IR Film Review: Supernerd Knocks on the Door of ’10 Cloverfield Lane’

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Let’s get one thing clear – 10 Cloverfield Lane is a sequel to the 2007 shaky-cam monster flick Cloverfield in name only. There are no giant creatures tearing up buildings. You don’t have smart-aleck hipsters running around making the terrible decisions. There is the tell-tale creature roar, but that may be the only physical connection to the first film.

What you do get is stellar performances from John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. in a tense and gripping psychological thriller that never lets you get too comfortable and changes the questions just when you think you have the answers.

Michelle (Winstead) opens up the film in a series of fraught and wordless scenes, packing belongings and making frantic calls on her phone. She leaves her apartment with a look that says she doesn’t want to be headed to whatever her destination is (Bear McCreary’s score burrows under your skin here, settling in and nibbling at your nerves). Not too long after she starts her trek does she get into a horrible accident, flipping her vehicle into a ditch on the side of the road.

Waking up in a concrete room, Michelle finds herself chained to the wall. While in the midst of trying to make sense of her situation the door to her cell opens, revealing her savior and benefactor – Howard (Goodman). The grizzled and soft-spoken (for the moment) survivalist tells Michelle that the situation looks dire as an attack has the left the world outside of his doomsday bunker uninhabitable and that her best chance of survival is to stay with him for the next year (or two).

After coming to terms with this and finally getting to leave her cell/room, she meets the third party sharing the close quarters with her and Howard – Emmett, a younger man who helped Howard build their current accommodations.

What follows is one of the most intense thrillers I’ve had the pleasure to see in a cinema in recent years. Howard is obviously a conspiracy nut with more than one theory as to what might have happened – from the plausible (a biological attack by the Russians) to the ludicrous (alien invasion). His paranoia keeps all three of them underground locked up safe in his hidey-hole waiting out the apocalypse.

Michelle attempts to escape but thinks twice after  realizing Howard might actually be telling the truth. But truth or not, when other secrets come to the forefront and a chilling discovery is made, Michelle and Emmett  start to question just who it is they are locked up with and how safe they feel with the unhinged psycho that has trapped them underground.

Making his feature film directing debut, Dan Trachtenberg does an amazing job creating a truly fleshed out world in what amounts to a shed buried under someone’s backyard. The slow burn story from writers Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle takes its time making you feel uncomfortable but never really gives you a chance to get your bearings again – but that’s a good thing. The nervous tension keeps ramping up, building to a crescendo in the final act.

All three actors give top caliber performances. Winstead works really well as the back-against-the-wall style heroine, fighting like a caged animal for her freedom. Gallagher as the comic relief does his job admirably. The tension between him and Goodman is almost a physical thing. And speaking of the big guy, he seems to be having the most fun of all, going from slightly deranged to full-on psychotic at the drop of a hat. While Goodman still shows signs of genuine humanity and even kindness at times all it takes is for that switch to flip and then his rage comes bursting to the surface like a spewing volcano. It’s at that point you start to realize that maybe not all monsters are easily recognizable.

While I really liked the film overall the climax felt a little off. I can’t pinpoint exactly where the story seemed to veer for me but I just didn’t leave feeling wholly satisfied.

That being said, 10 Cloverfield Lane is still a quality piece of cinema that has a jittery energy to it that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the majority of the time, making this a worthwhile trip to the local multiplex.

GRADE: B+

Solo Movies for AQUAMAN and THE FLASH Will Continue JUSTICE LEAGUE Story

Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller will make their first appearances as Aquaman and The Flash in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The next time we see the characters after that will be in Zack Snyder‘s Justice League films. Then they’ll each get their own solo films! Aquaman is being directed by James Wan, and The Flash will be directed by Seth Grahame-Smith.

In case you’re wondering if these films will be origin stories, the answer is no. Wonder Woman is getting an origin story, and the Batman solo film is rumored to be an origin story, so it wouldn’t be hard to think that maybe Aquaman and The Flash would get origin films as well. That isn’t the case, though. 

During an interview with the Wall Street Journal, producer Charles Roven revealed that The Flash and Aquaman movies would continue the stories from where their characters leave off in Justice League. Roven says:

“While each movie stands alone, they’re all part of one long arc of storytelling.”

I like that they will move the story that started with Justice League forward with these characters’ solo films, and that there won’t be any backtracking. When writing for these characters, Justice League screenwriter Chris Terrio put a lot of work into learning the science and mythology behind them and the other team members. The report says: 

“He studied red- and blueshifts in electromagnetic physics to think about the Flash. Investigated deep sea biology in the Mariana trench to create the world of Aquaman, and read the Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily’s account of the war between Amazon and Atlantis to better understand Wonder Woman.”

When talking to the writer about working on these comic book movies, he said:

“If you told me the most rigorous dramaturgical and intellectual product of my life would be superhero movies, I would have said you were crazy.”

You’ve gotta remember that Terrio is the screenwriter behind Argo, and it didn’t seem like he was on the path to make superhero movies. Warner Bros. has really sucked him in though with Batman v Superman and Justice League. It’s awesome to see that he’s embraced it and is going to great lengths to makes sure he does these characters justice.

Justice League will open in November 17th, 2017. The Flash hits theaters on March 23rd, 2018, and Aquaman is scheduled to hit theaters July 27th, 2018.

Watch Orson Welles Host a 1975 NASA Documentary About Aliens

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Who’s Out There? is the name of a 1975 NASA documentary about aliens and extraterrestrial civilizations. If that’s not enough to spark your interest, maybe the fact that the documentary is hosted by the legendary actor Orson Welles will. This doc is not only completely amazing, but it’s also fascinating as hell.

This 1975 NASA film explores the view of extraterrestrial life emerging from the results of probes to the planets and interstellar discoveries and findings about the nature of life itself. The film discusses the conclusion drawn by a number of distinguished scientists that other intelligent civilizations exist in the universe. 

The doc starts off with Welles talking about becoming friends with author H.G. Wells after his legendary War of the Worlds radio broadcast. The video then goes into interviews with people who thought the broadcast was really happening. After that, it gets into the meat of the subject matter of aliens. This was such a joy to watch, so make sure to check it out. It might be the best 30 minutes of your day! I love the soothing sound of Welles’ voice.

Via: io9

Writer of Marvel’s CIVIL WAR Says BATMAN V SUPERMAN Trailer Was Better

I have to applaud Mark Millar for his bravery. It takes guts for the writer of the original Civil War comic series to say he likes the competition’s trailer more! Not to mention the dozens of death threats he’ll get from die hard Marvel fanboys and execs for openly admitting that on the countdown to each film’s release! The writer didn’t bash his Marvel project when he spoke up on Twitter, however, he just said DC gave him something Marvel didn’t…

No one can blame the man for being psyched about the Bat ass kicking! I think we all are forgetting how awesome that was in the wake of this new trailer. Here’s a reminder.

James Gunn Says Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Is “the Best Spider-Man Ever”

Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man just got a huge positive endorsement from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who has already seen the movie. Marvel’s version of Spider-Man debuted yesterday in the trailer for Captain America: Civil War and there were a lot of mixed reactions from the fans. I think the character looks great, and I’m surprised by all the naysayers. A lot of people say the character looks too CG, but the thing is… that is Tom Holland wearing a costume in the photo above. 

Gunn likes Holland in the role so much that he says he’s the best Spider-Man ever, and goes on to compare him to Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Here are the comments the director posted on social media:

As I've said before this was one of my favorite Marvel movies (and, no, it's not something I say about all Marvel…

Posted by James Gunn on Thursday, March 10, 2016

That’s some pretty high praise from Gunn, who is definitely building the hype. I think Gunn knows great talent when he see’s it, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of how Holland handles the character. 

Captain America: Civil War arrives in theaters on May 6th.

Tim Burton Says BEETLEJUICE 2 Is Ready To Start Filming

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any hype for Beetlejuice 2, but luckily Tim Burton was able to throw ShowbizSpy a bone! The director says they have the script finished, the cast they want on board, and all that’s left to do is roll the camera! The director’s exact quote can be found below…

The film is a go and has been approved by the Warner Bros. team, we have talked with the cast members we wanted for the film and they are all on board, this includes both Winona and Michael. We have the script in hand everything is in place all we need to do now is get ready to start filming.

I figured Keaton was a must have for the franchise, but I’m curious as to Winona Ryder’s role in the film! Ideally I would like the film NOT to be Winona Ryder having a family and her daughter befriends Beetlejuice. What I would like to see is a further look into the world of Beetlejuice like they showed in the cartoons! Now that we have the technology I think Burton would best excel if he went in that direction…your thoughts?

First Look at Alexandra Daddario in BAYWATCH

When the daughter meets the father in an alternate universe… No, not really. Apart from starring together in San Andreas, the two actors are now watching a bay together. On his Instagram profile, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a photo of him and his co-star Alexandra Daddario, who was cast as Summer Quinn in the remake of the famous ’90s show Baywatch.  I have to admit, Daddario seems ready and confident enough to join the team of lifeguards alongside Zac Efron, Kelly Rohrbach and Priyanka Chopra.

A few weeks ago, The Rock gave us the first official look at him staring as Mitch Buchannon and Zac Efron as Matt Brody. And before the movie hits theaters on May 19, 2017, I guess we will see more introductions.

She takes #BAYWATCH to another level.. World fell in love with @alexannadaddario in #SanAndreas and I was so impressed by her chops and presence every day, that I had to have her "rep the squad" in our film. Just wait til you see her – and all our girls – kick ass and protect the bay. #GameOver #BaywatchBabes #CoverYourEyesBoys #BAYWATCH MAY 2017.

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

P.S. Do you think that she really “takes Baywatch to another level”?

Punisher Confronts Daredevil in New DAREDEVIL Clip, Plus an Interview and Motion Posters

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“You know what I think of you, hero? I think you’re a half-measure. I think you’re a man who can’t finish the job. I think that you’re a coward. You know you’re one bad day away from being me.”

We’ve got some more Daredevil season two goodies to share with you today. We have a video from IGN that features a clip in which The Punisher confronts Daredevil. It also includes an interview with Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock) and Jon Bernthal (Frank Castle) talking about the series and the characters they play. 

I’ve also included two cool motion posters and a high-resolution image of the Daredevil billboards that we saw earlier in the week. These two characters are really going to have a hard time with each other. Judging by one of the motion posters Daredevil is going to get the shit beat out of him… again. 

Just when Matt thinks he is bringing order back to the city, new forces are rising in Hell’s Kitchen. Now the Man Without Fear must take on a new adversary in Frank Castle and face an old flame – Elektra Natchios. Bigger problems emerge when Frank Castle, a man looking for vengeance, is reborn as The Punisher, a man who takes justice into his own hands in Matt’s neighborhood. Meanwhile, Matt must balance his duty to his community as a lawyer and his dangerous life as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, facing a life-altering choice that forces him to truly understand what it means to be a hero.

Marvel’s Daredevil season two will start streaming next week, March 18th, 2016.

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