Week in Review: ‘Jurassic World’ gets a clip and some criticism from Joss Whedon

Maybe the second most anticipated movie of the summer is Jurassic World, in part because Hollywood’s newest, biggest star, Chris Pratt, gets the chance to headline yet another blockbuster. But if you watched the trailer some weeks ago, you might’ve noticed how grim, self-serious and decidedly not Andy Dwyer/Starlord-esque charming and funny Pratt’s character was.

The first sigh of relief came this week when the first clip for the film was released this week, which you can watch above. Pratt is playfully flirting with Bryce Dallas-Howard in the scene, hinting at why the two of them never had a second date. Charming and funny? Maybe. Badly written? Arguably. Cliche? Probably. But is it sexist?

Joss Whedon, director of the first most anticipated blockbuster of the summer, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, seems to think so, as he tweeted Thursday:

This is one brief moment out of a long movie, so it’s too early to judge, but does he have a point?

Whedon also confirmed this week that while Age of Ultron would have a tag during the credits, it would not have a post-credits sequence, shawarma related or no. Whedon told EW in an interview, “There is nothing at the very end. And that’s not a fake-out. We want people to know so they don’t sit there for 10 minutes and then go: ‘Son of a bitch! I’ll kill them!’” So please, don’t kill Joss Whedon.

In more superhero related news, after speculation that they were being courted earlier in the week, it was confirmed Friday that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) would be developing the story for DC’s The Flash starring Ezra Miller, though they have not yet been confirmed to direct. Well, so for much for that policy at DC demanding “no jokes”. Booking the two of them is almost as big as getting Edgar Wright for Ant-Man, but unlike Wright, Lord and Miller are much more capable of working within the studio system.

There are dozens of reasons why Wes Anderson‘s films are so eclectic, but Anderson exerts as much control over the music in his movies as he does the meticulous sets and the actors. His soundtracks have ranged from stirring originals in the score to South African covers of David Bowie songs to old fashioned French pop standards. Thankfully, some users on Spotify, via The AV Club, assembled a running playlist of nearly every song used in Anderson’s films (Spotify doesn’t have all of them), upwards of 150 songs running over seven hours. If you have Spotify, listen to the full playlist above.

We were stoked when we finally saw the first teaser for Spectre, even if we only got to see Christoph Waltz in a shadowy silhouette. But it was long speculated once the movie was called Spectre that the movie would start to align with canon again, and that Waltz would actually be playing one of the great Bond nemesis’s, Blofeld. “That is absolutely untrue,” Waltz told British GQ. “That rumor started on the Internet, and the Internet is a pest. The name of my character is Franz Oberhauser.”

Waltz went on to add that he was intrigued in doing a Bond picture ultimately because it was not the campy sort we for so long grew accustomed to. “The thing about Spectre is that it is not the work of hack writers. It does not have a hack director. The actors are not hams. The action sequences in Mexico are extravagant to say the least…”I consider Bond movies to be an extension of popular theatre, a kind of modern mythology. You see the same sort of action in Punch and Judy, or in the folk theatre of various cultures, like Grand Guignol.”

While that quote is pretty juicy in of itself, I now present to you Waltz’s reaction to the Blofeld rumor as scripted by Quentin Tarantino. “I am afraid my dear gentleman that that assertion is simply inaccurate. The character of whom I am portraying is named Franz Oberhauser, but it is perfectly understandable. I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing. That’s a bingo!”

The upcoming horror film Unfriended has a unique gimmick to go along with its story (if you didn’t see the similar episode of Modern Family recently): a group of friends get online for a Skype video chat, and a phantom user proceeds to ask them questions and kill each one of them as they try and escape. But what makes the movie more interesting is that /Film confirmed at a WonderCon panel that in order to make the staging work, the actors performed the movie in one single, 80-minute long take. The cast and director explained that because they were all on a computer, they received IM notes from the director during filming, and that they were able to keep the energy and tension up as they went. Take that Birdman! Unfriended opens next week Friday on April 17.

In casting news, Ang Lee has now added Vin Diesel and Chris Tucker to his next film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Rooney Mara has joined Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel in Lion. Olivia Wilde has confirmed her involvement in Tron 3. Ryan Gosling will star in Guillermo Del Toro’s Disney movie Haunted Mansion. Alan Arkin will join Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman in Going in Style, a heist comedy directed by Zach Braff. Robert De Niro will play Enzo Ferrari in a Formula One movie. Julianne Moore will star in Nicole Holofcener’s next film, Can You Ever Forgive Me, and play a forger. Shia LaBeouf will star in Andrea Arnold’s next movie, American Honey. Ben Hardy was confirmed as Angel in X-Men: Apocalypse. And Spike Lee wants Kanye West, Common , Jeremy Piven, and Samuel L. Jackson to star in his next movie about Chicago gun violence, Chiraq. Both West and Common are rappers hailing from Chicago. The film will be produced via Amazon.

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Brian Welk is the Features Editor for PopOptiq, a journalist and film critic currently studying Journalism at the University of Southern California. Brian is originally based out of Chicago and is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism. His articles have appeared in Consequence of Sound, the Indiana Daily Student, the IDS WEEKEND, ReelChicago, Metromix Chicago, Redeye, The Artifice, Moviepilot and SVELTO Magazine. He maintains his own film blog The Sanity Clause at brianwelk.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brianwelk, on The Sanity Clause Tumblr and on Letterboxd. When he's not watching movies and managing embarrassing spreadsheets of films he still has to catch up on, he listens to a lot of indie rock and frequently attends concerts and bars with plenty of craft beer on tap.

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