Community Feeds

Popular Content


Community Dashboard

Tagged: movies

  • SXSW Review: Sparse Sci-Fi Flick PROSPECT Delivers Tension And Great Performances

    8 hours ago


    One of the more pleasant surprises of this SXSW was a little intimate grounded sci-fi film called PROSPECT. It's a simple story told exceptionally well. We follow a teenage girl and her father trying to strike it rich prospecting for gems on an alien planet before their ship home leaves them stranded.


    Everything that can go wrong goes wrong (of course), from faulty equipment to run-ins with murderous plunderers, all while the window for getting off the planet shrinks.

    Prospect is one of those smaller movies with a big scale that really lets you soak up the production design and cinematography in lieu of big action sequences or constant VFX landscape shots. The movie I kept hearing it compared to around the fest was Moon. It's a radically different kind of movie, but in terms of tone that's not too far off.

    Writer/Directors Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl put the plot focus squarely on character as they slowly dial up the tension on our heroine, who is portrayed as smart and good-hearted, but not perfect. Not every plan of hers works out, she's not immune to the pressures and the seeming hopelessness of her situation.

    Sophie Thatcher plays Cee and acts her ass off, through a domed space helmet for, like, 90% of her screen time. She's put in a rather interesting situation that pairs her with someone she's not a fan of, to put it bluntly, and has to depend on a devious, murderous rogue named Ezra, played by Game of Thrones and Kingsman 2's Pedro Pascal.


    Ezra's the kind of dude that would sell his mother if it got him the edge in a tough situation. He's not to be trusted and Cee knows this, but doesn't have much of a choice. On a planet where the environment is deadly and desperate mercs comb the alien landscape sometimes strange bedfellows have to be made and you can't get much stranger than these two.

    That's where the real kernel of greatness is in this movie. Pairing two people who don't trust each other together in a hostile environment and forcing them to depend on each other to survive is a great dynamic and both actors knock it out of the park.

    The pacing is a little... deliberate and I'm sure the more OCD among us will have a little trouble hanging with the movie, but I was riveted the whole way through because there was always something to hold my attention, whether it was marveling at the costumes and production design or being sucked into the character dynamics unfolding as the clock ticked down.

    Caldwell and Earl show a talent for worldbuilding here. They don't dump a ton of exposition on you, instead letting the characters' actions tell you everything you need to know about the reality of this sci-fi future. They sprinkle just enough otherworldly weirdness into the visuals that it doesn't look like they just slapped a yellow filter on the camera and went into the woods to shoot, somehow striking that balance of recognizable and absolutely alien that gives us a grounded reality that doesn't look like some Sy-Fy Channel reject.

    I very much dug this one. Not sure when everybody will have a chance to see it, but it's too good to fall through the cracks. When it comes time make sure to check it out.

  • SXSW Review: John Krasinski's Very Scary 'A Quiet Place'!

    1 week ago


    A Quiet Place does something pretty incredible. It takes what could be an arty, lofty uber-indie premise and somehow retains the freshness of those kinds of movies but does it in a wholly commercial way.

    I've seen dozens of these kinds of movies at film festivals. It Comes At Night jumps to mind. They're usually focused on a dysfunctional family isolated in the country after a plague/invasion/zombie apocalypse/whatever. It's a typical indie premise because it's cheap. You just need a handful of actors, go rent out a farm somewhere for a couple weeks and then depend on atmosphere and mystery instead of showing the very expensive threat. These movies usually bring the mood, but not the payoff. A Quiet Place brings both.


    The movie takes place in the near future (I believe it's 2020) and we begin with a family very quietly looking for medicine for their sick son in an abandoned drug store. They sign to each other, tiptoe around in bare feet and act like anything that could possibly make a sound is a live bomb.

    We come to discover that there are deadly creatures that are fast, heavily armored, blind and very, very hungry. Within a matter of months these creatures have reduced humanity's population to almost nothing. Although it's not explicitly stated I assume the family at the center of this story survived the initial onslaught because they've all learned sign language to communicate with their deaf daughter and just happened to be quieter at the right moment.

    Also left mysterious is where these things came from. Are they aliens? Mutations? Science experiments gone wrong? It doesn't matter. They just are. The fact that the movie doesn't try to over-explain the threat is one of the reasons it works so well.

    In fact the only time the film falters at all is when it yells to the cheap seats really early on by throwing a ton of exposition on a white board surrounded by dozens of newspaper headlines with headlines like “IT'S SOUND!!!” It's the only time I was taken out of the movie, where I felt the filmmakers telling me something instead of showing it to me.

    But for the most part the movie establishes its rules through action and doesn't break them. I'd wager a good 80% or more of the movie is without dialogue, characters either communicating with looks or subtitled sign language. That's the little bit of the indie spirit I mentioned. How many wide-release studio movies do you know that have so little characters speaking? The story is practically designed to show and not tell.

    It being a thriller also means they can weaponize their sound. Yes, there's tons of jump scares, but they don't feel cheap. In a film where any sound could mean death any sudden sound is going to be a stinger by sheer fact that the movie hangs on the premise that everybody has to be as quiet as possible.


    In fact I found while watching it that I was clocking my own noises. I was conscious of any noise I was making... from a sniffle to a laugh to small throat clearing. I was so into the story that I was worried I myself was going to make a noise loud enough to bring hell down on this family, who I genuinely cared about.

    That's the film's other great strength: you do care about these people and the fact that they're all so clearly established without multiple conversation scenes is a testament to how disciplined the writing and directing is. The characters make intelligent decisions, but are still human, fearful, in pain, emotional. Cinematically the film is a knockout, with gorgeous photography, great production design (minus that exposition white board I hate so much, of course), and incredible effects from ILM. Emotionally the actors all sell their characters so you actually care when they're in danger.

    Perhaps the very real love and history of caring for each other helps us buy John Krasinski and Emily Blunt's relationship. That wouldn't surprise me, but I wouldn't take away from what they pull off here by attributing it solely to a comfortability between the two. The kids, Millicent Simmonds (from Wonderstruck) and Noah Jupe (Wonder, Suburbicon) are equally fantastic. Simmonds wrestles with anger and a guilt while Jupe is trying to keep his terror under control. She's the stronger one, but he's the one that can see their troubled family for what it is. Maybe that's why he's so scared because he knows the love that is there and he doesn't want to lose it.

    In short, the movie is smart without being up its own ass, scary without betraying its emotional core, and it pulls you into the world, which is kind of why movies exist in the first place. Fresh, fun, scary. This is a big, big recommend for me. Thankfully you don't have to wait to long to see it since it hits theaters April 6th.


  • At the Screwvies: Episode 103

    1 week ago



    MADHERO: Hey everyone. Here we all, all recovered from the annual Oscar watch. Sure it took a couple days to recover, but we're still going to deliver an actual show now that its all over.  Its threw my whole biological clock out of whack, but it was worth it to see them not fuck up this time.

    STICKMAN: It certainly was an efficient, no thrills production

    LARRY: I mean, it didn't really fuck me very much. Though seeing the fish man get an Oscar? NOW THAT FUCKED ME UP

    STICKMAN: I wish the fish man would fuck me.

    MADHERO: Hey now, maybe we should discuss that a bit more. In the News section maybe




    Well, the whole reason why we delayed this episode to begin with. The 90th Academy Awards, and they were here to remind you that no, we're not going to fuck up the Best Picture nominee again, as I used my amazing "be wrong in predicting Best Picture" powers to see Guillermo del Toro's Shape of Water take the gold, becoming the first genre film to win since Return of the King, instead of Three Billboards, also winning Best Director, Original Score and Production Design. Its really awesome to see a creature feature with horror roots take the gold, and del Toro is an amazing person for whom we at Screwvies all wish the best. The acting wins went about as expected, with Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell winning the Actor awards, and Frances McDormand and Allison Janney taking the Actress awards. Roger Deakins, long time Oscar loser, finally got his statue for his stunning Blade Runner 2049 work, and Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for Get Out.

    As expected, the after effects of #MeToo and #TimesUp were there in full force as there were plenty of jabs and speeches about women in the industry, with the highlight being Frances McDormand's speech asking all the women nominees to stand up. It was of course a very political night, with Guillermo del Toro celebrating and calling himself a immigrant in his speech. The show itself was, as expected, way too long and filled with unnecessary (if well made) montages and the subject matter didn't leave much in the way of great comedy, but all in all it was a throughly professional show with Kimmel again doing a good if unremarkable job hosting. As for the predictions, I was on my way to a clean sweep up until Best Picture, and Stickman and I tied with our predictions, with him getting his own category, Animated Short, wrong. Life's weird sometimes.



    STICKMAN: GAAAHHHH. But hey, getting Best Picture right gives me bonus points, right? So...I win?

    MADHERO: Sure. I'll give up my 4x winning streak. Congrats

    STICKMAN: Yesssss. Now for it to never happen ever again.

    LARRY: This was honestly a solid year as far as my predictions. Got a good 3/5ths, better than most years. I gotta say, I was genuinely surprised to see Get Out win Best OG Screenplay.

    STICKMAN: I felt like that was the category it was going to win in, if any.(edited)

    MADHERO: It does probably speak volumes as to how predictable the Oscars were, though Shape winning Best Picture was a legit and fun surprise to me. One of my favorite Best Picture winners in a while

    LARRY; I just thought 3B had the Academy eating out of its hand. Clearly not.

    STICKMAN: I'm really happy Shape of Water won, it was a really lovely and touching film. Also that fishbutt.

    LARRY: I'm pretty sure Shape won because of the polarized views over Get Out and 3B in the Academy. Kinda like how Moonlight won over La La Land. I'm not saying it didn't deserve it. It just happened to be the safer pick. I love GDT. The man deserves all the golden naked men

    STICKMAN: I feel it won in its own right, and having seen it, I felt it was pretty Oscar-ready.

    MADHERO: McDonagh not nominated for Best Director was its death knell, it seems. Actors really liked it, while everyone else gravitated towards Del Toro. I'm just happy that I won't have to see anymore 3 Billboards hot takes.

    STICKMAN: Also how about that shock win for Coco, huh? Shocking.

    LARRY: Robert Lopez, a DOUBLE EGOT. What a guy.

    MADHERO: A movie about a mute woman loving a fish man does not exactly scream "safe." But hey, what did we think of the actual award show? Ratings are down again, but that's a given these days.

    STICKMAN: I feel like a lot of people watch it on streaming services rather than TV, I watched it on NOW TV so.

    LARRY: I enjoyed the show quite a bit actually. Kimmel seemed to play it safe this year, which is to be expected given all the controversy throughout the year. I'm glad the winners were a good group of diverse people.

    STICKMAN: The show was kinda forgettable minus a couple memorable speeches and the jet ski gag. I've never understood why the Oscars are expected to be a huge  ratings draw, it's a bunch of stuffy old white men picking the 'best' film nobody has seen.

    MADHERO: I think the show itself was pretty good, but not amazing. It was competent and it walked the #MeToo tightrope quite well honestly. And I hope the costume designer of Phantom Thread is happy with his jetski


    LARRY: FREAKY DEAKS. Gotta say though, Phantom Thread got robbed for score.

    MADHERO: THE CURSE IS OVER! We can move on to, I dunno, Amy Adams.

    LARRY: Yeah I guess.

    STICKMAN: Amy Adams not being nominated for Arrival continues to offend me.

    MADHERO: Rootin' for ya, Amy. Maybe some day.


    Continuing with what seems like a streak of Disney movie teasers, presumably to launch in front of A Wrinkle in Time, we got our first look at the awfully titled 'Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2' and...well...yep, that was a strange way to end it. Without revealing too much about the actual story at this point, we're introduced to the selling point of this film, Ralph and Sarah Silverman's annoying character venturing into the Internet thanks to their Arcade's new Wi-fi installation.  Cue the usual gags like meeting anthropomorphised pop-ups, websites being made into their own virtual buildings you can walk around, albeit in this one all based around product placements such as eBay and (oddly) IMDB, which gives the whole thing disturbing Emoji Movie vibes.  We already know from D23 that Disney's own websites will be featuring too, which is broadly an excuse to have lots of Star Wars/Pixar/Marvel/Disney cameos in the film, removing it from video games once and for al. That said, we do get a video game...of sorts? A child's tablet game about feeding pancakes to a bunny that results in a surprisingly dark but admittedly amusing gag involving the poor exploding and terrifying what's weirdly a repurposing of child Moana. It wasn't super impressive, and I have a lot of reservations about the sequel, the original really not standing up to re-viewing, in my opinion. But we'll see, early days yet I suppose.

    MADHERO: The final joke was great and was fun to see Disney do something that delightfully dark.

    STICKMAN: I'm surprised people aren't mad about it. I laughed, which is generally a sign it's in bad taste.

    LARRY: Honestly that joke was pretty morbid. And it went on for way too long. Like, it's a very strange joke to end a fucking Wreck-it-Ralph teaser on.

    STICKMAN: I loved it, although it's brought out the creepy fetishes in some people, so that's ruined it forever.

    MADHERO: Its the one really memorable part of the  teaser. The rest feels like that Futurama episode where they enter the internet.

    LARRY: Yeah this teaser was fine. Seems to be what we would expect from a film like this. The one guy who was the Buzzfeed-esque quiz gave me a giggle.

    STICKMAN: I'm really worried it's just gonna be a mix of that Futurama episode, and a whole heap helping of Disney easter eggs that  people will eat up because DIISNNEYYY.

    MADHERO: Its just a tease to get a feel of what the film will be like. I'm honestly very curious about the D23 footage they talked about cause it could be a great self aware gag, but we didn't get to see that yet. Its really just to sell the concept.

    LARRY: Yeah, and I liked the concept initially. I just wanna see what the actually STORY is gonna be.

    STICKMAN: Yeah I don't really get the plot. I guess...Ralph breaks the internet? And then it leads into that South Park episode where the internet stops working.

    MADHERO: I think there's a algorhtym type character who I'm 100% sure is going to be the villain, but we can only speculate.


    STICKMAN: I'm not super on board with this film, but I think it'll turn out fine, Disney don't really do dud animated films. Even if they're often by the numbers.

    MADHERO: At worst, it'll be passable. Disney's got this whole animation thing down after 80+ years. Lets see how their live action stuff maybe fairs.


    Not sick of live-action Disney remakebootquelspinoffs? Well, you're in luuuuckkkkKKKKKKK, cuz the ol' Mouse House just dropped two teaser trailers for two more nostalgia-fueled money makers. First off, we have our first genuine look at Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Gotta say, the sweeping sky shots of Mary flying in definitely grabbed my attention, but also, Lin as a chimney sweep? Sold. Then again, we still have plenty more to see from this film, as it doesn't come out until December.

    Moving on, our second teaser was a look at Christopher Robin, a film that follows an adult Christopher getting back in touch with his childhood once his old Hundred Acre Wood friends reappear. It isn't much, but from what we can tell, it looks like Christopher is now a corporate stooge, and Pooh and friends are here to remind me what it means to have fun....or something, I dunno this trailer is honestly pretty cliche. It's not hard to predict where it's going to go., the stuffed animal CGI is good, but DAMN if it ain't a little creepy. No surprise that people have already been re-editing the trailer to seem like a horror film. Well, anyway, we can expect this film on August 3rd. With this, as well as their countless other projects, 2018 looks to be a biiiiiiig year for Disney. Let's hope we all survive it.


    MADHERO: Not gonna lie, the Christopher Robin trailer, as someone who grew up with Winnie the Pooh, kinda got to me. Also really glad they kept Jim Cummings' voice. Though McGregor shouting POOOOOH?! made me laugh

    LARRY: Yeah the cast seems cool but like...the weird CGI's creeeeepyyyyyyy

    STICKMAN: I mean I'm not exactly on board with this film trend of Disney anyway, but this seemed really cliche and heavily steeped in nostalgia for emotional impact.

    MADHERO: Its an somewhat aged stuffed animal. Its bound to look a little creepy. Some of the OG toys the characters were based on are terriftying

    STICKMAN: That's very true.

    LARRY: OKAY BUT THE MOUTH BARELY MOVES AND ITS NOT WELL SYNCED TO THE VOICE. Sorry I seem to be the only person who's not about it

    STICKMAN: I am very much not about it.

    MADHERO: People have already pointed out how its basically Hook but Winnie the Pooh, which is.....yeah, that's what it is. I'm still curious though. As for Mary Poppins, that's something I'm not as nostalgic for. Blunt looks great though

    LARRY: Mary Poppins looks surprisingly epic. Those sky shots.

    STICKMAN: I just...I just....ooyyy. Visually it was very nice, but other than that. I think Blunt will be great in the role but again, so steeped in nostalgia feels.

    LARRY: Sticky, did you enjoy Mary Poppins?

    STICKMAN: Eh. It's okay.

    LARRY: Aaaaaaaaand that's our answer. This film seems to be deeply stemmed in the original's tone and aesthetic.

    MADHERO: It ain't out till Christmas so we'll have a while to get excited for it. Give me my 2d animated penguins just like PL Travers wanted

    STICKMAN: Saving Mr Banks 2: Rolling in her grave.



    You'd think with a imminent takeover on the horizon, that Fox would slowly start slowing down their X-Men /comic book movie front, but it seems like they didn't get the memo and Fox is only continuing to develop new project. We already knew about X-Force, which is to be directed and written by Drew Goddard and will most likely be teased in Deadpool 2, as we saw the likes of Terry Crews in the most recent trailer. New Mutants is using its long delay to add a new character to the film, speculated to either be Kitty Pryde (whom they're planning a spinoff for) or longtime New Mutant companion Warlock. However, Fox is also using its Fantastic Four property in a different way, with Noah Hawley developing Doctor Doom, and as we now know, having comic book writer Brian K. Vaughn work on a Silver Surfer movie.

    Now that's pretty interesting. Silver Surfer is obviously a very well known character, but hard to take a crack at considering how cosmic he is. He of course made his big screen debut in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, played by Doug Jones but voiced by Laurence Fishburne, but that film is probably more known for its interpetation of Galactus (giant space cloud).  It'll be interesting to see if the success of Thor Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy will embolden Fox to go a bit more weird with this film, which might not even happen depending on how the Disney deal will develop.

    STICKMAN: I don't feel like Silver Surfer has enough going for him to have a solo film. He's very much  a supporting character, even if he has some pathos.

    MADHERO: I honestly don't know enough about him to judge, but I do know he's had plenty of acclaimed solo runs.

    LARRY: #BringBackDougJones

    STICKMAN: But even in those he's kinda doing stuff with or to other people. But FOX seem to be on a roll with their more experimental films, so who knows. It's interesting to see projects like this starting up given the uncertain future of the FOX owned Marvel properties.

    LARRY: Yeah. Personally I'd prefer the wider range of properties and artistic visions. If being under the Disney mantle would risk that...

    MADHERO; Yeah. I'm more than ok with Fox making F4 movies but not using the F4. Marvel probably wouldn't let the guy who made Fargo and Legion make a Dr Doom movie

    STICKMAN: That's the concern, they've finally started to try new things and Disney will very much want to make the more comic-accurate or family friendly option as opposed to weirder or more adult offerings. Not that those aren't fun, but variety is pretty nice.

    LARRY: Yeah but Disney does have a kind of formula. It's nice that Fox is messing with that, doing their own stuff.

    MADHERO: We honestly don't know when the Disney deal is gonna take place at this point. Hell there's still a chance Comcast will swoop in, but we'll see if this even gets made.

    STICKMAN: They have a formula for all their studios, really. FOX have a formula for X-Men  too, but Deadpool and LOGAN, and ...maybe The New Mutants show they're willing to experiment with side-projects.

    LARRY: Yeah but their best work breaks formula.

    STICKMAN: Agreed



    For a while now we've been hearing about Quentin Tarantino's next movie, that totally isn't about the Manson murders, but also clearly is. It's unclear what the broad premise is, beyond exploring that tragic 1969 incident, but we've finally got a name, and a rather impressive cast is beginning to form. The film is now titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which breaks the double barreled naming convention set up by previous films (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Bastards, etc) but that, along with the early synopsis released suggests the film will be about  struggling TV actor Rick Dalton and his stuntman Clff Booth in Hollywood who just happen to live next door to the ill-fated Sharon Tate. The two leads playing said struggling actors? Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt, starring alongside each other for the first time, both having worked on different Tarantino films in the past.

    The name, seemingly an allusion to the works of Sergio Leone, also suggest a continued western theme to Quentin's films, following on from Django Unchained and Hateful Eight, but that's just educated speculation at this point.  My main takeaway at this point is a continued concern that Tarantino taking on the Manson murders seems...risky? He's not one known for his tact and respecting of history, but unlike gunning down Hitler, who we can all agree was something of a bastard, this seems in poor taste, and is already garnering controversy.  We'll see, though!

    MADHERO: Mmmmmm, yes. I'm looking forward to this, even with my complicated feelings towards Tarantino

    STICKMANL Tarantino is a royal prick , but he makes good films.

    LARRY : Especially with Tarantino's recent controversy, this feels like a risky move to be tackling something with...less than tact.

    STICKMAN: People aren't really in camp Tarantino right now, so it's gonna be interesting to see how that effects the film down the line.

    MADHERO: Well Sony paid 100 million and then some. Its going to happen. The film aint out till August 2019, so that may give it time for everything to cool down. That or we get new revelations and they just cancel the whole thing

    STICKMAN: That's the possibility. He seems to have come out of crashing someone into a tree quite well, oddly.

    MADHERO: In his and Uma Thurman's defense, it seemed like that was something the author added as Thurman defended him on Instagram. Then of course came that Stern interview where he defended Polanski which was just....oof

    LARRY: Point is, it's gonna be hard for film twitter to suddenly stop supporting Tarantino. So the film is gonna have an audience to some capacity.

    STICKMAN: Tarantino is one of those directors a lot of film people are all about, but now there's a vocal group very much against him, in some respects for good reason. But we'll see how things play out.


    LARRY: The movie sounds interesting. Cast is A+ so far.



    So, if you watched the Oscars (which we certainly did), you may have seen Call Me By Your Name win the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Well, that was the only award it walked away with, but that hasn't seemed to slow down its momentum. In fact, director Luca Guadagnino has officially confirmed plans for a sequel, with Chalamet and Hammer returning as the two leads. He is currently working with help from the original novel's author, Andre Acima, on the story, which would be set five to six years after the events of the original. According to Guadagnino, they're looking to find a new tone for the sequel, which will have Elio and Oliver traveling around the world. Guadagnino has spoken before about wanting to do a sequel to CMBYN, at one point comparing it to Linklater's "Before" trilogy in how sequels were filmed years after each other to follow the actor's aging. He expressed an interest in touching upon the politics of the 90's, such as the fall of communism and the beginning of the Berlusconi era in Italy. Needless to say, after CMBYN's success, a sequel would be welcomed with open arms by the film community! Let's hope it maybe gains more traction that time.

    STICKMAN: Two Names, Two Callious.

    MADHERO: Its good that you mentioned the Before trilogy otherwise this seems like such a weird move.

    LARRY: Who's ready for more peach scenes???

    STICKMAN: I heard about that peach scene and I'm not on board with these shenanigans.

    MADHERO: Haha, yeah. The peach. The thing everyone jokes about regarding this film which I don't get cause I haven't seen it yet.

    LARRY: It's one hell of a moment.

    STICKMAN: All gay people jizz in fruit, it's a common fact.

    LARRY: I'm down for this honestly. If they can progress the story is a fascinating way, I can watch Guadagnino's aesthetic choices for weeks.

    MADHERO I know it gets used for the sexy times, and that's about it. Its interesting to see this happen. People really liked these characters and then it'll be interesting to see where they are in a couple years. Interested for sure, but have to see the first one first.

    STICKMAN: Next time they'll jizz in a watermelon, and then for the 3rd and final film, they'll jizz on a giant pumpkin.

    MADHERO: Also curious when he'll start this, since he has Suspiria in the pipeline for this year but that seems done and ready for release. We just haven't seen anything.

    LARRY: I'm just glad he's working with the author and genuinely trying to see where these characters are going to go in their own future.

    STICKMAN: Call me by your name 2: Cruise Control


    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the news. Now since this episode is later, we're got going to discuss Red Sparrow and Death Wish, cause hey, those are already out and  you can see them, but by the sounds of it, you probably shouldn't see Death Wish.

    STICKMAN: Fuck Death Wish.(edited)

    LARRY: I mean, Red Sparrow supposedly ain't great either.

    MADHERO: Yeah, but it ain't Death "Just like Get Out according to director Eli Roth" Wish.

    STICKMAN: Fuck me sideways with a peach.

    MADHERO: Enough about that, lets talk about some other, hopefully better films



    DIRECTOR: Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th)

    STARRING: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Pena, Zach Galifianakis, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe

    SYNOPSIS: After learning her astrophysicist father (Pine) is being held captive on a distant planet deep in the grip of a universe-spanning evil, Meg Murry (Reid) works with her highly intelligent younger brother (McCabe), her classmate (Miller), and three astral travelers (Winfrey, Witherspoon, Kaling) to save him.

    STICKMAN : Suuuch potetnntiall, wasssted. It's really sad because I think people really wanted this to continue the runaway success of what Black Panther accomplished for big budget black filmmaking, but I fear the reviews are a death sentence.

    MADHERO: I'll be real for a sec: I really liked A Wrinkle in Time back in middle school, but in terms of trying to film it, its a challenge for pretty much anyone. It doesn't really lend itself to film. Obviously I hoped this movie would be received slightly better, but I like what I hear about it swinging for the fences and being bold and ambitious, even when a lot of it doesn't unfortunately work as hoped.

    STICKMAN: Sometimes being bold and ambitious doesn't pay off, which is a shame, but the heart is in the right place, at least.

    LARRY: To be fair, it seems like the vision is certainly there. I don't think DuVernay is perhaps to blame. And yeah, as Mad said, the story is a tricky one.

    STICKMAN: I don't think it's a blame game, I think it's just a hard film to make and it didn't succeed, that's all.

    MADHERO: Its really the weight of the source material. I think any filmmaker would have a problem with it.

    LARRY: Okay blame sounds negative, I'm just saying that DuVernay clearly put her vision into it, akin to what Coogler did with Black Panther, and that should be commended.

    MADHERO: And hey, it should be noted that for a lot of critics it does work. I think its something you either going to love or just leave you cold.

    STICKMAN: I think there's some people who are so enamoured with the concept and the source material, that it's just exciting and moving to see it on the big screen? But..I dunno, we'll see how things play out.

    MADHERO: I'm probably going to see it with my sister since we're both fans of the book. I hope I fall into the camp that likes the film.

    LARRY: Yeah I'll definitely give it a shot too. I love DuVernay, gotta go support the visionaries!

    STICKMAN: I won't, but then I'm gonna see Tomb Raider regardless because the 'source material' means a lot to me,  so I get it.


    DIRECTOR: Nash Edgerton (The Square)

    STARRING: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Sharlto Copley, Thandie Newton

    SYNOPSIS: Mild-mannered businessman Harold (Oyelowo) finds himself at the mercy of his back-stabbing business colleagues back home (Theron, Edgerton), local drug lords and a morally conflicted black-ops mercenary (Copley).

    STICKMAN: Never mind, all is lost.

    MADHERO: Oof, this just took a nosedive

    LARRY: Hooooooooly fuck. What a tone deaf film.

    STICKMAN: Great talent going massively to waste, here.

    MADHERO: I don't know about tonedeaf, but for something that's supposed to be a comedy, it doesn't look all that funny.

    STICKMAN: I had no idea it was supposed to be a comedy. I saw the trailer in front of Shape of Water and just...oops? The audience seemed pretty disinterested also.

    LARRY: Um....yeah I'm gonna stick with tone deaf to describe this one. It tackles a rather major topic with a lot of the exact opposite of sensitivity. And the whole "not funny" thing makes it worse.

    MADHERO: To be fair, a lot of good comedies do that as well. This....doesn't look like a good comedy. Which is a shame cause I like pretty much every actor in it.

    LARRY: Yes but it doesn't look self-aware at all.

    STICKMAN: There’s some Oscar winning talent in the mix and they're all WASTED. WASTED I TELLS YA

    LARRY: Charlize Theron's little blip before Tully gets her into the awards race.


    DIRECTOR: Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, The Boy Next Door)

    STARRING: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Randy Couture

    SYNOPSIS: Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.

    STICKMAN: Oops. So, this film is going to direct to streaming here, which is always a great sign.

    MADHERO: The official trailer  for this film has like 10 million views on Youtube, but only about 100 likes or so. Hmmmmmmmmmm....

    STICKMAN: It looks pretty pants.

    LARRY: I'm not sure how I feel about Tony Kebbell doing a country accent.

    MADHERO: I love how they're advertising it as from the original director of the Fast and the Furious movies, but his most recent movies include Alex Cross and The Boy Next Door.

    STICKMAN: So yeah, I'd give this one a pass, you guys.

    LARRY: Gotta love...... the disaster movies meets heist movie genre. Also, gotta love the ridiculously punny use of Rock Me Like a Hurricane.

    MADHERO: And hell if you go further you get Stealth and The Mummy 3. What I’m trying to say is that Rob Cohen isn't that great a selling point


    STICKMAN: We're in for NOTHING, cuz we're not watching it.


    DIRECTOR: Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door, 47 Meters Down)

    STARRING: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman

    SYNOPSIS: A family (Hendricks, Henderson, Madison, Pullman) staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit.

    STICKMAN: What the heck.

    LARRY: Great, more pants stuff.

    STICKMAN: I mean, the original Strangers is a cult favourite despite iffy reviews.

    MADHERO: Y'know, I thought it was a pretty terrible title until I learned its a sequel to a film that came out in 2008 called The Strangers.

    STICKMAN: I'm not sure anyone was hankering for a sequel. I ain't seen it.

    LARRY: Again, no horror for this boi

    MADHERO: This one has Christina Hendricks in it, so that's something, I guess. Its teasers honestly look ok. Not that scary, but maybe that it has some self awareness

    LARRY: I mean, I do like her. But...not enough.

    MADHERO: I'll probably never see this, but it speaks volumes that this one looks the most promising outside of Wrinkle in Time.

    STICKMAN: I will say, the original was lauded by some for being atmospheric and tense, this seems more jump-scarey, but I can't say how accurate that is to the original, I like the bold colours, though. Could be okay. STRANGER things have happened. AHOAHOHOHOHOHO.


    MADHERO: Alright. That's it for movies this week. Ain't so  great aside from WiT if that's your thing. But if it ain't, there's always MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


    LARRY: ....shit same.

    MADHERO: WELL YOU BOTH DID! I did as well. Surely you remember, right?

    STICKMAN: I sure don't

    MADHERO: Alright, I'll go first  Maybe something will jog your memory

    STICKMAN: Good idea.


    MADHERO: Alright, we talked about the Oscars, and we're all happy that The Shape of Water won Best Picture. Even Blade Runner got some trophies to bring home . Unfortunately, one of the films that went home without any Oscar trophies is Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig's directorial debut which had to see Get Out and Shape of Water steal most of its thunder. Which was to be expected, but still a bit of a shame since I was really suprised how much I liked this movie.

    What really stands out from it is just how well written it is. It could be very easy for all these characters to fall into stereotype or tropes we're all familiar with, but there's something Gerwig does with character beats and moments that just make them feel real, and it finds a lot of humor in that. Saorise Ronan continues to show why she's one of the best actresses working today, and Gerwig shows herself a force to be reckoned. There's a reason why this film broke Toy Story 2's record for a while.

    STICKMAN: I saw a statatasttastic thing that said audiences found this to be the most overrated Oscar nominee by some degree, I assume you disagree?

    LARRY: They clearly didn't see The Post.


    LARRY: Nah I liked all the nominees this year but that statatasttastic is bullshit. Tell 'em, Mad.

    MADHERO: I disagree quite a bit. There's something I really connected to with it, despite my and Lady Bird's experiences being nothing alike.

    STICKMAN: I intended to go see it, but bad health and shitty weather got in my way, sadly.

    MADHERO: Definitely check it out whenever it comes out on DVD or streaming. Its not a film you need to see on the big screen, but one that's definitely worth seeing.

    LARRY: I've seen the film twice, and I found it even better on a second viewing. I agree with Mad that there's a lot to connect with, and Gerwig's direction is very, very strong. Metcalf and Ronan are amazing togther, truly.

    STICKMAN: I will do so, it was the one I wanted to see most after the ones I'd already seen. Also no jizzing peaches.

    MADHERO: I want a spinoff about the football coach teaching the drama class. Anyway, Sticky, what's your MOTW?

    STICKMAN: AHaha, RIGHT? I...don't know what this means. Soooo, I've seen a few films since we last did an episode, I saw The Shape of Water and loved it a lot, but instead I'm going to annoy Larry and talk about a HORROR FILM, one you can watch right now. The Ritual, a Netflix exclusive in the US, but a traditional cinema release here that just came out on DVD, is a horror film that in some ways owes a lot to The Descent, especially in terms of its set-up.

    This time though, we're trading caving for mountain/forest hiking, trading an all-female cast for all-men, and trading comic-book'esque visceral gore for...visually unsettling gore and a nice dose of surrealism. Seeming to take some visual/creature inspirations from The Witch, it's not a masterpiece of horror by any means, but it's a well crafted and entertaining one, with its unique and well realised creature design (Which I shan't spoil) and use of surrealist imagery to convey various nightmare sequences make it stand out quite a bit. You already technically own it if you have Netflix in the US, so why not give it a watch? It's certainly a ride.


    MADHERO: I've heard really good things about this from the horror crowd.

    STICKMAN: It's definitely a film that's going to live on in cult success with the horror fans. Whilst it's not super original in basic premise, the design of the creatures and surrealism is pretty remarkable.

    MADHERO: Oooooh. Surreal horror, that's always fun.

    LARRY: Is it?

    STICKMAN: Yes Larry, IT IS. Especially when the narrative is actually followable.

    MADHERO: True. That's a pretty necessary ingredient. I actually don't think its on Netflix here, but it is in the US, so check it out there. Now Larry, you have a film with the exact opposite scenario

    LARRY: Yes, ironically enough. Though my pick will be on Netflix soon for all you chaps.


    LARRY: So, I saw Annihilation a week or two ago. Needless to say, I was very excited about it, as we all were. Walking out, my opinions are a little mixed, though I certainly did enjoy the film. It's a visual feast, and a nice breathe of fresh air to see a dark, sci-fi tale bursting with color and vibrancy. The world itself is also very fascinating, and the more we learn about it, the more invested you become.

    Add that to some solid performances and some excellent suspense and body horror, and you have an experience that, not to sound like a broken record, deserves to happen in a theatre. That being said, I found the story to be slow in the beginning, and a tad bland and ridiculous toward the end. I don't want to give away what happens, but needless to say, something fucking happens, and it's gonna decide whether you love or hate this film. BUT, needless to say, I thoroughly recommend this film to any fan of sci-fi, especially those who like a dash of horror. I may not be in love with it, but this film is gonna garner conversation, and that alone has merit in my book.



    LARRY: ...okay guys let's breathe a bit. Do you have any questions for me, perhaps?

    STICKMAN: There's nothing more frustrating than seeing reviews saying "This is a must-see on the biggest screen possible" and it's like...Gee, would if I could.

    MADHERO: I feel like it might be best to go into this film cold.

    STICKMAN: Agreed. Also you were rude about my film choice so I'm gonna be rude about yours. 10/10

    MADHERO: I heard there's a pretty naughty bear in it out there to kick Paddington and Pooh's ass


    LARRY: Um...sure let's call it a bear.

    STICKMAN: AAGGHH. I'll jizz in your peaches, you fiends.

    MADHERO: I'd rather you didn't. Id rather watch this movie, but that will have to happen next week. On my laptop.

    STICKMAN: I'm gonna hijack a cinema screen and broadcast it there.


    MADHERO: Well, that's it for our sorta late Screwvies but hey at least now we talked about the Oscars while they were still relevant. Hopefully next time we'll be back on our regular schedule, as we'll get giant robots and Tom Brady getting his own movi...o sorry . Tom Braider.

    LARRY: Niiiiiiiice. Good one

    STICKMAN: Thomas Braider and the Philosophers Stone.

    MADHERO: Alicia Vikander seems like a weird casting choice, but we'll see how that goes. Ok. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaater.

    STICKMAN: Buh bye.

    LARRY: Bye y'all.

  • The New Terminator Film Ignores Everything That Happened After Terminator 2, Adds Mackenzie Davis to Cast

    1 week ago



    They're going to keep taking a stab at Terminator into they finally make another good one. As cynical as I want to be about yet another Terminator movie there's something interesting about this one. 

    For one, James Cameron is back in a creative capacity. He helped break the script and will be godfathering this project along for director Tim Miller (who last directed the first Deadpool). That's good news. 

    Schwarzenegger will be returning and so will Linda Hamilton, who is coming back as Sarah Connor and the story will ignore all Terminator movies past T2. (Sorry Edward Furlong, seems like you're shit outta luck).

    This is a tact becoming more and more popular with these large, often convoluted giant franchises. Halloween is doing that and for a hot minute the Alien franchise was going to do the same thing with Neill Blomkamp at the helm before that got scrapped for Ridley Scott to keep making his weird prequels.

    Variety just reported that Mackenzie Davis has been cast as the first new face for this attempt at rebooting the Terminator franchise, potentially as the new threat. Apparently the producers are still on the hunt for the film's new protagonist that will likely take the torch from Hamilton.

    Davis is awesome. She was the co-lead of Black Mirror's best episode (San Junipero, of course) and turns in an energetic performance in Jason Reitman's upcoming Tully. I don't know if I quite buy her as a threat, but we'll see how this new movie uses her.

    The new Terminator has a release date of July 26th, 2019 and according to Schwarzenegger starts shooting very soon. 

    Count me as cautious, but optimistic on this one.

  • Everybody could use a little more Pooh in their lives...

    1 week ago


    Okay so Disney isn't content with just giving us Star Wars and Marvel movies, they've also been going through their back catalogue for a while now and making hugely successful live action versions of their films. Alice in Wonderland (love it or hate it, it made a ridiculous amount of money), Jungle Book, Cinderella, Malificent, Pete's Dragon and they have Peter Pan, Dumbo, The Lion King, Mary Poppins Returns and Aladdin in the works as we speak. 

    Christopher Robin kind of slipped under the radar a little bit, probably because we also recently got that Finding Neverland-ish Good-bye Christopher Robin and this one was able to stay hidden in that one's shadow until this very second. 

    But now there's a trailer and Ewan McGregor is playing a growed up Christopher Robin having trouble finding the proper work/life balance... until some piece of Pooh comes back into his life. 

    It's actually a pretty good trailer and pulled at some nostalgic heartstrings I didn't even realize were there. Looks like they threw Paddington in a blender with the original Mary Poppins. I can dig that... 

  • Black Panther the worst Marvel film to date? (Spoilers)

    2 weeks ago


    It's been a few weeks since I watched Black Panther and I feel like I might have missed a trick whilst watching after seeing all of the positive reviews, not only from reviewers but from other Marvel fans. Don't get me wrong I understand that everyone can have their own opinions on the film and if they enjoyed it and as some have said thought it was the 'best Marvel' movie they have seen then more power to them. I just really didn't enjoy it as much as my personal favourites -  Captain America Civil War and Spider-Man Homecoming. The main issues I had with the film can be broken down into 2 main points: 


    1. The plot was honestly really quite boring, I thought more time would have been spent in Wakanda delving deeper into the country and culture of a place that, obviously, we've never seen on screen before. But the majority of the Wakanda scenes seemed to take place in a few different locations: the waterfall/arena place where T'Challa has to face his challengers, the throne room/palace and the tech area where T'Challa's sister spends most of the film. Now I know that the final battle took place on the hillside and on the railway system that is used to transport the Vibranium around, but those locations just weren’t particularly interesting to me, I would have liked to have spent more time in and around the Wakandan people where a couple of scenes took place, these really helped to build an understanding of the county and their culture but the time spent here was just not as long as I think it could have been to really show how epic the county was.


    2. The CGI was honestly just unacceptable for the budget the film, £200 million dollars and quite frankly I have seen better CGI on films much older, the film that immediately jumps to mind would be the original Iron Man film which came out nearly 10 years ago at this point and that film was on a budget of £140 million dollars, which is a lot less than Black Panther and the CGI was considerably better. The scenes that I would pick out as having particularly poor CGI when looking back on Black Panther would be all the scenes involving T'Challa meeting with his father in the afterlife, the scenes in the waterfall location and the large Rhino's, which I'm sure are a big part of the Black Panther comics but seemed a little ridiculous and out of place for this film and the general theme it seemed to be going for.


    This isn't to say that the film didn't have positive points, such as Michael B Jordan who I thought did a great job as Killmonger in the limited screen time he received, managing to bring a real purpose and meaning to why his character went along the path that he did, his reasoning is something I'm sure most people can relate to even if he didn't go about it in the best possible way. Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis were two other standouts who managed to develop their characters even further than they had already managed in their previous outings. Danai Gurira killed her role as the conflicted Okoye, bringing an emotion and power to her scenes that wasn't felt throughout the rest of the film, with the possible exception being when Killmonger spoke with his father.


    Hopefully I didn't bore you all with my rambling!! I might do more reviews for films in the future, who knows!!

  • Gianella's Best Picture Watch comes to an end

    2 weeks ago



    I DID IT, MA.

    Managed to tick off the last of the Best Picture list with less than 24 hours to go until the Oscars. Funny how the last three movies were the ones I didn’t resonate with the most.


    The Post

    • If you have to wait a whole hour until things start getting interesting, it’s not a good movie.
    • Granted, the last half of it was pretty thrilling but still.


    The Shape of Water

    • I’M SORRY
    • I can see how it is a very well made movie and if it won Best Picture I wouldn’t be surprised but it was weird, man.


    Phantom Thread

    • ?????
    • I’m looking at all the reviews because I need a gauge of what people love and hate about this movie.
    • A lot of people hated Daniel-Day Lewis’s man child character and yeah I see why but some of his petulant one-liners made me laugh. They were probably the only thing that got a response from me that wasn’t confusion.
    • Note: they probably weren’t meant to make me laugh.
    • I don’t get all the raving reviews. This film was probably way above what my brain can deal with. I just. I don’t know.


    And now, we wait.

  • Best & Worst Movies of February 2018

    2 weeks ago


    February is done and we just got out of the most erratic month of cinema I’ve experienced in quite a long time. The 1st half was hot garbage with everything being absolutely terrible and the 2nd half was almost Oscar season level quality with a whole crapton of amazing movies. It was really weird, but it should make for an interesting write-up. Let’s talk about the best & worst movies of this crazy month!

    Before I begin, a couple of disclaimers…

    1. This is based on movies that I SAW in February. Some of these movies may have officially come out in previous months and have only just come to my area. Other movies might have come out in February, but have not yet come to my area, so I haven’t seen them.

    2. This is purely based on MY OPINION. Some movies in The Best category might be movies you hate. Some movies in The Worst category might be movies you love. That is completely fine! Film is subjective and you are absolutely allowed to disagree with me. All I ask is that you don’t be a dick about it. Respect my opinion and I will respect yours.

    Now let’s begin!

    The Best:

    Black Panther- There’s a very good reason why this movie is as cartoonishly successful as it is. It’s fantastic! It’s one of the most ambitious and unique films Marvel has ever created and I loved every second of it! The character of the Black Panther himself is so incredibly deep and compelling and badass and is portrayed brilliantly by Chadwick Boseman. T’Challa’s entire arc throughout this film is absolutely incredible. The villain, Killmonger, is also extraordinary. Michael B Jordan gives the best performance I’ve ever seen from him, he’s incredibly menacing and compelling and he has incredibly powerful, thought provoking motivations. There are moments of this film where I actually thought I was starting to side with Killmonger and it is that uncertainty that makes him the best villain in the entire MCU! All the supporting performances and supporting characters are great as well and Wakanda is a beautifully realized location. It’s so amazing and stunning and intriguing and I want to spend infinitely more time there. Ryan Coogler’s direction is fantastic, the visuals are amazing, the action sequences are badass and Ludwig Goransson’s score is incredible. The plot itself is so brilliant and refreshing and complex and so unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in this franchise. It takes on a feel of superhero Game of Thrones that I adored and it explores incredibly fascinating themes of Africa’s decline and mistreatment throughout history in relation to this isolationist utopia that is Wakanda. It doesn’t overemphasize the race of it’s main character (even though it is extremely important in the real world), there’s a fantastic Stan Lee cameo, a brilliant post credit scene and the whole film is so exhilarating and captivating and magnificent. Go see this movie like five times because it deserves ALL THE MONEY! IT'S SO AMAZING!!!!!!!

    Annihilation- This, my friends, is the reason why I’m writing this post much later than I originally intended. Originally, I didn’t know what to think of this movie, but then I thought about it more, saw it again, thought about it even more and now I know that this film is incredible! It is an extraordinary sci-fi/fantasy masterpiece! The performances are all amazing, especially Natalie Portman, it’s visually stunning and Alex Garland’s direction is exquisite. The concept is incredible, the characters are extremely deep and compelling and it takes on real human themes that really resonate. This is also the first movie I’ve seen in awhile that uses confusion as an art form in a tasteful and organic way. You never know what’s happening in this movie because the characters never know either, you get as much information as they get and it completely works in the end. It has an incredibly dream-like feel to it and it constructs a brilliantly written, layered and complex narrative that is so enigmatic in a delightful and unpretentious way with an ending that I believe will be debated for decades. This film is such a captivating, magnificent and unique cinematic experience that every single person should watch! Go see it, think about it and see it again and witness this masterful accomplishment!

    Game Night- WOT IS GAME NIGHT?! (*stupidly British screech*) It’s a great movie is what it is! This is pretty damn close to a comedic masterpiece and I loved it! The performances are great, it’s very well directed, very well made and it’s absolutely hilarious! This is such intelligent, brilliantly written humor that had me laughing hysterically in the theater which is something I very rarely do. The characters are very likable and compelling, the plot itself is well executed and satisfying and it understands how absurd it truly is and leans heavily into it. This is an incredibly fun, entertaining and brilliantly written film and I can’t recommend seeing it enough! It’s so fantastic!

    The Worst:

    Winchester- This is an entirely soulless, generic horror movie that just fucking sucked! It’s awful! It’s completely devoid of any actual tension, the characters are incredibly cliche and uninteresting, the plot itself is predictable and familiar and poorly written and dumb and the pacing is horrifically uneven. This is a horrendously tedious, bland and uninspired film and I hated it so much! Don’t even bother!


    The 15:17 to Paris- This is probably the worst film Clint Eastwood has ever made! It’s an unstable structure of good intentions that completely collapsed on itself. The performances are awful, especially from the three main guys who Eastwood made the misguided decision to cast as themselves. These three men are heroes, they are not actors. The dialogue is terrible, the characters are entirely one dimensional, the plot itself is glossy and robotic and the pacing is unwatchably glacial. Some real life events are not deep enough to make a full movie out of, this is one of them. It also has a bunch of weird flash forwards that were completely unnecessary. This is such a hollow, bland, unremarkable mess and I was colossally disappointed by it. If you’re interested in this story, read some news article about it, it’s much more worthwhile.

    And now we’ve come to the end! If you want to listen to my dumb voice talking about these and other movies, listen to my podcast, Clark Film, at and on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music and all your other podcatcher apps. Raw video versions can also be found at

    I’ll be back here with another installment of Best & Worst next month!

  • At the Screwvies: Oscar Special 2018

    2 weeks ago



    MADHERO: Live, from a Discord server divided between 3 different countries, its the 5th Annual At the Screwvies Oscar Predictions! The game that knows no winners, only losers attempting to guess the outcome of a awards show. But hey, its all in good fun. So Stickman and Larry, what kind of karazy predictions do you have cooking up?

    STICKMAN: I predict my butt will get numb after 90 minutes.

    LARRY: I predict people will get even more upset about Three Billboards.


    MADHERO: Well I predict some spicy hot takes, both before and certainly after when the wrong movie wins Best Picture, but lets not get too ahead of ourselves. Lets see some of our predictions



    ·        Blade Runner 2049 (Roger Deakins)

    ·        Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel)

    ·        Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

    ·        Mudbound (Rachel Morrison)

    ·        The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen)

    DEAAAAAAAAAAAKS! Oh sorry, that's just me celebrating the Oscar's greatest loser.  Roger Deakins is largely considered to be one of the best cinematographers in the bizz, who despite now having 14 nominations, has somehow never managed to win an Oscar. UNTIL NOW?! We can certainly believe so, with The Deaks delivering some of his best work ever in Blade Runner 2049, a film that looks absolutely stunning pretty much all the way through. Plus, there's a feeling that its his time. However, he's had tremendous bad luck before, and he could have it again with the likes of Dutch cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema getting a lot of praise for his work on Dunkirk, and Rachel Morrison, the first ever woman nominated in the category, also possibly getting a gander in a time where female empowerment is hot (it also helps that film is really well shot). For now, I'm going to give it to Deakins, because if Blade Runner needs to win something, its that.

    STICKMAN: C'mooon Deakins. Freaky Deaky.

    LARRY: Give him the damn golden naked man already. He’s been through enough losses

    MADHERO: Do we even need to say more? Like,  I should be somewhat biased for van Hoytema because he's Dutch, but you really do get the feeling it really should be his time.

    LARRY: Honestly, I think Hoytema also deserves an Oscar at some point.

    STICKMAN: Everyone on this list did a great job, but Blade Runner 2049...I meaaan... Even if it didn't feel like a potential token win for Deakins, it's well deserved regardless.

    MADHERO: Hoytema’s a lot younger. He'll get one eventually. It should go to one man only (sorry Rachel Morrison)

    LARRY: She’s also bound to win one.


    GOING TO WIN:  Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)

    WANT TO WIN: Roger Deakins

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Alexis Sabe (The Florida Project)


    GOING TO WIN: Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)

    WANT TO WIN: Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Sean Price Wiliams (Good Time)




    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)



    ·        Blade Runner 2049

    ·        GOTG Vol 2

    ·        Kong Skull Island

    ·        Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ·        War for the Planet of the Apes

    Often considered the pleb category for handing out an Oscar to a more mainstream film, and as such, is naturally the only one I've seen all the films from. It's broadly the usual suspects this time. You got Disney nominees, the vastly underrated Blade Runner 2049, the even MORE underrated War for the Planet of the Apes, and then the only real surprise in the form of Kong Skull Island, which didn't make quite the same visual splash as say, War or GotG in terms of details, it made up for in terms of creative creature design. It's hard to say who the frontrunner is, you could argue Blade Runner might be tossed this as a pity award, as it did have spectacular visual effects, with one standout, spoilery use of the tech towards the end. Personally I feel War for the Apes should get it, both because that film trilogy deserved a fuck lot more awards recognition, and also DAMN was that film a massive step-forward for motion capture performances.

    MADHERO: Ah yes, the people's award

    LARRY: If I were in control, the Apes trilogy would’ve gotten its due years ago. It’s bullshit that this doesn’t win every god damn year.

    STICKMAN: The peoples award for recognising the underrepresented grunts of the movie industry.

    MADHERO: The Apes movies (the reboot ones) have ever won anything, which plays into the underrated angle that trilogy will forever carry. I've talked a lot about the visuals in Blade Runner, and that film might be one of the showier ones here.

    STICKMAN: But War is a film comprised 99% of motion capture performances. And the details and quality of the visual effects for them is staggering.

    MADHERO: In the sense that that film was a constant visual feast, wheras War you almost forget. Its probably also the most prestigious nominee of the bunch, even if it didn't get anything in the major categories.

    LARRY: I wish Okja would’ve gotten a shout, but it seems it being on Netflix might’ve kept that back.

    STICKMAN: Following the tracking of other awards shows, I'd say this was going to Blade Runner, but I reallllly want Apes to win.


    GOING TO WIN: Blade Runner 2049

    WANT TO WIN: Blade Runner 2049

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Shape of Water


    GOING TO WIN:  Blade Runner 2049

    WANT TO WIN:  War for the Planet of the Apes



    GOING TO WIN: Blade Runner 2049

    WANT TO WIN: War for the Planet of the Apes




    ·        Dear Basketball – Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant

    ·        Garden Party – Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon

    ·        Lou – Dave Mullins and Dana Murray

    ·        Negative Space – Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata

    ·        Revolting Rhymes – Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

    Ah yes...the Me Category for Excellence in the field of 'This wouldn't be here if I wasn't doing it'. There's a great mixture of different styles of animation this year, including the guarenteed top-shelf Pixar CG  with LOU, lower budget 'style over detail' CG  Revolting Rhymes from Triggerfish, and tech-demo levels of photorealism CGI with Garden Party. The French stopmotion film Negative Space, and then maybe the most media attention-grabbing of the bunch, Dear Basketball, a 2D, pencil-drawn short written by basketball legend Kobe Byrant in the run-up to his retirement, with directing handled by 2D Disney Renaissance alumni, Glen Keane. My personal favourite has to be Negative Space because it's the most visually creative of the lot. The obvious frontrunner is Pixar, but LOU hasn't exactly received a lot of attention in the same our boy PIPERRRRR did. I'd like Negative Space to win, but I think it's between Dear Basketball and LOU for the awards. My main question being WHERE THE FUCK IS WORLD OF TOMORROW 2!? DIDN'T EVEN MAKE THE SHORTLIST. JEEEESUS.

    LARRY: I have seen..........none of them. Time for my lunch break.

    MADHERO: I saw Dear Basketball and it looked really nice and that's about all I have to say, but I agree. World of Tomorrow 2's snub is baffling

    STICKMAN: It's only baffling until you realise he's only been nominated twice and never won.

    MADHERO: I'm going to predict Dear Basketball because I wanna hear the words Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant in my lifetime.

    LARRY: I’ll agree. Also Lou was in front of Cars 3 so fuck that shit.

    STICKMAN: I will say DB’s the one with the most buzz but that doesn't mean jackshit in Animated Short.


    GOING TO WIN: Dear Basketball

    WANT TO WIN: Dear Basketball

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: World of Tomorrow 2


    GOING TO WIN: Negative Space.

    WANT TO WIN: Negative Space.




    WANT TO WIN: Dear Basketball

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: World of Tomorrow 2



    ·        Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer

    ·        Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

    ·        The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat

    ·        Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Williams

    ·        Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Carter Burwell

    All stellar, stellar picks. I’m immediately going to count out Three Billboards just because it has so many other nominations. Star Wars, while obviously worth nominating for Williams’ brilliance, does rely heavily on work from its previous installment. The remaining three are all at equal odds of winning, though I’m going to inch it to Phantom Thread; Jonny Greenwood’s romantically hypnotic score has garnered huge praise, so much so that there’s already live concerts happening for it. Dunkirk’s score is very smart though, and probably one of Hans Zimmer’s best in a long while. Then again, Alexandre Desplat’s excellent orchestrations and arrangements in The Shape of Water are so gosh darn lovely and peaceful that you want to start streaming it the second you walk out of the theatre. Either way, any of these three are solid in my book.

    MADHERO:Jonny Greenwood obviously got jealous of Trent Reznor and wanted to have his own Oscar

    LARRY: I think Greenwood’s gonna take it home, and we’ll deserved. I could listen to his score for hours.

    MADHERO: This one is really hard to call. The Academy clearly admires Phantom Thread and his score is a big part of that. I also think Desplat's work on Shape of Water is excellent, and there's a lot to like about Zimmer's Dunkirk work as well.

    STICKMAN: The Academy are a bunch of starchy farts so you gotta go for whatever's the most traditional score, frankly. I'm going for Shape of Water. I want fucking Hans Zimmer to win a god damn Oscar for his Nolan work ALREADY.

    MADHERO: His last Oscar was for The Lion King, which is pretty wild.

    STICKMAN: I hate the Oscars. Why are we doing this.

    LARRY: Oh wow, that was a long fucking time ago. If there’s a time for him to win, it’s with Dunkirk.


    GOING TO WIN: Alexander Desplat (Shape of Water).

    WANT TO WIN: Alexander Desplat

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: A Ghost Story (Daniel Hart)


    GOING TO WIN: Alexandre Desplat (Shape of Water)

    WANT TO WIN:  Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Oneohtrix Point Never (Good Time)


    GOING TO WIN: Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)

    WANT TO WIN:  Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Oneohtrix Point Never (Good Time)



    ·        Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory

    ·        The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

    ·        Logan – Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green;

    ·        Molly's Game – Aaron Sorkin

    ·        Mudbound – Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

    As far as I can see, this is Call Me’s to lose. It’s easily the most respected film in the category, and the script itself is damn incredible, capturing a natural sense of human interaction and relationships. While it’s great to see Logan here, I don’t see it garnering the superhero’s first writing award sadly, though don’t let that take away from the incredible work on display. The other nominees, Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game, and Mudbound are also excellent but simply don’t have the Oscar buzz and caliber to get an award. Disaster Artist, which I don’t think any business being in this category but whatever, is now marred by Franco’s controversy, and Molly’s Game has no other nominations outside of the obvious recognition of Sorkin. Needless to say, this is an easy win for Ivory’s excellent script in Call Me By Your Name.

    STICKMAN: The only remaining nominee for The Disaster Artist after so much expectations at time of release. Oops.

    MADHERO: I've only seen 2 of these cause I managed to miss the Disaster Artist. Damn. Still though, Logan up there is quite impressive.

    STICKMAN: I would say the script for LOGAN wasn't especially impressive, even if the film was good.

    LARRY: Disagree there, but whatever. Opinions and such.

    MADHERO: I agree with Larry this is Call Me By Your Name's to lose.

    STICKMAN: It's the only one up for Best Picture and it's a word heavy film so yeah, seems likely.

    LARRY: Yes but it also has beautiful quiet moments too, which is the true sign of an EXCELLENT script ironically.

    STICKMAN: I can write out blank pages too.


    GOING TO WIN: Call Me By Your Name

    WANT TO WIN: Logan

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Blade Runner 2049


    GOING TO WIN: Call me by your Name

    WANT TO WIN: Mudbound

     SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Blade Runner 2049


    GOING TO WIN: Call Me By Your Name

    WANT TO WIN: Logan




    ·        The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani)

    ·        Get Out (Jordan Peele)

    ·        Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)

    ·        The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor)

    ·        Three Billboards (Martin McDonagh)

    Oof. This is another tough category filled with some really great nominees. Again you're in a position where any one of these could win and it would be completely ok in my book. Happy to see The Big Sick in there, because Nanjiani is a lovely man who deserves nothing but the best, but it seems he'll probably join the other lovely man Guillermo del Toro in probably not winning  this award, as the award seems to be a battle between Jordan Peele's Get Out and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards. Both are insanely talented writers at the peak of their powers. Get Out was like lightning in a bottle. Meanwhile its clear that the Academy really really likes Three Billboards. Between all of that, I think Get Out might just edge it for capturing the cultural zeitgeist in a way no one could've predicted, also because I don't think Get Out will win much else. Rootin for my boy, Peele.

    STICKMAN: Feel this is a pretty open category I gotta say. I feel like if Get Out is going to win any of them it's this one.

    LARRY: Ees gun b 3B. And damn I’m ready for it. I don’t think Get Out is a front runner

    MADHERO: This is probably the strongest batch of nominees in years

    STICKMAN: I think it's a 3way between Shape of Water, Get Out and Three BIllboards, with Billboards as maybe the favourite just because of its momentum.

    LARRY: I genuinely think Three Billboards has the best script. I like Shape and Get Out, but as far as writing goes, this is the film that should be lauded.

    MADHERO: Swap out Shape of Water with Lady Bird and I'd agree. I think Three Billboards might take it, but I also think the Academy wants to acknowledge Get Out in some fashion, and this might be the best

    STICKMAN: I'm not as enamoured with Three Billboards in terms of writing, but there you go. I'm going to RISK IT ALL and say Get Out might steal it.

    MADHERO: I prefer McDonagh's other films, but hey, I wouldn't mind if it won. Like I said, rootin' for Peele and maybe Lady Bird sneaking in

    LARRY: This is definitely the strongest nom for Lady Bird. Would love to see this take it.


    GOING TO WIN: Get Out

    WANT TO WIN: Get Out or Lady Bird



    GOING TO WIN: Get Out.

    WANT TO WIN: Get Out.



    GOING TO WIN: Three Billboards

    WANT TO WIN: Three Billboards

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Ingrid Goes West



    ·        The Boss Baby – Tom McGrath and Ramsey Ann Naito

    ·        The Breadwinner – Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo

    ·        Coco – Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson

    ·        Ferdinand – Carlos Saldanha

    ·        Loving Vincent – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan Mactaggart

    Let me preface this by saying the obvious. Coco is going to win this award, there's literally a 0% chance it won't. That's partly because it's both very deserving in a lot of ways, it's a great film, but also because it's a Disney/Pixar film and they've won it every year going for half a decade now. This is the easiest award to predict of the entire Oscars and features the biggest snub with Lego Batman out for either Boss Baby or Ferdinand… the Academy just really don't like the LEGO movies for some reason. The two non-mainstream picks this year are good ones to be fair, Loving Vincent's incredible, hand-oil painted animation is an use of the medium, and The Breadwinner, whilst I haven't been able to see, is an acclaimed 2D animation from the same studio that brought you Secret of the Kells and Song of the Sea. That said, Coco's gonna win, and I mean...I guess, frustratingly, it deserves it.

    LARRY: Not frustrating to me... Pixar wholly deserves the win, moreso than other years.(

    MADHERO: I only saw Coco and named it my 5th best movie of the year so yeah I'm all for taking the Academy's bullshit

    STICKMAN: It's frustrating that Disney monopolise a category that's one of the most diverse showings of the evening regardless of if they've earned it or not.

    LARRY: Okay yes, but when it’s deserved, it’s deserved. But believe me I’d love to see The Breadwinner win. That story is incredibly powerful and deserves any and all recognition.

    MADHERO: I feel like we've beaten that horse to the point that its glue. In the end, the best film should win, and there have been times where the Disney film wasn't that, but it sure is now.

    LARRY: Also, shout out to Boss Baby for being a fucking bonkers thrill ride. Don’t sleep on it if you wanna feel like you’re on adrenaline.

    STICKMAN: Fuck The Boss Baby. Sleep on that and go support indie animated films instead.


    GOING TO WIN: Coco

    WANT TO WIN: Coco

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: The Lego Batman Movie


    GOING TO WIN: Coco.

    WANT TO WIN: The Breadwinner.



    GOING TO WIN: Coco

    WANT TO WIN: Coco

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Captain Underpants



    ·        Mary J. Blige - Mudbound

    ·        Allison Janney - I, Tonya

    ·        Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread

    ·        Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird

    ·        Octavia Spencer - The Shape of Water

    This is a pretty easy category to predict at the onset. Almost everyone agrees that Alison Janney is gonna steal this one for I, Tonya, and for good fucking reason. She was a tour-de-force, and I loved every god damn second of it. Some are holding out hope that Laurie Metcalf, another stellar presence, will win for her emotional and honest turn in Lady Bird, and while I loved her as well, I still think Janney is a notch above. Despite the nice burst of diversity, I don’t see Mary J. Blige getting it, nor Octavia Spencer, but damn if those performances aren’t also great. Lastly, I think people are seriously sleeping on Lesley Manville’s performance in Phantom Thread, it is DAMN well worthy of an Oscar and I’m glad she’s in the category, winner or not.

    STICKMAN: I have seen...none of these.

    LARRY: JANNEYYYYYYYYYYYY. She killed this role and this is probably the most fun win to be sure of.

    MADHERO: I've only not seen Phantom Thread but I've heard great things about Manville's performance. All of the women are great here. I agree with Larry though that it really is Janney's to lose, even though its very much a type of awards bait performance.

    STICKMAN: This does seem to be her award. I can't say I've seen enough of it to comment.

    LARRY: I’ve seen all but Blige, who I hear is also excellent. But yeah this is an amazing category. Manville definitely deserves to be in this lineup.

    MADHERO: Janney is really good, but you're always kinda aware that its a performance. Laurie Metcalf really disappears in her role. So does Mary J. Blige which is very impressive.

    STICKMAN: I want Laurie Metcalf to win because angry mum powers.

    LARRY: Metcalf is excellent, but I think Janney's "performance" is simply because the character is so out of left field.

    STICKMAN: Depends on if you want an outlandish performance or a somewhat grounded one.

    LARRY: Pretty much every other nom here is more grounded. But, to me, Janney stole every scene.

    STICKMAN: She should give them back.


    GOING TO WIN: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

    WANT TO WIN: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Bria Vinaite (The Florida Project)


    GOING TO WIN: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

    WANT TO WIN: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)



    GOING TO WIN: Alison Janney (I, Tonya)

    WANT TO WIN: Alison Janney (I, Tonya)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Dafne Keen (Logan)



    ·        Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)

    ·        Woody Harrellson (Three Billboards)

    ·        Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water)

    ·        Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World)

    ·        Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards)

    Hotdamn. Plummer actually did it. Only 9-10 days of shooting after replacing Kevin Spacey and getting nominated for an Oscar, becoming the oldest acting nominee ever. Good for him. Unfortunately, his performance as oil tycoon J. Paul Gettey is the only one of this list I haven't seen, but he's part of an extremely tough field of actors who each bring a very different type of energy. Jenkins is great as Sally Henkins' gay neighbour, bringing a lot of humanity and humor to a part that could've been very stereotypical, Harrellson subverts his tough guy persona to play the police chief being targeted. But the real battle is between Willem Dafoe's motel manager Bobby and Sam Rockwell's racist dumbass cop Dixon from Three Billboards. Rockwell can probably prepare his speech,  and he does do a good job bringing depth to a character that's proven very divisive, but I personally prefer Dafoe's performance. He deserves it for just one scene along, but I'm predicting Rockwell to take it.

    STICKMAN: I like how I've seen two of these just from seeing one film. That's handy.

    MADHERO: That doesn't happen very often, but you can't deny its undeserved.

    STICKMAN: I mean you could argue Harrellson is just being himself with cancer but he was very good.

    LARRY: Rockwell definitely is on a different level than Harrelson in the film. But there are other nominees that deserved a place.

    STICKMAN: Sam Rockwell is probably going  to win, but his performance I felt was a bit too cartoonish for the most part.

    MADHERO: I'm not sure I buy that, but Rockwell did have the juicier part and I wish nothing but the best for him...BUTDAMNITIWANTDAFOETOWIN

    STICKMAN: He brought more emotional weight in the 3rd act but  before that point not so much. I want Dafoe to win so they have to put a TV-MA rating on the Oscars.

    LARRY: Dafoe stealing this one would be a huge surprise.

    MADHERO: If Rockwell doesn't get it, Dafoe will, but as established, that's a big if

    LARRY: Every awards show needs a surprise.


    GOING TO WIN: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards)

    WANT TO WIN: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Tracy Letts (Lady Bird)


    GOING TO WIN: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards)

    WANT TO WIN: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Will Poulter (Detroit)


    GOING TO WIN: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards)

    WANT TO WIN: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Patrick Stewart (Logan)



    ·        Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)

    ·        Frances McDormand (Three Billboards)

    ·        Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)

    ·        Saorise Ronan (Lady Bird)

    ·        Meryl Streep (The Post)

    Holy fuck, this is one spectacularly good list of nominees. Yeah yeah, you've got the inevitable Streep nomination and I'm sure she's great, and it really says something that all 4 of the nominees I've seen could win and would be completely satisfied with all of them. Sally Hawkins  brings a great screen presence and makes you believe a woman can fall in love with a fish man. Margot Robbie makes Tonya Harding, a woman long considered a punchline, extremely symphatetic while still giving her a dark edge. Saorise Ronan makes a character that under a less capable actress could be extremely unlikable very realistic and well developed, but as great as all 3 are, McDormand stands above them all as one angry mother. She dominates the movie in a chokehold and never really lets go and has taken hold of all the major awards. So yeah, her Fargo statue is going to get some company, and I'm personally ok with that, but I would've been ok with all of them.

    STICKMAN: Frances McDormand was pretty damn amazing.

    LARRY: McDormand's got the momentum. I got my chips on her, despite my love for Robbie.

    MADHERO: McDormand is about as secured as Coco is, which is even more impressive considering how fucking good this list of nominees is

    STICKMAN: Meryl Streep feels like the odd one out, which says a lot.

    LARRY: Yeah, especially since I'm hearing a lot about The Post being generally conventional and a low-tier nominee.

    MADHERO: Seriously though, I just have reiterate that any of these women could come on stage and I'd be happy. But McDormand reigns supreme.


    STICKMAN: And I mean, I want her to win just because she's gonna do something NUTTY on stage too. Probably gonna kick Jimmy Kimmel in the nuts.


    GOING TO WIN: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards)

    WANT TO WIN: Pretty much any of the nominees

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project)


    GOING TO WIN: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards)

    WANT TO WIN: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Garance Marillier (RAW)


    GOING TO WIN: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards)

    WANT TO WIN: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Tatiana Maslany (Stronger)


    Best-Actor.jpg·        Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name

    ·        Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

    ·        Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

    ·        Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

    ·       Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.

    For me, this prediction is clear as day. Say what you want about Darkest Hour, but Gary Oldman’s transformation into Winston Churchill is one for the books. It’s arguably the best performance of his career and is the kind of turn that wins Oscars, politically or otherwise. Also, Oldman deserves a fucking Oscar; it’s almost unbelievable that he hasn’t won one yet, as he is one of the most decorated and respected actors in the medium. That being said, Timothy Chalamet was a revelation in Call Me, and if Oldman didn’t have this, I’d be putting all of my eggs into his basket. Daniel Day-Lewis, while amazing in Phantom Thread, has had his time in the sun. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out is basically the surprise-attack film of the year, and everyone is on their toes waiting for it to steal every damn award, so I’d love to see him win, though it’s doubtful. Unfortunately, I think it’s far to say Denzel Washington is out of the running; I haven’t seen his performance, but Roman J. Israel Esq. hasn’t gotten any Oscar traction. Maybe next time, Denzel.

    MADHERO: I've only seen Get Out here and I'm surprised Kaluuya even got nominated. He's great, but dang.

    STICKMAN: Whilst I feel this was an open category at one point, the sights are steering towards Oldman at this point. And yeah, that was a nice surprise.

    LARRY: He did do an amazing job.

    MADHERO: Horror, especially acting in horror doesn't really get the recognition it deserves and Kaluuya really nailed it. Everyone in Get Out did. But yeah, its Oldman's to lose. Chalamet looked like he might nick it, but everyone seems to agree its Oldman's time

    LARRY: God I hope Chalamet keeps doing shit. He's fucking AMAZING in Call Me.

    STICKMAN: He ain't going nowhere.

    LARRY: Eh, sometimes they disappear. He better not.

    MADHERO: He played a pretentious douche really well in Lady Bird and thats all I really saw him in, but I've heard good things.

    STICKMAN: I'm torn honestly, I want Daniel to win just because that'd be really sweet, but also Gary Oldman is a longtime fave of mine, long deserving of recognition.

    MADHERO: It took a while for Oldman to get his first nomination with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, so I'm glad it didn't take nearly as long for him to potentially win it.

    STICKMAN: And he will win, but the fact I can't decide which I want says a lot.


    GOING TO WIN: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

    WANT TO WIN:  Gary Oldman

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Hugh Jackman (Logan)


    GOING TO WIN: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

    WANT TO WIN: Gary Oldman/Daniel Kaluuya (Darkest Hour/Get Out)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Robert Pattinson (Good Time)


    GOING TO WIN: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

    WANT TO WIN: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger)



    ·        Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

    ·        Jordan Peele – Get Out

    ·        Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

    ·        Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

    ·        Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

    Well, certainly can't complain about diversity issues for Directors this year, huh? I mean, hell, I'm sure somebody still is, but this is a great group. Notable inclusions include Greta Gerwig joining the depressingly small roster of female directors to be up for the awards, Jordan Peele up for Get Out, a black director and his comedy (satire if you will) horror film, no less. Christopher Nolan getting his first ever Oscar directing nomination, in a move that'll make you go ... wait...Nolan's never been nominated for Best Director before? Aaaand Guilermo Del Toro who's just a lovely chap who is always worth mentioning. He's also the frontrunner here, I would say, having won at the BAFTAs and other awards shows this season for The Shape of Water.  It's hard to argue any of the others have a stronger chance, with me  continuing to wonder why Phantom Thread is there instead of Three Billboards and Martin McDonagh,  which seemed like a no-brainer at one point given its position as a potential front-runner for the main prize. Blade Runner? Realllly?

    LARRY: The more I think about it, I kinda want Peele to snag this despite my love for GDT. Peele just really captured the zeitgeist.

    MADHERO: Again, another really strong batch with whom I'll be mostly happy if any of them won. PTA is a cool dude so I'd even be happy for him despite not seeing Phantom Thread

    STICKMAN: I want Del Toro to win just because he's a sweetie. Although I think Nolan is long overdue, he has no momentum at this point really.

    LARRY: Sadly, I agree. Though his direction is brilliant in Dunkirk.

    MADHERO: del Toro seems to be the frontrunner, especially with McDonaugh out. I think Peele is gonna get his dues in Screenplay though

    STICKMAN: I think Get Out was a stronger written film than directed.

    LARRY: Nah, his direction is better than his writing. Also direction is a much more comprehensive category, hence why I think he deserves that.


    MADHERO: Hey, here's something. Both were pretty great. I'm picking my boi Guillermo because then The Three Amigos (Cuaron, Innaritu and del Toro) all have Oscars for very different films and I wish that fucking nerd nothing but the best. Peele and Gerwig will hopefully get another shot

    STICKMAN: Alright, UN peace envoy. I would like to see it go to Del Toro , but like you said, everyone's deserving of plaudits in this category, which is nice.


    GOING TO WIN: Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water)

    WANT TO WIN: Guillermo del Toro

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED:Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)


    GOING TO WIN: Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water)

    WANT TO WIN: Guillermo del Toro

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Denis Villenvinue (Blade Runner 2049)


    GOING TO WIN: Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water)

    WANT TO WIN: Jordan Peele (Get Out)

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya)

    MADHERO: Alright, we've finally managed to come to the major category: Best Picture. Its an eclectic mix of films this year, with some very obvious nominees and ones we could never imagine being nominated.

    STICKMAN: Mad Max Fury Road!?

    LARRY: I mean........they're all great.



    ·        Call Me by Your Name

    ·        Darkest Hour

    ·        Dunkirk

    ·        Get Out

    ·        Lady Bird

    ·        Phantom Thread

    ·        The Post

    ·        The Shape of Water

    ·        Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    MADHERO: Now we have 9 films nominated, and while we're supposed to treat all nominations equally, I think its fairly obvious there are some films that have no chance of winning the big prize. Darkest Hour may have a great Oldman performance, but that's probably not enough. The Post sounds like prime Oscar bait, but that won't translate to any wins, Phantom Thread clearly has some fans, but probably not enough, and Call Me By Your Name's hype kinda fizzled out before it ever really got a chance. Is that a fair assessment?

    STICKMAN: I mean, I haven't seen any of them. What hope do they have, y'know? I am the barometer from which film awards are set.

    LARRY: I would agree with that.

    MADHERO: So that leaves us with 5 films that still somewhat have a shot.  Dunkirk stil has a shot according to some polls. Its easily the biggest and highest grossing film of the nominees, and I know both of you really liked it (I was a bit more cold on it). How do you feel about its chances?


    LARRY: Ehhhhhh still relatively low. It hasn't gained a lot of traction sadly, even with Nolan's incredible efforts. I think the film's personal detachment of the characters was a bit of a curve ball for a lot of people.

    STICKMAN: I really liked the film but it came out pretty early for an Oscar contender, and whilst Nolan is overdue some awards love, I don't think this is his year.

    MADHERO: I feel it releasing in the summer probably hurt its chances. Had it been a November it might be fresher in people's minds. I'm more shocked that its only Nolan's first nomination as a director.

    STICKMAN: It's insane to think he hasn't been nominated before. When most cinemagoers think modern accalimed directors they think Nolan, let's face it.

    MADHERO: IMDB certainly does. Anyway, moving on to 2 movies that may on the offset may not have much to compare to, but both seem to have really struck a nerve. Get Out, a horror film  with satirical elements tackling racism from not your typical rednecks, but liberals "who'd have voted for Obama for a 3rd term" and somehow didn't manage to piss that entire group off is quite exceptional. Obviously it wasn't made with what would happen with American politics in 2017/18, but it manages to tackle it in such a smart way. Its also a really effective film in general, and its great to see the Academy actually honor a film like this.


    LARRY: It would be crazy to see a horror film with the Best Picture race.

    STICKMAN: I wouldn't have given it the nominations it'd received personally, but it's cool to see a film like this, both in concept and genre get this sorta attention, especially with up and coming talent at the forefront. I would scarcely call Get Out a horror film, even if it's considered one.

    LARRY: I mean, Peele deserves recognition. That's for sure.

    MADHERO: Going from very silly comedy (which did tackle similar topics) to this and see the impact is something to behold. And to think all of it happened because he was offered the role of Poop in the Emoji Movie.

    LARRY: He's ahead of his time in a lot of ways in the ways he thinks about film and representation in film.

    STICKMAN: I still think Get Out is pretty comedic, it was considered a comedy until suddenly it was offensive to call it one. But hey ho. Oscar frontrunner it's not, but it's neat to see it get this level of recognition.

    LARRY: ...because it's not a comedy.

    STICKMAN: How is Manchester by the Sea a comedy in your eyes but not this.

    LARRY: BLACK comedy.

    STICKMAN: Get Out.

    MADHERO: I think it could potentially sneak in and have a shot, but I was referring to 2 films when I talked about Get Out, and the other one is Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird: a film that held the Rotten Tomatoes 100% for quite a while until a certain bear took its thunder. Obviously Lady Bird isn't as big a cultural milestone as Get Out was, but its  a incredibly confident debut from an exciting voice and extremely likable to boot. Whether people love it enough for it to win remains to be seen, but I certainly did. Much more so than I expected


    STICKMAN: I missed out on seeing Lady Bird because stomach bugs and snow, so take it away, gang.The real question is where's Paddington 2, the real cultural milestone of our times.

    MADHERO: Maybe next year when its eligible.

    LARRY: Yeah Lady Bird is a very well made film, and on a second viewing I came to enjoy it far more. That being said I still wouldn't rank it amongst the actual heavy hitters, just because it lacks a lot of the subtextual qualities that more richer films have.

    STICKMAN: Is it a comedy though.

    LARRY: ...Lady Bird is, yes.

    MADHERO: I think that's fair. Its not a "heavy" film by any means, but its a very well made movie for sure that really shows off Gerwig's skill as a writer and director.

    LARRY: Absolutely. This nomination certainly won't be her last.

    MADHERO: Alright. Now its time for the 2 heavy hitters. The absolute favorites who're the ones challenging for the naked golden man, and they're 2 very different film. On the left corner you have Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (referred to as just Three Billboards for brevity's sake) a dark dramedy about loss, grief and people being absolute idiots but in a charming kinda way. And on the other you have The Shape of Water, a fantasy drama that's essentially about a woman falling in love with the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but crafted in a way to arguably be del Toro's magnum opus. Both deal with outsiders, but that's almost where the similarities end. So what's it gonna be?


    LARRY: Three Billboards. No question in my mind, honestly.

    STICKMAN: Would you consider that  a comedy.

    LARRY: Sticky SHUT UP

    MADHERO: Three Billboards made me laugh uncomfortably a lot, and also just genuinely laugh. Shape of Water didn't have much in the way of comedy, but it does have charm to spare.

    STICKMAN - Yesterday at 11:00 PM

    Shape of Water made me laugh. Personally I feel Three Billboards is too flawed to warrant the level of acclaim it's recieved, over other nominees and particularly Shape of Water, since it seems to be a two-way race for them.

    LARRY: It's honestly shocking to me that Shape is this much of a contender. I really enjoy the film but it does have some problems, structurally and pacing-wise. I figured films like Call Me or Darkest Hour would rise above it cuz of their more formal approaches to cinema, but I guess Shape really struck people.

    STICKMAN: The 3rd act of Billboards ain't so hot, and the film's ethics and sense of humour are kinda backwards often.

    LARRY: Much like life. I don't know about you Sticky but I know tons of people who say stuff like that. We can't act like it doesn't exist. Sometimes people write characters who are shitty.

    STICKMAN: Doesn't justify it. You can be aware of it and include it, but making it a joke you're supposed to laugh along with ain't excatly very 2018.

    LARRY: I just think people are trying to justify hatred of the 3rd act by implying McDonaugh isn't also acknowleding this backwards ethics you are referring to.

    MADHERO: I have issues with Three Billboards. Its lack of political correctness in dialogue isn't really one of them. I feel like Three Billboards will likely win, but my heart goes out for Shape of Water. McDonagh not getting a Director nomination is normally a death sentence, but as we saw with Argo and Ben Affleck, it really doesn't have to be a killer I think there's the reservation of Shape of Water being "the fish fucking movie." Which sucks, because it is very beautiful

    LARRY: Shape will win director, Del Toro will earn his naked man. But Three Billboards is gonna round up the night I feel.

    STICKMAN: I don't think Three Billboards is going to win, personally. I think Shape's going to win Best Picture, even more so now I've seen it. It feels like the sorta film the Academy would love.

    MADHERO: It should be noted that I've never been right on my Best Picture prediction, so maybe Shape will take it after all. FINAL PREDICTIONS GO!


    GOING TO WIN: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    WANT TO WIN: The Shape of Water

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Blade Runner 2049


    GOING TO WIN: The Shape of Water.

    WANT TO WIN: The Shape of Water.

    SHOULD’VE NOMINATED: Blade Runner 2049.


    GOING TO WIN: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    WANT TO WIN: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri



    MADHERO: Well, that about does it. Join us this Sunday as we'll livetweet the Oscars along with everyone else using their Twitter account on that point in time. And we'll be back on a later episode discussing the wins and the inevitable DRAMA that's bound to happen on this wacky night.

    STICKMAN: My main takeaway is I'm looking forward to not having to have a conversation about Three Billboards again after next week, hurraaahh!

    LARRY: Haha, not gonna happen.

    MADHERO: The hot takes are going to reach volcanic levels of hot. Can't wait

    STICKMAN: Enjooooy the Oscars y'alllllllll.

    LARRY: See you all from under the rubble.

  • Holy Shit! Avengers: Infinity War Moved Up! You Can See It April 27th!!!

    2 weeks ago



    Well, well, well... Looks like we're all going to get to see Avengers: Infinity War earlier than expected! Marvel and Robert Downey Jr. teamed up to make the announcement on Twitter via a smart bit of cheeky PR. Check it out here

    It's such good news! It means we all get to see it earlier than expected and lets us have a chance to go back a couple of times before Deadpool 2 and Solo come out. It's quite possible that was the point of the move, to minimize the overlap between Infinity War's Box Office and Solo's and also don't forget that Deadpool is soon enough going to be welcomed into the Disney Marvel family, too.

    Excited yet? I'm excited. That's next month! I mean, it's still, like almost two months away, but technically this is March and it releases in April, so I'm still right! 

  • Tarantino Titles His Next Flick, Casts Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio

    2 weeks ago



    First of all, I know there's some controversy around this project and I myself am not all that interested in seeing a Manson Family-ish movie, but you know what I am interested in? Anything that Tarantino wants to do. If he wants to tell this story then he'll tell it in his way and that in and of itself is more interesting than 90% of other Tinseltown news. 

    He's calling the new project Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which automatically frames the new film in an epic light. Sergio Leone started the Once Upon A Time trend with Once Upon A Time In The West, which is just flat out great. Seek it out if you haven't seen it. It uses Widescreen unlike just about any other movie ever made. 

    Many years later Leone made Once Upon A Time In America, another fantastic film that gave the epic treatment to a whole new genre. It was more a Godfather-ish Italian Crime story. 

    Robert Rodriguez took that title trend and applied to a goofy action flick called Once Upon A Time In Mexico that is distinctly Rodriguez, even if it's nowhere near the same league as Leone's movies. 

    The point is Once Upon A Time In... has come to mean something to cinephiles. If you use that title you think epic story told in the unique style of its director and shot in wide-wide-widescreen. 

    So Tarantino using the title paints a picture already of his plans of doing a period '60s film set in Hollywood. Knowing his tastes I'd expect a long film overflowing with colorful, richly drawn characters.

    Two of those characters will be played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. DiCaprio will play Rick Dalton, former western TV star, and Pitt will be his stunt double, Cliff Booth. Both are trying to figure out their place in the world as they age out of the system they know. Also, Rick happens to live next door to Sharon Tate, the most famous victim of the Manson Family. 

    We know that Tarantino has approached Margot Robbie to play Sharon Tate, but we don't know if she's signed on yet. 

    Anyway, that's the news. Pitt and DiCaprio are onboard and the movie's called Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. I personally can't wait to see how this one comes together. 

  • 9 to 5 is getting a reboot-sequel and I couldn't be more psyched!

    2 weeks ago


    I know it's not exactly cool to taut the love of the very, very '80s comedy 9 to 5, but a constant cable rotation of this movie in my youth has endeared it to me on a pretty deep level. 

    9 to 5, about three women standing up to sexual harassment in the workplace, is sadly still relevant today. Hell, in the era of #MeToo it's almost begging for a remake... and that's exactly what's going on. 

    But it's not a straight remake, thank God. It's what I like to call a "rebootquel." It's really a sequel, but since there's not really an audience for 9 to 5 Part II, it'll just be called 9 to 5 and focus on a new generation of women struggling against the patriarchy. But it doesn't ignore the first movie and is in fact a sequel. 

    Deadline is reporting that Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are in talks to return, likely as mentors to a new group of young women. Fox wants a young, sharp female voice behind the script and Rashida Jones is at the top of their list. Holy shit, a movie studio exec with a good idea! Someone write this down for posterity! 

    The only way I'd be more down for this rebootquel would be if they announced they were pulling Dabney Coleman out of retirement for a cameo. He is first rate, after all

  • Ralph Wrecks The Internet in this new trailer (and takes some pot shots at clickbait along the way)!

    2 weeks ago


    The new trailer for the Wreck It Ralph sequel dropped today and it takes the lovable brute Ralph and darling little Vanellope into the big, wide world of the internet. The trailer nods to King of Kong with an arcade owner who looks suspiciously like Walter Day, owner of Twin Galaxies and the self-appointed referee of high scores, takes the piss out of clickbait, jokes around with goofy mobile games and even shows us what eBay looks like inside the internet itself. No word yet on how they handle porn, which is scientifically about 97% of the entire internet.

    Check out the trailer:

    It's good, right? Loved the first movie, which felt the most Pixar-ish of all the modern day Walt Disney Animated movies. Can't wait to see what they do with the sequel!

  • Wait a minute, Baby Groot is actually Groot's son?

    2 weeks ago



    I guess I'm a bad geek. I assumed Baby Groot was kind of like Groot reborn, but according to James Gunn's tweets today he's actually more like Groot's kid. I suppose there's an argument to be made that children are pretty much quasi-clones of their parents, but that doesn't help my nerdy-ass mind from reeling at this bit of information.

    Is this how all beings from Groot's race procreate? Just splinter off? Thinking about it that's not too far off from how Earth trees handle that, but then you've got to consider pollination and all that weird stuff. You can also clone trees from cuttings, which is what I assumed happened in Groot's case.

    I'm dangerously approaching the line where I have my virginity reinstated with this discussion, but damn it if this isn't today's biggest geek revelation. 

    What do you folks think? 

  • Gianella's 'Best Picture Nominees' watch continues...

    3 weeks ago


    I'll be real, I'm quite surprised I've made it this far. Six down, three to go. Below are the three most recent ones I've seen. The ones I have yet to see are The Shape of Water, The Post and Phantom Thread.

    Call Me By Your Name

    • Beautiful, beautiful film.
    • That Italian summer aesthetic? I'm in love.
    • Despite the above I can't say I was a fan but I really liked the ending and that almost made the whole thing worth it?
    • That end conversation with the dad. Oof. Loved that. Would've loved more of that kind of stuff throughout the whole movie but whatever.


    Darkest Hour

    • Went into it thinking it would be the biggest drag of my life but, listen, by the first two minutes I was in.
    • That opening shot in parliament was stunning.
    • It really tapped into the history nerd part of me. I was hooked the entire time.
    • Had no idea that was Gary Oldman???!?


    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    • YOOOO
    • An incredible film.
    • I've kind of been rendered speechless by it so I'll just say this: it has a simple premise but then you get so much more. And that 'so much more' bit? Incredible.
    • Also Frances McDormand is great and I'm in love with the movie's poster


  • LADY BIRD (2017)

    3 weeks ago


    Gianella's Best Picture nominees watch continues. No spoilers. I do quote something but it doesn't have anything to do with the film's main narrative.

    Nominated for:

    • Best Picture
    • Original Screenplay
    • Director - Greta Gerwig
    • Lead Actress - Saoirse Ronan
    • Supporting Actress - Laurie Metcalf



    Oh man. Oh boy, oh man. This movie.

    Like, I don't even know what to say - it was just emotions all round for me. I kinda just wanna cry about it for a while.

    It's so poignant. It's so good at encapsulating the emotional tornado that is adolescence and immersing you in it. It's so good at making me - a former all-girl Catholic high school student - laugh. 

    "You're not supposed to eat the wafers!"

    "They're not consecrated." 

    (there are so many good lines in this film but this one got me, man)

    I do wish I didn't hype it up so much for myself but that trailer was too good to not get hyped about. While I was watching it I felt like it was too vignette-y in that it switches to different things so quickly but in hindsight I don't think that affects it all that much. That's probably part of the charm. I plan on re-watching it so we'll see how my opinion changes.

    Now I'm gonna go and not stop thinking about it for a couple of weeks.

  • Screenplay Writing

    3 weeks ago


    Over the past few months I've been toying with the idea of writing an FAHC based screenplay based along the lines of an origin story. FINALLY I was able to draft out a rough outline and I'm pretty proud of it!

    Not quite sure how far I'm going to take this, but for now I plan on just getting things down on paper and seeing where it goes. If anyone would like to help editing-wise (I know it's a pain, which is why I like to outsource that job) shoot me a message and I'll get back to you on it!

  • DC Just Can't Catch A Break. Joss Whedon Exits BATGIRL.

    3 weeks ago



    Joss Whedon has stepped away from Batgirl. His official reasoning for departing the project is that he spent a year trying to come up with a story to match the badass character and just couldn't quite do it. I'm sure there's other things at play, like how he didn't quite fix Justice League enough to make it less of a flop and the overall chaotic state of everything behind the scenes at the DCEU, but that's the reason he gave to The Hollywood Reporter.

    Man, DC just can't catch a break. It's getting real frustrating as a comic movie fan seeing them squander so much potential and I say this as someone who likes both Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as Superman and Batman. 

    There's no reason there can't be amazing movies made out of these properties but the brass at Warner Bros seems less concerned about making good product than just making product period. Any and everything you got, throw it at that wall! Something will stick! 

    Whedon has shown a lot of talent at writing female characters, but maybe this cloud will have a silver lining and they'll actually bring in some, you know, females to write and/or direct these female characters? It certainly worked for Wonder Woman. Something tells me a talented female screenwriter might not have to spend a year trying to find a decent Barbara Gordon story. 

  • Ready or Not, Jurassic World 3 is coming June 11th, 2021!

    3 weeks ago


    You may think it's weird that Universal is announcing a release date for a third installment in a franchise before the second installment is even released, but that's kind of the way Hollywood operates these days.

    Look at their fumble with the Dark Universe. They announced cast and projects bringing their monsters into a giant shared universe and then oops, The Mummy fizzled, public interest was flatlining and suddenly all those projects are gone now.

    It's a little less of a gamble here. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom would have to flop big time for them to rethink this because the first Jurassic World made so, so, so, so much money. Jurassic World 2 would have make Pluto Nash money to derail this franchise at this point.

    People like dinosaurs, they like Chris Pratt and they want to see those two things together in big, spectacle films. It's not a hard formula to figure out.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter Colin Trevorrow will return to co-write alongside franchise newcomer Emily Carmichael, who seems to have been picked by Spielberg himself after Amblin picked up a script of hers called Powerhouse. She has also written a remake of The Black Hole for Disney and worked on the Pacific Rim sequel hitting later this year.

    No director is attached yet.

    Early days, for sure, but again... barring catastrophe this is a no-brainer for Universal. 

  • Not surprising, but still good news: Jessica Chastain in talks to play adult Bev in It: Chapter Two!!!

    3 weeks ago



    Forgive me for the bragging I'm about to do, but I swear I have a point to it. I'm a big Stephen King nut. Like I've literally read every one of his novels and I started doing so in the 6th grade (Cujo was the first book I read). So I let it be known to the powers that be at Warner Bros that I was interested in visiting the set of the film adaptation back when I was with Ain't It Cool and got an invite to the press day.

    While there I got to see a lot of cool things and talk to pretty much everybody, including every one of the kids in the Losers Club. Way back then, when they were still shooting the first one, I asked them to fancast their adult selves should It prove to be popular and warrant a sequel that finishes the second half of the story told in King's giant book.

    They all had great answers (read them all here in more depth if you wish)... Jeremy Ray Taylor pointed out that Ben buffs up when he gets older, so he wanted Chris Pratt, Jack Grazer said in another interview closer to release he saw Jake Gyllenhaal as grown up Eddie (if you saw Okja you know he could pull this off), Finn Wolfhard chose Bill Hader for grown up Richie (brilliant, by the way), Wyatt Oleff thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be good for Stanley, Chosen Jacobs liked either Chadwick Boseman or David Oyelowo for Mike (I think Oyelowo is about as perfect casting as possible for that character), Jaeden Lieberher was drawing a blank for Bill and one of the press people attending suggesting Alexander Skarsgard. Jaeden seemed to like it, but Finn loved it, said it would be a big f-you to their Pennywise, Bill Skarsgard, who is Alexander's little brother.

    The very first person who we asked to fancast their adult selves was Sophie Lillis and her response was short, but sweet: "Jessica Chastain. No brainer." 

    Andy and Barbara Muschietti seem to agree as Variety has revealed that Chastain is officially in negotiations to star in the sequel. 

    No surprise. She's the obvious choice with or without the support of her younger self and she also has a history with the Muschietti's, having starred in their first feature film Mama. 

    I'm psyched. I adored the first chapter and I can't wait to see them build up this cast and finish out this story. Looks like that September 2019 release date might still hold since they're casting up now. 

    One other tidbit from the set visit: Andy Muschietti talked about his desire to bring the kids back for the sequel, wanting to film some flashbacks that would influence the adults' story, stuff that wasn't in the first film. He's gotta work fast because all those kids are at an age where 6-12 months will radically change their voices and appearance!

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 102

    3 weeks ago



    Hey. So you know that feeling when you're witnessing history. That moment where something approaches and you just know that this is going to have a massive impact. The intensity of the hype? It can be quite overwhelming, but I can't wait for next week and all of us say: "yes, I saw the caveman claymation football movie." Truly a momentous occasion. And I guess there's some cat man walking around. Probably not a big deal.

    STICKMAN: Psschh, he's not made of plasticine.  Just money.

    LARRY: I mean, who else is gonna relate Brexit to football??

    MADHERO: Woah. Leave the politics out of this wholesome blog. They can maybe return to one of our reviews though. Maybe. ANYWAY, we missed the Super Bowl last episode, so we're gonna talk about those things now while everyone has moved on

    STICKMAN: It's all about those Winter Olympics now bruh. Did you SEEE that Grinch teaser. No. 



    Well, it took fucking forever, but we finally got our first look at Solo. After multiple unconfirmed rumors that Disney was preparing for this to die, we got our first look during the Super Bowl and a full trailer not too long after. It Star Wars. A lot more muted in color than I thought, which contrast the cool teaser posters they have. I'm sure it'll be fine, but the trailer didn't really take much of my scepticism away, but hey I'll probably still see it, so Disney won't care.

    The bigger news came not too long after, when LucasFilm announced that they would be producing a new series of films with David Benihoff and DB Weiss, best known for showrunning all of Game of Thrones, one of the biggest tv shows of all time.  Now after that, they could do pretty much anything they wanted, so to see them tackle Star Wars of all things is pretty exciting. There's been some backlash of some people who see GoT's quality has gone down in the recent seasons, and of course the feeling of Star Wars fatigue, which I'm starting to feel as well. But hey, we'll wait and see what they'll be about when Episode IX is over and done with

    STICKMAN: It sure is a trailer for a Star Wars movie. This time not as visually interesting. Outstanding.


    LARRY: Ehrenreich hasn’t sold me yet, but other than that, not a bad trailer. Admittedly got me hyped for a movie I’ve been skeptical about.

    STICKMAN: What's there to be hyped about!? Why are people won oooover?! Is all it takes just a bunch of Star Wars shapes and noises to get people bending over and taking a big ol ramming from Disney?

    MADHERO: I mean, Glover as Lando looks glorious. I wish the movie was about him

    STICKMAN: I think we all do. Would be an interesting story compared to Han Solo doing the kettle run or whatever.

    LARRY: Yeah, honestly. SHOCKS me that they didn’t even give him a line in the trailer. It’s also a proven talent. As opposed to Ehrenreich.

    MADHERO: But hey, how about that FUTURE STAR WARS?! Guess that announcement means their Confederate show is permanently on ice.

    LARRY: Thank god. What a fucking stupid idea.

    MADHERO: Dumb ideas aside, how do we feel about them working on it? Obviously these guys were in high demand, but Star Wars is extremely different from Game of Thrones.

    LARRY: I mean, I’m fine with it. As long as they don’t come up with any stupid ideas I’m sure they can bring the size and scope needed for a SW film.

    STICKMAN: I have never watched Game of Thrones so. I just expect a lot more porn in these films. Maybe Chewbacca mounting Han Solo.



    MADHERO: Not even a cheeky dvd box purchase? Dang. That's how I've seen....andpiracy. I'm curious what they come up with and kind of story they'll tell. Should also say this'll be a different thing from what Rian Johnson is cooking up

    LARRY: Yeah at least the trilogies are gonna have variety. They are reaching for outside the Skywalker saga,

    MADHERO: We can speculate forever, but we'll have to wait. MOVING ON


    As part of many reveals at this year's Super Bowl, we got our first look at the sixth installment in the surprisingly, consistently solid Mission Impossible franchise, following on from Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation with...Fallout. The stunt-heavy action franchise has been going from strength to strength since Mission Impossible 3, so it's fair to say expectations are high for the new one, and we finally got our first certainly looks like a Mission Impossible film!

    Following on from the events of Rogue Nation, we see Tom Cruise, along with his increasingly larger cast of regulars aside Jeremy Renner, who was too busy fighting Thanos I guess, with Henry Cavill sporting the now infamous moustache that had a hand  in ruining Justice League. We got crazy fucking stunts, Tom Cruise piloting his own helicopter, explosions, gun shots, the theme tune, and of course, Ethan Hunt seemingly going rogue/off the radar or something,. I'm a big fan of these films, and the last two were really fun, so I hope this continues the solid, creative and entertaining trend they started. And hell, even if it doesn't, you won't be able to say Tom Cruise didn't give it his all, he fuckin corkscrewed a chopper and kicked the side of a building so hard he broke his ankle. That guy...he's NUTS.

    MADHERO: Henry Cavill's stache took over his Instagram and its great. Totally worth destroying a cinematic universe for.

    STICKMAN: I agree, mainly because that cinematic universe already sucked to begin with. THAT SAID, surprised this one hasn't become a cinematic universe, eh?

    LARRY: Honestly, I like this trailer. Makes MI feel oddly fresh. Also I’m a SUCKER for anything with Simon Pegg.

    MADHERO: Its a really solid trailer, yeah. Quite punchy and reminds you why I like the series in the first place

    LARRY: I also like the addition of Rebecca Ferguson. She seems to fit this franchise somehow.

    STICKMAN: She was in the last one. That's why she fits so well.

    LARRY: Oh shit, I didn’t see that one.

    MADHERO: She was phenomenal in Rogue Nation, so hopefully she'll bring the same here.

    STICKMAN: Also Ethan's girlfriend from Mi3 is back. Thank god, I guess. Really wanted to know about her situation.

    MADHERO: This is also the first time a director returns on a MI film. McQuarrie did really well, so I’m ok with that. Lets hope this is more than ok, for Tom Cruise's ankle's sake

    STICKMAN: Tom Cruise is more Thetan than man these days.


    HOLY TRAILERS BATMAN. That's right, it's time to do a brief little round-up of the many, many trailers that have hit the interwebs since the last episode. Well, needless to say, we got plenty to chew on. Skyscraper showed us so more action-packed Rock-ness, along with a terribly designed jump in the poster. Red Sparrow also came to play, aka the Black Widow movie we all deserve, along with a spankin new look at Infinity War, featuring Captain America with a newwwew shieldddddd YAYYY. The most talked about drop was probably The Cloverfield Paradox, the newest Cloververse effort which dropped mere hours later on Netflix right after the game was over!! It was an incredibly impressive stunt. Finally, we also got a new look at Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, continuing to prove why this movie shouldn’t exist.

    Outside of the sports, two additional big hitters in this year’s release schedule got new trailers. The first was Deadpool 2, continuing it’s tongue-and-cheek style of self-awareness and odd nostalgic references. Plus Deadpool apparently likes Toy Story. Then, The Incredibles 2premieres an ACTUAL trailer his time, courtesy of the Olympics, and it was awesome, thank his. It showcases a new narrative direction, with Elastigirl taking on superhero duties while Mr. Incredible becomes a stay at home dad. Not gonna lie, I’m into that, and the math joke was so god damn relatable I almost physically reacted to that. Add that to a clearly skeevy Bob Odenkirk, and you have a much more satisfied customer regarding this movie.


    STICKMAN: Oh wait. It was tourism all along.

    LARRY: Oh, what a shame. Anyway: Hey look an Incredibles trailer finally yay!!!

    MADHERO: There's too many things to discuss. I like Incredibles' Stay At Home dad angle and my boi Bob Odenkirk, but we'll see when it comes out this summer.

    STICKMAN: Jurassic World 2 had....dinosuars?? Along with what seems like 4 different plot threads.

    MADHERO: I like the first Jurassic World as a dumb popcorn film, but that also means I'm not all that excited for the sequel. I'm excited for Deadpool 2 though. Surprise Terry Crews is always good.

    STICKMAN: Deadpool 2 looks like a Deadpool sequel. Can't say I'm jumping off the walls for that.

    LARRY: Gotta appreciate the Toy Story reference.

    MADHERO: It was a really fun segue. I guess the biggun is Cloverfield Paradox, which shocked basically everyone, but we'll talk about that more.....soon

    STICKMAN: Whatever you think about Cloverfield Paradox...that mic drop of a release was fucking amazing. I came back from watching something and saw it and was like OOOH FUUUCCKKK.

    LARRY: No, yeah, very well hidden. Surprised they managed to keep it a secret.

    MADHERO: That was a really fun surprise. I imagine Cloverfield 4 just appearing in my PS4 or something.

    STICKMAN: It's already here. It's inside all of us. It was friendship.



    At first, Jumanji seems like one of those films that will come and go without much thought. In our Screwvies preview, I called it a film that I would probably watch it if it comes on Netflix, but wouldn't pay much attention to it. Well shows what I know, cause since then Jumanji has become a collossal hit far beyond what everyone could've expected. The film has made more  than the likes of Spider-Man Homecoming and Spectre, and will surpass Spider-Man 3 to become  Sony's 2nd highest grossing film ever. Its unlikely to pass Skyfall, but the fact its become Dwayne Johnson's and Kevin Hart's biggest domestic hit is something no one could've predicted.

    Sony, a studio often portrayed as desperate for franchises, is obviously thrilled by this, and has now fast tracked a sequel which will see the return of Johnson, Hart, Karen Gillen and Jack Black. Writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg are in talks to write the script and Jake Kasdan will likely return to direct as well. Obviously the question is how they'll tackle the sequel, but that's for them to figure out. I still need to see what the big deal is, and I will.....on Netflix cause that's how stubborn I am.

    STICKMAN: Snoooore.

    MADHERO: Watching this movie's success is probably a wilder journey than the actual movie, but I've been baffled by how well it's doing. Really seems like people are connecting to it

    STICKMAN: Nostalgia sells all things. Clowns, board games, other.

    LARRY: Yeah but not normally this well and this quietly. Jumanji has literally been in the Top 5 since release.

    MADHERO: I honestly don't think it was nostalgia. Because otherwise Independence Day Resurgence would've made a billion dollars. Maybe it made all that money because its.....good?

    LARRY: Damn. What an idea. MOVIES BEING GOOD

    STICKMAN: Okay, nostalgia and being watchable.

    MADHERO: It boggles the mind. Most of the people I've talked about it said they've really enjoyed it and were surprised by it, and word of mouth has just really caught on. I imagine this would maybe make 350 million or something. Not make more money than any Spider-Man film.

    STICKMAN: I didn't even like the original Jumanji that much  honestly. You ain't gonna get my ass in a seat by doing a random sequel with Jack Black playing a high school girl.

    LARRY: Well, another one’s coming. So buckle up.

    MADHERO: Its funny. I've seen Jack Black's Bethany been called a better feminist character than Belle from the new Beauty and the Beast, which is pretty wild.

    STICKMAN: Question, if Jack Black as a girl and another guy as a girl talk together about something not relating to men, does Jumanji 2 pass the Bechdel test.

    MADHERO: Maybe we'll get that answer in the sequel. Moving on


    Uh-oh! Sony are at it again! Despite finally getting the Spider-Man franchise back on track with Homecoming last year, they've decided they still want to keep doing its own thing as well. We've got the oddly awesome looking Enter the Spider-Verse coming at the end of the year, but before that? We're getting VENOM. The solo outing for the symbiote and its host Eddie Brock that won't have Spider-Man in it. Y'know....just like nobody wanted. And we got our first look at it this week! OH BOY!

    Featured in this first brief look at VENOM is...not Venom, actually. Your only real hints at the titular gooey big boy come from said goo being in a jar for a brief shot, and then Tom Hardy's neck getting all icky gross for a brief shot. The rest of the teaser comprises of Tom Hardy putting on another wacky accent, moping around being all emo, going into a store...there's some bodies and a motercycle chase or something. And then he screams. Cue the logo which is just Venom's face...and that's it, folks. Uhhh...okaaaay? I want this to be good, the teaser wasn't awful, but it was definitely lacking in a crucial departme-WHERE THE FUCK WAS VENOM.

    MADHERO: I expected nothing and somehow I'm still disappointed by this....thing

    STICKMAN: I was hoping to be won over, instead I just feel like my zest for life has diminished a little. Not bad, just...expectedly mediocre.

    MADHERO: I don't know who said it, but they nailed it by saying it looks like a fan trailer using a bunch of other Tom Hardy movies and sci fi to look vaguely like a Venom trailer.

    STICKMAN: Oh my god, that's so accurate it hurts.

    LARRY: I honestly am not as disappointed in this trailer as other people. In fact there’s a lot of merit to not showing Venom. But...yeah it doesn’t do much to make up for it.

    STICKMAN: Nope. If your film is called VENOM. Show at least, like...a nipple. Jesus.

    LARRY: I mean we see the symbiote.

    MADHERO: I never ever thought we were going to see the Venom suit. The CG for that is probably not done, but you could've shown something. I think right now you have the problem that if the logo wasn't slapped on, you'd have no idea what it was.

    LARRY: Okay but like. The suit is one big figure. It’s hard to show portions of it without it looking stupid.

    STICKMAN: Show me his BUTT. I've seen Tom Hardy's butt, many times. I wanna see SOOOMETHING. Prove to me this is a Venom movie and not just Tom Hardy getting jiggy with some goop.

    LARRY: Eh, I am against this movie as a whole so I have barely any stake in it.

    STICKMAN: I just want a good live action Venom. Is it so much to assssk. For FUCK'S SAKE.



    It is unfortunately of those times where we here At The Screwvies must address the passing of another beloved figure in cinema. Johann Johannson, revered film composer, has passed away at 48 due to unknown causes. You may recognize his work from his acclaimed scores for The Theory of Everything, Sicario, and Arrival. He would often blend electronic sounds with orchestral arrangements, creating a unique and memorable sound. He will have one posthumous release, Mary Magdalene, directed by Garth Davis. An accomplished solo musician as well, Johannson’s few notable works had a sincere impact on cinema in a very short period of time. We thank him for all he did, and send condolences to his family and friends at this time. RIP.

    MADHERO: God, this is so unexpected and sad. 48 is way too young

    LARRY: I remember how shocking it was to see this on my feed. So sudden and unfortunate. He was a fantastic composer.

    STICKMAN: This is a real tragedy. A lot of movie composers somewhat go through the motions with what's expected for a film, but this guy always brought something new to the table.

    MADHERO: He hadn't been composing for Hollywood for very long. His first Hollywood film was Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, with whom he worked with up until Arrival. His Sicario work especially is excellent

    LARRY: I think Arrival is probably his best work. Though Theory of Everything is beautiful, if more straightforward.

    STICKMAN: Sicario is one of those scores that's really influenced a lot of other films and TV shows since that point. A modern day Inception. Feel like this is a guy who was just getting started,  to lose him so suddenly and so young is heartbreaking.

    LARRY: He did so much outside of film. What a multi-faceted talent, man. Taken away too soon.

    MADHERO: He hasn't done a lot of scores, but his always stood out and you can't help but feel he was going to maybe win a Oscar someday, not that you need one for validation. Gone way too soon.

    LARRY: He definitely deserved one.

    STICKMAN: At least his work will live on in the films and other productions he put his mark on.


    MADHERO: Alright. I l joked about it earlier, but yeah, as it turns out, we are in fact dealing with a historical release. He may not be the first black superhero, but the sheer hype for Black Panther has been....something to behold. Even as someone like me,  a white guy, it can't help like you're witnessing something major. So y'know, no pressure and all. With all that hope and hype, can Black Panther actually live up to it? Or will we freeze, despite the claim he never freezes.

    STICKMAN: Oh, so ...we're not dedicating the rest of the blog to Early Man? I...I thought...okay.


    MADHERO: Sorry, Sticky.  But some things take priority over British clay cavemen. And hey, you say it, WE ALL DID. So lets cut to the chase. DOES BLACK PANTHER FREEZE OR NOT?!

    STICKMAN: Depends on the quality of the cinema projection I guess.

    MADHERO: YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Do you like the angry cat man?



    DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed)

    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Forest Whittaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett

    SYNOPSIS: T'Challa (Boseman), after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

    STICKMAN: Mmmm....well, I do. Obviously, I already loved the big angry cat man before I went in. Was his film good? Well...yes! Whilst I don't think it's the best the MCU has to offer, it certainly has plenty of great aspects, some of which are possibly the best we've seen in this franchise.

    First and foremost, the acting talent on display is supreme. There's not a dud performance to be had in here, with the real highlights being Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright in their respective, contrasting but equally entertaining and badass roles...and of course, Michael B Jordon as possibly the best MCU movie villain to date? Providing an effortlessly cool persona, energy, humour and a shit-ton of emotional resonance from the moment he appears on screen. Boseman is great in the lead too, and the world of Wakanda, a true character of its own is brought to life spectacularly, a colourful and wacky setting that I've never really seen before in a blockbuster film. My main quarrel is twofold, once you get past the great cast and vibrant setting/visuals, it's somewhat...standard superhero fare. Not bad, but nothing remarkable in terms of the general beats. Also, the opening 20 minutes or so are kinda a bit hard to get into, there's a lot of loredumping and getting used to the setting and mythology of Wakanda and all its glorious techno-bullshit. Other than that? Really good fun.


    MADHERO: I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I think one of the biggest strengths of the movies lies in its characters. This is probably the best new ensemble since maybe the GOTG. From its badass female characters in Nakia, Okoye and Shuri, but also iWinston Duke as M'Baku and Andy Serkis having a grand ol time not wearing pingpong balls. The standout is  Michael B. Jordan though, who is not only a great villain for his charisma, but because he manages to become surprisingly sympathetic and you completely understand his anger and frustrations. His relationship with T'Challa gave a real Professor X/Magneto vibe, but one that feels rooted in reality (we'll probably talk more about it, but I did not expect this film to talk about race relations this head on). The world of Wakanda is the true highlight though. From Ruth E. Carter's amazing costumes, Hannah Beachler's production design and Ludwig Goransson's score all make Wakanda feel real and unique in a way Asgard  never did. It makes you believe in a super advanced hidden African nation allowed to flourish without colonialism, and there's something truly remarkable about it, like it was commisioned by a non-existent tourism boad.

    LARRY: To me, Black Panther is another solid Marvel effort. Admittedly, it suffers from a mixed bag of a first half, with some great scenes and some meh scenes. Also some minimal plot contrivances. Whatever it’s fine. But when the second half kicks in, hooooo boy do we start to get to top tier Marvel territory. Strong thematic work and excellent direction reach amazing levels, with already strong performances and gorgeous visuals. I had a blast with it and I’m happy to see an auteur filmmaker take a shot at a Marvel blockbuster without going too overboard. Two thumbs up from this guy.

    MADHERO: If you don't mind, Larry? What did you think was meh about the first half? Because I can understand finding the first part a bit odd (though it makes sense) and the stuff after maybe boring, but I loved seeing Wakanda come to live in that moment and it simply allows to world to be and breather, which you don't really get with other Marvel films. I honestly didn't mind the 2 minute lore dump since its really well animated.

    LARRY: Yeah it feels a tad disjointed, I don’t really love the first action fight sequence or the first tribal fight sequence.

    STICKMAN: The animation was lovely but I'm not a fan of world-building in the form of detached prequel sequences. My main issue was just it being like WOAH HEY HERE'S THE ENTIRE MYTHOLOGY and then setting up stuff for later, but that was 20 minutes out of the two hours  and 10 I think.


    MADHERO: See, I loved the tribal scene cause it was like nothing I had seen before. That's something that always comes back to me: wow, I really haven't seen it. You could argue that it ultimately becomes a straightforward narrative, but I loved to see the world just be, let Wakanda feel like a real place with a real culture

    LARRY: Nah, let me be clear: I LOVE WAKANDA. It is oozing with lore and character and color. It’s amazing. I just don’t like how the first tribal fight sequence is shot and edited.

    STICKMAN: I thought the action was fine, but not really the MCU at its peak in terms of choreography. The ritual scenes were cool because of the visuals and atmosphere. Also I got to see a lot of buff shirtless dudes.

    MADHERO: The Korea part of the movie is probably the most comic booky, though its really more like James Bond. Its not the best action, but the end battle is a lot of fun for.....reasons.

    STICKMAN: See I really liked that sequence, kinda wish the film had done a bit more of those.

     LARRY: I actually loved the casino scene.

    MADHERO: What I'm surprised by, and I hope this is something we'll see more of in the future, is how separate it feels from the MCU while still very much being a part of it. We often fear the MCU can feel like homework assignment and having to keep up with everything to make sense of it, but Black Panther, besides a couple nods and characters from other films, feels remarkably separate. You do not need to have seen the other films to make sense of it (though it adds a lot of value to certain moments). And there's parts where it feels like a Ryan Coogler film and not just a cog to the machine. With that and Thor Ragnarok, we're seeing an era of Marvel letting their directors do their thing, which I guess they can do now that they're guarenteed money makers

    LARRY: Oh yes, this is certainly very contained.

    STICKMAN: I feel like we've felt that with several MCU films so I don't really see why this is a big deal. There's cosmic space adventures, mind-bending magic, stripped back espionage's all connected by references and little tie-ins. Spider-Man and Civil War are really more outliers than anything.

    MADHERO: Well we did with Thor, but there's not much in the way of nods to other films or mentions of other Avengers. Its part of a trend that I hope continues.

    STICKMAN: I'm all for standalone films within the MCU that aren't required to go OH HEY IRON MAN'S OVER THERE, GUYS.

    MADHERO: Well, with Infinity War....who knows who's going to lead the pack after that. Were you guys surprised as well at how surprisingly political it got? Obviously that can happen with royalty and government, but it tackled some issues I never expected a blockbuster to tackle.

    LARRY: I mean, I found it impossible to not be political. Especially considering this film’s place in the pop culture zeitgeist.

    STICKMAN: I wasn't super surprised, if any Marvel film was going to get embroiled in politics, it was going to be this one. The latest run of the Black Panther comics is more  political drama than comic book action, really.

    LARRY: I think it tackled all of these themes very, very well. A very multi-sided argument portrayed in many different ways.

    STICKMAN: The climatic scene between Black Panther the villain was particularly stirring, not to mention having one of the most stirrrrring mid-credits scenes for the MCU. Minus that weird bit about Wales.


    MADHERO: Obviously I'm not going to experience this movie in a way the think pieces are going to make want to experience it. I hope we're going to get to a point in time where Black Panther is something special, but for now it really is in the best way. Representation in a empowering way that will inspire millions, an amazing batch of characters who'll surely grow in future sequels, and a world I can't wait to reexperience at some point. I don't know where this ranks among the MCU films (its becoming harder and harder) but its a stunning achievement in almost every way and worthy of the hype. Long may the king reign.

    LARRY: Overall I don’t think this is a masterpiece by any stretch, but I think it’s an important film that delivers on quality messages. And, obviously, a lot of people are enjoying and connecting to this film, so I’m happy about that, even with a stark contrast of quality between the first and second half. Also all hail Ryan Coogler. That man is a god.

    STICKMAN: I really liked this film. I was a little disappointed that it didn't have more memorable action sequences, and despite breaking new ground for the MCU in terms of thematics, failed to offer an original narrative once you get past all the presentational/character positives. But I mean...those are what make this such a good film. Not only do you have a layered and inspirational lead hero, but possibly the MCU's best ensemble supporting cast, and maybe its best villain. There's some surprisingly emotional scenes throughout, and although the action scenes are rarely that spectacular, they always have a weight to them because of your connection with the characters, both good and 'bad'.  Foremost it's a fantastic and fully realised achievement, bringing the world of Wakanda and the diverse and likeable citizens within it to life, with spectacular results. It's not cream of the crop  MCU, but it's well worth a watch.

    MADHERO: Well that's that. BUT WAIT, WE'RE NOT COMPLETELY DONE WITH REVIEWS! We talked about football playing claymation cavemen, and of course that refers to Early Man, Aardman's new claymation feature and their first original work since Pirates! Stickman, notorious Aardman hater but lover of football, is the only one that watched it. So hey, is it any good?(edited)


    DIRECTOR: Nick Park (Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)

    STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spal, Richard Ayoade

    SYNOPSIS: A caveman named Dug (Redmayne), along with his pet sidekick Hognob, unites his tribe to save their valley home when it is claimed by Lord Nooth (Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City

    STICKMAN: you all know, I really love my football, and despite  my dislike  of Aardm-Oh wait, that's not right. Yes. I somewhat like Aardman productions, they've been a huge inspiration on me my entire life, I love them to bits, and I was very excited for their latest feature, with Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit and directing genius back at the helm for the first time since 2009. Early Man is a really fun and enjoyable film, but sadly it's not quite up to the standards we seek from this studio, particularly this director. Whilst it's frequently very funny, and full of charm, heart and the usual Aardman touches and details throughout, it's unfortunately a very by the numbers underdog narrative that lacks the same compelling characters and story that say, Chicken Run or Curse of the Wererabbit had. It's not bad by any means, but it's not their best by any stretch. I'd put it above Shaun the Sheep, but below the other stop motion features, which is a shame given how long you have to wait for these to come along, but...I'm not saying it was bad at all, just not an instant classic like Nick Park's previous works. That said? If your local screenings of Black Panther are all sold out? Can't go wrong, really. This is a really fun and charming romp.

    MADHERO: That's a bit of a bummer that you didn't like it as much as you could've. Is that partly because of the football? I like both Aardman and football, so will I get more out of it?

    STICKMAN: Honestly it's not so much to do with the football itself, although the use of football as a main plot mechanic means the film lacks the creative action sequences people have maybe come to expect. Toy train chases, pie machines, Queen Victoria and her mechanical battle dress...this film lacks something to that caliber. In fact it doesn't really have much action at all. It's just the football sequence that comprises the end of the film is just kinda...drab?

    MADHERO: Its probably still the best football film ever made, cause...well....that's not a list filled with classics.

    LARRY: Well I’m sorry to hear it’s disappointing

    STICKMAN: I just hold Aardman to a high standard is all. Maybe those going in with lower expectations may find themselves enjoying it a lot more.

    LARRY: I’m a fan of Aardman, so it sucks to see something not living up to potential.

    MADHERO: Tom Hiddleston looks like he at least has a lot of fun with his attempt at a Allo Allo French accent

    STICKMAN: Honestly I had my doubts about the performances from the trailer, but they all do a great job in the film.  You really can't tell it's Hiddleston which means you just focus on the character. Same with Eddie the Red Mane, who's actually pretty good.

    MADHERO: So that's Early Man. Stll pretty good, but doesn't live up to Aardman's high standards. Alright, now time for the usual: talking bullshit about movies we haven't seen yet.

    STICKMAN: I will has one scene with a messenger pigeon that's really funny and creative, and I wish the film  had more scenes like that. Also...there's an aspect of the film which I guess is technically spoilers relating to that which...was really underplayed. Oops! Still, good stuff.



    DIRECTOR: Alex Garland (Ex Machina)

    STARRING: Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny

    SYNOPSIS: A biologist (Portman) signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply.

    STICKMAN: OOohhh. I'm so maaaad

    MADHERO: AHHHHHHHHHHH, MY MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE OF 2018.....and I can't see it in theaters. Fuck

    LARRY: I would say I'm excited to see it theaters but I feel the wounds are still fresh.

    STICKMAN: Not only do I have to wait to see it, I have to wait to see it...on a TV. And some of the reviews are like THIS IS WHAT THE BIG SCREEN WAS MADE FOR.

    LARRY Yeesh...

    MADHERO: Hey now. Don't blame Netflix. Blame Paramount for selling it off. But anyway, I'm still very much ready for Alex Garland's new film. Loved Ex Machina, and people have already said this is on the same level

    STICKMAN: I'm so stoked. Which is what makes the situation so agonizing.

    LARRY: Yeah I'm super excited. I'm also excited to see Natalie Portman in another leading role.

    STICKMAN: I mean. Her being in it is inconsequential to me, personally.

    MADHERO: Heard she's good in this as well, like always, but I'm mostly there for Garland.

    STICKMAN: I'm here for Garland and I'm here for the source material which I hear is fucking nuts.

    LARRY: Bringing in some FRESH CROC

    STICKMAN: Crocs!?

    MADHERO: No spoilers here...I think? Moving on


    DIRECTOR: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation)

    STARRING: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Jeffrey Wright

    SYNOPSIS: A group of friends (Bateman, McAdams etc.) meet regularly for their game night, and one night they find themselves investigating an actual murder mystery.

    STICKMAN: More like LAME Night. Ahaaaah.

    LARRY: Hoooo boy, what even is this movie.

    MADHERO: This looks....surprisingly fun? I dunno I kinda enjoy the dark comedy aspect of it.

    STICKMAN: I love a good dark comedy. I love...a good one. Jason Bateman isn't really a selling point. I'll be honest.

    MADHERO: Watch Ozark mah dude. Bateman's a good acting man.

    LARRY: Yeah Bateman can handle some darker, dramatic stuff. This just looks...odd.

    STICKMAN: There's too much on Netflix, maybe they should shed a little weight and put Annihilation in cinemas.

    MADHERO: Well he's by nature a comedian. I dunno, I think this looks like fun. The directors of this are also working on Flashpoint and were 2(of the 6 credited) writers on Spider-Man Homecoming.

    STICKMAN: It's got a dog on the poster, so that's something. Not my kinda dog, but. I mean. A dog all the same.

    MADHERO: Its a cute lil doggy

    LARRY: It also has a Sorry piece in a burglar mask. So. Hard to gauge.


    DIRECTOR: Duncan Jones (Source Code, Warcraft)

    STARRING: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Seyneb Saleh

    SYNOPSIS: Leo Beiler (Skarsgard), a mute bartender, searches for his missing girlfriend, Naadirah (Saleh), in the rolling city of immigrants where two American surgeons (Rudd, Theroux) are the only recurring clues

    STICKMAN: Oohhhhhhhh boooy. This is really my week.


    MADHERO: This is the movie Duncan Jones has been wanting to make for literally ever. Warcraft was a misstep, but he's done excellent work with his 2 small scale sci fi stories, so I'm all for this

    STICKMAN: This week is a case of Good Netflix, Fuck Netflix. If it weren't for Netflix this film would never exist...

    LARRY Yeah if this is closer to Source Code than I'm fucking ready.

    STICKMAN: This could go either way, and Duncan's been pretty forward with his awareness that some people are gonna hate it, so it's going to be interesting to see how it turns out.

    MADHERO: I think it might be closer to Moon in all honesty, especially since its supposedly takes place in the same universe

    STICKMAN: Also watch MOON, Larry. MOON is a classic.

    LARRY: I know, I know.

    MADHERO: You still have a week. Speaking of which.....HOW ABOUT SOME MOVIE OF THE WEEK. NAILED THAT SEGUE!



    STICKMAN: AAHHH FUCK The Black Panther lives.

    MADHERO: Well.....we could all be lazy and just pick that as our MOTW, but we could also give some other movies their time in the sun. Including one that'll continue our love/hate relation with Netflix

    STICKMAN: How about that Early Man huh Y'all...go see Early Man?

    LARRY: I just might honestly...I dunno.

    MADHERO: So Sticky. What's your Non-Black Panther Movie of the Week?


    STICKMAN: Uhh...well...shit. Let’s talk about a massively divisive movie, HUH? As we said earlier, The Cloverfield Paradox just came outta nowhere literally hours after we finished writing the previous episode of Screwvies, and being a big Cloverfield fan I stayed up until the Super Bowl finished in the US to watch the movie.

    And what did I think?'s...okaaaay? A lot of fun, with a interesting premise, it doesn't really nail the landing and it never fully explores the potential of what it has to offer, but despite the massively negative critical reception, I'd say it was pretty good despite this. Hard to talk about it without spoiling the fun, part of what made this exciting was going in knowing basically nothing, but all I'll say is it's nothing like either Cloverfield movie before it, it's not as good as either of them, but offers a fun, visceral sci-fi adventure with some great performances, funny moments and memorable, shall we say. In my eyes, this film was decent, it didn't deserve the mauling it got, even if it weren't that great either.

    MADHERO: We talked about it with the trailers, but regardless of the quality of the actual film,  I'm amazed they actually went and released a movie like that.

    STICKMAN: It was pretty ballsy. In retrospect maybe something of a cover-up, but hey ho. JJ Abrams climaxed the moment the TV spot landed.

    MADHERO: I think Paramount probably knew this would bomb if they released it in theaters, so making Netflix pay 50 mllion (effectively making a small profit of it) proved to be a smart move

    LARRY: I guess, it's setting a troubling precedent though.

    STICKMAN: It was damage control, but enjoyably ballsy damage control, and I enjoyed the movie so it was win-win, really. Can't say I've ever watched a film knowing nothing about it, having only learned the NAME of the film hours prior. I mean, in this day and age? How often do you go into something completely blind?

    LARRY: Rarely. And it mostly correlates to a great viewing experience.

    MADHERO: Only in games and Beyonce dropping Lemonade, but never in film, so it was fun seeing that implemented. Anyway, Larry. Whats your non-Black Panther MOTW?

    LARRY: My MOTW is Coco, the latest entry in the Pixar library, and most certainly a worthy addition. I can't lie, I didn't think much of this film initially, but once I heard reviews claiming it to be top-tier Pixar fare, I knew I had to see it. And yeah, it's damn great.

    Gorgeous animation with vibrant colors, fun characters who feel genuine, powerful and heartwarming music, a story that throws some twists and turns without it being arbitrary, but most importantly, a world that feels wholly and completely its own. Oh, and it's funny. And imaginative. And it made my best friend cry. It's not perfect, for a few small nitpicks regarding story and world-building build up to some spottiness, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Coco is definitely another shining example of why Pixar is the best in the biz.

    MADHERO: Awww yeah, my nr. 5 movie of last year.

    LARRY: Yeah, made my Top 20 post-2017.

    STICKMAN: More like Nono. As in no, I didn’t see it. I wussed out

    MADHERO: Were the skellymen too scary?

    STICKMAN: Yes. Those eyes. What's going on there.

    MADHERO: I said before that the movie didn't really interest me beforehand, but by the end it really got me and it goes into some pretty dark and unexpected directions.

    LARRY: Oh, absolutely. The third act throws you for a LOOP. I won't say what it does, but MAN. It made many friends of mine cry like babies.

    MADHERO: The last minutes of the movie were pretty damn hard to sit through. It made me sad, but oddly good as well.

    STICKMAN: I don't know man, I feel like  it needs a 20 minute prologue with a singing snowman.

    LARRY: Ya see that's what was missing.

    STICKMAN: What did you do Mad. Was it Blade Runner 2049.

    MADHERO: NO..........yes. My MOTW is a film that's near and dear to me because...well, it was my favorite movie of 2017, which I've made no secret was Blade Runner 2049, the sequel I long said should not have been made, but boy if Denis Villeneuve made me shut my big fat mouth and show me how wrong I was.

    I've talked about the movie at length, and I'm only talking about it now cause the Blu Ray just came out here in a fancy pants steelbook made by Mondo, which also comes with those shorts they made to add to the world-building. If you love brainy science fiction that makes a shithole world look absolutely gorgeous  thanks to Deakins' camerawork and the amazing production design. It may not be for everyone, but it was exactly my shit.

    STICKMAN: I'm still maaaad that the sexy ass Blu Ray was only available in the UK at HMV and with the 4K release which means I'd have to pay £20 extra for it. And I mean, that's expensive for porn.

    MADHERO: Not sure if it was in the UK, but here there was a collector's edition with a replica of K's blaster, which was super tempting but also 120 euros which is kinda much

    STICKMAN: They had  a £40 special edition that came with Blade Runner whiskey glasses here. If I drank whiskey and had any money, I'd be thrilled.

    LARRY: Hey I liked this movie a lot. Wasn't in my Top 10 but damn is it inspired.

    MADHERO: Good for you.

    LARRY: ...well geez Mad okay.

    STICKMAN: I'm just kinda skirting around the fact that this is the 50th time we've spoken about the movie film. It was my film of the YEARRR. I rewatched it recently too and  rest assured, I still loved it. My fears about it  not standing up second time through were incorrect.

    LARRY: If anything I figured it would only get better.(edited)

    STICKMAN: Not quite as good as seeing it in IMAX...even if it broke. I was concerned without the twists being unknown it wouldn't be as engrossing, I was incorrect.


    MADHERO: Indeed. Well, that about wraps up this colossus of a show. We'll be back with another comic book movie with Black Widow. Weird they recast ScarJo with Jennifer Lawrence though, but I guess its a prequel or something

    STICKMAN: Is there an island of dogs, too?

    LARRY: Ooh boy. Islands

    MADHERO: Doggo Island is in sight too, as well as mopey Bruce Willis. And hey, maybe before all that, we have Oscar Predictions. Depends on production and all that.

    STICKMAN: Gee...well...I'd feel pretty fucking STUPID if I missed out on reading THE NEXT EPISODE OF CINEMAT-At the Screwives. That's the one we do.

  • Yep, Black Panther Is Pretty Great! Check Out My Review!

    1 month ago



    The hype is strong for Black Panther. I certainly felt the weight of it as I sat down for the press screening. Not only was this movie supposed to be an all-timer, but it's also super duper important culturally and anyone who doesn't love it probably hates black people and donates to Donald Trump on the regular.

    Thankfully the movie is really damn good so I don't have to question my own progressiveness. Phew, that was a close one.

    Is it in danger of being overhyped? Yeah, for sure. At the end of the day it's a good superhero movie, but I didn't walk out of it feeling like I did after credits rolled on The Dark Knight or even The Avengers.

    To be fair, Black Panther is about something way different than either of those films. Avengers was a big feel good ass-kicking actionfest that was all about dazzling you with the first ever superhero team up of that scale and The Dark Knight was a dark, gritty examination of how good people deal with the injection of chaos into their world. Black Panther isn't going for either of those two feelings, falling somewhere between the two, actually.

    There isn't much action in the movie. In fact it plays a little more like a modern era James Bond film than a typical Marvel superhero story for almost all the action in the first half. The fights are one on one as T'Challa proves his worthiness for the throne and there's a mission to a South Korean underground casino that reminded me a ton of Skyfall in how it was shot and the political intrigue on display.

    This film is more concerned with character and world-building than it is on dazzling you with an action set piece very 15 minutes. Instead it cranks up the emotional stakes until you get the big final action scene, filled with warring tribes on the ground, dogfights in the skies and, yes, armored rhinos, that leaves you exiting the theater feeling fulfilled on that front but when you look back you realize just how little action is actually in the movie.

    That's a testament to a few things working very well. There's the wonderful direction from Ryan Coogler that keeps the pace going and puts an emphasis on bringing out the most personality he can out of his actors. There's the incredible production value on display. Wakanda is bright, detailed, vibrant and just about every single shot, interior or exterior, offers a visual feast for the eyes. From cinematography to production design to wardrobe to makeup, all departments are way on point.


    I suppose there could be human beings in this world that will be upset that Black Panther is isn't wall to wall kicking and scratching and stabbing and punching, but they'd be overlooking some pretty great character work to complain about it. Hard to believe comic book fans would complain about the little stuff, though, right?

    Oddly enough Black Panther himself is one of the least interesting characters in this film. He's not a bad character by any means and Chadwick Boseman is more confident in his performance than he was in Civil War, but the very nature of T'Challa's place in this story forces him to be a bit more serious. He's taking on the mantle of King. There's no conflict about that even if he does feel the weight of the throne. His struggle in the movie is all about his desire to be a good King, but not knowing if he can be. He's terrified of letting his country down, but even from early on he doesn't let that fear control him.

    So as a character he doesn't grow too much. He's steadfastly good-hearted, a rock for his people, but with the weight of that responsibility on him the whole time.

    That allows the movie to get stolen by some more colorful, looser performances. Everybody is going to walk away from this movie adoring Letitia Wright's Shuri. She's T'Challa's sister and kind of Q from James Bond folded into Tony Stark. She's smart, but young and so, so full of smart-ass that she brightens literally every scene she's in just by being there.

    Then there's Danai Gurira, playing Okoye, the head of the royal guard and loyal to the throne above all else. Gurira could have played this more serious and been badass and intimidating, but by going the more human route she becomes so much richer. She's cocksure and an incredible warrior, but she's also kind and funny and willing to call it like it is, no matter who she's talking to.


    Okoye also happens to have the most internal conflict in the movie. She's incredibly loyal, but her oath is sworn to the throne, not a specific king. So when the big bad guy comes in and challenges T'Challa to the throne her alliance is tested. She knows Erik Killmonger is bad news and doesn't like his politics. She also knows that T'Challa is a better king, but that's not her choice to make.

    It's a fascinating place to put the greatest warrior asset in this film and Danai Gurira sells every aspect of it; the doubt, the resolve, the badassness, the conflict... it's all there and Gurira makes it look effortless as she somehow expresses it all from scene to scene.

    I brought up Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger, who we know is the bad guy because he spells his name with the evil 'K' instead of the heroic 'C'. Another of this film's strengths is we actually have a good, well-rounded villain. That's not to say Killmonger isn't diabolical at certain points. There definitely fun had and some rhetorical mustaches get twirled, but you can see things from his point of view.

    In many ways he's a stronger leader than T'Challa. He may not be as wise and good-hearted, but he has a plan to save his people... not just the safe, hidden world of Wakanda, but all repressed people of color all over the world. It's time to shift the power away from those who enslaved and back to the people who were wronged. He's not wrong that societies are built to prevent that power from shifting and his plan isn't about making him ruler of the world, really. There's an altruistic undercurrent to the reason he wants the power.

    The easy comparison is that T'Challa is MLK and Killmonger is Malcolm X. They have similar goals and desires, but Killmonger is impatient and willing to use more aggressive tactics. This leads to a faceoff that is actually very dramatic and not just CGI dudes punching each other a lot. There's that, too, of course, but there's meaning behind it and the stakes for winning or losing this fight is high. The result will define the conscience of a whole nation.

    Coogler brings all this to screen in an authentic way that can't be denied. The Afrofuturist look executed so well and automatically makes this a different kind of superhero film. The uniqueness is a fresh flavor for the MCU and on a deeper societal level carries with it a level of representation previously unseen. Yes, we've had great roles for people of color in tentpole cinema, but this isn't just about having a strong black man in a costume, it's about embracing a culture and giving it the same love and signal boosting attention as we do with our traditional European heroes.

    I know I started this review kinda making fun of the woke reviewers, but it is something you can not separate when watching this movie. At least I, a white man quickly approaching middle age, couldn't. That feel of something new is so tied in with the character and the story being told and the world they've built is unquestionably at the forefront of this movie, which could piss off a lot of the more right-leaning white folks that see the movie, but the counter to that is it's going to inspire so many more people on the other side of that coin for exactly the same reasons. Black Panther doesn't hide its differences. It celebrates them. That is the takeaway here and that is what feels revolutionary about the whole project.


    I hope this if the first of many like giant mega blockbuster films. The box office predictions seem to indicate it might be. There's one thing Hollywood like above all else and that's money. If it become financially safe to make these kinds of movies with this kind of diverse cast then the door will be blown wide open.

    That's exciting, not just from a politically progressive standpoint, but also a cinema-loving standpoint. More diverse voices means more diverse storytelling, which means better, less predictable movies. Also, as a comic book movie fan, it means at least Marvel is still in the business of changing things up. Guardians of the Galaxy changed the feeling of what superhero movies could be. Black Panther does it as well. That will be why Marvel succeeds for another 10 years.

  • Ready Player One Gets A Sweet Painterly Poster!

    1 month ago


    I'm still flabbergasted that this movie is actually real and is coming out soon. Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg is so batshit crazy as a concept that it's either going to be a massive train wreck or something amazing. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground on this one.

    Today they debuted a new poster that is very much in the Spielberg/Struzan style although I don't think the legendary Drew Struzan actually did this one. It's good enough to be one of his, but I don't see his distinct signature anywhere.

    UPDATE: This is the work of the great Paul Shipper whose work you might know from those awesome Scream and Shout Factory Special Edition Blu-Rays. For years he's been the heir apparent to Drew Struzan and I guess he's finally arrived if I even questioned whether or not this piece was a Struzan! Check out more of his work here!

    Check it out:


    That's a way better poster than the previous one, which features star Tye Sheridan with a Go-Go Gadget extra long leg that you can't unsee once you see it.


    I still have no idea if this is going to be great or awful, but if there's one thing I've learned in all my years being a movie geek it's that you never, ever bet against Steven Spielberg.

  • GET OUT (2017)

    1 month ago



    (no spoilers in this, btw)

    Nominated for:

     • Best Picture

     • Original Screenplay

     • Director - Jordan Peele

     • Lead Actor - Daniel Kaluuya   

    So project 'Gianella watches all the 2018 Best Picture nominated movies' officially started today and I need a shorter title for it.

    I've literally been meaning to watch Get Out since the beginning of last year when all you saw on Twitter was buzz about it. It wasn't released in Australia until May and by that point I was busy doing other stuff so now here we are.

    I don't have much to add to all the praise that you've probably seen for it. It's good. I will say though that I haven't reacted so viscerally to a movie in such a long time. There were scenes where the execution of the movie's concept was so good, so perfect that I kinda lost my mind about it. Like, I was the human equivalent of !!!!!!!

  • Michael Fassbender is going to star in a Kung Fury movie? Say what now?

    1 month ago


    Words I didn't expect to see today were "Michael Fassbender and David Hasselhoff are going to co-star in..." But that's exactly what I saw.

    Looks like Michael Fassbender will take center stage for a feature length Kung Fury film. Yeah, that Kung Fury. 


    Tracking-Board got the scoop and I'm still not sure if someone somewhere is playing an elaborate pre-April Fool's Day Joke or not, but it seems legit. 

    The people who produced IT are behind this feature and this is either going to be the worst thing ever made or a stroke of a genius. I can't tell, which is pretty exciting in and of itself, but I'll believe this is real when I actually see it.

Join The Video Beta X