mandarin

This first clip for the next Marvel one-shot, All Hail the King, positions the tone of the short as a midpoint between the comedic underpinnings of Iron Man 3 and the political thriller aspirations of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (Makes sense, as Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce wrote and directed the short.)

In this footage a writer, played by Scoot McNairy, gives us an overview of the situation that is about to transpire: he’s interviewing the Mandarin from prison, and trying to make some sense out of who the man is. The title card and general feel have the characteristics of a late ’60s to mid ’70s thriller, but there’s that wink of comedy underneath.

It’s a great clip; see more below. Read More »

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Disney Wars Han Rider and Baloo the Wookie (header)

No, the header image isn’t from an impending Star Wars-Disney crossover — it’s just a fun bit of fan art. You can see the full image, plus the artist’s takes on Darth Vader and Princess Leia, after the jump. Also:

  • Clone Wars‘ Darth Maul will get a proper sendoff — in comics.
  • Are these the “top 10 Star Wars moments of 2013″?
  • Watch a short film by a pre-Star Wars George Lucas.
  • Peter Mayhew has a bunch of awesome old set photos.
  • See baddies in action in a new Star Wars Rebels still.

Read More »

Iron Man 3 Mandarin header

Love him or hate him, Ben Kingsley‘s Mandarin was certainly one of the most surprising villains we’ve had in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Now, the latest Marvel One-Shot, “All Hail the King,” revisits the character to find out exactly what happened to him after the events of Iron Man 3.

Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce wrote and directed the new film, which features the return of Kingsley along with new characters played by Scoot McNairy (Argo) and Crystal the monkey (of Hangover fame). The first images and details have just been revealed, and you can dig in after the jump. Be warned that major spoilers for Iron Man 3 follow.

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Party Central

The next Disney/Pixar short film, Party Central, debuted at this summer‘s D23 Expo. Set in the Monsters University universe, it follows the Oozma Kappa clan as they throw a frat party. But no one shows up, and they remedy the situation by using some crazy tactics to steal a rival party.

Originally, the short was going to debut with The Good Dinosaur, but as that film has now been pushed back until 2015, Party Central (above) will now premiere with March’s Muppets Most Wanted.

Speaking of that film, you can watch a new viral video from it, jokingly showing how excited the Internet is for the next Muppet movie. Read More »

Thor Dark World Loki header

The wait between Marvel Cinematic Universe feature films can be excruciating. Thankfully, Marvel helps ease the pain with short films called One-Shots, which are canon within the larger story of the feature films. So far, most DVD/Blu-ray releases have had One-Shots such as Item 47 and Agent Carter. Last year’s Thor: The Dark World hits Blu-ray February 25, and will features a One-Shot called All Hail The King. Read More »

howard-cantour-shia-short

“Most critics will give any movie three and a half stars if it flatters their self-image.” That’s interior monologe from the title character in HowardCantour.com, in which Jim Gaffigan plays schlubby film critic and self-styled “warrior” Howard Cantour. But the guy’s voice is far more confident and confrontational when passed through a keyboard than when uttered in person. Shia LaBeouf directed the short, which gently mocks Gaffigan’s critic as it observes him flatulently mocking a film director.

This short takes a lot of well-aimed shots at the culture of film criticism and marketing, as it also indulges in hyperbole of its own. In time, it also cuts to the heart of how some people interact with films — noting that lines can blur between wanting to be moved and actually being affected by something. Watch below.

Update: This is getting messy, as the film is very obviously an adaptation of a comic story by Daniel Clowes, with no credit given to the creator. And Clowes now says he’s never talked to LaBeouf.

Update 2: In a string of tweets, embedded below, LaBeouf has offered an extended “apology.”

Read More »

PROXiMITY-short

The typical formula for a short film to get millions of views is to assemble a huge collection of effects and high concept sci-fi stuff, without much concern for story or character.

PROXiMITY, awkward title spelling aside, is a lot more traditional, but that doesn’t mean boring. What that means is that the short is a simple idea — a riff on The Most Dangerous Game, and on the techno-thrillers that have sprung from it — explored with a couple twists and an almost non-existent effects component. This short is a solid idea, one location, and a few guys with a camera and a couple props. And it works really well. Check it out below. Read More »

november-22-1963-morris

Almost exactly fifty years ago as I write this, President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX, and we’re still talking about aspects of the shooting decades later. Was there a single shooter, or multiple assassins? Was the killing the action of a loner, or the product of a conspiracy involving the CIA, the Mob, and foreign powers?

Errol Morris has looked into the JFK assassination before, in works like the short The Umbrella Man. For that short he talked to Josiah “Tink” Thompson, a professor-turned-private investigator. He’s also a proponent of a three-gunmen theory, as put forth in the book Six Seconds In Dallas, which takes a scientific and evidence-based approach to the theory that multiple shooters acted on that day in Texas.

Now Morris presents more material with Tink, in a short called November 22, 1963, which looks at the various photographic evidence captured that day by ordinary citizens. The Zapruder film is, of course, the spine that connects many other pieces of evidence, but here the two men lay out a path of photographic evidence, and discuss how it effects our understanding of what happened that afternoon.  Read More »

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