Monday, October 31, 2016

Oujia: Origin of Evil Review

Image from Variety
By Diego Coya

     Ouija: Origin of Evil is a prequel to the 2014 horror film, Ouija. This prequel takes place in 1965 Los Angeles, and it follows a widowed mother and her two daughters who run a scamming business. The business involves the family inviting people over to talk to dead spirits to ultimately give the guests closure. When the mother brings home a Ouija board one day, the youngest daughter, Dolores, experiments with it and she eventually gets overtaken by a spirit. This leads the family to get terrorized by unknown evil forces.

Even though I did not see the 2014 horror film, I was curious to see how this prequel would turn out. What made me intrigued to see it was that Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) was going to be the director, and he is a very talented horror filmmaker. After seeing Ouija: Origin of Evil, I can confidently say that he is indeed a talent that mainstream audiences need to keep an eye on. Ouija: Origin of Evil is a very well made horror film with terrific performances and fantastic direction.
Elizabeth Reaser, who plays the mother who witnesses the evil acts take place in the film, does a great job. She portrays a mother who is trying to do her best for her kids despite the tragedy they went through, and she pulls it off incredibly well.
Annalise Basso, who was previously in Oculus, is terrific in this film once again. She nails the part, and I hope to see her in more films because she is a fantastic actress. Henry Thomas, who plays a principal and Father in Dolores’s school who starts to get involved in what is going on, is also strong in his role. The standout by far is Lulu Wilson, who plays Dolores. She gives a terrifying and excellent performance, especially from an 11-year-old.
What I also appreciated about the film was how well it was directed. There is a big lack of jump scares, and Flanagan makes the film scary by creating suspense and relying on the atmosphere.
Furthermore, Flanagan does a wonderful job of making the film feel like it is from the 1960’s. Similar to his other films, he relies more on characters than jump scares and as a result, we care about the characters when they are in danger. Many horror films have clichéd characters that are unlikeable. Thankfully this does not apply to Ouija: Origin of Evil.
As far as flaws go, this movie does have some clichés. It is a somewhat formulaic horror film. There is a shot of CGI that is towards the middle of the film. It’s not a huge complaint, but I could not help but think that it was very noticeable.
2016 has been a spectacular year for horror films, and while I may not put Ouija: Origin of Evil up there with The Conjuring 2 or Don’t Breathe, I would highly recommend this movie. It showcases that Flanagan knows what he is doing in the horror genre and it deserves more money than what it has made this weekend.
Rating: 8/10

Tom Hardy to star as Al Capone in Josh Trank's 'Fonzo'

Image from The Hollywood Reporter
By Darian Scalamoni

            Many have wondered what was next in line for Josh Trank following his epic collapse of a blockbuster, Fantastic Four. The reboot of the popular comic-book team was a failure in every sense of the word critically and cinematically. A combination of studio interference and the bad behavior that was reported cost him and he tanked a whole superhero franchise with one movie. Now, The Playlist reports that he finally has another project on the horizon, something incredibly different, a movie about Al Capone starring Tom Hardy.

            Hardy has signed up to play Capone in the film set to be helmed by Trank titled, Fonzo. The movie will take a unique focus as it shows Capone at age 47 following nearly a decade of being imprisoned as dementia begins to set in and deteriorate the mind of the once feared gangster. This sounds like a great project not only for Trank but also for Tom Hardy to star. He’s been waiting to play Capone for a while and was prepping to play him in a movie called Cicero that is still in development and was brewing at Warner Bros. with David Yates attached to direct.

            Trank is best known not only for Fantastic Four but was once incredibly wanted as a filmmaker following his found-footage thriller, Chronicle that starred Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan. After FF, he was set to direct a Star Wars anthology film but was since dropped because of his rumored behavior on set.

            Hardy has plenty of projects upcoming including starring in Christopher Nolan’s WWII film, Dunkirk as well as a new FX drama, Taboo. Also, he is set to play the British explorer, Ernest Shackleton in a biopic and reprise his role as Max Rockatansky in the sequel to the popular Mad Max franchise in Mad Max: The Wasteland.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

'This Is Us' Episode 5, Season 1 Review

Image from TV Line
By Darian Scalamoni

            As I’ve said within past reviews of this show, This Is Us is a rare example of a network drama that I thoroughly have enjoyed since its premiere. This week’s episode titled ‘The Game Plan’ provided a look at the family’s aesthetic and why Steelers football means so much to their family. Though the episodes have been furthering the story in tremendous ways (including last week’s best episode of the season, ‘The Pool’) it’s hard to say that this week’s episode was the best installment of the season.

            The storyline that follows Rebecca and Jack this week shows how football brought them together as a couple and even more so, meant more to both then the audience could’ve ever imagined. When they were both children, they were forced to be quiet during the football game because their fathers thought of that as their relaxation time. This leads to Rebecca asking Jack to teach her all about the gridiron game which eventually leads to a passionate love for the game herself. Within this storyline, we also see that she does not want to have children; for Jack, this is almost a deal breaker as he eventually wanted to be able to do a better job than his father had done with him. He wanted to watch football with his kids and have an experience with them so what did Rebecca and Jack do after fighting about having children? Conceive them. Right in the bathroom in which they watched the Super Bowl. This is a cute little information blast for the viewers and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing their storyline this week.

            On the other hand, two of my favorite stars of the show, Sterling K. Brown’s Randall and Chrissy Metz’s Kate face boring storylines. Randall heads to Kevin’s master suite in the city with his wife Beth, for an amazing night out without the kids before finding out that Beth is late on her period. This leads to them getting a pregnancy test and him revealing a plan for them to have an early retirement in Charleston but another baby would throw a wrench in that. Luckily, they discover that she’s not pregnant and that’s the end of Randall’s story for this week. By far, the weakest of the entire episode and it’s a shame because Brown is by far the best actor on the show.

            Metz, another contender for a real MVP on the show this season, faced another relatively tedious storyline this week that was also predictable. Kate tells her new boyfriend Toby that she was going to watch the Steelers game, but without him. This leads to the lovable boyfriend to invite her to the house in another sweet way (similar to what he’s done all season thus far) and she comes over but quickly decides to leave. We then discover that Kate used to watch football all the time with her father before his passing. He then makes a comment about how he’d love to meet him and then we finally see the urn in which Jack’s ashes are kept that Kate has and watches the Steelers games with. Totally expected and was used to get tears out of the audience but I thought it was lazy so I don’t empathize as much as most.

            It was surprisingly, Kevin, who stole the spotlight of this episode in my eyes. Though many other outlets have said that Justin Hartley’s performance has been great, I tend to disagree but he is beginning to prove me wrong because this week, he was genuine. His humor worked throughout, his immature manner with his nieces worked perfectly but it was the final monologue in which he revealed his biggest secret to his brother’s children that made me actually feel for his character for the first time this season. He reveals to them something simple he does when reading over scripts to help him determine what each one means: he paints. He reveals a painting to his nieces that is a smorgasbord of an art piece looking similar to a Pollock painting but discloses that this new painting is an eclectic mess but shows how everyone in his life fits together in this painting as he fits in and blends within the rest of the world. It’s an incredibly positive message and this show continues to mold these kinds of moments week by week.

            Having said that, as I said earlier, this was one of the weaker episodes this season in my opinion. Two of the stories completely lacked and it led to a slower burn of an episode. The pacing was problematic as well. But standout performances from Justin Hartley and Milo Ventimiglia keep the show afloat until next week.


Matthew Weiner, creator of 'Mad Men' heading new anthology series for Amazon

Image from Deadline
By Darian Scalamoni

            Streaming networks are quickly become juggernauts. Between Netflix that has big time original shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, Stranger Things and the Marvel shows (just to name a few) and Hulu, who has started to gain huge viewership due to their own original programming like 11.22.63, The Path, Casual and they’re even developing their own Marvel series, Amazon seems to be lost in the shuffle. Their newest talent they have brought in to helm a series though could give them tons of momentum. According to Deadline, Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men will return to TV with an anthology series for Amazon.

            Mad Men was a critical darling throughout its seven-season run on AMC. Though that TV show took place in the 1960s, this new series will be placed in the present day and will take place all around the world. Amazon paid $70 million for an eight-episode installment so they have a lot of faith in this going forward.

            They bolster some great original content already with Transparent (which is one of my favorite shows), Mozart in the Jungle and is trying to do their own Mad Men-esque show with the upcoming Good Girls Revolt. They missed out with Woody Allen’s series, Crisis in Six Scenes as that show just did not work at all. But, this upcoming show from Weiner could be something magnificent for the streaming service.

Shawn Levy signs on to direct movie adaptation of best-selling video game, 'Uncharted'

Image from Hey U Guys
By Darian Scalamoni

            After years of cast members, directors and writers in and out, it seems that we finally have a director for the movie adaptation of Uncharted. According to Collider, Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, This Is Where I Leave You) is set to direct the film based on one of the best-selling video games for PlayStation over the years.

            The video game series just released its fourth game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and the games focus on a famed scavenger and explorer named Nathan Drake as he travels the world to find historical artifacts and solve puzzles while fighting off bad guys. Joe Carnahan wrote the most recent script for the film and instead of directing, has other plans to direct Bad Boys for Life.

            Levy has been incredibly busy as a producer recently after serving as an executive producer on Netflix’s Stranger Things (along with directing a couple of episodes), producing the upcoming Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival as well as being an executive producer on the ABC sitcom, Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen. Levy has had experiences in both comedy and action so it seems that he could be a good choice for a film that needs to be filled with action but also provide perfect wit for a character like Nathan Drake. Having said that, Levy has directed some bad movies like Date Night and The Internship but also some underrated gems like This Is Where I Leave You and Real Steel.

            With Levy set as director, we just need a cast. Who do you guys want to see play Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie? Bradley Cooper? Chris Pratt? Nathan Fillion? Comment below and let us know who you’d like to see take on the lead role!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Premiere SPOILERS Review

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni

            We’ve waited for months and months to find out who Negan unleashed Lucille on and this past Sunday, we got the answer to the long-awaited question. Was it brutal? Of course, it was brutal but you must be able to showcase just how messed up a guy like Negan is and the only way to show that is the way that it was achieved in the Season 7 premiere. Before I go on any further I would like to say that there will be SPOILERS within this review so if you have yet to watch this episode please stop reading now.

            I’ve been watching The Walking Dead religiously for many years now and though the audience has been stricken by deaths that were painful and unexpected, it’s hard to argue that any got an emotional reaction like this past Sunday’s premiere. Having said that, the show went in a direction that was incredibly needed. After a sixth season that was probably one of the best was somewhat derailed by a disappointing finale, they needed to have a massive shake-up in the start of Season 7 and that’s exactly what happened. Though Abraham’s death was expected (in my opinion), what happened next shook the audience to the core and was sure to really affect the audience in a way that many didn’t think was possible unless Daryl was getting the bat to the head. It was however, Glenn who also lost his life due to Daryl lashing out on Negan following Abraham’s death.

            Yes, it was gory and it was hard to watch but people seem to forget this is a show that takes place in the zombie apocalypse and we have seen many other brutal deaths before this. I think what affected many to a certain level of disgust was just how much pleasure Negan got from introducing the victims to his bat, Lucille. One needs to remember that The Walking Dead universe is a hard one to live in and Negan is a perfect example of that.

            Beyond the deaths that happened on this episode, we see a whole lot of filler and that’s where the premiere becomes an annoyance. More than half of the episode was a scene in which Negan wanted Rick to go get his ax and escape the surroundings of walkers which was cool but nothing spectacular in terms of a narrative. Though the scene in which Negan wants Rick to cut off his son’s arm is remarkable and adds a gripping tension that we haven’t seen from this series in a long time. The whole episode is one of the most emotionally powerful episodes in the history of the show. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s take on the villainous antagonist of the show is so casual about his menacing personality that it’s hard to take your eyes off him.

            The one thing that is important from this episode in my opinion is that, I’m excited to see where this is going to go. Most viewers are going to be traumatized from this week’s happenings but going forward, we know that there’s going to be some sort of revenge. With Rick, Carl, Eugene, Aaron, Maggie, Michonne, Rosita and Sasha being the only ones left to go back to Alexandria to inform everyone about the deaths of Glenn and Abraham. Also, with Daryl being taken by the Saviors, the group loses a big majority of their backbone as some of their toughest members of their group are now slain or missing in action. Don’t forget, Morgan and Carol are also separated from the rest of the group and are set to meet King Ezekial in next week’s episode.

            Going forward, I like where this episode leaves us for the upcoming season. It also stressed how unforgiving Negan is going to be and that no one is safe from execution within this season.


Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life gets its first trailer

Image from Netflix
By Darian Scalamoni

            The first trailer for the reunion event series of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life has finally arrived. This long-awaited continuation has been festering in people’s brains ever since it was announced and the drama was a fan-favorite as it ran on The WB and The CW for seven seasons. The long-time showrunner, Amy Sherman-Palladino was pushed out by the network prior to its final season and but she is back to helm this special event series that will consist of four 90-minute episodes that take place in the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

            The series picks up in real-time, nine years after the events of the original series finale. It deals with issues like Lorelai’s relationship with Like, Rory’s journalism career hitting the skids and Emily’s world being turned upside down when her husband, Richard, passes away. The trailer gives a full look at these things and more and plenty of people will be excited to see how the series REALLY concludes on Thanksgiving.

            Watch the trailer below for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The series stars Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Milo Ventimiglia, Jared Padalecki, Keiko Agena, Scott Patterson, Liza Weil and Melissa McCarthy. All four installments will be released on Netflix on November 25th.

Drake Doremus new film starring Charlie Hunnam and Lea Seydoux gets a title and synopsis

Image from The Hollywood Reporter
By Darian Scalamoni

            Drake Doremus has quickly become one of the most interesting and innovative filmmakers due to his different take on romance and human relationships. He impressed many with his 2011 romance film Like Crazy that starred Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence and the late, great Anton Yelchin. Just last year, he released a sci-fi love story that starred Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult titled Equals and now it seems that we have a synopsis for his upcoming project, Zoe.

            The synopsis is as follows: Zoe follows two colleagues at a revolutionary research lab who design technology to improve and perfect romantic relationships. As their work progresses, their discoveries become more profound than they could ever have imagined.

            This plot sounds right up Doremus’ alley and features some great talent involved as well. The two colleagues are set to be played by Charlie Hunnam and Lea Seydoux respectively. Hunnam is best known for his starring roles in Pacific Rim and the hit series on FX, Sons of Anarchy but has a busy 2017 ahead of him. He stars in the acclaimed drama, The Lost City of Z and will star in Guy Ritchie’s next film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Seydoux, who is best known for her role in Blue is the Warmest Color has made a hell of a transition to American movies as she has already worked with Wes Anderson and Sam Mendes.

            Zoe is set to begin shooting in April and has yet to receive a release date but we expect it to hit theaters in late 2017.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chris Pine joins the cast of 'A Wrinkle in Time'

Image from the Golden Globes
By Darian Scalamoni

            Hot on the heels of Gugu Mbatha-Raw joining the cast of A Wrinkle in Time, it seems that director Ava DuVernay has found her Mr. Murray. According to Deadline, Chris Pine has signed on to play the scientist that his children are searching for after he disappears.

            The film follows a young boy and girl who are on a mission to find their father after he goes missing after working on a secret project that sends him to the fifth dimension surrounded by a mysterious multitude of planets. DuVernay (Selma) is set to direct and the script will be written by Jennifer Lee (Frozen).

            Chris Pine is coming off the successful third film in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Beyond. He also appeared in one of the biggest critical surprises this year, Hell or High Water which also stars Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. He’ll be seen next within the DC cinematic universe in Wonder Woman where he’ll play Steve Trevor.

            A Wrinkle in Time is currently in pre-production but is set to start filming by January. Pine joins an already impressive cast that includes Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling.

Disney confirms Donald Glover cast in young Han Solo film as Lando Calrissian

Image from Comicbookmovie
By Darian Scalamoni

            It’s official: Lucasfilm and Disney have found their young Lando Calrissian. According to Collider, they’ve officially announced that Donald Glover will take the role of Han Solo’s former ally turned enemy. This confirms our previous report that the actor/writer/recording artist will be playing Lando in the anthology movie about young Han Solo.

            The film will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) and star Alden Ehrenreich as young Han Solo. The movie is set to showcase Lando as a “scoundrel on the rise” as he forms a relationship with Han and yes, we will be seeing how Lando lost the Millennium Falcon to Solo in the first place. Glover is best known for roles in the TV show Community, Magic Mike XXL and Atlanta. In addition to starring in the FX comedy, Glover is also the creator, showrunner and head writer on the series so his addition to the cast of this movie will potentially set back shooting and plans for Season 2 of Atlanta. He also won an Emmy for writing on the hit comedy, 30 Rock. After that, he went into the rap scene and was nominated for multiple Grammy awards for his album, Because the Internet under his MC moniker, Childish Gambino.

            Glover seems like the perfect casting as Calrissian in this movie because of his wit, charm and swagger. He will be seen next in the upcoming, Spider-Man: Homecoming which will be in theaters on July 7th, 2017. The untitled Han Solo anthology film is set to be released on May 25th, 2018.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio to play legendary music producer/pioneer Sam Phillips

Image from THR
By Darian Scalamoni

            Ever since Leonardo DiCaprio won his Oscar for The Revenant at the beginning of this year it seems that everyone was asking, “what’s next?” for the now, Academy Award winning actor. Well after developing and producing the documentary, Before the Flood which covers climate change, it seems he’s ready to act again. According to Deadline, DiCaprio is set to play pioneer music producer, Sam Phillips in a movie based on the book, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll.

            This is a hell of a role for DiCaprio as he’s never done a role like this associated with music. Phillips was the music producer for the little Memphis-based Sun Studio who began the lives of many incredible artists back in the 1950s. Some of the talents he helped rise to the top were Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash just to name a few. DiCaprio is also set to produce the movie under his production company, Appian Way.

            DiCaprio’s company also bought the rights to a book The Devil in the White City which is in development and will potentially reunite Leo and Martin Scorsese, who are frequent collaborators, for the first time since The Wolf of Wall Street. Another movie that DiCaprio is attached to is The Ballad of Richard Jewell which is in development and is rumored to reunite him and Jonah Hill. This would also result in another homecoming as it would bring together Leo and Clint Eastwood again who collaborated together on J. Edgar.

            We’ll be sure to update you on any further projects Leo adds himself too as well as the director and addition cast added to this project.

Jennifer Lawrence to team up with Ron Howard for Zelda Fitzgerald biopic

Image from Elle
By Darian Scalamoni

            For those who was looking to see Jennifer Lawrence playing something different, get ready for this project. According to THR, Lawrence has signed on to play Jazz Age icon, Zelda Fitzgerald in an upcoming biopic titled Zelda. The movie is set to be directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Rush) whose next film Inferno, will be released next Friday.

            The story centers around Fitzgerald, who was actually married to legendary author F. Scott Fitzgerald and shows the constant competition between spouses. She is trying to make herself known through her own artistic expression but her marriage suffers for it. Her husband referred to her as “the first American Flapper” but her life descended into a dark place as she was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

            This seems like a great role for Lawrence and could garner another Oscar nomination for the young actress who already has 4 nominations and one win under her belt. Lawrence will be seen next in December alongside Christ Pratt for Passengers, a sci-fi romance film. After that though she has projects set with Oscar nominated directors, Darren Aronofsky and Adam McKay so adding Howard to that list is a special achievement.

Jesse Plemons joins Kirsten Dunst's directorial debut, 'The Bell Jar'

Image from The Wrap
By Darian Scalamoni

            Back in July, we reported that Kirsten Dunst was making her directorial debut with her adaptation of the remarkable novel, The Bell Jar. Now, thanks to Indiewire we have more casting news available. According to them, it seems that Dunst’s Fargo co-star, Jesse Plemons, will play Lenny Shepherd in the film.

            Dunst now has her two leads cast with Plemons and Dakota Fanning as Esther Greenwood as she makes her first foray into filmmaking. The Bell Jar follows Greenwood during a summer in NYC but is dealing with the death of her father. She then gets an internship at a prestigious magazine but then has a downward spiral after befriending a fellow intern named Doreen. Plemons’ character is a wealthy city man who gets in the middle of Esther and Doreen’s friendship. Doreen has yet to be cast. The movie will be going into production in early 2017.

            The addition of Plemons is a great one as he’s becoming somewhat as a rising star since his supporting role on the AMC hit drama, Breaking Bad. Since then, he’s received film roles in Black Mass and Bridge of Spies as well as prominent roles on television with Fargo and the HBO miniseries, Olive Kitteridge. Plemons already has a stacked 2017 though. In addition to this project, he’s also signed onto Doug Liman’s American Made alongside Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, Scott Cooper’s Hostiles with Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike and The Discovery, which is in post-production and also stars Rooney Mara and Jason Segel.

            As soon as more is revealed about Kirsten Dunst’s directorial debut, The Bell Jar, we’ll provide you with the information.

First trailer for 'Nocturnal Animals' presents Tom Ford's sophomore feature starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal

Image from Time
By Darian Scalamoni

            Amy Adams has been very much in the limelight this year with two high profile roles in big-time movies with award implications. We just saw the last trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival in which Adams stars in but today we get the official first trailer for Nocturnal Animals, another film that the actress is getting notice for a potential Best Actress nomination for the Academy Awards.

            Nocturnal Animals is the sophomore effort for fashion designer-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford. His first, A Single Man was released six years ago and got tons of praise for the (at the time) first time director. This upcoming movie though is based on the Austin Wright novel titled Tony and Susan that was released on 1993. The crime drama has divided critics at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival respectively, though most side together that the performances are stellar.

            Adams plays a Los Angeles artist who’s unhappy with her current job and marriage, she then receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who she hasn’t seen in 19 years. The script details a shocking crime that happened to a family of three after they come across a gang of criminals while driving through the desert. Ford though, splits the movie into a duel storyline, so to speak. The movie looks very interesting to say the least and I’m a fan of everyone involved so I’ll be seeing this movie.

            Nocturnal Animals will be released in select theaters on November 18th but it’ll play everywhere on December 9th. Along with Adams and Gyllenhaal, the movie also stars Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Laura Linney, Armie Hammer and Michael Sheen.

Ava DuVernay adds to 'A Wrinkle in Time', casts Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni

               Ava DuVernay has quickly become one of the best up-and-coming directors in the industry today. Her first feature, Selma was beloved and nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. She’s already garnering huge awards buzz for her new film that was just released, 13th, which you can now watch on Netflix. Her next film though, A Wrinkle in Time looks to be a slam dunk and she just added more talent to the cast.

            According to Variety, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is set to join the film. Mbatha-Raw will be playing the role of Dr. Murry, which is Meg and Charles Wallace’s mother. She’s a scientist who comes up with the notion of “the wrinkle in time”. She’ll be joining other talents such as Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling who all have been confirmed to join the cast as well. The story follows children as they travel through time and visit different worlds in order to find their missing scientist father.

            Mbatha-Raw just starred in Free State of Jones with Matthew McConaughey a few months ago and is also set to appear in an episode from the new season of Netflix’s anthology series, Black Mirror. In addition to that, she’s set to appear in the gun-law drama Miss Sloane in November and have roles in Beauty and the Beast and Bad Robot’s next project God Particle as well. Check back here for more info on DuVernay’s next film or any other roles Mbatha-Raw snatches up!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tom Hardy to star in historical biopic of Antarctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton

Image from The Hollywood Reporter
By Darian Scalamoni

            Everyone is always waiting to see the next project that Tom Hardy attaches himself too because it seems that the actor has done tremendous work in every single movie/TV show he’s been involved with. According to Deadline, we have news on his next project in which he’ll play Antarctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton.

            Hardy is known for his rugged appearance and acting style which is evident in two of his huge movies from last year, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant so it’s a no-brainer for him to be playing this kind of role. Peter Straughan is set to write the script which is also good news. He’s previously written films like the critical drama Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (which also starred Hardy), the miniseries Wolf Hall which starred last year’s Supporting Actor winner at the Oscars, Mark Rylance and Frank, an off-the-wall music dramedy that was one of my favorite films of 2014 that was directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Room). These seems to be an interesting project for Hardy and Straughan and we’ll have to wait and see who signs on to direct.

            Hardy has been out of the limelight this year it seems as he has no films on the docket to round out 2016 but is primed to have a big year in 2017. He will star in Christopher Nolan’s next film, Dunkirk, a WWII film and also star in the FX series, Taboo which is executively produced by Ridley Scott. He’s also set to play Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell movie but we still have no official release date as they’ve yet to start shooting.

Colin Firth joins a star-studded cast in 'Mary Poppins Returns'

Image from Today
By Darian Scalamoni

            Though many (including myself) thought that the Mary Poppins sequel was a bad idea, Disney is bringing together a heck of a cast. According to Tracking Board, Colin Firth has been cast in the movie as William Weatherall Wilkins, president of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.

            Firth is an incredibly capable actor of playing all types. He won an Oscar for his starring role in The King’s Speech, took on an action/comic book role in Kingsman: The Secret Service and has great comedic chops so he should do well in the sequel to the legendary Disney movie from 1964. Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Chicago) is set to direct Mary Poppins Returns.

            Colin Firth can be seen currently in Bridget Jones’s Baby alongside Renee Zellweger and Patrick Dempsey and also is a Producer on the critical drama, Loving that could garner award consideration. Mary Poppins Returns will be released on Christmas Day 2018 and star Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, Ben Whishaw and Firth.

First trailer for 'Logan' reveals a new, gritty look at Wolverine

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni

            The day has arrived. The first trailer for Logan, the final film in the Wolverine trilogy has arrived from 20th Century Fox. The movie is inspired by Mark Millar’s comic, Old Man Logan and shows Jackman reprise the role as Logan aka Wolverine for the final time. Though we still don’t have the exact premise we know that Boyd Holbrook will be playing the villainous Donald Pierce who leads The Reavers.

            This trailer is glorious though, incredibly beautiful but potentially the bleakest X-Men film yet which is evident by the song choice for the trailer (“Hurt” by Johnny Cash which invokes emotional results). The preview reveals that mutants are nearly extinct within this world, Professor X is very sick and Logan is no longer healing. Though we see a girl who the Professor says is “very much like” Logan (we’re guessing X-23 like everyone else), she is still very young and must be assisted by the central protagonists of the X-Men franchise. This trailer is rough and gritty and has me more excited for the movie than I ever was before.

            Logan will open everywhere on March 3rd, 2017. It stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Dafne Keen. Check out the first trailer below!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

'Deadpool 2' looks to cast Domino, shortlist includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Lizzy Caplan, amongst others

Image from Screenrant
By Darian Scalamoni

            With all of the news and images that have been coming for the upcoming Wolverine film, Logan, it’s curious to see what is going on with the sequel for the other X-Men character who has a solo franchise and that’s Deadpool. The first film was released in February and has been one of the best movies of the year and though we know that Cable is going to be the villain, we also now have confirmation that Domino will be in the movie. There is also a shortlist of actresses according to Collider.

            Domino is a mercenary and mutant much like Deadpool and she also has the ability to use random telekinetic acts. She also has a close connection to Cable which could bode as another roadblock for Deadpool going forward. The shortlist of actresses though is what’s so interesting because it’s a mixture of some established talents and others that are relative unknowns. Lizzy Caplan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sienna Miller, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Sigman and Sylvia Hoeks are in the mix for the role of Domino.

            Caplan, Winstead and Miller are best known for starring in Masters of Sex, 10 Cloverfield Lane and American Sniper respectively but the others aren’t as well-known. Sigman was a Bond girl in Spectre, Boutella was seen in Star Trek Beyond and Hoeks is expected to make her first big move to American movies with a role in Blade Runner 2049.

            Filming for Deadpool 2 is aiming to get underway in early 2017 so official casting announcements should be made very soon for the film.  

New 'Assassin's Creed' trailer showcases Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni

            Hollywood has had a serious issue with developing and producing good movies based on video games. Many thought that maybe Warcraft would be the film to break the streak but it wasn’t the case. Ratchet and Clank barely got any attention when it was released so we move now to Assassin’s Creed in which we have a second trailer for you today.

            Though this upcoming video game adaptation sure looks to be great with a fantastic cast headed by Michael Fassbender and a capable director in Justin Kurzel who previously directed Macbeth, it still faces the main issue. Video game movies just have not worked. Hopefully, this will be a different story. The film follows Callum Lynch who through a new revolutionary technology, experiences adventures as his ancestor, Aguilar in 15th Century Spain. He has been lured by a secret society of assassins and develops knowledge and skills to take down the Templar organization in the present day.

            Assassin’s Creed will be released in theaters on December 21st. In addition to Fassbender, the film also stars Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Michael K. Williams, Brendan Gleeson and Ariane Labed. Check out the new trailer below!

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' first trailer and poster bring back Marvel's favorite misfits

Image from Screenrant
By Darian Scalamoni

            Marvel Studios has done absolutely incredible things since the MCU came into existence with Iron Man back in 2008, but their biggest accomplishment to date has to be Guardians of the Galaxy. The intergalactic epic that followed a heroic band of misfits was one of the biggest surprises and successes of the Marvel cinematic universe thus far. The film was beloved by critics and fans everywhere and grossed over $770 million worldwide. Now, we are lucky enough to have received the first official teaser and poster for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and they’re just as great as you’d expect them to be.

            Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) will face a new threat while also searching for Peter Quill’s father. The film is once again directed by James Gunn who did a spectacular job helming the first movie. The poster is also incredibly stylish in black and white and shows the gang hanging out with the addition of some new faces. Also, don’t miss little Baby Groot hiding behind Star-Lord.

            Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters on May 5th, 2017. The film also stars Kurt Russell, Karen Gillian, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff and Glenn Close. Check out the first trailer and poster below!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

'American Crime Story' Season 3 set to revolve around Gianni Versace murder

Image by The AV Club
By Darian Scalamoni

            One of my favorite shows of the year by far was, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. It was a tremendous show that elevated Ryan Murphy’s status even more showing that he could do more than just American Horror Story and now he’s become a new TV mainstay with multiple other anthology series’ in the works. The idea behind American Crime Story is that every season it would tackle a new true crime story, first it was the O.J. Simpson trials. Season 2 is going to be Hurricane Katrina themed, but it was just announced that Season 3 will focus on the 1997 assassination of fashion designer Gianni Versace, according to Collider.

            This is an incredibly interesting premise as not also is it about the murder of an incredibly famous fashion icon but furthermore, the killer committed suicide eight days later as the Miami Dade police were on the verge of capturing him. Andrew Cunanan was the killer and was considered a serial killer as he murdered at least five people including Versace. The series will be generating source material from the book, Vulgar Affairs, which covers the event. Versace/Cunanan: American Crime Story will also be filming concurrently with Katrina: American Crime Story in early 2017. Katrina will air next year as well, while Versace/Cunanan will follow in 2018.

            Here’s hoping that Murphy will reunite with Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance for one of these seasons at least as all three of them were amazing in The People v. O.J. Simpson for which they all won Emmy’s. Check back here for more news on American Crime Story and casting announcements!

'Paddington 2' begins principal photography, adds Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson to cast

Image from Damaris Film Blog
By Darian Scalamoni

            I recently was able to see the 2014 animated film, Paddington for the first time and it was such a pleasant surprise. It was a charming, cute little family movie that I enjoyed very much. The movie made $270 million worldwide which makes it the highest grossing independent family film ever. This has fast-tracked a sequel that has just started filming and has added a few more stars according to Variety.

            In addition to Ben Whishaw returning as the voice of the beloved title bear, Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson have joined the cast. The sequel will see Paddington, now settled in with the Brown family and a popular part of the community work odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for that gift to be stolen. It sounds like a great premise for the mischievous bear to get into.

            Grant is set to play local celebrity, Phoenix Buchanan, a vain and charming acting legend who has fallen on hard times. While Gleeson is playing “Knuckles” McGinty, a safe-cracker and strongman who becomes an unexpected ally to Paddington. Along with the new cast members, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi are all returning for the movie. Paddington 2 doesn’t have a release date yet but is presumed to be released by late 2017 or early 2018.

First trailer for 'The Boss Baby' stars Alec Baldwin as a talking baby

Image from DreamWorks
By Darian Scalamoni

            Here’s an interesting concept: Alec Baldwin playing a baby. Well, yes it wouldn’t work for live-action but that’s the reality we face in the first trailer for DreamWorks animated movie, The Boss Baby. Baldwin is familiar with playing businessmen before after his movie-stealing role in Glengarry Glen Ross as well as his current portrayal of business mogul and Republican nominee for the Presidential Election, Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. It’s this movie however where the businessman happens to be an infant.

            The movie follows a seven-year-old whose world turns upside down when a new baby is welcomed into the family and of course, after further discovery, chaos ensues. He finds out that not only can the baby talk, but he’s also a businessman who’s on a mission of some kind. The trailer is cute and actually pretty funny.

            In addition to Baldwin, the film also features the voices of Miles Bahski, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire and Steve Buscemi. It’s also directed with a DreamWorks mainstay, Tom McGrath (Megamind, Madagascar). The Boss Baby opens everywhere on March 31st, 2017. Check out the trailer below!