Ben Affleck’s 7 Best Batman Moments In The DCEU

Ben Affleck’s tenure as Batman is at an end, and while he never got a solo film to strut his stuff, the actor has given audiences more awesome Batman moments than some actors who have. For those suspicious of that statement, or others simply wishing to relive the best moments of his time wearing the cowl in the DC Extended Universe, here are Affleck’s seven best Batman moments in chronological order.

Batman Runs Towards The Destruction

One of Ben Affleck’s first scenes as Batman is perhaps his coolest, as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice showed Man of Steel‘s battle in Metropolis from an alternate point of view. Bruce Wayne spots the destruction and mayhem going on in the distance, and despite him being out of harm’s way, he gets in his car and drives towards the destruction for a closer look.

That much was expected, because he is Batman after all, but what follows really takes it over the top. Bruce continues to delve further into the chaos and in harm’s way, despite the fact that none of his Batman gear is on hand. He does what he can to help the victims of the collapsed building, which isn’t much. Though he doesn’t do a lot, the scene is a perfect show of Batman’s want to help others and protect humanity.

Batman Scares A Rookie Cop

Fear is a big part of how Batman operates, and while he’s a good guy, he’s also scary as hell. Batman films have generally been good about showing this, although it’s usually through the lens of villains. This changed in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when a rookie cop heads off in search of The Dark Knight after learning he’s on the second floor.

The young cop panics upon spotting Batman and begins firing wildly out of fear. Afterward, he explains to his colleague that he’s never seen him in person, as if to justify almost killing him. The scene is especially excellent over similar Batman scenes as it shows the hero is not just a figure feared by criminals. A hero who operates on fear could decide only to intimidate criminals with his presence, but it probably works better when everyone is afraid.

Batman’s Showdown With Superman

It’s the cinematic event the world waited a long time to see and, for the most part, it didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, the “Martha” scene has somewhat tarnished the legacy of what was one of Batman v Superman‘s best fight scenes, and one of the best the DCEU has done in general. Who would’ve thought with the way that fight started that it would be Batman ultimately deciding whether Superman lived or died?

The movie did a great job of making it seem like Batman’s extensive preparation for the battle was a big waste of time. The first two and a half minutes are just him getting blasted back as Superman tears through his traps with little struggle. Then, Bats hits him with the Kryptonite grenade, and one has to wonder if that wasn’t all part of a plan to convince Supes to lower his guard for that attack that turned the tables.

Batman Tears Through A Warehouse

Once Batman and Superman bond over the shared name of their mothers, Bruce hauls ass to a warehouse where Clark’s mother is being held hostage by criminals hired by Lex Luthor. This  leads to what may be the best fight sequence in the DCEU to date, as Batman tears through a large room of armed assassins using a mixture of gadgets and hand-to-hand combat. It’s chaotic, brutal, gritty and Batman at his finest.

Which makes it all the more devastating that Ben Affleck’s Batman never got a solo movie. Imagine a feature that’s a mix of the stealth and the action of the warehouse fight. There’s no way a movie like that is getting panned, regardless of how many times characters name drop “Martha.” Granted, DC might still keep that type of Batman in The Batman, but the fact that it won’t be Batfleck behind the cowl already makes it a bit disappointing.

Batman Chases Joker And Harley

Batman didn’t get a lot of time in Suicide Squad, but he sure made what little screen-time he was given counted. Ben Affleck is first seen confronting Deadshot in front of his daughter, and then later he’s chasing down Harley and Joker on the Gotham City streets. The Dark Knight starts the journey in the Batmobile, but for some reason ultimately decides going to the roof is the better play.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it looks cool as hell. Plus, Batman has a reason for everything, so who can really say staying in the highly armored car was the optimal strategy as opposed to dodging bullets on top of a purple Vaydor? Whatever his reasons, Batman was able to save Harley because he was out of the car. Side note, it’s a shame those two probably won’t get to discuss that kiss she snuck post rescue.

Batman Battles The Parademon

Batman fights a ton of Parademons in Justice League, but the coolest of these tussles sees him using a would-be thief as bait to lure the first seen Parademon out. What’s even crazier is that Bruce doesn’t decide to view this thing from a distance or throw a patented Bat-tracking device on the beast. Instead, he takes a running start off the ledge, tackles the hell-spawn midair and goes flying with it into the night.

It’s such a wild scene, while at the same time so Batman. The Caped Crusader recognized a threat, devised a way to get a closer look and then did what had to be done. Wonder Woman and Superman may have been able to do it quicker, and with far less effort, but Bruce’s humanity only makes the whole thing even more badass. Again, it’s a shame we couldn’t see more of Batfleck doing stuff like this in a solo movie.

Batman Inspires The Flash

The cinematic Batman has never been much for monologues, but he’s had a handful of memorable lines in his various films. One of the better ones from recent memory came from Justice League, when Bruce was forced to come up with some words of wisdom for a rattled Barry Allen. Bruce had to choose his words carefully with The Flash, or risk losing The Fastest Man Alive to an anxiety attack.

Luckily, he found some, and “save one” proved to do the job just fine. Flash managed to shake off his anxiety enough to do the job, and Batman was able to continue saving the day without another hero tapping on his shoulder and asking what he should be doing. It’s one of Batman’s best speeches of Ben Affleck’s whole tenure, although maybe we shouldn’t say that in the freak chance the Snyder Cut gets released.

So what was the best Batfleck moment from this group? Be sure to cast a vote in the poll or drop down to the comments and talk about a pivotal scene that we may have missed. For more info on The Batman, read up on what the franchise’s new game plan is post-Affleck.

What Was Ben Affleck’s Greatest Batman Moment?

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Why Sequels Like Glass Work Better These Days, According To M. Night Shyamalan

Those who waited for an Unbreakable sequel finally got their wish nearly two decades later, as earlier this month, Glass, which also followed the events of Split, hit theaters. Just like Unbreakable, Glass put its own spin on comic book storytelling, which has become much more prominent in Hollywood in the years since Unbreakable came out. So naturally there familiarity in Glass for people who’ve been following superheroes, and writer/director M. Night Shyalmalan believes familiarity is the key to a sequel to succeeding nowadays. In his words:

Re-telling stories has been part of moviemaking since the beginning, but nowadays reboots, remakes, sequels, prequels, etc, have definitely become more prominent, which is what M. Night Shyamalan brought up during his interview with Hot Press. In his mind, audiences crave that feeling of connection and safety, which comic book stories in particular provide. But whether it’s a tale about people with special powers or just a general follow-up to a previous movie, Shyamalan believes that “familiar” feeling is crucial to deliver a cinematic product audiences will like.

While Glass received mixed-to-negative reception from critics overall, its commercial performance certainly strengthens M. Night Shyamalan’s argument. Made off a $20 million budget, the Eastrail Trilogy 177 capper has made over $166 million worldwide, although Unbreakable and Split still have it beat monetarily. In any case, Shyamalan has already ruled out Glass getting a sequel, so we won’t learn what happens after the threequel’s ending. In fact, Shyamalan isn’t working on a follow-up to any of his preexisting stories, because he wants to give moviegoers another “original thriller.”

As far as sequels in general go this year, once again, there won’t be any shortage of those to enjoy. From Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home to IT: Chapter 2 and Frozen 2, audiences will be getting that familiarity that M. Night Shyamalan talked about, while the former two examples are, needless to say, filling the comic book movie void quite nicely amongst the other genre offerings.

Canada Is Demanding Netflix Should Pay For Bird Box’s Disaster Footage

Bird Box became Netflix’s biggest hit over the holidays, but buzz around the film has been more so about a number of controversies more than anything else. After the streaming service had to do damage control on the danger of the trending Bird Box Challenge, the film has also angered Canadian officials over some footage of a 2013 Quebec rail disaster. Now, the country’s parliament has passed a motion, asking that Netflix pay the town affected to further express their gripes with the streaming giant.

A couple of weeks ago, Canadians showed their disapproval for the use of real footage of a train crash that occurred in Lac-Megantic, Quebec after an unattended train carrying crude oil went off the tracks and exploded, killing 47 people. The tragedy was in the scene when Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson’s characters turn on the news to see disasters happening all over Europe.

Netflix was asked to remove the footage of the train tragedy, which the streaming service licensed by stock image vendor Pond 5. While Netflix apologized, they refused to switch out footage that the vendor said they took “out of context” in Bird Box, and additionally used in a recent scene in season three of Netflix’s Travelers.

In a more aggressive move from Canadian Parliament Wednesday, a new non-binding motion demands Netflix compensates the people of Lac-Megantic. Legislator Pierre Nantel told The Hollywood Reporter, “For people in Lac-Megantic, they saw images of their own downtown burning, and could imagine their own family members in it” to express the potential tragic effect the film could have on those affected.

When Bird Box was released, some Canadians took to social media to warn people about the footage’s potential to trigger PTSD and other victimization surrounding the train incident for those who witnessed or lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Since the motion was passed, Netflix has refused to comment but in a prior letter to Quebec’s culture minister the streaming service recognized Canada’s frustration and grief surrounding seeing images of the incident but said they cannot make alterations to “finished content”.

Netflix certainly doesn’t seem to be budging about Canada’s concerns thus far, though this isn’t the first headache the company has had to deal with for Bird Box. When videos of people completing the Bird Box Challenge flurried though the internet in early January, Netflix had to issue a warning, imploring people to not do it for the memes. A caution ignored by one teen who was in a car accident, due to driving while blindfolded, thankfully she wasn’t injured.

Netflix’s Bird Box is currently available to stream on their site and be sure to check out what new movie and television titles will make their way to the platform in February.

Hellboy Really Needs To Change Its Release Date Before Things Get Ugly

Superhero movies are no longer summer-only experiences. As the genre has grown more popular, now various studios are comfortable releasing such theatrical offerings during other times of the year, which is why we find ourselves in an interesting predicament this April. Shazam!, Hellboy and Avengers: Endgame are all coming out that month, each representing a different comic book company. As previously acknowledged, Hellboy is the most likeliest to be negatively affected by this strange scheduling, so if Lionsgate is wise, it’ll push the reboot back further before it gets massacred by the competition.

For what it’s worth, Hellboy was originally scheduled to come out on January 11, but last September, Lionsgate decided to push it to April 12. No specific reason was provided, although given that marketing still hadn’t begun at the time, the move didn’t come as a complete shock. Plus, January is typically a lackluster month for movies, so one can’t blame Lionsgate for wanting to move it to a better spot. However, now Hellboy is sandwiched between Shazam! on April 5 and Avengers: Endgame on April 26.

If Shazam! was the only major motion picture Hellboy had to compete with, then maybe an argument could be made for keeping it where it currently is. But just like it did with Avengers: Infinity War last year, Marvel decided to move Avengers: Endgame from its early May spot to late April. So now, in addition to Hellboy contending with Shazam! stragglers its opening weekend, Hellboy will also have to deal with Avengers: Endgame grabbing peoples’ attentions in its third weekend. That’s not good at all.

Let’s face the facts: although he’s built up a solid fanbase ever since hitting the Dark Horse Comics scene in 1993, Hellboy isn’t a well-known character to the general public. Sure he got to lead two movies last decade directed by Guillermo del Toro that earned positive reception, but they didn’t make a splash commercially (which is part of the reason why Hellboy III never moved forward). No doubt Lionsgate is hoping that the Hellboy reboot will spawn an even bigger franchise that makes Big Red a household name; there’s certainly enough material that Hellboy mastermind Mike Mignola has created over the years to warrant a cinematic universe.

But as things stand now, Hellboy has DC and Marvel overlapping with its theatrical run. I don’t need to tell you how big of a deal Avengers: Endgame will be. Just look at how Avengers: Infinity War did last year, and then presume Endgame will do just as well, if not better. As for Shazam!, while the World’s Mightiest Mortal also isn’t that popular a character to the general public, at least it’s part of an established franchise, with the latest entry, Aquaman, having just become the highest-grossing DC movie of all time. Combined with its fun tone, it’s a good bet plenty of people will check it out throughout April.

Taking all this into account, Lionsgate would be better suited postponing Hellboy so that it has a better chance of succeeding rather than be bombarded by two more high-profile blockbusters. Admittedly, a movie being delayed twice or more usually isn’t a good look, as evidenced by what’s happened with Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants. Public perception is important, but when pitted against how much money the movie will ultimately make, it’s better for the studio to prioritize the latter over the former.

So when should Hellboy be released? Definitely during the peak summer movie season. May to July is already packed to the brim with major blockbusters that would get interfere with Hellboy’s performance just like Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame will. It’s possible the reboot could potentially thrive in August, when the summer movie season winds down, but there are still the likes of Hobbs and Shaw and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark providing competition. November and December are also out because those winter releases (Terminator 6, Frozen 2, Star Wars: Episode IX, etc) are just as big, if not bigger, than the summer ones.

Since delaying Hellboy to 2020 would be questionable no matter what way you look at it, that leaves September and October, which is frankly a much better fit for this reboot. While the trailer didn’t do a good job of presenting this, it’s been said numerous times that Hellboy will be a darker, more horror-infused tale. What better time to release such a spooky movie then when Halloween is weeks away? Besides, having seen how Venom did last year as the only comic book movie of fall 2018, Hellboy taking a similar approach might get more people to see it on the big screen since there’s not as much action-packed content to check out that time of the year.

That being said, unlike Venom, Hellboy would be better off avoiding October and coming out in September instead. October has movies like Joker and Zombieland: Double Tap coming out, which Hellboy should steer clear from. In September, though, the only movie that could potentially interfere with Hellboy is IT: Chapter 2 at the beginning of the month, so if Hellboy comes out on the weekend of September 20 or 27, then it’ll have a week or two to “stand on its own” amidst the other movies that don’t really cross over with what it’s offering. It would certainly fare better than in its current April spot. So to the appropriate Lionsgate parties, consider moving Hellboy to the fall before it’s too late.

Inspired by the comic book storylines “Darkness Calls,” “The Wild Hunt” and “The Storm and the Fury,” Hellboy follows the eponymous protagonist and his allies at the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) fighting to stop a medieval sorceress from slaughtering humanity in her quest to merge the human world and monster world together. The main cast includes David Harbour as Hellboy, Milla Jovovich as Nimue the Blood Queen, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio, among others. The Descent’s Neil Marshall directed and Andrew Cosby wrote the script.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates about Hellboy, including if it gets delayed again, as they come in. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what other movies are coming out this year.

Do you think Hellboy should change release dates?

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Hugh Jackman And Ryan Reynolds Have Finally Called A Truce

For some time now, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have been engaged in a fierce and savage fight played out in the battleground of social media, lobbing insults and slights at one another more cutting than Deadpool’s swords or Wolverine’s claws ever could be. It’s all been in good fun, of course, but it appears that the entertaining and hilarious war of words is now at an end. Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have finally called a truce. Take a look:

Thanks to their respective healing abilities, Wolverine and Deadpool could have fought forever with neither emerging the victor. While that would have been highly entertaining for all of us watching, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have instead opted to let bygones be bygones and call an official truce. The armies of Australia and Canada can officially stand down.

And so ends the hilarious back and forth between the two that even had Ryan Reynolds’ wife Blake Lively feeling like she was playing second fiddle to Hugh Jackman for her husband’s love.

To commemorate their truce, Ryan Reynolds offered an olive branch and will appear in an ad for Hugh Jackman’s coffee company. Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee is a fair trade coffee company, the profits of which go to the Laughing Man Foundation non-profit. The charity then puts the money back in to the families, farmers and coffee farming communities.

That’s awfully nice of Ryan Reynolds to help Hugh Jackman out with something considering that a big part of their faux-feud was that the Wolverine actor would not reprise his role as the iconic mutant for a team-up in a Deadpool movie. Ryan Reynolds ran a long and passionate campaign attempting to get the actor to get back on the boiled chicken and broccoli diet to play Weapon X once more after Logan, but to no avail.

Ryan Reynolds isn’t the only one with a gesture of goodwill now that a truce has been called. Hugh Jackman will make what on Twitter he called “the most amazing ad” for Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation American Gin. So let me get this straight, one makes a drink that gives you a fun night and the other the drink to help you get through the next day? These two are definitely in cahoots.

They both seem pretty boastful about the ads they will make for each other’s companies. Will that competitiveness lead to Reynolds v. Jackman II? Time will tell.

Alas, while we may never see that Wolverine and Deadpool team-up onscreen, Ryan Reynolds seems to be at peace with it, and at least we see the two actors together here, having ended their feud. Hopefully these two can appear onscreen together in the future. Their last collaboration was the movie that nearly killed Deadpool forever, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds has also said in the past that he would settle for Hugh Jackman just appearing as himself in a Deadpool movie.

Check out our release schedule for the biggest movies headed to theaters this year, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your movie news.

What If The Dusted Avengers Are Actually The Ones Who Survived The Snap?

There’s no need to explain the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. The cliffhanger will likely live on as one of the most memorable endings in cinema. That tends to happen when half the universe is wiped away with a snap of the fingers. Every since the end of April 2018, fans have been trying to piece together what happened to Spider-Man, Black Panther, Star-Lord and the rest of universe. There’s no shortage of internet theories, but now CinemaBlend wants to through its hat into the ring with a homegrown theory.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell has concocted a theory that the Avengers left standing at the end of Infinity War is actually a misdirect. It’s the characters who were dusted that are actually alive, and heroes like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America are actually dead.

In the hunt for clues about the plot of Avengers: Endgame, there are no shortage of fans who have created their own theories about what happened during The Decimation. One of the most popular theories is that all the dusted heroes are actually in the Soul Stone, and most fans agree that Endgame is all about trying to find a way to bring the dusted back to life.

There are a ton of different theories about how the Avengers are going to accomplish, that with everything from time travel to the Quantum Realm on the table, but CinemaBlend’s theory is that all of these attempts will ultimately fail because it’s the heroes who thought they were “safe” that are actually in danger.

It’s all just a matter of perspective. For example, Okoye saw Black Panther disintegrate right before her eyes. To her, he’s the one who died, but what did Black Panther see? Does he just teleport to the Soul Stone or does he stay right where he is and Okoye is the one who disappears.

Think of it this way: The Decimation didn’t take half the universe and wipe it out of existence. It moved those individuals to an identical Earth, where on that world it was the other half who looked as if they disintegrated. Both groups survive, but live thinking the other group died.

If you’ve ever seen The Leftovers on HBO, it’s basically the same idea. The show was about a world where 2% of the population disappeared without a trace and how the leftover people deal with the unexplainable phenomena. However, the final episode presented a theory much like this one where in another reality, 98% of the world disappeared. Wild, right?

This theory is backed up by a few things. For one, all the people who were dusted in Infinity War are franchise leads for Phase 4. When you look at the list of characters who were dusted, it’s actually really suspicious. Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy are all big players for the MCU in the near future.

Others like Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and Bucky are starring in their own streaming shows. (However, those series could be prequels.) They aren’t just going to be wiped off the board. While fans never really thought these characters were gone for good, the assumption was the original Avengers would have to rescue them.

As this theory argues, there’s no rescuing needed. Those characters are all alive and well on Earth, ready to go on vacations to Europe and have new adventures. That’s not to say that they aren’t broken up about all their missing buddies, but eventually they accept that there’s no way to undo what Thanos did.

That would mean that the original Avengers are dead, but this works out. At least some of those characters are done with the MCU after Endgame. Contracts are up and people are ready to move on after 10 years. Having them be the ones who were really dusted is a convenient way to move them all off the board.

The argument against this is that Marvel moved the new players out of the way to give the original Avengers one last moment in the spotlight. Ending the franchise (or chapter or whatever) with the characters who started it all is satisfying for the viewer. However, you can still give those characters a meaningful sendoff while having them be dead the whole time.

As with any fan theory, there are some holes in this. For such a small guy, Ant-Man is a particularly big wrench here. Scott Lang escaped the Decimation because he was in the Quantum Realm at the time. We know that he eventually finds his way out and in a much different world. Lang is seen approaching the Avengers compound in the Endgame trailer, with Captain America and Black Widow watching him on a monitor. If Cap and Widow are in the Dead World, then how is Scott there, too?

There’s no easy answer to that one, unfortunately, but I think it’s important to remember that Marvel LOVES tricking people in trailers. The studio will use CGI to hide or replace elements, and will film entire shots just for the trailer. So, it’s important to remember never to take anything in a Marvel trailer at face value.

Let’s also consider Rocket and and Nebula also survived the snap. Despite a halt on pre-production, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still on the way. I can see Nebula getting killed off, but Rocket is a tougher pill to swallow, and it’s doesn’t seem likely that he’d that he’d be left out. Black Widow also has her own movie hitting theaters in the next few years. It’s highly rumored to be a prequel, which might make this a moot point, but she can’t really be dead AND have a solo movie.

Captain Marvel is another big wrinkle on this theory. She’s going to be teaming up with the Avengers to defeat Thanos in this movie, but according to this theory, that would mean she’s dead. That’s really disappointing and highly unlikely considering that she will undoubtedly be a major force in the MCU moving forward.

Additionally, it would probably be a bummer if you watch the whole three hours of Endgame only to learn at the end that all the characters are dead anyway. It could make it feel like nothing that happened in the movie matters because there was really never anything for these characters to avenge. Maybe they want to beat up Thanos in the afterlife or something, but that’s still a pretty low stakes situation. It’s a more meaningful ending if the Avengers are trying to save everyone.

Of course, the people at Marvel are much smarter than I am, and maybe they found a way to make that type of storyline compelling and satisfying. There’s more than one way to reach the goal, and the movie is so secretive that anything is possible at this point.

It’s a very intriguing theory and it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. All will be revealed on April 26. There’s still a lot left to be revealed in about Avengers: Endgame, but we want to know what you think about this theory. Let us know in the poll below!

Do you think that the original Avengers are actually the ones who were dusted?

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Tim Allen Has An Emotional Experience Wrapping Toy Story 4

Contrary to Buzz Lightyear’s iconic line, not everything goes “to infinity and beyond,” including the character’s run in the Toy Story franchise. Tim Allen, who has voiced the slick astronaut toy for over 20 years has announced that he’s officially said his last words for the upcoming Pixar sequel, Toy Story 4. Check out what the actor recently said:

Could this be the end? Tim Allen’s words on his Twitter has us hyped for what Pixar has in store for us with the upcoming release of Toy Story 4. The actor praised the animated film’s story, which has “everything.” Get ready folks, because it looks like it’s going to be one emotional rollercoaster with Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toy gang!

In anticipation for the release of Toy Story 4, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen haven’t been shy about some bittersweet feelings they’ve had in the studio upon wrapping up their lines for the movie. Hanks said he could barely get through recording Woody’s last words in Toy Story 4, so we’re obviously all going to be bawling come June.

Just one day before Tim Allen’s final day in the recording studio, Tom Hanks also shared his last day as Woody on Toy Story 4 with a behind-the-scenes picture and touching callback to his character with the words “we rode like the wind, to infinity and beyond” to culminate the end of his work on the film.

Tim Allen and Tom Hanks’ words about their emotional time recording Toy Story 4 certainly hints their characters could be receiving some touching send-offs when the film concludes and the series potentially closes out.

Toy Story 4 will be released nine years after the tear-jerker before it, Toy Story 3, which we thought was the end of a trilogy then. The 2010 film gave audiences a satisfying conclusion to the series as Andy’s beloved toys were passed along to Bonnie as he made his way to college.

So the development of Toy Story 4 brought quite a bit of confusion for those satisfied with the ending of the Pixar franchise. The studio has found more to tell about the characters we love, as they go on a road trip with Bonnie for her family vacation this time around.

Toy Story 4 comes to theaters on June 21 to kick off the summer months packed with other big releases from Disney, such as Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King.

How Liam Neeson’s Cold Pursuit Is Faring With Critics

In the decade since Taken, Liam Neeson-kills-people movies have basically become their own sub-genre, adding a chapter as an action leading man to the actor’s long and successful career. These films aren’t necessarily known for their critical acclaim, but they are clearly profitable enough that they keep getting made. The next entry in the genre is Cold Pursuit from director Hans Petter Moland, which is a remake of his 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance.

Although the film doesn’t release for another week, the first reviews for Cold Pursuit are now coming in. So is the latest opportunity to see Liam Neeson beat people up and kill them in creative ways more Taken or Taken 2 and Taken 3? Well, according to Variety’s Courtney Howard, Moland succeeds in remaking his own work, even improving it in certain ways:

Although it hasn’t really been pitched as such in the trailers, a theme of the reviews for the film is how spot-on and pitch black the comedy is in the film. Some reviews are evoking the Coen Brothers and Fargo as a comparison. So while Cold Pursuit is an action movie, it is self-aware and knows how absurd it is, as Katie Rife highlighted in her review for AV Club:

Forbes’ Scott Mendelson also found the movie’s dark sense of humor riotously funny and in his review he highlighted that Cold Pursuit isn’t just another action-film filled with one-dimensional characters and that’s what sets it apart.

Liam Neeson himself has wondered why he is still being cast as an action star at his age and it seems that Cold Pursuit almost offers something of a meta-commentary on that, as more of a character-driven crime film than a standard action flick. In his review for IGN, Witney Seibold highlighted this point, saying:

Many of the reviews are casting Cold Pursuit as more of a crime drama and a black comedy than as a straight-up action movie and while the result is a better movie than many Liam Neeson revenge movies, it may not be what audiences are expecting. The Hollywood Reporter’s John Defore suspects that although the movie may not have legs at the box office, it may still stand the test of time:

Although the reviews for Cold Pursuit are largely positive so far, there are still nits to pick. For The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde, the competing tones in this film work at cross purposes, succeeding on their own but not in tandem. He said in his review:

All in all, based on the early reviews, Cold Pursuit sounds like it is a win for Liam Neeson, working as something different for those tired of his action roles, while still having plenty of bloody and brutal violence. If you go in with an open mind and don’t allow the trailers or Liam Neeson’s previous action roles to set certain expectations, it seems like you’ll have a good time.

Cold Pursuit opens in theaters on February 7. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule for all of the biggest movies heading to theaters this year.

To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right They Shall Not Grow Old Ticket

3D SCORE:
32 /35

To 3D or Not To 3D is back, and it is an honor to be evaluating the 3D version of director Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. Pieced together through actual footage shot at least a hundred years ago, with audio archives from soldiers who actually fought the battles themselves, this amazing retrospective gives a vibrant, living face to a conflict consigned to the realm of historical remembrance. But as such, hearing that a 3D conversion was added into the mix had us asking if this was worth the extra effort, or if audiences need not bother.

Which is why we’re here today to ask whether you should see They Shall Not Grow Old in standard 2D, or splash out for a 3D experience. If you’re looking for what we thought about the film itself, head on over to our official review. Otherwise, it’s now time to ask that famous question,”To 3D, or Not To 3D?”

3D Fit Score

5/5

On the surface, some might question why a historical non-fiction film like They Shall Not Grow Old should be presented in 3D. But seeing the results of Peter Jackson’s restoration of footage from a century ago, it’s not hard to see why this 3D version was put together. Immersing the audience in a full 3D setting helps keep the audience invested in a story that’s more typically seen as further removed from the history of today. It’s a classic case of using modern technology to give the audience a fresh perspective on history.

Planning & Effort Score

5/5

The limitations of the footage presented in They Shall Not Grow Old feel like more of a by-product that can be attributed to the age and condition of the source material. But the amount of love poured into the preservation and conversion of this footage is shown much clearer in this 3D presentation. While there’s still some aspects that are slightly shy of perfect, namely the Before The Window and Brightness aspects, the entire product shines with maximum effort. This is a well crafted product, with great intent showing in each frame.

Before the Window Score

4/5

There really aren’t any aspects of They Shall Not Grow Old that come off of the screen in a manner that we’d typically attribute to 3D. That being said, there’s still a consistent amount of visual assets that protrude towards the screen, stopping short of coming off of it. Explosions, firing cannons, and various horse driven vehicles coming towards the camera are good examples of projecting the visual elements towards the audience, but as far as breaking the window that is the screen, it stops just short of doing so.

Beyond the Window Score

5/5

One of the most impressive features involving They Shall Not Grow Old’s 3D conversion is the fact that the picture depth is used to great effect. Not only are persons and objects separated from their environments, those same environments are pretty deep in their depiction. Even in the bookending segments where the footage is purposely displayed in a more 2D fashion (reminiscent of the 3D conversion of Tron Legacy), there’s a depth added by using an old time film frame that adds layers to the film. Peter Jackson explains as much in the introduction shown with the film, and by time the picture expands and immerses the audience in the action of World War I, the 3D effect brings the film into a living, breathing display of humanity.

Brightness Score

4/5

The colorization of They Shall Not Grow Old is so beautiful, that when the footage converts into a full theatrical experience it’s breathtaking. That being said, the typical issues with 3D glasses dimming the picture being displayed are still present with this film. Though that could vary depending on your screening of the film, as how a theater maintains their 3D projectors tends to have an effect on how bright a 3D film is shown. Even with that aspect in play, the colors and action are still bright enough to be made out clearly; they’re just slightly dimmed.

Glasses Off Score

4/5

With a film that shifts between decorative and immersive 3D, there’s certainly a variance to the blur that is involved in They Shall Not Grow Old’s presentation. Through both bookending segments, the blur isn’t all that powerful, with a lighter extent being used to show a flatter picture than what you’ll be seeing during the majority of the film. Once the full 3D picture comes into play, the blur that’s used to display the level of manipulation used on the film increases. Again, there seems to be some limitations imposed by the age of the footage, but overall, the level of blurriness supports the amazing extent to which the picture is projected into 3D greatness.

Audience Health Score

5/5

There is absolutely no strain or nausea involved with watching They Shall Not Grow Old. In fact, this feels like one of the most impressive / easiest 3D conversions to watch. While it’ll take a little getting used to watching World War I footage in a 3D context, none of the adjustment will be of any physical effect. Your eyes won’t have a problem adjusting to the full 3D presentation of the film, and to a certain extent that’s probably because of the adjustment period that’s granted through the film’s opening bookend, which employs 3D to a lesser extent than the majority of the film.

3D Fit Score 5
Planning & Effort Score 5
Before the Window Score 4
Beyond the Window Score 5
Brightness Score 4
Glasses Off Score 4
Audience Health Score 5

While certain limitations exist when it comes to converting footage that’s almost 100 years old into a 3D presentation, They Shall Not Grow Old is an exemplary example of why such undertakings are worth the effort. The immersive nature of this conversion helps drive home the case for proper usage of 3D in non-tentpole / dramatic non-fiction narratives. This is a fantastic example of using a deliberate, well-planned 3D conversion to draw an audience deeper into the story they’re watching on the screen; something that Peter Jackson always seems to excel at.

How Will You See They Shall Not Grow Old?

Be sure to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.

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See What Robbie Amell Could Look Like As DC’s New Batman

After almost two years of speculation about whether Ben Affleck would reprise his role as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves’ solo Batman project, the actor confirmed that he’s hanging up his cape and moving aside for another DCEU Bruce Wayne to take over. The Bat Signal has been lit and a search for the next Batman is underway, it’s time for Twitter to throw out their ideas. Check out this one:

What about The Flash alum Robbie Amell? Artist Boss Logic took to his account to showcase his early pick for the new Batman with a stylized noir edit of the 30-year-old actor fitting nicely in the suit and looking like a convincing Bruce Wayne. The artist based his pick on the film’s reported search for a younger actor to take on the role.

Comic fans will best recognize Robbie Amell from his stint as Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm, and love interest to Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow, in The Flash‘s early years. The actor has also starred in a slew of Netflix original films including ARQ, The Babysitter, When We First Met and starred in 2015 high-school set comedy The Duff. He is also cousin to Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, a.k.a. The Green Arrow, on the CW’s Arrow, which is currently on its seventh season.

So not only does heroism run in the family, Robbie Amell has starred in a DC property, although on a smaller scale. The actor certainly has the Bruce Wayne look and has added quite a few diverse projects to his resume in the past few years. Most onlookers on this Twitter image couldn’t see the appeal of him as Batman… some pointing out they saw him more as Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond or Nightwing, while others loved the idea.

The actor is signed on to star next in Amazon’s sci-fi romance series Upload from Parks and Recreation and The Office creator Greg Daniels, which is about a man who can choose his own afterlife after an untimely death. Robbie Amell will also star this year in a sci-fi film with cousin Stephen Amell called Code 8. Both projects are currently in post-production, so maybe he’s available?

The DCEU’s The Batman was penned and will be directed by War of the Planet of the Apes helmer Matt Reeves. He has been attached to the project since February 2017, following Ben Affleck’s exit from the film as writer/director and now star.

Matt Reeves recently said his vision for the upcoming film is a “noir Batman tale” that will have the iconic character “in his detective mode.” The Batman will also feature a “rogues gallery” of villains, including possibly The Penguin.

Along with news that a new Bruce Wayne would be chosen for the Warner Bros film Wednesday, it was also announced The Batman will be released in theaters on June 25, 2021. Who would you like to see as the next Batman? Let us know in the comments below.