Review: The Commune

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Starring Jason Drucker and Alicia Silverstone

Review: Paris Can Wait

Starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin, and Arnaud Viard

Review: Everything, Everything

Starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson

Review: Alien: Covenant

Directed by Ridley Scott

5/24/2017

'Top Gun 2' Targets Joseph Kosinski For Director


We're seeing the first genuine movement on a Top Gun sequel since Tony Scott passed away in 2012. With Tom Cruise stating that a start date could come as soon as next year, we knew there had to be information on a director to follow. And now we're hearing about the guy who may be the frontrunner, and it's not really a surprising choice.

Joseph Kosinski, who directed Cruise in Oblivion, is the actor's top pick although no offer has been made yet. That may change pretty quickly as Variety adds, “sources say it was Kosinski’s vision for where he saw the sequel going that officially won him the job." The film will deal with drone warfare that has essentially replaced an entire generation of fighter pilots.

Kosinski is not only buds with Cruise who likes to work with the same people frequently, but he's also a director who loves making movies about technology. His most high-profile work to date was on Tron: Legacy, and there continues to be talk of a third movie based on the 1980s classic. He recently completed work on the true firefighter drama, Granite Mountain, which opens this fall.

The Great War Is Here In New Trailer For 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7


While some aspects of HBO's Game of Thrones have moved at rapid pace, others have taken season upon season and still haven't come to a close. How much longer do we have to wait for Daenerys and her dragon-led army to reach Westeros? But with only 13 episodes left in the final two seasons the pace has to pick up, and this new trailer promises all of the storylines we've been following through six seasons will finally converge in all-out war.

The new trailer for Game of Thrones' seventh season is basically a "Previously on..." check-in with all of the principle characters. And it turns out everybody is gearing up for "The Great War". Cersei is rallying her forces while brother Jaime worries she may be worse than the Mad King; Jon Snow has war brewing in the North; the White Walkers are...well, walking; and more.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on July 16th.

Your First Look At Benicio Del Toro & Laura Dern In 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'


Following yesterday's Vanity Fair cover reveal, the curtain is lifted on Star Wars: The Last Jedi a bit more today with our first look at Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern's mysterious new characters. Well, mysterious in that we know little about them up to this point. That seems to be a recurring theme for Del Toro's roles of late, doesn't it?

We've known for a while that Dern would be playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, who was previously described as a high-ranking officer in the Resistance and the antithesis to Carrie Fisher's General Leia. One look at the purple clad Holdo would seem to confirm that. It's odd to think that a former princess like Leia could ever look less glamorous than another, but Holdo has her beat. And she's even sporting her own version of the curly bun hairdo.



And then there's Del Toro, whose unnamed character, presumed to be a villain of some kind, is now known as DJ. Since he's spinning any tracks in this image it's safe to assume DJ is short for something else. He's described as "shady" and with "unclear allegiances", another recurring trait of Del Toro characters recently.


There are plenty more details and images to be found over at Vanity Fair's site, so check 'em out and prepare to learn a lot more about Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the coming days.

Review: 'Baywatch', Dwayne Johnson & Zac Efron Bring Waves Of Dumb Summer Fun


Dwayne Johnson can do pretty much anything he wants, and do it well. If he actually did decide to run for President (with or without Tom Hanks as his VP) he would likely win in a landslide. Mr. "Franchise Viagara" can even extend his awesome powers to a potentially horrible Baywatch movie. After the aggressively unfunny CHIPS just a few weeks ago there was little reason to have confidence in another R-rated TV-to-Movie remake. Well, little reason except for Dwayne Johnson, who carries this often hilarious, eye candy-filled parody to heights that don't quite hit 21 Jump Street levels, but you'll be hard pressed to find a funnier comedy to beat the summer heat.


The 21 Jump Street comparison is apt because they basically share the same plot, only with a lot more sand, bikinis, and glistening man bods. There's plenty to look at no matter who you are, which is one of the things that made the inexplicably popular and long-lived Baywatch TV series such an international darling despite being really terrible. This version of Baywatch took seven writers to come up with its array of dick and vomit gags, some of which land with a thud and others that land with an appropriate splash. But where the film gets it right is being totally in on the joke. Johnson plays a hulking version of David Hasselhoff's Mitch Buchanan, head lifeguard of the apparently-prestigious Baywatch crew. The first time we meet him he's doing what he does best. No, not flexing his muscles while sweat shines off of his pecs and domed head, but rescuing a paraglider, in slow-motion, while sea creatures cheer him on. Yes, this is going to be off the friggin' wall ridiculous.


That's just the start, because the source material is ludicrous, anyway. Mitch and his team which includes Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera), and CJ (the stunning Kelly Rohrbach) aren't just typical lifeguards. They're like the Scooby Gang only with much better abs. They save lives and solve crimes, much to the chagrin of their boss (Rob Huebel) and local law enforcement (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who wish they would just be regular lifeguards. But what fun is there in that? Local tryouts bring a handful of new recruits; the tech guy Ronnie (Jon Bass in a scene-stealing performance), go-getter Summer (Alexandra Daddario, eyes still bluer than any ocean), and disgraced Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron), who was guaranteed a spot on the team because he makes good PR. How a guy nicknamed the "Vomit Comet" can be good PR is anybody's guess, but Mitch isn't letting him off the hook. The two immediately clash; Matt is cocky and breaks the rules, while Mitch only refers to him by Boy Band nicknames. Matt says the team's crime-solving antics sound like "a really far-fetched TV show", and he's right.


The case to be solved involves drugs turning up on the beach, and a rising body count, all beginning with the arrival of deadly gorgeous real estate mogul Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra). Mitch isn't won over by her charms, and sets out to expose her, which pisses off some powerful people in high places. Leeds isn't much of a foe, despite her aims to be a Bond villain someday, but Baywatch's attempts to crack the case are pretty funny. Ronnie is usually the guy who gets stuck with all of the really humiliating stuff, whether it's getting his junk stuck in a wooden plank (having a crush on CJ will do that), or twerking at a glamorous dinner party as a form of distraction. But Matt is also the butt of jokes, too, as the arrogant Ken doll is as stupid as he is chiseled.


Speaking of which, can we talk about how good Zac Efron has become in playing exactly this kind of airhead role? I remember there was a time when he seemed at odds with dirtying up his good boy Disney Channel persona, but he has turned doing exactly that into an art form. He stands up well against Johnson, and even punches him in the face at one point, which for a second has you hoping for some kind of WrestleMania showdown. Maybe in the sequel if there is one?


In more ways than one Efron can't overshadow Johnson, nor can he lift a refrigerator quite like The Rock can. If you're a fan then you get everything from Johnson diving off of cliffs, leaping onto speeding jet skis, punching out bad guys and droppin' one-liners. The only thing he doesn't get? A love interest. Shockingly there isn't much romance anywhere (Efron and Daddario's characters have a thing, but it's pretty weak) for Mitch, although one is teased with Stephanie. Again, maybe in the sequel?


Seth Gordon is a smart enough director to know what he's got, and doesn't get in the way of his cast. Some of the gags feel ad-libbed, especially between Johnson and Efron, and there's a "I can't believe we're making a stupid Baywatch movie" vibe that is sort of infectious. Yeah, Baywatch is stupid, and crude, and full of endless amounts of cheesecake (again, plenty on both sides), but it's also exactly the kind of movie the summer season is made for. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Jacob Tremblay & Julia Roberts Choose Kindness In First Trailer For 'Wonder'


A couple of years ago Room star Jacob Tremblay was the cutest thing about the whole awards season, popping up in photos alongside many of the actors he had admired most of his short career. Now 11-years-old, Tremblay is already becoming a household name and one of the busiest child actors around with roles in The Predator and The Book of Henry coming up. And he's also got Wonder, a heartwarming drama that may have Tremblay showing up all over your Instagram when the Oscars come around.

Directed by author Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and adapted from R.J. Palacio's bestselling novel, Wonder follows 10-year-old Auggie, a boy born with a facial deformity, who enters public school for the first time and helps change the lives of those he encounters. Of course it won't be as easy as all of that because kids, and sometimes adults, can be cruel. Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Daveed Diggs, Mandy Patinkin, and Sonia Braga co-star.

Wonder opens November 17th.

Another Stunning Trailer For Luc Besson's 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets'


While French director Luc Besson will always be known for his catalog of assassin movies (The Professional, La Femme Nikita, The Transporter, and more), he's always had a soft spot for sci-fi. He had a chance to scratch that itch with The Fifth Element, and while that film's 20th anniversary (!!!!) is being celebrated in theaters, Besson is ready to unleash Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which looks like Besson scratching every sci-fi itch he's ever had and will ever have for a lifetime.

The latest trailer is another that is simply too gorgeous to be described. There is such an insane amount of detail, so much activity going on in every frame, that it must be seen and experienced for oneself. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as temporal agents in the 28th century who take on a mission to save the entire galaxy. Simple enough premise, but anyone who has read the popular French comics it's based on know there's more going on that isn't so simple.

Hopefully everything translates and audiences can connect with it. Besson needs them to in order to make up for the reported $210M budget, the biggest in France's history.

Also starring Clive Owen, Rihanna, John Goodman, and Ethan Hawke, Valerian opens July 21st.

Tom Cruise Says 'Top Gun' Sequel May Shoot Next Year


Tom Cruise recently appeared on an Australian morning show to talk about The Mummy, and ended up confirming something that has been confirmed and re-confirmed multiple times by different people, that a Top Gun sequel is happening. Only this time Cruise thinks they have an actual start window. We'll see about that. Here's his response when asked by the host whether Top Gun 2 is a reality...

"It's true. I'm going to start probably in the next year. I know, it's happening. It's definitely happening." He then added, "You're the first people I've said it to, you asked me and so I'm telling you."

A sequel to the 1986 classic has been in the works for years, but got derailed by the death of original director, Tony Scott, in 2012. Justin Marks was hired to write the screenplay, that Scott wanted to be about the transformation of the Air Force's fighter pilot program into one focused on drone warfare. There have been multiple movies on that topic by now so one wonders if a new approach will be taken. Does anybody want to see Maverick sitting at a console rather than in the air?  Val Kilmer stated that he was getting back in the cockpit to play Maverick's rival, Iceman, but who knows if he was being serious.

Two 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Trailers Show Off Spidey's New Toys


Sony Pictures has decided to wait until the dead of night to drop the latest trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Well, it's actually not a bad idea because it has hopefully given you all something cool to wake up to, because this trailer is a lot of in.

Tom Holland is back in the Spidey suit and this footage shows off some of its coolest features, like an internal A.I. system ala Iron Man's JARVIS, the costume actually adjusts to fit Peter Parker's body, and apparently there are over 500 different webshooter combinations. Sweet. It's good to have friends like Tony Stark, just as it's good to help people because they give you churros. We also see Parker navigating high school while also fighting crime ("You have a Spanish quiz"), and of course more of Michael Keaton as the Vulture. We also get a glimpse at Donald Glover who has largely been kept under wraps for some reason. He seems to be lending Parker some advice, which to me suggests his character is more than meets the eye. Maybe Robbie Robertson of The Daily Bugle?

Sony has also released an international version which focuses a lot on the mentor relationship between Parker and Stark that began in Captain America: Civil War.

Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7th.




5/23/2017

Doug Liman Drops Out Of Directing 'Justice League Dark'


Doug Liman just can't find the right comic book movie, even though it's clear he wants to do one. After dropping out of Fox's Gambit movie in order to focus on DC Films' Justice League Dark, he's now had to exit that movie, as well.

Variety reports Liman's exit is due to scheduling, as the busy director must turn his attention to an adaptation of Chaos Walking, which stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland. With that cast you can see why he would prioritize the project, which is seen as the beginning of a franchise. Liman also has a sequel to Edge of Tomorrow, titled Live Die Repeat and Repeat, in the works. He currently has a film in theaters, The Wall, that stars John Cena and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

A search is on for a director to replace Liman, who came in when Guillermo Del Toro dropped out. Maybe Warner Bros. will turn their attention back to Del Toro now? It's not like there's a firm schedule in place or anything, nor have they begun to lay the groundwork for the team of supernatural superheroes led by John Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Zatanna.

Anne Hathaway Boards Untitled Rom-Com, Sam Claflin Goes 'Adrift', And More


Anne Hathaway has one of the freshest movies of the year in Colossal, a film that defies expectations in just about every way. So it's a little disappointing to hear that she's lining up what sounds like just another rom-com. She'll star in an untitled rom-com for STX about modern dating and technology, which is pretty much what all of these movies are about now. The script comes from Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who recently wrote How to be Single and Valentine's Day, the latter including a role for Hathaway. [Deadline]

Unfortunately, Miles Teller won't be joining Shailene Woodley for Baltasar Kormakur's survival thriller, Adrift. He's out due to scheduling issues, and has been replaced by Me Before You and The Hunger Games' Sam Claflin. Aaron and Jordan Kandell's screenplay tells the true story of Tami Oldham and her fiance Richard Sharp who hit a monumental storm while sailing in the Pacific Ocean. Knocked unconscious, Tami would wake up to find Richard and the life boat gone, all navigating instruments destroyed, and nursing a nasty head wound. Thus began a 41-day journey of survival that took her 1500 miles to the Hawaiian shores. Tami's recollections of her earlier life with Richard as she tries to survive will form the bulk of the story.

Annabelle Wallis, who can be seen right now in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and soon in The Mummy opposite Tom Cruise, has joined a vastly different kind of movie. She'll star alongside Jeremy Renner and Ed Helms in the comedy, Tag, about a group of friends who have been playing a no-holds-barred version of the kids' game for 30 years. Hannibal Buress and Jake Johnson co-star with Jeff Tomsic directing the film, based on a true story. [Deadline]