First Look at Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in POWER RANGERS

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Thanks to EW, today we have our first official look at Elizabeth Banks as the villain Rita Repulsa in the upcoming Power Rangers movie. This also gives us our first look at the visual style of the film. As you can see, the new look of this character is far removed from the original, but that's what I was expecting. It's not like they were going to use those designs from the '90s. This new sleek design kind of has a dragon feel to it. Talking about the outfit, Banks told People:

“It’s definitely a modern and edgy reimagining of the original Rita Repulsa. We wanted to give her a backstory that connects her to the new Rangers.” 

She also spoke about what she's most looking forward to in playing a villain in the movie:

“Obviously, first, world domination. I’ve never played a villain before, let alone an alien warrior.”

I'm intrigued by the new look, and Banks definitely has an interesting look. I'm curious to see what the rest of the characters look like, especially the design of the Power Ranger costumes. The movie is set to hit theaters on March 24th, 2017. What do you think of Banks' look as Rita Repulsa?

First Photos From THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Remake With Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington

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Four photos have been released by USA Today giving you your first look at director Antoine Fuqua's remake of the western The Magnificent Seven. I had a chance to see some footage from this movie at CinemaCon last week, and it looked like a fun, action-packed thrill ride. I described it as being like a Fast & Furious-style western. You'll see what I mean when a trailer is eventually released for the film. I imagine we'll be treated with one soon. You can read my thoughts on the footage and a description of it here

With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

There's a solid chance that this movie could turn out well. It has a great director and team of actors, and even the script came from True Detective scribe Nic Pizzolatto and The Equalizer‘s Richard Wenk. The film also stars Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Billy Slaughter, and Vinnie Jones.

The Magnificent Seven is set to hit theaters on September 23rd, 2016. I'm a big fan of the original 1960s film, which is pretty much a western remake of The Seven Samurai. I'm looking forward to seeing how this new film turns out. 

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DEADPOOL Director Tim Miller Discusses Possibilities of an R-Rated X-FORCE Film

Last Week, 20th Century Fox officially announced that they were moving forward with a Deadpool sequel with director Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds. This was a big “well, duh” moment, but I guess it’s nice to hear it officially confirmed again.

With the success of the film, I felt that it would open the door to more R-rated superhero movies. It sounds like the next Wolverine film will be rated R, and there’s been talk of the X-Men spinoff movie X-Force getting an R-rating and even a Suicide Squad sequel that could find itself with an R-rating.

During a recent interview with Collider, Miller talked about X-Force and the possibilities of doing an R-rated version:

“I’ll just say I’d like it to be an R-rated movie, but I’ve always been very realistic. We’re not making fine art here. This is commerce. So if for some reason there was a story that needed to be bigger and needed to be at a certain budget, and it didn’t warrant an R-rated budget, although it’s harder to make that argument now after Deadpool, but let’s say we were saying it before Deadpool came out; I understand that. I’m not one of those directors who goes ‘I want it because I want it!’ and ‘It should be because I think it should be!’ There’s economics at work here, and I would like it to be R-rated.
“And I know there was some talk around Hollywood, and James Gunn talked about it, and I agree very much with what he said. I think Deadpool worked because of what it was. I think Deadpool worked because it was funny. I think Deadpool worked because it didn’t take itself seriously. That’s why it worked as an R-rated film. I’m not sure any superhero movie will work as an R-rated film. I’m not sure some members of the public are going to be happy with the blood and gore if it’s not balanced with humor and the other stuff.”

Look, the important thing these studios have to remember is that Deadpool wasn't successful because it was rated R. Deadpool was successful because it was actually true to the comic and the character. As long as they stay true to those things while developing their films and deliver a great movie, the rating doesn't matter. They shouldn't even be thinking about the rating. They should be thinking about just making the best possible movie about these characters. The rating is really just a formality. 

Retro Report Takes a Look Back at the Satanic Panic of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

If you grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons in the 70s and 80s, then I'm sure you remember the panic that it was leading kids down the path a satanism. This Retro Report web-series takes a look back at the madness and controversy that surrounded this game. D&D was never my thing, but I do remember seeing news reports about this stuff and hearing my parents talk about it and how all these satanic claims were full of crap. 

Most parents freaked out that the game would lead their children towards the occult. Hell, I'd rather have my kids play D&D other than the video games they play because it's a critical thinking game that actually offers face-to-face interaction with other people. With the way technology is evolving that kind of interaction is dying.

Dungeons and Dragons was once accused of leading children to Satanism, but today the game looks more like a solution to a problem plaguing modern parenting.

The video goes through the history of what led to the satanic D&D panic, and it's really interesting. There's some stuff in the video that I had never heard before. Check it out when you get a chance!

Via: Laughing Squid

James Cameron Will Make All 4 AVATAR Sequels Simultaneously

Last week James Cameron announced that he would be making four Avatar sequels instead of just the previously announced three. The first of these sequels was supposed to be released in 2014. Two years later, the number of sequels has grown, and the director still hasn't started shooting. Hopefully, all this work and patience pays off for him and for 20th Century Fox, who is bankrolling the project. I’m really curious to see what Cameron has planned for thes films and if they will blow audiences away in the same way that the first film did.

In a recent interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland, Cameron talks about the process of making these four films, explaining that the sequel will not be filmed back-to-back. They will be filmed simultaneously! This is going to be a crazy and intense undertaking, but Cameron is up for the challenge. He says:

“It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [Avatar scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three Godfather films at the same time.”

The filmmaker goes on to talk about the technology he’s using to build the film and how he would have liked to use it to bring to life the Alien Queen from Aliens. In the process, he also explains that he’s going to shoot more real-world stuff for his upcoming Avatar sequels:

“If I could do the Alien Queen today with the techniques we used on Avatar, she’d be spectacular. She’d be much more dynamic. Now, where I would struggle is to make her as texturally real. But that’s all doable now. … On the new Avatar films, I’m actually going to shoot more real-world stuff. It may only be there as an example from which we then generate CG, or we may actually integrate some of those photographic elements. But I want more photography. … Like, if I was doing the Alien Queen, I would want photography to show the exact way that the slime drools off the curl of a lip and caught the light in a certain type of very low-key lighting. I would want to see that so that I can talk to the CG artist and say, ‘All right. Do that.’ … It always usually boils down to the lighting and the conception of the shot.”

There’s no doubt these Avatar films are going to be visually glorious, and I’m excited to see how much that visual epicness has improved since the first movie in 2009. Cameron goes on to say that he wants to keep the Avatar films away from the Star Wars release dates, so he’s built this new release date schedule around them:

“My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the Star Wars sequels. That wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs.] No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with Star Wars. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head to head with us.”

Avatar 2 will be released in 2018, with Avatar 3 coming in 2020, Avatar 4 in 2022, and Avatar 5 in 2023.

New GAME OF THRONES Season 6 Promo: The Wait Is Over

HBO has released a new teaser for the highly anticipated upcoming season of Game of Thrones. The promo doesn’t reveal too much; it just adds up a tone or two to what we have already seen in previous trailers. However, there are some very intriguing scenes that certainly remind us that nothing in Game of Thrones is that easy.

It’s better than nothing, right? Plus, I personally don’t like to see and know everything in advance. That would be just pointless and would spoil the whole excitement.

Game of Thrones season six is coming in less than a week (April 24, 2016), so I would say that the wait is almost over. The last days seem to be the hardest, and I honestly cannot wait any longer. But I’m sure it’s going to be worth it.

Hot Toys Unveils CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Diecast Iron Man Mark XLVI Action Figure

Hot Toys has just revealed one of their slickest looking Iron Man collectible action figures yet! This is Iron Man's Mark XLVI from Captain America: Civil War, and one of the things that makes this stand out above the rest is that it was made using diecast material, which means this thing is awesomely heavy duty. You'll get to see Iron Man really kick some ass in this new suit of his. It packs quite a punch, but is it enough to beat Captain America? You'll just have to wait until you see the film! I really would love to get my hands on this just to see how this thing feels, especially since it's diecast. Here are the details that came along with the images!

“You just started a war!”

Fans around the world will witness the fracture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Marvel’s latest blockbuster Captain America: Civil War. As the Avengers continue to protect the world, the team becomes divided into two opposing factions, one led by Captain America and another by Iron Man, after extensive collateral damage prompts the government oversight and accountability for the Avengers! 

Today, Hot Toys is thrilled to officially introduce the 1/6th scale collectible figure of Tony Stark’s new Iron Man armor – the Mark XLVI to our MMS Diecast series which the collectible figure is made of diecast material, and realistically designed to look even more like the armor as it appears in the film.

The highly-accurate Mark XLVI collectible figure is greatly detailed and specially crafted based on the image of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man Mark XLVI in Captain America: Civil War. It features a newly sculpted Tony Stark head sculpt, an interchangeable helmeted head, sophistically developed sleek and streamline designed armor, 28 LED light-up points throughout the body, specially applied metallic red, gold and silver colored painting on armor, real-like thrust fire accessories, the helmet of Captain America, and a specially designed debris diorama figure stand.

Do not pass up on the opportunity to add the leader of #TeamIronMan to your prized collection!
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Oscar Isaac Says STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII Will Explore Things Never Explored in STAR WARS

Look, I’m already insanely excited for Star Wars: Episode VIII, but leave it to Oscar Isaac to make me even more excited! The actor recently did an interview with the L.A. Times, and he talked about how the movie will explore things that have never been explored in the Star Wars universe before. He explains:

“[Director] Rian [Johnson] is definitely going to places and investigating things that haven’t really been done in the Star Wars universe. For me, it’s so fun getting to explore different things that I wouldn’t have expected in this universe. In some ways it feels like we’re making an independent film. Certain things we get to play with—this kind of intimacy that we get to find—it’s special. It’s been really fun.”

That’s so cool to hear! I guess that means we can expect the unexpected in this movie, and that’s pretty damn thrilling. I also like that he says the movie feels like an independent film and that there’s an intimacy to it. That’s exactly how the original films were made. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by this because the movie is being directed by Johnson who brought us films such as Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper

I was hoping he’d be able to bring the indie film intimacy of those films to Star Wars, and it sounds like that’s exactly what he’s done. 

Star Wars: Episode VIII opens December 15th, 2017.

J.K. Rowling Reveals New Wand Designs for HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

With the two-part Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play in development, the concept art for some of the props in the play has started to surface. The first piece of art comes from J.K. Rowling herself, and it gives us a look at some of the new wand designs that were created for the production. 

The image shows wands for Hermione, Harry, Ron, Draco, and Ginny, complete with style notes and wood types. If you're a talented craftsman, you could probably use this art to bring these wands to life for you own selfish desires!

In this new story, we learn what happened to Harry Potter, his family, and his friends. Here’s what we know about the story so far:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Daisy Ridley to Star in Fantasy Romance KOLMA For Producer J.J. Abrams

Daisy Ridley is set to star in another J.J. Abrams produced film project called Kolma. The film is a fantasy thriller that is being directed by Marielle Heller, who previously directed Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kolma will be a remake of Keren Margalit’s 2003 Israeli movie of the week, which was titled All I’ve Got. The story is described as “a cross between a loftier, more mystical version of The Notebook and Albert Brooks‘ 1991 fantasy romance Defending Your Life, the project follows a young couple who get in a car accident that leaves the man dead. 50 years later, the old woman is about to cross over and make the choice whether to reunite with her long-lost love in the hereafter or return to the fateful day her life changed forever.”

This sounds like a fascinating story and it sounds like a great project for Ridley to be a part of. She’s such a wonderful young actress and after seeing her in The Force Awakens, I’m looking forward to watching whatever else she ends up being a part of. She is also currently wanted for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot that’s set up at Warner Bros.

It makes complete sense that Ridley and Abrams would work together again. After all, he’s the guy who gave the actress her big shot! The actress is currently shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII with director Rian Johnson.