Hercules set (header)

After years of trying, Brett Ratner is finally getting his chance to bring a legendary Greek hero to life. Production is currently underway on Hercules, based on Steve Moore‘s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

With the release date still a year away, it’s unlikely we’ll get to see real footage any time soon. But thanks to star Dwayne Johnson, we have our first peek at some of the props and costumes, along with the set. Hit the jump to check out the images.

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Dwayne Johnson Fast Five

Dwayne Johnson has had quite a 2013: Snitch, G.I. Joe Retaliation, Pain & Gain, Fast and Furious 6, he’s now shooting Hercules, was up for Transformers 4, will soon do Fast and Furious 7 and was even in the main event at Wrestlemania. However, if the latest rumor somehow comes true, it would terminate all of that.

The latest juicy, probably untrue, but amazing to imagine rumor is that the upcoming Terminator 5 is being developed with a role for Johnson. Read about that, and a few other Terminator rumors, below. Read More »

Empire State

Dwayne Johnson may be “franchise Viagra,” having helped prop up the Journey to the Center of the Earth, Fast and Furious, and G.I. Joe movie series over the past couple of years, but even he can’t keep Dito Montiel‘s Empire State from going straight to DVD.

The film’s lack of a theatrical run is even more surprising when we look at the rest of the cast list: The Hunger GamesLiam Hemsworth leads, while Michael Angarano and Emma Roberts play supporting roles. As starry ensembles go, it’s not Les Misérables, but it’s a combination that sounds on paper like it should sell tickets.

Then again, even the brightest, most talented stars can only do so much to elevate an otherwise mediocre film. And while the first trailer isn’t quite terrible, it is damningly generic. Hit the jump to check it out.

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The Wolverine

On November 1st 2012, I visited the set of The Wolverine in Sydney, Australia. To give you an idea of the timeline of my visit, Hurricane Sandy had just wreaked havoc in New York, and I woke up early one morning from the constant noises coming from my computer because I was getting so many notices of the breaking news that Disney had purchased LucasFilm and was making more Star Wars movies.

It is five in the morning and I’m standing in a street lined with Japanese houses covered with snow. The elaborate set was  built in a huge parking lot that was built for the 2000 Olympic games. Flakes of snow fall as ninjas run and ride motorcycles along the rooftops. Hugh Jackman is hanging off the top of a snow plow as it barrels down the street, away from a crowd of masked ninjas. Jackman, employing safety harnesses, flips to his feet on top of the snowplow and “activates” his claws. The second unit director calls “cut”, and Hugh notices our little grouping of press off in the corner and yells out “So you guys a pulling an all nighter? Why don’t you put some ninja suits on and get in the action?”

After the jump you will find a compilation of interesting facts I learned while visiting the set.

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‘Fast & Furious 6′ – What Did You Think?

Fast and Furious 6 poster header

Cast your mind back to the release of 2 Fast 2 Furious, a film that was derided from nearly all corners, and then look at this week’s release of Fast & Furious 6. It took a decade, but Universal’s car-racing franchise has evolved into “event” status. Whether you like the films or not, there’s no arguing that under the stewardship of Justin Lin, who took over as director with the third movie, this series of films has exploded as a fan favorite. Lin knows how to manage action, and he’s had a long-term plan to consistently up the ante on that front.

Much more importantly, Lin realized that consistent characters are what bring people back to the films. He talked Vin Diesel back into the fold and then developed a suite of characters to fill out four individual films that ultimately work as one interlocked narrative. It’s an action-movie soap opera, sure, but one featuring precisely the sort of reliance on character that very few other action series get right.

The sixth film pushes outward in every direction: there are more characters and amped-up drama, and the action setpieces are more improbable and ridiculous than ever. Fast & Furious 6 won’t ever be held up as a major moral statement, but there’s a lot to be said for the series’ general tendency to trumpet values in friendship and family. There’s a sense of values here that could also be present in, say, the Die Hard movies, if the last couple McClane sequels weren’t such botch jobs.

With Fast & Furious 6 in theaters now, we’re curious to know how you feel about the film. Does the action work, and do the interlinked stories and characters provide enough meat to flesh out all the time between setpieces? Let us know in the comments below, where spoilers are allowed and encouraged. Read More »

Fast and Furious 6 poster header

“All roads lead to this.” That’s the tagline for Fast and Furious 6 and it’s appropriate on several different levels. The film is the final series entry from director Justin Lin, who picked up a fledgling franchise and carried it into the blockbuster realm. It also marks the culmination of a story that began at the end of Tokyo Drift, when a cameo from Vin Diesel signaled the shift from a set of loosely connected films to a tightly intertwined set of stories and characters.

Finally, Fast and Furious 6 marks the total obliteration of any semblance of reality or logic in the franchise.

Speeding through a city with a huge safe in tow seemed crazy in Fast Five. In Fast and Furious 6 Lin expands the action to absurd proportions, creating set pieces and action beats that defy physics and coherence. Yet it all works to purring perfection. After five movies, all roads indeed lead to this madness. Read More »

BongzBerry - Man of Steel

When do Man of Steel tickets go on sale to the general public? What did Kevin Feige have to say about possible Phase Three films Doctor Strange, Inhumans, Runaways and more? Which character does Dwayne Johnson want to play in the Marvel Universe? Where can you see a live Iron Man 3 art discussion? What are the best superhero board games? Are S.H.I.E.L.D. and Pulp Fiction related in anyway? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Dominic Cooper Captain America

While Dwayne Johnson‘s plans to play DC’s Lobo were dashed earlier this year, he could still find his way to another superhero movie if Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige has his way.

I think yeah, I mean his name has come up in the past. I’m a gigantic fan of his, I think he’s an incredible – I might have met him once a long time ago, but I haven’t really met him. I don’t really know him – but I think he’s an unbelievable personality and an unbelievable sort of force of nature. He’s awesome in Pain & Gain, he was great in G.I. Joe, he’s really kind of an amazing human being. His Twitter’s always cool and he promotes the hell out of everything he does. I would love him to be part of the Marvel universe somewhere, someday.

Johnson would be a fun addition to the MCU, though Feige doesn’t say exactly how the actor might fit in. Johnson has previously expressed his interest in playing Luke Cage, though as far as we know there’s no Luke Cage project in the works right now. (Well, S.H.I.E.L.D. rumors notwithstanding.) Who would you like to see him play? [Collider]

After the jump, Dominic Cooper is returning for the Captain America sequel, and Mark Ruffalo talks The Avengers 2 and Iron Man 3.

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