Note: This review was originally published on January 20th 2013 during the Sundance Film Festival. We are reprinting it for the film’s theatrical release.
Movie fans have long known that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a great actor. With Don Jon, the world will now see that he’s a talented writer and director too.
The film, his feature debut, focuses on a New Jersey-based ladies man who is hopelessly addicted to online pornography. A heavy and potentially uncomfortable topic for sure, but Gordon-Levitt handles it with an honesty and energy that makes it fun as well as easily digestible. The supporting cast, including Scarlett Johansson as a New Jersey princess-type, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore and Glenne Headly, only helps a film about objectification and media consumption feel so effortless and entertaining.
Don Jon is a high end Hollywood comedy masquerading as a Sundance film. Read the rest of my review, and watch a video blog featuring Peter Sciretta and Russ Fischer, below. Read More »
Saturday at the D23 Expo, Disney held a huge panel presenting information and footage from the company’s next few years of live-action film projects. You can read about most of the news breaks elsewhere on the site. After the presentation, I got together with Germain Lussier to record a video blog giving our reactions to the main footage presentations: scenes from the Marvel Sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World, as well as first looks from Maleficent, Tomorrowland, Saving Mr. Banks. Watch that video blog embedded after the jump.
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After the Marvel Studios presentation last night, the /Film Comic Con coverage team (Russ Fischer, Germain Lussier, Angie Han and Peter Sciretta) gathered together to record one last video blog in San Diego. This time our discussion centers on the footage that premiered during the Marvel Studios panel. This footage includes early looks at Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and a small tease for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
If you’re looking for a beat by beat description, look elsewhere on this site or on other blogs. Instead we give you our reaction and thoughts on what we saw. Watch the video embedded after the jump. Hope you had a good Comic Con!
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For the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, Legendary Entertainment spared no expense to create one of the coolest real world ARG experiences I’ve ever been part of. And thats a tough claim considering all the awesome viral events 42 Entertainment has created over the years in San Diego and elsewhere, most specifically for Tron Legacy and The Dark Knight. 42, an outside marketing company started by former Walt Disney Imagineers, has always struggled with the studios to provide these big real world experiences. Legendary Entertainment recently acquired film marketing agency Five33, which gives the team unprecedented access to work from within to create what might not be possible at other outside marketing companies.
The Godzilla Encounter is a ticketed experience set in a building which is a mere five minute walk outside of the San Diego Convention Center. /Film was given a preview of the experience, which will be open to fans from Thursday to Sunday. What did we see? Did we survive a Godzilla attack? See photos and watch our video blog after the jump.
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James Mangold has done something miraculous with The Wolverine. He’s made us care about the character beyond the claws. After X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it seemed like audience might be ready to write off Hugh Jackman‘s portrayal of everyone’s favorite adamantium-laced madman. With this film, though, Mangold takes the character back to his roots. We get into the psychology of him, his thoughts and desires, all wrapped around a very specific story set sometime after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand.
The Wolverine opens on July 26 and as we get closer, we’ll have much more on the film. For now, watch this spoiler-free video reaction with myself and Peter Sciretta. Read More »
The first five words I wrote on the script were “Everyone I love will die.” This is a movie about that. (James Mangold)
Talking to James Mangold, director of The Wolverine, you get a sense this guy gets it. Not only has he directed films in almost every genre, and made Oscar-winners of several of his stars, he believes a great superhero movie needs more than a title and some explosions. “Calling something ‘comic book’ has a danger,” he said. “It’s too easy to take a brand and shovel a movie out where it doesn’t all add up, but people are going to show up anyways, because it is a comic book and a brand. My whole thing is take it seriously. Take it seriously like you were making a western or another kind of film of classic lineage.”
In April, 20th Century Fox invited /Film to speak with the director and see the first 20 minutes of The Wolverine. After watching the footage, it’s pretty obvious Mangold is being incredibly serious. The first reel of the film has some big set pieces, but also sets up what may be a surprisingly complex movie dealing with topics like immortality and genocide. It’s a film he hopes will redeem the character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and maybe even set the stage for the bigger Fox Marvel Universe, even though it’s very much a standalone story.
Below, watch a non-spoiler video blog discussing the first 20 minutes of the film and read a bit more about Mangold’s intentions with The Wolverine from our in-depth interview. Read More »
After getting out of Iron Man 3 I was inundated with text messages from friends and colleagues asking not only how it was, but more than not how it compared against the first two films. This seems to be the question more and more nowadays. When I saw Monsters University at CinemaCon, people asked how it compared against the original and more than not, how it placed in my ranking of the Pixar filmography. I can’t even tell you which Pixar film is my favorite, never mind asking me to rank them. I understand people want context, thats probably why film grades, rotten tomato and IMDB scores are so massively popular.
I could tell you that Iron Man 3 is a much MUCH better movie than Iron Man 2, but what does that really say? While I don’t think it tops the original, many aspects of this film are better than the first film.
But what does that even really mean? That’s comment without context. For me its hard to compare because, as it turns out, Iron Man 3 is much much different than the first two films in the franchise. After the jump you can watch a spoiler free video blog I recorded with Steve from Collider after a recent screening, along with a few written thoughts.
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Last year at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox previewed very early footage for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. Attendees at the presentation were floored, and the buzz on all the blogs was that Pi was an Oscar contender. Some argued that April was too early to be calling for possible Oscar contenders, and they were probably right. We all know how that turned out.
This year Fox arrived in Vegas bearing another special preview: between fifteen and twenty minutes of the Ben Stiller-directed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (Stiller also stars.) Again, it’s April, it’s too early to make such claims, but the Oscar buzz has begun.
After the jump you can read my thoughts on the footage screened from Mitty, or watch a video blog I recorded with Alex from Firstshowing talking about presentations of footage from The Wolverine, Epic, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Sometimes movie studios come to CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest) to screen early cuts of their films. Dreamworks Animation came to Vegas in 2008 with an early cut of Kung Fu Panda with temp score and sequences of storyboards or unfinished rendered animation. A few years back Disney arrived at the convention with an early cut of Toy Story 3, with unfinished animation and lighting. Both of those worked out well enough.
This year Disney was confident enough in the latest Pixar effort to bring it to the convention. On the surface, Monsters University doesn’t seem like much of a gamble. It’s a sequel (errr prequel) to a blockbuster film from years ago, which brings beloved furry and one eyed franchise characters back to the screen. But the movie is very different from the original.
See spoiler-free video and written reactions, after the jump.
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Day 2 at CinemaCon began with a presentation from Universal Pictures.
Last year Universal arrived in Las Vegas with many goods — even previewing footage from films in production for only a few days — showcasing their line-up up until December 2013. This year they came to CnemaCon with a more conservative approach, screening footage only from their slate scheduled through this summer.
After the presentation I receorded a video blog with Alex from FirstShowing, giving our brief reactions to footage screened from R.I.P.D., Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6. Watch the video blog embedded after the jump.
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