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Bryan Singer to direct new ‘X-Men’ film

- October 31st, 2012
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Director Bryan Singer on the set of X2.

So depending on what you thought about X-Men: First Class – Matthew Vaughan’s 2011 reboot of the Marvel franchise – you’ll either greet the news that director Bryan Singer is returning to the series he helped launch with extreme excitement or muted disappointment.

After news surfaced that Vaughan would not be directing the sequel to First Class, Singer announced he will be directing the next X-Men film – Days of Future Past.

While Vaughan is credited with resurrecting the franchise after Brett Ratner’s poorly received X-Men: Last Stand and Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it is Singer’s original X-Men films that helped usher the superhero genre into the 2000s.

In case you forgot, Singer opted not to make X-Men 3 instead choosing to reboot the Man of Steel in 2006′s Superman Returns (that didn’t work out so good, though).

Singer, who had a story credit on First Class, will be adapting a Chris Claremont story arc from the comic book that deals with alternate realities.

Sounds positively Fringe-y.

First Class stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are set to reprise their roles in the new film, which is going before cameras next year.

Days of Future Past is due out in July 2014.

‘A Good Day to Die Hard’: New trailer and poster

- October 25th, 2012

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Fellas, if you’re like me – conniving, manipulative, and always needing to get your way – then you’ve already started laying the groundwork to make sure that next Valentine’s Day goes your way.

I’m talking you, your lady, John McClane and an assortment of stuff blowing up. Maybe flowers will be mixed in there somewhere.

So to get you more stoked, the good folks at EW have released the first teaser poster from A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth film in Bruce Willis’ long-running action series.

And, along with this cheeky new poster, comes a brand new trailer, giving us some more action and revealing one key plot point in the new film: the McClane’s don’t hug.

This time around, the action takes place in Russia. And though that might have been because of tax breaks, the action (courtesy of director John Moore) looks slick. Just like the first film, it appears A Good Day to Die Hard will have about a five-minute preamble before stuff starts blowing up.

And that’s a good thing.

Check out the trailer below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

A Good Day to Die Hard hits theatres Feb. 14, 2013.

Twitter: @markhdaniell

Watch the trailer for ‘Iron Man 3′

- October 23rd, 2012

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So after two films where witty banter ruled, it seems Iron Man is getting a Dark Knight makeover. At least that’s how it looks from the newly-released trailer for Iron Man 3.

Backed by a haunting musical score, the new ad opens with a beaten Tony Stark laying bruised and battered in the snow. “I’ve got a lot of apologies to make,” Stark says in a voice-over as he removes his Iron Man mask.

“Nothing’s been the same since New York,” he continues, alluding to the mayhem that occurred in this summer’s Avengers. Remember that doozy? When Thor’s brother Loki came to Earth and flattened New York?

A voice-over continues over clips of familiar faces from the franchise – his gal Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and friend Rhodey (Don Cheadle) – before stopping on Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who, in the comic story arc Extremis, unleashes a super-soldier virus alongside the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).

“Some people call me a terrorist,” the Mandarin chillingly says. “I consider myself a teacher. Lesson No. 1: Heroes; there is no such thing.”

Then we see how Tony Stark’s world will totally come undone in the new film. His suits are destroyed and his palatial oceanfront retreat is barbecued. By the end, Stark is left dragging his mangled Iron Man suit through the snow.

All that’s missing is Commissioner James Gordon’s weary “rise” line from the Dark Knight Rises trailer earlier this year.

So yes, the film looks darker than its predecessors. And I like it.

Iron Man 3 is being helmed by Lethal Weapon scribe Shane Black (who also directed Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and is due out in North America May 3, 2013.

Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments.

Twitter: @markhdaniell

Ed Burns: Tyler Perry’s Alex Cross ‘kicks ass’

- October 19th, 2012
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Edward Burns and Tyler Perry in a scene from Alex Cross.

When you’re thinking small, indie film with lots of talking, writer-director Edward Burns might not be the first person who comes to mind.

But he’s up there.

So it’s odd to see him buffed up playing Robin to Tyler Perry’s Batman in the new cop thriller Alex Cross.

Based on the long-running James Patterson crime series, the film stars Perry as criminal profiler Alex Cross (who was first played onscreen by Morgan Freeman) and Burns as Cross’s childhood pal, Tommy Kane.

Now detectives on the Detroit police force, the pair join forces to hunt down a homicidal hitman nicknamed Picasso and played by a sinewy Matthew Fox.

“Matthew looks like a crazy person in this movie,” Burns said during an interview at TIFF last month.

And while Freeman’s incarnation of Cross in 1997’s Kiss the Girls and 2001’s Along Came a Spider was more procedural, Burns promises this latest version is wall-to-wall action.

“This film is real different from the Freeman versions; plus it’s directed by Rob Cohen who did Fast and the Furious and xXx, so it’s fast paced,” he said. “This is a straight-up action movie.”

The big question, though, is what will Perry fans make of his transition from the dress-up hijinks of the Madea movies to a no-nonsense cop in Alex Cross?

“Tyler kicks ass,” Burns said. “I’ve seen it and people are going to really dig him in this.”

The pairing on set worked so well it translated over into real life, with Perry influencing Burns’s upcoming work in The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.

“Tyler told me he was a fan of Brothers McMullen and he asked me why after 15 years, I hadn’t revisited the Irish-American world that film depicted. That led to conversations about how a filmmaker should be a brand. He said to me, ‘Look at what I do. I always have my audience in mind.’ And he suggested to me that if I went back and made another film that looked at that world, I’d have a lot of success with it. The minute he said that I thought, ‘This guy is absolutely right.’

“I sat down, opened up my laptop and started writing. Six weeks later, I had the first draft of the script that would be my next film – The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.”

Alex Cross is in theatres now. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas will be released next month.

Twitter: @markhdaniell

New trailer for ‘Jack Reacher’ starring Tom Cruise

- October 17th, 2012

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Fans of author Lee Child’s long-running crime series were miffed when news broke that Tom Cruise was going to portray the big-screen incarnation of his Jack Reacher character. See, the thing is Reacher is a big, imposing man who lets his fists do the talking and Tom is, well, a wee bit vertically challenged.

But after seeing the second trailer for Reacher, which is due out December 21, I kinda like how Cruise is channeling Liam Neeson a la Taken. “Do you think I’m a hero? I am not a hero…” Cruise warns one of the villains, before adding, “…I’d like to kill you.”

Cruise goes bad-ass? The last time he did that as the villain in Michael Mann’s Collateral he totally stole the show.

Reacher isn’t your standard hero – he’s an ex-military investigator who dishes out his own brand of justice. So I like the prospect of watching Cruise play a character who is a little frayed around the edges.

Bonus points for casting Werner Herzog as the villain and the always reliable Robert Duvall as one of Reacher’s allies.

Jack Reacher is being adapted by Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie and is based on Child’s One Shot – the ninth book in the Reacher series.

Watch the trailer and let us know what you think of Cruise’s latest in the comments below.