TIME movies

See Guardians of the Galaxy’s Most Amazing Makeup Transformations

Zoe Saldana goes green; Benicio Del Toro gets the platinum treatment

While some characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, like Groot and Rocket, were rendered with computer graphics, the majority of the movie’s aliens were transformed by makeup. Over the course of filming, the movie’s team of 50 makeup artists applied approximately 1,250 prosthetics between the principal cast and alien extras.

Guardians of the Galaxy comes out in theaters on August 1, 2014.

TIME movies

What’s New on Netflix in August? The First 5 Rocky Movies

Metro-Goldwyn-Maye/MGM/UA Entertainment

What's new to stream in August

A new crop of movies will be available on Netflix in August. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The first five Rocky movies (1976-1990)
  • Rounders (1998)
  • Nymphomaniac, volumes I and II (2013)
  • The Mighty Ducks (1992) and D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
  • Freaky Friday (2003)
  • The Birdcage (1996)
  • Mad Max (1979) — just in time for the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer
  • Spice World (1998)
  • Kinky Boots (2005), which has since been turned into an award-winning Broadway musical
  • The entire Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey series (2014)
  • Airbud (1997)
  • Red Dawn (1984)

Get streamin’, folks.

TIME movies

WATCH: The Into the Woods Trailer Is Out

The adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical hits theaters on Christmas

+ READ ARTICLE

Into the Woods, the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s original award-winning musical, is a star-studded affair — Rapunzel, the Big Bad Wolf and Cinderella all make appearances in this twisted fairy tale.

Oh yeah, and some famous actors are in it, too. None of them are singing in this preview, but you catch Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt show off their pipes and bring some Brothers Grimm stories to life in theaters on December 25.

TIME movies

10 Things You Need to Know Before Watching Guardians of the Galaxy

What in the world is a Star-Lord, anyway?

+ READ ARTICLE

Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest franchise to join Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe, is a marked departure from the recognizable stable of superheroes movie-goers are used to. Instead of Iron Man or Captain America, we’re treated to a motley crew that consists of an everyman, a green Zoe Saldana, a live-action Kratos, Ranger Rick’s temperamental cousin and an overgrown weed. But don’t let their appearances or the unfamiliar intimidate you. Guardians of the Galaxy is laugh-out-loud funny and totally worth checking out.

To help you get ready for Guardians of the Galaxy, here are a couple things you should know.

Peter Quill (Star-Lord)

Abducted from Earth by aliens when he was a child, Peter Quill (Star-Lord), played by Chris Pratt, is an interstellar adventurer who travels the stars in search of riches and, of course, women.

Gamora

The adopted daughter of Thanos (more on him below), Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, is a deadly green-skinned assassin with a troubled past who seeks redemption for her past crimes.

Drax the Destroyer

Played by professional wrestler Dave Bautista, Drax is an imposing force who is on a warpath to avenge the deaths of his wife and daughter. The tattoos that cover his gargantuan body tell the story of his life.

Rocket

On the other side of the size spectrum is Rocket, a genetically altered and cybernetically enhanced raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. Don’t let his size fool you though–he’s a bounty hunter and a mechanical genius with a penchant for blowing things up.

Groot

Vin Diesel voices Groot, a walking, talking tree-like creature that has the ability to grow itself into various forms at will. He is Rocket’s bounty hunter partner and cellulose strongman. Groot’s vocabulary, however, in Hodor-like fashion, is limited to only three words: “I am Groot.”

Nova Corps

The Nova Corps is the military/police force that protects the planet Xandar. It boasts a considerable amount of corpsmen within its ranks, ranging from the rank-and-file Corpsman Dey, played by John C. Reilly, to their leader Nova Prime, played by Glenn Close.

Yondu

The blue-skinned alien Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, is the leader of a ragtag band of intergalactic bandits called Ravagers. He’s a surrogate father to Quill and carries around a deadly arrow that he can control by whistling. In short, don’t mess with the ‘du.

The Collector (Taneleer Tivan)

First seen in the Thor: The Dark World post-credit scene, The Collector, played by Benicio Del Toro, makes an appearance in Guardians. The Collector, as his nom de guerre implies, is literally an intergalactic hoarder. He maintains the largest collection of species and relics in the galaxy, but always has room for one more.

Ronan the Accuser

Ronan, played by Lee Pace, is a fanatical member of the Kree race. Despite a peace treaty between the Kree and the Xandarians, he continues to fight a one-man war against his people’s ancient foe, vowing at nothing short of the complete annihilation of Xandar.

Thanos

If you stuck around for the post-credit scene in The Avengers, you would have been treated to a glimpse of Thanos, the purple-skinned alien baddy that was behind Loki’s mayhem in the movie. Thanos is a supervillain with enough power to destroy worlds and subjugate countless more. Voiced by Josh Brolin, Thanos makes an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy in a not-so-subtle foreshadowing of what awaits the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Guardians of the Galaxy is out in theaters on August 1, 2014.

TIME movies

Jamie Foxx Will Reportedly Play Mike Tyson in Upcoming Biopic

Grand Opening Celebration at W Hoboken - Inside
Jaime Foxx performs during the grand opening celebration at The Chandelier Room at W Hoboken Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty

Jamie Foxx has been cast to play Mike Tyson, one of the most polarizing modern sports figures, in an untitled biopic, Variety reports. Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter is set to write the film.

Although details are sparse, Tyson certainly has a wealth of biographical details to mine, including but not limited to: his rise and fall as a heavyweight champion, his six years in jail on rape charges, the Holyfield ear-biting incident, the tragic death of his daughter, his bankruptcy, and his re-entry into pop culture.

This wouldn’t be Foxx’s first foray into boxing films. The actor, who will appear next in the Annie reboot, played Muhammad Ali’s corner man in Ali.

[Variety]

TIME Culture

Outer Space Is the Best Place to Be For Young Actresses

Zoe Saldana corners lucrative sci-fi roles in an tough industry for women

+ READ ARTICLE

Look over Zoe Saldana’s IMDB page and a pattern begins to emerge: the actress stars in Star Trek, Avatar and Guardians of the Galaxy—all science-fiction franchises, the latter two of which paint her a different skin color (blue and green, respectively). No other actor can lay claim to roles in so many simultaneous big-budget sci-fi flicks, so why is Saldana playing an alien (or space traveler) over and over again? In some ways the answer is obvious: her movies have grossed over $5 billion.

But there’s another reason Saldana says she carved out the niché for herself: things are just better for women in space.

Hollywood’s woman problem is well-documented: researchers at San Diego State University found that women made up just 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters and 30% of all speaking characters in movies last year.

And it’s even harder for women of color to make themselves bankable movie stars. (Zaldana’s mother was Puerto Rican and her father was from the Dominican Republic.) Only six of the top 500 box office films of all-time feature a protagonist who is a woman of color, according to the Representation Project. What’s worse: none of those films were in the top 200 grossing films of all-time, and the top five movies starring women of color are all animated—Pocahontas, Mulan, Spirited Away, Lilo & Stitch and The Princess and the Frog.

But sci-fi has historically been a particularly ripe area for marginalized groups, including women and minorities. The original Star Trek broke social ground by taking on issues of race and gender through the guise of alien diplomacy, and perhaps the most iconic kick-ass woman in movie history—Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley—was the protagonist in the Alien movies.

Saldana has her own explanation for gravitating toward science fiction: “You know why? Because the people we discriminate against in sci-fi movies are the aliens. We make them the villains,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “We have to make somebody bad.”

“Eighty percent of what’s out there is told through the point of view of a male,” she continued. “I can sit down with so many filmmakers for so many projects and play so many actors’ girlfriends or wives. But in sci-fi, I can play Gamora.” For the uninitiated, Gamora is the alien criminal-turned-assassin from Guardians with superhuman strength.

Saldana’s not a one-trick pony: her resume also includes Rosemary in the NBC TV series remake of Rosemary’s Baby, a ballerina in Center Stage (she trained as a dancer growing up) and Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina. But sci-fi is her bread and butter, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be leaving behind the bright colored body paint anytime soon: she’s booked to star in the third Star Trek film, a second Guardians movie and three more Avatar sequels.

Science fiction does seem to be an increasingly ripe genre for women. Just look at such that category of movies from the past year: The Hunger Games, Divergent and Lucy all gave top billing to women. (You could arguably include Gravity on that list.) Star Trek Into Darkness, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow, Snowpiercer and Guardians of the Galaxy also featured robust female parts. Even Gwyneth Paltrow got to kick butt at the end of Iron Man 3.

And those fantasy movies starring women have been a huge success at the box office. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grossed over $424.6 million, Gravity $274 million and last weekend, Lucy exceeded box office analysts’ expectations by about $10 million, grossing $43.8 million so far. It’s no fluke: studies have shown that movies with strong female roles make more money.

So if an actress is going to get typecast, it might as well be as a sci-fi hero. It’s a lucrative business.

TIME movies

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar: Watch the New Trailer

Interstellar will launch in theaters this November

+ READ ARTICLE

A new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming deep-space epic, Interstellar, was released Wednesday.

The Batman director sends actor Matthew McConaughey, accompanied by Anne Hathaway, on a space mission to explore a newly discovered wormhole and to “surpass the limitations on human space travel.”

This new trailer offers more than sci-fi action scenes among the stars — the clip shows the movie’s soft side, focusing mainly on McConaughey’s relationship with his daughter, played by Twilight actor Mackenzie Foy. Actors aside — Michael Caine returns with Hathaway — the trailer has an eerie resemblance to the Dark Knight trilogy.

TIME movies

Make Chaste: How the Faith-Based Counterpart to 50 Shades of Grey Came to Be

'Old Fashioned' will offer an alternative vision of romance — but it predates its release-weekend competition

+ READ ARTICLE

When Variety announced this week that the 50 Shades of Grey movie would have some competition in its Valentine’s Day opening weekend next year, the timing was impeccable: interest in 50 Shades had recently returned to fever pitch, with the release of the first trailer (which you can watch, above, for the umpteenth time) and that meant that the anti-50 Shades brigade was out in full force too.

That’s where Old Fashioned comes in.

“A former frat boy and free-spirited woman together attempt the impossible, an old-fashioned courtship in contemporary America,” reads the movie’s logline. The premise involves a romantic male lead who makes a commitment to not be alone with his intended until after marriage. It is, producer Nathan Nazario says, an “unconventional approach to romance” — and pretty much the exact opposite of the sex-contract-centric 50 Shades. As Variety notes, Old Fashioned’s distributor Freestyle Releasing has had success with that kind of “unconventional” before, having released God’s Not Dead earlier this year.

Though the idea of an upstart response to mass interest in BDSM relationships makes for a fun meta-narrative, Old Fashioned isn’t actually a reaction to 50 Shades of Grey.

The raunchy novel by E.L. James that started it all was published in 2011, but Old Fashioned‘s writer-director-star Rik Swartzwelder tells TIME that he’d been working on the screenplay for a decade. “I’m a huge cinema buff and I see all kinds of movies but I had never seen a film that reflected my dating life,” he says. That inspired him to create something that would.

Swartzwelder describes the film as “not a religious film, per se” but “a film with faith,” which was financed by individuals who believed in the story. The film was shot in late 2011 and, though Swartzwelder says 50 Shades wasn’t on his radar while he was coming up with the story, the team was aware of the phenomenon by the time they hit post-production. And even if the movie didn’t start out having anything to do with the bigger blockbuster that will share its release date, it was a response to what its creators see as a culture that celebrates ideas like those in 50 Shades but doesn’t seem to create stable romantic relationships. Nazario cites the American divorce rate as evidence that there needs to be an alternative to the mainstream way of finding a mate, and making a movie that presents one such alternative is one way to help that along.

So, despite the lack of a concrete tie between the two movies, the timing is — obviously — not a coincidence.

“For a small independent film with no stars, timing is always a consideration,” Nazario explains. “We were looking ahead at dates and observed that 50 Shades had put a stake on Valentine’s Day. We’d actually been thinking about that date and, when we saw that, it seemed like a good opportunity.”

Still, its audience will have to wait a few months to find out what Old Fashioned‘s creator really thinks of 50 Shades. “The answer to your question is the film [Old Fashioned] itself,” says Swartzwelder. “I’ll let people draw their own conclusions.”

TIME movies

REVIEW: Get On Up Is a Loud, Proud and Oscar-Worthy James Brown Biopic

Get On Up James Brown Movie
Left: Craig Robinson, center: Chadwick Boseman (as James Brown), Get On Up, 2014. Universal Pictures

Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in '42,' is sensational as the Godfather of Soul in this bold movie from the director of 'The Help'

Even by the standards of early rock ‘n’ roll songs, the 1956 “Please, Please, Please” is primitive, in fact primal. It’s the “Hare Krishna” of sexual desperation: one word is repeated a couple dozen times in a lover’s mantra, prayer or threat, as crooned by the vocal group, The Famous Flames, and howled by their lead singer. In the biopic Get On Up, a record-label executive listens to the number and dismisses it. Where are the verse and chorus, where’s the play of words? And Brown’s manager keeps repeating, “It’s not the song.” Exactly right. It’s the singer — the pleader, the testifier — James Brown.

The singer and the showmanship. On stage more than on records, Brown turned “Please, Please, Please” into fervent melodrama with a comic undercoating. The first record and first R&B hit for Brown and the Flames, the song always came at their end of their set, with Brown intoning the dirge as the house-band saxes followed him in a slow, keening descent. This went on for a few thrilling minutes. Then, totally spent by his exertions, and crushed by the perfidy of womankind, Brown collapsed onstage, was lifted to his feet by attendants and, with the robe of a defeated boxer draped over his shoulders, began to drag himself toward the wings — until the cries of the audience magically revived him. Like Lazarus or the Frankenstein monster, he summoned the will and strength to sing one more chorus. Now that’s entertainment.

(READ: Corliss’s tribute to James Brown)

Over the decades, Hollywood has filmed the life stories and music of seminal artists from the first Age of Rock: The Buddy Holly Story, La Bamba (Ritchie Valens), Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis) and Ray (Ray Charles), plus docu-features on Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. Now, nearly eight years after Brown’s death, at 73 on Christmas Day 2006, comes Get On Up. It may be the finest, most complex of the bunch — the story of a difficult man who created the funk sound, endlessly sampled by rock stars and rappers. Written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Tate Taylor and boasting an indelible lead performance by Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up is the goods.

Why did it take so long for the movies to get around to Brown? In part because he was black; Ray Charles was the only early rock ‘n’ roll great to attain biopic glory, and he projected a far less confrontational personality. Brown was the very blackest — the most satanic and majestic — of Afro-American performers. In his first decade as a performer, Brown wowed the “chitlin’ circuit,” but he had no mainstream Billboard hits until “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” in 1965, and only seven other top-10 singles (including “I Feel Good,” “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “Cold Sweat” and “Living in America”) over the next 33 years of his recording career. With a scalding tenor that could melt vinyl, Brown was too raw to enthrall the sorts of white kids who grow up to run movie studios and greenlight projects about the cultural heroes of their childhoods. Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment was the guy who said yes.

(READ: What’d I Say about Ray Charles?)

Brown’s boyhood, on the evidence of Get On Up, was a nightmare. Born in a Georgia sharecropper’s shack in 1933, he is deserted by his mother (Viola Davis) and handed over to a relative (Octavia Spencer) for rearing. The fondest mementos of his youth are the shoes he takes off a lynched man’s feet. In prison for stealing a suit, he meets Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis, from True Blood), lead singer of the Gospel Starlighters, who brings James into his home and into the quintet, soon to be known as The Famous Flames. James screws Bobby’s sister and takes over the group: his need for control is as consuming as his talent.

A meeting with another Georgia raver, Little Richard (a great turn by former Disney Channel imp Brandon Smith), five months older than James and already a local star, persuades him to make a demo record. This brings the group to the attention of Ben Bart (Dan Aykroyd, who shared the screen with the real Brown a million years ago in The Blues Brothers), and to a contract with Federal Records. When the “Please, Please, Please” single is issued, Byrd and his mates are shocked to see the credit: JAMES BROWN With The Famous Flames. He’s the boss. And as Brown’s popularity grows, he successfully tangles with the Federal executives to release a “live” album and with concert promoters to reduce their share of the take. This wild man is also an astute businessman — and a canny politician, able to juggle the colliding agendas of Lyndon Johnson and the Black Panthers (not a vocal group, although the Panthers were vocal).

(READ: Dan Aykroyd and James Brown in The Blues Brothers)

Instead of doggedly retracing every step to stardom, as most musical biographers do, the Butterworth brothers and Taylor hopscotch across Brown’s life, sampling its highlights and pitfalls, as rapsters borrowed snippets of his music. Each segment, jumbled in chronology, announces its theme or mood by being labeled with one of the nicknames Brown was given or chose for himself: Little Junior (in Spencer’s household), Mr. Dynamite, The Godfather of Soul, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Superbad, etc. Occasionally, Boseman-Brown serves as narrator, stepping from one scene and one period into another. It’s as if, from the beyond, the showman is still in charge.

Yet Get On Up manages to be an inside-outside view of Brown. He accomplishes his musical innovations — turning every brass and woodwind instrument in his band into a form of percussion — by treating his sidemen as house slaves. Although Byrd, saxophonist Maceo Parker (an excellent Craig Robinson) and others have known the singer for years, they must address him as “Mr. Brown.” When it turns out he’s not as sharp a business mind as he thought, he doesn’t pay them and doesn’t explain why. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business can be a terrifying employer, imposing his will on subordinates and the women he sometimes abuses.

In short, this soul man/tycoon is Ray Charles Foster Kane. Byrd fills the same role as Joseph Cotten’s Jed Leland did in Citizen Kane: the longtime friend, employee, victim and conscience of a self-styled great man. And Bart is the kindly Jewish advisor, like Everett Sloane’s Mr. Bernstein in Kane, in whose presence the driven protagonist can relax into self-deprecation. Railing about his troubles on a plane ride with Bart, James suddenly smiles and says, “Here I am, just a sorry black man whinin’ on my private jet.” Not until near the end of Get On Up, after he’s burned bridges with his mother — a scene in which Davis reveals her characters’ fallen pride and lasting scars — and his bandmates, do we learn the one person whose forgiveness Brown needs. Not that he’d ever beg for it.

(READ: Isn’t Citizen Kane the greatest film of all time?)

Given that Taylor directed The Help and Boseman played Jackie Robinson in 42, you might expect a touchup of the Brown portrait, perhaps a whitewash. Not so. Get On Up is a big step up from the homely hominy homilies of Taylor’s first film. He draws the main characters in rich contours, without constantly editorializing about racial prejudice, as in The Help. He doesn’t have to; it’s redolent in so many scenes, notably an early-’40s “Battle Royale” in which 10 black boys, including the young James (played by the twins Jordan and Jamarion Scott), are blindfolded and must box with one arm until only one is standing — all for the amusement of the white gentry and the embarrassment of the black musicians in attendance.

As Jackie Robinson, Boseman was heroic and stoic; he spoke softly and carried a big metaphorical bat. Robinson was the herald of racial change in major-league baseball but not its agent; that was Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, who promoted Robinson into the bigs and hoped the young UCLA graduate could handle the challenge. In Get On Up, Bart is not Rickey; James Brown forged his career success and his musical legacy out of pain, guts and prison, with no special help from whites. He said it loud: he’s black and he’s proud.

(READ: Mary Pols on Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in 42)

Playing Brown from the age of 16 to 60, Boseman carries and lifts Get On Up to its most impressive heights. He doesn’t sing the songs (the original recordings got a cogent remix from executive producer Mick Jagger) but he talks the raspy talk in inflections that become habitation. Boseman also mastered the on-stage strutting and dance moves that inspired Jagger, Michael Jackson and plenty others; he’s a wondrous dervish — fully possessed in both sense of the word. Even in repose, his Brown radiates drive, sex, menace and spirit. He’s the boss of Get On Up, not by Brownian manipulation but by audience acclamation.

As much as I hate using the O word seven months before the Academy Awards, I’m obliged to predict an aisle seat for Boseman on Oscar night. In 2007, Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for his subtle performance as Ray Charles. Boseman exceeds that solid standard. Incarnating James Brown in all his ornery uniqueness, he deserves a Pulitzer, a Nobel and instant election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser