James Spader’s Creepiest Performances Before <i>The Avengers: Age of Ultron</i>

When you stop and think about it, Marvel's announcement that James Spader will be playing Joss Whedon's latest Big Bad, the ass-kicking robot Ulton, in 2015's sure-to-be top-grossing movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron... despite what those Jarvis conspiracy theorists would have you believe. No, what's really surprising is that it's taken Spader this long to play a comic-book villain. The dude has been a grade-A onscreen creep since the late '80s, when movies like Less Than Zero pushed him onto a bad boy path that most recently led to his starring role as a Hannibal Lecter-style mentor on NBC's action-packed fall series The Blacklist. Considering his resume, he's the ideal choice to put Iron Man & Co. through their paces. Here are the future Ultron's five creepiest movie roles to date.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

by Ethan Alter February 11, 2014 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

And now his game has ended.

Oblivion: Ground Control to Major Tom

by Ethan Alter April 19, 2013 8:00 am
<i>Oblivion</i>: Ground Control to Major Tom

Two movies into his feature filmmaking career, Joseph Kosinski has yet to establish a signature visual style or set of themes, but between TRON: Legacy and now Oblivion, he has provided us with a pretty good idea of what his dream house would look like. Trained as an architect before moving over into movies, Kosinski lavishes attention on the designs of his various worlds and has an obvious affection for structures that sport clean, sharp lines, have lots of open space (with plenty of glass windows) and are bathed in a harsh white light -- think Bauhaus meets a Williamsburg rave. Actually, your best reference point is probably the hotel room from the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a movie that's stylistic impact on Oblivion is profound and all-encompassing. It takes brass balls to ape the various environments and props from Stanley Kubrick's seminal science-fiction favorite and act like it ain't no thang, but Kosinski goes about his extended homage with an obvious confidence that stems from his design background. And the results are there on screen: Oblivion looks fantastic, immersing audiences to a distant, post-apocalyptic future that's more authentic than most movies of its type. I like to imagine that Kosinski had his own Monolith positioned just next to the camera throughout the shoot, which he could occasionally reach over and touch for inspiration.

Mind the Gap: <i>Johnny English Reborn</i> and Other Long Delayed Sequels

This Friday, bumbling British "super" spy Johnny English (played by British comic Rowan Atkinson) returns to theaters for his second mission, Johnny English Reborn. Don't remember the original Johnny English outing? That's okay... it came out eight years ago -- an eternity in movie years. Still, that's not the most excessive lag time between the first and second installments in a franchise. The wait was even longer between the following Parts 1 and 2. [Note: We're omitting sequels that went the direct-to-DVD or made-for-TV route, so don't go looking for Cinderella II or The Birds II.]

Goonies Never Say Tie!

by Zach Oat August 5, 2008 4:55 pm
Goonies Never Say Tie!

Having never spent more than $50 on a pair of shoes in my life, I was faced with a crisis of unprecedented proportions when Adidas unveiled a pair of sneakers inspired by Hellboy 2: The Golden Army a couple of months back. Hmm. Pay a few hundred bucks for sneakers I wouldn't want to let touch the floor, or save for my unborn child's education? (Did I mention I really like Hellboy?) I ultimately decided against giving Adidas my money, but now Puma wants my future offspring to grow up dumb, as well.

Maguire vs. Board of Education

by DeAnn Welker July 21, 2008 2:02 pm
Maguire vs. Board of Education Tobey Maguire loves his Pleasantville and Seabiscuit director, Gary Ross, so much that he's teaming up with him yet again for The Crusaders.

It's not about the actual Crusaders, as in Christians who took part in the Crusades. It's about the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education. Maguire will play Jack Greenberg, a young idealist lawyer who helps the NAACP win the case that made segregation in schools illegal.

Transformers 2: Revenge of Poor Filmmaking

by Zach Oat June 6, 2008 2:14 pm
Transformers 2: Revenge of Poor Filmmaking

The full title of Transformers 2 has been revealed! Since part of the movie was being filmed in Pennsylvania, I was hoping it would be called Transformers 2: Amish Paradise, but that is not the case. (Also, Pennsylvania is apparently standing in for China.) No, the movie is called Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, thereby guaranteeing that Megatron, who we last saw at the bottom of the Dino de Laurentian Abyss, will be making a return. The film also has the distinct honor of being the 27th sequel to have the word "Revenge" in the title.

Will it be able to live up to the legacy of other great "revenge" movies? Let's compare:

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