Holy mother of pearl, it's happening. It's really happening. We're about to return to the Jam and Lebron James is coming with us (also Justin Lin). THR is reporting that the basketball star is set to star in the Looney Toons sequel with Lin directing, and the dreams of every 90s child funding it all.
Seriously, we've been talking about a Space Jam sequel since the first film came out and now here it is. Lebron has been wanting to be in it for years, and we all thought it was going to never happen at one point. But it is now.
Lin will be writing the screenplay along with some other folks and then everyone is going to start believing they can effing fly. R. Kelly will start hanging out in corn fields again. Bill Murray will make a surprise appearance to save the day. All our dreams will come true.
Well, except the one where 1990s Michael Jordan teleports to the future and makes Space Jam 2 because no one else can really do it (sorry, Lebron), especially not present day, once had a Hitler-stache, weirdo Michael Jordan.... read + comment
I think everyone can agree that Key and Peele was a great show, and I think all of us were at least a little bit sad when it ended. Though it didn't hit with every sketch or every episode, the team's consistent creativity has created some truly classic moments, some of the best sketch comedy to ever grace the small screen. And they decided to go out on a high note, rather than burning out or falling out of favor. At the height of their power, they moved on. (This is a particularly interesting thought now, because more than a few critics feel that Amy Schumer has now outgrown her own show and should have moved on as well.)
Even so, I will admit to being a little apprehensive about Keanu. Not everyone successfully navigates the transition from movie parodies to parody movies, and I'm not particularly looking forward to the movie based on Mr. Garvey, Keegan-Michael Key's Substitute Teacher character, who I found grating after a couple of appearances. My concern that that film will feel like an overstuffed TV sketch resulted in less excitement for Keanu, to the point where I probably would have skipped it at first if I hadn't been invited by a friend.
In short: That would have been a massive mistake, because Keanu is great.... read + comment
Looks like the DC cinematic universe has run into a problem, and we don't mean the box office slowdown for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Director Seth Grahame-Smith has dashed from The Flash over creative differences, which leaves star Ezra Miller stranded at the starting line.... read + comment
The 1980s were a boom period for being a ninja. There were tons of ninja movies, loads of ninja games, and almost everywhere you went, people were going to college to major in Ninjutsu. (Full disclosure: I majored in Philosophy but minored in Ninjustsu.) Sadly, that ninja jazz age has passed, but it may be coming back: there's an adaptation of Sega's 1987 classic Shinobi in the works.
Marc Platt (whose credits include Bridge of Spies, Drive, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and his production company have partnered with Stories International, Inc. to bring the ninja tale to the big screen.
Platt said the following about the adaptation:
... read + comment
We love the Shinobi games and believe that the world of ninjas has never been properly explored onscreen. We now have the opportunity to do just that. With Shinobi, we hope to make a film that honors the essence of the games and brings this fascinating world to life for moviegoing audiences.
If you watched this last season of Daredevil you know that someone finally nailed Punisher. Jon Bernthal absolutely stole the show with his slightly psychotic and entirely compelling portrayal of Frank Castle. People loved it and evidently Marvel and Netflix noticed because they've just announced that Punisher will be getting his own series.
You can check out the announcement video below, which says almost nothing, but is just so insanely perfect with Bernthal reciting the children's rhyme his character is now known for. This is even more exciting because a Punisher series was not part of the original Netflix/Marvel deal. That only included Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. This expansion is great news for those of us who like the smaller, darker Marvel Cinematic Universe on show in the Netflix series.
The series will star Jon Bernthal and has Hannibal's Steve Lightfoot will serve as showrunner.
[embed]220551:42941:0[/embed]... read + comment
I'm not going to pull punches here because Mother's Day is easily the worst movie I have seen in years. It is unfathombly offensive, boring, unfunny and terrible in every way possible. I didn't head into it thinking it was going to be great, but I figured it would be on par with previous ensemble cast holiday movies. You know the genre: lots of famous people have multiple interweaving stories about love.
Mother's Day is not that. To be that it would have to have a redeeming value somewhere in it. You'd have to laugh at at least one of the jokes. At the end maybe you got a warm fuzzy feeling. No, this movie crawled out of the bottom of some sort of barrel where they keep things that should die in the fires of hell. I went in expecting mediocre, I came out ashamed of every actor who agreed to star in this film and with serious concerns about the human race in general.... read + comment
Ratchet & Clank is the epitome of a film that doesn't do anything wrong, but that doesn't make it right. I suppose I should start by saying that I have not kept up with the games this movie is based on. I played the original and sequel when they first arrived on the Playstation 2, but since then have fallen off. If that invalidates my review for you then you should probably stop reading, though it really shouldn't seeing as the film's relation to the game amounts to a few inside jokes and a lamb.
What I do remember from the games was that on top of some fantastic gameplay they had a sharp sense of humor and great interplay between the titular characters. It's possible I've got some rose tinted glasses on there, but it's how I remember it.
Ratchet & Clank the movie tries to recapture the game's feel almost exactly. The problem is what made for great dialog in a videogame in 2002 makes for cliche in the midst of an animation renaissance in 2016.... read + comment
Alicia Vikander has been cast as the new Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider reboot, which starts a fine tradition of casting Academy Award winners in the role. Angelina Jolie won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Girl, Interrupted, and Viaknder won a Best Supporting Actress statuette earlier this year for The Danish Girl. Vikander also starred in Ex Machina, which is a better movie than any of the other movies listed in this paragraph.
The Tomb Raider reboot will be directed by Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug, with a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Uthaug's other movies include The Wave and Escape; Robertson-Dworet's sci-fi screenplay Hibernation made the 2012 Black List. Roar Uthaug is also a fun name to say out loud. Try it!
You may recall that Daisy Ridley was also being eyed for the role, but Vikander should be more than capable for it. Besides, Ridley is probably busy doing those low-budget indie Star Wars movies.
What do you think of this casting news? Has anyone even watched those Jolie Tomb Raider movies in the last 10 years? Let us know in the comments.
[via THR]... read + comment
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way... well, unless you're an unhappy family in a movie, in which case you're pretty much alike. Distant/absent parents. A dictatorial patriarch. A strange childhood whose psychological fallout takes decades to recognize, and that must be dealt with in adult life in order to finally self-actualize.
That common narrative of dysfunction, real or imagined, might be the biggest issue with The Family Fang. I couldn't help but think of The Royal Tenenbaums and The Savages and countless other dysfunctional family narratives while watching the movie. There's some missing ingredient in The Family Fang, a flavor of distinction I can't quite name but can recognize when it's absent.
[This review originally ran as part of our coverage of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of the film.]... read + comment
The trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke has been released and set the stage for a true-to-graphic-novel adaptation.
This is the first time a DC Comics movie will be R-rated a fact which is actually not attributable to 2016's successful R-rated Marvel comic book adaptation of the Ryan Reynold's driven Deadpool as the rating for The Killing Joke was announced in October, last year.
The brooding trailer confirms that the animated feature will stay true to the original material in its handling of the dark story that concludes with the crippling of Batgirl.
Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively (comfortable roles, as both have been portraying their characters since 1992 saw Batman: The Animated Series premiere).
Batman: The Killing Joke centers around the Joker's capture and torture of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, and her father, Police Commissioner, James Gordon, and the Joker's efforts to prove that anyone, even an upstanding citizen, can be driven insane due to "one bad day."
The animated feature is set for release straight to Blu-Ray and DVD in July.... read + comment
Netflix brought back Wet Hot American Summer last year and it was pretty glorious. Evidently it was pretty glorious for them too as they've just announced a sequel... or is it a second season? I'm not sure. It's either the third one in a trilogy or the second season and the movie doesnt' count. Whatever. We're getting more.
The show is coming in 2017, which, as the trailer shows, is exactly when they all planned to meet. Burning questions like whether or not they'll all be there by 9:30 are not answered yet, mostly because this is just a clip from the original movie. We're going to guess that everyone is going to be back again, and now with the success of the first show we should get even more great cameos.
[embed]220547:42937:0[/embed]... read + comment
The two Robert Downey Jr. Led Sherlock Holmes movies made a crap ton of money and, in all fairness, were a descent amount of fun. You'd think in this sequel hungry world that means we'd see another one as quick as possible, but it's been five years since Game of Shadows released and left us all on a cliffhanger. That's mostly because Downey Jr. has been incredibly busy with Marvel things.
It seems everyone, including Warner Bros., co-start Jude Law and director Guy Ritchie is, interested in coming, but schedules are mess. Despite that Warner Bros. has screenwriter James Coyne rewriting Drew Pearce's screenplay for the third Sherlock Holmes. That screenplay has been sitting around a while so breathing new life into it may mean we'll be seeing Holmes sooner rather than later.
Coyne isn't that an adept screenwriter. He's credits include include Dominic Purcell-directed Vikingdom and the actioner Puncture Wounds, both of which were not well received. Still, these Holmes films are much more style over substance that play more off of Holmes as a hero than diving deep into his character. With Downey Jr. saying they'll be getting to the movie this year we may see a new mystery on screen soon.
[via Deadline]... read + comment
The first board of Donkey Kong is easily recognizable. It may be on the same iconic level as the Pac-Man maze and 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. It's the stuff of playgrounds, construction sites, and obstacle courses, and Banks has made a short film that recreates the perils of that board.
Give Donkey Kong Classic a watch below:
In case you were wondering how this was done, here's a behind-the-scenes video for Donkey Kong Classic:
[embed]220543:42934:0[/embed]... read + comment
The last Captain America: Civil War trailer let the cat out of the bag: yes, Spider-Man is in the movie. The latest TV spot has just an eensy-weensy bit more of Spidey in action, doing whatever a carefully negotiated shared intellectual property can.
Give the new TV spot a watch below. (If a higher-res version of the video appears online, we'll be sure to replace this one.)
You'll notice all the big hype for the film in those early reviews. Disney and Marvel Studios are so confident with the quality of the movie that they've allowed critics and fans to review the film weeks ahead of time. The reviews have been enthusiastic overall.
Captain America: Civil War will be out next week. Check Flixist for our review next Friday.
[via The Verge]... read + comment
If this year's Democratic primary has reaffirmed one truth, it's that smart people will believe dumb things as long as these things confirm their biases. Full disclosure: I say this as someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in the New York primary but who always believed his chances at getting the nomination were slim at best. (Full disclosure: all of my full disclosures are intended to make my judgement sound unimpeachable.)
On the eve of today's Democratic primary contests, College Humor released the short Why Bernie Sanders Is Actually Winning, an accurate recreation of delegate math discussions with Bernie Sanders diehards.
[embed]220541:42932:0[/embed]... read + comment
There are cock and bull stories and there are shaggy dog stories and there are complete piss-takes. The Banksy Job is kind of a mix of all three. At its center is a Bansky obsessive who goes by the artsy sobriquet AK47. His real name is Andy Link, and he's an aggressively grating caricature of a guy who outwardly expresses artistic aspirations but inwardly just craves notoriety. At a party, he's someone you watch from a distance but might dread actually having to talk to.
The entire existence of The Banksy Job requires some familiarity with Banky/his street art and the 2010 Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. AK47 is the man who orchestrated the theft of Banksy's sculpture The Drinker (a piss-take on Rodin's The Thinker), and The Banksy Job seems like a bit of aggrandizement about the act and himself.read + comment
Nerdland was the first film to stand out to me when I first signed on to cover the Tribeca Film Festival this year. Everything about it appealed to me. It's the first full length feature from Titmouse, an animated company most associated with Adult Swim's works, it stars Patton Oswalt and Paul Rudd, and it's about two slacker creatives who're trying to find their way in Hollywood.
On paper Nerdland sounds like the ultimate indie project. Feature length animation for adults is few and far in between and out comes an edgier cartoon comedy from a place that understands edgier material. But how the hell did we end up with this mess? Nerdland is full of terrible ideas that only terrible people will enjoy.read + comment
High-Rise is a bit all over the place, and it's a bit of a mess, but it also seems to be that way by design--a sort of warped architecture. I'd gone in sort of expecting a vertical version of Bong Joon-Ho's Snowpiercer, but it's not that at all. This is its own strange edifice about social class and social order.
High-Rise isn't concerned with organized class warfare. The middle-class, upper-middle-class, and upper-classes mingle together for drugs and booze and sex. Personal enmities spur the violence rather than aggressive class resentment, and there's a sense of inward class cannibalization rather than an outright revolt by the lower classes to lay siege on the people high above them. What we have is more like people going absolutely Hobbesian--a war of all against all.read + comment
As I've gotten older, I've noticed more conversations and thinkpieces about what topics are off-limits for comedians, such as racist jokes, jokes about rape, jokes about The Holocaust, and so on. This might stray into a larger conversation about trigger warnings and political correctness, but what it all might come down to is matter of taste. The scale of personal offense differs from person to person, and what one person might find acceptable for joke fuel (so long as the joke is good) may be terrible to someone else.
During one scene in Ferne Pearlstein's documentary The Last Laugh, Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone watches a few stand-up comedians do their Holocaust jokes. Renee doesn't find them funny, and nor should she. And yet, is it wrong to laugh, even just out of audacity, knowing full well how tasteless the joke is? Similarly, knowing how offensive the material may be, should comedians make those sorts of jokes?read + comment
Over the last few years, A24 has quickly become my favorite production studio. They've overseen everything from huge award winners like Room, Amy, and Ex Machina, critical darlings such as Spring Breakers and The End of the Tour, and some of my personal favorites in Obvious Child and Locke. They're a studio still taking risks in a industry where taking risks is increasingly punished as film budgets soar higher and higher.
I was instantly attracted to Green Room because of A24's involvement and everything announced after was just further icing on the cake. All I knew going in was Patrick Stewart's casting as a Nazi figurehead and Jeremy Saulnier, director of the also harsh Blue Ruin, was set to direct. I'm so glad my blind faith was rewarded.
Green Room is an intense experience from beginning to end and I'm still thinking about it days later. Look for it on everyone's "Best of 2016" lists this year.... read + comment
One of the greatest things to come out of Ghostbusters aside from really good movies and toys was Hi-C's Ecto Cooler, which was basically a green sugar drink in a juice box. I couldn't tell you how it tasted, but I do know that as a kid it was awesome. Thus, even if the new Ghostbusters movie sucks I call its creation a success as Hi-C is bringing the Ecto Cooler back.
Coca-Cola, who owns the brand will bring the tangerine (?) flavored drink back on May 30, but you can also enter to win some before that on Twitter and Facebook. You can pick it up in cans (lame) and juice boxes (awesome).
Also, Empire has released a host of images and banners from their upcoming issue that looks at the movie. We get a really good look at Slimer this time and the banners have some quotes that make me worry even more about the quality of the film.... read + comment
If you were somehow not convinced to see X-Men: Apocalypse, you sure will be after the final trailer for it. We get a little more footage than we have in the past, some cool looking fight scenes, a little bit of information for fans (and it's a pretty good gag, surprisingly), and someone very special is teased at the end.
I have no idea how they managed to keep it under wraps this close to release. The timelines of these films may be confusing, but I don't really care. It's going to be awesome.
X-Men: Apocalypse releases May 27th.
[embed]220539:42930:0[/embed]... read + comment
I'm not sure what the quality of PAPA: Hemingway in Cuba will be, but it is the first Hollywood film to be shot in Cuba since Obama loosened restrictions to it does get some historical credit. You can find out if it's actually worth remembering in the annals of film history by grabbing some passes. If you'd like one just email [email protected]
Screening details are below. Remember to arrive early and come back and tell us what you thought.... read + comment
Although it's been technically legal ever since the famous Roe v. Wade legal battle in the 60s and 70s, states across America still do as much as they can to limit healthcare, and by extension abortion, to the nation's women. There are states with regulations so egregious, the subject has become the center of yet another furious debate as women are forced to resort to crazier methods to get the care they need.
Abortion: Stories Women Tell is a documentary that gives you every single side of the story from the people who matter the most in this situation. It gives you enough information to make your own judgment on the matter and never pushes you one way or another. It's the deepest, most respectful tackle of abortion yet.read + comment
Horror anthologies are all the rage now. Get a couple of creatives together, pick a theme, and they're allowed to explore one of the smaller ideas they have in their heads. At best, you're in for a good time overall, at worst, each of the short films fail to hit their mark and the entire thing feels like a slog. But it turns out there's an even worse fate than that.
You could have a few good shorts, but the majority are so average that those good ones seem worse in comparison. Holidays is an anthology where enjoyment of it relies on whether or not you find chopping off a penis hilarious.read + comment
A Touch of Zen is King Hu's masterpiece, yet unless you're patient and a bit adventurous, it may not be the best introduction to his work. Dragon Inn, his straightforward wuxia classic from 1967, might be a more palatable entry point into King Hu's filmography for most people. (Like A Touch of Zen, Dragon Inn has also undergone a 4K restoration and will have a theatrical run followed by a Criterion Collection release. Look for our review of Dragon Inn in the coming weeks.)
Filmed over three years and released as two films in Taiwan in 1970 and 1971, A Touch of Zen was bolted together as a single three-hour picture for its foreign release. The epic was lauded at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, and it remains one of the most influential wuxia movies ever made.
Without A Touch of Zen, you don't have contemporary prestige/art-house-friendly wuxia like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, or House of Flying Daggers; you might not have the Venom Mob movies of the 70s either, for that matter. Yet this isn't a wuxia movie per se; it might be more accurate to think of the film as an art movie about Zen Buddhism with a touch of wuxia. This sounds like warning, or it might sound like a challenge. If you sensed the latter, you ought to accept the call to adventure.... read + comment
Patrick Wilson just can't catch a break. No matter how hard he tries, he has yet to break through into credible leading man territory. He's been wading in the shallow ends of roles landing somewhere between genre film and B movie territory. But while he isn't hugely popular, his films still gross a respectable amount of money (and considering their usually low budgets, his starring films always have a huge return on investment) so I've always respected the talent he must have waiting to reveal.
I had hoped that A Kind of Murder would be Wilson's time to shine, but there's evidence here that he may not be ready to tackle something concrete when he's left to bear the weight of the entire project. Especially when the film can't seem to find a footing of its own.read + comment
Despite Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Saunders being pulled from the series after allegations of an affair, bumping up visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan to debut as director, and the first film getting poor reviews, Snow White and the Huntsman got a sequel.
Despite all odds, The Huntsman: Winter's War wants to pick up the pieces of its broken series and try to tell a story that can stand on its own and possibly bring more films to come. But seeing how this one turned out, no one's going to want anymore of this.... read + comment
Growing up in San Antonio you witness a lot of things like gang violence, racial and class divides, and the occasional public drunkeness, but twenty two years ago something happened in my small town that changed it forever. It may not have gotten the same amount of press as higher profile cases like the Central Park Five but the case of the San Antonio Four was far more devastating.
Trying its best to wrangle the entirety of the tumultuous case, Southwest of Salem doesn't always manage the film's execution. Instead it focuses on what's really the heart of the case, the four women themselves, and goes on to be an emotionally stirring feature.read + comment