Review: The Lego Ninjago Movie

Featuring Dave Franco, Jackie Chan, Olivia Munn, and more!

Review: Battle of the Sexes

Starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell

Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, and Channing Tatum

Review: Stronger

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany

Review: Brad's Status

Starring Ben Stiller

9/25/2017

David Oyelowo & 'Moonlight' Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney Are Making A Disney Musical


How's this for a deadly combo? Disney. David Oyelowo. And Oscar-winning Moonlight screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney.  And they're coming together on a live-action musical. Just take my money now.

Oyelowo will star in the McCraney-scripted musical which is titled Cyrano the Moor, and if you guessed it to be a combo of Cyrano de Bergerac and Othello, you win! How that's going to play out is anybody's guess because the two stories don't really seem to mesh. Cyrano de Bergerac is about a poet with a very large nose and no self-confidence who becomes a wingman of sorts to a handsome man's efforts to win the heart of the beautiful Roxanne. Othello is about how a man with everything sees his life destroyed by the jealous Iago.

For modern takes on both stories, check out Steve Martin in Roxanne, and O starring Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett, and Julia Stiles.  Oyelowo just had an off-Broadway run playing Othello opposite Daniel Craig, so he's well versed on the material.

Disney has high hopes for Cyrano the Moor, planning it to be a lavish musical in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and their other classics. [Deadline]

'Underworld' TV Series Moves Forward; Len Wiseman Updates On 'Die Hard' Prequel


After 2012's Underworld: Awakening, the fourth movie in the long-lived vampire/werewolf franchise, earned $160M worldwide, it looked like the time was coming for a reboot. Rumors began surfacing that a TV series spinoff, one featuring Theo James' character, were in the works. Ultimately, Kate Beckinsale returned for last year's Underworld: Blood Wars, which made a paltry $81M, a franchise low. So it's no surprise talk of the TV show have stirred up again.

Underworld creator Len Wiseman is moving forward on the series, which he hopes will get picked up by a premium cable/network service. Makes sense considering how much blood gets spilled in these movies. Wiseman says...

“The series will be a pretty big departure from the films. I don’t want to say it’s more adult, but it’s definitely less comic book in its tone and character.”

What he means is that it'll be more adult. By the way, there are still plans in effect for a sixth Underworld movie, but who knows if that's been put on hold now. Maybe there can be a big screen/small screen crossover?

Wiseman also says that Die Hard Year One movie, the one first mentioned a couple of years ago, is still in effect. The idea, which sounds like it was taken from the Boom! Studios comic book, would follow John McClane during one of his early adventures in the 1970s NYPD as a regular beat cop. Bruce Willis would be back, of course, as the older, jaded, and very much hated version of McClane. Wiseman says of the casting process...

“The right casting for this role is crucial. Those bare feet have some very big shoes to fill.”

Big shoes, indeed. But if they could find somebody to play a young Han Solo, this should be a cinch.



James Cameron's New 'Terminator' Will Pretend 'Terminator Genisys' Doesn't Exist


James Cameron makes money off the Terminator franchise whether he has anything to do with directing them or not. We know because he was out there schilling for most of them, like Terminator Genisys. But we know he didn't think much of those movies now, and the proof is right here in Arnold Schwarzenegger's comments to The Terminator Fans...

“Cameron was not involved in the others, so he does not acknowledge the others.”

Well then, okay. That's what Arnold had to say when talking about Cameron's philosophy going forward on the latest trilogy, which will not only bring back Arnold but Linda Hamilton as well, with Tim Miller (Deadpool) directing. 

So the new movies will be ignoring Genisys and anything Cameron had nothing to do with. Sorry, Terminator Salvation fans.  It also means Terminator 3 is now...what, just some random one-shot? Ugh. That's unfortunate because I kind of like that one. Basically this thing is going to pick up after Terminator 2: Judgment Day and everything else has been scorched in a SkyNet nuclear fire. 

Then again, do we really need to see the aging T-800 again? Why can't we just get a cool story set in that universe? Why do we need the same old characters that have been bringing in smaller and smaller audiences for years? 

'Big Hero 6: The Series' Clip: The Team Faces Their Toughest Foe


I really wanted a Big Hero 6 sequel but it doesn't look like Disney is going to give us one. Hopefully the upcoming Disney XD animated series can match the light-hearted fun, tech-based action, and sense of family that led the movie to over $650M worldwide. I just want to be satisfied with my care, alright?

Disney has teased the first clip, which has the team facing their toughest enemy yet: the espresso machine! The series picks up immediately following the events of the movie, and even reunites most of the voice cast. Ryan Potter is back as young genius Hiro, with Scott Adsit as Baymax, Maya Rudolph as Aunt Cass, Jamie Chung as Go Go, Alan Tudyk as Alistair Krei, Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon, and Stan Lee as Fred's Dad. Brooks Wheelan now voices Fred, with Khari Payton as Wasabi. 

Here's the series synopsis:  The Disney Television Animation-produced series picks up immediately following the events of the feature film and continues the adventures and friendship of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro and his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax. Along with their friends Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred, they form the legendary superhero team Big Hero 6 and embark on high-tech adventures as they protect their city from an array of scientifically enhanced villains. In his normal day-to-day life, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges and social trials as the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

Big Hero 6: The Series premieres on Disney XD in November. 

Trailer For Angelina Jolie's 'First They Killed My Father' Reminds You It's Already Out


If you want to know why people like me are worried about Dee Rees' Oscar-worthy Mudbound being bought by Netflix, then look no further than Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father. The film has, obviously, the star power of Jolie attached to it, strong buzz from the festival circuit, and the material, about a young girl's struggles to survive the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, is a dramatic powerhouse. And yet you must've missed that it came out on Netflix ten days ago, because here's a new trailer as a reminder.

Netflix movies just fall down the memory hole for some reason.  Here's a synopsis:

Directed by Angelina Jolie, FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER is the adaptation of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung’s gripping memoir of surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978. The story is told through her eyes, from the age of five, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, to nine years old. The film depicts the indomitable spirit and devotion of Loung and her family as they struggle to stay together during the Khmer Rouge years.

Will this be enough to get people talking about the film again? We'll soon see.

Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson Go On Tour In New 'Pitch Perfect 3' Trailer


Pitch Perfect was an unexpected hit in 2012 with over $100M, a bunch of sing-a-long screenings, and countless renditions of Anna Kendrick's "Cups" on YouTube. The, in my opinion, rather terrible sequel more than doubled the box office and really seemed to shut the door on the Bellas' story. What's left to do after the World Championships?  Fail at life and join the military? Well there you go, because that's the plot for Pitch Perfect 3.

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, and Hailee Steinfeld are back in the third (and final????) chapter in the saga, and this time they're taking the act on tour. The USO Tour to be exact, where they'll share the stage with real bands with real instruments and real talent. Looks like Beca (Kendric) will be fielding offers from labels to split from her crew. What are the chances they all get a record deal by the end of the movie? There's also a concerted effort to put more emphasis on Steinfeld, suggesting a passing of the torch may finally take place. I think we all expected it last time but it didn't happen, so now might be the right time.

While I don't think this looks any good at all, chances are it'll be another smash. The holiday season release date doesn't hurt, either.  Directed by Trish Sie, Pitch Perfect 3 opens December 22nd.

Don't Expect Multiple Versions Of 'Blade Runner 2049'


If you're thinking that Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 will follow in the footsteps of Ridley Scott's 1982 original by having half a dozen different versions out there, then think again. Scott's Blade Runner had different cuts for multiple audiences, some domestic and some international, but if you want the director's full vision, you want The Final Cut. Villeneuve tells Comingsoon we won't have to figure out which cut of the film is definitive because he's only doing one. Well, that makes it easy.

“No, no. I don’t believe in that. When I cut something out, it’s because it’s dead after that. It’s like a branch of a tree, cut. I never put [out] extended versions or additional footage. If it’s not in the movie, it’s because we felt it was not appropriate or good enough. I don’t do that. I hate that. Honestly… it’s never better, the extended version. There was a reason. Even Apocalypse Now. Apocalypse Now Redux is not a good idea. I don’t believe in it, apart from Touch of Evil. The rest of the time, most of the movies, the original versions, and Blade Runner… that’s the truth.”

I'll admit to liking the international cut of Blade Runner for the brief bits of excessive violence they put in, otherwise it's the final version all the way. Good to know that Villeneueve intends on keeping things simple, and if Warner Bros. suddenly decides to put out multiple versions of Blade Runner 2049 we'll know the theatrical one is his preference.

Blade Runner 2049 opens October 6th.

'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' Trailer: Dylan O'Brien Races To The Finale


After the first couple Maze Runner movies came out in fairly rapid succession, the wait for the third, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, has been pretty long. When star Dylan O'Brien went down to a serious on-set injury it was a major setback, delaying its release almost a full year. But everything got rolling again, and now the first trailer is here to remind you this franchise still exists when others have fallen by the wayside.

Looking like a kid again rather than the hardened soldier he was in American Assassin, O'Brien leads the final chapter in Wes Ball's saga. Could I tell you what the heck is going on at this point? Hardly. The first film was terrific, offering a genuine puzzle to figure out mixed with some great action sequences. The sequel, 'The Scorch Trials', was less coherent and this new footage makes even less sense. But I trust it'll all come together in the end. Here's the synopsis:

In the conclusion to the Maze Runner trilogy, Thomas and the surviving Gladers prepare to face off against WCKD one last time as they fight to find a cure for the deadly disease known as The Flare that has wiped out most of the world. Friendships and loyalties will be tested and the fight against WCKD will also determine who will survive in the end.

Right. Gladers. WCKD. Okay, it's starting to come back to me a little bit.

Also starring Rosa Salazar, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen, and Giancarlo Esposito, Maze Runner: The Death Cure opens January 26th 2018.


9/24/2017

Box Office: Kingsman Hits Hard, Ninjago and Friend Request Come Up Short


1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle(review)- $39M
The follow up to the surprise comic book hit from Matthew Vaughn lands the #1 spot with a respectable $39 million. Having only seen it once it's hard to compare to the original, as the first Kingsman became one of those rare movies that you can't turn off once it hits cable. That being said, especially given the competition, this 1st place finish is well deserved!
2. IT- $30M/$266.3M
Showing some surprising staying power IT holds onto the number 2 spot. Given that we are just now getting close to October and there are plenty of Halloween inspired date weekends to come I wouldn't be surprised to see Pennywise hang around the top 10 for another few weeks at least.
3. The LEGO Ninjago Movie- $21.2M
The first deep cuts film of the newly minted LEGO cinematic universe shows us that just because it's marked LEGO, doesn't mean it's marked #1. Ninjago is a very popular sub-genre of the ultra-popular building block company, however these numbers show that you need either a second big brand name, The LEGO Batman Movie, or the kind of big time ultra mash-up marketing bonanza that accompanied the original The LEGO Movie. Budget numbers are currently unreleased on this one but I would imagine they run parellel to that of a traditionally animated movie, so $21M isn't going to cut it. Unless this cleans up overseas and gets some long legs on video I'm going to imagine that LEGO is going to stick to the wide appeal sections.
4. American Assassin- $6.2M/$26.1M
This makes me sad. That is all.
5. Home Again- $3.3M/$23.3M
6. mother!- $2.6M/$13.4M
7. Friend Request- $2.4M
The first indie horror film of the season fell flat but don't feel too bad. These flicks are always cheap, with this one coming in just under $10 million, it'll make it's money back by the time Halloween gets here but not much more.
8. The Hitman's Bodyguard- $1.8M/$73.5M
9. Stronger- $1.7M
The week's final new top 10 release, starring Jake Gyllenhall opens low but given it's limited release of only 546 screens it didn't do too bad pulling in almost $3K per theater.
10. Wind River- $1.2M/$31.6M

9/23/2017

Jesse Eisenberg And Kiersey Clemons Both Reportedly Cut From 'Justice League'


With Joss Whedon coming aboard Justice League in place of Zack Snyder, we've heard about some of the changes he's been making to the film's tone. There's some debate about the scope of those changes, with some saying they're no big deal and others saying quite differently, but when entire characters are dropped I'd say Whedon is doing something significant.

Just last month rumors began surfacing that Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor had been cut from Justice League during Whedon's reshoots. Batman-News now confirms it, based on recent test screenings in which Luthor does not appear. But they also add that Kiersey Clemons' Iris West role has been dropped from the film.

In regards to Clemons, I think her part was always the shakiest anyway. What's been interesting to me is how little she actually seems to know about what's going on. It was just a few weeks ago that she was describing how "sick" her cameo appearance was, and at the same time she was admitting to being in the dark about Whedon's reshoots...

“No, I finished all my stuff with Zack [Snyder], I wish him well and I have no idea what’s going on right now but I’m sure whatever they’re doing is necessary. I know the parts that I did introducing Iris are f*cking sick. I can’t wait to see the movie."

She also added that when January rolls around she'll be taking a break from acting, so if Flashpoint isn't geared up to go by then there could be conflicts. I'm guessing the Iris West role is going to be recast soon because the film has no writer or director at this point, and Clemons already saw her Dope director Rick Famuyiwa walk.  Cutting her from Justice League may be the first step in Warner Bros. moving on.