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Tag: Summer Movies (61-70 of 198)

'The Dark Knight Rises': The most disturbing aspect of the on-screen violence

I don’t think the comic-book violence embedded in Batman movie mythology caused  the horrible movie-theater killing spree in Aurora, Colo., turning mass excitement at the first showing of The Dark Knight Rises into mass terror. Assault weapons and a mountain of ammunition, pathetically easy and legal for an average American evil madman to obtain, did that. While the attack took place at a suburban multiplex on a summer’s night, the same horror could have been unleashed somewhere else — a baseball stadium, a shopping mall, a music arena, any place we gather as a group, feeling trusting and fortunate.

I do think, though, that a very specific kind of bullet-free brutality employed at length in TDKR ought to disturb viewers a lot more than it does. This desensitization has been on my mind since I saw the movie, and it bothers me now, even as the weekend is filled with debate, yet again, about American gun laws. The physical, hand-to-hand ferocity with which Batman and his latest nemesis, Bane, try to kill one another is documented at such length, and with such lavish visual and aural attention paid to pain and bone crushing, that, even within comic-book superhero parameters, it’s an agony to watch. Or at least it should be.

It’s no secret that, aside from his plan to pitch Gotham City into anarchy using weapons of mass destruction, Bane is, personally, a monstrous thug. Just look at the guy! His flesh tank of a body is built to withstand pummeling that might cripple your average villain, and Bane is capable of delivering damage so intense that, for a time, Batman is truly out of commission. This vulnerability is meant to parallel the good guy’s own existential exhaustion, etc. etc. etc., yet the rain of oofs and pows had me flinching for so long that at some point I became inured. And then angry. Why is this exhibition in our faces? Why must we look?

To complain about oofs and pows in a movie about superheros and supervillains is arguably silly. I get it, that’s what these stories have been built on since the first kerSPLAT sound effect was inked on a pulpy page. We know the difference between what can break a real human body and what make-believe beings can endure. Yet the pitiless determination with which these drawn-out scenes of human-scale violence have been so carefully, even obsessively, staged and filmed in this comic-book production, built on the scale of a modern epic, kind of broke my spirit. And my heart.

This weekend, as millions of hearts across the country are broken in the wake of such extreme real violence, I feel like I never want to see another orchestration of fictional oof ever again. How about you?

Follow Lisa at @lisaschwarzbaum

'The Dark Knight Rises': Who cares what critics think?

To be clear: I care what critics think, because I am one. And I am one because I believe that critical insights, analyses, and context, expressed with clarity and style, enhance the understanding and enjoyment of movies, regardless of whether the reader agrees with the opinion expressed by Critic X or Critic Y. Then again, whether you care what critics think is your own business — as is why you tend to like (or dislike) one critic over another. Is it a matter of trust and shared sensibilities? Is it a function of sentence structure and vocabulary? You tell me.

That said, seriously, who cares what critics think? READ FULL STORY

How the 'Amazing Spider-Man' team made Spidey's swing look so real

Some of the coolest parts of The Amazing Spider-Man are the dizzying shots of Spidey rocketing through the air as he swings around the city. If those scenes seem a little more realistic than in previous movies about the web slinger, there’s a reason. Stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong explains how they reworked Spider-Man’s swing for the new film.

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Stunt coordinators from 'Spider-Man,' 'Dark Knight,' and more talk worst on-set injuries

“I don’t think it’s anything to be proud of, being hurt,” says Amazing Spider-Man stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong. “It’s invariably a mistake, something gone wrong, a miscalculation.” And most of the time Hollywood’s top stunt men nail the ever-more-intense action sequences that pack thrill seekers into theaters every summer. But sometimes things do go wrong, and when you’re, say, driving an airborne car that’s rigged to explode, the consequences can be devastating. We asked a bunch of prominent stunt pros about their most brutal accidents.

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Joe Manganiello's statue routine in 'Magic Mike': What you DIDN'T see -- EW VIDEO

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Some might say that Joe Manganiello’s statue routine in Magic Mike was too darn short. (Some = me)

Luckily, when Manganiello stopped by EW last week to talk True Blood and Magic Mike, the actor explained in detail what went into filming the scene, which featured his character Big Dick Richie painted head-to-toe in gold paint. (Magic Mike choreographer Alison Faulk was the first to tell us things got a little crazy while filming this scene.) In short? The words “possessed stripper” come to mind.

Watch below as Manganiello explains (and dances a bit) as EW continues its not-totally-necessary-but-also-completely-necessary coverage of Magic Mike. READ FULL STORY

'The Man With the Iron Fists' trailer: Best promo of all time? Or just of the century so far?

Okay, we got a little too excited when coming up with the above headline. But the red-band clip for The Man With the Iron Fists — a chop-sockey epic starring Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, and RZA that also marks the Wu-Tang Clan rapper’s directorial debut — really does have everything you want from a trailer. If, that is, what you want from a trailer is lashings of martial arts mayhem, an ornamental fan whose ornaments are an array of knives, the line “Power belongs to no one until it is seized through sex and violence,” wrestler Dave Batista turning into brass, Crowe sporting some of the most excellent facial fuzz this side of a Frank Zappa impersonators’ convention, and the sight of RZA himself not only breaking an anvil with one of his big ol’ iron fists but also, literally, punching someone’s eye out.

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'Sparkle': Video for Whitney Houston-Jordin Sparks duet 'Celebrate' debuts -- WATCH

The slow rollout of Sparkle-related bits continues: Today, the Internet was treated to the “music video” for the Jordin Sparks-Whitney Houston duet, “Celebrate.”

“Music video” comes to you in quotes because, well, it’s difficult to produce a real music video for a song where half of the duo is no longer with us. And, truly, you can feel the void of Whitney Houston throughout the video, which you can watch below. Of course, producers weren’t going to let the video be completely Whitney-less: They filled the clip with scenes from Sparkle that feature Houston, but the only person lip-syncing the song — during interstitials that, fitting for “Celebrate,” feature a party — is Ms. Jordin Sparks, along with her various costars.

Sparks does a lovely job throughout the video, dancing and singing with the other actor-singers from the movie. It feels triumphant, in a way, that they carried on without Houston. And, in a lovely nod at the very end of the clip, Sparks dons a vintage Whitney Houston T-shirt and says, “We love you, Whitney.” It’s all very sweet — and the song is toe-tapping fun. Watch the video here:

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Tired of superheroes and aliens? Our alternative summer movie preview

When you think about the summer movie season, you think of sequels, prequels, and bloated budgets. Granted, some of this season’s blockbusters — like Prometheus and The Avengers — were pretty good. But if you’re sick of superheroes and don’t want to check your brain at the multiplex door, here are five summer films to look out for.

In theaters now is Your Sister’s Sister, an insightful and often adorable indie comedy about three thirtysomethings (Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, and Rosemarie DeWitt) who become personally entangled during a short stay at a Pacific Northwest cottage. See it before your friends tell you all the surprising plot twists. READ FULL STORY

What did Michael Fassbender say at the end of 'Prometheus'? Language consultant reveals all

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WARNING: This post contains Prometheus spoilers.

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus prompted a lot of questions from cinemagoers, like “What the f—?” and “No, seriously: What the f—?” We can’t provide answers for either of those queries. But we can resolve the question of what Michael Fassbender’s android David said to the Engineer just prior to the alien going ape and trying to kill everyone in sight.
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'Klown': This year's most-talked-about Danish sex comedy(?) -- VIDEO

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Who says they don’t make Danish sex comedies like they used to? Very few people, obviously (at least outside of Denmark, where it may be a constant refrain for all I know). But if anyone did say such a thing we would point them in the direction of the R-rated Klown.

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, the film stars Casper Christensen as an adultery-obsessed married man whose dream of enjoying a canoe-based “Tour de p—y” looks in danger of being torpedoed when his vacation buddy, played by Fran Hvam, brings along the nephew of his pregnant girlfriend to prove he is good father material. To say what ensues is rather bawdy is like saying Transformers kind of involves giant, fighting robots.

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. acquired the remake rights and set Danny McBride to work writing the script. But for those who like their Danish comedies really, well, Danish, the original movie will hit cinemas with a lubricious squelch on July 27.

You can check out the trailer below. READ FULL STORY

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