Author

Julia Emmanuele
  • Which Movie Will Shape Daniel Radcliffe's Career More: 'Horns' or 'What If'?
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 29, 2014
    CBS Films Since putting down his wand and hanging up his glasses three years ago, Daniel Radcliffe has done his best to leave Harry Potter behind him by taking a wide variety of roles in both film and theater. Of course, like Harrison Ford and Elijah Wood before him, he might always be best known for his most famous franchise role, but just because Harry is the most famous, that doesn't mean it will be the only career-defining performance that Radcliffe gives. In fact, two of his upcoming films — What If and Horns — might just be two of the most important projects that Radcliffe releases. They could be the same kind of career-shaping roles as Harry himself, for on specific reason: they're the complete opposite of the Boy Who Lived. With What If arriving in theaters this August and Horns followng shortly behind for Halloween, we could be on the precipice of a new age of Radcliffe's career; we could be seeing a brand new side of him by Christmas. But which film will have the bigger impact on Radcliffe's future filmography? Which one promises to bring a new role as life-changing as Harry Potter? We've broken them both down in order to find out:   What If The Role: Wallace, a normal guy who becomes infatuated with Chantry (Zoe Kazan), only to find out that she’s already in a relationship. The two decide to ignore their attraction to each other and pursue a friendship instead. What’s Risky: Firstly, it’s the first normal, modern person that Radcliffe has played onscreen. The awkward, sarcastic Wallace is about as far from the Wizarding World as one could possibly get. More importantly, though, it’s Radcliffe’s first romantic comedy – his first comedy at all, really – and the success of the film hinges on two things: his ability to be charming and lovable and his ability to be funny. He has showcased his comedic chops during his SNL hosting gig, but he still has yet to prove that he can carry a comedy on his own. What If relies on him winning over both Kazan and the audience. What’s Not: From what we’ve seen in the trailer, Wallace isn’t actually all that different from Radcliffe himself. They’re both quick-talking, witty guys who can poke fun at themselves and look ridiculous standing next to Adam Driver. It probably won’t be too hard for an audience to accept Radcliffe as a goofy, charming leading man, since that’s exactly who they’re used to seeing pop up in interviews and on talk shows.   Horns The Role: Ig Perrish, who is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple), and wakes up one morning with demon-like horns growing out of his head. Since the horns give him powers of persuasion and cause people to confess their darkest secrets, he decides to use them to find the real killer. What’s Risky: Harry Potter, J. Pierpont Finch, even Wallace – Radcliffe always plays the hero. We’re comfortable with this, we like him as the reliable good guy who’s going to come out on top; but Ig Perrish is very much an anti-hero. In fact, he might actually be the villain of the film, and it’s a much darker, more complex role than anything Radcliffe has attempted on screen before. There’s a good chance that audiences won’t accept him as such a twisted, unlikable character, even if Ig does turn out to be the good guy at the end. What’s Not: The character might be completely different, but the fantasy setting and supernatural elements are familiar to Harry Potter fans who are used to seeing him battle all kinds of mythical forces. Horns might be a lot darker than that franchise, but the magic should be enough to entice moviegoers who still haven’t gotten enough of the Boy Who Lived. Plus, his first post-Potter film, The Woman in Black, was also a horror film, so audiences are already familiar with Radcliffe as a horror star. Which One Would Have a Bigger Impact? It’s a tight race, since both films have something risky and something safe about them, but ultimately, we think What If  has the bigger power to shape Radcliffe’s career. If the film does well, it opens him up to more comedic opportunities, and proves that he can carry a film even when he’s not hunting Horcuxes or battling evil. It also would establish Radcliffe as a romantic lead, and though his legions of loyal fans might disagree, it would be the first time that most audiences would see him in a more swoon-worthy light. Horns might let him play the bad guy, but in the end, it’s not as much of a change of pace for Radcliffe as What If  would be.   Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • Why Does Every Chris Pratt Movie Get a Best Picture Nomination?
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 29, 2014
     Getty Images/Stuart C. Wilson Chris Pratt might be best known as the dumb, goofy, accident-prone Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, but pratfalls and ad-libs aren’t the only skills he possesses as an actor. You see, Pratt has a very specific gift. It’s an ability that only a few, rare souls in Hollywood have, though all of them secretly crave: he has the power to earn his films a Best Picture Academy Award nomination simply by appearing in them.  Okay, so he doesn’t have the magic touch with all of his films – although, really, did anyone think that What’s Your Number? would ever come anywhere near the Oscar conversation? – but for three consecutive years, Pratt has appeared in a Best Picture nominee. Shortly after popping up in a prestigious film, that film inevitably lands on the Academy’s list. In fact, Pratt actually has a better Best Picture record than Meryl Streep, who hasn't appeared in a film nominated for the top prize since 2002. But for those who aren’t ready to bombard Pratt with scripts in the hopes of getting an Oscar nomination, let’s examine this phenomenon bit. It all began back in 2011, when Pratt won the role of Scott Hatteberg in Moneyball, and proved that he could do more than just make people laugh by running into things. Sure, Jonah Hill got most of the praise (and the Best Supporting Actor nod), but reviews everywhere made a note of Pratt’s performance and ability to play against type, which was likely the extra push the Academy needed to name it one of the best movies of the year. You could argue that Brad Pitt might have had a lot more to do with it, but did Brad Pitt lose 30 pounds? No he did not. And what does the Academy love more than drastic weight loss? Absolutely nothing. Then, he followed that up by playing a NAVY Seal in Zero Dark Thirty and transformed his chubby, slouchy Andy Dwyer-physique into the ripped, toned body befitting of one of the most elite soldiers in the world. (You’ve probably seen the picture, it’s been shown off in every interview Pratt’s done in the last three years.) His character might not have been the most prominent, but he was the one that required the biggest transformation, and as we’ve previously established, the Oscars love to award dramatic physical changes. “But wait,” you’re probably saying, “just dropping a ton of weight and gaining an impressive set of abs isn’t enough to guarantee a nomination.” You would be right, except that his ZDT character Justin is as far from the dumb but lovable good guy as Pratt has gotten over the years. If the McConaissance proved anything, it’s that the only thing the Oscars love to reward more than weight loss is a comedic actor’s ability to completely change pace and play a dramatic role. Add that to the fact that both Jessica Chastain and Katheryn Bigelow were familiar faces and that it’s a political drama about war, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed contender. And then, of course, there’s Her. Unlike Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty, Pratt didn’t need to do anything drastic to prepare for the role of Paul... although we’re sure the stylish moustache helped. All he needed to do was turn on the easygoing, laid-back charm that has become his signature and adjust it for a more serious film. Think back to when you first watched Her, and the sheer delight you felt when Theodore revealed that he was dating an OS, and Paul immediately decided to invite them to Catalina. Most of the joy you probably experienced while watching that movie likely came from Paul’s effortless acceptance of his friend’s girlfriend and his desire to spread happiness wherever he went. Look, the love story is nice and all, but without that spark of pure, unadulterated joy, that movie would not have been nearly as effective. Which leads us to 2014, and the two films that Pratt has starred in this year. The most obvious, of course, is Guardians of the Galaxy, which is likely going to certify its lead as the talented, goofy, well-meaning movie star that it was obvious he could be the instant Bert Macklin appeared on our screens. Pratt’s ability to guarantee a Best Picture nomination as a leading man is still without scientific backing, but if we’re honest, there is one other film that might be better suited to the nomination this year: The Lego Movie. It’s got the drastic physical transformation that Pratt usually makes for his Oscar-nominated films. Yes, he’s transformed into a Lego person, but it’s still very different from what he looks like normally. It’s got critical acclaim, humor, drama, an underlying message about individuality, creative expression and the corrupting nature of big business, and an appearance from Morgan Freeman. But most importantly, it has Pratt, playing a lovable, slightly dim good guy who just so happens to have a lot more lurking underneath the surface. It was practically designed to appeal to the Academy, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see The Lego Movie on the list of nominees come Oscar season. Even if it doesn’t get a nod, don’t be surprised if Pratt starts becoming as much of a fixture on the awards circuit as Streep herself. After all, he does seem to have the better luck with these things. Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • Is 'Guardians of the Galaxy' What Zoe Saldana Needs to Finally Become a Superstar?
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 28, 2014
    Walt Disney Studios/Marvel There are a lot of people in Hollywood who are considered sci-fi icons – George Takei, Harrison Ford, Lynda Carter – but when it comes to current sci-fi and superhero blockbusters, there’s one woman who reigns above them all: Zoe Saldana. Friday’s Guardians of the Galaxy will mark her third starring role in a major sci-fi franchise, and she’s effortlessly made the jump from one iconic character to another, earning fans and rave reviews every time. But when you think Star Trek or Avatar or even Guardians of the Galaxy, her face likely isn’t the first one that pops into your head. For some reason, Saldana hasn’t quite been able to make the jump from blockbusters to international superstar. Major superhero and sci-fi blockbusters have a history of turning unknown or underrated actors into A-list stars. Henry Cavill was just “that guy from that thing” before he became Superman. Tom Hiddleston went from a theater darling to making women everywhere scream their heads off thanks to The Avengers. Even Sam Worthington was omnipresent for a solid year or so after Avatar was released. And yet Saldana is still best known as the “blue girl from Avatar” or “the one woman in the new Star Trek films” despite having three times as many franchises under her belt. It could be argued that Cavill and Hiddleston have a background in more prestigious projects, which has helped them become more recognizable. But Saldana also has plenty of impressive films under her belt, including collaborations with directors like Steven Spielberg, Neil LaBute, and Guillame Canet. She’s even starring in a biopic about Nina Simone, which is the kind of cinematic catnip that neither the Oscars nor audiences can resist. What, then, is keeping Saldana from enjoying the kind of fame that other franchise stars have? Do audiences have trouble recognizing her thanks to the various CGI and full-bodied makeups that have turned her blue, green, and everything in between? Is it because she’s a member of an ensemble cast in Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy, the two films where her face hasn’t been digitally altered? Is it just because she’s not playing the sullen, broody one with daddy issues? It’s certainly not due to lack of talent, as Saldana has always given compelling, complex performances, even in her smallest roles – remember Crossroads? She was by far the best thing about that movie – and often chooses characters that are tough and complicated. Neytiri and Uhura are interesting, strong, sometimes difficult women with a great deal of depth to them. However, despite the attention all of those characters have gotten, it still pales in comparison to the fan bases that their male counterparts have received, which has likely contributed to the smaller nature of Saldana’s general fan base. Still, it’s likely that Gamora could be the key to launching Saldana into superstardom, or, at the very least, to being more than just “the blue one.” Though both Star Trek and Avatar were incredibly successful, Marvel’s films are currently the biggest, most attention-grabbing franchises in theaters thanks to the resurgence of superhero films and the excitement surrounding them. She’s already getting more attention and press for Gamora than she did for Neytiri or Uhura, which is probably due to the fact that Gamora is a more prominent lead than the other two. Yes, Neytiri is the only Na’vi anyone can name, but Saldana herself was overshadowed by more familiar names like Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez. The biggest name in the Guardians cast, by contrast, is Bradley Cooper, who is only doing voiceover work in the film. The fact that she’s already starred in two other major franchises should also help Gamora become Saldana’s biggest role yet. She’s already familiar to causal moviegoers, even if they still can’t quite place her name. She’s also established herself as a fashion darling, which means that she’s likely to have graced the cover of many high-selling magazines, which is another important step towards helping her move onto the A-list. And since everyone loves a celebrity baby, she’s likely to get even more press over the course of the next few months, which will help keep her in the public’s consciousness. Her upcoming film Nina could also be a major factor. Saldana’s always been able to balance action-heavy blockbusters with serious, quiet dramas, but she’s yet to properly breakthrough in the latter. A biopic of a major icon could be exactly the kind of films she needs to gain some awards attention, and all of the promotion that Oscar season entails would definitely encourage more people to pay attention to her. However, thus far, the film has been plagued by filming delays on controversy, so if the final product isn’t exceptional, it might do more harm than good. Of course, if Guardians of the Galaxy does even half as well as some of its predecessors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it might just be enough to balance out any possible mis-steps, and ensure that Saldana finally gets the kind of attention that she deserves. After all, Scarlett Johansson can't play every female superhero out there.  Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • Everything You Need to Know About 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Before It Hits Theaters
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 28, 2014
    Walt Disney Studios/Marvel If you've spent any time on the Internet, watching TV or, let's face it, just ventured out of your house in the past few months, you're probably aware of a little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy, which has quickly become one of the summer's most anticipated films. In fact, you've probably already got plans to go see it when it hits theaters on Friday, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have any idea what exactly you're signing up for. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel's lesser-known titles, the kind that only hardcore comics nerds knew about before the studio announced plans to turn them into a blockbuster. But don't worry: you still have plenty of time to learn everything you need to know about this merry band of misfits before your Friday night showing. In fact, we've put together this handy guide to the Guardians of the Galaxy with all of the questions you might have been too nervous to ask so that you'll be able to hit the theater knowing Groot from Gamora and why, exactly, this "bunch of a-holes" have been entrusted with keeping the universe safe.  So, from what I understand, the Guardians of the Galaxy are basically just the Avengers in Space. Yes and no. They are a team of universe-saving superheroes like the Avengers, but they’re still pretty different. Really? How? Well, for one thing, they weren’t put together by S.H.I.E.LD.; they met up in prison. So they’re criminals. Yep. But they’re trying to do some good by saving the galaxy, so they’re not the bad guys, really. Well, if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s not in this, how about Iron Man? No, sorry. These movies are tangentially connected to The Avengers, but none of those characters will appear in this film. How are they connected?Remember Benicio del Toro's brief appearance at the end of Thor: The Dark World? Vaguely.That's the connection. He has a significant role in this movie. So does that mean Thor is in Guardians of the Galaxy?No. How about Captain America?Dude, no. So if we don’t have Iron Man, who is going to be the good looking, wise-cracking leader? He goes by the name of Star Lord, although he’s the only person who actually calls himself that. His real name is Peter Quill. And who is Peter Quill? He’s a half-alien half-human who was kidnapped from earth as a child and was raised by a gang of thieves and smugglers. He’s also a pretty impressive pilot. Who’s playing him in the movie? Chris Pratt. Wait, we’re supposed to believe that Andy Dwyer is going to save the universe? Yeah. Isn’t it awesome? I guess. Who else is on this team? Their names are Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon, and Groot. Okay, let’s start with Gamora. Tell me about her. She was adopted as an orphan by Thanos and— Wait, who’s Thanos? Thanos is the murderous super villain bent on wreaking havoc and destruction. He’s determined to get the Infinity Gauntlet which has the ability to destroy a star. He’s basically the big bad in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe right now, Avengers films included. And he’s going to be in this? Yes, he’ll be making an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, and he’ll be played by Josh Brolin. You might recognize him as the purple dude in the credits of the first Avengers movie. Oh, him?Yeah. Okay, keep going about Gamora.So she was adopted by Thanos raised to be his personal assassin, and became one of the most feared fighters in the universe. But eventually, she turned against Thanos and decided to try and make amends for her past. Okay, and who’s playing Gamora? Zoe Saldana. Even though she’s also in Avatar and Star Trek? Yep. She’s the queen of sci-fi franchises. Who’s next? Drax the Destroyer? Yes. Drax was originally a human named Arthur Douglas, but after his whole family was killed by Ronan the Accuser, his soul was put into a different body so he could fight Thanos. Wait, hold on. Who’s Ronan the Accuser? I thought Thanos was the bad guy. They’re both bad guys. Ronan is a Kree radical, who has agreed to help Thanos hunt down an artifact if Thanos will destroy the Xandarians – his mortal enemies – in exchange. What is a Kree?A technologically advanced, war-loving alien race. And what is a Xandarian?Another alien race. Not so big on the war. Got it. So is Ronan the Accuser a big part of Guardians of the Galaxy?Yeah, he’ll be the main villain in this one. Lee Pace will be playing him. Any other villains I should know about? Nebula, who grew up with Gamora. Unlike her adoptive sister, she is still loyal to Ronan and Thanos. She’ll be played by Karen Gillan. Oh, is this the thing she shaved her head for? Yes. Nebula is bald, so Gillan decided to shave her head, since it would look better than putting makeup on top of a bald cap. So, that’s it? Ronan, Thanos, and Nebula are all the villains? There’s also Djimon Honsou as Korath, an intergalactic hunter who serves Ronan, and (like we said above) Benicio del Toro, who plays The Collector: an eccentric, obsessive keeper of intergalactic rarities. If you need something, and it might be illegal to own that thing, he probably has it. All right, all right, is that it? There are a lot of villains in this thing. Yeah.   Walt Disney Studios/Marvel So back to Drax: who’s playing him in the movie? Dave Batista. You mean Vin Diesel isn’t playing the aggressive muscular dude? No, Vin Diesel’s playing a tree. What?! Well, he’s playing Groot, a tree-like humanoid who has the ability to regrow himself from the tiniest twig. Well, he at least has some witty banter or something, right? Of course! Provided that witty banter consists only of the phrase, “I am Groot.” … Okay. So, why is Groot in jail, then? He’s there thanks to his job as the muscle/personal companion of Rocket Raccoon. Is that...? The machine-gun firing, rage spewing, back-talking, possibly homicidal raccoon? Yep. You know what's even weirder? Bradley Cooper's providing his voice.  And how did he learn to fire a gun? Rocket is originally from a planet called Halfworld, which was basically a colony for the mentally ill. All of the animals there were genetically modified to become as intelligent as humans and to be able to walk in their hind legs so they could take care of the inmates there. So, an anthropomorphic raccoon and a tree have teamed up with a criminal, assassin, and thief in order to protect the galaxy? That’s exactly what happened. I think I need to lie down. No, no! Stay with us, you’ve almost got it. Fine. So why exactly did they team up? Why is the galaxy in need of their help? Basically, Peter Quill steals an orb that Ronan the Accuser is after, and so he needs the rest of the team’s help in order to evade the villain and the intergalactic manhunt that he’s started. But then they discover how powerful the orb actually is, and they are determined to protect the galaxy by keeping it from falling into the wrong hands.   Why, what’s so special about the orb? That remains to be seen. Well, then, how do they find that the galaxy is in trouble? Do they just figure it out on their own? They’re recruited by the Nova Corps, who are the military police tasked with keeping the planet Xandar and its citizens safe. Are those they guys...? Who call them “a-holes” in the trailer? Yeah, that’s the Nova Corps. I like those guys. So, are those all of the characters? Yep, that’s everyone and a basic rundown of what they want. Anything else you want to know? Yeah, what's with all the classic rock in the trailer? The songs come from Peter’s Walkman, and it’s basically the last connection he has to his life on earth. Also, it’s awesome. Can I watch the trailer again? Of course: And when does this movie come out? Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on Friday, August 1! Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • Friday at Comic-Con: Not Everyone Was Gruesomely Murdered On 'Hannibal'
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 25, 2014
    NBC San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel.  Guess Who's Set For a Bloody ReturnIt’s difficult to imagine anyone bouncing back from the tense bloodbath that capped off the second season of Hannibal, but Bryan Fuller doesn’t want you to worry about the state of your favorite characters, because several of them made it out of there – although not all of them made it out alive. Deadline reports that Raul Esparza’s Dr. Chilton did, however, and he will appear next season, presumably to get revenge for being shot in the face. Eddie Izzard and Kacey Rohl will also be making an appearance or two, but while he did say the former would only pop up in flashbacks, he declined to reveal whether Abigail is still in one piece. (The series also unveiled the second season blooper reel, which is exactly as delightful as you’d expect.) Advanced Television Resurrection   Now that Community’s sixth season is under way, it’s time to ask the most important question of all: When are the Greendale Seven coming back? At a panel Thursday night – appropriately titled “Communty: REBORN” – show runner Dan Harmon and the cast revealed that fans should see the Study Group back in action sometime after Christmas (via CinemaBlend). But don’t call into work to binge watch just yet, as Yahoo! will be released episodes on a weekly basis, just the same as if it were still on NBC. Still, you can expect some changes thanks to the change in platform, as Harmon has said that the writers are interested in testing the limitations of their new format. (Although we know how well Abed does with change…) Teen Wolf Howls On… Teen Wolf might be in the middle of its fourth season at the moment, but the panel in Ballroom 20 only had eyes for the future, and with good reason: creator Jeff Davis revealed that the show already been renewed for a fifth season. According to EW, the upcoming season will also be the longest yet, with the episode count bumped up to 20 from season four’s 12. Of course, it will run in two parts and your favorite characters will probably be killed, but nobody said living in Beacon Hills was easy. Incredible Interstellar After single-handedly revitalizing the Batman franchise and confusing people everywhere with Inception, Christopher Nolan finally made his Comic Con debut to talk about his upcoming film Interstellar, alongside Matthew McConaughey (via EW). Although they didn’t reveal much about the movie, they did showcase a new trailer that gives a better look at the mysteries it contains (which, unfortunately, the rest of us won’t get to see for a while), and Nolan revealed what inspired him to explore outer space. A little disappointingly, it was physics. TMNT Needs Less Pizza, More Girl Power At least, according to Megan Fox. The actress has been making the rounds at Comic Con to promote the film, which hits theaters in mid-August, and in an interview with HitFix, she revealed that her April O’Neill will kick a little less butt than she had hoped: "A lot of girl power ended up on the cutting room floor, unfortunately. I had a really awesome scene where I was fighting The Foot Clan, but I think they were like, 'Why would a tiny journalist be able to kick so much ass?’” Silly producers, we writers have plenty of pent up anger. Let the girl fight! Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • Today At Comic-Con: Is Benedict Cumberbatch Going To Play 'Dr. Strange?'
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 24, 2014
    Getty Images/Kevin Winter San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel.  Dr. Strange? More Like Dr. Nope Sure, there are other panels happening at Comic-Con this year, but all anyone really cares about are the new films and casts that Marvel is set to unveil on Saturday. And since Dr. Strange just happens to be one of those films and Benedict Cumberbatch is rumored to be the frontrunner for the role, MTV just happened to ask him to reveal whether he will indeed be playing the super-powered sorcerer.  His answer? “As far as I’m aware, even if that was the case, it couldn’t work out because I’m doing a little play called ‘Hamlet’ in London, so I don’t think I could even if that was in the cards. It sounds like a fantastic project. It’s a shame if I miss out, but who knows?” So, it’s not an outright “no,” but it seems like Marvel might have to look elsewhere for their Dr. Strange. There’s No Stan Lee Cameo This Time A living legend in the comic book world, Stan Lee has basically become the face of Comic-Con, attending all but a select few since its inception over forty years ago. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to add 2014 to the absentee list; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee has cancelled his appearance after losing his voice to a bad bout of laryngitis, and he certainly can’t command a convention center without a voice.  Don’t get too upset, though: his cameo in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy  has already been filmed, so no illness will keep you from seeing him then. A 24 Movie May Be In the Works The key word there is “maybe.” According to Deadline, star Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer/director John Cassar mentioned during the 24 panel that officially kicked off this year’s con that they were “still talking” about a movie now that the series’ reboot has been so successful. Of course, that didn’t stop fans from freaking out about the mere possibility of it, but Comic-Con’s a place for overwhelming enthusiasm. They could announce another Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film and people would be excited.  Twenty Hours to Cumberbatch Waiting in absurdly long lines are a time-honored tradition of Comic-Con, but some of them are redefining the word “dedication,” like the ones who lined up to see Cumberbatch on the Dreamworks Animation panel a whole 20 hours early (via CinemaBlend). That’s right: they waited almost an entire day to watch Cumberbatch talk about voicing a cartoon wolf in the new Penguins of Madagascar  movie. Not Sherlock, not The Hobbit, not Star Trek.  Penguins. Na na na na na na na… Batsuit! If you thought the set picture of Ben Affleck in the latest incarnation of the Batsuit was too dark to actually see anything – seriously, has Zach Snyder ever met a shadow he didn’t feel the need to add in? – then DC has answered your prayers. The studio unveiled Affleck’s redesigned cape and cowl for Comic-Con visitors to compare against the ones in the comics live and in-person, and /Film has plenty of pictures for those of us who prefer to critique costume choices from our own homes. Avengers Assemble (Literally) In anticipation of their no doubt world-shattering panel this weekend, Marvel has released several exclusive posters for the Avengers: Age of Ultron  featuring concept art from the film. But like Beyonce’s visual album, all of the individually exciting parts come together to make an even more exciting whole. In this case, it’s a bigger group image that sees the team fighting side-by-side. The Dissolve has already started putting it together for you, so as long as you find that last corner piece, you should be all set.   Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • The Best Music Moments in Blockbuster Films
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 24, 2014
    Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel To a large extent, blockbuster movie soundtracks are all the same. There's probably some Kanye, a few dubstep tracks to keep things upbeat, maybe a classic rock song or two, and then some kind of instrumental score meant to add some tension or sentiment at the appropriate moments. And it makes sense — you're not paying for perfectly-scored moments of emotion, you're paying to watch people punch each other and blow things up. So when a blockbuster film manages to match the perfect song to the perfect scene, something special happens. Suddenly, it's not just about the effects. It's about the experience. And even though we've yet to see Guardians of the Galaxy, we can tell that it's going to be that kind of film, thanks to the cheesy classic rock featured in the trailer and the presence of the founding member of Mouserat. In honor of its August 1 release, we've rounded up some of the most iconic blockbuster movie moments in cinema history. After all, what's the point in saving the world if Kenny Loggins isn't singing about it?  “Trouble Man” by Marvin Gaye, Captain America: The Winter Soldier At the start of the film, Sam Wilson makes a tentative attempt at friendship with ol' Steve Rogers by recommending he check out Marvin Gaye’s classic 1972 album; at the end of the film, Steve wakes up in a hospital bed with Sam by his side and the title track playing over the speakers. Because even if you’re unconscious, Sam Wilson is going to ensure that your musical education is complete.   "Non Je ne Rigrette Rien” by Edith Piaf, Inception Primarily used as a way to signal to the people in-dream that the kick is coming, “Non Je ne Rigreete Rien” also warned of a much more dangerous shock headed towards the team: Mal. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose for the recurring dream-ghost of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dead French ex-wife, but finding the perfect movie music moment isn’t necessarily about being clever – it’s about creating a mood. And besides, Christopher Nolan’s not the subtle type.   “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, Rocky III It doesn’t matter that Rocky didn’t start training to the sweet, sweet sounds of ‘80s rock until the third installment of the franchise. When you think Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger” automatically starts playing in your head. It might not have been the original music moment of the series, but it’s the most enduring; even the Broadway production couldn’t resist working it into the score. You should hear it in five-part harmony.   “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins, Top Gun The love scene scored to Berlin might be a bit more iconic, thanks to its awesomely cheesy use of backlighting, but the best musical moment in Top Gun is, without a doubt, the montage of fighter pilots taking off, scored to what is perhaps Kenny Loggins’ most ridiculous hit of all. Did Berlin give us one of the best running jokes of all time? No. No they did not.   Rogue Pictures via Everett Collection “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy is filled with hilarious gags and perfectly-timed music cues but none are more elaborate, ridiculous or more pitch-perfect than the gang’s choreographed attacks on the zombies in the bar, using an assortment of pool cues, a fire extinguisher and a last-minute rifle. The fact that everyone in the film acknowledges the insanity of the situation – and even dance along! – makes it unforgettable.   “Where Is My Mind” by Pixies, Fight Club Fight Club is a weird, twisted psychological thriller that leaves you questioning what was real and what was hallucinated. Therefore, the only appropriate song to end it with is one that asks the core question of the film: “Where Is My Mind?” Just melancholy enough to fit the tone, and just obvious enough to help even the slowest members of the audience make the connection.    “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, Back to the Future When you’re tasked with reviving the party at your parents prom, you could go the safe route and play something everyone would be familiar with, or you could invent rock and roll by busting out some Chuck Berry… before he’s even heard it. And then you can make everything awkward by extending a guitar solo for far too long and freaking everyone out, but hey, Marty McFly was ahead of his time. It’s not his fault they didn’t get it.   “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito, The Karate Kid In the ‘80s, wimpy kids everywhere were inspired to stand up for themselves and find their inner Karate Kid thanks to Mr. Miyagi. But his “wax on, wax off” philosophy would be nothing without the encouraging synth-pop of Joe Esposito telling them that nothing could ever bring them down. How else were they supposed to get pumped up for the biggest karate competition of their life? Or you know, the playground. Both are intimidating.   “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, Easy Rider Since its release in 1968, “Born to Be Wild” has been the second favorite song of music supervisors looking to indicate someone as a “bad boy” without actually forcing the other characters to say it. (The first, of course, is “Bad to the Bone.”) It might be cliché now, but it all dates back to 1969, when Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda set off on a road trip and ensuring that any time someone bought a motorcycle, a Steppenwolf reference would be made. Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • John Stamos Teaches Us About Romance in 'My Man Is a Loser' Exclusive Clip
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 24, 2014
      // When it comes to romance, nobody's smoother than John Stamos. He made everyone swoon as the guitar-playing, child-rearing Jesse Katsopolis on Full House, he sang and danced his way into their hearts in Bye Bye Birdie, and he probably beat everyone out for Prom King in high school. He can even make yogurt seem attractive. Such is the power of Stamos. If you're looking for a way to win over the hearts of millions, there's no better role model.  Which is exactly why the producers of My Man Is a Loser chose him to play the ultimate playboy-turned-marriage counselor. The film centers around Marty and Paul (Michael Rapaport and Bryan Callen, respectively), two family men who turn to Stamos' character, Mike, for guidance after their marriages start to fall apart. However, their plan to sweep their wives off their feet backfires, as Marty and Paul 2.0 might actually be worse than the original model. Turns out Mike still has a few lessons of his own to learn, and bartender Clarissa (Tika Sumpter) might be just the person to teach him.  Lionsgate In this exclusive clip from the film, Mike guides his buddies through the three Ls of communication - look, listen, and learn - by having them uphold a conversation with three strangers. Apparently it's his talent for paying attention, along with his jet black hair and winning smile, that helps Mike win over all the ladies. Although, if we're being honest, his tenure with Jesse and the Rippers probably helps.  My Man is a Loser will be released in theaters and on VOD on July 25.  Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • Which Member of the 'Avengers' Cast Is Having the Best Year?
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 23, 2014
    Getty Images/Gennadi Avramenko The cast of The Avengers  are many things: talented, good-looking, charming and some of the biggest stars on the planet. It seems like everywhere you look lately there’s always at least one member of the team in the news, on movie screens or on the cover of a magazine at any given moment. The buzz surrounding them hasn’t diminished since Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson wrapped up the Captain America: The Winter Soldier press tour, either. If anything, it’s only gotten stronger as we reach the peak of blockbuster season and head into Oscar territory. And with good reason: the cast of The Avengers  is having a pretty great year. But which one of them is having the best 2014 of them all? Is Johansson’s second blockbuster of the year – this Friday’s Lucy – enough to balance out Mark Ruffalo’s awards buzz? Can Chris Hemsworth come out on top due to good looks alone? We've broken down the Year in Avengers:  7. Robert Downey Jr. What He’s Done: Played a supporting role in Jon Favreau’s sleeper hit Chef; starring opposite Robert Duvall in The Judge, which will be released in October; named the highest-paid movie star in the world for the second year in a row How He’s Doing: Pretty good. Not like, Tony Stark pre-arc-reactor-good, but pretty darn good. 6. Jeremy Renner What He’s Done: A guest stint on the epic two-part episode of Louie (the two-part episode “In The Woods”); receiving awards buzz for his starring role in Kill the Messenger, which hits theaters in October How He’s Doing: You know, sometimes you just have to take some time an build up your critical acclaim. 5. Chris Hemsworth What He’s Done: Helped his wife, Elsa Pataky, raise their twin sons, who were born in March, as well as their 2 year-old daughter How He’s Doing: Have you seen him? He’s doing great. 4. Mark Ruffalo What He’s Done: Earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in A Normal Heart; starred in the charming but not-great Begin Again with Kiera Knightley; starred in the highly-anticipated Foxcatcher, which will finally open in November How He’s Doing: Aw, look at him riding a unicycle on a talk show! Isn’t he charming? No, don’t think about Begin Again, just focus on the charm. 3. Tom Hiddleston   What He’s Done: Earned an Olivier Award (the UK equivalent of the Tonys) for playing the title role in Coriolanus; starred opposite the mystical Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive; had a cameo in Muppets Most Wanted; starred in a Jaguar commercial that was banned in the UK How He’s Doing: If the Loki fans say he’s doing well, then we do too. (We’ll say whatever they want, honestly, we’re a little scared of them.) 2. Chris Evans What He’s Done: Starred in the post-apocalyptic indie hit Snowpiercer; his directorial debut Before We Go is premiering at TIFF in September; filmed A Many Splintered Thing which is slated for release later this year How He’s Doing: He just spent four months hanging out with Anthony Mackie – he’s having a great year.  1. Scarlett Johansson What She’s Done: Dated Jon Favreau in Chef; kicked serious butt as a super-powered party girl in Lucy; terrified men everywhere in Under the Skin; got engaged to a handsome Frenchman; got pregnant; will reportedly get married in August How She’s Doing: 2014 is pretty much Johansson’s year. The rest of the Avengers are just living in it. Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //
  • There Still Aint No Party Like An S Club Party and Other Weekly Highlights
    By: Julia Emmanuele Jul 23, 2014
    Getty Images/Tim Roney Here are this week's highlights from VH1, Celebuzz, Flavorwire, and Hollywood.com. The Dark Side of '90s Nostalgia Between the "Fancy" video being played on a loop and the recent premiere of Girl Meets World, nineties nostlgia seems to be at an all-time high. But not everything you loved back then holds up as well as Clueless and My So-Called Life two decades later, VH1 is going to prove it with their rundown of 20 '90s bands you're ashamed to have loved.  You're About to Get Shell-ShockedAnd trust us, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Ty Dolla $ign more than deliver on that promise with their theme song for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Celebuzz has the song, along with some more amazing/terrible lyrics and the criticism that it sounds "exactly like a Michael Bay movie feels."  Weird Al Has a Big Dictionary The smartest man in music released his 14th studio album this week, and it rocketed to the top of the charts on the back of his hilarious parody songs and clever wordplay. In celebration of his achievement, and the joy that Mandatory Fun has brought, FlavorWire has ranked all 8 of the music videos Weird Al has released along with the album.  Treat. Yo. Self... To Retta's Twitter As Donna Meagle, Retta consistently comes up with some of the greatest comebacks, one-liners and truth bombs to come out of Pawnee, Indiana. But she's not just hilarious on television; she's hilarious all the time, and thanks to her Twitter account, you can enjoy her wisecracks as they happen. Hollywood.com has all of her greatest tweets complied in one place to brighten up your day.  Follow @hollywood_com // Follow @julesemm //