Revew: Serena

Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

!

Review: Home'

With the Voices of Rihanna, Jim Parsons, and Steve Martin

Review: Danny Collins

Starring Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, and Jennifer Garner

Check out the latest recap of The Walking Dead!

Will everyone make it to the season finale?

Review: Get Hard

Starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart!

3/30/2015

Ciara Renee Cast as Hawkgirl in CW's The Flash/Arrow Spinoff


The CW's spinoff of The Flash and Arrow mostly remains a mystery. The odd assortment of characters is the biggest question mark. It's described as a team-up series but it sounds more like a Brave and the Bold-style anthology with such a mixed lineup. Most recently a character breakdown was unveiled that listed three characters still to be cast, and now we know one of them will be Kendra Saunders aka Hawkgirl.

Taking on the Hawkgirl role will be relative newcomer, Ciara Renée, who has done some work on stage and appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU.  Hawkgirl first appeared way back in 1940 and has undergone many changes over the years. Saunders was a young woman who committed suicide, only to have the soul of her grandfather's cousin, the original Hawkgirl, entered her body. She decided to live up to the family legacy and take on the mantle of Hawkgirl. The most recent version of the character is a professional treasure hunter with wings grafted on to her back.

In the spinoff series, Kendra will have learned she's been reincarnated numerous times over the course of centuries, with her warrior personality coming out, along with a set of wings, when provoked into action.

Renée joins Brandon Routh as the Atom, Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell as Heat Wave, Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein, and Caity Lotz in an unspecified role. There are still three characters, which have never been seen on TV before, that need to be cast. Hawkgirl doesn't count as she was seen on an episode of Smallville and has been part of the various Justice League animated shows. [Deadline]

Ryan Reynolds Talks R-Rating for 'Deadpool'; Newcomer Cast as Negasonic Teenage Warhead


Ever since the beginning, Ryan Reynolds and the film's writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been saying Deadpool should be rated 'R'. Anyone who has read the character's early (and best) comics appearance know an R-rating is what would make the most sense. Nothing has been decided yet, though, but Reynolds hit Twitter and revealed he's trying to make sure it won't be rated PG-13...


While Deadpool could work as a PG-13 film it's certainly not what the character's fans are expecting. Meanwhile, I doubt they were expecting to learn that Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the little-seen character created by Grant Morrison in the pages of New X-Men, will be part of the film. Brianna Hildebrand will play Negasonic, who was a mutant with incredible telepathic and precognitive powers. She was a student of Emma Frost's (played by January Jones in X-Men: First Class) but was killed in a sentinel attack on the mutant nation of Genosha. Hildebrand also has a role in the upcoming comedy horror, Scouts vs. Zombies.

Directed by Tim Miller and starring Gina Carano, TJ Miller, Morena Baccarin, and Ed Skrein, Deadpool opens February 12th 2016. [THR]

Disney's Developing a Live-Action 'Mulan' Because Of Course They Are


The most surprising thing about this latest news is that we hadn't heard anything about it sooner. Disney has found that simply taking their most popular animated hits and throwing a bunch of actual humans in them is a good way to make lots of money. Cinderella has done over $300M already, while Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland were both huge. With Dumbo and Beauty and the Beast already on the way, now you can add Mulan to the list.

Yep, Disney is developing a live-action version of Mulan, the 1998 animated princess film that was notable at the time for having an Asian lead character, voiced by Agents of SHIELD's Ming-Na Wen. The story is based on a Chinese legend about a young girl who poses as a man so she can fight in a war against the invading Hun army, rather than her elderly father who was actually the one drafted. The film did well, earning more than $300M worldwide, and spawned a straight-to-DVD sequel nobody liked.

This isn't the first time the idea of a Mulan film has been brought up. Some years ago Speed director Jan De Bont was set to direct Zhang Ziyi in a project that never got off the ground. Mulan's story was also told in epic fashion in 2009's award-winning Mulan: Rise of a Warrior.

While there's no director or cast in place yet, this Mulan will have a script by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek. Perhaps at some point Disney will take all of these remakes and have one giant crossover? [THR]

ABC Family Picks Up 'The Mortal Instruments' TV Series, 'Shadowhunters'


There's such a thing as failing upwards. It happens in business all of the time, and sometimes it happens in Hollywood. A franchise that maybe didn't perform so well on the big screen could find success elsewhere, and that's what may happen with YA flop The Mortal Instruments.

Last fall we learned that Cassandra Clare's novels could be turned into a TV series, and now THR reports ABC Family has given it a straight-to-series order. ABC Family? Makes sense in a way as Clare's story follows a young girl (played by Lily Collins in the film but surely will be recast) who discovers on her 18th birthday that she comes from a long family line of Shadowhunters, human-angel hybrids that battle demons.  The 13-episode series will be titled Shadowhunters and has Ed Decter (The Client List) as its showrunner.

Surely the series will be turned into something like The Vampire Diaries, which is probably how it always should have been. [THR]

'Tron: Legacy' Sequel's Title Revealed?


Although the lukewarm response to Tron: Legacy didn't really demand a sequel, Disney obviously feels the $400M it earned is enough reason. Earlier this month those plans were set in motion with production reportedly to begin this fall. Now Production Weekly has a better idea of the start date, and possibly the film's official title.



Interestingly, Tron: Ascension is also the name of a Tron fan-fic, of which there are many. Not saying there's a connection or anything like that.

Garrett Hedlund is expected back to star as Sam Flynn, but nothing has been heard about Jeff Bridges or Olivia Wilde. Given how Tron: Legacy wrapped up we may not see Bridges return but Wilde was arguably the most popular character (she certainly looked the coolest) and losing her would be huge. And what about Cillian Murphy, who cameo'd as Edward Dillinger Jr. in a scene clearly meant to set up a sequel? Lots of questions needing to be answered, and honestly I don't know if anybody cares enough about Tron to worry about the answers. But if production is to begin in October we should begin hearing some solid info on casting soon.

Steve McQueen Working on New BBC Series; Gillian Flynn to Co-Write McQueen's Heist Thriller


Steve McQueen seems to have found a new home on the small screen. Certainly he's geared his upcoming projects towards TV series rather than feature films, which may suck for those of us who love the 12 Years a Slave and Shame director's movies. He's working with HBO on the six-episode series Codes of Conduct, which he will direct completely, and now he's got another series developing with the BBC.

McQueen will direct and co-write with Debbie Tucker Green a new BBC series centering on the lives of black British friends living in West London. The series, of which a search is on to find writers for the scripts, will begin in the 1960s and go all the way through to present day. Production is being eyed to begin in the spring of 2016.

Meanwhile, McQueen's next film, which we previously learned would be an adaptation of Brit miniseries, Widows, has just landed a co-writer in Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn. Talk about a powerhouse combo! The film is basically a heist thriller about the wives of armed robbers who aim to finish the job their husbands died attempting.  Add this to Flynn's growing presence in Hollywood. Not only is an adaptation of her book Dark Places on the way with Charlize Theron in the lead role, but Flynn is reteaming with David Fincher on the HBO series, Utopia. [Deadline/ScreenDaily]

Scott Eastwood and Boxer Raymond Olubowale Join the 'Suicide Squad'



In just a couple of weeks Scott Eastwood will be showing his romantic side (and apparently a lot of his bare chest) in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride. Things get a lot more serious after that as he's got a role in Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden film, and now he's enlisted for a role in David Ayer's Suicide Squad.

Eastwood and boxer Raymond Olubowale (Resident Evil: Retribution) have joined the growing cast of Suicide Squad, which is gearing up for production to begin soon. Who will they play? That much is unclear but Latino Review speculated Olubowale will play King Shark, who actually looks like a giant shark. At one point he actually became a member of the Suicide Squad (shoot, most villains have at some point) under duress.

Suicide Squad opens August 5th 2016 and stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, and Cara Delevingne. [eTalk]

Watch Triple H Hit the Ring as the Terminator at Last Night's WrestleMania


So many of you may not be fans of professional wrestling, but I'm pretty much an obsessive. Last night was WWE's biggest night of the year as WrestleMania blew up Santa Clara, CA and Levi's Stadium. One of my favorite things to look forward to each year is the totally gratuitous, nonsensical, overly-elaborate entrances Triple H creates for himself. Last night was no different as he hit the ring with a wild Terminator-themed entrance, in honor of his pal and recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's completely ridiculous, but I guess it partially makes up for the fact his match with Sting was total shit. Check it out.


'Jurassic World' is Open for Business in New TV Spot


Twenty years may have passed and Isla Nublar may be a fully functioning park, but they still haven't quite figured out how to deal with their dinosaur problem. Maybe it's because their biggest problem is with the humans? During last night's episode of The Walking Dead, a new TV spot for Jurassic World was released that shows just how insane things are going to get. Pterosaurs (that's what they are, right?) swooping in from above, super pumped-up Velociraptors....yeah it's going to be wild.

So how does it all go wrong this time? The park isn't making enough money, attendance is down, and those greedy humans think they have a solution. Of course it goes terribly wrong and before you know it, dinosaurs are rampaging all over the place. Good thing Chris Pratt is there to save the day! Or become dino food.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, Jurassic World opens June 12th.


JURASSIC WORLD - 'The Park is OPEN' Trailer by NewViralVideo

What’s Up with “The Walking Dead”: Recap of season five finale “Conquer”


“Luck runs out.”

Another season of The Walking Dead is complete with last night’s fifth season finale “Conquer,” and I’ll go ahead and say that I think this season may have been the most successful of the show so far (aside from the first season, which probably had the strongest scenes overall).

Yes, the whole Dawn storyline was terrible, and yes, Beth’s protracted death sentence wasn’t great, and oof, Sasha’s characterization is still pretty underdeveloped and melodramatic. But I think “Conquer” continued to do a lot of things right that the show, as a season, has done right so far. The deaths mattered; I’m still torn up about the loss of Tyreese. The suggestion that maybe Rick isn’t a good guy resonated; the final shot of this episode, contrasting Rick and Morgan, exemplified that wonderfully. The notion that any kind of constructed social order is undeniably futile in this new world, and that “civilization” can make you weak, was hammered home in Alexandria to solid effect. Those were all good things!

To be fair, “Conquest” still dragged its feet a bit. We don’t get a clear answer, necessarily, about what the carved “W” means in the walking dead; yes, the dude who threatens Morgan gives half an answer of cult-like mumbo jumbo, but clearly we’re just setting up next season’s big bad at this point. There haven’t been any repercussions for Father Gabriel, despite his continued sabotage of Rick and Co. and Alexandria as a whole. And although we finally reunited Morgan and Rick, that was a scene that has been seasons in the making. It needed to happen now, lest the dragging-out of that subplot get fully ridiculous.

But let’s talk about the five things that were most important in “Conquest,” and briefly theorize on what will happen next season …

+ “Put that down. Because I want it. I want everything you have. Every last drop. … I’m taking you, too. And you’re not exactly gonna be alive.” Great cold open for the show this week as we finally see a living person with the “W” carved into his forehead. I don’t think he was introduced with a name, but the guy displayed maximum creepy factor while threatening Morgan, yammering on about “wolves” and “natives” and how wolves are “back now” and “transformed into men” to get their revenge on people or something? I don’t know, it was all very cult-like. (For my comic book readers, I think that the “wolves” are going to be the show’s version of that guy with the thing who uses it against the other guy? If you know what I mean?) But Morgan wasn’t having any of it, whipping out some amazing ninja skills with his walking stick and beating up both the main guy and his co-hunter who tried to surprise-attack him… yet they managed to survive, and we see them again at the end of the episode, showing up at the food factory where Aaron and Daryl almost died and acting like they owned the place.

So what is my takeaway here? These guys are soldiers of some other leader, someone else who helped design the insane traps of the food factory, and they’re coming for Alexandria next, since Aaron dropped his supply bag with pictures of Rick and Co. in it. Obviously.

+ “Wasn’t nobody’s fault.” All the fan-fiction writers who thought Daryl and Aaron would kiss in that car, sorry all your dreams got crushed when that didn’t happen. And yet! Daryl doesn’t have many friends, and it’s clear that he cares about Aaron and sees him as an ally—why else offer to essentially sacrifice himself to save Aaron’s life? Clearly he sees Aaron’s mission of bringing new people to Alexandria as a viable, worthy one, and I think Daryl honoring those intentions by giving up his own life is an important step.

But of course neither of them had to die because MORGAN SHOWED UP AND WAS AMAZING, and honestly this whole subplot was great. From Aaron and Daryl trying to find and save the guy in the red poncho (basically a redo of the subplot with the horse Buttons from a few episodes ago) to stumbling upon the food factory and tripping off all the elaborate traps (those undead corpses hanging from meat hooks will haunt me for a while) to Daryl decapitating three zombies at once with the chain whip to then finding that chilling note in the car they hid out in (“Trap bad people coming don’t stay”), it all worked. Excellent tension! I didn’t even notice how that one female zombie crawling toward Aaron and Daryl under the truck had strangely, blindingly white teeth that looked like she just visited a dentist. Didn’t notice that at all!

Also, the spray paint on the black SUV, “WOLVES NOT FAR”—did the “wolves” themselves do that? As a way to advertise themselves during hunting sessions? I didn’t get it, but it was a powerful image to end the season on, I suppose.

+ “Something’s gonna happen. Just don’t make something happen.” So, Rick killing Jessie’s husband, Pete—do we consider that a real turning point for Grimes? He’s killed people before, people who threatened his group; don’t forget the slaughter of the cannibals in Father Gabriel’s church (which, honestly, might have been what fully pushed Father Gabriel over the edge). And to be fair, killing Pete was justifiable not only because of his abuse of Jessie and his sons, but also of course for his killing of Deanna’s husband Redge with Michonne’s stolen katana sword. But while Michonne warns Rick to not “make something happen,” isn’t everything that has happened in Alexandria since Rick and Co.’s arrival technically his fault?

That’s not to say Aiden wasn’t an idiot. He was. That’s not to say Pete wasn’t a jerk. He was. But Deanna had some kind of false happy society constructed, and Rick, with his reality of what the world is really like now, smashed that all apart. He didn’t make Pete kill Redge, but he set events in motion that theoretically crafted that possibility. And so when he executes Pete, and when Morgan sees it, the suggestion is clear: Is this Rick Grimes the same man as all those seasons ago when he and Morgan first met? Morgan, the man who just saved Daryl and Aaron because “all life is precious”—what is he going to think of the man he just traveled all these miles to reconnect with? On the map Abraham left for Rick, he said the world needed him, and that was the argument Maggie, Michonne, Carol, and the rest made at the Alexandria public meeting to discuss his fate. Carol couldn’t have said it more clearly: “People like me, people like us, need people like him.” But you have to wonder which version of Rick Grimes is the best one, and whether killing Pete is the Rick we need or just the one we’ve got.

+ “The word of God is the only protection I need.” Goddammit, Father Gabriel, you are the worst! I want great things for Seth Gilliam and I’m happy that he has work, but ugh, how much longer can we go on like this? Father Gilliam tries to offer himself up to get eaten in a suicide-by-zombie death wish, but can’t go through it. After failing, he then leaves the door open to Alexandria, letting zombies walk in (although, you could blame Deanna’s son, the one played by Julian from One Tree Hill, for also being an idiot, but still). Then he antagonizes the suffering Sasha and encourages her to kill him. Get your shit together, Father Gabriel! You can’t go on like this!

And yes, Maggie is a good person for breaking up the fight between Sasha and Father Gabriel and then praying with them instead of finally acting on the knowledge that Father Gabriel tried to sway Deanna against the group (did she really not tell anyone about that earlier?), but Father Gabriel is, at this point, dead weight. How long until he tries to sabotage them again? I have concerns!

+ “They need us. They’ll die without us.” Carl got significantly better as a character this season, but this conscience? It’s not sustainable. Not when Rick is right about how “the ones out there, they’ll hunt us, they’ll find us … try to kill us.” And sometimes, even the ones on the inside will try to kill you, too—how else to explain Pete? “Luck runs out.” And as good as Carl’s intensions are, it would be good for him to remember that—for everyone in Alexandria to remember that.

And finally, some odds and ends:

+ I have been irritated with the Sasha storyline for the past few episodes, but that image of her lying on top of the bodies in the mass zombie grave she was digging—OK, that was powerful.

+ Tara wakes up! And Eugene and Abraham make up! (“I almost killed you.” “Yeah, there’s that.”) Rosita is one very happy camper.

+ Morgan grabbing the rabbit foot from the car after evading the “wolves”—a good way to bring in the “luck” theme running through this episode.

+ This week’s choice Abraham line, delivered while defending Rick to the Alexandria public: “There is a vast ocean of shit you people don't know shit about.” Fact!

+ Michonne is so ride or die with Rick, I love it: “That was for you. Not them,” she says of her punch to knock him out during the fight with Pete last week. I believe her—if he had killed Pete then, they definitely would have gotten kicked out of Alexandria immediately. But diffusing the situation bought them time, which of course Michonne would be smart enough to understand.

+ Carol is Rick’s personal Lady Macbeth, and I adore her for it. Can’t argue with her Alexandria assimilation tactics—“Just tell them the story that they want to hear. Because these people are children, and children like stories”—as well as her cold analysis of all it would take to overpower them—“We still have knives. That’s all we’ll need against them.” And her hissing at Rick to “do it” when Pete shows up at the meeting, brandishing Michonne’s katana? Excellently done.

+ “I screwed up, and here we are” could be the title of Rick Grimes’s autobiography, honestly.

+ Anyone think that the “wolves” are probably led by the people Deanna sent away, the “two men and a woman” that Aaron describes to Daryl? “I brought them in and I had to see them out,” he says—and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees them all over again next season.


+ Michonne slinging her katana back on at the end of the episode = all is right with the world.