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Posts Tagged ‘ Warner Brothers ’

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald (Official Trailer).


With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald set to focus on the rivalry between Albus Dumbledore and the villainous magician the sequel is named after, we don’t really know what role Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist will end up playing in the J.K. Rowling penned release. However, this trailer changes that by making it clear he’ll actually be working as a proxy of sorts for his teacher.  There’s not a huge amount of Johnny Depp in the teaser (probably because a lot of fans have campaigned for him to be removed from the project after claims made by his ex-wife Amber Heard) but we do get a glimpse of his villain and a better idea of what he has planned for the Wizarding World.

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Game Night: (Non Spoiler Review).


From the game pieces dropping in the opening titles, to the VERY unique ending credits, and everything in between Game Night is solid comedy.  If you enjoyed ‘The Hangover’, then ‘Game Night’ is right up your alley.  One thing that sticks out past the Ironman jokes, and anti Trump humor is the visual beauty in the movie.  For a ‘Pineapple Express’-esque comedy, the visual style of the different neighborhoods, some of the car chases, and one particular scene involving an egg, are wildly innovative.  Luckily those shots aren’t in the trailer, which leaves something to look forward to.

What IS in the trailers are most of the best jokes in the film.  From time to time theres a small quip, or a lengthy joke that offers up some respite from the old jokes that got you into the theater to begin with.  Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman are a believable couple, and work quite well, while Billy Magnussen’s character is just a baffoon that doesn’t seem like he would be friends with the rest of the group in real life.  Lamorene Morris (Winston Bishop from the show ‘New Girl’) is essentially the exact same character as Winston, so you know what to expect in terms of humor.

But the stand out character is by far “Gary”,  played by Jessie Plemons, a creepy cop who just wants to be invited to game night.  Unfortunately only one character seems to be funny at a time,  and with a cast this diverse it seems like they should be able to play off one another a bit better.  There are a few surprise cameos that are used to good effect, and the themes of sibling rivalry create an unexpected depth.

With the random knowledge that some of the main characters have, their knowledge of trivia should have played a larger role in the film, and with the Hangover style jokes, the movie has very little re-watch value.  Although the plot ranges from a little predictable to having too many twists, ’Game Night’ is a film you’ll enjoy, although it is a very funny film but after you see it once, there’s not too much reason to see it again for a while.

Black Mass: Spoiler Free Review.


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Just to get this out of the way up front, James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger, Jr. is an Irish-American convicted murderer and a former organized crime boss of the Boston Irish mob crew known as the Winter Hill Gang.  I personally was unaware of his story until the screening of Black Mass just a day ago, and what a story it is.  The only thing as incredible as the story is Johnny Depp’s performance as Bulger.  With big stars, it can be typical for their performances to be over shadowed by their stardom (Will Smith will always just be Will Smith no matter what movie he’s in) but every so often, you get a transformation like Heath Ledger into the Joker, and Depp’s portrayal of Whitey Bulger is of the same caliber.

The crux of the film isn’t just the violence of the Winter Hill Gang, but Bulger’s involvement with both the government and the FBI.  Gangster films can be much like dance movies, you know what’s going to happen, but the dance moves get better every time.  You know someone’s going to get shot, and the gangsters get caught at the end, but the fact that Bulger and Winter Hill were being protected by federal agents makes the plot far more interesting.  The other noticeable difference about ‘Black Mass’ is that the use of violence in the film is orchestrated so well, that every time a gun goes off, everyone in their seats had an “oh wow” moment.  ‘Black Mass’ isn’t overly saturated with guns, and focuses more on the relationship between its characters, Bulger as a father, and the things in life that can impact people with power, not merely on showcasing the violence of organized crime.

BlackMass_MainTrailerThe cast was full of incredible talent, and aside from Depp, Joel Edgerton’s performance as FBI agent John Connelly was remarkable.  Benedict Cumberbatch also had a break out roll, but after watching Sherlock for 3 years (which he references with a quick “Baker’s Street” line), Cumberbatch’s Boston accent was a bit off kilter. The cast was so strong in fact that some of them may have been under utilized, specifically Dakota Johnson (who just disappears after a scene, and never really comes back) or Jesse Plemons as Kevin Weeks.  Kevin Weeks is the first character to come to life in the movie, but his importance diminished as the film progressed, to the point where I forgot why I was supposed to care about him first place.  The only flaw in casting may be that some of the Winter Hill Gang members looked too much alike, and at one point I found myself asking, “Didn’t that guy die already, or is that the other one?”  However, certain scenes like the ‘steak scene’ in the first trailer for the film are masterfully acted, and have such an amazing air of tension.

thumbnail_21462Some of the most interesting facets of the film centered around the gang landscape of Southie (Boston), and Bulger as a parent.  Depp plays the role of Bulger immensely well, and he doesn’t just feel like some ruthless lunatic, but like a person with real motivations, emotions, and reasons for making the decisions he did.  I will say however that the film doesn’t spend enough time showing what Bulger actually did to make his money, and assumes you know his story before you walk into the theater.  After the screening I even had another writer ask me “So what happened to all the money?  And why did they keep talking about vending machines?”  But the writing should be commended as well as the acting, and although certain characters have wavering Bostonian accents, some of the lines in the film were unforgettable, specifically scenes with Bulger speaking to his son. “Don’t ever throw the first punch… Throw the first TWO punches.”

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But all in all, the film shines as a gritty gangster story, with a strong cast, and even stronger story that focuses more on the criminals and their connections as people than the actual crimes.  Even the score (especially towards the end of the film) brings out the tension and the horror of certain situations, but the star of the show is Johnny Depp.  It seemed a bit far fetched that Captain Jack Sparrow could pull off playing one of the most notorious criminals in American History, but he brought out the anger, and the danger of living life around Whitey Bulger.

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The ‘Entourage’ Movie Review… NO SPOILERS.


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So I was recently invited to a pre-screening of the long awaited Entourage movie, and anticipation could not have been higher.  Walking into the theater, you could see the immense diversity in the crowd.  It was a blatant reminder that this show has touched ALL sorts of people, of all different demographics, and out of everyone in attendance every single person laughed loudly before the film was over.  I’ll start the review by saying, if you’ve never watched the show, you might not want to read this review, however, I’m not spoiling any surprises about the film.  But if you’d rather not know anything about anything, this may not be the article for you.  (Like my sister, who introduced me to the show in the first place.)

I love it when shows do one of two things… either change their title sequence to something new every season, or they stay absolutely the same throughout the whole run of the show.  Entourage chose the latter, and remained with the same basic title sequence the entire time (as the show progressed, actors names were replaced).  But this new “movie credits sequence” is an amazing build upon the original, and can almost be surmised as the difference between the show and the movie.  “Yeah that was always good, but THIS is way better.”

Some people may be wondering how or way certain things have changed between the show and the film, but the logic behind 99% of the things in the film are there.  Things are explained briefly, and quite well, with the exception of a only few minute details.  The main plot points are fleshed out with ease and questions people may have after watching the trailer are answered… like if this crew are all so rich, why would one movie effect them in such a big way.  But the explanation for their plight makes a good deal of sense.

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Of course ‘Entourage’, its essentially a glorified 104 minute episode, but don’t let this dissuade you from seeing it.  This isn’t a rehashing of some old story line, or some origin story, or reboot.  The story is a new, fresh progression after the events that show concluded with.  All the actors, as well as the characters they play are at the top of their game, even though I would say when Ari Gold gets upset, he has had better lines in the show than in the movie.  This movie also corrects some of the “issues” people took with the final episode, and if you’ve seen the post credit scene of the series finale, you get a great explanation as to what came of that situation.

Everyone gets their moment to shine, obviously the 5 main characters get their time, and their individual story lines differ, yet weave well between each other.  You don’t ever lose interest in anyone’s plight, and everyone in the group feels important.  The sub-characters get their moments as well.  Mrs. Ari, Lloyd, Dana Gordon, and even Ari’s new assistant have smaller moments that bring out the best in the main characters, and the movie. (Although one important sub-character is straight up missing, and I would have loved to see a little bit more Debbie Mazar).  The movie does an unmistakable job of telegraphing EVERYTHING that is backbone of the show in a creative way.  This is also mainly done in the very beginning, so you can come into the theater not having watched a single episode, and understand who everyone is, what they’ve been through, and essentially why they behave the way they behave.

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The natural progression in the characters is easy to see, and how well they’re doing for themselves is appropriate for the amount of time that has passed.  I have to say though that the reveal of just how successful Turtle has become, is AMAZING.  The basic elements of the show are still there, at no point do you think “They had to reformat that from the show, because this is a movie and things have to be different”, everything just fits, and well.

Music has always been a big part of this show.  From breaking new artists, to brining classic songs back to the forefront of peoples memories, to taking tracks from obscurity to the limelight.  The soundtrack of this movie is one that I would buy with no hesitation, although, the frequency at which songs appeared in the movie could have been a bit more dense.  There just wasn’t as much as I would have wanted of a good thing.  All the music was well placed, however there are two songs in particular that could not have been chosen better.  (One, when someone is “drugged”, and the second, when a new car is taken for a first drive)  Those two moments in particular are amplified immaculately by the music that supports them.

The one interesting thing that I noticed during the screening was, you could tell by the laughter in certain areas who is familiar with the show, and who is being introduced to these characters for the first time via the movie.  For instance, if you’ve followed the show, you know Drama cooks for the group on a regular basis, but the way him cooking for Vince is presented in the movie, makes it somewhat comical to the newcomers. It’s just somewhat easy to tell who has known these characters for years, and who hasn’t.  There are a multitude of tiny references fans will appreciate, but theres a specific scene that lends itself to both parties better than the rest.  During that scene, if you’re a fan of the show, you KNOW what comes next, and you’re quite happy to watch it all over again.  Although it is a MAJOR plot point of how things wind up in the show, all the people watching the movie without knowing the characters specific and detailed history have no clue about whats about to transpire, and that makes it fun for both parties.

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Doug Ellin made some great writing choices, and even includes things about characters backgrounds we’ve NEVER seen before… for instance, (and this isn’t a spoiler) Vince was “found” by Ari after doing a Mentos commercial, its referenced multiple times in the show, but we never see that commercial.  You’ll see it in this movie, and its glorious. There’s video “young” Drama, A photo of Eric working at his pizza place, and you FINALY get the reveal of Turtles full name.  (Which is like 10 years coming).

As would be expected, the cameos are out of control in the best way possible.  In my personal opinion, TI has the BEST one, followed swiftly by Armie Hammer.  In a few case however, there are so many short cameos that they can be easy to miss.  (Like Common).  There is an incredible 4 minute sequence early in the film where almost EVERY single memorable cameo from the show appears in the same place, at the same time, and the reasoning behind very much holds up.  It stops you from wondering “Why would Gary Bussey, Mark Cuban, Pharrell, and Bob Saget, ever be in the same location at the same time?”  But that scene works so will, it’s irrelevant.  I do have to say though that I feel like too many people missed the Warren Buffet cameo.  (Which I feel like folks would have gasped at even though he was shown in the trailer.)  The new characters are an awesome addition to the show, and Haley Joel Osmit is great.  He’s a character you’re just supposed to loathe, and he does such a good job playing his role, you WILL.  Ronda Rousey proves that she’s as good of an actress as she is a fighter, Mark Whalburg is great as usual, and I cannot state this enough, T.I. and his wife Tiny are the best cameo of this film.

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So what’s bad about this movie?  My only real complaint is that people laugh SO hard at the jokes, you miss whatever else happens afterwards.  Which normally isn’t a big deal, but at one point, theres a major plot point that I missed because the audience was cracking up so hard at what came before it.  I missed the explanation for something crucial, because a joke in the movie was just way too funny.  But other than that, the rest of my criticisms are just minor gripes.

There are some odd, and unspecified time jumps (specifically towards the end), but thats just an attempt to wrap things up in time for the end of the movie.  However, if your very first time jump that states in writing “8 Months Later”, you should explain how long the gaps in time are when you make other clear jumps forward.  Also, the movie ends on a great note, however, you no choice but to STAY for the mid credits scene.   When the credits first roll, things seem very unresolved, there seem to be tons of lose ends.   But when you stay for the (quite lengthy) mid credits scene, 99% of those same issues are touched on and cleared up.

All in all its amazing, (or as “The Weekly Planet” guys say “Best Movie Ever”)  and the film brings a new chunk of the story to the Entourage cannon, and leaves things slightly open for a sequel.  Because this movie was completed longer ago than you would expect, some of the cultural references are a bit off.  There’s a reference to ‘The Avengers’ that seemed a bit off, but its not that big of a deal.  If you’re a fan of the show, there’s nothing you will miss.  Every aspect what made this story great is in the mix, friendship, loyalty, naked titties, comedy and a great deal of heart.  Go check it out on June 3rd.

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Ben Affleck to Star as Batman in ‘Man of Steel’ Sequel


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Superhero movie fans, we have our next Dark Knight. Oscar-winner Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in the sequel to “Man of Steel,” Warner Brothers has confirmed. Affleck, who recently won a Best Picture Oscar for producing “Argo,” which he directed and starred in, will join Henry Cavill as Superman in the next installment of the Superman franchise. The yet-to-be titled film will be directed by Zack Snyder, who lensed “Man of Steel,” “Watchmen” and “Sucker Punch.” “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman,” Snyder said in a statement. “He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne.  I can’t wait to work with him.” The film will bring Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen, and will also bring back “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The announcement of Affleck in one of the lead roles followed weeks of speculation about who would play Batman in the hotly anticipated film. After Christian Bale, who starred in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, nixed the idea of returning to the role, a number of actors were rumored to be on board the project, including Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender.

The announcement was made today by Warner Bros. Pictures  representatives Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll:

We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular super heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some,” Greg Silverman, president of creative development at Warner Bros., said in a statement. “His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.

The Brand New Man Of Steel Trailer Is Here.


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“Man Of Steel” is one of Warner Brothers’ biggest 2013 releases, so it goes to reason that a new trailer for the film will come attached to prints of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” (Not that you need to enter Middle-earth to see the latest teaser.)  Directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, “Man of Steel” recalls the oft-recounted origin story for Superman. As the first teasers hinted at, however, this isn’t necessarily your pa’s Man of Steel: Snyder’s film appears to have the earthy look of a Terrence Malick feature mixed with the gravitas of Nolan’s well-regarded Batman trilogy.

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