Release date: Friday November 5, 2010 Genre: Comedy, Adventure Director: Todd Phillips Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Screenplay: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel, Todd Phillip Producer(s): Todd Phillips, Dan Goldberg Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Alan Arkin Official Site:duedatemovie.warnerbros.com Rating:Not yet rated Available film art:Due Date movie posters
Synopsis Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife’s due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan—on what turns out to be a crosscountry road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter’s last nerve.
Back in 1987, in the golden age of action heroes, the horror film Predator featured the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura as muscular mercenaries fighting space aliens in the Amazon. Now, “Predator” has been remade, as Predators and the space aliens are now at war with Adrien Brody, who won an Oscar in 2002 for playing the emaciated piano player persecuted by the Nazis in “The Pianist“
Thus the world of the action hero has changed: Bulked-up Oscar winners are racing through the world’s jungles with submachine guns, while aging bodybuilders and athletes are going into politics.
Nor is Brody alone. Earlier this summer, the hunky, swashbuckling hero of “Prince of Persia” was played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who received an Oscar nod for “Brokeback Mountain“. Next year’s “Green Hornet” will star Seth Rogen, the amiably chunky co-star of such comedies as “The Forty Year Old Virgin” and “Superbad“. The current titleholder as World’s Favourite Superhero is Robert Downey Jr., who received an Oscar nomination in 1992 for “Chaplin“, but now thrills crowds as “Iron Man” and — for a change of pace — an unusually athletic “Sherlock Holmes“. Oscar nominee, Edward Norton (“American History X” and “Primal Fear”) has announced he will not return as “The Hulk” in “The Avengers”, but the rumour is that he may be replaced by Mark Ruffalo (Independent Spirit Award for “You Can Count On Me”.)
Where have you gone, Sylvester Stallone?
Nowhere, actually. At 64, Stallone is reuniting his action-hero pals — Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren — along with some of the new guys, such as Jason Statham, in “The Expendables“, a movie that plays on the image of the golden age icons. There weren’t many Oscar winners among them, let alone nominees for Independent Spirit Awards, but bicep for bicep, they could kick Adrien Brody’s butt. If Schwarzenegger had been a piano player in 1940s Poland, he would have won the Second World War single-handedly.
Today they’re, well, expendable: Stallone and Schwarzenegger and the others of a more muscular era — a time when an Austrian accent or a mouthful of marbles didn’t stand in the way of saving the world — have been replaced by a more lithe and athletic model. Statham is a throwback to that era, but the other Great White Hopes of the 21st Century, names like Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, have faded into jokey takeoffs or children’s movies, where their size and fearsome demeanour are played for laughs.
That’s also a danger with action films, of course, and the reason why “The Expendables” appears to come with the ironic self-awareness that has made the genre so ripe for parody: the muscled men mowing down the enemy while remaining invulnerable themselves.
The action heroes of the early days of cinema were performers such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Errol Flynn, dashing heroes who bounded around historic sets, outsmarting evil kings or sorcerers. They had a pre-computer athleticism that has been replaced today by the martial-arts suppleness of Jackie Chan or Jet Li, who is also in “The Expendables”. Sometimes they were cowboys, like John Wayne, an early example of the Large Man, whose power is that he doesn’t get hit by bullets, but never misses himself, an ability that has been passed down through the ages.
The action hero as muscleman was a function of the biblical epic or the historic fable: 1950s beefcake Steve Reeves, say, flexing his muscles as Hercules or — to a newer generation — Schwarzenegger looming ominously as “Conan the Barbarian”. But in the new age of big special effects, he came in other forms as well: suave (Sean Connery and the other Bonds), smart (Matt Damon and Will Smith), absurd (Steven Segal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, et al.), retro (Harrison Ford), insane (Mel Gibson, then and now), or smirking (the Law of Bruce Willis).
Rambo intensity gave way to Neo metaphysics: The hero who could defy gravity and dodge bullets was a creation of both special effects and a new kind of heroism, the bravery that comes at the edge of an existential void. Humphrey Bogart — a kind of action hero in the 1940s, when they were noir and fought with fists — stared into a glass of booze and wondered why, of all the gin joints in the world, she had to walk into his; Keanu Reeves stared at a blank manufactured world and wonders at the very nature of reality.
Meanwhile, almost when no one was looking, a new kind of tough guy invaded the action genre, and it wasn’t a guy at all. Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley kicked alien butt in “Alien“; Uma Thurman kicked martial-arts butt in the “Kill Bill” film;, Sarah Connor kicked time-travel butt in the “Terminator” films. Last month, Angelina Jolie took over a role that was meant to be played by Tom Cruise — a part-time action star who fatally injured his career jumping from a couch — and kicked CIA butt in “Salt“.
The result is a confusing time for the action genre, which is suspended between two eras: The no-neck he-men are giving way to actual actors and (gulp!) women. The development has created films that are more flexible, mashups of action and irony of the sort you get when a Michael Cera, say, goes all tough-guy in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World“. The classic action stars have, through age and popular taste, become figures of nostalgia.
“My men are not expendable,” said Schwarzenegger in the original “Predator”, but, 13 years later, that’s exactly what they are.
As far as sequels go Iron Man 2 “is a cut above most”, says Jim Vejvoda at IGN. It introduces a lot of new characters in the set up for The Avengers 2012, but it deals with it well. Read on but be aware there are spoiler alerts.
Contrary to what AC/DC says – the band of choice in the Iron Man films – hell is a bad place to be, especially if you’re Tony Stark. In many ways, Iron Man 2 is an argument for a superhero maintaining his/her secret identity. Tony is definitely paying the piper for his glib declaration at the end of the first movie that he is Iron Man. Now, six months later, the U.S. government wants his tech, as does Stark’s rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell, playing him as Tony’s villainous doppelganger), who has succeeded Tony as the U.S. military’s top weapons manufacturer. Tony is more arrogant than ever, and his ego — to swipe a line from Top Gun — is writing checks that his body can’t cash.
Tony brazenly shows up both Hammer and a U.S. Senator (Garry Shandling) during a televised hearing. The government doesn’t like the idea of a private citizen possessing such potentially destructive technology and wants in on how to make it. What if their enemies developed such tech? Tony dismisses their fears, saying that any such advances are at least 20 years away. But what he doesn’t know is that at that moment an old enemy of his family’s is hard at work in Russia on his own version of Stark Industries’ arc technology.
Click HERE to read the rest of the indepth two page review (Spoiler alerts).
If the rumours at BloodyDisgusting.com are to be believed, Universal Pictures is planning a reboot of Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles, with a Hollywood heavyweight apparently in talks to play bloodsucker Lestat.
According to the horror site, none-other-than Robert Downey Jr. is contemplating playing the French nobleman-turned-vampire, who appeared in several of Rice’s books.
If he does take the role, Downey Jr. would follow in the footsteps of Tom Cruise, who played Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, and Stuart Townsend, who played him in Queen of the Damned.
So come on fang fans – do you think Downey Jr is a good fit for the part, or will Lestat-lovers be as angry about this choice as they were when Cruise first landed the role?
These are the new DVD releases for August 4, 2009.
Derek Charles (Idris Elba), a successful asset manager who has just received a huge promotion, is blissfully happy in his career and in his marriage to the beautiful Sharon (Beyonce Knowles). But when Lisa (Ali Larter), a temp worker, starts stalking Derek, all the things he’s worked so hard for are placed in jeopardy.
Cast: Beyoncé Knowles, Idris Elba, Ali Larter, Christine Lahti, Bruce McGill, Scout Taylor-Compton, Ron Roggé; Directed By: Steve Shill
Playing Together Nicely
Obsessed: Dressed to Kill
Race to Witch Mountain
For years, stories have circulated about a secret place in the middle of the Nevada desert, known for unexplained phenomena and strange sightings. It’s called Witch Mountain, and when a Las Vegas cab driver (Dwayne Johnson) finds two teens with supernatural powers in his cab, he suddenly finds himself in the middle of an adventure he can’t explain. They work together to discover that the only chance to save the world lies in unraveling the secrets of Witch Mountain, and the race begins.
Columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) is at a dead end. The newspaper business is in an uproar, his marriage to a fellow journalist has fallen apart and he can’t entirely remember what he loved about his job in the first place. Then, one day, while walking through Los Angeles’ Skid Row, he sees the mysterious bedraggled figure Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), pouring his soul into a two-stringed violin.
At first, Lopez approaches Ayers as just another story idea in a city of millions. But as he begins to unearth the mystery of how this alternately brilliant and distracted street musician, once a dynamic prodigy headed for fame, wound up living in tunnels and doorways, it sparks an unexpected quest. Imagining he can change Ayers’ life, Lopez embarks on a quixotic mission to get him off the streets and back to the world of music.
But even as he fights to save Ayers’ life, he begins to see that it is Ayers—with his unsinkable passion, his freedom-loving obstinacy and his valiant attempts at connection and love—who is profoundly changing Lopez.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Stephen Root; Directed by: Joe Wright
Commentary by director Joe Wright
An Unlikely Friendship: Making The Soloist
Kindness, Courtesy and Respect: Mr. Ayers + Mr. Lopez
One Size Does Not Fit All: Addressing Homelessness in Los Angeles
Iron Man star, Robert Downey Jr. talks about the “dangers of bring Marvel’s The Avengers to the big screen.”
“If we don’t get it right it’s really, really going to suck.” So says Robert Downey, Jr. about the dangers of bringing Marvel’s The Avengers to the big screen.
“It has to be the crowning blow of Marvel’s best and brightest because it’s the hardest thing to get right. It’s tough to spin all the plates for one of these characters,” Downey recently told MTV from the London set of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.
The star added, “The danger you run with colliding all these worlds is [director] Jon [Favreau] was very certain that Iron Man should be set in a very realistic world. Nothing that happened in Iron Man is really outside the realm of possibility. Once you start talking about Valhalla and supersized super-soldiers and jolly green giants it warrants much further discussion.”
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Yahoo! News is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. will be “suiting to star in Iron Man“, Marvels next movie based on the super-hero character. Read on:
Robert Downy Jr. is suiting up to star in “Iron Man,” a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character.
Jon Favreau is directing the Paramount Pictures release. Filming is slated to begin in February in Los Angeles.
Downey will portray Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Using his intelligence and ingenuity, Stark instead builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to the U.S., he uncovers a plot with global implications and must don his armor and protect the world.
The comic debuted in the 1960s, and Iron Man’s origin involved Stark being a prisoner of the Viet Cong. The movie version will be set in today’s geopolitical climate.
Budgeted at more than $100 million, it marks the first feature film to be produced independently by Marvel Entertainment, which previously licensed its characters, such as “Spider-Man” and “X-Men,” to other studios.
Marvel president of production Kevin Feige said the filmmakers looked for the best actor to embody the character.
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