Review: A United Kingdom

Starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike

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Starring Matt Damon, Andy Lau, and Jing Tian

Review: Fist Fight

Starring Charlie Day and Ice Cube

Review: A Cure for Wellness

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Review: In Dubious Battle

Directed by James Franco, Starring Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, and more

2/22/2017

Kristen Stewart Dives Into Adventure Thriller, 'Underwater'


While Kristen Stewart has spent most of her time in art house and prestige far lately, she still occasionally dabbles with mainstream studio projects. Although considering the returns on Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and American Ultra, maybe she shouldn't?  I think she's been doing her best work outside of the studio system, but that's just me. Anyway, she's headed back to multiplexes with a new film that sounds like The Abyss meets Armageddon.

Stewart will headline Underwater, which will be written and directed by Will Eubank, best known for the sci-fi thriller, The Signal. She plays a jaded crewmember of an underground science team who must go on a dangerous journey to survive after being rocked by an earthquake.

Does Stewart still have the goods to command the box office? We'll find out soon enough as cameras roll next month in New Orleans. [THR]

Jamie Chung To Play Blink On Fox's X-Men TV Series


Blink was one of the most popular X-Men around, which is why there was a great deal of excitement when the pink-skinned teleporter made her big screen debut in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Well fans of hers won't have to wait long to see her again because Blink will be a regular character on Fox's upcoming X-Men TV series, and she'll be played by Jamie Chung.

Chung, who got her start on MTV's The Real World and recently played Valerie Vale on Gotham, joins the previously-cast Blair Redford (Satisfaction) on the untitled show about a pair of ordinary parents who go on the run from a hostile government when their children are found to possess mutant powers. They meet up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive. Redford plays Sam, the strong-willed Native American leader of the resistance.

We've actually seen Chung in a bunch of comic book adaptations, including Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and she was the voice of GoGo in Big Hero 6.

So that's one known X-Man we know will be part of the show, and chances are there will be more. Which X-Men characters would you like to see added?

Angelina Jolie Eyes Two Acting Roles, Premieres 'First They Killed My Father'


We haven't seen Angelina Jolie in front of the camera since Beyond the Sea, a film she also directed. The past couple of years have shown a focus on her directing career, and even the acting roles she's been attached to, like Murder On the Orient Express, have fallen through.  Now as she continues to work on her Netflix drama First They Killed My Father (more on that in a bit), Jolie is eyeing a big return to acting with two potential roles.

THR reports Jolie is mulling a Catherine the Great biopic, which would center on the Russian ruler's love with military leader and nobleman, Prince Grigory Potemkin. It's based on Simon Sebag Montefiore’s book Catherine the Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair. The other project she's considering is based on Clare Mulley’s 2013 book The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville. Granville was a Polish aristocrat who became one of Britain's most accomplished spies, leading James Bond creator Ian Fleming to base the Casino Royale character Vesper Lynd on her. Also in the mix for Jolie is Maleficent 2, and Universal's Bride of Frankenstein remake. They've been trying to get her to agree to that for a while now. There's also the chance Jolie directs an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco’s 2004 war novel Without Blood. She has also agreed to produce Disney's kiddie flick, The One and Only Ivan.

Meanwhile, Jolie isn't done behind the camera yet. She's just debuted in Cambodia her historical drama, First They Killed My Father, based on Loung Ung's memoir about her experiences during the horrifying Khmer Rouge regime that murdered nearly two million people. A new featurette reveals more footage and the depth of Jolie's commitment, including her son Maddox in the production.  Netflix plans to release the film later this year during awards season.

Netflix Makes Power Move By Acquiring Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman'


You'll find no greater example of how far the movie landscape has changed than this: Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's long-developing gangster film, The Irishman, is headed to Netflix. Not only is this a sign of how the distribution model has fundamentally shifted, but it shows just how strong Netflix is right now. This is what you call a power move, people.

There are a number of factors at play here, from the behind-the-scenes shakeups at Paramount to the box office bomb that was Scorsese's Silence (Only made $7M worldwide but cost $50M) to The Irishman's reported $100M+ budget. Indiewire's Anne Thompson sums it up like this:  The Irishman‘s move to Netflix follows the departure of Paramount chairman Brad Grey, who was apparently the guy willing to take a gamble on a $100 million hitman drama from a director whose most recent movie for the studio was an unfortunate box office bomb. That movie was Silence, which Paramount released into a box office and critical void a few months ago (although time will surely be kind to it). They also released Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which was a box office and critical smash in 2013.

So with Paramount unable to take risks at the moment (That probably doesn't bode well for the delayed World War Z 2) and Netflix willing to spend big money for a true prestige picture, the pieces all came together nicely. Now all it needs is a confirmed cast. De Niro has been set to play real-life mob hitman Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran who has a list of high-profile kills a mile long. Part of the huge budget will be the de-aging effects so that De Niro can play Sheeran as young as 30.  Others rumored to be part of the cast are Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, and Joe Pesci who has been flaky about this whole thing for years.

If Netflix follows their usual model we can expect a very limited theatrical run to coincide with its streaming release. While no start date has been set 2019 seems like a fair bet.

The Afterlife Proves Dangerous In Trailer For 'The Discovery' Starring Jason Segel & Rooney Mara


For good reason The Discovery was one of the Sundance films highest on my most anticipated list. Writer/director Charlie McDowell had struck gold with his first film, The One I Love; and he'd gathered a great cast of Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, and Robert Redford for another trip down sci-fi's weird side. Well, I never got to see it, and the reviews from those I trust weren't exactly glowing, but the film is still hitting Netflix in a few weeks and here is another trailer with a ton of promise.

Redford plays a scientist who uncovers scientific proof that the afterlife exists, and that causes all kinds of problems for his estranged son, played by Segel, and a mysterious woman played by Mara. I can see where there could be problems; the whole suicide thing seems like a real drag and "interview" scenario has been done to death. But McDowell looks to have increased his scope visually by a substantial degree, and of course that cast is worth seeing no matter what. Here is the synopsis:

What would you do if there was proof of an afterlife? The answer to this question is rivetingly explored in The Discovery, where world-renowned physicist Doctor Thomas Harber (Robert Redford) is able to scientifically prove the existence of an afterlife—but with dire consequences. His estranged son, Will (Jason Segel), tries to confront the situation by returning to the New England–esque island where he grew up. He crosses paths with Isla (Rooney Mara), who’s returning to the island for mysterious reasons of her own. The tale unfolds over the ensuing days as the regret of past choices forces these lost characters to reflect on how they’ve gotten to where they are.

Netflix will debut The Discovery on March 31st.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: S4E15: “Self Control”



This week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., It’s a fight against the LMDs and an unexpected twist for the rest of the season.

Let’s just start right off the bat, this was probably one of the best Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes EVER on the hit ABC show!  It gave a great conclusion for the “LMD” story arc this season and also set up things for the rest of the season in a very unique way.  Last week after trying to take the fight to AIDA and Radcliffe in an attempt to rescue May (who has spent all this story arc as a prisoner in The Framework, the virtual reality Radcliffe created), a few of the agents were taken prisoner and replaced with replicant versions of themselves.  The only ones who aren’t robots are Fitz and Simmons, our favorite couple.

Or so we thought!

As the two are unsure who to trust, they play coy with the LMD versions of their teammates.  As the two try and walk away to formulate a plan, the LMD detector goes off.  One of them is not who they claim to be.  Much like Battlestar Galactica or The Thing, the two try and prove to each other they are in fact, human.  Simmons believes she is real as does Fitz.  Simmons then comes up with a rather unconventional way to test whether each other is human, let’s slit our own wrists.  It’s good that the show moved to the 10:00 PM slot because this is slowly leaving the comfortable PG area that we associate Marvel movies and shows with.  After slitting his wrists, Fitz keels over in pain as he’s about to bleed out, but it was all a ruse.  Fitz is also a robot!  LMD Fitz and Simmons start fighting and she gains the upper hand when she drops machinery on him.  Because the robot has Fitz’s memories, he appeals to Simmons telling her that he wants to marry her and they can do it in The Framework.  For a second she is tested before she bashes in his robot skull.

Since it wasn’t Fitz who AIDA swapped out, the only other person who is really themselves is Daisy.  Last week it looked like she was also an LMD but that is confirmed when we go see AIDA at her lair reviving Radcliffe from The Framework, where he had been for 24 hours.  Turns out AIDA’s been making command decisions while he was in the virtual world.  He also chastises her for keeping him there for more than 24 hours as it can be easy to lose one’s grip on reality while stuck in there.  AIDA also kept The Superior alive after his confrontation with Daisy.  The Superior tells her he does not want to be placed in a virtual world, nor does he want to become a robot, he’d rather die.  AIDA, ever the evil monster, had other plans, and breaks out a saw and operates on him.

The LMD agents have a plan on luring all the Inhumans currently registered with S.H.I.E.L.D. as a means of cornering them all in once place (since they are a threat to them) and killing them.  Under the guise of “protecting them” from a threat, they tell Daisy that she should make the calls and be the agency’s representative to them.  As she is preparing, she goes with LMD Mack who is keeping an eye on her.  While briefly separated, Daisy happens upon a storage container within the headquarters, where she sees numerous copies of herself.  She realizes that she’s a candidate for being replaced and hides among her replicants in a Westworld-style lineup (with a little bit of clothing on).  As LMD Mack cannot tell which is which, Daisy attacks him and manages to escape.

With Simmons defeating the LMD Fitz and Daisy escaping the LMD Back, the LMD agents now have to go after them.  They manage to convince the S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers that it is Daisy and Simmons who are the robots and to go after them.  Daisy and Simmons know this is happening and must formulate a plan of escape.  In a well-acted scene by both Chloe Bennet and Elizabeth Henstridge, they formulate a plan of stopping the LMD and saving the normal human agents in order to escape.  They use gas to knock out various humans, so that only the LMDs are still walking about.  After resuscitating the soldiers (and trying to convince them they are in fact, human) they attempt to lead them out.  Daisy manages to get into a well-choreographed battle with LMD Mace, only to be later cornered by LMD Coulson and LMD Mack.  After being shot a few times, she lets off a massive quake, obliterating LMD Mack, and convincing the soldiers that she and Simmons are the humans as they all try to escape.

The only thing standing in their way of escape is LMD May and a whole bunch of explosives.  Lucky for them, LMD May has not 100% been on board with her other robotic counterparts.  She is the only one that was programmed to think she was the actual May and thus, has May’s nobility.  LMD May opts to betray her LMD Team as she lets them escape before setting the explosives off.  LMD May also told Daisy and Simmons how to hack into The Framework.  The plan going moving forward is to hack into the virtual world and rescue their friends.

Meanwhile, AIDA has been having an internal crisis as well.  Her two directives are to safeguard The Framework but also protect Radcliffe as he is her creator.  The more she continues to try and study humanity, she knows that Radcliffe’s humanity might one day betray the Framework and she may have to stop him.  While she and Radcliffe talk about people being jacked in The Framework, he tells her hat their body may die but their consciousness will remain there.  This makes her choice easy as she forcefully connects his mind to the virtual world and then proceeds to slit his wrists ( a lot of wrist slitting this episode!).  With Radcliffe bleeding out, he’s only going to exist in The Framework.  Meanwhile she has resuscitated The Superior in a robotic body, however, he robotic body is being controlled by the human version of him that now only exists as a head in a jar virtually controlling it.  AIDA now wants The Superior to help her discover the secrets of The Darkhold as only a human mind can learn and a robotic body can protect it from.

At the end of the episode, Daisy connects into The Framework and we get to see the virtual reality for the first time in detail.  As the world can be created to the user’s wants and wishes (or pretty much anything), it’s a little bit different that the real world.  Coulson is a teacher and his lessons are anti-Inhuman.  Fitz is some sort of important person as he is being escorted from a black car with bodyguards, and has a mystery woman, as Simmons’s grave is seen.  Mack is a family man (my money’s on he and Yo-Yo being married in this alternate reality) as well.  There are also two big reveals: May is back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ (the one from Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and it’s not run by S.H.I.E.L.D. it’s run by Hydra!  Also when Daisy wakes up, she’s in her home and there’s a picture of her boyfriend in a frame, in her virtual life, she’s with Ward!

This was a great conclusion to the “LMD” arc as it looks like the rest of the season will focus in the virtual world and the rescue of their friends connected.  It can get trippy Matrix-style, as we are now going to have the show exist in another reality where the rules may not work the same way.  It also looks like the return of Hydra as well as fan favorite villain Ward, who we haven’t seen for a few seasons.

It’s going to be aa little while before Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. returns as it’s on hiatus until April 4th, but it looks promising!



Oh, and Ward is definitely back!

Will Ferrell Says No Plans For 'Step Brothers' Sequel


After the mediocre sequels to Zoolander and Anchorman you'd think people would stop asking about Step Brothers 2. The original comedy starred Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly and I'll be honest I think it's a little overrated. Funny, but hardly worth doing another. However there are scores of fans who feel differently and hold out hope their pleas will be answered. Well, don't hold your breath.

Speaking with Rolling Stone, Ferrell says a sequel isn't in the cards, but has a pretty good reason for it...

“You have to resist the temptation. It’s just tough because the things everyone wants you to do sequels of are special because there’s not a sequel of it. I guess we’ll see, but as of now there are no plans. We just don’t want to be doing sequels of everything.”

Thank you, I'm glad somebody said it. Can't a movie be great and just be left on its own? One of the reasons I still hold Old School in such high regard is that they didn't do another one. On the other hand my love for Zoolander has swirled down the toilet the sequel was so lame.

Not that Ferrell is against sequels. Obviously, he can't be with his track record, and he has no regrets over Anchorman 2 even though many left disappointed...

“I think we personally feel great about what we did with ‘Anchorman 2'. And I think there are actually some people who like it more than the original. But then you always get that little bit of people saying, ‘Awww, why’d they have to do that?’ ”

You'll be able to get your Ferrell/Reilly fix when they wrap on Holmes & Watson, which as you might have guessed is based on the detective duo. Ferrell also has a sequel to Daddy's Home in the works.

Jennifer Garner Joins 'Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda', Ralph Fiennes To Direct 'The White Crow', And More


There's a great cast emerging for DCTV guru Greg Berlanti's film adaptation Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Already set to star Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (The Land), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), Katherine Langford, and Logan Miller (A Dog's Purpose), the film has now added Jennifer Garner. She'll play the mother to high schooler Simon Spier, a not-so-openly gay teen who is blackmailed by the class clown otherwise his secret will be exposed. Simon must also protect the identity of Blue, the pen name of the boy he's been emailing. [THR]

Ralph Fiennes has lined up his next directorial effort, and much of the cast is already in place. He'll direct The White Crow, a biopic based on the life of Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who will be played by dancer Oleg Ivenko. Blue is the Warmest Color's Adele Exarchopoulos co-stars as Clara Saint, a French socialite who helped Nureyev after he defected from the Soviet Union in 1961 despite being pursued by the KGB.

Showing up a little too late to make the cast photo, Game of Thrones' Alfie Allen has joined Shane Black's The Predator. Theon "Reek" Greyjoy will play an ex-Marine helping the group fight off the titular hunter, and he'll probably die for it. Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, and Thomas Jane star in the action sequel, which opens February 9th 2018. [THR]

Marvel's 'Inhumans' Casts 'Game Of Thrones' Heel Iwan Rheon As Maximus


And we all thought nobody could be a bigger dick on Game of Thrones than King Joffrey. Boy, were we wrong, because nobody compared to the unforgivably horrible Ramsay Bolton, played a little too  well by Iwan Rheon. Well, Ramsay won't be vying for the Iron Throne anymore, and that opens up the chance for Rheon to set his sights on a different ruler as part of Marvel's Inhumans series.

Rheon will play Maximus, brother to King Black Bolt, and gifted with genius level intellect and incredible mental powers, including mind control. In the comics he's often seen as someone who desires the throne for himself. He's a lot like Loki in that he can be seen as loyal to his Royal Family and also very much outside of it. Something tells me Rheon will be perfect for this.


Showrunner Scott Buck says, “Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment, and I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent.”

The first two hours of Inhumans will hit IMAX theaters on Labor Day weekend before premiering on ABC later. [THR]

Kyle Chandler Will Take On 'Godzilla: King Of The Monsters'


Why do I feel like Kyle Chandler was already in a Godzilla movie playing some kid's father? Oh...yeah..he was the Dad in J.J. Abrams' monster movie, Super 8, and his new role in Godzilla: King of the Monsters sounds like it will be pretty much the same.

Chandler will play the father to Stranger Things breakout Millie Bobby Brown in the blockbuster sequel. Michael Dougherty will write the script and direct, taking over from Gareth Edwards. As far as we can tell there won't be much of a connection between movies, although Variety suggests Ken Watanabe's character could return.

Chandler can be seen now in Best Picture contender, Manchester by the Sea. Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens March 22nd 2019.