Review: The Hustle

Starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson

Review: Photograph

Directed by Ritesh Batra

Review: Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith

Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

Starring Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton

5/23/2019

DC Readers: Attend A Free Early Screening Of 'Late Night'


We're happy to offer our DC readers the chance to attend a free early screening of Amazon Studios' new comedy, Late Night, starring Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson!

SYNOPSIS: Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talkshow circuit. When she’s accused of being a “woman who hates women,” she puts affirmative action on the to-do list, and—presto!—Molly (Mindy Kaling) is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room. But Molly might be too little too late, as the formidable Katherine also faces the reality of low ratings and a network that wants to replace her. Molly, wanting to prove she’s not simply a diversity hire who’s disrupting the comfort of the brotherhood, is determined to help Katherine by revitalizing her show and career—and possibly effect even bigger change at the same time. 

The screening takes place on Wednesday, June 5th at AMC Mazza Gallerie. If you'd like to attend, simply go to the Amazon Studios ticketing site here. Please remember all screenings are first come first served and you will need to arrive early to ensure seating. Enjoy the show!

Late Night opens on June 7th.

'Abominable' Trailer: A Friendly Yeti Goes On An Epic Journey


Following on the heels of Smallfoot and Missing Link, there's more animated Yeti action on the way. Dreamworks Animation's Abominable finds yet another of the mythical creatures joining with a human companion to find his homeland.  The film features the voices of Chloe Bennet, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, and more.

Here's the synopsis: When teenage Yi (Chloe Bennet, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home.

Jill Culton, a Pixar veteran known for her work on Toy Story 2 and for directing Open Season, wrote the script and will be at the helm. Abominable hits theaters on September 27th.

'Bond 25' To Stay In Production As Daniel Craig Undergoes Ankle Surgery


007 is going under the knife. A few weeks ago we learned of an ankle injury suffered by Daniel Craig on the set of the upcoming James Bond film. Turns out, he was hurt bad enough that it will require surgery. That's the bad news, but there is some good to go along with it.

At the time of the injury, reports were that the Jamaica shoot would be delayed, but as it turns out that won't be the case. The official Bond Twitter account sets the record straight, confirming Craig's injury and that he will need to undergo a couple weeks of rehab. During that time production on Bond 25 will continue, so no delays necessary.

This is good news for a production that has had its share of problems and doesn't need anymore. Beyond the whole Danny Boyle debacle there have been stories of problems with the screenplay, with everyone from Craig to director Cary Fukunaga to pinch-hitting writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge taking reworking the script on a daily basis. Hopefully this gives them a little time to get everything sorted out.

Bond 25 opens in April 2020.

Review: 'Booksmart', Olivia Wilde's Hilarious, Perceptive And Cool Teen Comedy Is One Of The Year's Best


The genius of Olivia Wilde's raucous, inspired teen comedy Booksmart is that it doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel. High school comedies are always representative of a certain generation but the themes are always consistent. Combining the best of John Hughes with the rebellious attitude of Lady Bird, the raunchy energy of Superbad, the awkward isolation of Eighth Grade, and so much more, what separates Booksmart most is that it centers on two brilliant adventure-seeking girls.


The female perspective is crucial to reinvigorating a stale formula and totally flipping the genre on its head. Beanie Feldstein (whose brother Jonah Hill starred in Booksmart's spiritual cousin, Superbad) and Kaitlyn Dever are best friends Molly and Amy, two bookish seniors on the cusp of graduation and an Ivy League future. They've spent their high school years studying hard and looking down on the hard-partying jocks, the drunks, the perceived sluts who are destined to spend their lives pumping gas.


Oh, but wait...those class clowns...they got into the same exclusive schools. And they had fun. What the Hell were Molly and Amy doing all this time?  Even the school stoner turns out to be so smart he'd going to be a millionaire as a tech wiz. This cannot stand. With one last blowout bash before graduation, the girls decide it's finally time to crash a party and cut loose. They've got a lot of lost time to make up for.


What follows is a madcap race through the city, with diversion at a tacky boat party thrown by the "trying too hard" nerdy rich kid (Skyler Gisondo), a detour at murder dinner party led by the theatre students, and a brief stop to hijack a pizza delivery guy. The party is the destination, but the journey, which sees Molly and Amy trying to hold on to this little slice of freedom before a seemingly pre-destined future is where the film is at its best. For once, we have a high school comedy led by a couple of hyper-intelligent females and not a bunch of moronic dudes looking to get laid. The perspective matters in contextualizing Molly and Amy's relationship, while also upending our expectations.


Not to say that getting laid is out of the equation, but you won't find anybody poking an apple pie or anything. A teddy bear, maybe.  Amy hopes to finally talk to a cute skater chick she's been eyeing for years but has always been scared to approach. Molly, who has all of the aggressive political aspirations and subtlety of  Election's Tracy Flick, secretly has eyes for jock/class VP Nick, who is kind of an idiot. The film shoots down notions that girls handle this whole romance thing with any more maturity than guys, because clearly they don't. But also, there's quite a lot of sex positivity in the screenplay credited to four female writers. Amy's homosexuality is only made a big deal by Molly, who enjoys needling her friend's all-too-accepting conservative parents (played by Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte). There's even a lot to say about women who slut shame other women, and the real emotional harm it can cause.


Feldstein and Dever make as great a mismatched pair as Jonah Hill and Michael Cera were in Superbad. Both films tread on similar ground, setting themselves on the cusp of graduation when you're excited about what comes next but terrified of letting go from the familiar. Molly is the more outgoing of the two, while Amy is more measured, but together they both are prone to unpredictable wild streaks. While their relationship goes through some ups and downs, and there's a point where we see that closeness can be rather toxic, there's nothing but love there and that's obvious from the start. You can also tell both stars had a real blast making this movie, and making it for Wilde in her directorial debut. Wilde keeps the energy moving briskly and chooses an absolutely mint selection of old school hip-hop jams (Hey, she's from my generation!). The sheer number of screenwriters does cause for a bit of inconsistency in the style of humor, and I would say the Murder Mystery dinner scene is a drag, and some of the sentimentality is laid on pretty thick, but overall the funny far outweighs the lame.


A big reason to thank for that is the supporting cast. Billie Lourd has been great in just about everything, and she's the definite scene-stealer here as spacey, blissed-out Gigi who seems to show up everywhere she's least expected. Wilde finds a sympathetic role for her husband Jason Sudeikis as a principal trying to make ends meet in an embarrassing fashion, and the always-welcome Jessica Williams shines as the school's most popular teacher and is perhaps still too close to her own teenage years. Hilarious, perceptive, and contemporary, Booksmart has the makings of a classic, and could be the start of an amazing directorial career for Wilde.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


'Terminator: Dark Fate' Trailer: Linda Hamilton Makes A Badass Return As Sarah Connor


Despite a few lousy efforts, including an attempted "reboot" just a couple of years ago, the Terminator franchise endures as one of the most cherished sci-fi action franchises. There's renewed hope for a return to glory with Terminator: Dark Fate, which has James Cameron and Deadpool director Tim Miller taking the series back to its roots. And what better way to do that than by reintroducing Linda Hamilton as the badass Sarah Connor.

Hamilton makes a killer entrance in the new trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate, arriving just in time to make the save against a new liquid metal Terminator (played by Gabriel Luna) similar to Robert Patrick's T-1000. There's an incredible moment when he's speared with a metal rod, only to use his liquid form to rebuild himself on the hood of a speeding truck.


The story has largely been kept a secret, but it involves Mackenzie Davis as Grace, a soldier from the future (think Kyle Reese) sent back to protect Dani Ramos (played by Natalia Reyes) from being killed. We only get a brief glimpse of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the O.G. T-800, looking much older and like he's been living off the grid.

I have to say, this looks very promising and I can't wait for Terminator: Dark Fate to get here on November 1st.

5/22/2019

Three 'Dark Phoenix' Clips Tease The X-Men's Final Battle


It's the last stand of the X-Men, only for real this time! Dark Phoenix marks the final movie in Fox's take on the X-Men, concluding a franchise that began way back in 2000. It's been a long, problematic journey but it's good to know that twenty years into these movies and the same argument is taking place between Charles Xavier and Magneto. No wonder mutantkind is doomed.

Three new clips have been released, including one that shows former pals Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) taking opposite positions on what to do about Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) who has turned deadly after an encounter with the Dark Phoenix. This clip shows Magneto with his crew, a couple of new characters and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) who appears to have turned his back on his old friends.



The next scene is another slow-motion rescue from Quicksilver (Evan Peters), this time as he races through a spaceship to save the crew. Along for the ride is Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit Phee), while Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) kick their feet up and relax. Come on, gang! How about some words of encouragement?


And finally, a really stilted scene involving Jean Grey and a mysterious alien (Jessica Chastain) who is encouraging the young mutant to use her newfound cosmic powers to the fullest.  The true identity of Chastain's character has yet to be revealed, but I'm just to say it now: she's Mr. Sinister in disguise.  That's my guess, anyway, and I know it'll be true because I've waited 20 years for Sinister so naturally it will happen just in time for a reboot.



Dark Phoenix opens June 7th 2019.

Review: 'Brightburn', Gory Twist On Superman's Origin Can't Reach Full Potential


As the model for what the perfect, All-American superhero should be, Superman has been deconstructed to death. In particular his origin, an alien who crash lands in America's heartland and is raised with love by the perfect parents. Their care and devotion is what gives Superman his good Midwestern values and humanity. But what if things had turned out a little bit differently? What if that alien who came to our world wasn't a superhero at all? That's the intriguing premise behind the deconstructive superhero horror Brightburn, which has teased a sadistic take on the Man of Steel's upbringing. But whatever promise is held in the premise proves to be Kryptonite to creative storytelling, leaving us with a very familiar "bad seed" antagonist.


While promoted as being from the mind of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, the film is directed by frequent collaborator David Yarovesky, and penned by James' brother Brian and cousin Mark. It still has the offbeat feel of James' work, however, but its closer to Slither than anything he did for Marvel. More of a gentle ribbing than a middle finger to the superhero genre, Brightburn follows the Superman formula very tightly. Elizabeth Banks and David Denman are Tori and Kyle Brewer, wannabe parents whose prayers of having a child are answered in an unexpected way. When a red, glowing spaceship crashes in the nearby woods, they discover a crying baby and take him in as their own. The town of Brightburn, Kansas then becomes the adopted home of young Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunne), who for the longest time seems like a normal child. At the onset of adolescence, when teenage rebellion and hormones run thick, Brandon is suddenly given a new calling, one that will find him using his newfound powers: super-speed, heat vision, flight, and invulnerability, basically everything Superman has, to wipe out the people around him.


It was clear within the first twenty minutes that Brightburn would be an exercise in unfulfilled potential. For me, the most interesting thing about Superman's upbringing is the nature vs. nurture aspect, but for all of the many avenues that could be explored this film is extremely limited in scope. What would happen if a young Clark Kent landed in the yard of an abusive, neglectful family, turning their newfound child into a monster who spread a legacy of pain? Brightburn teases that but offers nothing, reducing Brandon's motivations to artificial factors that leave him free from judgement. It's boring and, frankly, pretty lazy.


While James Gunn is only listed as a producer, his influence is all over the place.  You can find many nods to his gory horror-comedy Slither (including a funny cameo by Gunn's pal Michael Rooker), and the dark satirical tones of his workplace thriller The Belko Experiment. Yarovesky pulls directly from images captured in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, darkening their wistful optimism under a thundercloud of impending doom.  The violence is inconsistent, though, some of it fairly tame and bordering on PG-13, while others, like a driver's unfortunate high-speed encounter with a steering wheel, are gruesome beyond words. It's wild to see Superman's powers used in such a horrific fashion, though, and if looked at as a twisted horror about a kid who goes on a killing spree with heat rays and shit, the film is actually pretty effective. The possibilities were endless, but Brightburn's aspirations are so low there's little about it we could call super.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

'The Art Of Self-Defense' Trailer: Jesse Eisenberg Karate Kicks His Problems Away


Are you ready to see Jesse Eisenberg karate chop his problems away? Good, then you're ready for The Art of Self-Defense, a film that critics were buzzing about after its debut at SXSW earlier this year. Along with Eisenberg's performance as a man trying to break out of his timid shell after being the victim of violence, there's also the promise of director Riley Stearns, who made his directorial debut with the cult drama Faults starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Eisenberg is joined by Alessandro Nivola as his zen martial arts master, plus Imogen Poots and actor-director David Zellner.  The film looks to be exploring masculinity with a sardonic eye, which should be perfect for Eisenberg who has always stood counter to the more physical actors out there.

Here's the synopsis: After he’s attacked on the street at night by a roving motorcycle gang, timid bookkeeper Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) joins a neighborhood karate studio to learn how to protect himself. Under the watchful eye of a charismatic instructor, Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), and hardcore brown belt Anna (Imogen Poots), Casey gains a newfound sense of confidence for the first time in his life. But when he attends Sensei’s mysterious night classes, he discovers a sinister world of fraternity, brutality, and hyper-masculinity, presenting a journey that places him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor. Audacious and offbeat, The Art of Self-Defense is an original dark comedy that takes toxic masculinity to absurd extremes.

The Art of Self-Defense opens July 12th.

Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' Adds Michael Caine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh, And More


There's always a veil of secrecy surrounding any new project from Christopher Nolan, but details are actually starting to emerge a little bit early. We already knew that John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki were part of the film, and now we have some more big name additions to the cast. Oh yeah, there's also a title, Tenet, and the barest idea of the plot. Well, the genre, anyway.

Joining the Tenet cast are Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh, Clemence Poesy, Dimple Kapadia, and Michael Caine. As for the story, what little we know is that it's set in the world of international espionage.  Okey dokey.

Most of these actors are known additions, especially Caine and Branagh who have worked with Nolan in the past, but Posey and Kapadia may be unfamiliar to most people. Posey is probably best remembered for her role as Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter movies, while Kapadia has largely starred in Hindi films throughout her decades-long career.

Tenet is schedule to open on July 17th 2020 and will feature a score by Black Panther composer Ludwig Göransson.

'The Nightingale' Trailer: A Brutal Revenge Thriller From 'The Babadook' Director


With her 2014 horror The Babadook, Jennifer Kent planted a flag as one of the genre's most exciting new voices. She helped usher in a wave of talented female directors, and now five years later she's back with her latest exercise in terror, The Nightingale. Even the title is kinda scary.

Kent goes in a different direction this time, but the results look to be just as chilling. A period revenge thriller set in 19th-century Tasmania, the film centers on an Irish convict, played by breakout actress Aisling Franciosi (Lyanna Stark in Game of Thrones), who witnesses the brutal murder of her husband and child by a sadistic British officer. The villain of the piece is Sam Claflin, known for his roles in The Hunger Games.  Together with an Aboriginal guide she makes a dangerous trek to get vengeance on the man who killed her family.

The Nightingale made its debut in Venice and will hit theaters here on August 2nd.