Although Universal’s publicity department has asked that journalists refrain from spilling the secrets of Oblivion, the major revelations, once they arrive, will hardly surprise anyone familiar with Total Recall, The Matrix and the countless other sci-fi touchstones hovering over this striking, visually resplendent adventure. Pitting the latest action-hero incarnation of Tom Cruise against an army of alien marauders, director Joseph Kosinski’s follow-up to Tron: Legacy is a moderately clever dystopian mindbender with a gratifying human pulse, despite some questionable narrative developments along the way. The less-than-airtight construction and conventional resolution may rankle genre devotees, though hardly to the detriment of robust overall B.O. more »
New Yorker writer, Lawrence Wright appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe talk show to discuss his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, and Tom Cruise quickly became the focus of the conversation. more »
Jack Reacher, protagonist of Lee Child's brilliant series of airport pulp, has sold nearly 40 million books. He's also blonde, ugly, 6'5” and 250 lbs, which means the difference between the Reacher that fans love and Tom Cruise, who plays him in his long-awaited film debut, is literally sizable: Ten inches and 90 lbs, to be exact, and a whole lot of handsome. Child's Jack Reacher is homeless, and for the well-coiffed Cruise, playing a guy who shops as Goodwill is as much of a stretch as hoping no one will notice his larger-than-life ex-military cop is barely taller than his co-star Rosamund Pike. (Which in real life, he's not — Pike towers over him by two inches.)
Oh, Top Gun. The Sullivan to Rambo's Gilbert, it cemented pop-culture love for Reagan's aggressive foreign policy, established the late lamented Tony Scott as a successful director, and catapulted Tom Cruise to A-list status, where he has remained ever since. Now, 26 years after its initial theatrical run, Top Gun's barely stifled masculine angst and jingoistic pro-military message (wait, isn't that the same thing?) feel more relevant than they did in 1986. (I blame Dr Pepper Ten for that.) What the world clearly needs is a chance to experience the film's many delights with fresh eyes. more »
Yesterday, the first trailer for Tom Cruise's upcoming science fiction film Oblivion was released online, and if you're anything like us (and the rest of the internet), you'll immediately note that it has absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with Wall-E. No sir, nothing at all.
Oblivion follows Cruise's Jack Harper (his second Jack-namedm character in a row? Uh oh, typecasting), a maintenance man assigned to clean up planet earth in the aftermath of some kind of terrible apocalyptic event. Jack apparently spends his days wallowing through the nostalgic remains of human civilization. No doubt he'll end up singing 'Hello Dolly' right after the little speech about the Super Bowl he gives in the trailer. His mission is less than a fortnight away from completion when a beautiful - and yes, the official description uses the word "attractive" - stranger crash lands on Earth, drawing Jack into a conspiracy that pits him against the authority he serves, and a group of Leather fetishists led by noted kindness-and-gravitas dispenser Morgan Freeman.
Oblivion is helmed by Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, which is about as neutral an indication of the movie's overall quality as you can get. I'm guessing it'll be yet another Logan's Run ripoff, with the same kind of ridiculous 'everything's better and the revolution worked in like 5 minutes' outcome, minus Michael York's lithe frame and blond locks. Originally planned for June, 2013, it's been moved up to April 12, 2013. Until then, Internet: please get to work on the recut Oblivion-as-Wall-E trailer the world desperately needs.
Seth MacFarlane may direct and star in the "contemporary" Western. Also in the news Tuesday, Disney is blasting Stan Lee Media's multi-billion lawsuit over rights to Marvel characters; Guillermo del Toro eyes his next project; the Film Society of Lincoln Center will host Tom Cruise retrospective; and Lincoln may leave some in Alaska out in the cold.
Seth MacFarlane Eyes Western Comedy as Ted Follow-Up
MacFarlane and his Ted co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild are writing A Million Ways to Die in the West, which MacFarlane is said to star in and direct for Summer 2013. The story is described as a Blazing Saddles-stye pic, which translates into a Western with contemporary humor. The script is said to contain MacFarlane's racy humor, but also has a romantic female lead, THR reports.
Disney Blasts Stan Lee Copyright Lawsuit Regarding Marvel Superheroes
Disney called Stan Lee Media's multi-billion lawsuit "flawed beyond cure" and filed a motion for its dismissal last week. Stan Lee Media claims rights to all Marvel characters created by Stan Lee, Deadline reports.
Film Society of Lincoln Center to Host Tom Cruise
Cruise will take part in an onstage conversation with NY Film Festival programmer Kent Jones. The event will include a sneak preview of Cruise's latest, Jack Reacher in which he portrays a "tough ex-military investigator out for justice." The event will kick-off the career retrospective, "All The Right Moves: The Films of Tom Cruise" December 18 - 20. Tickets will go for $50 and $35.
Guillermo del Toro Eyes Crimson Peak
Del Toro will direct the haunted house thriller as his next project. Legendary and del Toro are looking to a February 2014 start for the pic, which aims to "channel the gothic haunted pictures of yore." He is expected to shoot the pilot for The Strain, based on the books he wrote with Chuck Hogan, ahead of Crimson, THR reports.
Some Alaska Venues Out in the Cold with Lincoln
Disney says the Steven Spielberg-directed Oscar hopeful has had such high demand the studio is now rushing to make new prints. But the reinforcements may come too late for smaller venues in Alaska's capital, Juneau and other towns. Copies weren't available for some venues when they hoped to get them and may have to pass, though Oscar buzz may reignite interest, Huffington Post reports.
Also in a round-up of news briefs Tuesday morning, the Academy is set to honor Stanley Kubrick; the Austin Film Festival announces winners of its Audience Awards; And, a doc spotlighting Levon Helm heads to U.S. theaters.
Also in Thursday morning's round-up of news briefs, Cloud Atlas is being criticized for using "Yellow Face" for white actors. New York salutes the late Andrew Sarris. And an Amy Winehouse play based on her life heads to the stage.
Tom Cruise IS Jack Reacher, screams the poster and new trailer for the Lee Child action adaptation. Is Paramount reaching, or is Cruise more and more believable as the bad-ass army cop who drives fast and punches bad guys in the balls as he investigates a suspicious multiple murder case?
It is by far and away no secret that Hollywood compensation for a certain cadre of stars have been rocketing beyond the stratosphere for some time now, but one A-lister, in the form of Brad Pitt, says that the era of paychecks reaching into the tens of millions for some may be coming to a close.
Okay, so you've devoured Maureen Orth's Vanity Fair cover story on Scientology's work-intensive but ill-fated attempt to pair Tom Cruise with Scientologist actress Nazanin Boniadi — a name that will launch a thousand late-night talk-show jokes. Now check out the elegant Boniadi's sexy Nespresso ad with George Clooney, an overseas commercial that should also launch a thousand late-night talk show jokes. more »
The October issue of Vanity Fair magazine has a Scientology-related cover story about Tom Cruise that makes Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master look like light comedy.
In a feature titled, " What Katie Didn't Know: Marriage, Scientology-Style," special correspondent Maureen Orth reveals the details of a top-secret 2004 mission that Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology head David Miscavige, undertook to find a girlfriend for Tom Cruise. more »
Although Emily Blunt came close to being cast in two different Marvel superhero movies, it’s not until later this year that she gets her first action-type role in Rian Johnson’s time travel thriller Looper. But her turn as a gun-toting farm girl is just the beginning for Blunt: She’s currently in intense training to play a lethal soldier in Doug Liman’s futuristic sci-fi All You Need Is Kill, opposite Tom Cruise.
Some say taking a critical eye is patriotic. Others will flatly disagree or at least disagree when the opinion runs counter to their own. In the lead-up to celebrating the country's 236 years since independence ML is spotlighting the critical eye calling for change - acts that are very American. For every image of the country as that "Shining City on a Hill" there are perceived dissenters over American exceptionalism on screen. War, health care, the death penalty, poverty, racism have all been tackled in one form or another by Hollywood and beyond. Some of course consider these films a political/cultural "attack," while others say they're merely a "call to arms" to right a wrong, lending transparency to perceived ills in an open society. Perhaps some of the most successful films that take on culture and politics straddle both sides of a debate that opposing sides can call their own. Forrest Gump is probably one of the best examples in relatively recent times. But there are others that have taken decidedly more ideological bent and made waves doing so. Here are six we picked - undoubtedly, depending on one's interpretation, the list goes on...
Oh, what a coincidence! Here comes the trailer for Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher (formerly One Shot), the action film based on a novel by Lee Child that stars the soon-to-be-divorcé as an ex-army cop who apparently drives around town in muscle cars getting into fights. The kind of angry, controlled rage-machine who gets into brawls, specializes in strategically breaking bones, asks questions later, etc. The badass clothing doesn't quite fit on Cruise, but you know. He's Tom Cruise.