Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Vera Farmiga cast in 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            The Godzilla franchise continues to add some reputable talents and now an Oscar-nominated actress has joined the fray. According to the Tracking Board, Vera Farmiga has joined the cast of Legendary’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the follow-up to the 2014 monster movie.

            Farmiga will play the ex-wife of Kyle Chandler’s character and mother to Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. Plot details are scarce for now but Variety has previously speculated that we could see the return of Ken Watanabe’s character for the sequel as he had a large role in the first movie in the franchise. In regards to the Farmiga casting, I think it’s a terrific addition but I hope she plays a larger role than say Bryan Cranston or Juliette Binoche did in the first film. Farmiga received a deserved Academy Award nomination for her work in Up in the Air and was also great in Martin Scorsese’s, The Departed.


            Farmiga is currently filming Captive State for Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and just wrapped on the Liam Neeson starring film, The Commuter. Warner Bros. will release Godzilla: King of the Monsters on March 22nd, 2019, a year before we see the battle movie titled Godzilla vs. Kong on May 29th, 2020. It won’t be long though before we see Godzilla’s rival on screen as Kong: Skull Island hits theaters on March 10th

Monday, February 27, 2017

Why last night's Oscar Best Picture award blunder is bad for EVERYONE

Image from ABC
By Darian Scalamoni
            Do accidents happen? Of course, they do but the mistake at last night’s Academy Awards was so unbelievable and catastrophic then many people (including myself) didn’t know what to make of what the whole world had just seen. In case you’re in the minority and had no idea what occurred last night, it went as follows: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the honor of announcing the most prestigious honor in cinema for the year with the award for Best Motion Picture. Though many had pegged the magnificent musical, La La Land to be the frontrunner, other films like Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea had the ability to play spoiler. Well, La La Land won…for about 8 seconds.

            In historic fashion (and not for the right reasons), one of the accountants/producers of the Academy Awards had handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope that displayed the winner for Best Lead Actress for Emma Stone in La La Land. Beatty tried to stall and had a strange reaction to opening the envelope before showing Dunaway. Many had thought this was a joke from the legendary filmmaker and actor yet the film title that Dunaway had seen on the card displayed La La Land, so she announced the Best Picture winner as La La Land. This was an incredible mistake and after the cast and crew of La La Land got up on stage were handed their Oscars and gave some sort of speeches, it was announced by none other than one of the producers of La La Land, Jordan Horowitz that there had been a catastrophic error and that Moonlight, the $1.5 million indie darling was indeed, the recipient of the Best Motion Picture of the Year.

            The reason I have such a strong reaction to what had happened and the title of this article is what it is, is because looking back less than 24 hours later, it’s easy to see why this is one of the worst things that has ever happened in Hollywood. Think about it like this: Yes, La La Land was nominated for 14 Oscars and won 6 including Best Director for Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone for Best Actress in a Leading Role BUT the fact of the matter is that for a few moments, the epitome of what most of those people have dreamed of their entire lives was accomplished just to have it ripped from their very hands after giving acceptance speeches to their loved ones will not matter in the grand scheme of things.

            In regards to Moonlight, which I happened to watch for the first time just hours before the Oscar ceremony, it’s a brilliant film. One that will resonate with all people; blacks, whites, Hispanics as well as those who are straight, gay or anything else because more than anything the movie is about growth and learning about yourself amongst struggle. It was not my favorite film of the year, but was it deserving of Best Picture? Absolutely it was.

            The unfortunate circumstance and my thoughts on what happened are not only for those who worked on La La Land but also for the producers of Moonlight. The controversy surrounding those final moments in which they had an amazing accomplishment becoming the lowest budgeted movie in history to win the coveted golden trophy will forever be in the front of people’s minds when remembering the 89th Academy Awards. Moonlight was an incredible movie within my top 5 for the year that will forever be in the history books as Best Motion Picture, the upsetting fact that in society it’ll always be correlated to a terrible mishap doesn’t give it the true nature of a victory that it deserved however. With rushed speeches, an awkward hush amongst the crowd and Jimmy Kimmel trying to make sense of all of it, it’s hard to really bask in the glory of an unnatural and cringe-worthy final segment that has cemented all those who worked on Moonlight as Oscar winners and all those who had worked on La La Land who had thought they had joined that illustrious company being told that because of a mistake, this wasn’t the case.


            All in all, it was a horrific night for Hollywood and the entertainment industry, one that many would love to look back at and shy away from because of a fault from a transition of envelopes. Congratulations to Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski, Barry Jenkins and the rest of the cast and crew of Moonlight for an amazing achievement. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bill Paxton passes away at 51

Image from NY Daily News
By Darian Scalamoni
            It hurts us all here at Cinema Wave when reporting that Bill Paxton has died today at the age of 61 due to complications from surgery. The largely known star was seen in many different works including Twister, Apollo 13 and HBO’s Big Love.

            This comes as a huge shock to the whole entertainment world as Paxton was fairly young and died in one of the most unexpected ways during surgery. Paxton started acting in the 1970s but started getting bigger in the 80s with roles on television and in film like Stripes, The Lords of Discipline, The Terminator, Weird Silence and Aliens. The larger roles started to build in the 90s with True Lies, Apollo 13 and Twister before appearing in Mighty Joe Young and one of the highest grossing films of all time, Titanic.

            After many of his larger film roles, Paxton turned to television as the lead in the HBO drama, Big Love. The show lasted 5 seasons with him starring as Bill Henrickson who broguth charm and sex appeal to a role that could’ve been opposed and criticized by many. He also brought vibrato and credibility to ABC’s Marvel series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s been seen in Texas Rising and Training Day most recently and will also appear in The Circle alongside Tom Hanks and Emma Watson that hits theaters on April 28th.


            Rest in Peace to Bill Paxton, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this sad time.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron set to star in 'Flarsky' for Jonathan Levine

Image from Deadline
By Darian Scalamoni
               Some of the oddest team-ups in cinematic history turn out to be some of the best. It seems that Hollywood is trying to bring together another interesting cast with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron as Collider reports the acting duo have been cast in the next comedy from Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Night Before).

            Rogen has worked with Levine before in the two films listed above, both of which I love, especially the former in which Rogen co-starred with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This new film from Levine, currently titled Flarsky (awful title) follows Rogen as an unemployed journalist who is damaged from his own misfortune as he pursues his childhood crush and babysitter who is now regarded as one of the most powerful and unattainable women on Earth. That woman will be played by Theron, who could sell the role and I can see this movie being an absolute hit just based on the talent involved. The movie needs a new name for sure, but I’m excited to see Theron flex that comedic gene that she hasn’t since Young Adult.


            Theron will be seen this year in Fate of the Furious as well as David Leitch’s spy thriller Atomic Blonde. Rogen will be seen next in the highly-anticipated movie from James Franco, The Disaster Artist. Levine’s next film, Snatched starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn will be in theaters on May 20th.

Matthew Broderick to join 'Katrina: American Crime Story'

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            The cast for Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story continue to add a plethora of talent, the newest addition for next season’s Katrina is no exception. According to Variety, Matthew Broderick has joined the cast for the second season of the FX anthology series.

            Broderick will play Michael Brown, the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who was criticized due to the slow response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Broderick joins Annette Bening as the only cast members confirmed so far though there are rumors that Courtney B. Vance, Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. could return after starring in Season 1 subtitled, The People v. O.J. Simpson. Brown resigned from FEMA less than two weeks after President George W. Bush visited a Katrina disaster site and proclaimed, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” A statement that was juxtaposed compared to the images of the victims and the devastation in Louisiana.


            Broderick was most recently seen in the Oscar nominated film, Manchester by the Sea and Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply. Broderick will aim to set the bar high along the rest of the ensemble as The People v. O.J. Simpson garnered several accolades including nine Emmy’s.

'The Lego Batman Movie' director Chris McKay to helm Nightwing movie for Warner Bros.

Image from Consequence of Sound
By Darian Scalamoni
            Day by day, the DCEU continues to grow. Amidst all the chaos in the DC Comics movie universe housed at Warner Bros., The Wrap reported yesterday that Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie, Robot Chicken) is in talks to direct a standalone, live-action film based on the DC character, Nightwing.

            Nightwing is also known as Dick Grayson, the original Robin in the comics. Grayson teamed up with Batman under the moniker of Robin before setting off to be on his own in Gotham City. He later became a later of the Teen Titans while Jason Todd took over the mantle of Robin. Many have waited for years to see Nightwing to head to screens in a live-action feature film, it seems they might finally have their wish come true. Bill Dubuque (The Accountant, The Judge) will write the script for the film. Despite all the madness at Warner Bros. over the DCEU, it’s hard not to get excited over a Nightwing movie, especially for me, being that Nightwing is one of my favorite comic book characters ever.

            McKay is coming off of his feature film directorial debut with the animated superhero comedy, The Lego Batman Movie, which has been a huge hit with audiences. The movie has earned $182.4 million thus far and now that he’s familiar with the DC property, I think he’ll doa great job with this film if he signs on.

            

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

'Legion' Episode 2, Season 1 Review: "Chapter 2"

Image from IGN
By Darian Scalamoni
            Coming off a series premiere which I deemed perfect, it’d be hard to step up but “Chapter 2” was also a really, really great episode. It seems that each week we might be diving into a whole new show, at least that’s what the editing makes you feel. Noah Hawley increases the stakes and emphasizes just how powerful the main character, David Haller really is.

            Haller has just recently come to grips with the fact that he does not suffer from an actual mental illness yet, he’s an incredibly gifted and powerful mutant who is a telepath and is telekinetic. You can see just how much all of this is bothering him when we dive into his memories in order to see all that David could remember from his past. The episode displays this incredible realization that we can push memories to the back of our mind but the pain and trauma will always remain as you can’t detach yourself from them. It again plays into the humanistic elements in a show that is based around mutants and makes the audience feel connected to this character because you feel sorry for him.

            Ptonomy, another mutant delves into these hurtful memories along with David and Jean Smart’s Dr. Melanie Bird trying to find the key to the madness that David continues to spiral into. The “memory work” as they call it works to sort out moments from his past and work on them to make them less disorienting. It could be a problem for the viewer as it jumps back and forth in time adding another layer to an already convoluted program.

            The impact of the women on this show are also tremendous when seeing how much they play a part in David’s life. His sister, Amy, acts as his protective guardian. She’s constantly trying to make sure he can act normal and so David tries to be that with her. In the case of Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny, we see that she would indulge in his madness to do absolutely anything he wants. Her junkie impulses made her the rebel to which he doesn’t need to put on an act and just do whatever he pleases with ease. Syd, on the other hand, is a constant reminder that David can be better. Rachel Keller’s character makes him want to be a better person and get in control of his powers to not go completely off the rails. David calls his relationship with Syd the “romance of the mind” before actually coming to grips that he’s falling in love with who she makes him become.

            All of this is great and adds to the audience learning more about these characters but the complicated edits and lack of story until the last five minutes makes it hard for me to give this an incredibly high score. We learn that Amy is kidnapped by The Eye and so before David sets out to rescue her, Syd reassures him that when he finishes his training they can all go save her as The Eye is using her as “bait”. It feels good when learning of this information but takes a while to get going, hopefully we get a bit more story in episode 3.


8.6/10

'Atlanta' star Brian Tyree Henry to join the cast of 'White Boy Rick'

Image from The Hollywood Reporter
By Darian Scalamoni
            Many talk about Donald Glover when talking about his fantastic new comedy Atlanta on FX, but Brian Tyree Henry is also terrific on the show as Paper Boi and since that role, he’s become a breakout star. He was just seen on last night’s episode of This Is Us and now he’s getting film roles as well. According to Deadline, Henry will join the cast of White Boy Rick.

            White Boy Rick is the story of Richard Wershe Jr. who became an undercover informant at the age of 14 for federal law enforcement before establishing himself as a major drug dealer and eventually being brought down by the powers that brought him up. Henry joins an already terrific ensemble, many of which we’ve covered here on Cinema Wave. I’ve been buying this movie ever since it was first announced and Yann Demange (’71) was brought in to direct. Henry will play a narcotics detective Mel “Roach” Jackson who is being rumored to have just as many scenes as Matthew McConaughey who plays Wershe’s father.


            Henry has been seen mostly on TV since and before Atlanta with appearances on Boardwalk Empire, The Knick and Vice Principals so this will be his first big film role. White Boy Rick stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bel Powley, Rory Cochrane, Bruce Dern and Henry. The movie hits theaters on January 12th, 2018!

Tim Robbins to co-star in HBO drama from creator of 'Six Feet Under'

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            Tim Robbins, whose best known for his role as Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption is headed back to television. According to Deadline, the Oscar-winning actor will co-star in a currently untitled drama series from the mind of Alan Ball, who created other hit shows for HBO before like Six Feet Under and True Blood.

            The series will have 10 episodes and follows a multi-racial family that includes Greg Bishop, a philosophy professor and the patriarch for the family along with his lawyer wife Audrey who will be played by Holly Hunter. They have three adopted children from Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia as well as a biological child. Everything seems normal when one day, we discover that one of the children begins to see things that others cannot. There are not many more details other than that but it sure sounds like a mystery and I’m excited to see what a mind like Ball’s can do with Robbins and Hunter already on board the HBO series.


            Robbins will make his return to HBO after starring, directing and producing The Brink that ran for only one season. He was seen recently at the Sundance Film Festival for his film, Marjorie Prime opposite Jon Hamm and Geena Davis, a movie in which he also co-produced.

Martin Scorsese's long awaited film 'The Irishman' heading to Netflix

Image from The Hollywood Reporter
By Darian Scalamoni
            Even the oldest filmmakers are intrigued by some of the newest methodology when it comes to the movie industry and its hard to not recognize what streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have been doing by distributing movies. Martin Scorsese happens to be the latest to hop on the bandwagon as the legendary director is finalizing a deal for his $100 million gangster movie The Irishman to be released on Netflix, per Indiewire.

            This is truly shocking news following Paramount’s 12-year chairman Brad Grey leaving the position, Scorsese’s team brought up The Irishman which the studio deemed “too risky” and potentially wouldn’t give Scorsese free reign to do what he wants. It’s crazy to think that Netflix is apparently in a better position to finance a Martin Scorsese gangster flick that will star Robert De Niro and Al Pacino but that seems to be the world we live in now. Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, The Night Of) will pen the screenplay which he’ll adapt from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses. The book chronicles the life of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran who was a mob hitman who was supposedly involved in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa. The movie will use visual effects work to make De Niro and Pacino look younger in the film a la The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Scorsese says tests have the actors looking as young as they did within The Godfather franchise.


            Scorsese’s latest film, Silence, starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Adam Driver, was released just a couple of months ago and has garnered a few Oscar nominations. The Irishman is Scorsese’s next project and is expected to be released in 2019 with filming beginning later this year.

'Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon to star in Marvel series 'The Inhumans'

Image from HBO
By Darian Scalamoni
            It seems that yet another star from the hit HBO program Game of Thrones is joining the MCU, the only issue is that the star is a tad hard to root for. According to Collider, Iwan Rheon who is best known for playing the evil bastard Ramsay Bolton on Thrones, will star in the upcoming Inhumans series that will be broadcast on ABC.

            Rheon will play Maximus, who according to Marvel.com is “a clever and charming Inhuman that is fiercely devoted to the people of Attilan, especially his brother, the King – although he harbors an intense desire to wear the crown himself.” This seems like perfect casting as Rheon truly was an absolute menace of evil as Ramsay. As threatening as Rheon was for HBO, I’m ecstatic to see how he’ll be as a villain in the MCU. Inhumans feels as if it will shy further away from its ABC counterpart, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as it’s a limited series with just one director helming the show. Even more exciting is that the show will be filmed on IMAX cameras and the first two episodes will hit IMAX theaters in the Fall before moving to broadcast.


            How do you guys feel about Iwan Rheon being cast as the villain going against Black Bolt and the Inhumans? Do you think that this is perfect casting or is there someone else you would’ve liked to see inhabit the role of Maximus? Comment below and let us know!

Aaron Paul to play legendary whiskey distiller Jack Daniel in drama series for WGN America

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            WGN America is just another rising television network that is trying to work its way to the eyes of many across the country trying to make way for more TV. They might have a hit on their hands after casting a very well-known television star for their next series. According to Indiewire, the network has cast Aaron Paul to play the businessman and famous distiller of whiskey known as Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel.

            Anyone who is of legal drinking age knows of the world-famous whiskey drink titled “Jack Daniel’s” and WGN America will finally teach audiences how Daniel came to make his alcoholic beverage. The series will be based on the biography written by Peter Krass titled Blood and Whiskey: The Life and Times of Jack Daniel. The story follows Daniel after his father’s death in the civil war led to him learning to make moonshine and then eventually become a distiller. The drink that he created is the top selling American whiskey in the world which makes it another reason why WGN America would want to pick up the series and add a prestigious TV talent like Paul.


            Paul is best known for his work as Jesse Pinkman on AMC’s Breaking Bad but can also currently be seen on Hulu’s cult-thriller The Path. The whiskey drama would join the network’s current slate of dramas that include Underground and Outsiders. No news on when the show will air or begin shooting, but I sure am excited to see Paul step out of his wheelhouse for a period piece about my personal favorite liquor!

First cast photo for the untitled Han Solo movie showcases ensemble as the spinoff begins shooting

Image from Star Wars News Net
By Darian Scalamoni
            Filming has begun on the highly-anticipated Star Wars anthology film that will surround the early adventures of the iconic character, Han Solo and his Wookiee sidekick, Chewbacca. Yesterday, Lucasfilm revealed a near full cast photo that also gives us a first look at Alden Ehrenreich’s appearance in playing the scoundrel in the anthology film.

            The photo features Ehrenreich, who will play Han Solo, along with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, who mostly played the role in The Force Awakens due to Peter Mayhew’s health issues and has now taken the mantle as Han’s Wookiee co-pilot. Also featured in the image is Donald Glover, who will play Han Solo’s friend-turned-foe Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Phoebe Waller-Bridge round out the actors in the photo while directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) can be seen as well. The only confirmed cast member who is nowhere to be found is Westworld star, Thandie Newton who fills out the ensemble on the adventure/sci-fi flick.


            The untitled Han Solo movie will be the second Star Wars spinoff anthology film after its successful Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Check out the cast image below for the Han Solo project! The movie will hit theaters on May 25th, 2018.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

'This Is Us' Episode 15, Season 1 Review: "Jack Pearson's Son"

Image from NBC
By Darian Scalamoni
            I know it’s late but I had to write a review for last week’s episode of This Is Us because wow, what an episode. Since returning from its mid-season hiatus, the NBC drama has been lighting up ratings wise but this week it proves why it can continue to rack up good numbers while also having good storytelling as well.

            The reason why “Jack Pearson’s Son” works so well is because it’s equally balanced throughout all of the main characters in a fluid way. The show showcases drama while also providing great moments of humor throughout which make it seemed as if though as an audience, we feel real emotional impact towards all of these characters. Starting with Kevin’s storyline which jump starts into an interview with Katie Couric for his new play that goes terribly wrong, until you realize that Kevin is just having a “nightmare”. It makes for a funny moment that a celebrity’s biggest concern is bad press with Katie Couric, no less and just gets you ready for what he’s about to face in a carousel of bad thoughts and jitters before the opening curtain.

            Kevin goes to everyone in his life to find the right advice; leaving voicemail's for Kate to help talk him down, showing up at Randall’s office when he’s got things of his own to deal with and finally, his mother’s house to which his stepfather, Miguel answers the door. He seems noticeably annoyed at first but then when welcomed in, sits down with Miguel who gives him advice in a scene that is as hilarious as it is sweet. Miguel reassures Kevin that as long as he remembers that he is Jack Pearson’s son, he’ll know what to do when he’s feeling unsure.

            When talking about the titular character of this episode, it’s easy to forget how much Jack is looked up to by everyone around him whether it’s his kids, Miguel and even his wife, Rebecca. He’s painted as a saint by many since he does so much for his family, but this all withers down in a scene in which Jack and Rebecca get into an argument after Jack has a conversation with a member of Rebecca’s band to which he discovers that she used to date when she was 19. It’s the first time the show really makes Milo Ventimiglia’s character look weak as he relapses and buys himself a drink instead of dealing with the situation that he can’t deal with: raising three teenage kids all by himself for a month. Rebecca breaks it down simply when discovering that Randall can’t handle not being perfect and that Kevin is already having sex. The episode finally breaks down the Pearson’s relationship and analyzes the problem when really, they just need to regroup.

            We also finally see Kate tell off Duke the douche at “fat camp” before discovering that it is in fact, Duke, whose parents run that same camp having her kicked out. This leads to her “awkwardly” surprising Toby before agreeing to learn more about each other before jumping right into marriage. I’m glad that the show finally addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to the quick turnaround from relationship to holy matrimony between Kate and Toby. Especially when she can’t even muster up the way that her father died to a man that she was expected to marry later in the year. The episode did a good job of breaking down Toby to a more human level similar to what the episode also did for Jack and even, Randall.

            The beloved “perfect man” formula that Rebecca and Beth preach about their husbands throughout the series are great but not authentic in any sense of the word. With the amount of problems Randall has on his plate, it’s re-assuring, while upsetting to see him start to break down. Following an episode that has him losing out at work for the first time to a rival, Sanjay, seeing his father continuously getting weaker and weaker by day and his mother-in-law breaking her hip, we see Sterling K. Brown hit his breaking point. He cries MULTIPLE times within the episode before Kevin comes to the aid of his adopted brother when noticing that something was wrong when telling him he won’t make the play’s premiere. It leads to an incredibly heart-wrenching moment where Kevin is holding Randall in his arms, doing exactly what he thought that Jack Pearson would do.


9.5/10

First clip for Disney's live-action 'Beauty and the Beast' has Emma Watson singing a classic tune from the original

Image from Disney
By Darian Scalamoni
            With just a little under a month until the live-action Beauty and the Beast, Disney has released a clip from the film that features a memorable musical number from the original film. In the clip, we see Emma Watson singing “Belle” and spoiler alert: It’s terrific. The rendition is almost spot-on in regards to the 1991 animated classic and is brought to life from great direction by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey).

            The clip maintains the spirit of the original so much so that if I was listening in another room, it’d be hard to tell the two films apart by this song. Beauty and the Beast hopes to continue Disney’s trend of great live-action versions of their library of animated movies. Cinderella, Pete’s Dragon and The Jungle Book were all well-received with the latter making my top 10 list of 2016. They also have a ton of other live-action “re-imaginings” in the pipeline including Aladdin, Mulan, Dumbo and even The Lion King that recently cast James Earl Jones and Donald Glover.

            Check out the clip of Emma Watson singing “Belle” in the upcoming film from Disney. The cast includes Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. Beauty and the Beast opens everywhere on March 17th.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Shane Black reveals cast photo for 'The Predator" sequel

Image from Joblo
By Darian Scalamoni
            Shane Black had a somewhat “return to form” in 2016 for his buddy cop crime caper, The Nice Guys was one of the most underrated films of the year following his disappointing Marvel foray with Iron Man 3. He’s headed back to franchise material but is filming the fourth film within the Predator franchise in which, he claims is an actual sequel and not a reboot like previously reported. Today, he provided a first-look at just some of the cast for The Predator on Twitter.

            The ensemble picture reveals the diverse cast made up of almost all breakout stars including Narcos’ Boyd Holbrook, Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes and Room’s Jacob Tremblay. Also in the photo are Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown and the beloved comedy star Keegan-Michael Key who might bring some humor to the film. The cast photo showcases all of the talents alongside the director himself as they appear in costume ready for the first day of shooting which began today.


            Check out the cast photo below for The Predator! What do you guys think? Are you excited for Shane Black’s sequel of the hyper violent franchise? The R-rated tentpole is set to be released on February 9th, 2018.


'The Walking Dead' Season 7, Episode 9 Review: "Rock in the Road"

Image from Moviepilot
By Darian Scalamoni
            One of the highest rated programs in the history of television is back as AMC’s The Walking Dead has returned from its two month hiatus that surprisingly ended on a positive note after the hellacious season it’s been thus far.

            The episode opens with most of the crew reunited and asking the cowardice Gregory if the Hilltop will join forces with Alexandria to try and oppose Negan and the Saviors. Though he quickly says no, Jesus decides that it’s time to take Rick and his crew to The Kingdom to meet King Ezekial for the first time. This is an interaction that many fans have been awaiting since we were introduced to King Ezekial back in episode two of this season. Ezekial also eventually says no to Rick in joining in the fight to take out Negan and the Saviors as he has a good deal in which the barbed wire bat wielding villain can’t step foot within the walls of The Kingdom. Rick quickly reminds Ezekial that if he’s already invaded Hilltop and Alexandra, what makes him think that he’ll stay out of The Kingdom for good? It’s a great point made and makes you think that a partnership will eventually formulate between Rick and Ezekial.

            In one of the coolest and most unique sequences in The Walking Dead since its start, we saw the team have a suspenseful scene in which Rick and the others find a trap full of explosives that are strategically put there for a herd of walkers. Rick then formulates a plan to steal the weaponry for the sake of having any at all in their battle against the Saviors. The desperation gamble pays off as they take it all before slicing multiple zombies with the wire that the explosives were attached. This was definitely a cool shot in which you saw the dead being mowed down by Rick and Michonne who were driving two cars that the wire was connected to.

            We don’t find out what happens in the beginning of the episode when Father Gabriel pillages through the remainder of Alexandria’s supplies before Rick discovers a clue within the priest’s notebook that just says “BOAT” leading them to believe that he’s headed towards the same boat that Rick and Aaron had found earlier in the season leading the group into an ambush by a group that has tons of weapons. They don’t look like the friendliest bunch but at the end we see Rick grinning which only leads to a mysterious conclusion that we hope to find answers in episode 10.

            The returning episode for a so far, decent season follows the same trend. We get some cool sequences and interactions between characters but other than that, there isn’t much more in this episode. A solid entry into the season that I believe will just pick up as the weeks go along.

7/10


2017 Academy Award Predictions

By Darian Scalamoni and Diego Coya
       With just under a week until the Academy Awards, we here at Cinema Wave wanted to provide you with our insight and predictions for this Sunday’s show that honors the best of the year in film. We won’t be covering every award but here are our picks for just some of the categories.

Best Animated Feature
Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia

Diego: Zootopia


I believe Zootopia will win since it has been winning Best Animated Feature at other awards shows. Also, its social themes well help it win the award.

Darian: Zootopia

I have Zootopia for the same reasons Diego though Kubo and the Two Strings has a good chance as well especially after winning the BAFTA. I’ll give the slight edge to Disney as Zootopia was my favorite animated film of the year.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion, Moonlight

Diego: Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)  

It’s been winning a lot of awards for other award shows. Additionally, it seems to be the frontrunner for Best Picture along with La La Land. Since it is a film that has social themes and shows the struggle of a man growing up in a horrible environment, the Academy will give it the Oscar.

Darian: August Wilson (Fences)

Adapted from the Tony award winning play from August Wilson, the posthumous Oscar will head to a man who is regarded as one of the best African American writers of all-time. The film wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t for a brilliant script so that’s why I give the slight edge to Fences

Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: 20th Century Women, Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Manchester by the Sea

Diego: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

My frontrunner for most of the awards this year as its already won Best Screenplay at the Golden Globes and tied at the Critics Choice for Best Original Screenplay, the original screenplay from Damien Chazelle should be one of the many awards given out to the musical at the Awards.

Darian: Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)

The only technical award that seems to have an edge over La La Land as Kenneth Lonergan crafted the most melancholy but authentic script of the year. One that fills the film with pain and heartache for the main character and has already one the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay. In my opinion, the script for this film is what makes it one of the best of the year.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Diego: Viola Davis (Fences)

This will be Viola Davis’ first Academy Award win following two previous nominations. Her performance was brilliant, and since she has been winning Best Supporting Actress at every other show, it seems that the Oscars will be no different. 

Darian: Viola Davis (Fences)

The supporting part for Davis in Fences was not new at all after the veteran actress played the role on stage for over a year before it was adapted for the screen by director and co-star, Denzel Washington. This is the closest to a lock, in my opinion. Michelle Williams and Naomie Harris stand the best chance, this should be the time for Davis.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Diego: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

He is a lock for Best Supporting Acctor, and even though he is not in the movie as much as the rest of the nominees, his performance was extraordinary and the academy will give him the Oscar he rightfully deserves.

Darian: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

One of two stars in the ensemble-led Moonlight, which is nominated for 8 Academy Awards, is in tune for a win after winning nearly every other award out there this awards season. Though I don’t this is as much of a lock as Davis like Diego thinks, due to a tighter race that includes Dev Patel for Lion and Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water, both of which I think are more of lead performances, Ali still bolsters the accolades of this awards season and was tremendous in his role.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees: Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Diego: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Emma Stone will also receive her first Academy award with her fantastic performance. Even though I have not seen the other films that are in this category, I feel that she will win since the favorite right now seems to be La La Land. Furthermore, the scene where she auditions, is the scene that they will most likely play when they say her name during the announcement of Best Actress.

Darian: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

In what I think will be the shock of the night, much like it was at the Golden Globes when Isabelle Huppert won for Elle, I believe this award is between Portman and Emma Stone for La La Land but I’m giving the edge to Portman due to playing an extraordinary historical figure and doing it so perfectly that it made the whole film, Jackie worth watching. Her gut-wrenching performance raised the rest of the cast to new heights and made her role as the former First Lady feel inventive and not like an impersonation. Stone could very well win but I see the former Oscar-winner playing spoiler and winning her second statue come Oscar night.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Diego: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Casey Affleck has been winning this award in every other award show, and I believe this is the only Oscar that Manchester by the Sea will win. I’m predicting it will be him, but there is a very good chance Ryan Gosling may win it since once again, La La Land seems to be the favorite for many of the awards.

Darian: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

It would be a shame if Affleck didn’t win for his unbelievable performance that in my personal opinion is one of the best we’ve seen in about 10 years. Playing a grief-stricken man with such conviction and dealing with many personal tragedies, he held the picture with such grace and provided a compelling character study. Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling have good outside shots as well, especially the former in which Denzel delivers one of the best performances of his long career but I see the Academy siding with Affleck here.

Best Achievement in Directing
Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Diego: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Damien Chazelle will win best director since this film will win mostly everything it’s nominated for. Chazelle directed a musical which has gained so much critical acclaim and other awards, so it’s hard to believe he will not win.

Darian: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

The originality and style that came from this man’s mind is impeccable. The challenges one has when shooting a musical is absolutely mind-blowing and it worked to incredible volumes, so much so that I selected La La Land as my favorite film of 2016 and its hard to argue this award against Chazelle. Though he has many great opponents for this award (Barry Jenkins and Mel Gibson, just to name a couple), the ultimate leaps and bounds Chazelle had to make to create not only a musical, but one of the most heart-warming, original, feel good movies of all-time will win him his first Best Director Oscar.

Best Picture
Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Diego: La La Land

The Academy seems to love movies that are based on Hollywood and the acting business. Additionally, this film has 14 Oscar nominations, which is a record. I believe that this could sweep the night in technical awards and make history for having the most Oscar wins ever.

Darian: La La Land

The immaculate film that was daring, mesmerizing and imaginative will win the Oscar for Best Picture though it seems Moonlight might be on its heels, it’s hard to see the Academy going against the majority for Best Picture this year. La La Land is an incredible film anchored by its direction, stars and music but most importantly, it’s a movie that only works because everything was perfectly assembled into a cinematic package. A movie that was inspired by Singin’ in the Rain that will prove that many years later, we still need feel good movies.