The Boys: First look at Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy revealed
May 13, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Supernatural star Jensen Ackles is getting ready to trade Dean Winchester's endless supply of flannel for stars and stripes when he plays Soldier Boy in Season 3 of The Boys. The Boys showrunner and writer Eric Kripke recently posted a photo of Ackles on Twitter, which shows off the character's rugged new look. Would you look at that hair and beard? Ackles looks like a disgruntled mountain man, and I love it.
Soldier Boy's origin takes us back to 1944, the year Dr. Vought injected him with the Compound V serum. As a World War II veteran, Solider Boy was the perfect candidate to act as an example of the type of heroes Compound V could produce. He went on to kill countless German soldiers and even worked alongside Lady Liberty (Stormfront) for a time. Sometime later, Soldier Boy became the first celebrity superhero represented by Vought International.
You can check out Kripke's photo of Ackles as Soldier Boy below:
— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) May 11, 2021
Last year, Kripke had this to say about a long-term goal he'll finally be able to complete thanks to The Boys:
“When I was a child, I had a crazy, impossible dream — to provide Jensen Ackles with gainful employment. I’m happy to say that dream has come true…Jensen is an amazing actor, and even better person, smells like warm chocolate chip cookies, and I consider him a brother. As Soldier Boy, the very first Superhero, he’ll bring so much humor, pathos, and danger to the role. I can’t wait to be on set with him again, and bring a bit of Supernatural to The Boys.”
Season 3 of The Boys has no premiere date at this time, though filming is currently underway. When the show returns, fans can expect Kripke and company to push the boundaries of what the series has done so far. And yes, we're all waiting to see if Soldier Boy's infamous "herogasm" scene will be included in the show. I'm betting that it is, and it will be glorious.
Snake Eyes: First-look images reveal Henry Golding’s silent ninja and more
May 13, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Paramount Pictures has joined forces with Entertainment Weekly to show off a batch of first-look images for SNAKE EYES: G.I. Joe Origins. In the film, Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) stars as the lead, a silent ninja whose skills with a katana blade are unmatched. For obvious reasons, building a movie around a silent protagonist would be quite tricky. However, the creators of the franchise say they’ve found a way to make it work.
“It was one of the reasons why we picked the backstory [of] ‘How did he become Snake Eyes?'” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told EW. “It allows him to talk, which is very helpful.”
Despite Snake Eyes being known as a character that lives inside his iconic helmet, the new film plans to take full advantage of Golding’s good looks by featuring plenty of scenes with him outside the mask.
“I wanted to see something different, and I wanted it to look different, to feel different,” Golding says. “To be able to launch a franchise like that, it was just too good to be true — and especially with a character like Snake Eyes about whom a lot of people don’t know too much. They know him as this insane operator that completes missions and is an absolute weapon, but who’s the guy behind the mask, and what’s his story?”
Snake Eyes fans can also expect some of their burning questions to be answered throughout the course of the new film, such as the character’s real name. Information like this has been kept under lock and key for generations, but the time has finally come to declassify a portion of Snake Eyes’ personal history.
In addition to reintroducing fans to Snake Eyes, the new film plans to give new spins on iconic G.I. Joe characters like Baroness (Úrsula Corberó) and Scarlett (Samara Weaving). Both of these badass women can be seen in the image gallery posted below.
“Both Cobra and G.I. Joe take a back seat to the internal drama of the Arashikage and the character,” Bonaventura explains. “They are absolutely an element, but it’s looking at it this way: You meet somebody, watch their struggle, the struggle leads to the world of G.I. Joe and Cobra. It does not start as a G.I. Joe-Cobra movie. It starts as an Arashikage movie, a Snake Eyes character arc. You come to realize the Arashikage as they’ve traditionally been are affiliated with the Joes, therefore that brings in Cobra. There is a gradual reveal that there’s a larger world here.”
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is directed by Robert Schwentke (The Captain, RED) based on a script written by Evan Spiliotopoulos. The film also stars Iko Uwais (Headshot) as Hard Master, Andrew Koji (Warrior, Peaky Blinders) as Strom Shadow, Peter Mensah (Jason X, 300) as Blind Master, Takehiro Hira (Lost Girls and Love Hotels) as Kenta, Haruka Abe (Kiss Me First, Cruella) as Akiko, Steven Allerick (The Expanse, Extant) as Father, Samuel Finzi (The Captain) as Augustine, and Simon Chin (Killing Eve, Outcast) as Hama.
nake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will premiere in theaters on July 23rd.
You can check out a gallery of first-look photos for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins below:
Friends: The Reunion gets an official teaser and HBO Max premiere date
May 13, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
HBO Max has announced that Friends: The Reunion will debut on Thursday, May 27. The special takes place at the iconic comedy's original soundstage, Stage 24, and will feature Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer. The unscripted celebration of one of television's most beloved sitcoms will also welcome a variety of guests including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon, and Malala Yousafzai.
In addition to revealing the premiere date of the special, HBO Max also shared an official teaser trailer for the anticipated event.
Originally, Friends: The Reunion was scheduled to premiere in May 2020, as a way of celebrating the launch of HBO Max. Woefully, the coronavirus pandemic happened, which forced production to be delayed until much further down the line. The reunion will be the first time all six Friends cast members have been together on screen since the show wrapped in 2004.
“Guess you could call this ‘The One Where They All Got Back Together,'” Kevin Reilly, CCO of HBO Max (and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV), said in a statement when the reunion was first announced. “I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends — and audiences — gathered together in real-time, and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”
Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced along with “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, Fulwell 73 Productions, and Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer executive produced the special. Emma Conway, James Longman, and Stacey Thomas-Muir co-executive produced.
May 13, 2021 by: Matt Rooney
PLOT: Trying to uncover how ISIS recruiters are able to lure young Westerners over to their cause, a journalist poses as a Muslim convert and tries getting close with a recruiter, making him believe she aims to travel to Syria to become his wife.
REVIEW: The true story of journalist Anna Erelle’s investigation into ISIS’ use of social media to recruit young people – particularly women – and manipulate them into abandoning their home and joining their cause in the Middle East, only to mistreat and abuse them, would make for a great tension-filled cinematic thriller. It could shine a light on the dark, all-too-accessible corners of social media, how dangerous of places they can be, and alluring extremist ideals can appeal to those who feel lost. Timur Bekmambetov’s PROFILE, which adapts Erelle’s book, “In the Skin of a Jihadist”, is not that movie. Everything about the subject matter that is complex, illuminating, and may even provide answers for the people who lost family members, is watered down to its most simplistic elements for the sake of rudimentary thrills, of which often fall flat on their own.
Known to mainstream audiences for his stylistic action movies like Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and maybe even for whatever 2016’s Ben-Hur was, Bekmambetov finds himself operating in a completely opposite landscape, ditching the abundance of CGI for a desktop monitor. Taking inspiration from similar movies like Unfriended, Profile is designed to put you in the shoes of Amy (Valene Kane), as she gears up to investigate a member of ISIS (going under the name “Melody”) in hopes of figuring out how they are able to get into the minds of young women and get them to leave everything behind and join their cause – only to end up being mistreated, sold off, or killed. As to be expected, there’s plenty of Amy jumping around on the web, bouncing between typing to her editor (Christine Adams), trying to get an advance to pay off her overdue rent, speaking with her boyfriend (Morgan Watkins) about moving into a new place, and all at a speed that reminded me just how unskilled I am at navigating a computer.
Originally hitting the festival circuit in 2018, the film was shot before the likes of Searching and The Host have come to represent the peak of the computer screen film but is only now getting released. Unfortunately, that means there’s nothing unique about the film’s presentation to set it apart on a visual level, and perhaps only more to disorient. And yet, the movie’s high point comes as Amy pours over horrific videos posted on prominent ISIS Facebook pages – featuring them beheading or slitting the throats of hostages. Bekmambetov never dips too deep into the violence the group touts with praise but lets it linger just enough to instill a sense of danger. You may similarly feel like you’re investigating a disturbing, dark part of the web, which better helps you understand how dangerous a situation Amy is getting herself into. This is the movie at its most effective, ably putting you in the mindset of Amy as she finally contacts an ISIS recruiter and former British citizen, Bilal (Shazad Latif), and realizes there’s no going back.
Unfriended and The Host are all about the terror happening off-screen; Searching’s excellence is derived from the tension that came from the investigation a father’s daughter’s life online. Here, the suspense and the stakes need to come from the conversations that happen between Amy and Bilal, and how they impact Amy offscreen. However, where this exploration falls incredibly flat is in how the conversations between Amy and Bilal feel incredibly thin, without much of any importance being discussed or emotional resonance genuinely occurring between them.
Bilal is handsome, with a dashing mop of black hair, and is what any Midwestern mom could even classify as “a real charmer.” One of the angles the movie aims to explore is how these scenarios may play out in the real world, and how these very charming men are so easily able to convince people to buy into their extremist points of view. But aside from talking about how much he hates his enemies and how casually he talks about killing them, so much of how he speaks to Amy amounts to no more than f**k boi speak, wherein he endlessly calls her “baby” and talks about beautiful she is, talking about how good he will treat her when they’re finally married. His entire persona is that of a guy who is clearly juggling multiple women in his life – which while likely not far from the truth of the real story – makes up so much of his screen time despite there obviously being so much more to him that should give him a sort of cult-leader demeanor.
Trying to humanize him is necessary for the story so as to make it at least somewhat understandable that Amy feels herself growing closer to him – to the point where even she hesitates to give over some information to her editor, with Amy even getting very close to revealing herself as a journalist to Bilal after one fleeting, heartfelt exchange. But other than rushed moments where he talks about the racism he experienced living in Britain and how his mother died, there’s very little that justifies Amy’s struggles with maintaining her cover. Their dynamic simply comes off as that of virtual pen pals (with inklings of something more romantic), when truly something more complex happening on an emotional, psychological level, especially on Amy’s end.
As for Amy, both the script from Bekmambetov, Britt Poulton and Olga Kharina – coupled with Bekmambetov’s direction – find her juggling so much that I never felt like I was getting a great sense of what she really thinks about Bilal or his views. There are the smallest of hints into how her growing closer to Bilal is impacting her, but not nearly on the level to make for the compelling tension behind the notion of “Is she herself being manipulated?” Between dealing with her editor, her boyfriend who notices her time is too dedicated to her subject, and talking with Bilal, it’s far too easy to lose grip on her as a character, as well as find her overall mission of figuring out how young women are being manipulated by these men feel woefully underexamined. That also doesn’t leave Kane room to do much with the character other than to showcase some exacerbated looks, trying to lend some emotion to her screen time when the rushed plotting leaves her character’s development lacking.
Admittedly, I found myself eager to make it to the end of the movie for what was expectedly set up for some kind of twist, but most of that was based on how obviously shady Bilal is, and me wanting to see just how evil his intentions were. By the end, the point is driven home how dangerous the internet can be and cautious people need to be when talking with people who you think are on your side. Still, I can’t help but feel that was the easiest theme of the movie to drive home, and come the end, the final stretch feels so convoluted and ludicrously plotted, mostly because none of the earlier groundwork properly sets the stage.
Amy sacrificed her safety in the name of good journalism, and the work of the real-life Anne shouldn’t be diminished simply because this movie version of her actions doesn’t properly do her work justice. The mistake, among more than a few, lies in the decision to use the computer screen style itself, which is inherently too minimalist to tackle such weighty, complex character dynamics – which done right – could’ve illuminated so much more of what the movie hints at, but rarely manages to explore. With a presentation that’s forced to rely on the bond of two people – and the consequences and dangers of that bond – Profile fails to live up to the material’s potential with thin character development stretched over far too many open desktop windows.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation unveils Kevin Smith animated series pics
May 13, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
By Gwildor's beard, the first images for Kevin Smith's Masters of the Universe: Revelation have debuted online, and they really do have the power!
Smith's upcoming animated series comes after Netflix ended its five-season run for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This time around the nostalgia bend, fans of the '80s cartoon series will see their favorite heroes and villains revived with wicked redesigns and a new attitude. Revelation is split into two parts, with five episodes planned for Part 1, premiering on July 23. The show features an incredible cast of greats including Chris Wood (Supergirl) as He-Man, Star Wars alum Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela, Game of Thrones' Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn, Batman Forever's Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena, and voice acting legend Kevin Conroy as Mer-Man, and the original voice of Skeletor, Alan Oppenheimer, now in the role of Moss Man.
Other cast members include Liam Cunningham as Man-At-Arms, Griffin Newman as Orco, Stephen Root as Cringer, Diedrich Bader as King Randor and Trap Jaw, Tiffany Smith as Andra, Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops, Susan Eisenberg as Sorceress, Jason Mewes as Stinkor, Phil LaMarr as He-Ro, Tony Todd as Scare Glow, Cree Summer as Priestess, and Kevin Michael Richardson as Beast Man.
Smith serves as showrunner on the series, and executive produces alongside Frederic Soulie (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), Adam Bonnett (Descendants), Christopher Keenan (Justice League, Batman Beyond), and Rob David (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), with Susan Corbin (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) producing. Acting as writers for the series is Marc Bernadin (Castle Rock), Eric Carrasco (Supergirl), Diya Mishra (Magic the Gathering), and Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Superman). Lastly, Bear McCreary (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Snowpiercer) is in charge of composing the animation's epic score. Powerhouse Animation Studios, the team behind Netflix's Castlevania, is in charge of the show's look and animation.
Here's the official synopsis for Masters of the Universe: Revelation:
The war for Eternia culminates in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION, an innovative and action-packed animated series that picks up where the iconic characters left off decades ago. After a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Eternia is fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull are scattered. And after decades of secrets tore them apart, it’s up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia and prevent the end of the universe.
I hope you're ready to see some of your favorite Masters of the Universe characters redesigned and looking incredible because Entertainment Weekly recently debuted a series of first-look images from the new series. You can check them out in all their glory below:
In addition to sharing the above images, EW also spoke with Smith about how his new series honors the legacy of the '80s animated series while also bringing something new to the franchise.
Narratively our show is set up as the next episode in the legacy ‘80s animated series that aired from 1983-1985. This is a continuation of that story. We're playing with the original mythology and characters, and revisiting and digging deeper into some of the unresolved storylines. Visually we also made the conscious decision to lean into the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE line of toys for inspiration as well. Mattel owns this entire vast library of that artwork, so right away we wanted the show to open with classic pieces of that artwork. Mattel has been committed to this look since they first started as a toy line in the '80s, and now we’re leaning into it and honoring it.
What do you make of this bold new direction for He-Man and his pals? Will you be tuning in when Smith's new series holds its sword aloft on Netflix?
Jungle Cruise: Dwayne Johnson Disney film to hit theaters & Disney+ in July
May 13, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
In a bit of a surprising move, Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE, which stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, will debut in theaters and Disney+ Premier on July 30, 2021. Dwayne Johnson confirmed the news on his Instagram page which can be viewed below!
According to “Deadline“, Disney presented the filmmaking team behind the film with various options for releasing the movie based on the popular Disney theme park attraction. The ultimate decision to go with the theater and streaming release hybrid came down to the continued closure of offshore markets such as Europe and Brazil due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Europe is reopening as soon as next month but Disney didn’t want to risk going solely theatrical, especially since provinces in Canada also remain closed and likely won’t see their theaters open until mid-June. The overseas markets would’ve been killer for Jungle Cruise due to its name recognition in relation to the ride and the international appeal of Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Without those markets fully in play, Disney decided to continue experimenting with their theatrical and Disney+ Premier release pattern.
Jungle Crusie is the fourth Disney film to use this release strategy, although this is still a temporary release solution according to the Mouse House. Raya and the Last Dragon was the last film to go this route and it will be followed by Cruella at the end of this month and Marvel’s Black Widow on July 9, 2021. When Raya and the Last Dragon made its debut earlier this year, No. 3 exhibitor Cinemark refused to play the film over its opening weekend due to stiff terms from Disney. With some time to work out new terms, Cinemark has come around and made a deal with Disney, among other studios, to begin playing films that also debut on streaming simultaneously. Despite the fact that Raya and the Last Dragon was released weeks ago, Cinemark is now playing the film and booking Black Widow for July.
Jungle Cruise is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and is set during the early 20th century. In the film, a riverboat captain named Frank (Johnson) takes a scientist (Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life which is believed to possess healing powers. All the while the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition. The film also stars Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, Andy Nyman, Quim Gutierrez, Dani Rovira, Veronica Falcon, and Simone Lockhart. Prior to its new release date, Jungle Cruise was expected to hit screens on October 11, 2019, before being moved to July 24, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic ultimately delayed the film until its current release date of July 30, 2021.
Do YOU think this is the best release strategy for Jungle Cruise?
Fisher Stevens regrets playing an Indian character in Short Circuit
May 13, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
SHORT CIRCUIT is probably one of the most memorable films of the ’80s, thanks mostly to the likable talking robot, Johnny 5. Released on May 9, 1986, Johnny 5 still feels like a next-level movie star, brought to life via a combination of then-cutting-edge special effects, as well as old-fashioned puppeteering and a solid vocal performance from Tim Blaney. While Johnny 5 has continued to age well for most fans of the film, one element of the movie that seems frozen in time is Fisher’s Stevens performance as Indian engineer Ben Jabituya. Fisher Stevens, a white man, plays up the heavily stereotyped role for laughs and would continue to do in the 1988 sequel but now Stevens says he would never do that part again today.
During a talk with “Yahoo Entertainment“, Stevens said, about the role, “it definitely haunts me. I still think it’s a really good movie, but I would never do that part again. The world was a different place in 1986, obviously.” What’s interesting is that Stevens revealed that Ben wasn’t an Indian character when he first auditioned for the film. Stevens says “I was originally cast as a white dude” but, after winning the role, the film’s creative team made the choice to change Ben’s ethnicity without changing the performer who was cast to play him. Stevens explains that he didn’t want to walk away from the role because he was a young actor eager for his big break.
“They rewrote it, and were like, ‘Can you play it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I can do it. Let me learn.’ It’s a weird thing when you’re 21 and you’re trying to get a job.”
Stevens did try to mitigate the decision to cast a White person in an Indian role by trying his best to study up on Indian culture to play the part as authentically as he could. The actor even moved to India for a month ahead of filming Short Circuit 2. Even though he did what he could bring authenticity to the part, he still expressed regret for taking it on because his role has been used numerous times as an example of Hollywood whitewashing.
“I have friends who are Indian, and they’re still mad at me. They’re like, ‘What were you thinking?’ My wife [Alexis Bloom] isn’t happy about it either. She keeps telling me, ‘Look what you did!'”
Stevens joins Hank Azaria, who recently expressed regret voicing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons for so many years, in feeling some type of regret for taking on a role that’s not culturally appropriate. Azaria has officially stopped voicing the character Azaria said in a recent interview with “The Hollywood Reporter” that “I was speaking at my son’s school, I was talking to the Indian kids there because I wanted to get their input. A 17-year-old… he’s never even seen ‘The Simpsons’ but knows what Apu means. It’s practically a slur at this point. All he knows is that is how his people are thought of and represented to many people in this country.”
Short Circuit centers around an experimental military robot that is struck by lightning and gains human-like intelligence. In addition to Stevens, the film stars Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, Austin Pendleton, and G.W. Bailey. Made for $15 million, the film proved to be a solid hit in 1986, grossing $40.7 million by the end of its run.
Do YOU think Fisher Stevens should regret playing an Indian character in Short Circuit?
Bitter Root: Regina King to direct monster hunting comic book adaptation
May 13, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Oscar-winning actress turned director, Regina King, has found her next directorial gig after dazzling critics with her first directorial effort, ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…King has officially signed to helm Legendary’s film adaptation of Bitter Root, based on Image Comics’ comic book series.
Bitter Root is described as “Get Out meets Blade” and centers around a monster-hunting family in the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. In addition to directing, King will also serve as a producer on the project through her Royal Ties banner along with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler who will assist via Proximity Media.
Created by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown, “Bitter Root” was first published in 2018 with a story set during the vibrant Harlem Renaissance of 1924 when a fractured family of once-great-monster hunters faces an unimaginable evil that descends upon New York City. For generations, the Sangeryes have hunted and cured those infected by a supernatural force that feeds of the prejudice of the era, transforming human beings into vicious monsters. With most of the family dead and the surviving Sangeryes at odds between saving or killing the creatures, they must overcome the wounds of the past in the hopes of thwarting an invasion. Legendary has had this project in development since 2018 when Bitter Root first hit the comic book scene and Bryan Edward Hill is currently rewriting the script.
This will be quite a directorial shift for Regina King, making me, even more, intrigued that she is taking this on. King’s first directorial effort, One Night in Miami…earned her critical acclaim, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director. King is no stranger to comic book adaptations as she previously starred in HBO’s Watchmen series which resulted in her winning her fourth Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Regina King is also an Academy Award winner for her turn in If Beale Street Could Talk, taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. King will next be seen in Netflix’s western film The Harder They Fall starring opposite Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, and LaKeith Stanfield.
What are YOUR thoughts on Regina King taking on Bitter Root?
Darren Lynn Bousman Interview: Spiral director weighs in on the franchise
May 13, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
True story – Darren Lynn Bousman was one of the first big interviews I ever did for JoBlo. It was way back in 2008, and Bousman was at Fantasia in Montreal promoting his soon to be cult hit, Repo! The Genetic Opera. He was a gracious, freindly interview so I was keen to catch up with him thirteen (!) years later to discuss his return to the Saw franchise with SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW.
I thoroughly enjoyed this franchise reboot/continuation (my review), and Bousman weighed-in on the evolving nature of the series, plus how he acheived the film’s unique look. He also – naturally – has a few fun Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson stories. I also got some more spoilery-stuff, but we’ll run all that next week after more folks have gotten the chance to check the movie out for themselves.
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The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard trailer is full of action & laughs
May 13, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard has released its first full trailer after offering us a funny teaser a month ago and it looks like Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek are ready to reunite for more laughs and plenty of action.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard takes place four years after the original film and finds bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) continuing his friendship with assassin Darius Kincaid (Jackson) as they embark on a new adventure to save Sonia (Hayek), Darius’s wife, from new threats. Directed by Patrick Hughes, the film also stars Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, Tom Hopper, Antonio Banderas, and Morgan Freeman.
Released in 2017, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a bit of a surprise hit when it hit theaters in August. The film remained number one at the box office for three weeks in a row and ultimately grossed $75.5 million domestically and $176.6 million globally. The film received mixed reviews from critics, scoring a 43% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes but the movie was clearly a hit with moviegoers, and a sequel was greenlit in May of 2018.
Did YOU like the full trailer? The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard hits screens on June 16, 2021. You can check out the new key art for the film below!
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Those Who Wish Me Dead Review
Those Who Wish Me Dead Review
May 13, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
PLOT: A smokejumper (Angelina Jolie) reeling from a tragedy is forced to protect a young boy (Finn Little) who’s being hunted through the Montana wilderness by two cold-blooded professional killers (Nicholas Hoult & Aidan Gillen).
REVIEW: Outside of Maleficent, Angelina Jolie hasn’t done a legit action movie since Salt way back in 2010. With THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, she makes a triumphant return to the genre in a slick, solid thriller that feels like a lost nineties action flick in the best possible way. Co-written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (based on a book by Michael Koryta – who also had a hand in the screenplay along with Charles Leavitt), the film offers Jolie a tailor-made role as a woman of action laid low by a horrible tragedy. A smokejumper, she had to watch a family burn to death after “reading the wind wrong”, which has led to a nasty bout with the bottle and being regulated to tower duty thanks to the interference of an ex (Jon Bernthal) who’s worried she’s going to self destruct.
Jolie is believable in the part, with early scenes showing her partying with her rough and tumble smokejumper pals establishing a “one of the boys” camaraderie that comes through. However, unlike her earlier roles, Jolie isn’t a superwoman here. She’s vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. Early on she takes a nasty fall while rappelling down a role that leaves her hands pretty heavily injured – not an easy injury when pitted against a couple of killers.
Her chemistry with Finn Little is great, with her adopting a warm, maternal tone to the traumatized boy that makes us buy the fact that he would immediately trust her. The son of a forensic accountant (Jake Webber) with the goods on a syndicate (run by Tyler Perry of all people in an against-type cameo), he wants to take shelter with his uncle (coincidentally Jolie’s ex-flame Bernthal) and his survivalist wife (Medina Senghore) but winds up with Jolie instead.
Those Who Wish Me Dead is more of an ensemble than you’d think, with Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult getting plenty of screen time as the psycho killers out to kill this kid. Hoult is the physical threat of the two who gets a cool fight with Jolie, while Gillen is the crazy one. Gillen has a bloodcurdling moment with the pregnant Senghore which is probably the best scene in the movie, with her character proving to be just as badass as Jolie’s in her own way. Bernthal, a Sheridan regular, also gets a nice part as the salt of the earth sheriff’s deputy who winds up a prisoner of the dastardly duo. His big moment of defiance against them is terrific, and it’s nice to see him (at last) playing a true blue good guy (in Sheridan films he’s usually a little more grey).
The movie also has some pretty nifty setpieces, including a ton of blazing infernos. It’s probably the most visceral smoke jumper movie since the underrated Only the Brave, and Sheridan knows just how to make this a lean, effective thriller. It’s rare you get a major movie like this in at 100 minutes, but Sheridan keeps it tight and entertaining throughout. It’s the kind of rock-solid programmer that we used to get regularly but now seems all too rare. It’s a solid little flick and a nifty comeback for Jolie, who seems pumped to get back into action between this and Marvel’s Eternals.
Edge of Tomorrow: Emily Blunt thinks sequel is too expensive to ever happen
May 13, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
EDGE OF TOMORROW is one of the best sci-fi/action films to come out in the last few years and a sequel has been the topic of discussion ever since the first film debuted in 2014. While the film wasn’t a HUGE hit out of the gate, the film performed well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, and the movie has only made gains in popularity after its theatrical run. Sequel plans have certainly been brewing the creative minds behind the project frequently teasing a promising story but one of the first film’s stars, Emily Blunt, thinks that the price tag for the sequel may prevent it from happening.
Emily Blunt was on “The Howard Stern Show” when prospects of the sequel were brought up. While recent news seemed to suggest that the sequel was moving in the right direction, Blunt has revealed the sequel could prove to be much too expensive for the studio to commit to it:
“Honestly, I think the movie is too expensive. I just don’t know how we’re going to do it.”
What’s clear is that Blunt, Tom Cruise, and director Doug Liman wall want the sequel to happen but Blunt also pointed out that a movie that expensive has become increasingly more difficult to produce amid the global pandemic. Not only are you committing to a hefty production budget, but you’re also spending more money to ensure proper safety measures on top of future marketing costs. It does become a bit of a gamble to go all-in on a big-budget film like this when there is no guarantee of a substantial return on investment.
Directed by Doug Liman, Edge of Tomorrow follows a soldier played by Tom Cruise who ends up reliving the same day over and over again every time he dies battling an invasive alien race. The marketing for the film wasn’t the strongest, which is why the film didn’t perform as well as it could have when it came out during the summer of 2014 but word of mouth was strong enough to combat some of the confusion created by the marketing campaign. Critics loved the film, gracing it with a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it went on to gross $370 million worldwide. The main problem the film faced from a financial standpoint was that it had a reported budget of $178 million that got in the way of some of its profitability. Odds are a sequel would be even more expensive than that to produce so I can understand why a studio would be hesitant to commit to it at this time.
What has me hopeful is that it wasn’t too long ago that Blunt teased that the sequel had a “cool” and “promising” script. During an interview back in December of last year, Blunt said. “Yes, [the script] is really promising and really, really cool. I just don’t know when everything’s going to sort of align, you know what I mean? Between all of our schedules, it would just have to be the right time. But there is something in the works, for sure, that’s a great idea. A great idea.” Hopefully, somewhere down the line, they can figure out if they can have a feasible production budget that would allow a sequel to happen.
Do YOU think we’ll ever get a sequel to Edge of Tomorrow?
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BFI Player Classics streaming service will bring British films to America
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
If you're hungry for classic films, it's somewhat disappointing that most of the major streaming services are somewhat lacking when it comes to a diverse catalogue of the classics, but the British Film Institute are looking to scratch that itch. The BFI Player Classics streaming service will be launching in the U.S. on May 14th with an expertly hand-picked collection of some of the best British movies of all time, such as Carol Reed's The Third Man, Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man, and so much more.
Consisting of hundreds of films spanning from 1927 to 2017, BFI Player Classic is aiming to have something for everyone and hopes to introduce audiences to a few lesser known classics at the same time. While speaking with IndieWire, BFI's Head of Live Services Paul Lewis said, "If you’re entering the streaming market now, you can’t select all the obvious films because they’re on other carriers and you won’t be able to get the acquisitions for your platform. We’ve selected content that can’t be found elsewhere in the United States. There’s the obvious hook for cinephiles who want to find dig deep into British cinema, but there’s a mixture of content that appeals to all kinds of cinema lovers." If you're in the mood for something full of adventure and witty humour, why not check out Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers? If psyshological thrillers are more your thing, Michael Powell's disturbing Peeping Tom could be just what the doctor ordered. Or perhaps you're more in the mood for a black comedy such as Alexander Mackendrick's The Ladykillers. No matter what you choose, BFI's Head Curator hopes that the streaming service will help to promote the best of British cinema.
People have a preconception of what British cinema is like and it tends to come with a ‘Downton Abbey’ feel about it. The reality of Britain and the nature of filmmaking is so far removed from it all being like that. A lot of what we’re looking at are the key British films that you can’t get on streaming services. Ones I’d highlight would be things like ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets,’ which is a well-known comedy in the United Kingdom that is a wonderful critique of Britishness and stars Alec Guinness in eight different roles, as well as ‘Went the Day Well?,’ which imagined the Nazi invasion of Britain and is a really brutal and savage film that contemporary audiences might be shocked to watch.
After a free seven-day trial, BFI Player Classics will run you $5.99 a month.
This Is Us will end with its upcoming sixth season
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Although I've never watched This Is Us, I certainly haven't been ignorant to just how explosively popular the drama series became from the very beginning. Following the lives of the three children (Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley) of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore), This Is Us mixes a contemporary storyline with both flashbacks and flashfowards packed with plenty of emotional revelations, but all good things must come to an end.
It's been announced by THR that This Is Us will be coming to an end with its upcoming sixth season, but fans have known this was coming for some time as creator Dan Fogelman has always envisioned a six-season arc. "We never set out to make a television series that was going to last 18 seasons, so we have a very direct plan," Fogelman told THR in 2019. "I have script pages I have written and I’m writing that really are deep, deep, deep into the future. We have a plan for what we’re going to do, and I know what the plan is." The series is currently nearing the end of its fifth season, and while it's not known just how many episodes the final season will consist of, THR expects that it will likely include around 18 episodes as that will be "enough to carry the series over the 100-episode threshold typically needed to secure a lucrative off-network syndication deal and triggering a cash infusion for Fogelman and Disney." Over the course of five seasons, This Is Us has received widespread acclaim and plenty of awards, so I've little doubt that the final season will continue that trend as the story of the Pearson's comes to an end.
Will you be sad to see This Is Us conclude next year or is it a good time for the series to wrap up?
The Suicide Squad rated R for violence, gore, language & graphic nudity
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
We’ve known that James Gunn’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD would be hitting theaters with an R-rating for quite some time, but now we have a much better idea of what that R-rating will bring, and it turns out that it’s a little bit of everything. The MPAA has officially given The Suicide Squad an R-rating for “strong violence and gore, language throughout, some sexual references, drug use and brief graphic nudity.”
That all sounds about right given everything we’ve already seen from the red-band trailers, but the brief graphic nudity did catch me by surprise. It remains to be seen which character(s) that particular notation is referring to, but the reaction on Twitter points to many fans hoping (perhaps that’s the wrong word?) that King Shark is the one to go full-frontal. I need an adult!
The official synopsis for The Suicide Squad:
Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
The upcoming film will feature a mix of old and new cast-members including Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Peter Capaldi, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Alice Braga, Pete Davidson, David Dastmalchian, Micheal Rooker, Daniela Melchior, and more. The Suicide Squad is slated to hit theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021. In addition to the film, there’s also a spin-off TV series focusing on John Cena’s Peacemaker character that will debut on HBO Max in January 2022.
Black Panther: Wakanda Fovever will be a treat for fans says Martin Freeman
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
The unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman took just about everyone by surprise as the actor had kept his colon cancer diagnosis private. It was naturally expected the Boseman would be reprising his role of T’Challa for the Black Panther sequel, but after his passing, the entire project was briefly up in the air before Marvel Studios confirmed that they would be moving forward.
Production on the sequel, which was recently revealed to be titled BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, will be kicking off later this year, and Martin Freeman recently dropped a few teases about the film while appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Freeman played CIA operative Everett K. Ross in both Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, and will be reprising the role for the sequel.
I had a Zoom call with Ryan Coogler, the director and co-writer about seven or eight weeks ago, I suppose. He sort of meticulously took me through all of my character’s beats in the film. He took me through the film, but incorporating my character’s beats. And some of it was really very odd. And I think [Coogler] could see from the reaction on my face to some of the things he was saying, my face must have been going [shocked face] like that, because he kept sort of stopping, and he kept going, ‘Stay with me, but this is going to work.’
Martin Freeman continued: “People are in for, I think, a real treat. I mean we’ve not done it yet, who knows, we might make it awful. But, I’m hoping we won’t, I’m hoping people are going to be in for a treat.” The actor added that after the initial shock of Chadwick Boseman’s death and assumption that the film wouldn’t be happening, Marvel Studios got in contact to say that they would be going on. “Obviously, the hope is we do the first film justice and we do Chadwick’s legacy on it justice and make, hopefully, another good film,” Freeman said. I certainly don’t envy the task that Ryan Coogler and Marvel have in front of them, but if there’s a way to successfully continue Boseman’s legacy, they’re the ones who can pull it off.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated for a July 8, 2022 release.
Black Superman movie is long overdue says Zack Snyder
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
It was announced earlier this year that Ta-Nehisi Coates would be penning a new Superman movie that would be produced by J.J. Abrams. "To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor," said Coates. "I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America's most iconic mythic hero." Abrams added, "There is a new, powerful, and moving Superman story yet to be told. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the brilliant Mr. Coates to help bring that story to the big screen, and we’re beyond thankful to the team at Warner Bros. for the opportunity." It was later revealed that Warner Bros. and DC were also committed to hiring a Black actor to play the Man of Steel as well as signing a Black director to helm the movie, and it's a move that Zack Snyder thinks it long overdue.
While speaking with the Radio Times, Zack Snyder commented on the new Superman movie and Warner Bros.' choice to cast a Black actor in the role.
My feeling is that I love JJ [Abrams], I love what he’s done in the past. I’m interested to see what happens, it’s a bold and cool and probably long overdue move. But I love Henry [Cavill] as Superman, of course I do. He’s my Superman.
With Zack Snyder's Justice League now behind him, Snyder doesn't really have much to do with Warner Bros. — he even recently called the studio "aggressively anti-Snyder" — but he's still interested in the stories of these iconic characters. "I'm not really involved in any of the decision-making at Warner Brothers in any way," Snyder said, "so I guess for me it’s just wait and see what they do with this and how it manifests itself. But on the surface, it seems interesting." Although no director or leading actor are attached to the project yet, I'm still very curious to see how this new take on the Man of Steel is handled. Zack Snyder's next project is Army of the Dead, which will be hitting Netflix on May 14th. You can check out a review of the film from our own Chris Bumbray right here.
The Tragedy of Macbeth: A24 & Apple partner for Joel Coen’s next film
May 12, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
How’s your Shakespear, everybody? A little rusty, you say? Well, you might want to brush up on your iambic pentameter because A24 and Apple Original Films are partnering to bring Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth to a theater near you. Starring Academy Award-winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, the film will be released in theaters worldwide later this year ahead of a global launch on Apple TV+.
The cast of The Tragedy of Macbeth also includes Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, Kathryn Hunter, Harry Melling, and Brendan Gleeson. Joining Coen for the effort are some of his best and brightest collaborators, such as Bruno Delbonnel as the cinematographer, Mary Zophres as costume designer, and a score from Carter Burwell. Cohen is directing the film in addition to producing alongside McDormand and Robert Graf. McDormand and Coen are old friends, of course, after teaming for films like 1984’s Blood Simple, 1996’s Fago, and 2016’s Hail, Caesar! The Tragedy of Macbeth also stands as Coen’s first solo directing gig without his creative partner and brother Ethan Coen.
Described as a new take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, The Tragedy of Macbeth was shot in black-and-white. The story follows a Scottish lord who becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next king of Scotland, and his ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power. Of course, nothing in Shakespeare’s stories ever goes according to plan, so it’s best to prepare yourselves for melancholy, misdeeds, and madness.
Last year during an Instagram Live Q&A, McDormand revealed her thoughts concerning Coen’s latest feature by saying:
“In Joel’s adaptation, we are exploring the age of the characters and in our adaptation, the Macbeths are older,” McDormand explained. “Both Denzel and I are older than what is often cast as the Macbeths. We’re postmenopausal, we’re past childbearing age. So that puts pressure on their ambition to have the crown. I think the most important distinction is that it is their last chance for glory.”
Coen himself has referred to the upcoming feature as a thriller of sorts. “I think that is something that I’ve always sort of felt when watching the play and also something that became more clear and more interesting to me as I was getting into it and doing the adaptation,” Coen remarked. “It’s interesting how Shakespeare sort of pre-figured certain tropes in American thriller and crime literature that were common in the early part of the 20th century.”
With distribution for the film now a lock, I suspect that we’ll be hearing about a release date for The Tragedy of Macbeth sooner rather than later.
Knives Out 2: Janelle Monáe to join Daniel Craig in murder mystery sequel
May 12, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
With Janelle Monáe joining that cast of KNIVES OUT 2, the upcoming murder mystery from Rian Johnson is looking sharper than ever. Monáe is the newest shining star to be added to the cast after Dave Bautista and Edward Norton. Each will join Daniel Craig for the anticipated sequel, which Netflix had purchased for $400 million. Per the deal, Netflix will also lay claim to the third installment of Johnson’s Knives Out series, which he will write and direct.
Janelle Monáe is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, record producer, and model. That’s right, folks, she does it all. Monáe made a name for herself in Hollywood after starring in the award-winning drama Moonlight. She then played mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson in Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. As outstanding as both of those roles are, I recommend Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s Antebellum if you want your jaw to hit the floor. Monáe is nothing short of inspiring in that film, and the cast of Knives Out 2 is lucky to have her.
Character and plot details for Knives Out 2 are being kept under wraps at this time. Production is set to begin this summer in Greece.
Released in 2019, Knives Out featured Craig’s Benoit Blanc investigating the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family. Making up the cast of Johnson’s critically-acclaimed whodunit are Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKetih Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Frank Oz, and K Callan.
Best Action Movies on HBO Max
May 12, 2021 by: Matt Rooney
Back in what already seems like the Stone Age, Netflix had the market cornered when it came to streaming shows and movies, making it a one-stop destination for wasting away the weekends without ever needing to put on pants. Now in this grand future, not only are there more streaming services vying for your attention, there are too many streaming services offering pretty much everything under the sun. Now, the anxiety over what to watch is so real that you may end up giving up and wasting away that pant-less weekend staring at the ceiling.
Luckily, I’m here to help end your turmoil. As with our recent “Best Of” on Netflix lists, I will be looking at some of the best and brightest (and perhaps bloodiest, goofiest, horniest, and scariest) available on another major streaming platform – HBO Max. Sporting shows from the premium cable service and a massive catalog of Warner Bros. movies (and more), there’s no shortage of modern hits and cinema classics at your fingertips. But you may be asking questions like, “Where to start?” “What genre?” “Do I need pants for this one?” How about you ask yourself this Q: “Am I in the mood for blood, carnage, manic energy, or all of the above?”
Regardless of how you answer I have the list that will satisfy all your needs, because this go-around, I will be giving you a list of the very best action films currently available on HBO Max. Picking from such a varied genre wasn’t easy, and I had to start by deciding to not include certain movies that would fall into it. Ultimately what that meant was cutting huge franchise movies from the list – namely any DC or superhero films, as well as the many Godzilla/MonsterVerse movies and The Matrix series. The same goes for Mad Max: Fury Road, a crown jewel of the HBO Max lineup, and considering all the deserved praise it received and has continued to receive for the last few years, can afford to sit one list out. All of those films will stay off the list given the amount of exposure they already get on the regular, and in the name of making room for some more terrific, classic entries that deserve to be discovered, re-discovered, watched, re-watched, and spark conversations of their own.
Some you may have seen, some you may have not, but either way, your action dance card will have a lot of titles on it to help you make the hours fly by in a storm of bullets, blood, high-strangeness, and homoerotic bonding.
*Note: As of this writing, these movies are currently streaming on HBO Max, but as is the nature of these services, could be taken off at the leisure of the company in the future. We will stay on changes as best we can, and will swap out titles to reflect those changes, and keep things fresh in the process.*
Escape From New York
John Carpenter’s Escape From New York paints a gritty, suspenseful portrait of New York City that now houses nothing but criminals…that also happens to be weird as all hell. One minute Kurt Russell’s stoic, grizzled Snake Plisken is navigating the destroyed streets of Manhattan, only to walk in on a colorful, almost demented vaudeville show with a bouncy Ernest Borgnine enjoying every minute. Therein lies part of the genius of Carpenter’s excellent 1981 sci-fi action film, and how he’s able to balance constantly tense, brooding atmosphere with danger around every corner, and the absurdity that comes with the inmates running the asylum. The other stroke of genius comes in the form of Russell in a performance for the ages as Plisken, the man with no time for authority and dialogue that can’t be spoken in a low growl. Pairs nicely with other Carpenter classics of the period (Halloween, The Thing, etc.), and is a must-see offering in HBO’s current action catalog.
Before he was crafting the visionary action flicks Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Baby Driver, Edgar Wright crafted this loving homage to all things bombastic action with the buddy cop action-comedy, Hot Fuzz. Starring Simon Pegg (also co-writer with Wright) as a straight-laced super cop and Nick Frost as his bumbling, endearing partner, Fuzz is not only riotously funny, but features numerous action set pieces that both pay tribute to the action movies that inspired it, but also stand alongside them in terms of adrenaline-pumping mayhem and violence. What makes it even more special beyond the laugh-a-minute sense of humor and the cheer-worthy action is the warm, sweet story of friendship brimming between Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman, living to the best ideals of the “buddy” in the buddy-cop genre.
Perhaps you’ve heard the name, possibly knowing it as a huge inspiration on Quentin Tarantino, a love you can see that love oozing in numerous frames across his Kill Bill movies. But now that’s it’s available at the click of a button, now is the time, if you haven’t already (and definitely again if you have) to watch the Japanese classic, Lady Snowblood. This tale of revenge from Toho centers on Yuki (an intensely magnetic Meiko Kaji), a woman born from her mother for the sole purpose of hunting down and killing the people who killed her husband and son and assaulted her. Training from a young age in the art of sword, stealth, and barrel-riding, Yuki is a master of the sword and slices and dices like nobody’s business, resulting in the kind of blood geysers Tarantino would later so lovingly pay homage to. Featuring some often-stunning cinematography (Masaaki Hirao), director Toshiya Fujita’s samurai action flick is also a captivating tragedy as much a samurai action flick, making it a standout selection of HBO Max’s current action slate.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Director Robert Rodriguez famously came on the map by scraping together enough cash and resources to make El Mariachi, which was followed by the Antonio Banderas/Selma Hayek action flick Desperado. Concluding his “Mexico Trilogy”, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Rodriguez calls back to the likes of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but with his own blend of pulpy thrills and incredibly over-the-top action. In the opening minutes alone, Banderas as El Mariachi blows away a room of thugs with submachine guns and a gun worked into his slick guitar – with Hayek’s Carolina finishing the job with some knife play. It’s not a perfect movie, and Rodriguez’s attempt to recall the great spaghetti westerns doesn’t always pan out, but it more than makes up for it with uniquely absurd action and series of great performances, including from Johnny Depp right before Jack Sparrow turned him into a box office behemoth.
Point Break (1991)
Wild, melodramatic, homoerotic, and undeniably awesome, there’s a reason why Hot Fuzz’s Danny Butterman has such an affinity for Point Break. At the core of the cop flick starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze is the genuinely engaging bond between the former’s Johnny Utah (one of the top action protagonist names) and Swayze’s Bodhi that – perhaps more than some righteous action direction from pre-Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow – makes it such a classic of the male bonding testosterone flicks.
Jackie Chan’s road to becoming a household name is paved with broken bones, blood, sweat, and one or destroyed townships. In his directorial effort Police Story, in which he’s also the leading man, Chan pulls out all the stops and crafts one wild action scene after another. Just watching the earliest scenes, involving a police raid that turns into a full-blown shanty town gunfight, resulting in a mind-boggling chase with a double-decker bus – all done practically and Chan tossing himself into his own stunts – and there’s no denying why this cop flick is a classic of the genre. The story isn’t quite so strong, but Chan more than makes up for it with his undeniable showmanship, and the dedication from him and his team to make every set piece and fight as crazy (and crazy dangerous) as possible.
The Road Warrior
While I purposely left this film’s higher-grossing, more-lauded younger sibling off the list, I wasn’t quite able to justify leaving George Miller’s second, equally sensational entry in the Mad Max series off the list. Hell, there be some folks out there who love Fury Road but have yet to travel back to Miller’s initial trilogy to see where the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland got its beginning. Whether you’re in that group or already an avid fan of Miller’s series, there is never not a good time to press “Play” on this absolutely masterful execution of mayhem. A completely gonzo experience from top to bottom, filled with gnarly costume and makeup work, feral children, Gibson’s excellent work as Max, one of the best dog companions in cinematic history and no shortage of mind-melting action. Miller did exactly what a sequel of this kind should do by expanding on the characters and layers of this metal-as-hell wasteland and cranking up the juice on everything else – without diluting a single bit in the process. This is mandatory action viewing and if you have yet to cross it off your list, HBO Max has effectively taken away any excuses you think you have.
What’s better than having one Keanu Reeves action movie on the list? Having TWO Keanu Reeves action movies on the list. And just like you can’t talk about action in the 90s without Point Break, you can’t do it without Jan de Bont’s 1994 hit, Speed. Just like the bus that’s rigged to blow, Speed puts the pedal to the metal on the action to dizzying levels and never lets go for a second. Pretty much the definition of an “intense thrill-ride” there is something so pure and exciting about Speed that has made it a masterwork of the genre that’s stood the test of time. The premise is simple enough, but with each new layer that’s peeled off adding to the mounting intensity, with a colorful villain in Dennis Hopper’s Howard Payne (“Pop quiz, hotshot!”) calling the shots. There’s never a bad time to revisit this purest of action flicks, and it may change forever how to travel on public transportation. Shame can’t be said for the sequel and cruise ships.
Making a name for himself on the budding indie scene of the 90s with Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster, director David O. Russell burst into the mainstream with his stylish, hilarious, intelligent and constantly fleet-of-foot Three Kings. An action flick, a war movie that puts the Gulf War under a lens, and a heist saga all wrapped up into one, the movie could’ve easily been a bit of a messy disaster (and based on some behind-the-scenes drama, it may have appeared like it was shaping up to be). But it’s the furthest thing, with Russell mastering the varying tones with a frantic visual language that compliments the fast jokes and wild action – while leaving breathing room to explore the nature of the war in Iraq and the main character’s relationship with it, with George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze turning in some fantastic work.
A samurai action movie, a crime drama, and an inspiration for later, classic Westerns (Clint Eastwood’s A Fistful of Dollars), Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo is a masterwork in a legendary filmography filled with them. It’s doesn’t have the epic nature of his Seven Samurai but this tale of a ronin (the incomparable Toshiro Mifune) caught between two warring gangs and deciding to cleverly pit them against each other makes the most of its simplicity with humor, technical mastery, fast-and-loose swordplay and the enigmatic work of Mifune as the sly and composed “Kuwabatake Sanjuro.” An undeniable classic that’s gone on to inspire filmmakers and genres since its 1961 release, Yojimbo is a must-see and more available than ever now that it’s streaming on HBO Max, and will certainly make you wonder if there’s been anyone else to walk the Earth who was as cool as Mifune was.
Still want more action? Check out our Best Action Movies on Netflix article to double your queue!
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Donald Glover says cancel culture has made movies and TV boring
May 12, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Nowadays, despite some people's best efforts, it can often feel like the world is more divided than ever. Whether it's social media platforms regurgitating the same criticisms time and again, film studios opting for sequels and reboots in favor of original content, or networks reviving once-beloved properties to secure that nostalgia-driven dollar, one has to wonder if the entertainment industry is afraid of taking risks.
One celebrity who thinks creators have lost the plot is Donald Glover, whose hit drama series Atlanta is often considered to be just as unconventional as Glover himself. Recently on Twitter, Glover said that he saw people discussing how tired audiences are of reviewing boring stuff, concerning film and television.
saw people on here havin a discussion about how tired they were of reviewing boring stuff (tv & film).
— donald (@donaldglover) May 11, 2021
Glover then elaborated on his claim, which had quickly become a hot topic of debate on the social media platform.
we're getting boring stuff and not even experimental mistakes(?) because people are afraid of getting cancelled
— donald (@donaldglover) May 11, 2021
so they feel like they can only experiment w/ aesthetic.
(also because some of em know theyre not that good)
— donald (@donaldglover) May 11, 2021
Do you agree with Glover that film and television creators are failing to take risks as the world continues to change? Have we become so afraid of "cancellation" that we're no longer creating thought-provoking stories and characters? When is the last time a movie or television show really knocked you on your ass with something profound and original? Let us know in the comments section below.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw Review
Spiral: From the Book of Saw Review
May 12, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
PLOT: A detective (Chris Rock) investigates the brutal Jigsaw-style slaying of his best friend, only to discover there’s a new killer out there targeting dirty cops.
REVIEW: First – I should get this out there: I’m not a Saw expert. Like everyone, I saw (SAW!) the first couple of movies, but I tapped out somewhere around the fourth installment. I never actually disliked any of the movies (that I “saw”) but what probably happened was that I missed one of the many sequels, ended up falling out of the rhythm of the ultra-prolific franchise, and just started skipping them. However, I was intrigued when SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW was announced, mainly since it emerged from a pitch by Chris Rock, who also plays the lead.
Rock has described Spiral as Law & Order crossed with Saw, and that’s pretty dead-on. It proves to be a surprisingly solid mash-up, distinguished by Rock’s performance in the lead and some ultra-stylish direction by frequent franchise director Darren Lynn Bousman. Rock plays Detective Zeke Banks, who’s like the Serpico of his police department. Hated by everyone in the department for blowing the whistle on an officer-involved execution of a witness, no one will work with him or back him up save for the cop who buys it in the first scene. Burns investigates his murder with his fresh-faced young partner (a solid Max Minghella) and discovers this new killer, Spiral, is executing cops, with his dad, a celebrated veteran (played by Samuel L. Jackson) high on the hit list.
Shot for release in 2020, the film is surprisingly timely given current events, but anyone looking for a deep dive into police corruption best look elsewhere. There’s no particular message here other than “sit back and enjoy the traps”, but it’s still an interesting take on the franchise. Rock, who recently impressed me a lot on Fargo is terrific in a straight-ahead hero part. Much more convincing as a leading man in middle age, he’s solid as the torn cop on the trail of a new killer. Rock doesn’t fall into a common comedian trap, where he plays things too seriously either. He’s not morose. There are a few great Rock riffs, like one on why there’s no Forrest Gump 2, which cuts the tension a bit. Jackson is Jackson, which is just right for a role like this, meaning he says “mutherfucker” a lot and intimidates people. He has good chemistry with Rock, while Minghella is kind of the straight man, playing everything low key in a likable way. Marisol Nichols is solid as well as Rock’s captain, a former crony of his dad’s.
Of course, in a movie like this the big question is “how are the traps?”. This might be the goriest movie of the franchise with an opening sequence involving a tongue nauseatingly effective, as is a later scene involving wax. Bousman and DP Jordan Oram have also given the movie a slick sheen with bold primary colors and a 2:35:1 scope aspect ratio that distinguishes it from the earlier films. Charlie Clouser is back to do the score, incorporating the familiar Saw theme that comes in just when you want it to.
While some may resent the fact that there’s arguably more plot than gore in this installment, it still more than delivers on the blood and carnage you expect from the series. I had a good time with it, more so than a lot of other bigger budget horror flicks, so to me, this is a continuation of the franchise that works pretty well. Check it out.
Metalocalypse, Venture Bros. and more Adult Swim movies in development
May 12, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Raise your horns, prepare for adventure, and get ready to be served a Happy Meal because three Adult Swim series are getting the feature film treatment.
It's been announced that films for Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocalypse, and Venture Bros. will be released worldwide on Blu-ray/DVD and PVOD, and electronic sell-through. Each title will be made available for a total of 90 days before arriving on HBO Max and Adult Swim.
“Leveraging the power of WarnerMedia allows us to deliver original content to our amazingly dedicated and not-shy fans, while also giving our talented series creators an opportunity to tell stories in new and interesting ways,” said Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force will pick up where the hit animated series left off, and continue the off-color misadventures of Rylock, Meatwad, and Master Shake, who fancy themselves crime fighters, even though they never actually fight crime. Created by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis, Aqua Teen Hunger Force premiered in September 2001 and aired for an impressive 11 seasons. The show was widely popular with those who enjoy a bit of crude humor or the late-night acid trip vibes of something like MTV's Liquid Television.
When the Venture Bros. movie comes barreling onto screens, "Doc’s latest invention will either bankrupt the Ventures or launch them to new heights, as Hank searches for himself, Dean searches for Hank, The Monarch searches for answers, and a mysterious woman from their pasts threatens to bring their entire world crashing down on them." The Venture Bros. is created, written, and executive produced by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer. The laugh-out-loud animation first appeared as a pilot in 2003, before airing its first season in August 2004. The show spanned 7 seasons and 4 specials throughout its 15-year run on Adult Swim.
Lastly, we have Metalocalypse. The new film, from co-creators Brendon Small and Tommy Blancha, "follows the power-hungry Tribunal as they unveil their secret and deadly “Falconback Project”. This is against a backdrop of a world that is growing embattled in chaos with the menacing Doomstar breaching the Earth’s atmosphere. Meanwhile, the mysterious and twisted descent of a band member threatens the future of Dethklok. Picking up directly after the heroic rescue of Toki Wartooth: Can Dethklok choose between their egos and the greater good of the world to embark on a gauntlet of dangers that will try their very souls and finally write the song that will be their salvation?" Small is responsible for the show's original music, which is as legit as it comes. The show brought 63 episodes to the Adult Swim stage in 2003, lasting for 4 seasons before ending with the half-hour special The Doomstar Requiem in 2013. The series revolves around the fictional death metal band Dethklok, which has sold 1 million albums in the real world. The band's 2007 album, Dethalbum, debuted at #21 on the Billboard 200 chart. Naturally, the film will boast a new soundtrack that will be released on WaterTower Music.
The phrase "everything old is new again" holds a lot of water in today's entertainment stratosphere. Nostalgia is a hot ticket, and the executives over at Adult Swim know it. I might have missed the boat on these series, but I have plenty of friends who I know will be excited by today's news. There's also a lot to be said about revamping beloved properties for an audience that never wanted to say goodbye to their animated friends. Be sure to keep an eye out for more details as these projects develop.
The Forever Purge: One night isn’t enough for mayhem in film’s first trailer
May 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Serving as a direct sequel to 2016’s The Purge: Election Year, the film follows the presidential elections from the last year and the abolition of the Purge. As we enter the film, a Mexican couple escapes from a drug cartel and is stranded on a Texas ranch. There, they will be at the mercy of a group of outsiders who plan to unlawfully continue their own Purge, and turn against the couple to eliminate them. The franchise will be pushed into new territory as members of this underground movement are no longer satisfied with one annual night of anarchy and murder and they decide to overtake America through an unending campaign of mayhem and massacre. The film stars Ana de la Reguera, Josh Lucas, Tenoch Huerta, Leven Rambin, Will Patton, and Cassidy Freeman.
The Forever Purge was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on July 10, 2020. On May 15, 2020, its release was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with no new release date given. On July 8, 2020, it was reported that the film had been rescheduled for release on July 9, 2021, only to move forward by a week to July 2, 2021, back in April of this year.
Did YOU like the trailer for The Forever Purge? Directed by Everardo Gout from a script by franchise creator and narrative mastermind James DeMonaco, The Forever Purge hits screens on July 2, 2021. You can check out the film’s official key art below!
JoBlo Movie Trailers
The Ellen DeGeneres Show to end after 19 seasons
May 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Ellen DeGeneres has made the decision to end her popular talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, after 19 seasons. The upcoming season, its nineteenth, will be its last.
According to "The Hollywood Reporter", the decision fell solely on DeGeneres and it has been in the making for several years. The staff of her show was informed on May 11, 2021, and DeGeneres will sit down with her friend and daytime predecessor, Oprah Winfrey, to discuss her reasons for ending the show's run on May 13, 2021. DeGeneres had this to say about making the decision to bring her talk show to an end:
"When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged – and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore."
DeGeneres has struggled in the past about when she should bring her talk show to an end. The decision has to be a difficult one. During its long run, the talk show has been a true ratings winner and has won a staggering 61 Daytime Emmy Awards, including four for Outstanding Talk Show and seven for Outstand Talk Show Entertainment, surpassing the record held by The Oprah Winfrey Show, which won nine. DeGeneres herself has also won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host four times. With all of this success, it has to be a struggle to determine when to call it quits and, back in 2018 in a "New York Times" profile, DeGeneres revealed that her wife Portia de Rossi had been encouraging to move on from the show, which produces 180 shows. a year on average. Conflicting this decision was that her comedian brother and executives at Warner Bros. pushed her to continue. By the end of it, DeGeneres signed a new three-season contract but it was made clear to herself and her team that by the end of this contract, the show would definitely be coming to an end.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been widely praised for being one of the best of its kind. The show has made nearly $70 million in charitable donations during its run and has given out more than $300 million in audience giveaways. The show reportedly earns DeGeneres about $84 million in annual income and she has always seemed to genuinely enjoy the job. In fact, DeGeneres had the rep for being the nicest person working on daytime TV.
The show has not been without controversy, in fact, some of the recent controversies likely made it a bit easier for DeGeneres to walk away. In July of 2020, "BuzzFeed News" wrote an expose that detailed allegations of a toxic workplace environment. The expose prompted an internal investigation and the dismissal of key executives. DeGeneres took a hit after the expose because many believed that since she's the name of the brand, she should've been aware of these issues and done what was necessary to fix the problems before they escalated. When season 18 opened in September of last year, DeGeneres began with a lengthy apology and told viewers "I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am sorry to the people who were affected." The opener was Ellen's highest-rated premiere in years but, despite her apology, viewership quickly dwindled, signaling that much of the shine may have come off of The Ellen DeGeneres Show due to the controversy.
It should be pointed out that a lot of Hollywood's A-list remained loyal guests to her show, even after the BuzzFeed News expose. There were some that took swipes at DeGeneres for not being as nice as she seems but, for the most part, many celebrities continued to have her back and have made several appearances throughout its current 18th season. DeGeneres will also continue to be a big part of Warner Bros. as she has built a plethora of unscripted shows that have proven to be successful including Fox's The Masked Singer, NBC's Ellen's Game of Games, and HBO Max's Ellen's Next Great Designer. The studio also plans on continuing to work with her Ellen Digital Ventures footprint as well. which is responsible for more than 60 original series.
What are YOUR thoughts on The Ellen DeGeneres Show coming to an end?
Knight Rider (1982 TV Series) – Gone But Not Forgotten
May 12, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
"Knight Rider – A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, A young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law."
So begins the opening narration of one of the most badass action tv series of the eighties, Knight Rider, starring the iconic David Hasselhoff and everyone's favorite Pontiac Trans Am, K.I.T.T. (voiced by William Daniels) as they fight crime in a quasi futuristic but very eighties Los Angeles.
A terrific show (the brainchild of Glen A. Larson), over its five season run it became a pop culture staple, and there have been many attempts to reboot/remake it, but all have failed. Join us as we look into the history of this show on Gone But Not Forgotten! And also – I think we can all agree the Knight Rider theme is perhaps the greatest TV theme song of all time.
SCTV: Martin Scorsese-directed special made for Netflix has been shelved
May 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Well, this is a bummer. Netflix had been planning a special about Second City Television aka SCTV, a Canadian television sketch comedy show, but it appears those plans have been shelved according to one of its stars, Joe Flaherty.
The news comes to us via Michael T. Scott, a member of an SCTV fan group on Facebook, and they pointed that one of the moderators of the group created a post about the project being shelved which points to Joe Flaherty's response to a post about the project coming to fruition. Flaherty says he's "deflated" to reveal that he has spoken to a producer on the project and they confirmed the special has been shelved. You can check out an image of the Facebook exchange below.
The special was titled An Afternoon with SCTV and the project was announced back in April of 2018 with Martin Scorsese set to direct. The special was intended to explore the legacy of the show and in May of 2018, it was announced the special would air on CTV in Canada and Netflix worldwide. News about the special seemed to go radio silent after that but as the moderator of the Facebook fan group points out, the last bit of news seems to have come from Dave Thomas' website in February 2021 when it was revealed that Scorsese was still editing the project. It's unclear to us why the project was shelved but Flaherty does indicate in his response that producer Andrew Alexander did give him the reasons and these reasons confirmed what Thomas also told Flaherty some days ago. Maybe one day we'll learn why this didn't come together but I'm sure the news is a true disappointment to fans of SCTV.
SCTV was a Canadian television sketch comedy show that ran intermittently between 1976 and 1984. The show was created as an offshoot of Toronto's Second City troupe and it became an example of a Canadian show that moved successfully over to American TV, where it aired for three years on two different networks. The show is best known for introducing us to many comedians that would go on to become familiar faces in film and TV such as Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, John Candy, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, and Dave Thomas.
Are YOU sad to hear the SCTV special has been shelved? Thanks once again to Michael T. Scott for bringing us this scoop. Much appreciated!
Fantastic Four: Emily Blunt shoots down casting rumors
May 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Emily Blunt is responding to long-gestating FANTASTIC FOUR casting rumors and her response may not be to the liking of many fans that have been fan-casting Blunt and her husband John Krasinski as Sue Storm and Reed Richards. Both performers have been linked to the MCU in the past (Krasinski screen-tested for the role of Captain America and Blunt was once attached as Black Widow in Iron man 2) but it appears that rumors of them joining the MCU as the first family of Marvel are only rumors because Blunt is giving a response to the speculation that has a sense of finality to it.
During an appearance on “The Howard Stern Show“, Blunt responded to the long-standing Fantastic Four casting rumors and she dispelled them all by saying it was merely all fan-casting. She was then asked if the genre was beneath her and even though she doesn’t go as far as to say that, she did seem to express that superhero movies just aren’t her thing:
“That is fan-casting. No one has received a phone call. That’s just people saying, ‘Wouldn’t that be great?’ … It’s not that it’s beneath me. I love Iron Man and when I got offered Black Widow I was obsessed with Iron Man. I wanted to work with Robert Downey Jr.—it would’ve been amazing … but I don’t know if superhero movies are for me. They’re not up my alley. I don’t like them. I really don’t.”
While Blunt seems to make it clear that she wasn’t interested in playing a superhero, she did add that “It’s not to say that I’d never want to play one.” That comment alone might leave some hope for fans that she will somehow change her mind about considering the upcoming MCU Fantastic Four movie, which is set to be directed by Jon Watts. Blunt goes on to say that it would have to be a “really cool character” for her to be interested so maybe if that Fantastic Four script makes Sue Storm a force to be reckoned with, she may reconsider.
Now that Blunt has put these rumors to rest, I wonder who will emerge next as the top choices to play Sue Storm and Reed Richards. Judging from her response to the rumors, it may be time for fans to change their fantasy fan-casting roster and consider other contenders for the roles. All we know about Fantastic Four is that it’s set to conclude Phase 4 of the MCU and they’re currently looking for writers to do the characters justice since we haven’t really gotten a definitive version of the characters that have truly clicked on the big screen.
What are YOUR thoughts on Emily Blunt putting the Fantastic Four casting rumors to rest?
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The Howard Stern Show
Margot Robbie has pitched Poison Ivy joining Harley Quinn in the DCEU
May 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Margot Robbie really wants Poison Ivy to appear in the DCEU. The popular DC villain has yet to make an appearance in the DC Extended Universe but it’s not for a lack of trying on Robbie’s part. The actress has revealed that she has been pitching the idea to Warner Bros. for years and, during a recent interview with “Den of Geek“, she said she will continue with her lobbying to make it happen.
“Trust me, I chew their ear off about it all the time. They must be sick of hearing it, but I’m like, ‘Poison Ivy, Poison Ivy. Come on, let’s do it.’ I’m very keen to see a Harley-Poison Ivy relationship on screen. It’d be so fun. So I’ll keep pestering them. Don’t worry.”
Poison Ivy is actually closely associated with the Harley Quinn character in other mediums so it wouldn’t be far-fetched for them to meet up on the big screen. The union almost happened in Gotham City Sirens but that project has seemed to languish in development hell. Robbie previously stated, to “PrideSoruce“, that the Harley-Poison Ivy intimate relationship is one she’d like to explore in the DCEU:
“If you read the comics you know that Poison Ivy and Harley have an intimate relationship. In some comics they convey it as a friendship; in other comics you can see that they’re actually sexually involved as a couple. I’ve been trying to-I would love to have Poison Ivy thrown into the universe, because the Harley and Poison Ivy relationship is one of my favorite aspects of the comics, so I’m looking to explore that on screen.”
Director of Birds of Prey, Cathy Yan, has also expressed interest in exploring the Harley Quinn-Poison Ivy relationship in a film. Yan was once asked about going that route in a follow-up to Birds of Prey if there was one and Yan stated at the time that she’d “love to see Poison Ivy” and her relationship with Harley take shape in another film, Given the fact that Birds of Prey underperformed at the box office, I doubt we will get to see that happen in a follow-up to that film but it’s still a possibility down the line.
The only time Poison Ivy has been played on the big screen was in 1997’s Batman & Robin. While the film is polarizing and mostly hated, Uma Thurman’s take on the role has gotten positive feedback in subsequent years because of its campy and over-the-top nature. On the small screen, Poison Ivy has appeared in various DC TV shows such as the animated Harley Quinn, voiced by Lake Bell, and on Gotham played at different times by Clare Foley, Maggie Geha, and Peyton List.
Would YOU want to see a Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy movie?
Den Of Geek
Dave Bautista thinks Marvel dropped the ball with Drax
May 11, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
As someone who wasn’t at all familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when Marvel announced that James Gunn would be bringing the cosmic team to the big-screen. With a cast that included a wise-cracking racoon and a talking tree, Guardians of the Galaxy had the potential to be one of the studio’s biggest successes or its first real failure; thankfully, the film was released to great success and the characters have gone on to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and the upcoming Thor: Love & Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3. That final sequel is expected to complete the story that Gunn started with the first film, but one actor feels that Marvel may have dropped the ball with his character.
While speaking with Collider, Drax actor Dave Bautista said that although the role has “changed the trajectory of my life” and is “always going to be special to me,” he wishes that more time had been invested in Drax and his backstory.
I think Drax has a really interesting backstory which they dropped the ball on. That’s no dig on Marvel. They had their slate, I know what they’re focused on, that’s what they have slated out. But man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great backstory. Selfishly, as a performer, that would have given me the opportunity to show different sides of Drax, emotionally. And physically as well. Because, if you notice, Drax, although he looks like a badass, you look at him and he looks terrifying, but Drax gets his ass kicked more than any other Marvel character…The whole “Destroyer” thing they just threw that out the window…people just fell so in love with the comedic side of Drax they tapped into that, then they tapped into it more, then they really dug a hole into it. But we missed a huge boat on that character and I don’t think it’ll ever come back around. But I’m really just looking forward to finishing out this whole journey.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Drax’s homeworld was invaded by the forces of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his family was killed, which led to him seeking revenge. As Drax wound up having little to do with Thanos’ eventual defeat, you can see why Bautista believes that his character wasn’t used to his full potential. Bautista had concerns about Drax’s character arc going back to the first sequel, when he told CBR that when he wasn’t crazy about his part when he read the script. “It went a different direction than what I thought they were going to go with Drax,” Bautista said. “That’s just because I was expecting one thing and got another. So I was a little bit thrown off at first.” The actor added that he found it disappointing because he thought that Drax was going to be so much more, but it eventually clicked at the first table-read.
Although Drax the Destroyer may not have had the journey that Dave Bautista imagined he would, don’t start thinking that the actor is suddenly down on the Guardians of the Galaxy, as he can’t wait to return to complete the sci-fi saga. There will be a table-read for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 this November, which will be the first time that Bautista will have read the script. “I’m really excited to wrap up this whole journey with these guys,” Bautista said. “I love them. I love the Guardians cast like family. They know it. I think everybody knows that I’m pretty vocal about it.” Dave Bautista will next be seen in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, which will debut on Netflix on May 14th. You can check out a review of the film from our own Chris Bumbray right here.
What do you folks think? Do you wish Drax’s arc had gone a different way?