KICK-ASS 2: CFQ Spotlight Podcast 4:33

Left to right: Chloe Grace Moretz,  	Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse face off (mask off?) in KICK-ASS 2.
Left to right: Chloe Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse face off (mask off?) in KICK-ASS 2.

It’s official: We have definitively hit our late-summer low-point with the release of KICK-ASS 2. The sequel nobody asked for to a film that wasn’t anyone’s notion of cinematic excellence to begin with, KA2 takes us back to a New York where a lowly high-schooler (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) strives for something better in life by becoming a self-appointed super hero. This go-around he’s aided by an entire crime-fighting underground headed by Jim Carrey (acquitting himself nicely despite his subsequent disavowals), and is saddled with an arch-nemesis in the form of the former Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), now calling himself… wait for it… the Motherfucker. Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), meanwhile, hangs up her cape and finds herself in the midst of a HEATHERS subplot, none too convincingly. It’s two hours in which inept comedy butts up against explicit violence, and no one, not heroes, villains, nor the audience, emerges unscathed.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons get together to tend to their wounds, and engage in a cathartic discussion of the myriad ways this uninspired follow-up fails in even its most modest ambitions. Let the healing begin. And the KICK-ASS franchise stop… please. PLUS: What’s coming to theaters next week.

X-Men: First Class — Trailer

Well, here it is — the first trailer for X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.
Well, I can see why 20th Century Fox didn’t air it durning the Super Bowl: Downbeat and turgid, with no charm and surprisingly little  energy, despite the action bits shown.
It looked (to me) like a sci-fi/fantasy spin on a self-important Cold War political thriller.
Hopefully, the finished film will play better, paying off on the moments that seemed more interesting in the trailer. 
It does look like it’s well photographed.
Now of course,  an advance trailer is no clear sign of the quality of a feature. Some movies have great trailers and turn out poorly, and vice-versa.
I’m sure plenty of X-Men fans were thrilled by the very serious and portentous tone of this preview.

Sneak Peek at Magento

Entertainment Weekly is offering this shot of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) from X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

We’ll have to be satisfied with the mutant leader’s back, at least until tomorrow, when 20th Century Fox will release the official trailer for the film on its Facebook Page.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, directed by Matthew Vaughn  (KICK-ASS) is set for release June 3rd.

Even More X-Men Casting reports that Rose Byrne (28 DAYS LATER) and Oliver Platt (2012) have joined the cast of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.
Byrne (pictured) will play Moira MacTaggert, reportedly Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) love interest in the film.
Oliver Platt’s role is said to be a new, non-mutant character, referred to as The Man in Black.
Jason Flemyng (CLASH OF THE TITANS) will portray the teleporting mutant Azazel, the future father of the X-Man Nightcrawler, as reported earlier today.
X-MEN:FIRST CLASS is a 20th Century Fox film, directed by Matthew Vaughn (KICK-ASS). Production begins this September in England.

Laserblast Home Video: Kick-Ass, Heroes Season Four, Ghost Writer, After.Life, Corman Cult Classics

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The week of Tuesday, August 3 offers a hidden bat cave full of horror, fantasy, and science fiction films on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD – everything from contemporary costumed crime-fighters to Corman Cult Classics. Up first is Lionsgate’s release  of KICK-ASS, starring Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong. Chloë Grace Moretz, Clark Duke, and Nicolas Cage. Available to rent or own via Video on Demand,  KICK-ASS is also being offered on DVD and Blu-ray disc. The DVD is offered as stand-alone purchase and as part of the Blu-ray three-disk set, which also includes a digital copy of the film. Check out more details below:


  • Ass-Kicking Bonus View Mode (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive) – Synchronous with the feature film, this innovative multi-media presentation incorporates video and audio commentary, behind-the-scenes clips and illustrative graphics with Co-Writer/Producer/Director Matthew Vaughn, plus cast and crew providing an all-access perspective on Kick-Ass
  • “A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass ” documentary (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive)
  • “It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass” featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
  • “The Art of Kick-Ass” gallery
  • Marketing Archive
  • BD Touch and Metamenu Remote
  • Lionsgate Live™ enabled, featuring extra content for Internet-connected players
  • Enhanced for D-Box™ Motion Control Systems


  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
  • “It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass” featurette
  • “The Art of Kick-Ass” gallery
  • Marketing Archive

*Subject to change

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click to purchase

If that’s not enough superhero action for you, then check out HEROES: SEASON FOUR, available on DVD and Blu-ray disc. The DVD offers numerous four  featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, a screen-saver gallery, and audio commentaries on the episodes “Once Upon a Time in Texas,” “Shadow Boxing,” “The Fifth Stage,” and “Brave New World.” The Blu-ray disc replicates these bonus materials along with bios on the characters and and additional feturette (“Behind the Big Top”), plus the usual array of interactive features for which the format is known: BD-LIVE, pocket BLU, Advanced Remote Control, Video Timeline, Mobile-To-Go, U-CONTROL, PICTURE-IN-PICTURE, and more.
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click to purchase

THE GHOST WRITER also hits store shelves in DVD and Blu-ray editions. Though not a horror film, Roman Polanski’s excellent adaptation of the Robert Harris novel,  is thematically consistent with the director’s classic horror films, ROSEMARY’S BABY and DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES. The story follows a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) helping a former prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) write his memoirs; unfortunately, sinister forces are interested in the contents of the manuscript, whose previous ghost writer drowned under mysterious circumstances. THE GHOST WRITER generates more than enough paranoid tension to qualify as a “scary movie,” even if the scares are of the thriller variety.
AFTER.LIFE – which stars Christina Ricci, Liam Neeson, and Justin Long – arrives on Blu-ray and DVD and having had a limited theatrical release earlier this year. Despite an intriguing premise, this morbid little indie horror film with art house aspirations is ultimately disappointing. Bonus features include a theatrical trailer, an interview with director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, and an eight-minute featurette somewhat pretentiously titled “Dwelling Into the After.Life: The Art of Making a Thriller.”
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click to purchase

Roger Corman’s Cult Classics is at it again, offering elaborate DVD and Blu-ray releases of exploitation titles of the type that do not normally receive the lavish treatment. This time out we have PIRANHA on Blu-ray and a Lenticular Cover DVD, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP on Blu-ray and DVD, and a double bill DVD of DEATH SPORT and BATTLE TRUCK. The later of is only marginal interest, but HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP deserves its place in history for taking the implications of old monster movies (which inevitably had the monster sweeping the leading lady off her feet) and seeing them through to their logical conclusion. Both Blu-ray disc features a new high-def transfer of the uncut international version; deleted scenes; trailers, TV and radio spots; an interview with producer Roger Corman; and a making-of featurette. The DVD duplicates the bonus material, with standard-def video quality.
PIRANHA is one of the best films ever to come out of Corman’s New World Pictures, a fun and fast-paced horror thriller about scientifically altered killer fish, starring Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies. (It is highly doubtful that the upcoming 3-D remake will be an improvement.). The film was previously the subject of a special edition DVD. The Blu-ray ports over the old features (audio commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers) and adds some new ones: a making-of featurette, still and poster galleries, radio and TV spots, and additional footage that was inserted into the version of the film broadcast on network television. As with HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, the DVD duplicates the bonus features; both discs offer a new anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85), but of course the Blu-ray features higher video quality.
As for the rest:

  • JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH comes out in a new Blu-ray release that ports over the old DVD bonus features, adding only higher video quality and a new game.

  • PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, the 1951 film version of the classic story about the immortal sea captain, starring James Mason and Ava Gardner, arrives in a new Blu-ray release.
  • I AM LEGEND is resurrected in an Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set.
  • A handful of other titles: METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN; HOBOKEN HOLLOW (with Dennis Hopper); and OPEN HOUSE.


Mark Millar Talks KICK-ASS 2

shut_up_kick-ass_posterIn an interview with, Comic book writer Mark Millar (KICK-ASS, WANTED, ULTIMATE AVENGERS) sat down to discuss the upcoming KICK ASS 2: BALLS TO THE WALL comic and film, sequel to this past April’s surprise hit. During the interview he reveals possible plot points, including parallels to Western films & new evil wrought by Red Mist:

“The film and the comic book are very closely tied together. There are only a few minor changes towards the end. It does led directly into a sequel, and I am writing the sequel as I always planned it to be. The actors may be a little bit older, or bigger. They can address that in the movie. But I am not changing anything for the comic book. We left things off with her being adopted by this extremely nice man. He is a cop. And she has to stop killing people, you know? That seems like an interesting starting point in the next one in regards to her character. She is going to be like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, where she hasn’t picked up a gun in years. It’s that type of thing. I like the idea of doing that with an eleven year old girl. She was part of this massive cacophony of violence. But she’s not allowed to kill people anymore. She is consumed with anger, and forced to watch TV shows instead. Halfway through the movie, or the comic, we will follow her as she picks up a gun again. It is going to be awesome.”

Red Mist becomes like Charles Manson. He goes on-line and influences a bunch of young villains to go against Kick-Ass and Hit Girl. The whole thing ends up as a big gang fight like you’d see in The Warriors. There is going to be a big gang fight in the middle of Times Square between all of these costumed heroes. And at the head will be the Red Mist and Hit Girl.

Millar also suggests a re-teaming with KICK-ASS and X-Men: FIRST CLASS director Matthew Vaughn, which brings hope of more of the gleeful carnage seen in the first one. The KICK-ASS 2 comic is currently in production, with the script and movie soon to follow.

Robot Noir From The UK In REIGN OF DEATH

Love your Sci-Fi but short on time? Check out the short film REIGN OF DEATH! Directed by Matt Savage (Concept Designer on KICK ASS & X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) and starring Noel Clarke (DOCTOR WHO), REIGN is classic detective noir set in a dystopian future. The movie has been making it’s way around the UK Festival circuit and has been picking up a lot of positive buzz. While the film speaks for itself, in a much larger sense it shows that you don’t need a huge budget to make a fun and memorable film.

Fassbender As 'First Class' Magneto?

Fassbender_edenlake_CropEntertainment Weekly reports that 20th Century Fox is in talks with Michael Fassbender (EDEN LAKE) to play Erik Lensherr, the future Magneto, in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.
If all goes well Fassbener, also in INGOLRIOUS BASTERDS and today’s DC Comics-derived film JONAH HEX, will join James McAvoy as young Charles Xavier, who begin as friends before fate will cast them as enemies.
Production is scheduled to begin in England this summer, under director Matthew Vaughn (KICK-ASS).
The article says Michael Fassbender was also under consideration to play the as-yet-unknown villian in Sony/Columbia’s reboot of SPIDER-MAN.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is due in theaters June 3rd, 2011.

Dr.Who Actor On 'Fright Night' Remake

According to The Hollywood Reporter
David Tennant (DOCTOR WHO) has been cast in the role of Peter Vincent in Dreamworks’ FRIGHT NIGHT remake.

The former TV Time Lored will be teaming up with movie STAR TREK alumni Anton Yelchin, who is playing the role of Charlie (William Ragsdale in the `85 version).
In the original, Roddy McDowall’s Vincent was a has-been monster movie star, now hosting a late night TV horror movie show. The name was a play on Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.
Tennant’s version will be a Las Vegas Las Vegas magician whose act is inspired by horror movies. He claims to be an expert on vampires, which lead Charlie to enlist his aid against the suspected vampire who has moved in next door.
Chris Sarandon was the blood-thirsty neighbor in the original, Colin Farell will fill that role in the update.
Also announced as cast for the film is Christopher Mintz-Plasse (KICK-ASS) as “Evil Ed”, Charlie’s oddball friend, who is very attracted to the darker side of horror movies.
Toni Collette is signed to play Charlie’s endangered mother.
Craig Gillespie (LARS AND THE REAL GIRL) was previously reported as onboard to direct.

Kick-Ass: Cinefantastique Podcast 1:10

Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) takes on mob boss Frank DAmico (Mark Strong).
Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) takes on mob boss Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong).

Cinefantastique’s Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction Podcast returns with a blow-by-blow knock-down debate regarding the merits (or lack thereof) in the new comic-book superhero fantasy KICK ASS, starring Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, and Nicolas Cage. Does the film kick ass, or does it fall flatter than an empty cape? Also on the agenda, the usual round-up of news, recommendations, and home video releases.