Kurt Russell Confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

One of the big mysteries from Marvel’s 2014 breakout hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, was the question of who Peter Quill’s father is.

Wednesday morning, director James Gunn took to Facebook to announce the addition of one of his favorite actors, Kurt Russell, to the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Gunn also addressed rumors that Russell would play Quill aka Star-Lord’s father in the film on Twitter.

However, Variety reported that Gunn and Marvel studios have confirmed Russell will indeed play the father of the Star-Lord.

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If you go back to the Variety article, the “UPDATE” has been edited to say Russell has only joined the cast but the headline is still the same.

Also joining the cast are Pom Klementieff (Oldboy), Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Everest) and Chris Sullivan (The Knick, The Drop). Gunn has confirmed via Twitter that Klementieff will play Mantis is the film.

In the comics, Mantis has been a member of The Avengers. Her background is half-Vietnamese, half-German, and apparently Kree as well. She also seems to come with some conflict, so that’s fun.

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All returning for Guardians Vol. 2 are Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord; Zoe Saldana as Gamora; Dave Bautista as Drax; Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot; Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket; Michael Rooker as Yondu; Karen Gillan as Nebula; and Sean Gunn as Kraglin.

Guardians Vol. 2 is set hit theaters May 5th, 2017. Coming sooner will be Captain America: Civil War on May 6th, 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4th, 2016. Guardians will then lead into Spider-Man on July 7th, 2017 and Thor: Ragnorak on November 3rd, 2017.

For more updates, follow along on Facebook or Twitter

 

 

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007 #SPECTRE Trailer: Bond On The Run

Sony Pictures released the first official full trailer for “SPECTRE”, the latest installment of the modern n007 series.

“The say you’re finished…I think you’re just getting started.”

There’s a lot to digest from the latest footage to Sam Mendes’s follow up to “Skyfall”. Nearly a decade into the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, it appears to be as thrilling, slick, and exciting as ever. Unfortunately, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond didn’t age as well.

Let’s go frame by frame, breaking down the new trailer and start putting the pieces together before SPECTRE’s Nov. 6th release.

“Mexico City…What were you doing there?”

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007 picked one hell of a day to take a “holiday” to Mexico. In what’s obviously a Dia de los Muertos (Day of a Dead) celebration, Bond is hunting this ghoul, and probably blowing him up. This could also be Bond in full Reaper garb, but that’s not really his style. Ralph Fiennes begins his run as the new M (*skypoint to Judi Dench’s tenure*) playing damage control as the British government is on a mission to disband MI6, and he doesn’t appear happy with Bond’s actions. Who was in Mexico City worth killing? All likelihood, they are tied to SPECTRE.

“So what’s going on, James…?”

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Carrying over from the events of “Skyfall”, the British government is too keen on spies and MI6’s history. The vibe I get from the conspiracy mood in the teasers and trailer is that SPECTRE has some Hydra-like reach and influence with British lawmakers, which would explain the insistence to dissolve MI6. We notice contention between Bond and M early in the trailer, but going dark may be what’s best for 007 to get the job done.

“Zero to sixty in 3.2 seconds.”

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Behold, the new Bond-mobile. The Aston Martin DB10 was unveiled long ago, but it still has an aura in Q Branch’s garage. Deliberately sharing the speed and the “few tricks up its sleeve” suggests Bond is going to have some eluding to do, which we see right after in a sweet car chase sequence.

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Bad guys drive Jaguars anyway, right?

Introducing Mr. Hinx.

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This looks to be the villain behind the wheel of the aforementioned Jaguar. Former WWE World Champion and current “Guardians of the Galaxy” badass Dave Bautista plays Mr. Hinx, the evident SPECTRE #1 henchmen. We get a glimpse of Hinx breaking necks Bane-style in the trailer. Bautista is fantastic when it comes to nonverbal intimidation. Will Drax the Destroyer go down as one of the better 007 hired killers, like Jaws, Oddjob, Baron Semedi and Red Grant before him?

Drax gif

“Tell me where he is?”

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After Bond asks Q to help him disappear, we see him go into snow seclusion to find someone from his past. The character isn’t listed on IMDB yet, but previous teasers make it seem he and Bond were close once…In our experience, those close to 007 wind up either dead or evil…and then eventually dead. However, this old strung out soul looks to be James’s best connection to finding whoever is in charge of SPECTRE and is “protecting someone”.

“Why should I trust you?”

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Being creepily watched by Mr. Hinx is Madeleine Swann played by Lea Seydoux (previously in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”). She is likely whoever our sleepless friend from above is protecting and plays an important role in taking down SPECTRE for Bond, her “best chance at staying alive.”

“Its name is SPECTRE.”

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If SPECTRE sounds familiar to you, that is because the organization made an appearance in the 3rd Bond film, “Thunderball”. The name SPECTRE was also at the center of a long copyright battle between Ian Flemming and director Kevin McClory. McClory’s estate and MGM settled the issue in 2013, awarding the film rights of SPECTRE and the characters associated to MGM…Which leads us to the present.

We see the organization stand around the table. They seem to have influence over corporations and governments around the world and are led by the only man sitting down…

“It was me, James…The author of all your pain.”

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Enter Franz Oberhauser, played by the charming yet terrifying Christoph Waltz. The name of Waltz’s character is a hat-tip to Fleming’s “Octopussy” short story and the background character “Hannes Oberhauser”, who was described as Bond’s temporary legal guardian when he was young.

Waltz joins a series of Bond villains that have established themselves as memorable as any. Mads Mikkelsen and Javier Bardem were excellent predecessors in the Bond era, but the two-time Oscars winner could hurt Bonds in ways the others haven’t yet…and this hurt pretty bad.

Mads rope

Bond Is Not Alone.

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Sweet turtleneck, Q. Remember the great scene in “Skyfall” when Bond met the new Q for the first time?

Q says he can do more damage in his pajamas, but now he seems to be out in the field with 007. He trusts Bond, which makes it easy to think he would be capable of lifting a middle finger to authority, but I think this could mean M is assisting Bond in his quest. While he may be as bureaucratic as bureaucrats get, Gareth Mallory has proven his loyalty to Bond and MI6’s cause before. If the British government is compromised by SPECTRE, Bond is his best weapon.

Who called Jim Moriarty?

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This is not the face of a good guy. Famous for playing the recent “Sherlock” series villain Jim Moriarty, Andrew Scott looks cryptic and scary in London. Is he leading the government’s charge against MI6? We shall see, but my initial feeling is that those eye brows don’t bode well for Bond.

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Have some more thoughts about the new SPECTRE trailer? Let me on Facebook and Twitter

Movie Madness: The Dirty Thirty Two Winners

Welcome to the next round…

50 Cent Patrick

…the Dirty Thirty Two.

[Update]: Voting has closed. The winners are below and have advanced to the Sweet 16. Voting will resume again Monday morning, March 30th on MichaelPiff.com

(4) Goodfellas

vs.

(5) Shawshank Redemption

(6) The Untouchables

vs.

(3) Jaws

(1) Animal House

vs.

(9) Wayne’s World

(7) Toy Story

vs.

(2) Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

(11) Almost Famous

vs.

(3) Pulp Fiction

(1) Die Hard

vs.

(8) Mission Impossible

(5) Blues Brothers

vs.

(4) Ghostbusters

(1) Star Wars

vs.

(9) Jurassic Park

(10) Good Will Hunting

vs.

(15) Rocky

(5) Tombstone

vs.

(4) Gladiator

(6) Blazing Saddles

vs.

(14) Office Space

(6) Field of Dreams

vs.

(3) Lord of the Rings

(1) The Godfather

vs.

(8) Forrest Gump

(10) The Matrix

vs.

(2) The Dark Knight

(7) Anchorman

vs.

(2) Caddyshack

(5) Guardians of the Galaxy

vs.

(4) The Avengers

AGAIN, VOTING WILL RESUME FOR THE SWEET 16 TOMORROW MORNING. THANKS FOR PLAYING.  

Movie Madness: Round of 64

Advancing from yesterday’s Play-In Games are…

Birdman

over 40 Year Old Virgin

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and…

Super Troopers

over Catch Me If You Can

Super Troopers fluffer

And so begins the #MovieMadness Round of 64!

[Update] Voting has closed. Winners below.

(3) Pulp Fiction

vs.

(14) Fight Club

(8) The Nightmare Before Christmas

vs.

(9) Jurassic Park

(7) Anchorman

vs.

(10) The Big Lebowski

(2) The Dark Knight

vs.

(15) Point Break

(4) Goodfellas

vs.

(13) Saving Private Ryan

(5) Guardians of The Galaxy

vs.

(12) Terminator 2

(6) The Untouchables

vs.

(11) Halloween

(1) Animal House

vs.

(16) Borat

Check back later today for the next 8 matchups to vote on! You may also Tweet your votes to @Mike_PiFF03 with #MovieMadness.

Seattle vs. New England: Everything BUT Football

I love Super Bowl week.

Media Day, All-Time great commercial countdowns, the constant NFL Films replaying of Super Bowls past, food…

It’s the best.

Once #DeflateGate finally blows over (if it ever does), we’ll see the game itself broken down in every way possible and multiple prop bet odds fluctuating up until Idina Menzel starts belting out our National Anthem. We’ll get trash talking from coast-to-coast and perhaps a gentleman’s bet between Ed Murray and Martin Walsh, the mayors of Seattle and Boston.

We DO however have an epic bet going between Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Captain America (Chris Evans)

Pratt vs Evans

I would like to heat up the trash talk between the two regions by widening the scope and digging deeper into more than football. By comparing Seattle and New England (Boston) in categories such as music, TV, movies, other sports, beer, etc, we’ll be able to formulate a prediction for the Sunday’s outcome that’s as logical as an elephant choosing the winner…or a tiger.

That was awesome.

Anywho…

Music

In Seattle…

As part of Dave Grohl’s “Sonic Highways” docu-series following the cool concept of the Foo Fighters’ cross country recording journey for their latest album, Grohl and HBO focused on the Seattle music scene. While the central theme was how bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains almost literally blew up your FM frequencies, helping to create the alternative genre, grunge wasn’t the only calling card for Seattle.

During the post-war era (1945-1975), Seattle produced three of the industry’s all-time great black musicians. Ray Charles recorded his first single and made his television and radio debuts in Seattle. Quincy Jones played as an instrumentalist in Bumps Blackwell’s band. And before he went to England to start recording to eventually gain worldwide fame, Jimi Hendrix was rocking the clubs in Seattle on a nightly basis…In Hip-Hop, most of you know that Macklemore is from Seattle, but did you know Sir Mix A Lot was too? Seattle has also been the hub for current indie music acts, including Sunny Day Real Estate, The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, The Head and the Heart, Fleet Foxes and (one of my favorites) Band of Horses.

In Boston…

I wanted to preface this in the beginning, but we find in a lot of these categories to be “Old School vs. New School” with New England representing a lot of the former. Of course we have to start with the “Bad Boys from Boston”, Aerosmith. Also fondly referred to as “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”, they certainly score big points in this game. Add (the band) Boston, The Cars, and J. Geils Band to the list of bands yours dad (and I) really likes.

But wait, there’s more! While New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe rocked your oversized boom box, Donna Summer had the last dance. Raise your hand if you had a New Kids On The Block lunch box…Marky Mark might have. Add Powerman 5000, American Hi-Fi, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Guster, and The Dear Hunter and you get a pretty good feel for the Boston music scene.

Also Dropkick Murphys, Extreme and Pixies…Oh my!

Who Gets The Edge?

I found myself torn between the two, so I asked a couple of music experts and enthusiasts for their thoughts:

“Both great legacies. I couldn’t possibly pick one over the other, as four of my favorite bands of all time come from each city: Mission of Burma and Morphine (Boston/Cambridge) and Fastbacks and Mudhoney (Seattle). Also Tad makes up for the rise of Candlebox in Seattle, and the Cars make me want to forgive Boston for the existence of Extreme.” – Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune Music Critic 

“Hard to not pick Boston just because I have so many musician friends there, but Seattle is formidable. I will call it a draw.” – Len Kasper, Chicago Cubs Television Broadcaster and musician.

See! Not that easy.

However, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity and Seattle’s scene from the 90’s and recently is too good to deny. Plus, they don’t have a band like Extreme to worry about canceling out.

TV

Set in Seattle…

When we see Seattle depicted on television, what impressions do we get? Progressive, new age, rainy?

Twin Peaks, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, The Killing (aka The show that makes me genuinely afraid of Seattle.) And of course…

Frasier. 

Set in Boston…

There’s a handful of the typical (but still good) “Boston” themed shows. Boston LegalBoston Public, Boston Commons (yeah, I said it.)…Wahlburg is basically a synonym for “Boston” so Wahlburgers is included. Fringe, Leverage, and Rizzoli & Isles too. Ally McBeal is your “Grey’s” equivalent. And then there’s the real Boston heavyweight…

Cheers. 

Who Gets The Edge?

At the end of the day, its Frasier vs. Cheers isn’t it? And there wouldn’t be a Frasier without Cheers. So Boston gets the win here.

Movies

In Seattle…

Yes Chick-Flick lovers, Sleepless in Seattle is a classic. But it’s not Seattle’s only claim to fame in the genre. 10 Things I Hate About You, Love Happens, An Officer and a Gentleman, the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film, and Say Anythingare all worthy of getting a spin this Valentine’s Day.

Some of my favorites include This Is Spinal Tap, War Games and 50/50. Add thrillers like Fear, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and The Ring. And of course we can’t forget Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Saving Silverman, and Harry and the Hendersons.

In Boston…

There’s a fun spectrum of films that come to mind when you think of films based in Boston.

Gritty action movies: The Equalizer, Boondock Saints, The Town

Sports movies: Fever Pitch, Celtic Pride, and I’ll allow Field of Dreams.

Comedies: Legally Blonde and Ted

Oscar nominated dramas: Good Will Hunting, Mystic River, The Fighter, and The Departed.

Who Has The Edge?

As much as I love 50/50 and War Games, Seattle can’t compete with the heavy hitters that were filmed in Boston. How do you like them apples?

Food

In Seattle…

Visuals are helpful. Warning: you may get hungry.

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In Boston…

Ditto.

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The Edge?

I don’t think you can go wrong getting seafood in either town, but my tastebuds lean toward Boston for the pizza and sweets.

Landmarks/Sights

In Seattle…

Space Needle

The Space Needle

Pike Place Fish Market

Puget Sound view

The Puget Sound

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Fremont Troll

…and the Freemont Troll. It’s under a bridge. And scary/adorable. 

In Boston…

Mass State House

The Massachusetts State House

Hatch Memorial Shell

The Hatch Memorial Shell

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

Cheers Bar

…where everybody knows your name. 

The Edge?

Close call, but how about that view in Seattle? Fenway Park will always have a place in my baseball heart but the Bridge Troll is kind of a deal breaker.

LIGHTNING ROUND!

Starbucks vs. Facebook – Seattle: Both addicting and everywhere, but I don’t have to worry about baby pictures, candy crush invites or internet trolls at any of the 5 Starbucks in a 3 mile radius of my house.

Sports Other Than Football – Boston: Love Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez, but how many championships does the city have outside of the football stadium?

Beer – Boston: The Seattle craft beer scene is definitely a thing. Black Raven, Elysian, Georgetown and Naked City are all notable breweries…but the Boston Beer Co. is America’s original.

The Score: 

Seattle – 3
New England – 5

Sorry, Star-Lord.

Peter Quill

Let us know what you think and other ways your favorite city is better than the other by Tweeting @Mike_PiFF03