Review: Good Time

Starring Robert Pattinson

Review: The Hitman's Bodyguard

Starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson

Review: Patti Cake$

Danielle MacDonald spits fire!

Review: Logan Lucky

Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig

Review: The Defenders

The Defenders assemble, but the same old problems persist

8/21/2017

The Rock Gets The Funko Treatment Yet Again With New 'Jumanji' Pops!


When all is said and done the actor who ends up with the most Funko Pop! Vinyls in his image will probably be Dwayne Johnson. You can already get him as WWE's The Rock, and as Luke Hobbs in The Fast and the Furious movies. And now you can add one more as Funko has released the first Pop! Vinyl figures for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

The cool thing about all of Johnson's figures? They all have that People's Eyebrow thing goin' on, even if his character doesn't demand it. Just look at his Maui figure from Disney's Moana! Same thing goin' on. It's happening here too, with the Pop! Vinyl for the awesomely-named Dr. Smolder Bravestone. The other figure released is of Jack Black's character, Professor Shelly Oberon, a name that isn't nearly as cool. And his figure doesn't even have eyebrows. Lame. You can bet Funko will have new items for Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan's characters at some point.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opens December 20th, but Funko will release this first wave of figures in October 2017. They are available for pre-order below!


Order Jumanji Dr. Smolder Bravestone Pop! Vinyl Figure #494 from Entertainment Earth!


Order Jumanji Professor Shelly Oberom Pop! Vinyl Figure #495 from Entertainment Earth!

Paul Greengrass Heads To Netflix For Film On The 2011 Norway Terrorist Attacks


Whether you like the impact Netflix has had on the movie industry or not, you have to appreciate the filmmakers who have come to be part of the streaming service. Martin Scorsese, Cary Fukunaga, Park Chan-Wook are just a few of the auteurs who have called Netflix home, and now you can add Paul Greengrass to that list.

The Bourne and United 93 director has signed up to direct an untitled film centered on  Anders Behring Breivik, who committed the devastating 2011 Norway terrorist attacks. He killed 77 people in total: first with a car bomb that killed 8, and then he went on a shooting rampage in which he murdered 69 teens attending a Labor Party Youth Camp. It was the deadliest attack Norway has seen since WWII, and forced the Norwegian government to re-examine their policies in fighting terrorism. Greengrass wrote the script himself, and the budget is said to be hovering around $20M which isn't too bad.

This sounds like fertile ground for Greengrass, who gave us other true-life stories of terror in Bloody Sunday and United 93. After Jason Bourne failed to hit the mark of its predecessors, and with little movement on his Eliot Ness movie, I was worried Greengrass would sit dormant with no projects. So this at least gets him back out there and staying busy.  Filming begins this fall. [Deadline]

Elle Fanning Is A Punk Rock Lovin' Alien In Trailer For 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties'


Presumably at some point Elle Fanning finds time to sleep, or maybe she's a member of the Vulturi and not her sister Dakota. The young actress has starred or been featured prominently in 10 movies over the last couple of years, and she's got a couple left before 2017 this through. There's Haifaa al-Mansour's Mary Shelley, which will premiere at TIFF next month; and then there's John Cameron Mitchell's anticipated How to Talk to Girls at Parties, which played at Cannes.

Based on the Neil Gaiman story and co-starring Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Alex Sharp, and Matt Lucas, the film is a weird combination of teen romance, science-fiction, and punk rock musical. Here's the synopsis:

John Cameron Mitchell, director of the acclaimed films Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus takes us to an exotic and unusual world: suburban London in the late 70s. Under the spell of the Sex Pistols, every teenager in the country wants to be a punk, including our hopeless hero Enn (Alex Sharp). Crashing local punk queen Boadicea’s party, Enn discovers every boy’s dream – gorgeous foreign exchange students. When he meets the enigmatic Zan (Elle Fanning), it’s love at first sight.

But these teens are, in fact, aliens from outer space, sent to Earth to prepare for a mysterious rite of passage. When their dark secret is revealed, the love-struck Enn must turn to Boadicea (Nicole Kidman) and her followers for help in order to save the girl he loves from certain death. When the punks take on the aliens, neither Enn’s nor Zan’s universe will ever be the same again.

The trailer is bizarre, and based on the early reviews the film is pretty out there, too. Unfortunately, A24 has yet to give it a solid release date, although it's expected some time this year.

Tension Mounts For Matt Damon In New Trailer For 'Suburbicon'


Not that Suburbicon didn't already look like a Coen Brothers movie, but with this new U.K. trailer it really has the brothers' stamp all over it. George Clooney ducks behind the camera to direct a film that's full of murder, intrigue, greed, and humor that exposes dark corners of the human psyche in a seemingly-idyllic suburban setting.

The film is set in the 1950s, that time when the facade of the perfect nuclear family household often hid dark secrets; think Todd Haynes' Far from Heaven which coincidentally starred Suburbicon's Julianne Moore. Matt Damon plays Gardner Lodge, whose ideal life is upended by a home invasion. Whether Gardner, or Aunt Margaret (Moore) are complicit in the crime is unclear, but in this footage they certainly look like people with something to hide. We also get a better look at Oscar Isaac's character, an insurance claims adjuster who senses some "hanky panky" going on, and Noah Jupe as Damon's son Nicky, whose future is looking pretty "bleak".

Sadly, nothing from Josh Brolin's character since it was recently confirmed that his part in the film had been completely cut. Clooney told EW...

“We shot a couple of scenes with Josh [playing] a baseball coach that are really really funny. But after we did our first screening, the one thing that became really clear to me was that [the scenes] let the air out of the balloon, in terms of the tension in the film. I had to write him this awful note where I just said, ‘You’re not going to believe it. but these scenes really don’t work any more.’ He felt bad, and he thought maybe something went wrong, and I said, ‘I’m sending you the scenes, so you can see, they’re actually the two funniest scenes in the movie.’ I remember sitting there with the editor going, ‘F——-ck! I can’t believe this!’”

Suburbicon should be a major player this awards season when it opens November 3rd.

Seven Kingdoms Highlights: ‘Game of Thrones’ S7E6: “Beyond The Wall”



In the Penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, each season has been one hell of an episode.  In the season one episode “Baelor,” we saw Ned Stark's execution, showing that no one is safe on this show as the main character got his head cut-off.  In the season two episode “Blackwater” the Lannister and  Stannis Baratheon’s armies came face to face at King’s Landing, giving us our first large-scale battle on the show which was very reminiscent of a Lord of the Rings battle in sheer scale and scope.  The season three episode “The Rains of Castamere” gave us the Red Wedding and all the horror inflicted on the rest of the Stark family.  The season four episode “The Watchers on the Wall” had the Night’s Watch face off against the Wildling Army at Castle Black, raising the stakes even higher for great action scenes.  Season five gave us “Hardhome” where the Night’s Watch teamed up with the Wildlings to try and fight off the army of the dead, and it also gave us “The Dance of Dragons” where the Sons of the Harpy tries to kill  Daenerys and she was rescued by Drogon.  Last season had “The Battle of the Bastards” where Jon Snow took the fight to Ramsey over Winterfell and reclaimed the Stark ancestral home.  What would they do on this season’s penultimate episode “Beyond The Wall?”

Winterfell:

The Sansa and Arya beef continues!  This time, it’s escalated to death threats.  Littlefinger’s plan seems to becoming to fruition.  Last week, he ensured that Arya would find the letter that she wrote under duress while being held at King’s Landing by Cersei way back when.  Her brother Robb realized that she wrote the letter as a hostage and buried it.  However, Littlefinger was gambling on the optics of the letter, and the cover-up of it as a means of driving a wedge between the two Stark sisters.

When Arya confronts Sansa over it, she doesn’t have the same forgiving attitude that Robb did (or Jon probably would).  Arya doesn’t live in the world of politics anymore, she spent the last few years learning how to be a cold-hearted assassin.  As far as she was concerned, Sansa failed her family’s loyalty test and probably should have fought back against the Lannisters, even if it meant her death.

Of course, Sansa goes to Littlefinger for guidance who acts like he has no idea about the thing he just orchestrated.  As he said before “chaos is a ladder” and by creating chaos between the two Stark girls, he can turn them against each other.  He knows that Arya is a force to be reckoned with and will not be as easy to control as Sansa.  But manipulating Arya in the area of honor, he can turn her against Sansa and pick up the pieces when the two go to war against each other.  He even tells Sansa to get Brianne involved in their squabble.  Brianne is the only one who could even take Arya.

Later on, Sansa sends Brianne to Kings Landing for a meeting with the Lannisters, but Sansa will no longer willingly go there with Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne.  With Brianne going in Sansa’s place, there will be no one to protect him from Littlefinger through.  This could cause all sorts of problems for Sansa, but she’s too proud to even see it.

This week it’s Sansa’s turn to do some snooping as she goes through Arya’s quarters.  Be careful what you search for, you might not like it!  As she goes through Arya’s gear, she sees some of Arya’s faces.  On cue, Arya shows up and the two sisters have another tense confrontation.  This time it’s not about politics or about secret notes, now it’s about how dangerous Arya can possibly be.  She tells her sister about her ability to wear the faces of her victims as being one of the faceless men.  She even threatens to wear her sisters face (which means she would kill Sansa).  Sansa is now terrified of her sister and what she could do.  Arya backs away though as she was just taunting Sansa, but the fear remains.

Dragonstone:

While Danny is waiting for Jon and his group to return, it gives her some much-needed time with her Hand Tyrion.  She comments that she likes him because he’s not a hero.  Ask his face about not being a hero, he did lead the battle of Blackwater, which he even comments on.  However, she clarifies that he doesn’t do stupid heroic things, throwing himself out in a battle needlessly.  As she lists all the people who she has come across that have done heroic things including Khal Drogo, Daario, and now Jon Snow.  Tyrion comments that those “heroes” have all been in love with her, commenting that he knows she and Jon are starting to have the hots for each other.  Of course, we know they are related as she’s his aunt, but they don’t know it, once again bringing Game of Thrones into another incestuous area.

The two also talk strategy about their upcoming meeting with Cersei to discuss the army of the dead.  Tyrion finally brings her to task about killing the Tarleys.  He states that she was too impulsive to kill her enemies, showing that she could easily become like her father.  The two also discuss this new world that she’s trying to create and then the idea of a line of succession is brought up.  Dany gets defensive and doesn’t want to talk of her successor (since she can’t have kids) until after she’s queen.  Does she think that Tyrion wants to replace her?

North of The Wall:  

The best part of this week’s episode focuses on Jon Snow and his group as they carried out their mission north of the wall.  As this group assembled at the end of last week’s episode, they are very different from each other, but they all have the same mission, to help the world of the living by defeating the dead.  After a few minutes of getting to know each other and sorting out their differences, they come across their first obstacle.

During a blizzard, they notice a polar bear on the horizon.  Gendry notices that the bear has blue eyes, meaning this is not a normal animal, but one resurrected by the White Walkers.  The zombie polar bear savagely attacks the group, killing Random Guy #1 and critically injuring Thoros.  The Hound once again freezes at the sight of fire thanks to his childhood experiences with his brother.  Just wait until he meets his zombified brother again.

The group’s next challenge is when they stumble across a small group of the dead walking with a White Walker.  They realize that since it’s a small group, it’s their best chance at capturing one of them.  They launch a sneak attack against the group of the dead.  After Jon uses his Valyrian steel sword to kill the White Walker, which causes many of the dead to die afterward.  They capture the remaining one, which lets off a scream that lures many more towards them.  Jon has Gndry head back to the wall to send for help.

Now it really hits the fan as thousand upon thousands of the dead are hot on their trail and they manage to find refuge on an island in the middle of a frozen lake.  Thoros manages to succumb to his wounds, meaning that Beric can no longer be resurrected if he dies again.  The Hound continues to try and lure the dead to come after them with the hopes that they will crash into the frozen water where the ice is weak.  Unfortunately, the lake is completely frozen over and once the dead realize that, they race towards the group.

How freakin cool is Beric’s flaming sword?

 As the dead storm upon them, they fight with every ounce of their being, but the odds are not in their favor.  Just as they are about to be overrun, Danny comes in not with one, but three dragons to rescue them.  As we see the dragons lay waste to countless scores of the dead, the Night King is standing there watching, and then he makes his move.  Grabbing an ice spear, the Night King launches it like a perfect Olympic thrower and the spear pierces the side of her dragon Viserion, killing the dragon.


Down one dragon, it’s time to get out of there.  Jon gets ambushed by a group of the dead and gets pulled underwater.  To avoid a second spear from the Night King, Danny flies out of there, leaving Jon behind.  Jon manages to pull himself out of the freezing water and prepares to face-off against more zombies.  Just then he is rescued by his uncle Benjen AKA Cold Hands.  Benjen gives Jon his horse and tells him to leave as he is overwhelmed by the dead.

Jon makes it back to the wall where he is rescued from near death.  He awakens on Danny’s ship heading back to Dragonstone.  He talks with her apologizing for her dragon’s death, but she tells him that she needed to see the dead in action to believe it.  With that, she vows to destroy them before they can kill everyone.  Jon finally tells her that he will bend the knee and treat her as his queen.  She appreciates this and tells him she hopes she can be worthy of his trust.

Meanwhile, the dead pull Viserion out of the water (where did they get those big chains?!?) and the Night King resurrects the dragons as a wight.  With an ice dragon, it looks like the Night King now has the upper hand!

Next week is the season finale for Game of Thrones with the summit over the army of the dead having all the remaining rulers facing off.  Will they be able to put aside their squabbles?



Review: 'Shot Caller' Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jon Bernthal, & Lake Bell


I don't know if a movie like Shot Caller would have seen the light of day without a robust streaming distribution model, but it's a good thing it ended up where it did. The film is a prison drama commanded by the lead performance by Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, in the kind of role I don't think we've ever seen from him. It's a transformative performance most actors get maybe once in a career, and he sinks into every bit of it. Add in the experienced crime-drama cred of Snitch and Felon director Ric Roman Waugh, and Shot Caller is a solid little indie worth seeking out.


The particulars are nothing we haven't seen before, but it's the deep characterization of Waldau's character that sets Shot Caller apart. He plays Jacob Harlan, an ordinary family man with a gentle wife (Lake Bell, a minor but strong role) and son. One night while out on the town with some friends, Jacob has one too many and has a car accident that kills his friend (Max Greenfield, in a "why are you here?" role). Basically dead to rights, Jacob accepts his fate and does whatever it takes to get back to his family. And that means, the white collar businessman needs to find friends, protection, and a new persona altogether. His transformation from innocent newbie to hardened soldier nicknamed Money is a believable one. It starts with simple assault to gain cred; then once recruited into a group of Aryans his crimes mount by degrees: drugs, intimidation, and finally murder.


Again, it's nothing we haven't seen before, but the film does a good job of showing how someone like Jacob can become addicted to such a radical change in lifestyle. Jacob was a powerful figure in the business world and there's power to be had within the prison walls, too. Waugh's screenplay helps us piece Jacob's logic together through flashbacks to his early days behind bars, contrasted with his latter activities as a boss running guns alongside a shady crew that may or may not have his back. There are compromises Jacob makes that the old him would be horrified by, but make perfect sense in the kill-or-be-killed world he's willingly become a part of as Money.


The evolution is pretty fascinating, and Waldau gives the finest performance of his career outside of Westeros. His track record away from HBO's hit series has been spotty, but he's found highlights in films such a Headhunters, A Second Chance, and Netflix's Small Crimes which is another crime movie in which Waldau plays another criminal in search of some kind of redemption. He's surrounded here by strong supporting performances by actors with the skill to make the most of limited screen time. Jon Bernthal as a member of Jacob's street crew, and Jeffrey Donovan as the seemingly benign gang leader  who recruits Jacob initially. Also, you'll scarcely recognize Holt McCallany as the appropriately named Beast, the gang's monstrous enforcer. Omari Hardwicke of Power fame overdoes his tough-guy act as Jacob's hardass parole officer, while Emory Cohen is miscast as Money's naïve follower.


Waugh knows the prison genre but it doesn't change that he's merely efficient as a filmmaker. He knows pacing and can stage a competent shot but you won't find much creative in his style, and that occasionally makes Shot Caller seem like a run-of-the-mill movie when the material is far superior than that. There isn't a ton of violence but when it does you probably won't be expecting it. The blood flows quickly and brutally, adding to Money's growing apprehension and acceptance of the events around him.  There comes a point in Shot Caller where there's simply no turning back for Money. We can see it in his eyes, and despite all of the horrible things he's done we still feel something for the loss of what he used to have. It's a powerful moment captured beautifully by Waldau, helping to make this a film that shouldn't be overlooked.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


*SPOILER* Official Synopsis Revealed For M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass'


There have been a lot of great movies this year with some jaw-dropping surprises, but for my money the biggest shock came at the end of M. Night Shyamalan's second consecutive hit thriller (You didn't forget about The Visit, did you?), the multiple personality film, Split. And if you don't know what happened, well, that's why I put *SPOILER* at the headline there.

At the end of the film, Bruce Willis' character from Unbreakable, the superhero David Dunn, made his presence felt. That was just an amazing tease for what will be a crossover titled Glass, and will bring together Willis, James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price aka Mr. Glass character. Oooh boy. And now today we have the crossover flick's official synopsis:

From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

This riveting culmination of his worldwide blockbusters will be produced by Shyamalan and Jason Blum, who also produced the writer/director’s previous two films for Universal. They produce again with Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, and Steven Schneider, who will executive produce.

They call it a "culmination' of the previous films, which suggests this is the end. But if Glass proves to be as big of a smash as Split or Unbreakable, why in the world would Shyamalan stop? Especially if he continues to have the support of Blumhouse and Universal?  Of course it'll continue.  Glass opens January 19th 2019 and I can not wait.

8/20/2017

Box Office: 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' Secures #1 As 'Logan Lucky' Stumbles


1. The Hitman's Bodyguard (review)- $21.6M
The Hitman's Bodyguard arrived a little bit late in the game. The first trailer dropped back in April long after most of us had forgotten the project was even happening, But that initial tease caught a lot of people by surprise for being incredibly funny, vulgar, and satirical about the genre it was falling into. Plus it had Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds trading cuss words like sailors, and who doesn't want to see Nick Fury and Deadpool do that? With its nearly $22M debut it's like that a lot of people wanted to see it, and Lionsgate was smart to play off of their stars' more famous Marvel personas. The $29M-budgeted film took a mild beating from critics, although I found it to be one of the summer's purest joys, especially since action-comedies are so rare in multiplexes nowadays. It's also the rare chance to see Jackson in a leading role, not just a colorful supporting player as he was earlier this summer in Kong: Skull Island.
2. Annabelle: Creation- $15.5M/$64M
Horror prequel Annabelle: Creation, which is a prequel to a prequel actually, dropped just 56% for a $15.5M weekend and $64M domestically. That's already 4x its $15M budget, and we haven't talked about what it's done internationally where the film has an additional $96M for $160M worldwide. The Conjuring "universe" really is a remarkable thing, as the spinoffs suffer practically no dropoff from the core movies.
3. Logan Lucky (review)- $8M
The Logan family curse may have extended to Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, which opened with only $8M despite a litany of strong reviews. The blue-collar heist film had an abundance of star power: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, and more plus buzz generated from the Rebecca Blunt screenwriter mystery and Craig's confirmation of his 007 return. And yet it didn't matter, as it becomes tougher to sell adult-oriented movies that aren't part of some mega franchise.
4. Dunkirk- $6.7M/$165.5M
5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature- $5.1M/$17.6M
6. The Emoji Movie- $4.3M/$71.7M
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming- $4.2M/$314M
8. Girls Trip- $3.8M/$103.9M
Girls Trip continues to make history. The surprise hit has topped $100M, making it the first ever to be written, produced, directed, and starring African-Americans.
9. The Dark Tower- $3.7M/$41.6M
10. Wind River (review)- $3M/$4.1M
Expanding into just under 700 theaters is Taylor Sheridan's excellent, well-reviewed Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen. The film will hopefully continue to roll into more theaters over the coming weeks, as Sheridan has built up enough cred as writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water to deserve it. Those movies, while directed by others, are mostly seen as Sheridan movies anyway, even though Wind River is the only one he was behind the camera for.

Jabba The Hutt May Be Getting A 'Star Wars' Spinoff, Too


Did you think/hope that Disney would maybe give Star Wars a break after Star Wars: Episode IX? Well, it's not going to happen. Even if the main stories do take a respite, they've got enough spinoffs in the works to last a long a time. Just a couple of days ago we finally got confirmation of an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, which could bring Ewan McGregor back to the fold of the Jedi Knights, and there have been Boba Fett and Yoda movies in early stages of development, too. But buried in the middle of Variety's earlier story on that was word of another project with an unexpected focus: Jabba the Hutt.

The enormous slug of a crimelord and slaver has a movie in the works, too. There aren't any details yet, but a Star Wars crime saga could be pretty awesome, and sounds a little bit like the plot of the Star Wars Underground TV series that never happened. Plus it'll provide ample opportunity to weave in some bounty hunters; Boba Fett obviously, but also Bossk, IG-88, and others. And any chance to give those slave Leia outfits a bit more screen time will be appreciated, at least by me.  In the old Star Wars novels and comics, Hutt's been shown to have quite an exciting younger life, and maybe some of that will be incorporated. 

Hutt would obviously be a CGI character, right? Maybe they can get Andy Serkis to do it since he's already down with the Disney. 

8/19/2017

Funko's 'La La Land' Pop! Two-Pack Tap Dances Into Your Collection


Okay, now this is more like it. If you think, as I do, that Ryan Gosling's Blade Runner 2049 Funko looks absolutely nothing like him, then the new La La Land figure should be more like it. From the toe-tapping Oscar-winning musical comes this Sebastian and Mia two pack, featuring Funkos of Gosling and Best Actress winner, Emma Stone!

Now you can bring those two crazy L.A. dreamers into your home and into your Funko collection. One quibble: Gosling should be staring down at his feet as he pulls that move. Just sayin'.

The La La Land two-pack is available in November but you can pre-order it below from our friends at Entertainment Earth!


Order La La Land Sebastian and Mia Pop! Vinyl Figure 2-Pack from Entertainment Earth!