The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman

Review: Bodied

Directed by Joseph Kahn

Review: Burning

Starring Steven Yeun, Directed by Lee Chang-dong

Review: Suspiria

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Starring Melissa McCarthy

11/12/2018

'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' Character Posters Reveal The Ultimate Spider-Team


By far the coolest thing about Sony's animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that we aren't limited to yet another story just about Peter Parker. Been there, done that. This film goes far beyond that, even beyond the fan-favorite Miles Morales that everyone has been clamoring for. It digs into many different alternate realities so Spider-Man (and women!) from every corner can be part of what looks like a pretty crazy adventure. I mean, anytime you've got Nicolas Cage back playing a Marvel character, in this case Spider-Man Noir, it's got to be some crazy shit.

Sony has unveiled new character posters showing off the many wallcrawlers that are part of the film, developed and written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Obviously, the big one is Miles Morales who is voiced by Dope actor Shameik Moore. He's followed by Spider-Gwen, an alternate reality Gwen Stacy voiced by Hailee Steinfeld.  There's the O.G. himself, Peter Parker, albeit older and more schlubby, voiced by New Girl's Jake Johnson.  Orange is the New Black's Kimiko Glenn voices Peni Parker who pilots the SP//dr android suit.  The coolest one for me features the aforementioned Spider-Man Noir, voiced by Cage. I dig the black & white Sin City-esque look.  And a close second in awesomeness is Spider-Ham, voiced by SNL's John Mulaney.

Other voices include Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, and Luna Lauren Velez. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opens December 14th.








DC Readers: Win Passes To A Free Screening Of 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald'


We're happy to offer our DC readers the chance to return to the Wizarding World by attending a free advance screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald!

SYNOPSIS: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the second of five all new adventures in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World™.  At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne).  But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.  In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.  Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

The screening takes place on Wednesday, November 14th at 7:00pm at AMC Mazza Gallerie. If you'd like to enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter contest form below. Complete all of the steps to increase the chances of winning. Winners will be selected tomorrow, November 13th and notified by email. Good luck!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens November 16th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Carl Weathers May Have Joined 'The Mandalorian' Cast


Carl Weathers may not be that active anymore, but to me, he'll always be Action Jackson, Apollo Creed, and Dillon from Predator.  I've long wished Weathers was involved in even bigger franchises, and they don't get much bigger than Star Wars. A new rumor says Weathers has joined The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series to hit Disney+.

The rumor surfaced over at Making Star Wars, who have a pretty good track record for all things in a galaxy far far away. That said, this is still just a rumor so take it with a grain of salt until Lucasfilm gives its blessing. He would be the first bit of casting on the mysterious project, which is in production now spear-headed by Jon Favreau. So of course, we have no idea about what Weathers would be doing. It's possible he'll be a Mandalorian and we never see him without his helmet on. Or it might be a voice role. Who knows?

The Mandalorian will have an amazing assortment of directors helming the episodes:  Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok). So if Weather is indeed on board he'll be in very good hands.  While there's no release date, Disney+ launches later in 2019.

'Toy Story 4' Teaser: Pixar Puts The Band Back Together With One Reluctant Addition


If I'm honest, I've quietly held a beef with Pixar for moving forward on Toy Story 4. Eight years ago Toy Story 3 wrapped up that amazing trilogy about as perfectly as any film I've seen, and there wasn't a dry eye in the screening I saw it at. It wasn't long before Disney/Pixar began teasing another movie, before finally confirming it a few years later And now we aren't that far away from the film's actual release because the first teaser is here.

You know what? All is forgiven.

This 80-second teaser had me smiling from ear to ear, even though it's nothing more than a parade of all of our favorite Toy Story characters, set to the tune of Judy Collins' "Both Sides Now". And yeah, my grin got wider as my favorite character, Jessie, flashed her wide smile. I can't wait.

The film is directed by Josh Cooley, who directed the Inside Out spinoff short Riley's First Date. This is a huge step up for him, but the franchise must be in good hands because Pixar wouldn't have it any other way.  Here's the synopsis:

Woody and the rest of the toys are back for an all-new adventure in “Toy Story 4,” welcoming new friends to Bonnie’s room, including a reluctant new toy called Forky. “Like most people, I assumed that ‘Toy Story 3’ was the end of the story,” said director Josh Cooley. “And it was the end of Woody’s story with Andy. But just like in life, every ending is a new beginning. Woody now being in a new room, with new toys, and a new kid, was something we have never seen before. The questions of what that would be like became the beginning of an entertaining story worth exploring.”

But Forky insists that he is NOT a toy! An actual spork-turned-craft-project, Forky is pretty sure that he doesn’t belong in Bonnie’s room. Unfortunately, every time he tries to get away, someone yanks him back into an adventure he’d rather skip. “The world of Toy Story is built upon the idea that everything in the world has a purpose,” said Cooley. “A toy’s purpose is to be there for its child. But what about toys that are made out of other objects? Forky is a toy that Bonnie made out of a disposable spork, so he’s facing a crisis. He wants to fulfill his purpose as a spork, but now has a new toy purpose thrust upon him.”

All the familiar voice stars are back: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jeff Pidgeon, and Blake Clark with Tony Hale as the newest character Forky. Toy Story 4 opens June 21st 2019.

'Detective Pikachu' Trailer: Ryan Reynolds Solves Crimes As The Fan-Favorite Pokemon


Part of me still can't quite believe Detective Pikachu is a real movie that's happening. Not because it's ridiculous that one of the most popular characters in the world has a film all his own, it's just damn strange to hear the ultimate Pokemon voiced by Ryan Reynolds. And Ken Watanabe is in this, too! How does that compute?? But it's real, the trailer is here, and you know? It looks just damned crazy enough to work.

Take a look at this thing. The cyberpunk feel of Ryme City, where the story takes place, looks like something out of Akira or Blade Runner, and that's just weird. But it works for this place where Pokemon and humans live together in harmony, and that's where Detective Pikachu puts on his deerstalker hat and solves some crimes.  He's teamed up with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom star Justice Smith in helping to find the latter's missing father. If you're able to get past Pikachu sounding like Deadpool this is actually quite a lot of fun. I just don't know if it'll be possible for people to get beyond that voice.

Here's the synopsis: The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

Directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) with Kathryn Newton, Reynolds' Deadpool pal Karan Soni, Bill Nighy, and Suki Waterhouse co-starring, Detective Pikachu opens May 10th 2019.

RIP: Marvel Comics Legend Stan Lee Passes Away At 95


If you've read a Marvel comic book, watched a Marvel TV show, or fallen in love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you've got Stan Lee to thank for it. Sadly, the man responsible for some of the most iconic, enduring comic book characters in history has passed away at the age of 95.

Lee's career as a comic book superstar began in 1939 at Timely Comics, which would become Marvel Comics in 1961. It was at this time that Lee would establish, along with Jack Kirby and many other co-creators,  characters such as the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and too many more to count. He would also become Marvel's unofficial spokesman and basically the face of the company. To millions he's that guy who pops up in every single Marvel movie regardless of the studio it's under. My particular favorite will always be his cameo in Mallrats, where he dispenses some sage, Stan "Man" Lee advice to a romantically-confused Jason Lee.

It's been a tough few years for Stan, but that shouldn't take away from his incredible legacy. No matter what, Marvel Comics will always be the house that Stan built.   RIP to the ultimate True Believer.



11/11/2018

Box Office: 'Grinch' Manages To "Steal" The Weekend Away From Zombies and Lisbeth Salander




1. Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (Review)- $66M
The holiday season has officially begun with the opening of The Grinch this weekend.  The updated animated retelling of the Dr. Seuss timeless Christmas story dominated the box office this weekend as expected, allowing us to remember the original cartoon and not the Jim Carrey live action version.
2. Bohemian Rhapsody- $30.8M/$100M
3. Overlord (Review)- $10.1M
The JJ Abram’s produced Nazi zombie flick had strong reviews, managing to scare and excite audiences and live up to the hype surrounding the film.  Aren’t we glad it was able to stand on its own and wasn’t associated with Cloverfield?
4. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms- $9.5M/$35.2M
5. The Girl in the Spider's Web (Review)- $8M
We thought we were done with the Dragon Tattoo stories, but no.  The second American adaptation of the “Millennium” series, adapting the fourth book of the series as the sequel managed to capture some box office success this weekend.
6. A Star is Born- $8M/$178M
7. Nobody's Fool- $6.5M/$24.2M
8. Venom- $4.8M/$206.2M
9. Halloween- $3.8/$156.8M
10. The Hate U Give- $2M/$26.7M

11/10/2018

Review: 'Outlaw King', Chris Pine And David Mackenzie Do Their Best ‘Gladiator’ And ‘Braveheart’ Impressions


In the footsteps of Gladiator, King Arthur, Braveheart, and Game of Thrones (with whom it shares many cast members) steps Outlaw King, the latest partnership between director David Mackenzie and Chris Pine, who previously worked together on 2016’s best film, Hell or High Water. Some of the same themes of that film are recreated here—relationships between fathers and sons, literal and figurative debts, the connections between violence and revenge—but this 14th century tale of Scottish lords uniting and rebelling against the English monarchy is still very much in the mold of “dudes in chainmail with swords on horses.” It’s a formula done well, but still a formula.

Outlaw King takes place in Scotland and England after the failed uprising of William Wallace (which you may remember from Mel Gibson’s Braveheart), who has fled and is in hiding; in his absence, English King Edward I (Stephen Dillane, or, Stannis Baratheon from GOT!) forces the other Scottish lords to swear fealty to England. The decision to bend the knee by Robert de Brus (James Cosmo, or Jeor Mormont, from GOT!) rankles his son Robert the Bruce (Pine), but the patriarch makes a decision for the future of his family: Give up dreams of a united Scotland with its own king now, and survive into the future, for generations and generations afterward.

“It’s ours to bear,” Robert the Bruce says to his brothers of their father’s decision, but things change quickly when tragedy strikes twice: First when Robert de Brus dies, and then when the English monarchy announces the capture and murder of William Wallace, with various body parts of his put on display throughout Scotland, to send a message. Enraged, Robert the Bruce decides to seize power in an attempt to name himself king of Scotland, a decision that inspires Edward I to send his son and heir Edward, Prince of Wales (Billy Howle), to kill Robert and all the Scots who follow him.

Outlaw King will feel familiar to anyone who has seen the last few seasons of Game of Thrones, when Sansa and Jon traveled around the North, trying to round up men to join their uprising, and there are echoes here of the climactic fight between the Starks and the Boltons, too. (If you can't handle watching horses get killed, you may need to sit this one out.) But of course that makes sense because so much of George R. R. Martin’s novels are inspired by true stories such as this, of the bloody and violent struggles for power that shaped the British empire and its subsequent colonization of so much of the rest of the world.

And so while Outlaw King feels familiar, it is ultimately upholding a specific genre construct, and doing it successfully. There is an almost unbelievably well-done 20-minute tracking shot that opens the film, introducing all the key players and their varying motivations in a dizzying example of technical mastery. That solid pacing continues throughout; the movie moves briskly, and although the timeline—like so many movies these days—feels a little fuzzy, like what we watched could be taking up days or weeks or months, it’s still edited in a way that keeps the action moving without feeling too rushed.

Pine’s Scottish accent is pretty believable, and he works well as a man worn out by years of war who has to learn that the chivalrous choice isn’t always the smartest one. It’s a similar role to his subdued-then-violent brother in Hell or High Water, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson fills the Ben Foster role by stealing scenes as the crazed James Douglas, a man desperate to avenge his family’s death and reclaim his ancestral lands from the Englishmen who stole them.

But this is very much a Movie About Men, and so Florence Pugh, as Robert’s wife Elizabeth, is fairly underserved. She falls in love with Robert because he's smart and kind and abstains from having sex with her until she’s ready (in a cliched, disappointing “lovemaking” scene), but when she swears her loyalty to him, it feels perfunctory at best. The character isn’t developed enough to make her support of her husband feel worthwhile to the narrative.

Oh, and let me just say this: This was a movie that KEEPS getting hyped as having full frontal Chris Pine nudity, and that is a LIE. The split-second moment is NOT WORTH IT unless you were interested in seeing a sequel to Braveheart anyway. Do not watch Outlaw King for Pine Jr.; you will feel manipulated and lied to.

But, for what it is, Outlaw King is effective, if not exactly thrilling; there are no big speeches like Gibson’s “They’ll never take our freedom” in Braveheart or Russell Crowe’s “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius” declaration in Gladiator. The battle scenes are cleanly shot and often grotesque, as befits the time period; the motivations for Robert the Bruce’s actions track and will garner the audience’s sympathies; and there’s a moment when Taylor-Johnson, covered in blood and grime, screams his own name into the sky after murdering a bunch of men in vengeance. That’s the kind of stuff you want from a historical battle epic like this, and Outlaw King delivers.

Outlaw King is now streaming on Netflix and available in limited theaters. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Harrison Ford On Chris Pratt As Indiana Jones: "It's Him Or Me"


When Chris Pratt was rumored to be taking over the role of Indiana Jones from Harrison Ford, it made sense. I would classify his performance in Jurassic World as very Ford-esque, and he seems to be everyone's favorite adventure hero right now, just as Ford was for an earlier generation. Pratt has both denied this rumor and kinda acknowledged it, so who knows whether this was or is in future plans. One thing we know for sure is that Ford isn't down with Pratt taking over, not in the least.

Ford was recently honored by SAG-AFTRA Foundation with the Artists Inspiration Award, and while walking the red carpet he was approached by Variety. Did they want to know about the awards? Not so much; they wanted to ask him about Indiana Jones 5, which was recently bumped to 2021 so a new take on the script could be written. On that score, Ford didn't really have much to say...

“…We’ve got a script in production that we are all very excited about, and [I’m] looking forward to it.”

Yeah, okay. Nothingburger right there. But when the reporter asked Ford about Pratt possibly replacing him as Indiana Jones, the veteran actor replied with...

“I think it’s him or me.”

Damn! Bare knuckle brawl for Indiana Jones! My money's on Harrison Ford, f'real. He's got a shank hidden in his goatee.

Honestly, I can't tell if Ford is being serious here or not.  He takes the characters he plays very seriously, and may not want to entertain the idea of anyone else playing Indy. He may also know something we don't, and this is his way of ending the conversation emphatically.   We all know at some point the torch will have to be passed, right? And surely Ford knows that, too.

Indiana Jones 5 opens July 9th 2021, directed for the final time by Steven Spielberg.

11/09/2018

Disney+ Streaming Service Plans Late 2019 Launch; New Marvel, Star Wars, And Pixar Shows Confirmed


It's almost here, folks. Disney's streaming service is coming and soon it'll be time to add another must-have subscription. Yeah, they're piling up, right? But Disney knows you're going to want what they're selling, and recently CEO Bob Iger finally gave us some confirmations on what to expect from the service they are now calling Disney+.

Iger made it clear the title of their Disney streaming plan is Disney+, and it will launch in the U.S. in late 2019.  The service will come loaded with tons of original content from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. That includes multiple event series set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Iger confirming Tom Hiddleston will return as Loki for a show centered on the Asgardian trickster. No word on when the timeframe might be, but the assumption is a prequel of some kind, given the events of Avengers: Infinity War. This is on top of minis centered on Scarlet Witch and Vision, Bucky and Falcon, and possibly more.

Star Wars will be represented with two confirmed shows, Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian and the newly-revealed Rogue One prequel starring Diego Luna. With big screen spinoffs in a freeze expect more series set in the Star Wars universe to be announced. Disney+ will also include live-action movies, such as Lady and the Tramp which has Tessa Thompson, Kiersey Clemons, Justin Theroux, and more already cast. Iger also revealed that other Disney+ projects will be set in the worlds of Monsters, Inc. and High School Musical. 

Presumably, Disney will begin subscription signups early but no word on when that might be.