THE EVEN DARKER SIDE OF CRIME
If you haven’t seen the first trailer for “Black Mass” yet, then put this magazine down, go to YouTube and do a search for “Black Mass Official Trailer #1 (2015).” Or, better yet, scan this page with the DAMAN AR app. Now, we don’t want to be jumping to conclusions here, but this definitely looks like a solid comeback role for Johnny Depp, besides being an all-around awesome crime movie. The backstory is intriguing (based on the real-life exploits of Whitey Bulger: brother to a US senator and violent criminal who later became an informant for the FBI), it boasts an all-star cast and the script and acting are top-notch and beautifully Scan delivered. “Black Mass” is definitely on our must-watch list.
TAKING THE 4 BACK TO STEP 1
The third attempt to bring one of Marvel Comic’s most famous superhero teams is finally here and despite the usual bickering among fans this one looks to be the best one yet. As expected, this year’s “Fantastic Four” (sometimes stylized as “Fant4stic”) will once again be an origin story of how the eponymous four main characters obtain their fantastic abilities, followed by the introduction of their traditional friendturned-archenemy Doom and the subsequent fight to save the world. Will this movie save 20th Century Fox’ hold on the franchise? It sure looks that way. Oh, and “Fantastic Four” also stars our June/July cover boy, the one and only Jamie Bell.
FUN WITH ACRONYMS
In Hollywood fiction the KGB and CIA are rarely, if ever, on cordial terms, especially during the Cold War much like in real life, actually. In fiction, however, agents from both sides of the Iron Curtain can find themselves working for a benevolent, global crime-fighting organization. That’s basically the premise of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” which, like the old TV series it’s based on, features CIA agent Napoleon Solo (played by Henry Cavill) and Georgian KGB operative Ilya Kuryakin (played by Armie Hammer) on a mission from the eponymous U.N.C.L.E. to infiltrate a criminal organization bent on world domination. ’60s-styled spy thrillers… there’s nothing quite like it.
CROUCHING SEQUEL, HIDDEN OSCAR
Yes, this is a sequel to what is arguably the most successful Wuxia flick of all time: Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” While some of the original cast and crew are no longer involved, “The Green Destiny” is still in good hands. Heading this new epic is Yuen Woo-Ping, whose long list of directing and fight-choreography credits include the first “Drunken Master” film and “The Matrix” trilogy. Meanwhile, Michelle Yeoh reprises her old role and will be joined by veteran actor Donnie Yen along with a pack of fresh talents. As plenty of big-budget kung fu flicks have been released since the original “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” it’s somewhat less likely that “The Green Destiny” will be another award magnet. Still, it would definitely be a blast to see.
THE DEADLIEST GAME
Movies based on video games can be a bit of a mixed bag, as illustrated by 2007’s “Hitman,” which is based on the video game series of the same name about a highly sought-after cloned assassin. This year, this very franchise is once again pushed to the big screen as “Hitman: Agent 47” with Rupert Friend (who is on the cover of this very issue) playing the bald and barcoded assassin. Much like its predecessor, this movie ditches the video game’s trademark stealthy skullduggery and, instead, goes for the tried-and-true epic gunfights plus damsel in distress formula. Still, this formula remains popular for a pretty good reason, so this time around Agent 47 might actually deliver.
TOPPING OFF THE TANK
Some say it’s a prequel, others say that “The Transporter: Refueled” is a reboot of the series. But no matter what it technically is, a new “Transporter” trilogy sans Jason Statham has raised quite a few eyebrows. Still, we have Camille Delamarre directing and Luc Besson producing and both worked on “Taken 2,” which is definitely a good sign as far as action movies go. You might not have heard a lot about leading man Ed Skrein, but it sure looks like he’s a hot commodity right now in Hollywood. So, it might not be the “Transporter” we all grew up with, but it will definitely be a worthy follow-up act.