Author

Matt Patches
After a few years of working behind the scenes on movies and TV shows (and earning an IMDb page for bragging rights), Movies Editor Matt Patches made a hard right into the world of entertainment journalism. In 2009, Patches became the Associate Movies Editor of UGO.com, departing in 2010 to go rogue as a writer-for-hire. Patches covered movies and festivals for a number of outlets, including Movieline, MTV NextMovie, CinemaBlend, and Film School Rejects, before joining Hollywood.com as Movies Editor in 2011. He proudly names "Groundhog Day" as his favorite movie of all time.
  • Will Ferrell Wants Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis for 'Anchorman 2'
    By: Matt Patches Apr 01, 2013
    Will Ferrell has seen his fair share of comedy films. Asking him to narrow his "best of" list down to the funniest movie of all time? An impossible task. He'll rattle off a few highlights — Caddyshack, Airplane, Ghostbusters, Monty Python and the Holy Grail— but choosing just one strikes him as limiting. "There are so many forms of humor that I really can't say what the funniest is," Ferrell says. "I'll laugh at just about anything, as long as it's remotely funny. But the stuff that I'm really entertained by lately is the stuff that's so well-written, where you're afraid to laugh after you hear something hilarious because you might not hear what's said next, which could possibly be funnier than the line before." After lauding the best of the best, Ferrell turns to one of the funniest movies of all time: Anchorman. He says he "loved the movie" thanks to what he dubs "an amazing ensemble cast." He didn't even realize how popular it was until years after watching the final cut. "I always thought it was popular, but having recently moved to San Diego, I've noticed it has developed a cult following, particularly here." RELATED: 'Anchorman 2': A History of Sequel Rumors and Why It Will Work For Ferrell, the comedy that hits closest to home is the cult hit Step Brothers, thanks to its all-too-true central relationship. When Ferrell watches the John C. Reilly co-starring comedy, it recalls life with his own brother. "When we get together we are extremely immature, we both have had sleep walking issues, and have had various misadventures on the island of Catalina," Ferrell says. "My brother Josh actually worked as a bouncer at a wine mixer there, if you can believe it. When we left the theater all we could talk about was how strangely close to home the film had been. Now I enjoy the movie even more because it reminds me of Josh." Cameras are finally rolling on the long-awaited sequel to Anchorman and Ferrell makes note that, while a rarity in Hollywood, follow-ups to classic films have matched their predecessors. As he puts it, "Aliens, Terminator 2, or The Dark Knight… a sequel allows for a continuation of an already great story, but instead of 45 minutes of setting everything up and establishing characters, a sequel throws you right back where the original left off, making for two hours of awesomeness." So what are his dreams for Anchorman 2? First, Ferrell hopes to see three rising stars join the cast: Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis. "I felt that Day, Bateman, and Sudeikis were hilarious together in Horrible Bosses," he says. "I think they would be great as a rival news team in competition with Ron and the crew from Channel 4 Action News." Ferrell also wants a moment in the spotlight for Step Brothers alum Reilly. "I feel he is one of the most talented actors working today, and I would love to see him reprise his role as Reed Rothchild from Boogie Nights, as it also took place in Southern California in the 1970s. That would be the best crossover in film, ever." As an obvious fan of comedian Will Ferrell's work, Ferrell (pictured above) says he's thankful to share a name with someone he routinely enjoys. It could have been worse. "I can't imagine how annoyed I'd be if I had the same name as a celebrity I didn't care for, like poor Michael Bolton in Office Space," he says. Even more than his broad, ridiculous movies, Ferrell is a fan of Ferrell's understated work. "Melinda and Melinda and Stranger than Fiction are the roles that truly highlight his talent." Ferrell, an employee of the Trader Joe's Company since 1999, has recently relocated from New York City to San Diego. He thinks it will be the perfect place to catch next year's Anchorman 2. And that's not an April Fool's Day joke. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures; Will Ferrell] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • Cameron Mackintosh on 'Les Miserables,' 'Glee's' Influence, and a 'Miss Saigon' Movie
    By: Matt Patches Apr 01, 2013
    Considering how much Cameron Mackintosh has on his plate at any given moment, it's not surprising that it took the British mega-producer over 25 years to bring his time-honored classic musical Les Misérables to the big screen. For anyone who thinks they're busy, here's what is currently on Mackintosh's to do list: finalize the casting and design of the new version of Barnum; see rehearsals in Japan for a new version of Les Mis; finalize casting of the new version of Les Misérables in Toronto; audition for a production of Les Mis in Australia; oversee two versions of Mary Poppins on opposite ends of the Earth; prep the new and improved staging of Phantom of the Opera coming to Broadway; and help produce new productions of Oliver! being mounted in Korea and America. "Plus, there are several new things in the works... I'm sure I've forgotten something," he says. Mackintosh is involved with every aspect of his productions — a reason why they're executed across the globe with masterful precision. He attributes that care to the success over the course of his career (the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List estimated his value at $1.1 billion). Shifting some meetings around to promote the Blu-ray release of his 2012 Oscar-nominated hit Les Misérables, we talked with Mackintosh on realizing the classic musical, what prevented it from happening 25 years ago, and when we'll see movie versions of his other popular properties (how is Miss Saigon not a movie yet?). Clearly you're a busy man. How do you find time make a movie out of Les Misérables? Cameron Mackintosh: It was quite a strain. An enjoyable one, but as I'm sure you know, with the film industry, it's not until they press the green button that everyone wants you to drop everything. Whereas what I do in the theater, because I'm so lucky to have many classic musicals, I'm two, three, sometimes even four years out planning how I'm going to put them on around the world. So it was a real strain over the last 18 months. I was on the set all the time. I didn't expect to be. RELATED: Hugh Jackman Admits Singing In The Alps Is Harder Than 'Wolverine' Stunts It came together quickly after years of being a possibility. Mackintosh: The was that moment 25 years ago and the show opened on Broadway and we were going to do it. After five years, after Alan Parker [Midnight Express, Fame] couldn't wait any longer to make it, we didn't really find anyone else that I was happy with. There were sporadic calls over the years, but nothing really serious until Eric Fellner at Working Title [production company behind Les Misérables... said, 'Look, I'd like to have a serious talk with you.' Why was this the moment when it finally took off? Mackintosh:To be honest, it's really the fact that over the last five to eight years, people's acceptance of the musical form as widened. It's not an uncool thing for people to see musicals [laughs]. Whereas when I was starting 25 - 30 years ago, my friends didn't know if musical theater was something they wanted to see. Live music is generally something people want to go to now. The money is in live appearance. You have now an unheard of amount of pop theater music is played on prime time. It's on television, on the radio — people really embrace it. So Glee, against all odds, has helped the world in some way. Mackintosh: Yes, Glee, and Baz Luhrmann with Moulin Rouge. Evita happened. The huge success of Chicago. Indeed, Glee and Sweeney Todd and Mama Mia. All of these things have been growing and growing, and a couple of them have made serious money. The idea of a musical was no longer a, 'Oh, my dear. Nice idea, but no thanks.' I think we've hit the right moment. It also happened to be a practical right moment because it's a very first time a director approached me. At the time Tom Hooper came to see me, The King's Speech was still doing the rounds at film festivals. It hadn't gone into the cinemas. It hadn't gone from The King's Speech to The King's Speech. He just went to see the show, he had never seen it before. He thought it could be a really interesting movie. He had a point of view about it. Of course, the cast we've been able to pull together. Most of them come or have some connection to musical theater. Most of them weren't born when I did the show originally! So we've literally grown the cast through the lifetime of the show. I don't honestly think, because I never got that far the first time around, that we would have been able to cast the film to the same extent. At that point we didn't envision it as a sung-through musical. Every studio we talked to went, 'No, you can have a lot of music, but we'd expect it to be a third spoken dialogue.' And unless we thought it was a problem, we were to go on with it. Even with the first draft of Bill Nicholson's draft, there was a lot of dialogue in it. It was Tom Hooper who, as we started to go through it, said, 'I want to take all the marvelous stuff Bill has come up with and put more in. But I want it to be done and turned into the form that had been done for the stage show.' We pulled the stage show apart and used it as a bible to remake it as a movie, rather than just film the stage show. So we all sat around the piano and sang all the parts with Tom. We were far more brutal than Tom was. He started off thinking we'd be protective of our majorly successful baby, but we know she's a robust girl like Cosette! RELATED: Samantha Barks On Singing In The Rain: 'Leave That Vocal Vanity at the Door' Was there a specific moment of the show that you knew would be a challenge in the movie version? Mackintosh:Having had the temerity with the fans to remake one of the most popular musicals ever, I knew as long as we did something they liked, delivered the same emotional impact as the original, they would relish the changes. When it came to the screen that there would be certain things. For instance, "One Day More," which is probably one of the greatest, theatrical End-of-Act-1 numbers ever written, all takes place in one place in a black box. You can not to do that. You cannot have marching peasants marching towards the audience. It would be ludicrous. That was a very hard piece for Melanie [Oliver, Editor] to cut and Tom to put together. Piece by piece... as we put it together, we realized we needed shots here, shots there, in order for it to have the drive in a cinematic way like it does on stage. NEXT: Mackintosh Updates Us on 'Miss Saigon,' 'My Fair Lady' Movies Was there something you thought of cutting that Tom insisted should stay? Mackintosh:The only number that went was a number we always thought we wouldn't need for the movie because the movie allows you to explore characters in an easy way. We wouldn't need "Dog Eats Dog" because you get to know Thénardier much more from other shots in the film. You understood that side of his character, from the scene in the streets where they're getting money from Jean Valjean. That takes more screentime than it does in the show. How have the success and failures of past musical adaptations influenced Les Misérables? Mackintosh: I had nothing to do with the film adaptation of Phantom of the Opera, but to be honest, I would have wanted to do the film differently. This new version of Phantom of the Opera which we've done — I'm proud of the original production — but the new version is dangerous and gritty. It combines the world of upstage and the lair below. You see two different worlds. That would have been my approach to the film. Are there any stories you want to tell exclusively in film? Mackintosh:I would only have something to offer in helping my successful stage shows and giving them a cinematic life. I enjoy the adaptation when it's classic material. I'm surprised more of them haven't happened. I look at Miss Saigon and think, 'this is a movie waiting to happen.' Mackintosh: I think it is a movie waiting to happen. The thing is, as you know, it takes someone making a s**tload of money before they start making things. The fact that Les Misérables has made a great deal of money is going to encourage someone to do Miss Saigon. I do think the device of the show is inherently cinematic. It's already, with the dreams, allows you to do anything. In your head. Which is the thing that made Chicago work. The thing that Les Misérables has proved, and the thing I'm glad Tom and I saw eye to eye about is recording it live. You needed to because it's completely acted. You only need to record some of Miss Saigon live, because it would be a visceral drama. The storytelling part of it. Other parts of it you can do in a more traditional way because it's about show business. There had been rumors of a new Little Shop of Horrors. As someone who has been involved with that show in the past.... Mackintosh: I loved doing the original show with Howard Ashman, but David Geffen did the movie. It's certainly not a movie I would feel I've got anything to offer to. Or would I have time to do it. As you say, I've got things like Saigon, possibly Oliver! or My Fair Lady are more obvious for me to get involved with as movies. RELATED: We Dream Cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'Little Shop of Horrors' Remake In theater, revivals are commonplace. In movies, people cry afoul when a remake is announced. Will there be room for a Les Misérables remake in the future thinking along the lines of how theater functions or is this the definitive version? Mackintosh: Well, when they come around to doing it I'll be dead [laughs], so it probably won't be my question to answer. But if I found the right cast would I do My Fair Lady now? Yes I would. Because as much as I thought the original film had some amazing performances in it. I remember thinking as an arrogant producer — I was in school when it first came out — but I remember being struck that it was a rather stage-y film. I felt it was like huge theatrical sets. I think you could do a much more modern, fluid film. It could feel like a real place. Mackintosh: Yes. I think that's one of the strengths of Les Misérables. You feel like you've been taken to a world. Is My Fair Lady a movie that you're actively developing? Mackintosh: Because I staged the two major revivals in the last 20 years. My heart is very close to My Fair Lady. But there were various rights problems which are being finely sorted out as to when it can be made and remade. In the old days, you only made one movie! It's only in recent days that the word "remake" has had any significant effect. In the time these musicals were sold to Hollywood, people didn't have any interest in the theatrical world. They didn't think there was enough money in it. Now it's the opposite. All the film companies want to get into the theater world. Probably because Andrew [Lloyd Webber] and I have made so much money in it! These days, every movie is being turned into a musical, for better or worse. Mackintosh:Yes, for better or worse. You know, the real question — and it's always a difficult one — is, is there any reason for a particular subject to sing. Do you gain anything form them singing? For most stories, they don't gain. But when you get it right, it's marvelous. With My Fair Lady, which is based more on Gabrielle Pascal's film, which was involved as co-screenwriter. The musical is based on the film rather than the original Pygmalion play. Just like Oliver!, another show I'm closely involved in and own part of the rights, that's based on the David Lean movie rather than the Dickens novel. Films have always been a source for material, because you have to adapt a book to a movie. So that step of adaptation is always helpful. It was actually a musical that inspired Les Misérables. Alain Boublil had never seen a stage version of Oliver!, he had only seen the movie. As he watched this revival of Oliver!, in January of 1978, as the Artful Dodger is singing "Consider Yourself," suddenly in his mind popped Gavroche. By the end of the show, he thought, '[Les Misérables] could be a wonderful musical.' So he rang Tod Michelle in Paris and said, 'I found our next subject.' Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Universal Pictures] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • 'G.I. Joe' Producer on Deciding Channing Tatum's Fate — SPOILERS
    By: Matt Patches Mar 31, 2013
    If you were hoping that G.I. Joe: Retaliation would continue Channing Tatum's epic run of hits from 2012, well, you're only partially right. Beware: Spoilers For G.I. Joe: Retaliation To Follow! Those who caught the toy-inspired sequel this weekend know what many of us presumed to be the case since the very first trailers for Retaliation arrive on the web: Tatum was destined to die. And he did — in a explosion of dusty, dirty glory. Many have speculated why the creative team behind G.I. Joe: Retaliation would kill off one of the movie's bigger stars, especially after rewiring his "Duke" to become a lively, humorous reinterpretation of the character from G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. RELATED: 'G.I. Joe' Producer on 'Star Wars' Connections, 'Transformers 4,' And 'Salt 2' Turns out, all that speedy character building was just a move to pull the rug from under the audience's feet. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told us it was a dramatic tool he's used in the past and thought it would be a perfect way to shake up the expectations of Joe. "I did it once on a movie a long time ago called Executive Decision… I always liked that movie," di Bonaventura says. "Killing [Steven] Seagal gave that movie such a great sense of gravity. You took everything seriously after that. And our thought early on was if you killed a character, you were going to do that." Di Bonaventura knows that Rise of the Cobra has both fans and critics (although he'll defend it as one spot on interpretation of the Joes mythology), and he's still unsure if Retaliation needed the full on internal reboot approach. "Channing would not have been my first choice to do that with," he says. "It just ended up being that character. I think in any action movie when you have someone who is supposed to be important to the team and they die, no matter how preposterous you get, everything has an element of 'anything bad is possible.' People take the movie more seriously." RELATED: Jon Chu Breaks Down 'G.I. Joe's' Biggest Action Scene Killing off Tatum's Duke was even bolder move because of director Jon M. Chu's love for the series — in his gut, he knew it would be the right move. "Jon … had an internal metronome for what the Joes were," di Bonaventura says. "Having grown up and been a genuine fan of it, his sense of how far you could take things… he wasn't afraid in certain situations." According to the producer, Chu knew when his decisions were going to work, even if other members of his team were skeptical. He knew the Joes that well. "That was a big aspect of his directing, a confidence about what the material was. It showed in some of these choices. To be willing to direct a movie where you kill off Channing Tatum. That's a ballsy decision. It just is." So does di Bonvantura have any regrets after sending Duke to the grave? "I'll tell you one thing: having done it, it's sad in a way because, boy, Channing and The Rock have great chemistry together." Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • Richard Griffiths in 'Naked Gun 2 1/2': Director David Zucker on the Late Actor
    By: Matt Patches Mar 29, 2013
    In both the early days and the final years of his career, in both in the theater and on the big screen, Richard Griffiths put his stamp on drama. A British actor with classical routes, he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and made his way into movies with parts in classics like Chariots of Fire and Gandhi. Seemingly capable of anything, it's no surprise that Griffiths would eventually dabble in the absurd. It was that leap of faith where I met him, when I first saw The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear back in early '90s. Griffith's dedication to roles is what drew director David Zucker (Airplane!) to the actor, who passed away early on Thursday. "He's a serious actor. And the more serious they are, the more degrees away from comedy they are, the less they try to wink and be in on the fun," Zucker says. "We asked him not to play it straight but to play it dead serious. The really good actors get it. The smart actors. They know not to ham it up." Zucker says Griffiths was "all in" on Naked Gun's absurdist sensibilities, where he played the duel roles of Earl Hacker and the wheelchair-bound Dr. Albert S. Meinheimer. RELATED: Daniel Radcliffe Remembers Richard Griffiths: 'I Am Proud To Say I Knew Him' "I always think of him as there being two of him," Zucker says with an honest laugh. Naked Gun 2 was the first time the director had worked with Griffiths; the factor that went into casting the actor in the two roles was undeniable talent. "In those days, we got to cast who we wanted," Zucker says. "They weren't tasked with who could get publicity or who was a name. No one really knew him. He was a semi-familiar character actor." Zucker describes his casting process from that time as "ridiculous," a system that required a dozen people to read in a room together. David, his brother Jerry, and collaborator Jim Abrahams, would pick an actor right there on the spot. Griffiths clearly impressed. And he continued to on set. "He was in a wheelchair for most of the movie," Zucker says. "And doing a lot of crazy stunts. He did those stunts himself. He had fun — what I found is that all these serious actors don't get to play this kind of comedy very much." As one might do with Shakespeare, Griffiths gave himself over to the text of the Zucker Bros. It was insane, sure, but was thought out and constructed. That's why it worked. That's why Griffiths worked. "The direction I give most actors is, 'let the lines do the work.' He got it. He was one of them that just got it and he was a pleasure to work with." Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • 'G.I. Joe' Producer on Resurrecting the Series, 'Star Wars' Connections, 'Transformers 4,' and 'Salt 2'
    By: Matt Patches Mar 29, 2013
    For G.I. Joe fans, it's something of a miracle that a sequel to the 2009 series-starter Rise of the Cobra came to be. The movie made a decent amount of money at the box office — nearly $150 million — but came with an equally sizable price tag. The reviews were mixed. The first Joe was a success, but unlike most breakout blockbusters, it's franchise future was murky. Slowly but surely, a sequel came to fruition, and now G.I. Joe: Retaliation is hitting theaters this weekend. For producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura — mastermind behind such recent hits as Salt, Red, and Michael Bay's Transformers series — it only helped them crack the code of what a sequel to Joe should even be. "I think the honest truth is that Paramount was very unsure about if they wanted to do it or not," di Bonaventura says. Paramount's back-and-forth over greenlighting a sequel allowed di Bonaventura's development process to hone in on the elements that both he and fans demanded more attention. "I particularly, and Hasbro also encouraged this, really wanted to explore the ninja story. After the first movie, what you found was that young and old, there was no demarkation line, wanted more Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. So, partly driven by the fans, and partly by our own interests." For di Bonaventura, the goal of Retaliation was to brings the two factions of G.I. Joe fandom into one unified blockbuster. He sees two distinct sides separated by a generation gap: the pre-1980 fan that grew up with the All American Joe and its militaristic roots, and the post-1980 fan aware of the comic books and animated series that delved into the mythology of the characters and found an avenue to include memorable ninja characters along with the soldier types. RELATED: 'G.I. Joe Retaliation' Recruits the Rock to Ignite the Franchise and It Works "I felt the Joe that I grew up with needed to find a footing in it," di Bonaventura says. "Essentially declaring Bruce Willis as the original Joe centered it on a guy you understood, as the kind of character for the generation it represented. People my age, people who didn't read those comic books or see the cartoon, they grew up with a version that, dare I say, the 'average joe' notion of a guy in army fatigues who would fight the good fight." The producer says they've found that same embodiment for the post-1980s crowd: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Roadblock. Having clear goals for how they wanted to rejuvenate the franchise, di Bonaventura says they looked to legendary movies for inspiration on how to construct their multi-tiered story. "There's a very good movie that follows, I wouldn't say a similar pattern, but there are echos of certainly: Empire Strikes Back," he says. "Luke Skywalker goes off with Yoda and the other team is moving forward. It was a movie all of us had scene where that worked. We didn't pattern after it, but we had a sense of security. The notion wasn't ridiculous." The framework was one piece of the puzzle. The other, having a mantra that would allow both sides of the story to exist in the same world. Di Bonaventura stands by the Rise of the Cobra as a good time at the movies, but when it came to Retaliation, he wanted a bit more grit. "I tend to like strong physicality in the movies," he says. "One of the things Jon [Chu, director] and I talked about before he even came on the movie was that I would like a punch that really feels like a punch." Through fight sequences, chase scenes, and an overall sense of realism whenever possible, di Bonaventura and Chu set out to make a Joe movie that wouldn't just wow the eyes, but feel like something. "There's a gravity that's brought to the table if, when you do something physical, you really feel that punch," the producer says. "What we did with the ninja world is we took the mythology of it extremely seriously. That gave it its grounding." RELATED: Jon Chu Breaks Down 'G.I. Joe's' Biggest Action Scene With Retaliation in theaters, di Bonaventura is looking ahead, knee deep in a lengthy list of in-development and shooting projects. Next up: Transformers 4, which the producer describes as "identifiable," but with a fresh story. He applauds director Michael Bay for returning to the franchise and departing from what has been undeniably successful for three straight movies (just look at the box office numbers for evidence). The biggest change fans will see in the upcoming robotic adventure is a switch in star power. Obvious, since Mark Wahlberg is subbing in for Shia LaBeouf — but the change has a ripple effect on the themes of the film. "Mark Wahlberg comes on as a big star," di Bonaventura says. "So you have to have a human character who has a different kind of weight. That was the challenge: to have a character who could stand up to being an established star. Shia [LaBeouf] did a great job, but he was a rising star who ended a star. Mark comes in as a star and an older — not older, but older than Shia — character. He's a man. The human element of the story has been dramatically affected." Balancing his big studio work with passion projects, di Bonaventura is still hopeful for the long-gestating film The Mission to get the greenlight. Described as a hostage movie about two men who take on an "absolutely impossible task against every possible odd, every possible government," and pull off an "extremely dangerous, clever, ridiculously ballsy rescue." It's not an easy sell, but di Bonaventura isn't worried. "There were a few movies I made as an executive — Three Kings, Falling Down, Training Day — that I'm immensely proud of that were hard to get made because they didn't fit in a neat, little box," he says. "What makes [The Mission] work is that you've got this really compelling rescue plot that you're following. What makes it work is why two people dedicate themselves to an impossible mission." RELATED: The 10 Worst Movie-Inspired Action Figures And for fans of one of di Bonaventura's cult hits Salt, a follow-up to the Angelina Jolie-starring action thriller is looking more and more promising. "It took a long time for us to find something we were excited about," the producer says, but that their current script for Salt 2, penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Becky Johnston, finds a way to push the identity themes of the original. "Salt is a character with a lot more internal weight than you would typically get in a franchise movie," di Bonaventura says. "I wanted to take that further, and Sony wanted to take that further. Becky came up with a very interesting way of getting inside of who Salt is along with a wild ride." Di Bonaventura sees Salt as a trickier character than any others he's worked on in his career. She demands more attention than the run-of-the-mill action hero. "The demands of living up to a character who is constantly capable of making you believe she's on one side or another. What is she really thinking? Is she good or is she bad? She lives in a grey zone. That's what's been hard about it. Bond lives in a black & white world, so does Bourne. Salt is in a grey world. What are you supposed to believe?" One thing that's clear form speaking to di Bonaventura is that he's not balking in the face of any challenge, whether it's resurrecting Salt, continuing the Transformers franchise, or imbuing G.I. Joe with the elements necessary to make it a functional, fun blockbuster. "What happens a lot in comic book/cartoon movies is that people get involved that sort of feel embarrassed. I've never felt that way so it always bugs me. We're making this kind of movie, guys, relax!" Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • 'The Host' Is a Great Idea Body Snatched By a Sub-'Twilight,' Melodramatic Parasite
    By: Matt Patches Mar 29, 2013
    Thanks to a slow start and faithfulness to the navel-gazing source material, Stephenie Meyer and the film adaptations of her Twilight series became a whipping boy for self-respecting moviegoers. It's too bad — anyone who turned their noses at the later entries of the mega-succesful franchise missed some of the craziest camp since John Waters. That gave us hope when it came to the first non-Twilight Meyer adaptation: The Host, a romantic twist on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Hope is quickly dashed only minutes into the latest from director Andrew Niccols (GATTACA, In Time), as The Host struggles with the same on-the-nose, emotional dizziness that plagued the pre-Breaking Dawn movies in the vampire saga. Actually, it might be worse. Whereas Twilight relied on dead-eyed gazing to convey the courtship between Bella and Edward, The Host actively works to externalize the inner monologue, spending most of the movie inside the head of its split-personality main character. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) was a regular Southern belle before Earth was invaded by a parasitic race of aliens known as "Souls." The planet is quickly taken over by the amoeba-like critters, who inhabit the bodies of humans in hopes of correcting their imperfect tendencies. No luck, though — when Melanie is eventually captured by "Seekers," a jumpsuit-wearing police force who help new arrivals find host bodies and crack down on the rebellious few without aliens in their skulls, she goes down fighting. A Soul known as "Wanderer" is placed inside of her, but against all odds, Melanie's consciousness remains. RELATED: Saoirse Ronan Calls Her 'Host' Costars 'Very Talented Kissers, Half-decent Actors' The two get off to a bumpy start, but before too long, Melanie has Wanderer empathizing with the human Resistance. She also feels guilty for taking over her host's life, and decides to right the wrong by trekking out into the desert to reunite Melanie with the ones she loves. Like his past films, Niccols intricately builds the world of The Host. As Melanie and Wanderer hit the road like a Jekkyl and Hyde version of Thelma & Louise, we get a taste for the new Earth designed by the Souls. It's basically communism: everything is shared, everything is free, and everyone lives in harmony (minus the pesky humans who refuse to share their headspace with a glowing amoeba from outer space). The world of the Souls is perfect, and Wanderer's awakening to the idea that even utopias have their downsides is an intriguing arc. But as Niccols and Meyer are both familiar with, a well-constructed setting and concept only goes so far. Ronan is an actress with broad range (see: Hanna) and elegant delivery. Here, her subtle work is bogged down by grating voiceover and a demand to react like a deer in headlights. The two personalities spend most of the film bickering at one another, Ronan's rage-filled Southern twang blaring over her wide-eyed, observational approach to Wanderer. When they arrive at the desert cave retreat of the Resistance, The Host's voiceover problem reaches crippling levels. Turns out, Melanie had a boyfriend, Jared (Max Irons), before being captured by Seekers. He's hanging with her uncle Jeb (William Hurt) in the caves, and less than enthused by Melanie's extraterrestrial companion. Wanderer — renamed "Wanda" to fit in with the normals — is chastised by Melanie for even speaking to Jared, so she retreats into the arms of Ian (Jake Abel). Yes, when Earth is overrun with alien beings and the last of the human race struggles to stay hidden from Seekers, there is still room for a romantic quadrangle... between two interchangeable hunks, an alien impersonating a human, and a disconnected voice. RELATED: Get Up Close and Personal with 'The Host' Aliens and Action The movie is littered with missed opportunities, seemingly uninterested in diving into the character-driven side of the elaborate science fiction ideas it is built upon. Hurt does an impressive job turning the leader of the Resistance into a broken down survivor of the massacre, but his willingness to accept Wanderer into his society is just lazy storytelling. Likewise, the Seekers have their own conflicted figurehead: Diane Kruger's nameless hunter. Unlike her Soul coworkers, she has a thirst for human blood. She wants to wipe them out instead of aid them. It's a lively twist that's only addressed two-thirds into the movie, after Kruger has spent most of her screentime driving a shiny sports car and scanning mouton vistas with her bright blue Seeker eyes. There are moments that impress. Niccols briefly opens up the scope of the movie by throwing in an adeptly shot car chase. The designs of the Resistance's hideout and the Seeker technology are all precise and culled from logic. An intricate mirror system that directs sunlight down to an underground field of wheat — brilliant! But in the end, The Host is like its central character: a vacant husk, completely bewildered inside and out, with the faint sound of a good idea trying to scream its way through. Niccols and Meyer's team up isn't a terrible movie, it's a meandering one. The Souls might be right to invade us — we could use a bit of direction. 2/5 What do you think? Tell Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and read more of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! [Photo Credit: Open Roads Films] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' Director Jon Chu Breaks Down the Movie's Biggest Action Scene
    By: Matt Patches Mar 28, 2013
    G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a fulfilling romp — it delivers on the spectacle, it douses it in comedy, and adds a layer of biting satire to surprise those who come just to munch popcorn and watch things explode. The keystone holding it together is the film's lengthy fight scene: a silent, close-quarters battle that leads into a swinging sword battle with Snake Eyes and Jinx taking on an army of ninjas. Zip lining through snowy mountains and swooping back and forth between cliffs, the set piece is energetic and Chu's momentum never tapers off. RELATED: 'G.I. Joe Retaliation' Recruits the Rock to Ignite the Franchise and It Works We spoke to director Jon Chu (Step Up 3D) on the evolution of the sequence, from conception, to working with special effects artists and real life climbers to bring authenticity, and shooting the fight in such a way as to maximize the intensity of every punch, every kick, and every clash of the katana. Check out our full interview in our G.I. Joe: Retaliation Action Sequence Breakdown gallery: Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • 'The Wolverine' Trailer: The 12 Most Revealing Shots
    By: Matt Patches Mar 27, 2013
    After an innovative, six-second tease that sent rabid comic book junkies into a frenzy earlier this week, the official trailer for The Wolverine has arrived online. Unlike the frantic editing of the Vine teaser debut, the new spot for the comic book blockbuster is cool and composed. Helmer James Mangold gracefully finds a new direction in which to take Hugh Jackman's iconic cinematic superhero. Gracefully in terms of storytelling, that is. Don't worry: the movie delivers on the promise of "Wolverine fights ninjas," with the added bonus of Mangold finding a way to nuke his main character. Check out the trailer, then jump into our full breakdown below, digging a bit deeper into some of the video's wilder moments. RELATED: Hugh Jackman's Abs Are Sharper Than His Claws In 'the Wolverine' — Pic We pick up with Wolverine, a.k.a. Logan (Jackman) outside of a bar, looking wet, forlorn, and ready to belt a Jean Valjean number from Les Miserables. Clearly, life post-X-Men: The Last Stand has been rough on the gruff hero, as it has been for anyone who saw the trilogy capper back in 2006. But if he could bounce back to life after the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he can bounce back from the death of Jean Grey. And he will. As we learn in the trailer. Meet Yukio (Rila Fukushima). In the arc from which The Wolverine takes its cues, written by Chris Claremont and drawn by the legendary Frank Miller, the mysterious woman comes to Wolverine's aid in the heat of battle. Here, she appears to recruit him for a mission, which, if it stays true to the source material, should involve some nasty Japanese gangsters and the protection of a new love interest for Logan, Mariko Yashida. Yukio may also have some secrets of her own. No spoilers! RELATED: 'Iron Man 3' Trailer: The 9 Most Revealing Shots This is an image of Wolverine suffering from the blast of a nuke. A NUKE. Here, he's saving a younger version of Mariko's father Shingen from the explosion. Judging from the military base scene a few seconds earlier, this could be a sequence pulled straight from the history books. It appears to be a recreation of August 6, 1945, when the U.S. Air Force dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. As we know from X-Men Origins, Wolverine has been around since the Revolutionary War and fought in WWII. He could have been around to protect young Shingen. Evidently, Shingen is pretty darn appreciative of Wolverine's actions on that fateful day. Sitting in a Pin Point Impression Needle Art Frame™ chair (did he get that at his local mall's science store?), Shingen gives Logan the opportunity of a lifetime: undo his mutation and allow him to be a mortal human being. Note: actor Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays Shingen in the film, is 53 years old. That's some amazing old age makeup! Assisting in Shingen's continued medical care (and possibly Wolverine's reverse transformation into a regular joe) is Viper, played by Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy actress Svetlana Khodchenkova. Viper is an assassin who originated from the Captain America comics and wasn't part of the original Claremont/Miller storyline. But it never hurts to have an additional assassin in the cast. Next: Hidden Cameos, Fight Scenes, and a Crazy Final Moment We speculated when the six-second teaser arrived online whether Famke Janssen's appearance in The Wolverinewould be a flashback or newly shot material. It seems clear that it's the former, a memory that backs up Shingen's voiceover line "you have struggled long enough." Sometimes, you have to take a moment and basque in the still-frames of badassness. With all the pitfalls of modern action filmmaking and the cluttered mess of a movie that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Jackman has still got it. He's ripped, he kicks ass, and he can convincingly spar with fake claws glued to his hands. Will Yun Lee is listed as Kenuichio Harada in the credits of The Wolverine, but savvy comic book fans know him better as The Silver Samurai, one of Wolverine's deadliest foes. Silver Samurai enters into Wolverine's Japanese exploits after he's finished with his entanglement with the Japanese underworld, but it makes sense that the movie would bump up his influence on the storyline and make him a main adversary. In the comics, Silver Samurai has also acted as a bodyguard for Viper, making his appearance even more necessary and rooted in the source material. The only thing this trailer doesn't serve up is a money shot of Yun Lee in the Silver Samurai costume — a traditional set of armor glistening and enhanced by sharp metal. RELATED:'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Director Bryan Singer Teases Professor Xs, Young and Old — Pic "I've stopped healing." It's a line that flies by, but here, Wolverine comes to the realization that his usual scratch-be-gone genetics aren't working. Now he's just like us! No, Wolverine isn't Superman now. He's been reduced to Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible and zipping across the roof of a speeding train. With his angry face on. One of the more intense sequences from Claremont and Miller's comic is Wolverine's first run in with ninjas. It doesn't go well. He might be tough, capable of slicing baddies in half with lightning speed, but these are ninjas who won't be close enough to our hero for more than a millisecond at a time. While we're looking forward to seeing Jackman kick some butt, we're also looking forward to seeing him get in over his head. So, Viper may be an actual snakeperson. Sure, why not? This is X-Men! Viper wasn't actually a mutant in the comic books, but since she's running a genetics program for Shingen that's capable of undoing Logan's healing powers, it's no surprise she's used the same technology to beef herself up. Molting never looked so sexy. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox (12)] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
  • Late Night Last Night: Letterman Harasses Brian Williams About NBC Conspiracy Theories
    By: Matt Patches Mar 27, 2013
    If you are part of the NBC family, you are now a target for scrutiny. Or playful harassment — anything in the name of comedy. On Tuesday night's Late Night with David Letterman, Rock Center host and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams joined Letterman for a sit-down on his career, which quickly spiraled into a full-blown, televised interrogation. Thinking NBC mainstay Williams would have insight into the behind-the-scenes madness circling Matt Lauer, The Today Show, and whatever conspiracy connects the kerfuffle to Jay Leno and The Tonight Show, Letterman left no rock unturned in his quest for 30 Rock gossip. RELATED: Late Night Last Night: Jimmy Fallon Jokes About Jay Leno Replacement Rumors "If I'm onto something, blink twice," Letterman says after laying out his NBC truther theory. Williams smirks and rolls his eyes. But is it a silent confirmation? Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: CBS] You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! 13 Most WTF Fan Tributes
  • Will Ben Kingsley in 'Iron Man 3' Rank Among the Best Movie Supervillains? — TRAILER
    By: Matt Patches Mar 26, 2013
    The prospect that has us most excited for Iron Man 3? The Mandarin. Without the Iron Man movies, we wouldn't have had The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, or The Avengers. Robert Downey, Jr.'s crass and cunning playboy Tony Stark and his arsenal of weaponized super suits paved the way for a new era of superhero movies. But Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were also test grounds, with Marvel Studios figuring out just what they could get away with in one-off comic book movies while building towards continuity in larger worlds. So, while Iron Man was the character who built a foundation for the Marvel Movie Universe, he's also the character in need of the most improving. Specifically, in the villain department. Iron Man 2 suffers the most from Marvel's growing pains. Iron Man functioned as a swift, playful origin story, but the sequel was tasked with evolving Stark as a character, integrating members of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson) to broaden the mythology and setup for The Avengers, and create a compelling narrative for the film's two villains, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and Whiplash (Mickey Rourke). The movie whiffed in the third category. RELATED: 'Iron Man 3' Trailer: The 9 Most Revealing Shots The faults of Iron Man 2 make the third installment that much more exciting. The upcoming movie appears to have gone back to the basics, building off what worked so well in the first movie (Stark's loose connection to raging terrorism by way of technological innovation) and making it even more personal and dangerous. Ben Kingsley is set to appear as "The Mandarin" in the new movie, and from what we can tell — from past trailers and a few moments in the new TV spot, seen below — he's been tasked with creating a character on par with the best of cinematic supervillainy. And he's making it work. Will Kingsley's Mandarin live up to the greats of comic book movie evildoers? Does he have that much competition in the first place? Check out our poll for a list of our favorite villains, vote on your pick, then head to the comments to tell us what makes the perfect adversary. What will it take to create a memorable villain in the Iron Man universe? The answer may be as simple as "Ben Kingsley." <a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6992772/">Who Is Your Favorite Comic Book Movie Supervillain</a> Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice