Review: BlacKkKlansman

Directed by Spike Lee

Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, and Forrest Goodluck

Review: The Meg

Starring Jason Statham

Review: Slender Man

Directed by Sylvain White

Review: A Prayer Before Dawn

Starring Joe Cole


Podcast: The Success Of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, The Failure Of MILE 22

On this week's Cinema Royale it's a tale of two very different potential blockbusters. Hollywood has been buzzing about CRAZY RICH ASIANS and what it could mean to have the first all-Asian romantic comedy in years be a huge success, but does it actually live up to all of the hype? And what does its box office success this weekend mean?  Plus, Mark Wahlberg, Ronda Rousey, and The Raid's Iko Uwais team up for the explosive action flick MILE 22. Is it possible to screw up a cast like that? Can't be, right? Well...I'll be talking with special gues Roxana Hadadi of Punch Drunk Critics and Pajiba who definitely has some thoughts on it.
All this and more, so tune in and join us for another great show!  And be sure to follow my podcast Cinema Royale here on Blogtalkradio as part of Critical: The Movie Critics Network!

General Leia To Appear In 'Star Wars Resistance', Its Place In Timeline Revealed

Disney's Star Wars Resistance arrives in a couple of months, and for fans kinda upset over Solo: A Star Wars Story or the cancellation of Star Wars Rebels this might be the saving grace. Ignoring the outcry of angry nerds upset over the anime-style animation, the series has a ton of potential. Not only does it fill in the gaps pre-The Force Awakens, but after name dropping her in the teaser, we now know that General Leia Organa will be a regular presence. The news was confirmed by voice actress Rachel Butera on Twitter...

Pretty big shoes to fill. We don't know how big of a part Leia will have, but it's good to know that even after Carrie Fisher's untimely death the character she helped define will last forever.

Meanwhile, Lucasfilm has accidentally revealed the exact spot in the timeline where the series fits. A Twitter user with not enough to do decided to dig into the trailer's code and found where it says the show is set "about six months" before The Force Awakens.  It was buried in a secret synopsis in the code, and has since been removed. Why? You got me, but that'll teach them to underestimate how much time some people have on their hands.

Star Wars Resistance hits the Disney Channel on October 7th.

Disturbing Teaser For TIFF Sci-Fi/Thriller 'Freaks' With Emile Hirsch And Bruce Dern

One of the buzziest titles to debut at TIFF is Freaks, a sci-fi/thriller that looks like a combination of Signs and The Cabin in the Woods. But what is it really? Well, that's hard to say, and the new teaser, while heavy on disturbing imagery, doesn't reveal very much...

The cast is pretty great for this one, led by Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, and newcomger Lexy Kolker. Behind the camera are Adam B. Stein and Zach Lipovsky, the latter having previously worked on the awful Leprechaun: Origins. Together they're currently co-directing the upcoming live-action Kim Possible movie, so it's tough to tell what to expect from these two.

The story centers on a 7-year-old girl locked away in the house by her disturbed father who warns of grave dangers outside their door. When a mysterious man awesomely-named Mr. Snowcone arrives he convinces the girl to run away, which is when she discovers “bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control.”  

In only a few seconds we see things being set on fire, claws outside a window, terrified cops ready to shoot something, bleeding eyes, a mysterious vapor-like substance, and more. There's a lot going on here, and hopefully we learn more when a longer trailer is released.

Peter Berg Says His Rihanna Documentary Will Be Ready By Year's End

After a soft debut weekend it looks like Mile 22 will be another whiff for Peter Berg, but it won't be a long wait before he's got another film out there in hopes it can do better. Berg first mentioned a few years ago his plan to do a documentary on chart-topping singer/actress Rihanna, with hope it would reach the level of classic Bob Dylan doc, Don't Look Back. Berg hasn't shown much to suggest he can reach those heights, but it turns out we'll find out for sure very soon.

Speaking on radio station Hot97, Berg revealed his Rihanna doc will be completed and revealed by the end of the year...

“I think [Rihanna’s] an extraordinary young woman and it really is kind of a pretty comprehensive profile of what goes in to making her this talent that she is. The work ethic, the talent, luck, the hustle, the vision. She’s a really, really interesting woman and the movie will be out in about a month and half, two months we’ll be able to start showing it.”

Rihanna seem like an odd choice of topic for the director who usually makes "bro" action flicks with Mark Wahlberg? Don't forget the two worked together on 2012's box office dud Battleship, and that's apparently where Berg took a liking to her. Let's just hope this documentary turns out better than the expensive flop that inspired it. 

Tim Miller's Version Of 'Deadpool 2' Would've Included The Fantastic Four

Nowadays it's really tough to make a Marvel movie that bombs as hard as 2015's Fantastic Four did. A disaster from top to bottom, it not only saw the ruination of director Josh Trank's career (for now) for reasons both personal and professional, it somehow only made $168M worldwide and ended the franchise before it ever got going. But there was a chance Marvel's First Family could have been saved, courtesy of the Merc with a Mouth.

Deadpool 2 concept artist Alexander Lozano revealed images that show then-director Tim Miller planned to include the Fantastic Four, same actors and all but with different costumes. He also released images that showed different take on Cable, Deadpool, Juggernaut, and apparently Cable's mentor Blaquesmith was nearly in the movie, too.  Damn, we might've had a classic Juggernaut vs. Thing matchup on Yancey Street. That would have been amazing,

Unfortunately, Miller departed Deadpool 2 over the dreaded "creative differences", and was replaced by David Leitch who wanted to do his own thing. Disappointing but understandable, and the film turned out great.

Chances are the next time we see the Fantastic Four will be when/if Marvel Studios relaunch the franchise after the Fox/Disney merger. Maybe then it'll be "clobberin' time" for Aunt Petunia's ever lovin' blue-eyed Thing. Check out some of the art below, followed by a dirty new teaser for the Deadpool 2 Super Duper Cut which hits stores tomorrow.

'Night School' Trailer: Tiffany Haddish Beats Some Sense Into Kevin Hart

The math on the upcoming comedy Night School should be simple as pre-algebra class. Take Girls Trip breakout Tiffany Haddish, pair her up with the reliably funny Kevin Hart with his lucrative box office muscle, throw in Girls Trip and The Best Man director Malcolm D. Lee and it should equal plenty of $$$ to go around. Nobody's looking to break the mold here, and with Hart and Haddish at the top of the ticket nobody should have to.

This looks pretty silly, which I think is exactly what's called for. Hart plays a guy who joins a classful of other night school misfits looking to earn their GED. Haddish plays their ruffneck teacher who has no problem beating the answers out of Hart's dumbass. The cast is made up of folks you definitely recognize, like Romany Malco, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Fat Joe, Taran Killam, Keith David, Rob Riggle, Ben Schwartz, Jacob Batalon, and Megalyn Echikkunwoke.

Night School opens September 28th, and hopefully this is the last trailer.

Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club' Just Had An Embarrassing Debut Weekend

Kevin Spacey used to be the man, winning Oscars for American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, getting the rare opportunity to play Lex Luthor, and basically getting any role he wanted because he was just that damn good. It was only a year ago he still had his role on House of Cards, a hit film in Baby Driver, anda potential awards-worthy part in Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World . Now, a movie with Spacey in it earns a record-breaking low of just $618. It's just damned sad and humiliating.

We posted about the richie rich drama Billionaire Boys Club a while back, and how it was wild that a Spacey movie could still be released after his fall from grace over sexual assault allegations. Well, there's probably more money in your bank account than the film made at the box office last weekened. At 11 random theaters it earned just $618, kicked off by a "whopping" $126 on its first day. So it trended upwards, at least? I guess Scott was right to kick Spacey's ass out of his movie. That's about a $56 per site average, so we can assume there were no big parties setting their schedule to this one. 

Suffice it to say, those were some cavernous theaters who dared to show this thing, although from what I hear the movie is actually quite good. It's based on a true story of some wealthy L.A. kids in 1980s who got rich off a Ponzi scheme they cooked up. Taron Egerton, Ansel Elgort, Jeremy Irvine, Suki Waterhouse, and Emma Roberts are in the cast with Spacey in a supporting role as an investor they get into some trouble with. So it's not like the film was without star power.

To be fair, it's been out on VOD for a month, and it played like a movie that's been available to watch from your couch for over a month. 

'Outlaw King' Trailer: Chris Pine Reunites With David Mackenzie For A Medieval Epic

When your last two films are as acclaimed as Starred Up and Hell or High Water, it's safe to say expectations for your next one are incredibly high. And it seems director David Mackenzie is meeting them, as his Robert the Bruce drama Outlaw King has been set as TIFF's Opening Night film, with awards buzz swirling around it and star Chris Pine.

The first trailer is here and it's so much bigger than anything else Mackenzie has ever attempted. And yet the themes are so familiar as well as the personal approach. Pine stars as Robert the Bruce, a 14th-century outlaw hero who rose to become King of Scots. As you might expect from a story set in the Braveheart period, this "untold true story" has more than its share of epic battles and big rousing speeches. Now we just need to see how Pine fares as a leader of men who aren't soaring in the Starshp Enterprise.

Also starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Tony Curran, Stephen Dillane, James Cosmo, Callan Mulvey, and Sam Spruell, Outlaw King hits Netflix on November 9th.

Alec Baldwin Gets 'Stupid Happy', 'Just Mercy' Casts O'Shea Jackson Jr., Thomas Mann Joins 'Lady And The Tramp'

Alec Baldwin, who keeps his feet on the ground in this summer's Mission: Impossible-Fallout, is starring in the indie Stupid Happy. He's joined by Judith Light (Growing Pains), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), and Luke Cage star Mike Colter. The film is directed by Hannah Pearl Utt, who co-wrote the script with Jen Tullock and play roles in the ensemble. The story follows sisters who learn after their playwright father's death that their mother, who they thought was long dead, is actually alive and starring on a soap opera. [Deadline]

Ice Cube's son keeps racking up solid roles in his young career. O'Shea Jackson Jr. has joined the talented cast of courtroom drama Just Mercy, based on the true story of renowned civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson as he fights to help those caught up in a flawed legal system. Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, and Jamie Foxx star, with Destin Cretton (Short Term 12) behind the camera. Jackson was seen earlier this year in Den of Thieves, and has a role coming up in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. [THR]

Thomas Mann will take on the human role of Jim Dear in Disney's live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp. The Charlie Bean-directed film already has Tessa Thompson as the voice of high-class Cocker Spaniel named Lady, who embarks on a romantic journey with street mongrel Tramp, voiced by Justin Theroux. Jim Dear is Lady's human owner who makes the decision to get rid of her after he and his wife, played by Kiersey Clemons, have their first child.  Ashley Jensen and Benedict Wong voice other canines in the film, which will be part of Disney's streaming service next year. Mann was last seen in Brain on Fire opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.

Regina Hall Says "The Girls Are Coming Back" For 'Girls Trip 2'

The Flossy Posse is getting back together! Of course, we already knew there would be a sequel to Girls Trip, the breakout comedy of 2017. They were talking about it barely a month after the film opened, on its way to $140M worldwide. Now Regina Hall is chiming in and saying “the girls are coming back”, although she doesn't know where the Posse will be headed next time...

“We’re trying to make that happen,” Hall told BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM. “So we’re trying to get everything together with the schedule. I think they’re working on something. I don’t know where we’re going. I don’t know where the girls are going, but… we’re going somewhere.”

They've already done New Orleans, so wouldn't Las Vegas be a natural fit? Isn't that where most sequels tend to go?

Of course, Hall would have to be joined by co-stars Jada Pinkett Smith, breakout star Tiffany Haddish, and Queen Latifah. They played four college friends who party way too hard during EssenceFest in New Orleans. The film was proof that Hollywood can make a hit movie led by and targeted at black women, but it hasn't exactly led to a changing of the guard. Perhaps making money off a Girls Trip 2 will do it?