could relate to it. But now we've got a Batman and we've got a guy who can fly who's an alien? We'll have to see." Gary Oldman is not convinced the new Batman Vs. Superman movie, which will feature Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, will be any good. Oldman portrayed Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
Much-anticipated Batman prequel Gotham has been picked up as a series by bosses at America's Fox network.
The project will chronicle James Gordon's early days as a Gotham City Police Department detective, long before he became Batman's ally Commissioner Gordon. The O.C. star Benjamin McKenzie will play the young Gordon, who has been portrayed on the big screen by Gary Oldman and Pat Hingle, while Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee and Erin Richards are among those who have joined the cast of the action-packed drama.
No premiere date has been announced.
Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
Jimmy Fallon might be revered as the late night kingpin after taking over The Tonight Show and boosting its ratings, but competitor Jimmy Kimmel is up for the challenge. His Jimmy Kimmel Live! has been on a roll since last fall, hitting the marks not just with late night ratings but on social media.
First, there was the viral video "Epic Twerking Fail," showing a girl accidentally setting her leg on fire while dancing… a story that appeared on several newscasts before it was revealed to be just a Kimmel prank using a stunt woman. Then, the host suckered an international audience when he got Olympic luger Kate Hansen to post a video of a wolf walking down a hotel hallway in Sochi, Russia. The "hotel," of course, was later revealed to be Kimmel's offices.
As funny as the pranks have been, Kimmel and his staff have gone into overdrive with their parody shorts, topping anything that Saturday Night Live has done since Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts were at the top of their game. Here's a sampling of the spoofs that have made Kimmel's late night show and YouTube channel such a hotbed of comedy.
True Detective 2
We all know that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson aren't returning for another season of HBO's True Detective, but who knew that Kimmel and buddy Seth Rogen were in line to take their places? The duo's slap-fight turned… well, we're still not sure what it turned into but it was very uncomfortable… would be disturbing even for the most hardened premium cable aficionados.
In a multi-part series, Kimmel's loyal lackey Guillermo stars as the president in the Spanish-language telenovela version of Scandal. Women fight over him, men want to kill him, and he even gets to share a bed with the real Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington. Por qué? We don't know, but it's awfully funny.
Kimmel has been doing a post-Oscars show for a while now and had viral hits with Movie: The Movie and Movie: The Movie 2, where A-List celebrities mocked the trappings of Hollywood films. This year, however, Kimmel and his team outdid themselves, choosing to show what viral YouTube sensations would be like if they got the big screen treatment. There's one that features Queen Latifah as "Ain't nobody got time for that"-spouting Sweet Brown (and features the real Brown interrupting Kimmel's archenemy, Matt Damon). In Bitman, though, Chris Hemsworth agonizes over the search for his disgraced brother to their mother, Meryl Streep. What has the brother — played by his real-life sibling Liam Hemsworth — done that has wronged him? He bit him, of course. And, now the brother that Charlie bit wants revenge for his finger. It did really hurt, after all.
How do you get Kevin Spacey to dress up as a piano playing 19th century cat, Christoph Waltz to play his nemesis, the "hamster on a piano eating popcorn," and Ben Kingsley, Gary Oldman, and Mandy Patinkin to be the courtiers they are both trying to impress? No, seriously, we want to know how you manage to get so many great actors to play along with such a goofy premise. The result is hysterical but good luck getting the "Cat Playing Piano" music out of your head afterwards.
David After the Dentist Double Rainbow Oh My God! in 3D
It's a little creepy seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt portraying a grown version of poor little painkiller affected David from the viral video… until Catherine Zeta-Jones arrives as a sexy tooth fairy singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Amping up the weirdness, Samuel L. Jackson portrays the scariest dentist since Little Shop of Horrors and Rogen pops up as the overly effusive "Double Rainbow" guy. We're not sure that Kermit the Frog would approve of Jackson's new lyric for "Rainbow Connection," but we actually could envision Baz Luhrmann directing something like this.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Queen Latifah and Christoph Waltz helped U.S. talk show host Jimmy Kimmel turn popular YouTube.com videos into hilarious new film trailers on Sunday (02Mar14). As part of the comedian's annual Jimmy Kimmel Live! post-Oscars special, the TV host recruited Australian acting brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth to shoot a big screen version of 2007 viral video Charlie Bit My Finger in a movie titled Bitman Begins.
Streep played the brawling siblings' mother, while Hanks portrayed a hooded monk looking out for Liam.
Another fake film preview featured Queen Latifah as Kimberly 'Sweet Brown' Wilkins, who rose to Internet fame in 2012 after giving an interview to a local news station in Oklahoma about her escape from an apartment fire, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt led the cast in an amusing movie adaptation as David, a youngster who begins to hallucinate from the anaesthesia he was given for dental surgery.
That trailer starred Catherine Zeta-Jones as the tooth fairy and Samuel L. Jackson as a mad dentist.
However, the best clip, a take on Amadeus the piano-playing cat, was saved until last, and starred Kevin Spacey, dressed in a giant cat costume, as Ameowdeus, while Christoph Waltz donned a furry white suit to play a scheming hamster.
The bizarre 'trailer' also featured appearances from Sir Ben Kingsley, Mandy Patinkin, Gary Oldman and Abbie Cornish.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
For a career that was spent constructing mystical worlds like the ones seen Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Spirited Away, it might seem a little odd that Hayao Miyazaki's swan song is centered on the real-life story of about the famed aeronautical engineer Jiro Hirokishi. But even though there aren't any magical creatures flying around the skies of a very true-to-life 20th century Tokyo, that doesn't mean that The Wind Rises is lacking in wonder. In fact, Miyazaki's last film may be his most inspiring yet, and is doubtlessly his most personal. After all, it's hard not to see the parallels between the subject of The Wind Rises and its creator himself.
The film follows the famed aeronautical engineer who dreamed of flight, but is kept out of the cockpit thanks to his nearsightedness. Instead, Jiro decides to focus his attention on designing and creating planes. He’s the kind of person that can see inspiration in the slope of a fish bone; every little slice of life can serve as source of inspiration.
Eventually, Jiro becomes Japan's premiere aeronautical engineer — and how could he not when he has the voice of Stanley Tucci in his ear, spurring him on? Tucci plays a dreamed-up version of Giovanni Caproni, a real life Italian aircraft engineer who inspires Jiro to keep working towards his goals. The dream sequences where Caproni visits Jiro are some of the film's finest moments, and Tucci puts as much Italian-accented verve and hope into his performance that almost inspires you to get out of your theater chair and start tinkering with whatever pursuit lifts your own wings. It is in these dream sequences where The Wind Rises really soars, as we watch the two inventors construct odd, curious, and wondrous flying contraptions that can take to the skies, even when the real world physics won't allow them to. Rises might lacks the fantastical worlds and creatures that populate Miyazaki's other works, but it's no less magical. But beyond the wonder of building airplanes, there are hard truths to be learned, and as Jiro realized soon enough, his creations will be dropping the bombs that will serve as Japan's introduction to much of the western world.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
But for all the fantastic dreamscapes and characters that populate Jiro's world, from Tucci's lively Caproni, to Jiro's excitable sister who has dreams of her own, to even his love interest Naoko, the one flaw in the film seems to be Jiro himself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who voices Jiro in the English translation of the film, sounds utterly lifeless, and even in the film's emotional peaks and valleys, it sounds like he's reading a telephone book. And while the rest of the English voice cast mostly soars to the occasion, including Martin Short who voices Jiro's hot-tempered boss, and Werner Herzog who helps give the enigmatic Castorp an air of mystery, Jiro is a black hole of personality, and Levitt doesn't manage to give much of anything to Jiro.
The Wind Rises is also a crash course in early 20th century Japan, as we see a country yearning to show the world it's mettle, and we get a peak at the countries' growing pains. We see various events play out on screen including a beautifully animated depiction of the 1923 earthquake that levels Tokyo, and rips through japan like a cresting tidal wave (Studio Ghibli is in top form in the animation department as usual). We also see glimpses of the tuberculosis crisis, the depression, and the early foundations of Japan's relationship with Nazi Germany. These events don't take away from what is firmly Jiro's story, but serve as context to his journey
The Wind Rises is an ode to the dreamers. It's for the creatives who craft their goals in their heads, and unleash their creations for the world to see. It's a uniquely inspiring film that stands with the best of Miyazaki's filmography, and provides a graceful end note to a marvelous career.
"I was the last Commissioner (Gordon) and (he was Tim) Burton's first Batman, so we had a brief moment. That was it - 'Hey, we were in Batman!'" Gary Oldman on working with Michael Keaton in the new Robocop remake.
"I’m sure he’s going to be fabulous... Go back to the comic books. That’s what I did. There's great stuff about Gordon. He had a whole other life." Gary Oldman offers Ben McKenzie a little advice as the young actor prepares to play Detective James Gordon on the upcoming Fox series Gotham. Oldman played Gordon, as a Commissioner, in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.
Truly Indie via Everett Collection
Commissioner Gordon may stand in the tall, winged shadow of the Batman most of the time, but the character takes the lead in the upcoming prequel series Gotham. In that meaty role, Fox has cast Ben McKenzie, known to those of us who were teenagers in the mid-'00s as Ryan Atwood of The O.C. and to the small but discerning audience of Southland as Officer Ben Sherman. Now, he'll be taking on the mantle of a much beloved character with a considerable fandom history. Here's why we think he's up the task.
1. He can play a cop.
McKenzie busted perps and dealt with some serious partner issues for five seasons of Southland. We've seen him in uniform and we buy it.
2. He has a history with the franchise.
In voicework, anyway. McKenzie played Bruce Wayne himself in the animated film Batman: Year One. That story also features a young Jim Gordon, who nobly refuses to participate in the massive corruption of the Gotham police force.
3. He looks good with a mustache.
Clean up the haircut, brush out the 'stache, and we've got ourselves a pretty convincing precursor to Gary Oldman's Gordon. Even if the series features a clean shaven Jim, we're just content to know he can rock the facial hair if needed.
4. He's famous, but he's not too famous.
McKenzie has a decent body of work under his belt, including a breakout role as Amy Adams' sadsack husband Johnny in the indie dramedy Junebug. He became a heartthrob on The O.C., but his character was complex enough — quietly intelligent, acerbic, unsatisfied — to head off typecasting. He doesn't bring the baggage of a career-defining role with him to Gotham.
5. He's good at punching people.
Should Jim Gordon ever be called upon to bust some heads, Ben's got it handled.
Former The O.C. star Ben Mckenzie is heading back to TV after landing the lead role in a new Batman spin-off. The former small screen heart-throb, who found fame opposite Mischa Barton in the teen drama, has signed up to play James Gordon, a police rookie who later rises to the rank of commissioner, in new superhero show Gotham.
The show will be based around the character and his police career before the emergence of Batman.
Commissioner Gordon has previously been portrayed by Neil Hamilton in the 1960s series about the Caped Crusader, while Pat Hingle played him in four films from 1989's Batman until 1997's Batman & Robin.
Gary Oldman most recently portrayed Gordon in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight film trilogy.