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    • At the Screwvies: Episode 143

      22 hours ago

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      MADHERO: Besides our clown adventures, we're finally past the end of  August/beginning of September lull to officially go into ""The end of summer means that we're now getting some diverse films gunning for awards. Want some old man action? We got it. Space adventures? Yep. Strippers? Yep, even got that, no overly expensive strip club needed. Good times.


      STICKMAN: We're in the between clowns episode of At the Screwvies. AKA the worst one.


      LARRY: Yeesh


      MADHERO: Yep. We can still go and talk about that other wacky clown's antics over in Europe and Canada though.


      LARRY: Yay wacky antics!!


      STICKMAN: If we musssssst.

      NEWS

      JOKER WINS GOLDEN LION AT VENICE FILM FESTIVAL. PRAISE PARTICULAR FOR JOAQUIN PHOENIX


      It feels weird to say the Joker movie is now only a couple weeks away. Seriously, we're gonna discuss it next episode as a release. Its out that soon. So why are we talking about it now? Well, because the Clown Prince of Crime has been hitting the festival circuit like a real big kino. It made its debut at the Venice Film Festival, where its first reviews came out to a lot of praise for its edge and intensity, AND particularly for Joaquin Phoenix's performance, putting him squarely into the Oscar race for Best Actor. At the end of the festival, it went on to win the prestigious Golden Lion, the highest regarded trophy at the festival, with previous winners including the likes of Shape of Water and Roma. So yeah, expect Joker to be gunning for that Best Picture nom.


      Then again, we may need to pull the brakes just a tad, cause Joker also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where its reaction was a lot more divisive and the top prize went to Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit. While the praise remains for Phoenix, there were some critics who felt the movie didn't really have much to say, felt mostly mean-spirited and borrows perhaps too liberally from Martin Scorsese's previous works (particularly King of Comedy). We all still need to see the movie, so we'll find out soon where we stand. It winning such a prestigious prize is of course a big moment for comic book cinema. And hey, if it doesn't work out, its already got a 9,6 on IMDB, and we all know that's the only score that matters.


      STICKMAN: Joker's Award.


      LARRY: Joaquin Pheonix was GOOD? In a MOVIE? Shocker.


      MADHERO: Who'd had thunk, right? He's honestly the main reason I'm interested in this film. The takes that came from this movie have been wild.


      STICKMAN: I'm interested in the movie cuz it looks goooooood. Like, fuck the losers who think it's a Bible


      MADHERO: Its definitely crazy that it went on to win the main award at Venice. Hasn't done much at Toronto, but we'll see how the awards race goes once we know all the contenders. Jojo Rabbit winning is a tad surprising considering the response from critics was mixed

       

      STICKMAN: Jojo Rabbit seems to be a film you either love or hate, and I guess when you're making a wacky feel good comedy about Nazis, that's...to be expected I guess.


      LARRY: Jojo Rabbit seems to be doing better with audiences than with critics, which is to be expected. But I think it looks like a lot of fun, and the cast is stellar, so I'm gonna see it, critics be damned.


      STICKMAN: Awards season is looking SPICY.


      MADHERO: It is. No clear frontrunner just yet, but more should probably appear soon. And who knows, maybe Joker's trickery can lead to Phoenix getting a Best Actor nod


      LARRY: It looks like it's gonna rattle me to my bones lol


      STICKMAN: How can you not enjoy the sinister SEND INNNN...THE CLooOoOoooOOOOWWWNNNs in the trailer. Funny stuff.


      MADHERO: More Joker takes next episode. Hoo boy.

      BEN WHEATLEY (FREE FIRE, HIGH RISE) TO DIRECT TOMB RAIDER SEQUEL, WHICH WILL RELEASE IN MARCH 2021

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      A few episodes back we talked about Amy Jump, writer of such films as Kill List, Free Fire and High Rise being hired to write the screenplay for a sequel to 2018's Tomb Raider reboot. At that time I speculated that Ben Wheatley, her husband and frequent collaborator, was maybe being eyed for the director role. Well...today we now know this to be true, and Ben Wheatley is indeed helming the sequel, which as far as I'm aware would be his first mainstream film. He's dabbled in Doctor Who once or twice, but when it comes to cinema, his films usually wallow exclusively in adult themes...so...it's an odd choice, but also an exciting one.


      Whilst 2018's Tomb Raider was fine, it certainly lacked a lot of oomph, its best moments having been cherry picked and/or diluted from its 2013 rebooted source material. Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley aren't exactly known for playing it safe, so hopefully if they've been hired, it's because the producers (Now sans Warner Bros) want to shake things up a little. It's unknown whether or not the sequel will adapt the game reboot's own sequel, or if they will take things in a new direction, but we know that Alicia Vikander is back in the lead, and the release date has been penciled in for March 19th 2021, so we should start hearing about what form this sequel will take in the months ahead. I'm pretty keen to see how this plays out.


      MADHERO: Wheatley's finally going mainstream. Its about time.


      LARRY: What an insane jump in interest from me. It's shit like this that helps salvage dampened franchise hype after bleh first movies.


      STICKMAN: Can't wait for Tomb Raider 2 to be some fucked up dark comedy horror.


      MADHERO: This is like David Fincher potentially directing World War Z 2. Maybe not as big a leap, but up there. Kinda surprised Free Fire wasn't a bigger hit honestly.


      STICKMAN: Free Fire was one of his weaker films so maybe that's why. Was still fun though.


      LARRY: If Tomb Raider lacked something, it was originality, and Wheatley can provide that in spades.


      STICKMAN: Frankly, I'm there just because it's Tomb Raider...but yeah, this is a really promising sign.


      MADHERO: I wonder if they're going more into what Rise and Shadow did or are going into their own direction. My guess is probably the latter.


      STICKMAN: I feel they need to go in a different direction, the follow up games are too large and supernatural in scope to work in the film reboot's world. Just don't adapt Angel of Darkness and we good.


      LARRY: Agreed, let 'em write their own TR story. There's no shortage of options.


      MADHERO: Just spend the whole movie unable to push a large box.


      STICKMAN: WHEN WILL THEY LOCK THE BUTLER IN THE FRIDGE.


      SONY RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR BAD BOYS FOR LIFE


      Sometimes these Franchise Age trailers can really sneak up on ya, huh? Yeah, after a little over 15 years of speculation and development and what have you, it looks like Bad Boys 3, now titled "Bad Boys For Life" actually moved forward at some point, with a trailer dropping this past week for what is (hopefully) the final installment in the franchise. For those unaware, the Bad Boys series stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as narcotics detectives in the Miami Police Department.


      The first two films were directed by everyone's favorite explosion-happy fuckboi Michael Bay, but he has been replaced by Belgian duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, with this being their first major American credit. "Bad Boys For Life" has Smith and Lawrence's characters ready to retire, but they decide to do one last mission when a Romanian mob boss exacts revenge on them...assumingly from something that happened in the second film? I dunno. All I know is that this film looks to follow in line with the previous two; explosive action, witty banter from our leads, lots of guns, you know how these things go. Oh, and Vanessa Hudgens. She sure is....here. Whatever, we all know this is gonna be mindless fun that will hopefully end an otherwise (peacefully) dead franchise. Sorry Martin Lawrence, at least Will Smith has a YouTube channel now....


      MADHERO: Big fan of the trailer going badboys everytime it transitions


      LARRY: What ARE we going to do?


      STICKMAN: Not watch this film probably. Lawrence sure ain't got that action star bod no more.


      MADHERO: Got too meta into his Big Momma's House role. But to be fair, I think its kinda the point he isn't in action hero shape.


      LARRY: They definitely had to work around it lol. But like, the guy probably didn't expect to be in another fucking Bad Boys movie


      MADHERO: The original Bad Boys will be 25 years old when this films comes out. They've talked about a Bad Boys 3 for so long that I’m surprised it actually exists


      LARRY: Me too, honestly.


      STICKMAN: Both of these films are trash, just so we clear. Like they got some good action scenes but they trash. Anything Michael Bay touches is trash.


      LARRY: Oh yeah. They’re mindless garbage.


      MADHERO: I'm curious about El Arbi and Fallah making their Hollywood debut. They did well with their Belgian films and were also in talks to do a new Beverly Hills Cop. Guess they're gonna be the guys to revive everything old. Speaking of....


      PARAMOUNT PLANNING A REMAKE OF JOHN WOO’S FACE/OFF. NEAL MORITZ (FAST AND FURIOUS) TO PRODUCE


      At some point in time during the late aughts and early 10's, we'd get a bombardment of remakes of classic movies from the 80s and 90s because Hollywood is anything if consistent in its recapturing of what was once original. Usually these remakes didn't really do anything in capturing the essence of the original or what made it interesting to begin with. Total Recall,  Robocop, Point Break, the redos of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. While we don't really see as much of these stories as we used to, cause a lot of them failed, it hasn't stopped them happening. Next on the chopping block: John Woo's Face/Off, with Fast and Furious producer Neal Moritz (who coincidentally, also produced the Total Recall remake) making it over at Paramount.


      If you've never seen Face/Off, it follows John Travolta's FBI agent who literally swaps faces with Nicolas Cage's terrorist face to infiltrate a high security prison, only for Cage to take Travolta's face and taking over and ruining his life. The movie is spectacularly bananapants, both thanks to Woo's typical over the top filmmaking, as well as one of Cage's most absolute insane performances. So then what can a remake of it really add?  Honestly, I just see it turn into another Total Recall esque film, so with most of the original's personality sucked out and making way for something much blander. Its still in the writing phase, so maybe I'll turn around when casting happens and we find out who's faces are getting switched, but I have my doubts.


      STICKMAN: OHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


      MADHERO: The faces have come off. Again


      LARRY: They are gonna rip ALL of the personality out of this one like a beating heart out of a chest. And it's gonna be disappointing as shit, too.


      STICKMAN: To be fair the argument could be made that Nicolas Cage brought TOO much personality to the original.


      LARRY: I'm sorry, you're speaking gibberish to me. There is no such thing as too much Cage, dear boy.


      MADHERO: They're probably going to do deepfake stuff instead of actually physically replacing faces


      LARRY: Yooooooo wait WAIT. THAT'S A GREAT IDEA


      STICKMAN: Oh no, Larry is into it now. PUT HIM AGAINST THE WALL.


      LARRY: Okay but highkey if they rebooted the film to be about deepfakes and shit, I'd be all OVER that.


      MADHERO: Larry no. Using the new hotness isn't gonna make this idea anymore of a bad idea.


      LARRY: Yeah, you're probably right. Still though, if they were gonna do it, that would be a brilliant angle.


      MADHERO: So who's faces are gonna be swapped? I want them to go for completely different actors, like, I dunno, The Rock and Tilda Swinton


      LARRY: That sounds incredible.


      STICKMAN: Nicolas Cage and Cheddar Goblin.


      MADHERO: Yes please.

      WRITER ADELE LIM LEAVES CRAZY RICH ASIANS SEQUELS AFTER BEING OFFERED SIGNIFICANTLY LESS PAY THAN CO-WRITER

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      Welp, this is unfortunate. "Crazy Rich Asians" co-writer Adele Lim has backed out of co-writing two sequels to the surprise smash-hit romcom over a pay dispute. Despite the first film grossing over $200 million globally, reports state that co-writer Peter Chiarelli ("The Proposal," "Now You See Me 2") would be paid up to $1 million to write the sequels, while Lim was offered ten times less with 110,000. WB claims this is based on industry standard and experience, but Lim is a veteran TV writer, and Chiarelli written two mildly successful movies. Lim clearly brought a lot of important cultural awareness and understanding to the project, which is largely what made it so resonant and successful, so to see her being short-changed is nothing short of staggering. She says it herself in THR's story: "If I couldn't get pay equity for CRA, I can't imagine what it would be like for anyone else." Despite Chiarelli offering to split his fee, and Jon Chu (the film's director) trying to negotiate, she has declined all offers.


      Now, thankfully, Lim has signed a contract with Disney Animation to write Raya and the Last Dragon. But this situation once again spotlights the important conversation the industry must have in pay disparity between men and women, particularly those of color. Chu came out in support of Lim, saying that the conversation this brings up is more important than two sequels, and he's right. Hopefully, studios will look at this situation and recognize that not only does the pay gap rightfully exist, but that it can ultimately come at the cost of making true, impactful narratives for women and people of color.


      MADHERO: Well this could've been very easily avoided.


      STICKMAN: Big oof. Not a good look in 20 of 19


      LARRY: HUGE oof. Just fucking pay her.


      MADHERO: I can somewhat understand paying the veteran more, but with such a big pay gap between the white man and Asian woman for a movie called Crazy Rich Asians is not a great look    

      STICKMAN: The irony is deafening. Does kinda show how Hollywood is big into making money from diversity but not practicing it themselves.


      LARRY: Good luck getting him to write a better one on his own. Just Warner Bros. being fucking idiotic.


      MADHERO: It just poisons the well and kills interest right from the off by creating an easily avoidable controversy that will likely cost you more money than paying Lim equally would've provided.


      STICKMAN: After a gig like CRA, I'd imagine she's quite sought after.


      LARRY: She's writing a friggen Disney movie. She has been sought. If Warner Bros. were smart, they would be scrambling to find an up and coming young Asian writer to help write their sequels.


      MADHERO: We'll find out how this fuckup is gonna be fixed.


      MARGOT ROBBIE’S PRODUCTION COMPANY WORKING ON AN NEW ADAPTATION OF BRITISH COMIC TANK GIRL

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      Although for many, Tank Girl is just a film with a notoriously turbulent, studio interfering production and ultimately poor (But cult favourite) end result, it actually has its origins as a far better received, British comic series with art by Jamie Hewlett, who would go on to work as the designer of the digital band Gorillaz. Whilst you'd be forgiven for thinking that any further attempt to adapt this material into a movie would be unlikely, it turns out that a fresh take on the series is in the early stages of development at Margot Robbie's production company 'Luckychap Entertainment'.


      Robbie herself plans to star in the lead role, an anarchic, violent, wise-cracking bounty hunter who I'm sure immediately draws comparisons to her work as Harley Quinn., with indie director 'Miles Joris-Peyrafitte' (Dreamland) signed on to direct. Honestly, one has to question how adaptable Tank Girl is, as a live action work at the least. The comic series is so heavily stylised and hyperactive, with its kangaroo love interest and oversized weapon'd hyperviolence, it'd lend itself far better to an animated feature or series that followed the style layed out by Hewlett all those years ago. But live action seems to be the way, again, so that's gonna be a thing I guess.


      MADHERO: Kangaroo people here we come!


      STICKMAN: Hot young kangaroo men in your area.


      LARRY: ...um, I'm sorry. KANGAROO love interest?


      STICKMAN: The world is for the furries now Larry, get used to it


      MADHERO: Going from Harley Quinn to something like Tank Girl feels like a pretty natural transition since Tank Girl is basically a Harley Quinn type character (although she predates Quinn) in a Mad Max type world. Though its not confirmed yet if she's gonna star in it, though her producing it makes it rather likely.


      LARRY: Considering the same went down for I, Tonya, I'm sure of it.


      MADHERO: Also Terminal but no one remembers that film. I can't say that I'm that familiar with Tank Girl. I know of the movie which wasn't very good and that the artist went on to work on Gorillaz, and that's basically where it ends


      LARRY: Me neither, I know of the movie but I hear it's trash.


      STICKMAN: Imagine if Gorillaz did the soundtrack to the new Tank Girl. Sploosh.


      MADHERO: O man. Daft Punk would have some competition then.


      LARRY: That would be fuckin rad


      STICKMAN: Make it happen, Margot.

      ---------

      MADHERO: That about does it for the news, but now its time for an good ol' fashioned review. Not of the new Rambo or the Brad Pitt space movie cause those ain't out yet, but of the crime drama stripper movie Hustlers. How progressive we are. The movie has picked up quite a bit of buzz the past couple of weeks, and also proven to be a hit for STX, so a lot of good vibes surrounding this film. Do Larry and Stick join those vibes? Who knows? I mean, they do so I'll ask them

      STICKMAN: I meaaan, what if I don't want to shaaare.

      LARRY: I'm fine going solo!

      MADHERO: That's ok. We'll just let Larry go first then. So Larry, what did you make of Hustlers? Did it bring in the dollah bills?


      REVIEW

      HUSTLERS


      DIRECTOR: Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, The Meddler)

      STARRING: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B

      SYNOPSIS: a group of strippers in New York City (Lopez, Palmer, Reinhart), led by an ambitious single mother (Wu), as they lie, steal, and hustle dozens of wealthy men when the sex industry bottoms out during the late-2000s financial crisis.

      LARRY: I enjoyed Hustlers, yeah. I don't think it's in the Oscars conversation per se, but I think it gives voice to a perspective we don't normally see in cinemas, and it's got a very strong cast with solid direction at the helm. I will agree that it's nice to see a female director not be crazy indulgent in the female characters' sexuality, rather highlighting their abilities and confidence in the stripping scenes. Apparently J-Lo genuinely trained to pole dance and it shows. Otherwise, the film is shot and colored well, and it has a number of surprisingly impressive long takes and camerawork. That being said, the film is bogged down by some serious pacing issues. The film is easily 20-30 min too long, and tries to balance a narrative framing device inspired by the article the film ITSELF is inspired by, and yeah, it feels incredibly repetitive at times, and sorta loses its charms by the third act. But it was still a fun time at the movies, with lots of fun humor and strong performances (personally, if anyone should be in conversation, it's Constance Wu, not J-Lo), so I'd definitely recommend it.


      STICKMAN: I found myself less enthusiastic, it's fine...it's an okay movie, but I feel it still goes quite deeply into the whole T&A showcase in its opening act, something that would've been described as gratuitous by a male director. I don't feel it necessarily balances the hard work angle to the 'here's some ass bouncing' part...but it's fun I guess. I felt it was pretty generic from a narrative perspective, whatever apparently true story is buried deep within here must be heavily diluted into the formula of a standard rags to riches to rags crime saga. But mostly, I agree with Larry on the pacing/structure/length issues, but find myself less enthusiastic in general about the film. J'Lo is fine, but everyone is fine, and I don't see anything about the film getting much attention come Oscars season. Forgettable entertainment with a lot of glitzy, gaudy music and colours.


      MADHERO: Hmm. Both not as excited as the reviews, but mostly falling on the positive. Being the chauvenist that I am, I have to ask: are the stripteases and pole dancing any good?


      STICKMAN: The stripteases aren't shown quite as much as the pole dancing. J'lo really goes at it on that thing. If there was an Oscar for swinging on a pole, she'd win it.


      LARRY: Not since Showgirls have seen such excellence in this category.


      MADHERO: What an honor to be compared to Showgirls. A lot of attention has been given to Wu and Lopez, but are there any other people that stand out. Obviously Cardi B and Lizzo are in it but I doubt for very long. Do they make the most of their time?


      LARRY: They really are barely in it. Personally, Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart provided solid supporting roles. Everyone else didn't do much for me. Constance Wu's grandmother was adorable, though.


      STICKMAN: Oh yes! She was great. No bouncing ass shots for her I'm afraid. The side cast are very much supporting the two main roles.


      MADHERO: I've mostly seen a lot of comparisons to Goodfellas but with the female gaze. Does having a female director add anything or is it noticable in how the women are framed?


      STICKMAN: I thought it was still pretty male gazey in the opening act, intentional or not. It does feel very Scorsese light in parts, with similar length related issueessss I feel.


      LARRY: See I felt like this wasn't male gaze-y. The stripping scenes are less about flaunting sexuality and more about showcasing ability and confidence. It's definitely Goodfellas: it's got a solid cast and director but it's too long and poorly paced. Bah dah bum bah dah bum, good night everybody!


      MADHERO: Damn. Scorsese got fucking roasted. Time for the wrap-up. Despite some reservations, do you guys recommend Hustlers?


      STICKMAN: Eh, I guess. If killer clowns aren't your thing. Less clowns, more diverse representation in acting/directing.


      LARRY: I do, personally. I think it's important to support diversity in this case. I don't think it's bad, I think some audiences will really enjoy it


      --------

      MADHERO: Alright, not the most exciting of recommendations, but an recommendation all the same from both. Now how about we move on to something MANLY! Like SPACE! and EMOTIONALLY STUNTED RICH WHITE BOY! And I guess Rambo can be considered manly as well. Only slightly though


      STICKMAN: WOOOAAAAAHH


      LARRY: I guess woo'ing strippers ain't manly.


      STICKMAN: Just pay the ladies, Larry.


      MADHERO: Not when the strippers are the one we’re supposed to root for. Anyway, lets talk some movies


      MOVIES

      RAMBO: LAST BLOOD


      DIRECTOR: Adrian Grunberg (Get the Gringo)

      STARRING: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adrianna Barraza, Yvette Monreal

      SYNOPSIS: Rambo (Stallone) must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

      STICKMAN: Johnathon Ramboson back to stab people some more.


      MADHERO: He's gonna ride and kill some Mexicans till he can't no more. BTW, go check out Sly Stallone's Twitter thread recapping the previous 4 Rambo movies. It sure is something


      STICKMAN: It sure don't recap them well but it...it's something. Hard to have much hopes for this except maybe some mindless violence. The last one had an insane bodycount.


      LARRY: I really don't have much interest in these films. Rambo is fine, the sequel is fine, the rest are....meh.


      MADHERO: Some fun kills is probably the most you can expect from a Rambo movie these days. At least now he ain't helping the Taliban, but that was pretty close to being ok again. HO HO, that's some political commentary for ya.


      STICKMAN: The first Rambo I found super boring, but I think that's because I came to it retrospectively of knowing Rambo as an action franchise. The first...really ain't.


      MADHERO: Well now you get to see him kill a lot of non-white people one last time. Unless it makes money. Then we'll see him go kill again in another decade


      STICKMAN: Someone stop Rambo before he kills again.


      LARRY: Too late. RAMBOS 6 - 20 CONFIRMED


      MADHERO: Can't wait to cover those in the future.

      AD ASTRA


      DIRECTOR: James Gray (The Immigrant, The Lost City of Z)

      STARRING: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Kennedy, Natasha Lyonne

      SYNOPSIS: Astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Jones) and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of humans on Earth.

      LARRY: Alright, NOW we're talkin'


      MADHERO: Time to go find my space dad


      STICKMAN: Heeeeyyyy, space dad moon wars.


      MADHERO: I don't know why I remember thinking this movie had troubled development but I was kinda meh on this film for the longest time despite the whole thing seeming extremely my shit. And now reviews are saying its great and now I'm all aboard.


      STICKMAN: The reviews are a lot better than I expected, this film's release got pushed back a bunch cuz of the whole Disney/FOX situation, but I'm glad the end result is something worth watching. I'm ALWAYS down for well reviewed sci-fi action, unless it's...Star Wars.


      LARRY: Fuckin Brad Pitt, hot off of Once Upon a Time, ready to give us a good ol' sci-fi adventure daddy issues flick? AND TOMMY LEE JONES? What could be better? I'll wait.


      MADHERO: Tommy Lee Jones just made space a whole lot grumpier


      STICKMAN: In space, nobody can hear you sulk.


      MADHERO: He just couldn't sanction Brad Pitt's buffoonery and had to go. So yeah, looking forward to this. I think we all are so gonna be a race who can make it their MOTW first.


      STICKMAN: What if Rambo turns out to be a masterpiece though. WHAT IF.

      DOWNTON ABBEY


      DIRECTOR: Michael Engler (The Chaperone)

      STARRING: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, Matthew Goode

      SYNOPSIS: In 1927, King George V and Queen Mary (Jones, James) visit Downton Abbey, causing a stir among the Crawleys and servants alike.

      STICKMAN: Oh look, my sleeping pills are here.


      MADHERO: I've not seen a single episode of Downton Abbey and I don't think I'm gonna start now to prep for the movie. I'll stick with El Camino.


      STICKMAN: This is Breaking Bad for those who find sudden nose bleeds shocking and violent.


      LARRY: Okay, as someone who has parents who really love Downton, I get it. Like, it's a big deal. But yeah, I’ll stick with Ad Astra


      STICKMAN: When I saw the trailer in cinemas I struggled to say awake through it, but the old people in front of me were THRILLED.


      MADHERO: I feel like Downton Abbey is a much bigger deal in America than it is even in England. Its got a lot of fans.


      STICKMAN: It's big in England but I think Americans get a kick out of this fake sense of how British people are/behave. So...yeah.


      MADHERO: Oh pish posh. Chip chip cheerio, god save the queen and all that


      STICKMAN: A spot of tea before the Queen pops around for a visit.


      MADHERO: She's definitely gonna get a private screening for this film

       

      STICKMAN: Meanwhile it'd be like YEAH BRUV FUCKIN LET'S GET SOME FUCKIN' RED BULL INNIT. Which would make the residents of Downton Abbey go OH MY WORD and drop their tea cups


      LARRY: Kinda makes you wonder how it took them so long. Typically the Franchise Age woulda spit out a movie or a spinoff of this after like season 3


      STICKMAN: It takes time to make boring movie spin-offs, Larry.


      MADHERO: When are they gonna get a cheeky Nando's with the lads?

      THE GOLDFINCH


      DIRECTOR: John Crowley (Closed Circuit, Brooklyn)

      STARRING: Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Nicole Kidman, Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright

      SYNOPSIS: A boy in New York (Fegley, Elgort) is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family (Kidman) after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

      MADHERO: Mmmmmm, yes, some prime failed Oscar bait.


      STICKMAN: Made one hell of a crash landing at the box office.


      LARRY: Wait...this opened? I thought it was still just on the festival circuit.


      MADHERO: It opened around the same time as it entered the festival circuit. Maybe to get a boost if they received some good reviews, but that didn't happen.


      STICKMAN: Time flies when you're dudding on all cylinders.


      LARRY: Christ...yeah I read the reviews, looks like this is a dud.


      MADHERO: Acclaimed book, pretty good cast, Roger Deakins cinematography and it was all for naught. Though to be fair, people were already saying the book is much better served as a miniseries than as a film


      LARRY: Yeah apparently it's got a huge scope.


      STICKMAN: Can't wait for the HBO series in 8 years.


      MADHERO: Nothing like some burned Oscar bait to start the season.


      STICKMAN: Delicious.


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

      MADHERO: While we feast on that charred flesh, we can also talk about movies that have succeeded, at least in our personal opinion, in MOVIE OF THE WEEK!!!


      STICKMAN: WaAAaaAAaaaaaaaaaAAAAAGH


      LARRY: YAYYYYYY. Moooooooviessssss, yum


      STICKMAN: Don't eat the movies, Larry.


      MADHERO: Yeah, celluloid ain't good for you. Is your Movie of the Week edible though, Sticky? What would IT taste like?


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

      STICKMAN: It'd taste like poor queer representation ........and FEAR. Well...I'm kinda in two minds about this one. It's fair to say, after my disinterest in the first film proved foolish, I was excited to see where the supposedly darker, more scary sequel would take things. As it turns out...it took things in a lot of strange and not necessarily good directions, with some problematic subtext giving me especial pause for thought about doing this for my MOTW. That said...for all its flaws...IT Chapter 2? A real blast of a batshit crazy big budget horror movie.



      We don't get a lot of big budget horror these days, since cheap and cheerful has superseded the days of The Omen and The Exorcist where the genre could be tentpole entertainment. Chapter 2 harkens back to those days of big budget horror, but with its own crazy stylings. It's (literally at times) big, it's loud (really bloody loud) and it's often brutal as hell. Pennywise remains a massively fun villain and his various silly and gruesome forms make for gleeful viewing. The directing in this film matches the horror in just...going ALL IN with the crazy. It's a crazy movie, and that doesn't pay off in a lot of departments, but from a sheer spectacle perspective? It's hugely satisfying.


      MADHERO: I've yet to still see this. The mixed reviews combined with what people say about the length make me feel I'm better off watching this at my own leisure at home.


      LARRY: Yeah I definitely would recommend that, Mad. I was not such a huge fan of this movie, spectacle be damned.


      STICKMAN: As someone who watched both films back to back, I didn't really notice the length too much.


      LARRY: As someone who also did that, I certainly DID feel it.


      MADHERO: Ooooh, we got ourselves a DEBATE


      LARRY: I can respect Muschietti's fuckin wild-ass ideas, and the CGI does look really good, but fuck me this movie just relentless to the point of ridiculousness. It's like a Pandora's Box of fever dreams.


      STICKMAN: That's dope though, Larry. Like you're selling the movie better than me.


      LARRY: The first was gonzo at 2 hr 15 and that one was MUCH tighter, it warranted its length.


      MADHERO: Why is deepfake Face/Off more appealing to you than Pandora's box of fever dreams?


      LARRY: Because half of them make no bloody sense. And they're fucking scary. Like I felt like it had its cake and ate it too and then ate 15 more cakes.


      STICKMAN: Hellll yeah. Larry over here accidentally selling the movie.


      LARRY: And there's not nearly enough character or story work to justify all of it.


      STICKMAN: I'll be real with y'all, this movie got some huUUUUUUUUUUUUuuge problems, it's a real mess. But the horror/spectacle was not one of them. I could dine on that shit for many more hours. Cut the opening 10 minutes though, maybe.

       

      MADHERO: Obviously Larry ain't a fan, but maybe there's another movie of which you are. What's your Movie of the Week, Larry?


      STICKMAN: Larry fears Pennywises many loud and jiggly forms.


      LARRY: Welp, I didn't like IT 2, and I already reviewed Hustlers, so let's dive deep into the vaults with JOHN WICK 3: PARABELLUM, a movie I actually really liked.



      I watched all three Wick adventures in one day, and the results were high-octane good times. Parabellum isn't my favorite of the trilogy (soon to be quadrilogy), but it certainly has the craziest action set-pieces and is probably the better showcase for its side characters, particularly McShane and Fishburne. But, of course, this is Reeves' movie, and he hasn't lost his touch one bit. With a ton of action movies merely providing...well, action, the JOHN WICK films have always managed to send us into a world of seriously deep lore and really unique, enaging characters.....and fucking RAD action to boot. Also, horses. Enough said.


      STICKMAN: Ain't that deep into the vaults Larry. But this movie fuckin ROCKS


      LARRY: Yeah, you right. And, YEAH YOU RIGHT.


      STICKMAN: Opening 15 minutes is like the fuckin best thing ever.


      LARRY: It's insane, man.


      MADHERO: That's probably the best part of the film which is a bit of a shame for the rest of it but there's still great stuff in it. Fighting 2 guys from The Raid? Check. More bullshit lore? Check. Dogs? Triple check.


      LARRY: THE DOGS


      MADHERO: Halle Berry's dogs are some heckin good puppers. Just don't let them near the testes    

      LARRY: Oh, yes none of that pls. But yeah, its setpieces like that that make this installment probably the most fun.


      STICKMAN: I have some issues with this film but like...they mostly don't matter because hoOOOOOOOOOOOOOowee. A real action masterpiece.


      LARRY: The second is better imo. Better pacing and storytelling.


      STICKMAN: Now just imagine if in the fourth movie, John Wick opens Pennywises pandora's box of nightmares and has to gun-fu them all.


      MADHERO: John Wick can probably kick Pennywise's ass.


      STICKMAN: I'd pay much to see that fight.


      LARRY: NO. NO MORE MUSCHIETTI WEIRD SHIT. Let him make his ridiculous director's supercut in peace.


      STICKMAN: Speaking of weird shit...hey MAD, what's your MOTW?


      MADHERO: My movie of the week is something a little different: A CARTOON NETWORK ORIGINAL! Uwaaaaaah?! I didn't know they still released those in theaters. Well, they don't, and through totally legal methods I managed to watch Steven Universe: The Movie. Steven Universe is probably one of the best cartoons of the decade in my opinion. Its got great characters, some really detailed and well established lore, fun action, and above all else is a show that truly dives into the power of empathy. So yeah, I really like these gay space rocks, and the movie luckily turned out to be no exception.



      It picks 2 years from last's season finale, which appeared to wrap things up for the  show's major plot threads, but even if Steven has now grown and matured to the point that he now has an actual neck, his job of protecting Earth is not as over as it seems. Like most movies from an animated series, it largely feels like an bigger, more extended episode of the show.  That mostly shows in the quality of the animation, which is put onto full display with main villain Spinel, who's animated in rubber hose style and makes her really fun to watch. The music (and this is a full blown musical) is pretty great for the most part. Some songs didn't land for me, but that's all down to personal preference. If you like Steven Universe, there's a good chance you'll like this movie, and if you've never seen it....you may need some catching up.


      STICKMAN: Seeeee...I wasn't super into this film. I think it's mostly the music...or...sing-talking. The show is known for that, but on occasion, whilst in the film it's basically the entire thing and bar one or two songs, it really didn't work for me. That and the plot felt arbitrary.


      LARRY: And I didn't see it.


      MADHERO: I can understand it feeling arbitrary since it features a character we hadn't seen or heard of before and takes some leaps and bounds to get to the whole earth destruction thing, but that didn't really bother me. I'm not the biggest fan of musicals either, but I thought almost all the songs were pretty great.


      STICKMAN: I found most to just be truncated and annoying. Some of them worked, but not most. The animation was nice, but that's the case with the whole show. It lacked CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, somewhat by design in a way. But it was okay. It was pretty gay.


      MADHERO: What? Gay?! HOW?! Nothin' gay about some space rocks kissing


      STICKMAN: Space rocks singing, merging and kissing. Some REAL HETERO SHIT.


      MADHERO: This movie was purely made for the straights. Anyway yeah it was good and wholesome and I liked it. Don't watch it if you haven't seen the show though, cause even with a recap you're gonna be super fucking lost.


      LARRY: Will do.


      STICKMAN: Sorry Larry. No gay rocks for you. Just PENNYWISE.


      LARRY: NOOOOOO I'M SO FUCKIN OVER CLOWNS.


      ----------

      MADHERO: Well.....you may wanna skip next episode then, cause we'll get involved with some really twisted clowns then.


      STICKMAN: Welcome to my twisted mind. Hope I don't...OFFEND YOU.


      LARRY: OH NO! INCEL BANDWAGONS!


      MADHERO: The gamers are gonna rise up and take back society.


      STICKMAN: We'll stomp that politics OUT of our video games NEXT TIME on ...this movie blog. GOODBYE..uhh...LoOOOosers! hHahhh....Joker.


      MADHERO: Stay tuned for some epic tricks next time.


      LARRY: Peace out, hombres.

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 142

      2 weeks ago

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      MADHERO: Well, the summer was officially over. The kids are going back to school, so that means the clowns have taken over the house. Not just dat boi Pennywise mind you, but also that Joker getting up to his usual tricks, although he's currently clowning around in Venice, so we still have some time on that front. Not so much with IT though. I can see him dancing his way over here.


      STICKMAN: The only thing scarier than Pennywise? More Disney talk.


      LARRY: The only thing longer than Pennywise’s tongue? Disney’s corporate reign over the entertainment industry. HOW FUN.


      MADHERO: Damn. We really gotta talk about Disney's domination? They've already beaten everyone at the box office. Well, might as well start with something they don't own....anymore.


      STICKMAN: THAT'S THE ONE THING I WANT THEM TO OWN.


      LARRY: Whoops.


      NEWS

      MARVEL/SONY DEAL TO CO-OWN SPIDER-MAN FALLS APART IN NEGOITATIONS. SPIDER-MAN TO BE REMOVED FROM THE MCU

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      Unless you've been living under a rock, you likely have come across the news that dominated your feed for the last week. The Sony/Disney deal regarding Spider-Man has fallen apart, meaning Spidey is out of the MCU and that Sony will continue on their own. Deadline, who broke the news, suggested that it all has to do with the amount of money that Disney receives. The original deal meant that Disney/Marvel make the film and gain 5% of the first weekend box office and all the merchandise,  but Disney wanted to up that to 50%, at which Sony's Tom Rothman ultimately balked. Considering that Spider-Man is one of their few guaranteed success franchises, as well as the success of both Venom and Spider-Verse, they aren't exactly keen on splitting the money with one of their main competitors. Sony put out a statement suggesting that it was simply Kevin Feige being too busy to focus to on a franchise Marvel doesn't own now that they have the Fox series back (the shade is strong).


      So what's gonna happen now? Well, we don't know. Sony is obligated to make Spider-Man related movies to keep the license, but that doesn't seem to be a issue with Venom 2, Morbius and a bunch of Spider-Verse sequels and spin-offs in production. The real question lies in what's gonna happen with the main-line series. Tom Holland is signed on for 2 more movies and will likely remain on.  He only briefly mentioned the news while at D23 to promote Onward, stating that its been a rough week and that he loves being Spider-Man and loves the fans. Director Jon Watts meanwhile, who's 2 movie deal is up and seems to be courted by Marvel to work on other projects. Both Homecoming and Far from Home are very tied into the MCU as a whole, and trying to untangle that is gonna be next to impossible without going full reboot again. While the possibility remains that everything will be fine and they'll get back to the discussion table, for now it seems Disney does not have its complete monopoly yet.


      STICKMAN: OoOOOHH....GAWWWWWWWD.


      LARRY: This wound is still fresh, seeing all of the garbage takes on my feed.


      MADHERO: I remember when we talked about the possibility of the deal, which we knew were in discussion during the Sony Hack. To see it now all fall apart has been wild.


      STICKMAN: It feels like both a long time thing, and also something that didn't last very long.


      LARRY: Yeah and honestly it’s only gonna hurt both of them in the long run, I feel.


      MADHERO: Disney and the MCU are probably gonna be fine tbh. Movies like Captain Marvel make a billion dollars and Eternals probably will as well. I think the bad PR Sony receives, undeserved as some of it is, is hurting them a lot more.


      LARRY: Yeah but I’m not talking monetarily. I’m taking narratively, they literally set up a huge arc for Spidey and now it’s all gone to shit.


      STICKMAN: It always felt like it was too good to last, a move born out of desperation that is no longer needed...in Sony's eyes.


      MADHERO: The twists in Far From Home not related to Spidey can still be tackled in the MCU in all likelihood. What actually happens to Peter though suddenly becomes really hard. He's got Happy Hogan tagging along and Stark is very tied to his character. Its gonna be hard to not mention any of that while continuing the path of the movies.


      LARRY: That’s mainly what I’m referring to. Peter’s arc is built off of events in the MCU and their impact on him. Without that to work off of, his arc simply won’t function.


      STICKMAN: As Nick Fury said, he's been to space...like...he became an integral part of that story and it in turn is an integral part of HIS story. Kevin Fiege said he knew it would end eventually, but like...THEN WHY DID THEY SET HIM UP AS THE NEW FACE OF THE UNIVERSE!?


      LARRY: Some people like that Sony now has complete control so that he’ll be severed from that, but I never considered his ties to the MCU a determinant. There was fucking NO SIGNS it was ANYWHERE NEAR ENDING lol


      MADHERO: The new Spidey isn't in production yet, but what do we expect? Will Sony actually try to figure this out on their own, or will a deal still come?


      STICKMAN: I think it's done honestly, there's too much bad blood now. It's a huge mistake on both their behalfs.


      LARRY: They’ll either strike a deal or Sony will fuck up, as they always do with major tentpole franchises. People wonder why Spidey is like...their only consistent money maker of a franchise, it’s because they fucked up all the other ones. MiB, Ghostbusters, James Bond, etc.


      MADHERO: Tbf Bond wasn't really theirs. Disney still makes a lot of money from Spidey merch, so they're dependant on the franchise doing well, so they'd like to continue with Tom Holland and friends. I'd like to think something can be reached, but the wound is still fresh, and for now, we can only hope. And maybe not see Morbius, which tbf I wasn't planning anyway.


      STICKMAN: It's a shitty situation caused by corporate greed. RIP Spider-Man ...again.


      LARRY: Yeah it’s all downhill, can’t wait for Spidey to be playing hooky with Venom while Carnage fellates in the corner.


      STICKMAN: I'm horny now.


      DISNEY RELEASES NEW SIZZLE REEL FOR THE RISE OF SKYWALKER AT D23. ALSO ANNOUNCED A RELEASE DATE FOR BLACK PANTHER 2

      Last weekend was D23, Disney’s bi-annual convention celebrating all things Mouse House, and this year promised to be a particularly memorable one given its acquisition of Fox and the upcoming launch of Disney+. And...yeah, there was news galore, and we’re here to cover all of it.

      From the Star Wars side of things, we got a nice little featurette looking over the history of the most popular space opera saga of all time, eventually showing some juicy new footage. The specific scene everyone seems to be gawking over is what appears to be Rey in a sith robe sporting a Darth Maul-esque double-bladed red lightsaber. Probably JJ Abrams up to his ol’ tricks again, but either way, the film is coming out soon and its exciting.


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      On the Marvel side we got some official confirmations of rumors that had been swirling about. The first was that Black Panther 2 is officially on its way, with Ryan Coogler returning to direct, set to be released on May 6th, 2022. The other was the casting of Kit Harrington in the MCU, specifically as a non-Eternal character in...um, The Eternals. Duh. He will be playing The Black Knight, which tooooooootally doesn’t sound menacing at all.


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      Lastly, in a bit of live-action remake news, we got our first look at “Cruella,” a prequel for “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella De Vil in 1970’s London. It looks to be going for a very punk rock vibe which...never seemed like the character’s origin? Isn’t she into like high fashion and stuff? And she’s like...rich and upper class? Why is she punk? Also, how are you going to make someone who gets off to skinning puppies compelling and worthy of a character arc? Oof. All of this will be revealed when the Emma Stone-starring vehicle “Cruella,” directed by “I, Tonya” helmer Craig Gillespie, is released in May 2021.


      MADHERO: Rey's red dual lightsaber is pure speculation fuel and I'm here for it.


      LARRY: I’d rather see the army knife meme version in the actual final product.


      STICKMAN: The Marvel side is all pretty good sounding, the Disney+ movies not so much. Star Wars is somewhere in the middle.


      MADHERO: It could be that I'm very tired of the Discourse or it being not that great a title, but I honestly don't find myself all that hyped for Rise of Skywalker. I'll see it obvs, but I dunno. I'm ready to let Star Wars rest for a while. That or watch Mandalorian.


      STICKMAN: The Mandalorians looks fucking amazing buuuuuut that's TV.


      LARRY: Mandalorian is gonna kick ASSSSSSS But yes after that I’m also happy to let it rest.


      MADHERO: As for the Marvel stuff, glad that Black Panther 2 has a solid release date now. They're building so many new things that sequels are now gonna take 5 years each time.


      LARRY: Honestly, good. Let them gestate.


      STICKMAN: Hope the budget is bigger this time.


      MADHERO: Black Panther 2 spending 100 million dollars to get the rhinos right this time. Cool to see Kit Harrington in the MCU even if I still don't know who his character is, but that counts for the Eternals in general.


      STICKMAN: We know nothing about Jon Snow....actor Kit Harrington's role in the MCU.


      LARRY: The Eternals cast is insane. With Harrington, Chan, and Koeghan added, it looks like Marvel’s strongest ensemble yet.


      MADHERO: I mean, Avengers Endgame.


      LARRY: Nonnnnn teammm upppppp


      MADHERO: Either way. I still have no idea what to make of Cruella. If they play up her being super evil, then sure. But if they go the Maleficent route? Hoooooooooooo boy.


      LARRY: That picture genuinely looks ugly as hell. I don’t get why they’d wanna make Cruella begin as a punk person...she literally is into high fashion, she comes from privilege... Why.....how......


      STICKMAN: Live action remakes and spin-offs...veerrrry exciting.



      PIXAR REVEALS PREMISE AND CAST OF SOUL. DISNEY ANIMATION ANNOUNCES NEW PROJECT RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

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      D23 Talk continues, this time on the animation front. We got out first major details on Pixar’s next original film, “Soul.” Pete Doctor (Up, Inside Out) returning to bring us yet another conceptual, emotional journey into what really goes on inside of us, this time from the perspective of the soul. Jamie Foxx stars as Joe, an aspiring jazz pianist who dies after falling down a manhole just after scoring his dream gig. His soul moves on to the afterlife, personified here as the “You Seminar,” a place where souls are trained based on the personalities of the bodies from which they came. The film will feature Foxx as the first ever black, male lead in a Pixar film, alongside Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Questlove, and Tina Fey. Furthermore, jazz pianist Jon Batiste, as well as Oscar-winning composing duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, will provide original music for the film, set to be released June 2020. Sounds fucking awesome.


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      Disney Animation Studios followed suit with their own announcement of an original animated film, entitled “Raya and the Last Dragon,” directed by first-timers Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins and written by “Crazy Rich Asians” scribe Adele Lim. Taking inspiration from the themes and culture of Southeast Asia, this fantasy adventure follows Raya (voiced by Cassie Steele), a lone warrior who goes on a quest to find the last remaining dragon in their world, named Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina). It is set to be released in 2020, and from the 20 second clip Disney posted online....it sure looks pretty. Finally, Disney Animation revealed two new cast members for Frozen 2: Evan Rachel Wood as Elsa and Anna’s mother, and Sterling K. Brown as a lieutenant our characters meet in a new kingdom where everything appears to be fall. Ooooooh. Intrigue. Anyway, they also showed a whole bunch of footage from the film, which we didn’t get to see nor will waste time to describe. The film drops November 22nd, and...kinda looks really interesting. Here’s hoping it’s genuinely good


      STICKMAN: The new Pixar movie sounds fucking awesome.


      LARRY: SO AWESOME. It’s like Inside Out again but a whole new idea and universe. So down.


      MADHERO: Soul is a really bonkers premise but if anyone can do it, its Pixar. That and its gonna be jazzy as fuck


      LARRY: Love me some jazz. Jon Batiste especially is a dope player.


      MADHERO: Jon Batiste's involvement means we'll definitely get some sort of Sonic the Hedgehog homage in the soundtrack. Also Trent Reznor working on a Pixar movie is hilarious.


      STICKMAN: This ain't Ralph it Wreck.


      LARRY: Hey man, let them chameleon their way into this one. See what they can come up with.


      MADHERO: Bringing that Nine Inch Nails touch. As for Raya and the Last Dragon, I'm super interested by this, especially as someone who's lived in Southeast Asia for a few years. Its such a interesting mix of cultures and deserves exploration


      STICKMAN: I love dragons.


      MADHERO: Well good because this is the last one you'll get


      LARRY: A liiiiiittle skeptical with Awkwafina in a voice role, she can sometimes get a bit grating. But the diversity on display here is affirming!


      MADHERO: As for Frozen 2.....its gonna make an insane amount of money and its songs will be stuck in your head for years.


      STICKMAN: None of them are Elsa's girlfriend though so Twitter will get mad.


      LARRY: I’m surprised at how intrigued I am about it. I will go see it, happily.


      STICKMAN: They have certainly upped the ante from the lightweight first film.


      MADHERO: They've kept their cards surprisingly close to their chest. Probably cause they know it'll make money. But hey, at least now we know Disney still has some original stories in store.


      STICKMAN: A few original and 50,000 remakes.


      THE MATRIX 4 OFFICIALLY HAPPENING AT WARNER BROS. LANA WACHOWSKI RETURNS TO DIRECT, ALONG WITH KEANU REEVES AND CARRIE ANN MOSS

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      It feels like we've been hearing speculation about a fourth installment in the Matrix franchise forever now. Long rumoured but never confirmed, until now. In this, the 20th anniversary year of the original, game-changing sci-fi classic, word has come out that Lana Wachowski, one half of the originals directing sibling duo, will be helming the fourth entry, with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne-Moss reprising their respective roles in addition. Of course, it's hard to ignore some of the issues with such a project. Firstly, The Matrix as a franchise closed itself off in its third outing, including ...um, a closing off of the lead characters' stories.


      Secondly, although the first entry is a fantastic film, it's fair to say what followed struggled to maintain that same quality, and indeed, the Wachowski's have both struggled to match their original 1999 mainstream success in the years that have followed, both critically and financially. Finally, one has to question the audience viability of the series this late on from the last, massively divisive installment. All the same, it seems we're destined to re-enter the Matrix in the coming years, and even if we know nothing about the plot, or even if the entire main cast will return (Where are you, Morpheooouus)...it's hard to not be a little interested to see where a new entry will take us.


      LARRY: Honestly? This seems like a bad idea. They’re probably just trying to capitalize on Keanu.


      MADHERO: I revisited The Matrix with it being back on big screens and can confirm it still kicks major ass. I haven't revisted Reloaded and Revolutions yet, but I think those films might be ripe for reappraisal, especially Reloaded.


      STICKMAN: I also watched the first Matrix at the cinema this year and still love it. The sequels? Not so much.


      LARRY: The Matrix seems to be a sort of lightning-in-a-bottle sorta movie. Captured the zeitgeist at the right time and failed to do so moving forward.


      MADHERO: Its interesting that Lana is tackling this solo instead of partnering with her sister, but its seems she's getting as much of the original team back as possible.  I think tackling The Matrix now is ripe for potential.


      STICKMAN: Honestly I'd of rather seen someone else take the helm, the Wachowski's haven't really had a hit in a while.


      LARRY: That’s another good point.


      MADHERO: I still like Sense8 and most of Cloud Atlas. I like having them around in Hollywood and telling their bonkers stories. In that sense returning to The Matrix feels almost a tad like a defeat, but I prefer them going back than a reboot.


      LARRY: This is secretly a new season of Sense8. Dropping on Netflix in 2021. MARK YER CALENDARS. I just feel like the Matrix, in popular culture, has almost become a pastiche of itself.


      MADHERO: They've had time to come up with new materials in almost 20 years. I'm genuinely curious and hopeful.


      LARRY: I admire the enthusiasm but it seems to me we’ve sorta moved on from The Matrix. It’s a good movie but I feel like there’s a stronger narrative to tell outside of its framework than within it.


      STICKMAN: That's something an agent would say. GET HIM


      MADHERO: Agent Larry Smith shall be contained.


      NETFLIX REVEALS 'EL CAMINO' A BREAKING BAD MOVIE. WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 11TH.

      WARNING: SPOILERS FOR BREAKING BAD IN THIS DISCUSSION

      We've known for a while now, that show creator Vince Gilligan and Sony were eyeing up a feature length continuation of the cultural milestone of television that was Breaking Bad, and that it would follow Aaron Paul as Jessie Pinkman as he deals with life in the aftermath of that show's epic climax. Beyond that? We didn't know much, we certainly didn't know when it was coming, or in what capacity it would arrive. But things started to become rapidly clearly in the past week, as, following Bob Odenkirk's (who plays Saul Goodman in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) comments on filming already being completed, details of the project 'leaked' on Netflix's database, revealing the title to be El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, in addition to further confirming its stance as a Jessie-centric sequel.


      Low and behold, merely a few hours after this information leaked, the film was officially announced via a vague teaser trailer, which also revealed the release date of October 11th exclusively to Netflix worldwide (With an AMC TV broadcast to follow later on). One wonders if this was meant to be a surprise drop in October. Regardless...as much as you could argue Breaking Bad finished perfectly and needs no continuation, I'm still fucking excited as hell  to see more from the franchise, as everything so far, be it the main show or its outstanding prequel show has been top notch. Roll on October.


      MADHERO: Skinny Pete is a good friend who don't snitch. What a reliable guy


      LARRY: Now I have an excuse to rewatch Breaking Bad!!


      MADHERO: There's worse things to do with your time. Better Call Saul is also really good, but I'll wait when Season 5 is there. We all kinda knew this was happening, but its really cool to get confirmation and coming relatively soon


      LARRY: Pretty fuckin soon tbh At first I wasn’t super into there being a BB movie but I’ve come around to it thinking more and more about the character of Jesse. The more I consider the possibilities, the more I’m invested in them.


      MADHERO: BUT NOT SOON ENOUGH BECAUSE I WANT IT NOW. Also, can we place our bets on Bryan Cranston returning? Surely he must in some capacity.


      STICKMAN: Ghosts confirmed. It seems likely but who knows.


      LARRY: Yeah he’ll probably be in a flashback of some kind. Man....seeing Cranston be Heisenberg again....I have chills.


      STICKMAN: What happened to Hank’s mineral collection, that's what I want to know.


      MADHERO: I feel like he will, probably as an hallucination or flashback. While my headcannon of Jesse escaping and finding happiness are likely dashed, I have nothing but the upmost faith in Vince Gilligan.


      STICKMAN: He escapes and ends up in The Walking Dead and the crossover is confirmed.


      LARRY: Nah he ends up in Westworld.


      MADHERO: Save the fanfic for after the movie comes out.


      DISNEY+ TO RELEASE ON NOVEMBER 12TH IN USA, CANADA AND NETHERLANDS. FIRST TRAILERS OF ORIGINAL FILMS SHOWN OFF

      Not content with dominating the big screen, Disney also wants a slice of that Netflix pie. We now have a release date for the streaming service, with it coming November 12th to the United States, Canada and....the Netherlands? Umm... kinda weird to be included on that list, but I'll take it. Much of the D23 panel was of course dedicated to their tv work, with an Obi Wan mini series starring Ewan McGregor being announced, as well as a whole bunch of new MCU series in Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She Hulk.



      But this is a movie blog, so let's focus on that. We got our first trailers for the movies that'll launch with the service, with the remake of The Lady and the Tramp being the main highlight. It mainly looks like another typical Disney live action remake, albeit on a lighter budget. Doesn't skimp on the cast though, with Tessa Thompson as Lady and Justin Theroux as the Tramp. The other movie is Noelle, a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick and Santa Claus' daughter going to look for her brother (Bill Hader) who's gone missing just as he's about to take over pops' business. It looks....ok I guess. Some pretty cringy humor in the trailer but Kendrick looks fun. Other than that we got confirmation for a new Phineas and Ferb movie, a fantasy kid fantasy movie called Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made, to be directed by...Tom McCarthy? Spotlight Tom McCarthy? Ok then. Their movie line-up doesn't seem particularly strong yet, but considering I'm getting it for The Mandalorian and The Simpsons, I think I'm good on that front.


      STICKMAN: Barf


      MADHERO: Give your money to the Mouse, Sticky. Lady and the Tramp demand it so they can get spaghetti.


      STICKMAN: SOMEBoDY REMADE MY SPAGHETT


      LARRY: Okay, but Janelle Monae doing a cover of “She’s a Tramp” is pretty awesome. She’s in the movie too, that’s a plus. Also they are actual, real dogs. Rescue dogs too.


      STICKMAN: Oh you know Disney made them into dog spaghetti once they wrapped.


      MADHERO: Lady and the Tramp's cast is pretty big. I'm just waiting for the incredibly racist stereotype Siamese cats. Its cool they're all rescue dogs, but looking at it I can see why they decided to release it on streaming instead. As for Noelle.....ehh.


      LARRY: It’s nice to see Anna Kendrick committing to something a little more zany. As opposed to being the straight Girl or the sarcastic one.


      STICKMAN: All the Disney+ movies look like ass, let's face it. If they were good, they'd be in cinemas. This is a dumping ground for mediocre movies and it's being sold entirely on the TV show merits, and back catalogue.


      LARRY: I mean........yeah. That’s about right.


      MADHERO: I get the feeling the next big Oscar contender isn't gonna appear on Disney+ anytime soon. But even then I'm still gonna get it when it launches. The existing content and the tv stuff is enough to entice. Helps that its relatively cheap


      LARRY: Yeah it’s an absurd deal.


      STICKMAN: We should be talking about Netflix's 2019 film slate honestly, because damn that's diverse and impressive. But we're here talking about Lady & The Tramp because that's the world now PEOPLE.


      MADHERO: The Irishman's 3 and a half hour runtime is nothing compared to those dogs eating the spaghet


      STICKMAN: I'm gonna eat their spaghetti and there's nothing they can do about it.


      LARRY: Not if Pacino doesn’t throw it in your face first. Fun fact: the restaurant in Lady and the Tramp? Right next door to the bar in Irishman. True story.


      ----------

      MADHERO: Whilst we eat that delicious leftover spaghetti, we can also go and enjoy the movies coming out soon. The end of August/beginning of September is usually a dead zone for releases.....and it still kinda is were it not for a certain clown. And no, I don't mean John Travolta.


      LARRY: Red noses, amirite???


      STICKMAN: I mean, Travolta is a pretty big clown.


      MADHERO: True, but as big a clown as dat boi Pennywise? Hard to say.


      STICKMAN: Let's FIND OUT.


      MOVIES

      IT: CHAPTER TWO

      DIRECTOR: Andy Muschietti (Mama, IT)

      STARRING: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgard

      SYNOPSIS: Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise (Skarsgard), the Losers Club (McAvoy, Chastain, Hader etc.) have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

      STICKMAN: OH SHIT, I wouldn't have been excited for this 3 years ago, but now I very much am.


      LARRY: Looks like this has gotten a fairly mixed reception... Wasn’t expecting that.


      MADHERO: The first IT was a really fun haunted house ride and now we've got this behemoth of a film. Nearly 3 hours long. This some Ari Aster shit


      LARRY: God whyyyyyy. Why do movies insist on being so god damn long.


      STICKMAN: This movie is apparently super high concept and crazy in parts, and I'm excited to see how that works. This some big budget, big interest BLOCKBUSTER EVENT HORROR and we don't get much of that.


      MADHERO: Apparently Muschietti and co are going all in on the mythology that's in the IT novel, so expect to see the giant turtle and other weird Stephen King on a high shit. I imagine this is not going to be received as well as the first chapter, but I remain incredibly curious to see them pull this off.


      STICKMAN: Is it time for the orgy? Because I hope not.


      LARRY: Yeah I hear that it’s kinda bloated and there aren’t enough of the adult Losers, but it also captures King better than any other film adaptation he’s had, and there have been a few. I’m definitely gonna see it, I really enjoyed the first chapter. Far more than I expected to.


      MADHERO: I can't wait to finally see Pennywise do the floss.


      STICKMAN: Again, we've only had a few social media impressions so far, no reviews. We don't normally read a huge deal into  just impressions. I don't know how this will work out, but I'm excited to see some BIG HORROR.


      DON’T LET GO

      DIRECTOR: Jacob Aaron Estes (Mean Creek, The Details)

      STARRING: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Bryon Mann, Myketi Williamson, Alfred Molina, Bryan Tyree Henry

      SYNOPSIS: After a man's (Oyelowo) family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece (Reid). He's not sure if she's a ghost or if he's going mad, but as it turns out, he's not.

      MADHERO: This.....exists I guess.


      LARRY: Other movies exist? Weird.


      STICKMAN: A stupid idea that could've worked, but apparently doesn't. Blumhouse dropping the ball when faced with the only horror franchise that can top them.


      LARRY: It’s odd that they’re attached to this one. Seems a tad out of their wheel [blum]house.


      STICKMAN: Blumhouse do more than horrrroorr, even if it that is their bread and butter. We got Upgrade last year, which was great.


      MADHERO: They also did Whiplash and that turned out ok. Considering the time frame its released it, it feels like its being sent out to die, which is a shame cause I like most of the actors involved


      STICKMAN: Some great talent involved but this was clearly sent up the river to float with Pennywise.


      LARRY: I saw trailers for this like...maybe a month ago? For the FIRST TIME. They clearly are sorta burying it.


      STICKMAN: It's such a bad idea to open against it I'm surprised Aardman aren't sending their latest feature out to die too.


      THE FANATIC

      DIRECTOR: Fred Durst (The Longshots)

      STARRING: John Travolta, Devon Sawa, Ana Golja, Jacob Grodnik, James Paxton

      SYNOPSIS: A rabid film fan (Travolta) stalks his favorite action hero (Sawa) and destroys the star's life.

      STICKMAN: AHHAAHHAHA. This feels like something Ranier Wolfcastle would do in The Simpsons.


      MADHERO: Awwwwww yeah, now we're getting to the real highlight of the show. John Travolta in a more terrible wig than usual directed by none other Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit.


      STICKMAN: I didn't even knoooow that part. AmAZING. Also, I think you mean...the...wickekeddllyy talented...Jan Trevaloio.


      MADHERO: When he directs, he asks if the camera keeps rollin' rollin' rollin'


      LARRY: Wow not to pull a Mad here but WHY does this movie exist.


      MADHERO: To be fair its a direct to DVD release. We ain't seeing this in theaters. That's for real prestige films like Gotti


      LARRY: Travolta trying so hard to genuinely get some awards prestige and failing every time.


      STICKMAN: james Truvoltion just ain't got it. He's a creep, a Scientologist, and a bad actor. It's not a great CV.


      LARRY: Jiminy Travaltango needs to pick up the slack.


      MADHERO: I don't think he was going for award on this one. I just want Fred Durst to become an Oscar nominated director


      LARRY: I feel like this is oddly reminiscent of Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher. But, ya know, that movie was good.


      STICKMAN: Don’t drag Steve Carell into this.


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

      MADHERO: Yeah. Let's drag him into MOVIE OF THE WEEK INSTEAD.....provided any of us picked a Steve Carrell movie, otherwise this transition doesn't make much sense.


      LARRY: I sure didn’t...


      STICKMAN: Here comes...THE OFFICE AS MY MOVIE OF THE WEEK….. I've only seen the memes.


      MADHERO: That's a fairly good way to start The Office, but how about it, Stickman? What's your Movie of the Week?


      STICKMAN: Oooof. Meee? Maaan I dunnooooo, let me check.


      LARRY: Probs something shit I bet. Oh wait it’s something I’ve also seen


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      STICKMAN: OH YOU. Soooo, we kinda did this already, but not with MY opinions, so here we are with those., because let's face it...Larry's opinions? They just don't cut the mustard, DO THEY?


      'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark'  is a movie that starts out badly, and then kicks things firmly into good territory once, y'know, the actual horror stuff starts. The opening? Lots of unfunny gags and horror movie/child character cliches. The evil bully, the dorky kid, the outsider...yadda yadda. Same old shit. HOWEVER, where the film excels is in using its unique and creepy source material to bring to life some of the most fun and creative horror characters in great, practical fashion. The film is really nicely produced, and the nice blend of practical and CGI really pushes what's otherwise a generic horror film into more memorable territory. How this is a family movie based on a kids book  in the US I'll never know. It's a 15 here, and it earns that with its first, scarecrowy fatality.  I had a lot of fun with this.


      MADHERO: There's no Steve Carrell there, though I guess he could be in one of the costumes.


      LARRY: HEY WE BASically agree on this. Bad stuff surrounding it but amazing creature stuff within it.


      STICKMAN: I probably enjoyed it more because horror is more my thing, innit. That said I'm sure we agree on the basic issues and plus points.


      LARRY: God the scarecrow fatality is WILD. Still not over that scene.


      STICKMAN: It's fucking NUTS.


      MADHERO: Where do you feel it ranks among the horror outings you've watched this year, since you've probably seen a lot more.


      STICKMAN: Oooh, it's in the upper mid area. It's no where near the caliber of Midsommar or US...but it's a lot better than anything the Conjuring Universe has offered us this year. Where those films succeeded in the past (Creative creatures and horror premises) this film succeeds now.


      LARRY: Wow you really have seen a lot of horror this year.


      MADHERO: What about you, Larry? Seen any new horror recently?


      LARRY: Surprisingly enough, YES! Mark it down now, the first time in Screwvies history both Sticky and I had horror MOTWs. A truly historical event.


      STICKMAN: Except those Halloween special ones but SURE.


      LARRY: My MOTW is “Ready or Not,” a new super-fun and surprisingly excellent horror that’s part “You’re Next,” part Clue, in that a recently newlywed must take part in her new family’s tradition when welcoming new members......which happens to be a deadly game of Hide and Seek. So Grace (a wonderfully over-it Samara Weaving) must survive until dawn or else her uber-rich in-laws will shoot her down, and the resulting film is a wild ride from start to finish.


      It’s wildly unpredictable, but also finds the time to tackle some genuinely interesting and complex themes like the antiquated element of family ties and the way our ancestors can kinda fuck us over. Yet we still get plenty of surprises and scares, and while their are some moments of explicit gore, this is more a psychological pseudo-slasher ride, and I’m friggen here for it. Weaving is excellent as Grace, a wonderfully subversive protagonist that grounds the movie in a very self-aware, hilarious tone. The remaining cast is also hilarious in their ineptitude, with Adam Brody shining at the drunk brother-in-law who can see beyond his family’s ridiculous notions. Add that to solid cinematography/color grading and not being too indulgently long in its runtime, and you have one of the Summer’s biggest surprises. This is one of my favorite films of the year and deserves some support amidst a Summer of bland franchise films and minimal originality. Give it a look!


      MADHERO: This film ain't out till October here and I'm really peeved cause it sounds like a load of fun


      STICKMAN: So bloody JEALOUS. This film ain't out here for a MONTH. I'M THE HORROR BOY, I'M THE ONE WHO SPOOPS.


      LARRY: It’s so good guys. Got to go to a cast/crew Q&A too afterwards. They were all super nice and really fun, Andie MacDowell is in this and she’s a sweetheart in real life despite her devilish character.


      MADHERO: Is it actually effective at being a horror film cause the trailer make it seem more of a big comedy, though I guess it depends on what scares ya.


      STICKMAN: Honestly the less I read about this the better because I'm seeing it anyway. It looks like You're Next 2: The Wedding, and I'm here for that.


      LARRY: It is effectively a horror film. Obviously it’s no Midsommar in the sense of darkness, but it does have some disturbing moments more so with the gore of it. But yeah, it is definitely a horror comedy in how it plays out. But at its core, the concept is one of psychological horror. So it’s more so a horror film with comedic elements. And fucking hysterical elements at that.


      MADHERO: Interesting. None of it looked all that scary but that doesn't distract from the fact it looks really fun. I assume it has some good kills?


      STICKMAN: No scarecrows I bet.


      LARRY: Oh, some bloody fun ones yeah. And some of that works hand in hand with the gore aspect. Won’t spoil it but there’s this wonderful running gag that keeps things fresh.


      STICKMAN: It's an 18 here so I anticipate it's quite gory.

      LARRY: Alright, enough about my movie. Mad, what’s your choice this week? Is it ANOTHER HORROR MOVIE Are we THREE FOR THREEEEEEEE


      STICKMAN: It better be, or I walk.


      MADHERO: For my MOTW we have to go back to the faraway time of 1999. Y2K is scarring everyone to death, most EU countries officially switch to the Euro and Pokemon fever is at the top of its powers. Its also one of the best years in terms of cinematic releases, with some truly groundbreaking films releasing in the year before the turn of the millennium. One of those films sorta came outta nowhere and became an absolute phenomenon, ensuring we'd forever be untrustworthy of reality and technology, and that's of course The Matrix. For its 20th anniversary, a couple of event screenings were held and allowed me to see the film on the big screen for the first time. And I gotta tell ya: it still whips major ass.


      Its pretty incredible just how revolutionary The Matrix was. The Wachowskis took everything they already liked (anime, cyberpunk, martial arts) and threw it all in a blender to create something truly special. By now its been copied and parodied to death, but its fun to be reminded how fresh it all was seeing it on the big screen. It may have fumbled a tad in the sequels, the original's status as one of the greatest sci fi films of all time stands tall. Bring on Matrix 4.


      STICKMAN: I mean, it's pretty scary how many people thought wearing long leather coats was cool after this film, so I'll let it pass.


      LARRY: Yeah I think I’m gonna check this out too, AMC is doing this in America.


      MADHERO: The part where we learn that humans are being made and harvested by machines is pretty dang fucked as well


      LARRY: That classic world-building. What was it like seeing the pill scene on the big screen?


      STICKMAN: It's bigger.


      MADHERO: Its definitely really cool. Also I wish Lana Wachowski will use the Matrix 4 to call out the chucklefucks who unironically use the term red-pilled. The coolest scene remains the lobby fight. That's some cool ass fight scene


      LARRY: Oof, good point. How about them dreads tho. Still an iconic look?


      MADHERO: Dreads is more an Reloaded thing. But yeah, worth seeing in the theatre if you can, and if you can't, watch it anyway cause it rules.


      LARRY: Sweet I’m definitely gonna check it out now. Gotta see that slow mo in Dolby.


      --------

      MADHERO: I think that about does it. We're gonna officially leave the summer and clowns behind (until Joker that is) and will take a look at a bit of a hodgepodge of sad astronauts, hustling strippers, Rambo and who knows what else we're getting served.


      STICKMAN: A new Rambo film in 2019, what a time to be alive. It's not a good time to be alive, but...it's a time.


      LARRY: I’d let Brad Pitt take me to space any day.


      MADHERO: We have to deal with the cards that we are dealt with, even if that includes Downton Abbey. Goodbye.


      STICKMAN: Oh. Farewell then.


      LARRY: “The Farewell” then. Eh? Ehhhhh? Wow I stink. Goodbye.

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 141

      4 weeks ago

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      MADHERO: Well, we're officially at the tail end of summer. Its gonna be all over soon. Considering Disney just had its 5th billion dollar grosser, I feel I can say the other studios put up a good fight, but alas. But hey, maybe there's still something good they release before we all start prepping to go back to clown college in September. We have 2 reviews even. Surely something good comes from that, guys?


      STICKMAN: Uhhhhh. Hm. HEEYYY.


      LARRY: Psh, I ain't no clown


      MADHERO: That's what they all say, but we can safe all our clown jokes for when IT: Chapter 2 comes out next episode. The slate here is too scattershot to properly point at something, so I guess we just go and start with the news.


      STICKMAN: Enough cloowwwnnning around.  Heh...hn....nah.


      NEWS

      DISNEY CANCELS SEVERAL PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT AT 20TH CENTURY FOX. PLANS TO REVIVE CERTAIN PROPERTIES LIKE HOME ALONE ON DISNEY+

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      Continuing to prove that their very expensive buyout of 20th Century Fox was a bad move for everyone and everything, Disney seem to be having some worrying hangups about their new studio, with numerous reports that have come out in the past week or so. Firstly, on a less...axe swinging note, Disney have suggested a desire to invest in reboots for some of Fox's more family friendly properties, seemingly for their Disney+ service. Home Alone, Cheaper by the Dozen, Night at the Museum and Diary of a Wimpy Kid have all been said to be receiving reboots for the streaming service, whilst CEO Bob Iger once again spoke of the intention to continue with the Planet of the Apes franchise, although it wasn't said if it'd be yet another reboot, or a continuation of the recent, grittier trilogy.


      In less hopeful news, it sounds like the future of FOX films both big and small are now being put into question, with over 200 projects in various stages of early development apparently having been scrapped completely. These include Flash Gordon, a Ben Affleck directed biopic about a McDonalds Monopoly heist, the long gestating Die Hard prequel, a sequel to the cult movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space, adaptations of Magic: The Gathering, Megaman and The Sims, and also the sequel to Assassin's Creed...which, frankly I was surprised even still existed. This is just the  tip of the some 250 project iceberg that has now melted away into nothing, with only a small handful of projects already in production safe. There's also renewed doubts that The New Mutants will see a release, as Disney are supposedly unimpressed with what they've seen. For the icing on the cake, Disney are also questioning if Taika Waititi's upcoming 'Jojo Rabbit' film at Fox Searchlight might alienate "Disney fans".  But don't worry, all your Avatar sequels are still safe. Phew. Fuck me.


      MADHERO: Hey, it turns out there being less competition and therefore less variety in the type of products we get is bad. Who'd have thunk?


      STICKMAN: But Wolverine gets to fuck Captain America so it's fine I guess.


      LARRY: God I hope this Hitler parody doesn't aLiEnAtE fAnS Who the fuck careeeesssssss


      MADHERO: I honestly wouldn't take that line too seriously. There's plenty of dumb execs and shareholders who make dumb comments which the studio does nothing with. Jojo Rabbit will be fine with or without Donald Duck shouting HEIL HITLER.


      STICKMAN: FOX Searchlight being untainted so far is the only relieving thing about this mess, so I get ANTSY whenever they show hesitance.


      MADHERO: I know its cause its a popular property, but how would a Home Alone reboot even work in the year of our lord 2019?


      LARRY: It wouldn't. Nobody is that stupid.


      STICKMAN: Better than the Stoned Alone idea FOX had at one point.


      MADHERO: Honestly, not all of the products they axed sounded very good, but there's also plenty of projects I'd have really liked to have seen, and Fox essentially being used just for edgier franchises that Disney can't do feels like such a massive waste.


      STICKMAN: Still wounded from The Mouse Guard being axed. Fuck Disney.


      LARRY: Yeah for every sequel/prequel that got axed, there were plenty of original, unique projects from awesome directors that got fucked over. Poor Shawn Levy, the guy had like 10 projects in development.


      MADHERO: Fuck all these things, but fuck this guy in particular.


      STICKMAN: RIP Shawn Levy.


      UNIVERSAL PULLS USA RELEASE FROM BLUMHOUSE’S THE HUNT FOLLOWING MASS SHOOTINGS AND PRESSURE FROM CONSERVATIVES

      The United States is still processing the horrific tragedies that took place in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. The mass shootings have sparked much debate, particularly on how much violent media may lead people to commit these atrocities. As one would expect, there really isn't much correlation between violent films/video games to mass shootings, but that doesn't stop angry people from putting pressure on those who create it.


      Case in point: Blumhouse's upcoming September 27th release of their film "The Hunt" has officially been cancelled. After putting a hold on the marketing for the film immediately following the mass shootings, Universal officially made a statement just four days later that they would cancel plans to release the film. There is no word as to when the film will be theatrically released in the future, if at all. So, what changed? Well, a tweet from President Donald Trump aimed criticism at the film, in which he claimed “Liberal Hollywood is racist, the falsely self-claimed elite create their own violence, and then try to blame others." This would make sense except it really doesn't make any fucking sense at all. The film isn't about race and the film looked to be making a point against, or at least be critical of, liberals in the first place. The president's idiocy aside, many believe that pulling the film was in response to this tweet, though others believe that this isn't the case and Universal is simply delaying the film out of respect for the victims. And, yes, I want to believe that. But it's hard not to be skeptical and disappointed that a studio wasn't willing to stick to its guns (literally). Hopefully we'll see "The Hunt" get its day soon enough.


      STICKMAN: God damnit I hate this shit. Cowardice. At least with The Interview there was the threat of nuclear war.


      MADHERO: Cause hey, the evil and liberal pop culture media is the one thing causing it all. Not, y'know, the guns.


      STICKMAN: People being gunned down by copies of Call of Duty.


      LARRY: Yeah this really sucks. Like, I get that they wanted to be respectful of the victims, but this for suuuuuuure feels like NBCUniversal isn't willing to give Blumhouse the support it would need to release a politically timely film right in the midst of when it could be most poignant. Afraid to be "controversial" and all that...


      STICKMAN: Frankly Blumhouse should take their business elsewhere if Universal aren't going to back their play.


      MADHERO: I can understand pulling marketing for a bit until the heat died down, but then of course the president had to get involved cause of course he fucking does.


      LARRY: Yes that is what's really bothering me. His tweets literally make zero fucking sense if they're being targeted toward The Hunt.


      STICKMAN: I'm not sure anyone's said this before on the internet, but fuck Donald Trump.


      MADHERO: The funniest thing remains that The Hunt clearly portrays the liberal elite as the villains and the "deplorables" being hunted as the one we're supposed to root for, but since media literacy is hard, that all got lost fairly quickly in the sea of bile.


      LARRY: This is a movie literally criticizing the "elite," the "liberal." But Trump just saw the “hunting deplorables” bit and was like "BLARG RACISM HOLLYWOOD BLARG"


      STICKMAN: I could rant about this for the entire episode, frankly. This and the Disney story make me reaaaaal depressed.


      MADHERO: Financially it probably ain't gonna make much of a dent to Universal. Its a Blumhouse film so it costs like 5 bucks at most, but culturally this is a really sad precedent.


      LARRY: Let's also hope it gets a friggen release. Theatrically, preferably.


      MADHERO: That got a tad political there. We better move on


      STICKMAN: F-f-f-fuck Donald Trump, get some gun controlllLLl.


      HENRY GOLDING CAST AS SNAKE EYES IN UPCOMING GI JOE SPIN-OFF/REBOOT. PARAMOUNT/HASBRO ALSO WORKING ON AGENT CHUCKLES SPIN-OFF

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      Remember The Rise of COBRA? Its ok if you didn't, cause no one really does. The 2009 adaptation of the toy line/80s animated series didn't really set the world on fire, and not even a sequel that killed Channing Tatum and added The Rock could save it. That said, Paramount still wants to go forward, though they're now starting over from scratch. Instead of starting with a whole cast, GI Joe is now going the Marvel route by introducing their characters in solo movies, starting with everyone's favorite(?) Ninja Snake Eyes.


      Originally played by Darth Maul himself, Ray Park, this new Snake Eyes will be played by Crazy Rich Asians' Henry Golding, who's star has been on the rise since the release of that film. The movie is on the fast track with Robert Schwentke directing, who's recent films (RIPD, Insurgent/Allegiant) doesn't exactly inspire confidence. They're also on another film on Chuckles, who I know nothing about other than he's supposed to be in spycraft and wears Hawaiian shirts. We'll see if anything comes from this if Snake Eyes bombs, but we'll be getting a whole lotta Cuppa Joe soon.


      STICKMAN: At least he won't have the sex doll lips this time.


      MADHERO: I can't tell if this is a dig towards Snake Eyes, Henry Golding or Ray Park so I'm just very confused


      STICKMAN: The first GI Joe movie Snake Eyes had DSLs on his mask


      LARRY: Yeah so I didn't really like either of the GI Joe movies so why is this happening? GI Joe isn't even like...that viable?


      MADHERO: I can't believe you're not excited for the Agent Chuckles movie that I've been waiting for all my life.


      STICKMAN: I thought clowns were NEXT episode.


      MADHERO: He ain't no clown. He's a cool undercover man who refuses to take off his Hawaiian shirts.


      LARRY: To be fair, I like Henry Golding. He seems like a cool dude...but like, I wouldn't go to a shitty action movie just for him.


      MADHERO: Well you're not going for Henry Golding. You're going for Cool Silent Ninja Dude.


      STICKMAN: I think he looks cool...when he ain't got sculpted lips on his mask. But that's it. Like...he's The Stig, basically. With a sword.


      MADHERO: His personality is ninja and his main rival is another ninja. As a character that doesn't bring much, but as long as there's cool ninja shit that should be fine.


      STICKMAN: The second film had a stupid dumb scene where they flew around on wires on the side of a mountain that was kinda cool, in a stupid way.


      MADHERO: Kinda cool in a stupid way is the GI Joe mantra. If that's gonna lead to an Avengers style success remains to be seen.


      STICKMAN: No. It won't.


      ANDY SERKIS TO DIRECT VENOM SEQUEL

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      You'd be forgiven for assuming last year's misguided solo antihero spin-off 'Venom' was a total failure. It looked terrible in the run up to release, a seeming commitment to an R rating was dropped at the last minute, and reviewed poorly. BUT Venom was a huge success, scoring over $850 million globally, but the audiences largely dug it as well. Naturally, Sony greenlit a sequel pretty quickly, and following a summer releasing Morbius movie set in the same universe prior, Venom 2 is arriving late into 2020...and now we know who'll be directing it.


      Andy Serkis may be known more for his motion capture performances than his directing chops, but he's had a reasonable amount of experience behind the camera in addition to being in front of it. To date he's released two movies through his Imaginarium studio (The CGI heavy Mowgli, and the rather less CGI heavy 'Breathe') , both of which receiving a mixed critical reception, as did The Hobbit trilogy of films, of which he was the second unit director on. Serkis is now at the helm for Venom 2, bringing presumably both his directing experience and well established history with CGI/motion capture performances to the film, he's also once again partnering with 'Breathe' cinematographer Robert Richardson, who most recently worked with Tarantino on 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'. So, things are going to be quite different production wise for the sequel...will they be better? Who knows. Will they be gayer? Let's hope so.


      MADHERO: The goopy boy returns.....eventually.


      LARRY: I mean, this is a fairly inspired choice.


      MADHERO: Did the original use much in the way of motion capture. I imagine it did but I'm not sure.


      LARRY: Whether or not they did, they should. Give the goopster a little more life.


      STICKMAN: Nah they actually just infected Tom Hardy with a horny ooze.


      MADHERO: Honestly the one thing I want from the sequel is Woody Harrellson and his terrible wig. I don't need more. I don't even need him to become Carnage.


      STICKMAN: Carnage is all but confirmed, surely.


      MADHERO: You'd think so, but I can imagine Tom Hardy wanting to get into more lobster tanks instead and have Venom be all self concious and stuff. Venom was a really weird movie.


      LARRY: Surely Lady Venom must return. If not, we riot.


      STICKMAN: No Lady Venom, only Gay Venom. Or I RIOT.


      LARRY: My hope is that Serkis can just add some quality to the shitstorm that was the original. Give in to all the meme-y gay shit but also like...be a good movie. Give Venom more character, his own physical presence. After all, Venom looked pretty solid in motion. It was just...not in motion that stank.


      MADHERO: I can only handle so much weird sexual tension. While we're on the symbiote train, I'd like to point out that Marvel's new event series Absolute Carnage is pretty good so far.


      STICKMAN: I should ready some of these goopy stories sometime. Comics are expensive though. And there's too many.


      MADHERO: Some wild shit going on over in Symbioteland, but we'll see if that's gonna affect anything in Gollum's movie.


      SONY RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR GRETA GERWIG’S ADAPTATION OF LITTLE WOMEN

      Greta Gerwig has once again made a splash in the Film Discourse™ with the first trailer dropping for her next film, an adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel "Little Women." Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Timothee Chalamet, the story follows four sisters exploring their artistic passions, the societal restrictions set on them, and what their futures hold in the aftermath of the Civil War. This adaptation (one of EIGHT times its been adapted to film) looks to put a particular focus on the sister Jo, portrayed by Ronan, and her relationship with Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, portrayed by Chalamet. The trailer features the sort of witty, strong female characters one would expect with a script by Greta Gerwig and acclaimed Canadian writer Sarah Polley, and features a noticeably grainy, period aesthetic. Add some fun supporting roles from Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Tracy Letts, and you have another potential Oscar hopeful for Gerwig and Ronan. Will it make a splash? Will it fizzle? Other adaptations of Alcott's story certainly have. We'll have to wait until December to find out.


      STICKMAN: Moe Sylslack's favourite book finally hits the big screen. And now it's finally here, for me to ignore.


      MADHERO: Rachel from Friends as well. Little Women has been referenced a lot over the years


      LARRY: It looks like a quality film, as I expected.


      MADHERO: It doesn't really look like my thing, but neither did Lady Bird and I really liked that movie


      STICKMAN: Lady Bird had a bit more relatability to it. This is dangerously close to Pride and Prejudice in content...and not with the zombies. Looks real nice, sure the performances are good. Buuuuut. Nah.


      LARRY: I mean, with something like Little Women, that's what you want. It's a story largely hinged on the performances.


      STICKMAN: Sure, it's...Oscar bait, if you will.


      MADHERO: I just know its this American classic that I've only heard of through pop culture mentioning it and never read any of it or watched the other adaptations


      LARRY: I've never read it either tbh. I've seen some adaptations, such as the 1994 film and the musical. So I'm familiar with the story, hence my interest in seeing Gerwig take it on in a 2019 context.


      MADHERO: Again, doesn't look like my thing, but I'm very curious about what Greta Gerwig does next after Lady Bird. Will Film Twitter go just as crazy for it? Will Moe shed a tear? Time shall tell.


      STICKMAN: Greta Gertwig sheds a tear over Moe.


      RIP PETER FONDA

      b3c14005-0d72-43d5-a8b0-ff47495a05f4-202

      Few people can say that they've affected culture as a whole in a way that they probably couldn't have imagined, but that was definitely the case for Peter Fonda, who sadly died this week from lung cancer at the age of 79. Son of Henry Fonda and brother of Jane Fonda, Peter became a counterculture icon through Easy Rider, which he produced, co-wrote and of course starred in Easy Rider, which has become an all time American classic truly defying the era in which it took place. Besides that, he was also nominated for an Oscar for Ulee's Gold, and continued to star in movies like 3:10 to Yuma, The Hired Hand (which he also directed), and Boondock Saints II. His icon status was well before my time, but I can admire the fact that he continued to act for pretty much his whole life. We wish his family nothing but the best in this difficult time

       

      STICKMAN: This is someone I never really connected with due to my age, but as someone reasonably well versed in film and pop culture, can massively appreciate his importance. Easy Rider especially is some landmark cinema.


      MADHERO: Absolutely. My first introduction to Peter Fonda was in GTA: San Andreas as The Truth. He always was ready to remind and take the piss out of his role in Easy Rider. He even appeared in Wild Hogs for god's sake.


      LARRY: Yeah, hard to really overstate the importance of Easy Rider period. Was a landmark film that changed the way cinema was perceived at a time when big-budget musicals were sorta all the rage. Seeing a low-budget, ideologically progressive movie take over was a huge deal, and it was largely thanks to Fonda's work.


      MADHERO: Yeah. I think Easy Rider felt "real" in a time when a lot of movies we're still these grand spectacles that didn't really reflect that was going on. But besides that, he was also a great actor. He's phenomenal in Ulee's Gold.


      STICKMAN: Nowdays, films that deal with reality are part of the cinematic furniture.


      LARRY: It's funny though because he actually did The Wild Angels before Easy Rider, in 1966. And that film, plus Easy Rider, really cemented his image with the motorcycle. Both films really pushed the 70's countercultural movement, both from Fonda.


      MADHERO: The original Captain America, at least the first one on screen.


      STICKMAN: A lot to remember him by.


      MADHERO: Once again we wish his family nothing but the best. RIP.


      LARRY: Say hey to Henry for me. RIP Peter Fonda.


      RIP RICHARD WILLIAMS

      rabbitGettyImages-183133105.jpg

      Unfortunately, it's time for some sad news from the world of animation.  Richard Williams, the Oscar winning artist most well known for his groundbreaking work on the live action/animated hybrid 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' has died at the age of 86. Although for many he was predominately known for bringing Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit and other characters to life, he also provided animated work for parts of the Pink Panther movies, Charge of the Light Brigade and the original 60s spoof take on Casino Royale.


      For animation/film enthusiasts he was perhaps more infamous for his failed passion project 'The Thief and the Cobbler', a film that entered production in 1964, before finally being released in an unfinished fashion in 1993...the project in its full form never managing to be finished in his lifetime. His final film was the animated short 'Prologue', which was Oscar nominated and rather ambitiously (and ultimately futilely) was touted as just the beginning of a larger project. Sadly that's another film he will never get to see completed. Richard Williams was a man known for his meticulous attention to detail and constant strive for improvement, even up to the end. With his 'Animator's Survival Tool Kit' book continuing to teach and inspire younger animators to this day, and his finished works still remaining a staggering achievement, there's no doubt his legacy will continue on for a long time.



      MADHERO: This is something you know is coming but still makes you go "oh no" when it happens. A real pioneer and then some.

       

      STICKMAN: Yeah, even when I saw him at Encounters a few years ago, presenting his last film, he seemed like someone who didn't even think about the idea that his time might be coming up. No idea how far into his latest film he got before the end.


      LARRY: Caught some of "Prologue" released on Twitter and god damn was it something. Beautifully hand drawn, frame by frame.


      STICKMAN: Seeing that shit on the big screen was pretty mind blowing.


      MADHERO: The guy was massive into detail. Even with something as abstract like The Thief and the Cobbler, which took god knows how long to finish.


      STICKMAN: Or not finish, as it were. What amazed me when I saw him was how little he seemed to consider himself this titan of animation, he lined up and introduced himself with all the students and budding filmmakers at the start of the screening, as if we needed to be introduced...and he took every film as a learning experience rather than a sign of his mastery of the genre.


      MADHERO: The guy was a slave to his own perfectionism, but you can't say it didn't lead to some amazing results. Even if he'd like it to have been Thief and the Cobbler, his animation work on Roger Rabbit is probably what people remember from him the most.


      LARRY: Roger Rabbit still holds up today. It's sensational.


      MADHERO: Fun fact, he was also the voice of Droopy in Roger Rabbit. His Pink Panther work is also great stuff, but that's what you can say about almost all his work


      STICKMAN: And we can add a mean Droopy impression to his roster of talents, apparently. A talented but humble man, he will be missed.


      MADHERO: One of the greats in animation. RIP


      LARRY: His animation was truly iconic. Always sad to lose a legend. All the best to his family and friends during this time.


      ----------

      MADHERO: Alright, now to bring our respects to Richard Williams in the only way we know how: by reviewing a new animated movie. The original Angry Birds movie sure was.... a thing. i actually never ended up seeing cause I'm way past the point of Angry Birds being something I pay attention to, and also some of the weird anti immigration messages it contained for.... reasons. But hey, it was successful and now here we are with the sequel, which Stickman actually went and saw for us cause.... yeah why actually?


      STICKMAN: Oy vey, I'm sorry Mr Williams, I didn't plaaaan this.


      LARRY: Oh, Sticky...


      STICKMAN: I didn't have to paaaay to watch it, and I mean, those reviews? Pretty surprising, as of now it's the highest rated video game movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes.


      MADHERO: O yeah, it is. Suck on that, Detective Pikachu. So yeah, how are the wacky adventures of the red bird, the fast one and.... bomb?


      REVIEW

      THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2

      DIRECTOR: Thurop van Orman (Camp Lazlo, Marvelous Midadventures of Flapjack)

      STARRING: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Rachel Bloom, Awkafina, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez

      SYNOPSIS: The Birds (Sudeikis, Gad, McBride) and Bad Piggies (Hader, Brown) have a comical war that seemingly does not end until a mysterious purple bird named Zeta (Jones) threatens them all with her own plans by cryokinetic technology. To avoid a frozen fate, the Birds and Pigs forge an uneasy alliance.

      STICKMAN: Short story, it sucks...long story? Wellll...I saw the first Angry Birds when it came out on DVD. It wasn't very good, so I thought that was me done with the Angry Birds films, even when the sequel got greenlit. HOWEVER...those early reviews started coming out, touting it as a massive improvement on the first...they're still in the mid 70%s on Rotten Tomatoes as we speak...so...with my Unlimited Card in hand I gave it a shot, and god damn did it let me down.


      angry-birds-2-esc550_comp_s3d_lf_v17_mkt

      It's just...IT'S JUST THE SAME AS THE FIRST BLOODY ONE. EXCEPT STRUCTURALLY WORSE. The first one's premise fit into that of the video game franchises mantra pretty well. This time around? Got some random ass villain nobody cares about, with stupid motivations, they repeat the same "teamwork/friends are what are important" moral of the first film but now without the angry part....but don't use their bird powers all that much this time. The marketing gimmick was that the birds and pigs have teamed up...does that go anywhere? No, it's just an excuse to show off jiggling green ass a bunch. The story is nonsensical, jokes come first, and they are never good jokes. Every 5 seconds a pop song is played, the same pop songs you've heard in every other crap animated kids movie...they do Baby Sharks, they do dabbing...AGHH. It's bad, like...I could go on for a while, but it's bad. Bad in the same ways as the first film, but now without any narrative cohesion to work with it. If this ends up the highest reviewed video game movie of all time? Fuck me.


      MADHERO: So what you're saying this is a great followup for Sony Animation after Into the 

      Spider-Verse


      STICKMAN: Oh yes, a surefire Oscar winner.


      LARRY: Yeah I saw the first and it wasn't very good. Can't imagine it being better if you just bring the same mixture for a second helping.


      STICKMAN: It's exactly the same, except now there's some eagle on an ice island being evil for no reason.


      MADHERO: I'm looking at the voice cast and holy shit that's big. Any character/voice that stands out?


      STICKMAN: No, not really. Unless we're talking annoying-wise, in which case Yellow continues to be a repeat offender.


      MADHERO: That applies Josh Gad's voice work in general though. Surely there's something to like though, otherwise it wouldn't have those mostly positive reviews.


      STICKMAN: As with the first movie, the animation is very nice, lots of colour and expressive detail. They brought the game characters to life in ways that clearly link them to their original forms but work as fully animated characters also. But like I say, the first movie had that. So...no. I think critics were all drunk when they saw this film.


      LARRY: Probably. I'd aim to be.


      MADHERO: Or....you could just have a different opinion and how we react to art is subjective, but that's probably too deep a thought fora review of Angry Birds 2. Anything else you want to get out of your system in the wrap up?


      angrybirds2_teaser-580x326.jpg

      STICKMAN: I just...it makes me question the snobby stance on video game movies in general. If this is considered the best, why were films like Tomb Raider and Detective Pikachu recieved so differently? Why are bad, but entertaining films  like Resident Evil and Silent Hill so poorly received in retrospect? Why, is my main question. Hhhhooo. I'm done now.


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

      MADHERO: Well that didn't really work out, but maybe our second review can pick things up, as we go in a decidedly more artsy route. Richard Linklater makes a movie just about once a year and returns once again with an adaptation of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which I never read but heard is a best seller and pretty alright. With a cast that includes Cate Blanchett as the titular Bernadette, as well as a cast with the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer and Kristen Wiig, surely its a great success that we can all enjoy. Right, Larry?


      LARRY: Hm…. Well this turned into quite a downer episode, didn't it...


      STICKMAN: Uh oh.


      MADHERO: More like Where'd You Go, Good Mood. But anyway, tell us more about this movie then.


      WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

      DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater (Everybody Wants Some, Last Flag Flying)

      STARRING: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, Kristen Wiig, James Urbaniak, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne

      SYNOPSIS: A loving mom (Blanchett) becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.

      LARRY: This is probably one of my least favorite Linklater films yet, and that's saying a lot because I'm honestly one of his biggest fans. Finding an odd middle-ground between his slice-of-life mood projects and his quirky oddball comedies, This movie doesn't seem to know what the fuck it is or wants to be. It's filled to the brim with bizarre choices, from absurd side-plots to meaningless voiceover narration and out-of-nowhere celebrity cameos. So many scenes feel meandering, like nobody went to the script and grabbed their red pen. Like, dialogue that feels written for a comedy that’s spoken like a drama.It's just so confusing to see a prominent filmmaker like Linklater struggle to tonally direct a scene, it's just a mess. It's also shot rather lifelessly, looking like a soap opera with some modest stock footage thrown in despite taking place in FUCKING ANTARCTICA.


      27f24db6-f731-4aca-8fd3-1653fb6fe06e-whe

      The only saving graces here are the performances; Cate Blanchett is giving all she can with a script that fails to really capture her character in a way the audience can grasp, Billy Crudup is either giving the weirdest or most nuanced performance of his career (it's hard to tell), Kristen Wiig is the only part of this movie that tonally masters comedy and drama, and Emma Nelson is a strong newcomer as Blanchett's teenage daughter. But...yeah, this comedy is unintentionally one of many errors, largely because Linklater doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on anything here. Poor direction, undercooked writing, and cinematography that looks far more lower-budget than it actually is. It's a sad day to see Cate Blanchett wasted in a film, yet here we are.


      MADHERO: Getting big Secret Life of Walter Mitty vibes from this description


      LARRY: Walter Mitty looked SIGNIFICANTLY better than this film. And I barely remember shit about it.


      STICKMAN: Where does this rank with Boyhood on the 'I wussed out of seeing it because it's too long'  scale of quality.


      LARRY: The film is certainly too long, not Boyhood long per se. I think I still like Boyhood least, but it sure is a competition.


      MADHERO: Damn, I still really like Boyhood, but that's a take for another day. At least now we know its not your least favorite Linklater movie. Is there anything positive that stands out for you besides the performances?


      LARRY: I mean...it's funny at times? Certain moments land. And a certain destructive scene is quite excellently done. I just can't tell half the time if I should be laughing or not, some plot elements of this film are so fucking bizarre it's hard to know if they proofread this shit.


      STICKMAN: If it's the destruction of Antarctica, I think that's just reality playing out in the background, Larry.


      LARRY: Nope, much smaller scale.


      STICKMAN: Ah, Greenland.


      MADHERO: Oof. I thought we were done with the politics. Is there anything else you wanna mention in the wrap-up?


      BERN.jpg

      LARRY: Nah, not really. Save your money. Or get this on VOD and take a shot every time something doesn't make sense. You'll be dead within the hour.


      STICKMAN: Go see Angry Birds 2 instead. Or..hm.


      -----------

      MADHERO: Well then, this is probably our most negative reviews section in quite some time. But luckily, there are some other movies coming out as well that are supposedly a lot better. Maybe they can give this last days of summer ep a boost


      LARRY: Wow, I’m is just gonna be one hell of a negative nancy.


      STICKMAN: There's gonna be shaaaaarks, Larry.


      MOVIES

      GOOD BOYS

      DIRECTOR: Gene Stupnitsky (directorial debut)

      STARRING: Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, Keith L. Williams, Will Forte, Molly Gordon, Lil Rel Howery

      SYNOPSIS: Three sixth grade boys (Tremblay, Noon, Williams) ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party.

      LARRY: HAHAHAHA THE KID SAID FUCK.


      MADHERO: To be fair, its funnier when said in Jacob Tremblay's voice


      STICKMAN: What if the child found gimp mask and ho ho ho. But then also hidden emotional depth. Cue distant Seth Rogan laugh.


      MADHERO: Supposedly its actually pretty good and a lot of fun and with heart. Kids not understanding adult things is maybe not as original a premise as they think, but as long as its fun, I don't mind.


      LARRY: Yeah I'm hearing some good things, but this just isn't really my jam. I'm not really into R-rated vulgar comedies, they always seem lazy.


      STICKMAN: I wonder if they smoke the weed. Ahu hu hu hu


      MADHERO: Also I find it funny they're still advertising using Superbad when some of the kids probably weren't even born when that movie came out, which.....is a weird thought that makes me feel extremely old.


      STICKMAN: I remember when Superbad was cool and I wish I didn't.


      47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED

      DIRECTOR: Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down, The Strangers: Prey at Night)

      STARRING: Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, Davi Santos

      SYNOPSIS: Four teenage girls (Nelisse, Foxx, Tju, Stallone) scuba diving in a ruined underwater city quickly find themselves in a watery hell as their adventure turns to horror when they learn they are not alone in the submerged caves.

      STICKMAN: Great Whites are the true danger in society.


      MADHERO: I thought we agreed to stop getting all political. But pretty much yeah


      LARRY: The trailer for this movie looks so ridiculous.


      STICKMAN: This isn't the Street Sharks movie we wanted.


      MADHERO: They aren't in the street smh. They're in some weird temple cause they need to find a reason to stay down near the sharkos


      STICKMAN: This, like the original seems to have gone down well better with genre junkies rather than critics...which as we all know spells biiiiiig money...wait...never mind.


      MADHERO: More of a pygmy shark than a great white box office wise.

       

      ANGEL HAS FALLEN

      DIRECTOR: Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch, Shot Caller)

      STARRING: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston, Michael Landes, Tim Blake Nelson, Nick Nolte

      SYNOPSIS: Mike Banning (Butler) finds himself framed for an assassination attempt on President Allan Trumbull (Freeman). Pursued by his own agency and the FBI, Banning turns to unlikely allies (Nolte) in a race against time to clear his name and uncover the real terrorist threat.

      STICKMAN: More of this I guess.


      MADHERO: Gerard Butler is back on his bullshit once again, though I don't think he never not at it.


      STICKMAN: He's one bad movie away from joining the cast of Fast & Furious.


      LARRY: It's crazy how under the radar this film has been. I remember when the marketing was insane for the first film.


      STICKMAN: It's gone down the Taken 3 route of NOW HE'S THE ONE UNDER ATTACK. DUND UND UNDDUNDUND


      MADHERO: At least now it probably comes from within the White House framing him so no Gerard Butler yelling at faceless goons to go back to Fuckheadistan or whatever he said.


      LARRY: Ouch, I forgot about that.


      STICKMAN: Watch some RACISM in 4DX. THE ULTIMATE CINEMA EXPERIENCE.


      READY OR NOT

      DIRECTOR: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (V/H/S)

      STARRING: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Kristian Bruun

      SYNOPSIS: A bride's (Weaving) wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws (O’Brien, Czerny, MacDowell) force her to take part in a terrifying game.

      MADHERO: Ok, this one actually looks like a lot of fun


      STICKMAN: This one's supposed to be really good, which is a shame since it's not out HERE FOR OVER ANOTHER DAMN MONTH.


      LARRY: Yeah the trailer for this really surprised me. I'm definitely gonna try to seek it out.


      STICKMAN: It looks like the spiritual sequel to You're Next.


      MADHERO: It has some real You're Next vibes though it definitely seems to lean even more into being surpremely goofy.


      STICKMAN: So did You're Next in a lot of ways. But this one seems more...audacious and gory. Which is finnnne by me.


      MADHERO: It played really well at festivals but it seems perfect for that type of atmosphere. That doesn't always translate to when it actually releases, but at least from the trailer it looks like a really fun time.


      STICKMAN: I'm already counting down the days until I find out my cinema isn't showing it.


      LARRY: Yeah there's a screening in NY on Wednesday. Q&A with the directors and cast and all that. Might give it a last minute whirl.


      STICKMAN: Larry. I stab at thee.


      BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

      DIRECTOR: Gurinder Chadha (It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Viceroy’s House)

      STARRING: Vivek Kaira, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir, Neil Williams

      SYNOPSIS: In 1987, a teenager (Kaira) learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.

      LARRY: This one also surprisingly got to me. Looks like it's got a lot of heart, I dunno.


      STICKMAN: Another one of these. It seems only like....Yesterday...that...aheh.


      MADHERO: Sure, just because they're  both British films with leads of Indian/Paki descent and feature plenty of music of iconic artists doesn't mean they're exactly the same, Sticky. I'm only partially joking, since they do very different things with both.


      LARRY: To be fair, the iconic artists in question are very different.


      STICKMAN: This one has...worse music? But then it at least has the actual music instead of awkward covers.


      MADHERO: That's up for debate. I'm always down for some Springsteen. It does remind me a lot of Bend it Like Beckham, which I guess makes sense since its from the same director.


      LARRY:  I dunno, It just looks like infectiously fun. Could use a little bit of that these days.


      MADHERO: Cause no one is allowed happiness in this world….But hey, at least there’s MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


      -----------

      LARRY: ye...yeahhhh yayy


      STICKMAN: OH SHIT, THINGS WE ACTUALLY LIKED!?


      MADHERO: Yeah, I assume you also saw stuff you liked, right? Can't imagine going with the stuff you've reviewed after all of that, but you never know. You did see stuff you actually liked, right?


      STICKMAN: Get set for more furious avians.


      MADHERO: O dear. What enraged fowls appear in your Movie of the Week, Sticky?


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      STICKMAN: Well...if by enraged you mean Spanish...and by fowls you mean retrospective life drama...welllllll....I was lucky enough to get the chance to see an early (/likely only near me)  screening of Pain & Glory the other day, the latest from well respected Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar who...I'll be honest I've seen nothing else from (My bad). This was billed as a fictionalised exploration of the directors own childhood, youth and ultimately old age, and regardless of how closely it follows his own experiences, it makes for some compelling and engrossing...if not oddly paced viewing.



      For starters, the film is bloody beautiful, bursting with colour and light in practically every frame. The performances are all top notch, with Antonio Banderas in prime form as an aging, ailing director looking back on the various defining moments of his life as he looks ahead to his final years of life. It's not a sentimental piece, instead coming from a place of quiet melancholy and often quite a bit of comedy, with his various experiences both in the  past and present, be they to do with his sexuality, career, health or anything else all being quite compelling. If I had a major complaint it's that the films pacing is really quite off...jumping around all over the place without much thought for the speed or order in which things should go. It's a pretty major complaint about an otherwise excellent film, but it's still worth checking out.


      MADHERO: Good to hear that Almodovar's still got it.


      STICKMAN: Or in my case, that he has it ...at all? MUBI are doing a retrospective on his films so maybe it's time to play catch up.


      LARRY: Criterion also has a collection I've been meaning to watch. Women on the Verge is a comedy CLASSIC.


      STICKMAN: That's coming up in a couple weeks on MUBI, but...sadly, not The Skin I Live In. The only one I've heard of. ANYHOW, this film.


      MADHERO: I'm more of a Volver type of guys. His range of films is quite exlectic to say the least, so I can understand why he now does what's almost a biopic of sorts, or at the very least some self reflection


      LARRY: Yeah this is coming to NYFF so I'm hoping to catch it then.


      STICKMAN: Got the jump on you and your New York BULLSHIT this time, Larry. TAKE THAT.


      MADHERO: O dang. Have anything to counter with that, Larry?


      LARRY: I kinda did before. The whole "Ready or Not" thing. OH YOU MEAN A MOVIE


      STICKMAN: HRnNGhsomETHingshitIbet.


      LARRY: So my MOTW is the adaptation of "Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark" from André Øvredal and Guillermo Del Toro, which...to be honest I found to be a fairly average movie at best. But I wanted to talk about it here because what I did like I absolutely LOVED, and that is the excellent creature design from GDT and his previous collaborators Spectral Motion. Good golly gosh what they accomplish here is excellent stuff, bringing Stephen Gammell's original illustrations to life with such accuracy and precision that it breathes new life into them.


      Despite how it may appear, each one is practically based in performance and prosthetics, with CGI done in post, but man do they sell each and every character. Even when the direction itself isn't anything to really ride home about, the monsters make it all worth it. Despite the film's overarching narrative leaving a lot to be desired, I'd still recommend this movie if you like monster movies, or have a particular attachment to the book, because it does the stories themselves plenty of justice.

       

      STICKMAN: Oh boy oh boy. Spookems.


      MADHERO: I saw the Film Insider video on the creature design and was really impressed. The movie itself....hasn't come out here yet


      LARRY: Yeah dude that video rocks. That's what inspired my love for them even more.


      STICKMAN: It's not out here yet but I'm hopefully seeing it in the coming days. It's pretty amusing how it's an adult movie here and yet is aimed at younger audiences in Americuh.


      MADHERO: It still looks to me like a slightly scarier Goosebumps movie, which is totally fine.


      LARRY: It's definitely a lot scarier and more disturbing at times. That fuckin' scarecrow man...


      STICKMAN: I'm all about them practical spooky lads. Weird pudgy white lady in a corridor.


      LARRY: So, so good. She in particular fucked me up.


      MADHERO: All of the creature design looks rock solid. It looks like a fun haunted house ride


      STICKMAN: Speaking of fucked up, what's your movie of the week, Mad?


      MADHERO: Well damn, when you put it like that. I went with something nostalgic and decided to take a look at the Nickelodeon movies that were dumped on Netflix cause Nick had no real idea what to do with them. Out of these two, I'll go and talk about Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling, if only cause I actually watched Rocko back as a kid, and something completely missed the boat on Invader Zim, which I'm not sure ever aired here or if it just completely skated me by.


      Anyway, Static Cling was a trip and a half, especially as someone who watched but only vaguely remembers the original series. From the pitch, I was kinda worry it was just going to be a lot of "hey look at these modern times, haha gritty reboots and new iphones" jokes, but there's actually a story going on that tackles the topic of change as something that's necessary, ineviatable and something we need to learn to accept. The fact that this comes from a revival movie of an mid 90s tv show is an irony not lost on the creators, as it consistently makes fun of its own existence. And yes, its worth pointing out that it has a major storyline involving a character being trans and its handled surprisingly well. While some of the grossout humor didn't really land for me, I nonetheless had a pretty good time returning to O-Town with Rocko and the gang.


      STICKMAN: I also saw Rocko say trans rights. I feel pretty much the same, the gross-out gags didn't land, they never do for me, but the rest was a fun blast from the past with a nice panache of progressive narrative.


      LARRY: What a surprise mic drop.


      MADHERO: The cynical part of me says that part probably was one of the reasons Nick dropped it to Netflix, but there's of course the fact a revival of an old property has limited appeal.


      STICKMAN: I am almost 100% sure Nickelodeon wussed out of having a trans character on their channel. The same channel that dropped Korra to their on demand service the same season it was revealed she was gonna be in a relationship with another woman.


      LARRY: I watched a few episodes of Rocko when I was young, not enough to really get into it. So this sorta flew by me.


      STICKMAN: I watched it when I was a teen and I enjoyed it, this was a fun revival.


      MADHERO: I imagine you were more of a Camp Lazlo guy, Larry, which was from the same creator


      LARRY: Um....I did watch some of that too. I was really more of a Foster's guy.


      MADHERO: I enjoyed returning to that world and the weird esoteric style really lends itself to HD. Its a really nice looking production.


      STICKMAN: I thought it looked a little rough, but not enough to spoil the fun. Once again Netflix scoops up that which other studios are too afraid to release themselves...for...numerous reasons.


      --------

      MADHERO: Alright, I think that's going to about cover it. The summer movie season will officially end and Clown Season is gonna be into full effect. Get your balloons and practice your dances, cause dat boi Pennywise is about to return


      STICKMAN: Pennywise to dab for maximum horror. SEE YOU THEN.


      LARRY: The tongue that could stretch for days.


      MADHERO: The world is not ready, but we better be.

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 140

      1 month ago

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      MADHERO: Hey everyone, we're at the tail end of the summer, and we can all agree that for anyone non-Disney its been a fairly barren. But if anything can run over the mouse, its the raw masculine energy provided by both Hobbs AND Shaw. Just Hobbs would've been enough, but WITH Shaw? In this economy? Howee., that testosterone is strong.


      STICKMAN: It's only been barren financially, there's been some GOOD SHIT,  Y'KNOW. And also Hobbs & Shawwww.


      LARRY: The Farewell is making decent bank, that's all I care about.


      MADHERO: But none of them are making a billion dollars so they're all failures in Hollywood's eyes. But hey, we've got plenty of trailers to talk about today, so that could provide plenty of competition


      STICKMAN: Billion dollar grosser The Farewell.

      NEWS

      NETFLIX RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR MARTIN SCORSESE’S THE IRISHMAN. WILL PREMIERE AT THE NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

      As festival season continues to get geared up, we are now getting our first looks at major awards contenders coming our way. One of these is "The Irishman," the hotly anticipated reunion of director Martin Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Not only was the film announced to premiere as the Opening Night Film at the New York Film Festival, which is speculated to announce its own lineup this coming week, but we got our first look with a snazzy teaser trailer. The film follows the life of Frank Sheeran, played by De Niro, and his rise as an infamous hitman. It particularly focuses on the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino, a labor union leader. And yeah, mafia shit ensues, Classic Scorsese.


      The trailer gives a lot to get excited about. The size and scope of it all really does show that Scorsese's $200 million budget is being put to good use: lots of big court and mob scenes, some good ol' fashioned gun violence, and our first look at the de-aging VFX the movie will implement so that it can look over Sheeran's entire life. Overall, it looks to have that classic Scorsese panache, and though the VFX aren't perfect, they still have time to tweak. Either way, I'm stoked to see Scorsese return to his mob movie ways and am also happy to see it getting a limited theatrical release before it hits Netflix in late 2019


      MADHERO: Netflix sure took its sweet time releasing this trailer but boy am I glad we finally got it


      STICKMAN: Lots of gangsters and old gangster actors. This is a Scorsrsrsese movie if ever I saw one. But where is the RAT I wonder.


      LARRY: Mmmmm this trailer was some goooooooood shit.


      MADHERO: Its funny cause its been a while we had a movie like that from him. I wanna say the last was The Departed and that was a while ago. The big thing is obviously partnering up with De Niro for the first time in almost 25 years.


      STICKMAN: Bad Grandpa himself.


      LARRY: And Pesci coming out of retirement. Plus De Niro and Pacino in one film. Can you believe Scorsese has never directed Pacino before?

       

      STICKMAN: I can't actually. It's no HEAT, but it's something. I dunno, this looks good, but the trailer didn't tingle my loins too much.


      MADHERO: It definitely feels like a Scorsese movie, albeit one on a insane budget. The CGI still needs some work, but they've got time.


      STICKMAN: That CGI was a real oof, so yeah...iron that one out, chaps. This is probably Netflix's highest profile feature release, so...yeah. Lot to live up to.


      MADHERO: They accidentally reversed the process and made them look older


      LARRY: Wild stuff. Much like De Niro's digital hairline.


      FOX SEARCHLIGHT RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR TAIKA WAITITI’S JOJO RABBIT. WILL PREMIERE AT TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

      Since his mainstream breakthrough with Thor Ragnarok, Taika Waititi sure has been a busy boy. He's been working on the Akira adaptation, is attached to some capacity to Flash Gordon, and will direct the new Thor as well. However, we knew that his next project was gonna be a return to smaller scale satire in the form of Jojo Rabbit. Details had been scarce other than that it was gonna be an anti-hate satire, and that Taika Waititi himself is gonna play Hitler. Not the actual Hitler though, but the imaginary friend of an 10 year old boy named Jojo (no relation to the Joestars or Shabbadoo), who's fascist ideals are challenged when his mom (Scarlett Johansson) hides a young Jewish girl in their house. The trailer looks fun, but will no doubt get real at some point as Waititi comedies usually do. Even Thor Ragnarok had a pretty big takedown on colonialism.


      Its also a part of the Toronto Film Festival lineup, and that's always one to watch cause the main Oscar contenders always tend to have their first show there. We already discussed Jojo Rabbit, but we now also know that Joker is gonna be there, which is interesting. Also there is James Mangold's Ford v FerrariJust Mercy starring Michael B. Jordan and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Shang Chi), the Harriet Tuffman and Judy Garland biopics, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Considering last year's Audience winner is Green Book, its definitely going to be one to watch this September.


      STICKMAN: That Taika, back at it again. Making Thor a lady and Hitler a future cult comedy icon.


      LARRY: Taika as Hitler is everything I could've never wanted yet now desperately need. The delivery? Aces.


      MADHERO: I know he wanted to do it cause he felt Hitler being played by a Polynesian Jew is a big fuck you, but I hope he finds the balance between making him buffoonish and unlikable, cause he's still, y'know, Hitler


      STICKMAN: Hitler was a bit of a twat.


      LARRY: I'm sure it's gonna be self-aware to a large degree.


      MADHERO: I do trust Waititi, since he's balanced comedy with some hard hitting emotion and messages before. I just find it funny that its also clearly being pushed as a awards contender by going to TIFF.


      STICKMAN: TIFF is pretty dope this year, not gonna lie. Wish it was in Bristol and not...Canada.


      LARRY: TIFF's lineup is AMAZING. I mayyyyyyy just raise up the money and go myself.


      MADHERO: Well it is called the Toronto Film Festival. Not the...TLondon Film Festival. I'll just have to see what my own festival will bring from the scraps.


      STICKMAN: Tmyhouse Film Festival here we come.


      ROBERT EGGERS’ THE LIGHTHOUSE GETS FIRST TRAILER AND RELEASE DATE

      When it comes to indie/arthouse movies in the 2010's, A24 is pretty much king. With a roster of talented directors having made their name through the studio, they've ended up with some high profile directorial follow-ups in recent years, just recently Ari Aster followed up Hereditary with Midsommar for them....and now comes the return of Robert Eggers, who previously exploded onto the indie horror scene with The Witch back in 2015, and is now teaming up with A24 once again with The Lighthouse, which finally got its first trailer, and US release date this week.


      Following on from its buzz worthy Cannes premiere, the film looks predictably crazy, and pulling no punches when it comes to putting artistic vision above mainstream appeal (Much like The Witch). Filmed in striking black and white, and seemingly in a 4:3 aspect ratio in addition, The Lighthouse sees Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson slowly unravel into madness when isolated together on a remote lighthouse island, with both seemingly having secrets begging for release. The trailer's great, frankly, promising a claustrophobic and surreal psychological thriller with two fantastic lead performances. The release date in the US is October 18th, just in time for Halloweeeeen...but it has no release date outside the States, at this point anyway. Here's hoping a European release is on the cards for October too.


      MADHERO: Well this looks like a fun ride for the whole family


      STICKMAN: More wholesome family fun from A24.


      LARRY: Shiver me fucking timbers.


      MADHERO: I'm just really digging Dafoe's live action version of The Sea Captain of the Simpsons    

      STICKMAN: Spill yer'beans. My only con on this film is...I can't watch it, not yet anyway.


      LARRY: This is ALSO gonna be at TIFF. And pray it'll be at NYFF.


      STICKMAN: Larry, why you hurt me so.


      LARRY: Tis not I, Sticky. Tis the movie festival gods that hurt you so.


      MADHERO: I do wonder if they're just going crazy from loneliness or if there's actually something going on. Maybe a certain black goat getting up to his old tricks


      STICKMAN: Please, PLEASE. BLACK PHILLIP RETURNS. I will take my POP Vinyl to the cinema.


      MADHERO: Or maybe he's been replaced by that octopus that Pattinson gets oddly conmfortable with. That's some Sinking City shit


      STICKMAN: The octopus turns into a goat and that's what makes Norman Osborn turn into the Green Goblin.


      UNIVERSAL RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR SAM MENDES (SKYFALL)’S WWI MOVIE 1917

      It's beginning to look a lot like World War I...why don't they hire me to write taglines? The world will never know. Anyway, this Christmas, Sam Mendes gave us a spicy trailer drop for his first directorial foray into non-Bond filmmaking since 2009, "1917." The story follows two soldiers on the British front as they are tasked to call off a planned attack. If they don't, 1,600 men will meet their end, one of them being their brother. So, running against the clock, the two must cross enemy lines and save their fellow soldiers.


      So, yeah, already got a solid conflict there, and the film looks to be as dynamically shot as that premise requires. You expect no less from Roger Deakins, who reunited with Mendes as the cinematographer for the film. And the credits only get more exciting. Thomas Newman provided the score, Krysty Wilson-Cairns co-wrote the script with Mendes (her second major upcoming project in Edgar Wright's "Last Night in SoHo"), and the cast looks amazing. Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden: all fine actors who are sure to bring gravitas to the film. So...yeah, this trailer is pretty dope (especially that long shot into the logo, damn), so consider me ready to see if 1917 can earn Universal some awards prestige this holiday.


      MADHERO: Must. Resist. Dunkirk comparison


      STICKMAN: I can't wait to have anxiety at the cinema all over again.


      LARRY: I fuckin loved Dunkirk so. Gimme more of it pls


      STICKMAN: Dunkirk is one of the best war movies I did see.


      MADHERO: I'm not sure Dunkirk was meant to give the experience of "hmm yes more of that please"


      LARRY: You know what I meeeeeeeeean.


      MADHERO: That said, this looks really good. The Deaks is back in full force.


      STICKMAN: Deakkkiinnns. Sorry, OSCAR winner Deakiinnns.


      LARRY: Any Deakins movie I will go see. LET'S GET HIM ANOTHERRRRR ONE


      MADHERO: Also nice to see that Sam Mendes is credited for Skyfall and not Spectre. The sooner 

      we erase Spectre from history, the better. A bigger war crime than WW1, that's for sure.

      LARRY: What a SCALDING take. But....I can't help but agree.


      LONG AWAITED SEQUEL TO ZOMBIELAND, DOUBLE TAP, GETS FIRST TRAILER

      After literally a decade of waiting(?) on from the original, sleeper hit comedy horror's release, Zombieland is getting a sequel in the form of Double Tap, and we got our first look at it this week ahead of its October 18th (Yep, both my story's films come out on the same day) release. You can question if we even needed a sequel to Zombieland all you want, but it's coming, and somehow they got the entire main cast back again, many of which you'd feel were now above such a project, but apparently not! Woody Harrellson is also here.


      The film looks...fine? The trailer doesn't really offer a lot of laughs despite trying reasonably hard to do so, and it threatens to teeter over into overdoing what made the original so oddly charming, much as previous sequels to surprise oddball genre comedies (Kingsman, Kick Ass) have done in recent years. Mainly I just question the remaining interest in this 'franchise', which already failed to spin-off into a TV show sans main cast many years back. But...given the 10 year gap, there may be a unseen nostalgic angle for some people, which yes, makes me feel ...reaaallly old. Still, let's hope it provides at least some degree of the same level of heart and fun that the original did, and gore...lots of gore would be nice too.


      MADHERO: Finally, the sequel to that gif of Woody Harrellson drying his tears with dollar bills. I'd either take that or a 2 hour film of him watching Wimbledon.


      STICKMAN: He showed more emotion there with his beer than I've ever seen.


      LARRY: Wait aside, this looks like the same ol' fun we got from the first. I also like how this isn't being given like world-ending stakes or some massive new plot, just some wacky adventures with the gang.


      MADHERO: But yeah, I'm honestly more surprised that this is a thing, considering how Eisenberg and Stone have grown as actors and status. Obviously the first film is still really well liked, but 10 years is a looooong time


      LARRY: I dunno man, sometimes ya gotta let 'em have fun.


      STICKMAN: The Eisenbergassance is officially over.


      LARRY: I'm sure after prestige pic after prestige pic, Stone wanted a chill paycheck.


      STICKMAN: Amazing Spider-Man 3...oh...wait.


      MADHERO: She also wanted a paycheck for Movie 43 and look where that got her? Multiple Oscar nominations and one win.


      LARRY: We don't discuss that abomination


      MADHERO: You're right. I'm sorry. I went too far


      LARRY: I'm also happy Eisenberg is probably in his first mainstream big-movie since....well.


      STICKMAN: Justice League post-credits, son.


      RIP RUTGER HAUER

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      Sadly, we got some sad news this past week, that legendary Dutch actor Rutger Hauer passed away after a short illness at the age of 75. Hauer would have plenty of different avenues throughout his career, starting off in the late 60s in the childrens series Floris alongside director Paul Verhoeven. Both would move on to bigger and better things, with Soldier of Orange and Turkish Delight becoming huge hits in and outside the Netherlands. However, Hauer would also find his breakthrough when he moved to Hollywood, with his obvious breakthrough role being Roy Batty in the original Blade Runner. He brought a gravitas and sadness to that part that could've been lost under another actor, but not under Hauer. He would continue to work throughout the end of his life in movies both big and small. As a Dutch person, you don't really see many actors breakthrough to the upper echelon of Hollywood, and that's something that Rutger Hauer achieved. He'll be deeply missed and we wish his family the best. Rust zacht.


      STICKMAN: This is a real shame, one of the great character actors, with one of the best sci-fi monologues in history.


      LARRY: He truly is a stand-out in Blade Runner.


      MADHERO: He really was. Whenever you saw him , it was a nice surprise. I remember thinking that when I saw him in Batman Begins.


      STICKMAN: He was fun in  Hobo with a Shotgun also.


      MADHERO: Yeah. He wasn't afraid to go into the B-movie route. He's appeared in plenty of weird stuff. I do highly recommend his early Dutch stuff with Verhoeven. There are some genuinely great films in there.


      LARRY: Yeah his career seems long and vast, but he never didn't give his all no matter what performance it was.


      STICKMAN: He always seemed like someone who could've done more mainstream roles but enjoyed the stranger ones more.


      MADHERO: Yeah, he had a few starring roles (go check out Blind Fury, which is a pretty fun late 80s action movie with him in the lead) but often he was used at the baddy, and was we saw in Blade Runner, he did that really well.


      STICKMAN: That ending stuff is some legendary shit, it's a shame to hear he's gone.


      MADHERO: As always, we wish his family nothing but the best. Rest in peace.


      LARRY: Rest in peace Mr. Hauer. May you forever be fondly remembered.


      --------

      MADHERO: Alright, now its time to talk cars that go vroom vroom, as well as the beefy men that drive said cars. The Fast and Furious franchise sure has come a long way since Vin Diesel tried to steal some DVD players, and now we've got our first ever spin-off following former heels Hobbs and Shaw as they go and stop Idris Elba from going all Thanos on the world.....boy we really did come a long way.


      STICKMAN: Keep that punch counter going lads, we don't want to appear too weak on screen.


      LARRY: You can just....feel the testosterone and motor oil pervade each frame.


      STICKMAN: The heterosexuality is palpable.


      MADHERO: Sticky's the only one of us who's seen it. So tell us, Sticky, how does WILD SPEED: SUPER COMBO stack up compared to the usual F&F fare, and do we find out where Mama left the guns?


      STICKMAN: All this and more will...not be answered in my review, don't wanna spoil the big Mama gun surprise, do we.

      REVIEW

      FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS AND SHAW


      DIRECTOR: David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2)

      STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzalez, Roman Reigns

      SYNOPSIS: Lawman Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and outcast Deckard Shaw (Statham) form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

      STICKMAN: I was kinda excited for this one, dumb action films can be great, and this had all the makings of a fun time at the movies. Hobbs & Shaw was a chance for the series to break free of its Vin Diesel & Faeamiealy bondage and do something a little different. With Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson facing down an superpowered Idris Elba? That sounds awesome. In the end...it's merely...fine. A disappointingly adequate action spectacle.


      The main issue is that it's not as fun as it should be. Yeah, the cast are all having a great time sassing off on each other and pulling goofy faces, but it's all internalised fun, very little of it extends to the audience...you may crack a smile every now and then, but it's not the comedy romp it clearly thinks it is. Story-wise...it's total nonsense shit, but what do you expect from F&F. They usually back that up with some suitably stupid but fun set pieces. Hobbs & Shaw...has a lot of punching? Lots of guns and punching and muscle, but not a lot of elaborate stunts. Things blow up, Idris Elba zooms around on a CGI nonsense motorbike...but it's not very impressive. The last act is the most fun, stupid as hell, but in a good way...but it takes a long time to reach that point. The cast is all perfectly game, Idris Elba is having great fun as the villain, but...it's just...fine...it's fine...it's nothing special. And it could've been, which makes this a shame.


      MADHERO: So have the trailers really shown the whole movie or are theye still some fun surprises to be had?


      STICKMAN: You've seen everything except the cameos.


      LARRY: Booooooooo


      MADHERO: With David Leitch as the director, how are the action sequences? Any John Wick/Atomic Blonde style throwdowns?


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      STICKMAN: If the virus was in the trailer then you've seen everything. Honestly? No. There's a bit at the end which is fun in a plulpy slow-mo way, but there's no real creative use of fighting choreography or ambitious stuntwork, a lot of the big things are all CGI. It's filmed well for the most part, it's just...uninspired.


      LARRY: Sounds like what the trailers looked like at the onset.


      STICKMAN: The trailers are the film but without the brisk running time.


      MADHERO: Obviously we know Johnson and Statham have good chemistry after Fate of the Furious? How do some of the newcomers like Vanessa Kirby do? And how likely is the chance we'll get Hobbs & Shaw & Brixton next?


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      STICKMAN: Johnson and Statham have good chemistry but it does wear out its welcome after 2 hours and 15 minutes of the exact same routine.  Kirby is a fun third wheel to that dynamic but obviously gets less to do in the quip department. Idris is a lot of fun as a completely, transparently evil superhuman...guy...although his straight routine doesn't have good chemistry with the two leads.


      His superhuman powers of note boil down to magic eye vision and a bullshit motorbike, the super strength and endurance means  nothing when Dwayne Johnson can jump off a building and survive unscathed.


      LARRY: Are there any glimmers of hope?


      STICKMAN: It's not terrible, it's just disappointingly average. The 3rd act is a fun time, that's when the film actually tries something interesting, and has an elaborate stunt sequence or two. If the last act had been the way the whole film was, we'd be having a very different review.


      MADHERO: Anything you wanna mention in your wrap up? Is it still worth seeing in theaters?


      STICKMAN: I feel like if you're gonna see a film like this, it's worth seeing on the big screen, it's a hollow blockbuster movie that's all spectacle and no substance...so...yeah, see that on the biggest, loudest screen possible if you want to see it at all. Also...humour is subjective, I felt worn out and unconnected to the 2+ hour comedy actor sass-off but, maybe you won't be? If that gels with you, you're gonna have a really fun time I'd imagine. My time was fine...it was just...a v e r a g e . Get set for some epic GREGGS shots in fake London, also.  Shout out to Greggs, free sausage rolls please.


      ----------

      MADHERO: So obviously a truly life-changing experience, and at least some good suasageroll content. I wonder if any of our other films can deliver on that.


      STICKMAN: All films need Greggs in them or I walk.


      MOVIES

      DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD


      DIRECTOR: James Bobin (Muppets Most Wanted, Alice Through the Looking Glass)

      STARRING: Isabella Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo, Jaff Wahlberg, Benicio del Toro

      SYNOPSIS: Dora (Moner), a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents (Pena, Longoria) and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold.

      MADHERO: Alright, keep it in your pants, everyone. Don't want to get caught being weirdly horny about the Dora the Explorer movie.


      STICKMAN: So horny for Swiper. Get ready for epic farting quicksand everyone.


      LARRY: I'm more concerned about Dora's knife... You get too horny, she'll just cut you.


      MADHERO: Plus she's got a monkey voiced by Danny Trejo and you know you can't mess with that.


      STICKMAN: They drew the line at the talking backpack though.


      MADHERO: Yeah that's unfortunate, but hopefully the Map will show up. Otherwise, yeah this looks like a pretty basic family adventure movie.


      LARRY: If the Map doesn't show up. TIME. WASTED.

       

      STICKMAN: If she doesn't point at the camera and ask me to help, and then I get stuck in farting quicksand. What's the point.


      MADHERO: I'll just wait for Blue's Clues to show up and we'll get the Nick Jr Cinematic Universe.


      LARRY: Brilliant


      MADHERO: The Paw Patrol movie alone will make a billion dollars


      SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK


      DIRECTOR: Andre Ovredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe)

      STARRING: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Javier Botet

      SYNOPSIS: A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives.

      MADHERO: Get ready for some spoops, including spiders coming out of your shit and some zombie looking for his toe.


      STICKMAN: Involving Guillermo  del Toro...in...SOME CAPACITY?!


      LARRY: This keeps looking better and better the more times I see the trailer. Like, its grown on me a lot.


      STICKMAN: It's either gonna be surprisingly good, or predictably meh.


      MADHERO: I like the look of it even if it feels a tad scattershot and like a slightly scarier Goosebumps


      STICKMAN: It seems a little silly, but it is based on a children's book.


      LARRY: Yeah they're probably targeting a bit of a younger crowd. Its rated PG-13.


      STICKMAN: It's like if the Goosebumps movie had....one really bad day. Funny story, it's a 15 here.


      MADHERO: del Toro's involvement is usually good and Ander Ovredal is a really solid director. It looks like a solid haunted house ride movie.


      STICKMAN: There's some great practical creature effects in this at least, it's gonna look great.


      MADHERO: And hey, there's always dat boi Pennywise to fall back on later.


      STICKMAN: Hellllll yeah. IT'S HALLOWEEN ALREADY, CHAPS.


      THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN


      DIRECTOR: Simon Curtis (Woman in Gold, Goodbye Christopher Robin)    

      STARRING: Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan, Kevin Costner

      SYNOPSIS: A dog named Enzo (Costner) recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny (Ventimiglia).

      STICKMAN: Oooh...god...nooooo.


      MADHERO: These dog movies seem to come out non-stop.


      STICKMAN: The sickly sweet Dog narration movie in which the dog questions if a woman's unborn child will look like the dog......implying.....uhhhh?


      LARRY: Yeah this movie looks weeeeeeird.


      STICKMAN: All these magic dog talking narration movies do.


      LARRY: They try to humanize it so much...


      MADHERO: Kevin Costner's voice doesn't really feel soothed for this. Like, you expect a Josh Gad type of voice with the silly sentimental shit being said and Costner sounds like your grumpy granddad.


      LARRY: The funny part to me is that this story probably would never have been greenlit without the dog. Like, this looks bland as hell. But it’s a scruffy dog so we good,


      MADHERO: There's plenty of cute dogs on Instagram, people. Get your fix there


      STICKMAN: Fuck these dang dog films.


      THE KITCHEN

      DIRECTOR: Andrea Berloff (directorial debut)

      STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Camp, Margo Martindale, Common

      SYNOPSIS: The wives of New York gangsters (McCarthy, Haddish, Moss) in Hell's Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands' rackets after they're locked up in prison.A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives.

      STICKMAN: The name makes me hungry.


      LARRY: I’m....intrigued.


      MADHERO: Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish both going into SERIOUS mode and having Elizabeth Moss along for the ride.


      LARRY: Certainly is a chance to prove themselves. Especially Haddish who hasn’t really done this before.


      STICKMAN: I feel like if this was a better film it'd be out later in the year? I hope it's good though.


      LARRY: Maybe, it certainly doesn’t have the typical prestige to compete with the big boys. But it’s one step closer for McCarthy to prove she can genuinely be an awards contender.


      MADHERO: Yeah, getting more of a September/October vibe than something to release in the summer. Makes me almost wonder if they have much faith in it


      STICKMAN: Elizabeth Moss can do no wrong.


      LARRY: This is true.


      MADHERO: Well....besides being a Scientologist. Acting wise she does good.


      STICKMAN: Hhhe....what....


      LARRY: She’s a Scientologist???


      MADHERO: Oh boy….you guys may want to sit down….FOR MOVIE OF THE WEEK THAT IS!!!!!    

      -----------

      STICKMAN: I....but... I need a whiskey.


      LARRY: WOWZAAAAAA TONAL SHIFT WHAAAAAA


      MADHERO: Its ok, we all need a stiff drink to get through this hellworld. Larry you seem to be taking it better. What's your Movie of the Week?


      LARRY: I mean, I’m just numb to it all. Don’t be too jealous. ANYWAY


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      LARRY: So my MOTW is “Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood,” a mouthful of a title and a true mouthful of a film in the sense that it’s got the Internet talkin’ over its many...interesting plot elements and directorial choices. Personally? I really liked it. At first I thought it was just pretty good, but the more I think about it, and the more takes I’m hearing, the more I really appreciate how different it is in Tarantino’s library and how “lived-in” it feels.



      The story, which follows a fading Hollywood actor and his best friend/stuntman in late 60’s Hollywood, is a much slower, more slice-of-life journey that is less about forwarding a plot as it is about getting to see these characters in their element. DiCaprio and Pitt are excellent, both together and apart, and Margot Robbie also provides a radiant turn as Sharon Tate, though I wish we got to see more of her. Now the film isn’t perfect, as its incorporation of the Manson family feels oddly stilted, especially in the third act. There are also other odd character choices regarding Pitt’s character’s wife and Bruce Lee that kinda felt a little undercooked. But overall, it really does show Tarantino’s ability as a filmmaker to tackle a completely different style, hold off on the violence (for the most part....the third act does kinda go wild on that front, to the film’s detriment imo), and mostly provide a really entertaining cinematic experience.


      STICKMAN: It's not out here for another week and a half, so I've been enjoying the discourse at a distance where I can avoid having it spoiled at the same time.


      MADHERO: Trying to avoid spoilers has been a landmine what with all the takes floating around


      STICKMAN: Just gotta hold on until next Wednesday, then I can take a deep bath in the Tarantino discourse.


      MADHERO: Very soon. Kinda makes me terrified to ask questions cause this is a movie I want to go in as cleanly as possible.


      LARRY: Yeah...it’s just hard to talk about it without spoiling it. Because all of these elements are important in discussing the whole product.


      STICKMAN: Does it have gratuitous feet shots in it.


      LARRY: Yes there are many a feet shot. Didn’t really bother me all that much but I understand why some people are freaked out by it.


      MADHERO: Who do you think is the main standout? Feel there's been a lot of praise for Pitt especially


      LARRY: As far as the standout, I really loved Robbie.


      STICKMAN: You stand in the pro-this film camp then, I take. Is it better than Hateful Eight?


      LARRY: I do stand as pro-this film, though I understand some of people’s qualms. And I haven’t watched Hateful in suuuuuch a long time. I find Hateful is in general more polished than this film, but it’s also a verrrrrry different film.


      MADHERO: Can't wait to finally get into the discourse when this film comes out here. What about you, Sticky? What's your MOTW?


      STICKMAN: Well neat, I look forward to driving myself to the cinema to see this... I just hope Tarantino isn't giving directions. Now, as for my MOTW...we're getting...shorter...snappier, if you will.


      LARRY: Oooooooh. Scaly, maybe?


      STICKMAN: I'm in the weird position where this is a film I got to see a month earlier than the UK release date...but...it's also not a new film relative to the US, where it's been out for a few weeks now. CRAWL...the movie I completely disregarded before the reviews came out, because it looked pants...and then people liked it...and then I wanted to see it. And now I have. It's been a real journey, folks.



      How did I like it? I had a blast, honestly. It's dumb as all hell, but it knows that and just goes all in with the intensity of its crocco-centric premise, trapping a pro-swimmer and her dad in a rapidly water filling basement during a hurricane...and oh yeah, there's evil gators in there too. What follows is a lean, mean monster horror that  features all the tension, gore and jumps you'd expect from a film like this. Is it a masterpiece? Noooo. Is it better than I predicted before its release? Oh god yes. Is it exactly what I wanted from 80+ minutes of crocodile action, with a vaguely affective heart at its center? Mmmmm, yes yes.


      MADHERO: Big angry croccos in a storm


      STICKMAN: What more can a guy ask for. If you're into big gatorinos biting up a storm, then you'll love it.


      LARRY: Glad to hear it’s a good time!


      MADHERO: Sometimes you just want to see some gators but not go to Florida to do it. Are there some good kills?


      STICKMAN: There's some fun human kills, a lot of sudden snapping up from the water, some...ludicrous...truly ludicrous amounts of damage being done to a character that then continues to survive. And oh yes...there's one gloriously dumb gator kill involving a gun that...hoooowee. This film is dumb, but the right kinda dumb.


      MADHERO: Who would flunk their IQ test worse? This film or Hobbs & Shaw


      STICKMAN: Hobbs & Shaw hands down, at least people can take damage in this one. But I wouldn't expect either to get into MENSA, I'll say that much.


      LARRY: How are the actors, dare I ask? Like, do they sorta give in to the Croco cheesiess


      STICKMAN: Mmm, sorta. It's not a comedy by any means, but they know what they're doing. Speaking of big gators with dripping fangs....what's your movie this episode, Mad?


      MADHERO: Alright, so my Movie of the Week was my most anticipated movie of 2019 back when the year got started, and that's Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. As a lifelong fan, even now living in the dark bleak days of Dexit, I was super excited to see the world of Pokemon come to life on the big screen and live action, probably against my better judgement, what with how video game movies have been a massive trashfire. So its nice to know when the movie actually turns out alright.



      It feels weird to say, but even with it being my most anticipated film, my expectations were still set rather low. Its still at its heart a kids movie after all, but I was quite surprised that it went into more mature themes, though I guess that makes sense with how cross-generational Pokemon is. Now this film ain't ending up in my Top 5 anytime soon, cause boy it has a lot of problems and some weird moments, but for the most part I can call Detective Pikachu a success, and that's more than I can say for every other video game movie. Good luck, Angry Birds 2.


      STICKMAN: That little yellow boi.


      MADHERO: I relate to his caffeine addiction


      STICKMAN: Angry Birds 2 is current higher rated on Rotten Tomatoes....with SIXTEEN WHOLE REVIEWS.


      MADHERO: O shit, son. The curse is well and truly broken, but we'll talk about that more on the next episode.


      LARRY: I thought this was pretty solid. I think it’s a visual treat and shows that a Pokémon film franchise is very attainable. Just get some better writers.


      MADHERO: Your arc surrounding this movie was truly something, from hating its premise to feverishly anticipating it along with me.


      LARRY: To then believing it was okay.


      STICKMAN: I had a fun time and it was beautiful to look at. That 3rd act...sure is....a way to go. I'm still bitter about NOT GETTING A FREE POKEMON CARD. CINEWORLLLLLDD.


      LARRY: But yeah it oddly has become a movie I’d be happy to rewatch whenever. Just for those Pokemanz


      MADHERO: Still happy with my dabbing Jigglypuff. But yeah, I had a really fun time with it and look forward to rewatching it.


      STICKMAN: Lil Ryan Reynolds is a fun time. I will buy it…and FINALLY GET MY CAaaaaaaaAAAaaaAAAAAARD.


      -----------

      MADHERO: Alright, I think that's gonna cap things off. We're in heydays of summer and as mentioned, we have Angry Birds 2 to talk about, as well as some bad sharkys and some boys swearing cause we all know that's hilarious.

       

      STICKMAN: There are no bad sharkys, only bad swimmers.


      LARRY: Finally, a mantra we can all agree on.


      STICKMAN: But how do they stack up against BIG HUNGRY GATORS? FIND OUT NEXT EPISODE....except probably noooott...cuz I'll forget. GOODBYE.


      LARRY: ADIOS! Y’know, cuz Dora


      MADHERO: No swiping, Larry. Goodbye.

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 139

      1 month ago

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      MADHERO: Well, guys, the summer is bringing us a grand total of 2 movies. Two. That's a drought if I ever saw one, but the news and trailer gods answered our prayers, and holy shit did they in excess. Mostly its just Marvel throwing its nuts on the table, but plenty of others also brought the goods. And hey, even those movies are probably one of the likeliest biggest films of the year and a new Tarantino film, so its not all bad.


      STICKMAN: There's literally fucking NOTHING OF WORTH OOOOOON HEEEEERE, NOT EVEN TARARAITNUOINO. Also hey.


      LARRY: ...suddenly we get a break from the franchise onslaught and it's considered "a drought"


      STICKMAN: A break from the franchise onslaught...with The Lion King.


      MADHERO: We can talk pedantics all day, but honestly lets just go and talk some Mahvel, baybee.


      LARRY: Heeeeeeeeere we go.


      NEWS

      MARVEL ANNOUNCES THEIR PHASE FOUR PLANS AT COMIC-CON. AVENGERS ENDGAME BECOMES HIGHEST GROSSING MOVE OF ALL TIME

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      Hoo boy. Marvel had their big Hall H panel at Comic Con, and, well, let's just say they threw out the big guns. We had some idea what they were going to do after Endgame, but now we know the full deets and when they're gonna release what. Buckle up, cause it was quite the ride.

      Marvel started off with the official announcement of The Eternals, which will release November 2020. Its already got an amazing cast with Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Selma Hayek, Don Lee, Bryan Tyree Henry and Lauren Ridlof (the first deaf actress in an MCU film). Director Chloe Zhao promised that it will be very Jack Kirby. I still know very little, but the last time that happened was Guardians of the Galaxy, and that went ok.


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      After that we got the reveal of Shang Chi, now with the spiffy subtitle of And the Legend of the Ten Rings. Ten Rings? That seems familiar? Yes, after some vague promises, Shang Chi will reveal the actual Mandarin, played by legendary Hong Kong actor Tony Leung. Simu Liu has been cast as the kung fu master himself, and Awkafina is in there as well cause of course she is. Again, Shang Chi is an character I honestly know very little about, but the first Asian lead in the MCU is a milestone, and having the Mandarin is a cool bonus. Now just bring back Ben Kingsley you cowards.


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      That's about it for new things. Doctor Strange will finally return with the most baller title of all time: Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Director Scott Derrickson promises that he'll put his horror expertise to good use and make the first genuinely scary MCU film. Also interesting is that Elizabeth Olsen will join Benedict Cumberbatch on his multiverse adventures, and that it will directly tie to the Disney+ show Wandavision, which both release around the same time in May 2021.


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      Not to be outdone, Thor: Love and Thunder was announced beforehand with Taika Waititi returning, delaying Akira in the process. It will also make Thor the first MCU character with a tetralogy. Some queerbaiting happened, the extremely metal looking title appeared, and then the hammer dropped: Natalie Portman will officially return and take on the role of Thor. Waititi talked about how he was inspired by Jason Aaron's 2012 run of Thor, where the actual god is suddenly unworthy and Jane Foster gets the power instead. Considering how Portman left Marvel, the fact she returns could be considered quite shocking.


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      Finally, we got our details on the MCU film closest to us: Black Widow, which comes out May 2020. Officially confirmed as a prequel (it'll take place after Civil War), they actually showed off footage for this, but we non-San Diego peasants weren't allowed to see. Florence Pugh will be fellow Russian spy Yelena (who has been Black Widow in some of the comics), and David Harbour will be playing the Soviet Cap, Red Guardian (real name Alexei, which gives me a bit of a chuckle after Stranger Things). Mah boi Taskmaster is also in it, but its not confirmed who plays him.


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      That was about it.....or so we thought. Kevin Feige, the saucy minx, just casually dropped the fact that they didn't have the time to talk about Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, GotG3, as well as their plans for the Fantastic Four and something involving 'mutants'. But they did have time to talk about one more thing, bringing Mahershala Ali to the stage to announce we're finally getting the Cottonmouth movie. Actually no, but instead he'll be playing BLADE!!!!!! While no date or details were given, this outta nowhere announcement is something you never get with movies, and it was quite the sight to behold. So yeah, Marvel ain't gonna stop anytime soon.


      Oh, and Avengers Endgame has now officially beaten Avatar to become the highest grossing movie of all time. At this point they're just being show-offs.


      STICKMAN: This was certainly a high energy 2am Twitter thread.


      MADHERO: That Blade announcement was the fucking coolest. Sure it happening any time soon, but it was still so hype to have an surprise like that


      STICKMAN: This had it all, surprises, womens, ethnic diversity, a hammer...bisexuals. Everything you need.


      LARRY: Mahershala is probably the best person right now to play him. Apparently he called up Feige after winning his Green Book oscar and was like "I wanna play Blade."


      MADHERO: That's one hell of a power move. As for them bisexuals and hammers, Portman coming back was also a big surprise considering her history with the MCU


      LARRY: Just wait for Portman to be Tessa's "queen." Dare Taika stray so far but play it so gay.


      MADHERO: They better cause Marvel can only queerbait for so long. Thor’s title is pretty baller, but its gonna be a while for a movie title is gonna beat Multiverse of Madness.


      STICKMAN: MULTIVERSE OF MADNNNESSSSS, YYESSS. HORROR MOVIE IN THE MCU FINALLLY. WE GON DO IT BOIS.


      LARRY: Which apparently ties directly into WandaVision, which means these Marvel TV shows mean business.


      STICKMAN: We got gay space movie, cosmic horror, kung fu action and...Scarlet YO, hands son.


      MADHERO: That Black Widow movie feels way too late now but hey its nice I guess. More interested in Eternals though even if I know next to nothing


      STICKMAN: I have no idea what that is, which prevents me from being too excited at this stage, but Marvel space stuff is always a hoot.


      LARRY: Great cast though. Jolie, Nanjiani, Hayek, Henry.


      MADHERO: They tend to nail casting. Its pretty wild to get all this one go. Been a while since they did that, and even then we've still got plenty more on the docket. Feige is quite the tease.


      LARRY: I was fully expecting them to do something like this. When they did the major Phase 3 reveal, they did it rather similarly. And a lot changed afterwards.


      STICKMAN: I wonder which of these films will be Phase 4's 'Inhumans'.


      MADHERO: RIP Love and Thunder. The gay was too strong.


      THE FIRST CATS TRAILER IS REVEALED AND MUCH FUN/HORROR WAS HAD

      Back in April, at CinemaCon, Tom Hooper and Universal gave con-goers a taste of "CATS," his upcoming film adaptation of the well-known Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The things we heard were...fascinating. All the sets were gigantic, they said. All the stars were wearing mo-cap dots and would be physically transformed into cats, they said. The film would use nothing but the BEST FUR TECHNOLOGY, THEY SAID. WELL BOY WERE THEY RIGHT.


      After releasing a BTS featurette that, really, couldn't have even remotely prepared us for what was to come, they dropped the first trailer shortly after, and the internet proceeded to fucking explode with nervously hysterical laughter. They indeed used mocap and VFX to turn their mega-star ensemble into cat-like creatures, but the results are, dare I say, fucking horrifying. While some designs seem to harken back to the original Broadway show's costume-like appearance, others just straight up look like tall, lanky, furry, cat-like humanoid...things with human faces mapped onto them, aka pure nightmare fuel. The "Cat in the Hat" comparisons came very quickly, and many a meme were shared. We should all be very, very, VERY fucking excited to see this absolutely garbage fire take flame. This Christmas, you will believe...that this was all a drug-fueled bad decision.


      STICKMAN: Jesus CHRIST. Superstar.


      MADHERO: What a delight to be online when the first trailer dropped. I already got all the entertainment I wanted from this film


      STICKMAN: It was a very fun hour of Film Twittering.


      LARRY: Yeah the internet fucking EXPLOADDDDDDD


      MADHERO: The world felt united in its confusion, and then we had edits like putting in the Annihilation soundtrack for some true horror.


      LARRY: I showed it to my Mom and she said "wow, awesome makeup." It's core audience will be none the wiser.


      STICKMAN: I bet the head of Universal was like "Hell yeah we got this gang" and everyone working there was nervously looking at social media.


      MADHERO: All I've heard about Cats is that its complete nonsense, but I sort of understand how it works on stage, where you admire the costumes, choreography and songs. Whereas with film, where you need more of a story, it just feels like a load of nonsense. As well as really fucking creepy


      LARRY: It's essentially just a bunch of songs about a bunch of different characters. It's plot is merely a framing device for all the music, there ain't much story at all until toward the end. That's why Memory is such a beloved song, cuz it's the one song that genuinely moves the story forward in some way.


      MADHERO: Who names a cat Rum Tum Tugger? WHO, ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER?!

       

      LARRY: PSH. RTT is just the BEGINNING. Ever heard of Jennyanydots? OR SKIMBLESHANKS


      MADHERO: I can't wait for this to get nominated for 12 Oscars and watch Film Twitter explode once more.


      BLUMHOUSE ANNOUNCES HALLOWEEN WILL RECEIVE TWO SEQUELS IN 2020 AND 2021. ORGINAL CREW RETURNS

      It may have had its issues, but there's simply no denying the huge success of  last year's revival of the Halloween franchise. Retconning all the many sequels that followed, it was a hit with fans, and more surprisingly than that, critics, and went on to become the highest grossing slasher film in cinema history. Not too shabby, and given the ending to that film, there was a lot of speculation of a follow-up...less if, and more when. Well now we know.


      In October 2020, Universal, via Blumhouse will be releasing HALLOWEEN KILLS, and in October 2021 they will be following this up with what's supposedly the concluding chapter, HALLOWEEN ENDS.  Although one questions the likelihood of this being the series' final outing, it will almost certainly bring an end to Jamie Lee Curtis' role in the franchise, which began all the way back in 1978 with the original. The two films are going into production back to back, with the same directing/writing team of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride as the previous installment, with John Carpenter returning to oversee, and presumably (Hopefully) score them both. As someone who had a total blast with Halloween 2018, I'm excited to see this revitalised franchise continue onwards, and it'll be interesting to see what they can do with this new series, now that they've milked the nostalgia/callback angle so thoroughly.


      MADHERO: Halloween 2018 kinda felt like a good point to end it but with the original crew involved I'm suddenly a lot more excited for these two films.


      STICKMAN: Aw yeah boiii, Halloween 2020 and 2021 are gon be goooood. Halloween 2019 not so much, what with Brexit and all.


      LARRY: Can't wait for Halloween NOT to end when Halloween Ends.


      MADHERO: Those sound like titles that would've been made in the 80s to say they're in the future and take place in space


      STICKMAN: I think they should've gone with Halloween Kills and then Halloween Dies, but that's just me. I'm not Jason Blum.


      MADHERO: Halloween Ends can only really end by truly once and for all kill Michael Myers and then we close on a mysterious store, a catchy jingle, and we see a logo for the Silver Shamrock


      STICKMAN: Please. PLEASE. The world is ready for sIllll-VERrrr SHAMROCK.


      LARRY: I just don't get why they couldn't just kill him in the first.


      STICKMAN: Because then Halloween wouldn't END in 2021 you fool.


      MADHERO: And this is why you don't work in Hollywood, Larry.


      STICKMAN: If this is indeed a final pair of films to conclude the Jamie Lee Curtis role of the franchise, and maybe, just maybe kill Michael? Ooh boy. Gonna be good.


      DAMIEN CHAZELLE LOOKING AT STUDIOS FOR NEW PROJECT ‘BABYLON’ WITH EMMA STONE. DAVID FINCHER TO WORK ON BIOPIC ‘MANK’ FOR NETFLIX

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      Time for a double whammy folks! Two major industry players are back in the news with brand spankin' new projects currently in development. The first comes from Damien Chazelle, ("Whiplash" and "First Man,") who is currently looking for a studio to helm  "Babylon," the story is set in Hollywood during the tumultuous transition between silent films and talkies in the 1920s. Emma Stone, the co-star of Chazelle's film "La La Land" is in early talks to lead. Right now, Lionsgate and Paramount are looking for a deal, but given the film's scope and budget requirements (supposedly 80-90 million), and given that "First Man" ultimately failed to do well at the box office, Chazelle may have some trouble landing this plane. Still, it is Chazelle, and given that he's making a movie in tribute to movies...again, people will most likely flock to it.


      On the flip side, David Fincher, who hasn't helmed a feature film since 2014's "Gone Girl," is getting back in the director's chair for "Mank," a biopic centered around Herman Mankiewicz and the journey in developing his Oscar-winning script for "Citizen Kane," you may have heard of it. "Mank" will continue Fincher's prosperous relationship with Netflix, having worked on "Mindhunter" and "Love, Death, and Robots." With a screenplay penned by his late father, right now production is tapping Gary Oldman to star in the titular role. It looks to be shot in black and white (I think I just heard a flock of film students simultaneously nut), with production to begin in November. Can't wait to see Fincher come back in a big way!


      STICKMAN: Aw yeah, the boys are back in town...separately...but..still.


      MADHERO: Can you believe that the last time David Fincher released a movie was in 2014? Even if he worked on other stuff since then, that's absolutely criminal.


      LARRY: To be fair, the rest of that stuff was pretty fricken great.


      MADHERO: Mindhunter is the bee's knees but he spent too long thinking about whether he wanted to do zombo's with Brad Pitt.


      STICKMAN: He's supposed to be doing a Utopia remake but I GUESS NOT ANY  MORE. AGAIN. Anyway, movies are good.


      LARRY: The project sounds like...kinda interesting? Idk why he wants to write about the writer and not moreso Welles who is a far more well-known aspect of that film's history. Whoever is playing him...like, insta-Supporting Actor nomination, no question.


      MADHERO: I'm curious about Chazelle's project even if it reminds me a lot of The Artist in terms of premise. Budget makes me think it might go to Netflix cause it scares of most studios.


      STICKMAN: Netflix loves spending millions and millions of dollars on flashy vanity projects that then don't get nominated for Oscars.


      MADHERO: Well now they need to do it more since their sub count went down. Fincher definitely seems comfortable there. Not sure yet about Chazelle, but we'll see how that goes. Do hope it happens cause his films are great so far


      LARRY: Hopefully people can see how fucking awesome First Man is and see the potential and momentum he has.


      STICKMAN: Tears on the dang moon, son.


      MADHERO: We just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. People need to know more despite its anti-America propagande.


      SHERLOCK HOLMES 3 MOVING FORWARD WITH DEXTER FLETCHER INSTEAD OF GUY RITCHIE

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      In 'It's probably too late for this' news, remember Sherlock Holmes? More specifically the Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law pairing blockbuster from 2009? It was pretty darn good, stylish as hell and made a lot of money on a modest budget. The sequel? Less so. It wasn't bad...it was just kinda...yeah. You'd have been forgiven for assuming, 8 years on, that those films were donzo. Well apparently not, we've known for a while that Warner Bros have been trying to get a 3rd entry into production, but now the wheels seem to have started turning with a new director hired to replace Guy Ritchie, who's busy making some other toss, I guess.


      Dexter Fletcher, known for his (Failed) salvaging operation on last year's Bohemian Rhapsody and more recently the moderate success of Rocketman has been hired to replace Ritchie in the directors seat, with a speculated release window of late 2021 in mind, a full on decade after the previous installment. Hrmm. Needless to say, this will be pushing the star power of Robert Downey Jr, lukewarm off the heels of his MCU bowing out this year, when it comes to making box office bank.


      MADHERO: It feels waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too fucking late to do this now, but sure. Go ahead


      STICKMAN: Time for more slow motion punches, and maybe, if we have time, some mystery solving.


      LARRY: And hopefully no gaybaiting.


      STICKMAN: All modern Sherlock adaptations are 90% queerbait.


      MADHERO: Sherlock seems like the pansexual type in these films tbh, with Watson as his hetero life partner. But 10 years feels like a really long time to do this now


      LARRY: This is kinda an odd choice. Like, Fletcher has proved he has style, but to fit into the previous Richie style? That's not really his mode I don't think.


      MADHERO: I sorta hope he gets to do his own thing rather than just try to ape Ritchie's style.


      STICKMAN: And also where do you go after Moriarty and throwing yourself off a mountain. Do you raise the stakes or just do what the Sherlock TV show did and meander around in dull fan-service and nonsense for 90 minutes a pop.


      MADHERO: I've made my feelings on this Sherlock iteration rather clear. I'm glad Fletcher is getting more high profile work after Rocketman, and I'm very curious about Downey's post Iron Man career, but I just don't really care about this. That ship has long sailed.


      STICKMAN: Would you rather this, or Dr Doolittle goes tits up after a protracted development cycle.


      LARRY: Yeah, unless they take a seriously new turn with the series, I'm cynical too. I did like both films though.

       

      THE RUSSOS ANNOUNCE NEW PROJECTS FOLLOWING SUCCESS OF AVENGERS: ENDGAME

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      So Avengers: Endgame just surpassed Avatar to become the biggest movie of all time, and naturally the question is: what's next for directors Joe and Anthony Russo? Not Marvel seems to be the case, which is fair after working on something so massive. Their next project, Cherry, which will star Tom Holland, will have them face a bigger more evil foe than Thanos: drug addiction. I don't think that's gonna take Endgame's spot tbh. But through their production company AGBO, they've announced a couple new things on their plate that maybe could?


      The biggest is probably Battle of the Planets, an anime adaptation which they might possibly direct. That series is originally based on Gatchaman in Japan, and as a series I personally only know from Tatsunoko vs Capcom (between this and the Magic anime, the Russos might just be huge weebs). Stuff they're now actively producing includes a remake of the art thief classic The Thomas Crown Affair, confirmed to star Michael B. Jordan. Another project is an adaptation of 80s comic GRIMJACK, which I legit never heard of and sounds like someone's OC. So yeah, the Russo's remain incredibly busy even outside of Marvel.


      LARRY: It's nice to see them doing some pretty random stuff, not just more massive franchise tentpoles. Even if they look to be mayyyyybe spreading themselves thin?


      STICKMAN: Very thin. A lot of these projects are gonna never happen, like Poltergeist.


      MADHERO: Some projects they're gonna be more involved with than others. I imagine AGBO is gonna be more than just the two of them. Spielberg may be on the Transformers producers list, I doubt he's done a lot. The only real exceptions here are Cherry and Battle of the Planets, since those are possible directing gigs.


      LARRY: Cherry is probs the one we'll see next.


      STICKMAN: Battle of the Planets is gonna crash and burn financially, I GUARANTEE.


      MADHERO: What you mean no one remembers a late 70's Americanization of an anime that people now only know from an cult Wii fighting game?


      STICKMAN: My mum loved this anime but I don't think she's got much sway on the general audiences of America.


      MADHERO: I'm also curious about Grimjack cause I love his stupid ass name and know literally nothing else. It sounds like something a really tired Rob Liefeld  comes up with.


      STICKMAN: Let's hope there's no feet involved then.


      MADHERO: Also Michael B. Jordan as a smooth as hell art thief sounds pretty good to me.


      STICKMAN: Michael B Jordan as anything sounds good to me. Especially my husband.


      LARRY: Nice.


      MADHERO: Even as Johnny Storm?


      LARRY: Hmmmmmmm


      TRAILER LIGHTNING ROUND

      TOP GUN: MAVERICK

      Hey guys, look, it's Tom Cruise! There, I basically gave you the thesis behind our first look at "Top Gun: Maverick," the sequel to 1986's "Top Gun," which, at the time, was a big starring vehicle for a young Cruise. Now, he returns as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a flight instructor looking to guide the son of Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, a character killed in the first film, the son played by Miles Teller. Also, Jennifer Connelly is here. Oh, and so is Jon Hamm!! And yet...only one shot of Teller, who's kinda the main character? Aw well. Yay planes and what not....okay I can't lie the flying scenes do look pretty neat. Hopefully Cruise doesn't break his foot this time.


      STICKMAN: I feel the need, the need for a Volleyball scene.


      MADHERO: We get the briefest of teases so we better get Playing with the Boys 2: Play Harder.


      LARRY: It's funny how Miles Teller plays a big role in this and we get maybe one shot of him. And even then you barely make him out.


      MADHERO: All about that Cruise Control bby.


      STICKMAN: Subliminal Miles Teller.


      IT CHAPTER 2 GETS BOMBASTIC FINAL TRAILER

      Although Comic Con has been light on movie trailers or cinematic surprises this year, there was always one surefire release that had some people very excited, and that was the full trailer for IT Chapter 2. The sequel to the box office smash-hit of 2017 is only a month and a half away, and Warner Bros followed up their teaser earlier in the year with this, the full, final trailer. Promising some epic horror and creative visuals, we see the adult Losers Club dealing (or not managing to deal) with the heckin dancing clown in all manner of settings, whilst still grappling with the trauma from their previous childhood encounter. There's blood, there's screaming, there's balloons (Lots of those) and the trailer highlight is Pennywise  giving Venom a run for his money in the tongue department whilst staring down James McAvoy in a hall of mirrors. It looks pretty damn great, and September can't roll on soon enough.


      MADHERO: That tongue makes me uncomfortably laugh.


      STICKMAN: Venom's tongue made audiences horny, now Pennywise's tongue will...make audiences horny, probably? Maybe not as many though.


      LARRY: That fucking glass scene. Holy moly this movie will emotionally exhaust me.


      STICKMAN: Are you ready for spookems.


      MADHERO: I didn't find the trailer all that scary, but I feel like this is gonna make for a really good haunted house ride with some good spooks. The adult section of IT gets pretty fucked up in places.


      STICKMAN: Mainstream horror is never scary, but it is often a lot of fun. Ambitious set pieces, fun enemies, a REAL RATTLIN' DANG GHOST TRAIN.


      LARRY: I didn't find the first IT trailer that scary and then he got IMPALED with a fucking POLE in the first one so anyhing can happen.


      THE KING’S MAN

      I think we here are in the same boat that we really liked the first Kingsman and not so much the second one, which just sort of felt like it was going through the motions to lesser effect. Say what you will about The King's Man, but its definitely something different. Acting as an origin story for the organization, we now have Ralph Fiennes as the gentleman who starts it all back in WW1, with them meeting the likes of Giorgi Rasputin. Its.... unexpected to say the least, and while supposedly still a comedy, the trailer felt very seriously and something you wouldn't associate with Kingsman. Still, Vaughn's a great director so I'm hoping he finds his groove back with this, even if its quite the shift.


      STICKMAN: When does Wonder Woman turn up.


      MADHERO: "Man, Kingsman 2 wasn't very good. They should do something different." Vaughn: Alright. Here you go, fucko


      LARRY: I never wanted something different. I wanted something good.


      STICKMAN: I'm down for different providing it's good. It looks pretty.


      LARRY: I dunno, to me this looks kinda bland. The whole thing that made Kingsman interesting was its over the top action and sorta cheekiness. And now it seems to have flatlined in lieu of...political intrigue and WWI combat.


      MADHERO: I like all of Vaughn's other films so I hope that this trailer is just a case of mood whiplash and we'll get happy murder funtime in the actual film.


      STICKMAN: Flatlined is harsh, I'm open to change but we'll seeeeeee how it goes.


      --------

      Alright, that's about it in terms of news. Just cause we like to spoil ya, we now have an actual goshdarn review. Disney is in a constant state of "at it" with their remakes, and now they somehow have gone and done The Lion King, something that initially seemed impossible. But here we are, and the "live action" remake is here. As a big fan of Jon Favreau's take on Jungle Book, I was very excited about this one for a while. But reviews have been pretty mixed, particularly on the whole photorealism thing. But let's ask Larry about that, since he's the one who saw the film


      STICKMAN: Disney may be 'at it', but I've HAD IT with these remakes. OOooooooOOOOOOY.


      LARRY: Oof, I guess it's time to dive into this one.


      MADHERO: You sure do. So Larry, what did you make of the photorealistic animated remake of The Lion King? Just rolls off the tongue.


      REVIEW

      THE LION KING

      DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau (Chef, The Jungle Book)

      STARRING: Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Eljiofor, John Oliver, Alfre Woodard, John Kani, Florence Kasumba, Keegan Michael Key, Eric Andre

      SYNOPSIS: Simba (Glover), the son of Mufasa (Jones) and the Prince of the Pride Lands, hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. Mufasa's brother, Scar (Eljiofor), plots to betray Mufasa and take over the Pride Lands.

      LARRY: I was already getting pretty tired of the divisive discourse for this film before going in, and now I'm even more tired of it because...the movie's fine. It's really fucking fine. Obviously it doesn't capture the scale or heart of the original, largely because, yeah, not every scene is perfectly translated to animation. They definitely could have had them emote more, that's a given.

      But honestly? It's still enjoyable. The animation is an achievement, period, and in many scenes it does work wonders. Plus, believe it or not, certain changes made to the source material range from solid executions of different interpretations to actual improvements. I won't go too deep into specifics but some highlights include some additions to Scar and the Hyenas, Timon and Pumbaa, and Rafiki, all of whom are the standouts in this voice cast. So, yeah, it's a mixed bag of a movie that ultimately, in my opinion, warrants existence because you can see glimpses of an attempt to genuinely pay homage to a great film while dashing in some much needed improvements. So, yeah, everyone please stop fricken complaining about The Lion King. Why can't we all just keep hating on Aladdin instead?


      MADHERO: Damn, Larry is tired of your shit.


      STICKMAN: So, an unnecessary, sub-par remake of a movie that does nothing to prove its own existence is not worthy of ire, you say.


      LARRY: I said it DOES warrant existence. All of these remakes are unnecessary, doesn't make them inherently bad........most of them just are. Many of them are actively good changes. Characters are given more depth, certain scenes are added to expand them. They're subtle but they work. With a story like this, small changes all add up pretty quickly.


      MADHERO: It warrants existence to Disney's bank account.


      LARRY: I guess I'm just tired of it in THIS case cuz this is probably the best one out of all of them and somehow it's getting the most hate.


      STICKMAN: This to me is like the Psycho remake, it's doing the same thing, just not as well, without the same visual flair and with a couple additions that change one or two things, for better or worse.


      TELEMMGLPICT000200327619_trans_NvBQzQNjv

      MADHERO: How is the animation? Are there moments that you realize "o yeah this is all done on computers" or does it remain absolutely beautiful looking? What are some moments that stand out?


      LARRY: It is absolutely gorgeous. Since I know it's 99% animation, that was sorta in my mind as I was watching, but plenty of people will be none the wiser. They look like fuckin animals lol. Circle of Life almost gave me chills to be honest, and the fight at Pride Rock at the end is also given some new flair and a bit more edge.


      STICKMAN: It's 100% animation unless Jon Faverau left a picture of himself in the editing suite by accident. It's his penis, it's like Fight Club with the subliminal shot.


      MADHERO: And what stands out as a low point? I've heard not too great things about how I Just Can't Wait to Be King is done for example.


      STICKMAN: I saw Mufasa's death scene on Twitter and oh boy did that look poor.


      LARRY: Be Prepared is probably the worst of them all. It's severely stripped down and lacks the sort of fun evil of the original, despite it going for a sort of new interpretation of the song. And......yeah, Mufasa's death does really lack scale and heart, it's probably the scene where the animation hinders the film most.


      STICKMAN: How horny is the love scene. Tell me. I demand answers.


      LARRY: Not very lol


      STICKMAN: FUCKKKK.


      MADHERO: Who stands out voice wise?


      155959571903_-_The_Lion_King_Timon_Pumba

      LARRY: Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, hands fucking down. The movie is worth seeing for them alone. Not only are they perfectly cast, but they give the characters more to do and they serve as far stronger characters in Simba's arc. Also shout-out to John Kani for giving the movie some much needed African zest as Rafiki.


      MADHERO: Alright, I think that's all my questions answered? Do you have anything else you want to say in your wrap-up, Larry?


      LARRY: I guess I just think this movie is the best of the Disney remakes cuz it doesn't add unnecessary fluff to the story, like many other remakes do, and (for the most part) only adds things that either feel like a fresh interpretation or improve the original source material. And yeah, it's not a whole lot, the story largely remains the same. But it's a good fucking story. And, though sometimes the animation isn't perfect, it in general is incredible to see and is practically creating a whole new conversation on how we view photorealistic animation as a whole, which is something. Believe me, I'm the first to criticize Disney remakes, I thought Aladdin was an absolute mess and Maleficent still makes me angry. This one just happened to win me over. Long live the king.


      ---------

      MADHERO: Alright, with that out the way, let's move on to the other movies....well, movie.


      STICKMAN: I like movie.


      MOVIE

      ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

      DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight)

      STARRING: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Al Pacino, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Kurt Russell, Damon Herriman, Jack Nicholson, Lena Dunham

      SYNOPSIS: A faded television actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

      STICKMAN: This ain't out for like 3 weeks here so yipeeeee.


      LARRY: Already got my tickets.

       

      STICKMAN: I'll punch YOUR ticket, buster.


      MADHERO: Honestly feels really weird to have a new Tarantino out in the summer when they're usually more October/November fair, but hey I ain't complainin.


      LARRY: Neither am I. The movie feels like a solid Summer indie hitter.


      MADHERO: Does feel like there's relatively little hype. It reviewed great at Cannes, but besides a new trailer you don't really see much hype for it. Maybe cause the premise is still somewhat.... elusive.


      LARRY: Yeah it doesn't have that usual Tarantino appeal.


      STICKMAN: We all know Bruce Lee is gonna beat the shit out of Charles Manson. If it doesn't happen I'm getting a refund.


      MADHERO: Hell yeah, can't wait for that. I do here that once again this is gonna have some uncomfortable (surprise) and shocking (double surprise) moments. Tarantino tackling old school Hollywood feels like he'd have done a long time ago.


      STICKMAN: As long as there's no driving scenes. Also...yeah, this feels kinda under the radar, which is odd for Taratinionion.


      LARRY: I smell some alternate history......


      STICKMAN: I wonder how badly Tarantino will act in his inevitable cameo role.


      MADHERO: Very, but we'll find it oddly charming all the same.


      STICKMAN: I look forward to seeing this...in a month's time. Thanks, Sony. Hopefully it'll actually show in the UKs largest cinema chain this time, unlike with Hateful Eight which got boycotted due to Quentin being a dumb.


      ---------

      MADHERO: Alright, that does it. Not much to pick and choose from, but luckily there's always MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


      LARRY: Yeet


      STICKMAN: OH FUCK.


      MADHERO: That's right, if Hollywood doesn't give us new movies to talk about, we'll talk about slightly older ones you can watch right now. So Larry, what do you got in store for us?


      STICKMAN: I bet it's some kinda movie, that'd be just like you, you freak.


      LARRY: It's time for me to revert back to my INDIE SNOB PERSONAAAAAAAA


      STICKMAN: New York located screening powers, ACTIVATE?


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      LARRY: So this week I saw two indie movies, one of which I will talk about today!! That movie is called "The Farewell," directed by Lulu Wang and starring Awkwafina. The film has been incredibly successful throughout its limited run, earning the highest opening weekend theater average of 2019 in its four-theatre run (suck it Endgame), and I can see why.



      The film centers around a young Asian-American woman who learns her grandmother is diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Even worse, the family opts not to tell her, and devise a fake wedding in China in order for the entire family to see her. What ensues is a very solid dramedy with an excellent consistency in tone and pace; Wang truly captures the sort of cultural disconnects at the root of family dysfunction, particularly those in Asian-American families. A lot of Asian people who were at my screening were saying they felt seen through this film, which is awesome. Awkwafina is great, as is the entire cast, the score is really on point, and it is filled with many genuine laughs. I do think it could've dug deeper at certain points, and it loses a bit of momentum toward the end, but I definitely recommend you check it out once it releases nationwide on August 2nd!


      STICKMAN: A movie about death and loss  is exactly what my constant crippling anxiety about the inevitability of death needs. Thank you A24.


      MADHERO: I've heard good things about this one. Has started to really pick up steam.


      LARRY: Yeah it's looking to be A24's biggest hit of the year, probably.


      STICKMAN: Midsommar says HEY.


      LARRY: I mean, yeah, but also awards-wise.


      MADHERO: A24 having a hit is still it making like 100 bucks.


      LARRY: I mean....highest theatre average of 2019. That's nothing to ignore.


      STICKMAN: Yeah but it was like, in two cinemas. STILL...it looks good.


      MADHERO: I'm very curious about this one. I wasn't really sure what to make of it from the trailer, but it seems very interesting and its actually getting a release here.....in November, so that'll be a while


      STICKMAN: October here, same day as Shaun the Sheep 2 I believe. GET FUCKED, A24.


      LARRY: Well I'll be curious to hear your thoughts then.


      STICKMAN: Time to say FAREWELL to this film, onto the next. RIGHT? Nice.


      MADHERO: How about your movie, Sticky? Is it something that I don't have to wait 4 months for to see?


      STICKMAN: Uhh....maybe? I don't know. Whilst Disney romps home with another animated success story with its 'divisive' Lion King remake...it's time to look back on an original, imperfect but WHOLESOME 2019 animated feature that completely fucking tanked. Missing Link, the latest (Maybe last?) film from LAIKA got strong reviews and was liked by pretty much everyone who saw it...but...nobody really went and saw it. Which is a damn shame, because it's really damn swell.


      Is it their best work? Not at all, but that's not really saying much given their peak performance. Missing Link is a fun, sweet and at times surprisingly ambitious stop motion feature that is oozing with colour and charm, even if it doesn't quite all come together in the end. You can certainly do far worse, this weekend specificallylgngghh, and with the film now coming out on DVD in the US, with other regions following in the coming weeks? You got no excuse assholes, CHECK IT OUT.


      MADHERO: DVD comes out in August here, so that's a small month wait. Good job, Stick.


      STICKMAN: This is why I make the big bucks.


      LARRY: Damn I've been meaning to sit down and watch this one.


      MADHERO: I completely missed this while in theaters.....as did most people. Even with all the praise I didn't really find the time to go and support the Laika boys.


      LARRY: Neither did I. But I shall stream!!


      STICKMAN: You bring shame to this family. Look, you've made Travis Knight cry.


      MADHERO: Ehh, he's got Nike and Cyborg Mark Wahlberg. He'll be fine. I do think that if they were on Netflix/streaming, I'd be more likely to watch em. Also we can then stop talking about them as financial disappointments.


      STICKMAN: But I like watching them in the cinema, where you can seeeee all the details....andthefillerCGIthatissuperdistracting.


      LARRY: I woulda liked to catch this in the cinema too, but I was still a student and stressed as hell.


      STICKMAN: Anyway, y'all killed animation forever. What's next, Mad. Movie. Go go.


      MADHERO: Ok, with Larry talking about an indie and Stickman a financial dud, its time for me to pick up the slack and talk about something mainstream. Marvel showed off what they're gonna do to thundrous applause while Warner Bros mostly talked DC Universe content and certain fans were still after Justice League's Snyder Cut. It almost makes you forget that they have their own cinematic universe, one that actually have some pretty solid films, like the very charming Shazam.


      Shazam for the most part fulfills its premise of Big but Superman and makes a really fun film out of it. It certainly isn't perfect, with it feeling a tad aimless in the middle and it having moments that feel kinda too scary for a film of this nature (though Annabelle is there so that'd explain it) its for the most part just a really fun, lightweight superhero movie which just feels really eager to please, and there ain't anything wrong with that.


      STICKMAN: Shazam was fun but didn't really do much for me, was the best of the DCEU so far...but yeah. It's undeniably the highest quality film of the universe, I just don't really think about it much.


      LARRY: I fucking love this movie. It's still my favorite film of the year.


      MADHERO: O wow. I enjoyed it a lot, but I'd hardly call it my favorite film of the year.


      STICKMAN: Larry just loves Annabelle and hasn't seen her new movie yet. He sees Annabelle? Top shelf movie.


      LARRY: I mean, is it the best? Probably not. But it filled me with so much joy.


      MADHERO: Joy is a nice thing to have in this grimdark world, and this film did give me some of that.


      STICKMAN: It's a fun film,  I enjoyed it. It's just like a lotta movies where you watch it and go 'Yep, that was a good time' and then never think about it again.


      LARRY: I guess I just like to think about the good times.


      MADHERO: I wonder what the series' future is gonna be since it was a hit but only cause it was relatively cheap to make. Gotta add the Rock as Black Adam to really get things going, but we'll see him crash some cars first on the next episode.


      STICKMAN: I can't wait to see Dwayne Johnson pilot something that isn't a helicopter and isn't located in San Francisco.


      LARRY: Man, The Rock and Zachary Levi? I’m so fuckin down.


      ---------

      MADHERO: The Life and Times of Hobbs and Shaw are upon us soon, as well as some.....pretty wild shit, cause it'll be August and the moment where the summer draws to a close. Hope y'all ready for motherfucking Dora.


      STICKMAN: Get set for FARTING QUICKSAND. WOOOOOOO. SEE YOU THEN FOLKS.


      LARRY: Swiper....no swiping. pls.


      MADHERO: He's gonna swipe the summer away. Goodbye

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 138

      2 months ago

      g1Features

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      MADHERO: Happy 4th of July everyone. Hope you Americans enjoyed celebrating your freedom and watching some fireworks. I celebrated by doing none of that and watching Stranger Things Season 3. We could go and talk about that, but that's TV and therefore gross. So..... might as well talk about that no good Spiderd Man


      LARRY: What an un-American MENACE


      STICKMAN: Happy Wimbledon Season.


      MADHERO: Also the start of the Tour de France, but watching paint dry is generally more exciting than watching cycling. That or trailers, of which we got a bunch.


      LARRY: Nice. Gotta love a good dig at cycling.


      STICKMAN: Insert Armstrong dig here.


      NEWS

      FIRST TRAILER FOR JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL DROPS    

      So I was pleasantly surprised with the sequel/soft-reboot JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE from 2017. I found the film to be a very silly but charming adventure. Nothing extraordinary, but far from disposable. Audiences didn’t find it disposable either, making it the fifth high grossing film of that year, about 50 mil short of a friggen billion dollars. So a sequel was the natural next step, and we now have our first look at it.


      JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL takes us back into the game, with Spencer from the first(second?) film re-constructing it. Of course, he is whisked back in, and his friends from the first return to save him. The twist? This time Spencer’s grandfather (Danny DeVito) and his friend Milo (Danny Glover) get sucked in as well, and, because the game glitched out on them. So now we have DeVito as the Rock and Glover as Kevin Hart. Oh, and the black kid now controls Jack Black’s character. So, yeah, it’s kiiiiinda confusing, but, to me, that’s where the fun lies. I think this is an excellent way to bring about a sequel, essentially ahem changing the game (bah dum tsch) and giving our already excellent cast a whole new kind of chemistry to perform. And, if the action is as good as it is in the first film, then we’re here for an exciting second adventure.


      MADHERO: The trailer mostly boiled down to ""haha, old people amirite"


      STICKMAN: Welcome to the jungle...we got...more of the same as the last movie but now people are more into it because Danny DeVito memes.


      LARRY: I mean, sounds appropriate. Danny DeVito makes everything better.


      MADHERO: See, I wanted them to lean into that. I wanted the Rock to drop his monster condom for his magnum dong, but Danny DeVito and Danny Glover seems to be mostly playing the "haha, they old" type.


      STICKMAN: We'll show those whippersnappers who's the ultimate #gamer.


      LARRY: Well I’m sure they have other fun things up their sleeves.


      MADHERO: The Ancient Gamers (Halo 3,  Gears of War) shall rise up


      LARRY: My question is what happened to the blonde chick??? She was in the beginning of the trailer and then kinda disappears into the game but we never see her. Maybe she’s Awkwafina’s character? Idk.


      STICKMAN: She clipped through a wall and is trapped.


      MADHERO: Her and Spencer's wherabouts are the big mystery. As it stands, this looks like mostly a rethread of the other film, which was a nice surprise, but not sure I need to see more than once.


      STICKMAN: Do people turn into weird monkeys in this film. That some horror movie shit yo.


      MADHERO: Probably not, but it’ll be likely that Danny Glover makes a "I'm getting too old for this shit" reference


      DISNEY CASTS R+B SINGER HALLE BAILEY AS ARIEL IN THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE ACTION REMAKE AND CHAOS ENSUES

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      There's 3 things certain in this world: death, taxes and Disney continuing to make remakes of their animated movies. Following the success of Aladdin and the probable gangbusters of Lion King, Disney is now on its way to direct the movie that started of the Disney Renaissance: The Little Mermaid. Rob Marshall, previously worked with Disney with On Stranger Tides and Mary Poppins Returns is gonna direct, but the main reason we're talking about it now is the casting. The sheer outrage that is.... Melissa McCarthy as Ursula? Its gonna be really hard to fall when underwater. Guess that wasn't it, then maybe it was Jacob Tremblay as sidekick Flounder? Or maybe Awkafina playing a gender swapped version of Scuttle. Yeah, that must be it.


      As it turns out, its not any of that, but rather the casting of Halle Bailey in her film debut as Ariel herself, changing the race from white to dark skinned. Needless to say, a certain section of the internet took this about as well as expected, and forces me to go and defend a Disney live action remake when I for 90% want to leave them alone (Lion King's lookin' dope, not gonna lie). The whole thing is getting rather silly and into the arguments you expect. The movie is still some ways off, with a likely release in 2021, so we'll see how Mad Online everyone will be once the trailer hits. God help us all.


      STICKMAN: People should be mad online about Disney making these fuckin mooovies not who plays who in them.


      MADHERO: Aladdin just made 900 million dollars worldwide so something tells they'll keep going.


      LARRY: This is a fucking dumb controversy. Nothing about the character of Ariel hinges on her skin color. Period. End of story.


      STICKMAN: Ariel's a basic bitch.


      MADHERO: We've gone through the whole gambit of people trying really hard not say something racist while being incredibly racist. As long as she can sing really well (and apparently she can) then its all good.


      LARRY: Hopefully she’s a good everything honestly, who knows what they’re gonna add and fuck with for this movie.


      STICKMAN: Disney don't tend to mess up casting, TO BE FAIR. They know what they doin with these garbage remakes.


      MADHERO: Melissa McCarthy as Ursula might be. Birth Movies Death suggested Titus Burgess and now I can't get that casting out of my head.


      LARRY: Yeah the other castings are...fine, I guess. Kinda safe choices which I get. McCarthy is probs the weakest. Kinda wanted to see either drag Ursula or someone more interesting.


      STICKMAN: Melissa McCarthy as a giant octopus woman falls over underwater and causes a tsunami.


      MADHERO: Are you kidding, Jacob Tremblay totally doesn't get the really important character that is Flounder. He's gonna ruin it.


      LARRY: Flounder’s parents died in the great sea civil war and NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT IT.


      STICKMAN: Deepest lore.


      RIAN JOHNSON’S NEXT FILM KNIVES OUT GETS FIRST WACKY TRAILER

      It's been a little while since Rian Johnson destroyed the internet with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Whilst 99% of the world probably wishes that film never happened on account of the toxicity that spawned from it, there was no denying Johnson did a good job directing, and that paired with his previous masterpiece 'Looper' (And several highly rated episodes of Breaking Bad), people were keen to get their eyes on his next project. We've known about 'Knives Out' and its insane ensemble cast for some time, but we finally got our first look at it  this week via a trailer.


      Seemingly being a lot more playful and quirky than at least I expected from Johnson, 'Knives Out' sees Daniel Craig play a masterful southern detective who's tasked with weeding out the killer of a world renowned crime novelist (Christopher Plummer) who was killed at a family gathering for his birthday.  Naturally that means the killer had to be a relative, and what ensues is a classic 'whodunnit' murder mystery featuring a strange and quirky cast of characters, with everyone from Chris Evans, Toni Colette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon and even Lakeith Stanfield involved in some capacity. The campy fun tone  almost makes it feel like a remake of the cult favourite 'Clue' movie from the 80s, albeit one with an award winning cast and a acclaimed director involved. TLDR, it looks pretty fuckin' dope.


      MADHERO: This was honestly not what I expected from a movie called Knives Out but I'm still really stoked for this film


      STICKMAN: Having seen Looper I was expecting something a little darker, but hey ho, we got Chris Evans swearing up a storm instead.


      LARRY: There seem to be very few knives being out. I was expecting every character to have their own personal knife, Johnson!1!1!1


      MADHERO: Ruin Johnson at it again. There's lots of knives tho. There's just very little stabbing happening. Except maybe Christopher Plummer, what with him being the victim


      LARRY: Yeah this movie looks really fun. I love how Chris Evans has been cast heavily against type.


      STICKMAN: So many years of playing Captain America, it's time to LET LOOSE.


      MADHERO: The cast of it is pretty stellar. Evans has of course been mostly Cap but he can make a really good douchebag.


      STICKMAN: Jamie Lee back it again too.


      LARRY: And Daniel Craig does fucking GREAT accents. This and Logan Lucky prove it.


      MADHERO: She's taking the whole dad being dead thing pretty well, and Craig looks like a lot of fun as the Poirot type


      LARRY: Seems like we’re all in agreement that this looks rad. Great music choice too.


      STICKMAN: Can't wait for it to turn out to be another Star Wars movie and people to lose their shit.


      MADHERO: I can't believe it was purple haired Laura Dern all along.


      THE FLASH LOSES JOHN FRANCIS DALEY AND JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN, AND GAINS IT DIRECTOR ANDY MUSCHIETTI

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      it's fair to say that the original plan for the DCEU has not panned out very well, but In the last year their new focus on lighter, stand-alone movies has. Aquaman wasn't very good, but it played well with general audiences and was a huge box office hit, whilst Shazam delivered the DCEU a critical smash, even if it failed to light the box office on fire. With dozens of projects in various stages of production, we only know four movies are coming for certain (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 84, Suicide Squad 2 and The Batman), but one film that has been on and off for a while now is The Flash, and this week we got more information about its future.


      After having lost 2 directors already (Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa), word has come out that next ones, Spider-Man Homecoming's writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are now also out. Now, Andy Muschietti now in talks to replace them, who up to his point has been a primarily horror focused director, breaking out with 'Mama' before exploding onto the scene with the mega successful  'IT', of which he's currently finishing up the sequel. If he were to sign on, this would continue the trend of Warner Bros seeking help with the DC universe from its large roster of horror alumni, with James Wan (SAW, The Conjuring) and David Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation) having directed the last two released DC outings. This isn't a done deal at this point, but it seems pretty likely to happen...although with The Flash it seems you can't assume the director will remain until the film's actually in cinemas...if indeed, it ever makes it there.


      MADHERO: For being based on The Fastest Man Alive, they sure are slow with this one.


      LARRY: I wouldn’t be opposed to this considering horror directors have been the only genuinely great thing to happen to the DCEU.


      STICKMAN: Patty Jenkins is offended.


      LARRY: WW is a perfectly good movie, but Aquaman is bursting with vision and Shazam fucking rules so.


      MADHERO: James Wan had also done a Fast and Furious movie so its not like he was just a horror guy, but yeah its a funny coincidence


      LARRY: Bring on the weird Flash horror shit. Flash’s powers as a whole could open up some weird possibilities.


      MADHERO: Honeslty I don't know what to expect anymore. The script by Daley and Goldstein has been thrown out which was supposedly very comedic and also Miller and Grant Morrison's which was to be kinda dark.


      STICKMAN: Let's have a bit of both. Throw in another weird Annabelle cameo and you got a HIT.


      LARRY: Tbh Daley and Goldstein are fine writers, but I think the Flash movie can do better.


      MADHERO: They now got Christina Hodson who wrote Birds of Prey for DC and also Bumblebee, but honestly I find it hard to care when production has been such a mess. They're at their 4th director and their 10th script at this stage.


      LARRY: Yikes. Honestly though, it looks to be learning from Shazam, which is the best DCEU by miles, so I’m hopeful.


      STICKMAN: Ezra Miller ain't ever gonna fight Reverse Flash.


      MADHERO: I'd have liked to have seen Daley and Goldstein's version cause they did well with Spider-Man Homecoming, but as with most DC films, I'll wait and see. At this stage it ain't out till 2030


      STICKMAN: Never trust the DCEU. Always trust ...horror directors? Hm.


      SONY RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR REBOOT/SEQUEL OF CHARLIE'S ANGELS

      Despite having been something people are aware of since the series came out in 1976, its been a while since we've seen anything Charlie's Angels related. Full Throttle, the last film starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu came out in 2003, and besides a failed tv pilot, there hadn't been much since. Sony, in its neverending conquests for more franchises, has finally resurrected and given the keys to Elizabeth Banks to give the Angels a more feminist take, and boy do they want you to know she's in charge, having a director, producing and writing credit. Not to mention the fact she's also acting in it. Not as one of the Angels, mind, but as Bosley. Well, one of them.


      The Angel roles is divided between Kristen Stewart (who seems to be having a lot of fun), Ella Balinska and Aladdin's Naomi Scott as the noobie of the group. The trailer itself is not much to write home about. It feels a tad confusingly edited which made the action hard to follow, and I don't know if that's the trailer's or film's fault. The trailer also really pushes the collaboration song by Ariane Grande, Lana del Ray and Miley Cyrus, although the trailer seems to mostly use Grande's part. What I've seen so far leaves me a tad apathetic, but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot if its good.


      STICKMAN: How hard is it to make a contemporary Charlie's Angels movie with a great cast? Very, apparently.


      LARRY: I’m not really sold on the casting. Stewart kinda looks to be phoning it in.


      MADHERO: Really? I think she looks like she's having a lot of fun. Its been a while since she's been in a big movie like this.


      STICKMAN: It just looks really naff, and kinda...unevolved.


      LARRY: The only real take from it is like....ooh, the angels are BADASS now. But like, in a badass way, not in an overtly sexualized way. Which is fine, just not really enough to hinge a whole movie on...?


      MADHERO: It looks fine I guess. I like the main trio. I like Elizabeth Banks, though maybe not as much as the movie seems to


      STICKMAN: I was expecting something more from a post MeToo era take on Charlie's Angels. It doesn't even look well filmed, just seems kinda bland and TV movie esque.


      LARRY: Yeah Banks doesn’t seem to be doing much here. She’s the mentor, I guess?


      MADHERO: She's one of the Bosley's, along with Patrick Stewart and Djimon Honsou There's still a chance it'll go and tackle its place in the MeToo. Hard to do so in a trailer.


      STICKMAN: It just feels like another Charlie's Angels movie. But without much in the way of PIZZAZZZZ. Proooove me wrong, movie.


      MADHERO: At least the song is gonna get like a billion views


      TAIKA WAITITI SIGNS ON TO DISNEY/FOX'S ANIMATED ADAPTATION OF FLASH GORDON

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      Well, now we know why Taika Waititi dropped ol’ Bubbles and Netflix. Turns out the Disney dollar is worth just a little bit more. While he’s also busy with Akira, Waititi has signed on to Disney-Fox’s animated adaptation of Flash Gordon, the popular 1930’s comic strip centered on polo-playing space hero Gordon and his adventures on the planet Mongo, thwarting the plans of Ming the Merciless. Currently it is unknown specifically what Waititi’s role will be. He may direct, he may write, he may do both. I dunno.


      The comic led to a television series and many movies, most popular being the live-action adaptation from 1980 starting Sam Jones and Max von Sydow featuring a soundtrack by Queen, who just so happen to be having their own rage in popularity. Now, it looks like he’ll be returning to his roots in animated form!! Waititi seems to be gravitating toward animated projects with this and Bubbles, and I’m excited to see if Waititi will become the next great mind to enter the animation game. I dunno, we’ll see. Either way, Flash Gordon is a lot of fun cheesy camp, famous for actually heavily inspiring other space operas like Star Wars, so here’s hoping Disney-Fox give us a fun, dumb time at the movies.


      STICKMAN: This isn't Bubbles, THIS ISN'T BUBBLES AT ALL.


      MADHERO: Thor Ragnarok was basically a Flash Gordon movie so this feels like it fits his wheelhouse


      LARRY: But he’s also suited for 80’s inspired action adventure silly comedic romps. Yayyyyyyy


      MADHERO: We at least know the sound will be inferior cause no Queen.


      STICKMAN: Maybe they can get Muse instead. That's basically just a Queen tribute band.


      STICKMAN: The Flash Gordon movie was hella gay. I'm just putting it out there.


      LARRY: With this and He-Man Time to gay it up.


      MADHERO: With this, Jojo Rabbit and Akira (which seems to be underway casting), Waititi sure is a busy boy.


      STICKMAN: He deserves it, although...stooop mootiooon.


      LARRY: Hey may still do it Sticky. Just in some other vein.


      MADHERO: Bubbles had to die so that everything else may live.


      DISNEY RELEASES FIRST TEASER TRAILER FOR LIVE ACTION REMAKE OF MULAN

      EXTREE EXTREE, WE GOT A SURPRISE DISNEY TRAILER DROP, and it's actually good?? Well, yeah, kinda. We were all a bit cautious when Disney announced they planned on tackling MULAN in their live-action remake series, the story of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man so she can enter the Chinese armed forces in place of her unfit and ailing father. Oh yeah and there's an Eddie Murphy dragon in there as well. And then we started hearing some details about the film, such as the rumor that it would ditch the classic Disney songs (still no word on if that is still a thing), as well as its replacement of characters like Mushu and Shang. Then, we got a cast of some of the best Asian actors working today, and suddenly things seemed hopeful. Welp, during the Women's World Cup Final, we got our first trailer, and it seems to be that some of those rumors may hold water.


      Though the music sounds a hell of a lot like "Reflection” none of the original songs in this trailer. Besides for the basic plot elements, there seems to be very little in terms of calling back the original animated film. This is probably because the film's script takes inspiration from the original Chinese ballad, which happens to have several key differences from the 1998 animated film. Apparently Mushu is set to appear, and Shang's character has been replaced by some other guy played by Yoson An. But, more importantly, the kung-fu action looks massive in scope. Obviously we have seen very little from the film, but I would say this is definitely the best teaser for one of these live-action remakes and has the potential to be the first one to genuinely adapt the source material into something all its own. Here's hoping.


      MADHERO: There's a distinct lack of dragon in this teaser trailer.


      STICKMAN: A distinct lack of dragon in this, another Disney live action remake news story.


      MADHERO: I honestly don't know what they'll keep the same and what they change. Here they've changed some characters and even the main villain from the Huns to a witch, which is honestly fine by me since Mulan's villain is rather bland.


      STICKMAN: As long as its changes for the better I have no issue with them deviating.


      LARRY: Yeah they're playing it close to the chest. But so far, no shot-for-shot comparison trailers.


      STICKMAN: It could certainly do with an infusing of the colours of the animated movie. Shit looks blaaaand.


      LARRY: I disagree, I really don't think it looks as bland as you're saying.


      STICKMAN: Different direction is fine, but you don't gotta drain the life out of it in the process. The teaser was fine, but I don't care very much about this.


      MADHERO: To be fair its hard to care unless people are Mad Online about it. Here they'll probably be mad about the lack of dragons and crickets. Or sauce


      STICKMAN: Lack of dragons is a BIG ISSUE, HMMMM.


      LARRY: I think they just stripped this teaser of any callbacks to show they mean business. It definitely looks more akin to some kung-fu movie than it does a Disney live-action remake.


      STICKMAN: Stripped the teaser of any personallittyyy toooomnngghh...the poster was cool though.


      MADHERO: Its still some ways off, but so far it looks like it at leasts deviates a bit from the original, which I can appreciate. We'll see if the movie can be swift as a coursing river in March 2020


      LARRY: HOPE HE DOESN'T SEE RIGHT THROUGH MEEEEEEE


      MADHERO: Right now its as mysterious as the dark side of the moon.


      STICKMAN: You boys.


      -------

      MADHERO: Alright, with that out of the way, I guess we need to talk about no good wall crawling motherfucking pissdrinking fucking shiteating SpiderdMan. We've been covering Spider-Man movies for quite some time now, and now its Far From Home's turn in the spotlight. The first MCU film since the release of Endgame, this acts as the capping point of the Infinity Saga (but really its more its own thing cause Sony). Plus with Spider-Verse, the bar has somewhat been raised.


      STICKMAN: But can it top Amazing Spider-Man 2?!


      MADHERO: I mean, maybe? I dunno. That depends what we all thought of it, cause we all did and I think we each have our different take.


      STICKMAN: Is it gonna get...SPICY in here!?


      LARRY: Ooh exciting. A-SPICY MEATABALLS


      MADHERO: Alright, lets make this meatball sub of takes.


      REVIEW

      SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

      DIRECTOR: Jon Watts (Cop Car, Spider-Man: Homecoming)

      STARRING: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Tony Revolori, Angourine Rice

      SYNOPSIS: Peter Parker (Holland) goes on a school trip to Europe with his classmates (Zendaya, Batalon etc.). While abroad, he is recruited by Nick Fury (Jackson) to team up with Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal), also known as Mysterio, to battle the Elementals.

      MADHERO: So my opinion on Spider-Man movies changes almost constantly, having seem them since they officially started making them in 2001. I was convinced at one point that Homecoming was the best Spider-Man movie, and now I'm not too sure on that front. I really really liked when it came out, but since then its not really stuck with me. I do really enjoy Tom Holland's Peter Parker and have done so in his solo films and with the rest of the Avengers.


      Far From Home is definitely not in the running to be the top Spider-Man movie, at least for me. That's mostly thanks to a first half that to me didn't feel all that interesting or where the humor, especially involving Martin Starr and JB Smoove's teachers didn't work for me. Luckily the movie really picks up in the 2nd half, largely thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio, who's easily the MVP of the film. Also I can appreciate what the "Home" series does with putting Spidey in situtations that hadn't been done on film yet or put him in different surroundings. The European aspect is, as a European, pretty cathartic, not gonna lie. Besides that, its a Spider-man movie and you get most of what you expect, and in some cases more.


      spider-man-far-from-home-premiere-reacts

      STICKMAN: I'd disagree on the first half not being fun, because I really enjoyed it. I think it really depends on if the humour lands for you or not, because the first half is so reliant on comedy, but it did it for me. This film was one half fun Europe-spanning teen comedy with superhero elements, and then a second half something more emotionally engaging and action packed. I think it improves on Homecoming from a visual point, as I felt that movie struggled to provide good action scenes, nailing the small stuff, but not so much the bigger things.  In terms of what I wanted from the movie, it's all delivered in the second half, as you said. But the first half I felt was a fun Peter Parker/Spider-Man  struggle  that is classic comic book material. I really liked Far From Home, moreso than Homecoming, I'd need to rewatch, but it could be my favourite live action spidey.


      LARRY: I’d have to side with Mad on the first half. Felt kinda choppily edited to me and I found it wasn’t giving a lot of scenes enough breathing room cuz they wanted to inject so much humor. The second half is much better than the first, largely because it does give moments more breathing room while also providing just enough humor and some pretty awesome action. I agree with Mad that Mysterio is the best part for sure. Gyllenhaal is excellent and the way they visualize the character is pitch-perfect. My main issue with the film overall is that it felt a tad bloated to me, trying to tackle a little too much and not all of it perfectly harmonizing. I still don’t quite think the writing for Spidey has reached god-tier MCU levels, but as it stands FAR FROM HOME is a fun addition to the MCU with a great cast and strong humor overall.


      STICKMAN: I thought the editing and pacing was fine in the first half, maybe a little abrupt in terms of leaving New York, but the European tour part I felt was good.


      LARRY: I dunno, just some scenes felt kinda fluffy to me? The movie doesn’t really start until Nick Fury shows up, and even then it takes a while for things to get going.


      MADHERO: It started to deal with a lot of high school tropes that feel mostly played out at this point. Will say though that the beginning probably had one of the bigger laughs. Like, the very beginning


      STICKMAN: Oh yeah, it dealt with the fallout of Endgame pretty well. Not too sappy, we've done sappy.


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      LARRY: I agree that the high school tropes felt overdone. And in general I just really didn’t give a shit about the Peter and MJ romance. It felt largely less interesting than post-Endgame stuff and Mysterio stuff.


      MADHERO: Ehhh, I kinda liked that if only cause Holland and Zendaya have really solid chemistry


      LARRY: They do but I don’t find Zendaya’s character all that likable Admittedly she’s less cringe than she was in Homecoming. But like...I don’t get it. Guess it’s just a me thing.


      MADHERO: I liked her snark and I dug that she was allowed to show more as she spends more time with Peter. I think we can all agree Mysterio was the highlight though


      STICKMAN: I think Spider-Man was the highlight but  Mysterio was great fun.


      LARRY: Gyllenhaal CRUSHED it. Mysterio is fucking awesome. Gyllenhaal basically gets to be an everyman AND a character actor and it’s amazing.


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      MADHERO: His costume is really cool and I think they've done a really fun interpetation of the character. He definitely steals the show.


      STICKMAN: I think him and Peter make a great on screen pair, in terms of bouncing off each other. These Spider-Man  films have had fun with the villains.


      MADHERO: Yeah, you can see why he projects a bit of Tony Stark on him. I think my favorite aspect besides Mysterio is the location hopping, cause I like seeing Spidey in different environments other than New York, like the Washington scene in Homeconing. A certain spot got me good


      LARRY: Yeah it’s fun seeing a change of pace in that sense. Spidey hopping around European architecture instead of city buildings.


      STICKMAN: Spider-Man in London was fun to see, they kinda teased that in Amazing Spider-Man 2 but  it was all a DANG TROLL.


      STICKMAN: I do feel the personality of New York  was lacking a little in this film. They didn't  really show the personality of the different regions, except one. It was more a literal sightseeing tour. Fun, though.


      spider-man-far-from-home-stealth-suit-11


      MADHERO: I think we've gone as far as we could without going into spoilers. All in all, I had a good time with Far From Home, but the first half does drag down for me. While I enjoy it, its on the middle end for me on Spider-Man films and on the lower end of MCU. That said, as a nice change of pace after the collosus that was Endgame, this felt like a nice adventure. Plus, the end credits leave room for something very different and exciting. No spoilers, but hot damn.


      STICKMAN: I really enjoyed this film, I feel the mix of a Parker heavy first half and then a Spider-Man heavy second makes perfect sense given the premise of the film...and I enjoyed both a lot. Yes the second half is  better, but I enjoyed the first half all the same. It's in the upper MCUs for me, and probably higher than Homecoming. And yeah, those mid/end credits scenes? Hoooooowee.


      LARRY: I certainly wouldn’t call this lower end MCU, even with my qualms. It’s certainly better than Homecoming, that’s for sure. I enjoyed it a lot and I loved Mysterio’s implementation. Also, I didn’t really mention this, but the cast really is great, making meh material work wonders. Especially Holland, he’s excellent and the definitive Spidey. And...yeah, as they’ve said, stick around after the credits. Yeah. Fun.


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

      MADHERO: Alright, we're not done with reviews yet, cause we have to talk about some creepy Swedes. Ari Aster burst on to the scene with Hereditary, a genuinely skincrawling horror film that really sticks with you. Needless to say ,expectations for his next film are pretty up there. So up there that there's no nighttime and almost always bright daylight.


      STICKMAN: Oh shiiiiit. OH SHIIIIIIIT.


      LARRY: OH SWEEWEEEEEEEDE.


      MADHERO: Sticky was the only one of us brave enough to go. So how was this fun wacky Swedish adventure? Is Aster the real deal after this?


      MIDSOMMAR

      DIRECTOR: Ari Aster (Hereditary)

      STARRING: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter

      SYNOPSIS: A couple (Pugh, Reynor) travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

      STICKMAN: I'll get my main disappointment out of the way first...I wish this was more of a horror film? Don't get me wrong, it's dark and disturbing and has moments of extreme violence...but it has very few directly horror'esque moments. Hereditary was a slowburn family drama that had a constant underlying atmosphere of horror that then exploded out in the last 30 minutes. Midsommar doesn't have as many of those, and that was disappointing to me. THAT SAID, once you look beyond that? Great bloody movie. Much as Hereditary was a character study on grief and family trauma, Midsommar is a study on toxic relationships and co-dependency, except in this film's case, it sticks that theme through all the way to the end, with perhaps one of the best movie endings of recent memory. It's absolutely fucking crazy and I loved it to bits. The whole film is beautiful, using its sun soaked, folk-fueled setting to great effect. Performances are great all around really, with Florence Pugh especially getting the full Colette emotional roller-coaster of a role.


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      Although this is a slowburn film, I never found it boring, just because it's so visually absorbing and emotionally engaging. When things do start hitting the fan? They really hit it hard...like, damn...this movie's fucked up and at times, psychedelic as fuck. As with Hereditary there's a lot of hidden details, or details that only become details retrospectively..there's even a few trippy hidden background details which are gonna freak a few people out I bet. I really loved this film, it's not gonna be for everyone, if you're going in expecting a full-on horror movie, you're gonna be sorely disappointed. The fact that I was disappointed at the lack of spooks, but still came out hugely impressed? That should say a lot about Midsommar. And yeah...don't watch this if you've not got the stomach for some truly shocking imagery. Hooooooowee.


      MADHERO: Midsommar not going to be for everyone? After Hereditary? Who'd have thunk.


      STICKMAN: This is even moreso not for everyone.


      LARRY: I don’t think I will ever be in the right mindset for this movie.


      STICKMAN: It's got its funny moments too, it's not as consistently miserable as Hereditary.


      MADHERO: Yeah, some people have pointed out how its oddly funny at times, which definitely seems odd, but hey I'll take it


      STICKMAN: There's a character who gives the reactions most normal people would in such a truly strange scenario, so I think that helps bring a bit of fun to proceedings.


      LARRY: Hey, all fear is first reflected through awkward laughter.


      MADHERO: So if Florence Pugh going to get snubbed for an Oscar like Toni Collete was? Who else stands out, you feel?


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      STICKMAN: She's very much the star, but everyone gives a strong performance in their respective roles, Jack Reynor plays a very good shitty boyfriend, and Will Poulter plays the graceless outspoken ass we all have in our lives. There's some good Swedish performances, the softly spoken menace those Scandis do so well.


      MADHERO: I saw that William Jackson Harper is one of the friends so in my headcannon this is one of the Bad Place timelines, but good to hear that everyone is strong.


      LARRY: Any interesting stuff done with the score? Always interested in a good horror score.


      STICKMAN: The scores a fun mix of somewhat diegetic and creepy folk music, and the droning background scores more familiar to those who saw Hereditary. The ending music pairs with the ...situation very nicely.


      MADHERO: Are there any other films to compare it to? I'm getting some major Wicker Man vibes


      STICKMAN: Oh yeah, very Wicker Man'esque, this feels almost set in the same world as that. That jolly isolated commune and the horrors that await outsiders who come to visit. It goes through some of the same motions but does so in its own maddening and beautiful style. It's probably quite similar in terms of general structure to a romantic drama...if not entirely in terms of content. It's all about finding out what's best for yourself in a struggling relationship...set to the backdrop of a violent Swedish folk festival.


      MADHERO: The ultimate breakup movie. Anything else you'd like to mention before we move on?


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      STICKMAN: I will say once again, whilst this isn't an easy watch, it's not as hard a watch as maybe you'd expect from Hereditary. It's twisted as hell, and has moments of extreme graphic violence, but ...yeah...the barrier's gonna be more the long running time and slow pace for most people. But yeah, I really loved this film, Ari Aster has now produced two of the strangers, most visually creative and  interesting horror films of recent memory. I can't wait to see what's next in the SCREAMING LADY TRAUMA TRILOGY OF TERRORS.


      -----------

      MADHERO: Ok then. Now with Spider-Man, there's finally some life in the corpse that is Summer 2019. Let's see if there's anything else that can be used as a defibrillator.


      STICKMAN: Spoilers: No there isn't.


      LARRY: Do Crocs make good defibrillators...?


      MADHERO: I dunno, ask them.


      MOVIES

      CRAWL

      DIRECTOR: Alexandre Aja (Horns, The 9th Life of Louis Drax)

      STARRING: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Anson Boon, Jose Palma

      SYNOPSIS: A young woman (Scodelario), while attempting to save her father (Pepper) during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

      STICKMAN: Another movie PERPETUATING NEGATIVE SCALED STEREOTYPES. Also it looks kinda dumb.


      MADHERO: Alexandre Aja got bored of piranha's and now he's ready to take on those gators.


      STICKMAN: From VISIONARY CREATOR SAM RAIMI andtheguywhodidthehillshaveeyesremake.


      LARRY: This entire movie is basically just a flood and crocs, right?


      STICKMAN: What if there was lots of water and then giant crocodiles ate people.


      MADHERO: Basically. I'm sure there's more to the story to the daughter and father, but I think almost every one just want to see some chompin'


      STICKMAN: Like...if this is good? I'd definitely go see it. Love a good creature feature. The odds of this being good, though? Hmmmmm...looooowwww...real low. Giving me Sharknado vibes from the trailers and nobody should aspire to be giving those vibes off.


      LARRY: Yeah even if it’s good, count me out. It’s probably gonna tank anyhow.


      STICKMAN: But the big croccos, Larry.


      STUBER

      DIRECTOR: Michael Dowse (Goon, The F Word)

      STARRING: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Karen Gillan, Mira Sorvino

      SYNOPSIS: A mild-mannered Uber driver (Nanjiani) picks up Vic (Bautista), a grizzled detective who is hot on the trail of a sadistic, bloodthirsty terrorist (Uwais).

      STICKMAN: Wacky American comedy...endorsed by Uber?


      MADHERO: Haha, get it, cause Stu is the name of the driver and he's a Uber driver. That's so funnnnnnyyyyyyyyy


      STICKMAN: I wheeze.


      MADHERO: Its weird cause I like both Kumail Nanjiani and  Dave Bautista, and it even throws in other people I like such as Iko Uwais, Karen Gillen and Betty Gilpin and it still does nothing to me.


      LARRY: This is an unexpectedly fun comedic duo that looks to be wasted.


      STICKMAN: They seem to be playing into the tropes people assume from them, rather than giving the range and charm that actually makes them funny. Kumail is just being awkward and nerdy, Bautista is YELLING THINGS REEALLY LOUDLY.


      MADHERO: Stuber? More like..... Stupid.


      STICKMAN: Oh shit. DAMN. C-c-c-cCANCELLED.


      LARRY: Gottem.


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

      MADHERO: Well, that's pretty much it....huh...well there was Spider-Man and Midsommar, so at least we got that. Luckily there's MOVIE OF THE WE-E-E-E-E-E-K!!!!


      STICKMAN: OH SHIT, I KEEP SAYING THAT WHENEVER THIS SEGMENT STARTS


      LARRY: STICKY YOU'VE GOT A CONDITION

      STICKMAN: I REALLY DO, SEVERAL EVEN.


      MADHERO: We'll have to get that looked at soon, but first we'll go through some movies.


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      So this is a tad awkward. As per usual, I went to the International Film Festival Rotterdam where I only really saw 2 films cause not much interested me honestly. One of the films, Shadow, I named my MOTW then, and now that its out on DVD, I might as well talk about the 2nd: Claire Denis' sci fi film High Life.


      This is very much in the arthouse corner of science fiction so be aware of that going in. The movie doesn't really give you much in the way of answers and is way more of a moodpiece than anything else. A moodpiece that can often turn quite nasty under some pretty grueling circumstances, so its not exactly a fun experience. While I really admired the craftsmanship and work put in by Denis and the actors involved, I'm not completely sure if I was in the right mood for it  or simply didn't like it, but I can't deny that it was interesting, so maybe you might really click with it.


      STICKMAN: I hope it is not too much like Solaris. Or as I like to call it, Snorealis.


      MADHERO: Its definitely comparable to Solaris, so sorry about that.


      LARRY: WOMP WOMPPPPP This is on my Watchlist, so yeah I'd like to check it out one of these days. How's Pattinson?


      MADHERO: Pattinson is really good as expected. His character is more subdued than usual. More of the expressive acting comes from Juliette Binoche and her scientist type


      STICKMAN: Does it get fucked up. It got that sweet 18 rating.


      LARRY: I'm sure it does. If that ain't the appeal...


      MADHERO: Oh yes. It gets pretty fucked up and messy. This movie is not gonna for the faint of heart.


      LARRY: Midsommar? High Life? More like....High...Sommar......LIfe....


      STICKMAN: A24 at it again.


      MADHERO: What about you, Sticky? Is your movie more for the whole family?


      STICKMAN: Actually, yessss. For once.


      LARRY: Woah.


      STICKMAN: Unless you've been living under a rock this year, you're probably aware  we're approaching the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, one of mankind's most significant accomplishments. And to commemorate that, a documentary retelling the events of the launch, journey, landing, exploration and return has been released. Apollo 11, a mixture of remastered footage, diagrams and never before seen, digitally cleaned up 70mm colour footage of the NASA operations at the time.


      It’s a documentary that's less interested in the potential sentimentality of the landing, and moreso in the scientific achievement and dedication it took to get those people up there.  It's an unbias, narration free retrospective of the journey, pairing the footage and famous quotes we've all seen and heard many times with all new images of the mission control staff at work. It's surprisingly thrilling, helped by a pulsing soundtrack, and the literally groundshaking IMAX sound design. Even outside of IMAX it's well worth a watch to commemorate the anniversary, but if you can? IMAX is an amazing experience.


      LARRY: Narration-free? SIGN ME UP.


      MADHERO: Man, great to finally got a doc into Stanley Kubrick's process


      STICKMAN: Stanley Kubrick launched himself into the moon just to fake this landing. It's very impressive.


      LARRY: Ugh man I wish I caught this in IMAX. I hear it's incredible.


      MADHERO: How worth is it to see this movie without the IMAX? Sounds like a lesser experience to be sure


      STICKMAN: When the rocket took off,  I thought the ceiling was going to come down on me. Loud doesn't even begin to describe it. Without the IMAX you're still getting a really exciting and authentic retelling  of one of the most amazing feats accomplished in modern times, so yeah...still worth a look. Just to see the moment in time in such vivid detail is impressive.


      LARRY: Would you say it provides new insight?


      STICKMAN: As someone who wasn't born at the time, it provided a good insight into the oddly casual nature of the mission for those involved, there's a lot of dry humour and the momentous occasion of the landing isn't met with much of that bombastic NASA applause you'd expect.


      MADHERO: Good job, Kubrick. How about you, Larry? What's your Movie of the Week?


      LARRY: So, very much on a whim seeing as I was in need of a pick-me-up (and Spider-Man hadn't come out yet), I decided to check out the Boyle/Curtis double-bill YESTERDAY, that Beatles movie you’ve been hearing about. I went in to this film with very middling expectations and came out having enjoyed myself whilst acknowledging the film has many, many problems.


      A movie can get away with a lot if it’s funny, and yeah, this is pretty funny. The cast especially makes this mediocre screenplay salvageable; Himesh Patel is likable as the lead, Lily James provides yet another uniquely grounded performance to her career, and Kate McKinnon is so fucking dark and deadpan it made my heart sing. Also Ed Sheeran is here, and I was far less annoyed with him than I expected. Add that to some fascinating concepts thrown around that give this simple concept some heft (even though they aren’t really explored enough…) and Danny Boyle giving this flaky romcom as much frenetic energy as he can in his direction and editing, and you have an imbalanced but enjoyable film that perhaps could’ve used less romcom-y-ness and more interesting universe character-driven exploration….ness. Check it out if ya want a fun time at the cinema.


      STICKMAN: I'm about the same, it was more enjoyable than expected but still very much...what I expected? If that makes any sense.


      LARRY: Yeah, the film at first looks to be this kinda fun, deadpan comedic exploration of the concept and then...sorta...succumbs to its romcom side plot after trying to balance both for two acts.


      MADHERO: I've heard so many hot takes surrounding this film. Mostly that Boyle and Curtis are two great flavors that don't really go well together


      STICKMAN: Basically, Boyle is at his best with a bit of edge, and this film has literally no edges.


      LARRY: And he tries sooooooo hard to edge it. Some of these scenes are so frenetically edited and oddly shot I was getting Trainspotting flashbacks.


      MADHERO: At least there's some good Beatles tunes. The covers I assume are pretty good?


      LARRY: Yeah, I liked most of them. They don't really try to reinvent the material per se, just sorta give it a slightly more modern sound, and Himesh Patel has a nice voice.


      MADHERO: I like the premise, but I think I'm more likely to see this on Netflix than in the theater. Maybe just not enough of a Beatle fan


      LARRY: It is kinda a perfect Netflix watch.


      STICKMAN: I'm not a big Beatles man to be honest. Should've been like, what if...Metallica was erased from history, instead.


      LARRY: That sure would be a movie. Sequel, perhaps?


      ---------

      MADHERO: Alright, I think that about wraps everything. The summer drought continues with a whole 2 movies coming next week, but hey, considering they're the biggest Disney remake and a new Tarantino film, I can see why others are running scared.


      LARRY: Oh boy. That is sure gonna be a week.


      STICKMAN: Oh good more Disney remakes. I'd rather take a car ride with Tarantino.


      LARRY: God you really like to make jokes about that.


      MADHERO: Damn. Well I'll gladly be mauled by CGI lions. We'll see our purpose in the Box Office Circle of Life.... next time

    • At The Screwvies: Episode 137

      2 months ago

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      MADHERO: Hmmmm, I dunno about you guys, but this summer has been feeling pretty weak. Whole bunch of sequels or reboots have come and gone without much fanfare, and now we're rooting for Endgame to come back. We're gonna need something to draw interest, something truly radical and wild. How about some....alive toys? Maybe that'll work.


      STICKMAN: Spooky toys, spooky toys EVERYWHERE. It's time to revive this sequel and reboot heavy Summer with...two sequels and a reboot. LET'S FUCKIN' GO.


      LARRY: Ah, the irony.


      MADHERO: Damn. Maybe we should let Thanos go and take the record after all. Well, at least one of these is confirmed to be massive. How about we get to the news before we have to deal with more live toys.


      STICKMAN: Alright, we'll just leave Annabelle rocking away for the time being then.



      NEWS

      FIRST TEASER FOR DOCTOR SLEEP RELEASES


      Now, I know what you've been thinking. "Gosh, I wish they'd do a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's ' horror classic 'The Shining' almost 40 years on from its release" , WELL GOOD NEWS. That's happening, and whilst alarm bells are likely ringing, it may not actually by the disaster you'd assume. Designed to be both an adaptation of Stephen King's written sequel to the original Shining, and also a direct continuation of the Kubrick movie, Doctor Sleep has a lot riding on it, and we got our first look at it in action this week.

      Directed by Mike Flannigan (Hush, Gerard's Game, Oculus, and most recently, The Haunting of Hill House), the first teaser for Doctor Sleep was light on details but heavy on visuals, finding an adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) still seemingly dealing with his 'imaginary' friend Tony, and his ability to 'shine' disturbing visions. The trailer reveals he's not the only one, and most exciting of all, shows Danny revisiting the Overlook Hotel where his father previously went...slightly homicidal. Ending on a haunting replication of one of cinema's most iconic shots, the whole thing really goes above and beyond selling you on the otherwise hard to swallow sequel concept. Honestly? I'm excited as hell, the director has an excellent track record, and what we've now seen seems to suggest he'll be continuing that streak in grand style.


      MADHERO: Not gonna lie, it takes some massive fucking balls to make a sequel to The Shining.


      STICKMAN: It's one of Kubrick's most famous films...AND it's one of Stephen King's most hated adaptations. This was a big risk.


      LARRY: Definitely. Thankfully Doctor Sleep has become a big hitter in King's library so at least they had that going for them.


      MADHERO: Honestly I've mostly heard mixed things about the actual novel. King is very hit and miss. Most of my excitement mainly comes from Flanagan, who's proven to have an excellent track record. That and turning one of King's lesser works (Gerald's Game) into a pretty sold film


      LARRY: Yeah Mike Flanagan is doing well right now, and the trailer for this looks maaaaad cool.


      STICKMAN: If this was just a bog-standard Stephen King adaptation I'd be pretty disinterested, I'm not exactly his biggest fan, that said...I love Kubrick's The Shining and Flannigan is a sleeper hit of a director I FEEL. I'm READY.


      LARRY: Never can have enough Ewan.


      STICKMAN: I hope he says POOOOOH?! in this one too.


      MADHERO: Its definitely fascinating to revisit Danny now as a adult, after experiencing something that messed up.


      STICKMAN: Maybe we'll finally find out if the moon landing was faked.


      LARRY: Redrum and all that jazz.


      STICKMAN: Yvan eht nioj.



      DARK PHOENIX SUFFERS WORST OPENING AND RT SCORE IN X-MEN HISTORY. DIRECTOR SIMON KINBERG APOLOGIZES

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      So, needless to say, none of us here at Screwvies were particularly excited for Dark Phoenix, and apparently neither was the rest of the world. Despite already low estimates, this continuation of the already tired franchise set a new low in terms of box office, opening in second place at $33 million, the lowest of any X-Men film by a good amount. To make matters even worse, the following weekend, the film dropped 72.6%, earning only another three million. Putting this in perspective, the film has said to cost about $200 million (though it’s several reshoots and delays would suggest otherwise), so with its international gross at $152 over two weeks, the film just manages to overcome its initial budget. But, given marketing, it’s not nearly enough to have made enough profit. Sad boi hours for the ol’ X-Men.

      The really interesting, and kinda refreshing, part of this story is that Simon Kinberg, a longtime writer and producer for the franchise making his directorial debut with “Dark Phoenix,” has taken the blame for the film’s financial failures. In a recent radio interview, Kinberg said the film simply didn’t connect with audiences and that that’s “on [him],” and has received support from Deadpool director Tim Miller who believes the film will become more appreciated with age. Hell, he might be right. “Dark Phoenix” simply couldn’t compete in a market that already is saturated with so many big releases and event movies, let alone with a franchise recently swallowed up by Disney with an impending reboot. Perhaps this will be a lesson for Fox in the future...meaning that it’s time to reLEASE NEW MUTANTS YOU COWARDS. DO IT. STOP DELAYING SHIT AND DO IT.


      MADHERO: Fox: Just do something. Kinberg: IDON'TKNOWWHATTODO


      STICKMAN: THAT LINE ISN'T EVEN IN THE FILM. BOOOO. I was sat ready the entire time to bask in its glory. And it never came. This is why the movie failed.


      MADHERO: For real? That's wack. But honestly is the fact this bombed the biggest non-surprise thus far. The lack of any real interest was palpable.


      STICKMAN: It was a film nobody really wanted, that turned out pretty bad...it's like...the perfect storm of not making any money.


      LARRY: Didn't expect it to be the lowest X-Men opening ever...


      STICKMAN: We're living in a world where the risky R rated X-Men movies are record breakers, and the standard blockbusters drop the ball so hard the director owns up to the disaster on opening weekend.


      MADHERO: I'm honestly more surprised the film costs 200 million. I guess that makes sense considering the cast and massive reshoots, but that feels like an insane budget.


      LARRY: It's probably more.


      STICKMAN: The last act was supposed to be set in space, but they reshot the entire thing on a train instead. Just to give you an idea of how much money was wasted.


      MADHERO: I think Sticky is the only one of us to have seen it and he's never been a big fan of the franchise, so that should tell you how much interest there was. It going out on such a whimper is a shame, but not surprising.


      STICKMAN: It's one hell of a wet fart, I tell you what. LOGAN would've been the perfect last film, honestly.


      LARRY: Honestly it's wild how little we all cared.


      MADHERO: Basically, but I guess the urge to waste way too much money was too big


      STICKMAN: Can't wait to see New Mutants ...in alternate dimension 2056.



      HUNGER GAMES AUTHOR SUZANNE COLLINS ANNOUNCES PREQUEL NOVEL. LIONSGATE IMMEDIATELY ANNOUNCES ADAPTATION OF SAID PREQUEL

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      Just when you thought it was all over, they try to find their way back. The YA movie saga has been pretty dried since the end of...I guess The Maze Runner? Hollywood doesn't seem as keen to adapt every single YA novel series after several flops. One of the standouts in that era was The Hunger Games, which were huge successes and helped turn Jennifer Lawrence into one of the biggest stars on the planet. The series was pretty much done after Mockingjay Part 2, but sometimes the money has got to roll, with author Suzanne Collins announcing a new prequel novel to be released in 2020, and with it, Lionsgate announced an adaptation of said novel. Gotta go fast.

      The novel, which doesn't even have a title yet, will be set 64 years before the start of the Hunger Games, leaving it unlikely for Lawrence and everyone else to return. The story starting with the reaping for the 10th Hunger Games and.....well that's all we know really. I honestly don't remember enough about the Hunger Games to know whether that was a big deal or not. It'd make more sense on making a movie about the creation of Panem, but hey I ain't the author. Mostly I'm curious how many people will care. Mockingjay Part 2 came out in 2015 and was the lowest grossing in the franchise. It doesn't feel like Hunger Games has hung around as much in the public consciousness, but then again I wasn't the target audience. We'll probably get more details when the book is actually released


      STICKMAN: God, NOOO, MAKE IT STOOOOOOP.


      MADHERO: The ride never ends. Nothing is allowed to die.


      STICKMAN: Except Hellboy, that ship has saaaailed.


      LARRY: I cannot express how little interest I have in returning to The Hunger Games. I didn't even seen Mockingjay Part 2, that's how boring and bloated Part 1 felt.


      MADHERO: But it was boring and bloated so it could get to the good stuff in part 2(?). I honestly barely remember both films other than Julianne Moore dying.


      STICKMAN: SpoooILlers, GAWD. Now I can never enjoy ...whatever film that was.


      LARRY: It's a shame too cuz Catching Fire is excellent, and the first is also good. But like...I dunno, I just feel like nobody can let a franchise go anymore.


      MADHERO: We're not the main demographic, but I have no idea how big Hunger Games still is. I wanna say its time has passed, but for all I know there's still plenty craving this prequel.


      STICKMAN: There's a potential for nostalgia money, but it's too early for that.


      LARRY: ...no, I'm fairly certain its time has passed. Demographic or not, YA stuff is just not appealing right now.


      STICKMAN: I can't wait for this to be 5 prequels, made up as they go along, that exist purely to sell merchandise and rely too much on nostalgia for the original stories.


      MADHERO: We have people nostalgic for Twilight. I don't think Hunger Games is there yet, but that's gonna be really weird


      STICKMAN: We're all dying, nothing matters. Watch the Hunter Games 0, coming this...timeline.



      SIGOURNEY WEAVER, DAN AYKROYD, BILL MURRAY AND ERNIE HUDSON CONFIRMED TO RETURN TO JASON REITMAN’S GHOSTBUSTERS.

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      When there’s a third installment...in your classic franchise...who ya gonna call? ((The original stars of)) Ghostbusters!!! Yeah, that’s still in rhythm and shit, right?

      In an interview with Parade magazine, Sigourney Weaver confirmed that her, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray will be returning to reprise their original roles in the incoming trequel to Ghostbusters. Well, Weaver confirmed she would be reprising her role as Dana Barrett, but if she’s reprising her role, I’m sure the other two are. This, to me at least, furthers the supposed authenticity of this follow-up; Jason Reitman has a lot to prove following in his father’s directorial footsteps, but this gives me a bit more hope that this film, unlike the reboot which I thought wasn’t particularly good, will continue the story genuinely. It’ll be interesting to see where these characters have been all this time, after all. Let’s hope the OG members can smoothly return to this beloved series, and that it’s actually good. Please.


      MADHERO: I can't believe the old Ghostbusters are gonna be back.....again


      STICKMAN: Yippeee.....eeee....nrrr....ommmm...


      LARRY: Okay but for real this time!


      STICKMAN: This is the Hunger Games prequel of Ghostbusters sequels.


      MADHERO: So no weird cameo's this time that just awkwardly point to the fact that the old movies were a thing but not really acknowledge them in any other way


      STICKMAN: Remember when they killed Bill Murray.


      MADHERO: Yeah, that moment in Zombieland was neat.


      STICKMAN: What is it with killing Bill Murray in Ghostbusters-adjacent cameos exactly.


      MADHERO: He doesn't want to spend much time on them but enough so he can get them fat stacks.


      STICKMAN: That's fair. Can't live off Garfield royalties alone I suppose.


      LARRY: Watch Bill Murray sacrifice himself Han Solo-style so he'll finally be done with this franchise for good.


      MADHERO: Bill Murray won't be rid of Ghostbusters until the day he actually becomes a ghost. Nice that Sigourney Weaver is also back this time. Now we just need Rick Moranis and all will be good


      STICKMANY: He had a Ghosthelping son who turns against him. Sigourney Weaver was back in the 2016 film too. In an after-credits scene. For all 3 of you who stuck around to that point.


      MADHERO: For real? I honestly don't remember that, but then I remember very little from Ghostbusters 2016


      STICKMAN: She was all dressed up like a mad scientist. It was awful.


      LARRY: Oh I remember that. It wasn't a particularly good cameo.


      STICKMAN: Busting does not make me feel good any more.



      PARAMOUNT REVEAL ANIMATED SLATE, INCLUDING...A SPICE GIRLS MOVIE?

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      In an era where 90s nostalgia seems to be ruling pop culture in all its mediums, I guess it should come as no surprise that a new Spice Girls movie is inexplicably in the works. The brief but global 90s fame of the girlband already spawned a critically panned live action movie 'Spiceworld' in the height of their fame, but now Paramount have revealed they are in the early stages of bringing the gang back for an animated movie, presumably because making it live action would remind us all of the horrors of natural aging. All the members are said to be signed up, and the idea for the film is supposedly based on an idea that they came up with. Why do we need this? No idea. Will it be a huge success, in this, the era of jukebox musicals based on famous pop stars? You better bloody believe it.

      Also of note in Paramount's animated lineup includes a CG/Live Action hybrid reboot of Mighty Mouse, which is in early development, 'The Tiger's Apprentice' which is set for February 2022, and 'Jersey Crabs', a Summer 2022 musical about....rival gangs of crabs...yep. What's notably absent from this slate is anything relating to Skydance's controversial move into animation, which involved the hiring of outed serial molester John Lasseter as its head, a move that made numerous individuals involved at Paramount very unhappy. But...the main takeaway is...Spice Girls are still around I guess? Yaaayy...


      MADHERO: I'll tell ya what I want, what I really really want: not this


      STICKMAN: I was literally about to say the same thing. Viva Forever amirite guys? Hah...ho.....Spice Girls...mm....


      MADHERO: Its like making a neuralizer joke in a Men in Black review: everyone does it


      LARRY: If you wanna be my lover, ya gotta come up with original ideas and not reap off of nostalgic properies.


      STICKMAN: Make it last forever, the screening never eennnnds.


      MADHERO: That's the way it is. Obviously the Spice Girls are still huge for a certain generation, but its been what? 20 years since they split, and they're all doing their own stuff, though they did have a reunion concert not too long back


      STICKMAN: I'm just enjoying the idea of the Spice Girls Animated Movie being the cinematic equivalent of endless purgatory now.


      LARRY: I'm sure this movie has the same appeal as that reunion concert. One more adventure with the ladies.


      STICKMAN: I hope it's done exactly like that really creepy music video Aardman made for them, with the fairies. A true horror spectacular.


      MADHERO: Spice World remake but entirely rotoscoped


      STICKMAN: And how about...Crab...musical? Mm? Ah?


      MADHERO: Hopefully a Crab Rave adaptation


      STICKMAN: Oh lordy. Paramanimation isn't going very well.



      WRITER MAX LANDIS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE. SEVERAL PROJECTS FEATUING HIS SCRIPTS DROPPED

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      CW: rape, sexual assault, abuse

      Hoo boy, talk about a prickly subject. Everyone on the internet with an interest in pop culture has probably seen Max Landis pop up at some point, whether its his Youtube videos, his guest appearances on Screen Junkies and Red Letter Media, or watched some of the films he's written like Chronicle or Bright. It had been speculated and known for a while now that he was also rather volatile and an attention seeker, but it all turned out to be far, far worse, with 8 women accusing him of some truly horrid shit in an article published by the Daily Beast. We had known about some of his actions for a while now (he had already left Twitter and Reddit once stuff started getting out 4 months ago) but the scope and severity of the abuse is truly astonishing.

      While the article had only just released, it has already has had quite the impact. His management has dropped him, and projects have either been reworked to lessen his involvement or shelved altogether. Shadow in the Cloud, a WW2 film starring Chloe Grace Moretz has been completely rewritten and MGM has ultimately shelved Deeper which would've starred Idris Elba. Other projects, including the remake of his father John Landis' film An American Werewolf in London, are still unclear, but likely won't happen. Its hard to find a proper ending for this, so I'll go for the short one: Fuck that guy. Hope he never works in Hollywood or ever again.


      STICKMAN: It's depressing that we're still having to have this conversation, given he was already outed for this very thing back in the peak of the MeToo surge. Shows you how much this kinda conversation is needed, even if it's endlessly depressing to keep having.


      LARRY: Especially considering Landis has already been called out for this shit...twice.


      MADHERO: There was a lot of speculation and talk about him becoming a MeToo target. He's already tried to make a comeback story out of it.


      LARRY: It's hard for me to be critical, I was a huge fan of Max Landis and his work and its taken me some time to process all of this and sorta block him out. It just sucks when you see creators you like be such fucking terrible people.


      STICKMAN: I was never much a fan of him, and not in the smug 'Oh I always knew' way, just...yeah. We've likely all had someone we admired turn out to be a shitstain during this period of time.


      LARRY:cYeah lots of people didn't like him so the hate train has been easy for most to jump on.


      MADHERO: I always thought he was way too full of himself but I liked some of his Youtube work and American Alien. His actual scripts I have far less praise for, but that honestly doesn't matter. What matters is that he hurt several women in horrific ways and has managed to get away for so long


      STICKMAN: Well I can't imagine he'll be getting a job anywhere but Skydance Animation now.


      LARRY: I hope all of his victims can use this time as a way for finding an outlet to finally discuss these things and hold him accountable.


      MADHERO: He for the longest time had plenty of access thanks to his dad, and it'll be good if he'll never get those oppurtunities again. His track record as an human being isn't worth it.


      STICKMAN: Fuck him. Hope this is the last time we have to speak about him.




                                                                                                                               --------



      STICKMAN: And then...inexplicably Madhero just...evaporated into nothingness....he's presumed dead, or visiting Denmark. But y'know what they say, the shoooe must go on. Or is that show.


      LARRY: Nah, the shoe must go on...the right foot. Duh. Anyway, so long Madlad. Onto greener pastures.


      STICKMAN: If by shoe, you mean boot, and by snake, you mean THERE'S A SNAKE IN MY...then...yes....Toy Story 4. Wait, what.


      LARRY: Oh SHOOT


      STICKMAN: There's a new Toy Story, LARRRYY. We're going to review it. ARE YOU READY?


      LARRY: LESGOOOO



      REVIEW



      TOY STORY 4

      DIRECTOR: Josh Cooley (George and AJ, Riley’s First Date)

      STARRING: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Joan Cusack, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves

      SYNOPSIS: Woody (Hanks), Buzz (Allen), and the rest of the toys are faced with a problem when Bonnie creates a new toy from arts and crafts, named Forky (Hale). Forky escapes and Woody goes to save him, becoming separated from the group near a small town, where he finds Bo Peep (Potts), and she gives him a new outlook on what being a toy is really about.

      STICKMAN: I don't think it's a big secret that none of us were really feeling the need for a fourth entry in this franchise. Although differing in age we all kinda grew up with the films as Andy himself grew up, so that final chapter in 2010 really hit home hard with the CONCLUSIVE EMOTIONS. Now, 9 years later, we have a unwanted continuation, but is it actually good? Well...yeah, actually? In my eyes it's the weakest of the series, but that doesn't stop it from being a heartfelt, funny, visually appealing and interesting bittersweet addendum to the third film's sickly sweet conclusion. In terms of what didn't work, I felt the main cast of characters beyond Woody got sidelined pretty hard, even in the significant closing moments, which took away from the emotional impact slightly. Buzz also seems underwritten this time around, losing character development from the previous entries for the purposes of a recurring gag that isn't quite funny enough to justify it. Beyond that? This was a really fun time, offering a new perspective on the franchise, spending time with toys that lack owners, some that want them, others that don't, and maybe one that is questioning their own role. It's in this department that the film succeeds best of all, paired with a familiar warmth, and just enough newfound melancholy to work the audiences emotions over once again. It's also really funny, like...at points it's possibly the funniest of the series to date, so it's not just trying to kick you in the feels...which is nice, right? On a whole, the film doesn't quite do enough to justify the extension in my eyes, but for what it is? It offers a enjoyable and engaging epilogue, at least to Woody's story.


      LARRY: I find myself even more positive, honestly. I almost feel bad now that I was such a "Toy Story 4" naysayer, for not only does this feel like another excellent addition to the series, in my eyes on-par with the previous three installments, but it is also arguably its thematically strongest, funniest, diverse, and complex. While I agree many beloved characters do get sidelined, I feel as though that was the move in order to make this a film ultimately about Woody, which leads me to believe that future installments can become more centered on one character yet not lose the excellent world-building and adventurous spirit these films have in spades. "Toy Story 4" just goes even further in bringing so many clever, fun concepts into the franchise, but in this installment they all feel as though they each play into the central theme of identity and agency. It also helps that the film looks gorgeous, and is easily the best looking one of the series so far. I also really appreciate the character of Bo Peep, and how her retooling in this film adds so much more depth to a character otherwise seen as a throwaway romantic foil. Overall, I had a fucking blast with Toy Story 4, and it has proved to me that I genuinely think Pixar deserves to make more of these films should the original storytellers take the time to further flesh out some of these characters and continue building this world we all have come to love so much. A Toy Story naysayer I am no longer.


      STICKMAN: I mean you'd hope it would look the best, given there's been 9 years of CGI improvements since the last.


      LARRY: Well, yeah sure, but it woulda been real easy to do a quick copy and paste. But you can tell there's so much more texture here.


      STICKMAN: Probably not as easy as you think, running different software and all that. STILL...it looked very nice the opening scenes rain effects were 10/10, even if it offered me no closure in regards to THAT character's disappearance.


      LARRY: I mean, it was the opening.


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      STICKMAN: Why haaave that character in thaaaat sequence if they're never addressed again, LARRY. WHY.


      LARRY: I dunno, cuz it tugs at your FRIGGEN HEARTSTRINGS THAT THEY'RE NO LONGER AROUND


      STICKMAN: AAAAAAGHHH. What'd you think of the new characters.


      LARRY: I think all of them are bullseyes, honestly. From Forky to Ducky and Bunny to Gabby Gabby and her fucking terrifying dummies. They each provide another layer to the universe, I enjoyed them all.


      STICKMAN: I very much dug the horror'esque introduction to Gabby and the lads.


      LARRY: Yeah you can tell they really milked that shit haha. I swear when Binson's mouth just stayed opened. Shivers

      STICKMAN: And milk they shooould, although I'd imagine the BBFC will get complaints about that U rating.


      LARRY: Is there a slightly higher one?


      STICKMAN: Yup, PG, which I believe Toy Story 1 got for spooky baby headed spider.


      LARRY: And Toy Story 3 for gigantic fire pit.


      STICKMAN: Oh probably. Do you feel this additional entry gave a satisfying newending, should this indeed be the new final outing for these characters?


      LARRY: See, in some ways yes and in some ways no. I feel like this ending is arguably even more of a punch in the gut than Toy Story 3, and could have been treated as such were it built up to for more than just one movie, y'know? But as it stands, it being the ending to this film and the arcs within it, it functions perfectly.


      STICKMAN: I feel the emotional impact was lessened because we spent so long apart from the main group of toys in this movie. It works great for one character, but not so much the others.


      LARRY: Yeah, that's a fair point I think. If it was the ending to Toy Story 3 though? Fucking TEARS.


      STICKMAN: Oof, yeah. Any last thoughts? Other than WHERE WAS THE GOD DAMN SHORT FILM IN FRONT, PIXAR?!


      LARRY: YEAH WHAT THE FUCK I WAS SO ANNOYED


      STICKMAN: Who's gonna win the Oscar nooooow.


      LARRY: I guess I would just say, again, that if Disney were to make Toy Story 5, or like a Toy Stories Disney+ series, I would be very fine with that. I think, though one character's journey is complete, I really have come to adore every character in the franchise and a further exploration of it could warrant some beautiful, powerful stories. ts one of the few franchises that has proven its place.


      toystory45cc891a1a1d29.jpg


      STICKMAN: I'm disagreeing on that, I thought this film was pretty great, but...it was a huge risk to tack on an additional to what many would argue to be an almost perfect trilogy. They got lucky with this one, despite a lot of set-backs during production. If this were the final chapter, that'd be great. I mean...we're gonna get Disney+ spin-offs and whatever, but...in terms of the main film series? Let's call it a day now, pleaaase?


      LARRY: You say they got lucky, but the Toy Story franchise, ever since the second, have gone through production troubles and have made it out on top. The second's production timeline was crunched to nine months, the third's original script was completely tossed AND they had to redesign all the characters from scratch, this one had writers leave and a few rewrites. But they all are fucking amazing movies. Imagine if they made one where nothing went wrong.

      The thing about this film that feels so weird is that, though it does conclude one character's arc, it feels very episodic in terms of the characters and the adventure. So another one of these wouldn't really be that bad, the main series doesn't have to be tied down to trilogy arcs and stuff.


      STICKMAN: I SAID NO MOOOORE, LAAAAARRY. If nothing went wrong it'd probably be worse, frankly. Don't make great things without tossing aside a lot of shit. Regardless, I think that about dooooes it for our Toy Story 4 review...it's time to move onto another living toy, this one with a less sterling reputation.


      LARRY: Feh. Back to naysaying.



      --- ---



      STICKMAN: Well, that was a totally interesting review that I've definitely written and read ...but that's not the only film about toys coming to life with a connection to a kid called Andy coming out on Friday the 21st June, is it? No it isn't.


      LARRY: It's one of three. How did that happen


      STICKMAN: Brand synergy. So...yes, despite the original Chucky franchise still going in the realm of direct to DVD sequels and soon a TV series, MGM saw fit to exploit their ownership of the original Child's Play movie rights to make their own techno terror reboot, and despite that being a huge dick move on their behalf, it's time to review the NEW Child's Play. I assume you'll be spearheading this one, Larry?


      LARRY: Ahem. About that.


      STICKMAN: ...oh. Well...I...I guess I'll do it then.



      CHILD’S PLAY


      DIRECTOR: Lars Klevberg (Polaroid)

      STARRING: Gabriel Bateman, Mark Hamill, Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson

      SYNOPSIS: A mother, Karen (Plaza) gives her son, Andy (Bateman) a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.

      STICKMAN: WELLL, WELL WELL WELL. This is a weird one. The Child's Play remake literally came into existence on the wrong foot, pissing people off by its disregard for the original, continuing series and its creators. It's a cynical cash-grab, timed to release in what feels like the beginning of a slasher resurgence....and yet, those trailers were pretty great. Despite everything I got myself a little excited for this one, tempering my hopes when the launch day review embargo was revealed, but then finding them skyhigh when the reviews were...DECENT?! Holy moly. Well, I went and saw it, and...yeah, I liked it quite a bit. It's a very knowingly goofy comedy horror that embraced its stupid premise and goes all in with the gore, to great effect. It's far from a masterpiece, narratively the film starts out with a strangely sympathetic angle for Chucky, a toy who was never meant to be granted free will, twisted by his dark environment to do bad things, all in the name of friendship. He genuinely wants Andy to be happy, and that's actually kinda sad? I never expected a Child's Play movie to make me feel for Chucky, but here we are. The film unfortunately loses that premise halfway through, torn between its slasher tropes and something more twisted but sweet, eventually losing out to the gore, entertainingly so, but perhaps a little against type for what we saw at the start. Regardless of bumps in the road along the way, the film proves to be immensely entertaining and fun from start to finish, even if you often feel like there was a far better movie so close to being made, had things been thought out a little more, and the budget had been a little higher. As it stands? It's still a good movie. Yes, the Child's Play remake is a good movie. I'm as surprised as you are.


      LARRY: Wasn't Chucky always trying to be best friends with the kid?


      STICKMAN: No, Chucky was a serial killer trying to get Andy alone so he could do a voodoo ritual and steal his body.


      LARRY: Whoops, aw well. So, pretty good, that's cool. How's ol' Marky Mark as the redesigned Chucky?


      STICKMAN: Honestly? Hamill's really fun, providing that sweet sincerity of a robot programmed to love his best friend, but also one bugging out and eventually descending into sinister menace. The doll itself? A little rough around the edges...it's hard to know if that was intentional or not, because it does genuinely look like a working robot toy, and one that's defective at that.


      LARRY: Sounds like it did the job. How is the cast? Particularly the kid and Aubrey Plaza as the mom.


      STICKMAN: The kid is fine, if not al little whiny, which to be fair, is on point for any teenager. Aubrey Plaza isn't on her A-game in this, but she's still pretty great and delivers some good laughs. The rest of the cast doesn't get as much to do, Brian Tyree Henry the only other strong cast-member, again providing a good amount of laughs. There's this group of kids added partway through to be some sorta...IT/Stranger Things situation, but they have no depth and are barely in it...they're super pointless but do their part.


      LARRY: Gotcha. And the horror itself? Good, bad? The gore obviously you said is good, but what about the direction in the first half?


      childs-play-2019-review-main.jpg


      STICKMAN: It's lacking in genuine frights, relying too much on jump scares, as you'd expect from this kinda film.It does have a lot of unnerving or creepy moments, as with the original Child's Play. After all, Chucky isn't really the sorta toy you should be leaving kids alone with, and yet he's standing in front of Andy's bed as he tries to sleep. Or sitting in the corner of the room playing ...disturbing audio which I won't divulge due to spoilery reasons. It's creepy in parts, gory in others, but never scary, I find.


      LARRY: And yet you still liked the film. Musta been pretty entertaining.


      STICKMAN: Like I said, this is a film that could've been amazing if the faults were worked out, but it's a testament to how good a lot of it is, that the film still manages to be an absolute blast to watch, frequently funny, often creepy and always enjoyable. I don't know what the more casual horror crowd will think, but for someone like me? Great time at the movies.


      LARRY: One last question Sticky ol' boy. One thing I always look forward to in horror films is the score/soundtrack. Typically they tend to be memorable parts of the experience. Would you say this film's score was memorable? Nobody is really talking about it.


      STICKMAN: People should be talking about it, because it's a really fun score. Bear McCreary was brought on to do the music, and used a wide vary of children's toys and instruments to bring a twisted horror lullaby to life in grand fashion. The main theme is fucking awesome, and the score throughout is fun, if not a little underused. Mark Hamill does a deliciously sinister but sweet song about being best friends that's used throughout the film, but plays especially well over the credits. That main theme though? An excellent new theme song for Chucky.



      childs-play-trailer1.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=738


      LARRY: Sweeeeeeeeeet. I'll give it a good listen. Glad to hear about this, using children's toys and shit is a seemingly obvious but perfect choice.


      STICKMAN: My hope is that we see more from this take on Child's Play, a bigger budget and improved writing...with this and the original series co-existing? That'd be the ideal win for everyone. Mainly, how the hell did this turn out good? I'm genuinely shocked...so...yeah...Child's Play folks, can't guarantee you'll like it, but ...I'm just surprised that anyone did, including me. WILL OTHER FILMS IN THIS EPISODE SURPRISE US? LET'S FIIIIIND OUT.


      LARRY: Hopefully there'll be less....ahem, backstabbing.


      STICKMAN: Time to delete those hopes, Larry.



      MOVIES



      ANNABELLE COMES HOME

      DIRECTOR: Gary Dauberman (directorial debut)

      STARRING: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga

      SYNOPSIS: Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson, Farmiga) bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home. but an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room.

      LARRY: NOOOOOOOOOOOO


      STICKMAN: WELCOME BACK TO THE CONJURING UNIVERRSEE, FOOOLKLS.


      LARRY: I'm not really that invested, I just wanted to be dramatic.


      STICKMAN: The 3rd installment of the Annabelle spin-off franchise to the Conjuring hub franchise....crossing over with characters from The Conjuring. Hoo.


      LARRY: Woweeeee cannTtt waitttttITtttt How much clearer should I be about how little I care?


      STICKMAN: But this one is getting pretty positive early buzz, Larrrrry. Like, nothing gamechanging, but at least it's not The Nun, right?


      LARRY: Thank god...I mean, Christ. I mean....feh.


      STICKMAN: It's fair to say Annabelle, at one point the first sign that maybe this Conjuring Universe wasn't a good idea, is now the sole bastion of quality since her 2nd installment.


      LARRY: Geez


      STICKMAN: What a time to be alive. So many living toy movies. This one's got a whole storage room full of potential spin-off ghosts and monsters just READY to go BOOOOO and jump out from a thing. I bet you're JOLLY EXCITED.


      LARRY: Ah yes the horror fan in me is SCREAMING.


      STICKMAN: That's a very quiet scream, Larry. MOVING ON.

      YESTERDAY

      DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs, T2 Trainspotting)

      STARRING: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran, Ana de Armas, James Corden

      SYNOPSIS: A struggling musician (Patel) realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.

      STICKMAN: HMMM...hmmmm...Dannnyyy...whhhhhy.


      LARRY: ALL MY TROUBLES SEEMED SO FAR AWAYYYYYYYY


      STICKMAN: From the man who brought you 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting...comes...a Richard Curtis romcom.


      LARRY: This is a fun concept but I just don't get what Boyle is doing with it LOL


      STICKMAN: Danny Boyle seems to enjoy doing different things with each of his films, but this seems like a bridge too far. Maybe he just wanted to meet Ringo Star.


      LARRY: That's a possibility. Or Ed Sheeran.


      STICKMAN: The reviews for this have been pretty tepid so far, which suggests maybe this is about as 'eh' as a Richard Curtis/Danny Boyle joint sounds. Who needs James Bond, amirite?


      LARRY: All you need...is love. HA. Hahehehaha.


      STICKMAN: Moving on.


      ANNA

      DIRECTOR: Luc Besson (Lucy, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets)

      STARRING: Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, Lera Abova, Alexander Petrov

      SYNOPSIS: Beneath Anna Poliatova's (Luss) striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world's most feared government assassins.

      STICKMAN: Well, here's this film.


      LARRY: Luc Besson, back at it again with absolutely nothing original or inventive.


      STICKMAN: Poorly reviewed and currently being murdered by both Chucky AND Woody, this has all the makings of a random Netflix watch in a year's time.


      LARRY: It absolutely feels like a Netflix original with a much bigger budget.


      STICKMAN: The trailer was literally just one scene from the film, which makes you wonder what the rest of it is like. But, having seen Lucy, I know it's probably rubbish.


      LARRY: Having seen Lucy and Valerian, I know it's definitely rubbish. The man takes genre films and does...like, nothing interesting or inventive to them.


      STICKMAN: See you in a few years for another high octane kick punch lady in a mediocre action movie nobody watches.


      LARRY: Saynoara...or should I say, Sayon...anna. He. HEHEHHEAHAHA.


      STICKMAN: ...MOVING ON



      WILD ROSE

      DIRECTOR: Tom Harper (War Book, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death)

      STARRING: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo, Jamie Sives, Craig Parkinson

      SYNOPSIS: A musician from Glasgow (Buckley) dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

      STICKMAN: This film was a big ol' hit in the UK, but I didn't bother watching it because music and joy brings me nothing.


      LARRY: Fair enough. This is in all the local indie theaters in New York, I've considered giving it a look.


      STICKMAN: This has New York indie cinema player written all over it.


      LARRY: I mean, yeah.


      STICKMAN: It's nice to see Jessie Buckley getting some attention though, she was great in 'Beast' and her TV work in Chernobyl was great too.


      LARRY: Yeah she's getting a lot of good buzz


      STICKMAN: Honestly this is more your sorta thing, I'd be more equipped to talk about Chernobyl, but I think Mad will fire me if I do that.


      LARRY: Yeah I'm hearing incredible things about Chernobyl.


      STICKMAN: If you're lookin' for a high quality RISE TO FAME musical drama, this one's to check out. And yes, Chernobyl is fucking amazing.


      LARRY: I love me the occasional country tune.



                                                                                                                               --------



      STICKMAN: Well, this was FUN(?), but it's almost time to wrap things up. We've got one last thing to do though, and that's the...mm..mmmmm...MMMmmmmmMm...mmMMOOOVIE OF THE WEEK.


      LARRY: MMMMMMkay Sticky let's MMMMMMMdo it!


      STICKMAN: MMMM'kay, well, since it's just you and me, and we'll assume Madhero is doing The LEGO Movie given his current Danish positioning....uhh....why don't you go first, Larrrrrry?


      LARRY: MMMMMMMMkay


      STICKMAN: Mmmarvelous..nn.



      MOVIE OF THE WEEK



      LARRY: MMMMMMMMy MOTW is a movie most of you probably haven't heard of, especially Sticky. It's a new American independent film by Jake Scott (yes, Ridley Scott's son) entitled "American Woman," starring Sienna Miller ("High Rise," "Foxcatcher") and also featuring Christina Hendricks, Will Sasso, and Aaron Paul. The film is about a woman who's 16-year-old daughter, currently raising a young child, goes missing one evening coming back home. 


      The film, over a period of eleven years, chronicles the trauma she experiences from this event, and her role in raising the young child moving forward and making something of herself in the process. In a way, it has elements of a Linklater slice-of-life film but the intensity of any dark family, and though the pacing and tonal blending isn't perfect, Brad Ingelsby's script manages to craft compelling characters that are supported by solid performances despite some of the cliches of it all. Miller in particular is excellent and is getting some much deserved buzz surrounding her performance. Hopefully this will lead to some more substantial work for her. And, yeah, at times it is really heartwarming and funny, but also keeps a relatively level head about the trauma and struggles a family can go through after something like this. It definitely feels a bit too long and too imbalanced, but I certainly was glad I saw it and would recommend it to anybody else looking for a strong family drama to watch.


      STICKMAN: Do all of Ridley Scott's children end up directing films?


      LARRY: Yes, actually. That's fuckin' wild.


      STICKMAN: This one seems to have turned out better, though. Is it a hard watch? An eleven year exploration of trauma sounds pretty....traumatic?


      LARRY: Surprisingly, not for as much as you'd expect. The first act is really the hardest to watch. After that the film explores the life afterward, her different relationships (one of which is abusive), the life of her son growing up, other things. At times it's really funny and heartwarming, as I said. Other times, your skin crawls. Again, the balance ain't perfect. But it does juuuuuuust enough to elevate itself.


      STICKMAN: So a little like 'Room' then, which only really doubled down on the darkest shit in the first act.


      LARRY: Yeah, kinda.


      STICKMAN: That's pretty interestinnnng, do you think this film will catch on attention wise, or is this gonna be a sleeper hit?


      LARRY: Well it wouldn't even really be a sleeper hit, just a sleeper. It's not getting much awards traction, I don't think, and the release doesn't look to be more than limited. But if it does catch some fire, good!


      STICKMAN: Sometimes it's fun to find a good film on your own terms instead of riding along the growing wave of attention. Still...it's also nice for films you dig to get recognition. HMM.


      LARRY: Well, working in New York gives me the opportunities to just sorta say "fuck it" and catch an unknown indie flick every once in a while.


      STICKMAN: Sounds good to meeee. Well, Mad isn't here to segue anything, so...uhh...my turn. Ahem.


      LARRY: YES PROBLY SOMETHIN SHIT I BET HUEHUEHUE



      STICKMAN: FUCK. Larry may have done an indie film that hasn't caught much attention...yet, but I'm doing a mainstream release that hasn't caught much attention either...so in a way, we're on the same level. 'Brightburn', the horror film that shows you what would happen if Man of Steel had a 'Snyder Cut', where an alien baby crash lands on a couples farm and they raise him as their own child. 


      On his 12th birthday, he starts to change, discovering he has...powers. He's not the same as everyone else, and naturally, that means...oh no everyone's gonna die. Yes, this is an unathorised EVIL SUPERMAN movie through and through, and the response has been pretty tepid from audiences and critics. But honestly? I had a good time with this one. It's far from perfect, and doesn't deliver anything you're not already expecting from that premise, but it does so with a gleefully gory, well acted gusto that makes it hard not to enjoy. It's overly reliant on jump scares (Not to mention the EXACT SAME BLOODY KINDA JUMP SCARES) and feels pretty derivative, but it's a fun watch all the same. Twisted as hell, with some gruesome kills and a suitably dark, but entertaining conclusion.


      LARRY: I am hearing a whole buncha things about this one. Some people are telling me it's good, others are saying it sucks. Glad to hear you're part of the former.


      STICKMAN: It's definitely in the 'good, not great' department for me, but I certainly wouldn't call it bad. It's always fun to watch a superhero go evil.

      LARRY: This is true. And the gore is good?


      STICKMAN: It gets pretty graphic yeah, one scene in particular involving a car crash will leave your jaw dropped...heh. There's also an eye scene that gets a big NOPE from me.


      LARRY: If Sticky gives it a NOPE, it'll probably be a NOOOOOOOOPE for this guy. How is the cast? Particularly, not to be a broken record, the kid and his mom LOL


      STICKMAN: Elizabeth Banks is the star I must say, she gives a great performance as a mother torn between the unconditional love for her son, and the gradual realisation that said son has the potential to destroy mankind. The kid does a good job too, but honestly it's not hard to play 'emotionally dead inside evil boy'. The whole cast is pretty good, everyone takes the film pretty seriously.


      LARRY: Nice, yeah Banks is always one to look forward to for me. Any other standout elements?


      STICKMAN: Mmmm, well the mid-credits scene is pretty fun, with a nice easter egg for fans of another, more indie natured superhero flick. This film is okaaaay, nothing special, but nothing awful either.


      LARRY: So maybe a rental, then?


      STICKMAN: That'd do it nicely, I think.


                                         

                                                                                                                        --------




      STICKMAN: And with that, we end another Screwvies. Sure is weird how Mad just died halfway through, but you roll with the punches I suppose. Scandinavia can be a dangerous place, after all...and maybe we'll have something more to say about that...IN THE NEXT BLOODY EPISODE.


      LARRY: HOW COULD AN EPISODE BE ANY BLOODIER THAN THIS ONE? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT


      STICKMAN: Also Spider-Man I guess, probably. We'll probably cover Spider-Man too. GOODBYE.


    • At the Screwvies: Episode 136

      3 months ago

      g1Features

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      MADHERO: Hello everyone, and welcome to the end of an era. A moment we've all been dreading but have only been able to confront until now: we have to sadly miss noted public masturbator Louis C.K. as Max the dog in Secret Life of Pets 2. There are hard times for all us perverts out there, but we'll have to manage with Patton Oswalt, who seems to be child friendly enough for this franchise I suppose. Oh, and I guess Dark Phoenix is there as well


      STICKMAN: It's strange because dogs are naturally quite randy, so you'd think the bastard would suit the part. Also HELLO.


      MADHERO: There's also E3 I guess, but everyone knows that video games are a lower form of art than films are.


      LARRY: If Ebert says it, it must be true.


      MADHERO: Clearly its what's everyone gonna avoid, so we might as well talk some news


      NEWS

      PIXAR DEBUT TEASER FOR UPCOMING ORIGINAL FANTASY FILM ONWARD


      With the unnecessary but inevitably successful Toy Story 4 right around the corner, thoughts are of course turning to what comes next for the powerhouse studio that is Pixar. After several sequels/prequels broken apart only by the excellent Coco, they're back on another original property, this time Onward, and we got our first look at the March 2020 release earlier this week.


      Onward is a fantasy film set in a time where the mythical world of elves, dragons, unicorns and gnomes have evolved to become much like our own modern society. Planes, cars, phones, THE WORKS.  It's the real world, with a fantasy twist...and yes, that's been done before, but not by P-p-p-p-Pixaaar. The teaser doesn't really tell us much beyond that basic premise, and introduces us to the two main characters, elf brothers played by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland setting our on a JOURNEY. I must say I wasn't really feeling the teaser, but I didn't feel any of Coco's marketing and I went on to love that film, so...it's too early to call this one, Pixar generally know how to make a good film, unless it stars a car or a dinosaur...and this is just our first brief look at a film long off from release.  With Toy Story 4 getting positive early buzz, Pixar look set to be continuing their acclaimed streak they started with Coco back in 2017...so...we'll see how this one goes, HMMM?


      LARRY: Well this looks cute.


      MADHERO: Bright 2 is looking mad hype


      STICKMAN: It's not a real Pixar film unless you cry at the start and end.


      MADHERO: Well the film is supposedly about dealing with a parent who died while you were too young to properly remember them so the theaters are gonna be gushing with tears for sure


      STICKMAN: So the start will have the death, and the end will have the MOVING ON part. Very emotional.


      MADHERO: I like the idea of unicorns being essentially the raccoons of this universe. I know I just compared this to Bright, but at least here the pesky humans don't seem to be around, so that helps


      LARRY: Yeah, I like the designs of the characters and it looks all colorful and shit. I'd never say I'm not down for a Pixar adventure, but I'm definitely down for this one.


      MADHERO: Unless cars and dinosaurs are involved, Pixar has a pretty good track record


      LARRY: Well there are none of those in sight. Still haven't seen Good Dinosaur tho


      MADHERO: We'll probably get more details at D23. Moving on


      FIRST TRAILER RELEASED FOR LONG AWAITED(?) SEQUEL TO RAMBO: LAST BLOOD

      There's something about 80s action stars and being unable to let go of certain properties. Arnold Schwarzenegger will never not be back for a new Terminator, but Sly Stallone has him beat on that front. While no longer fighting, he's still out there as Rocky Balboa in the Creed franchise, and after 11 year wait, will now return (and say goodbye?) to his other most well known character: John Rambo, in Last Blood.


      Set of all things to Lil Nas X's Old Town Road, it mainly involves John Rambo being all old and reflective, but there ain't much time for that, there are some cartel gangs that need killing. While the trailer suggests some sort of home/farm invasion, that seems to probably be some sort of clmax, with the film about going to Mexico to save a friend's daughter from the cartel. Its looking quite brutal in some parts, and it'll be interesting if it can in any way top 2008's Rambo, which was basically an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. At least he won't help the Taliban this time. What a blunder that was.


      STICKMAN: Logan except bad.


      LARRY: Can we just copy and paste my thoughts on Dark Fate? Make this quick n' easy


      MADHERO: I'm old and tired but I can still kick ass is quite the subgenre


      STICKMAN: I actually enjoyed the last Rambo...despite it being garbage. You can't say no to like...40 minutes of utter carnage.


      MADHERO: Rambo 4 is, like I said, basically a big cartoon. Its great but also bad. Its still really weird that we got that from the original First Blood, where he killed one guy by accident


      STICKMAN: The franchise sure has gone in a direction. And this is another one. I guess.


      LARRY: Shoulda stopped at two.


      MADHERO: At least no Taliban this time, unless the cartel turn out to be good and he ends up joining MS-13 or something.


      STICKMAN: Rambo 6: Rambo Joins ISIS.


      FOX RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR JAMES MANGOLD’S FORD V FERRARI

      Welp, this kinda came out of nowhere, but in a fun way. The first trailer just recently dropped for "Ford v. Ferrari," a racing drama biopic starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The story is set the 1960's and follows a team of engineers ,led by Carroll Shelby (Damon) alongside wild racecar drive Ken Miles (Bale), who are tasked by Henry Ford II  (Tracy Letts) with designing a car that can beat a Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a highly regarded sports car race in France. What can be expected from the film? Well, we got some high-octane car driving sequences, along with a little business intrigue, and of course Christian Bale bein' a little wacky. What's not to love? The film is directed by James Mangold ("Logan") and written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth ("Edge of Tomorrow," "Get on Up") and Jason Keller ("Escape Plan"). It will be released under the 20th Century Fox banner (of course run by Disney) on November 15th, so keep an eye out for what is sure to be an awards contender come Oscar time.


      MADHERO: I like the part where they go vroom vroom


      LARRY: My friend went to CinemaCon and they showed some of this and apparently it's incredible. Really strong action driving sequences.


      STICKMAN: People said Rush was gonna be an awards contender and look how that went.


      LARRY: Well I feel like Damon and Bale have better odds than Hemsworth and Bruhl


      MADHERO: I was really curious about what James Mangold was gonna do next after Logan and his involvement is my main interest. That said, some good racing is also very exciting


      STICKMAN: Christian Bale is skinny again. He was fat last time I saw him.


      LARRY: The annual Christian Bale weight transformation. Next year he'll be big enough to play Jabba, the pendulum swings harder each time.


      MADHERO: He ain't gonna fit into a racecar next time. But yeah, I'm not too informed about the story itself, but Mangold's involvement and the solid buzz have me interested.


      QUENTIN TARANTINO WORKING WITH JERROD CARMICHAEL TO MAKE A SEQUEL/CROSSOVER TO DJANGO UNCHAINED FEATURING ZORRO

      DjangoZorro.jpg

      Quentin Tarantino has always said that he'd only like to direct 10 films in his career and with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood coming soon and being his ninth film, that number is getting dangerously close. In that time, he's only ever made one Part 2 in the form of Kill Bill, though that was technically one movie split into two. Its not like Tarantino is against the idea, as he toyed with the idea back with the Vega Brothers from both Resevoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.  But now we might get our Tarantino sequel, sort of, with a sequel to Django Unchained, now featuring another vigilante.


      A couple of years back, Dynamite Entertainment published a comic featuring the further adventures of Jamie Foxx's Django together with none other than Zorro, teaming up to stop indigenous people from being enslaved. Now, Collider is reporting that Tarantino is working together with comedian Jerrod Carmichael to turn the comic series into a new movie. As of right now, its unclear if Tarantino will direct it, but my best best is that he's probably helping with the writing and consulting. I can't see this become his last directing project. Still, that's a pretty neat idea, and also a good way to bring Zorro back. Its been a while since we've seen him in anything.


      STICKMAN: Will Tarantino direct a crossover movie or a Star Trek movie for his final movie.  Very exciting.


      LARRY: Will Tarantino actually only direct ten films? The saga continues.


      MADHERO: That Star Trek things seems pretty dead at this point, but we can only imagine what that could've been like


      STICKMAN: Spock say fuck, now Zorro say a bad word that gets him banned from Twitch.


      LARRY: This is a fascinating idea for a crossover. I feel like the two juxtapose well against each other.


      MADHERO: Its kinda weird that in our franchise and name recognition obsessed IP era that Zorro hasn't been made into a new movie yet.


      STICKMAN: To be fair his previous movie blew ass.


      LARRY: This. Also Antonio Banderas has cemented what that role looks, sounds, and feels like. It'd be hard to find pitch-perfect casting. It's like the Wolverine dilemma.


      MADHERO: Yeah but that was almost 15 years ago. At some point we can move on and cast a different Latino actor.


      STICKMAN: Diego Luna for Zorro.


      LARRY: ...wow that was so fucking easy. Shit. I've been proven wrong.


      STICKMAN: You're welcome, Hollywood.


      MADHERO: See, that's not too hard. I will be curious if this actually happens. Django is definitely really cool, but weird to turn that into a franchise with crossovers. Kinda like Sicario almost. I haven't read the comics so no idea how good they are, but I remain curious.


      LARRY: Djanjo and Zorro meet Frankenstein.


      BARRY JENKINS (MOONLIGHT, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK) TO DIRECT A ALVIN AILEY BIOPIC FOR FOX SEARCHLIGHT

      BarryJenkins.jpg

      WOOP WOOP!! What's that I hear? Is it the Barry Jenkins alert? Oh what joy! I didn't even know we installed one of those in our lair. Anyhoo, Fox Searchlight recently dropped the news that Jenkins' next project will be a biopic about legendary choreographer and dance teacher Alvin Ailey. Ailey is well-known for his work in modern dance and for fusing several genres together in his works, from blues to jazz to ballet to African dance, which were usually very theatrical and alive. He also was an activist, particularly focused on multiracial diversity and providing dance education to lower-income communities. 


      So, yeah, Jenkins tackling Ailey makes a lot of sense, and with a script from Julian Breece ("When They See Us") and a producer credit for Alicia Keys, this film looks to be another exciting project of black excellence from one of the top-tier black directors in cinema right now. After "Moonlight" and "Beale Street," Barry Jenkins can basically do no wrong. I'm here for anything he's attached to, so strap on your dancing shoes, folks.


      STICKMAN: The provider of A24 hoodies is back.


      MADHERO: I have no idea who this guy was but I'm all in on a new Barry Jenkins project.


      LARRY: He's the perfect subject for a Jenkins film.


      MADHERO: With him being a dancer, there's probably gonna be some stellar choreography involved


      STICKMAN: I demand dancing edited between dramatic personal life scenes paired with orchestral music for maximum impact.


      MADHERO: The Moonlight themes can be suitable for all your dramatic needs.


      LARRY: Don't forget the blue and purple neon palette


      STICKMAN: Yes please. Bisexual lighting ho.


      LARRY: OH and the smoke. Sounds like this is bound to be good. Also, just watch Alicia Keys get cast in this.


      MADHERO: Its curious that he's going with Fox Searchlight this time. He's taking a peek at every indie darling studio at this point after A24 and Annapurna.


      STICKMAN: Indie darling studio Walt Disney owned  Fox Searchlight.


      LARRY: He wants to diversify his portfolio once he goes studio, I'm sure. And every damn distributor is probably knockin' on his door.


      MADHERO: At this point he ain't got much more to prove. I don't know much about the subject matter, but whenever an exciting filmmaker starts a new project, its always a tad exciting.


      LARRY: Eh, I feel as tho a solid trilogy will finally cement Jenkins. Really prove he's not a fluke.


      MADHERO: He's got a Best Picture winner and another highly acclaimed film . I think they know he's the real deal by now, Larry


      STICKMAN: He needs a Marvel movie now. That's the only way to be a success.


      BLUMHOUSE TO SHAKE THE MAGIC 8-BALL INTO A MOVIE. JEFF WADLOW (TRUTH OR DARE) TO DIRECT

      magic-8-ball-outlook.jpg

      Right now, there's two studios doing the big horror bucks, and frankly, neither of them are consistently deserving of it. On the one side, you have Warner Bros and its Conjuring Universe, the blockbuster horror franchise that makes the big bucks, and then you have Blumhouse, who make 1000 films for £1 each and always make a profit. For every genuinely great movie these studios make, there's about 4 other shit ones, and so that brings us naturally to Blumhouse's latest reveal....the Magic 8-Ball is getting an official horror movie. Urm, yep.


      From the studio that brought you TWO Ouija board movies (One of which was pretty good) and a high stakes adaptation of Truth or Dare (That was not) comes...MAGIC 8 BALL: THE MOVIE.  DUN DUNANNAAAAAA!  After having worked with Hasbro on turning the family fun occult board game(?) into a money spinning franchise, it's now the turn of Mattel to take their psychic(?) ball...toy....thing and make it into a spooky, coming to you from the director of 'Truth or Dare' and...Kick-Ass 2....mmm.....hm. Naturally, they'll make this schlock for a stupidly low budget, and it will probably quadruple it at the box officejust on brand awareness alone, both of the damn stupid ball, and Blumhouse themselves, who somehow still have a consistently positive reputation.  Still, maybe it'll be...goood....nnn...no.


      MADHERO: Outlook not so good


      STICKMAN: Oh damn.


      MADHERO: Do you get the feeling like Blumhouse doesn't give any fucks and is just waiting for one of their movies to flop at one point?


      STICKMAN: When everything succeeds, why bother thinking about anything. Make a movie about my half eaten breakfast. Fuck it. It's SCAARRRY.


      MADHERO: That breakfast could choke you when you least expect it


      LARRY: Kinda hard to flop at five million a movie. Then again, I dare them to do Haunted Shopping List: The Movie.


      MADHERO: Don't test them, Larry. Now its definitely going to happen


      LARRY: I'm not really invested in Blumhouse except for Peele efforts so I'm just gonna wait this one out.


      STICKMAN: When are we going to get Operation: The Horror Movie where a person is still alive, getting his organs removed by people forced to do so with just pliers, and if they fail they get electrocuted. Blumhouse make some fun movies, most of their best ones are more OBSCURE. Check out Hush, everyonnnne. Or Creep and Creep 2.


      MADHERO: With this and Shazam, the Magic 8 Ball is having quite the resurgence


      ----------

      MADHERO: Alright, that's all the news for today, so now its time for some actual movie releases! Now with it being the summer, the biggest movies are coming to your local multiplex. We've got the latest superhero movie, and a new animated movie from Illumination, and those pretty much everyone you know goes to see them. So with that in mind, we're taking a look at the movies that everyone will go and see: the 4 screen opening Late Night and a Jim Jarmusch zombie movie. Only the most in demand content right here


      STICKMAN: I'm so excited I could fucking DIE.


      LARRY: Well one of those ended up being pretty successful this weekend. Don't underestimate the limited release.


      MADHERO: I assume you mean Late Night so let's go with that. Larry, what did you think of Mindy Kaling's definitely not Tonight Show adventure?


      REVIEW

      LATE NIGHT


      DIRECTOR: Nisha Ganatra (Cake, The Hunters)

      STARRING: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, Reid Scott

      SYNOPSIS: A talk show host (Thompson) on the verge of losing her show hires in a female writer (Kaling) to help revitalize the program.

      LARRY: Yup! Had a surprisingly solid per-screen average this weekend. And yeah, I enjoyed the film. It takes a while to get going, but once it does it's genuinely very funny and R-rated without being indulgently vulgar. It's got great actors giving solid performances too, particularly Thompson, but what did you expect? Really my main issue with the film is purely on the visual front, cuz hoo BOY does it look cheap. And not even typical Amazon Original cheap, I mean C H E A P. The cinematography is uninspired, the color palette is often overexposed and muted, and the sets look like they were all rented for a day. It really sucks, because with a strong director tackling Kaling's solid script, it could've maybe added some depth to it, but alas, it looks like a slightly cleaner Lifetime movie. But if you can look past that, the laughs are there. And its heart is in the right place. So, yeah, check it out!


      STICKMAN: Wait, so this is an Amazon movie?


      LARRY: It premiered at Sundance and Amazon acquired it.


      MADHERO: So solid script, funny and filled with good performances, but distractingly cheap? That last part is kinda unfortunate, but at least the rest seems good


      LARRY: I think ultimately it's worth ticket price despite the cheapness. But some scenes are just really ugly looking in my opinion.


      MADHERO: I dunno. From what you say it sounds like its probably better worth seeing on tv or to stream. Maybe part of the reason why its getting only a limited release


      LARRY: ...honestly yeah. It seems like a perfect "streamable" film. Hence why Amazon purchased it. It's one of those R-rated films that the family can still watch if they just cover up the kids' ears.


      STICKMAN: I don't have to pay to watch it so I'll just go see it in cinemas.


      MADHERO: Anything more you want to add before we move on to your next review?


      LARRY: I would say go see it in theaters if only to support independent cinema.


      STICKMAN: From Amazon. Jeff Bozos is my indie darling.


      MADHERO: Alright, now its time for something slightly different. Jim Jarmusch is one of the weirder filmmakers working today, so when he says he's making a zombie movie with a boatload of stars, you pay attention. It was the opening film at Cannes, where it had, shall we saw, a mixed response. Where do you fall on Dead Don't Die, Larry?


      THE DEAD DON’T DIE

      DIRECTOR: Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive, Paterson)

      STARRING: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Iggy Pop, RZA, Carol Kane, Selena Gomez, Tom Waits

      SYNOPSIS: In a peaceful, small town, zombies suddenly rise from their graves, terrorizing the citizens. Three bespectacled police officers (Murray, Driver, Sevigny) and a strange Scottish mortician (Swinton) must band together to try and stay alive.

      LARRY: Well this one is a whoooooole lot different. So I really had zero clue what this movie was gonna be like, I barely even remembered the trailer going in. And...it's easily one of the most singular zombie comedies you'll ever see. Imagine if the awkwardness of Judd Apatow mixed with the deadpan nature of Wes Anderson...and you added zombies? Even that barely covers it, this film is very funny when it comes to its absurd satire of the genre, and the cast gets plenty of laughs. But when the film ends (and it kinda...just ends too lol), you sorta wonder if the film really ended up doing much at all? The plot and characters lack of lot of meat in an attempt to push the deadpan-ness. The film does very little to engage the viewer, and that's great for people who can do that themselves. But for people looking for a gruesome, action-packed zombie comedy a la Zombieland, this ain't it chief. As for me, I saw value in the film as a whole, but wish it maybe cut a little deeper. Into flesh. Becauze zombies. Hah.


      STICKMAN: God you really didn't sell it to me with the Apatow/Anderson one two punch.


      LARRY: I dunno man, those are the vibes.


      MADHERO: Have you had any previous Jarmusch experience prior to this? Just wondering.


      LARRY: Paterson, that’s it, which I liked, frankly.


      MADHERO: I watched Paterson as well but I really didn't vibe with it. I thought it was really boring for the most part, which is the point. How comparable are the two?


      LARRY: If that was the point in that, it's certainly the point in this The whole joke is that everyone seems frankly calm about a zombie invasion.


      STICKMAN: Thrilling.


      LARRY: It's funny when it plays with certain tropes. But as a zombie story, it's no Romero.


      MADHERO: It all seems pretty deadpan in the trailer, even with Tilda Swinton seemingly hamming it up. Who or what did you feel was the highlight?


      LARRY: Her.It's really odd because the cast is probably the highlight of the film and so many characters feel underused, largely because, given that it's a zombie film, some get axed with minimal payoff or closure. She easily has the funniest character in the film.


      STICKMAN: Tilda Swinton is always the highlight. So it's a boring zombie film with all the same tropes of a zombie film.


      LARRY: Well the tropes are kinda turned on their head. It's a farce of the tropes...I really don't know who this is marketed for?


      MADHERO: Sounds like you liked it more than most of Cannes did but still aren't that sure about it. Anything more you'd like to add before moving on


      LARRY: It's definitely more comedy than zombie. Tho I totally see why it would premiere at Cannes of all places, it's far more artistic comedy than a gore-fest. I dunno, I liked it as a sorta palette cleanser, and I'd even watch it again on a good day. I'm just not sure who this is gonna please.


      STICKMAN: Shaun of the Dead is better confirmed.


      LARRY: Oh, miles. Same for Zombieland.


      ---------

      MADHERO: Alright, enough of this indie jibba jabba. Its time to give the people what they actually want to see, though even that might not be too certain given the box office results


      STICKMAN: Dooown we go.


      LARRY: slide whistle


      MOVIES

      THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

      DIRECTOR: Chris Renaud (Despicable Me 2, Secret Life of Pets)

      STARRING: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvy, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Harrison Ford

      SYNOPSIS: Max (Oswalt) faces some major changes after his owner Katie (Kemper) gets married and now has a child. On a family trip to the countryside, Max meets a farm dog named Rooster (Ford), and both attempt to overcome his fears.

      STICKMAN: It's time for animals pooping. What if your pet did THIS?! Haha, come on guys, check it out.


      MADHERO: Time for some goofy shorts of animals tied to the barest of plots


      LARRY: Yeah, apparently this is just three stories in one? Why not...just make a tv show...? Or a series of short films?


      MADHERO: The first Secret Life of Pets was also extremely unfocused and this just seems to be doing the same. But hey, cute animals make money.


      LARRY: I kinda liked the first one, if I'm being honest. It was cute, had a solid voice cast.


      STICKMAN: I'm being told the main dog no longer masturbates.


      MADHERO: Nah, now he cooks and holds filibusters to talk Star Wars fanfiction.


      LARRY: Oof.


      MADHERO: It is what it is. Illumination movies are basically the definition of bang average and that won't change here I think.


      STICKMAN: They look nice I'll give them that. Can't wait for them to ruin Mario. HERE WE GO.


      DARK PHOENIX

      DIRECTOR: Simon Kinberg (directorial debut)

      STARRING: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Schipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Jessica Chastian, Jennifer Lawrence

      SYNOPSIS: When a solar flare hits them during a rescue mission in space, Jean Grey (Turner) loses control of her abilities and unleashes the Phoenix.

      MADHERO: Womp womp woooooooomp


      LARRY: Oh hey look another disappointment.


      STICKMAN: As someone who's never been that big a fan of the mainline X-Men movies, this is kinda...yeah...I saw this coming. I think we all did, honestly.


      LARRY: Nobody gives it a shit about the FoX-Men anymore. This was doomed to bomb.


      MADHERO: Its kinda remarkable how Simon Kinberg managed to bungle the Dark Phoenix storyline twice. What a way for this franchise to go.


      LARRY: Can't wait for Daniel Radcliffe to play Wolverine so this will all blow over.


      MADHERO: Its just kinda sad at this point. Apocalypse was a really disappointing mess but you were hoping they could turn it around and at least deliver a solid finale, but its all come down to 200 million dollar wet fart.


      STICKMAN: This is Jennifer Lawrence's favourite film because she never has to play Mystique again.


      MADHERO: Meanwhile Jessica Chastain gets to make a quick buck but had to dye her eyebrows so was it worth it in the end?


      LARRY: I even found some stuff to like in Apocalypse. But at least that had Oscar Isaac.


      STICKMAN: X-Men love to waste good actors. OH WELL, IT'S OVER NOW...except The New Mutants, but who even knows about that at this point.


      LARRY: Even with a movie like Aladdin, which I'm not excited for, I'm still gonna see it. I feel like I have to. This...this doesn't even warrant a simple night at the movies. I don't even wanna stream it.


      MADHERO: I can't wait for the MCU to actually do the Dark Phoenix story proper in like 2035 or something. Its like Michael Fassbender said in the trailer: you're always sorry, there's always a speech and nobody cares anymore. That's it, that's this franchise.


      MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL

      DIRECTOR: F. Gary Grey (Straight Outta Compton, Fate of the Furious)

      STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Emma Thompson

      SYNOPSIS: A London-based team of Men in Black (MIB) secret agents (Hemsworth, Thompson) become involved in a series of alien attacks that sends them traveling around the globe.

      LARRY: Oh hey, this looks okay.


      MADHERO: This kinda snuck up on me to be honest.


      STICKMAN: I'm loving these awkwardly dubbed Liam Neeson adverts where it's clearly not Neeson speaking.


      MADHERO: They tried really hard to edit out the lines where we was talking about really killing some black bastard.


      STICKMAN: Most of the budget went towards that, and the rest went to the jazzy trailer beat.


      MADHERO: As for the rest of it, it looks....fine I guess. I like the main pairing of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, but none of the trailers are really grabbing me.


      STICKMAN: I feel this is gonna be a 'meh' movie, like...maybe not terrible, but....just...meh. Meh'n in Black.


      LARRY: I dunno, I have hope. Maybe it's just cuz I know I'll be seeing it on my birthday.


      STICKMAN: And I mean, only the first MiB is even remotely worth watching  out of the whole series. It's not exactly a hallmark of qualtiy.


      MADHERO: Yeah, that franchise hasn't been a barometer of quality, but at least the alien designs are mostly fun


      STICKMAN: They're very weird but that's refreshing for aliens in mainstream cinema. Let's forget about that Michael Jackson cameo though.


      LARRY: Oof.


      MADHERO: My guess is they're not gonna redo that, though there will definitely be a celebrity be portrayed as an alien. Putting my money on Kanye West.


      STICKMAN: My money's on Piers Morgan, since it's a British set movie, and we're aiming for maximum revulsion.


      MADHERO: He's doing a really bad job at appearing human then.


      SHAFT

      DIRECTOR: Tim Story (Think Like a Man Too, Ride Along 2)

      STARRING: Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie Usher, Richard Roundtree, Alexandra Shipp, Regina Hall, Method Man

      SYNOPSIS: John Shaft Jr. (Usher), a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists his family's (Jackson, Roundtree) help to uncover the truth behind his best friend's untimely death.

      STICKMAN: Shut yo mouth.


      MADHERO: Wow rude. This movie is coming out on Netflix here 2 weeks after the release in the cinema so I'll be seeing this from the comfort of my couch.


      LARRY: Shows you how much faith they have.


      STICKMAN: So many Shafts, so many penis innuendo taglines.


      MADHERO: To be fair, it was a co-production deal from the start, so its not like its being outright dumped.


      STICKMAN: I had no idea Netflix were involved, but that's not exactly a stamp of quality. I'm not sure I can dig it. Sorry Shaft. Cool theme tune though.


      LARRY: Good failsafe at least.


      MADHERO: It looks ok from what I've seen. I like that Richard Roundtree is still out there kicking ass, but I also have the feeling I'm way too white for these movies.


      LARRY: SAME.


      STICKMAN: As a lizard I feel this way about all movies. Except Rango.


      ----------

      MADHERO: Alright, I think that about covers everything. If none of those movies tickle your fancy, no worries, cause there's always MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


      LARRY: YAY


      STICKMAN: AAAAGGGGGGGGGH. But drat, we can't do Dark Phoneix until the next episode! OH NO.


      LARRY: Segment ruined.


      MADHERO: Yeah, we're just gonna have to wait on that for now. Its a struggle, I know, but we'll manage somehow. What's your Movie of the Week, Sticky?


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK


      STICKMAN: Wellll....I gotta rep my boy, Big G....he's not doing so hot on the reviews, or the box office...but I still love him. Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we were all pretty positive about it in the episode before release...and then the reviews came out, and they were shockingly divisive, sliding towards the negative. And then the box office disappointed and OH GOD. IT WAS A DISASTER.


      But I still went and saw it...in fact we all did, but this is MY MOTW, and y'know what? I still really liked this film. Was it disappointing to a degree? Sure, it lacked a lot of the epic majesty of the trailers, but other than that? I had a great time, it delivered what I wanted in terms of kaiju smashing action, those fights were outstanding. The soundtrack was also really bloody good, and honestly? I liked the human characters...to a degree. It's not a masterpiece, it's not gonna win any awards, but god damn I had a fun time watching it, I don't see why the reviews have been SO bad, and the dent that's probably made on its box office takings is a shame, but hey ho...he's still my boi.


      MADHERO: Might as well piggyback on this as well and say that this is my Movie of the Week as well, with the added caveat that I didn't like it as much as Sticky did. While the human characters are a necessary thing to get to the thing we all want, some of the decisions made with them are rather baffling, and the weak script doesn't help matters. But most of it is kept afloat thanks to the absolutely amazing monster battles. No weirdo bugs this time, we get the full gamut of classic kaiju action featuring some absolute legends, and its a sight to behold....when you can see it cause damn this movie is darkly lit sometimes.


      LARRY: This is not MY MOTW but I also saw it, and I liked it.


      MADHERO: Great to hear. Even if I wished I liked it more, I am a tad disappointed in its box office. Unfortunately think it was just too much a gap after the 2014 one.


      STICKMAN: I think the gap, and then the bad reviews kinda killed it. But I mean...it's still a fun movie, and one best seen on the biggest loudest screen possible. If the chairs aren't shaking, you're DOING IT WRONG.


      LARRY: Buh...but the monster stuff really delivers.


      MADHERO: At least we're still getting Godzilla vs Kong, and all the fanart has been great. Its definitely a film you need to see on the biggest screen and loudest stereo. Bear McCreary's score is pretty spectacular in how it mixes old themes


      STICKMAN: GOD DAMN THE THEME REVIVALS. GOD DAAAAMMN. Mothra's arrival to her theme is DAMMN.


      LARRY: Ugh it really is. The Godzilla fans in my screening clapped.


      STICKMAN: I would've clapped if I wasn't by myself in a mostly empty IMAX. My favourite parts of this film are all spoilers so...UHH....


      MADHERO: It was pretty rad. Now Larry, does your MOTW contain any radioactive giants?


      STICKMAN: It better, OR ELSE.


      LARRY: um. do musical giants count?


      STICKMAN: No, they DON'T.


      LARRY: My MOTW is "Rocketman," Dexter Fletcher's Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton, which I was very skeptical of coming in yet has been doing surprisingly well both critically and financially. So, how did I feel about it? S'pretty good. It's pacing is kinda all over the place, and it's script is cheese o'clock, but Taron Egerton's performance is outstanding enough to make it through all of that. Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin is another standout, and an excellent supporting performance. They really are the heart of the film and they keep it beating.


      But really, what stands out most in this musical biopic is its musical qualities, particularly how it reimagines John's library to tell his story in a musical fashion. Not every moment is complete gangbusters, but the ones that are nothing but exquisite to a fan of both Elton John and the musical art form. Beyond that, it's technically strong with excellently recreated costumes and strong cinematography, and the new musical arrangements of Elton's work are awesome. Overall, I don't think it's nuanced enough to thoroughly tackle Elton's addiction successfully, but it damn well tries, and it's heart is in the right place. And...it surprisingly gets pretty dark, so there's that too. Elton was a fucked up guy at one point.


      STICKMAN: You know what I want to hear about Larry.


      MADHERO: Hey, this ain't Academy Award winning motion picture Bohemian Rhapsody


      LARRY: No. It's better.


      STICKMAN: How's that sex action, boy.


      LARRY: It's...honestly rather conventional. Like, it's not really explicit? It's just a conventional sex scene with two men. Which is good, I suppose.


      STICKMAN: Bummer. I mean, good, but...bummer.


      MADHERO: I expected it to be. It does seem a lot more musical inspired than being a standard musical biopic. Do you think we'll get a Broadway adaptation soon?


      LARRY: Honestly, several scenes had me thinking that this would potentially work better as a stage adaptation than a film. Certain scenes are choreographed stage style, and it doesn't really work 100%.


      STICKMAN: I wanna see that conventional anal on the stage.


      MADHERO: I'm not even that big into Elton John or musicals, but I'm actually quite interested in seeing this. It seems like a lot of fun while not ignoring the ickier parts of his life, which is a nice change of pace for biopics that are usually flattering.


      LARRY: Oh yes, at times it is quite unflattering.


      STICKMAN: I'll pass but at least it's better than Bohemonianan Chriaphosdy


      --------

      MADHERO: I think that about wraps everything up. We're gonna hopefully talk Toy Story 4 next time, but another toy has been very intent on murdering the whole cast and everyone involved, so we have to be careful..


      STICKMAN: Toy franchises, TOY FRANCHISES EVERYWHERE.


      LARRY: Oh god.


      MADHERO: And there's a spooky doll there as well. No escape it seems.


      STICKMAN: One big toybox of horror. GOODBYE.


      LARRY: Peace out, hombres.


      MADHERO: So long, partners

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 135

      3 months ago

      g1Features

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      MADHERO: Hello everyone, we're back at it again with the summer movie season, and boy do we see the big boys coming out. We see another big live action Disney remake. A musical on one of the most well known artists in the world, a horror superhero movie. Man, this is all playing out like some big kaiju battle.


      STICKMAN: Back at it again with THE ONLY FILM THAT MATTERS


      LARRY: Is it the last weekend of May yet?


      MADHERO: The chunky lizard boi will have some competition along his way, but soon we'll know if he's King of the Summer Box Office. Not as snappy a title as King of the Monsters, but it'll have to do


      STICKMAN: He won't be, but a man can dream. LET'S GET ON WITH IIIIIT.


      MADHERO: Before we do that, we have to go through the news first. He can go wreck Tokyo in the meantime


      LARRY: Yeah, he's got a whole new world to demolish, it's gonna take some time. At least one news round per city.


      NEWS

      ROBERT PATTINSON THE FAVORITE TO BE CAST AS THE NEW BATMAN FOR MATT REEVES’ FILM

      Batman_Robert_Pattinson_Matt_Reeves.jpg

      More news from the next installment in the Caped Crusader's legacy has dropped and hoooooo boy, is it a big one. Variety is reporting that Robert Pattinson is currently the frontrunner to  play ol' Batsy in Matt Reeves' "The Batman". With a string of successful arthouse films under his belt like "Good Time," (FUCK YEAH GOOD TIME) and "High Life," with Cannes critical darling "The Lighthouse" not too far off, Pattinson has far outgrown his days as Edward Cullen and Cedric Diggory, but it looks like he's ready to return to franchise filmmaking.


      As of now, a deal has not been solidifed, and several other names are on the shortlist, including X-Men's Nicholas Hoult and actual golden boy Armie Hammer. In fact, as soon as Variety reported its exclusive, other publications were quick to counter its report, insisting that Reeves and the studio is still in talks. But, as of now, Variety is sticking to its guns. Can Pattinson take on the role of The Batman? Yeah, fuckin probably. The guy's a talented actor who has tackled more challenging roles (for god's sake, have ya seen Good Time?). Plus, Willem Dafoe thinks he's got a strong chin, so there's basically no argument at this point. I'd be happy to see Pattinson get the role, is what I'm saying. Here's hoping him and Reeves can pull of a solid live-action Batman flick for the first time since "The Dark Knight."


      STICKMAN: A whole new era of 'HE CAN'T BE BATMAN AAAAAAGHH' on the internet.


      MADHERO: Never before has the divide between Film Twitter and Mainstream Geek Twitter been so strong.


      LARRY: I feel like that divide gets tested almost weekly.


      MADHERO: O for sure, but here you have people who know he's done great work in the likes of Good Time and High Life and the other that goes EUHGHGGHGHR NOT THE SPARKLY VAMPIRE


      LARRY: I get the kneejerk reaction, but once you watch Good Time, all the shit goes out the fucking window. The man can carry a movie, no question.


      MADHERO: I have no doubts he can, and while I think he fits more as someone like Nightwing, I do think he's a solid choice for the role. I had pictured Armie Hammer and that'd be good as well. Hoult I'm not sold on though.


      STICKMAN: Get some muscle on him and we'll be good, honestly. Shirtless scenes here we come.


      LARRY: About time Pattinson went through the whole bulking up routine. It's his next step in his arthouse-evolution.


      MADHERO: He's still very much in that mode if The Lighthouse is any indication. While not confirmed yet, I'd be ok with this choice, but there will always be idiots signing petitions that no one pays attention to except comic news sites who need some easy clicks


      STICKMAN: I'm more interested in The Lighthouse  right now, but that's a whoooole other news story.


      PARAMOUNT RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

      A shit, here we go again. Like the titular death machine, the Terminator franchise sure is persistent. After Rise of the Machines, we had 2009's Salvation, which was critically panned and failed to be successful enough to start a trilogy. Then in 2015 we got Genisys, which was.....eeuugghhh. That film was also meant to start a trilogy, but got panned and despite doing well in China, its sequel plans were also shelved. Now James Cameron has come and gone FUCK ALL THAT! and we're now back to the start. Quite literally, with Dark Fate causing everything after T2 to be non-canon, basically the Halloween approach.


      Like Halloween, it also has its own badass grandma in the form of Linda Hamilton, who does look fairly badass. She pops up to protect new character Dani Reyes, who's also being protected by Mackenzie Davis' Grace, who seems to be some sort of human/machine hybrid. We see the new Terminator as some sort T-800/T1000 combo. We also get a brief look at Arnie, but his role is yet unclear. Honestly, the trailer doesn't really do much of anything to make me excited for yet another Terminator reboot, even if we're finally somewhat rid of John Connor. Cameron being back is nice, and Tim Miller has done well with Deadpool, but I'm very much in wait and see mode.


      STICKMAN: This looks so dull and lacking in creativity.


      MADHERO: I like how at the end one of the sound effects on the Terminator's leg getting broken is one of those Nickelodeon splats.


      STICKMAN: That takes guts, Nickelodeon Guts.


      LARRY: Yeah I just don't really have any interest in a new Terminator, and this doesn't look to be doing anything particularly interesting with the property. This is coming from a guy who thought Genisys was perfectly fine.


      MADHERO: Linda Hamilton as badass grandma is nice. The one thing it does different is focus on different characters, which at least makes it seem like they're moving on, and them being all women is pretty neat.


      STICKMAN: Apart from Arnie. Who's back. Again. He's never not been back, really.


      LARRY: Yeah but the performances don't look interesting to me. And I feel like Sarah Connor's story is pretty done, I don't need any more of it.


      MADHERO: I wonder if they're again gonna do the whole aged Terminator thing or if he's just the human template this time, which they toyed with in 3 but that was in a cut scene and that whole movie is now non-canon


      STICKMAN: Terminator is the most retconny franchise of all time. Poor Sarah Connor Chronicles has been retconned about 50 times.


      MADHERO: We soon might get a trilogy of Failed Trilogy starters.


      STICKMAN: Exciting timesss.....?


      TAIKA WAITITI NOW OFFICIALLY COMMITS TO DIRECTING AKIRA, ENDS UP DROPPING STOP MOTION FILM 'BUBBLES'

      taika-waititi-akira-remake-reboot-102170

      In other sudden release dates for movies coming within the period of  May 2021, we found out this week that the wheels on the long...LONG gestating, much derived plans to adapt cult anime classic AKIRA into a Hollywood production are now beginning to turn, with a release date now scheduled, alongside the announcement of Leonardo diCaprio as a producer, and Taika Waititi in the directors chair. Good news? Depends on who you ask, frankly...but paired with this subdued release date announcement came a rather more disappointing one.


      'Bubbles', a blacklisted screenplay about the life of Michael Jackson's pet monkey has been in development for a long time now, planned to be Starbreeze Studios stop motion cinematic follow-up to the well received but financially unsuccessful Anomalisa for Netflix. However, reports have come out this week that Taika has stepped down from the directors role in order to focus on AKIRA, and his departure has seemingly caused Netflix to back out of financing the film, with numerous lay-offs in the production's animation department following that, suggesting 'Bubbles' may now be dead in the water. There's some speculation that the recent, grueling  documentary  Leaving Neverland may have also soured interest in the project. Still, it's a shame to see a promising stop motion feature seemingly thrown in the can.


      MADHERO: I can't fucking believe Bubbles died so that Akira got to live for the seventeenth billionth time


      STICKMAN: I know which IiiiiI'd rather have. Another anime adaptation that people will shit the bed about for thousands of years...or a stop motion movie by Taika Waititi.


      LARRY: Ain't an easy answer for me honestly. One of the best animes of all time directed by a creatively oddball director...or a stop-motion movie about MJ's fuckin monkey.


      MADHERO: I continue to be against the very idea of an Akira live-action movie, but the involvement of a very capable and socially concious director like Waititi at least piques my interest some what. Its like the Cowboy Bebop Netflix series: not needed, but elements are there to give hope.


      STICKMAN: Bubbles deserved better.


      MADHERO: I think Bubbles sounded like a very interesting project, and its a real shame that people have to be let go from Starburns now that the film is pretty much dead. Its a great premise, but I can understand it being icky after Leaving Neverland, even if its not too flattering towards MJ


      LARRY: Yeah that I get. I just wish maybe they would just delay the release? Also, Netflix can just shop for another high-profile director, there's no shortage


      STICKMAN: It was always a film I wondered about the direction for, but now we'll never know.


      MADHERO: It could still be picked up at some point, but its hard to say. I do wonder how much creative freedom Waititi will be allowed with Akira? He got quite a bit with Ragnarok it seems, and turned it into a great comedy that also managed to brutally take down colonization in the meantime


      STICKMAN: I don't know if I trust Warner Bros to let it be the film it needs to be, but we'll seeeeeeee.


      BONG JOON HO’S PARASITE WINS THE PALME D’OR AT CANNES 2019. EARLY REACTIONS FOR ROCKETMAN AND ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

      Welp, time to open up this ol' CANNES of worms. The annual Cannes Film Festival held in France has reached its conclusion, and there were some big winners and some big losers. Starting off positive, Bong Joon-Ho (director of "Snowpiercer" and "Okja") made Netflix kiss his ass once more as he took away the Palme D'Or for his new black comedy/suspenseful thriller/my new most anticipated film of 2019 "Parasite," which earned rave reviews AND the highest Jury average out of any film screened. Furthermore, some other popular filmmakers got solid buzz from Cannes, such as Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood" and Ken Loach's "Sorry We Missed You," though both left empty-handed at the ceremony, along with other out-of-competition selections such as Dexter Fletcher's Elton John biopic "Rocketman," featuring Taron Egerton, and Robert Eggers' "The Lighthouse," featuring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe (which did end up winning a prize competing in a separate section).


      And, now for just some stupid fun news,  Abdellatif Kechiche's (director of "Blue is the Warmest Color") "Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo" made waves as well, but for all the wrong reasons. The film premiered to universal critical panning, with a current 0% on RottenTomatoes, and several walk-outs. Film critic David Ehrlich wrote that the film "devotes about 60% of its runtime" to female butt shots. Either way, it has the lowest jury average of a 1.5, and seems to be a fall from grace for Kechiche, who won his own Palme D'Or for Blue is the Warmest Color. It has become the laughing stock of Cannes 2019, and for good reason...cuz butt stuff is funny. Ha. Ha ha. Butt stuff.


      MADHERO: Congrats to Bong Joon Ho and all that for winning for another probably kickass film, but let's face it: its all about the butt movie


      LARRY: Can't wait for "Mektoub, My Love: Three-Way"


      STICKMAN: Everyone goes to Cannes for the cunnilingus.


      LARRY: Cannes-ilingus


      MADHERO: Its been a while since Cannes had a genuine disaster of a film in competition, and the responses are always hilarious to read.


      LARRY: I kinda wanna see someone make a butts-only cut. Just to see how long the film would actually be with JUST the butts.


      MADHERO: BTW Larry, you made a mistake with  Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It won the Palme D'Og, the most important award of all


      STICKMAN: The good boy award for giving a Tarantino film an award without giving Tarantino an award.


      MADHERO: I still don't know a whole lot about that film even after watching the second trailer, but at least now I know there's a heckin good pupper in it.


      LARRY: They're reeeeeeeeally downplaying the whole Manson thing.


      STICKMAN: I for one am excited for the critics week Grand Prize winning animated film about a severed hand going on a journey to find its owner. That's some artsy bullshit right there.


      MADHERO: Its been a surprisingly quiet Cannes, besides the butt stuff. There was no big feud or critics being particuarly snooty. Just a bunch of films from some good filmmakers and Terrence Malick back on his bullshit


      STICKMAN: Plus Tarantino being an idiot but what else is new.


      MADHERO: Yeah, there was that I suppose, but that you can expect. Still looking forward to that though.


      STICKMAN: Some ones to watch fo' sure. And hey, butts, am I right?


      LARRY: Cannes: Lighthouses, Parasites, and Butts, oh my!


      MADHERO: Pick up the 4 hour butt movie, you cowards.


      JOHN WICK CHAPTER 4 TO COME OUT IN SUMMER 2021. CHAPTER 3 ALREADY MOST SUCCESSFUL FILM IN THE FRANCHISE

      b59fcffdef8a7c37af40ef9e310f813fe801dc51

      Everyone's favourite dog avenging mass murderer book-slammed his way back into cinemas this month with the, frankly excellent John Wick Chapter 3: Paraparlaprlngn...and it's safe to say the R rated actioner has done rather well for itself, grossing over $50 million in its opening weekend over yonder America, finally doing what Pikachu could not, and killing Avengers Endgame's run at number 1.  With the modestly budgeted film sitting at over $100 million worldwide in just the early strides of its second weekend, you can bet your sweet ass Lionsgate are priming up a sequel already.


      Within a week of the third chapter's release, we got word that John Wick Chapter 4 will be hitting cinemas on May 21st of 2021, matching the release gap between 2 and 3. Given Lionsgate have been struggling to make a hit in 2019, the continuing upward trend of the John Wick franchise, both critically and financially is pretty important, frankly. As is my need to see as much neon-drenched, brutal John Wick mayhem as possible. Roll on 2021.


      MADHERO: Surprisedpikachu.jpg


      STICKMAN: Pikachu got a book slammed into his face.


      LARRY: As someone who recently became educated in the awesomeness of John Wick, I approve of all of this.


      MADHERO: With how John Wick 3 ends (which we''ll probably get to a bit with MOTW), it knocking Thanos off the box office throne and being relatively cheap to make? There's no way it wasn't going to have a sequel


      STICKMAN: It was inevitable, but the good kinda of inevitable. I just hope they can maintain the quality in the fourth installment.


      LARRY: Well I can assure you nobody expected it to beat Avengers. What began as a small little action flick and it's become a genuine franchise.


      MADHERO: Well they've done alright so far, I'd say. Stahelski and Reeves seem to have a lot of fun making them.


      STICKMAN: Very few franchises top themselves in the fourth installment but I have some hope.


      MADHERO: Very few studios wanted to pick up the original John Wick and to see it grow into THE action movie franchise that isn't Fast and the Furious is pretty wild, but definitely welcomed as long as the quality remains great.


      STICKMAN: Be seeing you, Mr Wick.


      DISNEY WORKING ON A LIVE-ACTION MOVIE OF CHIP N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS. AKIVA SCHAFFER TO DIRECT

      RescueRangersAway.jpg

      Some times, some IPs, are slipping through the cracks, but Disney. Will see. Plus will pick up the slack. There's no IP too big, no IP too small. It'll make money after all. ChchChip and Dale. Rescue Rangers. Yep, that's right, Disney is making a Rescue Rangers movie, cause no IP is sacred and will be resurrected for nostalgia's sake. Its been their mantra for a while. In case you never saw or didn't grow up with the Disney Afternoon show, Rescue Rangers followed chipmunks Chip and Dale and their motley crew as they go on adventures and solve various cases. While popular (I still saw merch for it in Japan) the series has remained dormant for some time.


      Until now, with the announcement that Akiva Schaffer, best known for his Lonely Island work, is working on a live action reboot of the property. The take is not meant to be a origin story, but rather a "meta" take on the franchise, which I guess fits with Schaffer's previous work. As of right now, it isn't known when or even where it is coming out, but considering the scale, my bet its gonna be a Disney+ production. I really liked the original series, even if it was a bit before my time, and have often wondered why there hadn't been a Ducktales style reboot. I'd have probably preferred that over a live action version, but we'll see how well that translates.


      STICKMAN: GOD FUCKIN DAMMNIIT. STOOooooOOOOOP


      LARRY: Okay, at least it'll probably be a new story.


      MADHERO: We're now in tv series territory so soon enough we'll get our Darkwing Duck live action movie. Then things will get really dangerous. As it stands, yeah I have doubts this'll be released theatrically, which no longer isn't that big a deal. I'm just surprised its taken this long to reboot Rescue Rangers


      STICKMAN: They're too busy repairing Gummy ships in Kingdumb Hearts.


      LARRY: Well the show isn't particularly good, but I think Schaeffer is a comedic genius, so I'm excited to see what he does with the property, Chip and Dale lend nicely to wisecracking meta-ness.


      MADHERO: WOAH. Larry dropping a nuclear take there. Honestly it'll all be worth it for a Lonely Island remix of the Rescue Rangers theme song


      LARRY: That would be amazing.


      STICKMAN: I'm getting Alvin and the Chipmunks trauma.


      MADHERO: Although you know a live-action version of Gadget is just gonna awaken even more furries than the original already did.


      LARRY: I'd love them to make a joke about that.


      STICKMAN: Disney aren't going to make a joke about furries. They made a whooooole Zootopia and resisted.


      LARRY: The times, they are a'changin.


      STICKMAN: Killlll meeeee.


      ---------

      MADHERO: Alright, with that out of the way, we can finally focus on the giant monster battle that's happening around. King Avengers has been reigning supreme as it seeks to climb the Avatar mountain, but there's some kaijus out there striking it down. Do they stand a chance to take out this goliath?


      STICKMAN: Nope, but I'M FUCKIN READY ALL THE SAME.


      LARRY: Time to Sticky nerdgasm t-minus three lines of text.


      STICKMAN: Hellll yeah.


      MOVIES

      GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

      DIRECTOR: Michael Dougherty (Trick r’ Treat, Krampus)

      STARRING: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ken Watanabe

      SYNOPSIS: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.

      STICKMAN: OoOOHOhoOOoOHHHHhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


      LARRY: Mmhm. Time to grab the Lysol.


      MADHERO: I saw that big lad everywhere while in Japan so its nice to see this new movie coming out. Wasn't even the biggest fan of 2014 Godzilla, but this already looks like utter mayhem.


      LARRY: This is gonna blow Godzilla 2014 out of the WATER.


      STICKMAN: My main issue with Godzilla 14 was the lack of Godzilla...so...I meaaaaan. So much Godzilla, so many kaiaijuus, THE COlLOOOURRS.


      MADHERO: That movie teases and teases and then the final battle is awesome but its against some pretty generic baddies. Here they threw the entire toybox out. Mothra, Rodan, and of course King Ghidorah. Its gonna be quite the monster mash


      LARRY: Quite the graveyard smash.


      STICKMAN: It looks fucking great, the marketing has been incredible...it's been 5 yeEAAARs since the last film came out. I am readddyyyy.


      MADHERO: Yeah, its been a while, but we'll get Gozilla vs Kong a year later, so the wait's been worth it I think.


      STICKMAN: Ohhh yesss. The orgasm NEVER ENNNDSS. Mothra gonna fuckin kick some ass BOIS.


      LARRY: Those wings have never looked better.


      STICKMAN: Release day can't come soooon enough. I don't even care 'bout them reviews.


      MADHERO: Nature's gonna point out the folly on man real soon. See it on the biggest screen possible


      ALADDIN

      DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie (The Man from UNCLE, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword)

      STARRING: Men Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Megahban, Billy Magnussen, Alan Tudyk

      SYNOPSIS: A kindhearted street urchin (Massoud) and a power-hungry Grand Vizier (Kenzari) vie for a magic lamp (Smith) that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.

      STICKMAN: Oh god, the balls, THE BLUE BALLS. AAaAAGGH.


      MADHERO: So this isn't quite the disaster some of us were expecting after some of the trailers nor something genuinely great. Its just kinda ok


      LARRY: Alright time for the cooldown.


      STICKMAN: This is like going from a volcano to the arctic for me. And the fact that the best thing people can say is "I was expecting worse" says a lot.


      LARRY: Audiences seem to be responding well, what with an A Cinemascore. Shows Disney is giving them exactly what they want.


      STICKMAN: Audiences are dumb.


      MADHERO: What I've heard mainly is that it falls flat whenever it tries to recreate the animated film and the original stuff mostly works well. Will Smith as Genie was of course the biggest question, and that's seems to have worked out mostly


      STICKMAN: Not with the CGI so much, although Will Smith is a hard man to hate in  any film.


      MADHERO: Hard to believe a Youtuber has managed to make it this far in Hollywood


      LARRY: I hear the leads are also fairly solid. Jafar......less so.


      STICKMAN: A Disney musical film that doesn't nail the villain is pretty damning. Considering the precedent set.


      MADHERO: The actor's Dutch so I'm contractually obligated to like him, but I've heard he's a tad bland when compared to the original, which I guess was done to avoid the stereotypes of the original


      STICKMAN: I just...I'd say I'm a broken record when saying these remakes are pointless and diminishing in comparison to their "original" source material, but then Disney are being a fuckin BROKEN RECORD BY MAKING THIS SHIT.


      ROCKETMAN

      DIRECTOR: Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle, Bohemian Rhapsody)

      STARRING: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Stephen Graham

      SYNOPSIS: The story of Elton John's (Egerton) life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin (Bell), as well as his struggles with depression, substance abuse, and acceptance of his sexual orientation.

      LARRY: Hoo boy. Who's ready for some    G A Y    S E X


      MADHERO: Hmmm, this seems kinda similar to that there Bohemian Rhapsody. I wonder who directed that?


      STICKMAN: This Elton FUCKS. And sings maybe.


      MADHERO: I am somewhat glad that they do actually go all in with that stuff.


      STICKMAN: A colourful fantasy-styled jukebox musical with hardcore anal.


      LARRY: Yeah, why not? Its what the world desperately needs right now.


      MADHERO: Cause its gonna drive people away probably. BoRhap had a very safe levels of gayness and even that was too much for some markets, but hey, it did make a boatload of money. This probably won't make as much, but it'll be a better film at least


      LARRY: Can't wait for a bunch of boomer Elton fans to go in and get something they were not expecting. Might be some pearl clutching.


      STICKMAN: Fuck the people driven away. This is a film about someone who's sexuality was relevant to their career and personal life so why hide it.


      LARRY: BoRhap was largely tarnished by this passé fear of going all in on Freddie's sexuality. Biopics should learn a thing or two from that.


      MADHERO: I'm not as big a Elton John fan as I am of Queen, but I'm definitely very curious about this with it being more daring creatively. "Real life fantasy" and all that


      STICKMAN: I can't say I'm a big Elton John fan, but this film looks fun for those who are.


      LARRY: I love Elton, so I'll be singing along.


      MADHERO: If we're about to be overloaded with musical biopics, we might as well take a chance on them and make them good


      STICKMAN: Or at least hot. I mean, that guy from Bodyguard is pretty handsome after all.


      BRIGHTBURN

      DIRECTOR: David Yarovesky (The Hive)

      STARRING: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner

      SYNOPSIS: Tori and Kyle (Banks, Denman), adopts a baby who came from the stars. As Brandon (Dunn) nears puberty, a powerful darkness seems to manifest within him.

      STICKMAN: What if Superman was EVIL?!!?!?!?!?!


      MADHERO: BY JOVE! THIS QUESTION HAS NEVER BEEN ASKED BEFORE! Well, in films at least, which I guess is fair enough


      LARRY: Some people are calling this better than Man of Steel and I can't help but laugh.


      MADHERO: I was sorta interested in the angle of it and the fact its a James Gunn production, but apparently the evilness angle doesn't come down to much.


      STICKMAN: It was a fun idea but it seems kinda bleh in execution.


      LARRY: Oh wow I had no idea Gunn wrote this.


      STICKMAN: He didn't. Two other Gunns did.


      LARRY: Wow. I legit read his name wrong. Twice. He produced it.


      MADHERO: Boy there are a lot of Gunns out there. Do something about that, America


      STICKMAN: Get some fucking Gunn control you idiots.


      LARRY: The last movie I saw that Gunn produced but didn't direct was The Belko Experiment and...yeah, Gunn's stories should be directed by Gunn.


      MADHERO: I think he's got his hands full at the moment


      MA

      DIRECTOR: Tate Taylor (Get on Up, The Girl on the Train)

      STARRING: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans, Corey Fogelmanis, Missi Pyle

      SYNOPSIS: A lonely woman (Spencer) befriends a group of teenagers (Silver, Fogelmans) and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn't get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

      STICKMAN: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MOVIE. Is it a comedy? Apparently not! Those trailers were not convincing.


      MADHERO: Yo, ma! You in da movie, ma!


      LARRY: Passity pass pass. Alright, next.


      MADHERO: Wow, Larry wants to move on quick. Yeah, I can't really get a read on this movie either. At least Octavia Spencer seems to be having fun


      STICKMAN: I'm just....very curious to see what this is like, because it is one of the strangest looking mainstream films for some time. If it's not supposed to be funny it's gonna end up unintentionally hilarious I fear.


      MADHERO: Maybe it is and we're all not supposed to know or deny it? Its hard to say.


      STICKMAN: Blumhouse are weird sometimes. Still, can't be as bad as Truth or Dare...right?


      LARRY: It'd be smart if this movie kinda used the oddness of its lead to its advantage. Like balance the sorta comedy of the situation with the horror. But this doesn't reeeeeeeeally look to be doing that, so.


      BOOKSMART

      DIRECTOR: Olivia Wilde (directorial debut)

      STARRING: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Noah Galvin, Billie Lourd, Skyler Gisondo, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte

      SYNOPSIS: On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends (Dever, Feldstein) realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

      MADHERO: COUNTER PROGRAMMING HO!


      STICKMAN: More like Bookfart, ahah....hnn...


      LARRY: Superbad with women? I'm down. Apparently this lives up to the hype.


      STICKMAN: The world doesn't need any more Superbad.


      MADHERO: There was hype? Don't know about that. I do hear its really good though and some of the trailers make this look pretty wild.


      LARRY: Well, indie hype. As in "wow a really good female-directed movie with two female leads."


      STICKMAN: That's not thaaaat unheard of in the indie scene.


      MADHERO: Really cool that its Olivia Wilde's first directing job, and to hit it out the park like that must feel great when you start out


      LARRY: People are saying it could be this year's Lady Bird.


      STICKMAN: Happy for everyone involved but it's like...I hope there's more to it being good than it just being good representation? Lady Bird was more than that.


      LARRY: No yeah it's a great comedy with great characters, so I hear. But it helps that it's also a female-led film


      MADHERO: I can only judge from the trailer, but the people who've seen it seem to be universally positive, so defnintely one to check out if kaiju battles are too much for ya


      STICKMAN: I want sex positive kaiju battles.


      LARRY: Or, maybe check out both?


      MADHERO: But hey, instead of judging movies we haven't seen yet, let's talk about ones we did on MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


      ---------

      STICKMAN: oOWHWHAOAOH.


      LARRY: OH BOY. MOVIES.


      MADHERO: Yep, movies. They sure are a thing you can watch, be it in the theater or on streaming. Now I know there's at least one movie we've all seen and liked, but before we get to that, I think Sticky decided to also lie on his couch and watch something on Netflix.


      STICKMAN: Movies are much better when you're in your underpants eating pringles.


      LARRY: I...I can't argue with that.


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      STICKMAN: Soooooo, my movie is the Netflix exclusive 'The Perfection', a film that's anything but perfect, but it's certainly interesting, and one of the most extreme works of cinema in recent memory.


      It's hard to talk about too much without spoiling just where things go...because damn this film goes in some straaaange directions....but simply put, it's about two acclaimed cello players who go on a bus trip together...one of them gets sick...and well....some truly twisted things happen. In a way it feels like three different dark movies violently stitched together, and it's certainly not for the faint of heart. We got body horror, we got repressed trauma...we got gore and we got MUSIC, BAYBEE. Like I say, not perfect, but pretty damn unique.


      MADHERO: This one looked pretty Black Swan esque based on the trailer. Does it go as far as that film does?


      STICKMAN: I'd say it goes further in some respects, there are some really disgusting and shocking moments that are going to turn a lot of people away from this film.


      MADHERO: Yeah, the reception has been....divisive to say the least. Seems you fall more into the liked it camp


      STICKMAN: I liked it, despite flaws...I can see why people wouldn't though. Extreme cinema is always divisive and this one doesn't quite stick the landing in parts.


      LARRY: I heard about this movie and hoooooo boy. It's Black Swan on crack, so I hear.


      STICKMAN: This and Black Swan are going for different things I will say...Black Swan is about how far you'd go to succeed, whereas this is quite the opposite in some ways. In terms of a dark music/performance based drama with body horror elements? Sure.


      LARRY: How's Allison Williams? Been hearing good things about her.


      STICKMAN: Oh yeah she's great, she does unnerving performances with ease.


      MADHERO: Definitely one to check out on Netflix along with many other originals that seem to get swamped


      STICKMAN: Don't watch it with dinner mind. ANYHOW, for those who decided to put on clothes this week, what did you watch...MADHERO?


      MADHERO: Well, I watched something that we all decided to give a look in the cinema. The film that managed to topple Endgame of its number 1 box office throne, and its not something we expected from it. John Wick has been that rare franchise that has grown from small beginnings to now something that can legit call itself a summer blockbuster, and boy does Chapter 3 deserve that title.


      In terms of American action movies, its in the upper echelon in terms of brutal spectacle. The first 15-20 minutes are an absolute riot and really get the blood pumping, as it should after the cliffhanger ending of 2. While it does have its lulls and the story elements continue to get sillier and sillier, the action is what kept me going through out. As we established, a sequel is underway, and boy am I looking forward what Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves can come up with next, cause they set a really high bar.


      STICKMAN: Helllll yeaaah bOOOOOI.


      MADHERO: Couldn't just ignore Johnny Wick's really, really bad week


      LARRY: So I decided to binge all three Wick adventures this past weekend. Basically back-to-back-to-back, and I can confirm that it's a fucking good time


      STICKMAN: Adventures is one way to put slaughtering half of New York.


      MADHERO: Off all the choices to make in life, that's a pretty good one


      STICKMAN: I've always loved the John Wick films, and I'm so happy that the third one was A) So fucking good,  and B) Made some god damn BANK.


      LARRY: I will say I enjoyed Parabellum, though I gotta say the more they try to add to the story the less it ultimately makes sense. So for that reason Chapter 2 is probably the best of the trilogy thus far. But Parabellum has my favorite action scenes, hands down.


      MADHERO: I don't really care about it making much sense at this sense. Its just such an effortlessly cool series and the action more than makes up for it.


      STICKMAN: The wacky hitman universe it's created is pretty fun. Everyone in the world is secretly an assassin.


      LARRY: This one I felt started to get a bit more unwieldy in my opinion. But I can't say too much without spoiling it.


      STICKMAN: I liked when he had a knife fight in a weapons store.


      LARRY: The horse combat is where it's at.


      MADHERO: The knife knight is arguably the best one. Halle Berry's dogs were also very good


      STICKMAN: Excellent fighting boys. It does drag in a few moments, but when it hits, it hits  fucking hard, like...literally...owch.


      LARRY: Yeah, clearly you go into a JW movie for the action, and in that sense, it totally delivers. I just think they can try less hard, even though I do love the lore.


      MADHERO: So Larry, is this your Movie of the Week as well? Hard to say the entire John Wick trilogy, but I could allow it, otherwise he might come after us


      LARRY: ...Yup, mine is also John Wick 3. Shocker.


      STICKMAN: Oh. Well that's easy.


      LARRY: Yeah, as I said, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I think it definitely delivers on the action and it has the strongest pacing out of all three movies given the benefit that the stakes are high from minute one. I still find the universe very fascinating, and the characters are really enjoyable to watch and each feel defined and memorable in their own way. So, yeah, I like Chapter 2 a bit more, but I certainly think Parabellum shows that the team behind JW can consistently deliver on what this franchise promises.


      MADHERO: John Wick Chapter 4 - insert some Latin here, is gonna be cu-razy


      LARRY: Oh, totally. Get some'a dis fresh liminality on your ass.


      STICKMAN: I can't wait to see what John Wick hits someone with next time. Abstract concepts, perhaps.


      ----------

      MADHERO: Alright, with that out of the way, I think we might have to go away from both Godzilla's and John Wick's destruction and see what's left in their wake.


      STICKMAN: Nothing is left for me after Godzilla, only depression.


      LARRY:...geez.


      MADHERO: The biggest monster of them all. Maybe....umm... Dark Phoenix can help cure it? Or some good ol pets? I dunno


      STICKMAN: Oy. I don't think soooooo. GOODBYYE I GUESS.


      LARRY: Some good animated boys?


      MADHERO: Well, its Illumination, so they'll be decent cute boys at best.


      LARRY: Fair enough. Peace out, hombres.

    • At the Screwvies: Episode 134

      4 months ago

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      MADHERO: The day is finally here. Summer movie season has officially begun. Yes I know Avengers came out not too long ago, but its releasing late April makes its summer movie status debatable, but that's just semantics. We've got quite the stacked list of movies, including a video game movie that might actually be good? Who knows, besides all of us since we saw it.


      LARRY: Time for da summahhhhh


      STICKMAN: It's literal seasons not semantics, HEELLLLOOOO.


      MADHERO: Who am I to argue with mother nature? Whatever the case, we might be witness to something extraordinary, and I'm not just talking about the no doubt great set pieces in John Wick 3. Its gonna be a biggun, because a lot chose to happen this week


      STICKMAN: John Wick gets his first Pokemon, it's a BUSY WEEK.


      LARRY: Man who knew Keanu Reeves and Charmander went so well together? Cuz they’re both about FIREPOWER. Ayoooooooo


      MADHERO: He's obviously more a Growlithe type, but anyway


      NEWS


      DISNEY ANNOUNCES UPCOMING FILM SLATE UP TO 2027. STAR WARS TO RETURN IN 2022 AND SHARE RELEASE DATE WITH AVATAR SEQUELS

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      Looks like Disney is now on the warpath. After successfully buying 20th Century Fox and making big bucks on Endgame, Disney just recently revealed a whole slew of release dates for their most popular franchises....and Avatar. Yes, the four Avatar sequels are still happening (somehow), and Disney plans on shooting them out full stop beginning in 2021, with a new sequel being released every other Christmas. I guess it’s better than........everyyyy Christmassss? And to top that off, beginning in 2022, we will see a new trilogy of Star Wars film, with each installment released every other year. That means Star Wars and Avatar will swap years for the next seven. fucking. years. Christ, talk about media saturation. Despite the hiatus both of these franchises will have had at this point, the very thought of this sounds nuts. And I don’t think it’s gonna work. But it probably will. Shit.


      In other news, Marvel will pump out two new flicks in 2021 and three new ones in 2022, supposedly all of the Phase 4 projects we discussed during our Spoiler Review for Endgame. Disney will also be jamming out more of those despicable live action projects during those two years, eight in total. Fucking jinkies. Oh, but fear not!! AT LEAST THE KINGSMAN PREQUEL IS STILL HAPPENING. Oh, and The New Mutants release date has been pushed. Again. Fuck, man. I need a nap after all that.


      STICKMAN: Killllll meeeeee.


      MADHERO: Man, I remember when 2022 felt like a lifetime away and now we're talking about all the way forward to 2027. Time is weird


      LARRY: So weird. I dunno if I’m even gonna be alive by 2027.


      STICKMAN: I remember when 2020 felt a lifetime away. But yeah...this shit...oy. Star Wars and Avatar taking turns ruining Christmas for me....very little animated output....so many god damn sequels and live action remakes. AAAAAAH.


      MADHERO: Its not just going to be live action remakes, cause I don't think Disney has that many animated movies to remake, but a large part of them will be probably. I guess a 3 year break is gonna be nice for Star Wars. Avatar tho.... its now gonna be 12 years after the first one


      LARRY: I hope that’s the Johnson trilogy. At least he’ll surprise us.


      MADHERO: As we've learned, Benioff and Weiss are very much capable of surprising even if its unjustified


      STICKMAN: Poor FOX, also...I mean, this isn't a concrete slate that will never be added to...but damn if it's lacking in grand plans for their new assets.


      MADHERO: I don't think FOX has as much big franchise stuff planned besides Avatar so that's probably something more in development, but it was pretty lacking on that front. As for the MCU,  I'm surprised there's gonna be at least one year where we only get 2, but anything can change on that front


      STICKMAN: I'm sure I'll be excited for the Marvel stuff, and I'm sure not all of the live action output will be poor...but damn if this isn't a depressing roster.


      LARRY: It is absolutely depressing. I saw barely any new announcements or new blood. It’s pretty disappointing.


      STICKMAN: Also if one of those live action Disney films isn't TRON 3 I'M GONNNNAAA SHIT MY PAAAAANNTS


      SONIC TRAILER DROPS AND NO ONE'S HAPPY. WILL TRY TO FIX THE DESIGN BEFORE NOVEMBER RELEASE

      Its rare when we all can all unite as a people and proceed to thoroughly dunk on something. We just had the whole thing going on with ProJared, but before all that, we had a collective sense of unity regarding the design of Sonic the Hedgehog in his live action debut. The teases did not instill confidence, and now that we finally see him in full glory(?) its even worse than expected. From his weird gross white hands, his weird looking legs and TEETH! There's something truly unpleasant about this redesign. The trailer itself, set for some reason to Coolio's Gangster's Paradise (cause Sonic is gangsta?) isn't much better, looking like a rather generic kids film, with Jim Carrey as Robotnik back in full wack 90's mode the one real highlight if you're into that sort of thing.


      Despite being something that everyone saw coming, the reaction to the design was fierce. So fierce in fact that director Jeff Fowler has stated that they'll be tweaking Sonic's design before the film's release in November. While some welcomed this, there's also been a backlash to what this will mean for the animators, many of whom probably knew this design wouldn't be received well and will now work overtime to fix. We have no clue what that redesign will look like, so I guess we'll have to wait till then.


      LARRY: Um.......meow?


      MADHERO: AHHHHH! THE TEETH


      LARRY: Ahhhhhh the fucking legs.


      STICKMAN: There's a whole lotta AAAAAAAAAH with this trailer. This really is what we all feared Detective Pikachu would be. And all knew Sonic would be...because it's Sonic, they always fuck it up.


      LARRY: At least Jim Carrey is bringin the goods.


      MADHERO: Its definitely Jim Carrey in full wacky mode, which feels like it has been a while. But he can only do so much when the rest looks pretty generic and bad


      LARRY: I’m just happy he’s having a fun time. Cuz clearly nobody else is. Even Sonic’s voice sounds pretty bad. It sounds like a teenager who just hit puberty.


      MADHERO: Damn. No need to drag Ben Schwartz like that. It sounded alright and I'm not gonna blame him for anything


      LARRY: But hey guyssssss paramount ringssssss. They gettttt the franchiseeesseee. Righttttt!???!??


      STICKMAN: Teleportation rings. Just like...in the...game.


      STICKMAN: Gotta go fast...back to the drawing board to redesign Sonic.


      MADHERO: I feel for all the VFX animators working overtime for something they probably knew was off. Sega and Sonic Team have been really distancing themselves from this, which is never the best of signs.


      LARRY: I love how they commit to this design despite the backlash for the last several months with the poster and leaked shit, and then they say they’re gonna redesign it, and now everyone’s like “NO NOW WE CANT LAUGH AT IT”


      MADHERO: Ehhh, we all had a pretty good laugh at their expense, which has been 90% of Sonic's career since at least 2003


      STICKMAN: Dang. Where's TAILS.


      LARRY: KnUcKlES


      MADHERO: Give me Knuckles' 4 headed dong and I'll might just go and see it


      STICKMAN: Now we're talking.


      NEW SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME TRAILER SHOWS US A POST-ENDGAME MCU

      WARNING: ENDGAME SPOILERS AHEAD

      Alright, so we don't often do second trailers on Screwvies,  it's rare that another trailer will show us enough to warrant more discussion. HOWEVER, the 3rd second Spider-Man movie of the last 20 years is in an especially interesting position, as it follows up the events of Avengers Endgame. If you've seen that film (And I hope you have if you're reading this, because last SPOILER WARNING), you'll know there's some significant narrative turns ...and this second trailer for Far from Home reveals the post-Endgame context to the narrative beats eluded to initially in its first.

      The main takeaway is that a lot of this film, at least for Peter's arc, is dealing with the death of Tony Stark. 


      In general the film seems to be dealing with the loss of Iron Man as a hero and a person, with Peter wondering if its his responsibility (Aahh?) to take on his role. Also of note is a scene between Peter, Nick Fury and ol' fishbowl himself, Mysterio, who drops a likely deceptive, but potentially gamechanging bit of info...that he comes from another reality, suggesting the reality snapping, time traveling events of Endgame may have led to the splintering of a multiverse of Marvel worlds. Of course, given such a big 'reveal' is dropped in the trailer? I'm assuming its deception on Mysterio's behalf, but who knows at this point. Comparing the two different trailers for Far From Home, it's interesting to see how much weight the context of its post-Endgame setting adds.


      MADHERO: Alright, place your bets: Is Mysterio telling the truth here or not, cause that's quite the bomb to throw on us while we're still grieving


      STICKMAN: Mysterio is a liar, his pants may also be on fire.


      LARRY: He could very well still by lying. His plan is probably just much more elaborate than we all expected


      STICKMAN: We'll need to see some leaked POP Vinyls and LEGO to know what's going on for sure.


      MADHERO: Its weird, cause right now its very much pushing this idea of Mysterio being a goody, but all Spidey media has portrayed as one of Spidey's most famous baddies.


      LARRY: Well, the MCU has never really given a shit about that have they lol. No disrespect to them, just the facts. Thanos used to wanna fuck Death and it’s nowhere to be found in his portrayal


      MADHERO: We've had precedent for them changing stuff in the comics, but I guess with how far they're leaning into him being a new mentor type, it almost definitely has to lead to his betrayal. That said, Spidey seems like a good way to approach the multiverse, with Spider-Verse and all that


      STICKMAN: People all seem to be expecting Spider-Verse or X-Men and I do feel like they're setting themselves up to be struck down in anger come July.


      LARRY: Yeah, people gotta calm down lol. I hate seeing all of these posts thinking that the X-Men are suddenly gonna show up.


      MADHERO: It provides a gateway, but it all still depends on whether he's telling the truth, and that's still very much up for debate. I knew this was gonna spoil Endgame, but surprised how much they just go full YEAH IRON MAN IS FUCKING DEAD!


      STICKMAN: OH SHIT. It still feels weird typing that.


      LARRY: And they’re really pushing this whole “so are you the new Iron Man now?” And like, subverted or not, that’s pretty fucking wild. To see Marvel pushing Holland as the next sorta center character for the incoming phase.


      MADHERO: Peter's gonna need a couple of billion dollars for that, but maybe he'll get there eventually


      IT CHAPTER 2 DROPS FIRST SPOOKY TRAILER

      It feels like a long time coming, with the expected release alongside Pet Sematary a month or so back not coming to pass, but we've finally got our first look at IT Chapter 2 in the form of its first teaser trailer, and it's looking pretty fun already. The bulk of the trailer focuses on one singular scene, as a lot of the best horror trailers do. Jessica Chastain plays an adult Beverly Marsh returning to Derry and visiting her old home. She has tea with the kind old lady living there...but things take a strange turn and...well....yeah, things go a little south from there, putting it lightly. 

      After a naked old lady attacks her, we get a montage of scenes from the movie, featuring balloons...LOTS OF BALLOONS. And resurging childhood grief, those are the two main things. 


      We see the majority of the adult Loser Club  reuniting to take down dat boi Pennywise once and for all, being haunted by the traumatic summer of their childhoods along the way. There's people drowning in blood, clowns flying across the sky, boys in stormdrains and yes, fear not, yet more balloons. It's a brief but entertaining first look at what's shaping up to potentially be the biggest horror release for quite some time. Let's hope it delivers as much as the first IT did, much to my initial surprise.


      MADHERO: Ah shit, here come dat boi floatin'


      LARRY: I’m so ready. I don’t typically like horror, but I was a fan of the first IT. I’m excited to revisit the characters.


      MADHERO: Probably scarier than Pennywise is seeing an elderly woman naked. I feel for Jessica Chastain. The being a clown monster part probably doesn't help much either


      LARRY: That’s a whole bucket of yikes, yeah.


      STICKMAN: A naked clown old lady with fake cookies. TRUE HORROR.


      MADHERO: I'm surprised they let that scene go for so long in the trailer, but its a nice establishment of the return of at least Beverly and dat boi. The adult stuff is definitely less liked than the kids stuff in the book, so its gonna be interesting how Musscietti is gonna balance it out and make it as effective as possible.


      STICKMAN: Reminds me of The Conjuring's trailer, what with the long build up to the CLAP CLAP.


      LARRY: Apparently there’s more of the kids, so I’ve read. But they’re pushing that star power.


      MADHERO: No kidding. Having James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader is pretty great stuff. But its all about that clown floating. I wonder if he's worked on his dance routine in the past 27 years


      STICKMAN: If he doesn't floss, can we really call this horror.


      MADHERO: Pennywise to dab on all the haters.


      STICKMAN: Oh god, dabbing is TOO scary. TOO SCARY MAKE IT STOP, AAHh, AAAAAaaaaaaAGHH


      LARRY: We all dab down here.


      RIP PETER MAYHEW

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      It is always a sad day when we have to discuss a celebrity passing on Screwvies, and this is a big one. Peter Mayhew, the actor most well known for portraying Chewbacca in the Star Wars series, passed away April 30th at the age of 74. At 7 ft 3 in, he was cast in the role for the character’s physical presence, but Mayhew showed to have a bubbly, loving personality under all that fur. He has been a fan favorite amongst Star Wars fans for years, and even returned to play Chewbacca in The Force Awakens, despite being bound to a wheelchair for many years previously. Hell, did you know that he was a hospital orderly when he was first cast? That’s pretty wild. In interviews, he always seemed like a nice guy, and his fellow SW cast members paid condolences on social media expressing the same sentiments. He is survived by his wife Angie and three children. Thank you, Peter Mayhew, for all you brought to this memorable character and his role in one of film’s most memorable franchises. May the force be with you.


      MADHERO: Yeah, this was really sad to hear. We knew he wasn't in the best of health, but it still really sucks to see him go.


      LARRY: Yeah, apparently he had been hospitalized before this but stuck it out until now. ‘Tis a shame.


      STICKMAN: I'm not the biggest Star Wars guy around, but it's hard to dislike Chewbacca, and Mayhew brought a lot to what could've been a diminished role, and I mean...it's one of the most iconic characters in the series because of this.


      MADHERO: Chewie is many people's favorite Star Wars character and Mayhew is a big reason why that is. He could've just been Han's weird hairy muscle, but he managed to evolve into an actual character that even though we couldn't understand him, his personality shone through his performance


      LARRY: Chewbacca really does have a lot of personality, physically and audibly. And to see him play the character for so long really is a testament to him and his abilities in the role. He coulda easily been recast or something, but they wanted Mayhew.


      STICKMAN: I was surprised to hear how in bad shape  he was given he played Chewbacca in Force Awakens.


      MADHERO: I'm glad he could play for one last time in Force Awakens before passing the torch to Joonas Suotamo. He's done well so far in both Last Jedi and especially Solo, but its gonna be hard not too miss the original. He seemed truly grateful for his role in Star Wars and had a great sense of humor about it. We wish his family nothing but the best in this difficult time


      STICKMAN: Indeed.


      LARRY: Condolences to the Mayhew’s, and to SW fans all over the world. We’re all mourning a legend, honestly. May the force be with him.


      RIP JOHN SINGLETON 

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      Sadly, we have to talk about someone gone far too soon, who's star shone very bright in that short time. John Singleton, the director probably best known for his debut film Boyz n the Hood, passed away at the age of just 51 after his family cut off his life support following an massive stroke. With Boyz n the Hood, he became not only the first African American to be nominated for Best Director, becoming the predecessor for the likes of Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins. He was also the youngest at just 24 at the time, which now feels absolutely insane to me. His later films would not reach the same level of acclaim, but films like Baby Boy and Poetic Justice have since received a cult following or reappraisal. He mostly worked in tv in his later years on shows such as American Crime Story and Snowfall, but will of course mostly be remembered for his debut. His influence and impact was undeniable, and its truly a shame to see him go at such a young age. We wish his family and friends nothing but the best in this incredibly difficult time.


      STICKMAN: A really sudden and sad way for such an important director go. I can't say I'm familiar with his work but I'm very familiar with his influence, and his passing has been noted by many of the cinematic greats for good reason.


      LARRY: Singleton was truly one of the most influential African American directors to work in film. We sorta look at people like Barry Jenkins and Ava DuVernay now as trailblazing diversity for black people in cinema, and they definitely hold Singleton In high regard. They were largely inspired by him.


      MADHERO: The word trailblazer doesn't get used often, but it most definitely implied for Singleton. Its so weird to think he's just gone now at such a young age.


      LARRY: Yeah to see him taken so young is so tragic.


      STICKMAN: It really is.


      MADHERO: His other films weren't as highly regarded as his other work, and he generally retreated into more franchise fare like 2 Fast 2 Furious. You do sort of wonder if he was allowed the same kind of oppurtunities we now see the likes of Ryan Coogler get. A lot of pressure must've come from following up on your debut film after if exploded like that


      STICKMAN: I must admit I've only seen 2 Fast 2 Furious because oopsy. That said I intend to remedy that soon.


      LARRY: Boys in Da Hood is so good. It’s a classic of black cinema, up there with films by the likes of Spike Lee.


      STICKMAN: Very much a classic film, so much so it's in the national film registry.


      MADHERO: Ice Cube is also phenomenal in that film. He really managed to get the best out of people in ways you don't expect. Tupac and Janet Jackson are surprisingly good actors in Poetic Justice.


      LARRY: Poetic Justice is also excellent! I saw that before Boys in Da Hood, interestingly.


      STICKMAN: Sounds like I gotta do some viewing. I'll give 2 Fast 2 Furious a miss though.


      MADHERO: Its a big case of what could've been, and we'll now sadly never know. As always, we wish his friends and family nothing but the best. He's left his mark on the world.


      STICKMAN: Taken far too soon, but the impact on cinema will last forever.


      LARRY: Farewell, Mr. Singleton.


      --------

      MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the news. Now its time to talk about an important landmark in cinema: a video game movie with a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, Detective Pikachu has done what was previously thought impossible, albeit slightly more close than previously thought. But what did WE think of it? Maybe the 3 of us will lower the score and bring it back to Rotten, continuing the curse.


      STICKMAN: But then it'd be between Sonic and Angry Birds 2 to break the curse.


      LARRY: Everyone loves an underdog story. Or an under-hedgehog story.


      MADHERO: We might just have to take that risk. Now then, before we actively start this review, I think its probably important to know where you stand on Pokemon as a franchise, cause personally, I don't think there's been anything as formative in my life as Pokemon. I've been following it since the very beginning pretty much non-stop. I've played and beaten pretty much every gen, and still enjoy it to this very day. So how about you guys?


      STICKMAN: It's not the most formative part of my life but it has certainly been a huge part of it, from childhood obsession to daily activity thanks to the GO app. It's an important franchise for me.


      LARRY: Welp this is gonna go downhill fast. I certainly like Pokemon, I've played some of the games and the characters have obviously been a large part of my life for a while. But I could never really get into the games cuz they're long and hard and the battle system is so deeeeeeeeep.


      MADHERO: Pokemon ain't that hard, but anyway we all have at least some sort of different connection with the franchise, so with that in mind, I guess I'll start with my quick thoughts on Detective Pikachu and we'll pick up from there.


      REVIEW

      POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU

      DIRECTOR: Rob Letterman (Gulliver’s Travels, Goosebumps) 

      STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy, Chris Geere, Suki Waterhouse, Rita Ora

      SYNOPSIS: Ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim (Smith) to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu (Reynolds)

      MADHERO: Alright, so I'm basically a Pokemon super fan. I know my EVs from my IVs and all that. Detective Pikachu became my most anticipated movie of 2019 besides Endgame, and does it live up to those expectations? Well.... yes and no.


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      I'll just start by saying that the Pokemon part has been absolutely nailed. Besides maybe a few dodgy CG moments, the VFX artists have done an amazing job bringing these creatures to life on the big screen whilst still making them recognizable as the Pokemon from the games. Best of course being Pikachu himself, who is both incredibly adorable and very well played by Ryan Reynolds, bringing much more Deadpool into his performance than I thought he would. It may not be the type of Pikachu I'm used to, but it was fun to see. Seeing all those Pokemon and other references in the background mean my fan was truly serviced. The film itself also manages the delicate balance of being fun for all ages. There's quite a few risque jokes in there and the screening I went to laughed at most of them and story wise it does manage to tickle the heartstrings somewhat, especially with the bond Pikachu and Justice Smith's Tim gain at the film. Its far from perfect, but before we get into that, I'll let my other co-hosts tell me their thoughts. What did you think, Sticky?


      STICKMAN: I'm also in the position of finding it mostly successful, with some big caveats. It's surprisingly beautiful visually, be it in the neon soaked noir atmosphere of Rhyme City, or the Poke-infused woods and countryside that appear in the film. It's a fun film from start to finish, with just enough heart to make you care about what happens. The what happens part being the main issue, because without spoiling anything...the 3rd act is a real sharp narrative turn that is just...weird? Like...it's not set up very well and just comes across as a little too preposterous and lazily explained, even for Pokemon.  On a whole, I had a great time with Detective Pikachu though.


      MADHERO: And you, Larry? As probably the least biggest fan who initially balked at the premise and then got turned around by the trailer. What did you think?


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      LARRY: Yeah, I'd have to agree with a lot of what's being said. I think the Pokemon look absolutely perfect, and the cinematography is really solid. In general, the world-building with Rhyme City is spot-on, this one movie alludes to a really tight world for future Pokemon films to live in. But.......I can't say the film would've worked without the brand. I mean, yeah, the writing and story is competent, but ultimately it stumbles through a lot of cliches and a lot of wacky left turns (as Sticky said) and I don't find the characters themselves really all that compelling. It's a lot of exposition and all that. Butttttttt the film is clearly having fun with the journey, and the performances are doing the best they can with the material (though Reynolds as Pikachu still feels a bit too much Deadpool to me). And, again, as a Pokemon fan, I was having an absolute ball. I just hope they can take what does work, maybe give it some stronger writers and filmmakers, and really showcase the potential that live-action Pokemon films can have.


      MADHERO: I think from what I read, that we can all agree that the Pokemon were great in the film, which is a pretty important thing to nail. I really enjoyed my boi Bulbasaur looking hella cute. I will say that I could've done with seeing a more diverse range of Pokemon. You do end up seeing a lot of Loudred around, but I guess designing more would've probably been a lot more work


      STICKMAN: They certainly designed a set group of Pokemon and used those for background shots exclusively. You see a few unique ones in specific scenes, but it does feel a bit limited.


      LARRY: I gotta disagree with that, honestly, I think there were plenty of fun appearances to go around. Not every Pokemon would exist in the same city. Plus you get a lot of fun inclusions in that set, it's a diverse set. My boi TREECKO


      STICKMAN: It's diverse in terms of generation, but by the end I felt like I'd seen a LOT the same Pokemon...weirdly specific ones rather than actually common Pokemon types like Ratata or Pidgey.


      QPBskto.jpg


      MADHERO: Gen 1 probably gets the most play, but there's a diverse range that's a lot of fun to see, but I could've used more. I do think that the design of Rhyme City is great as well. I do think that the humans are a bit lacking. Justice Smith is actually pretty good in it and a great foil for Pikachu, but the other humans feel a little less compelling. Kathryn Newton does her best, but there isn't a lot of chemistry with her and Smith. Psyduck's good though


      LARRY: To be honest, Justice Smith's character really ain't all that compelling either. He is giving a good performance, but the writing lacked for me.


      STICKMAN: I felt Newton didn't bring a lot to the table, but then she wasn't given much to do either. I will say the characters are a big step up from the game its adapted from...as is the city and ...just...well...everything except that weird twist. Don't get me wrong, it was amusing to see....that person do...THAT...THING...but yeah.


      MADHERO: Yeah, the 3rd act is.... probably is the weakest part of the film. Its not bad per se, but it does go in a very weird seemingly out of nowhere direction.


      LARRY: It is a pretty intense twist........it just isn't built up.


      MADHERO: It does have one of the more fun twists involving a certain Pokemon, one I'm sure is gonna make a lot of people uncomfortable.


      LARRY: Oh I LOVED that shit.


      STICKMAN: I know a certain community of individuals who are going to be all over that shit. Google Image searches for Pokemon have always been bad, they're gonna get worse now I BET.


      Pokemon_Detective_Pikachu_Ryan_Reynolds_


      MADHERO: Other than that, yeah, the main mystery plot isn't all that surprising and you can see the villain coming from a mile away, but you of course also have to keep in mind its a family film. It ain't gonna be Zodiac


      LARRY: It was a pretty bad mystery given that they sorta don't let the audience do any work in trying to solve it. It's all sorta exposition-laid twists and turns that the audience can't really piece together until the very last second


      STICKMAN: I could forgive a predictable but entertaining narrative for a family movie (And a Pokemon movie at that), it just went in a weird direction at the same time and I think that takes the film down a few notches away from being that first great video game movie.


      detective-pikahu-1.jpg

      MADHERO: Yeah, the 3rd act is probably where the most points are docked, but I still had a lot of fun. To wrap things up, as a Pokemon fan, I was extremely pleased with the fanservice, be it the Pokemon or the excellent end credits. If I needed to be as objective as possible, I will still say that its a fun family film that everyone can enjoy, be it for the fun creatures and humor. But it does have its stumbles, be it the 3rd act and some of the more generic kids film elements. I'm very much looking forward what's in Pokemon's cinematic future. Except maybe that Mewtwo Strikes Back remake, that doesn't look great.


      STICKMAN: It's a really fun starting point for a potential franchise of live action Pokemon movies that, if treated with the same degree of love and craft, could prove really fun.  Just...tighten up the writing a little. Also Detective Pikachu is adorbs.


      LARRY: I agree!! Looking forward to seeing what they do with Legendary moving forward.


      STICKMAN: That brief tease of catching Pokemon in wild grass near the start makes me want to see that grand old Red/Blue adventure styled movie.


      ---------

      MADHERO: That mouse can dance. Anyway, other movies are coming out as well, desperate to take Endgame's nr. 1 throne .Can any of them succeed? Probably not, but they're welcome to try


      STICKMAN: Oooh I'm excited for exactly one of these. Let's try and guess which one.


      LARRY: It probably won't be hard to piece it.


      MOVIES

      JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM

      DIRECTOR: Chad Stahelski (John Wick, John Wick Chapter 2)

      STARRING: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Jason Mantzoukas

      SYNOPSIS: Still on the run and with a $14 million global contract on him, John Wick (Reeves) is banned from every Continental service, which forces him to fight his way out of New York City with the help of a hitwoman (Berry) who still trusts him.

      STICKMAN: OHHHHHHHHHH SHIET.


      LARRY: Ah, there it is.


      MADHERO: My boy Baba Yaga is at it again


      STICKMAN: Hide the pencils.


      MADHERO: This time he's at it again on horses and motorcycles. In all seriousness, yeah I'm mad hype for this.


      STICKMAN: I'm sooooo excited, that cliffhanger from John Wick 2 was awesome, and the reviews so far have been more than glowing.


      LARRY: Those action setpieces look so RAD.


      STICKMAN: Motorbikes and horses and Morpheousssess


      MADHERO: John Wick 1 was cool, but I didn't expect it would create THE action movie trilogy on which all action is judged upon.


      STICKMAN: John Wick 1 compared to 2, and seemingly 3, feels pretty lacking...and that opening act sure is depressing. It's really become something special though.


      MADHERO: Doesthedogdie.com is gonna have a field day.


      LARRY: Time for me to finally watch these.


      STICKMAN: If any dogs die I'm going to burn the screen down.


      THE HUSTLE

      DIRECTOR: Chris Addison (episodes of Veep)

      STARRING: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson, Dean Norris, Emma Davies

      SYNOPSIS: Two female scam artists, one low rent (Wilson) and the other high class (Hathaway), team up to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them.

      STICKMAN: Aaaand down we go.


      LARRY: It was fun while it lasted.


      MADHERO: Well, that's quite the drop. This movie sat on a shelf for a while and just had the stink up the place


      LARRY: And the marketing campaign shows that. Nobody really knew this movie existed until a month ago.


      STICKMAN: My local cinema has had a banner for this film proudly displayed on the entrance since like...February? So weird. Walking in to see Avengers Endgame and still seeing that was...odd.


      MADHERO: With this and Serenity, Anne Hathaway is having quite the year


      STICKMAN: I expect, and receive nothing from Rebel Wilson....Anne Hathaway's having a shit time of it. I'm surprised Matthew McConaughey isn't in this film too.


      MADHERO: Rebel Wilson at this point is discount Melissa McCarthy, and even that ain't that great a taste, but you can get a Can You Ever Forgive Me every now and then from her.


      STICKMAN: She really is. This film looks awful though, and the reviews have been brutal.


      LARRY: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels deserves better.


      MADHERO: There's potential in a Dirty Rotten Scoundrels gender swap remake, but this ain't it chief


      STICKMAN: Dirty Rotten Tomatoes Score.


      A DOG’S JOURNEY

      DIRECTOR: Gail Mancuso (episodes of Roseanne and Modern Family)

      STARRING: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Kathryn Prescott

      SYNOPSIS: A dog (Gad) finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.

      STICKMAN: Oy with this tripe. Every week with these dog films.


      MADHERO: Boy, doesthedogdie.com is gonna have a lot of work this summer.


      STICKMAN: A movie where the same dog can die many times. It's cheap sentimentality incarnate.


      LARRY: I feel like this movie came out already.


      MADHERO: All the while Josh Gad goes "o boy, I sure love being a dog and not understanding the complexities of humans." I just wonder when they're gonna crossover with A Dog's Way Home and we'll get the A Dog's Cinematic Universe


      LARRY: See, I feel like people would normally LOVE a dog-based cinematic universe. But...this ain't it, chief.


      STICKMAN: All Dogs No Longer Go to Heaven, they are reincarnated for eternity, suffering death and the struggles and life again and again forever.


      TOLKIEN

      DIRECTOR: Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland)

      STARRING: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Boyle

      SYNOPSIS: The formative years of the orphaned author (Hoult) as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

      LARRY: Finally, a Tolkien that fucks.


      STICKMAN: I finally get to see his ring(?).


      MADHERO: Yeah, this is a weird one. The fact its not approved by his estate probably isn't the best of signs, and neither are the somewhat mixed reviews. A shame, cause there's a lot of potential in telling Tolkien's story


      STICKMAN: There is, but as it stands we've got yet another mediocre biopic on our hands, gang.


      MADHERO: Apparently the main critique is that its just kinda boring and flat, which is unfortunate.


      STICKMAN: Considering the time its releasing, I wasn't expecting much...if they thought it was more they would've put it out around Oscar season with all the other biopics. Also this is I think the second post-Disney 20th Century Fox release, and the first one from Searchlight...so....not a great start.


      LARRY: Womp womp.


      MADHERO: Yeah, releasing a movie like this in the summer feels like a death warrant. Ah well


      STICKMAN: Could be worse, it could be The Hobbit 3.


      LARRY: oof


      POMS

      DIRECTOR: Zara Hayes (directorial debut)

      STARRING: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, Celia Weston

      SYNOPSIS: Martha (Keaton), a woman who moves into a retirement community, starts a cheer leading squad with her fellow residents.

      MADHERO: Finally, a movie for our exact demographic


      STICKMAN: Another day, another oldie vehicle.


      LARRY: Ugh enough of this wholesome shit. WHERE IS MY MOTORCYCLE VIOLENCE


      STICKMAN: Remember old people? They're back. In cheerleading form.


      MADHERO: It looks..... fine? I hadn't heard of this movie before checking the listing. I guess they're hoping for another Book Club but this has a lot less horny in it, so will therefore fail.


      STICKMAN: Without the horny grannies where is the appeal.


      LARRY: Yeah, that was also Diane Keaton, right?


      MADHERO: I think so? I don't know, never saw, just like I'll probably never see this. Nice to see Pam Grier in a new movie though


      STICKMAN: Needs more gun-fu.


      ----------

      MADHERO: Alright, not the greatest of starts ,but John Wick Chapter 3 and Detective Pikachu more than make up for it. And if those don't, there's always MOVIE OF THE WEEK! While Detective Pikachu is probably the film that'll get the most attention, there's some other movies out there in the theater or avaliable at home that are worth your time. So Larry, what's your Movie of the Week? What's officialy better than Detective Pikachu?


      LARRY: Ooh yay my turn.


      STICKMAN: somethingshitibethohhoho


      MOVIE OF THE WEEK

      LARRY: Today, my MOTW is a little movie called "The Kid Who Would Be King," Joe Cornish's follow-up to his cult hit "Attack The Block," a modern day King Arthur-esque story in which a young boy discovers Excalibur and goes on a journey to stop the second coming of a Morgana, King Arthur's hellish disgraced sister. It's a fun new-age medieval tale that has a lot of genuine heart, and a lot of really fun action setpieces.


      I had a ball with this film, and it shows just how much Joe Cornish can do with a wacky concept like this. The cast of kids is solid, with Louis Ashbourne Serkis (yes, Andy Serkis' son) a wonderful lead, and Angus Imrie a charming young Merlin. And yes, Patrick Stewart is a wonderful old Merlin, though he doesn't really appear too often in the film. Sure, the film ain't perfect, it's definitely about twenty minutes too long and not every visual effect is on point. But I would definitely watch this again and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun, sword-swingin' good time.


      STICKMAN: Really wanted to see this but it didn't get a very lengthy release here in the UK, coming off the heels of its bombing in the US.


      MADHERO: I don't think it even got a release here, which really says it all


      LARRY: Yeah, I didn't see it in theaters cuz it was right in the middle of a busy final semester, but honestly this is definitely a movie I would recommend watching in a theater environment. It's really epic.


      STICKMAN: Attack the Block was a cult hit over here, so it's a shame they didn't afford his follow-up the same opportunity...was barely marketed and didn't release very wide.


      MADHERO: Attack the Block is so good, and I've heard mostly good things about this as well. I could see it bombing from a mile away though.


      STICKMAN: It's a hard sell but they didn't try very hard to sell it regardless. I look forward to seeing it on DVD.


      LARRY: To be honest, it's kinda only a hard sell probably because it's from the UK. If this was about Americans, I feel like little kids would be all over it.


      STICKMAN: I would disagree but there you go. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if Americans turned their noses up at anything that wasn't American. OH WELL.


      LARRY: Honestly I don't know how they fucked up this marketing. It's sword fighting and big monsters and MAGIC AND WIZARDY. Kids fuckin LOVE THAT SHIT.


      MADHERO: What about you, Sticky? Do you rep your home country?


      STICKMAN: I did not, but I went for another family film that didn't do as well as it should've. Everyone loved The LEGO Movie, everyone loved The LEGO Batman Movie, everyone....uhh...The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but what the hell happened with The LEGO Movie 2? Was it too little too late? FrAnChIsE fAtiGuEuEuEue!? Who knows, the reviews were pretty strong and, really? It's a fun, visually stunning and often touching film, albeit one with some odd decisions for how its universe works, and a heavy dollop of "We've already seen this".


      Basically, it's the same premise of the LEGO Movie, where the big 'the real world is involved' twist no longer a surprise, it uses it in a different way, focusing on the relationship between young siblings, and how the clashes of brother and sister affect the LEGO world....which is its own world...but also is just imagination...but....uhh...well you'll have to watch it and find out. It's frequently funny and always nice to look at, it's a gooooood film.


      LARRY: HEY. LEGO NINJAGO WAS Goood I guess.


      STICKMAN: It was good but nobody watched it.


      MADHERO: I.... still haven't seen it so  I'm part of the problem


      STICKMAN: You made Warner Bros cry, Mad. How could you?


      MADHERO: I gave them my money for Detective Pikachu. They'll be ok, but for some reason I just haven't had the same desire to go see it like I had the last one. Yeah, I'm older, and its not Lord and Miller directed, but it still looks fun. I think it partially is franchise fatigue and feeling a tad too late. The original film was 5 years ago after all


      STICKMAN: It's weird to say fatigue is a factor in a series that has made 4 films over 5 years, but I think the novelty has worn off, mainly. Also this film feels less about LEGO and more about other things, which takes away from it being a LEGO movie.


      LARRY; Yeah this one really does ride on the coattails of its direct predecessor.


      STICKMAN: I do think people should check this film out, even if it isn't as fresh as the first one was....it's still really funny and has a good narrative...with some weird decisions.


      LARRY: The sequel is a lot of fun, if not a tad confusing. It's got a lot heart and some solid new characters. But...yeah, I think LEGO Movies can really just expand and do other things.


      STICKMAN: But enough about plastic bricks...what about...your....movie....MadHero. What is it. WHAT.


      LARRY: TELL US.


      MADHERO: As we discuss two family films, its time to go in the EXACT OPPOSITE DIRECTION, with an WW1 documentary. They Shall Not Grow Old was Peter Jackson's big collaborative project with the BBC to bring WW1 closer than ever before.


      It was the first war ever filmed, but the technology, now more than a 100 years ago, has sorted of faded the horror the war brought from family, and it being much more morally complicated and trenchy has made it less popular than its sequel. What Jackson has done is nothing short of phenomenal, bringing these formerly soundless black/white images and gives these people life through some really intense colorization and adding sounds and voices. It has a really mesmerising effect, and really adds a humanity to these people, also brought by old interviews from veterans provided by the BBC. Anyone with an interest in history should give this a look.


      STICKMAN: Heeeyyy I saw this too.


      LARRY: I didn't. Screw you guys, I WANNA BE IN THE CLUB.


      STICKMAN: I think in a way this is a family movie, maybe not family fun, but an important education in the personal costs and sacrifices made for our freedom. It's one of those 'Everyone should see it' kinda films, even if it is a hard watch.


      LARRY: Well then I must see it!!


      MADHERO: I feel like WW1 is probably a bigger deal in the UK than it is due to Remembrance Day and all the poppies, wheras its not so much here since we didn't partake in WW1 despite being in the middle of it. I do agree its an important film for people to see. The restoration work is amazing


      LARRY: Yeah Americans are way more focused on WWII than WWI. Largely cuz WWII affected us more.


      STICKMAN: It's called WORLD War for a reason, fellas. The restoration is a little uncanny at times, but it's pretty incredible to see the real WW1 this way.


      MADHERO: Yeah, has some moments where it feels slightly off, but those are very minor, and it gave me more appreciation for the sacrifices these soldiers ultimately gave


      STICKMAN: I appreciated how authentic and unsentimental it was, most films about WW1 and WW2 lay it on quite thick, but really, the gravity of the situations at hand speak for themselves when it comes to their moving nature.


      MADHERO: Its very much a day in the life of these soldiers. Its just life, and its a really weird part of history.


      LARRY: Man I really gotta see this. This and Apollo 11, might make for a good double feature.


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

      MADHERO: I think that about wraps things up. Summer fun is gonna continue where we'll soon know what's bigger: a nostalgia fueled perhaps iffy looking remake, or some big kaiju bois knocking shit over. There will probably be no survivors


      STICKMAN: AAAAHHH MY BOI'S BACK


      LARRY: RUN FOR YOUR LIVESSSSS


      MADHERO: Oooooooooh no. There goes Tokyo. Go Go Goodbye


      STICKMAN: Embrace me, big radioactive boi. GOODBYE


      LARRY: Adios boi-o's.

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    • Shiznita

      3 years ago

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