Written by Daniel Cohen (First Response), and Bill Bodkin (Second Response)
Gerard Butler as Bodhi (Point Break Remake):
Thumbs Up: I was never a big Gerard Butler fan, but his recent efforts have definitely impressed me. Playing for Keeps was certainly a subpar romcom, but Butler actually brought it up to respectability. But the role that made me give him the “Thumbs Up” on this particular casting was last year’s Olympus Has Fallen, where he was extremely charismatic and bad ass, which is what I’d imagine is important for a role like Bodhi. The bigger question with this film though is does it really need to be remade? Not at all. But if it’s getting a remake, Butler is a perfectly fine choice.
Thumbs in the Middle: I like Gerard Butler, I really do. 300, Reign of Fire, P.S. I Love You, RocknRolla…all really strong/fun performances from Butler. But Bodhi…I can’t see it. Listen, Point Break is one of my all-time favorite movies in a completely non-ironic and sincere way. Hell, this site is named after the movie. So I have very strong opinions on this film and I cannot see the gruff Butler truly taking over the part of the modern day savage, the warrior poet, the spiritual kamikaze that Patrick Swayze made famous. Swayze was able to strike a balance between legit tough guy and spiritual soul surfer. I don’t think Butler can pull this off. However, I also don’t think this is the worst move ever. From what I’ve read they’re making the Bodhi role more of an extreme sports guy which could work in Butler’s favor and Butler has proven his surfing chops in Chasing Mavericks. If the writers of the new film are smart they’ll stray from making Butler’s Bodhi anything like Swayze’s.
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym (Ant-Man):
Thumbs Up: It’s never a bad thing when you get Michael Douglas in your movie. I’m definitely intrigued by him playing the elder/former Ant-Man (Hank Pym) to Paul Rudd’s younger Ant-Man (Scott Lang). My only concern is the concept itself. It just seems like another Marvel Studios move of “Oh, let’s just be different for the sake of being different. No one’s ever done this in a superhero movie, so let’s do it.” I hope there’s a good story in place that demands both these characters, but we’ll see.
Thumbs Up: Finally, after years of waiting, Ant-Man is finally getting made. Like Dan said, any time you can add Michael Douglas to your movie that’s a good thing. I think he’ll have a great chemistry with Paul Rudd, who is also a great choice for the lead role. But let’s not forget the x-factor here — Edgar Wright. One of my all-time favorite directors, the man behind Shaun of the Dead is going to KILL IT with the Marvel Universe behind him and having Douglas at his disposal is just going to be awesome.
Nick Nolte as Samyaza (voiceover) (Noah):
Thumbs Up: Nick Nolte will be providing the voice for a Nephilim, which have been depicted as “eleven-foot-tall fallen angels with six arms and no wings” in the new Darren Aronofsky film, Noah. Yea, how could I not say “Thumbs Up” to that! Nick Nolte is great, and I guess it’s a little strange to be getting a new cast member when the film opens in March, but it’s a voiceover, so I’m sure all is well.
Thumbs In the Middle: I’m on the fence about Noah. Aronofsky is awesome but this looks so big budget Hollywood epic, which is not his style. Nolte’s a great actor, but his voice…sometimes it’s inaudible due to the gravelly and raspy nature of it. I’ve got to see this character in a trailer to truly make my decision.
Avatar Sequels Round-Up:
Sam Worthington returning as Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana returning as Neytiri
On Worthington (Thumbs Down)/On Saldana (Thumbs Up): Remember when Sam Worthington was rumored for every movie ever made back in 2009? Yea, Worthington just isn’t a very charismatic actor, and he’s one of the reasons I was underwhelmed by Avatar. I’ve always liked Saldana though, and she was definitely one of the few bright spots for that film. But honestly, this is a franchise I just don’t care about at all. I’m really looking forward to Avatar 4, playing at a theater near you in 2056.
Thumbs Down (Both): Here’s why — WE DON’T NEED AN AVATAR SEQUEL. Avatar has quickly become one of the most forgettable blockbusters of all-time. Who loves this movie? Who is sitting around planning a movie night to watch this? Who can’t not watch it on basic cable rerun? No one! So please, stop.
Thomas Kretschmann as Baron von Strucker (The Avengers: Age of Ultron):
Thumbs Undecided: I don’t really know this actor well enough, and can’t say I’ve seen him in anything I can recall, so it’s an undecided for me. Although, Baron von Strucker’s character in the comics has ties to HYDRA, the evil organization from the first Captain America film, so bringing that element back to the Marvel cinematic universe sounds promising.
Thumbs Up: Kretschmann is an actor a lot of people have forgotten, but I’ve always loved. He was one of the few bright spots of Peter Jackson’s King Kong (he was the ship captain) and he was awesome in the oft-forgotten Wanted. With his natural European accent and his steely look he seems perfect to be a comic book film villain.
Miles Teller as Dan Aykroyd (Untitled John Belushi biopic):
Thumbs Down: I understand there’s a lot of hype for this guy right now, but I’m sorry, I just can’t buy this. Granted, I haven’t seen The Spectacular Now, but I did see Teller in Project X and the Footloose remake…so yea, those happened. He also looks 12 years old. This guy as Dan Aykroyd? No, thanks.
Thumbs Down: How many years have I heard about a John Belushi movie? So, will this actually happen? Who knows, and I could care less. Teller looks funny and maybe he resembles Aykroyd a bit physically, but he in no way is as funny as the former Elwood Blues.
Margot Robbie as Jane (Tarzan):
Thumbs Up: Sure, why not? Robbie was solid in The Wolf of Wall Street, and I’m sure working with Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese has given her enough training to pull of the difficult role of Jane in Tarzan…
Thumbs Up: Solid casting move, but sadly this sounds like the movie that spells the end of Robbie’s career. We’ve seen it with so many actresses before — critical acclaim in their first flick and then terrible movie epics kill the career. I think she’ll be fine in this role, but boom goes the career.
Garrett Hedlund as Hook (Pan):
Thumbs Down: No. Hedlund seems like a Sam Worthington/Kellan Lutz type – very wooden, with no charisma whatsoever. I don’t see this at all.
Thumbs Down: What?
Sir Ben Kingsley as an Egyptian pharaoh (Night at the Museum 3):
Thumbs Down: Come on, Sir Ben!? This guy is such an amazing actor! Why is he constantly picking crap?! This is ridiculous! Even in Iron Man 3, which could have been cool, he played a character that turned out to be nothing but a lame gimmick for one fricking joke in the movie! Night at the Museum 3?! Cut me a break.
Thumbs Up: Ben Kingsley has done a ton of bad movies — Bloodrayne, Thunderbirds…so this should come as no surprise. This movie is made for the pure purpose making money or making something for the kids in his life. He’ll be fantastic in the role.
Forest Whitaker in unknown role (Taken 3):
Thumbs Up: Sure, why not? While Taken 3 is the epitome of unnecessary sequels, Whitaker is always a solid addition.
Thumbs in the Middle: Meh…whatever, this’ll be fine for what it is.
Additional Thoughts by Bill Bodkin: In regards to the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor — I think if you’re going to go in a new, modern direction for Superman, then you need to go outside the box for his biggest villain. Bryan Cranston would’ve been great, but…typical. He’s very much in the vein of Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey, so why not make Lex a smart alecky son of a bitch. Then there’s Jeremy Irons as Alfred. This is a fine choice, but he’ll never touch Michael Caine.