Review: Love is Blind

Starring Shannon Tarbet, Benjamin Walker, and Aidan Turner

Review: Honey Boy

Written by and starring Shia LaBeouf

Review: Doctor Sleep

Starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kyliegh Curran

Review: Midway

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Review: Last Christmas

Starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding

11/12/2019

'Sonic The Hedgehog' Trailer: Sonic Finally Looks Like Sonic After Major Redesign


That blue streak you saw back in May was Paramount hurrying to course-correct after their Sonic the Hedgehog trailer was so bad it had fans protesting the very movie's existence. The whole thing looked awful. Attention may have been focused on the video game icon's creepy design that made him look like a failed lab experiment, but the entire trailer needed a facelift. So director Jeff Fowler, Paramount, and SEGA went back to the drawing board, and now we see the blue fruits of their labor.

Finally, Sonic actually looks like Sonic! The urge to avert our eyes is gone, because his eyes have been designed accurately along with his arms, legs, and mouth. The new trailer finds Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) zipping through a world that accurately depicts his classic video game (one of the greatest platformers ever!), before he decides to leave it and come to our world, instead. There he teams up with a local sheriff (played by James Marsden) to try and save the world from weird anomalies and the evil Dr. Robotnik who has become obsessed with capturing the speedy blue ball of fur.  Jim Carrey's wacky take on the Eggman villain might be the movie's highlight.

Let's just hope all of this time spent perfecting Sonic doesn't mean they ignored any other video game characters that might pop up. If Tails and Knuckles appear looking like 16-bit demon spawn then it's right back to the drawing board.

Also starring Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, and Neal McDonough, Sonic the Hedgehog opens February 14th 2020.


'The Mandalorian' Recap, Review, And Thoughts On That Shocking Cliffhanger


*SPOILERS!!!*

After what feels like an eternity of build-up, the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, has arrived. It's no surprise they chose it as a launch title for Disney+ because, honestly, who doesn't want to see this? Who hasn't been waiting years for it, ever since those first whispers of a TV series?  And now it's here, and backed by the promise of a huge reveal in the first episode. Well, Lucasfilm wasn't dicking us around on that one. This first episode (of an eight-episode first season) ends on one Hell of a cliffhanger that opens up all sorts of questions.

However, cliffhangers aside, was the episode any good? Absolutely, especially if you're a die-hard Star Wars fan. Creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni dive right in and don't bother holding your hand through it. Let's be honest; nobody who isn't already a Star Wars nut is watching this anyway, right? They've got Lady and the Tramp and Noelle for that.  So we don't need a ton of explanation for the mysterious Mandalorian (played by Pedro Pascal), a bounty of obvious renown who kicks things off by taking down a couple of dim-witted toughs who have been harassing his intended prey. An perilous encounter with an ice monster later, we get our first look at an entire cabin full of carbonite prisons, a reminder of when Han Solo was trapped in one of those bad boys by the baddest Mandalorian of them all, Boba Fett.


Little nods like that are what make The Mandalorian so much fun, along with the familiar sound effects, screen wipes, and bits of oddly-placed humor the franchise is known for. We're soon after introduced to Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who not only takes all of the Mandalorian's cargo off his hands, but gives him another high-paying gig. This one is so secretive it can't go through the usual Bounty Hunter guild channels. There's no description of the asset, other than it's around 50 years old, a vague location of its last sighting, and a meager means of tracking it. Of course, we know nothing of the Client, either.

However, that Client turns out to be the secretive figure played by director Werner Herzog, and he's kinda perfect for this role. Personally, I've always found Herzog to be scary as fuck, and more than a little intimidating. The Client says the asset can be returned dead or alive, preferably alive, but dead for half-price. This angers his colleague, Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), who says this wasn't part of the deal. Clearly, he wants this thing back alive for a reason.


In exchange, the Client offers a piece of beskar metal, sacred to the Mandalorian warriors and essential in crafting their unique armor. We not only see this metal smelted into usable fashion, but flashbacks to the Mandalorian's war-torn childhood as a foundling. You can feel Dave Filoni's fingerprints all over this section, having crafted so much of their history in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

Arriving at the location of the Asset, the Mandalorian encounters an old Ugnaught named Kuiil (voiced by Nick Nolte), and battle droid IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi). The latter assumes he has a new rival for the prize, but instead he and the Mandalorian team up to gun down the guards protecting the Asset. Once they get inside, the Mandalorian is momentarily puzzled at what they find: a baby.

"They said 50 years old."

"Species age differently", IG-11 responds.


The battle droid says his orders were "quite specific" and is ready to kill the baby, only to be fried by the Mandalorian who decides to either protect the child or just bring it in alive. We aren't quite sure yet, but I think we all have a pretty good guess. Also, I think we can assume the IG-11 was hired by somebody completely different, hence the differing orders.

The creature turns out to be of Yoda's species. Now, those who may be lost in the Star Wars timeline may be a bit confused by this. The Mandalorian takes place after events of Return of the Jedi but before The Force Awakens. Yoda is dead, having lived something like 900 years, and has even been seen as a Force Ghost. So this ain't the O.G. Yoda. Nor is this Yaddle, the only other being of this kind ever seen in the Star Wars canon.  George Lucas always kept Yoda and his kind extremely secret.


The implication is that the birth of one of these creatures is extremely rare, and would be devastating to anybody who fights for the Dark Side. Yoda was arguably the most powerful Force-sensitive creature in the galaxy until all of those darn Skywalkers started sprouting up, and Yaddle was also on the Jedi Council. It stands to reason this one will be very powerful in the Force and could be a huge asset to whichever side it fights on. Remember what's going on at this point. The Jedi are only just starting to rebuild with the emergence of Luke Skywalker, and the Empire has effectively been crushed.

Personally, I quite like the idea of an evil Yoda. Maybe he gets hand delivered to Snoke?

The Mandalorian appears to be setting itself as a Lone Wolf and Cub-style epic, with our hero (?) escorting this child through a series of escalating adventures. Considering the rate at which Yoda age, we probably won't see the baby reach maturity, but might it show off some early Force abilities? That's gotta be in the cards.

Favreau and Filoni deserve a ton of credit for making this first episode truly feel like a space Western, with a stoic, near-silent protagonist whose personal code of ethics clashes with the violent reality he walks in. My only true gripe is they do a terrible job of introducing characters to us. Most of them never even get a name and you have to look them up in the credits. There's enough going on that you shouldn't have to do that.


Also, I need more IG-11. Just more battle droids, period. Battle droids kick ass.  Where's my boy IG-88 at? Can I get a Bossk sighting, please?

Good start for The Mandalorian, and that ending is sure to rock the Star Wars universe like an exploding Death Star. The next episode should arrive this Friday, November 15th.

Disney Drops One More 'The Mandalorian' Teaser Before The Disney+ Launch


The launch of Disney+ is here, but the Mouse House wants to make one last ditch effort to round up subscribers by teasing its most anticipated series, The Mandalorian. Corporate synergy, alert! If you tuned into tonight's Monday Night Football game on Disney-owned ABC, you got a special sneak peek of the first live-action Star Wars series, featuring Pedro Pascal as the titular gunfighter.  The series also stars Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Nick Nolte, Kyle Pacek, Werner Herzog, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito, and more across the 8-episode first season.

SYNOPSIS: After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the “Star Wars” universe. “The Mandalorian” is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

Probably avoid this if you don't want even the tiniest bit spoiled, but if you simply need every bit of The Mandalorian now then check out the sneak peek below. Remember, the show may start today but it doesn't occupy a specific day or time. Here's the release schedule for each episode:

Episode 1: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019
Episode 2: Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
Episode 3: Friday, Nov. 22, 2019
Episode 4: Friday, Nov. 29, 2019
Episode 5: Friday, Dec. 6, 2019
Episode 6: Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
Episode 7: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019
Episode 8: Friday, Dec. 27, 2019


11/11/2019

'The Tomorrow War' First Look: Chris Pratt Leads A Team Of Time-Traveling Soldiers


Chris Pratt isn't hurting for new franchises or anything, but earlier this year he signed on for what could be a new one in Ghost Draft. The live-action sci-fi film will be directed by Chris McKay, director of The Lego Batman Movie, and features a very cool Edge of Tomorrow-esque premise involving an alien invasion. While I really dug that title, it now has a new one, The Tomorrow War, with a first look at Pratt alongside his battle-hardened cast.

Production is underway on The Tomorrow War, and Pratt has dropped the first image of him looking like he's ready to take on any extraterrestrial threat. The story finds humanity making a last ditch effort to save themselves from alien invasion by reaching back into the past and enlisting soldiers from different eras to fight the war. Pratt plays a man who is drafted to fight in a future war where humanity's fate depends on him confronting his past.

Pretty cool, right? You can get warriors from different eras with different personalities, styles, weaponry, etc. I love it.

Pratt is joined in the star-studded ensemble by J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin (GLOW), Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), Sam Richardson (Good Boys), Mary Lyn Rajskub (24) Theo Von, Jasmine Matthews, Keith Powers, Edwin Hodge, Mike Mitchell, Seychelle Gabriel, Alan Strong, Alexis Louder and Chibuikem Uche.

The script is by Deadfall writer Zach Dean with Pratt as a first-time exec-producer. You can read his excitement about that in the image's caption.


View this post on Instagram

This is my first time executive producing on a movie! And I can finally post about it!!! The title “Ghostdraft,” turned out to be problematic for various reasons so we started looking at other options... We went through: Generation Alien World War A Generation Gone Saving private Ryaalien WWZ2 but with As not Zs HORIZON WHITESPIKE HERO movie brought to you by Verizon JUrassic Draft GENERATION Draft Miller genuine Draft City Slickers Alien Dawn Rapture Dawn Apocalypse Dawn Hero Dawn Destiny war Saving tomorrow The Tomorrow War THE TOMORROW WAR THE TOMORROW WAR!!!! And that’s when it hit me.... We’re calling it #TheTomorrowWar So get ready, cause I’m gonna auction off a set visit very soon. Details coming. And you’re gonna be seeing a lot of pics and posts from set!!! 🙏👍🏼♥️👽☠️
A post shared by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

'The Batman' Casts Newcomer Jayme Lawson In Mystery Role


With a cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, and Jeffrey Wright, Matt Reeves' The Batman is shaping up to be one of the starriest ever. And that makes this latest bit of casting a little bit surprising, as Reeves is giving a newcomer a huge break.

Collider reports that recent Juilliard grad Jayme Lawson has been cast in The Batman. As who? Nobody knows, but this is the kind of role any actor just starting out would die for. Whether a big or small role, the right performance can make or break a career and clearly Reeves thinks she has the goods.

I'm looking forward to this because Warner Bros. has done a pretty good job at giving up 'n coming actors a chance to shine, and a year from now we could be talking about Lawson as a true rising star. I think of that year Elizabeth Debicki was cast in The Great Gatsby having only one film credit to her name. After that, she was everywhere and continues to be one of the most sought-after actors around.

So let the speculation begin. Is she playing Batgirl? Or maybe Robin? Only time will tell but you can bet Lawson is being googled furiously right now. Maybe someone should get around to creating her an IMDB page?

The Batman opens June 25th 2021.

DC Readers: Attend A Free Early Screening Of 'The Report'


We're happy to offer our DC readers the chance to attend a free advance screening of The Report, starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening, and Jon Hamm. The film is written and directed by Scott Z. Burns.

SYNOPSIS: THE REPORT is a riveting thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Benning) to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones’ relentless pursuit of the truth leads to explosive findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a brutal secret from the American public.

The screening takes place on Wednesday, November 13th at 7:00pm at Landmark Bethesda Row. If you'd like to attend, simply go to the Amazon screening site here. Please remember all screenings are first come first served and you will need to arrive early to ensure seating. Enjoy the show!

The Report opens in DC on November 15th, nationwide on November 22nd.

Chris Evans Isn't Eager To Undo Captain America's Story With Another Film


I feel kinda bad for Chris Evans. He's been looking forward to the end of his Marvel contract for a while, and now that it's over and he's in an acclaimed film like Knives Out, the interviews he gets have people asking him about...Captain America. >sigh<   At least he was asked by his Marvel colleague Scarlett Johansson in a new Variety piece, so that makes it a little bit better.   She asked Evans if he'd be willing to suit up and return to the MCU and, unsurprisingly, he isn't all that eager to undo Cap's swansong in Avengers: Endgame...

“To Marvel? Wow. Everything clicks when I get up. Recovery is not the same. You never say never. I love the character. I don’t know."

"It’s not a hard no, but it’s not an eager yes either. There are other things that I’m working on right now. I think Cap had such a tricky act to stick the landing, and I think they did a really nice job letting him complete his journey. If you’re going to revisit it, it can’t be a cash grab. It can’t be just because the audience wants to be excited. What are we revealing? What are we adding to the story? A lot of things would have to come together.”

There are a lot of fans out there who desperately want to see a Captain America film either about his trips through time to return the Infinity Stones, or one recounting the time he spent with Peggy Carter. But for Evans, it would take a lot for him to want to change the ending we got...

“It’d be a shame to sour that [ending],” said Evans. “ I’m very protective of it. It was such a precious time, and jumping onto the movie was a terrifying prospect to me. I said no a bunch of times, and there’s a million and one ways it could have gone wrong. It almost feels like maybe we should let this one sit.”

Evans will be seen next as one of the highlights of Knives Out, which opens on November 27th.




'Fantasy Island' Trailer: Blumhouse Reimagines The Classic Series As A Supernatural Horror


Come to Fantasy Island and see your fondest wishes come to life! That was the tantalizing hook of the classic 1970s TV series led by Ricardo Montalbán as the mysterious Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villecheize as his loyal (and more famous) assistant Tattoo. Most of these fantasies turned out differently than expected, a "be careful what you wish for" message delivered at the end of many episodes, but leave it to Blumhouse to take that idea and crank it up to eleven.

Fantasy Island is back in a new film from Blumhouse and Truth or Dare director Jeff Wadlow, and it's basically a full-blown supernatural horror. Michael Pena takes over as the new Mr. Roarke, who grants the secret dreams of those who pay visit to his remote tropical resort. The rest of the cast is led by Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, and Michael Rooker.

I love this. While the TVseries was a bit beyond me as a kid, growing up I began to appreciate it for being different than the many crime or romance shows that surrounded it. Later episodes got quite dark and leaned heavier into the paranormal, and that seems to be where Blumhouse is going here. It reminds me of the Wishmaster franchise, and that I say as someone who has a fondness for those movies. I also like Wadlow for this. Truth or Dare was better than it had any reason to be, and he also directed the little-seen Cry_Wolf which has always been a favorite.

Fantasy Island hits theaters on February 14th, so there's your Valentine's Day date movie.

Humble Beginings For The Scooby Gang In The First Trailer For 'Scoob!'


I haven't really been following the development of this project, so I was slightly surprised to find out that the upcoming CG Animated take on everyone's favorite great dane, Scoob! won't be just another trip to uncover that Old Man Withers is behind the cotton candy heists, but rather an origin tale. I love Scooby-Doo as much as anyone else, but can't say I'm versed enough to know whether this has ever been done before. From what we can gleam from this trailer the movie will be, at a minimum, just fine for everyone under the age of 10. It's obvious that the most special thing about this property, the relationship between Scooby and Shaggy, will be the main focus of at least the first half of the story so I'm sure we can expect a few tear-inducing moments. My only real hesitation from the trailer is Shaggy's voice....it's just, off. Close enough I suppose but different enough to feel odd, with such an iconic voice I can't see why they didn't just hire Matthew Lillard who did a damn near perfect job with it in the live action films and some of the animated features that followed.

Taking over as the voice of Shaggy is Will Forte, while Frank Welker continues voicing Scooby-Doo as he's done for years. Zac Efron voices Fred, with Gina Rodriguez as Velma, Amanda Seyfried as Dafne, Mark Wahlberg as Blue Falcon, Ken Jeong as Dyno-Mutt, Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman, Jason Isaacs as Dick Dastardly, and Kiersey Clemons as Dee Dee Sykes.

Scoob! Hits Theaters May 15th, 2020


Title Possibly Revealed For Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters', Dan Akroyd Confirms Bill Murray's Return


Jason Reitman's upcoming Ghostbusters film has been referred to under a few different titles: Ghostbusters 3, Ghostbusters 2020, and GB20, but the actual title may have been revealed. It may even be a hint as to what paranormal threat the new team of Ghostbusters is facing.

A rumor at Italian site BadTaste.it says the film will be titled Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which confirms what another site, FilmStories, had been hearing. I think it stands to reason this may have been a working title at some point, and maybe it's stuck?

Based on comments by original star Dan Akroyd, the title sounds appropriate. While Akroyd's return as Ray Stantz was assured, along with Ernie Hudson as Winstone Zeddemore, Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, and Annie Potts as overworked secretary Janine Melnitz, Bill Murray was merely hoped for as Peter Venkman. In an episode of Greg Hill's podcast, Murray confirmed Murray would be back and spilled details that back up rumors about the title...

“We've shot our part, myself, Murray, Sigourney and Annie Potts, and it was really exciting working on this new idea, a new take on the story, which Jason, who's a really incredible and fine filmmaker came up with.

“So I'm pretty excited. You know, you never know in the film business. 'Nobody knows nothing', as the great writer William Goldman said. You don't know what's going to be a hit or not. But I have really good feelings about this, just because of the quality of the stars.

“We've got some terrific young actors, a great story, a great setting, it's going to be scary, thought-provoking, it's gonna be very heart-felt, you'll feel it if you have loved ones you miss, and you've lost. It's going to be evocative in that way.”

"Loved ones you miss"? Hmmmm...might this young group of Ghostbusters be heading into the Afterlife to find a missing loved one? Or perhaps reaching out into the great beyond to communicate with them, only to bring something worse into our reality? Just spitballing here.


The new cast includes Captain Marvel and Gifted actress McKenna Grace, along with Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard, Gone Girl's Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd. They have some kind of connection to the original 1984 team of Ghostbusters, but we don't know what. Perhaps to Egon Spengler, played by the late great Harold Ramis? I could see Grace and Wolfhard as Spengler's grandkids or something like that.

What do you all think? The next Ghostbusters opens July 10th 2020.