Watch Matthew McConaughey fight Idris Elba in the trailer for ‘Dark Tower’

“The Dark Tower”

 

McConaughey IS the Man in Black. Idris Elba IS the Gunslinger. Stephen King IS the author of the source material “Dark Tower” series. Everyone hopes this DOES become a franchise.

Behold, the trailer for Danish director’s Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King.

“For thousands of generations the gunslingers were knights sworn to protect us from the coming of the dark,” Elba says.

Tom Taylor plays Jake Chambers, our POV character, a kid who starts dreaming of another world. He brings Roland Deschain aka “The Gunslinger” to our world, which is in mortal danger from the Man in Black, aka McConaughey’s Walter Padick.

The movie is slated for Aug. 4.

Here’s why the trailer for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is FANTASTIC

“He stood alone..” (From Thor #362, words and art by Walter Simonson

Oh, man.

Oh, maaaaaaan.

Behold the magnificence that is the totally excellent trailer for “Thor: Ragnarok.”

 

 

I know, right? Here are my favorite bits, which are spoilers for what you just watched. Didn’t watch it? Go watch it. Do it again.

I have been waiting for Marvel to use Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” in a scene or movie or SOMETHING involving Thor for years. It is as totally awesome as I hoped it would be.

Cate Blanchett as Hela, the Asgardian goddess of  death, CRUSHING Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, which is an object we, the people, have been told is pretty well indestructible and so totally awesome only Thor can pick the thing up. Yet, here we are.

“He’s a friend from work!” OK, so, it looks like Ragnarok will take bits from a few different storylines from various comics: some Thor stuff from various points in the comics run is being paired with a completely different, non-Thor  storyline from 2006 called “Planet Hulk.”

Written by Greg Pak, “Planet Hulk” involves a bunch of ostensible heroes who shoot Hulk into space because he’s just too dangerous (nice friends, huh?) Hulk ends up on a planet full of monsters not unlike himself, and gladiator combat ensues. Thor isn’t in the original “Plant Hulk” (nor is Jeff Goldblum, for that matter) and, quite frankly, the “Planet Hulk” arc would make a pretty excellent movie in and of itself, but this could be a clever way to get some of that imagery into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That said, expect howls of outrage from fanboys furious with the fact that a) the “Planet Hulk” ideas are in there at all and b) that this trailer mixes comedy with Ragnarok, which is, you know, according to Norse mythology, supposed to be the end of the world. From the retro music to the jokes to the font, there is a very “Guardians of the Galaxy” vibe to this thing. 

However, and this is a big however, said fanboy/girl jaws hit the floor around the 1:04 mark.

Did you happen to notice the gent with the two M-16s? That is a guy named Skurge and he is played by Karl Urban.

Now, Skurge was a punchline for years in “Thor” comics — an inept and silly bad guy who was inept in spite of the fact that his name was Skurge the Executioner, which sounds like something that should be written on the side of a van.

But in the hands of the legitimately brilliant Walter Simonson — whose 1980s run on “Thor” is one of the all-time great runs on a superhero comic — this doofus was given one of the greatest hero moments in comics.

Seriously, if you want to see a 30- or 40-something “Thor” fan burst into tears INSTANTLY, walk up to him or her and say “He stood alone at Gjallerbru.” (Lord, I am getting verklempt typing this out.)

This essay by the great Chris Sims breaks it down. There are spoilers in there for a 30-year-old comic (and possibly for Skurge’s role in “Thor: Ragnarok”) but his analysis, per usual, is spot on.

Or you could just read “Thor” #362.

As for me and my house, we are going to watch the trailer again. And also “Thor” #362. And maybe cry.

New Ryan Gosling movie trailer full of Austin spots; help us ID them all

One of the most thrilling manifestations of Austin’s regional narcissism: trying to identify local haunts in every movie filmed here.

http://players.brightcove.net/1418563061/default_default/index.html?videoId=5331463837001

Whether it’s Bass Concert Hall in “Miss Congeniality,” the Georgetown High School stadium in “Varsity Blues” or a liquor store on Brodie Lane in “Boyhood,” we love to see our geography looming large on the big screen. That’s one reason we were so stoked for the “Song To Song” trailer, released last week.

From left, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling star in Terrence Malick's "Song to Song." Contributed by Van Redin / Broad Green Pictures
From left, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling star in Terrence Malick’s “Song to Song.” Contributed by Van Redin / Broad Green Pictures

The first substantial peek at Terrence Malick’s new movie — starring Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman and set to debut at South by Southwest this year — is chock full of familiar sights. Luckily, Statesman multimedia producer Alyssa Vidales is the human equivalent of the “COMPUTER, ENHANCE” scene from every episode of “CSI,” and she’s identified lots of Austin landmarks in the clip. Now, we’re not 100 percent on some of these, and there are few we still need help identifying. See if you can help.

First, we’ve got what is obviously Sixth Street heading west toward Congress Avenue, a drive we’ve all made many times but never with Gosling at the wheel.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

There’s plenty of Austin City Limits Music Festival to be seen, including a shot of Mara outside some fences near what appears to be Lou Neff Road (though we had guessed Barton Springs Road earlier) …

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

… and a lingering scene of the actress and Fassbender canoodling in the middle of Zilker Park. Scope that pop-up festival bar.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

Speaking of canoodling, if Fassbender is not your choice of fantasy ATX makeout partner, we peeped a Gosling smooch at now-shuttered ElevenEleven on South Congress Avenue.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

We’re thinking this is somewhere on U.S. 290. Can you identify the exact location from the sign that says “____ Star”? (UPDATE: A commenter suggested that this is The Rustic Star furniture store in Fredericksburg, and the Google Maps investigation checks out.)

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

There’s only one place that this string of pride flags could be: West Fourth Street. Looks like just outside Hangar Lounge and just east down the block from Oilcan Harry’s.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

For comparison:

(Alyssa Vidales/American-Statesman)
(Alyssa Vidales/American-Statesman)

Now this one is a big ol’ stab in the artfully illuminated dark, but could this glowing spot be the Architects of Air exhibit that was in Austin in 2015? Or maybe it’s the James Turrell installation at the University of Texas. The artist and Malick are known associates, even if the colors and lines are wrong. But the filming time frame wouldn’t necessarily match up. We know Malick shot some of “Song To Song” in Austin between 2011-12.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

Oh, and that time frame is when we know the cast was filming at Fun Fun Fun Fest, clearly seen here in the trailer.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

Back to the subject of lights, could this festive scene perhaps take place at the Trail of Lights?  UPDATE: Austin360 producer Katey Psencik points out that this holiday tableau is most likely Mozart’s Coffee Roasters famous light display!

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

No confusion about this tasteful architectural shape. It’s the Long Center, baby.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

This is almost certainly not in Austin, unless there’s a hidden European micro-village hidden somewhere. (UPDATE: A commenter points out that this is Izamal, Yucatán, in Mexico, which is pretty dang far from Europe.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

On a more certain note, Austin360 restaurant critic Matthew Odam is pretty sure this dining scene takes place at Asti Trattoria:

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

Compare the wall decoration and the seating with this photo:

Asti, a restaurant in Hyde Park. (American-Statesman file)
Asti, a restaurant in Hyde Park. (American-Statesman file)

However, being the non-millionaires we are, the identity of this high-rise window still eludes us, but it sure looks Austin-y. (UPDATE: One commenter suggests this might be a view from the Four Seasons Residences, which a little sleuthing of condo listings reveals as a distinct possibility. Check the view.)

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

So, Austin cinephiles and archaeologists alike: Can you help us confirm the identities of any of these local sights or any others in the trailer? Watch the full trailer, leave a comment on this post and we’ll update our findings.

Watch: Six movies to keep an eye on before summer hits

fiftyshades
“Fifty Shades Darker”

Holiday movies, summer movies — we all know about those. But what about movies that come out early in the year?

Here are a few we’re looking forward to in the next few months:

Jan. 13

“Sleepless”: A remake of the French thriller “Sleepless Night,” Jamie Foxx and T.I. are corrupt Las Vegas cops who are searching for a kidnapped child, who happens to be the son of one of the cops. No! Sleep! Till … finding a kidnapper!

Feb. 10

“Fifty Shades Darker”: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in this sequel to 2015 epic “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which is one of the funniest movies of this decade (probably not intentionally).

March 3

“Logan”: James Mangold directs Hugh Jackman in his final turn as the legendary Marvel Comics mutant Wolverine. Based loosely on the comic book miniseries “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, “Logan” concerns an aged Wolverine in the post-apocalyptic future. Many mutants are dead; somehow Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier is still alive. The trailer was terrific, complete with striking, melancholic use of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt.”

March 10

“T2 Trainspotting”: Reportedly based loosely on “Porno,” Irving Welsh’s 2002 sequel to “Trainspotting,” Danny Boyles’ “T2” takes place 20 years later (probably around 2008 or so). “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family” has morphed into “Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently. And choose watching history repeat itself.” We are keeping our fingers crossed.

April 28

“The Circle”: Based on the 2013 sci-fi novel by Dave Eggers, “The Circle” stars Emma Watson as a new employee at a very Facebook-ish (and increasingly creepy) company called the Circle. With Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Patton Oswalt and Bill Paxton.

May 5

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”: And here we have the unofficial kickoff to the summer blockbuster season, part two of Marvel/Disney’s smash hit space opera-via-superheroes story of ragtag adventurers at the cosmic end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The whole gang is back: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, (Baby) Groot and Rocket Racoon.

Ready for more? Read my full preview of 24 movies coming in early 2017.