Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

Starring James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Oscar Isaac

Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

Starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska

Review: The Do-Over

Starring Adam Sandler and David Spade

Review: Whit Stillman's Love and Friendship

Starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny

Game of Thrones season 6

Check out our weekly recaps of the hit HBO series!

6/01/2016

'Transformers: The Last Knight' Villain Turns Out To Be Familiar Foe With A New Face


Filming has only just gotten underway on Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight, his fifth and "final" movie in the blockbuster franchise, and already he's droppin' teasers and set vids. Most of what we know has to do with the returning cast of Mark Wahlberg and Josh Duhamel, along with newcomers Isabela Moner and Jerrod Carmichael. There hasn't been much about the Transformers themselves, though, but now we know who the villain will be, and it's a familiar one..albeit with a very different face.

A new Instagram post from Bay has revealed Megatron as the villain, just as he has been through most of the flicks. We might not have known who it was without Bay's help because that is not Megatron's usual look, and certainly differs from his Galvatron appearance from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Has he found yet another Transformers body to send his consciousness into?

Transformers: The Last Knight opens June 23rd 2017.

A video posted by Michael Bay (@michaelbay) on

5/31/2016

FX Orders X-Men Spinoff Series, 'Legion'; First Look At Dan Stevens In Title Role


Marvel has attempted live-action TV shows based on the X-Men before, most notably in the Generation X movie and the Mutant X series.Those were pretty terrible, and the mutants' story has largely been told through animation on the small screen. That's changing now with the live-action FX series, Legion, which Marvel hope will have the same level of impact as what they're doing over on Netflix.

FX has officially picked up Legion for a condensed 8-episode first season order, with plans for the series to debut next year. They've also released the first image of star Dan Stevens as David Haller, the schizophrenic, supremely powerful son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. David has been struggling with mental illness all of his life, going in and out of psychiatric hospitals, until a chance encounter with a patient forces him to consider the voices and visions in his may be real.

Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller co-star with Fargo creator Noah Hawley running the show. Despite the presence of exec-producers Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, and Simon Kinberg there is no connection between Legion and the X-Men movies. At least not yet.  Marvel also has another X-Men spinoff series in the works, Hellfire, which is based on the notorious cabal known as the Hellfire Club.


Emily Blunt, 'Hamilton' Star Lin-Manuel Miranda Confirmed For 'Mary Poppins Returns'


While Alice Through the Looking Glass is looking like a misfire for Disney, they've got such a large library of classics to pull from that's no skin off their back. A few months ago we learned that Emily Blunt would be starring as Mary Poppins in some kind of sequel, the details of which were very scarce. But now Disney is ready to open the umbrella, so to speak, revealing plot details and a multi-time award winner who is joining the cast.

Disney confirms both Emily Blunt and "Hamilton" star Lin-Manuel Miranda for Mary Poppins Returns, which will be directed by Into the Woods' Rob Marshall. Whoa. Miranda, a Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize winner, will be taking on a brand new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Blunt will play the iconic Mary Poppins in a story set during the Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. The story will be a combination of material pulled from the many sequels written by author P.L. Travers. Oscar nominee David Magee will pen the screenplay.

So basically there are award winners all over the place, and you can expect Disney will hold nothing back in making Mary Poppins Returns a huge event. The film will open on Christmas Day 2018.

Rumor: 'Planet Hulk' Factors Into 'Thor: Ragnarok', 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' Villain Teases Adam Warlock


*SPOILERS* Marvel has a whopping three movies arriving in 2017, with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The latter two are already well established inside the MCU, although neither neatly fits into the earth-bound adventures of The Avengers squad. While we have learned a little bit about where both films could go, Joblo has dropped some details that are potentially huge if they turn out to be accurate.

What we know about Thor: Ragnarok is that it will find Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in a sort of intergalactic buddy story alongside Mark Ruffalo's Hulk. How the Jade Giant ends up in deep space is anyone's guess, but the latest rumor says elements from the classic "Planet Hulk" storyline will play a part. That means Hulk will be sporting an armored look and fighting in gladiatorial games, all overseen by The Grandmaster, who we know will be played by Jeff Goldblum. Thor will somehow get involved in the fighting, "sporting a shaved head (but not completely bald) for at least a portion of the film.”, while Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie will have Native American warpaint which makes zero sense whatsoever.

Of course, the film will also include story beats from "Ragnarok", and finds Thor scouring the universe to acquire the ultimate weapon that can stop Ragnarok (basically an Asgardian apocalypse) and reset the universe. What might this weapon be? It's probably an Infinity Stone if the usual Marvel pattern holds true.


Meanwhile, Joblo thinks they have a bead on Elizabeth Debicki's role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. They say the talented star of The Great Gatsby and The Man from UNCLE will be playing Ayesha aka Kismet aka Paragon aka Her. Yeah, she's had a lot of names. She's not exactly the kind of prominent villain fans might have expected, but then again her arrival could tease much bigger things. Ayesha was a creation of The Enclave, a group dedicated to creating a perfect superhuman being that could help them control the world. Their first creation, Him, evolved into the cosmic being known as Adam Warlock, whose cocoon was spotted in Guardians of the Galaxy. Ayesha eventually broke free of Enclave control and sought out Warlock, thinking him to be her perfect match. It didn't go quite as she planned.


Of course, we have no idea which of these story elements James Gunn will choose to use. He may not take any of them, because honestly they don't really seem to fit with a story that is expected to deal with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his parentage.  However, the arrival of Ayesha, and possibly Adam Warlock, would be major chess pieces on the board leading up to the huge cosmic battle with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

Who knows? Maybe none of this stuff is right? We'll find out when  Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 opens on May 5th 2017 followed by Thor: Ragnarok  November 3rd.

'Guys And Dolls' Remake Is Back On With Michael Grandage Directing


20th Century Fox has been trying to launch a remake of 1955 musical Guys and Dolls for so long it's probably given confidence to some that it will never happen. But that's not how things work nowadays, and Fox has soldiered on to bring the Broadway classic to the big screen. Deadline reports they've just taken a major step towards that happening by naming Michael Grandage as director.

Grandage is both an unusual and perfect choice (unusually perfect?) to helm the film, seeing as how his directorial debut, the literary drama Genius, hasn't even opened yet. The reason for him winning the job probably has more to do the 2005 stage version of Guys and Dolls he spearheaded at London's West End. Directing for the stage is very different than it is for the screen (Could someone please inform John Wells?), and we'll have to wait and see if Grandage can pull it off.

The original film was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the 1950 stageplay, and starred the incredibly cool duo of Marlon Brandon and Frank Sinatra. Who could possibly live up to that pair? Well how about Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? The two were sought for the lead roles before but there's no indication they are involved at this stage. They've worked together a few times already, including in Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut, Don Jon. They're also attached to star in an R-rated musical comedy from 21 Jump Street writer, Michael Bacall. The song 'n dance skills they bring to the table would seem to make them a perfect fit.

Review: 'The Ones Below' Starring Clémence Poésy, Laura Birn, and David Morrissey


David Farr, writer of Hanna and the recent miniseries adaptation of The Night Manager, has had a long career directing on the stage.  With his script for The Ones Below, he takes his first spin directing a feature film, delivering a chilly, tense psychological thriller.

Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) are expecting their first child soon, when another couple moves into the duplex apartment below theirs.  Teresa (Laura Birn) is even more visibly pregnant than Kate is, and Jon (David Morrissey) is even more excited to be a father.  In fact, he left his first wife when she couldn't have a child, and married the much-younger Teresa specifically to increase the chances.

We find this out at dinner upstairs in Kate and Justin's place.  It's after dinner that things go awry.  The hallway is dark, and Justin didn't get a chance to change the bulb while cooking.  The cat darts out of nowhere, and Teresa trips on her shoes and takes a spill down the stairs.  It's a tragic accident that causes her to miscarry, despite being so near to term.  But Teresa and Jon see neglect, or even malice, in the underlit hallway.  Justin tries to point out that they'd placed their own shoes at the top of the stairs even though they hadn't been asked to take them off.  And Kate brings up the gulps of wine Teresa would sneak while Jon wasn't looking, which Teresa vehemently denies.

The peace broken, Teresa and Jon retreat to Frankfurt until they can overcome their grief and honestly congratulate Kate and Justin on their child, which they do when they return.  But there seems to be some menace behind their smiles.  Teresa takes to Billy, offering to babysit him often, but Kate grows more and more uneasy about her interest.  There's nothing she can quite put her finger on, though; she's already frazzled with postpartum hormones and a fussy baby who can't yet sleep through the night.  And is it just her imagination, or are car alarms along the street outside going off more frequently than they used to?  It would probably be easy to gaslight any new mother.  Throw in Kate's ambivalence over the idea of being a mother at all, and her own mother (Deborah Findlay) who seems just as ambivalent towards her, and it's bound to be trying even if the downstairs neighbors aren't trying to drive her crazy.

Farr chooses to avoid making things very explicit, which cuts both ways.  On the one hand, it's difficult to tell until right at the end whether Teresa and Jon are tormenting Kate, or whether it's all in her head.  On the other, we don't get anything really out there that only Kate sees, as we might in a movie like, well, Gaslight.  The result keeps us guessing, but tends to err more on the side of the psychological than the thrilling.

More frustrating is the red herring in Teresa's behavior at dinner.  Jon is clearly shown to have a driving interest in fatherhood.  When Kate and Justin say they weren't always sure they'd wanted to have a child, he takes it as almost a personal affront.  And while Teresa says she always knew she'd wanted a child, she gives hints that her feelings are less definitive than Jon's, most obviously when she sneaks those mouthfuls of wine that may have led to the fall.  And yet, despite bringing it up so clearly, we never return to the idea that her feelings might diverge from Jon's.  It's a glaring fly in the otherwise-smooth ointment Farr has crafted, and it remained a constant distraction for the rest of the movie.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Dan Akroyd Says New 'Ghostbusters' Is Funnier Than The Original


Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot is still more than a month away and already some have decided it sucks.  A portion of those folks are simply sexists, let's keep it real, they don't like the idea of women taking on roles made popular by guys in the '80s. Others just don't want to see a childhood favorite ruined, which is more understandable but still a little bit silly. A new film doesn't take away from what came before.....unless we're talking about Godfather 3, but that's another story.

Anyway, there may be a reason for everyone to feel a little bit better as Dan Akroyd, original writer and creator of the first two Ghostbusters movies, hit Facebook to praise the upcoming film. He even went on to highlight a couple of areas where it actually improves upon its predecessors.

"As originator of the original: Saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!"

Keep in mind he's not saying the reboot is better than the originals, just that it improves on a few things. Now let's be honest; Akroyd has a bias here. As a producer it's to his benefit the film makes as much money as possible and launches a million sequels and spinoffs. He also has a cameo role, and unless he wants to knock his own work then of course he's going to stay positive.

That said, Akroyd didn't have to make a comment at all, and that he took time out to drop a good word may be enough to sway a few minds. Ghostbusters opens on July 15th.

Win Passes To A Free Screening Of 'Warcraft'!


We're happy to offer our readers the chance to attend a free DC screening of the anticipated video game movie, Warcraft, based on the bestselling MMORPG and directed by Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon). The film stars Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, and Toby Kebbell!

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another.  As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction.  From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. 

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

The screening takes place on Tuesday, June 7th at 7:30pm at Regal Majestic in Silver Spring, MD. To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter contest form below. Winners will be selected on Thursday, June 2nd and notified by email. Good luck!

Warcraft opens on June 10th.



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Rumor: Disney's So Unhappy With 'Rogue One' They've Ordered Expensive Reshoots


Is it time to start worrying about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? A report over at Page Six (Seriously, people, judge accordingly.) says Disney execs are not happy with the standalone Star Wars film after poor test screenings. And in order to do some course correcting they are sending director Gareth Edwards back in for weeks of "expensive" reshoots this summer with added studio interference.

If all of this sounds familiar it's because there have been a lot of reports of major blockbuster films going in for reshoots lately, such as with Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad. Reshoots are to be expected, but in today's media landscape they've become shorthand for "troubled". Is that the case with 'Rogue One', though? An inside source told the gossip rag that “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well."  They add that Edwards has failed to hit the "high-bar" set by J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

If that's the comparison Disney is making, and considering the $2B 'Force' earned it's well within their rights to do so, then one can understand their concern. 'Rogue One' is a completely different beast. It doesn't feature familiar characters or continue a storyline fans have been waiting years to see. Instead the film introduces an all new bunch of rebels and villains in a story that is wedged between Episodes III and IV. It follows the Rebel plot to steal the Death Star plans so it can be destroyed, and there are rumors we could get appearances by Darth Vader or Alden Ehrenreich's young Han Solo. Spinoffs are always a tough sell, and there is bound to be some audience confusion about the shift away from chronology. I've heard it at screenings where the trailer for 'Rogue One' has been shown, people asking why there is no sign of Rey or Finn anywhere. That said, the response to the trailer has been positive, even if it looks much darker than Abrams' relatively hopeful film.

As noted earlier, reshoots are typical for major studio films and Disney was always expecting there would be some. The source added, “The filmmaking team and the studio always anticipated additional shooting and second unit work to make the film the absolute best it can be, and the actors were aware there would be additional shooting. Coming off ‘The Force Awakens,’ there’s an incredibly high bar for this movie and we have a responsibility to the franchise and to the fans to deliver the best possible movie we can,” 

So maybe when Page Six says Disney is in a "panic" they are going a little overboard? Probably. I always find it funny when a site tries to justify an iffy story by pointing out they were right about something previously. And to be fair, they did score the Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo news before anybody else. Good for them, but it doesn't mean they'll be right about everything from here on out.

I think it's too early to start trying to peg this as another Fantastic Four situation, which some sites out there are already trying to do. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16th.

Pixar Reveals 'Cars 3' Plot Details And Art Featuring A New Character


Pixar wasn't exactly feelin' the love from audiences after 2011's espionage-fueled Cars 2, a film many saw as the unfortunate sequel-ization of the vaunted animator. The film wasn't well received, and was their first not to be nominated for any Oscars. But man, it made a killing in merchandising sales, leading to a successful Planes spinoff and confirmation that Cars 3 would be racing into theaters at some point. We haven't heard much about it up until now, but director Brian Fee has revealed to USA Today some key plot details and concept art that reveals a new racer.

Owen Wilson is back voicing Lightning McQueen, who at this point in time is considered a veteran of the racing circuit. No longer the hot-shot upstart we saw in Cars, Lightning finds he's a bit behind the times, so he enlists help in the form of a young Hispanic female racer named Cruz Ramirez. Fee says...

“Cruz Ramirez is trying to figure out how this old dog can learn some new tricks..Think of where he’d be in his career now in real time. (McQueen) is not an old man, but he's one of the older cars on the circuit with new rookies coming in. People start to wonder and ask when he might retire.”

One of those rookies is Storm Jackson, who soundly defeats Lightning which causes greater clamor for him to retire from the circuit.

“Jackson Storm is the face of these rookies who have come onto the scene. And McQueen is in a position where his entire racing generation is being pushed out.  But it’s too early to be shown the door right now.”

Lightning will get his chance at redemption in the fictional Florida 500, with Ramirez helping to close the technical gap.  So this will be a smaller, simpler story similar to the original, rather than the globe-hopping sequel. Fee promises the film will stay in America as Lightning and Ramirez travel the countryside visiting various historical race sites. You can also expect to see (and hear) familiar characters such as Larry the Cable as Lightning's pal Mater, Bonnie Hunt as girlfriend Sally Carrera, and Cheech Marin as Ramone. Fee adds...

“This movie is a love letter to racing and the American way. We’re inspired by the Americana you see traveling through the South where every small town has a dirt track.”

Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16th 2017.