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Movie Review: The Great Wall
eelyajekiM   |  

The Great Wall starring Matt Damon

The Great Wall
Director: Zhang Yimou
Screenwriter: Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 104 Minutes
Release Date: February 17, 2017

One would expect something like The Great Wall to live up to its title. History tells us that The Great Wall of China was constructed with the purpose of defense, border control, and trade regulation. In Zhang Yimou‘s film, we learn that it had another purpose: to protect the nation of China from the Tao Tei, giant green scaly beasts that have ravaged the country for ages. This would not be the first time that a film has depicted history and mix it with myth and monsters.

Of course, one of the biggest concerns surrounding The Great Wall is the blatant whitewashing that has been a part of the marketing campaign since the very beginning. Matt Damon has been the face of this film. Despite the film’s majority Chinese cast, Chinese director, and Chinese financiers, the film still believed it needed to have a big name in order to be a big seller.

But putting all of that aside, there is some entertainment value in the film. Just don’t expect much of it. Check out my full review below.

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TV Review: Incorporated 1.1 “Vertical Mobility”
Dr. Zaius   |  

Incorporated 101--01

Incorporated
Season 1 Episode 1: “Vertical Mobility”
Written & Directed by David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Starring Sean Teale, Allison Miller, Eddie Ramos, Julia Ormond, Dennis Haysbert, Damon Herriman
Syfy
Air Date: Wednesday, November 30th, 2016, 10:00pm

Incorporated made its debut last night on SyFy, and perhaps right in time for President-Elect Trump. The show is based in the year 2074 and corporations govern all… freaky right? The series is executively produced by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Todd, and created, written and directed by the Pastor Brothers (Alex and David). They co-wrote the 2015 film Self/less starring Ryan Reynolds, and wrote and directed the underrated and underseen 2009 plague film, Carriers. As we learn in the opening crawl, the world was destroyed thanks to global warming (you hear that PE Trump!), and now the corporations rule, secretly battling over Earth’s dwindling resources. Humanity is divided into zones. Green is good for those working for one of these corporations. Red is for the rest of us.

Spoilers below for the premiere of Incorporated!

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NYCC 2016: ‘The Great Wall’ Interview: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Zhang Yimou
Dr. Zaius   |  

The Great Wall Matt Damon Pedro Pascal

After the New York Comic-Con panel for The Great Wall energized the crowd at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, I had the chance to attend a private press event featuring stars Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Wang Yunkai, and director Zhang Yimou.

Damon and Pascal had trouble hiding their total fanboy feelings towards their director, a man whom they both greatly admired for years for his filmography, including Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. They routinely cited “pinch-me moments” on set. The first question went to the director about the process of making the film. He replied that it was developed over seven years and that he tried to add something unique to each shot, whether color or a specific action sequence.

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NYCC 2016: ‘The Great Wall’ Panel With Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Zhang Yimou & more
Dr. Zaius   |  

Great Wall panel, NYCC 2016

It was a packed house on Saturday afternoon at The Theater at Madison Square Garden for New York Comic-Con, for Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ The Great Wall panel and Q&A. From the director of some of the most beautiful kung fu epics eves, Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers/Hero), comes the largest production in the history of China, which makes sense since it’s called, The Great Wall. The film is a historical fantasy based on Chinese folklore about the monsters the Great Wall of China was built to keep out and the army dedicated to killing them. It features an all-star international cast including Oscar winner Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Jing Tian, Wang Junkai, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau.

Director Zhang Yimou, and cast members Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, and Junkai Wang were on hand for the NYCC panel, moderated by Dave Karger.

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NYCC 2016: ‘The Great Wall’ Trailer Has Matt Damon Discovering A Great Secret
eelyajekiM   |  

The Great Wall starring Matt Damon

Any normal film about The Great Wall of China would be otherwise been seen as a documentary or a dramatization of how the wall was built. But add a monster element to it, and it has all the makings of a blockbuster tentpole movie, especially if said film has cast a very marketable name headlining it, like Matt Damon. Universal and Legendary have released the second trailer for The Great Wall.

Check it out here below.

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‘The Great Wall’ Trailer: Matt Damon Helps Defend China Against Great Beasts
eelyajekiM   |  

The Great Wall starring Matt Damon

Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures have released the first trailer for Zhang Yimou‘s (Hero, The House Of Flying Daggers) The Great Wall. Starring Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal (Game Of Thrones), the film will tell audiences the “true story” of why The Great Wall Of China was erected.

Watch the trailer here below.

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Blu-ray Review: ‘The Martian’ Extended Edition
eelyajekiM   |  

The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon

The Martian Extended Cut
Blu-ray l DVD l 4K Ultra HD
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Drew Goddard
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor
20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | 141 Minutes
Release Date: June 07, 2016

Last year’s The Martian exceeded any and all expectations, garnering spots on many top ten lists, including our own, and earned many other recognitions including Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Matt Damon), Best Adapted Screenplay, and other technical nods. Now the campaign to bring Mark Watney home can be your mission as The Martian Extended Cut has hit store shelves.

Check out our full review below.

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Matt Damon Pranks People With ‘Jason Bourne’ Spy Mission (Video)
The Movie God   |  

Matt Damon Jason Bourne Prank for Omaze

The next movie in the Bourne series, Jason Bourne, is set to be released next month on July 29th. As we’ve seen more and more often with the big releases, an Omaze contest to benefit charity has been set up that will see one fan win a trip to Vegas to hang out with Matt Damon.

To help get the word out about the contest, Damon played a prank in which he gives a super secret spy mission to some unsuspecting people who just received a phone from a mysterious stranger. Some of them get a freaked out by it and bail, while others cautiously proceed with the directions given.

You can see how it played out and learn more about the contest below.

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‘Jason Bourne’ Trailer: Matt Damon Brings Title Character Out Of Hiding
eelyajekiM   |  

Jason Bourne starring Matt Damon header

Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for Jason Bourne, the fourth film involving the title character and the fifth in the franchise if you count The Bourne Legacy. The film marks the return of Matt Damon reprising the titular role with director Paul Greengrass also returning to the director’s chair.

Drawing inspiration from the computer hacking and Edward Snowden leaking highly sensitive government material to the world, the film centers on a hack against a highly secured U.S. government computer network that puts the world in unprecedented danger forcing former CIA agent is to come out of hiding after spending many years off the grid. Check out the full trailer below.

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Oscars 2016: Predictions For The Acting Awards Categories
Dr. Zaius   |  

Oscars Image

On Sunday night, Hollywood will get together for its biggest party of the year, the 88th Annual Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars. The night promises laughs, shocks, and plenty of controversy as for the second straight year all 20 acting nominees are white. With comedian Chris Rock hosting, expect some jabs directed at the Academy.

I love the Oscars, even when I hate them. Movies are my passion and the biggest night in movies has become a holiday akin to the Super Bowl. Every year, I try earnestly to see all the films nominated for top honors, and I went over and beyond this year. Not only did I watch all 8 nominated films, but I watched 19 of the 20 of the ranked Oscar performances (sorry Charlotte Rampling). Since this is my first of several Oscars 2016 columns to come, I thought it best to start in the same way the big show begins… no sorry, not with a huge musical number. Nearly every year, they open the awards distribution with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Last year, JK Simmons accepted his trophy for playing the deliciously malicious orchestra leader in Best Pic nominee Whiplash. Simmons, much more resigned than his ferocious role as Fletcher, encouraged everyone to call their moms.

So without further ado, let’s introduce the Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominees, and then move on to the Best Actor and Actress nominees. I’ll tell you who will likely will win… but more importantly, who I think should win.

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