On May 2nd Spider-Man swings back into action with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which is a sequel to the 2012 reboot of the popular franchise. 

Once again directed by Marc Webb, the upcoming sequel features Andrew Garfield reprising his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, along with Emma Stone as his love interest Gwen Stacey, Academy Award-winner Sally Field as Aunt May, and Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz as Richard and Mary Parker. Joining the cast this time around is Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro, Academy Award-nominee Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich/The Rhino, Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin, Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn, B.J. Novak as Alistair Smythe, and Felicity Jones in an unspecified role. 

The new film was written by returning screenwriter James Vanderbilt, as well as Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 follows Peter Parker as he continues to struggle with balancing his life as a graduating high school student, and his responsibilities as Spider-Man. When Peter begins to investigate more about his father's past, thanks to the help of his old friend Harry Osborn, he begins to realize that the new threats of Electro and the Rhino all have one thing in common: OsCorp.

Earlier this week I had the rare pleasure of being invited to Sony Studios in Los Angeles, along with several other members of the press, to screen roughly 30 minutes of the film and speak with Marc Webb about the project. Webb discussed an array of subjects including the film’s new villains, Peter’s arc, what classic Spider-Man elements from the comic books fans can expect to see in the sequel, Norman Osborn’s role, tying up loose ends from the last film, Spider-Woman, and his involvement with the upcoming Spider-Man sequels and spinoffs. 

IAR'S Oscar Winner Predictions 2014

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:30

Oscar ballots are in and there are mere days to go until the awards are handed out on Sunday, March 2nd.

So it's time to take a look at how things stand in the race for the gold. For the last four months, seemingly everyone has been talking about the films and performances bound for Oscar glory.  In less than a week, all that discussion culminates in the climactic shindig of awards season, an all-out frenzy of pomp and circumstance in which the industry's highest honors are awarded. 

Some categories seem to be a lock, while others may surprise us when the envelopes are opened.

IAR's Oscar expert Brett Gursky and IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick give their predictions on who will win at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

On Monday night, I was invited to attend (along with a few other members of the press and some very lucky fans) a special Los Angeles screening of All Hail the King, which is a new 14 minute short film that is part of Marvel Studios’ Marvel One-Shots and will be included on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray available February 25th. After the screening, we were joined by the film’s writer and director Drew Pearce (who also co-wrote Iron Man 3), as well as Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige and Academy Award-winner Sir Ben Kingsley for a unique Q&A. 

At the end of the Q&A, the moderator asked Feige if he could tell the audience anything about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is Marvel Studios next big screen release and opens in theaters on April 4th. The film is a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and follows the events of the super hero team-up The Avengers. In classic Feige style he answered, “It’s opening in a few weeks so I don’t want to say too much but … would you like to watch the first 10 minutes of the film?” 

What? Do we? Of course!!!

To my absolute delight, I then had the rare opportunity to be one of the first to view the opening ten minutes of the highly anticipated Marvel sequel. What follows is my breakdown of the footage along with a few spoilers, so if you don’t want to know what happens … consider yourself warned!

IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Thor: The Dark World'

Monday, 24 February 2014 10:55

Marvel brings the thunder on Blu-ray this week.  The God of Thunder, actually.

Thor: The Dark World arrives on 2D and 3D Blu-ray this Tuesday, February 25th, transporting audiences back to the most cosmic setting in Marvel's Cinematic Universe in stunning high-definition.

IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 09:54

The acclaimed drama Dallas Buyers Club arrives on Blu-ray this week, so there's absolutely no excuse for missing Matthew McConaughey's remarkable performance before the Academy Awards next month.

IAR EDIT BAY VISIT: 'Need for Speed'

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 22:19

As Maverick and Goose once said, “I feel the need …  the Need for Speed!”

Scheduled to open in theaters on March 14th is the new action film Need for Speed from Act of Valor director Scott Waugh. The movie is based on the popular video game of the same name by Electronic Artists and was written by John Gatins (Real Steel) and George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau). Produced by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Pictures, the film’s cast includes Aaron Paul (TV’s Breaking Bad), Imogen Poots (That Awkward Moment), Dominic Cooper (Reasonable Doubt), Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Kid Cudi (TV’s How to Make It in America), Rami Malek (Oldboy), Harrison Gilbertson (Beneath Hill 60), Dakota Johnson (21 Jump Street), and Michael Keaton (Batman). 

Famously, the popular video game did not have much of a narrative story. It was basically about driving as fast as possible and earning points to purchase faster cars. However, the movie’s storyline follows a street racer fresh from prison named Tobey Marshall (Paul), who was framed and joins a cross-country race with revenge in mind.

Last November, I had an opportunity to visit director Scott Waugh’s Bandito Brothers office in Los Angeles (along with several other members of the press) to screen 20 minutes of the film and speak with Waugh and actor Aaron Paul about working on the project. 

IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Freezer'

Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:06

You know that nightmare where you're locked in an industrial freezer, slowly shivering to death with no company except for slabs of dangling pig meat?

Wait, you don't have that nightmare?  Am I the only one?

Well, I won't be for long.  Not now that Freezer is available on Blu-ray.

IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Machete Kills'

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 09:10

With Machete Kills hitting Blu-ray today, fans of action and over the top comedy can bring the titular one man wrecking machine into their living rooms and onto all their devices.

Buckle up and prepare to ride shotgun with Danny Trejo for a full-tilt adventure that doesn't skimp on explosions, sexy ladies, big guns, cackling villains, blood, splatters, car chases, gleefully goofy reveals, boobs, and nameless henchmen mowed down by Machete.

IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Enough Said'

Thursday, 16 January 2014 08:19

Lately, to call a movie a romantic comedy almost seems like a slight; the label kicks up mental dust of meet-cutes, shallow wish-fulfillment, and contrived obstacles to fatuous love.

With Enough Said arriving on Blu-ray this week, though, audiences can be reminded of the genre's inherent strengths.  And in high definition, no less.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:21

Now that the Golden Globes are over, all eyes turn to the Oscars.

With the announcement of the 86th Academy Awards nominations only a few days away, we here at IAR thought it was time to weigh in on the names we think will be read on Thursday morning. 

IAR's Oscar expert Brett Gursky and IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick give their predictions on which acclaimed films and performances will go from awards season favorites to official competitors in the Oscar race. 

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