ComingSoon.net has first photos of newest ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film

Johnny Depp Captain Jack Sparrow

Written by O’Boyd

We now know several things about the new edition of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Back in October, the film was announced as being green-lit by Walt Disney. The film is slated to be released in theaters on July 7, 2017, is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer  and is directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.

We also know Johnny Depp will be back as Captain Jack Sparrow and that Geoffrey Rush will return as Captain Barbossa. Also, Javier Bardem will play Captain Brand, the film’s villain and Brenton Thwaites is cast as a British soldier. Rumors also have Orlando Bloom returning as William Turner.

Now, ComingSoon.net has posted photos, which are below, of what is considered to be a set being built. Andrew Thompson, a reader of ComingSoon.net, sent the website these photos of the work being done in the Gold Coast Hinterland in Queensland, Australia.

It appears to be a small town that’s being built. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

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What You Missed: Dec. 27, 2014

Written by O’Boyd

Another new feature in Cinema Corner 2.0 is our wrap-up file of all the movie-related events from the day. Think the Drudge Report meets Hollywood.

Why should you have to search all over the Internet for movie news when you can get it all right here. We’ll list here some of the stuff we’ve posted from earlier in the day along with other items we think you should check out. Each day, we hope to provide you with a roundup of sorts of the things we believe you’ll enjoy and want to read about.

While we’re on vacation this week, this page will update often with the latest news. So check back often to see “What’s Happening Now!”

As always, enjoy.

$RJHA0BT

Check out three other Superhero Christmas texts by TextsFromSuperheroes.com via GeekTyrant.com.

OUR HEADLINES

NOTE: Roger Thomas’ weekly review and our CinemaCorner page will appear Sunday due to the Christmas holiday.

Coming to Theaters: Dec. 25, 2014

What You Missed: Dec. 26, 2014

 Get Tickets

Fandango.com          AMC Theatres          MovieTickets.com

Be sure to check out RottenTomatoes.com, which collects and posts reviews for all the films coming out this week.

THE REST OF THE NEWS

This sounds like a joke: Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack are in a movie set in the Han dynasty. But it’s real: “Dragon Blade” opens Feb. 18. Read more about it here. (NEW)

• “Unbroken” and “Into the Woods” are in a tight battle to win the holiday box office, according to Box Office Mojo. (NEW)

• “The Interview” made $1 million on Christmas Day. (NEW)

Chris Evans is in a quick commercial for “Call of Duty Online,” which is being released in China for the first time. Read more about it here. (NEW)

• From the BBC: Egypt has banned “Exodus” for being inaccurate. (NEW)

• Roberto Orci confims his script won’t be used for the third “Star Trek” film. (NEW)

• “American Sniper” is already breaking box office records, despite being seen on just 10 screens. (NEW)

The final trailer for “The Wedding Ringer,” which hits theaters on Feb. 20. You can see an earlier trailer here, a Red Band trailer here and the original trailer here.

• For the second year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence helped needy families back home in Kentucky.

• Color me shocked. After so much backlash to get “The Interview” where people could see it, Variety reports a survey of 700 people has determined the film is “culturally insensitive.”

• Seth Rogen was very happy to see fans attend a viewing of “The Interview.”

They’re rebooting “Thunderbirds.” And there’s a teaser trailer, too.

• “The Interview” was a big hit among websites that pirate movies, according to Variety.

The folks at JoBlo.com have a video on phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

VIDEO CLIPS AND MORE

The second trailer for Disney’s “McFarland, USA” has dropped.

The first trailer for “Woman in Gold.”

MovieWeb.com has an international trailer for “Mortdecai” that we haven’t seen before.

• How Disney tiptoed around Johnny Depp’s creepy, sexualized song “Hello, Little Girl” in “Into the Woods.”

• If you’re like me, you watched “A Christmas Story” at least once during TBS’ 24-hour marathon. But where are the actors at now?

If you haven’t seen it … here’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson singing in a onesie on “Live with Kelly & Michael.”

LISTS, BESTS, WORSTS

Bane

Like my sisters, Melissa and Jeanne, we think this is how Bane spent his Thursday … fixing sugar cookies. From Bane Thursdays.

• Vulture.com gives us the best films we should be seeing on Netflix.

• Variety has its contenders for Best Adapted Screenplay.

• The ten best movie music moments of 2014 by Cinema Blend.

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MoviePilot.com gives us examples of some interesting names for films in other countries. The first one is above: Die Hard.

What You Missed: Dec. 20, 2014

Written by O’Boyd

Another new feature in Cinema Corner 2.0 is our wrap-up file of all the movie-related events from the day. Think the Drudge Report meets Hollywood.

Why should you have to search all over the Internet for movie news when you can get it all right here. We’ll list here some of the stuff we’ve posted from earlier in the day along with other items we think you should check out. Each day, we hope to provide you with a roundup of sorts of the things we believe you’ll enjoy and want to read about.

As always, enjoy.

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From Walt Disney Studios’ Facebook page. Remember, there’s less than a week before Christmas. Be sure to get those presents wrapped.

OUR HEADLINES

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ says ‘thank you’

First picture of Spielberg, Hanks in Cold War spy mission film

Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart team up in first ‘Get Hard’ trailer

Well, looks like we’re down to four directors for next ‘Star Trek’ film

Legendary Pictures really wants you to get to know ‘Seventh Son’

JoBlo.com gives us six featurettes to educate us on “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

Andy Serkis can finally spill the beans, somewhat, on ‘The Force Awakens’

Watch the new trailer for ’71’ before you go see ‘Unbroken’

Jim Carrey teaming up with ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ producers for ‘Deep Cover’

Coming to Theaters: Dec. 19, 2014

What You Missed: Dec. 19, 2014

THE LATEST ON THE SONY HACK AND “THE INTERVIEW”

• Obama: Sony made a mistake in canceling “The Interview.”

• Sony’s CEO: “We have not caved.”

• Sony says it spoke to White House before and after “The Interview” was pulled.

Sony hackers gloat over the studio pulling the plug on “The Interview.”

• Three actors from “The Interview” speak about the film and their roles.

• Sean Penn gives his opinion. So does George Clooney.

• Screen Junkies has six Seth Rogen/James Franco movies that also should be banned.

Vulture has a great story about how “The Interview” has renewed interest in Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.”

• Wanna see how Americans look in North Korean films? It’s not very flattering.

A new trailer for “The Interview,” approved, of course, by Guardians of Peace.

REST OF THE NEWS

Kate Winslet is the latest to be considered for the Steve Jobs biopic.

Is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) going to make an appearance on the ABC television show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?”

• Why hasn’t a redhead ever won an Oscar? The Hollywood Reporter explains.

• The first official trailer for “The Duke of Burgundy” makes “50 Shades of Grey” seem like a walk in the park.

• There are two 30-second TV spots for the Johnny Depp film “Mortdecai,” which hits theaters on Jan. 23. I’ll let you think on that.

You have seen the Christmas lights display set to songs from “Star Wars” and “Frozen.” You haven’t? Well, here you go.

See Sarah Michelle Geller in a clip for the video-on-demand film “Veronica Decides to Die.” It releases on Jan. 20.

• The next movie on the Schmoes Know 25 Days of Christmas: “Elf.”

• Peter Jackson has never read a comic book and has no plans to make a Marvel film.

• Children’s movies are really sad and violent, a study concludes.

Here’s the cast from “The Santa Clause” 20 years later.

• Screen Rant’s worst movies and best movies of 2014.

• Screen Crush’s best and worst movies of 2014.

• Bad Ass Digest has its best films of 2014 list.

Next ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film may be going young for last major role

Lucy BoyntonGabriella WildeAlexandra DowlingKaya Scodelario

Jenna Thiam

Photos of, in order of appearance, Lucy Boynton, Gabriella Wilde, Alexandra Dowling, Kaya Scodelario and Jenna Thiam

Written by O’Boyd

With production starting early next year on the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, it’s time to wrap up the major cast members before the holidays.

Variety is reporting that Disney is looking to at least five young and up-and-coming actresses to fill the final slot as the lead female. Among the names mentioned are Lucy Boynton (“Miss Potter”), Gabriella Wilde (“Endless Love”), Alexandra Dowling (“The Musketeers”), Kaya Scodelario (“Maze Runner”) and television actress Jenna Thiam. The process of selecting one of them is reported to take a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Johnny Depp is on board with Javier Bardem playing the villain and Brenton Thwaites as a British soldier who teams with Depp’s Jack Sparrow. Variety reports the studio wanted to make sure it had locked up Thwaites for his role before turning the focus on the lead female actress.

The film is slated to be released in theaters on July 7, 2017.

Reviews of the Past: ‘The Lone Ranger’

The next set of reviews we’ll be publishing are some of the ones Roger Thomas has done exclusively for The Stanly News & Press. Roger has written movie reviews for The Stanly News & Press and other outlets for years, long before starting this blog. So we decided it would be good to give readers a sample of his previous work, in addition to posts of reviews of current films. Other reviews will run daily.

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Johnny Depp, left, and Armie Hammer

Many of us grew up watching “The Lone Ranger.” They tried to revive this story back in 1981 with “The Legend of the Lone Ranger.” I never saw that film, and it was not very successful. (It ranked 56 for the year and made a little more than $12 and one-half million. In comparison, “Raiders of the Lost Ark made $212 million the same year.) For most of us, our experiences with the Ranger, Tonto and Silver, did not come from the ill-fated film from more than 30 years ago.

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I did note that when I looked up “Legend,” I found many characters bearing the same names as those in the new film.

This new version of the story, in much the same was as the first installments of most super hero films, tells the origin of the Lone Ranger and his new friendship with Tonto. I assume the old film did something similar since many of the same characters appear in both, same villains, same supporting players.

One of the strengths of new “Ranger” film is the origin narrative. Before he becomes the masked man, John Reid is an idealistic lawyer who has distaste for guns and little skill in using them. Watching this young lawyer making mistakes along the way to becoming a hero is a compelling journey. His budding relationship with Tonto, which is filled with as much animosity as friendship, at least in the early part of the film, is also, for the most part, enjoyable. The overall plot of the film is perhaps a little too complicated for younger children, but in the end it all made sense.

Unlike the two lengthy action sequences in the recent “Man of Steel,” the two extended action sequences in this film, both involving trains, are truly the highlights of the film. The second backed by a beautiful rendition of the William Tell Overture (traditional Lone Ranger Music) is the highlight of the film and almost redeemed the film of all its flaws. Add to that some beautiful cinematography, pleasant humor, original score music that fits the film perfectly, and there is much to like about “The Lone Ranger.”

On the other hand, there is much that detracts from this film. First, at 149 minutes, the film is too long; several conversations should have been clipped. Second, Tonto is just a little bit too strange. This works when Johnny Depp is playing Captain Jack Sparrow but here a little less would have been a better choice. (The backstory of Tonto was one of the highlights of the film, however, Joseph E. Foy was portraying Tonto in these scenes.) There are also glimmers of the supernatural in this script that never really materialize.

I would recommend against this in any sequel. “Indiana Jones” successfully wedded historical action and the supernatural, but few other films could balance both. Future “Ranger” films would probably not be improved with magic as a plot devise. Then there is this one scene with rabbits that seems completely out of place; it got a laugh from the audience, but in later reflection, I fail to understand why anyone would not find it strange. And it is repeated late in the film.

Finally, “Ranger” is predictable in many ways. Of course, the good guys are going to win eventually, but other scenes like when the railway man speaks to a young married woman, one immediately files that as related to something coming later. Villains in this film are painted all black, heroes all white, except Tonto who is literally painted black and white. In the end though, most of our summer blockbusters have been predictable.

I have written before that some films are just fun. “Now You See Me” from earlier this year fell into the category for me, fun to watch but do not think too much about the plot. “The Lone Ranger” is another film I would classify that way. It is fun. I had a good time watching much of it, though I would have altered many elements. And the final action sequence, with that classic music blaring was especially entertaining.

There are many films more flawed than “The Lone Ranger,” and if you are just looking for fun, this might be the movie. Just remember, 149 minutes is a long time during the slow scenes.

Box Office results

Domestic gross: $89,302,115

Foreign gross: $171,200,000

Production budget: $215 million

Opening weekend: $29,210,849

NOTE: Information from Boxofficemojo.com

Reviews of the Past: ‘Dark Shadows’

The next set of reviews we’ll be publishing are some of the ones Roger Thomas has done exclusively for The Stanly News & Press. Roger has written movie reviews for The Stanly News & Press and other outlets for years, long before starting this blog. So we decided it would be good to give readers a sample of his previous work, in addition to posts of reviews of current films. Other reviews will run daily.

Dark Shadows Movie Stills (9)

Johnny Depp

With respect to full disclosure, I have been a fan of “Dark Shadows” for a very long time. I watched it with my brother and our babysitter when I was a very young child in the late sixties and early seventies. I learned about vampires back when they could not come out in the daylight and they did not sparkle in the sun.

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Fifteen years later, when I moved to Louisville, Ky. to attend seminary, I discovered that the local PBS station aired the old series from my childhood every weeknight at 11 p.m. I always took a break from my studies so I could discover what was happening in Collinwood. I also discovered that the show’s plots moved at a much slower rate than I had remembered and the entire series was much campier than I noticed when I was six. However, I enjoyed it anyway.

Four years after I left Louisville and lost my opportunity to keep up with Barnabas Collins, the main character of the series, a wonderful thing happened. A new television network was launched called the Sci-Fi Network (now known as the Scy-Fy Network for some reason beyond my comprehension). This new network began to air two episodes of “Dark Shadows” every morning; two episodes certainly helped the plot to move quicker. I set my VCR and I taped both episodes every day for several years.

And for the record, in 1991 I also watched every episode of the short-lived nighttime drama remake of the old gothic soap which starred Ben Cross “Chariots of Fire” as vampire Barnabas Collins, Jean Simmons “Spartacus”, “Elmer Gantry” as Collins matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard and a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt “Inception”, “The Dark Knight Rises” as David Collins. I liked the pacing of the new version and regretted that it did not find an audience.

So why have I taken you down my “Dark Shadows” Memory Lane? The answer is simple. I believe the biggest problem of Tim Burton’s new version of “Dark Shadows” is the pacing. Perhaps, in an attempt to mimic the original series, Burton made the decision that his film would drag slowly toward its climax. As a longtime fan of these characters and this story, I found the film disappointing because I wanted more and I wanted it faster.

There are some things I liked in the film. I thought Depp did a fine job with his version of Barnabas, though Jonathon Frid from the original series is a far more sympathetic character. The rest of the cast were also good in their roles. The humor, much of it built around the early seventies setting of the film, was often successful, but I am pretty sure most of the best laughs were in the trailers which have been playing for months in theaters. I respect Director Tim Burton’s decision to make the film a campy comedy instead of a drama like the 1991 remake, I just wished it would have been funnier. I did like the film’s soundtrack utilizing many hits from the era to set the tone and mood. The screenplay was adequate, some of the plotpoints were altered from the original story, but nothing so serious as to offend a fan like me. The screenplay should just have been tighter, moving quicker for me to like it more.

I think the greatest strength of the movie is the visuals.  The film looks great. The special effects are good. The costumes serve the characters well. And then there are the sets. The sets, Collinwood’s interiors and exterior, are beautiful. I especially liked the great iron gate of the estate that we never saw in the original series. Also the town of Collinsport, which you almost never saw in the original series, is inviting on screen. Burton hires good people to make his film settings one of his movies’ greatest strengths. No Burton film in history that has been nominated for an Oscar in Art Direction has lost; four Burton films have taken home statues for their achievements in Art Direction “Batman”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Sweeney Todd”, and “Alice in Wonderland”. “Shadows” looks good enough to get a nomination and might even continue the streak.

But alas, nice sets and other visuals are not enough to save this film. As a lifelong fan of Barnabas Collins, and all the other characters and creatures hiding in the “Dark Shadows”, it should have had more speed, more happening quicker, in spite of the fact that the original source material never did.

Box Office results

Domestic gross: $79,727,149

Foreign gross: $165,800,000

Production budget: $150 million

Opening weekend: $29,685,274

NOTE: Information from Boxofficemojo.com