jessica chastain

The Huntsman, Winter’s War

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? This week The Huntsman: Winter’s War reunites Charlize Theron along with Chris Hemsworth as Queen Ravenna and Eric the Huntsman respectively in the sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Joining this already star studded cast is Emily Blunt as Freya, Ravenna’s little sister who eventually becomes known to others as The Ice Queen and trainer of the Huntsmen, and Jessica Chastain as fellow warrior and Huntsman who trains with Eric and is banished by Freya when she learns that Sara and Eric have fallen in love, the one rule the Ice Queen won’t have broken in her kingdom. This prequel/sequel is being helmed by director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and is being produced by Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland) along with Colleen Atwood returning from the first film as head of costume design. Check out the official trailer, posters, and synopsis on The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and tell us what you think about this film. Are you planning on seeing it this weekend? The Huntsman: Winter’s War is in theaters around the country April 22nd.

Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen—including Eric (Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Chastain)—only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love. 

When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable…unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another. 

The Huntsman: Winters War  Queens

The Huntsman: Winters War Eric and Sara

With the film set to hit theaters this weekend, are you making plans to check it out? Comment below with your thoughts!

The Huntsman, Winter’s War

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review

Crimson Peak is a new horror film from famed Director and Writer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth). I, for one, am a huge fan of Pacific Rim and can’t wait for the sequel. Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010)), Jessica Chastain (The Martian, Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Avengers, and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island), along with Charlie Hunnam (Pacifc Rim, Sons of Anarchy).

Crimson Peak Summary

The film takes place during the late 19th century, beginning in the United States and then spending the second half of the film in England. In short, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) joins Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) at their old, run down mansion in England. The whole story is odd to me, but here’s the basic rundown with spoilers. Edith comes from money, lots of it. Her father was a hardworking man who has made something of his life and in turn, Thomas Sharpe comes to America in search of money. The Sharpe family had money at one point but it long since gone, their home literally falling apart back in England. Thomas Sharpe has a plan to get money rolling back in using the red clay under his property but he needs funding for his excavation machine. Crimson Peak EdithEdith’s father turns down his proposal. Meanwhile, Thomas takes an interest in Edith. Things seem nice at first but, long story short, Edith’s father uncovers incriminating evidence against Thomas and tells him to break Edith’s heart and leave, even paying him a decent sum of money to do so. Then, not surprisingly, Edith’s father is murdered in the wash room by an unknown figure… we are to assume it’s Thomas or his sister Lucille. Edith quickly marries Thomas. In fact, it seems that she does so before the funeral even occurs but either way, she moves to England, selling off everything she and her father owned and is in the process of transferring his family’s wealth into Thomas’s name for use on the excavation equipment, theoretically.

Now that we are at the mansion, creepy things happen. Edith sees ghosts, terrible ghosts, which are portrayed in a very unique way. We quickly figure out that a lot of murder has occurred in this home and Edith is becoming ill, likely due to some kind of poison. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Crimson Peak Thomas SharpeDr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), who had taken an interest in Edith, is not convinced that Carter Cushing’s death was an accident but apparently no one else cared to investigate. More on that later. McMichael leaves the U.S. to find and presumably rescue Edith. During this time, Edith discovers that she is in fact being poisoned via her tea that is prepared by Lucille and that Lucille and Thomas have been planning this murder all along. What’s more important is that we finally find out that this mansion is Crimson Peak. Why is this important? When Edith was a child, the ghost of her mother came to her and warned her to beware of Crimson Peak. She doesn’t discover this nickname until it’s far too late and she is quite ill.

Thomas begins to have doubts about the murder because he has fallen in love with Edith. We find out that Thomas was married before and that at least three other woman have been targets of this nature, all now dead. THEN we find out that Thomas and his sister Lucille have an intimate, sexual relationship between the two of them, even producing a child at one point… which Lucille murders. Alright, so Dr. McMichael shows up, tries to take Edith away but is stabbed by Lucille. Thomas then takes advantage of the situation to pretend to kill McMichael to he can save Edith. Thomas is killed by his own sister in a fit of rage. The final battle, so to speak, takes place out in the snow between Edith and Lucille, with McMichael slowing bleeding out in the mines. Edith is victorious thanks to a timely appearance of Thomas’s ghost, which distracts Lucille long enough for Edith to bash her head in with a shovel.

Okay, so that’s what happens.

What I Liked About Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is a beautiful movie. The colors, the costumes, the digital effects of the ghosts, all beautiful. I love the time period and the style of the film. I truly felt part of that era and the characters felt at home in that time. The state of the mansion was never questioned. It was ready to fall apart. All of the sets were designed perfectly, though overly dramatic at times.

Crimson Peak Lucille Sharpe

The acting was also pretty solid. I thought Jessica Chastain stole the show with her character being the most consistent and threatening. I also truly enjoyed Jim Beaver’s performance as Carter Cushing, as short as it was. He was perfect for the role and I’d wished he had survived if only to see him in another scene.

What I Disliked About Crimson Peak

I did not like this movie. I did not enjoy it and I would not watch it again. Why? There are several reasons. First, the whole plot is thin and illogical. Thomas Sharpe travels the world pretending to look for money and then winning over daughters from rich families. Then his sister dispatches with those families, forcing the daughter to be the heir to the fortunes. Thomas marries the woman and waits out Lucille to murder her in some way, usually poison. Let’s put aside how expensive it is to travel the world (the siblings had been to Italy, France, and the United States among other places), wouldn’t it be infinitely easier for Lucille, as a woman, to win over a single male with money? Second, they are only in this situation because they refuse to leave their family house which it turns out they hate anyway? All this while the siblings have a romantic relationship. Okay, let’s put that aside for a minute and focus on the murder of Carter Cushing. This is a decent sized man, nearing 60. He is preparing to shave in a fairly large wash room that has several attendants. While alone… completely, 100% alone for some reason, with no attendants anywhere in earshot… Lucille sneaks in (a woman in a men’s room in the 19th century) and is able to slam Cushing’s head against a sink not once but several times, literally crushing in the skull in more than one spot. Then, he is left dead on the floor, blood everywhere. She magically slips out. Then, no one wants to investigate the death. Everyone, except Dr. McMichael, believes Cushing slipped and hit his head….. half a dozen times and hard enough to not just knock himself out, or split his head open, but to literally crush an entire chunk of the skull, exposing the brain. Alright, let’s put that aside. Then, Edith quickly sells everything she and her father owned, marries Thomas and moves across the Atlantic, when not a week before, she was desperately trying to get her memoir published using every connection she had. Why did she give everything up so quickly? She was hurt and sad, of course, but she seemed very conscious and alert by the time she arrived in England. This decision seemed completely inconsistent with a character we are to believe is intelligent and level headed, though stubborn.  Finally, everything is so contrived. They sell clay which turns the snow red which is why it’s called Crimson Peak. It’s the dead of winter, so the Post Office is closed and that’s the only building anywhere near Crimson Peak. No police officials or lawyers want to investigate the violent death of one of the most prominent men in the city but the doctor who just got back in town is a resident Sherlock Holmes… which is also referenced early in the film for, I suppose, foreshadowing. Everything is so heavy handed. Edith’s memoir includes ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. The ghosts are just a metaphor for the past. Guess what? That’s actually the synopsis for the film she is in. Crimson Peak has ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. They are there to warn about the past.

Crimson Peak Conclusion

Crimson Peak Sharpe Family

In the end, it’s a wonderfully beautiful film that falls flat for its contrived, heavy handed, ridiculous plot. The actors are solid with Chastain stealing the show. If you love horror films, you might enjoy some aspects of this movie but if you take a minute to think about the plot and everything that it takes to get you to the climax and resolution, you’ll realize that this is a poorly orchestrated story.

I give it 2 poisoned cups of tea out of 5.

What did you think of Crimson Peak? Comment below with your thoughts!

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review

The Martian – Review

 The Martian, I can safely say, satisfied a hunger in me that I have had for some time. I long for films and shows when space travel and exploration was seen as something good and to strive for regardless of the danger. The Martian, following astronaut Mark Watney as he is left stranded on the surface of Mars, deals with powerful thematic elements such as survival in the face of incredible odds and the perseverance to tread on even when it seems all hope is lost.

martian-potatoesWithout spoiling anything not known from the trailer, The Martian follows Mark Watney, a astronaut/botanist, who is accidentally left for dead on the surface of Mars after a sandstorm forces the rest of the astronaut team to prematurely begin their long journey home. Watney, played by Matt Damon, is forced to realize that he will have to survive on Mars with nothing but what supplies were left behind and his intelligence to make it through his ordeal. Knowing that another manned Mars mission will be coming in a few years, he begins the long process of setting up a suitable camp and finding ways to keep himself alive, which due to his exceptional botany skills, meant making a makeshift garden using Martian soil. The rest of the movie follows Watney’s struggle to stay alive but also NASA’s job of finding a suitable way to rescue him with their limited time frame.

I found this film to be both funny, due to Damon’s character always finding ways to make a situation humorous, but also very intense due to the massive odds stacked against him. One criticism that could be laid against the realism of this film is how Watney doesn’t appear to be suffering from any sort of mental breakdown from both the stress and loneliness. However, I saw this as a testament to Watney’s abilities and perseverance. He doesn’t let the gravity of his situation break him. He faces it head-on with zeal and shows Mars that he will survive…as humorously indicated by the credit’s song.

Another commendable aspect of The Martian is how space exploration is always seen as a good thing. To explore the unknown without fear and with a positive attitude is something that child in all of us wants to believe in and this film hit that point hard. Several times, the NASA officials are afraid to reveal information regarding Watney’s situation, due to the possibility of losing hope and therefore public support, but each time, they overcome their fear and in kind, everyone overcomes their own fears in order to do the right thing.martian-gallery2-gallery-image_0

The Martian presents a powerful story depicting how fear should not factor into how we explore. Humanity’s efforts into space exploration has always been a prerogative of going where no one has gone before. In order to understand the positive aspects and optimistic feel of The Martian, I urge those who view this film to remember the words of John F. Kennedy in his famous 1962 Moon Speech: “Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.” Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.”

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Did you catch The Martian opening weekend? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

The Martian – Review

Who Should Be Captain Marvel?

A lot of rumors have been swirling around the casting for Captain Marvel since a solo movie in her honor was announced late 2014.  While some are absolutely brilliant, others are just downright weird.  Take a look at these ten actresses that might snag the part.

Captain Marvel

 

10.  Ronda Rousey

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Known as the best female MMA fighter, Rousey has been recently campaigning for this role via all sorts of social media, including commissioning and posting fan art.  In the last few months, she has truly let her geek flag fly, revealing in her reddit AMA just how much of a comic book fan she really is.  The only downside to seeing Rousey in this role is the level of acting it’s going to entail.  She’ll be up against long time veterans of the craft and any slips could stick out much more than they’d like.  Sadly, a nerd and badass woman doesn’t always translate into great acting.

9. Katee Sackoff

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For at least a year now, this rumor has been in place.  Sackoff has even reportedly met with Marvel executives for a possible role.  Since her Battlestar Galactica days, she hasn’t done much, but a role as one of Marvel’s leading ladies can put any career back in the limelight.  Her cult acting status has her placed as one of the favorite contenders for the role among fans.

8. Charlize Theron

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This rumor is relatively new, following her brilliant take as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s like we all remembered that she could act, or something?  Theron is beyond talented.  On screen, she is a force to be reckoned with and she could easily stand her ground with the amazing Marvel lineup thus far.  She’s even the same age as most of her male counterparts (she just turned 40 this month), making the women of Marvel a more well-rounded group as opposed to being decades younger than the men.  While this rumor may be one of the best, it’s also one of the least likely to happen.

7. Natalie Dormer

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I’m not sure how this rumor started or when I first heard it, but I’m completely okay with this.  Dormer has seen a lot of popularity lately thanks to both Game of Thrones and Mockingjay: Part 1 and it would be a smart business decision to have her jump on the Marvel train sometime soon.  Fans aren’t the only ones to think so, either.  Her recent half shaved head hairstyle has been reflected in the “Captain Marvel” comics lately with Carol Danvers herself sporting the same look.  Coincidence, or foreshadowing?

6.  Katheryn Winnick

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A solid part of Vikings, Winnick has proven herself to be an upcoming star.  She’s also ready for just about any kind of action Marvel could throw at her.  While this rumor is mostly fan-based, Winnick has been approached in multiple interviews asking if she would ever consider a role with Marvel.  Fortunately, she seemed to be completely up for the idea and would be eager to fill the role of Captain Marvel, or almost anyone else for that matter.

5. Jessica Chastain

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The Interstellar star has been rumored since late 2014.  She had been up for the role of Maya Hanson in Iron Man 3 before having to drop out due to scheduling issues. Since then, she’s met again with Marvel about a possible different role, which means they have to like her, right?  Chastain even joined the campaign trail to play a superhero, any superhero for a while.  This rumor, sadly enough, seems to have fizzled out recently with Chastain even quoted “There was one thing. I don’t want to say too much – but there was one thing, there was a possibility in the future of the character becoming… And I was like, ‘I understand that, but I want to do it now.’ ”

4. Jennifer Lawrence

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This rumor is 100% fan driven.  Lawrence is beyond a capable actress and would fit right into the Marvel lineup, of that there isn’t a doubt in my mind.  However, Lawrence gets giant franchise after giant franchise, which may be a turn off to some.  Her popularity may not add anything that Marvel couldn’t bring in without her and her larger than life Hollywood profile may stand out more than Marvel would want at this time.  Plus, we know Fox and Marvel can’t cross the streams yet! Maybe if she’s ever officially done playing Mystique…

3. Yvonne Stahovsky

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Her role on Chuck proved to many fans that she could take on a superhero role any day, which has left her being a strong contender for the mass audience.  While her work since the show’s finale hasn’t reached the same popularity, her name still keeps popping up when Captain Marvel is mentioned.  She may not be the most obvious choice, she definitely isn’t out of the running yet.

2. Alice Eve

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Marvel enjoys seeing their actresses pull off other major franchise roles before they cast them in the hero spot.  Evangeline Lilly had The Hobbit films, Elizabeth Olsen had Godzilla, and Johansson has had a string of successes since she was a kid.  Alice Eve has that too, now.  Don’t think Marvel will overlook her take on Carol Markus from Star Trek Into Darkness (there’s no punctuation there, I promise).  It certainly worked for Zoe Saldana.  If Eve wants a role in the Marvel franchise bad enough, she most likely will be offered it immediately.

1. Emily Blunt

30/01/2011 PA File Photo of Emily Blunt, arriving for the premiere of Gnomeo and Juliet, an animated film produced by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider.

Here it is, your top contender for the Captain Marvel role.  Blunt has proven herself to be one of Hollywood’s most well-rounded actresses, leading dramas, action films, and even musicals.  She can bring the star power without overpowering a role.  Her characters, no matter how tough or resilient, she portrays them with a softness that doesn’t take away from any of their qualities.  She’s also the only that has been in touch with Marvel for years.  She was one of the original actresses up for Black Widow.  I’d expect to see Blunt in a Marvel role before Phase 3 is over.

Well, that’s it. Ten awesome women rumored to don the Captain Marvel uniform.  Who’s your favorite? Who do you want to stay away from the project? Who would you like to have a rousing conversation over some ice cream? Comment below!

Who Should Be Captain Marvel?