February 2012 Archives
Almost as notable as the movie trailers we saw during the Super Bowl were the trailers we didn't see. For example, there was no Dark Knight Rises teaser (Warner Bros. clearly knew they didn't need any extra publicity for what's likely to be the summer's biggest hit), no Amazing Spider-Man, nothing for Pixar's latest offering Brave and zilch for Ridley Scott's kinda sorta Alien prequel Prometheus. On the other hand, we got our first good shot of the Avengers all assembled together, a second peek at The Hunger Games (which actually aired during the Super Bowl pre-show, but we'll count it) and what appears to be a Transformers spin-off called Battleship. Here's our take on what Hollywood had to show us, listed in alphabetical order:
Let's face it, the real reason so many people are curious about the new horror movie The Woman in Black is because they want to know whether the film's star Daniel Radcliffe is going to become the next Harrison Ford or the next Mark Hamill. In case you've somehow managed to avoid both bookstores and multiplexes since 2001, the 22-year-old British actor has spent the past ten years of his life playing boy wizard Harry Potter in the blockbuster film franchise based on J.K. Rowling's gazillion-selling book series. And while he's had other roles in between Potter installments (he appeared in the 2007 Australian drama December Boys, lampooned himself on Extras and played two well-received runs on Broadway), The Woman in Black is being watched extra closely as it's his first solo starring vehicle since the eighth and final film hit theaters last summer. So what's the verdict on the future of young Master Radcliffe?
Between The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and... um, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 2012 is shaping up to be the biggest year for comic-book movies in the genre's history. And while those giant-sized blockbusters are sure to provide plenty of F/X-driven spectacle (and, in the case of Chris Nolan's final Batman flick, some potentially provocative political commentary), perhaps the year's most intriguing, creatively ambitious superhero picture is the one that's not based on an established, long-running four-color title. I'm talking about Chronicle, the feature filmmaking debut of director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis (son of John) that Fox is releasing in theaters today with surprisingly little fanfare. Applying the "found footage" conceit that's almost exclusively been used for horror movies ever since The Blair Witch Project to the story of three ordinary teenagers that accidentally acquire special powers, Chronicle has its issues (a complete lack of subtly chief among them) but overall it's a clever, entertaining spin on the typical superhero origin story. Here are five reasons why comic book fans should vote with their wallets this weekend and make Chronicle the year's first big hit.
With the new horror movie The Woman in Black, Daniel Radcliffe takes his first big step beyond Harry Potter, the decade-long film franchise that made him a household name. Transitioning from that kind of a long-running and/or hugely popular series to other roles can be an enormous hurdle for an actor. For assistance, Radcliffe can study the career trajectories of the following performers, each of whom left the security of an established franchise -- which, in many cases, rocketed them to stardom -- behind for less familiar standalone projects.