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  • At the Screwvies: Episode 121

    2 days ago

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    MADHERO: Well, time to throw our Halloween memorabilia in the trash. Its officially Christmas season now. Yeah, it may be November, but we're getting a new Grinch movie and even a new Harry Potter, and we all know how that is pretty much Christmas tradition. Of course, it also means Oscar movies up the wazoo. That's always fun. Cause nothing says Oscars like..... Nazi zombies.


    STICKMAN: I refuse to give up my skeleton children.


    LARRY”Always thankful for shooting Nazi scum.


    MADHERO: Larry, the midterms have already passed. You missed your chance. That's a little political reference for ya


    STICKMAN: There's always time for nazi killin'.


    LARRY: Ew, get these politics out of my Screwvies.


    MADHERO: Fiiiiiine. We'll talk something apolitical like the news then


    NEWS

    AMC WORKING ON WALKING DEAD FILM TRILOGY STARRING ANDREW LINCOLN. ALSO WORKING ON BREAKING BAD MOVIE WITH VINCE GILLIGAN

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    Although this is STRICTLY A MOVIE HOUSEHOLD, it's fair to say there's been some damn good telly about in the past decade, with AMC provinding some of the biggest TV hits. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and most financially of interest, The Walking Dead. Neither of the latter two are strangers to spin-offs: Breaking Bad getting the excellent Better Call Saul, and TWD getting the....also existing Fear TWD, but this week in separate, yet clearly connected circumstances, AMC announced plans to take  them to the MOVIES. WARNING: BIG SPOILERS FOR TWD TO SOON FOLLOW.


    Hot off the heels of what was obnoxiously marketed as RICK GRIMES' FINAL EPISODE on TWD, we found out the overseer of what AMC now considers 'TWD franchise', alongside Andrew  Lincoln were working on a trilogy of films set to continue Rick Grimes' walker-stabbing adventures outside of the TV shows bubble. Viewers saw Rick helicoptered  away to an unknown fate, which was less a satisfying end to one of TVs most iconic leads. Days later, we got news they were working with Vince Gilligan to create a Breaking Bad movie, reportedly a sequel to the events of the acclaimed show, potentially following Jessie Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in his life after Bad. Although this project feels a lot more natural and promising than the former, which comes across as another unnecessary brand extension for a show who's ratings glory days are far behind it, it's really hard to tell at this point if either will be good or bad.  It's also unknown if these will receive any form of theatrical release...all we know is...they're coming, whether you want them or not.


    MADHERO: I've jumped ship on Walking Dead a long time ago so I've got no investment in this movie announcement, but for a show that once touted "anyone could get killed at any moment" I find this hilarious


    LARRY: I, for one, am not on the TWD train, but I was most definitely on the BB train.


    STICKMAN: I'm on both, the fun never ends.


    MADHERO: Its good on Lincoln's end, who now gets to keep playing Rick on a far lighter schedule, but starting an trilogy when the franchise is lagging screams of Dark Universe style hubris


    STICKMAN: Rick Grimes at least is a cooler dude than whoever Tom Cruise was playing in The Mummy.


    LARRY: Yeah, TWD has lost a lot of its luster from a cultural standpoint. It doesn’t have as much draw anymore.


    STICKMAN: This season has been an improvement on the past couple to be hoooonest, but it's a shame this Rick business has overshadowed that.


    MADHERO: As for Breaking Bad, I'd normally be very sceptical, but Vince Gilligan has already proved what he can do with a spin-off so needless to say I am in, even if its unnecessary


    STICKMAN: Better Call Saul is ace, Breaking Bad is ace....whatever this is? Maybe will be ace perhaps.


    LARRY: I’m sceptical. I do agree with you guys, Gilligan is a master storyteller, but I felt like Jesse’s arc wrapped very nicely. Seems odd to bring it back.


    STICKMAN: To be fair we aren't 100% on that, but it seems pretty likely.


    MADHERO: Well his story is still rather open in the sense of an aftermath. Doubt you'd get away alright after what he went through.


    LARRY: But the beauty is that he got out, no matter how. His newfound freedom, in and of itself, is a beautiful end. I don’t need that explained, I guess it’s just me.


    STICKMAN: I just want my boy Jessie to be okay, bitch. And my boy Rick too. All the boys need to be okay.


    MADHERO: Guess he got what he deserved


    STICKMAN: There's nothing to explain, it's just seeing what happens next. Maybe he ends up on a helicopter and turns up in The Walking Dead.


    LARRY: Now there’s a twist.


    MADHERO: The AMC Extended Universe starts here.


    DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LOOKING TO REBOOT SHREK FRANCHISE. WANTS TO KEEP ORIGINAL VOICE CAST

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    Oy. Alright, time to feel old again. So, back in 2001, DreamWorks made waves in the world of children's animation when they gave us "Shrek," an ogre-ific adventure that was a major box office success and was the winner of the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature!! Since then, it garnered three sequels (which vary in quality), a spin-off film that got its own TV show, and a boatload of money in merch. These days, we just like to reference All Star and make a bunch of memes, and through this, Chris Meledandri of Illumination Entertainment (the man who made the world fall in love with little yellow butt plugs) is gonna give us the reboot nobody asked for...sort of.


    Under Melandandri, who controls both Illumination and Dreamworks following the latter’s buyout to Comcast, there’s a plan to reboot both Shrek and Puss in Boots. According to Meledandri, he would keep the original voice cast intact (Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas etc.). This seems odd. I guess they don't want to lose the brand recognition with a total reimagining, but how are you going to reboot the series when there is already so much lore? Unfortunately, I suppose time will tell. But hey, this is already inherently better than Trolls, so I'll take what I can get.


    MADHERO: Alright you know the drill. Some...


    STICKMAN: one kill me.


    LARRY: Perfection.


    MADHERO: Oh. No Smash Mouth then. I guess a reboot makes sense since Forever After has been a while ago. Still, nothing makes me feel as old as Shrek getting a reboot


    LARRY: But like...it’s not really a reboot. Because the OG voice cast is back, at least some of them.


    MADHERO: This is how I learn that Cameron Diaz has retired from acting.


    STICKMAN: It'll be like Star Trek where Shrek's dad dies in the past and sends him into an alternative timeline.


    LARRY: Oh lord, an alternate Shrek. Kill me now.


    MADHERO: Its weird cause Shrek was always conceived a big middle finger and parody of Disney, which is hard now that you see Disney make fun of itself.


    LARRY: Look, I’m a huge fan of the OG Shrek and it’s first sequel, I love the characters and the world. But I can’t see this working, especially when you’re still attached to Myers as Shrek. If they wanted to do this right, they wouldn’t do it. But if they had to, they’d wipe the slate clean.


    STICKMAN: I hate Shrek and I wouldn't care about this film even if it was a sequel. This is all to promote theme park rides or whatever, so get set for a quality adventure.


    MADHERO: I haven't seen them in a while so I don't know how well they've aged, but 3 and 4 were pretty damn bad.


    STICKMAN: I hope this reboot goes more into detail about the Donkey/Dragon sex mechanics.


    LARRY: Now THAT is a movie I can get behind.


    BIRDS OF PREY CASTS EWAN MCGREGOR AS VILLAIN BLACK MASK. CONFIRMS IT WILL GO FOR AN R RATING

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    Its been a while since we've groaned at a not happening DC movie, and a tad shorter since talking about one actually happening. While we could be dunking on the newly released Aquaman posters, there's also Birds of Prey, the team up featuring Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Huntress, Black Canary, Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain,  has cast its main villain in the form of Ewan McGregor as Black Mask, master crime boss and black skull aficionado. An interesting choice, especially since we don't really see McGregor as much of a bad guy, but he's a great actor and if it doesn't work out, they can always redub his lines over his mask.


    More interesting, is that director Cathy Yan confirmed the film is going for an R rating, which continues to show DC is willing to experience with different ratings if the budget allows for it. Obviously, BvS  has an R rated cut and feels weirdly dark for an PG-13, but this seems less a part of the need to be edgy and actually do something interestingly nasty with it. Birds of Prey is still a while away, not out till early 2020, but an R rated female superhero team fighting mobsters? Yeah, I'm interested


    STICKMAN: Hard to get excited for anything connected to Suicide Squad.


    LARRY: Also anything connected to DC.


    MADHERO: Boy if I earned a dollar for every time we bash DC, they still wouldn't pay me enough like Marvel does for us to be shills for them


    LARRY: But of course. Marvel LOVES Screwvies.


    STICKMAN: Marvel know how to bribe me properly. Tight leather and M&Ms.


    MADHERO: Honestly though, good cast so far, interesting director, R rating, I'm definitely curious about this one even if any connection to Suicide Squad is one too many, though maybe Gunn can still fix that


    LARRY: Yeah, the film as a whole sounds badass. But just give it time, DC will ruin it.


    STICKMAN: Oh god, James Gunn doing Suicide Squad 2, now I feel sad again. DCEU has yet to prove itself capable of anything but semi-decent Wonder Woman films so we'll see what stage we're at with them come 2020.


    MADHERO: Maybe they've channelled all their ruin in those Aquaman posters


    STICKMAN: Fuckin 'ell. I know what I'm not watching this Christmas.


    LARRY: Oopsie poopsie


    MADHERO: I mean, remember the photoshop vomit that was the Homecoming poster? Good movies get bad posters all the time, so we'll see. This does already sound more interesting than Aquaman does at least


    STICKMAN: Aquaman looks crap in general but HEY HO, Birds of Prey. It's a thing. Don't let us down, Shazam


    LARRY: Awwwww okay I'll give em credit, that looks wonderful.


    ANDY MUSCHIETTI TO DIRECT ATTACK ON TITAN FOR WARNER BROS.WILL ALSO WORK ON THE TIME MACHINE WITH LEONARDO DICAPRIO

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    Well, this is what you get for hubris. Last episode, as we discussed the My Hero Academia adaption, I talked about plenty of anime adaptations in Hollywood in development, but not currently happening. One of those was Attack of Titan, and maybe producer David Heyman heard me, cause its seen some movement in the form of IT director Andy Muschietti, who's now been hired to direct the adaptation. This does actually make sense, since Attack on Titan borrows from a lot of horror tropes, particularly in the designs of the Titans.


    However, the Argentine filmmaker has now also been hired by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way to direct a new version of HG Wells' The Time Machine, so he sure is a busy boy. The Time Machine has been adapted numerous times, with the last one in 2002 starring Guy Pearce, and directed by HG Wells' grandson. While an director hired isn't necessarily a guarantee, its definitely a big step, and hey, at least he has something to fall back on if it doesn't work out.


    LARRY: Take about two crazy unique projects to tackle.


    STICKMAN: Someone's gotten busy because of a murderclown.


    MADHERO: They're certainly very different, though both have some horror elements (Titans and Morloks) and a step to bigger budget properties, so I guess it makes sense. Dat boi Pennywise made all the money, so it was bound to happen


    STICKMAN: Should've got him to direct the new Resident Evil but it's TOO LATE NOW.


    LARRY: I enjoyed the new IT, Muschietti clearly knows how to have fun with a horror film so I'm down for whatever he does. It'll be interesting to see how he translates that into two different kinds of horror aesthetics.


    STICKMAN: Attack on Titan is more campy melodrama than horror.


    LARRY: I have a feeling, in translation, it'd veer closer to horror.


    MADHERO: As long as he puts in the original Attack on Titan opening theme, he's set. Some of the Titans are pretty freaky looking, along with the ones that look like a bunch of wacky goobers


    STICKMAN: I find all the Titans stupid to look at, but there you go. Giant grinning naked people. Not that I expect them to find clothes in their size, but still.


    MADHERO: Wow rude. Do have to wonder how it'll translate into an Hollywood film, but its already got the advantage of it having an Western cast, so the whitewashing debate is dodged.


    LARRY: Thank the lord, let's not have another one of those again, pls


    STICKMAN: And how about that Time Machine. I hope the trailer is as sexist as the original.


    MADHERO: I guess its about time to revisit that, but more interested in my anime because I'm a hopeless nerd.


    STICKMAN: I don't care about EITHER. YIPPPEEE.


    LAIKA RELEASE FIRST TRAILER FOR 'MISSING LINK'

    In this world, you either love the films of ambitious stop motion studio LAIKA, or you've never heard of them. Sure, there's a stray Boxtroll here and there to bring their reputation into question, but they've very much the modern leaders of  this specific style of animation (Sorry, Aardman, I still love you tho).  They may not always earn the big bucks at the box office but films like Coraline, Paranorman and most recently, Kubo and the Two Strings, have all received a vast amount of critical and audience praise, so despite the latter being something of a financial dud, the LAIKA show indeed goes on, with a new distribution home at Annapurna.


    This week we got our first look at their 2019 release, 'Missing Link', which sees Hugh Jackman go off in search Zach Galifianakis, who as we all know, is the missing link between man and ape. Or moreso, the film itself revolves around the two characters, alongside a supporting cast who basically went unseen in this teaser, as they attempt to reunite 'Mr Link' with his family...or something?  Whilst the film looks beautiful, as you'd expect from LAIKA, with a seamless blend of their iconic brand of buttery smooth, 3D printer face replacement stop motion, and CGI embellishing, the trailer itself was....eh? For a studio known for making pretty enticing trailers, this one came across as more in the spirit of what Aardman does. Cheesy narration, inoffensive whimpy pop music and a focus on specific gags rather than the film as a whole.  Still, it is only a teaser, and it's early days...so....I'm still excited. I'm always excited for LAIKA.


    MADHERO: Love the look of it, but eesh, that wasn't a great introduction to Mr. Link


    STICKMAN: It's funny cuz his pants ripped.


    LARRY: It's the same joke over and over.


    MADHERO: My guess is they may go for something lighter and funnier after Kubo didn't make its money back. Can't run on Nike money forever.


    STICKMAN: Kubo deserved better. Fuck you, audiences.


    LARRY: Truth. Nike's too busy being political now, I guess.


    MADHERO: The worst thing to happen in 2016. Nothing else comes close. Nope.


    LARRY: 2016? I don't know her...


    MADHERO: I do hope the movie is better and this is just a bad start. Its Laika and they don't really make stinkers. If your worst film is Boxtrolls, you're doing alright.


    STICKMAN: Boxtrolls was fine, just...too weird. Looked lovely though. First teaser for Missing Link is a little bland, but we got many months to go until the film is out, plenty of time to impress. AND HEY, if this one blows, we've always got our man Shaun to bolster the 2019 stop motion offerings.


    LARRY: Yeah, I'm always down to indulge in LAIKA. This just seems a little sillier than I expected. Kinda gave me some Early Man vibes.


    MADHERO: And if that doesn't work out, well at least Netflix likes stop motion. But yeah, hoping the best for Mr. Link.


    RIDLEY SCOTT MOVING FORWARD WITH A SEQUEL TO BEST PICTURE WINNER GLADIATOR.

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    Oh geez, another unneeded continuation of a story that is so iconic you can't really help but stain its legacy? We're on a ROLL today.


    Ridley Scott isn't exactly a great idea person. Whether it be continuing Alien on a Prometheus track, or...a coming-of-age Merman story (weird...), or even just the entirety of Exodus: Gods and Kings, you always must take what he says with a grain of salt. THAT being said, it looks like Scott's long-forgotten plans for a sequel to his 2000 Best Picture winner "Gladiator" are back on the table. He is set to direct the film, with Peter Craig ("The Town," "The Hunger Games," the upcoming "Top Gun: Maverick") writing the script. The story will follow Lucius, son of Lucilla. You may remember Maximus saving them at some point in the original. I guess it's compelling? Eh. Currently, Paramount is looking over the project, with Universal having the option to co-finance, but DreamWorks, the original film's creator, is out. Will Ridley strike gold twice? If Convenant is any indication, then no, no he will not.


    STICKMAN: WHAT THE HEELLLLLLLLLLL. Finish your weird prequel series before starting a weird sequel series, Ridley. What's wrooooong with you.


    MADHERO: If this isn't the completely bonkers Nick Cave scripted one, I ain't interested.


    LARRY: Wow, strong feelings here.


    STICKMAN: Gladiator I don't even feel has aged particularly well, to be honest.


    MADHERO: Well Sir Ridley works fast. He'll have this done by the end of the week and then go back to Alien and then one of his actors gets in trouble and he shoots someone a day before it comes out


    STICKMAN: If only he was as good as he was fast.


    LARRY: And there's the trouble.


    MADHERO: Ridley I feel is an director is as good as his scripts. Get him a great script and you're set, but he doesn't do much to fix a bad script. At least it'll look good.


    STICKMAN: I just don't understand how he's going to work androids into this one. Androids being his favourite thing, obviously.


    LARRY: He must be so excited to fuck a robot. He probably has, he's rich enough.


    STICKMAN: What makes us human, Larry? WHAT MAKES US HUMAN.


    --------------

    MADHERO: .....I don't know how we got from Gladiator to robot sex, but I guess we can better move on to the movies then.


    STICKMAN: Sorry, I'm horny.


    MADHERO: You're a horny one, Mr. Stickman. You really are lewd. Anyway, movies. Hope you're ready for some unnecessary prequel adventures, because we sure have that. But before we go into that, we actually have an all new review for the Wolfenstein movie you've all been waiting for. Ok its technically called Overlord, but still


    LARRY: Lovers of the Ord.


    MADHERO: Is that what Nazi Zombies are called these days? I can't keep up. Anyway, you're the one that saw this not-Cloverfield film, so let us know what you think, Sticky?


    REVIEW

    OVERLORD

    DIRECTOR: Julius Avery (Son of a Gun)

    STARRING: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Oliver, Pilou Asbaek, Jacob Anderson

    SYNOPSIS: On the eve of D-Day during World War II, American paratroopers (Adepo, Russell) are caught behind enemy lines After reaching their target, the paratroopers come to realize that besides fighting off Nazi soldiers, they also must face off against horrifying creatures that are a result of a secret Nazi experiment.

    STICKMAN: Soooo, Overlord. A once mysterious Bad Robot production that wasn't officially announced until well after its filming was done. First things first, it has nothing to do with Cloverfield, there's no tie-ins whatsoever. It is instead, Bad Robot's first R rated movie, and very much earns that rating it must be said.


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    Overlord is part action war movie, part body horror, and all parts fun. If you saw either of the trailers, you know exactly what you're getting in for, whilst there are some fun things not shown within those trailers, there's no grander plan or big shock obscured within. But that's okay, because whilst it may be lacking in originality or surprise, it makes up for that by being one of the finer examples of exploitation-esque big budget cinema in recent years.  It's all solidly filmed, the soundtrack is great, the performances for the most part, are pretty strong, and the special effects are pretty spectacular. Wyatt Russell is very much channeling the pulpy cult charm of daddy Kurt in his 80s prime, as the leader of the ragtag surviving soldiers, and newcomer Jovan Adepo is a solid lead, providing some humanity to a main cast of characters that are otherwise pretty disturbed. There's a good mix of tension, action and gore in Overlord, and whilst I wouldn't rate it highly as a horror film, there's certainly enough grisly body imagery to put it firmly within that genre. As a lot of people have said,  it's in a lot of ways, the Wolfenstein movie you never knew you wanted....but with more grotesque monsters.


    MADHERO: How Wolfenstein is this movie?


    STICKMAN: It's got that gory, 'FUCKIN' NAZIS' charm and mad science aspect of the games, for sure.


    LARRY: I guess the Nazi business is booming yet again. But more horror-esque. Is this mostly practical stuff?


    STICKMAN: Honestly, I found it hard  to tell. There's a blend of practical and CGI in there, but it's really solid either way.


    MADHERO: It kinda feels like a movie that's exactly what it says on the box. Some Nazi zombie madness. You mention it being Bad Robot's first R-rated movie, so it that violence worth the ticket?


    LARRY: If it immerses you, in the end, it doesn't matter.


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    STICKMAN: I will say it takes a while for the R rating to come into effect, but when it does? The blood does indeed runneth. It's not the goriest film I've seen, but it's definitely a hard R. There's some excellent grotesque imagery involving the 'monsters' in question, but I won't spoil the specifics.


    LARRY: Who would say gives the strongest performance?


    STICKMAN: I really dug Wyatt Russell doing his best Kurt impression, it's very authentic. It suits the film perfectly.


    MADHERO: He's had his whole life to practice Do you think its worth seeking out in theaters or is it a film you can watch at home? What does the cinema experience add?


    STICKMAN: You could probably get away with watching this at home, yeah. It's got some great gore and the opening sequence is pretty intense, but if you're struggling to fit in all these November  releases, you can probably wait it out.


    LARRY: I could imagine it adds quite a bit.


    MADHERO: Alright, anything you want to add in your wrap-up?


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    STICKMAN: Mm, well I'll just say that I enjoyed Overlord a lot. It's one of those films that'll go down as a cult favourite, I think. It's not a masterpiece, but frankly it's not trying to be.  When you have nazis and monsters and evil experiments, it's hard to make Citizen Kane. But Overlord is exactly what you think it is, and if you're into that kinda film? You're gonna love it.


    LARRY: That's what Citizen Kane was missing. Nazi zombies.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Ok. That about does it for the original movies. Its pretty much all downhill from here. Well, not entirely, but mostly we're going deep.


    STICKMAN: Oh yes, go deep. Real deep. Oooh yeah.


    LARRY: You drove into that one, Mad.


    STICKMAN: Drive it into me, yeaaah.


    MADHERO: Fuck it, lets start


    MOVIES

    FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD


    DIRECTOR: David Yates (The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

    STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Allison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Jude Law, Johnny Depp

    SYNOPSIS: The powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) escapes custody and has set about gathering followers. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans, Albus Dumbledore (Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander (Redmayne) for help.

    STICKMAN: OHHH GAWWWD. THE GHOST OF JOHNNY DEEP HAUNTS US.


    LARRY: Why do I feel so...bleh.


    MADHERO: Man, it feels really weird not be excited for an new Harry Potter movie. I was curious and excited about Fantastic Beasts, but this....ehh


    STICKMAN: It really is a huge eh. A huge eh with the sour aftertaste of poor casting decisions.


    LARRY: Yeah this should really excite me and yet, I don’t want to see it, and unless I get the chance to see it for free, I probably won’t


    STICKMAN: After those reviews, I'm definitely giving it a pass.


    MADHERO: I've heard some of the Hogwarts callbacks are fun, but other than that I feel like this franchise suffers from having Rowling in charge of screenwriting if its apparently as schizophrenic as the first one was


    STICKMAN: All these films have is nostalgia. That's all the previous film had.


    LARRY: I mean...some of the monsters were cute. Make a great POP Vinyl they do. The wittle platypus


    STICKMAN: I THINK YOU MEAN NIFFLER, LARRY.


    MADHERO: Its not like Harry Potter itself doesn't excite me. That leaked game trailer was mad hype, but here I guess we learn that Nagini was originally a woman and that adds TRAGEDY! And I guess it gave us Ezra Miller as the Michelin Man's goth son.


    LARRY: How do YOU know the name, Sticky, and not me.


    MADHERO: He's British. Harry Potter is a curriculum there


    STICKMAN: This film just seems like more of the previous one, but with Johnny Depp. And I wasn't really into the previous one.


    LARRY: God I just don’t wanna support anything Johnny Depp does. Ever. That plays a big role in me not seeing this.


    STICKMAN: Naturally I'm sure the diehard Potter fans who don't care about quality will love it because they go to Hogwarts and do a Dumbledore or whatever. I wish I could be that shallowwwww.


    LARRY: I’m glad you’re not.


    MADHERO: Well too bad. Here's hoping the next one in this 5 part series (ugh) will be better.


    THE GRINCH


    DIRECTOR: Scott Mosier & Yarrow Cheney (The Secret Life of Pets)

    STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury, Pharrell Williams

    SYNOPSIS: A grumpy Grinch (Cumberbatch) plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

    STICKMAN: OOHOhhhh GAWWWWWD


    MADHERO: Ahh, at least there's few constants in lives. Death, taxes, and average Illumination animated movies that make all the money


    STICKMAN: Illumination are becoming the new Dreamworks I swear, except this studio makes money.


    MADHERO: Dreamworks used to make money. It can all come crashing down in a instant. For now, we'll just buy into whatever generically cute shit Illumination gives us.


    STICKMAN: I mean, the dog's cute I guess.


    LARRY: At least it’s short.


    MADHERO: Its hard to pad out The Grinch, but boy howdy they try


    LARRY: Have you guys heard the new remixes they did?


    STICKMAN: I heard enough of one, now I wish music had never been invented. It reminds me of the Ghostbusters 2016 theme.


    MADHERO: I forgot about that one. Also it seems weird they got someone with as great a voice as Benedict Cumberbatch and make him do this nasally American accented Grinch


    LARRY: Hey kids, who wants to see The Grinch GO TO THE GROCERY STORE??? THATS EXCITING


    STICKMAN: The best part? There's a Minions short attached to the front.


    LARRY: WHERE ARE YOU, GOD?!


    MADHERO: He's not even that Grinchy. He's just kind of a jerk who likes animals. But hey, it already made a boatload its opening and will continue to do so cause Illumination's formula is like a bigger Blumhouse


    STICKMAN: Illumination are better at scaring me than Blumhouse.


    THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB

    DIRECTOR: Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe)

    STARRING: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Vicky Krieps

    STARRING:  Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Foy) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Gudnason) find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

    MADHERO: O yeah, this came out. This feels like it should've been a bigger deal.


    STICKMAN: Who's up for some entertaining mush following on from more complex and interesting previous entries. The reviews for this have been pretty  biting despite it sounding kinda fun. I think it's just...hard to detach it from what it SHOULD be, rather than what it is.


    LARRY: I’m not surprised this isn’t gaining traction. What a strange move to reboot these films.


    MADHERO: To be fair, the book its based on always felt like a weird cashgrab.


    STICKMAN: I don't think anyone was that interested in chapter four of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Most people aren't even interested in Chapter 2 and 3.


    LARRY: I’m sure not.


    MADHERO: I'm a big fan of Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and its a shame that that franchise never got started. I don't know what it is, but I don't really buy Claire Foy into the role despite her being one of the better parts reportedly


    STICKMAN: It sounds like this film has some positive merits, but it's just too....blockbustery for this franchise? Fede Álvarez looks to have done a great job directing. Some cool visuals in the trailer. Either way it's gonna tank financially and we all knew that was going to happen regardless of quality. This just wasn't wanted.


    LARRY: Yeah Fincher’s film certainly wasn’t as flashy.


    MADHERO: Should've had an Blur Studios produced opening credits sequence


    STICKMAN: God, that opening credits. Pure sex.


    WIDOWS

    DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave)

    STARRING: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson,

    SYNOPSIS: Four armed robbers are killed in a failed heist attempt, only to have their widows (Davis, Rodriguez, Debicki, Erivo) step up to finish the job.

    STICKMAN: Nowwww we're talking.


    LARRY: Here we gooooooo. McQueen is BAAAAAACK


    MADHERO: O hell yeah, that's more like it. Not the route I was expecting Steve McQueen to go


    STICKMAN: Steve McQueen directs a morally greyed  heist thriller and I'm more than here for it.


    LARRY: The Davis campaign trail started a while agooooooo


    MADHERO: Like, here we have the director of 12 Years a Slave direct alongside the writer of Gone Girl an action thriller based on an 80's English miniseries


    STICKMAN: God this is my jaaaam. I was between this and Overlord to see this week, but I'll be seeing this one next week FO' SURE.


    LARRY: Yeah I hope I catch it. I hear Kaluuya is a stand out. He’s in a villainous role and I love that we get to see something different from him.


    MADHERO: Its apparently well made, fun, thrilling and has a message, so if you like your blockbusters smart, this might just be the way to go.


    STICKMAN: LET'S GO WATCH THIS NOWWW. BYE EVERYONE.


    LARRY: EARLY END! ADIOS


    MADHERO: Uhhhmmm..... we've still got more things to cover.


    LARRY: Aw shit Whatevs


    STICKMAN: GOD DAMNIT. Better be goooood.


    MADHERO: ......sweats nervously


    INSTANT FAMILY

    DIRECTOR: Sean Anders (Daddy’s Home, Daddy’s Home 2)

    STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz, Octavia Spencer

    SYNOPSIS: A couple (Wahlberg, Byrne) find themselves in over their heads when they adopt three children (Moner, Quiroz, Gamiz).

    STICKMAN: GOD DAMMMNNIITT


    LARRY: I swear Wahlberg is living a double life. He does these hard as balls military thrillers and then he pulls a Daddy’s Home.


    MADHERO: Marky Mark adopts an family and it all gets a little rowdy.


    STICKMAN: Mark Wahlberg needs to sit the fuck down.


    MADHERO: He doesn't have time for that inbetween his 90 minute showers


    STICKMAN: Is that his next movie? He's got excellent stamina.


    MADHERO: A movie just following his crazy ass schedule? Sure, why not.


    STICKMAN: I'd watch a slice of life documentary about Mark Wahlberg and his 1000 leather jackets. Anyway this is a film that also exists.


    LARRY: And I’m not gonna watch it.


    MADHERO: i'd rather go and spend an hour in a cryo chamber than watch this. Actually i probably don't, but yeah not much interest


    LARRY: At least you’re honest.


    GREEN BOOK

    DIRECTOR: Peter Farrelly (The Three Stooges, Dumb and Dumber To)

    STARRING: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Diemeter Marinov

    SYNOPSIS: A working-class Italian-American bouncer (Mortensen) becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist (Ali) on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

    LARRY: Mahershalaaaaaaa


    MADHERO: From the director of Dumb and Dumber. Really, and he's gone solo this time. Maybe his brother was just holding him back and causing Movie 43 to happen


    LARRY: Oh shit wow.


    STICKMAN: I mean, that's not the best selling point. Mahershalala and Vigggo? Now theeeere's a selling point.


    LARRY: Two great talents who look to be testing each other throughout the film. I’m into it, honestly.


    MADHERO: This movie surprised everyone by winning the Toronto Film Festival's Audience Award, and that's pretty much a guaranteed Best Picture spot


    STICKMAN: Dang, what a glow up.


    LARRY: Well it’s not being marketed as one... Its campaign is relatively light.


    STICKMAN: Only the best Oscar films are seen by nobody and make no money. That's why we're getting Best Popular Film.


    MADHERO: I think it might be a relatively light movie. Its like an opposite Driving Miss Daisy.


    STICKMAN: Walking Mr Daffodil.


    LARRY: No, not light as in tone. Light as in spread. The marketing isn’t really up there with movies like A Star is Born or The Favourite.


    STICKMAN: This ain't out until February here, which guarantees they at least think it'll be part of Oscar season, since that's when all of those come out here.


    MADHERO: It aint out till 2019 here, so I can't say much on how they're marketing, but maybe they'll ramp it up come Oscar time. Its getting the right buzz, so we can probably expect to hear more about this soon.


    STICKMAN: Better than Green Day.


    LARRY: Maybe on a good day


    -----------

    MADHERO: Moving on from Oscar talk to MOVIE OF THE WEEK TALK! As always, here we talk the movies you can watch while at home or ones we happened to like in the theaters that you can still go and see and stuff. No Christmas here yet, but we may have some potential Oscar contenders of our own.


    STICKMAN: OOoOOOHH.  I dooooon't.


    LARRY: Maybe I do? Probably not??


    MADHERO: Oh, what did you bring in class today then, Sticky?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: Wellll, Professor Madhero,  I brought a cult surrealist arthouse ultraviolent revenge thriller. Y'know the ones. MANDY, starring Nicolas Cage, and only the second film of director Panos Cosmatos, is a heavy metal cover inspired, visually vibrant film about a lumberjack who goes on a violent revenge spree against religious fanatics and demonic leather daddies...and yes, there is LSD involved.

    It's a weird ass movie, both in its premise, visuals and also its pacing. It's a film of two halves, one a slow and trance-like exploration of Red Miller (Cage) and his girlfriend as they live their normal lives...and then....don't. The second half is a blood soaked, at times literal descent into hell, mixing surrealist imagery, hardcore violence, animated sequences and throbbing synth music. As you can tell, this film isn't for everyone, and I wasn't fully on board with everything MANDY had to offer, despite liking it a great deal...but it was one hell of a fucking experience, and something I won't forget any time soon.


    LARRY: Jesus fuck what a description.


    STICKMAN: You ain't seen nothing yet, Larry.


    MADHERO: I'm just here for the Cheddar Goblin


    STICKMAN: The most iconic movie character of 2018.


    MADHERO: From the director of Too Many Cooks, which makes a little too much sense. Anyway this looks metal as fuck and I still need to see it


    STICKMAN: If you ever wanted Nicolas Cage having a chainsaw fight, this is the film for you. Might wanna....take a deep breath before watching, mind. It's gonna get...WEIRD.


    LARRY: Maybe take a few over the course of the film.


    STICKMAN: Hold your breath for the whole running time YOU COWARD. This is peak Cage.


    MADHERO: At least its not Left Behind


    LARRY: Or Ghost Rider 2.


    STICKMAN: Those movies didn't have him getting mad over hiS FAAVVOURRITE SHIIIiIIRRT.


    MADHERO: To be fair, your favorite shirt getting ruined is a perfectly valid reason to kill some cultists


    STICKMAN: Exactly. Alright, I'm done. Who's next. WHO IS NEXT.


    LARRY: I dunno. How about you, Mad?


    MADHERO: Its hard to imagine fewer films having had as bumpy of a road to release as the proposed Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic. Everytime it looked like it would happen. Then it didn't, with weird clashed between the living members of Queen and the actors, and then when it was happening, their director just disappeared for random moments and got fired with one third still needing to be made. So yeah, with all that in mind, its pretty amazing that Bohemian Rhapsody comes out mostly ok.

    Now the film itself is a pretty basic music band biopic that's pretty damn surface level, all of the Queen members besides Mercury come out of it largely unscaved, and it plays with the facts for drama in a way that can be perceived as disrespectful,. And despite all those criticisms, I still ended up liking it for the most part, because it still features some of the best music around, Rami Malek truly delivers as Mercury, and deserves to be in the Best Actor conversation, and it ends on a high note with LiveAid. So yeah, far from perfect, but if you just want to enjoy the music, you'll have a good time with BR.


    STICKMAN: My favourite kinda generic music biopic. Adequate.


    MADHERO: Its kinda weird we're still going this route after Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story savagely parodied it to death.


    LARRY: People like these stories, I guess. And Mercury is a yuge selling point.


    STICKMAN: People like the music, it seems like a good bunch of this year's big mainstream cinema hits are also topping the music charts at the same time. Don't matter if the film is any good or not.


    MADHERO: Its Queen, and they remain one of the best bands who have ever performed, and the music remains great to listen to. I wish it could've delved deeper into the darker aspects, but its still fun to see those re-enactments of them creating those famous songs


    LARRY: How's that smooth, alluring thigh grab. I hear that's about as gay as it gets.


    MADHERO: It doesn't shy away from his homosexuality, but I'm still not sure whether its handled well and some have even branded it a homophobic film. I don't necessarily agree, but I see where the argument comes from. That LiveAid sequence though. That was pretty neat


    STICKMAN: The issue with this biopic was always the hesitance from Queen themselves to get into the heavy material that might tarnish Mercury's legacy. But then, because of that, we got the 20th Century Fox intro theme from this film, which is the only reason to see it.


    LARRY: Don't spoil it for me, I still might see this.


    STICKMAN: I want to hear We Will Rock You at LiveAid in IMAX, but I could do without...y'know, the rest of the film being there.


    MADHERO: Just get in at the last 20 minutes and you're set. ANYWAY, LARRY! What's your Movie of the Week


    LARRY: Alright, mah turn.


    LARRY: My MOTW is the newest Netflix Original to grace the service and the latest directorial effort from David Mackenzie ("Hell or High Water"), "Outlaw King." Starring a scruffy Chris Pine and an even more kick ass Aaron Taylor-Johnson (haha), the film follows Robert the Bruce, the at-the-time King of Scots, who begins a dangerous rebellion against King Edward I of England and his kingdom. Think of it as a sort of spiritual successor to "Braveheart" (William Wallace is actually referenced in the film), but just a bit more gruesome.


     

    The films countless well shot and well choreographed battle sequences have plenty of swords through the chest, arrows through the heart, and axes through the horse, and it doesn't let up on showing some blood or some ripped open chests (literally), so if you're into that sort of thing, this is the film for you. But beyond just the battles, the entire scale of the film is ridiculous and makes it worth seeing on the biggest screen possible. The amount of extras and period detail we see throughout the film is a sight to behold. The cast is excellent, with Pine giving another stellar performance, and the story itself is actually very engaging and well written. Despite being a slowly paced two hours, the film earned almost every god damn minute, which I appreciated. Overall, this is definitely one of Netflix's better cinematic efforts, and I totally recommend it to anyone interested.


    MADHERO: More importantly, you can see Chris Pine's donger in it


    STICKMAN: I wanna see that pine twig.


    LARRY: Just barely. BARELY. It's shrouded in shadows for most of its limited screen time.


    STICKMAN: Boooooo #ReleaseThePenisCut


    MADHERO: Apparently in the original cut, William Wallace actually shows up and there were more battles. Netflix doesn't really do deleted scenes, but its interesting how cutting something down can make for a better film.


    LARRY: Yeah, when they premiered it it was 23 minutes longer. Wallace plays a relatively big role in kickstarting the story despite never appearing.


    STICKMAN: But where's Gromit.


    LARRY: Someone should made a Braveheart/Outlaw King supercut


    MADHERO: Apparently David McKenzie isn't the biggest fan of Braveheart, so I can see why he would want to take the story in his own hand. Its definitely interesting how they cut it so close to release, something that could only be done on Netflix


    LARRY: Yeah, one of the benefits I suppose. Festivals make for solid focus groups.


    STICKMAN: The reviews ain't been so strong, but hey, this one waaaaas.


    MADHERO: Well how many are of that original cut? I guess its something you have to see for yourself, which you can from the convienience of your couch


    STICKMAN: Or you could watch Mandy, except that's not on Netflix, it's....somewhere. SOMEWHEEEERE.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that about wraps things up. We're getting more and more in the Christmas as we watch the sequel to Rocky IV that we were all hoping for, alongside the sequel that will no doubt break the internet. Its a very sequely show, that one.


    LARRY: Squeakelly


    STICKMAN: A sequel that's gonna break the in-Oh...oh I get it. Well played. Also BOORRIING, bring on....something ellllse?


    MADHERO: Well we always got that Robin Hood movie we're all so excited about. Can't wait to talk about that, and I'm sure everyone's really excited for that as well


    STICKMAN: Oh dear god no. Well...seee you thennn.


    LARRY: Adios, folks.

  • 8 or Higher, Bro! (October 2018)

    2 weeks ago

    tomtom4468

    You may be wondering why I'm posting this at 2:00 AM. Well it's not because I completely forgot that today was the day I was supposed to construct and post this list, that's for damn sure! Anyway, here's my *SPOOKY* IMDb list for October. This is easily the biggest one yet with an incredible 13 TITLES! This really was a fantastic month for both television and film!


    Go read and enjoy my recommendations!...


    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls045518188

  • Alien/Predator/AvP/Prometheus RANKED.

    2 weeks ago

    g1TheStickman


    What's up my spoOOOky peEOoPple? It's HALLOWEEEEEEEEENN, AaaaaaaaaaAAAAGGGHHH. *Ahem* Yes. Halloween is here again, and once again I'm here to deliver a vaguely horror related seasonal blog. Just over a month ago (Although it feels like an eternity for some reason), The Predator was released in cinemas worldwide...you probably didn't notice. At the time, I polled the folks over on Twitter about whether a definitive ranking of that, alongside the whole collected Predator, Alien, AvP and Prometheus franchises would be a fun thing to do for the spooky season...and the response was pretty enthusiastic so YES...HERE WE ARE. 

    Rules wise, this one's pretty straight forward. If there was a motion picture released in any of these franchises, the earliest of which was 1979, and the latest was this year of 2018. We're just talking feature films here, no books, no comics, no games and no fan-films, duh. Spoiler-wise, I'll be keeping it vague on the most recent two releases, but otherwise it's fair game, so if you haven't caught up yet? POTENTIAL spoiler warnings for the pre-2017 films ahoooooy. Aaand as per usual, this is just my opinion, I'm not presenting it as facts, and if you disagree...or agree...or have any thoughts? Let me know in DEM COMMENTS, BRO...and other FOLKS.

    HEREEEE WE GOOoOOooOO.




    12. Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007).

    Ooyyy with this one. Now, the majority of films on this list? For better or worse, they're watchable. They're fun, or they're interesting, they've got memorable moments. And then there's this seething shitfire. Regardless of if you liked the original AvP or not (And we'll get to that one later), you can't deny it at least delivered the bare minimum of what was expected, and more importantly for Fox, it made a lot of bank. So naturally, 3 years, a reduced budget and somehow, an even worse choice of director(s) later? We get this loosely connected sequel, taking the promising ending teaser of the first (A Predator chest-birthing a Predator/Xeno hybrid) and completely wasting it, descending to the natural land's end of any once promising horror franchise...a horny teen heavy exploitation slasher set in suburban America. Oh dear. 


    Still, even a creatively barren and lazy movie can still be fun when it has both Aliens, Predators AND an Alienpredator...right? You'd think so, but no. Chiefly of issue is the directing/editing, it's depressingly amateur hour all around here, crappy framing, choppy editing, and that's even if you can see what's going on because the film is dark as all fuck. A good 90% of this film is set in total darkness, presumably either to hide the cheap production value....or Fox were saving on lightbulb usage that year. It's practically unwatchable, and any potential for fun fights, gore or creature effects are rendered null by the fact you can't see any of it. And that's even if you want to see anything, because this is one nasty-ass film to boot. One of the main complaints from the previous AvP was the lack of gore. To take two notoriously R Rated franchises and turn them into a PG-13 blockbuster? It didn't go down very well with the fans, as you might expect. Thankfully(?), Fox took this to heart, and decided to make this film as gory and unpleasant a film as you can...when you can barely see anything. Opening with a father and son being impregnated by facehuggers and, naturally dying horribly soon after? That about sets the tone, with one sequence which involves a maternity ward full of pregnant women falling victim to the Predalien, having eggs forced down their throat, and their own child either converted to or consumed by the parasites. It's nasty, and unnecessary in addition. Basically, AvP R hits all the shitty buttons....bad writing, bad acting, bad directing...cheap production, lazy premise, nasty content, generic ending...it's garbage, and easily the lowest point of all these franchises combined.



    11. Alien Resurrection (1997).

    We're moving on from totally garbage to just...mostly garbage now, with this unnecessary and immensely weird sequel that managed to kill the core Alien franchise for 20 whole years. For all the issues Alien 3 had (And it had many), you can't fault it for being a definitive conclusion to the story of Ellen Ripley....SPOILERS, she dies. That's pretty definitive, and it was a memorable, meaningful death at that. Fast forward 5 years between films and...uh...200 years after the events of Alien 3 and we get ALIEN RESURRECTION...yaaaaay? That resurrection is quite literal unfortunately, as the military makes a human/xeno hybrid clone of Ripley using DNA they....had? 200 years after she was incinerated? Okaaaaay.  Gone is the likeable, heroic and determined Ripley of the previous films...now we get...Sigourney Weaver in a weird suit, being weird and mean, throwing basketballs, writhing around on the floor in a bag, and making out with human xenomorph hybrid....things? Yes, this film DID have a French director most known for his arty productions at the helm. Hm? WHY YES, YES THAT IS AN ODD CHOICE OF DIRECTOR TO LET GO WILD ON YOUR TOP SCI-FI FRANCHISE, HUH?


    With that kinda 'visionary' director choice, you'd expect the film to least look nice, huh? Wellll....noooo? It doesn't look awful, but it's very brown...like...REALLY brown. Like, 'I think someone spilled gravy over the lens' brown....it really is that kinda gross greeny, oily brown which doesn't make for visually vibrant cinema. The opening shot, which is an awful CGI xenobug getting smooshed and then...eaten or something by some random guy that never turns up again? Great start, terrific stuff. And it doesn't stop being weird from there....strange camera angles (generally uncomfortably close-up and tilted below faces), pantomime performances, a huge heap helping of surreal, sexualised sequences involving grotesque, drooling monsters...the degree of which would make HG Giger himself blush, we got it all, SON. ShittyRipley is bolstered by a cast of mostly well known actors (At the time) including...that guy from CSI who's gone to jail a bunch and nobody likes any more, Ron Perlman being Ron Perlman...as per usual, and Winona Ryder in an oddly extremely irritating role as some childish android/human hybrid...thing? Basically, if you like everything hybrids, and people making out with penis shaped monsters, one of which was literally just born? This is the film for you. Main thing this film has going for it is the creature costumes, which are great...the CGI? Not so much, the cast of this film were made to spend days submerged in water for an action sequence that wasn't even that good at the time, but is now pretty embarrassing due to dem shitty CGIxenos. Don't forget the ending, which thought it was going to set up an ENTIRE NEW ERA OF ALIEN FILMS...oops. This film is watchable, that's all I can say for it positive-wise....if you want to spend two hours feeling generally uncomfortable due to weird camera angles and underlying sexual thematics? You can do worse.




    10. Alien vs Predator (2004).

    Heeyyy, now we're in the 'mediocre but entertaining' phase of our ranking! Huzzah! Long before Prometheus was getting Alien fans' panties in a bunch, we had this, the original Alien vs Predator stirring the bubbling cauldron of fan-loathing. Inspired by the vastly superior Dark Horse Comics crossover franchise and the ensuing, similarly preferable games franchise, 20th Century Fox decided to follow in the footsteps of that classic work of cinema, 2003's Freddy vs Jason, and bring together their two biggest genre titans in an epic cinematic showdown...not set in space...nor featuring space marines...or really featuring that many Predators either. Oh. Oops. Following in the footsteps of visionary directors such as Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher...and that French guy, we have...PAUL W.S ANDERSON. No, not Paul Thomas Anderson, Paul W.S Anderson, y'know...the guy who did the Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil movies? Ooh...oh dear. With that name, you know exactly what you're going to get, and yes...yes it is. Competently filmed, less competently acted, some decent action sequences, and a boatload of 3D grid maps. As previously mentioned, this particular entry is the only one of either franchise to not be R Rated, Fox instead opting for a more marketable PG-13 rating for their dumb action crossover, which means anyone hoping for the red, neon and acid blood soaked carnage you'd assume would come from Aliens, Predators and unsuspecting humans intersecting will be left pretty disappointed. There's a little bit of gore, but predominately of the fantastical, monstery side of things.


    No gore is one thing, but how's the story, right? Uhhhhhh....well how about this, bucko. What if Bishop Weyland...the original one that is...found a underground pyramid in the middle of Antarctica and mounted a poorly planned expedition to it with a ragtag group of multi-national, affordable actors and actressesssss? Yaaaaay. The aim is to find evidence of alien life, and make his life meaningful in its final days, cuz he got the cancer and whatnot. Well, he finds that evidence,  in the form of a secret intergalactic proving ground where teenage Predators fight Xenomorphs birthed through sacrificial humans. And then they release the facehuggers, create a Xeno outbreak..the Predators arrive...yadda yadda yadda, everyone dies. The story is pretty nothing, but the Predator/Alien fights are a good time, as are some of the character kills, with the final act Alien Queen fight being visually quite impressive and enjoyable to boot. It's stupid, predictable, lacking in gore and cheesy, but...it has Aliens fighting Predators and I can actually see what's happening, so that's a big plus. I enjoy this film as mindless entertainment, as a fan of both franchises, it's fun to see the two duke it out, and everything else is competent enough to back that up. It's...DECENT.



    9. The Predator (2018).

    What a terrible, terrible waste of potential. The Alien and Predator franchise are no stranger to troubled productions, but with the exception of a certain other entry which we'll be talking about pretty soon, The Predator has them all beat in that department. From start to finish this was a real trainwreck of a project, in total taking 4 years, extensive reshoots and several release date changes to come to fruition. Unfortunately it's too early at this point to know who was really to blame for the constant fiddling and reshooting that led to this entertaining but total mess of a film, the director, Shane Black for making a bad film that was then in need of salvaging...or 20th Century Fox for not having the confidence in his original vision. All I know is that, for all this films plus points, of which there are a decent amount, it's hard to ignore the glaring problems. Plus wise? It's a lot of fun. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and has a diverse and talented cast who seem to be having a good time being there. There's a lot of funny moments and it's loaded with the cartoonish over the top gore you expect from this franchise. It's also nice to see the Predator franchise attempt to do something different, and expand its mythology...a little bit, even if it is poorly managed. It's hard not to have fun watching this film, even if you're often trying to work out what the hell just happened. 


    And on that, things start to go downhill. Sometimes, films get extensive reshoots and you'd never know from the finished product (Rogue One, for instance)...then there's The Predator. From start to finish, every cut...every shoddy CGI tweak, every inexplicable continuity lapse...this film REEKS of a messy production, a film cobbled together from different cuts...different takes of different narratives and a visible, constant struggle between being a comedy, a horror, action...something between them all...or none. Characters die in moments so quickly cut away from, never to be revisited, that you spend a few minutes dumbfounded by what you might...or might not have actually just seen. It's at times practically subliminal in its editing, and there are moments in the narrative where you just really can't believe something has actually been said...established....as canon to the lore of the Predator universe. It's baffling, and the final scene of the movie, one clearly designed to be a post-credits sequence...one which was instead taped onto the end of the main film because they clearly knew people wouldn't sit there and wait through those credits? One of cinemas worst endings in recent memory. And let's not even get into the casting controversy that marred the week of its release and sent an already doomed box office ship straight off the edge of the Earth. Like I say...this film is fun, it's got good merits, you can feel the potential deep within these ruins...but they are ruins. Which is a shame, because given the reception and poor box office, this is likely the final Predator movie for a long time...if indeed ever. Still, could've been worse I suppose.




    8. Alien 3 (1992).

    Remember that troubled production to trump The Predator? Here it is. After the runaway success of Alien and Aliens, 20th Century Fox were keen to get a sequel in the works ASAP. The first teaser trailer for the film was screened before a script had even been written...teasing an earthbound premise that only actually came to fruition in AvP Requiem...over a decade later. $7 Million had been spent on the film before production started, and it did so without a finished script, and poor rookie director David Fincher was put at the helm of a film that had no consistent premise, constantly at war with the executives and trying to keep pace with the time needed to actually write the script. It was a disaster, and it really shows in the finished product. That said, many years later, and many tweaks, re-cuts and HD polishes? Alien 3 isn't actually that bad of a film, I feel anyway. Far from perfect, but far from irredeemable, at least in its modern form. It certainly makes itself hard to enjoy, mind, taking the upbeat cheesy action romp that was Aliens and relocating things to a desolate, practically uninhabitable planet that doubles as both an abandoned foundry AND a penal colony of all-male rapist and murderer convicts. Not only that, but that loveable surviving cast of characters that endeared and charmed in Aliens? THEY'RE ALL FUCKING DEAD, SON. Hicks and Newt both die in a surprisingly grisly fashion, with the latter's autopsy proving to be the franchises bleakest moment by a long way. On a whole this is a dark, cold, nihilistic film about death and the grim acceptance of it, and whilst that doesn't really prove to be much in the way of sci-fi fun? It's still pretty interesting, and concludes the original trilogy of Alien films with yet another unique and tonally distinct entry.


    And it is a conclusion. As previously stated, this is, for all intents and purposes, Ripley's final outing. Yeah, we get the weird Xenohybrid in Resurrection, but this is the end of the road for the Ellen Ripley we know and love, and the film deals with that in a suitably stirring and poignant way, with her heroic death losing its swelling momentum only due to the dated special effects. Obviously it's not all perfect, no film this troubled ever can be. As previously stated, the special effects are somewhat lacking compared to the almost timeless practical effects of Aliens. Early attempts at green-screen inserting leads to Alien shots that not so much aged badly as were never good to begin with. The weird mix of puppetry, stop motion and practical suit-work creates an Alien that has no on-screen cohesion, and that's not even beginning to go into the confusion as to whether this unique, four legged Xeno is the spawn of a cow, or a dog...it differing between the theatrical and the much later alternative (It's not a directors cut) DVD release of the film. Even in the much improved Blu Ray restoration, there's some audio issues, and a lot of the side cast get lost in the chaos, with some dodgy performances standing out against the stellar work by Sigourney Weaver. It started out as a hot mess, but much like Blade Runner (Albeit not to the same quality), the film has been improved upon over the years with more cohesive cuts released, and recent restoration work on the visuals and audio, the former of which seemingly having a lot more of the Fincher colour palette which is now his trademark. A lot of people hate this film, but I think it's honestly pretty decent. A depressing, but engaging trilogy ender to the classic Alien series.



    7. Predators (2010).

    In the middle portion of this list, things are increasingly getting a little trickier to rank. A good chunk of this middle group have a lot of redeeming qualities, but their obvious shortcomings prevent them from being in the top tiers. But when you have several pretty dang good films with their own differing faults and you need to place on one top of the other? It's tricky, man. No more evident is this than with Predators. The 3rd instalment in the Predator franchise, named in tribute to the Alien-Aliens naming convention of its older sibling series, isn't a masterpiece by any means, it's mediocrities are why it's this far down the list...however, that's not to say I don't like it. In fact, I like Predators quite a lot. Released without a huge amount of audience fanfare back in 2010, despite raking in a healthy profit, it's often the forgotten child of the series. Not good enough to earn an eternal place in people's hearts and minds, but not bad enough to gain their disgust either. Given it's already distant in the rear-view mirror of 2018, I'd imagine The Predator will join this in purgatory soon enough, perhaps more justifiably so. Regardless, Predators deserves another look, because whilst its sequel floundered in its attempts to expand the mythology, this one? Actually managed it pretty well. Taking the carnage off our planet and into the reaches of space, we're promptly introduced to a large ensemble of various soldiers, killers...and Topher Grace. Rather than go to Earth in search of a good hunt, the Predators have opted to cherry-pick their prey out of their natural habitats and into one big intergalactic game preserve. AaaAnnd WEe'RRe TheEe GaAmAmE, grumbles Adrien Brody in his best possible Batman impression. And he's right, despite his poor choice of voice, and sure enough it doesn't take long for our large ensemble to start dropping like flies against the various threats and perils they find themselves surrounded by, which include poisonous plantlife, traps, two clashing clans of Predator and their pet dogs, not to mention fellow survivors, both the ones they came with and ones that were already there.


    On a whole, Predators is less impressive as a whole, and more entertaining in its various set-pieces. At its core it's just a buncha mostly unlikeable people trying to survive in a jungle...sound familiaaaarrr? Yes. But when you actually watch the film, it's got some great action, awesome looking Predators, plenty of gore, and some memorable sequences. Ever wanted to see a Predator have a samurai sword fight with a Yakuza agent in the middle of a billowing wheat field? This is your film. The fights are solid, as is the action in general, and frankly, that's what I'm looking for in a Predator movie more than anything....that, and plenty of Predators, of which there are. Cool masks, cool gadgets, yes yes yes. It's a solid, but unremarkable action/horror film, and whilst that obviously isn't going to get it very far on this list, given what we've gone through in the rankings already? It feels like a dream. It's just a shame we never got to see more from this branch of the franchise, a promising, if not somewhat generic cliffhanger has gone without any continuation since. Not only that but, due to its isolated space setting, it remains the most detached from the series, not even getting a single mere reference in this years instalment. Perhaps with that one's failure, we may someday see more of this one? No, no we won't. But it's still a fun time. You can doooooo a lot worse, as we've already displayed.




    6. Alien Covenant (2017). 

    The most recent instalment of the Alien franchise, and the first core entry since 1997, Alien Covenant had a lot of expectations to live up to. People were still sour over Prometheus (We'll get to that laaaaater), but the promise of a Xenomorphic return to form, once again helmed by the franchises creator Ridley Scott, bringing over the most universally loved component of Prometheus, which was Michael Fassbender's sinister android David? Hopes were high for this one, and the trailers certainly helped that all-important hype grow a lot. Nonetheless, Alien Covenant arrived, sharply divided audiences and critics yet again, but this time with diminishing financial returns compared to Prometheus, which this is very much the sequel to. Oops. Although there still seems to be some form of sequel in the works...potentially, with everything going on with Fox in the next couple years? There's the chance for this to be the final installment of the Alien franchise, and even if it isn't? The end of the road for Ridley Scott's android heavy prequel saga. When all's said and done, Alien Covenant is a messy film, chiefly of all because it's trying to be two things at once. A sequel to Prometheus, and the new Alien film everybody wanted from Prometheus. As it stands, it doesn't fully succeed to be either, and especially fails to be a satisfying continuation to Prometheus, which famously left many big questions completely unanswered. As with The Predator this year, this entries various attempts to expand the mythology of its franchise sadly do more harm than good towards it. Throw in some truly whince-inducing character moments and the worlds most homoerotic flute lesson? Alien Covenant is a bit of a bloody mess. But oddly, it's also a lot of fun.


    Ridley Scott may be a maniac on a mission to single-handedly ruin his own creation, but he sure knows how to direct a sci-fi film. Covenant is beautiful from start to finish, and whilst I don't like a lot of what it does, particularly in its second act? I can't deny that I have a really good time every time I watch this film. Weirdly, it's quite literally a film of two halves. The first hour is pretty great in fact, following a group of couples on their journey to find a new home, to colonise and start the spread of the human race across the universe. After a calamitous event, the crew awaken from stasis to discover a habitable planet previously unknown to them, and they promptly decide to investigate. Of course, this being an Alien film, it doesn't take long for things to go really badly wrong, presenting an entirely new but all the same grisly and glorious form of bodybursting to the franchise, this time caused by a scarily unavoidable airborne pathogen. When everything goes to shit, the second hour, and second narrative half begins, and things start to go downhill into a silly, but all the same entertaining merging of the Alien and Prometheus worlds. Yes the film has Xenos, no they aren't used very well, but it's still fun. It's a fun film. It's stupid, as a Ridley Scott directed Alien franchise film? It's massively disappointing, but it's still fun. Despite all its many shortcomings, I still like it a lot. I wanted more, but I didn't get it. What I got? I'll take for what it is, an entertaining sci-fi horror romp which I really hope gets the sequel it needs to...please...PLEASE start filling in the blanks of this convoluted prequel narrative.





    5. Predator (1987).

    The one that started it all, well...for ol' vagina mouth at least. The original, and most would say best Predator film (Although obviously I disagree), and the dawn of 90% of the 80s best cheesy one liners, this is one of the first films raised as an example of what many would decree the golden age of action movies (I would again, disagree). And it is pretty great, there's no denying that. Arnold Schrhawwzanagegeher, the director of The Predator, and a buncha other burly DUDES cram themselves all into a Vietnam allegory and go rootin' tootin' shootin' in the rainforests of South America. It's business as usual, killing 'insurgents' and rescuing hostages, blowing shit up and saying goofy quips...UNTIL...a space alien turns up and fuckin' murders a buncha them. Oops. What starts out as a gun-ho action movie slowly descends into a sort of desperate survival horror as more and more members of the macho crew meet their end in increasingly gory fates, introducing some of the grisly dispatch methods the Predators are now known for. Wrist blades, face-exploding energy canons and of course, the classic, the ol' favourite, ripping the victims skull and spine out through their back, and claiming it as a gruesome hunting trophy.


    For one of the 1980's most beloved action movies, it's a surprisingly slow burn. Once the shit hits the fan, it's a long road to that iconic final showdown between Arnie and the Predator. There's a lot of time spent with the gang grappling with the confusion, anger and disbelief that comes from your elite commando buddies being easily and brutally offed by an extra terrestrial hunting enthusiast, and that's both a good and bad thing. Some scenes really land, others not so much, and the slow 2nd act is partly why I'm not as big a fan of this original Predator film as others. That's not to say I'm not a fan, I am, and there's no disputing its status as a genre classic, both as a launcher of one of sci-fi's most iconic franchises, but also just a memorable movie in its own right. The real highlight is of course, that final sequence, where Arnie alone fights both to survive, and ultimately defeat the Predator at its own hunting game using traps, mud and Super Mario jumps through the trees. It's fun, tense and ends with a nuclear explosion, so you can't really go wrong. The reveal of the Predators true face, and subsequent foul-mouthed retort from Dutch is just one of dozens of iconic lines, in an iconic movie, and there's no disputing it earns that, even if I feel it hasn't aged so well in recent years. Still pretty great though, please don't murder me, internet!



    4. Prometheus (2012).

    Here it is, the high ranking entry that's going to get me the most shit...if anyone reads this thing, that is. I like Prometheus, alright? Is it perfect? Nooooo, not at all. But most of the films on this list aren't, let's be honest, and unlike say, Alien Covenant, this film at least isn't trying to be all things to all people. The only film on this list to not be have an Alien or Predator in the title, Prometheus was never intended to be an outlier, instead the launching of its own distinct franchise set within the same world...but...alas, it's now the only one of its series, the separate brand ditched in favour of an Alien header for Covenant, originally called Prometheus: Paradise Lost, before losing the Prometheus, and consequently the subtitle too. But enough about Alien Covenant, let's talk PROMETHEUS. It's easy to forget now, but back in the months before this films release? People were hyped as all fuck, I know I was. Originally starting life as a straight-up prequel to the original Alien, it quickly evolved into a generally disconnected narrative with some major crossovers, with the potential to eventually merge in later sequels. Frequently, Ridley Scott and the writers of the film stated that this wasn't an Alien movie, and it wouldn't feature xenomorphs, or Ripley or connect directly to that film. Despite this, people went in with the expectation that it would, and when it subsequently didn't? People were pissed. Well, to be fair, the film has other underlying issues, a lot of which were overinflated as an additional to curse this film to the pits of hell, which it doesn't really deserve, I feel. It had good reviews, and a sizeable box office haul, but that hasn't given it a reputation for quality in the years that followed.


    Prometheus follows a group of scientists taking a trip through the depths of space, following what they decide to be an invitation laid out by our creators, given to numerous generations of mankind in the form of a distant constellation of stars. They, along with the Weyland Corporation, are in search of answers. Who created us? Why? And why haven't they ever visited us since? All these questions and more will not be answered in Prometheus, a movie that poses the grand questions of life and only vaguely attempts to offer anything in response. That said? The ride presented is still a fun one, not to mention visually oustanding, Ridley Scott, as he did with Covenant later on, proving himself to be a master of desolate but atmospheric sci-fi worlds. The real star of the show here though is Michael Fassbender as the pesky android David, who oozes with charming, but creepy malevolence as he gradually starts to work behind the scenes against his human superiors in the pursuit of his own attempts at creating life. "Big things have small beginnings" he says, with a twisted grin. He's wrong of course, Prometheus was supposed to be the beginning of something epic, a dangerous journey through space in the pursuit of answers from our creators for Elizabeth Shaw and the android she can't trust. This pursuit would have inevitably led us to the formations of the original Alien, but instead the search, along with its cast and our creators, were abruptly cut short in Alien Covenant, a kneejerk reaction to this films polarising reception, which is a shame. Stupid character decisions and lacking answers aside? This is a good film, like...genuinely good? One day we might look back and appreciate a bit more of Prometheus, I hope. But for now, it's just me, ranking it above the original Predator. SUE ME.




    3. Predator 2 (1990).

    WHAAAT, I PUT PREDATOR 2 ABOVE THE ORIGINAL!? AM I FUCKING INSASAAANNNE!? I mean, no? Well, inventing angry voices disputing my opinions is something an insane person would do, but...uhhhh....heeyyy. Predator 2 is a fun movie, huh? Less a masterpiece of cinema, and more a huge guilty pleasure, I'll fully admit that this film? It's got a lotta problems. However, it's a cheesy, cocaine heavy gorefest full of dated references and action movie clichés....and I kinda love it for that. Stripping the original Predator of its slowburn tension, in favour of an outlandish, bombastic and campy 'Dannny Glover being flustered by everything' vehicle, Predator 2 switches the setting from the heat of the jungle to...the heat of the CONCRETE jungle, OoHHOoOOOOoOOo. See what they did there? The production team at Fox must've patted themselves on the back super hard for coming up with THAT one. Randomly set in near-future (1997, SON) Los Angeles, where gang violence is as out of control as the rising temperatures, and an overworked and understaffed LAPD find themselves having to deal with an entirely new threat, one which...mmgngh...is a Predator. Sorry, I'm not good at build-up. Danny Glover, who, yes, is too old for this shit, takes it upon himself to work out just WHO, or whaaaaat is skinning the various gang members and also hanging them upside down, I guess. And he's going to need the help of a band of wacky, wisecracking sidekicks, including Bill Paxton, at the height of his "OH GOD PLEASE SHUT UP" powers. And thus, the wacky adventure begins.


    Predator 2 was not warmly received upon its release, but has gone on to become something of a cult favourite in later years. It's not hard to understand why it was poorly reviewed, it's a very stupid movie and it's not particularly well filmed or written either. It has its charms though, it stands as an archetypal example of late 80s/early 90s action film-making, soaked in hazy colours and full of references to gang violence and drug culture which I guess was topical at the time, I dunno, I wasn't born yet. Those dated stylings and themes bring with them a lot of pulpy charm, and the Predator itself fits in perfectly with that seedy, violent world. The idea that their choice of the ultimate hunting ground would be the burning streets of Los Angeles makes sense, given the context, and allows for some entertaining action sequences on the streets and along the rooftops of the city. That final sequence, smoke machine heavy as it may be, where Danny duals with his Predator adversary and we meet an entire clan for the first time? Great stuff. Also hard to forget that now legendary Xenomorph skull cameo, which planted the seeds of what became one of the genres most well known crossover pairings, and eventually, most importantly, this ranking blog, right? All in all, I'm very much aware this is personal preference, and a guilty pleasure, but I just can't help but love Predator 2. It's my favourite of the franchise by some margin, and maybe one day we'll get a sequel as crazy again. We won't. But....I'd like that.




    2. Alien (1979).

    Alright, we've gotten to the obvious two leaders, and this aspect of the ranking was probably already quite predictable, even before you clicked on it. Anyone who knows me is pretty aware that the Alien franchise is my jam, and even if you don't know me, it's pretty hard to debate any previous film on this list coming close to the high points of these two...well...except for those people who are still angry that I put the original Predator at number 5. The winner is already obvious, but it's Halloween after all, so we should really get to talking about one of the greatest horror films of all time before we get ahead of ourselves with the #1 choice, mm? ALIEN. Oh boooooy, Alien. The film that quite literally started it all, the earliest, and some would argue the best of any Alien or Predator release. Not only did it start one of Sci-Fi's greatest brands, and introduce us to one of cinemas most iconic monsters, but it also launched the mainstream career of Ridley Scott, the guy who would then go on to make some of Hollywoods most iconic movies...and also Robin Hood. But once you brush past its legacy, its importance in movie history...is it actually any good? Umm, YEAH? For a low budget 70s sci-fi horror to not only stand the test of time, but also continue to be one of the greatest horror films ever made? Not too shabby.


    At a glance, it's a pretty simple sci-fi slasher. Buncha folks go to a strange planet, encounter an alien threat, and soon enough they're being bumped off one by one in gruesome fashion, leaving only the 'final girl' behind to defeat the menace and live to fight another day. BUT...what a buncha folks, what a strange planet, what an alien threat....and what a 'final girl'. At times this film is almost wall-to-wall iconic moments. Boarding the derelict ship, finding the eggs, John Hurt getting a face full of hugger, John Hurt getting a chest full of burster, which is one of the most well known moments in cinema history...with each following death being eerie, gruesome and memorable in their own ways, including an android that...goes somewhat insane. Even when there's just Ripley left, you have that evacuation sequence...and even then there's still the tense, almost silent final showdown before the credits finally roll. The introduction of both leading cinematic heroine Ellen Ripley, and the unique, disturbing Xenomorph created by mad artist HR Giger make this film a must-watch by themselves, but all the moments previous stated? And just...the movie as a whole? I dunno, it's really hard to overstate how great this film is. It's dark, creepy, and violent, but also oddly charming and funny at times thanks to its diverse and quirky ensemble. Unlike other releases on this list, its theatrical release has never been improved upon despite a commonly released 'directors cut', and bar the couple infamous examples (Chestburster running on the table, Xeno falling out the spaceship), its practical effects stand up impressively well, untouched, even to this day. It's just...it's really great, you guys, mmmm? It'd have to take a really special film to top this, huh? If ooooonly there was any tension left about what the number 1 film was, it's literally impossible for it to be anything else buuuuuutt....




    1. Aliens (1986).

    OOOOoOohH SHIT. IT'S FUCKING ALIENS, YOOOOOOOOOO. I mean, obviously...it was the only film left. This was the reason I was a little hesitant to do this ranking in the first place...where's the fun in a countdown when you already know the #1 entry going in? Not only is Aliens my favourite film in the Alien, Predator or Prometheus series' combined? It's also my favourite film of all time, period. So in that respect, yeah...kinda boring way to end the list I'm afraid. That said, it's an excuse to once again gush about how amazing and perfect this film is, sooooo get strapped in, folks! A full 7 years after the release of the original Alien, this sequel would've proved quite controversial in its direction, had this franchise launched in the present day. Gone is the claustrophobic horror, and outgunned, unprepared ensemble, this time? It's waaaaaaaar. Replacing one legendary director with another, gone was Ridley Scott, enter James Cameron, hot off his work on creating the similarly iconic Terminator franchise (And also Piranha II but let's not go there), the new focus? Hardcore sci-fi action...with a smidge of horror too. For a sequel to an acclaimed horror to turn things into a space war epic? That could never work, right? But it does...it reaaaally does.


    57 years after Ripley escaped the Nostromo and entered cryosleep, she's discovered by a salvage crew and awakened into a very different world. Never having expected to be lost in space for so long, she discovers her own daughter has grown old and died in her absence (At least in the far superior directors cut), and the planet she and her crew landed, and promptly encountered the xenomorph that killed her entire crew on, is now inhabited by a modest population of human colonisers. Not a great wakeup call, as they go. She's also suffering from PTSD following her brush with death incarnate, and Weyland Yutani hold her responsible for the destruction of the Nostromo, and have revoked her right to be a flight officer, so things really do suck quite hard for Ellen Ripley at the start of this film. Naturally, a story just about Ellen Ripley having a crappy domestic life would grow a bit tedious after a while, even with Jonesy along for the ride, so it doesn't take long for the colonisers of LV-426 to discover the derelict ship, and unleash the Xenomorphic threat on a much, much larger scale than before. It doesn't take long after that for the weasley company to enlist Ripley, along with a platoon of Colonial Marines and a slightly less insane android to investigate the strange goings on, and it doesn't take much longer still  for our team of gun-ho, cocksure soldiers to truly meet their match, and eventual demise at the elongated, clawed hands of an army of Xenos. What follows is a race against time to both survive the deadly onslaught, and also escape from the facility, which is set to go into catastrophic meltdown. There's also the little matter of Newt, a young girl and sole survivor of the Hadley's Hope attack, who quickly bonds with the recently bereaved Ripley. What follows is an action packed and charming romp once again loaded with memorable characters, and iconic sequences, and things only get better in the final act, where the Alien Queen is brilliantly introduced in a scene that still gives me goosebumps even to this day. And that's not even addressing the battle that happens afterwards. I just...I just I just I just....this filmmmmmmm, y'know? I could write a whole blog jerking off to it, I could've done a ranking just of moments from this film, but I won't. I'll spare you all the pain on this most Hallows of Eve. I love this film to bits, if that's not obvious. There was never any doubt in my mind this would be the winner from the start, how could it not? It's the bestest film everrrr.








    ALRIGHT, that went on for too long. Sorrrrrry. Hope you had fun with this vaguely horror themed Halloweenie blog. What are your thoughts on the rankings? Where would you rank things yourself? Did you enjoy the franchises latest offerings, or do you wish the Xenomorphs and Predators would just jog on off back to space now? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and if you enjoyed the blog, why not give it a ZING and share it around the social medias? That'd be swell.

    Most importantly, have a HAPPY OL' HALLOWEEN, don't eat too many sweets, don't perform too many satanic rituals, and don't get too into those buff werewolves. Sure, it may be fun for one night, but after a few full moons it gets really tedious, y'know? Alright, LATER GATOOORS.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 120

    2 weeks ago

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    MADHERO: Greetings mortals, and welcome to At the BOOvies, where we talk everyone's worst nightmares. Dark machinations as the return of the Johnny English franchise, a new Gerard Butler movie and maybe worst of all: an live action anime adaptation. Truly these are the things that would make any soul shrivel up into despair.


    STICKMAN: It's time to GIVE OURSELVES TO DANCE....or....write a movie blog.


    LARRY: Gerard Butler is truly the greatest trick of the season. And we? We are the best treat. There ya go, we covered 'em.


    STICKMAN: I'm a right treat, me.


    MADHERO: Don't oversell yourself. Anyway, lets talk the scariest thing of all: the news.


    LARRY: NOT THE NEWS.


    NEWS

    LEGENDARY PICTURES DEVELOPING LIVE ACTION ADAPTATION OF ANIME MY HERO ACADEMIA

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    The live action anime adaptation has grabbed plenty a victim. Ghost in the Shell and Death Note are a recent example, there's also the legendarily awful Dragonball Evolution, and now we've got another to add to the pile. Legendary has announced that they're working on a live action adaptation of My Hero Academia, which takes place in a world where 80% has superpowers, and follows Deku, a boy initially without any powers, but through an act of courage is chosen by the world greatest hero All Might to be his successor and given one of the strongest powers, and starts attending an high school where he can develop his powers.


    Now, it'll be wait and see if this even happens. Legendary has been busy with Japanese properties like Godzilla and Pokemon. They've also attempted at making live action adaptations of Naruto and Attack of Titan, but not much has happened at that stage, so the same might happen here. I will say that out of those properties, MHA probably could make the ride the smoothest, considering Sky High exists and thats basically the same thing. Still, its an anime adaptation and those are usually the worst, but we'll see whenever this happens.


    STICKMAN: Oh boy, the anime. Truly this is a time of horrors.


    MADHERO: There's nothing scarier to an anime fan than an Hollywood live action adaptation of their anime, and there's nothing scarier to normal people to the insane ravings of an anime fan.


    STICKMAN: I've most definitely shat myself.


    LARRY: Oh don't mind me desperately trying to find something to add to this conversation. I have yet to see a single episode of this show.


    STICKMAN: Talk about your love of My Hero Academia bro.


    MADHERO: Lets talk about how Mineta is the fucking worst. But yeah, part of this feels like Legendary chasing something that's popular now. Something they tried with Naruto but is too late now with all the kids now being into Boruto and knowing Naruto only as Boruto's dad.


    STICKMAN: Boruto sounds like what Blonic is to Sonic.


    LARRY: ...wait, seriously? BORUTO?


    MADHERO: Naruto and Bleach are for old people now, Larry. We're old. MHA sorta feels like its in between the gap. I like the show a bunch, and think an adaptation could work, because Sky High exists and if you've seen that, its basically that but more anime, though very inspired by stuff like the MCU.


    LARRY: Hold on HOLD ON. BORUTO. THIS IS A THING? I'M STILL ON THIS.


    MADHERO: Yes. And I can't wait for its adaptation in 2030


    STICKMAN: How many white people will be in it, I wonder.


    MADHERO: It'll be like mayonnaise jar. Its probably too early to tell if this will even happen, but hey, they announced their intentions. Be afraid, MHA fans. Be very afraid.


    LARRY: How many Willem Dafoe's is a better question.


    STICKMAN: All of them I hope. This is when we should segue into a payed Crunchyroll promotion where you can say to watch the anime online and then we get Ferraris.


    HALLOWEEN PROVING TO BE VERY SUCCESSFUL. OTHER STUDIOS ARE TAKING A SHOT AT THEIR OWN SLASHER REVIVAL

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    Last episode we talked about the impending release of Halloween, the sequel to Halloween, but not the reboot Halloween, the original Halloween.  Since then, it's fair to say the film has made quite the box office impact in its first week, debuting to $76 million, just short of the all-time October box office record set by Venom, but gaining the records for biggest grossing female-led horror and over 50's female led movies in their opening weekend. It also has the distinguishable feat of becoming the highest grossing installment of the Halloween franchise EVER in just its first 3 days. It's opening gross was also the highest for an R-Rated horror since last year's runaway hit...IT, and it's expected to continue its strong performance over the Halloween period. Needless to say, it's likely executives have probably noticed.


    A day after this record-breaking weekend, we found out that LeBron James of all people is attempting to get a reboot of Friday the 13th off the ground, following a breakthrough in the longstanding lawsuit over its rights. At the same time, Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund has for the first time suggested he'd be game to play the iconic star of Nightmare of Elm Street one last time, after donning the costume for a special episode of sitcom The Goldbergs this week. Back to Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis said she'd be game for another installment should director David Gordon Green return for a sequel...and given this one's success? That seems pretty likely. With these musings, and a Child's Play reboot currently in production? The slasher genre seems to be on the cusp of a major comeback...that might...be good?


    MADHERO: Capitalism. The scariest slasher of them all.


    STICKMAN: The one thing you can never kill.


    LARRY: I mean...I have a hard time believing all of these are gonna end up being good ideas. I find Friday the 13th relatively bland and not ripe for re-adaptation, Nightmare I could maybe see.


    STICKMAN: They won't be, the Child's Play remake already isn't.


    MADHERO: Oh no, remember. A lot of those slashers were really bad, and that Child's Play reboot seems like a bad idea. Its gonna be hard to capture what made Halloween a hit


    LARRY: Child's Play was always a bad idea and will continue to be.


    STICKMAN: Child's Play is awesome and I won't tolerate Child's Play abuse  in THIS HOUSEHOLD.


    MADHERO: Larry, don't fuck with the Chuck


    LARRY: The first movie is sooooo baddddddd It's gonna need a redesign should it work in 2018. If Pennywise got one, Chucky does too lol


    STICKMAN: LARRY, LEAVE CHILD'S PLAY ALONE. Nightmare out of these I feel is the weakest idea, whilst it sounds good on paper to bring back Robert Englund as Freddy, he's an old dude now and he's not gonna have the right kinda Fredergy.


    MADHERO: Its hard because as we say with the reboot, its hard to move on from Englund with Freddy, wheras Jason can be played by Lebron James and no one will notice


    LARRY: Yeah but Nightmare is the best film of all three source materials. Maybe use the new film to introduce a new force in the franchise, I dunno. Some descendent of Freddy.


    STICKMAN: Freddy Prinze Jr.


    MADHERO: They already went really meta with New Nightmare, and its a bit weird with Wes Craven gone, but my god they'll try and be shocked when it doesn't make as much money as Halloween


    STICKMAN: New Nightmare was fuckin weird. And yeah, there's more to the original Nightmare on Elm Street creatively than just Freddy. But there you go. Slashers are hardly the franchises to go for when seeking consistent quality.


    MADHERO: Can't wait for the Puppet Master reboot.


    STICKMAN: The world needs Nazi killing puppets now more than ever.


    LARRY: I think we're forgetting one of the greatest slashers of all??? Silent Night, Deadly Night. REMAKE IT YOU COWARDS


    STICKMAN: And you said Child's Play was bad.


    GUILLERMO DEL TORO DEVELOPING AN STOP MOTION MUSICAL VERSION OF PINOCCHIO FOR NETFLIX

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    I don't think I've ever heard a phrase more beautiful than "Guillermo Del Toro is set to make his animated feature film directing debut." After having announced that the project fell through in November, Netflix has officially given Del Toro the go-ahead to get started on his stop-motion animated adaptation of "Pinocchio," which he will produce, write, and direct. His take will be a bit different, taking place in Fascist Italy during the 1930's. Del Toro has gone on record in the past connecting Pinocchio to Frankenstein (classic Del Toro), and the film would most likely view the story through that darker lens. The film will also be a musical, which isn't too much of a surprise given Del Toro's fondness of classic, Golden Age musicals. Del Toro will be working with the Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine ("BoJack Horseman") on the puppetry, with Patrick McHale of  "Over The Garden Wall" co-writing and Mark Gustafson of "Fantastic Mr. Fox" co-directing.


    Netflix and Del Toro have had a fruitful partnership as of late, with the three-part "Tales of Arcadia" animated series and his upcoming horror anthology "Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight. Del Toro's fantasy films have never exactly been made for children (apart from Tales of Arcadia), but Disney's Pinocchio is what put that fairy tale on the map as a children's property, so perhaps some of that spirit will be channeled here. Or, then again...maybe not.


    STICKMAN: OOHHHH BOOOOYY OHHH MY GAWWWWDD...I wish it wasn't a musical.


    LARRY: Aw hush. This is AWESOME.


    MADHERO: Del Toro winning an Oscar and immediately making a stop motion movie after. AKA The Wes Anderson route


    STICKMAN: It is awesome but it'd be moooore awesome if it was a straight up normal stop motion Del Toro movie.


    MADHERO: We haven't really had a stop motion musical since.... Nightmare Before Christmas?


    STICKMAN: Corpse Bride.


    LARRY:And both of those movies RULE. SO WHY FRET.


    STICKMAN: Cuz I don't like muuusicallls and yooooou do.


    MADHERO: Corpse Bride was a little more recent. Considering stop motion takes forever, I do wonder how long it'll take before this is even out.


    LARRY: This sounds like the greatest pitch for a movie since....ever, I dunno.


    STICKMAN: Poor Del Toro has been trying to get this made for years, so I'm glad Netflix are making themselves even more bankrupt finally making it happen.


    LARRY: I think Del Toro taking a Frankenstein-inspired approach is a brilliant choice. Classic monster movie connection.


    MADHERO: Now if only Netflix will let him make At the Mountain of Madness


    STICKMAN: Let's just let Del Toro make everything he wants. Especially in stop motion.


    MADHERO: This is very much a pro Del Toro household. Musical or not, I'm looking forward to what he does next.


    STICKMAN: I'll be watching, just....muusiccalls maaaan.


    DISNEY IN TALKS WITH DEADPOOL WRITERS RHETT REESE AND PAUL WERNICK TO REBOOT PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN WITHOUT JOHNNY DEPP

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    Its been a long time coming, but its sounding like the adventures of Jack Sparrow are over and done with. At least, that's what it looks like with Disney having reportedly approached Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to work on a reboot of Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates as a franchise is still important to Disney, but the last movie Dead Men Tell No Tales barely made money domestically (plenty internationally) and they're incredibly expensive films to make (On Stranger Tides is still the most expensive film ever made).


    Another important reason seems to be the case of Johnny Depp, who's becoming less of a box office draw and a pain to work with, not to mention the accusations regarding his domestic violence case, which has led to a lot of questions regarding his involvement with Fantastic Beasts. Its weird to think of PotC without Jack Sparrow, and it'll be interesting how that will even work, but as someone getting more and more tired of Depp's schtick as the character regressed, I'm interested what the writers can come up with and bring a fresher take. Maybe they can get Monkey Island involved since Disney owns the rights to that.


    STICKMAN: Yaarrrr, I don't care for this.


    MADHERO: Apathy, the spookiest thing of all


    LARRY: Fuck Johnny Depp. Let the man rot. Happy to see they want to keep moving on with a franchise full of potential for reimagining and are cutting the fat.


    STICKMAN: I mean he kinda did  in the first one when he became a skellyton. Johnny Depp's not got much fat on him to cut.


    MADHERO: Damn, Larry holding no prisoners.


    LARRY: Pirates of the Caribbean essentially defined the post-modern pirate movie. This is a great chance to see what new ways we can envision pirates in the mainstream. Not sure if it can recapture the magic, but the Deadpool writers can probably come up with some interesting ideas.


    STICKMAN: You say defined, I say it was the only one. Except THE Pirates: In An Adventure with Regional Varying Subtitles.


    MADHERO: Yeah, you don't really much other pirate movies, probably because these films were super expensive to make


    LARRY: I love Curse of the Black Pearl, for the record. One of my all-time favorite films.


    MADHERO: Hot take: Curse of the Black Pearl is the only good PotC movie.


    LARRY: Not really a hot take, most agree with you.


    STICKMAN: Hot take: The theme tune is the only good part of the PotC movies.


    LARRY: Now THERE'S a scalding take.


    MADHERO: Domestic abuse shittery aside, but Depp's schtick as Jack Sparrow was also getting really tired the more they just made him a lucky buffoon, when Jack was actually someone who was a step ahead of everyone else while pretending to be an idiot. Recasting him would be a whole thing, so glad they're moving on from it.


    STICKMAN: Make The Pirate Captain the new star of Pirates of the Carribeaardman.


    MADHERO: Hopefully he remains made of clay and the rest is still live-action, and no one points it out


    STICKMAN: Perfect. Thanks in advance, Disney.


    WARNER BROS ANIMATION DEVELOPING A NEW TOM AND JERRY AND SCOOBY DOO ANIMATED MOVIE

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    Though Warner Animation Group has had relative success with their LEGO films, they have yet to strike gold outside of the series, with "Storks" and "Smallfoot receiving moderate but not amazing box-office hauls. We knew that they were working on a Scooby Doo film that would jumpstart a Hanna Barbera universe and we now have some details. WAG has been tapped Chris Columbus, best known for Harry Potter and Home Alone, who’ll be a creative advisor. He will be assisting director Tony Cervone, an animation veteran who produced several big Hanna Barbera television shows and animated films.


    The more interesting news to me, is that Tim Story ("Ride Along," "Think Like a Man") has been tapped to direct a live-action/animated hybrid for Tom & Jerry. Not only will WAG be balancing animated films and live-action hybrids in this HB cinematic universe, but the animation teams will be working hand-in-hand, using the same techniques to animate the characters in both styles, which is a rare move for a major studio. T&J is gonna shoot in 2019, and, according to sources, the duo will not speak and stick straight to the physical comedy, as is tradition (THANK GOD). WAG seem to be all-in on giving these HB cartoons new-life. But are they biting off more than they can chew? We'll have to wait and see.


    STICKMAN: Can we ever top Tom & Jerry & Willy Wonka.


    MADHERO: Hard to say. That movie was a generation defining classic. Hard to see how it can be done. Maybe they can do something really radical and make their 90 minute film into 9 short films.


    LARRY: All we need now is Tom & Jerry - Apocalypse Now and we're set for life.


    MADHERO: Tom and Jerry is not something that really works as a movie and works a lot better as shorts. Mind you, you can't really do what the original cartoons did anymore, but still. Scooby Doo I can see work, especially if they take inspiration from Mystery Incorporated. That or partner with the WWE


    STICKMAN: Let Shaggy finally smoke weed on screen.


    MADHERO: I hope they'll finally let him achieve Ultra Instinct on screen.


    LARRY: Well the director did produce the Mystery Incorporated TV series. So you're spot on there, Mad. Honestly I think both of these films have potential. Tim Story is mostly known for his collaborations with Kevin Hart, who might as well be Jerry, AMIRITE???


    STICKMAN: I prefer Tim Story 2


    MADHERO: Also Wacky Races in the style of Mad Max like that one DC Comic. Do it, you cowards


    STICKMAN: Let's have Apocalypse Scoobs and Gay Rights Snagglepuss too.


    MADHERO: Mad Men Flintstones as well. God that run was weird but also kinda great.


    STICKMAN: What a wild ride Hanna Barbara comics have become.


    ACADEMY AWARDS ANNOUNCE THEIR 25 FILMS ELIGIBLE FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE. RECORD AMOUNT OF JAPANESE FILMS

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    Whilst we may be focused on spooky movies this Halloween, it's hard to forget what's coming just around the corner for film-fans. That's right, come November, come the real beginning of Awardsy season. First the releases, then the awards themselves begin, first with nominations, and then with the shows themselves, culminating of course, with the big one, the Oscars.  Whilst it's far too early for the main contenders to be clear, let alone announced, we've gotten our first look at what could be nominated for Best Animated Feature this week, with the films eligible to contend now announced. 25 films in total, with a record 8 features coming from Japan, and a pleasantly diverse assortment of animation.


    Notable nominees include the obvious frontrunner, The Incredibles 2 (Although a non-Toy Story Pixar sequel has never won the award), along with the various mainstream CGI releases including Hotel Transylvania 3, Smallfoot and upcoming releases The Grinch, Spider-Verse and Ralph Breaks the Internet. A rare mainstream 2D animation is also nominated in the form of the surprisingly well received Teen Titans GO To the Movies. There's also a couple expected stop-motion releases, Aardman's Early Man and Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, the latter of which is likely to be another frontrunner. Indie potentials include the well received Chinese release 'Have a Nice Day' and the already acclaimed Hungarian 'Ruben Brant, Collector'. There's all sorts to be seen, but only 5 will be nominated, likely a few CGI releases, Isle of Dogs and ONE LUCKY INDIE UNDERDOG, following on from last year, where the voting rules changed, causing Boss Baby and Ferdinand to be nominated because Academy voters had heard of them. EXCITING.


    MADHERO: The Sherlock Gnomes campaign starts here!


    LARRY: What do we think the five will be? My bets are Isle, Spidey, Incredibles, Grinch, and Ralph. Though if Early Man got a nod I would not be upset purely because stop motion should be celebrated.


    MADHERO: My main guess is probably Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet because Disney, but of course only one sequel has ever won and that was Toy Story 3, so I dunno. We have Isle of Dogs though. They love them some Wes Anderson


    STICKMAN: I think one of the indie films will worm their way in. I don't think it'll be Early Man sadly, cuz they kinda dropped the ball on that one. BALL. GETTIT. CUZ IT'S ABOUT FOOTBALL, HUHUHUHUH. I wouldn't bet on Ralph being there, the Academy like we know, has an aversion to Disney sequels and Ralph isn't looking to be a particularly strong one compared to say, Incredibles 2.


    LARRY: So what's your five?


    STICKMAN: Spider-Verse, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Grinch and Ruben Brandt.


    MADHERO: Also a lot more Japanese movies than usual. I saw Night is Short at a festival and didn't really like it honestly. My current bet is Isle of Dogs, Incredibles 2, Wreck it Ralph, Spider-Verse and something indie that I don't know. Hopefully MFKZ for the title alone


    STICKMAN: I really want MFKZ to be in there just for the title, but also it's supposed to be really fun too. I look forward to seeing it...in 3 or 4 months when it gets a DVD release here.


    LARRY: Oh true, maybe Mirai might get in.


    STICKMAN: There's a lot of potentials for that mystery indie spot, and...like you say, Disney might steal it with Ralph, but I doubt it. One thing we all know is that Incredibles 2 is going to win.


    MADHERO: Honestly I just want to see Twerking Gnome get his due


    STICKMAN: Watch Early Man be the shock winner and actually make me cross about Aardman winning an Oscar. Except not really cuz I'm sad.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Alright, thats it for the extemely spooky news section. We've been talking a bunch of horror movies in the last couple episodes, and its all leading to this. We're giving our souls to dance in the name of Tilda Swinton so that we may join into whatever that Nutcracker is getting up to, or maybe we help Rowan Atkinson bumbling around. The randomness of the future is the scariest thing of all


    STICKMAN: Tears and sighs, my ghouls, tears and sighs.


    LARRY: It's gonna be a long two weeks....


    MADHERO: We've got some truly vile things to talk about, so let's start with something light and fluffy that everyone can enjoy


    MOVIES

    SUSPIRIA

    DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, Call Me By Your Name)

    STARRING: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Lutz Ebersdorf, Chloe Grace Moretz

    SYNOPSIS: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (“Ebersdorf”). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

    STICKMAN: Ahh, the ballet. Nothing quite like it.


    MADHERO: 69% on Rotten Tomatoes so far. If that isn't scary, I don't know what is.


    STICKMAN: So this nearly 3 hour arthouse extreme content horror movie is proving divisive, huh? That's pretty nn..NNN...gghghaahgh...nnn...NOICE.


    LARRY: Who knew Luca would do this next... Call Me By Your Name who??


    STICKMAN: Well we did because it was already happening, but I see your point.


    MADHERO: REALLY?! Who'd have thought. Not surprised by that at all. Whatever side you may land on, it'll probably be quite the ride.


    STICKMAN: I'm really excited to see it...if I do indeed get to to see it, cuz...well, arthouse indie horror films  aren't exactly something my local multiplex tends to line up for me to see.


    MADHERO: Its probably going to be tough for me as well. Mainly I just want to travel back in time and go and be in the room during the Cinemacon luncheon Amazon held.


    STICKMAN: I think we all do. I think this film's momentum peaked as those mini quiches went flying out the mouths of the esteemed movie media folks.


    LARRY: I...think I'm gonna skip this one. I occasionally indulge in horror but this is too much for me.


    STICKMAN: But Larry, that soundtrack tho. THAT SOUNDTRACK THO. Thom Yorke and his weird hair. Destined for Oscar glory....?


    LARRY: Best Hair and Makeup here we COME


    MADHERO: What hair and makeup? Don't diss Lutz Ebersdorf like that.


    STICKMAN: His penis is VERY real, I'll have you know. And not at all destined for a controversial prop auction. This film looks CRAZY and I'm here for it.  I wish it was here for me, THANKS A LOT, MUBI.


    LARRY: Ehhhhhhh I'm gonna ignore the contorting female body, thanks.


    MADHERO: Its gonna be a wild weird ride.


    BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

    DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Apocalypse)

    STARRING: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Le, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Mike Myers

    SYNOPSIS: A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen's (Malek, Lee, Hardy, Mazzello) legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert.

    STICKMAN: Generic uninspired biopics, just in time for Oscar Season! This time DIRECTED by a child sex offender rather than starring.


    MADHERO: Considering how long this film has been in development, its kind of a shame all the stink that seems attached to it, from Bryan Singer to some of the weird revisionism that seems to have happened.


    LARRY: And the reviews ain't too hot either. So much for Malek even possibly getting a nom.


    STICKMAN: If you're not gonna tell the story properly why bother telling it at all. Freddie deserves better. But heeey, you get to listen to Queen in IMAX. That's something huh. I think his performance looks pretty outstanding and we've seen people WIN Oscars for roles in mediocre movies, soooo.


    MADHERO: I want to see the Sacha Baron Cohen/Peter Morgan version that lives in some alternate dimension. Glad to hear that Malek is really good as Freddy. That really can't be an easy part


    LARRY: I feel like this film is gonna get buried. Perhaps not deservingly, I dunno.


    STICKMAN: They seem to have gone for the jukebox, 'top the album charts for the rest of the year' angle rather than Awards Season. Probably because nobody wants to nominate Bryan Singer for Best Director.


    MADHERO: I honestly think it'll be a big hit cause most aren't going to be aware of the Singer mishap and the mixed reviews. They just wanna hear Queen in stereo and honestly who can blame them. Apparently the Live Aid sequence is really good


    STICKMAN: That's the only bit everyone likes though. It's like going to see Batman V Superman for the fight in the warehouse.


    LARRY: I see some audiences genuinely liking it. And I feel like it's gonna cater to that.


    MADHERO: I guess we'll see soon enough. My mom's a big Queen fan and she wants to see it, so maybe I'll have some personal thoughts later on.


    STICKMAN: I'm a big Queen fan but I also want to see Bryan Singer rot in jail so it's a dilemma. Let's watch Spinal Tap instead.


    LARRY: I really want to see it too. Whether or not it's good, we'll see.


    THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

    DIRECTOR: Lasse Halstrom and Joe Johnston (A Dog’s Purpose, Captain America: The First Avenger)

    STARRING: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Misty Copeland, Matthew MacFayden, Richard E. Grant, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman

    SYNOPSIS: A young girl (Foy) is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

    STICKMAN: Now here's the good Halloween shit. Wanna get spooked the fuck out, take a gander at this goose.


    LARRY: One look at Morgan Freeman, your heart will stop.


    MADHERO: Y'know, Disney has usually nailed the whole "o we release fewer movies to make them feel like events" thing, but man, I don't think anyone is talking about this in any sense.


    STICKMAN: This is the least event Disney movie since Pete's Dragon.


    LARRY: There is nothing marketable about this movie.


    MADHERO: Well it looks colourful and full of fairy-tale whimsy, although they've gone overboard in a way that makes it look like a fever dream in a candy store


    LARRY: It looks completely fake because it's a CGI fest, and nobody knows this four realms stuff from the Nutcracker. It's gonna tank.


    STICKMAN: It looks like what the Disney Store looks like at Christmas, except with less customers.


    MADHERO: I only know that the Nutcracker is a ballet and involves an evil rat but honestly other than that I don't know.


    STICKMAN: Is it a handsome rat though.


    MADHERO: I mean, its a ballet so I assume he's played by a pretty muscular man at some point in time


    STICKMAN: Nice, that's the only reason to go to the ballet. And then the after-parties where everyone gets drunk and horny and there’s a big nut cracking orgy. Uhh...what were we talking about again.


    LARRY: ...Disney.


    STICKMAN: Oy , that shit again.


    HUNTER KILLER

    DIRECTOR: Donovan Marsh (Spud, Number Number)

    STARRING: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Zane Holtz, Caroline Goodall, Michael Nyqvist

    SYNOPSIS: An untested American submarine captain (Butler) teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general (Nyqvist).

    MADHERO: Gerard Butler in a submarine..... ehh I guess that's not that scary.


    STICKMAN: The Hunt for GerRed Butober.


    LARRY: Gerard Butler must be going through a rough time rn


    MADHERO: Gerard Butler seems like a fun bloke and he seems to have fun doing these types of films. Not really for us, but hey what can you do. Seems like he's less in the action than usual this time around. Maybe Gary Oldman will kick some ass.


    STICKMAN: Him and Jason Statham should have a fight to discover the true mediocre 2000s action star. Have they ever been in the same movie? The same room? Think about it.


    LARRY: Throw Liam Neeson in there too.


    STICKMAN: That's more of a 2010's mediocre thriller actor.


    MADHERO: The gruff UK action star conspiracy starts here.


    JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN


    DIRECTOR: David Kerr (A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Inside No. 9)

    STARRING: Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Miller, Adam James, Emma Thompson, Jake Lacy

    SYNOPSIS: After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English (Atkinson) is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. I'm sorry on behalf of the United Kingdom.


    LARRY: Rowan, buddy, let me get you a coffee sometime.


    STICKMAN: I don't know why these films keep getting made.


    MADHERO: I know why this movie was made because Reborn made a lot of money. But still.... why?


    STICKMAN: Cuz Mr Bean fall over and make a funny noise in spy movie. Is funnnnyy.


    MADHERO: I'm fairly sure Rowan Atkinson hasn't aged in 20 years or so. Getting a bit of grey but he's barely changed.


    LARRY: Clearly his sense of humor has stuck around.


    STICKMAN: I think they replaced him with a slapstick rubberface android at this point. I would kill for a Blackadder movie though, y'knooow?


    MADHERO: I guess we really needed a 3rd edition of Mr. Bean but spy. The spy spoof is obviously such fertile ground that has barely been tackled.


    STICKMAN: Right? When are we going to get Johnny English & The Kingsman V The Men in Black & 22 Jump Street.


    LARRY: Honestly let's just do that, and then make a Blackadder reunion and call Atkinson's career a day.


    STICKMAN: Dawn of Falling over and going MmNnMnuunem.


    MADHERO: it already bombed in the US, but is making plenty of money overseas and its native UK, so get ready for another one.


    STICKMAN: I'm so sorry. This is why Brexit will benefit the EU.


    NOBODY’S FOOL

    DIRECTOR: Tyler Perry (Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, Acrimony)

    STARRING: Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Haddish) is released from prison and reunites with her sister (Sumpter). She soon discovers that her sister is in an online relationship with a man (Hardwick) who may not be what he seems.

    MADHERO: O god, we were so preoccupied with a new Johnny English that the real killer is now right in front of us: a new Tyler Perry movie.


    LARRY: If Nobody's Fool is as bad a Night School, black audiences are in for quite a double bill.


    STICKMAN: Tiffany Hadish is joining all the other one hit wonder 2010s female comedy stars in diminishing returns purgatory.


    MADHERO: I mean, lets give her some time. Girl's Trip wasn't too long ago and she's in Lego Movie 2. But yeah, this.... does not look very good. But it being a Tyler Perry movie means it won't get distribution here and I'm ok with that.


    STICKMAN: I don't think I've ever seen Tyler Perry outside of Gone Girl here in the UK.


    LARRY: Haddish is still a big draw here in the states, it's why Night School made money. But...this is a tough sell.


    MADHERO: He's in Vice so maybe you'll see him in that. I wonder if this is a stealth Madea movie. Now that'd be true horror


    STICKMAN: OH GOD. AAAAAGGHHHH


    LARRY: No, it's not that. It's probably just as bad tho.


    BOY ERASED

    DIRECTOR: Joel Edgerton (The Gift)

    STARRING: Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Xavier Dolan, Joe Alwyn

    SYNOPSIS: The son of a Baptist preacher (Hedges) is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents (Crowe, Kidman).

    MADHERO: And now for the scariest thing of all: gay conversion therapy camps.......oh shit that actually is really scary.


    STICKMAN: I know this is a serious subject matter and it's probably a good movie, but the trailer looked like one of those parody Oscar trailers. Some guy stomping around in the rain screaming and throwing his arms around.


    LARRY: The trailer looks very bland, yeah.


    MADHERO: Its like the SNL Papyrus skit. I do hear good things about the film and the performances. Its probably not enough to get nominated, but it deals with some difficult subject matter.


    STICKMAN: It's pretty horrible.


    LARRY: I saw a Letterboxd review that said this film was another great entry into the "Lucas Hedges Plays a Troubled Son Cinematic Universe" Manchester, Three Billboards, Lady Bird, Mid90s, this.


    MADHERO: He sure is troubled, and someone's son


    STICKMAN: That boy's trouble.....d. Time for him to play...I dunno, the Joker. The ultimate troubled boy.


    -------------

    MADHERO: With that campaign ready to get off the ground, its now time to start the spookiest segment: MOVIE OF THE WEEK! As with every Halloween, we try to form a special topic for the season of frights. And this time we're tackling the subject of Halloween! The slasher series, not the holiday, but maybe someday we'll do that as well


    STICKMAN: OH SHIT. NOT MY FIRST CHOICE OF HORROR FRANCHISE BUT OKAAAAY.


    MADHERO: Well its topical now, what with the recent movie making all the money. Like all slasher series, Halloween had its up,s but mostly a lot of downs. A lot of downs, so that makes it nice when one of them is actually good.


    STICKMAN: But I want to hear from our go to guy for all things horror and slasher, Mr Larry Fried. Take it away, maestro.


    LARRY: Yikes, okay.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    I'm gonna start this retrospective by being the basic bitch and talking about the original Halloween!! After rewatching this film before seeing the sequel, I found myself appreciating it a lot more than I remembered when I saw it the first time.

    There is just so much to dissect in this film, all thanks to the distinct direction from Carpenter and the fascinating presence of The Shape himself, Michael Myers: the film's voyeuristic camerawork, the psychosexual undertones from the female murders, the score's repetitive rhythmic edge, the atmospheric buildup, etc. It's a thoroughly crafted film that features strong world-building, and several notable, memorable kills that have stayed in the horror-film-consciousness since their inception. Despite not being much of a horror fan, I can appreciate a well done film no matter the genre, and 1978's Halloween is certainly that.


    MADHERO: The one that started it all


    STICKMAN: I think the original Halloween is...okaaaay. It's aged very poorly. But you can't deny it's got a lotta repetitive synth melodies and a guy standing in the background.


    MADHERO: I think you definitely need to see it with the lens that it was an extraordinary cheap indie film that was basically doing all the things we now know to be cliches first.


    STICKMAN: Oh yes, I know, but that doesn't mean I gotta praise it eitherrr. It's fun, it's pretty okay. It's legacy is more important than what's contained in the film itself, I feel. THAT SAID, gotta love that head tilt.


    LARRY: No yeah, it's not a perfect film for sure.


    MADHERO: There's a nice simplicity to it compared to what the sequels and Zombie remake tried to do with it.


    LARRY: But I just love what there is to dissect about it. Honestly makes me confused that everyone thinks slasher films have to be stupid to be good. I find this film to have a lot of depth to it when reading between the lines.


    STICKMAN: It's a good case study in using the background to subtle but creepy effect. I don't nessasrararily agree there's any 'psycho sexual' aspects just cuz he's murdering some girls. He kills a guy toooooo. And a dog. He is the murderboy who never grew up.


    MADHERO: Yup, plus that soundtrack, but yeah, great movie. What's your Halloween movie, Stick?


    STICKMAN: Ooh, well y'knooow. The only one without Michael Myers in it. HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH, BUCKOOOOS. The film everyone hated and didn't watch because Michael Myers wasn't in it...although he sorta still is...sorta. That and it's pretty campy and stupid, but in recent years this entry has become something of a cult favourite, and there's a reason for that, because it's fucking awesome.

    Instead of being about the Boogeyman, it's instead about an evil corporation making Halloween masks that make children's heads melt and turn into insects via the power of Stonehenge? And I think there's a lot to dissect meaning-wise there, if you just look a bit deeper. Not really though, this film's fucking stupid, but I love it. Everything from the 3 MORE DAYS TILL HALLO-WEEEN, HALLO-WEEN jingle, the masks, the moustachioed 80s as fuck main dude who proceeds to have awkward movie hotel sex, because of course he does. It being free from the shackles of the continuity of the first two Halloween films means they can just go nuts with an entirely different sub-genre, and an ending that's supposed to chill, but instead makes me giggle. I love this film.


    MADHERO: Yessssssssssss! This movie is the goofiest shit, I love it.


    STICKMAN: SILLVER SHAM-ROCK. It's the ultimate in 80s sci-fi horror cheese and I'm here for it.


    LARRY: Well now I have to watch it I guess.


    STICKMAN: Yes Larry, YES YOU DO.


    MADHERO: Its definitely a movie you need to be in the right mood for, cause its so far removed from any of the other Halloween movies and runs on such different energy. Its such a product of its time.


    STICKMAN: It's the perfect movie for Halloween night because it's not actually scary, and you can get drunk and laugh about it with your mates. Or just by yourself, if you don't have any friends, like me.


    LARRY: Interesting how far you can get from Carpenter's original vision.


    STICKMAN: I mean it was always Carpenters vision to tell a different story every year. The audiences said NO, SIR. WE WANT MORE MICHAEL...WE WANT HIM DECAPITATED AND THEN RESURRECTED OR SOMETHING.


    MADHERO: You will have the Silver Shamrock theme in your head for all eternity.


    STICKMAN: Stonehenge Mask Melting Adventures AHOOOY. Alright...what's your pick Mad? Is it Halloween? OH, or is it Halloween?


    LARRY: What a decision to make...


    MADHERO: You're right, Stickman, iTS HALLOWEEN! No, not that Halloween that Larry just talked about or Rob Zombie's Halloween which if you want your slashers nasty and bad is right up your alley. No, i'm talking HALLOWEEN 2018, the movie you can watch in theaters right now.

    Wiping the slate once again completely clean (something H20 tried as well but still acknowledged 2), this is very much a back to basics affair with Laurie Strode now a Sarah Connor esque prepper waiting for her and Myers' path to cross again, now 40 years later. While back to basics, it definitely also responds to now taking place in 2018, and there's definitely a tale of survival and about strong women. Its also surprisingly pretty funny, managing to subvert certain tropes in unexpected ways, courtesy of Danny McBride of all people. Above all else, its a really fun haunted house ride backed by an excellent John Carpenter soundtrack. So yeah, go see it while its the season


    STICKMAN: Thank god it's not Rob Zombieween. I really dug this film, it's got problems, but it's also reallllly fun and surprisingly well crafted for its genre.


    LARRY: I similarly dug it. Twas a fun time at the cinema.


    MADHERO: Its very well crafted. David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are very much outsiders, but you can tell both are big fans of the series and genres. Lots of call backs


    STICKMAN: I had a great time, it made me laugh, made me jump, made me grinnnnn. It's one of the better slashers I've seen.


    LARRY: I don’t think it holds a candle to the OG cuz its story is generally weak, but sometimes you can ignore that if you have enough fun.


    STICKMAN: That one-shot sequence, that amazing soooundtrack. That bathrooooom sequence, that shot affterr that sequence.


    MADHERO: That black kid deserves an Oscar.


    STICKMAN: THAT KID WAS THE REAL KILLER.


    LARRY: The long shot felt like classic Carpenter and I LOVED IT. Also the scene with the flashing lights in the backyard. Amazing.


    STICKMAN: I will say, that sequence with the hammer played better in the trailer without the music, but that's just meeee. There's some great sequences, I feel it goes a bit downhill towards the end but it was never boring, and it was never terrible. And it's a Halloween movie...so...wow. Great job.


    LARRY: I totally agree, ending is a bit of a whimper. But I had funnnnnnn


    MADHERO: It almost feels weird that there might be a sequel after this, cause part of me believed this was gonna wrap everything up, but I guess nothing's truly wrapped up when money's involved.


    STICKMAN: It's a slasher movie, there's always gonna be a sequel some day.


    MADHERO: Until the inevitable reboot, once again named Halloween


    -------

    MADHERO: Truly frightening. I can only handle so many spoops, so I think it might be time to call it a night. GET HALLOWEEN OUTTA HERE, ITS CHRISTMAS NOW, AND THINGS ARE GOING TO GET A BIT GRINCHY!


    STICKMAN: NO NO NO, HALLOWEEN FOREVER. Although honestly, nothing is scarier to me than a new Illumination movie.


    LARRY: SILVER SHAMROCK.


    MADHERO: What's scarier? That or Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts? Yeah that's out too in case you forgot. We'll get to that.... next time


    STICKMAN: AaaAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHH So looooong everyoooone. Don't forget to give your soul to daaance.

  • Drew Goddard Talks Bad Times At The El Royale And The Current Status Of His X-Force Movie

    4 weeks ago

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    We're entering the second weekend of release for the ambitious, beautifully shot and utterly fascinating character study that is Bad Times At The El Royale.


    The movie, centered quite literally at a hotel that straddles the California/Nevada border, is a deeply immersive film chock full of some of the most interesting actors working today, from known names like Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth to names you will know very soon, like Lewis Pullman and Cynthia Erivo. This is the kind of movie that grows on you and grows on you and grows on you until you suddenly realize you're watching it for the dozenth time.


    You can probably tell I like this movie quite a bit. It feel tailor made for me, with the period aesthetic and early Motown soundtrack, this one is right up my alley.


    I was lucky enough to get to chat a bit with writer/director Drew Goddard about the film, his directorial follow-up to cult favorite Cabin in the Woods. We talk a bit about the origins of the project, how we're both convinced Lewis Pullman walks out of this one a superstar and even a little bit about how the Fox/Disney merger could have an effect on his proposed X-Force movie. 


    Enjoy!



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    Drew Goddard: Eric! How are you, my friend? How's life?


    Eric Vespe: It's good. It's been a while since we talked!


    Drew Goddard: How's the new job treating you?


    Eric Vespe: It's good, man. Rooster Teeth has been treating me well. It's definitely a different kind of job than the Ain't It Cool days, but I'm pretty much doing the same thing... just bullshitting about movies with people.


    Drew Goddard: Good. I hope it's satisfying and fulfilling for you.


    Eric Vespe: Very much so.


    Drew Goddard: Did I also see that you were playing Fallout 76?


    Eric Vespe: I did! I got to play about 3 hours of it.


    Drew Goddard: I know our time is limited, but can we just talk about that for 15 minutes? (laughs)


    Eric Vespe: What do you want to know? We can do a quick rapid-fire!


    Drew Goddard: No, no. I actually like to not know things going in, but I'm very jealous of you.


    Eric Vespe: I get that, man. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Fallout fan, so I was very excited to play a little bit of the new one. Fallout 3 was a seminal game for me. It was the first time a video game gave me the feeling of watching a great movie.


    Drew Goddard: Interesting. Have you played Witcher, by chance?


    Eric Vespe: I've only played Witcher 3.


    Drew Goddard: That's the one I meant. That's another one. I was just blown away by the cinematic writing of it. I was like “Wow, I can not believe what they're doing with it.” I felt the same way about Fallout. They're making some real leaps in storytelling.


    Eric Vespe: I remember Roger Ebert, before he passed, voiced some strong opinions on how video games can't be art, like movies are, and I think time has proven him wrong on that one.


    Drew Goddard: Yep. When video games do it there's a level of immersion that happens. It's different from the cinematic experience, but it can be incredibly effective.


    Eric Vespe: Alright, now that I know you're a Fallout fan you gotta promise me you'll go make a kickass Fallout series some day. 


    Drew Goddard: Okay, I'm on the case!


    Eric Vespe: When you guys get the rights and need any pointers I'm always around. I know my shit!


    Drew Goddard: (Laughs) You got it!


    Eric Vespe: Congratulations on the movie. I loved it. It was great watching it at Fantastic Fest specifically. It was such a good fit for the bizarre and awesome energy that encompasses that festival.


    Drew Goddard: I was so sad I couldn't be there. I had to be in Spain. I mean, I was in Spain, so I shouldn't feel too sad, but Fantastic Fest is where I'm the most comfortable. That's where I feel like I'm the most in my own skin.


    Eric Vespe: You've had a bunch of projects on your plate since Cabin in the Woods. You've done a lot of writing for other directors and adapting other people's material, but what made this the right time for you to get back behind the camera with your own original project?


    Drew Goddard: I think it was a confluence of a few things. I've always wanted to do a crime movie. I've loved crime fiction my whole life. I love crime cinema. I think I was aware that I needed to achieve a certain level of maturity to deal with it. The danger with crime cinema or any crime story is you can very quickly fetishize it and become the very darkness that crime cinema is meant to explore, if that makes sense.


    I wanted to have that maturity to deal with it. I reached a point in my life where I was ready to tackle the bigger issues the film tackles. Similarly, I tend to not like to repeat myself, do the same movie. I think I was coming off of (writing) The Martian, which is in many ways the opposite of this movie. It takes place in many locations across the galaxy, it's science-fiction and bright and shiny and I kind of wanted to go in the opposite direction.


    Eric Vespe: Well, poop potatoes do figure strongly into both films.


    Drew Goddard: That's right. Look, I'm still me! (Laughs) I still have to put my little spin on it. I think it was kind of a mixture of all of those things, quite honestly. It just felt like the time was right.


    Eric Vespe: Bad Times is a refreshing movie. It's nice to see this period, character-driven A-list style movie where every character is a shade of gray. Nobody is exactly as they seem at first blush, even the charismatic cult leader that Chris Hemsworth plays. You see the facade crack a little bit.


    Drew Goddard: That was very much the goal: Take these 7 people and start from a place where you think you get who these characters. The audience can say “I already know the shorthand of who this character is” and then reveal that they're more three-dimensional people with a lot more to them, including Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth). That was our approach with all of this.


    Eric Vespe: Is it a coincidence that the Jeff Bridges character is named Flynn or are you a big Tron fan?



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    Drew Goddard: It wasn't intentional, but I'm very much aware of it. One of the things that happens when you cast Jeff Bridges is he's got, what? At this point 40 year career in film? Something like that. I was doing movies with Jane Greer when he was a baby. It's very hard not to reference a Jeff Bridges movie in one way or another. We had a laugh about it, thought about changing the name, but we just liked the name. We thought “You know what? If it intersects with Tron, that's not the worst thing in the world.”


    Eric Vespe: You also get the benefit of the movie-savvy people bringing in the baggage from associating that name. In Tron Flynn is a big personality, but he's a wholly good and pure character. Maybe the name can set up an expectation and give you room to surprise people here. I did have a thought during the movie that might have been intentional on your part.


    Drew Goddard: It really wasn't. To be honest I needed a good Irish-Catholic name. I wanted a whiskey priest character. I wrote it before I even thought of Jeff and we decided to keep it because I liked it.



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    Eric Vespe: The whole cast of the movie is phenomenal. Everybody shows up to play here, but the two stand-outs to me were Cynthia Erivo and Lewis Pullman.


    Drew Goddard: Oh, wow. Thanks!


    Eric Vespe: Perhaps there's an expectation of greatness from the bigger names you have in the movie and the newer people stand a better chance at surprising the audience, but Lewis in particular wowed me. His character is the one that stuck with me after seeing the movie.



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    Drew Goddard: That's very gratifying to hear. That was certainly my intent, to have this character who is hiding in the background... you sort of dismiss him very quickly. You get what he's about early, and dismiss him. I knew that at their core, both Lewis and Cynthia's characters get dismissed early and then become the soul and spine of the film.


    It's really fun, quite honestly... Even at the premiere I was standing with Lewis and I told him, “You know, your life is about to change. All of these people are walking into this theater not knowing who you are, but every single one of them is going to know you when they walk out.”


    Even on the red carpet people were obviously clamoring to take pictures with Jeff Bridges and Jon Hamm and Lewis and I were standing off to the side. When we walked out of the theater Lewis could not take two steps because he was so mobbed. It was one of those remarkable moments that I was so happy to be around. Lewis is such an extraordinary person and talent and I'm excited for the world to fall in love with Lewis the way I have.


    Eric Vespe: Before I let you go I wanted to ask you about some of the other projects you've been attached to, specifically X-Force. The big question on my mind is what's going on with that considering the Fox/Disney merger is going forward.



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    Drew Goddard: The truth is I don't have anything exciting to update. I tend to focus very intensely on one project at a time and I've been very much in this world. Ryan (Reynolds) has simultaneously shooting another movie and then we do have the Fox/Disney stuff. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I have any insight into that at all.


    Eric Vespe: I've talked to people at both studios and very few feel like they have a handle on what to expect when it goes forward.


    Drew Goddard: These issues are so far above our pay grade! When you're dealing with billion dollar mergers that stuff does not trickle down to people like me. I think what's going to happen is we'll finish up Bad Times, Ryan will finish up his movie and when the Fox/Disney stuff is settled we'll all sit down and talk. Certainly X-Force is a comic I've always loved. These are characters I love, I love working with Ryan in a team with Josh (Brolin) and Zazie (Beetz). If there's a place for it I'd be very excited. We'll figure it out in the back half of this year.


    Eric Vespe: That's good to hear. I just love your work, man. I'd love to see what you'd do with a superhero group film like X-Force. You bring a cinematic eye to everything you do, going back to Cabin in the Woods, which was made when found footage was still the go-to style. Now The Conjurings have brought genre back to a more measured, higher production value style, but I do remember being impressed that you went that route back then.


    Drew Goddard: The thing that I love about (the Conjuring) movies is they're so artfully done. They're not afraid to let the camera sit in one place. At the time of Cabin it was very much either found footage or highly shaky/fast-cut approaches, which is fine. There's no right or wrong way to make a movie, but we were certainly trying to do something different. Similarly with Bad Times there's only one handheld shot in the whole movie.


    Eric Vespe: That might be a good place to end the interview, talking about how achieved the look of Bad Times. It's a rich, vibrant world that isn't afraid to be a bit pulpy and even though it's a period movie you don't go out of your way to put the “period movie look” filter on.


    Drew Goddard: I kind of wanted it to be its own thing. In this particular case the movie has its own quality. I was very inspired by David Lynch and films like Vertigo... films that have a very clear color palette or color theory. It helps define the movie. In the case of this movie we took our color seriously and our visual approach seriously. Nothing is arbitrary in this movie, for better or for worse. We wanted to have a thought and an emotion behind every decision.



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    Eric Vespe: Well, it certainly comes across. It certainly doesn't feel like a movie slapped together without any thought, but it's also entertaining. It's always good when you can get that combination of entertaining and thoughtful.


    Drew Goddard: That's the hope. It's always tricky to find that balance, but that was definitely the hope, so it's very gratifying to hear you say that, Eric. It means a lot.


    Eric Vespe: Cool, man. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Good luck with the movie!


    Drew Goddard: Thanks, Eric. Good luck at Rooster Teeth. I'm sure we'll talk again.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 119

    4 weeks ago

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    MADHERO: Hey everyone, sorry if this episode is a tad late. You know how it is, what with traveling to the moon to get away from the serial killer that haunted you almost 40 years ago.  Takes a while to settle on the moon and junk, but I think we finally got away. Jason might've gone to space, but Michael Myers sure hasn't.


    STICKMAN: Not yet, anyway. If this one does well, who knows. HEY.


    LARRY: But wait.....look at our BANNER. AAAAAAHHHHHHH


    STICKMAN: OOHH NOOOOOO


    MADHERO: Oh  shit. I think it might be best to talk news soon before its the last piece of news we'll ever tell


    NEWS

    JAMES GUNN TO WRITE AND POSSIBLY DIRECT NEW SUICIDE SQUAD FILM FOLLOWING SPLIT WITH DISNEY

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    It feels like we've spoken about James Gunn every episode since his sudden termination from GotG3 sent shockwaves through the internet. We know the story of how and why  it happened, we know that Disney had no plans to hire him...and it seems Gunn has taken that very much to heart, because he's defected to the enemy, as it were. Originally rumoured, now confirmed, the GotG director has signed on to write and potentially direct a "fresh take" on the Suicide Squad franchise for the DCEU, the previous film of which we all here were pretty comfortable in naming our least favourite film of 2016 by some margin.


    This is a pretty crazy outcome to this situation, being fired from Marvel and then jump ship to work on a DCEU franchise that was very much propositioned as an equivalent to GotG, in terms of the vibrant style, cast of misfit characters with questionable moral standards (Not too dissimilar from Disney themselves) but ultimately a sense of comradery and heart.  Obviously GotG succeeded big time in that department, whilst Suicide Squad crashed and burned so hard the crater can be seen from space...but with Gunn himself on board to try the idea again? DC and Warner Bros could very well end up with the crowd-pleasing heartfelt smash hit that Marvel and Disney previously had with the GotG films. Regardless of how this actually turns out...wow...karma really is a bitch.


    MADHERO: Top 10 Anime betrayals


    LARRY: This news fills me...with so much joy. Even if its out of spite.


    MADHERO: I'm obviously still disappointed they didn't manage to make up, but this is one hell of a middle finger to give, even if that's probably reading too much into it.


    LARRY: I don’t think it’s reading too much into it at all. This is absolutely revenge


    STICKMAN: He probably had a lot of offers from different studios, but I'd imagine DC spent a lot getting him to jump ship. It's quite the statement.


    LARRY: DC struck while the iron was hot and now they have a genuinely great director redoing their grandest fuck up thus far.


    MADHERO: I guess out of all the properties, Suicide Squad makes the most sense for Gunn since that tried and failed to tap into what made Guardians of the Galaxy great. Obviously its not the first time a MCU director has jumped ship (Joss Whedon) but its still pretty wild


    STICKMAN; Look what happened with Joss, even if the situation was far from ideal.


    MADHERO: Either way, its made me the teeny tiniest interested in the new Suicide Squad, which I thought to be impossible after that first one. Good on you, WB.


    LARRY: I am now VERY interested, especially if it’s closer to a redoing than a sequel.


    DISNEY MAKING AN LIVE ACTION REMAKE OF LILO AND STITCH. SHOWS OFF FIRST TEASER FOR ALADDIN

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    Alright, here is where I draw the line. THIS IS IT. RIGHT HERE. Ahem. Disney will be remaking "Lilo and Stitch," arguably their most successful and popular post-Renaissance project (but not the best, because The Emperor's New Groove exists). Up-and-coming Hollywood horror scribe Mike Van Waes will be writing it (cause yeah, that makes sense), and Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich will produce. So, in case you thought Disney maybe would possibly try to maybe MAYBE put any rhyme or reason in remaking their older films....ugh. I was on board with these live action remakes, but the last few haven’t been particularly good, and I love "Lilo & Stitch," it's one of my all-time favorite Disney films and features some of the most nuanced family dynamics you'll ever see in an animated film, so to see it get this treatment just... makes me sad. BUT WHATEVER MONEY HAHA. I'm sure Lin and Elrich are reaping the spoils of their time in Aladdin-land. Speaking of which...


    We got our first official teaser for Aladdin, and it's fine, I guess. Some beautiful musical arrangements of classic Aladdin-tunes, our first look at the Cave of Wonders and Aladdin himself, portrayed by Mena Massoud, and some sandy dunes. Yay. But also, fuck you Disney.


    MADHERO: Uhoh, Larry has finally snapped


    STICKMAN: And I thought i was fed up with live-action remakes.


    LARRY: Why the FUCK is a HORROR WRITER writing a LILO AND STITCH REMAKE. That makes no sense.


    MADHERO: I mean, just because they've worked on horror doesn't necessarily disqualify them for this. The Jungle Book screenwriter worked on Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li and that turned out fine.


    LARRY: Gee, that movie turned out so well written (it didn’t).


    STICKMAN: I thought everyone loved The Jangle Book.


    LARRY: It was okay. The writing was not the star.


    MADHERO: While I have a lot of fondness for Lilo and Stitch, I don't really hold it sacred and don't think its unremakable or unadaptable


    LARRY: WELL I DO.


    STICKMAN: I don't see why doing a horror screenplay has anything to do with it though. Are you saying horror films can't be well writtteenn. You wanna fight bruv.


    LARRY: I’m saying Lilo and Stitch isn’t a horror film.


    STICKMAN: I mean it could be. I'd watch that. It's scary that this film is happeninnnginingg.


    MADHERO: I mean, Pleeklee is pretty terrifying. This is probably so they can sell more merchandise in Japan. They love Stitch over there


    LARRY: There’s one scene that you can maybe do horror for and that is Stitch’s arrival. Das it. This is dumb.


    STICKMAN: Writing horror doesn't mean you can only write horror. Ya dang. But how 'bout that Aladdin.


    MADHERO: That suuuuuuuuure was a teaser


    LARRY: The teaser didn’t do much for me. Solid slow arrangement of Friend Like Me tho.


    MADHERO: I imagine we'll get something more substantial in the future for Aladdin. More of a "hey this is happening." Guess we'll see next summer


    LARRY: I think Genie is what’s gonna make or break them. Until we get that, I have no strong feelings.


    STICKMAN: Make Tron 3 you bastards.


    NETFLIX ACQUIRES RIGHTS OF THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. WILL REMAKE FILMS AND TV SHOWS

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    So some you may remember The Chronicles of Narnia movies from back in the day. Y'know, the Walden Media/Disney one that was pretty much Lord of the Rings but with more Jesus Lion. The series, adapted from CS Lewis' classic seven part series, really hit the ground running with the 2005 original, before losing steam with Prince Caspian and eventually Voyage of the Dawn Treader. which ended being distributed by Fox. While murmurs were going around that Walden Media wanted to continue with the Silver Chair, it all seemed unlikely since the original kids were all adults now. And now its super dead with the announcement that Netflix has acquired the rights of the series.


    Seemingly out of nowhere, Netflix announced they had not only obtained, but will get to work on not only adapting the books into movies, but several into tv shows as well. This strategy actually makes a lot of sense considering the incredibly fractured timeline and scale of the stories, with books like Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy now much more likely to be adapted. As a big fan of the books as a kid, I'm very curious what Netflix can come with both from film and television front, but I guess we'll have to wait a while


    STICKMAN: My indifference is painful.


    MADHERO: You should have that looked at


    LARRY: I read the Narnia books, and liked them a lot. Not sure if we really need all of them adapted, they vary in quality


    MADHERO: They do, but I would like to see a full adaptation of the whole series, and I think some books could work as a movie and the other as a tv show


    LARRY: I just don’t really care to see “The Magician’s Nephew” on the big screen. Or on TV for that matter. It’s kiiiiiiinda a snoozer.


    MADHERO: That's probably the one along with The Horse and His Boy that you can probably skip. Its been ages since I last read them or watched the movies for that matter.


    STICKMAN: I have only read Lion Witch & Wardrobe. I only watched the first movie and I was not a big fan.


    LARRY: Cuz that one is most telling for what Narnia is. Its imagery is definitely the starkest. Also C.S. Lewis and Christianity and such. I saw Lion and then Caspian. Skipped Treader.


    STICKMAN: That one has a dragon though. You messed up.


    LARRY: And bad writing too apparently.


    STICKMAN: Must've been written by a horror writer  AMIRITE.


    MADHERO: Dawn Treader was one that probably could've been a tv show cause boy howdy is it slow. I'm personally excited by the news, but with Netflix its hard to say when this actually kicks off


    STICKMAN: It won't be for a whiiille. All these big fantasy things take ages to prepare.


    MADHERO: And it'll be like "surprise, its out" like with all Netflix releases


    FIRST TRAILER RELEASED FOR ADAM MCKAY (BIG SHORT)’S DICK CHENEY BIOPIC VICE

    Adam McKay, known initially for his comedic work in films like "Anchorman" and "Step Brothers," really made a splash when "The Big Short" was as good as it was, and now, in a sort of follow-up to that, McKay is bringing us another dramatized expose, this time on the life and times of Dick muthafuckin' Cheney. Vice, directed and written by McKay, looks to tackle Cheney's rise to the vice presidency, and how his actions regarding the war on terror (and other things) would change the direction of American and world history.


    We finally get our first official look at some of the film's transformations, particularly Christian Bale as old, fat, bald Cheney, and Sam Rockwell as good ol' George W. Bush, who looks to be stealing the show. Plus we get some Steve Carrell and some Amy Adams, which is never a bad thing. Ultimately, based on the trailer editing and pacing, this looks to be a similarly toned piece a la "The Big Short," but perhaps even more extravagant and polished. Then again, "The Big Short" turned out to be a very verite, very unpolished film as a whole. So who knows what the fuck this will turn out to be. All I know is that I prefer this McKay over any other McKay previously, so I'll gladly indulge.


    MADHERO: Sam Rockwell eating chicken wings gives me life.


    STICKMAN: But is he a racist?


    MADHERO: I mean, he's George Bush so...... possibly?


    LARRY: Probably**


    MADHERO: I'd make a Kanye joke, but well.....y'know. Anyway yeah this looks really good so far.


    LARRY: I’m here for more satirical McKay. I really enjoyed The Big Short.


    STICKMAN: Christian Bale got fat for YOUR entertainment.


    MADHERO: His doctor must be seething. STOP GAINING AND LOSING WEIGHT, YOU FUCK. YOU WILL LITERALLY DIE


    LARRY: I guess they came...to some sort of...agreement.


    STICKMAN: Maybe he filmed a remake of Super Size Me to get there.


    LARRY: Well now I’m just gonna ponder how one remakes a documentary.


    MADHERO: Its a pretty remarkable transformation, and it will be a bit of a rude awakening for those who thought the Bush era wasn't so bad, which I did cause i was a dumb kid.


    LARRY: It was VERY bad. We just didn’t know all of the crazy bad shit until like 5 years after it happened. If the Bush era was as transparent as Trump’s, we’d be in hell.


    STICKMAN: I always thought it was terrible, it just feels...preferable in comparison to these daaays.


    MADHERO: Oh America, you clods.


    LARRY: That’s kinda what Vice is going for, I imagine. Possibly shedding even more light on Cheney.


    STICKMAN: Mainly it just makes me want to smack Christian Bale's potbelly.


    MADHERO: Quickly before he loses it again for The Machinist 2


    STICKMAN: Oh god. His poor doctor.


    PRODUCTION COMPANY ANNAPURNA IN TROUBLE FOLLOWING LACK OF PROFITS. DROPS ROGER AILES/FOX NEWS MOVIE WEEKS BEFORE SHOOTING

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    So hey, some not so fun studio news. While we all here at AtS are big fans of A24, its important not to forget one of the other modern auteur production company: Annapurna. The company, owned by Oracle heiress Megan Ellison, estimated to be worth over 60 billion dollarydoos has been founded to give auteur filmmakers the money needed to make the films they wanted. That has led to some great films like The Master, Her and Foxcatcher. And they seemed to be growing, having stepped up to distribution, even handling the new Bond film domestically. There's only one issue: they aren't making money.


    While Annapurna continued to make movies, they didn't seem to put much effort in actively marketing them. Detroit bombed pretty hard and their most recent movie, The Sisters Brothers, cost more than 40 million to make but hasn't even made a million yet. This has now caused their head of film production Chelsea Bernard to be fired, as well as dropping their high profile Fox News/Roger Ailes movie, 2 weeks away from start of production. Larry Ellison, Megan's dad has now stepped in and will coarse correct the company to make money. This isn't a total collapse just yet, but these aren't the signs of a healthy studio. Hopefully they can recover so they can continue to make great films.


    STICKMAN: Oy vey. This'd be a big loss.


    MADHERO: I don't think they're gone just yet. Its not like Telltale which just completely collapsed. We see companies like Global Road still be around somehow after bomb after  bomb


    STICKMAN: True, but who knows these days.


    LARRY: Let’s hope Buster Scruggs does well for Netflix and maybe gets a nom or two.


    STICKMAN: LAIKA just partnered up with them too, I don't want my LAIKA to get hurt any moooore.


    LARRY: Not LAIKA....Weren’t they struggling too?


    MADHERO: I mean, a Coen Bros film will probably get some love. Still though, its both a bit surprising and not very. They really need to know how to market their films better. Releasing Detroit in August probably wasn't the best idea.


    STICKMAN: Detroit was a hard watch too. Hardly summer fare.


    LARRY: To be fair, that film can’t be easy to market... “Hey, come see this devastating protest film.” It doesn’t have inherent mainstream appeal.


    STICKMAN: No but then you market and budget it accordingly.


    MADHERO: That's just one example though. It just seems like they don't really do great at awards season. Does make you wonder what's going to happen to the likes of Vice and now the Roger Ailes movie


    LARRY: Yeah they haven’t had a major awards contender in a while.


    STICKMAN: There's still a lot of good projects coming out of that studio. Problem is awards are kinda the bread and butter of studios who make that kinda thing.


    LARRY: Exactly. Detroit coulda done well in that regard had they been smarter.


    STICKMAN: A24 is very similar but does a lot better when it comes to awards.


    LARRY: They also handle budget a lot better. A lot of their awards contenders stay on the cheaper side.


    MADHERO: We'll see what happens next. They're still owned by a billionaire so they have some money in the tank. Hopefully they can get off the ground soon and continue to release great films.


    STICKMAN: Please save my LAIKA.


    KONAMI LICENSES DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION TO STUDIO TO MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF IT

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    OH SHIT, sometimes we get boring stories on here, and then other days? We get the bIG NEWS. Remember Dance Dance Revolution? One of many game franchises of Konami that no longer seems to exist? Well it's BACK...as a post-apocalyptic action movie. Wait, what. In what will no doubt eventually fall under the 'Never gonna happen' folder of video game movie adaptations (Remember that space epic Tetris trilogy that was being made?) , DDR is being propositioned for a feature movie by newly founded studio 'Stampede Productions' and the basic premise is that the world is on the brink of total destruction, and only the power of dance can unite, and save the world. Presumably they've taken the titular Revolution of Dance a little literally? But there you go. That's all we know, and it'll probably never happen...but hoOOOOo WEE, what a fucking funny news story this is. And since we're here, fuck Konami.


    MADHERO: Gonna hit all the arrows in the right direction to some jammin' J-pop


    STICKMAN: Gotta take those shoes off for maximum stomp dude.


    LARRY: Oh my Lordy Who in the world is writing this?


    MADHERO: This could be a fun parody or skit, but this seems like a bit of a stupid idea, but stupid enough to be fun


    STICKMAN: This sounds like a Collegehumor skit that got out of hand.


    LARRY: Yeah exactly. This is the sketch that comes after that Tetris announcement


    MADHERO: I feel like there have been similar movies that couldn't use the license but now here we are.


    LARRY: I guess this is basically Step Up meets Cloverfield?


    STICKMAN: I can't see this film ever happening but it's hilarious that it's even being propositioned.


    MADHERO: Konami's gotta make money to things besdies pachinko somehow


    STICKMAN: Konami can fuck my dick. The last movie they had a hand in was Silent Hill Revelation and that was garabbaage. They'll sell this shit to anyone and I'm not here for it...even if I kinda am for DDR Apocalypse.


    LARRY: Oh.


    MADHERO: Hopefully Vogt-Roberts can keep them out for Metal Gear Solid then


    STICKMAN: God that film is going to be either amazing or the worst thing ever. He's clearly a huge MGS fanboy and that means he's gonna play it too close to the games, which are nonsensical...BUUUT...we're talkin DDR here, which is going to win the Oscar for Best Popular Film one day.


    ----------

    MADHERO: Alright, I think about does it for the news. Now we're still definitely running away from Michael Myers on the moon, but you know who else is on the moon? Ryan Gosling, who's now playing Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle's First Man. Y'know, that guy that really impressed in that Kubrick movie. It feels somewhat weird that there hasn't been a movie till now, but here we are, and Sticky and Larry have both seen it.


    LARRY: Time for us to rocket into review mode. Har har


    STICKMAN: Oh dear.


    MADHERO: Alright you rocket men. What did you think of First Man? Is it the Oscar campaigner they're hoping for? Stickman, tell me your thoughts?


    REVIEW

    FIRST MAN

    DIRECTOR: Damian Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land)

    STARRING: Ryan Gosling, Jason Clarke, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Christopher Abbott

    SYNOPSIS: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Gosling), and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

    STICKMAN: WELLLLL, I think it's safe to say this is a early Oscar frontrunner in a lot of categories. Damien Chazelle has already proven himself a great director with Whiplash, and then last year's surprisingly enjoyable (For me who doesn't like musicals) La La Land, both completely different but high quality productions. Once again with First Man he's made yet another completely different film in tone, experience and even visuals...and yet once again made another amazing experience, this being perhaps his most absorbing to date.


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    On the surface this may seem like a standard biopic about an important part of American history, we’ve seen a lot of those before, and this one certainly goes to places you will expect. However...the real star of the show isn't the history, it's the intimacy. Both in terms of characters and the space exploration itself. The space sequences are mostly pretty fucking terrifying, in a way I've never experienced in a space-set movie before, there's a real grounded and dangerous feel to the way it's filmed and the sound design especially, it's pretty stressful to watch but amazing in that respect. The performances are also great, Ryan Gosling plays a beautifully melancholic and stubborn father who deals with grief in a perhaps...not particularly ideal way? Wheras Clair Foy plays his desperately struggling wife who's trying to keep everything together. They work great together, and the terrifying and beautiful space sequences are played ...and filmed quite jarringly but also fittingly different.  All in all this is a slow, but terrific and moving experience. But that's just MY thoughts, what say you Larry.


    LARRY: Yeah I agree with everything you said, Sticky. Chazelle has definitely cemented himself as a chameleon of a filmmaker with "First Man," what feels like if you took parts of "Gravity," "Dunkirk," "2001," and "Tree of Life," and made something wholly engrossing. Chazelle shoots it all as though you were watching a home video the whole time and it works wonders. And yeah, this is one of Gosling's strongest performances to date, with Claire Foy also giving a tremendously nuanced performance. I also wanna give a shout-out to Justin Hurwitz, a man who has proven that he's not just a good jazz composer but a great composer period. The score here is fucking phenomenal. I think, at times, it can get just a bit repetitive in how the plot moves from point to point, but that's really being nitpicky. For me, this is easily one of the year's best and second only to "Whiplash" as the best in Chazelle's filmography.


    STICKMAN: That score was fuckin crazy yeah. Never thought I'd hear the theremin in a film like this.


    MADHERO: On the spoopy space travel scale, where does it rank between your average space adventure and Gravity?


    LARRY: I was not the biggest fan of Gravity, though I marvel at its craftsmanship. But it definitely channels the isolation of Gravity while stripping away the polish.


    STICKMAN: It's a lot more grounded for the most part than say...Gravity or Interstellar, but the way the moon sequence is shot certainly goes for the same fantastical angle. I really liked the way it used different cameras for different portions of the film.


    LARRY: Yes the moon sequence does stick out as one of the movie's grander sequences. The home video, grainy camera in his personal life versus the digital beauty of space.


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    MADHERO: A lot of people have played up the realism to its space travel and how terrifying it really was. That's what interests me the most for sure.


    STICKMAN: You have a old vintage look for the majority, then it gets IMAX cameras for the moon sequence, and then afterwards it has a refreshed look, like its following the advancement of space travel. I watched this shit in IMAX and I tell you what, two of the space sequences in this film gave me some real anxiety.


    LARRY: Oh yeah, the film opens with one of the most intense sequences of the year.


    MADHERO: BUT DOES HE PLANT THE FLAG?!


    STICKMAN: THE FLAG IS THEEEREE BUT YOU DON'T SEE IT PLANTED. WORST FILLLLM.


    MADHERO: 0/10 Communist anti-America garbage. But hey, probably not. I'm really excited by this film. Is the more nuanced subdued family drama worth the wait for the grand spectable of space travel? Its almost 2.5 hours which is pretty long


    STICKMAN: It feels long but I was never bored. The family stuff is almost as compelling as the space race  at times, thanks to the performances and score. There's a sequence on the moon that's fucking genuinely heartbreaking.


    LARRY: I would say it does feel long but yes, never not engaging. Every scene feels warranted to be within the piece. And yeah, I know what scene Sticky is talking about, and I completely agree. I was about ready to sob.


    STICKMAN: It was the tragic remake of A Grand Day Out I never expected.


    MADHERO: Alright, you sad space cowboys, let's wrap it up. Anything you want to say before and give your final thoughts?


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    LARRY: Anyone who tells me La La Land is Chazelle's best film can go take a fucking hike. That's all I'll say, this man is capable of so much beautiful filmmaking.


    STICKMAN: Watch this in IMAX if you can, I'll say that much. That moon sequence is filmed with IMAX cameras and it's worth every penny to see that bit alone. One of the best IMAX sequences I ever did see.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Damn, I mean I preferred Whiplash but I guess that's high praise. Anyway, we've got ANOTHER REVIEW HOT AND READY TO GO! Drew Goddard is best known for his work with Joss Whedon on Buffy, but he showed his mettle with Cabin in the Woods as a new director to watch. He sure took his sweet time, but he finally has a new movie out that definitely looks stylish as heck. Larry, you're the only one that's seen it from us. Unlike its characters, did you have a Good Time at the El Royale?


    STICKMAN: Oh SHiIIET I didn't see this film, I get to drink orange juiiiice.


    BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

    DIRECTOR: Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods)

    STARRING: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Chris Hemsworth, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman

    SYNOPSIS: Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption - before everything goes to hell.

    LARRY: Oh boy, did I. "Bad Times at the El Royale" is another artful, unpredictable genre-bender from the masterful mind of Drew Goddard. You can't help but be stunned by Goddard's ability to take a studio-driven film (marketed poorly but expectedly as this crazy action-thriller) and make some genuinely excellent storytelling out of it. Part Chrstie-esque mystery, part-60's crime thriller, Bad Times at the El Royale showcases an incredible cast at work with a script that gives each one of them their own unique presence.


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    They each fit like puzzle pieces in the story at large, but the film certainly doesn't play it safe in regards to how long you'll be with them. Add to that gorgeous cinematography, lovely period production design, a solid soundtrack of Motown hits, and an unpredictable plot pushed by poignant tension, and you got yourself one hell of a good time at the theater.  Not every loose end is tied up, and the third act (or fifth act? idk this film's structure warrants a second viewing) leaves a little to be desired, but I would still thoroughly recommend this one to anyone looking for something a little smarter than your average blockbuster.


    MADHERO: Cabin in the Woods was marketed pretty poorly as well so I guess that's his curse.


    LARRY: You can't market smart blockbusters without dumbing them down, apparently.


    STICKMAN: I thought this seemed a little generically zany..if that's even a thing. Like, big all-star cast, weird premise where everyone gets to chew the scenery...that kinda thing.


    LARRY: Well, it's not. As I said, marketed poorly.


    MADHERO: I think its more so hard to market without giving away the mystery or what the movie is really about. Cabin's twists were best kept as a surprise. Are there any similar surprises here?


    STICKMAN: Marketed very poorly then. Cabin in the Woods wasn't even mentioned in the stuff over here and that film's great.


    LARRY: To be honest, the trailers definitely give away some important shit. If I were to recommend one sees it, I wouldn't show them the trailer.


    MADHERO: How much fun is it and does it take a while to get going? I'm interested, but the length is kinda throwing me off honestly


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    LARRY: I did have a lot of fun trying to solve the mystery and see how the pieces fit together. To be honest, it's doesn't take very long at all, 15-20 at the most. One of the most important parts kickstarts the juicy shit. It does ultimately feel long, but that's because it moves slowly thanks to the excellent tension.


    STICKMAN: What's the tone like on this film, is it a dark comedy like the trailer suggests or what.


    LARRY: It's much more a crime thriller than a dark comedy, but there are some darkly comedic moments.


    MADHERO: Who's the highlight out of the 7 mystery men and women? It looks like Dakota Johnson and Chris Hemsworth are having a lot of fun. Any highlights?


    LARRY: Personally, my favorite performance came from Cynthia Erivo. She's a beloved theatre actress just getting her start in this and McQueen's "Widows," but this is a phenomenal debut for her. Personally Hemsworth is also good but for all of the wrong reasons. He is NOT who you expect from the trailers.


    MADHERO: Nice, great to see more of an unknown shine through. Any final thoughts?


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    LARRY: Go see it, it's excellent storytelling done with studio backing. More films like this deserve to be treated this way, and if Goddard just kept doing this forever, I wouldn't even be mad.

    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright, we may have 2 reviews, but there's even more movies coming out. I hope you're ready, because its October so things are about to get a little.... spooky.

    STICKMAN: Yeyeyeyeye

    LARRY: Ooh BOI

    MADHERO: Great to see you guys hyped for Goosebumps 2. But I guess we'll take a look at this other appropriate release first


    MOVIES

    HALLOWEEN

    DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis, Stronger)

    STARRING: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Nick Castle

    SYNOPSIS: Laurie Strode (Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers (Castle), the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

    STICKMAN: Yeaahh bOOOIIIi. I don't even know why I'm excited cuz I don't hold the original up that highly but I'm exciiiited.


    MADHERO: Michael Myers is back, but more importantly, Jamie Lee Curtis is fucking pissed.


    LARRY: I keep seeing the long-take trailer for this before movies and I never get tired of it.


    STICKMAN: Jamie Lee Curtis is the real Halloween. She's gonna fuckin murder everyone.


    MADHERO: That would be a twist worthy of the sequels. Luckily this is a clean slate. No getting his ass kicked by Busta Rhymes, no occult shit, no origin story. Just some straight slasher goodness


    STICKMAN: Who knew the world would be excited for a Halloween sequel in 2018, but here we are. This is gonna make all the moneys.


    LARRY: Well, when you retcon the canon....


    STICKMAN: You can never retcon Halloween 3. NEVER.


    MADHERO: Maybe when the Myers saga receives proper closure, we can finally get the Halloween 3 sequel we deserve. The Silver Shamrock must live


    STICKMAN: Please Blumhouse, PLEASE.


    LARRY: I totally get these references because I have 100% seen that.


    STICKMAN: Season of the Witch is objectively the best Halloween film Larry. Unless...this one surpasses it? DUN DUN DUUUUN.


    GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN

    DIRECTOR: Ari Sandel (The DUFF, When We First Met)

    STARRING: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong

    SYNOPSIS: Two boys (Ray Taylor, Harris) find a manuscript in an abandoned house called "Haunted Halloween." When they open it, they release Slappy who plans to create the Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his Halloween monster allies.

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. The return of the weirdly handsome werewolf.


    LARRY: Jack Black actually agreed to do this. What a world.


    MADHERO: Its weird. Ive heard literally no one talk about this. I guess the lack of Jack Black kinda made no one care, even if they have the chubby kid from IT


    STICKMAN: Jack Black is in the film though. They were trying to keep it a secret for no reason. And then they realised people weren't gonna see it so they were like OH BUT WAIT HE'S HEEERE.


    MADHERO: Yeah. Not in it much, so kinda weird they went that direction. Guess they thought that dummy was the real star


    STICKMAN: And that werewolf. I'd let him bump MY goose, if you know what I mean. Because I sure don't.


    THE HATE U GIVE

    DIRECTOR: George Tilman Jr. (Faster, The Longest Ride)

    STARRING: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, Common

    SYNOPSIS: Starr (Stenberg) witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.

    MADHERO: Uhoh, my EXTREMELY RELEVANT SOCIAL COMMENTARY alarm is ringing.


    STICKMAN: Time for that IMDB rating to plummet because that's what happens to all socially relevant and challenging RELEASES.


    LARRY: So apparently the black community is not supporting this movie so much anymore because it's "trauma porn."


    STICKMAN: At least they watched it, unlike IMDB.


    MADHERO: Not sure if that applies to everyone. I hadn't heard much in the way of controversy, but I can sorta see why when this film tackles real life and they'd rather wanna see Black Panther.


    LARRY: I'm just interested in seeing it, the cast looks good and the message is important.


    STICKMAN: I'm not particularly interested but if it's  good, then greaaat. I ain't gonna GIVE it HATE. Hhuhu.


    MADHERO: The reviews from critics has been really good, but its IMDB and RT Audience Score is rather low-ish. Probably no campaign going on there. Nope, no siree


    STICKMAN: I'm sure a quick trip to Twitter dot Com will sort this mystery out.


    LARRY: I love having to sift through ridiculous controversy. Can't we just...watch movies and like them or not like them.


    STICKMAN: When did they plant the FLAG, LARRY. WHEN.


    MID90S

    DIRECTOR: Jonah Hill (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Sunny Suljij, Lucs Hedges, Katherine Waterston, Gio Galicia

    SYNOPSIS: Stevie (Suljij), a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

    STICKMAN: Jonah Hill's wild 2018 continues.


    LARRY: Maniac90s......I tried


    MADHERO: He's been having a pretty good year what with Maniac and now his directorial debut. Always nice to see an actor give that a shot, especially for something that seems personal to his own upbringing somewhat


    STICKMAN: We've come a long way since Superbad.


    LARRY: We really have. He seems to have matured a lot since those days.


    STICKMAN: Jonah Hill has always been weirdly an Oscar favourite despite his roots...so...this feels like a natural progression.


    MADHERO: He had a pretty interesting interview with Michael Cera about that film's legacy and their lives since then. I just kinda hope the A24 logo made from skateboards is in the actual film. Also more PS1 shoutout with my boi Atreus


    STICKMAN: A24 skateboard logo, no doubt soon to be a hipster t-shirt on their online store.


    CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME

    DIRECTOR: Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)

    STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Ben Falcone

    SYNOPSIS: When Lee Israel (McCarthy) falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.

    MADHERO: No. Haha, Got eeeeeem.


    STICKMAN: This film looks weiiiird.


    MADHERO: Melissa McCarthy in SERIOUS ACTOR mode. Apparently she's really good in it, with some critics buzzing it might get her an Oscar nomination.


    LARRY: I mean, I kinda hope she's good in it. I'd like some antidote to the crap she's been putting out.


    STICKMAN: The real question is does she fall down and make a fat joke at any point.


    MADHERO: She got an Oscar nom for Bridesmaids, so y'know, its happened. I think its nice for her to branch out and do more serious work. Also nice to see charactor actor Richard E. Grant in a bigger role.


    STICKMAN: Richard E Grant is the scenery chewiest actor in the world, but that's kinda fun in the right places, so who knows.


    LARRY: Not wrong. In Logan he really just dug his teeth for the 20 min he got.


    MADHERO: He tends to disappear in some films despite the chewing, but its nice to see him have a bigger part. Also good on McCarthy.


    STICKMAN: I mean. I'm not a fan of her but maybe she can prove me wrong.


    LARRY: If she's good, then I'll give her credit.


    MADHERO: Soon itll be Academy Award Melissa McCarthy and there will be nothing you can do about it.


    STICKMAN: AAAGGHH. This truly is Halloween.


    -----

    MADHERO: With that nightmare cast upon your minds, its now time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK! While getting into the real spoops and japes is something for next episode, we've still got some pretty good picks for you, including something spooky to get into the mood.


    STICKMAN: Let's get spooky, bitches.


    LARRY: Not yet, Stix. NEXT episode ya ding.


    STICKMAN: LET'S GET SPOOKY


    MADHERO: What about it, Sticky. Do you have anything truly spoopy to share?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: WeLLLL my pick isn't a horror film straight up, but it is a violent revenge thriller the likes of which you've probably never seeeen? Sooo? Yeaaah? Now, let's preface that by saying ...YES...revenge thrillers have been done a lot, and no this one doesn't cover new ground broadly speaking, but how it does the tropes, and the way it presents itself? Hoooo boy what an amazing experience. I'm talking about REVENGE, the lazily titled subversion rape revenge thriller that's not an easy watch, but it's a fucking great one all the same. Rapeploitation thrillers are never easy sells, I get that, but this one is a gooden.

    This is a French, female led, written and directed film that gets that nasty detail out of the way pretty quickly and then gets straight down to the revenge, which is what you want. Not only that but it's a truly jaw-dropping visual achievement, which some incredible sound design to boot. Every frame is dripping with style, not to mention blood...a LOT of blood, this film gets real nasty, but generally deservingly so, given the context. If you like your thrillers overloaded with style, oozing with blood and pulsing with violent, snyth-heavy energy? This is the fuckin' film for yoooou.


    LARRY: Damn yo, I didn't even know Rapesploitation was a genre.


    STICKMAN: I mean that's not what people call it, but that's what it generally is. Justifying generally male-gazey rape scenes with ensuing revenge violence.


    MADHERO: Oh Larry, you sweet summer child. Soon enough you'll learn about films I Spit on your Grave and Hatchet


    LARRY: Okay I just didn't know it had a name, geez.


    MADHERO: This film has been on my list for a while. Heard nothing but great things about it honestly.


    STICKMAN: It's one of those films I really wish I'd got to see at the cinema, it's such an amazing experience and it deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.


    LARRY: Yeah sounds epic.


    STICKMAN: There's a lot of dude butts in this film, that's all I'll say in addition. Evil dude butts.


    MADHERO: The worst kind of butts


    LARRY: I'm sure that is a sell for you.


    STICKMAN: Butts are to be treasured, Larry. ALRIGHT WHO'S NEXT


    MADHERO: Alright, i've got something real spooky: A NETFLIX ORIGINAL! MUHAHAHHA! But hey, this one, like Hold the Dark is pretty dang good and anticipated. Sticky and I are both big fans of Indonesian action movies The Raid and Raid 2, and it was gonna be interesting what director Gareth Evans would do next. Would he continue his ass kicking, or would we see something really different to show he's a much more versatile director than expected. As it turns out with Apostle, its the latter.

    Apostle takes things slow with its Victorian horror, which sees Dan Stevens as a former missionary entering a remote cult who have kidnapped his sister. The first half is very Wicker Man (the one one, not the Cage one) and the horror comes from a more psychological angle, and then it gets quite bloody in the 2nd half.  Its a tad slow, but the atmosphere sucks you in and once it let up, it does not stop.


    STICKMAN: Heeyyy I saw this one tooooo.


    LARRY: I didn't. So, I'mma just dive in a hole real quick.


    MADHERO: Larry, you can't. Tis the season. I'm not sure its quite the right Halloween movie, but it does deliver on the creepy atmosphere if you want to go that route.


    LARRY: It's like...human mutilation, right? The trailer looked to be really unsettling.


    STICKMAN: Gareth Evans proved with The Raid 2 that he was more than just an action director (even if he is a bloody amazing one) and to see his take on horror? It's pretty amazing. I wish it'd been a bit faster paced, but that last 30 minutes is fucking insane.


    MADHERO: Yeah, this film gets pretty nasty at points, and oh god that last half hour


    LARRY: Yeah I don't really lovvvvve nasty.


    STICKMAN: But Larry it builds up to it pretty nicely. But if you're not into mutilation in films maybe don't watch this film. Cuz...hoooooo.


    LARRY: Yeah, exactly. So, pass from me.


    MADHERO: Well Larry, what do you love then? What's your Movie of the Week?


    LARRY: My film is ALSO a Netflix release, in partnership with Annapurna, but it actually ISN'T available yet and won't be until November. I was lucky enough to get tickets to see "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" as part of the 56th New York Film Festival! Directed by the Coen Brothers, "Scruggs" is a wonderful Western anthology with a distinct attention to period detail and an eclectic cast of top-notch performers.

    It tells six frontier tales, and while they vary on narrative strength and pacing, each one provides a unique experience. Whether it be singing cowboys or morbid stagecoaches, the film never stops being engaging, with moments ranging from sardonically hysterical to emotionally powerful. Perhaps it would have been a bit more consumable episodically (it does run a bit long), but there is value to be found in its entirety and the similar motifs found through every story. Whether you catch it on the big screen or via Netflix, I thoroughly recommend this one. It's hard to go wrong for a Western when you have one of the few modern directors who understand the genre.


    MADHERO: O hey, I can't see this one yet cause I don't live in New Yawk


    STICKMAN: I don't get the pizza or the films. What a jib.


    MADHERO: I ain't walkin there. Anyway pretty neat to hear that its good. Do you notice that it was originally supposed to be a show?


    LARRY: Apparently that's a false rumor. In an interview with the Coens, they said that they never really ever solidified what the format would be. That being announced was a result of them partnering with Netflix. But they said them doing it in a movie version was never something they were forced into, it was always something they imagined.


    MADHERO: Yeah, I don't buy that one bit that this wasn't supposed to be a series originally when that was announced, but hey, if it got us a good movie, then I guess its ok for them to be LIARS!


    STICKMAN: So Larry, as someone who finds Westerns generally quite boring, will this entertain meeee?


    LARRY: ...I mean, they certainly work well together as six stories in one anthology. There are very similar motifs in all six. But...yeah, it does run long and is perhaps better for some if consumed one by one.


    MADHERO: Its almost like it was a series at one point


    STICKMAN: Oh shit. What a ballad this has been.


    LARRY: lol aight Mad To be very honest, this is a true blue Western, so if you don't enjoy the genre, I'm not sure you'll like it. Each one is based on a Western subgenre, tho they all sorta genrebend a tad.


    STICKMAN: But is there any HORROR!?


    LARRY: One is more comedic, one is a musical, one is indeed a horror/Twilight Zone-esque one. It's a really eclectic mix.


    STICKMAN: So many things.


    LARRY: But it won't be for everyone, it stays true to Western conventions. Lots of gunslinging and such.


    STICKMAN: Coming out just in time for the post-Red Dead Redemption 2 release blues.


    MADHERO: Guess we'll find out when people can actually see it and not just the liberal New York elite.


    LARRY: Shrug. That's me.


    --------

    MADHERO: Alright, that about wraps it. Get ready for next time as we truly enter the BONE ZONE with some truly demonic depictions of cinema. The terrifying trailers will come and get you. I am of course talking about future ho

  • CRF Revival

    1 month ago

    Paul-1122

    Ever since the later 3rd of this year, I've decided to bbring back a trend that I started back in 2011 (my post-grad year) known as CRF (which stands for Camp Revolutional Freakshow) & do even more with it than I did 7 years ago & aside from Bam Margera's CKY crew being an inspiration for this (through Viva La Bam) I've been thinking about not only adding my interest in Jackass, Smosh & Rooster Teeth into it but also other things I'm into from different forms of music to the kinds of comic books, videogames, tv shows & movies that I've come to know & enjoy over the years & aside from that there's the friendship part of it that I want to grow more of in terms if where I live which is west of Calgary (between it & Brooks) by coming across people around my age who are into some or most of the things that I'm into & even find true love along the way (through a blonde woman whp's accepting of me) as well & for next year, that's what I plan to do more of as I continue to set-up for CRF's return for the remainder of 2018 in a way that I feel is right & positive (not only for myself but for those who want to be a part of it) & correct for me & the future that I've envisioned for myself without looking back on any form of bad past memories.

  • 8 or Higher, Bro! (September 2018)

    1 month ago

    tomtom4468

    Another month has come and gone, which means it's once again time for me to post another IMDb list! This is certainly a modest selection with only two films and three TV shows, but there's still some really great stuff here. Also, for the second month in a row, this list contains an RT thing! YAY!


    Go read the thing!...


    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls040539379/

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 118

    1 month ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Well, folks. This is it. The long-awaited awaited film that will finally ask the important questions. Questions like: Is Zendaya Meechee? Is LeBron James Gwangi? But most important, how goopy is dat boi Venom and how far do his turds go in the wind? Oh, and something about an possible Best Picture nominee, but ehhhh


    LARRY: You really never know what will break into the meme sphere.


    STICKMAN: I don't want to think about Venom's goopy, airborn turds but here we are now. Thinking about it. In graphic detail.


    LARRY: Which kind of turd are you? Goopy Venom turd? Channing Tatum Yeti turd? Best Picture nominee turd? A BuzzFeed quiz waiting to happen.


    STICKMAN: I'm just a piece of shit.


    MADHERO: Its either that or his gross phallic tongue. I'm sure we'll talk all sorts of turds, but lets focus on our new turds.


    LARRY: Good shit. Cuz turds


    NEWS

    CARY FUKUNAGA (MANIAC) TO DIRECT NEW JAMES BOND FILM. WILL BE DELAYED FOR A FEBRUARY 2020 RELEASE

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    Last time we checked on the James Bond franchise, it's 25th entry was left in limbo after previous director Danny Boyle dropped the project due to the good ol' CD, creative differences. But, don't fret, because the film is now back in line to begin filming in March for a February 2020 release date., breaking its long streak of opening on October/November (since GoldenEye in 1995). But the BIG news is that acclaimed director Cary Joji Fukunaga will be replacing Boyle, which makes him the first American-born director EVER to tackle a 007 adventure!! Hooray for further distancing Bond from its British roots!!!!!!!!!!


    Anyway, you may know Fukunaga from his film "Beasts of No Nation," which was nominated for a Golden Globe, or his television work on the first seasons of "True Detective" and, most recently, "Maniac." Maniac in particular has been getting a lot of buzz for being very, VERY weird, so it'll be interesting to see how his style translates to the Bond format. Either way, I'm always down for a shake-up, especially with a franchise like Bond which is  c e r t a i n l y  in need of one.


    STICKMAN: Well, this is a surprise, but if Maniac did anything, it was show us how versatile a director this DUDE is.


    LARRY: Maniac is so fucking weird


    MADHERO: If Maniac is any indication, we can look forward to Bond going into some WILD directions. Also gonna at least one great tracking shot moment, like the one good thing in Spectre.


    STICKMAN: As long as it has autonomous poop robots.


    MADHERO: I think that he's such a surprising choice not only cause he's the first American, but also cause he's not exactly known for being a yes man. He famously left the IT reboot and left True Detective Season 2 as well


    STICKMAN: A tried and true safe pair of hands this ain't, which could prove great...if he sticks around. If he don't, I guess we'll just chuck Bond in the bin, I dunno.


    LARRY: I dunno, just feels odd that he's gonna helm the last Craig feature as opposed to genuinely starting his own thing and really starting fresh.


    STICKMAN: That'd be the same for any director Larrrry. Danny Boyle, if anything, was an even weirder choice, but he was a prominent British director so I guess it wasn't completely out of left field.


    LARRY: I know, but Fukunaga especially who clearly is gonna shake things up. I'd call Fukunaga a much weirder choice.


    MADHERO: They can't really afford to lose another director after the Boyle exit, but hey, they've already delayed it now.


    STICKMAN: There's one episode in Maniac which visually exuded a style not that different from the previous two, so maybe he's gonna be more by the book than you think. Maybe.


    MADHERO: I do think he's one hell of a great choice. Maniac is of course his most recent work, but with Beasts of No Nation and True Detective, he's shown to be one hell of a director, so I'm very curious how that translates to something as huge as Bond. I'm really stoked with this choice, more so than Boyle honestly


    STICKMAN: I'm a Boyle boy, so I guess anything else is gonna be disappointing, but I'm curious to see how this film turns out, given the messy road to production.


    LARRY: Yeah he's a great choice overall, here's hoping all goes smoothly. Perhaps he can let Craig go out with a bang.


    MARVEL STUDIOS RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR CAPTAIN MARVEL

    Last episode we talked about the first look images from Marvel's next release, and it's first female led production, Captain Marvel. Those images came with the announcement of the first trailer's impending release...and well, now we have that trailer. Although vague (As first trailers often are) on the overall story of the film, we certainly got quite a good look at Brie Larson in the titular role. Introduced as a cosmic hero who arrives on earth and starts to question her own identity. There's a sense that she has a lost past which will be discovered over the course of the story...all the while those pesky Skrulls will be about, one supposes.


    Beyond an already iconic granny punch and the inclusion of a Blockbuster, the trailer didn’t really do much than show hero shots of Captain Marvel and tease a lot of the supporting cast, including a de-aged 90s Nick Fury and space-Jude Law. Although it was far from bad, I found the trailer to be a little disappointing, particularly given the calibre of teasers/trailers for MCU films in the past couple years. Thor Ragnarok, Black Panther, Infinity War, hell…even Ant-Man & The Wasp all delivered ones with more personality, this came across as pretty generic. STILL….early days yet, sure the film will turn out a gooden.


    MADHERO: I'm here for Carol Danvers: Puncher of Grandmas


    STICKMAN: They had it coming.


    LARRY: Oy, that sure must be weird for those unaware of the lore. Not a lot of Skrull in this trailer. Whoever edited that moment must be so happy with themselves.


    STICKMAN: That's what all the analysis articles and videos on the internet are for. WHO did Captain Marvel PUNCH!? Red circle around fist. Exclamation marks.


    MADHERO: Not that you know of at least. For all we know everyone in the trailer is a Skrull.


    STICKMAN: For all I know, YOU'RE a Skrull.


    MADHERO: Oh fuck.....uh yeah, so this trailer didnt really do it for me besides the afformentioned grandma punching. I dunno, its fine, but I felt it lacked a certain "O I gotta see this now" moment


    STICKMAN: Same here. I have no doubt the film will turn out well but this wasn't particularly exciting.


    LARRY: I mean...I'm not like meh about it, I like the trailer. It's not one of their best but the moment when you get a glimpse of the suit with helmet really got me by surprise. Also, MORE GLOWY EYES


    MADHERO: I actually do like the amnesia angle they're going for. Something tells me the Skrulls are going to be a bit more complicated than just being enemies of the Kree and the Kree are probably going to be complete dicks and Jude Law the villain.


    STICKMAN: I think the Captain Marvel in the trailer is a Skrull and it's all a big TWIST. That's why they have confused memmoriiess.


    LARRY: Yeah Jude Law aka Villain McVillainVillain looks so evil.


    MADHERO: Y'know, that wouldn't surprise if that was true, but I'm gonna for now stick to Team Human.


    STICKMAN: Team Green always. Gotta go with what you know.


    MARVEL STUDIOS HIRES THE RIDER DIRECTOR CHLOE ZHAO FOR THE ETERNALS.BIRDS OF PREY GOES AHEAD AT WARNER BROS

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    Another day, another bunch of comic book movies in development on both sides of the Marvel/DC spectrum. While Marvel has kept their cards close to their chest as to what is in development after Avengers 4, we can add The Eternals to the list, with Chloe Zhao (The Rider) attached to direct. Zhao broke through with 2017's The Rider, considered by critics one of the best films of the year, and follows a similar trajectory to the likes of Taika Waititi. As for who the Eternals are, we have to dive into Jack Kirby cosmic territory, but they're essentially proto-humans experimented on by the ancient Celestials, and its probably important to note that Thanos is descended from them. This movie will apparently focus on the romance between Ikaris and Sersi, who I don't know anything about, but Marvel has managed to introduce the Guardians of the Galaxy to the mainstream, so we'll see how this goes.


    Of the million projects in development at DC, we know at least one that's officially happening: Birds of Prey, which has received a February 2020 release date and will be directed by Cathy Yan. Birds of Prey is much easier to explain: a group of superheroines. The film will largely focus on Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn (who's also producing), with her being joined by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress and Jurney Smollet-Bell as Black Canary (Bell is bi-racial, so expect a lot of not very fun comments there). Other members, reported to be Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain, have not been cast yet. All in all, a lot happening in the world of superheroes, and its interesting to see two Asian women from indie backgrounds getting such a big opportunity.


    LARRY: I got a taste of "The Rider" a week or so ago, and if that's the mind at work for Eternals, I'm all in. From what I saw, she's definitely got chops.


    STICKMAN: I wish it was The Ghost Rider.


    MADHERO: Ah, then you're way more informed than I am, cause I haven't seen it.


    STICKMAN: I think mainly I'm just....wondering why we have at least one new DC film update to talk about every day. Like...what's going on over there. Chaos reigns.


    MADHERO: Like many, I have no real idea who The Eternals are, and their origin, being a part of Jack Kirby's cosmic stint, always feel like they're made for a very specific niche, and they aren't exactly popular. But the same was also the case with the GOTG


    STICKMAN: I'm down for more crazy cosmic MCU stuff...I just wish there wasn't a big cosmic elephant in the room right now when it came to that branch of the series.


    LARRY: Well they are still using his script, so the plan for all Cosmic stuff hasn't changed. Still tho, yeah, weird to see all of these developments.


    MADHERO: Yeaaaaaaahhhhh. On the DC end, I am curious about Birds of Prey even if its status as a Suicide Squad spin-off makes me gag, but Yan is supposed  to be an interesting upcoming director and an all female group of superheroines is not something we've really seen yet.


    STICKMAN: I'm sure the DCEU will find a way to waste all that diversity and talent on another shitty movie nobody wanted but people will viciously defend to the ends of the earth. If we even have a DCEU  any more, like...jeez. What a mess.


    LARRY: At least the casting is solid. Above all else in this ridiculous news cycle.


    STICKMAN: I wasn't a fan of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad but then I wasn't a fan of any of Suicide Squad.


    MADHERO: I'm hoping that the interesting new releases of Shazam and Joker are at least an sign that they're doing something different from what we got before.


    LARRY: Yeah the Joker movie definitely looks to be adding in some new aesthetic elements. Which, I for one, am a fan of.


    MADHERO: I will just say that its great to see 2 big superhero movies being handled by 2 Asian women from independent backgrounds. That wouldn't be a thing 5 years ago, so good on both for progress.


    LARRY: Yeah that's always good. It's good for them to be getting these opportunities period.


    STICKMAN: Diversity is great, always good to see, now let's make the movies good too. I'm talking to YOU, DC.


    FOX RELEASES TRAILER FOR DARK PHOENIX. THEN DELAYS THE MOVIE TO JUNE 2019

    So, in Fox's desperate attempts to wring out as much cash out of the X-Men as they can before they become a part of the MCU, we have a few more mutant movies to look forward to, and the one first one on the docket is Dark Phoenix. Based on the "Dark Phoenix Saga" in the X-Men comics. the story revolves around young Jean Grey's (Sophie Turner) transformation into the ultimately powerful Phoenix. And, of course, the X-Men can't handle her UNLIMITED COSMIC POWER and Magneto is there fucking shit up. Oh, and also Jessica Chastain. Neat.


    It kinda looks like every other X-Men movie as of late. Edgy music, cinematic shots, lots of familiar faces and ambiguous "we're in danger" dialogue. It's interesting to see Xavier now genuinely taking blame for something in this god damn universe, and you can't go wrong with Michael Fassbender as Magneto. As long as we keep the timey-wimey crazy shit out of the picture, maybe this'll let me turn off my brain for a bit. Either way, looks like we'll have to wait a little while longer than the trailer says, because news just recently broke that the film is actually being pushed from February 14th to June 7th. That makes this the second time the film has been pushed, so...yeah, not the best news to coincide with a trailer launch. Aw well.


    MADHERO: The trailer having its release date on February 14 and then having it changed 2 days later shows that things are going very well at Fox


    LARRY: Oh, clearly. All for a PG-13 re-release of a famously-known-for-being-R franchise.


    STICKMAN: They really have their finger on the pulse


    MADHERO: Well Battle Angel had to move otherwise it'd be killed in the Christmas slaughter. Dark Phoenix is one of the most famous arcs in comics history. The way Last Stand handled it was.....oof. The trailer did very very little for me though


    LARRY: Yeah THIS is one trailer I am very meh about. For all of the Phoenix shit this trailer totes around and we see very little of it.


    STICKMAN: I've never been a fan of the standard X-Men series, with the exception of First Class. This one looks very similar to the previous two, neither of which I liked...sooooo... I want to see The New Mutants but that's increasingly becoming the carrot on the end of a stick that keeps being dangled further away until you just KNOW it'll be a huge mess.


    MADHERO: As good as Fassbender is, I am kinda tired of his Magneto, or rather how he's always used as a villain, which is what he is, but after doing that for 3 films its very tiring. Maybe the trailer is bamboozling us, but I doubt it


    LARRY: Well when the producer of those films directs one of his own, it's bound to feel a bit reminiscent.


    STICKMAN: At least it's not Bryan Singer, right?


    MADHERO: Well if stories are to be believed, Apocalypse wasn't much of Singer either. For what is undoubtedly the end of this version of the X-Men and something I've been a fan of, it feels weird to feel so meh towards this trailers


    LARRY: Yeah, I am a fan of McAvoy and Fassbender together so it'll be bittersweet to end it. At the same time, yeah, it looks kinda pants.


    STICKMAN: This does feel like the awkward unplanned final outing that nobody really cares about. Can't wait for Take 3 on the WACKY SLOW MOTION QUICKSILVER SCENE.


    KINGSMAN 3 CONFIRMED FOR 2019. MATTHEW VAUGHN TO ONCE AGAIN DIRECT AND PRODUCE

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    Back in 2015, the thought of further sequels to Kingsman: The Secret Service would have sent joy straight to the hearts of many a filmgoer. The campy, fun and violent take on classic Bond was a hit, and hopes for the 2017 sequel were high....emphasis on WERE. It's since come out, and is generally considered to be pretty disappointing, and a step too far in the direction of most of the things people didn't like about the original film, in addition to a gratuitous Elton John role. STILL, it made a decent sum of money, and a sequel was quickly put into production. Now we know just when said sequel will arrive, and it's in a very familiar release spot.


    We know next to nothing about Kingsman 3 at this point, and it's not set to enter filming until January 2019...but Fox have set the release in place for November 9th of that same year, which as you'll recall, was the original sequel spot for the franchises inspiration, James Bond. Like I said, if you'd asked me in 2015 or anytime before seeing Kingsman 2? I'd be thrilled. As it stands, I really couldn't give a toss about Kingsman 3...but for those who do, you don't have long to wait really


    MADHERO: Gotta say that its quite cheeky of them to take the Bond date. Of course with Fox these days you don't know if they'll actually keep it


    STICKMAN: It'll be delayed at least 4 more times.


    LARRY: I find it hysterical that it took the Bond slot. That’s literally parody becoming real life. Maybe it’ll convince them how to make a better third instalment.


    MADHERO: I'd feel way more excited about this if The Golden Circle wasn't a thing, which basically felt like the first film but of lesser quality and way too long.


    LARRY: Personally I didn’t mind The Golden Circle, I thought it was fine. But it definitely lacks the panache the first one had. And it honestly doesn’t leave a lot of momentum for a third.


    STICKMAN: It was more awkward than funny for me, but at least it wasn't as bad as Kick Ass 2.


    MADHERO: There's some fun moments there, but GC felt more disappointing cause it was directed by Vaughn himself, who hadn't really had a dud up to that point.


    STICKMAN: Why was Elton John there. So so much.


    LARRY: You could ask the same thing about every character. What was Julianne Moore doing there? What was Jeff Bridges doing there?


    STICKMAN: Eating a burger. Being drunk.


    MADHERO: Well she was fun as the villain. Moving on from Golden Circle dunking, there's a current rumor that this film will be a prequel in WW1 starring Ralph Fiennes. I feel like that might sound very un-Kingsman, which is rather over the top, but I dunno, would be something different at least.


    STICKMAN: Ralph Fiennes is an underrated comedy actor.


    LARRY: Um............what. Where the hell did THAT rumor start? I do like Fiennes very much, I’ll admit, but that sounds so out of left field.


    MADHERO: The Daily Mail, so don't take it too seriously, but y'know, could be interesting, but we'll probably hear more soon. Lets hope for the best


    SPACE JAM REVIVAL OFFICIALLY HAPPENING WITH LEBRON JAMES AS LEAD. RYAN COOGLER TO PRODUCE AND TERENCE NANCE TO DIRECT

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    Dread it, run from it, but the Monstars still arrive. Its been god knows how long since we've been threatened with the return of Space Jam, always with Lebron James attached as the one to replace Michael Jordan's role. Its been on and off again, but now, its definitely on, with the news that none other than Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is going to be producing the film, with Terence Nance, best known for his absurdist comedy show Random Acts of Flyness in the directing seat, with plans to start filming in the 2019 off-season, with a 2020 release. Word is also suggesting that will be a reboot, not a sequel to the original, which sort of makes sense in that Space Jam is almost 22 years old now, but with the rise of legacy sequels, seems a weird move, but oh well.


    This whole thing continues to feel rather strange, especially now that its really moving forward. I have some nostalgia for Space Jam, but that's cause I was a 90's kid and didn't know much better, because its not that great a film. Still, you have to admire this sequel/reboot's attempt to get young African American talent involved (Nance was 13/14, Coogler 9 and James 11 when Space Jam came out). Will it be any good? I honestly don't know, but I'm at the very least curious


    STICKMAN: Hey Dee Jaaayy


    LARRY: Welcome to the jam.


    MADHERO: If a remake of that song doesn't happen, its not worth doing.


    STICKMAN: I want like, a massive remake collaboration song. Like LiveAid but bigger. The biggest musical event in history.


    MADHERO: But yeah, I guess its now happening for realsies. Its felt somewhat innevitable with how much its been talked about, but its still pretty wild. Also funny to hear Lebron speak about the original with such reverance.


    LARRY: I’m sure it inspired some kids, no question.


    STICKMAN: Space Jam...was garbage. Sorry. Like, I enjoyed it as a kid but it was an adaptation of an advert...loaded with product placements....very little narrative....awkward cameos. What were we smoking in the 90s.


    LARRY: Sticky, nobody is arguing with you. Embrace the bad.


    STICKMAN: Is that the tagline for Venom.


    MADHERO: Well like I mentioned, the people involved were kids when it came out. And I do think they've got some interesting talent involved. Mind you, its still Space Jam.


    LARRY: It’s most likely gonna just pay homage to the wackiness of the first but maybe a twinge more depth. It is Coogler after all.


    STICKMAN: It's either going to be a massive box office disaster that destroys Warner Bros, or a cultural milestone in cinema. There will be no inbetween.


    -------

    MADHERO: Alright, I think we've delayed talking about it long enough. The moment we've waited for for so long to the point that we're all just dried up turds fluttering in the wind has arrived. Its time.... to finally see Robert Redford's supposed last performance in a film ever. That, or watch dat goopy boi and his penis tongue.


    STICKMAN: Are we takling about VENnnnOoooONUMmm? Like Eminem would say.


    MADHERO: I guess its time to let the devil in. He's going knock knock. Unleash your inner anti-hero, kids, and make sure not to frighten your mom too much.


    STICKMAN: Edgy PG-13 shit is the best.


    LARRY: Their Mom doesn’t even know what Venom is so whatever


    MOVIES

    VENOM

    DIRECTOR: Ruben Fleischer (30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad)

    STARRING: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slete, Scott Haze

    SYNOPSIS: Following a scandal, journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy_ attempts to revive his career by investigating the Life Foundation, but comes into contact with an alien symbiote that bonds with Brock, giving him superpowers as long as they share the same body.

    LARRY: AAAAAAHHHHHH/ Oh right this looks like garbage.


    MADHERO: This movie is coming out in less than a week and I still have a hard time believing its real.


    STICKMAN: I feel like it's a figment of my imagination. A goopy wet dream.


    LARRY: You’ll believe it when his goopy tongue is down your throat.


    STICKMAN: Larry, please. I'm already horny.


    MADHERO: My penis can only get this erect. Anyway yeah, its a thing, its not connected to Spider-Man, and its marketing feels like its from the mid 2000's.


    LARRY: EARLY 2000's really.


    STICKMAN: At least he looks good? Like....Spider-Man 3  Venom...ooyy...


    MADHERO: You can feel the Evenesance flowing from it. And I'd judge that harder if this wouldn't be absolutely my shit a decade ago.


    STICKMAN: I would've been queuing up to see this when I was 14. I was the kinda kid who got excited about Shadow of the Hedgehog.


    MADHERO: YO, SAME! SHOUT-OUT TO SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG! That's honestly what this film reminds me of though. The fact its PG-13 just adds to that


    STICKMAN: It's great, it's SO DARK AND EDGY...but you can bring the whole family! Collectors cups in the lobby, kids. EDGY cups.


    LARRY: So edgy you can't even hold them. It hurts your hand.


    MADHERO: Ow, the Edge. So yeah, this film probably isn't very good. But regardless I'm looking forward to the takes. And hey, maybe it can surprise and actually not be a turd in the wind.


    STICKMAN: Watch it turn out to be amazing. Like it's actually really good  and Venom is a real sexual awakening for society.


    LARRY: There is no. Possible way. This is good.


    STICKMAN: Watch this space, kids.


    A STAR IS BORN

    DIRECTOR: Bradley Cooper (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliot, Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay

    SYNOPSIS: A musician (Cooper) helps a young singer and actress (Lady Gaga) find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

    LARRY: Bleh.


    MADHERO: O dang, Larry. Prepping your hot take for a probably Best picture nominee already?


    STICKMAN: This is not a film that interests me personally. But hey ho, look at those reviews though. Shows what I know.


    LARRY: I'm just genuinely surprised this gained traction, it's a remake of a film that's been remade 5 times. Suddenly we slap on Bradley Cooper and "don't look at me I'm ugly" Lady Gaga and it's a hit.


    MADHERO: Personally the film doesn't interest me in terms of genre, but hey, if its good, its good. And its pretty impressive that this is Cooper's first director gig. And hey, at least the soundtrack is probably gonna be good.


    STICKMAN: I'll put this out there right now...if this is indeed the Oscar frontrunner already? Gonna be really disappointed if it wins. I'm sure it's good...but as a best film of the year it just seems kinda...boooring?


    LARRY: If it's good, I'm all for it being good? Just seems like a very safe film to be the race's frontrunner.


    MADHERO: I feel its probably the Best Picture nominee that'll generate the most hot takes, like with La La Land and Three Billboards beforehand.


    STICKMAN: Let's not bring up La La Land, the only musical I like more than Larry.


    LARRY: This will NOT bring up hot takes.


    NIGHT SCHOOL

    DIRECTOR: Malcolm D. Lee (Barbershop: the Next Cut, Girls Trip)

    STARRING: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Yvonne Orji, Ben Schwartz

    SYNOPSIS: A group of troublemakers (Hart, Riggle etc.) are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.

    STICKMAN: Oh. We're gonna be that way huh.


    MADHERO: O look, there's Kevin Hart playing an loud idiot again. What a stretch.


    LARRY: Would you believe me if I said I saw this...


    MADHERO: Hwhat. And we didn't even bother to ask so we could potentially review? Dang. Anyway how was it?


    LARRY: There's a reason we aren't reviewing it. It's bad.


    STICKMAN: HOOWW BADD IIIS IIT? Youtube keeps forcing me to watch it and I almost kinda miss Baby Shark at this point.


    MADHERO: O dang. Gotta say that the trailer didn't really do it for me.


    LARRY: It's just not terribly funny, and it's not a well-made film.


    MADHERO: Kind of a shame when you got people like Hart and Haddish, who can be really funny if used proper. Oh well, another forgettable comedy to add to the pile


    LARRY: To be fair, they have their moments, and the cast as a whole have talent. It's the writing and story that is garbage.


    STICKMAN: It's like they said, you need a lot of Hart, but you also need a big Johnson. Without that Johnson, it doesn't work.


    SMALLFOOT

    DIRECTOR: Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge, Imagine That)

    STARRING: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, Lebron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito

    SYNOPSIS: Migo (Tatum) is a Yeti who is convinced that the elusive creature known as the "Smallfoot" really does exist where he encounters a former TV personality (Corden)

    STICKMAN: Quentin Tarantino's favourite animated movie.


    LARRY: Ugh, thank god, something harmless.


    MADHERO: Zendaya is Meechee


    STICKMAN: She sure is.


    MADHERO:I feel that had to be mentioned, but we also mustn't forget that LeBron James is Gwangi


    STICKMAN: Does he shoot some B-ball? Warner Bros Animation seems to be the adequacy factory. Cranking out 'eh' after 'eh' when it comes to their non LEGO cinematic output.


    LARRY: To be fair, they've made two non-LEGO movies. And one was Storks. So like, give em a few years to really show what they're made of.


    MADHERO: Probably. Maybe he does with Danny DeVito, who is Dorgle.


    STICKMAN: Why do you know all their names, Madthanhew. Are you secretly into feet, by which I mean Smallfoot of course.


    MADHERO: Yes, I can't stop thinking about it, like how Common is Stone Keeper. But yeah, another adequate WB Animation movie that will be mostly remembered for a silly internet song


    LARRY: What a strange fucking meme.


    STICKMAN: Needs more VENNOooOmmMM.


    MADHERO: In these times of hardships, its important to remember that yes, Zendaya is 

    Meechee.


    HELL FEST

    DIRECTOR: Gregory Plotkin (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension)

    STARRING: Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Tony Todd

    SYNOPSIS: A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

    STICKMAN: OOHHH THE WASTED POTENNTIIAAALLLL.


    LARRY: ...yeah, sure.


    MADHERO: Now you know that its October, because all the spoopy films are coming out the woodworks. Or at least attempted spoops


    STICKMAN: Great idea for a horror film, set it in a big colourful halloween spoopy event. Surprised it took this long to happen...BUuUUUUT....it's bad I guess. Oops.


    MADHERO: I feel like maybe if it had taken a more comedic angle or gone full Final Destination, it might've been better. As it stands, it just feels like a standard slasher with an interesting backdrop


    STICKMAN: That's basically it. All style and no substance. You can have all the fun areas and costumes in the world but if you make a generic slasher you make a generic slasshherrrr.


    LARRY: I hope it enjoys it's one week of box office until Venom sucks the life out of it.


    STICKMAN: It's already tanked, Larry. It's dead.


    MADHERO: It was probably cheap, so it can probably get a few muns out of it, but a hit this ain't.


    LARRY: Yeah cost 5 million so it's already made its money back.


    STICKMAN: I'd rather see Hell Fest than  The Nun in the battle of the 2018 mediocre horror films. Buuuut I'll wait for Michael Myers.


    LARRY: ...why must we even choose?


    MADHERO: Micheal Myers seems like the best option here.


    THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

    DIRECTOR: David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story)

    STARRING: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits, Elizabeth Moss, John David Washington

    SYNOPSIS: Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford)and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

    STICKMAN: There he is. With his gun. Hail Hydra.


    LARRY: Robert Redford is, indeed, an old man. Now, with a gun. Solid title.


    MADHERO: Looks damn good for a guy in his 80's though. Anyway this looks like a fun ride, and if it really is Redford's last role, it seems like a good one to go out on


    LARRY: I don't buy that it's his last, but okay.


    STICKMAN: Actors retire all the time and then come back to win an Oscar. Or present one at the least.


    MADHERO: Redford has said before he'll retire, so take it with a pinch of salt. Even without that angle, it still looks like a fun time


    STICKMAN: It looks fine. Not my bag I guess.


    LARRY: Yeah my friend saw it and she liked it.


    STICKMAN: Meanwhile you went to Night School. You Night FOOL.


    -------------

    MADHERO: O dang. With that burn, I think it might be time to move on to MOVIE OF THE WEEK! And I hope you're ready for some classic Stickman's hipster bullshit, cause we've got that in spades this week.


    STICKMAN: Its that time of year. Like Christmas and post-Christmas depression, it always sneaks up on you.


    LARRY: Ouch.


    MADHERO: It comes when you least expect it. We might as well talk about it now. So Sticky, what did you see at Bristol's animated short festival Encounters this year that really stood out and how can the commoners see it?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: WELLLL...like you say, I once again popped on down to the Encounters Short Film Festival, checked out some animated shorts but ALSO some VR shorts. I'm gonna focus on animation though, and offer two, one you can watch right now, the other I can't even find anything about on the internet. YIPPEEE. First up we have 'S He', which is a real doozy. It's about stop motion shoes.... in a hellish dystopian society where male shoes rule over everything and female shoes are kept in captivity to breed more shoes, the female ones of which get forcibly converted to male shoes at birth. Whilst the idea of stop motion shoes sounds pretty wacky and fun, it's also pretty dark and disturbing. Baby mutilation is still baby mutilation in the shoe world after all. I couldn't find anything about this film online, but apparently a feature adaptation does exist...so...watch this space



    The other...which was showing at Encounters but I didn't technically see it there initially, is 'One Small Step'. This is a far more mainstream, polished film that replicates a 2D art style using CGI, following a young girl and her shoemaker father as they both grow up, the girl aspiring to be an astronaut, the father wanting to support her the best he can. It's very sweet and fun, but it goes to some very dark places, it's definitely not afraid to deal with the harsh realities of life at the same time as offering sentimental catharsis. You can watch that short RIGHT NOW because they put it online. HOW NICE.


    MADHERO: I can't believe the shoe getting murdered sequence in Roger Rabbit finally got a sequel


    LARRY: Twas truly a sign that we all missed.


    STICKMAN: Oh man this is like the Antichrist of animated shoe films when it comes to its violence.


    LARRY: How is the film entitled "One Small Step" NOT the shoe movie??


    MADHERO: Put that on the poster. Once again, i can contribute nothing to all of this  cause I can't see it, but its nice that One Small Step is already available


    STICKMAN: One Small Step is on the early list of eligable Oscar nominees, and I can see it going all the way to the shortlist...so...maybe this isn't the last time we hear about it, mmmm?


    LARRY: That's awesome. I'm looking forward to watching it.


    STICKMAN: It's a real sweet film. It's a shame S He doesn't seem to exist outside of the fever dream that is an international short film festival programme.


    MADHERO: Before you do that, what's your Movie of the Week, Larry? I'm gonna take a gander and say it isn't Night School


    LARRY: No, it ain't. My MOTW is a surefire classic that is hitting Netflix this week, just in time for the spoopy October season. It's The Shining, one of Stanley Kubrick's many legendary films and probably one of my favourites.

    The funny thing about this film is that, while it obvious sports the tension and mystery of a horror thriller, it also has many comedic elements to it, specifically Jack Nicholson's performance. Nicholson's slow descend into utter madness really puts me off through its hilarity. After all, laughter is a coping mechanism for fear, and so I feel like this is a detail that many people overlook. Nicholson's iconic lines and crazy facial expressions help a viewer cope with the crazy shit going on around them. However, this never fully encapsulates it, for the last fifteen minutes drop all the jokes and just go for straight up disturbing, which it provides with flying colors. I always love popping this on every year, and will continue to do so for a long while.


    STICKMAN: Com pway with us Danny oWo


    MADHERO: Ehh, I'll just watch the Ready Player One sequence.


    STICKMAN: The Ready Player One bit was the best part of that film. I gotta say.


    LARRY: Booooooooo. I mean, yes.


    MADHERO: Senor Spielbergo really nailed the look of it, sure. The Shining is a undeniable classic and no movie does unsettling better. That's for sure


    STICKMAN: The Shining feels like something you shouldn't be watching. The atmosphere for almost every scene feels wrong.


    LARRY: When you first get introduced to the Overlook. You feel like you don't belong there. Like...like you're intruding.


    STICKMAN: That scene where the guy's getting a blowie from a bear. That feels like I'm intruding too.


    MADHERO: What does it meaaaaaaan, ask the masses, afraid that a man can simply want a blowy from a guy in a bear suit


    STICKMAN: Why they leave the door open though, Mad. WHY.


    LARRY: Welp it does provoke questions.


    STICKMAN: It provokes somethin. It's just...so weird and demented it works. Meanwhile Stephen King would rather the topiary comes to life and the hotel explodes. MASTER OF HORROR. Speaking of blowjobs from bears, what did you pick this week, Mad?


    LARRY: Wow. Probably my favorite segue we've ever done.


    MADHERO: Wow rude. Anyway, my MOTW is also a Netflix release. However, its an NETFLIX ORIGINAL! THE SCARIEST THING OF AAAAALLLLL!!!! Alright but really. I saw Hold the Dark, the newest film from Jeremy Saulnier, who's probably best known for Punks vs. Neo Nazis aka Green Room. Jeffrey Wright plays a retired naturalist who gets a call from a woman (Riley Keough) living in the Alaskan wilderness that her son has been killed by a pack of feral wolves, and she wants him to track them down and kill them. However, it becomes pretty clear that things aren't what they seem, and it all gets more complicated when her Iraq war vet husband (Alexander Skarsgard) comes home.

    What starts as a man vs nature story very quickly turns into an very different noir esque story, and Saulnier really does swing for the fences, and it can often feel like a bit of a mess. However, I do think the movie holds up well all together, thanks to some of the gorgeous cinematography and great acting. Its really nice to see Jeffrey Wright in a lead role again. Its a really bleak film, so its not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and its not as good as Green Room was, but I still give it a recommendation.


    STICKMAN: Bleak is indeed the word for this film.


    MADHERO: O it bleak. But the Alaskan wilderness seems like a pretty depressing place to begin with, like man doesn't belong there.


    LARRY: Fun fact: I have never heard of this film before you posted this so please tell me more.


    STICKMAN: Think Green Room but colder, slower and not involving any bands or neo nazis.


    LARRY: ....okay then that’s not Green Room


    MADHERO: Well like I said, its a man vs nature/arctic thriller that's pretty damn bleak. I'll say I hadn't paid that much attention to it either until I heard it was from the director from Green Room and was coming soon.


    STICKMAN: I only watched it because you told me that. You're a social media influencer.


    LARRY: I liked Green Room, so I’ll definitely check it out.


    MADHERO: I know what's up. You agree with my summary then, Stick? It got a lot weirder than I expected at first


    STICKMAN: It's not the film you expect going in for sure. It's a very bleak and violent...and kinda nihilistic story that doesn't really offer a lot of easy answers to anything, but proves to be an atmospheric and engrossing saga.


    LARRY: Not gonna lie, y’all are convincing me.


    MADHERO; Oh its super absorbing. Watch it on as big a screen you can.


    STICKMAN: Fo' sure. Like...on a cinema scre-Oh wait.


    ---------------

    MADHERO: I guess we gotta see Venom if we want to watch something in the cinema. I think that about wraps it up for episode, but the spooks will undoubtedly continue, with the perilous journey of going to space with Ryan Gosling, or the return of Mike Myers. That's right. Shrek is back.


    STICKMAN: A new Shrek film would be the SCARIEST FILM OF THE YEAR by far.


    LARRY: Damn Sticky, get up with the times.


    STICKMAN: I don't fuckin knooow, I don't watch movies. GOODBYE.


    MADHERO: We're about to endure some Bad Times.... at the El Royale, but also here. Goodbye


    LARRY: Now THATS a cliffhanger. Peace out y’all

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 117

    1 month ago

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    MADHERO: Hi everyone. Hope you're ready to talk movies, because after last episode's kinda meh output (as happens on the beginning of September) and suddenly BAM, we've got all kinds of stuff to talk about, from Oscar hopefuls (and not so hopefuls) wacky Eli Roth directed family films, and the long awaited franchise of....Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. Oh, and I guess Predator returns as well.


    STICKMAN: OH BOY. CLOCKS IN WALLS.


    MADHERO: THE HYPE STARTS HERE AND NOW FOR....whatever that movie is.


    LARRY: Don’t forget about all those rampant girls with their guns. ‘Murica loves a good violent Purge ripoff


    MADHERO: No idea what you're on about ,but we'll get to that soon enough. But first, the newwwwwws.


    NEWS

    ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY RELEASES FIRST CAPTAIN MARVEL IMAGES AND DETAILS. REVEALS FILM WILL NOT BE AN ORIGIN STORY

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    (NOTE: We talked about Captain Marvel before the trailer dropped. We'll be discussing that trailer on a later date)


    So we’re all pretty pumped for Captain Marvel, right? First female-led MCU movie, Brie Larson starring, some 90s action, all great stuff. AND the fandom is probably going to explode when Marvel drops the first official trailer. But for now, we’ll keep gawking at the exclusive photos Entertainment Weekly grabbed through a new spread, giving us our first looks at some of the movie’s sure-to-be highlights! We get to see a young Nick Fury, pre-eyepatch, a pack of Skrulls on the shore, and we got to see the return of Ronan and Korath, previously seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. Given that Captain Marvel is part of a Kree military team called “Starforce,” it makes sense that these characters would be included; maybe we’ll get a hint of backstory as to how Ronan and Korath became the outsiders they were back in Guardians.


    We also got to see Larson is uniform, both as a pilot and as Captain Marvel, but also in a Nine Inch Nails shirt, which is far more important. Besides that, other highlights include Jude Law as Badass McClearlyTheSecretVillain, Ben Mendehlson as SuitMan McClearlyASkrull, and Lashana Lynch as one of Carol Danvers’ oldest friends and a fellow pilot. Overall, they’re just pictures, we consider me excited anyway! The Skrulls look awesome, as does the production design both on Earth and in space. Plus, I’m excited to see Ronan and Korath and expand on their characters a little bit. So far, Captain Marvel looks to be another heckin’ good time from the ol’ Marvel Machine.


    STICKMAN: The Skrulls look too much like Dragonball Evolution. Like that's a joke, but it's literally the case.


    LARRY: I can’t say you’re wrong. Still tho, they look good


    MADHERO: I was about to say the same. No one must be reminded of that travesty. Aw well, at least the rest is looking good so far.


    STICKMAN: They could look betterrrrr. Other than that it's looking pretty coo. All your favourite Guardians of the Galaxy side characters RETURN....in....side roles?


    LARRY: Kinda incredible that through one picture we can already tell Jude Law is gonna turn on everyone. Almost impressive.


    STICKMAN: Or turn everyone on. Depending on the film's rating.


    MADHERO: I'm definitely curious what the deal is with that between Ronan and Korath. Hopefully it adds depth to both


    LARRY: Mah boi Djimon Honsou deserves his due.


    STICKMAN: What 90s trends were hot around that time in Space, which the generation of space 90s kids refuse to let die or admit to their flaws?


    LARRY: Wow this joke is already too deep for me lol


    MADHERO: Space 90s were a very different time. Its hard to judge on just a few images, but luckily we don't have to wait long for a trailer. I'll say I'm surprised they're not going the origin route, but Carol Danvers' origin is a bit of a mess, so i get it


    LARRY: They’ll probably do a few flashbacks. That should cover it.


    STICKMAN: Looking forward to that trailer, this feels like a significant chapter for the MCU both in establishing one of its most important characters but also just...having a female led/directed movie FINALLY. JEEZ. When the DCEU trumped you on that, you've cocked up.


    MADHERO: As EW states boldly: The Future is Female, but we'll about that!


    STICKMAN: I mean, surely it's the past that's female. The Space 90s, specifically.


    HENRY CAVILL (SUPERMAN) SEEMINGLY OUT OF DCEU AFTER TALKS WITH WARNER BROS FELL THROUGH

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    Although it's been a breezy year free of ever divisive DCEU films so far (Aquaman is on the horizon, mind), that's not to say we haven't been hearing about the plans, or lack thereof for Warner Bros'  expanded comic book universe. A promising trailer for Shazam and a not...soul-crushing trailer for Aquaman aside, we've heard about a lot of projects entering early development, a lot of which seem disconnected from continuing the expanded world itself, and had a deafening silence on the actual future for these films post-Justice League. Until now......sorta? Word has it that, after a failed contract negotiation for a Superman cameo in Shazam, Henry Cavill may be out completely as the Man of Steel, with plans for the characters standalone franchise seemingly on hold, and the actor having recently signed on for the lead in The Witcher TV series for Netflix.


    It's not confirmed at this stage, but it appears Warner Bros want to put Superman on the shelf for the time being, focusing instead of a Supergirl prequel, and Cavill doesn't want to wait out any longer for future roles in the series. After 3 massively divisive films, each with their own set of controversies surrounding Superman, it's not a surprise that the guy wants out....pile onto this the still as of yet unconfirmed/not denied allegations of Ben Affleck being out as Batman too? Ooy...what a mess.


    MADHERO: *Holds up action figure as dogs bark staring emotionless into the camera*


    STICKMAN: Surrealism is not an appropriate response to fan's questions, it seems.


    MADHERO: I have no idea what to make of Cavill's response to the whole thing. WB's was appropriate corporate vague, and Cavill's one was beyond weird.


    LARRY: I love how they tried using Supergirl to give this story validity when in reality it makes it even more ridiculous. As if the DCEU gave a rat’s ass about the lore.


    STICKMAN: Dang Larry, so cold.


    MADHERO: The Supergirl rumors are chump change compared to the rumor of Michael B. Jordan being Superman, which probably isn't happening, but that would be wild.


    STICKMAN: That would be pretty fun. I might have to unplug the internet for a few years, mind.


    MADHERO: Apparently Jordan's name is just in talks for almost every WB property (which is why he was linked with that Matrix reboot for a bit). Either way, even if he's not been supported by the films, I can't help but be bummed about this. You always feel like Cavill was a great Superman waiting to happen.


    STICKMAN: He looked the part and had the physicality, and the personality for sure. Unfortunately WB decided he needed to be ANGSTY and TORTURED.


    LARRY: I mean, I’m still not really buying this story. I’m sure Cavill is gonna get more chances to be Supes in more movies, I really don’t buy that DC would just drop him when he got a generally good response with Whedon’s rewrites. He finally started being the happy, charming Supes we all want to see from him.


    MADHERO: I don't think its about WB dropping him, but more so about renegotiations not working out. WB seems to be in no real rush to actaully make a Man of Steel 2, and Justice League 2 ain't happening either. At that point, as an actor, I'd probably look around for other opportunities


    STICKMAN: Like some sorta....Witcher TV show for Netflix where you get to have sex on a unicorn.


    LARRY: Yes but if this could balance Fallout and JL, I doubt he can’t continue doing that. Moustache be damned.


    MADHERO: We'll see what happens, because who truly knows for sure with the DCEU. At this stage, I'd feel pretty comfortable saying he's out


    STICKMAN: At least we'll always have Ben Affl-oh.


    ACADEMY PUTS UNPOPULAR “ACHIEVEMENT IN POPULAR FILM” AWARD ON HOLD TO FINETUNE RULES.

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    So a couple of episodes, we talked about the upcoming changes of the Academy Awards, including a shorter running time, starting earlier and perhaps most of all: the introduction of a new category to celebrate Achievement in Popular Film. A lot of the discussion gravitated towards that, largely because its a terrible idea, and the category was described quite vaguely. This dunking contest has made the Academy realize that this category probably was announced too early, and has officially decided to postpone the award.b


    How long that postponement will take is unclear, but lets hope its somewhere between never and the heat death of the universe. Part of this might also be attributed to Black Panther, the movie largely considered the shoe-in for that award, having no interest and wanting to go for the grand Best Picture, with Marvel Studios/Disney now readying a big For Your Consideration campaign.  So yeah, when or whether we'll see this category back remains to be seen. Personally, I wouldnt mind if it stayed in that oven and burned to death.


    STICKMAN: I guess this idea wasn't very....POPULAR...ahah aheheheh.


    LARRY: It’s just a postponement, for all we know it could start up the ceremony after this.


    MADHERO: Well we don't know. When we discussed, we speculated on what the award meant, and that they probably had an better idea. And it turns out they hadn't. Whoops


    STICKMAN: The argument still stands that the whole point of the award just seems to be to ignore popular movies in major categories, when there are plenty of deserving inclusions. There was a brief glinting hope that they might start being more diverse with their choices when the category was first extended in nominees, but now we're back to the bullshit again.


    MADHERO: I think things got complicated with Black Panther, who could've taken that award blindfolded, rejected the concept of it and also that A Star Is Born is looking like a big hit but also the main Best Picture contender. They had no idea of the criteria and that just shows how poorly thought out this idea was


    LARRY: Yeah they definitely needed more of a thorough understanding of the award if they were gonna implement it mid-season.


    STICKMAN: It's too early to call anything the main contender for any award, but the fact that it's hard to categorise what is POPULAR and what is OSCAR WORTHY just speaks fucking volumes about how far up their own asses the people in charge are.


    LARRY: I just don’t think this is much of a deterrent. I think they are ultimately going to go through with it, sadly...just not right now.


    MADHERO: GIVE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT A BEST PICTURE NOD


    STICKMAN: I MEAN I'D BE DOWN FOR THAT.


    LARRY: SAME. THAT CLIMAX? WOOF


    MADHERO: No need for the Popular Film category when that film deserves to be on there regardless. We'll see whether the category survives, but I'd like it gone forever.


    AWARDS SEASON OFFICIALLY BEGINS WITH VENICE AND TORONTO FILM FESTIVALS. FAVORITES LOOK TO BE A STAR IS BORN, ROMA AND FIRST MAN

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    The days are growing shorter, the leaves are starting to brown...you know what that means? It's festival season… which means OSCAR BAAiaiiiIIITTT. WOOOOOO. August ended with the Venice International Film Festival, which brought with it a slew of long-awaited premiers which resulted in mostly promising buzz for the hopeful awards contending films of the next few months. First Man, A Star is Born, The Favourite and Roma all debuted to glowing reviews, the latter of which taking the main prize at this festival, with A Star is Born leading the early Oscar charge at the same time. 22nd July also received positive reviews, whilst the big point of contention this year was the premiere of Suspiria, which garnered a massively polarising reception, with those who loved it...LOVING it, and those who dislike it despising it.


    TIFF followed up soon after, with some of the same films receiving similar acclaim, but Barry Jenkins joining in the acclaim club thanks to his new film 'If Beale Street Could Talk' and Steve McQueen also garnering large praise for his dark thriller 'Widows' . Surprisingly, the winner of the important TIFF People’s Choice Award was Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, so expect to hear more from that. Outside of the awards season, one of the bigger film premiers at TIFF was the new Halloween film, which garnered largely glowing reviews, a promising start for a film that's not out for another month and is already sporting a healthy assortment of praise. It's too early at this point to call who the frontrunners are for the awards in early 2019, but with so many highly anticipated and varying films getting high degrees of praise, it's going to be a fun road to the Oscars for sure.


    MADHERO: Oscar Season Hoooooooo


    STICKMAN: Halloween for Best Picture? You heard it here first folks.


    MADHERO: I'd be down for that honestly. Maybe Jamie Lee Curtis for Best Actress? The campaign starts here


    LARRY: Festival season is so, so strong this year.


    MADHERO: Roma is apparently Mexico's official send in for Best Foreign Language film, so it'll at least get that probably. Gonna be very interesting how the Academy will react to the wave of quality Netflix releases


    STICKMAN: With a huff and a puff and a not giving any of them nominations, probably.

    Hey Larr: Phooey. Not nominating Netflix films at this point is just ignorant, especially if they already qualify.


    MADHERO: It does look like its going to be a good race. Surprised to see A Star Is Born get so much buzz though.


    STICKMAN: I thought it looked pretty droll but then the Academy loves shit like this.


    LARRY: They sure love films about art. They also love Bradley Cooper.


    MADHERO: I feel its hard to judge just based on the trailers, but I'm curious. I'm also expecting of plenty of La La Land/Three Billboards style hot takes


    STICKMAN: It's gonna be a fun few months, some real ones to watch out for, both in the awards path and out of it.


    TOY COMPANY MATTEL SETS UP FILM DIVISION. TAKES BACK RIGHTS FOR BARBIE AND HE-MAN

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    Toy companies producing movies isn’t anything new, and now, a new opponent is ready to enter the ring with a fresh start. Mattel, the company behind beloved toy properties like Barbie and He-Man, is ready to get a piece of the franchise-pie with their new and official “Mattel Films” division, headed by “Dallas Buyers Club” producer and experienced film professional Robbie Brenner. This most likely means that the previously planned Barbie film with Sony Pictures will be canned, along with the He-Man movie that hasn’t seemed to gain much traction. And...that’s about all this means. Predictions for film projects? Maybe Polly Pocket? Hot Wheels? I dunno. Hopefully Mattel hasn’t bitten off more than they can chew. Don’t be DC, Mattel. Don’t be DC.


    STICKMAN: I'm not looking forward to any of these.


    MADHERO”I think a Master of the Universe movie has potential. If they did something like Thor Ragnarok, I think that could be really cool. Everything else.....ehh. Though to be fair, I don't know too many other Mattel properties that I could see as a movie.


    STICKMAN: I don't know if Mattel have the experience to make anything interesting or creative with these properties. They just wanna sell toys.


    LARRY: I just wanna see the Hot Wheels demolition derby movie. Like, the Fast films but past 11. That’s the only potential I see in this.


    MADHERO: Oh yeah, they own Hot Wheels. That could easily be used for a Fast and Furious knockoff


    STICKMAN: Thomas the Tank Engine versus Hot Wheels: Dawn of Justice.


    MADHERO: Its not really like Hasbro who own stuff like Transformers and GI Joe where you can see a film version. Becomes a little harder when He Man is the only one you really have, but I guess that also means She Ra, and Barbie continues to make the big bucks


    STICKMAN: Barbie had a film in the works prior to this situation so it'll be interesting to see what becomes of that


    MADHERO: Probably what Sony made at some point will be scrapped and they'll start with something more straightforward and less meta? Sony's version looked to be going pretty meta


    STICKMAN: Sony making movies is never a good idea, let's face it.


    LARRY: To be fair, Barbie has made countless animated films. I could see Barbie making huge bucks for a female demographic, and if they wanna be progressive with it, that would be even more on brand.


    STICKMAN: BARBIE SUCKS, STRAIGHT WHITE PRIVILEGE. TRAINS ALL THE WAY.


    MADHERO: We'll see what the Thomas the Tank Engine movie will look like soon enough. Moving on


    RIP BURT REYNOLDS

    1536267191_Burt-Reynolds-Star-Of-Boogie-

    Its not often that we lose an icon, but I feel like that label is very much appropriate to Burt Reynolds, who passed away earlier in the month due to an heart attack. At one point in time, particularly the 70s, Reynolds was the biggest movie star in the world, with iconic films such as The Longest Yard (which played up his former college football days), Deliverance and of course Smokey and the Bandit, and later on for Boogie Nights, for which he almost won a Oscar. Afterwards, he became more known as a former icon, popping up in everything from GTA: Vice City to Archer. He was also cast in Quentin Tarantino's new film Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, but sadly passed before he could shoot any of his scenes. I did not experience Reynolds in his prime, but its hard to not see the impact he left on that era. We wish his family and friends nothing but the best in this difficult time.


    STICKMAN: Can't say I'm the most familiar with his body of work, but you can't deny he's an iconic institution of 70s culture, and his death will be felt by a lot of people.


    LARRY: Smokey and the Bandit defined the genre for me when I saw it, really sad to see he’s passed. His moustache reigned supreme.


    STICKMAN: Sometimes moustaches can be a force for good.


    MADHERO: I think there's definitely a case of a generation gap here and that we mostly experienced Reynolds through ironic/unironic admiration. Archer comes to mind.


    LARRY: Yeah, I definitely agree with that, but my generation oughta get a history lesson.


    STICKMAN: Archer was a good prompter on his cultural impact yes.


    MADHERO: To be fair to Reynolds, he was aware of his rep. He often picked roles to have fun, and didn't really challenge himself (though Deliverance and Boogie Nights were great performances in dark movies). One of his last movies, The Last Movie Star, does sorta reflect on that legacy.


    LARRY: Yeah I feel like The Last Movie Star is kinda the perfect sendoff for him. I saw the film and I’d say it pays tribute to him in a big way. And to similar stars of his generation and their lasting impact moving forward.


    STICKMAN: I'm not sure about perfect but the name certainly carries with it a poignancy now.


    MADHERO: Not sure how big his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would've been, but its a shame he didn't get to shoot that. Imagine it was small, but it would've been nice.


    STICKMAN: That would've been an interesting way to bow out his career, yeah. Quite the legacy.


    MADHERO: RIP Burt. On a career filled with some amazing highs.


    LARRY: May he Rest In Peace.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the news, but we've got a new hot and piping review for you ready to go. Shane Black has had an interesting trajectory as a writer/director, and one of his very first jobs was punching up and being the very first victim on the Predator. So it seems fitting he's directing a new Predator 30 years later. I haven't seen it, but Sticky and Larry have, so it'll be a fun discussion cause man. The reaction is all over the place.


    STICKMAN: It's a piping hot something for sure.


    LARRY: Somebody sure was piping something.


    MADHERO: Oh boy. So anyway, guys. How is this film now that it stars less actual predators?


    REVIEW

    THE PREDATOR

    DIRECTOR: Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys)

    STARRING: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane

    SYNOPSIS: When a young boy (Tremblay) accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers (Holbrook, Rhodes etc.) and a disgruntled science teacher (Munn) can prevent the end of the human race.

    STICKMAN: WelLlllLl....honestly, the Predator franchise has never been the most acclaimed, has it?  Besides the original at least. I've still managed to enjoy Predator 2, Predators and AvP in varying amounts. So, because of that I went into THE PREDATOR with reasonable hopes despite the mixed to negative reception.


    And well...it's definitely...something. A mess doesn't even begin to describe it, but that's not to say it doesn't have a lot of plus points. Chiefly, the main cast, once they've been settled in at least, is pretty entertaining and likeable, and there's a lot of fun lines from the 'Loonies' as they're called. Action/Gore wise it's also pretty great, the film doesn't take itself seriously and as such goes pretty OTT with the violence, which...well that's what you want from a Predator film really. It's nice to see practical Predator costumes back too...for the most part.


    MV5BMWYzOWFhNmEtYjQ3Zi00M2Q4LWI2YjktZWNh


    It's entertaining throughout, but it's a hot mess otherwise. The editing is all over the place, basic choppy cuts aside, things frequently just sorta happen  without explanation, there's a vehicle acquired midway through that is just sorta...there and never explained. A character dies and the cut is so quick you barely realise what's just happened. The 3rd act is a hot mess, clearly...hastily cobbled together from reshoots, and the final scene, clearly chopped from a mid-credits scene is a joke of a conclusion.


    LARRY: Yeah, gotta echo a lot of what Sticky is saying here. I enjoyed myself watching The Predator, and have enjoyed the majority of the franchise since the Schwarzenegger days, but this latest addition feels like Fox got exactly what Shane Black's Predator would look like, realized maybe that's not what they ultimately wanted, and attempted to hack together something resembling a balance which...is less-than-achieved. There's a lot of interesting, subversive ideas at play here but it's all diluted with everything else the studio wanted, and so it ends up being...yeah, a mess. 


    The story is convoluted, the characters are kinda a hodge-podge, and the writing is expository as shit. That being said, everything outside of that is pretty solid. Outside of some relatively bland cinematography, the action is a lot of fun, and the Predator kills are as gruesome and amazing as you could possibly ask for. The production and prop design for the actual Predator is also pretty sleek, with the Super-Predator looking absolutely ridonkulous. So, yeah, it's a fun romp but ultimately leaves a lot to be desired.


    MADHERO: Sounds like its fun, but quite the mess. That's unfortunate to hear, especially with Black's directing track record


    STICKMAN: There's some big decisions regarding the lore of the franchise that's gonna piss a LOT of people off. At the least it tries something new but....not without mistakes.


    LARRY: This movie doesn't exactly respect the Predator universe as a whole. It makes a lot of bold choices that may or may not really service the franchise.


    MADHERO: With Black you can expect the film to not take itself all too seriously, but it sounds like this movie might be a step too far with Fox trying to hit the brakes


    the-predator-trailer-1-screenshot-500x30


    LARRY: See the thing about Black is that he is clearly trying to add these new ideas about what the Predators are and their relationship to humans. If the studio hadn't been involved, I think Black coulda pulled it off. Sensitive subjects and subversive postmodern commentaries are classic Black.


    STICKMAN: It would've still be controversial, but at least fully coherent.


    MADHERO: I haven't seen the film, so I can't judge. Most of the criticism seems to be related the third act.


    STICKMAN: Third act is very dull. Knowing how it was originally intended to be before reshoots? Would've been a lot crazier.


    LARRY: It's dull but it's also really convoluted Tries to tie up all the established stuff and ends up dropping the ball. but it probably comes closest to being an actual Predator movie than the first two thirds.


    MADHERO: How fun is it before all that? Any good kills?


    LARRY: You can tell by the gruesome kills that Black was having a BALL with Predator. The violence and gore in this movie is easily it's biggest strength.


    STICKMAN: There are some fun kills, and a lot of gore, which is nice for sure. The best kill is the one that's hardest to see, which is a shame.


    MADHERO: Alright. Anything you still wanna say for the wrap up, because it sounds like that if you want to go see it, you have to keep in mind a lot of asterisks. Is it worth checking out in theaters or would you wait for a home release?


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    LARRY: If you want some bloody good action, it's definitely worth ticket price, and it's got some solid laughs too, I'd say. But....yeah just know that it's gonna lack anything resembling depth.


    STICKMAN: I'd honestly say wait until a home release....I've been comparing it in my mind to Alien Covenant, which was another messy franchise film from 20th Century...that one could argue was from the saaame franchise? But at least in Alien Covenants case it looked really nice and had a solid first half run. The Predator just looks kinda bland and may piss people off too much to enjoy at that kinda price. It's a lot of fun,  and you won't come out feeling completely shortchanged, but it's a big let down and a huge mess. Definitely the weakest of the core Predator films.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright. A mixed bag for sure. Now to see what other mixed bags there are in theaters. Or maybe there are some nice bags.


    STICKMAN: There's a mixed bag of bags.


    LARRY: A bagged mix of mixes.


    MOVIES

    THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

    DIRECTOR: Eli Roth (Knock Knock, Death Wish)

    STARRING: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Sunny Suljic, Kyle MacLachlan

    SYNOPSIS: A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt (Vacarro) aids his magical uncle (Black) in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

    LARRY: I'm just happy Jack Black has work. That's my main takeaway.


    STICKMAN: I'm not.


    MADHERO: A family film starring Jack Black about wizards and stuff directed by..... Eli Roth?


    STICKMAN: This looks like effort went into it. But it just looks kinda...generic at the same time?


    MADHERO: It looks fine, but with Jack Black, the pumpkin and even a dummy keep reminding me a bit of Goosebumps.


    STICKMAN: Oh yeah. Also doesn't look very...scary for a horror film. Family or not.


    LARRY: I guess Black's into the spooky, mystical kids fare.


    MADHERO: The weird thing is that we'll soon talk Goosebumps 2 which doesn't have Jack Black. Anyway, it looks like quirky family fun and not much else. I feel this could potentially surprise though.


    STICKMAN: I was hoping for something great, but....it looks pretty meh. Oh well.


    LARRY: I dunno, Jack Black and Cate Blanchett? Could be a sleeper goodie.


    A SIMPLE FAVOR

    DIRECTOR: Paul Feig (Spy, Ghostbusters)

    STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini

    SYNOPSIS: A mommy blogger (Kendrick) seeks to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend (Lively).

    STICKMAN: This looks pretty fun.


    MADHERO: Like everyone else, I have no real idea what to make of this film, but damn does Blake Lively look good in suits.


    LARRY: "From the DARKER SIDE of director Paul Feig" Excuse me while I gag.


    MADHERO: The edge is real, but this does look a little edgier than the usual Feig fair. A lot of Gone Girl comparisons


    LARRY: But yeah, this movie looks interesting, I just hate that stupid self-awareness as though he's earned it.


    STICKMAN: Are you not a Feigfanatic, Larry.


    LARRY: Very much not. Bridesmaids is good, Spy is pretty bad and Ghostbusters was borderline garbage.


    MADHERO: I will not take this slander of Spy. Ghostbusters was pretty bad, so I'm glad this is something of a comeback and something different


    STICKMAN: Mainly I'm glad it's something different, since this looks actually watchable.


    LARRY: Yeah it looks like an interesting watch, mostly because it's so ambiguous. Like I don't know much about it but it looks stylistic enough that I'm curious to know more about it.


    MADHERO: It goes to a lot of weird places apparently. So yeah, good job marketing team on not spoiling anything


    STICKMAN: The trailer impressed me which I can't say Paul Feig has ever managed before. So that in of itself is IMPRESSIVE.


    WHITE BOY RICK

    DIRECTOR: Yann Demange (’71)

    STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry

    SYNOPSIS: In 1980s Detroit, Richard Wershe Jr. (Merritt) was a street hustler, FBI informant and drug kingpin—all before he turned sixteen.

    MADHERO: I'M WHITE BOY RIIIIIICK


    LARRY: Good one.


    STICKMAN: Pickle Rick is an internet war crime.


    LARRY: They seem to be marketing McConaughey a lot even tho...he's probably not in the movie all that much. It's centered on the kid, so...


    STICKMAN: The titular whitey.


    MADHERO: Rick and Morty jokes aside, the story behind it is wild. The movie apparently is not so much


    STICKMAN: It looked like it had all the markings of an average crime caper with a star side-character and all. A real Triple 9. A real Killer Joe.


    LARRY: A real Mud. Wait...Anyway yeah maybe I'll go see this I dunno.


    MADHERO: Killer Joe at least had William Friedkin directing it. Anyway, yeah. This looks pretty average


    STICKMAN: I'll give this one a pass. Seen too many edgy crime movies to bother with the average ones.


    LIFE ITSELF

    DIRECTOR: Dan Fogelman (Danny Collins, This Is Us)

    DIRECTOR: Dan Fogelman (Danny Collins, This is Us)

    STARRING: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas)

    SYNOPSIS: As a young New York couple (Isaac, Wilde) goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child (Cooke), the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

    MADHERO: Oooooooo, i'm here for this overly sentimental shit.


    LARRY: I am...not.


    STICKMAN: Do you ever feel like Olivia Wilde and Oscar Isaac only signed onto this film to make out with each other.


    MADHERO: But Larry, what if I told you the audience at TIFF has compared this to Book of Henry and Collateral Beauty


    LARRY: OH BOY. Except #EndHateWatching So


    STICKMAN: This is Henry's Book of Collateral Life Beauty.


    MADHERO: From the guy that brought you This is Us, that show very popular in the USA for..... reasons? I've never seen it


    LARRY: It's popular for the same reasons you just said. It's overtly sentimental.


    STICKMAN: This is Us is the prequel to This is It, the Michael Jackson documentary.


    MADHERO: Well that explains the popularity. Otherwise yeah, I'm here for this dreck


    LARRY: I mean, I'll rent it one of these days if it's really THAT bad.


    STICKMAN: I'm booking a plane ticket to get as far away from this shit as possible.


    MANDY

    DIRECTOR: Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow)

    STARRING: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke

    SYNOPSIS: Red Miller (Cage), a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect (Roache) who slaughtered the love of his life (Riseborough).

    STICKMAN: Aww yeah. Here's my kinda shit.


    LARRY: Oh here we GO. NIC CAGE


    MADHERO: AND NOW FOR SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY FUCKING METAL


    STICKMAN: From the director of Beyond the Black Rainbow...a film that came out 8 years ago and never released in the UK.


    MADHERO: A lot of people are saying this feels like a big comeback for Cage, and its one of his wilder roles, so that should be amazing


    STICKMAN: This director loves his red tints and I'm here for it. Also c-c-c-c-cHAINSAW BATTLE.


    MADHERO: Cage with a giant battleaxe, crazy cultists. Its going to VOD very soon after the release so it should be easy to check out hopefully


    STICKMAN: It's not out here until mid-October, and I assume it'll be a similar VOD situation....but the important thing is...this film's actually releasing in the UK. NOICE.


    MADHERO: Its in limited release here so I might need to wait for VOD as well, but I'll definitely give it a look


    LARRY: This seems like the kind of movie to experience in theaters tho. Like, to scope it out.


    STICKMAN: Well I don't live in New York Larry. SOOOOO I don't get that choice.


    LARRY: Fair enough.


    THE SISTERS BROTHERS

    DIRECTOR: Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, Dheepan)

    STARRING: Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rutget Hauer

    SYNOPSIS: Eli and Charlie Sisters (Phoenix, Reilly), two hitmen brothers on the trail of a chemist (Ahmed) with a unique secret formula for prospecting gold wanted by their boss.

    MADHERO: The title makes it sound like a quirky comedy, and hey, it turns out its kind of that.


    STICKMAN: This has the hallmarks of something at one pointed considered an awards  contender that just quietly got...released just before awards release season. Y'knooow. Quirky western, strong leads.


    LARRY: It looks pretty quirky but also dark. Kinda sardonic.


    MADHERO: There's probably some darkness and seriousness in there, but Phoenix and Reilly look like they're having fun.


    LARRY: Yeah but it's got a grit to it, that's what interests me. Also, JAKEY GYLLENHAAL


    STICKMAN: The double act I never thought I needed.I was wondering where he'd gotten to.


    MADHERO: Busy wearing a fishbowl on his head maybe?


    STICKMAN: I hope so. I really do.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for all the film releases this week, but hey, that still gives us some time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


    STICKMAN: AAAAAGGHH. Match of the Week.


    LARRY: Yeah MOTW or whatever.


    MADHERO: Larry, how can you act so blasé about one of our main subjects. Unacceptable. For that you have to present yours first


    STICKMAN: HAAA HAAA. YOOOU HAVE TO WRIIITE.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    LARRY: Alright, well the only new movie I have seen as of late is Predator, which we already talked about, so I'd like to throw it back to a film that I always love to revisit, Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," which is now on Netflix!! The nerdiest of Wright's filmography, I think that, while it has some issues, this is a really inspired film that takes an already stylistic comic book series and adapts it to the screen with energy, panache, and personality.

    Most people agree that the visuals in this film are mesmerizing, and the action is shot very dynamically. They feel like Smash Bros. fights sometimes, each punch packs a wallop. Plus, it's hysterically funny, Wright's quirky and offbeat humor is here in spades and is edited oh so sleekly. Admittedly, Scott is a relatively problematic character, and some of the stereotypes regarding vegans and the manic-pixie dream girl don't hold up as strongly, but besides for that, this is a super enjoyable movie that I lowkey want to rewatch this very second. But we're doing Screwvies now so let's just talk about it a little, hmmm?


    STICKMAN: This film certainly has a lot of style to spare.


    MADHERO: I actually haven't seen this movie in quite some time, so its neat to see it coming to Netflix


    STICKMAN: I do think it's main issue is that Scott Pilgrim is a whiny shit and his arc feels unearned. BUT....it looks really nice and is very funny too.


    LARRY: Yeah that's what I meant by "problematic." He's sorta given the hero role despite the very, VERY shitty things he does.


    MADHERO: I feel like there's some parts in that movie that wouldn't be very 2018, and Scott Pilgrim is never really punished for his shittiness, but that's more a problem with the movie than with the graphic novel. Still, hard to focus on that with all the colors


    STICKMAN: It's very colourful. And the music is great too. Editing got that  Edgar Wright PAZAAAZZ


    LARRY: Colorful, lots of big words and bold punches. Also, pre-MCU Chris Evans sure is a character.


    MADHERO: When someone pointed out he looks like a American Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza in that film, I can't unsee it anymore. He's definitely the most fun ex of the bunch


    STICKMAN: Oh me too. That's so...so crazy....mhmm.


    LARRY: Wellllllll Brandon Routh I also like.


    STICKMAN: I can relate to being bifurious.


    MADHERO: What is it Sticky, my deep cut too much? How about your movie of the week? That any more mainstream


    LARRY: probs shit WOOPS DID I DO THAT


    STICKMAN: In the year of our lord 20 and 18, the state of Netflix's movie output is pretty clear. Quantity over quality. Sure, some of the stuff they've put out, or are about to put out is great...but a large majority of it is total shit, and often something bought on the cheap from a studio looking to avoid a box office disaster. With that said, it makes it a little hard to get excited for some weird cross-country family animated movie that turns up on the service. But Netflix actually payed a pretty penny for the rights to Next Gen....and well, it's got problems, but honestly? It's pretty good.


    Basically, imagine if every inanimate object in the world turned into Baymax from Big Hero 6...and then Disney went off the rails and let their films involve beating the shit out of children, suicide bombings and a dog that can't stop swearing (Which tbf is bleeped, but still).  The animation is actually really impressive, visually striking and colourful throughout...and it's one of the first animated movies to be entirely made in Blender. It has an odd blend of anarchic meta humour, dark action sequences, Disney sentimentality and poorly thought out commentary on modern society...but as a whole, it's a constantly entertaining, endearing action romp that, whilst a little dark and violent for most younger children, still provides worthwhile viewing for anyone else.... plus, it's on Netflix....you already own it, y'all.


    LARRY: What the hell lol Suicide bombings?


    STICKMAN: I mean, it's not like...Homeland, there's a twist but it is basically suicide bombings.


    LARRY: Damn. Sounds like this is #maturecontent


    MADHERO: That's how you know its from the same people that made 9


    STICKMAN: It's reasonably family friendly. 9 was quite unique despite its flaws, this feels a bit more like a hodgepodge of several other more standard blockbuster things.


    MADHERO: I do kinda like how in this movie everything is automated to the point of it being creepy. I know you mentioned the toilet on twitter


    STICKMAN: The living, talking, chipper toilet was....an interesting concept. I'm not sure I'd be into that, I know SOOOOME people would be.


    LARRY: Damn this sounds like it has more depth than I imagined.


    STICKMAN: There's some depth to it, oddly, yeah. Not in that department though. I will say the main character is immensely unlikable and extremely #problematic for the majority of the film.


    MADHERO: Yeah, I've heard that complaint. Also apparently not-Baymax is voiced by John 

    Krasinski. Guess he's finally allowed to use it after A Quiet Place


    LARRY: Good one.


    STICKMAN: Out of the two Krasinksskii films this year, I know which you should watch fiiirsst. But this one ain't that bad either, give it a look PERHAPS. Speaking of things to maybe watch.....uhh....Mad?


    MADHERO: Alright, unlike you two deciding to Netflix and chill, I decided to go and see a movie in the THEATER! A lot has been made of the latest Spike Lee joint Blackkklansman, and its actually the first time I've seen one of his films in theaters, and it was definitely worth it. I knew I was in for a really wild true story (though how much of what's real in the film is up for debate), and in that sense it did not disappoint. A lot of that is helped with the acting, with John David Washington inherting some good acting genes and Adam Driver making a serious case for Best Supporting Actor. He's great.

    Besides also being very funny, sometimes uncomfortably so, and it often portrays the Klan as a bunch of idiots, its not afraid to point out the evil and death this ideology has brought us. Not too mention an ending that basically left my theatre so quiet that you could hear a pin drop, showing that we're still dealing with these dangerous idiots. So yeah, its fun, funny and important. Go see it if you haven't yet.


    STICKMAN: Cinemas are for CHUMPS. HAH. LOOOOSER.....I could've seen this film, or American Animals...but I saw The Predator instead. Why must I be such a sci-fi horror nerd.


    MADHERO: Give me your lunch money, pipsqueak. That or spend it watching true art!


    STICKMAN: Says you, you never even saw a Predator decapitate a guy.


    LARRY: Yeah I enjoyed this film quite a bit.


    MADHERO: How did the last segment go for your screening Larry? I was with an pretty much exclusively white audience, and it was still incredibly fucking awkward.


    LARRY: Well I actually saw an early theatre crew screening, which was a very diverse group. But it was still very, very quiet at the end. Personally all of this true story controversy doesn't irk me so much considering that movies change up details like this all the time and nobody would've known about it if Boots Riley hadn't said anything.


    STICKMAN: I wish I knew what was being spoken about. I wish I was more.... w o k e .


    MADHERO: well go see the film and then you know


    STICKMAN: But the moonneyyy.


    LARRY: Personally I agree with most of what you said, I think this film does a great job balancing drama and comedy, as well as nuance in the many political sides this movie explores. I also don't exactly think that the KKK guys in this movie are really as dumb as everyone thinks this film portrays them...there's maybe like one or two dummies. And...yeah the film certainly laughs at their expense. But there are countless disturbing moments that portray them as high-functioning members of society.


    MADHERO: Also I was really surprised that the actress who plays Patrice is also Liz from Spider-Man homecoming. Also one of the Klan members is Paul Walter Hauser and has cemented him as a new fave character actor


    STICKMAN: Isn't Topher Grace in this also.


    LARRY: He is!! He's David Duke.


    STICKMAN: I last saw him in...Predators. Which was a loooong time ago.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Go see it, you won't regret it. I think that about wraps it up. I guess now we go and just roll around..... like a turd.... in the wind.


    STICKMAN: Is the Sonic film out next week!?


    MADHERO: Nah that ain't till next year. But we've got a Shadow the Hedgehog movie now. It might as well be now. Prepare your takes, folks. Its gonna a fun goopy ride


    STICKMAN: I've never been so aroused by goopy bois yet enraged by shitty films in my life. GOODBYE.


    LARRY: *Shivers.* B-bb-b-b-buh bye....

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 116

    2 months ago

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    MADHERO: Well gang, the summer's officially over. The air is cooling (finally), the kids are going back to school and Hollywood officially stop giving a fuck for like 2 weeks and just send out whatever they happen to have lying around and put it in theaters. Yeah, except for a spooky nun (which is more than we usually get), there's not a whole lot to talk about. Good moment to catch up with stuff you've missed though.


    STICKMAN: No children, cool air, and spoopy films. Aight, I'm already happy. Let's go.


    LARRY: Can you believe some of this Summer Slump TM stuff is actually good? THAT makes me happy.


    STICKMAN: Hey, hey, Nun of us know the quality for sure.


    MADHERO: We'll go Searching for them soon. But lets go through some news first.


    NEWS

    DANNY BOYLE OUT AS BOND 25 DIRECTOR DUE TO CREATIVE DIFFERENCES

    Bond-25.jpg

    And here we thought James Gunn being fired was going to be the only shock directorial exit of the last couple months. Back in March of this year, we talked about the gears of Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond starting to get into motion, biggest news of all was that the director had been found in the Oscar winning Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later etc). Production was scheduled to start in October of this year, for a release of late October 2019 in the UK. And that was the last we heard about it for a while. Now, towards the literal backend of August, it's all fallen to pieces. Danny Boyle is out, and so the writer along with him thanks to that old chestnut, 'Creative Differences', leaving production in turmoil, and release delays of potentially an entire year in order to get things back on track.


    Back in March  we did indeed wonder if he was the best fit for this sorta film, Boyle is at his best doing what he does best...which is bold and weird. Two things a Bond film would generally try very hard not to be. Although no official news has come out regarding the specifics of why Boyle walked, but speculation has ranged from his casting choice for the villain, to standing opposed to killing Craig's Bond off at the end of the movie, bringing his era of stories to a definitive conclusion. Indeed, we don't even know if a delay is happening or not yet, it's just a safe assumption to make, given the scale of changes that need to be made to get production back on track.


    LARRY: Damn.


    STICKMAN: Damn...ielcraig.


    MADHERO: This feels very surprising and not very surprising all the same.


    LARRY: Honestly I don’t think it’s the biggest loss. Still stinks that we won’t see Boyle’s take on Bond.


    STICKMAN: He never felt like a good fit for a blockbuster franchise, but I was hoping to see him put his mark on it at the same time.


    LARRY: But Bond is such an iconic property that almost any take on it would interest me. Also, anything to wash the taste of Spectre out of my mouth.


    MADHERO: He was an interesting director for sure, and I'd have been interested in his take, but I guess they're being careful.


    STICKMAN: Does make you wonder who's gonna replace him. In Disney's case, they always go for A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS....which doesn't necessarily breed the best end results. Last time a safe pair of hands was at the helm we got Quantum of Solace, and most people hate that film.


    MADHERO: The names I've seen pop up as replacements are David McKenzie, Yann Demange and Edgar Wright, who left a Marvel property over creative difference so I can’t imagine him doing Bond.


    LARRY: I am HERE for McKenzie. Hell or High Water was awesome.


    STICKMAN: My dream director is still Christopher Nolan. He is ...so perfect for a Bond film.


    MADHERO: I would much rather see him be at the start of a new one than jump in at the end. He's got nothing on the plate now so who knows. They better hurry up through if they want to make that November 2019 date.


    LARRY: Yeah they really need to figure that out. If Craig is on board, it’s impossible to overlook this as his final outing.


    MADHERO: I don't think they can make it, with how big Bond productions are, but not my problem. We'll get it eventually. Who'll bring it to us shall be known soon-ish. I've heard James Gunn is availible


    STICKMAN: I'd watch that honestly.


    CRAZY RICH ASIANS INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL HIT WORLDWIDE. SEQUEL HAS BEEN GREENLIT BY WARNER BROS

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    When a genre hasn't performed well or hasn't made all the money, its easy to say that they're completely dead, or in the case of romantic comedies, relegated to Netflix. Hell, that is almost what happened to Crazy Rich Asians, but director John Chu was adamant on getting an theatrical release, less so for the genre's sake, but for Asian cinemagoers who rarely get to see themselves on screen in the West. And the gamble as paid off, as CRA is now pretty much the last major hit of the summer movie season. It had an pretty great opening weekend, with 26,2 million (after opening on Wednesday with 35 million). That doesn't seem a lot, but on the second weekend, it grossed 25 million again, with the film only dropping 6%. Normally speaking, a film drops by about 50%. That's Craaaaaaaapretty good.


    Warner Bros is laughing all the way to the bank, and with its success, has now greenlit a sequel based on author Kevin Kwan's continuation China Rich Girlfriend, who'll be adapting the book for screen adaptation. Actors Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh all have options for a sequel, but there's a good chance that list of names will grow. Its a great achievement for the genre and for Asian American cinema, which is having a couple solid weeks thanks to both this staying first for the third time in a row and Searching looking to surprise. Good job.


    LARRY: It’s almost as if representation sells. Who knew?


    STICKMAN: It's not even representation selling specifically, it's just...offering something to people who haven't been offered much of anything before. Like...wow I can't believe catering to a undercatered market means you get a lot of money.


    LARRY: That’s what I’m saying. Representation does cater to the audience, usually.


    STICKMAN: It's ...crAAAAazzy...how RIIiICh they've become...AsssiiIans.


    MADHERO: Apparently 38% of its opening audience was of Asian descent. The last time it was similarly high was like 20ish percent for The Foreigner, that Jackie Chan movie you forgot about.


    STICKMAN: Jackie Chan Adventures movie when.


    LARRY: I enjoyed that movie. I still remember...


    STICKMAN: I think this year's been a real eye opener for mass appeal diversity in cinema. And I really hope that means we're going to see different voices and different cultures on the big screen in a big way...in all kinds of genres.


    MADHERO: Its good to see something like this be so successful. Personally the movie doesn't interest me besides the Asia/Singapore backdrop having lived there briefly, but I think its a great win to see a movie like this making money.


    LARRY: With this, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Searching, August has been the month of well done, Asian-led films getting popular. It’s good times.


    STICKMAN: I couldn't give less of a damn about this movie personally, romcoms and the ilk just aren't my scene. But heeey, cool for those who're into it.


    MADHERO: I'm always up for more Constance Wu or Michelle Yeoh. Speaking of which...


    DIRECTOR DUO DANIELS (SWISS ARMY MAN) LINE UP NEXT FILM “EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE AT ONCE”. MICHELLE YEOH AND AWKAFINA TO STAR.

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    So, as you may or may not know, I adore the film "Swiss Army Man," and I consider it to be one of the best films of its year as well as one of the most creative and unique films of its decade. So color me happily surprised when, back in 2017, it was announced that the film's directorial duo, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (known as DANIELS), officially signed on to their next feature. The film, entitled "Everything Everywhere All at Once," is being produced by, and is essentially happening because of, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, furthering their efforts to explore new projects post-Marvel.


    The film is a sci-fi action film featuring some good ol' interdimensional fun times, and is currently negotiating to have "Crazy Rich Asians" stars Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina to join the cast, in what role though is yet to be seen. The majority of details regarding the film's plot have been kept under wraps, but all I know is that it's fucking DANIELS, which means I will buy my ticket to whatever zany, disgusting, insane adventure they have whipped up. And with the Russos overseeing it, hopefully that will keep them somewhat practically grounded. Consider my ticket already mentally purchased.


    STICKMAN: Daniels, from Alien Covenant? Remember....remember Daniels? Anyone?


    MADHERO: Hell yeah, looking forward to more of that Daniels content.


    LARRY: Fuck yes you are.


    STICKMAN: These are the guys who made a film about a farting corpse, they’re gonna have to do a lot to impress me. At least a few Godzillas.


    LARRY: Ugh, Stix, if only you knew the brilliance of Swiss Army Man. Please just WATCH IT.


    STICKMAN: Harry Potter and the existential fart corpse.


    MADHERO: You gotta be pretty crazy to let your debut film center surrounding flatulent dead Harry Potter and one that actually has some stuff to say about the human condition.  You know its gonna be wacky, but I love the addition of Michelle Yeoh. Awkafina I haven't seen in much so can't say anything, but Yeoh has been going through a career resurgence it seems


    STICKMAN: Yeoh's awesome. I hope she's not a corpse in this, that'd be a waste.


    LARRY: Awkwafina was aight in Ocean’s 8. I’d be down for her to get a more prominent role.


    MADHERO: She was apparently one of the highlights in Crazy Rich Asians, so she seems to have a promising career ahead. Needless to say I'm excited for whatever crazy shit this is going to be.


    LARRY: I can’t help but get excited for SCI FI ACTION DANIELS LETS GOOOOOOOO


    STICKMAN: Daniels was in a Sci-Fi action movie last year...ALIEN COVENANT. y...yaaaay.


    DEATH NOTE SEQUEL MOVING FORWARD AT NETFLIX. UNKNOWN IF CAST/DIRECTOR WILL RETURN

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    Given 2017 ended with the seemingly eternal nightmare that is the backlash over The Last Jedi, it's easy to forget that there was a host of other releases that drew the immediate ire of the internet just from existing, most of them anime adaptations, let's face it.  One such adaptation was Adam Wingard's Death Note, a western cinematic take on the much loved cult anime series, something that was treated as a war crime even before the film's chilly reception came to pass following its Netflix release, both from fans of the anime and the uninitiated. With that reception in mind, you'd be quick to assume that the initial desires to make a series of Death Note movies would be promptly put out to pasture, right?


    Well...at the time of release Wingard himself had said Netflix considered the release a success and were mulling over a sequel...and now we have official confirmation, albeit as a footnote in a larger press statement from the streaming juggernaut that Death Note will be receiving a sequel at some point, in some form. At this stage that's all we know,  with Wingard maybe unable to return as director depending on the production schedule, given his commitments to 2020's Godzilla vs Kong. Presumably we'll hear more about this down the line, Netflix's policy on films definitely seems to be quantity over quality lately, but personally I found the original to be stupid but good fun all the same. A little overhated, but hardly good either. Let's hope the sequel is better.


    LARRY: Aw fuck all of this.


    MADHERO: And this is why you don't hate-watch on Netflix cause they'll get the wrong idea what with ratings mostly gone.


    STICKMAN: Have you seen the anime.


    LARRY: I didn’t see DN because IT LOOKED BAD #STOPHATEWATCHING. Also yes I have seen some of the anime, and i like it.


    STICKMAN: Sounds like the only person who actually watched it didn't haaate it...just saaaying.


    MADHERO: This movie has been on my list for a while now, but I ended up never bothering with it after some of the reviews and there simply being too many other things to watch on Netflix. I can't keep up, man. I saw the anime, but I'm pretty mixed on it tbh.


    STICKMAN: I found it to be inoffensive entertainment. Nicely filmed, great soundtrack, some fun moments. Lacks the depth and character complexity of the anime, but was it's own thing...was alright. People have this scathing hatred for it but nobody bothered to watch it. So...I feel it's hard to justify the hatred at that stage.


    LARRY: Okay, fair is fair. If it’s good, it’s good.


    STICKMAN: It's not. Sometimes films are just 'okay'. And they don't warrant praise or brutality.


    MADHERO: Well that's a given with the translation to movie. And obviously people did watch it to justify their dislike. I have no strong feelings about it either way and the fact its getting a sequel is more surprising and funny to me than anger inducing.


    STICKMAN: Well the first film always felt like a starting point for something...like the first episode I guess. Maybe now the pieces are in motion it might prove more interesting. But...maybe not.


    MADHERO: Have you seen some of the other Netflix Original films? They don't give a damn.


    STICKMAN: Netflix just shit out movies lately, they got like, 200 coming out this year and most of them are pants. Hopefully Wingard will come back


    MADHERO: He's too busy pushing his monster toys against each other, but we'll see.


    WARNER BROS ANIMATION WORKING ON LOONEY TUNES ANIMATED MOVIE “COYOTE VS ACME”

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    Despite being a staple of plenty of generations' childhoods, the Looney Tunes feel like they've gotten a raw deal as of late. There briefly was that Looney Tunes show back in 2011, but that got canceled after 2 seasons, and now it seems like most of the rumblings surrounding Looney Tunes comes from the eventual Space Jam 2. Warner Bros, who own the property, have been trying to get projects off the ground, including a Marvin the Martian live-action/animated movie back in 2009, but none of it really sparked the revival. So it makes sense that they now attempt to make a movie out of one of their more foolishly determined characters: Wile E. Coyote.


    The premise of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons are fairly simple and don't need much explanation: Coyote wants to get Road Runner for food, and tries catching through increasingly elaborate contraptions from the ACME Corporation, with hilarious and painful results. The animated movie, written by Jon and Josh Silverman (Deadbeat, Always Sunny) and to be produced by LEGO Batman director Chris McCay is titled Coyote VS. ACME, which may suggest more of a courtroom parody rather than the classic chase. That's just speculation on my part. I'm a big fan of the Looney Tunes as a kid, so I'm all in favor of some sort of revival, even if I'm sceptical of my own thought out premise. At least some funny people are involved.


    STICKMAN: Meep Meep.


    MADHERO: I wonder what role ol' Road Runner gets to play in this. Maybe he can get a lifetime supply of birdseed out of it.


    STICKMAN: Judging from previous Looney Tunes features, it's probably gonna be very meta, and maybe not super great, but....at least this one's animated, not a hybrid.


    LARRY: See I’m all aboard for some quality Looney Tunes entertainment. But like...movies tho?


    MADHERO: Oh no doubt. You kinda almost have to to stretch it out to a 80-90 minute film. That definitely makes Coyote a weird one since he's a silent characters pretty much all the time.


    STICKMAN: I really hope they don't give him a voice. Like, please don't do that.


    LARRY: The characters have always thrived more in short spurts. They’re more of a variety hour of comedy so why make one film about one or two characters?


    MADHERO: But Larry, what about cinematic 90's classic, Space Jam?


    LARRY: It’s the same reason why the rumored Pepe Le Pew movie wouldn’t work; because the characters are best in tandem. Space Jam is fun but not your average Looney Tunes film


    MADHERO: Pepe le Pew would get crucified in the MeToo era. We could go too far and suddenly get a Loonatics Unleashed movie.


    LARRY: Holy Moses, I forgot that existed.That shit was nuts.


    MADHERO: With the superhero craze..... you never know. But no, lets not do that.


    STICKMAN: I'd honestly be down for a voiceless quirky animated film with Coyote's existential mid-life crisis from never being able to achieve his dreams.


    LARRY: Even WALL-E only did voiceless shit for 30 min.


    STICKMAN: Guess what film did no voices for the  whole 90? SHAUN THE SHEEP, SON.


    DWAYNE JOHNSON SIGNS ON TO PLAY HAWAIIAN KING KAMEHAMEHA IN BRAVEHEART INSPIRED MOVIE BY ROBERT ZEMECKIS

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    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson continues to make moves in Hollywood, with this one being particularly interesting. THR reports that he will star as King Kamehameha I in a brand new historical epic from New Line Cinemas and Seven Bucks Productions, Johnson's production company. Entitled "The King," it will tell the story of Kamehameha's role in uniting the Hawaiian islands that were once at war with each other, fulfilling a prophecy bestowed upon him at birth. It is being described as large in scope and high in prestige, with some suggesting this may be Johnson aiming for awards glory, which would be appropriate given the team behind it.


    So far, Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) is in the director's chair, and Randall Wallace (writer of Braveheart and Hacksaw Ridge) penning the script. So, yeah, this is a big deal, especially given that this is a passion project that Johnson has been pursuing for the better part of two decades. Given this and his co-starring role in Moana, it looks like Johnson is doing his best to pursue projects that tell stories of Polynesian people, which is awesome for representation, and will hopefully produce more quality work. Plus, I'm down for some Hawaiian Braveheart with The Rock...cuz that sounds amazing.


    MADHERO: Finally, the Dragonball movie that we all deserve after Evolution. Finally we know where Master Roshi learned the Kamehameha


    STICKMAN: Hawanime. Is this like Moana where he turns into birds and shit.


    MADHERO: But for realsies, this actually sounds like a cool premise.


    LARRY: It’s gonna be Polynesian Braveheart. What’s not to love.


    STICKMAN: I'd be more enticed if not for Robert Zemeckis, who hasn't really produced a smash hit in a long while.


    LARRY: That’s true, but he is a good director. He has vision, and no Uncanny Valley...yet.


    MADHERO: Flight was pretty good, but he's definitely not as exciting. Still a good pick, and I think this also might be a good showcase for Dwayne Johnson as an actor, not just an action hero.


    STICKMAN: I don't know if Dwayne's got the chops for something like this, but proooove me wrong. He gave a good dramatic performance in Faster, which was pretty goooood.


    LARRY: Well we’ll wait to see if Marwen is any good. Yeah it’d be nice to see Johnson flex those muscles. If he has them...


    MADHERO: I mean, he's got plenty of others to compensate.


    -----------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that about does it for all the news. Not the most exciting of weeks, but hey what can you do. Now it might be a bit of a dry spell, but we do actually have a review for you guys! Well, Stickman has, as he's the only one here that saw techno-thriller Searching, a movie that takes place solely on a computer screen.... or does it?


    LARRY: Ooh this’ll be interesting to hear about. Cuz I’m interested to see this too.


    STICKMAN: It does. I wanted to watch Upgrade but fuck you Cineworld yet again.


    MADHERO: Oh dang. Well Sticky, is this computer screen movie worth seeing ON THE BIG SCREEN?! Or should you go and wait to watch it on your laptop for the real experience. Take it away.


    LARRY: Possibly the first movie ever to best experience on a laptop....


    REVIEW

    SEARCHING

    DIRECTOR: Aneesh Chaganty (directorial debut)

    STARRING: John Cho, Michelle La, Debra Messing, Sara Sohn

    SYNOPSIS: After his 16-year-old daughter (La) goes missing, a desperate father (Cho) breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

    STICKMAN: Searching is an interesting film. Although its most touted feature is the format in which its presented, namely through the screens of various computers, laptops, phones and tablets, it's not the first film to do this (Unfriended for example), so it needs a bit more than just that gimmick to survive. So, does it? Well...yes, mostly.


    The film itself is a pretty standard, fast paced thriller along those lines. What makes it stand out is indeed the format presented, which is done very authentically. Everything, barring a couple copyright free swap-in websites, is completely believable and realistic, right down to the noises the various computers make upon booting up.  It's impressive how many ways the film finds to keep telling its story through this very limited focus, despite going off in so many  different places, and for the most part, does so without feeling too forced.  It's an interesting commentary on just how integral these devices are to our everyday lives. Emails, texts, phone calls, face-to-face video talks, live streaming, news consumption...it's all there, and it's not always based on the internet stuff either.


    Beyond this unique and engrossing presentation , the film is pretty good, well acted, emotionally engaging and the slow reveals and various twists and turns make it a very entertaining. Its not very original or derivative in parts. The opening sequence in particular screams Up for example. On a whole, what makes this film especially entertaining is its format, but the strong performances and mostly predictable, but still engrossing narrative help too. Not a masterpiece, but you definitely could do worse for popcorn thriller entertainment.


    LARRY: Apparently the director of this film used to do advertisements for tech companies. So I’m glad to see someone who knows their shit handling how the internet looks cinematically. I can’t begin to tell you how many movies fuck this kinda shit up all the time.


    STICKMAN: Just computers in general, honestly. Almost all the OS platforms are covered at some stage.


    MADHERO: Sounds like the best thing about it is the way it presents its storytelling as well as John Cho, who has to be centre stage pretty much all the damn time. How does he do carrying this film?


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    STICKMAN: John Cho really carries the film's narrative yeah, he's the emotional core of everything.


    LARRY: How’s Debra Messing?


    STICKMAN: A lot of the supporting cast is just kinda...there? Messing is okay too, she's the only other person to get a prominent screentime, but it's Cho who gives the standout performance. In some ways it reminded me of Buried with its limited cast, most of which is only heard, not seen.


    LARRY: Gotcha. Love seeing him get the spotlight.


    MADHERO: I guess with the overall premise in mind, do you think its worth seeing in theatres?


    STICKMAN: Ahh, all films benefit from the cinema, but this probably is one that you can see outside of it. There are little details on the screen at times that give hints towards later twists...which maybe you'd miss on a TV screen, but for the most part, you'd be fine. Was funny seeing Windows XP on a cinema screen, though.


    LARRY: It is funny to consider that this may actually benefit from a computer screen as the vessel. Considering it is made to represent experiencing things through a screen.


    MADHERO: Ah, good ol' Windows XP. The memories. Sounds like a  really neat thriller that might not do much new naratively, but a lot more aesthetically and visually. Its kinda remarkable to pull off.


    STICKMAN: Well what's interesting is that the film doesn't just use a stationary screen. It does zoom in and pan out and around, it's not a static experience.


    LARRY: Still tho, no other film besides maybe Unfriended can say anything close to that. Almost every film is intended to be seen and benefits from a cinematic experience.


    STICKMAN: This is definitely THE computer-screen film to watch.


    MADHERO: Alright, any last thoughts you want to get out there before we wrap up?


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    STICKMAN: Final thoughts are that I'd keep your expectations in check for the story itself, but you'll likely have a good time regardless. Also...Pokemon is weirdly integral to the narrative so that's something.


    LARRY: I’m definitely gonna check this out in theaters.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Oooooooooooh, now you've got my interest. The real Pokemon movie before Detective Pikachu next summer. Alright, that does it for Searching. Now its time for the other movies out in theaters, and boy howdy do we have not a whole lot to show.


    STICKMAN: OTHER MOVIES? PSCHAW. FUCK 'EM


    LARRY: Let’s get these morsels over with.


    MOVIE

    THE NUN

    DIRECTOR: Corin Hardy (The Hallow)

    STARRING: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Bonnie Aarons

    SYNOPSIS: In 1952 Romania, a nun, a Catholic priest and a novice (Fermiga, Bichir, Hope) investigate the mysterious suicidal death of a nun at the Cârța Monastery.

    STICKMAN: NUN NUN NUUUuUuuUN.


    MADHERO: Welp, its all of us going back to Sunday School and learn how to scare people through Youtube Ads


    LARRY: I am still dumbfounded in the existence of a Conjuring Cinematic Universe of all things...


    STICKMAN: The spin-off to the sequel to The Conjuring. That's a prequel.


    MADHERO: They make a lot of money and are cheap. What's there not to get?


    STICKMAN: I'm dumbfounded by the marketing to this film...we haven't actually had a real trailer for this film yet. And it's out in, ohhh....5 days?


    LARRY: Keeping it ambiguous Stix, c’mon.


    STICKMAN: Yeah but there's ambiguous and then there's. What is this movie.


    MADHERO: There's a spooky nun in it and that's all you need to know. It adds to the myyyyyyyyyyyystery


    LARRY: At the cinema I work at, the cardboard standee thing has literally 10 spooky nuns on it.


    STICKMAN: Honestly the Nun in Conjuring 2 was one of the least scary parts, but there you go. If this film is good I'll go watch it, Conjuring 1  and 2 are fantastic, and the Annabelle prequel was a lot of fun too.


    MADHERO: Directed by Corin Hardy, who's Crow project very recently went up in smoke, so for him I hope this is a good showing.


    PEPPERMINT

    DIRECTOR: Pierre Morel (Taken, The Gunman)

    STARRING: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr, John Ortiz, Method Man

    SYNOPSIS: When Riley North's (Garner) husband and daughter are killed in a drive-by shooting by members of a cartel and the killers walk free, she takes matters into her own hands and seeks vigilante justice against those who destroyed her life.

    MADHERO: Death Wish: Jennifer Garner Edition


    STICKMAN: I mean, basically.


    LARRY: I never saw Jennifer Garner as the Death Wish-type.


    MADHERO: I guess its more interesting then it just being another Bruce Willis vehicle. Normally this part would be played by him or a Liam Neeson, so its a nice change of pace. Garner is one of those actresses that deserves more work than trying to get Ben Affleck get his shit together.


    LARRY: Remember when she was a mom in Love, Simon?


    STICKMAN: Is this the sequel to Love, Simon.


    LARRY: I hope not.


    MADHERO: No, cause I didn't see that. She did have some action moments in Daredevil/Elektra, but the less said about that the better.


    STICKMAN: Things didn't work out so good for Simon. Or is that the boyfriend? I ain't seen that film.


    MADHERO: We ain't talking Love, Simon. Anyway this movie looks ok, I guess. It really is just Death Wish but with a woman., which I guess is at least something different


    STICKMAN: At least  the haunted husk of Bruce Willis doesn't linger over this film.


    LARRY: He’s too busy bring a superhero with Sam Jackson


    STICKMAN: More like a superzeroooo. Oh shiieet.


    KIN

    DIRECTOR: Jonathan and Josh Baker (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoe Kravitz, Dennis Quaid, James Franco, Carrie Coon

    SYNOPSIS: Chased by a vengeful criminal (Franco), the feds (Coon) and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, a recently released ex-con (Reynor) and his adopted teenage brother (Truitt) are forced to go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

    STICKMAN: I like the alien helmet guys. I have a cool helmet fetish.


    LARRY: More like, KID. W-w-with a gun!!! Not my best....This looks okay.


    MADHERO: I'm starting to feel like the "From the producers of Stranger Things and Arrival" is some sort of death sentence. We saw it with Darkest Minds and now this.


    LARRY: Wah-oh.


    STICKMAN: It's up there with FROM THE PRODUCER OF THE WALKING DEAD for sure.


    MADHERO: I do actually like the look of the film in the trailers. I feel like this has cult movie written all over it. The reviews have been mixed, but more positive among audiences that saw it.


    LARRY: It just doesn’t have enough for me honestly. Looks kinda generic.


    STICKMAN: I like the look of the film yeah, and the music in the trailer is pretty cool. And I like space robo helmet bois with cool guns that zoop over police cars. If it turns up on Netflix maybe I'll give it a bash. I've watched worst Netflix films.


    LARRY: Yeah it’s a rental kinda movie.


    MADHERO: I do feel like this has Netflix movie/series all over it. Maybe its the Stranger Things tag.


    STICKMAN: Needs more of that sick sick Stranger Things intro music.


    OPERATION FINALE

    DIRECTOR: Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon, A Better Life)

    STARRING: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Lior Raz, Melanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, Joe Alwyn, Haley Lu Richardson

    SYNOPSIS: 15 years after World War II, a team of secret agents (Isaac, Raz, Kroll etc.) are brought together to track down Adolf Eichmann (Kingsley), the infamous Nazi architect of the Holocaust.

    MADHERO: Oscar Isaac: Nazi hunter should probably be a thing I should be more excited for than I am.


    STICKMAN: Now, this is an interesting real life story. I watched a documentary short about the actual events and they're really fascinating, this film seems a bit too hollywoody though.


    LARRY: Nick Kroll doing drama? Now that’s a sight. Oh yeah, and Nazis or whatever...


    MADHERO: He did good in Loving,  so he has acting chops. There's a pretty decent cast in this, and the story behind it is wild.


    STICKMAN: It's a really crazy story yeah. I'd recommend just reading up on it instead of watching this film.


    LARRY: Totally forgot about Loving. Yeah the cast is good, and as someone very interested in WWII on film, I feel almost obligated to give it a shot. But...I dunno, I guess it just seems a little sensationalized?


    STICKMAN: I'd seek out the documentary short if it's still around honestly. That was great.


    MADHERO: I feel like this is probably best served watching a documentary on than the movie which probably cleans some of the harder edges off of it.


    LARRY: Yeah I’d imagine so.


    STICKMAN: The documentary short just presents the facts and doesn't make a big epic drama out of it. And that's good enough honestly. Short was called 'The Driver is Red'


    LARRY: I’ve read up a lot on Eichmann and his career so seeing it in a narrative form could be captivating. But yeah, I’d rather watch a doc on it.


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    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for movies coming out. Like we said, not a lot to discuss, but hey, that's what MOVIE OF THE WEEK IS FOR! And hey, new month, so expect a million new Netflix movies suddenly on the feed.


    LARRY: Damn...


    MADHERO: Yep, why go for a expensive movie when you can stay at home and just chill. The perfect cinematic experience.


    STICKMAN: I don't have to see anyone that way.


    MADHERO: Indeed. So Stickman, what movie did you watch to avoid everyone else?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK


    STICKMAN: WELLLLLL....what I watched was the horror movie that made the big mistake of opening on the same day as A Quiet Place here in the UK, and promptly died. Ghost Stories, a British horror based on a cult stage performance by a group of British comedians, is a strange, strange film, and not perfect by any means. It follows a debunker of the paranormal as he's challenged by his childhood inspiration to disprove the three spoopy cases that made that childhood inspiration start to believe in ghosts and the devil himself.

    It plays as a bit of an anthology, telling three short horror stories featuring different characters, wrapped around the narrative of this investigation. Needless to say, not everything is at its seems, and it's not going to end the way you think it will. On a whole, it's an interesting film with some fun moments and solid acting. Not fully successful in its finale, but successful enough to be enjoyable.  That's basically the film on a whole, entertaining, but not fully formed. If you're looking for something different and fun for your horror viewings, you can do worse than Ghost Stories.


    LARRY: The posters for this film are WILD.


    MADHERO: Was this the movie with Martin Freeman with giant devil horns on the poster?


    STICKMAN: Yes it is. The posters are fucking awesome. There's nothing in the film as good as those posters, sadly.


    MADHERO: Ah, yeah those were some neat posters, and I'm sad to say I haven't seen anything from this movie otherwise.


    LARRY: Same. Sounds insane tho.


    STICKMAN: I think this is going to end up a cult favourite in the years to come, especially if it ends up on Netflix.


    LARRY: That name, Netflix, has come up AGAIN. Must be some big thing or something.


    MADHERO: Hmm, why would you say that, Larry? Is it relevant to your Movie of the Week?


    LARRY: My movie is To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the latest in a slew of Netflix-based romantic comedies that have been taking the world by storm. This one also happens to star Lana Condor, a Vietnamese-American actress, another win for representation. It revolves around her character having five secretly written love letters mysteriously sent to each respective subject, which leads to one of the five to strike a deal with her to act as his fake girlfriend in order to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.......yeah so the main thing the whole movie advertised has very little to do with the actual plot. But whatever.

    The film itself begins rather promisingly. Condor is a great lead, who actually tackles a character who isn’t your average passive, head-over-heels romcom protagonist. It does sadly succumb to the stupid “misunderstanding” trope and gets to an painfully obvious ending. Aw well. The film is still relatively well shot and competently done, it just could’ve been so much more given its general intelligence and tone. Hopefully this is a step forward in Netflix actually honing in on subversive, compelling entries into the genre.


    MADHERO: Damn, the Asian American crowd has been killing it this past month.


    LARRY: That’s what I’m sayinggggggg


    STICKMAN: Why can't Asian-Americans make a horror movie for a change. Stop rom-comming.


    MADHERO: I saw this in the background as my sister was watching it and it looked like cute fluff. Its quite funny to see a lot of people go head over heels for this movie.


    STICKMAN: If I wanted cute fluff  I'd look up some furry porn, I dunno.


    LARRY: It is cute fluff in a lot of ways, but in others it provides some genuine drama. I just wish the climax wasn’t so badddddd


    STICKMAN: You haven't sold me on this film I gotta say.


    MADHERO: Glad to see Lana Condor get more work because her name is cool as shit and should be on more posters and she deserved more to do in X-Men Apocalypse.


    LARRY: I’m not trying to sell it. I didn’t even plan on watching it until I saw all the hype. I’m just saying it shows promise in regards to Netflix’s new mission.


    STICKMAN: What a great MOTW. Whaaaaat's neeeeEEEexxxxxxt


    MADHERO: Oh, well, sorry to disappoint, but with me not seeing Blackkklansman until Monday, I instead am going to talk about Tag, the summer comedy you probably have already forgotten about. The story (which the movie's advertising very much wants you to know its based on a true story) is about a group who have been playing the same game of tag for the past 30 years, with the game having been used to stay in touch over such a long period of time. Its obviously a fun story, and there's moments where the movie does  manage to get that out, particularly thanks to its cast, with Jon Hamm and Hannibal Burress being highlights.


    That said, the movie feels trapped in a very traditional American comedy, and whenever the movie decides to get serious, it can't help but feel like you're watching a completely different film. It can't really decide what it wants to go for at points and it makes it odd when things suddenly become deadly serious. Still, for the most part you can simply turn your brain off and have a couple of chuckles. This story probably deserved a better movie, but what we got was ok, I guess.


    STICKMAN: Woopiiiiie. Insert Hawkeye joke here.


    MADHERO: I will say that the CG on Jeremy Renner's arms is quite impressive. I wouldn't have known they were broken if nobody told me.


    LARRY: It’s completely seamless.


    STICKMAN: We truly have entered a new era of breaking actors limbs as much as we want, and still being able to seamlessly edit that out.


    MADHERO: Its the most remarkable thing out of this otherwise farily unremarkable movie.


    LARRY: I mean, I had fun with it.


    STICKMAN: We've really dropped the ball on MOTW today.


    LARRY: Found the ending to have a surprising amount of heart. And the action to be surprisingly solid.


    STICKMAN: I hate wacky comedies that get soppy on me. That's not what I came for! I DIDN'T COME TO FEEL.


    LARRY: Yeah but it’s not cheesy It’s genuinely good.


    MADHERO: I found the ending to have the same issue with it being weirdly dark. That might've worked better if it hadn't gone wacky during most of the runtime.


    STICKMAN: I hate it when games of Tag turn dark. Like you tag someone so hard they fall off a cliff.


    LARRY: It’s a bit more than that. It got me, that’s all I’ll say, no spoilers.


    STICKMAN: One rental, a Netflix and a 'should be on Netflix' rental. Good job boys.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Sorry. Next time, we'll be more hype for our Movie of the Week. Its gonna hopefully help that there's a Predator on the loose who really wants quality movie recommendations or else he'll rip your spine out. So you know, stakes.


    STICKMAN: Bill Cosby escaped from jail!?


    LARRY: Again, it’s the Summer Slump™️


    MADHERO: Sure. Also a giant crabhead looking alien, but Bill Cosby as well. Gotta watch out. Later!


    STICKMAN: GOODBYE


    LARRY: Adios!!

  • 8 or Higher, Bro! (August 2018)

    2 months ago

    tomtom4468

    Here's the newest IMDb list for all of you to read with your eyeballs! There's a solid selection this month I think, including some major surprises for me personally and a couple of things that might make fans of a certain production company that runs a certain website that a certain idiot is writing a certain post on at this very moment very happy.


    Run wild, my friends! Have fun! Watch the stuff!...


    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls029368039/

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 115

    2 months ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: What's up guys, hope you're enjoying the end of your summer vacation. Hopefully its spent in Singapore surrounded by insanely wealthy socialites and living a life of luxury. Instead of us, trapped in a crappy dimly lit apartment, trying desperately to clean up all the puppet jizz that's literally everywhere and went on for way too long. Its a felt Jackson Pollock if there ever was one. So yeah, I had hoped for a slightly better end to the summer season, but here we are.


    LARRY: Damn that was quite a descriptive intro, Mad. Not sure I’m happy about it.


    STICKMAN: Puppet Jizz is our lives now, we might as well accept that.


    MADHERO: Once you've seen a puppet blow its load, its hard to forget. Anyway, we might as well take a break and go talk about some news.


    LARRY: *shudders*


    NEWS

    ACADEMY AWARDS ANNOUNCE 3 HOUR RUN TIME AND NEW CATEGORY OF BEST POPULAR FILM FOLLOWING DECLINING RATINGS

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    Normally, we wouldn't be talking the Oscars until at least October, but recent changes have sounded off the biggest change to the Academy since 2009, when they expanded the Best Picture nominees from 5 to a maximum of 10. That change, initially implemented to get more known films in the biggest category, has largely failed, and the show in general continues to decline in ratings, with the latest show scoring the lowest ratings in their history. This has led to some pretty major changes which have been received... let's say mixed.


    Under pressure from ABC, the show will be cut to 3 hours, as well as from 2020 on, will be held earlier in the year. That shorter length will mean that some award winners and speeches will be done whilst commercials are going on and will appear later at some point in the broadcast. While I don't think anyone will disagree with the length, its shitty that some smaller awards will not be allowed to shine to millions. The more egregious decision, comes in the form of a new category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film, meant to highlight the blockbusters that generally have an hard time getting nominated. Pretty much everyone has dunked on this decision, with it being a pretty blatant attempt to get films like Black Panther on the ballot which is otherwise a less sure thing. As of right now, its hard to say what the award even means, but it can't help but sound condescending to both normal and unorthodox Best Picture nominees. Look forward to our predictions at the end of the year.


    LARRY: I’m still waiting to hear exactly what that award even means, to be honest. But on paper, it doesn’t sound like a good idea.


    STICKMAN: Siiiiiigh. The Oscars just don't get it.


    MADHERO: O those poor blockbusters. Now we finally get to see Vin Diesel win a Oscar for Fast 10.


    STICKMAN: Everyone's asked them to take mainstream cinema more seriously, instead they're throwing it the world’s worst  bone.


    MADHERO: Its doing what the Best Picture award was meant to do when it expanded, which it did in the beginning (Districht 9, Avatar, Toy Story 3) but only made room for more "arty" films. Which should be fine, the best films should be nominated, but it didn't help matters.


    STICKMAN: The best films should be nominated, but I think we can all agree that they generally aren't. Some? Maybe. But not most.


    LARRY: The best films from the general consensus, sure. Arthouse films generally always have a strong showing.


    MADHERO: Its still really difficult to know what this category is going to entail. That's up for speculation, and the Academy has stated that films nominated for this new category can still get nominated for Best Picture, but that road feels a lot more difficult now.


    LARRY: Yeah, again, so many factors could determine what this award means. I’m waiting to hear those before I blow a gasket. But I can see why people aren’t happy.


    STICKMAN: My main thing right now is presenting some of the awards outside of the show. That's fucking stupid.


    LARRY: Yeah I HATE that. That’s upsetting me more, honestly. The Tonys do that and it’s so annoying.


    MADHERO: It sucks for the lesser categories who won't get a chance to shine, so that ABC can add more staged invasions of cinemas with hot dog cannons.


    STICKMAN: There shouldn't be "lesser categories" though. The awards are a celebration of cinema and the people who make them. Not just Brad Pitt getting a free pizza.


    LARRY: Exactly. Every category is worthy of being showcased.


    MADHERO: I can't pretend to care as much about Short Documentary as I do the main categories, but it’s still nice for those people to get recognition, like the winner of Best Short doing her speech in sign language.


    STICKMAN: It's not about what one person cares about, though. It's about the achievement of reaching that level of recognition, and also shining a spotlight on less celebrated corners of the medium. I FEEL.


    LARRY: If someone is getting an award, it deserves to be recognized as a part of the ceremony. Period. This is only going to create a more thorough dichotomy between types of awards, which sucks because everyone in the industry works hard.


    STICKMAN: Instead of adding a Popular FIlms category they should be adding Stunt Work or Motion Capture .


    MADHERO: We're going to see what happens in terms of ratings. Its obvious thosr have continued to decline which is why it has happened. Will this change things? i doubt it, but we'll see in late February.


    SONY DETAILS PLANS FOR SPIDER-MAN FILMS. SILVER SABLE/BLACK CAT MOVIE NOW 2 SEPARATE FILMS. VENOM LOOKING TO BE PG-13 FOR POTENTIAL CROSSOVER

    So, we’ve known for a while now that, despite the trailers receiving mixed reactions and the actual film not having even been released yet (oy...), Sony is putting its bets on Venom to kickstart a brand new cinematic universe focused on the many supporting baddies in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. We knew they were working on several different projects, but perhaps we didn’t realize just how deep this delusion goes. Somehow, they seem to be topping their last ridiculous effort to MCU the Spidey universe, which was canned after ASM2 was a commercial and critical failure.


    Besides for our goopy friend’s cinematic return, which is now probably going to be PG-13 instead of R to potentially crossover with Spidey’s escapades in the MCU, we got Morbius starring Jared Leto, the previously announced “Silver and Black” movie, focusing on Silver Sable and Black Cat, will now be two solo films, with original director Gina Prince-Bythewood most likely going from director to producer. As far as new stuff, Richard Wenk is writing a solo film for Kraven the Hunter (now THAT’S a movie I would pay to see), we are also seeing Sony pushing diversity in a trio of solo films for Silk, a Korean-Amerixan female superhero, Jackpot, an older heroine (and, depending on which identity they choose, a lesbian), and Nightwatch (not much there but he’s cool I guess). While all of these plans sound ridiculously out of nowhere story-wise and have barely even begun development, at least there’s diversity I guess. The bottom line is that clearly Sony has learned nothing since their last fuck up, and if Venom turns out to be as shitty as it looks, we’re looking at yet another cinematic universe going up in flames...or down in goop...I dunno.


    STICKMAN: Make it stoOoOOop.


    MADHERO: Extreme Detective Cooper voice: ITS HAPPENING AGAIN!


    STICKMAN: Why can't they wait and see what the response to Venom is before making 50,000 film plans and shoving teasers for them all into their movies. Did they learn nothingggg from Amazing Spider-Man?


    LARRY: Apparently not. Literally nothing.


    MADHERO: Just you wait when they revive that Aunt May spy prequel thing


    STICKMANLast Saturday at 10:37 PM

    Oooyyy. I will say, the focus on diversity is great, I think that's important, although I feel for Sony it's more them sniffing the cash train that was Black Panther, but there you go.


    LARRY: What’s hysterical to me is that, with the Fox merger, it’s only becoming clearer that Sony has no reason to own the characters it has the rights to. They simply don’t understand how to do the cinematic universe. It’s so fucking frustrating.


    MADHERO: I mean, they own the license still. Its very much a miracle that Spidey is in the MCU, but the way they're handling this now just screams like they're reviving their Amazing Spider-Man plans, which crashed in a wall.


    STICKMAN: Amazing Spider-Man as a series was really dogged down by the need to establish a UNIVERSE with over-arching mysteries and characters who will become more important later on. Except it didn't work because they didn't make a good enough film with that.


    LARRY: I loved that stupid plot line about the Sinister Six in ASM2. It was so pompous, it was almost like watching a trainwreck happen before it actually happened.


    STICKMAN: Venom looks to be another car crash, prove me wrong, Sony,  I'd love for it to be great, but yeah. Unlikely.


    MADHERO: I feel like Venom is probably going to be its own self-established thing with major sequel bait, but that the films are going to be separate for now. I do find it hilarious they're trying to go PG 13 now.


    LARRY: It looks like a total misfire. Going PG-13? What a joke. You joke about him dismembering people limb from limb and then just like...cutaway? Bullshit.


    STICKMAN: Especially after the trailer's edgy obsession with body parts.


    MADHERO: To be fair, they never promised a R-rating. It just seems like that was the initial plan and they backed out. There's some pretty edgy content in the trailers and that'll be softened, like a turd.... in the wind.


    LARRY: A goopy black turd.


    JAMES GUNN NOT GOING TO BE RE-HIRED BY DISNEY. WILL LIKELY STILL USE HIS SCRIPT AS BASIS

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    A couple episodes ago, we talked about the disappointing news that was James Gunn being fired as director of GotG Vol 3 following a resurfacing of offensive tweets by a right-wing campaign to get him discredited. It's fair to say the story has been a source of constant interest from the various entertainment news outlets of the world, and whilst not much has actually changed, there's still a lot more to unpack. There was apparently some pressure from Marvel Studios towards the heads at Disney to reinstate him as director, including the whole Guardians cast signing a letter. For one fleeting moment, rehiring seemed a possibility, with studio head Alan Horn meeting with James Gunn to discuss things, but he’s ultimately decided to stick to their gun(n)s and not rehire him for the position.


    However, in a move that somewhat negates any moral high ground the studio has by sacking him as director, they still intend to use his script, which does mean he'll still both be credited, and paid by the studio, but seems weird after everything that’s happened. Dave Bautista specifically being very vocal and scathing about the situation, threatening to quit. Despite this, Disney seem to be refusing to budge on the issue,. For Gunn though, there's plenty of interest from other studio's, so he'll find new work, but that does not change the fact how much of a shame this is.


    MADHERO: God, this has only been going on for a month but already feels like forever.


    LARRY: They will use his script but not have him on as director? So...acknowledge his place in the film’s production and credit him yet act as tho he’s this disreputable, offensive person that doesn’t hold Disney’s values?


    STICKMAN: Movies sure are a thing.


    MADHERO: Its a complicated scenario, and it'll likely still use his script albeit with some polishing. Its still a first draft. They can't use it without reaching a settlement with Gunn, but the chance of him directing seems to be officially over.


    LARRY: Alan Horn can go suck Venom’s big tongue for all I care. The man is a hypocritical asshole with no backbone. This is the same dude who banned publications from going to see early critic screenings because of good journalism. I can’t say I’m surprised but I can I’m angry as hell.


    STICKMAN:  Are you telling me Disney aren't the house of magic and wonder and are instead a money-grabbing, cynical corporation teeming with greed and corruption?


    MADHERO: It continues to suck. The reason why especially.  It was all so very unnecessary


    STICKMAN: This situation sucks, especially now they're not even taking any moral high ground and are instead being stubborn about a rash and uncoordinated termination of a major player in their biggest live action franchise. But there you go, Christopher Robin out now in cinemas.


    LARRY: Alan Horn, the man who succumbed to an alt-right rapist and his stupid smear campaign.    


    MADHERO: Oof. Nothing more to add there.


    STICKMAN: None of us are getting jobs at Disney in the future now.


    CHRIS PINE AND CHRIS HEMSWORTH SEEMINGLY OUT OF STAR TREK 4 AFTER PARAMOUNT TRIES TO LOWER SALARY

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    For fans hoping to see two Hollywood Chris’ on screen together at last, those dreams may never see the light of day, sadly. We know that there's a Star Trek 4 in development, having recently hired a hired a director in SJ Clarkson: the first woman to direct one of the films. We also knew it was going to involve some time travel, which would let Chris Hemsworth return as Kirk's father, whom he played before his breaktrhough as Thor.


    However, it now seems that negotiations have fallen through for both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth The studio is attempting to lower the Chris’ pay cuts due to the last film, Star Trek Beyond, underperforming, but the Chrises won’t budge. And it’s not hard to see why: Pine and Hemsworth are both big players in massive franchises, so to have their pay cuts lowered for a franchise that may not even be worth their time? That’s no good. Thankfully, the remaining mainstay cast members are likely to return, like Zoe Saldana and Jon Cho. But will the series’ main character have to be recast? We’ll have to wait and see.


    MADHERO: Well this sucks. Was really hoping for a Star Trek 4 and it was surprising they went through when Beyond underperformed


    STICKMAN: Can't wait to see what timeline altering bullshit they come up with for Kirk suddenly looking like another vaguely attractive white man.


    MADHERO: Hohoho, Chris Pine is not vaguely attractive. I guess with Wonder Woman he has another franchise to fall back on.


    LARRY: I mean...this won’t stop ST4 I feel. The episodic format makes things a lot more flexible. I can see them leaving Kirk behind and introducing some new protagonist.


    STICKMAN: I feel like there are more people than you'd expect that would be mad about a recast.


    MADHERO: There were people mad when this movie happened, and hell, they just casted a new Spock in Discovery. We know that Chekov won't be recast after Yelchin's death, but either way its a complex scenario. You can’t really skimp on budget with something like Star Trek,


    LARRY: But they sure can try. It’s even funnier cuz it’s the company’s fault Beyond underperformed. It was marketed poorly.


    STICKMAN: There's a lot more space action film competition now then there was when the first Star Trek film came out. Gotta stand out or be fantastic, and Beyond was...okay.


    MADHERO: It’s a shame that it underperformed when it’s probably the best in the trilogy. That Sabotage sequence remains fucking awesome.


    STICKMAN: Sabotage bit was great. Rest of it was....fine.


    MADHERO: We'll always have Discovery, the return of Picard, and that weird Tarantino thing that may or may not happen.


    LARRY: That’s true, it’s not like ST is dead. It’s kinda going through a resurgence.


    STICKMAN: Star Trek Discovery took a weird ass turn in the last half of the season, but it kinda worked. Maybe this next Star Trek movie should take risks and not play it safe or repeat previous stories. Or just...y'know, not boothherr.


    MADHERO: Or go where no one has gone before.


    BEN SCHWARTZ CAST AS SONIC THE HEDGEHOG IN LIVE-ACTION MOVIE

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    It remains hard to believe, but we are getting an Sonic the Hedgehog movie in 2019. We all lost our collective minds when we heard that Jim Carrey was going to play Ivo Robotnik/Doctor Eggman, and we've now seen set photos showing the movie takes place in Green Hill and there will be a chase scene in San Francisco, maybe something similar to City Escape in Sonic Adventure 2. Of course, one of the bigger questions still remained: who would be playing Sonic? Would Roger Craig Smith reprise his role, or would we get some stunt casting and see Jaleel White return? Not the case, as the role has now gone to Ben Schwartz, who's probably best known for being Jean Ralphio in Parks and Recreation.


    Considering Jean Ralphio was an annoying little prick trying way too hard to be cool, its good casting. Schwartz seems really excited about it on his Twitter account, which can't help but be endearing. It also continues his weird crusade to play every blue-tinted characters from 90's childhood, playing Leonardo in the new Ninja Turtles series, Dewey in the Ducktales reboot, and he was a Smurf in the Lost Village. While my excitement for the film mainly revolves around the inevitable meltdown of the Sonic fandom, I can't deny this is pretty good casting. Now to see what he actually looks like.


    STICKMAN: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


    MADHERO: As Ben Schwartz said: I'M SONNNNNNNNNNNNIC!


    STICKMAN: Set photos showed Sonic driving a Range Rover or something and I just...this film gonna be a glorious trainwreck.


    LARRY: I don’t really know Ben Schwartz super well. But from what I’ve seen, he is kinda funny. Would make for a good voice role.


    MADHERO: He's great as an annoying douchebag in Parks and Rec, and that at least are some parts of Sonic's characters. He's also a pretty good voice actor, so he's actually a pretty good choice imo.


    STICKMAN: I feel Roger Craig Smith was an obvious choice to make, he's the modern Sonic voice actor and does a great job, but oh wellllll.


    LARRY: This movie clearly has no intention of replicating modern Sonic lol. At least not in actually interesting ways.


    STICKMAN: WHAT'S THE PPOOOINTT. WHY DO VIDEO GAME MOVIES HAVE TO BE THEIR OWN STUPID THING NOBODY ASKED FOOOOR.


    LARRY: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik has my ticket purchased. This movie could look like the dirtiest turd and I would pay for a ticket.


    MADHERO: I'd have probably gone for Roger Craig Smith as well, but I think Schwartz is a good choice. But hey, I'm just sitting from afar waiting for the bomb to go off


    STICKMAN: I am also waiting for the fireworks but doing so without paying to see the movie. This and Detective Pikachu make 2019 the year of Live Action/CGI mascot video game movies. And I mean...that's a thing?


    MADHERO: 90's video game movies we should've gotten 15 years ago.


    STICKMAN: Can't wait to hear your reasoning for being all on board with a stupid Sonic movie where Green Hill is an American town and Sonic drives an SUV but are also massively opposed to the mere existence of Detective PIkachu, Larry.


    LARRY: Jim. Carrey. Period. Does it look like I’m acknowledging my decision here is rational?


    MADHERO: I'll be sittign from afar, thinking about my former Sonic fan days and laugh.


    STICKMAN: Sonic is dumb and anyone who likes Sonic games is dumb. 


    ALFONSO CUARON DROPS TRAILER FOR NEW FILM ROMA

    As the Summer season draws to a close, we inevitably, as film nerds  start to turn our attention to Oscarbait season. With that potent October-December period approaching rapidly, and the big film festivals gearing up their tantalizing lineups of acclaimed directors and rising talents, we of course, start to get our first look at these potential awards frontrunners. Last episode we talked about Barry Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk', which is looking very nice indeed...this week we've got our first look at Alfonso Cuaron's next movie, Roma. The director of Children of Men and Gravity takes his time making films, but they tend to come out of it pretty damn well, and this seems to be no exception.


    Promising to be a far more personal and intimate film than his previous two releases, Roma is a black and white, Spanish language production that aims to have a limited theater release (Presumably for awards eligibility) followed by a release on the increasingly robust Netflix, who seem to have their hands on several of the biggest contenders for the coming months. The film is set in 1970s Mexico, and is based on Cuaron's own experiences growing up in a middle class home during an escalating and ultimately bloody clash between government forces and student protesters. The trailer showcases some beautiful visuals, and some of the gritty street-level chaos he previously showcased in the spectacular Children of Men. On a whole this is clearly a smaller scale, niche affair compared to his previous sci-fi blockbuster, Gravity, but it's looking very bit as promising at this moment.


    MADHERO: Man, this was a gorgeous trailer. I honestly didn't know this movie was going to be black and white honestly.


    STICKMAN: I'm always here for black and white films that utilise the contrast to make great visuals.


    MADHERO: It definitely looks to be Cuaron's most personal film, which is funny after such a big film like Gravity. He takes his time, but he always delivers.


    LARRY: Yeah it’s a good trailer. Makes me curious to learn what the actual plot is about considering the trailer does nothing to show me. But hey, it beats black and white waves for 30 seconds.


    STICKMAN: I explained what the premise is, bruh.


    LARRY: Yeah the trailer doesn’t do that. That’s my point.


    STICKMAN: It conveys a mood and hints towards a time of cultural tension.


    MADHERO: Its a bit more interpretative. It’s really weird how slow Cuaron works. I really thought there was something between Children of Men and Gravity, but nope. Then again, the latter took quite a while to get made. Going back to Mexico, to essentially his childhood is gonna be an interesting experience.


    LARRY: Aesthetically it’s nice, but I wanted a few more concrete details. I’m mixed with Cuaron personally, so I’m hoping this return to his roots makes for something less pretentious and more personal.


    STICKMAN: I feel it said plenty without any words, which was cool. But there you go. I love Cuaron, even his Harry Potter film was the best one.


    LARRY: I wasn’t a huge fan of Gravity. But I do like Children of Men and Azkaban.


    MADHERO: To me, Cuaron hasn't gone wrong for me yet. Its gonna be a different ride from him, but I'm sure it'll be amazing.


    ---------------

    MADHERO: Alright, I think that's about it in terms of news. The end of August is upon us, and we actually have an event movie to end the summer with a bang. Just a bummer that event ain't for us. Damn you under-served market who finally get to see themselves on screen! I have nothing for me, a white man!


    STICKMAN: We have an event movie? Is it Godzilla?


    LARRY: I say it’s an event movie for everyone!!


    MADHERO: I'm of course referring to puppets everywhere who finally get to see themselves on screen, and I guess Asian people as well get something nice.


    LARRY: We can all celebrate representation!! Those puppets need love!!


    STICKMAN: #MakePuppetsJizzAgain


    MADHERO: ....Let's talk about the Asian movie first.


    MOVIES

    CRAZY RICH ASIANS

    DIRECTOR: Jon Chu (Jem and the Holograms, Now You See Me 2)

    STARRING: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Lisa Lu, Chris Pang, Sonoya Mizuno

    SYNOPSIS: Chinese American economics professor Rachel Chu (Wu) accompanies her boyfriend (Golding) to Singapore for his best friend's (Pang) wedding, only to become thrust into the lives of Asia's rich and famous.

    LARRY: Visual splendor and representation? Nice.


    STICKMAN: See, this film isn't not for me because of who it's about, it's not for me because it's a romantic comedy. Looks very nice visually, for sure.


    MADHERO: So as someone who grew partially in Asia, its funny to see this film come to life in such extravagant fashion.


    LARRY: Yeah, it’s a romcom, but after Love, Simon, I’ve come to accept the importance of the genre if it means good representation, and I’m here to support that.


    MADHERO: Yeah, its funny, with the traditional having largely been relegated to Netflix. Apparently they were very interested in distributing this, but the director really wanted a theatrical release


    LARRY: And for good reason.


    STICKMAN: I think it's great these films exist but I'm a lonely man without anyone to hold me at night and I care not for the romance of others.


    LARRY: If that doesn’t summarize Sticky perfectly, I don’t know what does.


    MADHERO: Its basically the Asian version of Black Panther. Its great that it not only does representation well, but that its also a pretty good romantic comedy.


    STICKMAN: I bet it has better CGI than Black Panther.


    MADHERO: Don't need no CG when you have Michelle Yeoh.


    LARRY: How did we get two Akwafina movies this year...?


    MADHERO: Well when you need as much Asian actors as you can, it just sorta happens. Like I said, its not for me, but I'm glad so many people get to see themselves represented. And hey, my sister liked it.


    STICKMAN: Representation is important, films that aren't romantic comedies are more important, though.


    MILE 22

    DIRECTOR: Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day)

    STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey

    SYNOPSIS: An elite American intelligence officer (Wahlberg), aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer (Uwais) with sensitive information out of Indonesia.

    STICKMAN: The Overwatch movie we've all been waiting for.


    LARRY: Oh hey, Mark Wahlberg.


    MADHERO: I guess the 22 refers to the Rotten Tomatoes score


    STICKMAN: OOHH SHIT B-B-BUURRN. What a perfectly good waste of Iko Uwais.


    LARRY: Now I just wanna rewatch The Raid.


    MADHERO: Mark Wahlberg can play a lot of things. A genius is not one of them. Also wasting Iko Uwais through shitty editing should be a war crime. I saw some clips and its Taken 3 levels of cuts.


    STICKMAN: Disgusting. The Raid 2 is where it's really at. Get that man a John Wick movie stat.


    MADHERO: This is the 4th Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg joint, and maybe its time to call it quits on this relationship.


    STICKMAN: Mark Wahlberg should try some brighter colours one day. Less black leather, maybe a nice pink number?


    LARRY: A few warm blues. A neon purple?


    MADHERO: Lets eat a Wahlburger and get outta here.


    THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS

    DIRECTOR: Brian Henson (Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island)

    STARRING: Bill Barretta, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks

    SYNOPSIS: In a world where puppets exist but are reviled by society, puppet private investigator, Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta), reunites with his ex-partner Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) to find a serial killer who murdered Phil's brother and is now targeting the cast members of the 1980s television series The Happytime Gang.

    MADHERO: Oh man, what a journey this has been.


    STICKMAN: If you can call plummeting off a cliff a journey.


    MADHERO; One part of me is amazed this movie is actually coming out. The other is annoyed that it looks kinda bad.


    STICKMAN: The trailers are just so embarrassing and edgy. This is a disaster.


    LARRY: I know this isn’t really clever at all, but yeah, this movie looks really bad.


    STICKMAN: Mellisa McCarthy, like...you want to give her a chance  and not just immediately assume everything she's in sucks? But then...she stars in films like this? It's like a warning sign.


    LARRY: McCarthy self-enables her own shitty spiral of films. She collaborates with similar filmmakers multiple times, and sticks to a relatively similar style of humor in each film.


    MADHERO: I don't think you can accuse of being safe with a project like this, but yeah, not a fan. The original pitch sounded really clever and interesting in that it took a hardboiled noir approach. That seems all gone in favor of way more puppet jizz.


    STICKMAN: We don't get many puppet films, can we like, not make them awful when we do them? Lets make a puppet horror movie where the humans are the monster.


    MADHERO: Stickman, you should probably check out Puppet Master soon.


    ALPHA

    DIRECTOR: Albert Hughes (From Hell, The Book of Eli)

    STARRING: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela, Jens Hulten, Johannes Johanesson

    SYNOPSIS: After a Steppe bison hunting expedition 20,000 years ago in Europe goes awry, a young man (Smit-McPhee) struggles against the elements to find his way home, all the while developing a friendship with a wolf.

    LARRY: Ooh doggies.


    STICKMAN: Oh good another dog movie.


    MADHERO: Boy meets dog meets Ice Age meets The Revenant


    LARRY: What a mixture.


    MADHERO: Apparently this movie is actually pretty good. I get the feeling this probably sat on a shelf and they're only releasing it now to be rid of it


    STICKMAN: Also it looks nice visually but other than that it seems very generic and obviously heavy on the MAN'S BEST FRIEND sentimentality which is very overdone. Marley and BC.


    MADHERO: It does look very pretty in the trailers. Also apparently the actors don’t speak English, which is a nice risky move.


    LARRY: I have a friend who saw it and surprisingly liked it, so I may give it a shot. Not on the top of my list, tho.


    STICKMAN: I figured they weren't speaking English since nobody talks in the trailer apart from an obviously forced in narration.


    MADHERO: That felt very old school. It was weird.


    STICKMAN: Anyway this movie looks okay and it's got doggies in it so.


    A.X.L.

    DIRECTOR: Oliver Daly (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Alex Neustaedter, Becky G, Thomas Jane, Dominic Rains

    SYNOPSIS: A.X.L. is a top-secret, robotic dog who develops a special friendship with Miles (Neustaedter) and will go to any length to protect his new companion.

    MADHERO: The first man/dog relationship? FUCK THAT! GIVE ME ROBO-DOG!


    STICKMAN: The sequel to Alpha, but like, the 8th installment in the series where things got a bit out of hand. And they end up in space or whatever.


    LARRY: On the other hand....... I’m just surprised the name AXL made it past the writer’s room.


    STICKMAN: Shoulda called it Bark and BYTE.


    MADHERO: This again feels like someone that sat on a shelf and is only now coming out to be rid of it. Also no surprise its coming from Global Road, a studio that's begging to die.


    STICKMAN: I mean the robot dog is cute I guess. I'm getting Monster Truck vibes though.


    LARRY: It’s pretty ferocious looking. Not very cute.


    STICKMAN: Nah. You shouldn't judge a robot by its weaponry Larry, did you learn nothing from The Iron Giant.


    MADHERO: Its very much a grown up Monster Trucks, but it probably wasn't as pointlessly expensive.


    STICKMAN: You better believe we got sick bike tricks, robot dogs, you betcha. Don't even worry about it.


    MADHERO: You can either watch prehistoric doggo's or future doggo's. What a time to be alive.


    LARRY: I choose no doggos, thanks.


    STICKMAN: I'm really more of a cat person.


    ---------------

    MADHERO: Alright, no dogs then. Then maybe we'll go for MOVIE OF THE WEEK


    STICKMAN: OoOoOOHH? WHAT DOG FILMS DO WE HAVE HERE THEN?


    MADHERO: I don't think there's any dogs involved  in my movie. Don't really know if its also the case for you guys.


    LARRY: There are....I think no dogs. I honestly cannot recall.


    MADHERO: Maybe they're hidden under all those hoods. I guess that's kind of a tease of what you're talking about, so maybe you go first.


    LARRY: Wowwwwwwwww. Alright, well here goes nothing...


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    LARRY: My MOTW is the ridiculously spelled BlacKkKlansman, the latest Spike Lee joint. As I’m sure we all know, Lee can be a bit hit or miss because of how politically volatile and strongly stylistic his filmmaking is. However, I can attest that this is one of his better joints, and arguably a return to form to the nuanced, powerful days of “She’s Gotta Have It” and “Do The Right Thing.”

    Naturally, a story about a black cop infiltrating the KKK seems to be pretty straightforward, but believe it not, Lee doesn’t paint one side as a clear hero, bringing multiple sides of the discussion into the light, from cops, to Jews, to black protestors, and not shying away from seeing the shades of gray. Beyond this, there is also incredibly poignant, almost disturbing juxtaposition that makes for some of the most intense and captivating scenes of the year. Beyond this, it has an excellent cast, smart cinematography, pitch-perfect pacing, and an ending that, while a bit too indulgent in my opinion, will surely leave people speechless. Along with Blindspotting, this is a film that takes its politics and uses them to portray an interesting, hilarious, and action-packed narrative.


    MADHERO: Ooooooooh, things about to get spicy in here.


    LARRY: I mean...it’s good. It’s very good.


    STICKMAN: I can't work out if this is a comedy or not. Trailer gave off comedy vibes but I've been hearing a lot of people talk about how shocking and upsetting it is.


    LARRY: It has comedic elements for sure, but it is rooted in drama.


    MADHERO: I figured as much. A lot of Spike's movies still have some comedy in them. Do the Right Thing is also a drama steeped with a lot of comedy.


    STICKMAN: I guess the drama just tilted on the comedic angle a lot.


    LARRY: Yes, especially when it comes to David Duke.


    MADHERO: Speaking of the Dukester. How's Topher Grace? I hear he and Adam Driver might be up for Best Supporting Actor.


    STICKMAN: Venom himself up for an Oscar? What crazy times.


    LARRY: I think Driver comes much closer than Grace. No question.


    MADHERO: I'm gonna see this film as soon as I can. I don't think it'll have the same response as it'll have in the States, but that's stating the obvious.


    STICKMAN: I'm pretty sure it's not screening at my cinema but then what else is new. Guess I'll wait and seeee.


    LARRY: Hopefully you’ll get the chance to see it!!


    STICKMAN: SPEAKING OF...uhh....what's your film Mad.


    MADHERO: Well. Its up to me to bring it back to the mainstream and go for something the whole world can enjoy. Does a movie like Avengers Infinity War even need introduction? Chances are that you've probably seen it, enjoyed all the memes and are chomping to bits for the eventual Avengers 4 to come in 2019.

    Its been a film where we had to dedicate an entire spoiler special to, and for good reason. A lot happens in Infinity War, and it really does feel  like its the endgame, even when we'll get a whole other batch of Marvel movies afterwards. It breaks so many rules in the movie playbook: it doesn't really have a set protagonist/main character, and it ends in a really unexpected fashion. So by this point, you already know whether you're with this film or not. Its gonna be impenetrable for anyone that's not been on the MCU ride, but for the millions that are ,its a great time that leaves you begging for more.


    STICKMAN: Never heard of it.


    LARRY: Avengers? Sounds like some arthouse indie.


    MADHERO: Oh. Well, guys, there's this thing called the MCU. There's 20 of them, and you need to see at least half to get this movie sooooo..... GOOD LUCK!


    LARRY: Meh, I’ll pass.


    STICKMAN: I'll have to check it out some time I dunno. Not really my thing.


    MADHERO: Well when you do, lemme know what you think. These films are really funny, but this one is definitely more of a bummer that won't make you feel so good, but it has some great action along the way.


    STICKMAN: I'll stick to the DCEU I thin-I CAN'T EVEN JOKE ABOUT THAT.


    LARRY: I mean, it’s not like this film has both John Brolin AND RDJ. I mean, that may make me reconsider.


    MADHERO: Quite a few actors, yeah. Too many some would say. Anyway, what's your MOTW Sticky? Is it something we've all heard of?


    STICKMAN: OH LOOK, IT'S A QUIET PLACE. The hit horror movie of 2018....well....it's a hit movie anyway, whether or not you consider it horror, or merely an intense sci-fi drama is up for debate, and the real hit HORROR of the year so far has to be Hereditary...but...there's one thing you can't deny about A Quiet Place, which is that it's very good indeed.

    Starring that guy from The Office and Emily Blunt as parents trying to protect their children, both born and unborn in a post-apocalyptic America, where aliens that hunt based on even the smallest detectable sounds have invaded and wiped out most of the population. Those that survive have to live in basically total silence, making for a very unique and constantly tense cinematic experience, which made for a fantastic, oddly surreal time at the cinema, and I'm sure will still work well now it's on the ol' home videos. Again, as a horror film it's somewhat lacking, I feel, but as a drama, and a high concept sci-fi film? It's really great stuff, and well worth a watch, providing you can deal with the tension, and the feels.


    LARRY: So, yeah, this movie is damn good.


    MADHERO: Oh hey, I've heard about this movie, which may or may not be good considering you're meant to be quiet.


    STICKMAN: It's all very hush hush. But not like the movie, Hush.


    MADHERO: It remains really weird that it was John Krasinski directed this film. It’s definitely something you expect from a new genre filmmaker. Not Jim of the Office.


    LARRY: Yeah, I agree that this movie makes for a very unique filmgoing experience. Actually forces the audience to shut up.


    STICKMAN: He does a good job in the directing seat, but also gives a great lead performance. He's a real go gette.r that Jim.


    LARRY: I absolutely loved Krasinski in this film. Hard to imagine him as macho but then you give him a beard


    STICKMAN: Now he's a real daddy type.


    MADHERO: Slight weakness to nails tho.


    STICKMAN: Oof. Chekov's Nail. But yeah, just imagine The Last of Us with the sound turned off and you've got a good idea of this movies tone.


    LARRY: Perfect description, honestly. Except no infection and zombies and stuffz


    -----------------

    MADHERO: Cool. I think that about wraps up everything. Its time to go back to school as Hollywood faces the September Slump. Guess we'll just go to this not at all creepy Sunday School.


    LARRY: Uh oh


    STICKMAN: There are Nun scarier schools than that.


    MADHERO: Well its either that or....... damn.... September Slump is gonna make this difficult to discuss. We'll make it work though. Laaaaaaaaater


    STICKMAN: INSERT JUMPSCARE HERE GOODBYE


    LARRY: GOTTA TURN MY VOLUME DOWN OH WAIT BYE

  • Mile 22 Is Sloppy, Choppy, and, Worst of All, Kind of Boring.

    2 months ago

    ericvespe

    I was looking forward to Mile 22. I knew it wasn't going to be high art or even giant budgeted spectacle, but there's plenty of room between those two things for a fun movie.


    The premise is simple: a squad of badasses have to get from point A to point B in a certain amount of time and pretty much everybody in-between those two points is trying to kill them. We've seen this one done before. The low key, but still pretty solid, Bruce Willis starrer 16 Blocks did it and The Raid kind of did it as well, but the twist here was it was a modern warfare take of a trained group of people instead of one guy fighting his way through some baddies.


    When you add in Peter Berg directing, Mark Wahlberg starring and a team comprised of people like Ronda Rousey, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais and John Malkovich as their eye-in-the-sky overseer then you have the makings of some real fun B-grade entertainment.


    The problem is they fucked it up on a fundamental level. 



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    Structurally this thing was doomed from the script stage. Wahlberg and his team don't even start on their title 22 mile trek until halfway through the movie so the whole reason you want to watch the movie feels rushed. I could forgive that if they spent the first half of the movie really focused on character, making us care about the team before they go into the shit, but instead they spend that time trying to be quippy while over-explaining a hilariously convoluted plot.


    The Raid's Iko Uwais is a cop who has knowledge of the location of some deadly powder that I guess acts like a nuclear bomb, irradiating entire cities if sprinkled on the ground. He'll tell the US where all this stuff is if they can get him safely out of his country. It's 22 miles from the embassy where he's being held and the airplane that will take him to America and it's up to Mark Wahlberg and his crew to get him there.


    We don't really need anything else plot-wise, but nobody told director Peter Berg or screenwriter Lea Carpenter that. No, there's a subplot about evil Russians infiltrating the mission and a ridiculously in-depth backstory on Mark Wahlberg's childhood. I get that we need these characters to have personality and tics, but making Wahlberg's character an autistic genius who puts together “impossible” puzzles in his spare time doesn't really match up with the high-strung 'roid rage character he plays for most of the movie. In fact it seems like the only reason we're given that particular backstory is so he has a reason to snap a rubber band around his wrist over and over again in his many monologue scenes.


    Critics were unkind to Ben Affleck's The Accountant, but at least his character is consistent. His ability to be an incredible assassin was directly tied into his character making his autism work for him. There's definitely a conversation to be had about using a real thing that real people have to integrate into their lives this way in movies, but we can all agree that Affleck's character being autistic meant something to that film's story We don't get anything like that in Mile 22.


    They tell us Mark Wahlberg is a genius, but we never see any evidence of it. He's just a good soldier. He doesn't ever outthink his opponent or show more focus or anything. He's just good at shooting and working under fire. That's it.


    The movie also lets down his squad. Ronda Rousey is established as a good fighter and you know she's tough because she says “fuck” a lot and... then doesn't do anything with her. The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan is given some dramatic meat with a pending divorce and child custody battle brewing while she's supposed to be dealing with this intense situation. Cohan does a good job showing the character's ability to compartmentalize without making her feel cold and uncaring about her family, but that doesn't change the fact that for the first half of the movie her character doesn't do much more than awkwardly get angry at phone calls with her soon to be ex, inexplicably played by Berg himself.



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    Iko Uwais is the standout here. His character is mysterious, multi-layered and the only one who gets a chance to really show off just how formidable he is. It might help that he also choreographed most of the fight scenes and he's involved with roughly 90% of them, but it's a testament to just how effortlessly badass he is that his choreography shows through Berg's quick-cut editing style at all. The geography is rarely established and the hand to hand scenes are shot so close and cut so quickly that it's doubly frustrating for anybody who has seen The Raid films and know what Uwais is capable of.


    They try to do something interesting and different with the ending. Naturally I won't go into any detail on that, but I will say I liked the direction, but it was too little too late at that point.


    So the movie fails on a character level, on a pacing level and on a fun action film level. Those are the three things that should have been a given with this idea and talent involved. The movie was a big whiff for me and I'm no film snob who thinks everything should be a Criterion film. I walked in excited to have a good time at the movies and left angry at the missed opportunity here.

  • Rodriguez Does Rodriguez

    3 months ago

    gianella

    rodriguez-does-rodriguez.jpg


    Alright. I came up with this idea months ago. This has been a long time coming.


    I, Gianella Rodriguez, have decided that it is imperative that I go through acclaimed director Robert Rodriguez’s filmography and watch it all. Why, you ask? Because I’m a tad unhinged and am attracted to doing mildly not-normal things. You know how Andrew Panton went a month only eating chicken when he won a round of PUBG? I live for that brand of strange self-infliction except I doubt this will be a painful process because I like watching movies and I like Robert Rodriguez. One day I’ll pull a ‘watch Grown Ups 2 every week for a year’-esque project but today’s not that day.


    I have equal admiration and resentment towards Robert Rodriguez. Admiration because he changed the filmmaking game with ‘El Mariachi’ (which I haven’t seen) and resentment because he owns the Twitter handle @Rodriguez and while no one else is more deserving of that ownership than he is, I covet the hell out that. I think he’s cool, we’ve got the same last name, I’m gonna watch all his movies. Simple.


    Here’s how I think it’s going to go down. I’m going solely off the Wikipedia page and as of August 2018, it lists 20 films that he has directed (including his short film Bedhead and not including 100 Years because c’mon). The plan (which is less of a plan that I came up with and more a plan that just conveniently fell into my lap) is to watch around about a movie a week and topping it all off at the end with Alita: Battle Angel which is set to come out this December. How effortlessly convenient.


    So there you have it. I’m calling this Rodriguez Does Rodriguez. It’s like the only reason I’ve been put on this earth is to do this.


    (You can also follow this journey on my blog or on Letterboxd - I'm posting on here too though because if you scroll down enough you'll see exactly when I came up with this idea, lmao)

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 114

    3 months ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Oh bother, it looks  like we're in the  tailend of the summer already. That sure went by quicker than expected. We're seeing the last summer movies popping up to see if they can get some of that scrum diddly munny. And hey, its surprisingly packed with content, be it Disney playing with your feels, giant sharks and passe internet memes. Everyone is represented.


    STICKMAN: “When you become an adult, all summers waste by, as do days, months, years...life as we know it. It's all passing as by and we're never going to accomplish all our dreams before we die.” - Winnie the Pooh.


    LARRY: Man I didn't realize Pooh was such a tormented figure...


    MADHERO: Its usually delivered with more whimsy. This is more something the Meg would tell after it chomps you, but enough about that.


    NEWS

    LUCASFILM ANNOUNCES CAST OF STAR WARS EPISODE IX. CARRIE FISHER OFFICIALLY PART OF THE CAST.

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    Its that time of the year again: another Star Wars movie is officially in production. No, not the Last Jedi remake everyone (actually no one) is craving, but Episode IX, which releases in December 2019, giving us a nice break after Solo, not that too many saw it. Anyway, while plot details are kept under wraps. We have returning director JJ Abrams join Twitter and reveal a behind the scenes picture, and we got some word of the casting. The usual suspects are of course there (Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver etc.) with the cast now being joined by Keri Russell (The Americans), Richard E. Grant (Logan, Game of Thrones) and relative newcomer Naomi Ackie.


    Mark Hamill, despite all the conspiracies, will be in the film as well, presumably to annoy Kylo Ren a bit as a ghost, as well as Billy Dee Williams returning as Lando. The big question was of course going to be Carrie Fisher, who died in late 2016. Instead of going with CG (a la Rogue One) or recasting, the film will use previously unreleased footage of The Force Awakens to put her in the film.  How seamless this'll be remains to be seen and it’s going to be quite the challenge, but its a great last tribute for her and her iconic presence.  More will likely be revealed around the year, but this seems like a good start.


    STICKMAN: Woooo


    MADHERO: JJ Abrams is on twitter and that's at least one good thing to that hellscape. And I guess this is nice as well


    STICKMAN: JJ Abrams' Twitter is just a Cloverfield sequel in disguise.


    LARRY: I'm happy to see they're at least trying to give Leia the ending she deserves


    MADHERO: The story was very much that Force was going to be Han's story, Jedi Luke's, and IX's would be Leia's. Obviously a lot has to be reconfigured to make that work. We don't know how much extra footage there is to work with, but I admire what they're doing for sure in regarding Fisher's legacy.


    LARRY: Yeah, woulda been reeeeeeeeally bad had they CGI'd it. CGI Leia in Rouge One was really weird for me.


    STICKMAN: I don't really see how they can't use CGI, but I guess the face at least will be authentic? I dunno.


    MADHERO: I think it'd be weird. It was weird in Rogue One and to use if for someone that recently deceased would've just felt wrong. Don't think response would be good, even if it would've been understandable.


    STICKMAN: After Last Jedi I can't say I'm particularly excited for a continuation of these films, but hey ho, I'm sure I'll be hearing about it 100% of my time on planet earth in the coming months towards release anyway.


    LARRY: That's the spirit!


    MADHERO: Well its got ya boi back. Will get his own emoji and everything.  Will also be neat to see Billy Dee Williams back, and I'm super curious about Russell's role because she's an great actress.


    STICKMAN: #JJAbrams forever.


    LARRY: Personally I'm excited for Episode IX. Russell is a great actress, happy to see her included. Billy Dee is gonna rock socks as Lando, and I'm also curious to see how Luke's storyline will be concluded as ghost Luke. All in all, lots to look forward to.


    MADHERO: Hes gonna annoy Kylo Ren to death and just chug all the space milk he can find.


    STICKMAN: All I know is with two massive saga-ending films releasing in the same year, in addition to Frozen 2....Disney gonna be rolling in fucking money.


    WARNER BROS SELLS ANDY SERKIS’ JUNGLE BOOK ADAPTATION MOWGLI TO NETFLIX. SERKIS TO MAKE ANIMAL FARM ADAPTATION FOR NETFLIX

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    Over the last year, it's fair to say Netflix have been  starting to show their true financial muscle in terms of greenlight...and even acquiring big budget or high profile film releases exclusively for their service. the most recent and notable of which was The Cloverfield Paradox from Paramount. Now it's the turn of Warner Bros to quickly drop and sell off a big budget project of their own, and 

    it seems like good news for Andy Serkis at the very least.


    The first news to come out was that Warner Bros had dropped the rights to their take on a live action/CGI hybrid Jungle Book adaptation, Mowgli. That entered pre-production around the same time as Disney's massively successful live action/CGI remake of The Jungle Book, and has lived in its looming shadow ever since. Several name changes and delays later, and Warner Bros seem to be done with it. It's now coming exclusively to Netflix, with its release date pushed back to sometime in 2019. Further good news for Andy is that Netflix has also greenlit his longtime passion project, which is a live action/CGI motion capture remake of Animal Farm, the seminal George Orwell work most well known in the cinematic world for its problematic 1954 animated adaptation. With Netflix in charge, hopefully this long-planned movie will be a bit more true to the original novel, but either way, Netflix is now the home of all things Andy Serkis, it seems.


    MADHERO: I don't know whether to feel good or bad about Mowgli being moved to Netflix, but it probably saved WB a big dud and a smudge on Serkis' directing career so maybe its for the best.


    STICKMAN: I'd imagine even if it is good, it would've been a bust financially.


    LARRY: Yeah I agree. "An actually dark and gritty Jungle Book" probably doesn't sell tickets.


    MADHERO: Even if the original trailer was impressive, the Disney version loomed so large that Netflix was probably the best option. I do hope the film is actually good as well. Its got a great cast and visuals looked impressive.


    LARRY: If anything, it coming to Netflix gives it more accessibility, not to mention a theatrical run on top of that so Serkis' work can still be appreciated on screen.


    STICKMAN: Andy Serkis' directorial debut got a positive reception even though it looked sentimental as fuuuuck. At least this is more in the wheelhouse you'd expect from the guy.


    MADHERO: Netflix continues to be a bit of a dumping ground for movies that studios don't really know what to do with (Annihilation, Cloverfield Paradox). Hopefully this one is more of the former


    STICKMAN: And how about that Animal Farm, eh.


    MADHERO: That's gonna be a weird one, since that's a pretty simple story that I'm not sure needs the live-action treatment, but I trust Serkis and I'd imagine he could play a pretty good Napoleon.


    STICKMAN: I'm excited for that performance mostly.


    LARRY: I'm hella excited for it, tbh. I'm always here for an Orwell adaptation.


    STICKMAN: And at least the CIA aren't involved this time...THAT WE KNOW OF.


    COEN BROTHERS’ ANTHOLOGY SERIES BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS BECOMES ANTHOLOGY MOVIE INSTEAD. TAKES PART IN VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

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    When the Coen Brothers make moves, the film world listens. Originally meant to be an anthology television series for Netflix, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," is now a feature-length film that will make its premiere at the heralded Venice Film Festival. The film, starring Tim Blake Nelson as Scruggs and set along the Western frontier, will retain its anthology structure throughout its running time at a 132 minute length. After premiering at the festival, it is set to hit Netflix alongside a theatrical run for awards consideration.


    "Scruggs" joins a long lineup of Netflix acquisitions hitting it big at Venice this year, including Alfonso Cuaron's return to Spanish-spoken filmmaking "Roma," Paul Greengrass' account of the 2011 Norway terrorist attacks in "22 July," and a newly restored version of the once uncompleted Orson Welles project "The Other Side of the World." Venice is looking to be embracing Netflix films, and streaming platforms in general, with Amazon Studios and Luca Guadagnino's "Suspiria" remake also hitting Venice. This is in stark contrast to Cannes, who have recently taken the controversial stance to ban entries that are not theatrically distributed in France, which many have seen as a direct response against Netflix. Either way, we'll see if Venice's acceptance of Netflix will pay off, as this year's festival race is capped with countless big players, and will for sure be one to remember.


    STICKMAN: Is it bad I'm kinda disappointed this isn't a TV show any more. Seems like a lot of stuff from this is gonna be cut forever, and I wanted to see a Coen brother take on a TV shoooow


    MADHERO: I'm kinda mixed on it. I'd have been very interested in what a Coen anthology series would've looked like, and making it a movie seems fine to me, cause they're great filmmakers, but you always go and ask what could've been.


    LARRY: Fair point. But 132 minutes is a loooooooong time. You can fit a lot in there.


    MADHERO: Yeah. With it just being over 2 hours, you can't help but wonder how much was cut. While Fargo the tv show is very much its own thing separate from the Coen brothers, it does give a bit of a glimpse of what it might've looked like  as a tv show.


    STICKMAN: Love me some Fargo, also love me some Alfonso and Greengrass...and Suspiria. This is the rare film festival that is speaking to me before it even starts.


    LARRY: This year's festival circuit looks amaaaaaaaaaazing. And I'm hella glad to see Venice embracing Netflix projects too.


    MADHERO: Yeah, tons of great films coming to Venice. That's usually the start of Oscar talk alongside Toronto. But we're getting new Greengrass and Cuaron,  but also directors like Yorgos Lanthimos and Damien Chazelle's First Man.


    LARRY: Lanthimos' new film looks crazy. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Victorian drama, lots of weirdly wide angles.


    MADHERO: I mean, its Lanthimos. Crazy is what you get. Suspiria is gonna be a tense ass 2.5 hours.


    STICKMAN: After Killing of a Sacred Deer I can't say I'm super interessteed. The rest I'm all into. We're all huge La La Land fans here, right?


    MADHERO: It is interesting to see this festival embrace streaming ventures as much as they do when you compare it to Cannes. Does make you wonder what we'll see come Oscar time. Mudbound got some nods, but could we see a Netflix Best Picture film nominee soon?


    STICKMAN: It'll happen eventually. Maybe not this year though.


    LARRY: Mudbound was one of the best films of 2017, so let's hope so. Netflix does good stuff. It deserves recognition.


    STICKMAN: The Cloverfield Paradox's campaign for Best Picture starts HERE.


    LARRY: Eh, not that.


    BEN AFFLECK TO DIRECT MOVIE ON THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MCDONALD’S MONOPOLY SCAM. MATT DAMON TO STAR

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    Chances are that at some point last week, someone in your feed shared the pretty damn wild Daily Beast article chronicling the life of Jerome Jacobsen, an ex-cop who through his job as head of security at a marketing firm managed to get extremely rare pieces of McDonalds' Monopoly game: pieces he used to scam McDonalds to about 24 million dollars worth of prizes. The story involves a network of mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners, drug traffickers and a family of Mormons. It all ended in FBI's Operation: Final Answer, which is a pretty great name. The article is wild, and definitely worth a read if you have the time.


    This story was a lot, so naturally a massive bidding war ensued for the rights. Fox eventually won to the tune of 1 million, beating Warner Bros and Netflix in the process. Ben Affleck is now in line to direct the film, with his good buddy Matt Damon in line to play Jacobson, and Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool) are writing the script. This has all the ingredients to be something amazing. While Affleck is more in the news for being tired of Batman, his dumb phoenix tattoo, and the disappointment of his last movie Live by Night, he's still a pretty great director with 3 great films under his belt, and its nice to have him just behind the camera this time. I can't wait to see this real life Coen Brothers movie to hit the big screen in 2019/2020.


    STICKMAN: MCDONALDS, MCDONALDS, MCDONALDS.


    MADHERO: But we have food at home.


    STICKMAN: Sweet memes.


    LARRY: Is that a John Mulaney reference? Because if so, good work.


    MADHERO: It’s an reference to an internet alignment chart, but sure. Let's go with that. Anyway this story is pretty wild.


    LARRY: Yeah this is one of those weird things you hear about and then immediately forget about. Remember when Tetris became a movie?


    STICKMAN: I can't wait to see if this film can get the image rights to McDonalds AND Monpoly for this heist movie where they both get fucked over.


    MADHERO: Not to mention Hasbro, who own the Monopoly liscense. There's quite a few hurdles to go through, but either way there's still a really weird story there. Also I fail to see what Tetris has to do with this.


    LARRY: I’m saying that this is weird and merely a blip, like the Tetris news. Weird projects get made and then forgotten about. Nice to see Affleck doing a new project tho


    STICKMAN: Remember Ben Affleck? What happened to that guy.


    MADHERO: But there’s actually a great story here, so its not like Tetris. Did you read the article, Larry? Live by Night was a bit of a dud both critically and commercially, but he still has 3 very good movies under his belt.


    LARRY: Yeah I read it. I also read once they were developing a movie about the woman who sued McDonalds over the hot coffee she spilt on herself.


    STICKMAN: Maybe she can have a crossover in this.


    MADHERO: And then it all turns out to be a part of The Founder Cinematic Universe and Michael Keaton recruits everyone to take down Burger King.


    LARRY: Get that made, dammit.


    STICKMAN: LET'S DO IT, MOVING ON, apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time.


    RYAN REYNOLDS TO PRODUCE AND POSSIBLY REVIVE A NEW HOME ALONE REVIVAL TITLED STONED ALONE

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    Remember Home Alone? The cherished Christmas family classic about a little boy left behind by his family, and having to ward off burglars and shit? Well...what if instead of a child, it was Ryan Reynolds, and instead of going on charming escapades with burglars and church and shit, he was getting stoned off his ass? Interested?


    Well...I present to you STONED ALONE, a R rated spiritual successor for Fox, who own the franchise. Keeping the home invasion theme but adding an adult and heaps of that sweet sweet 'Mary Jane', Ryan Reynolds will potentially play a 20 year old (Yes, I know) stoner who gets left behind by his family when they go on a ski trip, and gets baked instead. He's also producing the film, and the director of the upcoming, reasonably well received 'Never Goin' Back' is set to direct. This...sure is a film project? It has the potential to turn out fun in a dumb way, but it's just baffling we even got to the point where a weed-centric reboot of Home Alone became a thing to begin with.


    LARRY: Oh wow we actually went with this.


    MADHERO: As many a wee lad of the 90's, I grew up watching the Home Alone movies on home video and all I can really say to this is: fucking what now?


    STICKMAN: Why couldn't they get Mcahaheleey KAlukin back for this, I'm sure he's a massive pothead now.


    LARRY: What is the plot even gonna be? Is Ryan Reynolds gonna talk to animals again?


    STICKMAN: He's gonna be Deadpool but ruder, cruder, and without access to a time machine.


    MADHERO: Culkin's too busy filming the Pagemaster NES game review with AVGN. I can maybe buy this with Culkin, but Reynolds are a 20's something is bridge too far.


    LARRY: It would be SO MUCH BETTER with Culkin.


    MADHERO: It kinda feels like something that gets left on the cutting room floor of National Lampoon, or maybe a Funny of Die skit.


    STICKMAN: Or even worse, one of those EPIC MOVIE style films. What if...Home Alone but WEED? BWAHAHAHA. And then Batman turns up and does Gangham Style.


    LARRY: I don’t see how this film can work, to be honest. But I’m sure Seth Rogen is gonna get attached and everything will be fine.


    STICKMAN: Fuckin weed dude, ahuh huh huh huh uh uh u uh uh


    MADHERO: Ok, lets not go that far. Those films died a deserved death. I can't really see how this would work as a full length film, let alone a Home Alone revival, but maybe they'll deliver the next Harold and Kumar or something.


    STICKMAN: De Niro for Stoned Alone. He plays a 20 year old pothead. Stick a baseball cap on him  and nobody will notice the age gap.


    MOONLIGHT DIRECTOR BARRY JENKINS RELEASES DEBUT TRAILER FOR JAMES BALDWIN ADAPTATION “IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK”

    Mah boi Barry is back, y'all. After taking the indie world by storm with his 2016 Best Picture winner, "Moonlight," writer/director Barry Jenkins is returning with his new film, "If Beale Street Could Talk," and its first trailer has officially dropped!


    Based on a novel by acclaimed black author James Baldwin (whose voice is prominently featured in the trailer through voiceover), it tells the story of Tish and Fonny, a young black couple, and the struggles they face when Tonny is falsely accused of rape and goes to prison. It's not clear how closely the film will follow the novel, but what we do know, based on the trailer, that it will certainly feature many emotional highs and lows. The cast is filled to the brim with talent, from Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry to Dave Franco and Diego Luna, and the trailer looks to continue Barry Jenkins' career of exploring the black experience on film with exquisite cinematography. Here's to another rousing success when it premieres at TIFF this year.


    STICKMAN: I have no idea what I watched but it was lovely.


    MADHERO: I can't say much about the story since I haven't read the book, but my god, this trailer really was beautiful to look at.


    STICKMAN: That brick pavement/house shot though. Moonlight was a fuckin outstanding movie, not to mention pretty devastating.


    MADHERO: Its the same cinematographer from Moonlight, James Laxton, and that film also found beauty in the normal and even decrepit.


    LARRY: The cinematography looks to use a lot of the same techniques and color tones of Moonlight. Lots of darker lighting and muted tones. My favorite shot personally is in the train station.


    STICKMAN: Let's not forget the 50,000 slow motion smoking shots. That's his thing I guess. We all have our kinks.


    LARRY: Very a e s t h e t i c


    MADHERO: It seems a tad brighter than Moonlight, but I may be misremembering sone of it. This is a film you know is going to get major play come Oscar time, which is probably why its heading to Toronto. It'll be very interesting to see Jenkins tackle a period piece after Moonlight, which felt 

    almost timeless in a weird way.


    STICKMAN: Moonlight covered a child growing into a man and yet felt lost in time simultaneously. So yeah, period is a weird choice but I trust hiiiim.


    LARRY: I’m just excited to see a black artist tackle the work of someone considered one of the most brilliant black authors and writers...ever. I’ve read a lot of Baldwin’s work and it’s incredible. Not the first thing I’d pick to translate to film, but leave it to Barry.


    STICKMAN: Always Bet on Barry.


    MADHERO: I have not read his work because I'm a uncultured swine, but I understand his importance in African American history.


    STICKMAN: I am not familiar with the work buuuut that means the film feels very mysterious to me and I'm kinda into that. Let's all get Breakfast at TIFFanies.


    LARRY: It’s gonna be a ridiculously diverse season, lemme tell ya.


    -------------------

    MADHERO: Speaking of an incredibly diverse season, that's what we have if you wanna go to the theaters. Its got a little bit of everything. Jason Statham fighting a giant shark, Disney playing with your nostalgia of things you love, a Spike Lee joint and even......A YA ADAPTATION?! REALLY?! IN 2018! Dang


    STICKMAN: Alright, who messed with the space time continuum.


    LARRY: I’ll take End of the Summer for 200.


    MADHERO: Alright. This boy inspired by the author's son is now all grown up and played by Obi Wan Kenobi in this new Disney movie.


    LARRY: WHAT IS CHRISTOPHER ROBIN


    MOVIES

    CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

    DIRECTOR: Marc Forster (World War Z, All I See Is You)

    STARRING: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, Peter Capaldi, Nick Mohammed, Sophie Okonedo

    SYNOPSIS: Christopher Robin (McGregor) is now all grown up and has lost all sense of imagination. Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood re-enter Christopher's life to help him find it again.

    LARRY: 200 in the bagggggg Anyway I heard this is good if you have a soul.


    STICKMAN: That seems like a shitty stance to make but there you go. Maybe people are fed up of Disney's factory made nostalgia sentimentality bullshit.


    MADHERO: Boy this film is seeing some division between critics and audiences, that's for damn sure. Critics seem much more mixed on it, but audiences that have seen it seem to really like it.


    STICKMAN: Cinema audiences eat up Disney's shit like it's fine dining so that's probably why. Usually critics do too, so I dunno what happened here.


    LARRY: Apparently the first 10 min are just reeeeeeeeally sad and nostalgic and it’s got all the feels. It wears its heart on its sleeve, I guess.


    STICKMAN: Gosh where have I seen that before.


    MADHERO: Someone's being cranky. Maybe Sticky needs a Pooh bear in his life to deliver some folksy simpleminded wisdom


    LARRY: Still waiting for my Paddington vs. Pooh cage match.


    STICKMAN: I dunno, usually the reviews for these kinda films are through the roof for the same reasons audiences enjoy them, but not this time, something obviously went wrong, and it's not just YOU DON'T HAVE A SOUL DISNEY NO MAKE YOU CRY.


    LARRY: It was just a joke, Stix lol


    MADHERO: Feels hard to say whether its genuine since I haven't seen it. I probably will with the family though. I loved Winnie the Pooh back in the day, and this probably ain't no Toy Story 3, but it might hit some similar beats. That or you can be a total Eeyore about it.


    STICKMAN: I shall passssss, if you can believe it.


    THE MEG

    DIRECTOR: Jon Turteltaub (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Last Vegas)

    STARRING: Jason Statham, Li Bingbinb, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Cliff Curtis

    SYNOPSIS: After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor (Statham) must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.

    MADHERO: And now for something completely different.


    LARRY: WAIT THE JEOPARDY BIT UHMMMM 400


    STICKMAN: The only thing in JEOPARDY IS JASON STATHAM IN THIS MOVIE.


    MADHERO: Look man, I only know so much about American gameshows and that's all I had. Now lets talk about Jason Statham fighting a giant prehistoric shark.


    STICKMAN: It sure is a film, could be fun and entertaining, could be awful. The trailers suggest it could go either way, and nobody's seen it yet.


    MADHERO: I feel like this movie is getting a lot more hyped than something like this normally would. Maybe all those years of Sharknado releases have made us soft on shark movies.


    LARRY: I have yet to see why people are that engaged with it, but if it’s silly fun then I’ll have silly fun.


    STICKMAN: Sharknado, of course, on its sixth and "final" installment this month. Which will win the hearts of shark movie lovers this SUMMER.


    MADHERO: Has Sharknado had Megalodons yet? It probably has, but I really don't care.


    STICKMAN: The Meg is a weird film to be made in a post Sharknado world...shark movies are kinda the thing of low budget TV  fare these days. But here we have THE STATH in IMAX fighting a absolute unit.


    LARRY: He better punch the shark


    STICKMAN: He will. I'm sure. I will say, this film has the best use of "Opening Wide" on a poster in cinema history.


    MADHERO: The posters for this film in general have been great. Props to the marketing team.


    THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME

    DIRECTOR: Susanna Fogel (Life Partners)

    STARRING: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minjai, Justin Theroux, Gillian Anderson

    SYNOPSIS: Audrey and Morgan (Kunis, McKinnon) are best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her (Theroux) was actually a spy.

    LARRY: My parents say this yesterday and said it was a clunker. Apparently it’s gratuitously violent


    MADHERO: O hey, there's Larry's parents' mini review. Also that's a shame. Going from reviews, it sounds like it wasn't really able to get the tone right between action and comedy.


    STICKMAN: The Evil Dead of romantic spy comedies.


    LARRY: A thumb gets cut off apparently and my mother just can’t stop saying how much she hated that scene.


    STICKMAN: Your parents should do this show instead of us.


    MADHERO: I mean, I've probably seen worse, but I guess if its not what you expect, it can be pretty odd. And violence like that can be really funny if its played for laughs. I hear it just kinda loses steam and falls prey to improv.


    STICKMAN: I find comedies with excessive, realistic violence to be an odd combo.


    LARRY: It sucks too cuz I like Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Sucks to see them in a stinker that’s kinda meant to be a vehicle for them.


    MADHERO: I guess you're better off renting Spy.


    LARRY: Ew No. That movie is overrated and bad.


    STICKMAN: Johnny English is the real MVP. Spectre was a good romantic horror, at least.


    LARRY: 600. Lets keep the bit going.


    MADHERO: This Spike Lee joint starring Denzel's son tells the crazy true story of a black man infiltrating the KKK, and no, its not the Chappelle sketch.


    STICKMAN: DJANGO UNCHAINED. Wait, this isn't 2013. FUCK


    BLACKKKLANSMAN

    DIRECTOR: Spike Lee (Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Chi-Raq)

    STARRING: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Corey Hawkins

    SYNOPSIS: Ron Stallworth (Washington), an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan and become the head of the local chapter.

    STICKMAN: Oh shiiiiiit, this looks pretty coooool.


    MADHERO: This movie looks wild and I'm so fucking here for it.


    LARRY: Some fo’ real, fo’ real shit. Topher Grace as David Duke. The best supporting actor race begins NOW.


    STICKMAN: This is gonna be so controversial when it comes out and I'm  here for this.


    MADHERO: That was not something I saw coming. But yeah, I'm mainly ready for this to turn some heads. Spike Lee can be a bit of a wildcard, but Jordan Peele may have given him a proper projectile. Plus this is one of those crazy ass stories that you need to see on screen.


    STICKMAN: I find Spike Lee hit and miss, but this is looking like a real hit. Good luck spelling the name though.


    LARRY: Looks to have solid performances and a multi-faceted story. Let’s hope it works. Also Adam Driver as a guy pretending to be a Klan member is a hilarious aesthetic.


    STICKMAN: Adam Driver as anything is a hilarious aesthetic.


    MADHERO: This is definitely going to be in the conversation come Oscar time.


    THE DARKEST MINDS

    DIRECTOR: Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2 + 3)

    STARRING: Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore, Gwendoline Christie, Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, Bradley Whitford

    SYNOPSIS: Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens (Stenberg, Dickinson, Brooks) form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control of their future.

    MADHERO: Oh man. Talk about being late to the fucking party. This is like coming to the club at 5 AM, asking where everyone is, and getting told that the party was yesterday and the bar is going to be demolished.


    STICKMAN: Oopsie. Live action directorial debut of one of animation’s few female directors. It's crazy to think how big YA books were just a few years ago. Now they're basically all dead.


    LARRY: This looks like if every major young adult thing and the X-Men had a disgusting baby.


    MADHERO: I do feel bad for director Jennifer Wuh Nelson after coming from Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3. But yeah, this seems like something that sat on a shelf and no one knew what to do with.


    LARRY: I still think the shot in this trailer where the boy telekinetically has the girl float over is suuuuuuuuuper rapey. Every time I see it in a theater, it gets worse.


    MADHERO: Also I don't know why they gave Gwendoline Christie such a terrible wig.


    STICKMAN: She can't catch a break. Somebody give her a good role.


    MADHERO: She'll always have Brienne of Tarth. Moving on.


    LARRY: 800!! Wait I guess this is 1000 now


    STICKMAN: I'd like to phone a friend, Chris.


    MADHERO: This outdated internet meme grew in popularity thanks to a webseries and free video game about collecting some scribbles.


    STICKMAN: Keyboard Cat.


    LARRY: Nyan Cat


    SLENDER MAN

    DIRECTOR: Sylvain White (The Losers, The Mark of the Angels)

    STARRING: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, Javier Botet

    SYNOPSIS: A group of teenage girls (King, Telles etc.) attempt to investigate the mystery of the Slender Man (Botet) after a friend of theirs goes missing, only to become haunted by the Slender Man themselves.

    LARRY: Arguably a worse meme than the two we dropped.


    MADHERO: Another one late to the party.


    STICKMAN: Hey I have an idea, let's release a film based on a real children related knifing on the same day as the knifing happened guys. Oh wait oops. Now people are mad.


    MADHERO: Slenderman probably reached the height of its popularity back in 2012 with the Slender game, but of course that stabbing made the whole thing rather.... gross. Which is why they probably moved it to August, but now Sony wants nothing to do with it


    STICKMAN: I'll give this film credit for having some inventive visuals at least. Could've put in zero effort but they  put in a solid 10% at the least.


    LARRY: Still a hard pass.


    MADHERO: I honestly don't find Slender Man all that scary. Sure, the concept of making children do horrible things, maybe, but its a tall pale guy in a suit with  some tentacles.


    STICKMAN: Slender Man is the long arm pasty white boi.


    LARRY: Yeah I just had no connection to the source material and this looks like...a little too generic for me I guess. And you know I don’t do well with horror.


    MADHERO: Well you're in luck, what with Sony sending it out to die, you'll never have to bother with it


    LARRY: Yayyyyyyyyy


    STICKMAN: I mean, I'll check it out on Netflix maybbeee. Horror films and whatnot.


    -------------------

    MADHERO: Speaking of Netflix......HOW ABOUT SOME MOVIE OF THE WEEK?!


    LARRY: Yeeeeeeeeeee


    MADHERO: Ironically though, I don't think any of us have a Netflix movie, with us all seeing a movie in the theater where its usually nice and cool and we get to survive this awful heatwave.


    STICKMAN: Air Con in cinemas is very important. As was Con Air in cinemas.


    MADHERO: Sticky, fellow survivor of the European heatwave that swept the nation. What's your movie of the week?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: WELLLL, it's a film that I not only had to survive a heatwave for, but also a month long football delay for to. For most folks who are reading this(?), Ant-Man and the Wasp probably feels like a distant blip on the movie radar. It came out early July in the US, but it's taken an whole month to reach the UK, thanks in part to the World Cup, and a knock on effect of Incredibles 2 also being delayed. THAT SAID...I finally saw it, and it was definitely worth the wait.

    It's a really funny film, with super creative action sequences that play with size, both big and small really well, there's a lot more SIZE PLAY as it were, in this film, compared to the first. Whilst the previous film was a heist, this one feels like a game of hot potato with a science laboratory, which I certainly can't say the same of for many other films.  Most importantly though, in with the laughs and the action, is a really charming and likeable cast, one you actually want to spend time with and root for, even more so than the first, with side-characters a little more fleshed out this time. Also..ANTSSS.


    LARRY: Oh hey I enjoyed this one too.


    MADHERO: I only saw this very recently as well, though the delay wasn't as long here


    STICKMAN: Football is a bad boy


    MADHERO: I'm ok with it. But yeah this movie is a lot of fun. Nice to once again have something smaller after Infinity War


    LARRY: Indeed. Lots of fun action beats too.


    STICKMAN: I continue to enjoy the many scales and tones the MCU can provide whilst still feeling cohesive. This film isn't heavy on the references either which is nice.


    MADHERO: It definitely is lesser MCU in my opinion, but its still a fun time and the size changes are a lot of fun


    LARRY: Dem post-credits tho.


    STICKMAN: I wouldn't call it lesser MCU at all, the stakes are lower, sure, but it's still a ton of fun and I really like the main cast. The post-credits scene felt...inevitable but also jarring given the initial ending of the film.


    LARRY: No yeah it being lower stakes doesn’t make it lesser MCU. Most of my favorite MCU movies are comedies. Or are moreso comedic in tone.


    STICKMAN: I laughed a bunch and it looked amazing in IMAX, so I'm a happy boy. WHAT ABOUT YOU, SOMEONE ELSE, WHaT DID YOu WATCH.


    LARRY: ...man, I should go see it in IMAX. I feel like it’s worth it.


    MADHERO: Well, Larry. Did you see your film in IMAX?


    LARRY: Nope! It isn’t playing on IMAX. Too low-budget.


    STICKMAN: Must be pretty SHIT THEN


    MADHERO: Oh. One of those. Well, spill it out.


    LARRY: My MOTW is Blindspotting, the feature debut of director Carlos Lopez Estrada and the writing debut of rappers/spoken word artists Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs. I know this movie doesn’t have a set UK release, but let’s hope it does because this is easily one of the best films of the year.

    The film tells the story of two friends: Collin, a black man about to be finished with year-log probation after a two month prison sentence, and Myles, a family man with a wife and son. Both live in Oakland and soon begin to struggle with their friendship as gentrification of the city showcases their differences in privilege and identity. It’s a very political movie and touches upon a lot of topics, but first and foremost, it’s the story of two friends seeing things for what they really are. It’s excellent written, balancing humor and suspense excellently. Beyond that, there’s a lot of solid editing and cinematography on display, and its incorporation of spoken word especially gives it an extra kick of originality. I’m just happy to see a relatively underground, low-budget indie film be woke not for the sake of being woke, but through its storytelling. Be sure to check this one out when you can.


    STICKMAN: Oh hey, following up a movie I had to wait to watch with a movie I can't watch, NICE. This looks cool though.


    LARRY: Sorry Stix. Let’s hope it’s successful enough here in the states to go wider.


    MADHERO: I hadn't heard of this movie beforehand but I'm hearing more about it and that's its supposed to be really good.


    LARRY: It’s excellent, make no mistake. They’re also coming out with rap EPs based on the characters.


    STICKMAN: I've been hearing a lot of buzz. What do Larry's parents think of it though I wonder.


    MADHERO: Daveed Diggs is really going on up in the world. He's been killing it recently.


    LARRY: Love Diggs dude. The man is a BEAST. His rapping is insane and he does some incredible spoken word in this film.


    MADHERO: He's got the Snowpiercer TV series coming up and seems to be in demand. I've seen the film described as a comedy, but how funny is it?


    STICKMAN: Snowpierecer huh. Ahem


    LARRY: It’s definitely very, very funny, but it has its fair share of “holy fuck” moments.


    MADHERO: Great to hear its getting the attention it deserves.


    LARRY: Fun fact!! When I went to go see Sorry to Bother You, the same theater was hosting Blindspotting’s premiere. Coulda met Daveed Diggs if I had tried.


    STICKMAN: But you failed. Now we move on to Mad's film.


    MADHERO: Alright. My film is a movie that needs no introduction. Its quite remarkable how remarkably consistent the Mission Impossible films have been since 3. They've been one of the most solid and consistently entertaining action films out there, and they consistently impress with their audacity. Whether its climbing the tallest building in the world, hanging on a plane, and in the case of Fallout, doing a halo jump. Its all really exciting stuff.

    And in Fallout, its fairly early on and doesn't let up. I've seen a lot of people make the comparison to Mad Max Fury Road, and while its not quite as manic as that, its got some remarkable pacing for an close to 2.5 hour movie. The plot itself is fairly standard Mission Impossible stuff, but Henry Cavill's mustache proves to be a really fun addition, being a hammer compared to Tom Cruise's scalpel. So yeah, if you're in the mood for jaw dropping action, Fallout is the way to go.


    STICKMAN: HELLL YEAAHH BOOIII. This film was fucking craaazy. I saw this in IMAX and that halo drop was INSANE!


    MADHERO: HELL YEAH, DUDE! GOD, THIS MOVIE'S ACTION IS SO FUCKING GOOD


    LARRY: I wanna see this so bad. it came out when I was traveling, so I didn’t catch it opening weekend, but I’m going to catch it this week.


    STICKMAN: This one is the best of the most recent three for sure.


    LARRY: Wow. That’s saying a lot really. Protocol and Rogue are both excellent.


    MADHERO: When I saw Ant-Man, they showed footage on how they did the halo jump, and it absolutely boggles the mind. While Infinity War spectacle is nice, its great seeing these real life stunts as well.


    STICKMAN: They really are, like Mad said...3-6 have all been consistently great. They're all really good except 2, which is really bad.


    LARRY: I like ‘em all. Except 2, yeah.


    STICKMAN: Fallout is potentially the best of the series, but I'll require a rewatch for that  I BELIEVE.


    MADHERO: So yeah, go see Tom Cruise break his ankle on IMAX. Highly recommended. Can really hear that crack.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Anyway I think about wraps up everything. We'll be going through the last doldrums of summer trying not to get covered in puppet jizz.


    STICKMAN: It's too late, that happened a long time ago.


    LARRY: Ewwwwwwwww NOOOOO


    MADHERO: Eugh, fine. Then lets see if we can escape Indonesia via Mark Wahlberg, or meet up with some insanely wealthy Asians.


    LARRY: MUCH PREFERRED.


    STICKMAN: Puppet jizz though.


    LARRY: NO.


    MADHERO: This next episode might get nasty. Later everyone.

  • 8 or Higher, Bro! (July 2018)

    3 months ago

    tomtom4468

    Here's my replacement for Best & Worst! Every single month, I will curate an IMDb list of films and TV shows I rated 8 or higher in that particular month that I will share with you and only you. This way I can give you the random recommendations without having to spend like an hour writing out long paragraphs on every single movie. It's the best of B&W without the boring work on my end! And yes, I am making a How I Met Your Mother reference with that title. 


    So here's my first 8 or Higher, Bro IMDb list! Enjoy!...


    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls024330898

  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Stand With James Gunn. Will Disney?

    3 months ago

    ericvespe

    It's been less than two weeks since the movie world was rocked by James Gunn's removal as the main creative force behind the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. By now you've all probably read a dozen different think pieces and articles detailing the reasons why and arguing whether or not it was the right call by Disney's Alan Horn, so I will do my best not to rehash the same arguments here, but I do want to talk through my personal thoughts about whether or not it was the right choice a bit now that the dust has settled a little bit.


    Horn has unquestionably been one of the strongest executives in Disney's history. Under his watch Marvel was brought into the fold (remember Iron Man and Captain America were Paramount films), Star Wars was bought and relaunched, Pixar was fully integrated into the company and the live-action remakes of classic Disney movies have been raking in money hand over fist. The studio has grown into an entertainment behemoth with all the positives and negatives associated with that.


    An example of the positive side is the money the studio was willing to invest in a relatively unknown comic book property spearheaded by a writer/director most known for offensive humor-filled horror just because he was backed by Marvel's Kevin Feige. The negative side being how quickly they dropped the very same guy at the first sign of controversy, even after he made 1.6 billion dollars for the studio with just two movies.



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    I disagree with Horn's decision to part ways with Gunn, but I'm still trying to understand it. The biggest deal of his reign as chairman is this pending merger with Fox. It not only takes out a chief rival, it also sets Disney Studios up for the world of tomorrow by giving them a huge amount of diverse IP to utilize with their subscription-based streaming service.


    The timing of this decision can't be coincidence. Just a week before the shareholder vote to approve the merger right wing pundits started spamming the internet with Gunn's offensive joke tweets from 6-10 years ago. With a deal this big any and every little thing can screw it up, so I have to imagine taking a calm, measured approach to this potential scandal was less of a priority than making it go away as quickly as possible.


    That feels right to me, although I'll be the first to admit I don't know the daily ins and outs of Disney's executive life.


    So, he made the call and fired Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was written and expected to go into production possibly as early as the end of this year or the beginning of 2019.


    But now what? That's the question.


    The shareholders have voted to approve the merger and Disney is now facing more pressure from the entertainment industry over their decision to fire Gunn than they ever did from Mike Cernovich's mobs demanding Gunn's head. Actors, directors, producers and nearly all the entertainment journalists have all spoken out about how this is, frankly, bullshit.


    Just today the entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast put out a joint public statement calling for Gunn to be reinstated. And when I say “entirety” I mean it. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista (who has been the most vocal about this from the day Disney fired Gunn), Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff and Michael Rooker all signed a measured, passionate defense of Gunn.



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    Would all these people be willing to band together and refuse to work on the next Marvel movie if Disney doesn't reconsider? What about refusing to do any promotion for the next Avengers movie? Maybe, maybe not, but either way it's a big deal in this day and age for these high profile people to take a stand against what they view as an injustice, knowing damn well it puts them all in the crosshairs of the people organizing these obviously politically motivated, targeted attacks.


    Even someone as inconsequential as me got targeted over my support of Gunn, with dozens of random Twitter users calling me a pedophile apologist because I dared defend a guy who once made bad jokes about the subject 10 years ago. I can't imagine what Chris Pratt's social media is going to be like in the wake of this.


    I don't claim to know James Gunn's heart. I've met the guy a few times over the last 10 years and get along pretty well with him on a movie geek (and cigar appreciator) level. I first interviewed him for his great horror comedy SLITHER and have talked to him a few times, both on and off the record, in the years since. I may not know him well, but my impression of the man is the same I get from reading the Guardians cast's letter or the description of him I see repeated over and over again from people who have worked with him.


    Yes, he's got a dark sense of humor. That's obvious from his filmography. You don't start your career in Troma if you're a Sunday school teacher. You don't get your big break writing a hard R-rated zombie movie if you're scared of crossing lines. You don't make a movie like SUPER if you have any qualms about offending people to get a message across.


    Beneath that humor, though, is heart. The message of the Guardians movies isn't to be cynical assholes that like to shock people. Quite the opposite, actually. It's about shedding that devil-may-care persona and being able to fully love. It's about the strength of the family you choose, not necessarily the family you're born into.



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    Movies aren't made by a single person, but it's clear that without Gunn's voice Guardians of the Galaxy wouldn't have been the lightning in a bottle experience it was. That's why, creatively, the cast and many entertainment reporters feel like Disney is cutting its nose off to spite its face here and why they're imploring the studio to reconsider.


    Will Disney listen?

  • The End of Best & Worst

    3 months ago

    tomtom4468

    We had a good run here for awhile, but all good things must come to an end. Before I go any further, let me make it perfectly clear... I'M NOT LEAVING THIS SITE! I love posting on RT and I will not be abandoning this account anytime soon. In fact, I'm already working on something new to replace this with. This is just the end of this particular series.


    I'm making this decision for a couple of reasons...


    1.) It kinda got boring. For awhile there, this was something I was just doing because I felt like I had to. I wasn't enjoying writing these posts, it felt like an annoying grind and it lost its appeal very quickly.


    2.) I changed my viewing habits. Recently, I made the decision to not see every single movie that comes out like I was before. Obviously, that puts something like this in an awkward position. I don't really see the point in doing a monthly blog post of best and worst movies if I'm not making the effort to see as many movies as possible.


    So that's it. It's over. Don't go away because I will be doing something else real soon! Until then, maybe check out some of my podcasts...


    Clark Film- http://clarkfilm.libsyn.com/ 

    The Clark Sessions- http://clarksessions.libsyn.com/ 

    The Television Archive- https://anchor.fm/tvarchive 

    CBM Weekly- http://cbmweekly.libsyn.com/ 

  • A Peek Behind The Curtain Of Robert Rodriguez's and James Cameron's Alita: Battle Angel!

    3 months ago

    ericvespe

    James Cameron took a very long break after the exhausting production and release of Titanic. People forget now, but the common thought in Hollywood was that Cameron was working on a Heaven's Gate-level bomb. Too much money was being spent on a romantic historical romance, they said. The audience just wasn't going to show up. Then the movie made two billion dollars.


    It was twelve years before Cameron made another movie and that next movie was almost Alita: Battle Angel. In fact, he was developing it alongside what would become Avatar and went back and forth between the two on which would be his Titanic followup. At the end of the day his script for Alita was just way too long and Cameron couldn't manage everything he wanted to do in just one movie, so he shifted focus to Avatar and once again made box office history.


    Cut to 2015. Robert Rodriguez was having lunch with Cameron and asked him what projects he worked on that never happened. Cameron mentioned Alita and Rodriguez asked to read it, all 180+ pages of it.


    Rodriguez was immediately enamored with the story, based on the Japanese manga, of an android girl discovering her history and deciding on whether she was going to be a force for good in the world or the brutal weapon she was constructed to be.


    So Rodriguez came back to Cameron with an interesting request: Could he edit the script? He was clear that he didn't intend to rewrite it. He said he could edit the material already there down to a shootable version and Cameron could do whatever he wanted with the result... Re-develop it for himself, throw it out, whatever.


    Cameron said sure, go for it and four months later Rodriguez sent him the drastically shorter script and when Cameron and his longtime producing partner Jon Landau read it they were astonished because while the script was shorter by a third they couldn't tell what had been snipped. Everything they wanted to say with this story was there. The action set pieces were still there and still thrilling, the tale of a girl transitioning into womanhood was still at the forefront. It was the movie Cameron had in mind, just more concise.


    He was so impressed with the work Rodriguez did he figured he had found the man to actually make the movie a reality. Once again Avatar took priority for Cameron who was neck deep in all the sequels he was writing, so he tasked Rodriguez with directing Alita. Cameron was always a phone call away to answer questions and Cameron's right hand man, Jon Landau, was always at Rodriguez's side.



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    You'd think that could be suffocating for a filmmaker who has defined his career by getting his complete vision on the screen doing as much of the movie as he could. From operating his own camera to writing, producing, composing, editing and even doing his own VFX, Rodriguez has a reputation for being a lone wolf, creatively speaking.


    But in this case his vision was to make this film as much like a James Cameron movie as possible. He underlined this to me when I visited the Austin set of Alita: Battle Angel last year. He said he didn't want to make a Troublemaker Studios movie, he wanted to make a Lightstorm movie, which is why all the footage from the trailers look a bit different from what you expect from a Robert Rodriguez joint. Lots of CG and dynamic action, yes, but also huge practical sets and a little bit more breathing room when it comes to the editing and character moments.


    Wrongly or rightly Rodriguez's style has become synonymous with greenscreen filmmaking pretty much since Sin City. But that's definitely not his approach this time out.


    The result is an approach that hopefully takes the strengths of both Lightstorm and Troublemaker and melds them into something new and unique. The integration was so important to Cameron that he even had a sign put up at his California offices that said “Troublemaker West,” and Rodriguez answered by putting a sign up in his Austin studios that said “Lightstorm South.”


    A full year of preproduction went into designing this crazy world. James Cameron's art team worked hand in hand with Rodriguez's Austin team and came up with designs that are both faithful to the look and feel from the original Manga while also being something that worked for the big screen.



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    In the Battle Angel world cybernetic augmentation is the norm. Sometimes it's slight... a hand, a foot, an arm. Sometimes it's major. There's one character, played by Jackie Earle Haley, that is pretty much just a human head on a gargantuan 8 foot tall robot brute body.


    The design team took that year and cranked out many variations of cybernetically enhanced people. I saw art of an old man playing a double-necked guitar with robotic arms that had two hands, one for each neck of the guitar, for instance. You've seen the trailers by now, so you've seen a glimpse at how far they've gone to populate this world.


    The majority of the film takes place in Iron City, a poor slum city that lives off the discards of the rich, exclusive, protected floating city above them. This is where Christoph Waltz's Dr. Ido finds a broken Alita (played entirely in motion capture by Rosa Salazar) in a junkyard. Something about her moves him and what he does to help her might give a hint at what exactly he feels for this person.



    alita-battle-angel-trailer.jpg



    She awakens with a new body constructed with loving care and attention to detail. Floral patterns are intricately carved with silver metallic flourishes. It's a small body, built for a child. We find out Dr. Ido built this for his sick daughter, with the intention of giving her back her mobility and freedom, but he was too late. In short he begins to view this stranger as the daughter he never had.



    alitabattleangle.jpg



    This is a story of second chances. Ido has a second chance at being a father and Alita has a chance to be a different kind of person. She may not remember her past, but her past remembers her and it's not exactly filled with rose pedals and puppy dogs.


    For the set visit I was walked around Iron City, which was built on Troublemaker's backlot, just across the fence from where I sit typing this over at Rooster Teeth's Austin Studios offices, as a matter of fact. On screen the city will tower dozens of stories tall. They didn't go that far in reality, but they did build multiple connected city blocks up two stories. CG will take care of the rest, but the foundation will be real. Every wall, window, door, sign, road, step will be real so it won't just look like actors composited against a CG backdrop.


    Iron City had a very Rodriguez feel. This place looks like futuristic Desperado. Heavy Latino influence, but mixed with a handful of other cultures, especially Asian, to create a new blend that's lived-in, patched together with every available resource and feels like it's covered in dust.

    The only filming I got to witness with my own eyes was a crowd scene as spectators cheer and boo the players of a brutal but popular sport called Motorball. If you've ever seen the James Caan Rollerball, think of it that way, but with way more robot augmentations that allow for some crazier games.


    Christoph Waltz was in the stands watching on nervously. Alita is taking part and the deck is stacked against her. While in the stands Waltz recognizes some of her competitors as assassins and tries to warn her that this isn't just a game and her life is in danger.


    One thing I noticed is that most of the extras weren't dressed super futuristically. This isn't Blade Runner where everybody is wearing plastic ties and holding glowing umbrellas. There was a punk vibe to those in the stands, but still pretty modern-looking.


    In short everything I saw and personally experienced felt every measure the combination of James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez I was promised by producer Jon Landau at the beginning of the visit. They're taking some wild swings with this one, particularly in the design of Alita herself. 



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    Much has already been made about the giant anime eyes. Some hate it, some love it, some are just perplexed by it. It's weird and so will a bunch of this movie, but that's usually the secret to Cameron's success. Giant CG blue cat people was weird as hell, too, but then became the biggest movie in the world for a decade.


    There's no guarantee this movie will hit anywhere near Avatar levels. In many ways it's a harder sell and the filmmakers seem to know this.


    When asked if this movie was being planned as the start of a franchise or a complete one off, Landau gave a real interesting answer. He said they didn't want to have the hubris to assume a sequel, but they wanted to be smart and have some pieces in place for further films. That's the reason for the slight change in the title. The original manga is called Battle Angel Alita. The reason for calling it Alita: Battle Angel makes it easier to title potential sequels, like Alita: Fallen Angel, etc.


    I myself can't make any kind of final judgment call on what we'll be getting come December 21st, but I can say whatever the final product ends up being it wasn't haphazardly thrown together. It has two insanely creative filmmakers joining forces with all the strengths of their individual teams and some of the best effects houses in the world to tell a futuristic action adventure with actual time spent on character development.


    Anyway, I hope that gives you guys a little peek behind the curtain at what's been going on with Alita: Battle Angel. Thanks for reading along and thanks to Fox and Troublemaker for letting me wander the streets of Iron City and letting all you guys know about what I saw.



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  • At the Screwvies: Episode 113

    3 months ago

    g1Features

    tumblr_p8a32rVe5z1vuwsa7o7_r1_1280.png

    MADHERO: It is upon us once again. The Great Comic-Con News Flood.  That time of year when every studio decides to tease whoever is crazy enough to make the trip to San Diego and stand in line for literal days to get into Hall H to get a small teaser none of us get to see, except for Warner Bros, who does release its stuff. It was enough for Larry to say " fuck that" and go see family abroad instead.


    STICKMAN: The great Comic Con flood has consumed Larry. He won't be seen for at least two weeks. Thoughts and prayers.


    MADHERO: Tis a shame. Who knows what our theater expert would think of Mamma Mia. Now its up to us heathens to talk about it. But before we do that, might as well dip into said flood and find the good stuff.


    STICKMAN: I hope there's a big lizard boy in there.


    NEWS

    JAMES GUNN FIRED FROM GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 FOLLOWING RIGHT-WING SMEAR CAMPAIGN.

    gunnanimal-678x381.jpg  

    Okay, so...this is maybe one of the most shocking, out of nowhere news stories we've ever covered on At the Screwvies. Marvel may have sat Comic Con out, but they've stolen the media spotlight big-time, for all the wrong reasons. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and 2  has been fired from Marvel Studios, Disney, and production of Vol 3 following a right-wing internet campaign calling for his termination, following the re-emergence of offensive tweets from over 9 years ago.


    The tweets in question were poorly conceived jokes about rape and pedophilia that, at the time, weren't nearly as controversial as they are now. These were tweets that had already been brought to light in 2014 following his hiring for the first GotG film, where Gunn apologized profusely and everything moved on smoothly.  These same jokes are now deemed reason for instant termination. These actions of course, were spearheaded by a far-right personality most well known for the moronic 'Pizzagate' debacle, and he himself is known, to this date to make poor taste comments regarding the semantics of rape. This situation is truly perplexing, and somewhat depressing. Whilst the jokes in question are indeed awful,  this is something dealt with a long time ago, and Gunn has proven himself to have evolved since then. His sudden termination throws the future of the MCU into chaos, as both GotG3, and the wider cosmic side of the series leaned heavily on the style/tone he established in two highly loved, financially successful films. Drax actor Dave Bautista has already rallied support to the director,  as well as support from Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, his brother Sean Gunn and Chris Pratt, so it's going to be interesting to see where things go from here. A shitty, shocking situation for sure.


    MADHERO: Well, this was quite the shocker


    STICKMAN: Genuinely didn't believe it when I saw the tweets. I thought it was a joke.


    MADHERO: I heard it from Hollywood Reporter, who don't usually report bullshit. I honestly did not know there was a controversy going on, even when Gunn explained on Twitter about his past tweets. I never in a million years thought it would lead to this.


    STICKMAN: I'm in a fortunate enough position where I don't hear about this shit until things like this happen. So yeah, this came completely out of nowhere.


    MADHERO: I think the biggest bummer of the situation is how it isn't actually done by people who care that Gunn tweeted something offensive. They just wanted to punish him for being vocally Anti-Trump. Disney of course was in a similar situation with Roseanne Barr, but that was incredibly recent and continuous behavior, whereas Gunn's was close to a decade now.


    STICKMAN: Yeah, this was never a campaign for decency, it was a revenge crusade. It's a fucking shitty situation and the people who made it happen are a brigade of spineless cunts. Not that cunts have spines, generally.


    MADHERO: Pretty much. Lets not mince those words: those jokes made by Gunn were pretty fucking bad, and he admits as much. He's very much shed that needlessly provocative image and become a much better person as a result. While I have no doubt that GOTG Vol. 3 will probably turn out fine regardless, it feels like a far bigger issue than just 1 movie. This really sets a dangerous precedent.


    STICKMAN: The things he said were bad, but if we don't give people the chance to atone and grow from these things, what hope do any of us have, really? We've all said shitty things online, ill-informed,  backwards or heat of the moment kinda shit. I'm sure we'll (mostly) much better people now.


    MADHERO: You can't really expect a human being to be flawless throughout their whole life. Its gonna be interesting what happens and if Disney will turn this decision around with pressure from the cast. My guess is they won't, but we can hope for the best.


    STICKMAN: I'd really like to see Disney just be like....alright, our bad, sorry guys, and this situation resolves itself. But I see it as a bridge burned, that'll be hard to repair. It's just a damn shitty situation and nothing good will come from it.


    WARNER BROS RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR AQUAMAN

    As part of the big Warner Bros trailerpalooza, we got our long awaited trailer for the next DCEU/Worlds of DC goaround: Aquaman. Much pressure exists on this movie what with the character initially introduced in Justice League, which didn't exactly do great and left people mixed on Jason Momoa's interpretation of the character. Plus, Aquaman has always been an easy punchline for being able to talk to fish and not much else. DC has desperately tried to make him cool, with some hilarious results. But still, with all these movies, there's always the hope that this'll be more of a Wonder Woman than BvS, because we all want these to do well.


    With all that pressure, this trailer actually comes out of it pretty well. We get a quick dose of his origin and the overall story (evil half brother Patrick Wilson is taking the throne and is ready to wage war with the surface) as well as a quest to get some magical macguffins to seal his claim to the throne. Easily the highlights are the shots of Atlantis and the creature design, with an surprisingly accurate Black Manta and some wild underwater monsters and armored sharks. It looks pretty damn wild and varied. James Wan is a very capable filmmaker who already succeeded under enormous pressure with Furious Seven. Hopefully, he can do the same with this.

    STICKMAN: I'm very conflicted.


    MADHERO: It was probably the weakest of the trailers we'll talk about, which doesn't include Crimes of Grindelwald. I'm really impressed with the world design, and that's cause I absolutely adore underwater life, so I'm feeling cautiously optimistic. Key word being cautiously.


    STICKMAN: I'd be very cautious yeah, this is the last of the DC films that were in the works after the BvS fallout, so there's no telling how much it was affected. Some parts of it look amazing visually, other parts look awful...that crowd cheering scene? Oof.


    MADHERO: The shark in the aquarium doesn't look great either, as does Amber Heard's wig. Still, don't wanna reel on effects too much when they're still going through work. Will judge after the release. I'm surprised how cool Black Manta looks all things considered.


    STICKMAN: Black Manta did look cool, and some parts of the film looked fun, they definitely seem to have balanced the tones out a bit more.


    MADHERO: It probably looks the most like an MCU film of any of the films they've released so far. I think one of the things that gives me hope is James Wan, who's proven himself under enormous pressure as a very capable blockbuster filmmaker.


    STICKMAN: James Wan needs to escape from the DC lot at Warner Bros, run to the horror department and start making The Conjuring 3 already, for fuck's sake.


    MADHERO: Why do that when you make all the spin-offs? Its gonna be interesting how this does after Justice League tanked, but I wanna believe in lil Aquabro, cause I'm a glutton for punishment.


    STICKMAN: Aquabro was awful in Justice League and I have no reason to trust the DCEU at all. Prove me wrong, Warner Bros, prove me wrong.


    WARNER BROS RELEASES SURPRISE SHAZAM TRAILER. SHOWS OFF COMEDIC TONE

    Whilst we were all expecting the Aquaman trailer to finally drop at Comic Con this year, and indeed this was confirmed well in advance...the jury was definitely out on the April 2019 DCEU follow-up getting anything shown off outside of the fabled Hall H. Despite this, Warner Bros surprised us all with our first, rather substantial trailer for SHAZAM, and things are looking quite different from what we've seen from the DCEU prior.


    And it is indeed a DCEU film, which wasn't 100% clear prior to this trailer, but is now deafening clear thanks to its frequent use of Justice League themed t-shirts, a batarang, and some expositional newspapers. Other than that, you could be mistaken for thinking we had established a very different DCEU, because this film is looking very bright, bubbly and comedy-centric, everything DCEU film's prior (With the exception of Wonder Woman) stood violently against.  We're introduced to Asher Angel's Billy Batson, who after moving in with a new foster family, who's other child is the wheezy asthma kid from last year's IT, is chosen by the titular hero to embody his many powers, activated by saying his name, which of course, turns him into Zachary Levi, who's on fine form as a kid turned superhero adult. After that we see him and his foster brother testing out his abilities, and encountering Mark Strong in shitty makeup. The whole film looks a lot more fun than anything we've seen from DC lately, and hopefully that will pay off for a fresher, more entertaining movie next April.


    MADHERO: Well hey, we might have been proven wrong.


    STICKMAN: Well...this could go wrong very easily, but it is a promising first look.


    MADHERO: This trailer is very confident in its tone, a very clear idea what it wants to be. The training sequence and finding out about the powers feels very Chronicle almost, albeit a lot nicer in tone.


    STICKMAN: It's like Chronicles but with actual superheroes and less child abuse....so far at least. And a lot less Max Landis, which as we all know is the best thing.


    MADHERO: Exactly. While I was a little surprised by his casting, I can't deny that Zachary Levi is pretty much a perfect fit as a child stuck in the body of a superhero. He seems to be having a lot of fun in this trailer.


    STICKMAN: He was the most assuring part of the trailer, he's doing great in that role, we can already tell.


    MADHERO: Yeah, his performance (and to an extent Asher Angel's performance as kid Billy Batson) are what going to make or break this movie. Its gonna be interesting how Mark Strong is gonna fit in it. He's not in it much but his role is also pretty comedic apparently.


    STICKMAN: I'm more hopeful for this than Aquaman that's for sure, which is kinda sad when you think about it.


    MADHERO: Its a much more smaller film than that one. Plus its completely fresh. I was happily surprised, and hope the film will as well.


    STICKMAN: It just makes me want to shout out...hey this looks neat.


    BLUMHOUSE SHOWS OFF FIRST TRAILER FOR M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN’S GLASS

    Its been a while since M. Night Shyamalan produced what's probably his greatest twist of all: the fact his movie Split, a neat little Blumhouse thriller showing off James McAvoy's acting range, turned out to be the long awaited sequel to 2000's Unbreakable, Shyamalan's interesting take on the superhero genre (even more so today, now that they dominate the Hollywood landscape). With Split being a huge success, the long awaited crossover was announced fairly soon after, with the film shown off where else: Comic-Con.


    Picking up close after Split, it  shows David Dunn (Bruce Willis), James McAvoy's many personalities and Samuel L. Jackson's Mr. Glass stuck in a psychiatric ward, questioned by Sarah Paulson on their supposed delusion of grandeur. We get a bit of a recap of what every character's been up to, with McAvoy continuing kidnapping girls and Bruce Willis going all pre-cog on us. We get some teases of the inevitable clash between the hero and villain, as it looks like Brucie might be in a bit of a pickle. Its looking atmospheric, intriguing and it looks like M. Night is able to make Bruce Willis give a shit. That's remarkable on its own.


    STICKMAN: I'm in the minority who thought Split was a huge pile of shit, so I'm not really feeling this weird crossover with cliche dialogue.


    MADHERO: Oh daaaaaaaaaaaang. Someone's raining over the parade with their perfectly valid opinions that I happen to disagree with.


    STICKMAN: Itsone of those films I genuinely don't get the mostly universal love for? The dialogue was really  bad, and whilst James McAvoy gave a very diverse series of performances, they were all pretty camp and sometimes offensive. Also, I don't really get what Glass' super power is...he's...easy to hurt? Amazing.


    MADHERO: Well he'll be one orchestrating the confrontation in all likelihood. Plus he’s super duper smart. I know you really did not like Split, but what about Unbreakable?


    STICKMAN: Unbreakable was pretty good but I don't think it's aged super well. Given Bruce Willis hasn't given a damn in anything since Looper, I dunno what to expect from his role in this. Samuel L Jackson is always worth turning up for, though.


    MADHERO: Well Shyamalan has managed to wrangle some of his best performances out of him in Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, so I hope he does the same here, cause no one wants to go to a movie theater seeing Bruce Willis not give a shit. They can do that with his Direct to DVD movies.


    STICKMAN: And any other movie he's starred in since Looper. Anyway, I'm not particularly interested in this, but I guess it's neat that Unbreakable is getting a sequel...I guess. Mhmmh.


    WARNER BROS AND LEGENDARY SHOW OFF EPIC TRAILER FOR GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

    Oh boy OH BOOOOYY. Now this is what I was wanting from Comic Con most of all. With a May 2019 release, it wasn't a done deal that this would have anything to show for itself outside of Hall H, but after a somewhat shoddily produced teaser trailer, and MONARCH based viral marketing campaign made a splash on the internet earlier in the week, this became a done deal. And thus, here it is...and holy shit, what a first impression it makes.


    Oh boy OH BOOOOYY. Now this is what I was wanting from Comic Con most of all. With a May 2019 release, it wasn't a done deal that this would have anything to show for itself outside of Hall H, but after a somewhat shoddily produced teaser trailer, and MONARCH based viral marketing campaign made a splash on the internet earlier in the week, this became a done deal. And thus, here it is...and holy shit, what a first impression it makes.


    Following on from 2017's Kong Skull Island , and more specifically the 2014 previous Godzilla film, the next installment in Legendary's semi-successful 'Monsterverse' is seeking to remedy the less lauded aspects of the previous Godzilla movie, namely it being too dark and...well, lacking much in the way of Godzilla...and is doubling down, or moreso quadrupling down on the monster madness.  Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah all make an appearance in this trailer in some capacity, with the latter two being teased oh so deliciously. The premise seems to involve young girl Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and her mother (Vera Farmiga, continuing her Worst Mom Ever streak) taking her along as she awakens the four most deadly kaiju, or 'titans' on the planet, supposedly in order to restore balance to a dying Earth. But judging from the devastation displayed in the trailer, with Washington DC looking less like a city and more like a burning sand pit? She's not done a very good job. Overall this is a fantastic first trailer, demonstrating the same style of epic visual splendor as the first film, albeit one more visible, and loaded with glorious monster carnage. ROLL ON MAAAAAY.


    MADHERO: Holy fuuuuuuuck. I don't know what it is about the MonsterVerse, but they've got some of the best trailer editors working on it. Skull Island had some amazing trailers, and this really comes out kicking.


    STICKMAN: They really know how to sell a film, hopefully this time they'll be able to make a film that lives up to that standard too. I liked Godzilla 2014 a lot, and Skull Island was really fun too, but both of them were pretty flawed at the same time.


    MADHERO: I think the 2 biggest complaints about Godzilla is that it didn't have enough Godzilla or kept relentlessly teasing him, and the fairly generic bad monsters as the bad guys. And this trailer, while just a small snippet, seems to suggest they're fixing both.


    STICKMAN: Oh boy oh boy. We got the goodies this time, with more yet to be seen within the film, apparently. If Gigan turns up, who's the best Godzilla monster, I will scream.


    MADHERO: Godzooky or GTFO. Its gonna be pretty wild if there's more than just these 4, but they'll no doubt be teasing throughout the marketing. Gigan is probably a bridge too far, but maybe Barogun, or Gamera for maximum crossover appeal.


    STICKMAN: No doubt we'll find out before the film comes out, because merchandising leaks and WHAT NOT. But I  was already stoked for this film, obviously...but the trailer...which not only existed, but managed to be better than anything any of us could have expected? OH MAN. Now I'm horny.


    MADHERO: That Mothra shot was fucking gorgeous.


    STICKMAN: There's so many great shots, but yeah, that one, with the music and all, FUCKIN MAJESTIC AS HELL. Mothra gonna fuck shit up.


    MADHERO: A lot of shit is gonna get fucked looking at the trailer. Its gonna be a blast.


    JOKER ORIGIN MOVIE STARRING JOAQUIN PHOENIX OFFICIALLY HAPPENING. WILL RELEASE ON OCTOBER 2019

    Joaquin-Phoenix-Joker-645x370.jpg

    When it comes to WB'S DC productions, its always a bit of a wait and see what actually gets made or not. For a while, it felt like we got a new announcement every week, and who knows what even goes ahead. One of those pitches was a standalone Joker origin story directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) which would not be the origin of Leto Joker (guess we'll never know who tattooed Damaged), but in the style of a 70's or 90's Scorsese crime film. It all sounded a little silly, but not only is it happening: its got a star, a name and even a release date.


    Simply titled Joker, it will star Joaquin Phoenix of all people as the Clown Prince of Crime before he fell in a vat of acid, and Zazie Beetz (Domino in Deadpool 2) is in talks to be his love interest, as well as Robert de Niro just to add to the Scorseseness of it all. Shooting is supposes to happen in September, with n release date planned for October 2019, which is really fucking fast for this type of film. That speed is thanks to the relatively low budget (around 55 million), which gives them the oppurtunity to be more experimental and hard edged (its almost definitely rated R). Needless to say, this is a weird project, and giving Joker an origin is a bad idea. But Phoenix is one of my favourite actors and I'm very curious with his take, and he picks his projects carefully. So yeah, very conflicted about this


    STICKMAN: Like you say, promising cast and all that...and although the Joker has had origin stories, they tend to be parallel to another story, I'm not sure I'd dedicate an entire solo-film to this alone.


    MADHERO: Well the Joker is still an insanely popular character that they'd like to make money on with more than just Batman films that aren't being made right now. Its all sounding like a one-off experimental type thing.


    STICKMAN: I'm not even sure Joaquin Phoenix is suited to the role, necessarily. He's a great actor, but I can't really picture him in white makeup and red lipstick, prancing around like a murderous clown.


    MADHERO: Yeah, but we said the same about Heath Ledger back in the day. Phoenix has a lot more range than people give him credit for, but I don't really know how to compare to any of the other Jokers that have been on screen.


    STICKMAN: It's not entirely assured that he will be the Joker as we know him in this film. It depends on how they play it. It's a weird idea, and like you say, it could work big time, and open the door for more experimental DC films that offer more than just blockbuster entertainment, or it's going to be a massive disaster and the only one of these we see.


    MADHERO: It feels more something like Logan than anything done beforehand. That's probably what they're going for. I have no idea what to make of it, but its coming out fairly soon, so I guess we'll find out.


    STICKMAN: The close release date is also a bit troubling. BUT OH WELL. It's not like DC have ever made a bad mov-oh.


    ----------------

    MADHERO: Phew,  I think that about does it for all the news out there. You almost forget that with all this talking and announcing and whatnot, that Hollywood actually releases movies as well. Its almost.....impossible to follow everything.


    STICKMAN: So much news, hoo wee. So much news.


     MADHERO: Its alright, Stickman. We could go at it again, but let's focus on this varied list of films of which we're only interested in one.


    STICKMAN: What a great idea....I guess?


    MOVIES

    MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT

    DIRECTOR: Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation)

    STARRING: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Michelle Rodriguez, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett

    SYNOPSIS: When an IMF mission ends badly, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt (Cruise) takes it upon himself to fulfill his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.

    STICKMAN: OHHH BAYBEEE


    MADHERO: Apparently the best action movie since Fury Road according to some critics, and if that isn't enough to get you interested, well I don't know what will.


    STICKMAN: I'm fuckin pumped as HELLL. The last few Mission Impossible films have been really great, so I'm glad this has not only continued that trend, but upped it again? How many other franchises top themselves at film 6.


    MADHERO: Its weird. I always like these films, but then I don't really feel excitement up until the moment they're almost out. And its pretty wild  it just keeps going with the spectacle. Guess it helps having someone as insane as Tom Cruise.


    STICKMAN: They fucking throw him out of a god damn plane in this one. They literally have to launch Tom Cruise into space next time to beat the stunts in this one.


    MADHERO:  Also I guess now we know that Cavill's Justice League ruining moustache was worth it.


    STICKMAN: I hear his villainous motivation in this film is chasing all the girls.


    MADHERO: Ooooh. Topical. Reports are that the last half hour is an absolute ride and I'm here for it.


    STICKMAN: I'm fucking reaaadddy. Gonna see that shit in IMAX, even though they've forced it to be in 3D here. FUCK.


    MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN

    DIRECTOR: Ol Parker (Now Is Good)

    STARRING: Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Lily James, Cher, Dominic Cooper, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard

    SYNOPSIS: Sophie (Seyfired) is pregnant with Sky's (Cooper) child while running her mother's villa. Sophie will find out more of Donna's (Streep, James) past and how she came to start up her villa without a mother to guide.

    STICKMAN: Oh shit, here we go again.


    MADHERO: Credit where credit is due, that's the best sequel title since Electric Boogaloo.


    STICKMAN: I feel like this joins the likes of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in the camp of...REALLY...A SEQUEL AT THIS STAGE?


    MADHERO: The original Mamma Mia feels like it released a million years ago and yet it was only 2008, which was.....10 years ago. Fuck.


    STICKMAN: It's the same age as The Dark Knight. And clearly, has had the same impact on modern cinema.


    MADHERO: To be fair, its not a film made for us. Its a light fluffy jukebox musical and it apparently gets the job done. Better than the first, but stuck using ABBA's B material with a few repeats. Hopefully now they're given to people who can actually sing.


    STICKMAN: For me, the original was like getting a hammer to the balls and I couldn't sit through 5 seconds of it. This is getting a 2D IMAX screening through...for those who want the ultimate....Mamma Mia...experience...Mamma MiMAX?


    MADHERO: I saw the first one with my family and it was not a good time. Luckily, I don't have to see the 2nd one, but I hope those that do will have fun.


    TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES

    DIRECTOR: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail (episodes of Teen Titans Go)

    STARRING: Scott Menville, Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, 

    SYNOPSIS: The Teen Titans (Menville, Cipes etc.) learn that almost every hero in the DC Universe has their own films. However, they find a window of opportunity for their own movie by having their own nemesis: Slade (Arnett).

    MADHERO: Boy this could not release at a better time after that Titans trailer.


    STICKMAN: FUCK BATMAN.


    MADHERO: Got fucked so hard that he's not in this movie, but Alfred is. Yet they did get Wil Arnett and cast him as Slade/Deathstroke.


    STICKMAN: Batman's in the movie,  he's played by Jimmy Kimmel. So that's another reason not to watch this film I guess.


    MADHERO: O dang, my bad. Its made for kids, so its fine. We can watch Titans instead, like adults too cool for school.


    STICKMAN: I think maybe Titans...in all its forms, just aren't for me. I'm too...complex..and dark...and alone. You see. Hnngh. Sometimes, the darkness, feels good.


    MADHERO: Let the kids have their goofy cartoon again. I will grumble in the corner wishing for my old Teen Titans while the writers point and laugh at me.


    STICKMAN: What annoys me about Teen Titans GO is that they know it sucks...they know people want something else, and that's the joke? If you're aware of the problem why not course correct instead of laughing about how bad you aAAaAAAArre.


    MADHERO: Because META!


    STICKMAN: AAAAGGH


    THE EQUALIZER 2

    DIRECTOR: Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer, The Magnificent Seven)

    STARRING: Denzel Washington, Ashton Sanders, Pedro Pascal, Jonathan Scarfe, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman

    SYNOPSIS: Robert McCall (Washington) learns that one of his longtime friends has been murdered. McCall decides to return to his old ways and seek out, find and punish the perpetrators.

    STICKMAN: Who saw this getting a sequel.


    MADHERO: Worse. Who saw this getting a sequel and NOT call it The Sequalizer.


    STICKMAN: Ahh, huge missed opportunity. Shut it down.


    MADHERO: It feels weird that this is Denzel's first every sequel. The Equalizer was a perfectly adequate dad action movie. And the sequel is....just doing that again, but now its REVENGE!


    STICKMAN: I've never seen the previous film...it looked...fine? Nothing amazing, which seems to be an accurate summary.


    MADHERO: I feel like Washington as a actor and Fuqua as a director can do way better. I'm more baffled by its existence than the film itself, which just looks really generic.


    STICKMAN: Yeah, you'd feel Denzel would be above this, but hey ho. Gotta pay the bills.


    MADHERO: We all fall prey to the easy paycheck. Speaking of which....


    UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB

    DIRECTOR: Stephen Suscu (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Connor del Rio

    SYNOPSIS: A teen picks up a new laptop from a lost-and-found bin and finds a cache of secret files on it. While on a video call with his friends, he discovers the disturbing nature of the files

    MADHERO: Boy this really is the "boy, who'd have throught that'd get a sequel" type of episode.


    STICKMAN: I mean it's a horror film, and a bad one too, that means it's GUARANTEED to get a sequel.


    MADHERO: I don't think I ever saw the original, and don't really have plans to tbh. Instead of a spooky cyber ghost, it seems to be criminals now.


    STICKMAN: That's not nearly as stupid though. It just won't work.


    MADHERO: I don't really have many strong opinions for this film. Its reviews have been surprisingly decent. And lord knows I've felt tense awaiting a Facebook message, so you know you can milk horror out of it.


    STICKMAN: The basic premise of a found footage screen capture film is neat...and there's a more promising looking film along that nature coming out in the future, as for this one....passssss.


    MADHERO: Also, before I forget. Apparently this movie has 2 different endings, so you may get something completely different depending on where you see it.


    STICKMAN: That's kinda weird, but neat. I GUESS.


    -----------------


    MADHERO: Alright that's it for all the movies. A lot of sequels for movies made for your mom or dad. But if Mission Impossible ain't for you. Don't worry. There's always MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


    STICKMAN: OH SHIIIIIIIET


    MADHERO: As it turns out, its quite difficult to go see a movie on vacation because you're supposed to do other stuff, but I think I've managed.


    STICKMAN: Did you though, did you reaaaaally?


    MADHERO: I meaaaan......ok fine. Here it is.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    So with me having gone on vacation, I haven't really been watching a lot of movies in the theater since Incredibles, so I had to look at what came out on DVD, and noticed a film that might actually really benefit from having a home release. With Comic-Con going on, there's probably no better time to talk Ready Player One again: the ultimate movie for you to go "hey, I recognize that" made by one of the greatest directors of all time.


    Now RPO is definitely not one of Spielberg's better films, but it does do a good job in erasing a lot of the navel-gazing and in-love-with-itself attitude of the original novel its based on. Its a ginourmous roller coaster ride, and Spielberg is an expert craftsman of those, but hadn't really done one since Tintin in 2011. The action is absolutely bonkers to follow, which makes spotting some of the references difficult. Luckily, you can now pause the movie whenever you want and look, and spot that supposed Amaterasu from Okami you desperately tried to find but couldn't. It'll probably take all day, but its something to keep you busy.


    STICKMAN: I haven't seen this film but I hear it's got Xenomorphs, Master Chief and Mecha-Godzilla, so that's worth something.


    MADHERO: All of those are pretty damn easy to spot. MechaGodzilla especially.


    STICKMAN: A giant robo-boy with missiles is hard to miss I guess. Some people seem to love this film and others seem to hate it with a fiery passion.


    MADHERO: I thought it was fine. Again, it removes a lot of the more problematic elements of the book, but it still has a pretty clunky script and really underdeveloped characters. Its a movie you go to for the rollercoaster ride, and not necessarily the story.


    STICKMAN: Seems like it's at least fun, and full of things to point at and go "There they are"


    MADHERO: Too many things, which is why watching it at home is perfect. Because damn it, Hello Kitty is there somewhere.


    STICKMAN: Hello Kitty is piloting Mechagodzilla, duh.


    MADHERO: What about your film? Is Hello Kitty in there?


    STICKMAN: Hello Kitty was never really here. SOOOO, although I saw Incredibles 2 last week and liked it quite a lot, we've spoken about that a lot recently, so I thought I'd go to the DVD releases and talk about my current favourite film of the year,  YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE. Previously mention Joaquin Phoneix stars in, maybe one of his best roles as a tormented, broken rescuer of kidnapped and trafficked young girls. And when I say broken, I mean...TRULY broken. I've never seen another performance like this, it's quite spectacular.

    Beyond his performance alone, the visuals are spectacular, and the sound design is incredible. The soundtrack, by Jonny Greenwood, of Radiohead and Phantom Thread fame is one of this year's best too. It's not an easy watch, this film very quickly goes to some dark places and never comes back out...and this is a arthouse/narrative hybrid film, so some people may find it a frustrating watch, but for me, it's an experience the likes of which I've never seen at the cinema, and I can confirm, it's still marvelous on Blu Ray too.


    MADHERO: Oh. I don't think Hello Kitty is a part of this.


    STICKMAN: I mean she might turn up, I won't spoil it for you.


    MADHERO: Joaquin Phoenix is one of my favorite actors, so I'm still very much planning on seeing this. Lynne Ramsey as well really impressed/depressed me with We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I think this might do the same.


    STICKMAN: She's a great director, Kevin like you say, was a great, but depressing film...this one's a weird mixture of emotions, dark, upsetting, but in a weird way...kinda uplifting? I dunno, maybe it's just the music doing that. It's a unique cinematic experience, that's for sure.


    MADHERO: You see this play in Oscar time? I feel like this is something that's really going under the radar.


    STICKMAN: I feel like this is the sorta film that'll get shut out...early in the year release, difficult subject matter and obtuse presentation. Sound Editing nomination seems pretty guaranteed though.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Awesome. I think that about wraps everything up. No vacations for now, which is good because you might be cornered by your former stuffed animals or a huge shark. There's really no inbetween.


    STICKMAN: Do you mean...PooooooooOOOOOooooOOOOOOOOHH!?


    MADHERO: Yes, Pooh. The silly old bear is giving Obi Wan a bit of a bother.


    STICKMAN: Well, as the bear himself would say "Fucking hell". GOODBYE


    MADHERO: Later everyone. Don't let Slenderman catch you.

  • Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal and Carlos Lopez Estrada Reveal How Friendship Made BLINDSPOTTING Possible!

    3 months ago

    ericvespe

    Summer movie season is in full swing right now. You can still find at least three superhero movies in theaters as well as a big, dumb action movie staring The Rock and the latest Mission: Impossible film hits screens in a little over a week. But that doesn't mean there aren't smaller, more meaningful movies out there.


    One is coming out this weekend called Blindspotting. I saw this film at Sundance and raved about it back then. Now you have a chance to see what I was talking about. Starring Hamilton's Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar and Jasmine Cephas Jones, this is one of those everything movies. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make your butthole clench in pure tension. You know, everything.


    Blindspotting is about a man in the final days of his parole who witnesses a policeman shooting an unarmed man. He's traumatized by the incident, but can't speak out for fear of revealing that violated his parole. At the same time his crazy best friend isn't helping matters by constantly acting as the well-intentioned, but bad influence in his life. 


    It's a great film and I was super excited to sit down with the two leads, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, alongside their director Carlos Lopez Estrada to talk about how this film about friendship was actually born out of friendship as well as just how great their supporting cast is and how they struck an authentic balance between real world issues and escapism entertainment.


    It's a good chat. Enjoy!



    2018-Sundance-Film-Festival-Blindspottin



    Eric Vespe: Hey, guys. So, I saw the movie at Sundance and flipped for it. It spoke to me in a way I wasn't quite expecting and I think it's because of the way the humor of the film pushes the narrative. It's a movie with deadly serious content, but first and foremost it's almost a buddy comedy. I cared about the stakes of the movie because I cared about the friendship between you guys. Was that your way into the story?


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: The movie is based on friendship. It sounds like a corny thing to say, but it's true. The movie's a result of the friendship between Rafa and Daveed for... how many years?


    Daveed Diggs: Hella years.


    Rafael Casal: (laughs) Hella years. We're coming up on two decades.


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: Then there was a friendship between Daveed and myself. It started professionally and then...


    Daveed Diggs: It became romantic.


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: It wasn't romantic, it was just physical. (laughs) Then through Daveed I met Rafa. It's oversimplifying the process a little, but a lot of people came to (the movie) because of friendship. (Producers) Keith Calder and Jess Wu have been working with these guys for 9 years as well. A lot of the actors are either friends or friends of friends of people who these guys have worked with. It is a family endeavor and I'm glad to hear that energy translates when you watch the movie. Calling this movie a passion project is a serious understatement. They could probably tell you a little more about the real genesis.


    Daveed Diggs: (to Rafa) You said something great a little while ago about humor and male relationships... about how men interact with each other.


    Rafael Casal: Just say it's my quote, but Daveed will say it.


    Daveed Diggs: Rafa says that one of the ways that men stay friends with each other is by making jokes. That's what we do. We're always sort of covering up...


    Rafael Casal: It's the barrel roll out of tension. We have two main emotions that men are socially accepted to express. It's anger and humor. Those are the two conditioned ways to fluctuate. 


    Really the movie runs the way heterosexual male friendship tends to toggle. It's devoid of too much talk about feelings and it's very much humor-humor-humor until it boils up and because of that I think the characteristic of the film I love the most is just how much they try to keep bringing humor into it until it's completely impossible. Even in the end it's Miles' final barrel roll that gets us to a place of hope between the two of them, by trying to get them to laugh. That's the survival nature of friendship.


    Daveed Diggs: It sets up this thing where you can't trust humor any more. It's not enough. But then the final statement is pretty much if we acknowledge that we both changed we can still make jokes.



    blindspotting_daveed_diggs_and_rafael_ca



    Eric Vespe: I relate to that a lot. It's also important for audiences to know, too. You can tell people Blindspotting has great messages about gentrification and police brutality and the unfairness of the parole system and their eyes might glaze over. It might sound like homework. But if you can tell them it's a funny movie and you're going to connect with the characters that changes the conversation that gets people to give it a shot.


    Daveed Diggs: The buddy comedy in a world that won't let it be one... the reason that we say that sentence so much is because that sentence, and when you see the movie you'll get this, is to me the definition of what “Blindspotting” is. You say “a buddy comedy in a world that won't let it be one” and all people hear is the “buddy comedy” part and the second half is lost. You don't entirely know what it means, so your eyes float to “buddy comedy.”


    The first press we ever got was “Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs are doing a buddy comedy set in Oakland.” Yeah, we gave you the full sentence, but that's where your eye went.


    The in is that it's a buddy comedy, but it doesn't ignore the world that it exists in and it's that world that won't let it be one. The inherent seriousness of the time we're in gives you the buddy comedy, but puts it in the world that we're in.


    The world just unfolds as it is, which is why I never throw out the gun control and violence themes or even really police shootings. We're just now starting to add that because we're being told to. (laughs) We're being told it's helpful.


    Eric Vespe: Speaking of, your character witnesses a police shooting and the guy playing the officer is Ethan Embry. He's so damn good in this thing. He's a deeply flawed character, but not a one-dimensional bad guy. I felt I was empathizing with him and I never in a million years would have thought I'd do that with a person in his position.


    Rafael Casal: The amazing thing about empathy is all you actually have to do is make them human. You'll forgive so many flaws in a character's personality or political position as long as they feel full and human.


    Daveed Diggs: And I don't think we're even asking for forgiveness. It's just that you can sort of understand it. What we don't see is him over there and laughing and high-fiving two weeks after he shot a kid. His life probably sucks. You don't have to let him off the hook for being poorly trained and for shooting somebody because he was scared of a person running away from him. You don't get off the hook for that. You don't get brownie points for that, but also your life is probably pretty shitty.


    From our perspective (Ethan's character) couldn't reconcile with his wife after that. There's no turning back from that. The great thing about Ethan as an actor is that he made that whole movie in his head. He had the whole story of that officer in his head.


    Rafael Casal: The other side of this film.


    Daveed Diggs: And he asked us a ton of questions about it. We didn't write that into the script, so he came to us and asked us questions. Where is this guy from? Does he have other infractions?


    Rafael Casal: Do you think he came from the military? He gave it that much thought. I don't think at any point Ethan was trying to create a character that he thought was morally right. He just wanted a three-dimensional human being who is also a product of his surroundings and biases.


    Daveed Diggs: I don't think Ethan likes him very much!


    Rafael Casal: But I think he got him, which is nearly impossible when you read this script and invest in the main characters. To be able to find a sincere way into that officer...


    Daveed Diggs: It's a thing we asked of everybody involved in this film. So much of the focus is necessarily on us, but it was really important to have all these characters who were fully realized and felt like they had their own lives. So everybody had to do that work, without necessarily the lines to support it. Jasmine (Cephas Jones) came to the Bay a little bit early and just hung out. She's soooo New York.


    Rafael Casal: She's so Brooklyn! She was there for two days. She came to the Warriors parade...

    Daveed Diggs: It happened to be when the Warriors won the title.


    Rafael Casal: She hung out with two of the women who here character is based on and within two hours had the speech pattern down and was just walking around with it. They did her hair and I just kept forgetting that was Jasmine. It was magic.


    Eric Vespe: Janina (Gavankar) is great, too. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when she's doing your hair. It's the most romantic not-romantic scene ever. It's romantic in that these are two people who get each other and care for each other, but they're not at a place where they can become an item again.


    Daveed Diggs: We auditioned here by seeing if she could braid hair. She can't, so that's an incredible acting job. You'll see she focuses on the back of the head. (laughs)



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    Carlos Lopez Estrada: I think Janina is one of those casting stories that I'll always remember because she came in to read towards the later end of the process. We had seen a lot of actors, some very, very talented people came in to read, and we were having a hard time making a decision. It was an important role. Then she walked into the room and did a handful of things that no one had done and I think understood the depth of the character in ways that we hadn't even fully grasped.


    We had a conversation with her about the script and about how she related to it being an Indian woman and understanding how minorities feel. It's just one of those things I'll never forget. She walked out of the room and we all just looked at each other and said, “Wow. How could we not work with this woman?”


    Daveed Diggs: She taught us things about Val in the audition.


    Rafael Casal: She totally changed the character.


    Daveed Diggs: There's that moment at the end of that scene after their hug she just said “Okay, bye” and walked out. No one else had played it that way. There was always this longing pathos thing, but she did it that way and I was like “... okay.” I was reading with her.


    Rafael Casal: She just cut the scene off!


    Daveed Diggs: All of us were like “That's how that scene was supposed to go! Shit.” It gave her so much more agency than I think even we were giving to that character. The best of our abilities we were still two dudes trying to write women and she came in and was like “This is how I would do it in this moment.”


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: She's not like Val, but in many ways she is. She'd come up to all three of us and we would give her direction and she'd say “Actually, I'm not sure if I agree with that” and we'd have these really interesting conversations.


    Rafael Casal: She really took Val from us.


    Daveed Diggs: Thank goodness.


    Rafael Casal: She'd be like “Val's this person. I know her better than you, so we're going to do it this way.” We were like “Okay!”


    Eric Vespe: It's a tough character because that archetype could come across as naggy.


    Daveed Diggs: It could come across as naggy, I know! It's tricky. There was an edit where we failed her, really. There was an early edit where she came off that way and it wasn't because of her performance, it was because we were choosing the wrong shots. For time we cut a bunch of things out, so we had to go back put more of her in. She gives this wonderfully nuanced performance with so much empathy in it, but for time we cut a lot of those moments and we were watching it going “We have to put that back.”


    Rafael Casal: There's the balance of sweet and stern and she gave us so many different takes of each one in each scene. Compiling that, you have to have just the right amount of Val's sweetness and kindness that you understand why her and Collin were together, but also just enough coldness that you get that this isn't a happily ever after thing.


    Eric Vespe: Absolutely. I love the movie and I think a lot of people are going to love the movie as well. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.



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    The movie's out in select theaters this weekend and goes wide on July 27th. If you like good things, go watch it!  

  • The Aquaman Poster Is Released And The Internet Is Already Clowning It

    3 months ago

    ericvespe

    My history with the modern DCEU is a little rocky, but I'm by no means a DC hater. Growing up the only good comic book movies were DC films! Superman and Superman II, the two Tim Burton Batman movies. Hell, I even liked Supergirl as cheesy as that was.


    The Dark Knight was my favorite movie the year it came out and I still hold it up as a masterpiece of popcorn entertainment.


    DC is just having some trouble finding its footing in the Marvel era. It's a tough road to hoe for Warner Bros. We've seen so much of Batman and Superman, so how do they both give us what we want and also something new?


    There's no easy answer to that question, but I think the key lies more in their less-familiar characters. Wonder Woman has been all over pop culture, but she never got her moment in the sun quite like she did in her own standalone movie. Patty Jenkins embraced the good-hearted Diana and also made her a badass who will stand up and fight for those that can't. It was more than just "cool moments." 


    Could James Wan work similar magic for Aquaman? I'm optimistic, not because I have any deep love or nostalgia for the character (I don't), but I like Wan as a filmmaker. He's got a great eye and distinctive voice. 


    While I think they blew it pretty hardcore with Batman V Superman and Justice League, I still hold out hope DC rights the ship. 


    So, when I share some images of the internet joshing the new Aquaman poster know it comes from a place of good fun. Here's the official one:



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    The movie could be amazing, but that poster is pretty silly. Even DC fans are making fun of it. Looks like a photoshoot at the local aquarium. People have pointed out that the big mean shark on the right side of the poster is a stock image that you've seen a million times before, but hey, short cuts happen.


    The internet isn't as forgiving as I am, though. Here are a few of my favorite instant photoshop jobs I saw today:



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    Alright, the last one is kinda mean and snarky, but it made me laugh.


    One nice thing I'll say about this poster though is that it shows a lighter, more fun vibe. I've seen a few clips and unfinished effects shots from this movie at various Conventions over the last 12 months or so and Wan isn't shying away from making this weird as hell, which is why I'm still hopeful we'll get something special out of this movie when it premieres this holiday season.


    In the meantime I'm sure we'll be getting a new trailer soon since they're going to be doing their big Hall H presentation at Comic-Con this week. We'll know soon enough exactly what kind of movie we're in for here.

  • Skyscraper Is Just As Silly As You Expect, But Also Pretty Fun

    4 months ago

    ericvespe

    It's hard to remember in these days of comic book movies being all the rage, but the state of the big studio summer blockbuster was pretty dire before movies like Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man changed the game. For every Independence Day we get a dozen Dante's Peaks.


    Enough time has passed that it's strangely nostalgic to see a traditional big, goofy disaster movie again. Skyscraper is by no measure a serious attempt at drama, but it's not trying to be. All it wants to do is entertain you by throwing one of the most charismatic action stars in history into increasingly ridiculous set pieces as he has to scale a burning building to rescue his family. If you can accept it on its own level you should be able to have some fun with it.



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    In terms of scripting it's a great example of set up and pay off. In fact you could almost call Skyscraper Chekhov's Gun: The Movie.


    If you're unfamiliar with the term, Chekhov's Gun simply means if you show a gun a wall at the beginning of a story by the end of that gun better have gone off. It's a storytelling principle that is in place so writers don't promise things they don't deliver on.


    The first act of Skyscraper is all about showing us stuff that pays off later. We're walked through this magnificent high tech tower in Hong Kong called The Pearl and things big and small are set up to be revisited later, from giant wind turbines to a garden section in the middle to even a sword hanging on the wall of the CEO's penthouse apartment.


    While the script, written by director Rawson Marshall Thurber, won't be winning any awards it's tighter than you'd expect and does right by its lead characters. Yes, there's Dwayne Johnson's one-legged security specialist Will Sawyer who is instantly likable and heroic and all that, but there's also his wife, Sarah, played by Neve Campbell, who skirts the typical damsel in distress trope. She's always proactive from scene one and nobody's victim. She's smart, kind, supportive, instantly catches on that something's wrong and calmly goes about finding a way out for her and her children. In any other big blockbuster type movie she'd just be waiting for the hero to come rescue her, but not here. It's a welcome breath of fresh air and Neve Campbell gives it her all.


    Johnson is his typical bundle of muscle, sweat and charm. Gotta hand it to The Rock. That dude never phones in a performance, which is crucial when you're dealing with a story as silly as this. You want to see The Rock trying to jump into a fiery building from a construction crane.


    Skyscraper really is The Towering Inferno mixed with Die Hard, but leans more towards Towering Inferno than you may think.


    Despite what the many sequels try to tell you, the original Die Hard worked because Bruce Willis was an everyman, not an action hero. Willis has taken the mantle of the action star post-Die Hard, but you have to remember up to that point he was a comedic romantic leading man, famous mostly for his quick-witted banter with Cybill Shepherd on Moonlight. He wasn't a muscle-bound action hero, he was just a dude who got hurt and didn't just shrug off his injuries.


    That's not what Skyscraper is. It is physically impossible to make The Rock an everyman, and that's a compliment to the hardest working man in show business. Seeing him kick ass is why people buy tickets to his movies. He's more in the Schwarzenegger mold than early Willis and he uses that to his advantage every time out, especially in last year's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle where his perfectly sculpted body was the central joke.


    In short, Skyscraper delivers on what it promises. I doubt it'll ever be anybody's favorite movie, but it's an audience pleaser and never gets boring, which is the worst sin a movie like this could commit

  • Indiana Jones 5 Delayed! Disney shifts their schedule around!

    4 months ago

    ericvespe

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    There was a massive shift in Disney's release schedule today. Most of these new dates affect movies still in development, so don't worry. Avengers 4, Captain Marvel, Episode IX, Frozen 2 and all those are still coming when you expect them.


    Most of the moves are earlier than previously announced, the one exception being a big year push for Indiana Jones 5. Originally slated for 7/10/2020 the movie will now come out 7/09/2021. It makes sense, especially with the news that Solo's Jon Kasdan was reportedly doing a big rewrite after Spielberg regular David Koepp had his shot at the script.


    It's a bummer, but as long as they get it right and wash away the taste of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull they can take as much time as they need. 



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    Mary Poppins Returns moves up a week from December 25th to December 19th, The Rock's Jungle Cruise movie will release October 11th, 2019, Maleficent 2 will hit theaters May 29th, 2020 and an Untitled Marvel movie moves from July 30th, 2021 to February 12th, 2021.


    It's a good bet that the Untitled Marvel movie will be a Black Panther sequel since it's moving from a coveted summer slot to February, which was very, very good to the first Black Panther film, but that's just a guess. 


    So that's the big update. Still can't wait for Spielberg and Harrison Ford's final outing with Dr. Jones. Call me an optimist if you want, but I have a good feeling that they'll knock it out of the park.