Review: The Lost City of Z

Starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, And Sienna Miller

Review: Unforgettable

Starring Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson

Review: Free Fire

Starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, And Armie Hammer

Review: The Promise

Starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, And Charlotte Le Bon

Review: Tramps

Directed by Adam Leon, Starring Callum Turner and Grace Van Patten

4/29/2017

'The Gong Show' Is Coming Back With Mike Myers As Host...Sorta


It was just last month that Chuck Barris, creator and host of The Gong Show, passed away. I wonder what he'd think about this latest development regarding the kooky talent show he'll always be associated with. It's coming back, but not as you might expect. Mike Myers will be hosting it...only it isn't really Mike Myers. But it is Mike Myers. Ugh.

So the new host of The Gong Show revival is Tommy Maitland, a 70-ish British comedian with a lengthy resume that includes stuff like spaghetti Westerns. Only, Maitland is actually Mike Myers, wearing fake prosthetics and everything. It's...weird. What's even weirder is that some sites haven't caught on that it's Myers because they only read the press release from ABC which plays the whole thing is legit as possible:

Born on July 7, 1944, Thomas Winston Maitland (his middle name is a tribute to Winston Churchill) grew up in Neasden, GLC, Borough of Brent, where his father was an actuary and in the Merchant Marine and his mother was in the RAF. After a failed stint as a pipe fitter’s apprentice, Tommy joined the British Army at the tender age of 15. He later joined the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA), where he got to know some of the UK’s biggest comedians. He played the ukulele, told jokes and drummed (though he drummed badly), and he ended up hosting the show – a talent he would later be known for. He was voted ENSA Entertainer of the Year, for which he was given a guarantee to appear on British radio. He later worked as an announcer for the British radio show, “The Whosey Whats,” and got small roles in the “Carry On” films – either as the over anxious compart at a men’s club or the strict union pipe fitter. He also appeared in the TV series, “The Lord Mayor,” as the cheeky mayor of a mythical town in East Anglia, who struck it rich because they sat atop an oil field.

Will Arnett is behind this as a producer, and as you probably guessed there will be a ton of celebrities as special guest judges, Zach Galifianakis, Alison Brie, Andy Samberg, Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, Dana Carvey, Will Forte, Jack Black and Anthony Anderson to name just some of them.  The new Gong Show premieres on June 22nd, and if you want to see what Myers looks like as Maitland, check it out below. Don't blame me if it scars your brain for the day the way this whole idea has done to me. Can we gong this thing now? [THR]



Rian Johnson Says He Isn't Involved In Writing 'Star Wars: Episode IX'


Hard to believe it's been three years since Rian Johnson first became attached to the Star Wars franchise with what we now know is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. At the time it seemed unfathomable that Lucasfilm would put their trust in a director who was largely beloved by cinephiles but wasn't known for blockbusters on such a scale. And that they were putting continued support behind him by having him also write the script for 'Episode IX' was more of a surprise. It suggested Johnson would be the key creative force behind this new director for the Star Wars universe.

Well, we should probably pull back on that thought a little bit, because Johnson confirmed in a Twitter exchange that he doesn't have anything to do with the 'Episode IX' screenplay...


Before you start freaking out, just think about this for a second. 'Episode IX' already has Colin Trevorrow directing and co-writing the script with his Jurassic World collaborator Derek Connolly. There's no need for Johnson to make things crowded, especially since he's still busy with 'The Last Jedi'. So this is probably a good thing because there's only 18 months before 'Episode IX' opens on May 24th 2019. [Comicbook]

'Logan' Is Getting A Black & White Theatrical Run Next Month


When James Mangold launched the initial campaign for Logan, most of the images we saw were in black and white rather than color. While we knew it would be R-rated and thus more violent than previous X-Men movies, we didn't realize just how perfect the format would be until we saw the entire film for ourselves in full color. It gave hope that maybe a black & white version would be released in theaters or at least on Blu-Ray just like the Black & Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road. It took a little while, but Mangold is about to give us our wish.

Mangold hit Twitter and confirmed Logan would be getting a black & white theatrical run on May 16th, followed by a home release on Blu-Ray and DVD. Yeah, buddy. I look at it as showing just a bit more respect to Hugh Jackman's final time as Wolverine, in one of the best movies of the entire X-Men franchise. It deserves to be treated like a true prestige event, and this is another way to go about doing that.



4/28/2017

'Roseanne' Is Getting A Series Revival With Original Cast Returning


Geezus, I just mentioned Roseanne randomly in a post yesterday, and now today the long-running sitcom is getting a revival. Time to start putting more Get A Life references into our coverage.

That's right, the seminal comedy Roseanne is coming back for a limited run, with Roseanne Barr, John Goodman (!?!) and Sara Gilbert definitely a part of it. Others, like Laurie Metcalf, are in the process of coming aboard. Whitney Cummings will serve as showrunner along with Bruce Helsford, but no sign of Joss Whedon who got his start on the show. Roseanne ran from 1988-1997 and was the biggest comedy in the country for many of those years. It depicted the paycheck-to-paycheck existence of the Conner family in a small Illinois town. The show gave comedian Barr a huge platform, and it turned her into a national celebrity who could pretty much write her own ticket. She used the series to touch on many hot button issues that spoke to ordinary blue collar Americans. No word on how they intend to use Goodman, whose character Dan Conner died towards the end of the show's run. Maybe it was all a dream? Actually, the series finale revealed the whole show to be just a story the Roseanne character wrote, so this might not be too far off.

So far there's no network home for this, but I imagine it won't take long.  Networks are eating up these awful revivals with a knife and fork, and if a show like Full House can come back, Roseanne is a shoe-in. What's weird is that Roseanne Barr has mostly been off the grid for years, unless you're a political junkie like me and have followed her as a Presidential candidate and so forth.  I remember her saying during the campaign that she was finished with scripted comedies just like this one. Oh well. This actually might serve to help her if she decides to run again in 2020. [Deadline]

Jim Sheridan's 'H-Block' To Star Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, & Pierce Brosnan


Well, an Anthropoid reunion was hardly something to be expected today, but lucky for us we're getting one. Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy are reteaming for H-Block, which will co-star Pierce Brosnan and be directed by famed Irish director, Jim Sheridan.

Sheridan is the six-time Oscar-nominated director behind In America, My Left Foot, and In the Name of the Father. H-Block will find him returning to Ireland for the story of the 1983 Maze Prison escape in which nearly forty members of the IRA broke out of the most dangerous, most secure prison in Northern Ireland. The prison was also the setting of Steve McQueen's 2008 film, Hunger. Murphy plays the respected head of the IRA escapees, with Dornan as a violent member of the ring who plans the whole thing, and Brosnan as the prison warden.

Great casts has never been Sheridan's problem, but of late he's made some curious choices. Directing the 50 Cent biopic Get Rich or Die Tryin' was strange, and he's received poor reviews for The Secret Scripture which debuted at TIFF and opens next month. [Deadline]

Remake Of Stephen King's 'Firestarter' In The Works From Blumhouse


Not that Stephen King adaptations ever really went away, but right now they seem to be everywhere.  From big screen takes on It and The Dark Tower to The Mist on the small screen, King is more prevalent than ever. And now one more is set to heat things up.

Blumhouse who are still riding high on the success of Get Out, are developing a remake of Firestarter, the 1984 thriller that starred Drew Barrymore as a young girl with pyrokinetic abilities. Prolific writer and producer Akiva Goldsman will direct, and one hopes it turns out much better than his directorial debut, Winter's Tale. He's worked with Blumhouse before on the supernatural horror, Stephanie, which just premiered at the Overlook Film Festival, so obviously they have faith in his abilities behind the camera. He also produce many of their Paranormal Activity films. Scott Teems (Rectify) will be writing the script.

No word on when this will get moving, but knowing Blumhouse they've already got a strategy mapped out. Chances are this will be on the higher end of the budgetary scale for them. Hopefully some of that budget will be for bringing Barrymore back in some way. [Deadline]


Review: 'Grey Lady', Starring Eric Dane And Natalie Zea


The title of Grey Lady is evidently a reference to Nantucket Island.  I mean, I've never heard of it, but it shows up on the Wikipedia page, and I'm willing to concede that writer/director John Shea might know something I don't.  But that's about as conciliatory as I'm feeling for what may number among the worst movies I've seen without the words "Lifetime Original" being involved somewhere.

We're on Nantucket because Boston detective James Doyle (Eric Dane) is investigating a series of murders that have already claimed his sister and his girlfriend (Rebecca Gayheart).  Who is, er was, also his partner.  Oh, but the sister and girlfriend are two separate people, though the script isn't terribly clear on that point and I wanted to at least do better on that count.  Oh, and the girlfriend was also pregnant with Doyle's baby, which I'm not entirely sure he could have known, but I think we're also supposed to assume he knew because it adds that much more pathos to his back-story.  Pathos is the name of the game here.  Very, very pathetic.

Anyway, so he shows up in Nantucket despite being thrown off the case by his BPD captain -- a case that since it started with his sister he shouldn't have been on in the first place but whatever -- because he doesn't care about your rules, and he's in this for justice.  Seriously, this kind of dialogue is just in here and as far as I can tell it's meant to be taken seriously.  I could almost respect a movie that quoted this sort of self-serious garbage in an attempt at parody, but no it really is this ridden with clich├ęs.

But why are we on Nantucket again?  Honestly, I've been back over the first chunk of the movie again and I can't see the connection.  Something about Doyle's family, and they used to come to the island, or he thinks some portion of them live here.  It's the sort of small town where everybody knows everybody, but nobody knows the names he's asking about even as we later discover they've been there the whole time.

A representative from the local police (a wasted Adrian Lester) is there to meet him off the ferry, and he quickly meets local socialite Melissa Reynolds (Natalie Zea) who naturally falls for him but he's still too hurt -- in a quiet, manly way, of course -- by the loss of his basically identical girlfriend to return her affections.  Yet.  There's a local drunk (Amy Madigan) and a loopy blonde (Carolyn Stotesbery), and Shea himself shows up as the police chief here to deliver an in-person dose of canned rogue-cop dialogue.

There is nothing redeeming here.  It doesn't look particularly good; there are no bravura performances; there's no interesting quirk that makes up for the overwrought, well, everything.  It even commits the cardinal sin of hiding information from the audience for no story-driven reason, and it has the cluelessly poor taste to do it right in front of us.  I can only imagine that Shea had stockpiled a decade's worth of favors from his television career, and hope that he has now cashed them all in.

Rating: 1 out of 5










Trailer For Ex-WWE Superstar John Morrison's 'Boone: The Bounty Hunter' Action Comedy


Hulk Hogan. Steve Austin. Dwayne Johnson. John Cena. John Morrison?? Unlike the other current and former WWE superstars who have gone on to successful acting careers, Morrison, formerly Johnny Nitro and currently Johnny Mundo on Lucha Underground, is not only starring in his own movie, he actually wrote it. Morrison stars in Boone: The Bounty Hunter, an action/comedy that kinda looks like it should be a skit on SNL, but has the potential to at least be some fun.

Morrison recruited some recognizable B-list talent for this one including Rampage Jackson, Dominique Swain, Jonathan Lipnicki, Kevin Sorbo, Lorenzo Lamas, and Corbin Bernsen. The "Shaman of Sexy" plays a TV bounty hunter who tries to save his show from cancellation by taking on a risky job across the Mexico border. 

It looks cheesy, it looks super silly, but I kinda want to see it. Morrison's pretty much the only guy still making movies with parkour in it (Taylor Lautner last tried and it sucked), but if he's going to Starship Pain his foes to death then I'm down to watch him do it.  Boone: The Bounty Hunter hits VOD on May 9th.


Kevin Hart Will Down The Ol' 96er In 'The Great Outdoors' Remake


In the pantheon of great John Hughes movies, The Great Outdoors probably doesn't rate. But when you have John Candy and Dan Akroyd battling it out for outdoorsman superiority, a few choice scenes are bound to pop up, like the grizzly bear that invades their cabin or Candy downing a 96-ounce steak. It's scenes like those that the 1988 comedy will be remembered for. Well it's about to be introduced to a whole new audience because Kevin Hart is set to star in a remake.

Hart will lead a remake of The Great Outdoors, according to Deadline. The original Howard Deutch-directed movie starred Candy as a Chicago man whose relaxing family vacation to a lakeside resort in Wisconsin is disrupted by the arrival of his brash, competitive in-laws played by Akroyd and Annette Bening in her feature debut. This newer version will be penned by Randall Green, writer on Showtime series Billions, but a director hasn't been found yet.

This remake doesn't bother me too much because there is a lot of room for improvement. Not saying Hart is the right answer but he couldn't hurt, and has proven to be hilarious in the kind of buddy dynamic The Great Outdoors should provide.


Mandy Moore Needs Saving From Hungry Sharks In The '47 Meters Down' Trailer


Shark movies will never grow old, which is good because they aren't going anywhere. In fact, there has been a resurgence of them thanks to SyFy and movie like last year's surprisingly fun summer thriller, The Shallows. Well it's starting to heat up outside again, and just in time for you to hit the beaches here comes 47 Meters Down to remind you what happens to those who invade a shark's home turf.

Formerly titled In the Deep and originally meant to arrive last summer, the film's premise is closer to Open Water than The Shallows or Jaws. Mandy Moore of This Is Us and Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries) play two women on a vacation in Mexico who decide to try out shark cage diving. Sounds like fun if you're into that sort of thing, but not even the most thrill-seeking enthusiast would want to be in a cage that has had its rope break. As the cage sinks deeper the women are forced to flee its safety and into the shark infested waters.

Matthew Modine is in this, too, and there's something sketchy about his character here. Maybe their getting stuck wasn't an accident? That's totally something a Modine would do. I think I'd like this movie a lot better if Moore was reprising her role as the hyper-religious Hilary Faye from Saved!

Directed by The Other Side of the Door's Johannes Roberts, 47 Meters Down opens June 16th 2017.