Revew: Serena

Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

!

Review: Home'

With the Voices of Rihanna, Jim Parsons, and Steve Martin

Review: Danny Collins

Starring Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, and Jennifer Garner

Check out the latest recap of The Walking Dead!

Will everyone make it to the season finale?

Review: Get Hard

Starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart!

3/28/2015

Captain Marvel May Not Appear in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' After All


Ready for another rumor about Captain Marvel? Sure, why not! There have been various reports going around for days that she'll appear in this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron before heading off for her solo film in 2018. Since she's been rumored for a role long before her solo movie was even announced, this seems more than plausible, and an actress may have already been found to play her. But according to the folks at Nerdist, we could be waiting awhile longer.

The site says earlier reports of Captain Marvel's cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron are false, according to a source close to the production. She could have turned up in a post-credits sequence, and the door is still open to that possibility, but it wouldn't make much sense given how far away her solo movie is. It's more likely she'll show up later in Captain America: Civil War, which many are already referring to as Avengers 2.5. But at the same time we know 'Ultron' will feature some characters we have yet to see in the promos. Could it be Thanos? Maybe Black Panther? Or Doctor Strange? We'll have to wait and see because frankly I don't trust Latino Review or Nerdist to be 100% right on anything.

Avengers: Age of Ultron isn't that far away, arriving on May 1st. 

Enter to Win a DVD of 'The Rewrite' starring Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, and JK Simmons


You have a chance to win a DVD of The Rewrite, the romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, and Bella Heathcote: SYNOPSIS:  Once upon a time, screenwriter Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant – Four Weddings And A Funeral, Music & Lyrics) was on top of the world – a Golden Globe Award and a hit movie to his name, a beautiful wife and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of wit and charm. But that was fifteen years ago: now, he’s divorced, broke, approaching 50 and hasn’t written a hit film in years. Luckily, his agent has a job for him – a university in the quiet town of Binghamton is looking for someone to teach a course in screenwriting, and with an empty wallet as his motivation, Keith can’t say no. Hoping to give minimal attention to his duties and focus on writing a new script, his attitude slowly begins to change when he meets Holly (Marisa Tomei – Anger Management, The Wrestler), a single mum working two jobs to earn her degree with her own lessons to teach about second chances.

To enter, simply follow the instructions in the contest form below. Winners will be selected on Monday, March 30th.

The Rewrite will be released on DVD on March 31st.

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NBA Star Reveals 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' Title; Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio Joins Cast


While the majority of the attention aimed at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over the last week has been about the tragic fate of Donatello (which isn't as final as it appears), the sequel to last year's hit film has been shooting. David Green (Earth to Echo) is directing with Megan Fox and Will Arnett returning to star alongside the mo-capped heroes in a half-shell. And they're going to have high-end company in the form of a supermodel and some NBA stars, including one who just spilled the beans on the movie's title.

While talking with Grantland, Los Angeles Clippers player JJ Reddick revealed that he and fellow players Austin Rivers, Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes, and DeAndre Jordan would be filming a scene in the sequel, which he says is subtitled "Half-Shell". So it's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half-Shell. Of course, this could all change especially since Reddick couldn't keep his mouth shut.

Also joining the cast is supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio, adding to the small army of Victoria's Secret models Michael Bay has recruited to appear in his films. She'll playing herself as a love interest to Arnett's Vern character, and I suspect there will be some jealousy between her and Fox's April O'Neil

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half-Shell opens June 3rd 2016. [THR]

Review: 'Danny Collins' starring Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner, and Annette Bening


At the ripe old (young?) age of 74, Al Pacino has begun to act his age. Or more accurately, he's begun to look back on his long career and is making up for a lot of wasted years. To say his recent output hasn't been up to the legend's former standard would be an understatement, but lately we've seen Pacino quietly begin to rebound by exploring facets of his own life. In last year's The Humbling he played an actor who regains his passion thanks in part to a new love. But it's in Dan Fogelman's sweet and endearing Danny Collins, a film about second chances and starting over, that Pacino rights the course and gives his best performance in years.

“The following is kind of based on a true story, a little bit", Danny Collins greets us with a cheekiness that carries through the remainder of the film. It is based, in some small part, on the true story of songwriter Steve Tilston, who learned years after-the-fact that his idol John Lennon had written him a very personal letter. That's where Tilston's story ends, but Fogelman takes that idea and creates a heartfelt, if a tad schmaltzy, love letter to music and family. Pacino plays Danny Collins, a washed up singer who released one incredible album in 1971. In fact, when interviewed by a journalist (Nick Offerman) in a truly Almost Famous-esque opening scene, Danny looks horrified at the prospect of being famous. But that comes after he admits John Lennon was his greatest inspiration. Not a bad place to start, kid.

Decades later and Danny hasn't made an album since. He's indeed famous, but it's for performing the same, catchy pop tunes repeatedly to crowds of old women and drunken students. It's made him rich, but is he happy? With his bad dye job, outlandish outfits, drug habit, and a hot young gold digger for a girlfriend, he's basically a walking stereotype. If Liberace and Neil Diamond had a lovechild, he'd be it. Everything changes for Danny when his best friend and longtime manager (Christopher Plummer) arrives with a very special birthday gift: a letter written to him by John Lennon some 40 years earlier. Lennon's sage advice about fame and family inspire Danny to reconnect with Tom (Bobby Cannavale), the son he never really knew. Tom, a blue-collar worker with a pregnant wife (Jennifer Garner) and young daughter suffering from ADHD, wants nothing to do with the man he considers a flamboyant deadbeat.

Okay, so the premise sounds like it was ripped right out of a Hallmark card, but Fogelman, who wrote rom-com Crazy Stupid Love and Disney's Tangled, knows how to tug at the heartstrings without going overboard. Well, not too often, anyway. Even when a character reveals a terminal illness, Fogelman keeps the emotions simple and raw. It's in the interactions between Danny and his newfound family that the film really hits home. That their reunion energizes his creative spirit is a given, but the film has a generally positive, hopeful tone that is infectious. Pacino, who still shows the tendency to overdo it on occasion, shares a number of funny scenes with the well-modulated Plummer. He also has a number of great scenes with Cannavale, who continues to be one of today's most reliable actors regardless of genre. Less effective are the romantic subplots involving Danny's pursuit of a perky, age-appropriate hotel manager played by Annette Bening, and a pointless courtship between two young members of the hotel staff (Josh Peck and Melissa Benoist). While Fogelman may have been trying to parallel the path both relationships took, it was just one thing too many in a film with enough going on already.

Accompanied perfectly and beautifully by a handful of Lennon's finest solo tracks, including "Imagine"(the film's original title) and "Working Class Hero", the appreciation for him is palpable. It also lends considerable dramatic weight to the film's quieter moments, which is when Danny Collins is at its best. While Pacino's singing needs a ton of work (thankfully it doesn't last long), he hasn't been this invigorated for a role in some time. Like the title character, Pacino has found it's never too late to begin anew, and hopefully audiences eager to see him at his best will give Danny Collins a chance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

3/27/2015

Paramount wants More 'Transformers', Plans Multi-Part Sequels and Spinoffs


One thing Transformers detractors had going for them was that Michael Bay's super noisy, super terrible extended toy commercials only came out once every few years. Well, Paramount is about to change all of that. Deadline reports that Paramount is looking to emulate Lucasfilm, Disney, and every other studio that has built expanded universe franchises out of their most popular properties.

 A brain trust led by uber-producer and Oscar-winning writer Akiva Goldsman is being put together that will come up with ideas for Transformers spinoffs and multi-part sequels. This "writer's room" will be organized by Goldsman, exec-producer Steven Spielberg, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Michael Bay who is involved in some way. He's about to direct his Benghazi drama, 13 Hours, but by the sound of it he's going to be very hands on with the next Transformers film. At the very least he'll be a producer but a return as director can't be ruled out.

Goldsman won't be writing any of these movies himself, or at he isn't at this point. He's merely on board as a producer, overseer, and the guy who finds the right talent for the right project. It's kind of surprising Paramount waited this long. At $3.7B over four movies the Transformers franchise is easily their most lucrative. Think about the business a Dinobots spinoff film could do. We're talking Devastator-levels of huge.

Review: 'Apartment Troubles' starring Jess Weixler and Jennifer Prediger


by guest writer John Armstrong

Apartment Troubles is kind of a throwback to a certain kind of indie movie that thrived in the late '90s and early 2000s, especially as Sundance and IFC opened up space for them on the upper cable channels. Now, as independent film gets to be bigger and bigger business, video-on-demand releases are the movie world's new off-off-broadway, which should be welcome news to fans of this sort of quirky, character-driven dramedy.

The film stars Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler -- who also co-wrote and co-directed -- as a pair of codependent roommates and artists with no ability to survive in anything approaching the real world. Olivia (Prediger) is an aspiring actress, while Nicole (Weixler) does more visual and conceptual work. They're about to be evicted from their grey-market sublet in New York, for underpaying the rent. Frankly, it's kind of amazing they've been able to pay anything at all.

They're rather like the Brooklynites in Girls, actually. The cramped living spaces may be more typical for young city-dwellers than those on Friends, but they've got even less visible sources of income. At least on Girls it's clear that some of these kids are basically living off of their parents' largesse.

Nicole does have a wealthy family, but they don't seem to be paying her rent. They do, however, have a private jet that she can use at a drop of a hat, so the two of them decide to head to Los Angeles where Olivia can audition for a TV talent show produced by, conveniently enough, Nicole's aunt Kimberley (Megan Mullally). Oh, and they can stay at her mansion too. One downside: Kimberley takes a real liking to Olivia, and not during her audition.

The writing is, admittedly, slight. It's really hard to root for characters who consist mostly of two entangled bundles of neuroses. But Weixler -- probably best known for her starring role in Teeth, along with a strong résumé of character work -- seems endlessly watchable. The Adderall-driven performance-art spin Nicole puts on Olivia's recitation of excerpts from Chekhov's The Seagull is hilarious, and easily the high-point of the movie. And while it's predominantly a comedic piece, there's some real pathos in here too. Mullally does a great job of balancing the two during her scenes with Predinger.

It's far from a great film, but Apartment Troubles has its own quirky charm. It's awkward and lumpy in places, but it has a truly honest voice that -- like that of Girls, and other television shows and movies created by and aimed primarily at women -- tends to get shouted down even among independent films these days. But the advances in movie distribution of the last few years mean it will find its way out to an audience, and someone in that audience is going to just love it and find it perfectly resonant with her life.

Rating: 3 out of 5

007 Returns in First Teaser for 'Spectre'!


When Spectre opens later this year it will mark Daniel Craig's fourth turn as James Bond, and arguably the most important one yet. After his first two outings were a mixed bag, Skyfall came out of nowhere with more than $1B at the box office, far and away the highest-grossing of the franchise. But if Craig and returning director Sam Mendes are going to prove it wasn't just a fluke, the stars perfectly aligned somehow, then Spectre needs to be the biggest Bond film yet.The brand new teaser sure looks like they are right on track to making that a reality.

Filming continues but you'd never know it based on this first teaser which looks slicker than ever. This time 007 becomes the target of a powerful terrorist organization known as SPECTRE, and the mission will take him all around the world and face-to-face with some colorful characters, most of which will be trying to kill him. Here's the synopsis:

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Also starring Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, and Monica Bellucci, Spectre opens November 6th.

Win a 'Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water' Movie Prize Pack!


Where are all of our SpongeBob Squarepants fans at? In celebration of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water "Spring Break", we're offering our readers a chance to win a special movie prize pack! It includes a family four pack of run-of-engagement passes to see the film for free, plus other cool items like t-shirts and toys!

To enter, simply email me at punchdrunktrav@gmail.com with your name and mailing address. Winners will be chosen tomorrow evening, March 28th, so get those entries in now!

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is in theaters now.

J.K. Simmons Highlighted in New 'Terminator Genisys' TV Spot


This summer's Terminator Genisys has an ace it's sleeve that it didn't have just a couple of months ago: Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons. The Whiplash star has been part of the cast for awhile but having only just won the Best Supporting Actor award Simmons is suddenly a very heavy part of the marketing strategy. He's everywhere in the latest TV spot, filling the role of Detective O'Brien who is recruited by Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) to stop the end of the world.

There's a lot of new footage to take in, including our best look yet at Lee Byung-hun as the latest version of the Terminator. We even get what appears to be a Schwarzenegger vs. Schwarzenegger showdown, which should be interesting. And if you need more, a handful of images have been released featuring a scarred Jason Clarke as John Connor, and a shirtless Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese.

Directed by Alan Taylor, Terminator Genisys opens July 31st.


Terminator Genisys - Help Spot TV [VO|HD1080p] by Team Lyricis






'The Walking Dead' Spinoff Finally gets a Title; First Footage Debuts this Sunday


As the season five finale of The Walking Dead draws closer, AMC has decided now is the time to give the upcoming spinoff an identity of its own. The series, which has already been given a two-season order, will be officially titled Fear the Walking Dead.

Series and comic creator Robert Kirkman revealed the news on Twitter, promising there would be more info soon. He could be referring to the first footage from the show which will premiere after The Walking Dead's season finale this Sunday night. So you'll probably have to endure Talking Dead to see it, but given promises of some really shocking deaths in the finale it may be a good idea to stick around and get a last glimpse of certain cast members.

Fear the Walking Dead stars Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, and Alycia Debnam Carey, taking place in Los Angeles at the very beginning of the zombie outbreak. Dave Erickson serves as showrunner with Adam Davidson directing the pilot of the first six-episode season, which should air late summer. The second season will air in 2016.

Fear the Walking Dead. How do all feel about that title? I think they could've come up with something better.