Entertainment Weekly SDCC ’14 Star Portraits

Photos from Entertainment Weekly SDCC Star Portraits Gallery. Photography by Michael Muller for EW.

DAY 1

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First row: Benedict Cumberbatch; Sarah Wayne Callies; Josh Hartnett
Second row: J. August Richards; Jim Parsons; Adam West
Third row: the cast of Penguins Of Madagascar; Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead); the cast of Hannibal; the cast of Under The Dome

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DAY 2

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First row: Daniel Radcliffe; Colin Firth; Zachary Quinto; Jon Bernthal
Second row: Isaac Hempstead-Wright; Natalie Dormer; David Benioff & DB Weiss
Third row: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie & Pedro Pascal; Sophie Turner, Kit Harington & Maisie Williams; Will Poulter, Dylan O’Brien & Kaya Scodelario; Freddie Highmore & Vera Farmiga
Fourth row: Samuel L. Jackson; the cast of Dominion; the cast of Outlander (incl. Graham McTavish); DC Comics’ Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr, Dan DiDio, Jim Lee & Scott Snyder of DC Comics

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DAY 3

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Top: The cast of Avengers: Age Of Ulron
First row: Robert Downey Jr.; RDJ & James Spader; Spader; Mark Ruffalo
Second row: Cobie Smulders
Third row: Hayley Atwell; Chloe Bennett; Paul Rudd; Josh Brolin
Fourth row: Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll (Ant-Man cast)
Fifth row: Janet Montgomery & Shane West; the cast of Gotham; the cast of Constantine; the cast of Arrow
Sixth row: Grant Gustin; Omar Epps; the cast of Grimm; the cast of Sleepy Hollow; Danai Gurira
Seventh row: The cast of The Walking Dead; Steven Yeun & Lauren Cohan
Eight row: Theo James & Shailene Woodley
Ninth row: George Miller, creator of Mad Max
Last: The cast of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

 

Marvel’s Avengers Age Of Ultron First Look

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After yesterday’s panel of Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron debuted (descriptions here), I looked at the film stills released by Marvel on Entertainment Weekly.

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The first picture should be the scene where they were hanging out and trying to lift Mjolnir. There’s Mjolnir right there. Also, even just by looking at the picture, I can sense the strong ‘brofeel’. (And it is good to see Don Cheadle there. I was hoping he’d be in the panel yesterday…)

I can’t even fathom what the second picture indicates, but the third picture makes me happy. I really like seeing them in costume because somehow Joss Whedon and Marvel always make them work in the story. That they are not just characters who dress differently because they’re unique and powerful, but because there’s a story behind their getup. Cap is back to his colorful star and stripes too, and I appreciate that. Although, I’m hoping Thor’s armor gets a little less summer-y… he probably just wants to show off his arms but I like it better when the armor has long sleeves.

The third one, though? I am not going to lie but at the moment I will say that Evan Peters’ Quicksilver is still better. His hair, for one, is a lot nicer to look at than Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s hair in this one. The bit available in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier after-credit scene was intriguing but it’s not like we get to see him being Pietro Maximoff in entirety… it’s really hard or me to expect anything without seeing more. And the X-Men: DOFP version of Quicksilver was a real highlight in any summer movie I’ve seen this year so it will be very hard to top that.

From the way everyone talks about, the one thing that really makes me curious is the Hulkbuster armor. Hopefully soon we will get to see that. Of course, we will all appreciate the first look of James Spader’s Ultron.

A side note on fan expectations and differences of the MCU films from the comic books… I don’t get it. I see vitriol poured by some fans over the announcement of the cast and characters of Ant-Man and I am baffled.

Continue reading

Marvel Studios panel at Hall H, SDCC ’14

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Marvel Studios bring out their big guns to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, holding panels for their 2015 films: Ant-Man and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. As usual, Kevin Feige is there to lead A-listers in the panel with Chris Hardwick conducting.

During the Ant-Man panel, Peyton Reed shows up “to polite applause”. I guess people are still not to keen on him being the director of Ant-Man after Edgar Wright left. He establishes his own Ant-Man geek cred though; apparently “he’s a huge fan and drew himself as Ant-Man on a flyer for his punk band, Johnny Quest.” He’s still not Edgar Wright but I think I’m ready to move on now.

A few announcements are made for Ant-Man. Casting-wise, Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas are called “Ant-Men”, playing Scott Lang and Hank Pym respectively. Corey Stoll is cast as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Evangeline Lilly is cast as Hope Van Dyne, Janet’s daughter. Filming of Ant-Man begins on 18 August 2014.

Despite not having filmed yet, there’s a footage show. As usual, the description was live-bloged by Comingsoon.net‘s Silas Lesnick earlier:

The footage begins as a shot moves through a lab.

We see beakers filled with colored liquids.

A glass cage with an anthill inside

We hear Rudd and Douglas talking

Pym tells Lang that he wants him to be Ant-Man because he’s a regular guy

It sounds like he has no love lost for The Avengers

Rudd is terrified

“Geez Lang,” says Pym, “You’d think someone only shrunk your balls.”

It cuts to a rooftop. Ant-Man is there, tiny

It looks like he’s being pursued by full-size people

An Ant lands and Lang climbs on his back, still terrified

Pym talks to Lang through the helmet, guiding him

It looks like the helmet is damaged and Lang is having some trouble

It looks like he’s inside a computer maybe

Pym tells him to run and he jumps off a huge ledge

A flying Ant catches him as he falls and the logo comes up!

Next up is Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Which is a riot. Because the cast is huge (I think there were more people on this panel than in The Hobbit panel) although Joss Whedon and Scarlett Johansson are not there. Whedon is laid up in London due to knee injury, meanwhile Johansson is due to give birth anytime now. So there were ‘only’ Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen.

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There were reportedly a lot of shenanigans during the panel but I’d rather not focus on that. The video is bound to show up soon and I believe we can all watch it for ourselves. More importantly, there’s a footage from Age Of Ultron that is described by so many people.

Here’s Silas Lesnick’s version:

It’s the Avengers, hanging out together.

They’re out of costumes and all trying to lift Thor’s hammer

Tony can’t do it

He tries again with an Iron Man hand

He still can’t

Even with War Machine’s help, he can’t

Neither can Banner

Cap moves it a little!

Silas Lesnick: A big noise distracts them

It’s an old suit, moving like a zombie, entering the room… It’s Ultron!

“There’s only one path to peace,” he says, “Your extinction!”

A montage of scenes. Black Widow in her new suit with blue lining

Banner in a straightjacket?

Tanks fighting in the snow

“It’s the end,” says Stark. “The end of the path I started us on.”

“Nothing lasts forever,” says Widow

Hulkbuster armor!

Going toe-to-toe with the Hulk!

“Look,” says Ultron, seemingly in his finished form, “No string on me”

Tony in what looks like a wasteland. All the Avengers are lying, bruised and beaten before him

And Empire Magazine has this description on Twitter:

Five highlights of the Avengers footage…

5. The gang all trying to lift Mjolnir at a party. Thor laughs until Cap manages to wobble it.

4. Ultron, having just built himself, crashes that party and declares war on mankind. Spader’s voice is menacing – perfect.

3. Hulk vs Iron Man in his Hulkbuster armour. Hulk throws a car at Stark. What could have happened to make the Science Bros so angry?

2. The final shot: Stark staring at Cap’s shield, which has been broken in half. Pull back to reveal: the Avengers, destroyed? Maybe…

1. And the final reveal of Ultron, declaring there “are no strings on me”. He’s going to be a formidable opponent, a robot with personality.

Full story here.)

After the footage, Thanos himself came on stage… Josh Brolin came with the Infinity Gauntlet (and ate a purple flower).

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The panel was closed by a video greeting from James Gunn and Chris Pratt in London. Gunn announces that Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is happening. The release date is 28 July 2017.

Excitement all around thanks to these announcements. It makes being sleep-deprived worth it.

I have some more photos for you…

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And You Ask Me Why I Hate Reading Tabloids

If there’s one thing that annoys me more than anything, it’s sensationalist journalism. In Indonesia you can find it everywhere – newspapers, magazines, online sites that claim to be reporting the news – and it really does piss me off when it happens.

Earlier today I opened the local cinema website to check out new release schedules and something caught my eye on the left side of the page, which was this headline: Jeremy Renner Tidak Menyukai Perannya sebagai Hawkeye di The Avengers (exact translation: Jeremy Renner doesn’t like his role as Hawkeye in The Avengers)

This headline made me wrinkle my nose because well, my job being what it is and me being an Avenger fan, I would have heard if Renner said that he didn’t like being Hawkeye. In fact, I would’ve probably ranted about it and called him an ungrateful S.O.B. because that movie raised his profile as an actor to high heavens, more than Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol did. But no, I have not heard of this. Although I did know he recently talked to one of the US websites about how he thought he wasn’t given much to work with in The Avengers.

So I searched the interview and found his recent interview with LA Times Hero Complex: ‘Bourne Legacy’ star Jeremy Renner on ‘Avengers’ action and more

And this was the part that apparently got quoted by a million of other news outlets:

HC: In “Avengers,” you sort of get to play both sides. What was that like?

JR: At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of back story or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that. The closest thing I could really link to was Scarlett [Johansson’s] character, Black Widow, because they have a history. And that definitely plays in the movie, I think. And obviously, you can’t go into too much just because there’s so much story to tell, but you definitely get a sense that they’re connected, and that there’s something really, really important that ties them together. And I could try to summarize it, but it can go a lot of places. That excites me, though, that there’s room for other things.

Very diplomatic, wasn’t he? As an actor Renner probably did feel like his talents were wasted because there wasn’t really enough of anything for him to do. Even when Barton went rogue, he really was mostly acting every inch the action man. The heavy duty emotional drama is left to Tom Hiddleston, who was pulling out everything in his arsenal to piss a lot of people off. I could understand if he wasn’t at all satisfied with that as an actor but my point is, he didn’t say, “I didn’t like playing Hawkeye.”

The 21 Cineplex website mention Contactmusic.com as their source and here is their original article on the piece: The Avengers – Jeremy Renner: ‘I Didn’t Like Zombie Hawkeye In The Avengers’

To me, that headline was also very misleading. The article’s first paragraph that stated that Jeremy Renner hated playing ‘zombie Hawkeye’ was also misleading. Because, once again, he didn’t say it.

HC: Did you prefer playing evil Hawkeye or good Hawkeye?

JR: I prefer the good, because if we go to the evil part, or hypnotized or whatever the heck you want to call it, it’s kind of a vacancy. Not even a bad guy, because there’s not really a consciousness to him. The interesting part was being guilty about the bad things I did do when I was hypnotized. I think he’s already an interesting enough character. To really kind of take away who that character is and just have him be this sort of robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses. Again, I could just focus on the task. I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. So yeah, fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No. That doesn’t exist in that time [that he’s hypnotized]. It happens to be for most of the movie.

HC: Are you disappointed?

JR: You know, there are a lot of people in that movie. And a lot of important characters. And my character, I felt like if I can help serve story, then I did my job.

I have no idea where these people who recycle other people’s stories could claim that a certain actor hates something, hates playing something or hates playing in something, without actually conducting the actual interview themselves. Did Contactmusic.com meet up with the Hero Complex folks and actually ask them, “Hey, did Renner sound really bitter and like he was really hating on The Avengers?” (It could happen but I doubt it.)

I just wonder about how it is possible for someone to take an actor’s words out of context and spin it into something that has highly damaging implications. No wonder some actors don’t like interviews. They could so easily be misquoted.

Maybe I’m being naive and idealistic again. After all, this is Hollywood. (Also, it’s just about Jeremy Renner and Hawkeye, not world peace or some shit like that.) But it really is a shame that this practice is common everywhere. There are only a handful of sources that we can really trust for reporting actual news and even then you still have to take everything with a grain of salt. We just can’t believe everything that we’re being told about. There’s always the chance of what is being said has already been recycled and when that happens we need to look for our own facts before you start influencing others.

My complaint here is really for 21 Cineplex. First of all, I am mostly unimpressed by their website. It looks fugly with the clutter and huge-ass graphic. I need the website for one thing and one thing only: find out movie schedules. I don’t need the news part of the website, unless it’s about special promotions and important announcements regarding their operation of the cinemas.

Secondly, since they insist on having news, I thoroughly dislike the way they present the news from recycled sources. Their writing is shitty (again, it’s an example of Indonesian tabloid-style sensationalism) and I don’t trust the content. Case in point: their reviews.

21 Cineplex website has a review section that is often very spoiler-y. I can hardly click on a review without finding out what the movie is all about, down to the last scene of the movie. I hate the fact that they call it a “review” section because all they do is outline the plot synopsis from beginning to end. There’s hardly any critical analysis of the movie. And there shouldn’t be any because it’s not their job to rate movies, but to sell them. The nature of their business beats the purpose of having reviews on their website. If they insist on having reviews, then they should stop calling it ‘reviews’.

And finally, considering their equally crappy and highly inconvenient online ticketing system, M-Tix, I have no idea why they don’t focus on improving it instead of hiring people to write second- and even third-hand news instead. (I may have another post coming up outlining my problems and dissatisfaction with M-Tix but I still don’t have sufficient data so that’s for later. Much later.)

I don’t know why I’m annoyed with this whole situation. Maybe I’m just bitter that people click on this website more often than they buy my magazine that actually contains better, more credible news. Maybe I’m sick and tired of meeting and talking to so-called movie buffs who regard themselves as ‘experts’ by reading news from dodgy sources and then dare to behave like they know better than me. Maybe today is just a really bad day and I had a very bad morning and I am looking for ways to channel my frustrations out.

Whatever it is, this situation is aggravating me and I will continue to complain about it until it changes. So I’m bitchy and a total nitpicker but I simply can’t shut up about it.