Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bradley Cooper to star in Gavin O'Connor's WWII drama, 'Atlantic Wall'

Image from Forbes
By Darian Scalamoni

Besides a supporting role in War Dogs, Bradley Cooper hasn’t been around much this year, but now with a slew of roles in tow, he’s just added another intriguing project. According to Indiewire, Cooper will team with Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant) for Atlantic Wall, a WWII drama.

            Cooper will play an American paratrooper who is left alone and stranded behind enemy lines hours before D-Day. He must deliver intelligence critical to the outcome of the war and pledges to fulfill a promise to protect the young son of a murdered ally. This sounds like a tremendous project with the talent attached. Cooper hasn’t done WWII yet but I think it’s a perfect fit knowing how great of an actor he is. He’s played a soldier before in American Sniper, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. As for O’Connor, he’s climbing up the ranks and becoming a hell of a director himself with this years thriller, The Accountant starring Ben Affleck.

            Though Cooper hasn’t been seen much this year, he has many project upcoming including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in which he’ll return to voice Rocket Raccoon. In addition to that, he also will make his directorial debut and star beside Lady Gaga in a remake of A Star is Born. That will be released in September of 2018. O’Connor just recently also signed on to direct a remake himself, The Green Hornet. Atlantic Wall will begin shooting in 2018.

Joaquin Phoenix to star as quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan in Gus Van Sant's 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot'

Image from THR
By Darian Scalamoni

            Joaquin Phoenix has teamed up with plenty of great directors including Spike Jonze, Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson and Gus Van Sant. Phoenix worked with the latter in the film, To Die For back in 1995 but according to Variety, they have another project in the works. Phoenix will star in the biopic Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot set to be directed by Van Sant himself.

            The movie is based on the autobiography of John Callahan who was paralyzed at the age of 21 and turned to cartooning. Callahan eventually won acclaim and even some controversy for some of his artwork that appeared in magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. Phoenix will play Callahan who at age 38, is now a recovering alcoholic. This sounds like a role right up the alley of a method actor like Phoenix and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. This movie had been in development for years with the late Robin Williams but I think the 3-time Oscar nominated actor will be great as Callahan.

            Phoenix is also set to star in You Were Never Really Here and the biblical drama, Mary Magdalene alongside Rooney Mara in 2017. Gus Van Sant, who is coming off the critical disaster, The Sea of Trees has a miniseries in 2017 titled When We Rise that we recently posted the trailer to here on the site.

Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp cast as stars of CBS show, 'Star Trek: Discovery'

Image from Indiewire
By Darian Scalamoni

            Though I’ve never watched anything Star Trek related, I’ve always been interested in the property. One day, I’ll get around to watching some sort of Star Trek whether it be the original series and films or the recent incarnations that star Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. It also could be, the upcoming CBS series Star Trek: Discovery which will bring the franchise back to television. According to Collider, Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp were added to the cast that already had cast Michelle Yeoh.

            Yeoh will star in the series as Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou. Alongside her, Doug Jones, who is best known for playing these remarkable physical and transformative roles like Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth and Abe Sapien in the Hellboy franchise will co-star. He’ll be playing Lt. Saru, the main Starfleet Science Officer who is also a brand new alien species in the Star Trek universe. Also, Anthony Rapp who is best known for his role as Mark Cohen in Rent will portray the Star Trek universe’s first gay character, Lt. Stamets who is a astromycologist and fungus expert.

            With these two additions, it makes me incredibly excited to see what CBS can do with this series. These are impressive castings and if these continue, I’ll definitely be watching this show the night it premieres.

Daniel Bruhl and Luke Evans cast in TNT original series, 'The Alienist'

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni

            Cary Fukunaga has great previous success with television as Season 1 of HBO’s True Detective was one of the best seasons of any TV series ever and he was originally attached to the intriguing project titled, The Alienist that would be a series on TNT. Now, Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror, House of Cards) is attached to helm the series and the show has its two stars. According to THR, Daniel Bruhl and Luke Evans will star in the drama for TNT.

            The show is set in New York City in 1896 where a string of brutal murders amongst male prostitutes leads police to believe that a serial killer may be committing the crimes. Bruhl is set to play Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, who works in forensics and psychology deeming him the outsider in the whole investigation. Evans plays John Moore, a friend of Kreizler;s and police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, who assists in the investigation. The series is based on a bestselling thriller of the same name written by Caleb Carr and though I’ve never read it, I’ve heard its tremendous. Hopefully on a network like TNT, they can will push the boundaries similar to what USA Network and FX have done over the last few years.

            Bruhl was just seen in Captain America: Civil War as the villain, Zemo but will also appear in The Zookeeper’s Wife alongside Jessica Chastain in March. As for Evans, he was seen recently in The Girl on the Train but has his biggest role upcoming as he’ll play Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast live-action film for Disney.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tom Holland in talks to star alongside Daisy Ridley in 'Chaos Walking'

Image from The Hollywood Reporter
By Darian Scalamoni

            We reported on Chaos Walking months ago when it was announced that Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Jumper) would be directing and Daisy Ridley would star. Now according to Slash Film, it seems that Tom Holland is in talks to join the movie as well.

            The movie that is based on the post-apocalyptic young adult novel is set to start shooting in the first quarter of 2017. Chaos Walking was a trilogy of books written by Patrick Ness in which all living people and creatures can hear other’s thoughts through images, words and sounds. Holland would play a boy named Todd Hewitt who’s never seen a woman in his life but when him and his dog escape town he meets Viola Eade (played by Ridley).

            Holland has recently risen to the spotlight since playing Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War and now in the remainder of the MCU with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming in which he stars and is rumored to have a role in Avengers: Infinity War. In addition to that, he’s set to appear in a few other movies next year including The Lost City of Z alongside Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson and he’ll play Samuel Insull in The Current War.

Dan Trachtenberg in talks to helm Harry Houdini biopic

Image from Metro
By Darian Scalamoni

            I first heard of Dan Trachtenberg when I saw his short film Portal: No Escape based on the video game franchise Portal. It was brilliant and I was awaiting to see what he would do next. After being attached to multiple projects that were I development including directing a feature film based on the novel, Y: The Last Man, he made his feature debut with the J.J. Abrams produced, 10 Cloverfield Lane, earlier this year. It seems that he has finally picked his next movie; according to Deadline, he’s in talks to direct a Harry Houdini biopic.

            Harry Houdini, for those who don’t know is a legendary illusionist and escape artist. A feature film about Houdini has been in development for years now and it’ll be interesting to see if Trachtenberg will officially sign on and wind up directing it. Back in 2011, Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Fun with Dick and Jane) was set to direct and the movie was to star Johnny Depp, since then, Adrien Brody played Houdini in a mini-series for the History channel.

            I’m excited for this as I think Houdini is a fascinating public figure of the past and would love to see what Trachtenberg can do with it. Noah Oppenheim (Jackie, The Maze Runner) is set to write the script that will be based off of the book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. Hopefully we get some news on who will play Houdini in the near future.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

First trailer for Martin Scorsese's long developed religious epic 'Silence' looks gorgeous

Image from Dark Horizons
By Darian Scalamoni
            It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a Martin Scorsese directed movie in theaters. Last time was the enthralling film, The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but it seems the legendary director has gone a completely different direction with his new movie, Silence and we have the first trailer for you right here.

            The movie follows two Jesuit priests (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) go on a journey to find their mentor (played by Liam Neeson) in 17th century Japan. Throughout their trek to find Neeson’s character, they’re mistreated completely due to their religious beliefs. The movie is based on the novel by Shusaku Endo and the script was written by Jay Cocks who previously collaborated with Scorsese for Gangs of New York.

            This looks to be a surefire candidate for the Academy Awards including Best Picture. It’s an amazing trailer and has sweeping cinematography though I don’t love large scale religious epics like this one, I love Martin Scorsese’s work and plan to see this in theaters. Here’s an amazing little tidbit: Since Gangs of New York, only one Scorsese-directed project hasn’t been nominated for Best Picture (Shutter Island). That’s pretty remarkable.

            Check out the trailer for Silence below. The movie opens in theaters on December 23rd.

'Bleed for This' Review

Image from True View
By Darian Scalamoni
            I’m a huge fan of boxing movies. Maybe it’s the drama, the sport element or just the fact that you get to (most of the time) see a comeback story in which the protagonist wins a match that they should rightfully never win. Bleed for This is another movie that yes, follows the same tropes but rather than an injury in the ring due to age or showing off, Vinny Pazienza was involved in a brutal car accident which left him with massive neck and spinal injuries. Instead of opting for a surgical procedure in which the doctors can promise he’ll walk again, he instead opts for Halo surgery in which they place screws in the skull along with an iron stabilizer to straighten out his neck and spine.

            What a remarkable premise and true story about the legendary “Pazmanian Devil”. I will say one thing, the tragic nature of the crash and after effects for a man who truly has one passion in life makes it a hard watch at times. Miles Teller’s portrayal of Pazienza is truly a solid one, though not one that could garner him an awards nomination in my opinion. The character calls for an at times colorful personality that Teller has played multiple times previously in his career, but it’s the dramatic sense that you truly see that the up-and-coming actor inhibits another side that we’ve only seen in another film, Whiplash. The film is filled with great performances though, as Aaron Eckhart does a great job as Pazienza’s alcholic trainer, Kevin Rooney. The trainer who trained boxing great, Mike Tyson was set to do the impossible and help Pazienza win a world title, and that’s before the accident. The two form a friendship and bond that’s truly a trope in other boxing films. It reminded me a lot of the relationship between Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti in Cinderella Man. Ciaran Hinds is also tremendous in the movie as Pazienza’s father, Angelo. A character who just wants to see his son take charge of the boxing world and be on top, once the accident temporarily cripples his son, he inhibits a different system of beliefs on how much Vinny can push his mind and body. It’s an authentic portrayal of a father who gets caught up in all of the hoopla of his son being a superstar just to have a reality check as quick as the snap of a finger.

            One big negative about the movie though is the cinematography. Throughout the movie has a bit of a grain of it to show that the movie is taking place in the 80s and it sometimes is a distraction but its more the boxing scenes that suffer. After the previous boxing film I had seen, Creed had revolutionary shots in which it actually made you feel like you were in the ring with Adonis and his opponents, Paz’s fight scenes made it seem that whoever was behind the camera clearly didn’t know how to film a boxing movie. The camera is constantly bumping into bodies and providing awkward close ups that don’t work. It becomes repetitive and actually bothered me. I wanted to get past the boxing scenes and get back to the narrative with the characters.

            Yes, it’s a boxing movie with a different take since the temporary paralysis but when you see what Pazienza accomplished in the credit sequences, it’s clear to see that Teller did his all to get that true portrayal across on screen and he succeeds. It’s a predictable movie and isn’t as well made as other recent greats like Creed but has a formula that is similar to David O. Russell’s, The Fighter. Having said that, it’s not a movie that will provide you with an experience as good as that movie should’ve. The direction of the movie is solid but nothing to praise on a massive scale. Ben Younger does a good job of providing the audience with a solid boxing movie that packs all the normal punches sprinkling in some great acting and a decent script.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Adam McKay to write/direct biopic about former VP Dick Cheney to be released in late 2017

Image from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Darian Scalamoni
            As the rest of the country tries to shy away from the most recent presidential election, it seems that Hollywood wants to use it to its advantage. According to Collider, Adam McKay has signed on to write and direct a Dick Cheney biopic.

            McKay, who was just nominated for Best Director and Best Picture for The Big Short last year (a tremendous movie by the way), had been working on the script for this film since he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay at the last Academy Awards. The same producing team behind that movie about the housing market collapse will join him in bringing together this political drama.

            Cheney was of course the Vice President to George W. Bush during his Presidential run from 2001-2009 and was played by Richard Dreyfuss in Oliver Stone’s biopic of the 43rd President of the United States titled, W. McKay’s current plan is to send the script out to potential stars and have the movie shooting in the Spring to have it released at the end of 2017 for a potential Oscar run.

            McKay also is working on a comedy series for HBO titled Succession. In addition to that, he has another drama in the works, Bad Blood that has Jennifer Lawrence attached to star and will return to co-write Ant-Man and The Wasp for Marvel.

Angela Bassett joins the MCU, cast in 'Black Panther'

Image from The Wrap
By Darian Scalamoni
            It’s pretty surreal when you think about all of the talent already to have appeared in Marvel films and television. It won’t be stopping anytime soon and they’re constantly adding more talent in all of these projects. According to Variety, Angela Bassett has joined Marvel’s Black Panther playing his mother, Ramonda.

            Black Panther debuted in the MCU in this year’s Captain America: Civil War and was one of the true standouts in the movie. His standalone will follow T’Challa, the prince of the African nation of Wakanda who must take over the throne after his father’s death. Bassett is a fantastic addition to this cast as she’s a great actress and continues Marvel’s trend to hire African-Americans to star in this movie that takes place in a fictitious African country. Bassett was just seen in the most recent season of American Horror Story: Roanoke.

            Bassett joins an already stellar cast that includes Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Andy Serkis. The movie will also be directed by Ryan Coogler who helmed one of last year’s best, Creed. Black Panther will be released in theaters February 16th, 2018.

TNT orders a pilot based on 2013 sci-fi film, 'Snowpiercer'

Image from IMDB
By Darian Scalamoni
            Here comes another TV show based on a movie, in this case, one of the most original sci-fi movies of the decade thus far. According to Deadline, TNT has ordered a pilot based on the 2013 film, Snowpiercer.

            This just bodes bad news for me. Most shows that are based on feature films just haven’t worked, there are exceptions (Fargo, Bates Motel, Hannibal) but for the most part, it’s been duds. Snowpiercer has an interesting premise in which the world is now a frozen apocalyptic living situation in which a train that circles the world inhabits the remainder of human life. The movie showcases ideas like classism, social injustice and survival in a cruel, political system. The film, is in my eyes, one of the most underrated I’ve ever seen and is a great futuristic thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell.

            I worry for this show as it will be broadcast on a network like TNT which doesn’t have much to offer in terms of great narrative storytelling on television. I’ll maybe give it a shot after a trailer but until then, we’ll have to wait to see where this goes and if the network likes the pilot.

Monday, November 21, 2016

First teaser trailer for 'Cars 3' shows a different take on Lightning McQueen

Image from Slash Film
By Darian Scalamoni
            Pixar is no stranger to putting some darker and sad imagery within their films in the past, but to have it outright in a teaser trailer? Well, that’s exactly what the juggernaut studio has done with the first teaser for Cars 3. The visuals look stunning but is this teaser too heavy for younger children? I say no but many of you may have other opinions as this is a Disney property.

            Cars 3 stars the legendary Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) in a new challenge he’s never faced before. He’s quickly getting pushed out of the sport he loves and needs help from an eager young technician, Cruz Ramirez plus the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet to get him reinvigorated and ready for another run at the Piston Cup. This is a bold but fantastic teaser by Disney and Pixar. I’m a fan of the first film in the franchise but everyone knows that Cars 2 is by far the worst Pixar movie ever made. Having said that, this makes me very excited to see the third movie in the trilogy.

            Watch the first teaser for Cars 3 below. It opens everywhere June 16th!

First trailer for ABC's 'When We Rise' event series shows the LGBTQ community fight to get their rights

Image from Indiewire
By Darian Scalamoni
            With more and more fear being brought to the LGBTQ community over the past year or so due to the unfortunate Orlando shooting that claimed an incredible amount of lives, it’s as timely as ever to have a show on a major network showcasing the struggle of these people. ABC has an upcoming event series titled, When We Rise which documents the battle that many faced for their right to marry members of the same sex and have gay rights. You can see the first trailer below.

            The show is executively produced by renowned filmmaker Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) who has experience chronicling a gay icon in Harvey Milk in the past, directing Sean Penn to an Oscar for his portrayal. He’s also reteaming with the man who wrote the screenplay to Milk, Dustin Lance Black who also won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the historical drama. The trailer is intriguing but I always hope that shows as powerful as this could be put on a streaming service or a network like AMC or FX as it would be able to show more than a normal network channel could. The period piece is showcasing the Stonewall Riots of 1969 so hopefully they’ll actually show just how vicious some people were and how important these riots were to American history.

            Check out the trailer for When We Rise, an ABC event-series below! It will be televised in February and stars Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Kenneth Williams and David Hyde Pierce!

Elle Fanning to star in young adult thriller, 'Beware the Girl'

Image from Indiewire
By Darian Scalamoni
               Elle Fanning has been rising up the ranks of best up-and-coming actresses with her diversity. This year alone she’s been seen in Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon and has 20th Century Women and Ben Affleck’s Live by Night still upcoming but now it seems that she’ll be taking an interesting track by taking a starring role in a new thriller. According to The Playlist, Fanning will star in Beware the Girl based on the young adult novel from Teresa Toten.

            The movie will follow outsider Kate O’Brien (Fanning) who strives to climb the social ranks of her new prep school in NYC and becomes best friends with the most popular girl at school before her life takes a turn for the worst. It’s being described as a movie in the same vein as something like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train and seems to be a great project for Fanning to take on.

            Add this to the long list of upcoming projects on the docket for the younger sister of Dakota as she already has over ten movies in all different stages of production. I’m excited to see her in a role like this one as I’m a big fan of Gone Girl. No news on a writer or director for this project yet but that news should be coming soon.

Martin Scorsese's long-developing 'Sinatra' biopic may be dead

Image from The Tracking Board
By Darian Scalamoni
            There’s some bad news for people who have been waiting anxiously for news on Martin Scorsese’s long-gestating biopic on legendary singer, Frank Sinatra. Michael Chabon, who wrote one draft of the film, revealed in an interview with Vulture that the project is dead.

            In the interview, Chabon said “I was working on a Frank Sinatra project for a while, and I read Tina Sinatra’s memoir of her father (My Father’s Daughter). She called him ‘Daddy’. It would’ve been so cool. Scorsese was going to direct it, and I wrote the script.” Obviously this was one of many projects that Scorsese has in development as he also has biopics for Mike Tyson, The Ramones and a project titled The Devil in the White City starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Silence, another project that he’s been working on for years is set to be released next month starring Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson. After that, he’s set to direct The Irishman starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.

            Ironically enough, Sinatra was set to star Pacino as the titular singer and De Niro as Dean Martin when it was first developed in the 90’s. Since then, DiCaprio, George Clooney and Johnny Depp were linked to playing Sinatra as well. I’m incredibly disappointed as I thought there was massive potential for a project like this. Scorsese is one of my favorite filmmakers of all-time and would’ve been perfect for this project. Hopefully the project will be brought back to life at some point, even if Scorsese just produced the film.

First trailer for 'Barry' chronicles the life of Barack Obama way before his political uprise

Image from The Guardian
By Darian Scalamoni
            With President Barack Obama’s days winding down as President and the success of Southside with You that chronicled the first date between himself and the First Lady, Michelle, it seemed that a proper biopic was bound to happen. Today, we received the trailer for Barry, Vokram Gandhi’s film that covers Obama’s life from as early as his college days at Columbia University.

            The film will showcase the current President in fall of 1981 in his junior year at college in a crime-riddles and racially charged environment. As a mixed man, due to his Kansas-born mother and estranged Kenyan father, the story covers a young man grappling with all issues years before he enters political office. I love this trailer and the movie looks to be a great look into the Obama’s life, the parts in which many people haven’t seen before.

            Barry will be released on Netflix and in theaters on December 16th. The movie stars Ashley Judd, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ellar Coltrane, Jason Mitchell and Devon Terrell who plays Barack Obama. Check out the trailer below!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

One half of the 'John Wick', directing team, David Leitch to helm 'Deadpool 2'

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            John Wick was one of the most pleasant surprises in 2014. With tremendous action and direction along with a telling performance from Keanu Reeves, everyone was wondering how the action sequences were achieved. Well, the movie was directed by two former stuntmen, and now that the two have decided to go separate ways, we get to see them each helm an exciting film. For one of the co-directors, Chad Stahelski, he’s directing the sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2 which will be released in February but his directing partner, David Leitch now has an exciting sequel he’ll be heading as well. According to EW, Leitch will be directing Deadpool 2, following the departure of Tim Miller, who directed the first film.

            Miller exited the movie alongside composer, Junkie XL just about a month ago but Leitch might be the best second option Fox could’ve chosen for this movie. Following the massive success that the first movie that feature the Merc with the Mouth was, it was known that the studio needed to bring in the right director to replace Miller. Deadpool grossed over $360 million in the U.S. alone in February with its R-rating and expects to make more than that in the second go around.

            Leitch’s next movie, The Coldest City starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy is set to be released in August of next year and with that film in post-production, it seems Leitch will move right into Deadpool 2. I’m excited that the movie now has a director attached and now hopefully, they can find another composer that gets the style of movie the first movie was. I’m also psyched to see who they eventually cast in the roles of Cable and Domino.

Chloe Grace Moretz set to star in gay conversion therapy drama, 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post'

Image from Buzznet
By Darian Scalamoni
            It’s been an interesting year for Chloe Grace Moretz to say the least. She started the year with a big box office bomb in The 5th Wave, a sci-fi/action hybrid that was negatively received by critics as well. From there, she co-starred in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, trying her foray in comedy and it worked to her advantage as the movie was one of the most underrated of the year so far. It seems that Moretz has her next project in sight though as The Playlist reports that she’ll star in The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

            The film is based on the novel by Emily Danforth and takes place in the early 90s following a girl who is forced into gay conversion therapy after getting caught with the prom queen. This is an incredibly timely film due to the recent election in which the Vice President elect has strong feelings towards homosexuals and gay conversion therapy. Moretz is set to play titular lead in the movie.

            In addition to that, Moretz isn’t the only talent whose been added to the cast. Also, Sasha Lane, the breakout star from American Honey as well as John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle and Forrest Goodluck have been added to the cast. Lane is set to play Post’s friend who is also in the clinic with her. No info on a potential release date for this, though it seems they’ll be getting in front of the cameras soon, so look for this to be released sometime in 2017.

Matthew McConaughey set to star in gangster drama, 'White Boy Rick'

Image from Entertainment Weekly
By Darian Scalamoni
            Ever since Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for his role as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, he has risen up the ranks as now a superstar status as an actor. Since the Oscar winning turn, he’s also done films with directors like Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan but today he signed on to do a project that sounds different and unique. According to Deadline, McConaughey is set to star in White Boy Rick from director Yann Demange (’71).

            White Boy Rick follows Richard Wershe Jr., who was the only white boy gangster/drug kingpin within an African-American dominated 80s Detroit ghetto. Not only that, but he was working for law enforcement as an informant at age 14 but then got too caught up within the drugs before being jailed only a few years later.

            Obviously, the Oscar-winning actor is not playing a 14-year old but he is playing Wershe’s father, a blue-collar factory worker who is trying to keep his family together and keep his son out of trouble. The producers are currently casting the lead role of Wershe Jr.

            McConaughey will be seen in the upcoming drama, Gold directed by Stephen Gaghan and his performance looks stellar and could lead to another Oscar nomination. In addition to that, he’s also set to play the Man in Black in Stephen King’s big screen adaptation of The Dark Tower.

Marc Forster set to direct live-action Winnie the Pooh film titled, 'Christopher Robin'

Image from Ask Men
By Darian Scalamoni
            Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorite properties in fiction so when I heard that Disney was going to be adding it to its upcoming live-action slate, I was worried. After all the success they’ve had recently though with properties like Cinderella and The Jungle Book, I have to stay optimistic. According to THR, that movie has now found a director as Marc Forster (World War Z, Quantum of Solace) has signed on to helm the live-action Winnie the Pooh film now being titled simply, Christopher Robin.

            Interestingly enough, this incarnation seems to be one that is very different and I don’t know how I feel about it yet. The story is set to center on Christopher Robin but as an adult. He has now grown out of his exuberant imagination he had when he was younger and is now a businessman who prioritizes work over his relationship with his wife and daughter. With his life at home in frenzy, Pooh returns to ask for his help to find his friends. Robin then needs to find a way to help both sides.

            This is a much different project than I could’ve imagined and I don’t know if I can get behind it fully but I’m going to hope that it turns out okay. Forster is an interesting choice to direct too. He’s had experience with different kinds of blockbusters in the past with World War Z and Quantum of Solace which was in the James Bond franchise, but he does have great experience with the fantastical as he was nominated for a Golden Globe for directing Finding Neverland back in 2004, but again, that was twelve years ago. Not only that, but Alex Ross Perry is writing the script and he’s only really done dramas and thrillers so uplifting can this story be.

            Having said that, I hope they can prove me wrong and Christopher Robin won’t be the movie that breaks Disney’s current live-action winning streak.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Emilia Clarke set to join upcoming 'Untitled Han Solo Anthology Film'

Image from Deadline
By Darian Scalamoni
            Wow, this cast just keeps getting better and better. According to Collider, Emilia Clarke is set to join the currently Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film. She is joining the previously casted Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover who have been cast as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, respectively.

            This casting news is terrific, Clarke is amazing in the hit HBO show, Game of Thrones as Daenerys Targaryen and her joining this cast makes it so well-rounded and dynamic. This movie now might be right behind Avengers: Infinity War as my most anticipated for 2018. Not only is the cast great, but Chris Lord and Phil Miller have yet to make a bad movie as feature filmmakers so I have plenty of faith in them as well.

            What do you guys think about this exciting casting news? Who do you think Clarke will play in the Star Wars anthology film? Comment below and let us know!

First trailer for 'The Zookeeper's Wife' has Jessica Chastain hiding Jews from the Nazi's on her grand property

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni
            Jessica Chastain doesn’t get as much appreciation as she should. Her performance in Zero Dark Thirty, was one of the best I’ve ever seen to be honest and she’s incredibly diverse. Yesterday, we received the first trailer for The Zookeeper’s Wife starring that same actress that just further shows off her talents.

            The film is based on the 2007 book written by Diane Ackerman about husband and wife zookeepers who convinced a Nazi zoologist to let them keep their property as a pig farm, whole behind his back, they hid Jews escaping persecution and death. This movie has a mixture of everything between grand scenery, adorable zoo animals and a harsh WWII setting.

            I loved this trailer as it had a real compassion and humanity to it. Not only that, but this is a magnificent story as it was a tremendous risk for this woman to keep these people that were constantly being hunted on her property each and every day.

            Check out the trailer below for The Zookeeper’s Wife starring Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh and Daniel Bruhl. The movie opens on March 31st, 2017. 

'This Is Us' Episode 7, Season 1 Review

Image from International Business Times
By Darian Scalamoni
            Episode seven for This Is Us was the worst of the season. Granted, it was far from a bad episode but it was much more along the lines of nothing really happened. Most of the episode followed the sibling rivalry that we were building up to between Randall and Kevin which goes in a direction that we saw coming.

            This week’s episode was just tonally off, a week after the hectic, world-shattering election, you would think that NBC would want to come out swinging. The episode was titled “The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World” and it opened with Jack and Rebecca playfully fighting over getting a new washer as the kids were getting older and they were now doing more loads than they ever have. We then see how years later, with their three kids in high school, life is very much getting away from them. Their marriage is on a slippery slope, mostly because Jack is distracted by work and is slowly but surely missing out on the important aspects that once made their relationship so special. Even on top of that though, Randall and Kevin are playing each other in a high school football game, the stakes are escalated by the incessant fighting at home between the brothers. So much so, that Kevin moves into the basement just to get away from his adopted brother.

            It’s very formulaic how it jumps from the story of them as high schoolers and then adult life when they’re supposed to grab dinner with their mother before she has to cancel, causing the brothers, now very much into their adult lives to grab dinner together. This doesn’t last long as Kevin discovers that Randall has never watched an episode of his hit TV show, The Manny which causes a storm out of the restaurant they’re in. This leads to a great monologue from Sterling K. Brown on the streets of New York in which he starts clearing the air before an ignorant comment from Kevin ruins all the progress Randall is trying to make. That was all great but the cameo from Seth Meyers out of nowhere (come on NBC, you’re better than that) makes the whole situation laughable and even a line like “he’s my brother” that should have much more weight to it is ruined and doesn’t get its point across until Randall brings it up again later in the episode.

            In addition to that, Kate is thrown the short end of the stick this week again and I’m starting to dislike her as a character. She discovers that Toby is not only losing more weight than her on a week-to-week basis but he’s also cheating the whole time. She then reminds him of her line from episode one that “she can’t date a fat person right now” and thinks to possibly break up with him. I’m sorry but I think this is completely ignorant too. She has a great guy in front of her and she would walk away because behind her back he’s eating crappy food. I would think he’s even being more considerate by not doing it in front of her and making it harder for her. At the end of the episode, she hits a low point and is eating powdered doughnuts in her car.

            The best part of the episode is when Randall’s wife and dad eat pot brownies to help ease the pain of William’s current chemo treatment. In their drug-infused state, Beth quotes a poem from his poetry book before he inadvertently blurts out “the one I gave Rebecca back in the day”. They quickly both come to and realize what he said and Beth turns to an intense state. William tells her that she can’t say anything to her husband or it will destroy his closeness with his adoptive mother, Rebecca. This provides a new predicament for weeks ahead and actually builds on the show.

            All in all, I wasn’t a big fan of the episode in general. There were highlights but the lack of exploration within Jack and Rebecca this week and a poor writing decision on Kate leads me to give this episode the lowest score of the season thus far.


New trailer for 'Kong: Skull Island' gives an upbeat, 70s vibe to an otherwise familiar story

Image from Den of Geek
By Darian Scalamoni
            Several new images and posters have been released over the last couple of weeks for the upcoming monster movie, Kong: Skull Island but today, we got our first trailer since the Comic-Con one. This one has a different tone as the film takes place in the 70s and you definitely get that playful 70s vibe throughout parts of this trailer.

            Having said all of that, I am not a fan of this trailer much at all. That different tone doesn’t work for a movie like this in my opinion. I love John C. Reilly just as much as the next guy but he just seems out of place in this movie. It’s cool to see Kong dealing with more advanced weaponry and military but I just think that this trailer is strange compared to some of the better trailers we’ve seen for upcoming blockbusters especially the first trailer for this movie.

            Check out the new trailer for Kong: Skull Island below! In addition to Reilly, the film also stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Thomas Mann, John Ortiz and Shea Whigham. The blockbuster will be released everywhere on March 10th, 2017.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

First full-length trailer for Netflix's 'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events' gives us a better look at Count Olaf and his multiple personas

Image from Indiewire
By Darian Scalamoni
            The full-length trailer is finally here for the upcoming Netlifx show, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and reveals plenty more characters and a better look at Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. The show hits the streaming service at the beginning of 2017 and this trailer helps audiences get prepared for an interesting trip with this show.

            I must be honest, this trailer bothered me more than anything and it’s for one reason, I don’t buy Harris as Olaf. Jim Carrey did his incarnation of the character on screen in the 2004 theatrical feature film and Harris obviously had a hard act to follow but it’s not just the acting. The dearly beloved actor from How I Met Your Mother doesn’t seem to separate himself from the character as much. When I see him as Olaf or Captain Sham, I still see and hear Neil Patrick Harris doing a voice. It just doesn’t work for me.

            Other than that, it looks interesting so I’ll give a try but I’m not as optimistic on the show as I once thought I would be. It gives glimpses that remind me of the movie, but will it be as successful as the movie version? Check out the trailer and let us know in the comments what you think! Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will be released in full on the streaming giant, Netflix on January 13th

Forest Whitaker to join Biggie, Tupac murder mystery 'LAbyrinth'

Image from Richest Celebrities
By Darian Scalamoni
            It’s been just about a month since we reported that Johnny Depp would join LAbyrinth which follows the detective who investigated the murders of both Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. This was already an interesting premise and first casting news but the project continues to accumulate talent. According to Slash Film, Forest Whitaker is set to join Depp in the movie as well.

            Production starts this month on LAbyrinth, which is based on the novel of the same name written by Randall Sullivan. Depp is set to play the detective and Whitaker is joining the movie as a journalist that joins Depp to help seek out answers to the murders of two of the biggest icons in rap music history. Whitaker has already had a big year as he just had a supporting role in a movie that is being pegged as an Oscar favorite by many critics in Arrival. The movie is set to be directed by Brad Furman who previously directed The Lincoln Lawyer and The Infiltrator.

            Whitaker’s year is far from over as he will appear in the Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Not only that, he also recently signed on to join the MCU and have a role in Black Panther in 2018. I love this casting as it’s just adding more talent onto an intriguing project. There is no set release date though expect to see this released sometime next year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Steve Carell in talks to join 'Minecraft' from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' creator Rob McElhenney

Image from MovieWeb
By Darian Scalamoni
            For all of those who have patiently awaiting some more news on the big-screen adaptation of the video game, Minecraft, do not fear as we have news on who will star in the movie. According to Slash Film, Steve Carell is in talks to join the movie being produced by Warner Bros.

            Carell is an exciting person to join this movie yet we don’t know how they’re going to structure this movie visually. He’s a credible actor though so if he joins it’s a positive. Having said that, video game movies haven’t had a giant success yet so people shouldn’t hold out for this. Rob McElhenney (Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is set to direct and he’s also responsible for creating one of the longest running comedies of modern times so that could be a positive.

            Minecraft is set to hit theaters on May 25th, 2019. How do you guys feel about Carell joining the cast? Comment below and let us know!

New trailer for 'Hidden Figures' puts Taraji P. Henson in the Oscar spotlight

Image from NY Times
By Darian Scalamoni
            Well here’s a film that’s incredibly timely. In regards to last year’s OscarsSoWhite campaign, there was not one person of color or minority nominated for an acting award at the Oscars, but it seems that this January we have a few women who might be up for that golden trophy. 20th Century Fox released a new trailer today for Hidden Figures starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.

            Hidden Figures tells the true story of brilliant African American women working for NASA and the crucial part they played in launching astronaut John Glenn into space to orbit Earth. The movie showcases not only their brilliance and efficiency throughout their time working for the space program but also the discrimination they all faced as both women and African Americans. It looks to have a great shot at multiple Oscar categories and I’m looking forward to seeing this when it goes wide in January.

           Check out the trailer below for Hidden Figures. In addition to the leading ladies, the movie also stars Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali. It opens in limited release on Christmas Day and opens worldwide on January 6th!