Review: The Hustle

Starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson

Review: Tolkien

Starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins

Review: Poms

Starring Diane Keaton and Jacki Weaver

Review: Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith

Review: Shadow

Directed by Zhang Yimou

5/20/2019

'Chip 'N' Dale: Rescue Rangers' Movie In The Works From Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer


Disney did some weird things with their characters in the late '80s and '90s, but it led to some good cartoons as part of the afternoon block. One of my favorites was Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, which saw the famous chipmunk pair open up a detective agency. The show only lasted for three seasons but its influence has been long, and now we're going to see it on the big screen in a movie from an unexpected director.

A live-action/CGI Rescue Rangers movie is in the works, and behind the camera will be Akiva Schaffer. If the name is familiar it's probably because you know him as one-third of Lonely Island along with Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone. The film will be written by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, who will be giving it a "meta" and "self-referential" spin.  Sounds a lot like what Schaffer and Lonely Island did with the underrated Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Expect his Rescue Rangers to resemble Fox's Alvin & the Chipmunks films.

Disney has been planning this for years, and previously had Robert Rugan on as writer/director.

Interestingly, the whole detective agency angle won't be used in the movie which dampens chances I finally get to see Gadget Hackenwrench, by far the coolest Rescue Rangers character, in a movie.  Perhaps Disney should consider a whole cinematic universe that includes Darkwing Duck and TailSpin? [THR]

5/19/2019

Box Office: 'John Wick 3' Takes Out 'Avengers: Endgame' With $57M Debut


1. John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum (review)- $57M
Something had to take out Avengers: Endgame, and who better than the Baba Yaga himself, John Wick? Chapter 3: Parabellum opened with a whopping $57M domestic, a dollar amount roughly equal to the film's body count. This is the second-biggest opening weekend ever for star Keanu Reeves, behind 2003's The Matrix: Reloaded, back when we thought that movie would be tight. What makes this debut more impressive is that it's an extremely violent R-rated movie with a star who skews a bit older. Even the Taken movies, which had Liam Neeson breaking bones with reckless abandon, were rated PG-13. So what we're seeing here is a franchise on the upswing. The first John Wick opened in 2014 with $14M, but rode a wave of good reviews and buzz to $88M worldwide, about half of that stateside. The sequel arrived three years later and opened with $30M on the way to $171M globally. Already it looks as if Chapter 3 will top that, and the next film, which is inevitable at this point, should do even better.
2. Avengers: Endgame- $29.4M/$770.8M
With $770M domestic, Avengers: Endgame has surpassed the $760M haul of Avatar to be the second highest-grossing movie in U.S. history. It's still a good stretch away from The Force Awakens' $937M, and chances are it won't even come close. Worldwide, Endgame's $2.5B trails Avatar by $200M, and may fall just short of surpassing it.
3. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu- $24.8M/$94M
Pikachu couldn't keep the electricity going for another week, but $24M and a 56% drop isn't too terrible. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu now has $94M domestic and an impressive $206M worldwide, banking on the franchise's international appeal. At this rate, it'll pass 2001's Tomb Raider to become the highest-grossing video game movie in U.S. history. Sorry, Angelina.
4. A Dog's Journey- $8M
This week people chose to watch dogs maim and kill, or be the impetus for revenge, in John Wick than go on a spiritual quest in A Dog's Journey.  The sequel to 2017's A Dog's Purpose opened with just $8M, less than half of its predecessor which four-legged it out to $205M worldwide, a third of that domestic. I barely remember seeing any promos for this one, and while it should be obvious didn't put two-and-two together that it was a sequel.Ultimately, this may have been the wrong weekend to open as there wasn't much room for newbies. 
5. The Hustle- $6M/$23.1M
6. The Intruder- $4M/$28M
7. Long Shot- $3.4M/$25.7M
I still can't believe this terrific film with two of today's biggest stars in Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, is getting beat by The Intruder.
8. The Sun is Also a Star (review)- $2.6M
It was a downright disastrous start for The Sun is Also a Star, the romance drama which stars Black-ish's Yara Shahidi and Riverdale's Charles Melton as the children of immigrants who fall in love a day before she's due to be deported. It's a smart, beautifully-shot film and another feather in the cap of Before I Fall director Ry Russo-Young. But I think too many dismissed it as just another flaky young adult movie, rather than appreciating its timeliness and cultural representation. Not that those things should be automatic draws, but certainly better than $2.6M.
9. Poms- $2M/$10M
10. Uglydolls- $1.6M/$17.2M

'Black Widow' May Take Place Between 'Civil War' And 'Infinity War'


Everything we've heard about the upcoming Black Widow film has suggested it to be a prequel that will follow her training to be a Russian spy, and perhaps see one of her earliest missions. The events of Avengers: Endgame seemed to support that idea, as well. But you know what they say about assumptions, and a new rumor that reportedly springs straight from Endgame co-star Sebastian Stan claims we were wrong the whole time.

The rumor comes from a convention attendee (via MCU Exchange) who claims Stan told the audience that Black Widow takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

Of course, we don't know if this is true or not unless somebody posts a video or quote from Stan, but let's take it at face value. If true, this would set the story during a time when the Avengers have just split over the Sokovia Accords. We would get to see what Natasha and Cap were doing while their Secret Avengers were off on the run, before we reconnect with them during Avengers: Infinity War.  We've seen very little of the Accords' impact on the MCU since they were introduced, and maybe that's part of the reason why Marvel wants to explore that time period. They just sorta moved past it because of Thanos' arrival.

So we'll see if this pans out. Stan would likely appear in a movie set during this time period, so he would know the details. I'm just not convinced he would spill the beans like that because it goes against what Marvel typically does.

Black Widow will be directed by Cate Shortland and is expected to open in May 2020.

5/18/2019

'The Batman': Catwoman, The Penguin, And Riddler Rumored As Villains


Considering Matt Reeves hasn't finished his script for The Batman, speculating about what's in it may be foolish. So take with a grain of salt Collider's report (via THR's Heatvision newsletter) about the villains Batman will be facing, especially since their inclusion will immediately invite comparisons to Tim Burton's deeply weird Batman Returns.

The site says Penguin and Catwoman will be squaring off against Batman, whether he's played by Robert Pattinson or not. The Riddler is also rumored for an appearance, although that sounds a bit shakier. Penguin was played by Danny DeVito in Burton's 1989 film, and by Burgess Meredith in the Batman TV series. Most recently, Robin Lord Taylor gave a very different, and I think terrific, portrayal Penguin aka Oswald Cobblepot.

Michelle Pfeiffer gave a memorably sexy performance as Catwoman in Batman Returns, and nearly three decades later Anne Hathaway played the character, going strictly by her civilian name Selina Kyle, in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.

Casting on these characters won't begin until Pattinson's deal has been inked, but the actor has yet to read a script. Reeves probably has actors in mind, and don't forget Josh Gad has been lobbying hard to play Penguin. It's hard to imagine him having time with all of the projects he has coming up for Disney, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see Reeves turn to an actress he's worked with before to play Catwoman. Perhaps Let Me In star Chloe Grace Moretz?

I'm of mixed minds on this. We only saw Catwoman on the big screen a few years ago, while using her and Penguin is a reminder of what Burton did with them. On the other hand, if Reeves' film is truly going to focus on Batman's detective skills then it makes sense to use two of the more relatable members of his Rogue's Gallery. Using Joker is out of the question right now until we see how Joaquin Phoenix's movie does, and a monstrous bad guy like Clayface doesn't make sense. I'm surprised he isn't using Riddler as a focus, instead. I've always loved the battle of intellects between Batman and Riddler, and a true superhero cat-and-mouse thriller would be something fresh.

I expect we're going to learn a lot about The Batman in a couple of months at Comic-Con, when Warner Bros. may have the entire Hall H stage to itself.  The Batman is set to hit theaters on June 25th 2021.

5/17/2019

Jemaine Clement Dives In To James Cameron's 'Avatar' Sequels


Want them or not, the next eight years will be chock full of Avatar sequels, as James Cameron has them coming out from 2021 all the way to 2027. Enjoy! Honestly, I don't remember anybody who starred in the original box office-topping movie, or at least I can't remember the names of their characters. You probably can't, either, as the real star of that film was Cameron's digital technology. Chances are that will be the case for the upcoming sequels, too, and we will have forgotten that Jemaine Clement was part of them.

Clement is the latest to join the cast of Cameron's Avatar sequels, but he's way too cool to be playing some blue-skinned Smurf from Pandora. Instead, he's playing Dr. Ian Garvin, a marine biologist because now the oceans are in play. It's not clear how many films Clement will appear in, but considering Sigourney Weaver's doctor character was killed and is still showing up it probably doesn't matter. 

Other newcomers to the franchise include Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, and Edie Falco, so Clement is in some pretty good company. He recently appeared in an episode of FX's What We Do in the Shadows, reprising the vampire role from his 2014 hit comedy. 

Avatar 2 opens December 17th 2021.  

Mel Gibson's 'The Wild Bunch' Remake Targets Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, And Peter Dinklage


Here's the honest truth about Mel Gibson: he's probably a terrible person, but he's talented and a huge name so Hollywood will give him infinite numbers of chances. And he's done quite a lot with it since his comeback, winning a couple of Oscars for directing Hacksaw Ridge, and starring in some good films such as Blood Father and Dragged Across Concrete. It's also no surprise that he can continue to draw some pretty big talent his way, and the cast Gibson is assembling for his Wild Bunch remake is shaping up to be very impressive.

According to Deadline, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, and Peter Dinklage are in talks to star in Gibson's remake of The Wild Bunch.  The film is based on the Sam Peckinpah classic, considered one of the greatest Westerns ever made, about an aging group of outlaws on the Mexico border in the early 20th-century as they cope with changing times.


Fassbender previously starred in the Western dark comedy Slow West, while Foxx led Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. They appear to be big fans of the genre. To the best of my knowledge, Dinklage's only experience with Westerns was the little-seen Last Rites of Ransom Pride which starred Scott Speedman and Lizzy Caplan. Yeah.


Producing will be Jerry Bruckheimer, with Brian Bagby having written the script. The original movie was hella violent and quite controversial for its graphic depiction.  Don't expect any less from Gibson. He made a movie about a pacifist the most gruesome movie of the year, and his film about Christ an exercise in torture porn.

Warner Bros. hopes for The Wild Bunch to get rolling by this fall, so we could see it in theaters late next year.


DC Readers: Win Passes To A Free Screening Of 'Godzilla: King Of The Monsters'


We're happy to offer our DC readers the chance to attend a free advance screening of Godzilla: King of the Monsters! The film stars Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, and is the sequel to 2014's hit, Godzilla!

SYNOPSIS: The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.  When these ancient superspecies—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

The screening takes place on Tuesday, May 28th at 7:00pm at AMC Mazza Gallerie. If you'd like a chance to attend, simply complete the Rafflecopter contest form below. Winners will be selected and notified by email. Good luck!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens May 31st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Of Course, There Are Already Petitions Against Robert Pattinson As Batman


Damn, fanboys! Robert Pattinson doesn't even have the Batman gig yet and already the knives are out for him. Last night, the Internet blew up when the Good Time actor was named frontrunner to star in Matt Reeves' The Batman, and while he doesn't have the gig yet, some fans are trying to make sure it never happens.

A number of petitions popped up overnight with various reasons why Pattinson shouldn't be the next Batman. Most of it boils down to...well, I don't know, really. The biggest petition over at Change.org fears Warner Bros. making the "Batfleck mistake" again, which they blame for "trashing" the DCEU.  Doesn't make much sense to me. Like Affleck or not, he was hardly the reason why Batman v Superman and Justice League bombed. And even if he was, what does that have to do with Pattinson? Something tells me these haters haven't seen Pattinson in anything but Twilight, and know nothing about the many acclaimed performances he's given since.

Good news is there aren't a lot of signatures, so maybe this will blow over. Oh wait...I'm talking about forever outraged Internet trolls! This will definitely get worse the moment Pattinson, or anybody for that matter, gets confirmed as Batman. We are an outrage culture, and there will always be something to be angry about. 

I'm not even someone who necessarily digs the idea of Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's a great actor and someone I like in pretty much everything, but nothing about what he's done in the past tells me he's right for this. There's a good chance he will prove me wrong, though. In fact, I hope he does.




Woody Allen Releases Trailer For Troubled 'A Rainy Day In New York' Himself


The chances of you ever seeing a new Woody Allen film in theaters has taken an ass-kicking over the last couple of years. Always a polarizing figure due to past sexual abuse allegations, the reigniting of conversation about them has done serious damage to Allen's career. Just look at his most recent film, A Rainy Day in New York, which was dumped by Amazon Studios and mostly disavowed by the star-studded cast. Allen isn't giving up hope, though, and has decided to release a trailer for the movie himself.

Plot details are typically Allen-esque, as a young couple arrives in New York during a rainy day and experiences a day full of romantic entanglements.  The cast is led by Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Diego Luna, Liev Schreiber, Rebecca Hall, and Suki Waterhouse, Jude Law, Cherry Jones, and Kelly Rohrbach.

While that's a terrific lineup of stars, most of them have expressed regret over working with Allen and decided to donate their salaries to charity. The chances of anybody doing press for the movie are as good as Allen winning a benchpress competition.  The legendary but embattled director has filed a $68M lawsuit against Amazon for breaking their contract with him. Good luck with that.

So, A Rainy Day in New York will have a tough time finding distribution here. Overseas it's different, where France, Spain, Germany, South America, Korea, and more will get it in October.

David Fincher And Tim Miller's 'The Goon' Finds New Life At Fox


David Fincher and Deadpool director Tim Miller have been trying to mount an adaptation of Eric Powell's comic, The Goon, nearly as long as this site has been around. I know, because I pitched in for their Kickstarter effort at one point and have been receiving irregular updates ever since. Well, there's finally some good news on that front, because it looks as if the animated film has found its footing again, this time over at Disney-owned Fox.

According to the most recent Kickstarter update, The Goon is officially in development at Fox. To be fair, this update sounds a lot like ALL of them, which were wildly positive and made you feel as if the money you chipped in wasn't going to waste. But no matter how good the news, nothing ever went anywhere. So what makes this time any different?

The post notes the $441K raised by the Kickstarter was instrumental to this next step, and bringing on producers The Chernin Group who have completed some high-profile projects in the past.

“With your generous contributions, we were able to finish a full storyboard animatic of the film, complete with amazing voice acting, sound design, and music. This template for the film sold the producers and studio on the potential of THE GOON and we’re beginning a new round of development."

"It's The Chernin Group and they’ve brought us movies such as the PLANET OF THE APES franchise, RED SPARROW and OBLIVION.  They love the project and we're all excited about this next phase and continues the collaboration with the fabulous Eric Powell, David Fincher, and all the folks at Blur Studio."

So my $10 didn't just go into Fincher's wallet? That gives me some relief.

For those who may not be familiar, The Goon is a supernatural/horror comic written and illustrated by Powell, centering on the titular bruiser who takes on undead and paranormal baddies. It's known for having hyper-stylized art and stories that combine comedy and horror.

All of this means that The Goon is still alive, but there is still a long ways to go before we see anything on screen.