Author

Jordan Smith
  • 'Godzilla' Viral Video Reveals Something, Though We're Not Quite Sure What It Is
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 09, 2013
    We've reached a brave new world of movie marketing, where there are trailers for the trailers and where a film's marketing is preceeded by marketing for the upcoming marketing. It's all a bit much at times, but those hungry for any morsel of info about the the upcoming Godzilla film can take a gander at the latest viral video for the film. Don't get your hopes up for too many concrete answers; this new video is a quick 12 seconds of mostly static and hazy video artifacts, although the one shot that breaks through the white noise seems to show a troop of soldiers opening huge doors to reveal... something. So our standing question: what can this mystery thing be? Hopefully the full trailer, which is set to premiere Tuesday, can clear up some of the fuzzy details from the video.  www.mutoresearch.net For the extra curious, the link mutoresearch.net that briefly flashes on the screen during the clip takes you to the film's viral site, which takes the form of a well-produced mock-up of a command center for whatever the M.U.T.O organization is. While there, you can type different commands into a bar at the bottom to plum around for more secrets. Poking around this "research site" feels like you're breaking into some secure government database — if secure government databases had Twitter and Facebook intergration. Check out the video and viral site,  and see what secrets you can uncover before the official Godzilla trailer comes stomping through the internet tomorrow. The Godzilla reboot stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and will open in theaters on May 16, 2014. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @CurrentlyJordan
  • Review: 'Out of the Furnace' Is Burned by Weak Characters
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 06, 2013
    Relativity Media There's a wealth of material for filmmakers to pry out of the troubles that America has faced in the past decade. The depressed economy, the plight of the returning soldier, and the loss of American industry have all informed the plots of many of the best films written in the past couple years. In his second directorial effort, Out of the Furnace, filmmaker Scott Cooper attempts to turn the myriad of America’s most pressing issues into a story set in the backdrop of the country’s hard suffering Rust Belt, but he comes away with a merely competent dramatic thriller that clearly aspired to be something grander. In the film, Christian Bale plays the hardworking and upstanding Russell Baze, an almost impossibly good-natured man who has worked in the local steel mill his entire life, and had planned, just like his ailing father, to do so until the day he died. But when the steel mill is scheduled to close, Baze's way of life as well as the town itself is crippled. Casey Affleck plays Russell's sensitive brother Rodney, whose tours in Iraq have left him emotionally eruptive and dissatisfied with his brother’s working man existence; Rodney would rather spend his time competing in underground fighting rings where he can still feel something. Rodney soon finds himself wrapped up in violent and reactionary crime ring that doesn't take kindly to strangers. It’s up to Russell to save his brother from the grips of the areas most terrifying criminals Out of the Furnace is appealingly glum. Cooper finds beauty in the rolling hills and crumbling infrastructure of small town Pennsylvania, and the film fully embraces the derelict beauty of its settings, down to even the homes and the cars that the characters own. The film clearly prides itself on feeling authentic and it reaches its goals visually — at the very least. The relationship between the brothers Baze also feels remarkably authentic. Both Bale and Affleck sell the relationship deftly, and have an almost tangible amount of on-screen chemistry that expresses their bond for each other in a way that no script could. This chemistry makes the scenes where Rodney has gone missing burn with terrific dramatic intensity. There’s a quiet desperation in these people. Though they may be hopeful and happy in their set paths, there’s a feeling that they’re all walking along streets heading nowhere. America isn’t the land of opportunity anymore, not for the soldiers or the factory workers. The only thriving ones seem to be the criminals like Woody Harrelson’s Curtis Degroat, who is so overarchingly villainous that the only thing the character is missing is a dastardly moustache to twirl. Relativity Media And this is the big issue with Out of the Furnace. While Harrelson’s performance is at times chilling, the script often dovetails Degroat into an overdone cartoon bad guy, and this weak characterization flows through a lot of the characters and seriously undermines a lot of the authenticity that the film believes itself to be built upon. There's a particularly groan-inducing scene where Degroat decries the human race in the gruffest voice he can muster. Woody’s Degroat character, and most of the others in the film, aren’t so much developed characters, but act more like clichéd archetypes in Cooper’s parable about a broken America. Degroat is simply the bad guy, and not characterized beyond that one-dimensional role in this story. Affleck’s wounded war veteran feels overwrought as well, with many of his scenes laying down the melodrama in thick sheets, particularly when he’s discussing the terrors he’s faced in the war oversees.  Out of the Furnace has a lot of things on its mind about the state of America’s small towns and working class heroes, but it doesn’t know the best way to express itself, and while some of it’s sentiments ring true others clank harshly like an off-note. The remarkable cast does its best to prop up a film that wants to tell a great American story, but it only manages to tell a fairly middling one. 2.5/5 Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • Doomsday, Wonder Woman, and Nightwing are Rumored for 'Batman vs. Superman'
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 04, 2013
    DC Comics UPDATE: Israeli actress Gal Gadot has officially been cast as Wonder Woman in Batman Vs. Superman. Gadot has previously appeared in The Fast and The Furious series as Gisele Harrabo. EARLIER: Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman/Superman film has yet to be adorned with an official title but that doesn't stop rumours from spilling out of every crack and crevice of the internet. Warner Bros producer Daniel Alter, who is not directly involved in the project but apparently still privy to information surrounding the film, tweeted the most noteworthy information when he let slip that Superman villain Doomsday will appear in the film. For the uninitiated, Doomsday is a mindless killing machine who is best known for 1992 comic book story "The Death of Superman," in which he succeeds in killing the the Man of Steel. While Doomsday's inclusion in the film is interesting, especially considering his role in one of Superman's most controversial stories, there certainly needs to be a villain with more complicated motivations beyond mindless killing to fully round out the film's antagonists. Luckily, Henry Cavill has also been talking Batman/Superman. Cavill stated in an interview with Comic Book Movie that there's a good chance that Lex Luthor will be introduced in the film. Luthor and Doomsday would prove to be a formidable duo for Batman and Superman to contend with, bringing both brains and brawn to the arena. Alter also tweeted that the characters Wonder Woman and Nightwing would be appearing in Batman/Superman as well. DC has been struggling for years to get Wonder Woman her own film, and has even entertained the idea of creating a new Wonder Woman TV show in the past. Wonder Woman's inclusion in the film would mark the costumed heroine's first live-action adventure since the 1970s television series featuring Lynda Carter in the role as the Themyscirian princess. This seems to be the opposite tactic of rival comics publisher Marvel, a company that prefers to parcel out each of its heroes in their own standalone movie before bringing them together for a big superhero teamup, and this tactic does raise some interesting questions about Warner Bros' confidence in the character. Perhaps Warner Bros wants to test the waters and ease into the idea of a Wonder Woman standalone by giving the character a supporting role in Batman/Superman first. It seems like the studio isn't convinced that a big-screen female superhero movie will work just yet. Regardless, all of this gives us a feeling that Batman/Superman might run the risk of being overstuffed with too many superheroes without the added benefit leaving introductions to individual movies. Hopefully, the film will be able to balance all of its superpowered elements. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • 'Now You See Me' Director Teams with Sasha Baron Cohen for Spy Comedy 'Grimsby'
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 04, 2013
    Getty/Getty Louis Leterrier, director of the most unlikely hit of the summer Now You See Me, has now set his sights on the disparate worlds of espionage and British soccer fandom. The filmmaker is set to direct the Sacha Baron Cohen flick Grimsby, which follows a British black-ops agent who is forced to go on the run with his long lost brother, an English football hooligan. With Now You See Me, Leterrier had managed a feat that few had before: making magicians cool — something that Mind Freak Criss Angel has failed to do for the better part of a decade. The director added a flair of freewheeling arrogance to the magicians in the Robin Hooding illusionists' caper film, and can probably do the same to Cohen's farcical tale of spies and soccer fans. Leterrier's experience with both action and comedy should give him the ability to capably craft Cohen's upcoming spy comedy, with credits that include the first two Transporter films and The Incredible Hulk. According to Variety, Leterrier had been aggressively pursuing Grimsby ever since finishing Now You See Me, and has met with Cohen and Paramount execs several times in order to hash out a deal on the project. Hopefully his persistence results in a successful film. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • 'Noah' International Trailer Proves The Bible Sounds More Epic in Japanese
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 03, 2013
    Who knew The Bible had so much green screen? The new international trailer for Darren Aronofsky's Noah makes the great flood look like a proper disaster film. The film takes on the familiar Noah myth with epic styling, and dials up the destruction to 11 when Russel Crow's Noah builds a huge ark when his direct line to God informs him that there are several oceans worth of CGI'd water threatening to drown the planet. CBMTrailers/YouTube Aronofsky looks like he's handling the incredibly bombastic imagery with a soft touch, and it seems that the film is still telling a story first while being a visual feast second. It also helps that this international trailer has a deeply onimous Japanese voice-over that our imagination and lack of Japanese language proficency assures us is probably saying sweepingly epic things about Russell Crowe's fantastic beard and the mountains of water flooding the planet. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • 'The Monuments Men' Trailer Looks Like 'Ocean's 11' in World War II
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 03, 2013
    George Clooney and Matt Damon have a certain ease with each other that makes any film project they're in look like fun rather than work. Hell, the duo made three Ocean's movies as the world's most elaborate excuse for a vacation with all your acting friends. So, in a world where Ocean's 14 thankfully doesn't exist, we have The Monuments Men, which acts as if someone put a mini-Ocean's 11 reunion in a time machine and sent it back to World War II. (Brad Pitt was accidentally sent to a 19th century slavery plantation. Bad luck Brad.) Based on a true story, The Monuments Men follows a rag tag group of would-be soldiers are tasked with infiltrating a warring Germany and rescuing pieces of art stolen by the Nazi war machine, and returning them to their original owners, but stealing back stolen art won't be easy for this group of museum curators and historians since the Nazis are ordered to destroy the art should the Third Reich fall, and spoiler alert, it does. With a cast that sweeps up as many aging stalwarts of Hollywood as it can, The Monuments Men takes the form of a more prestigious version of The Expendables, replacing Sly Stallone and his muscular cohorts for dramatic actors with a higher pedigree. Clooney and company won't be doing anything as visceral as trying to sink a knife into Jean-Claude Van Damme, but trying to save endangered cultural artifacts from German flame throwers is probably more noble task. Columbia Pictures This newest trailer makes the film feel decidedly more like a jaunty caper than a war film, with a bunch of old men doddering around the dark corners of Hitler's Germany and stealing art right under the noses of a couple of snarling Nazis. Rather than being a sobering film about war, it actually looks like a load of fun, or about as fun as a movie involving World War II can look. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • AMC Tackles the Revolutionary War in Spy Drama 'Turn'
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 02, 2013
    While AMC’s previous effort at an espionage thriller, Rubicon, clearly didn’t set the television world on fire, the network is seeking to jump into the spy game once again. But this time with shirts with more ruffles and nation-shattering secrets hidden under powdered wigs. During the decidedly gruesome mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, AMC debuted the trailer for one of its upcoming shows, Turn, a series that sees the network exploring the early days of American espionage during the Revolutionary War. The series, which is based on the book Washington Spies by Alexander Rose, will follow the exploits of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a young man who helps form The Culper Ring, a team of secret agents who help turn the tide of war in favor of American independence. AMC The first trailer is all too brief, but we do see some insight into the life of an American spy during the Revolutionary War, and that life seems to involve getting your face kicked in by Redcoats (which seems about right, historically). There's also a ton of muskets being fired and some other quaint 18th century devices that make spying in this time period look terribly difficult and cumbersome, especially in this modern age of cloud computing and email. James Bond has it so easy these days. Follow @Hollywood_com   // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch Find Love in Exclusive Pics from 'Twice Born'
    By: Jordan Smith Dec 02, 2013
    eOne Films Love blossoms in the midst of war in these two exclusive pics from Sergio Castellitto’s newest film Twice Born. In the film, Penélope Cruz and Emile Hirsch play Gemma and Diego, a pair of unlikely lovers whose romance breaks through the conflict building between them. Years after their love story, when Gemma takes her teenage son to Sarajevo, the city where she and Diego first fell for one another, deep familial mysteries are revealed in the backdrop of a city that, just like the film's characters, is still scarred from the terror of the Bosnian War. The exclusive pictures show the usually stunning Cruz looking quite frumpy under a tangle of hair, as she gets cozy with Hirsch. The other features Hirsch stepping behind the camera for some directing of his own. Twice Born comes out in theaters and On Demand on Friday, Dec. 6. Stay tuned tomorrow for our reveal of an exclusive Twice Born clip. eOne Films Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • The 'Hercules: The Legend Begins' Trailer Looks Like '300,' But More Boring
    By: Jordan Smith Nov 27, 2013
    There sure are a load of sword and sandal epics charging toward theaters in the coming year, and Hercules: The Legend Begins is definitely the runt of the litter. Be forewarned: this isn't the Brett Ratner production that Dwayne Johnson has been tweeting big muscly pictures of himself from for the better part of the year. This film features Kellan Lutz as a Hercules who must fulfill his destiny and overthrow a tyrannical king, but following his destiny would mean giving up his one true love, Hebe (Gaia Weiss). MOVIECLIPS Trailers/YouTube It's unfortunate that this film faces the imposing competition of Ratner's high profile version of the character, and it's doubly unfortunate that the trailer for this film makes it look like a less-interesting version of 300 without all the visual panache or the neat hazy yellow filters that made that film stand out all the way back in 2006. This film has even picked up Zack Snyder's proclivity for slow-mo action, a trick that Snyder himself had seemingly lain to rest before shooting Man of Steel. Frankly, this film looks like a low-rent sequel to 300, when that film already has its own low-rent sequel heading to the screen in just a few months. As roused as the trailer wants us to feel by power of Hercules' might, as it showcases the strongman defeating warriors in caged combat or swinging a sword wrapped in lightning bolts (okay, that was pretty rousing), it's hard to get excited for this. There are some real choice cuts of gladiator action heading our way in the coming months, and this one looks so generic. It's like someone took the leftover scraps of 300 and Troy and blended them up into a ground hash of brass shields and craggy Greek hills, but without any personality. Maybe it’s a decent appetizer, but who cares when the Rock will be serving up prime rib come July. 
  • 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D' Recap: Agent May Needs Some Repairs
    By: Jordan Smith Nov 27, 2013
    ABC Mission Briefing:This week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, a woman named Hannah Hutchins, who might or might not have telekinesis has become a danger to herself and others when strange events start to manifest whenever she feels threatened, and she feels threatened a lot ever since she became the neighborhood pariah by causing a laboratory explosion that killed four people. The team brings her aboard the jet for her own protection, but when her mysterious powers cause the jet to crash into a desolate forest, and they lose communications and power, the gang is has to deal with a mysterious force that goes bump in the night and threatens to kill everyone on board. The Agents:This Week, it’s Melinda May’s turn for the spotlight. While everyone else want’s to treat the woman causing the mysterious accidents with kid-gloves, "The Calvary" is all business, and her business is shooting unsuspecting people with Tranquillizers, much to Skye’s dismay. Mission Fallout:It turns out that Tobias, one of the people that went missing in the explosion, never died but gained the ability to warp between an alien dimension and earth. Ever since, he’s been trying to protect Hannah from everyone and everything that might hurt her (by blowing up the gas station she’s in, and crashing the jet she’s in, and causing everyone around to hate her… he’s not doing the greatest of jobs, really). Tobias was the one who caused the explosion because he just wanted Hutchins, who was a safety regulator at the factory, to visit him sometime — and the concept of asking her out on a date somehow escaped him. We also get to learn more about Agent May, and why she’s so deadly serious all the time. Apparently, she used to be a bit of a goofball before she needed to kill a ton of people to save a couple S.H.I.E.L.D agents, and has become cold and standoffish shell of herself. She helps Tobias understand that he can’t change the awful things that he’s done, and needs to let go, which he does in a wisp of smoke when he teleports away for the last time. Mission Highlights:—   It turns out that Ward and May’s late night drink turned into a full on hook up. I don’t think Skye is going to be very thrilled when she finds out, what with all that sexual tension she’s been throwing Ward’s way.—   Doing a "ghost" episode like this where the cast was trapped the wreckage of their ship was a great change of pace from the usual S.H.I.E.L.D adventure, where the team simply uses hi-tech gadgets to solve all their problems.—   Fitz-Simmons' ridiculous account of May’s backstory, which includes Melinda riding in on a horse while dual-wielding rifles, was infinitely more entertaining than the real version.—   Why exactly is a person having telekinesis so unbelievable? Last episode an ancient alien staff gave Agent Ward angry superpowers. Something as pedestrian as mind powers can't be all that absurd. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //