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  • At the Screwvies: Episode 110

    1 week ago



    MADHERO: Hey, everyone. Welcome to NOT E3. Y'know, cause it ain't E3, but like E3, we do have trailers. Boy o boy do we have trailers. So many trailers that we can't cover them all. Its literally madness.

    STICKMAN: It's MoviE3. It's time to experience entire movies within the space of two minutes.

    LARRY: Literally. So....many....trailers.

    MADHERO: So yeah, I hope you like trailers. As well as long awaited animated movie sequels. Got those in spades as well.

    LARRY: Ooh damn, that's true. But that doesn't roll off the tongue.



    So it feels like its been a while since we've seen Hiccup and Toothless, hasn't it? Not that weird when you consider the sequel came out in 2014. Since then, most of the dragon exploits had been relegated to Netflix, but now here we are, with a teaser trailer for what is billed as "the epic conclusion," and it looks.... well gorgeous for one thing. There's really something about this franchise that makes Dreamworks bring their A-game.

    Most of the trailer consist of the introduction of the Light Fury, a white female version of Toothless who seems to be from a hidden world where all dragons are from, and Toothless' goofy flirting that once again confirms that he's a sweet boy. Said sweet boy is also hunted by F. Murray Abraham though, and Hiccup, now chief of the village, seems to have some tough decisions ahead of him. Also Toothless goes full Thor at the end, so that's neat. Considering the trailer begins with "When I was a boy, there were dragons" there's the suggestion things might be a bit of a bummer. I feel like HTTYD is probably Dreamworks' strongest franchise, so I'm very curious how they stick the franchise and actually give it a proper conclusion.

    STICKMAN: Continued adventures of franchise I don't care much for.

    LARRY: Continued adventures of franchise I used to like but now don't care much for. Its sequel is trash.

    MADHERO: I feel so weird being the one here that genuinely likes these movies considering the high regard they have on the internet. And I can't disagree more on that opinion on the sequel.

    STICKMAN: Most people love this shit, you've been stuck with the two losers who don't. The sequel is better than the original but it's not really a big contest in terms of overall quality for me. STILL...this one looks more of the same.

    LARRY: Ohhhhhh it so is NOT better. In my opinion anyway.

    STICKMAN: I gave HTTYD the ol' college try and neither film impressed me. Happy others are excited thoooough, all about that Toothless.

    MADHERO: This is truly a curse. Can't deny this is looking really pretty though, right?

    STICKMAN: It looks very pretty yeah.

    LARRY: Yes, the animation is stellar. But who the hell asked for Toothless to get a fuck buddy?

    STICKMAN: I wish it were me. That mating ritual bit was pretty amazing.

    MADHERO: Director Dean DeBlois has already said on a Reddit AMA that one of the big themes of the film is letting go, so my guess its going to be a bit of a bummer.

    STICKMAN: Letting go of the last Dreamworks Animation franchise worth even once iota of a damn.

    LARRY: Until Shrek 5 anyway.

    STICKMAN: HAHAAHHAA. Good one Larry. Maybe one day Toothless will stop  hunting the white dragon and settle for a handsome lizard boy.

    LARRY: Hopefully this one turns out better than 2. If it's better, I'll watch it.

    MADHERO: I'm looking forward to seeing my sweet dragon adventures, even if these 2 mooks don't see it.



    Ever since the first LEGO Movie, we’ve all been curious to see how they plan to follow it up given its massive success. Well, to be honest, it looks like they’re doing a fine job thus far. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is set five years after the Duplo aliens took siege of Legoland (aka the end of the first film), with the world becoming a Mad Max style apocalypse which seems to bum everyone out except Emmett.

    And now, after Emmett’s friends are kidnapped by a mysterious alien, seemingly from Lego's Friends line, indicating the sister is oncer again more involved, it is up to him and his plant to save them. With a zany plot like this and a very similar tone and style compared to its predecessor, things are looking good for this sequel. It looks to have plenty of laughs, and Chris Pratt as Emmett seems to have not lost ANY of its luster as a fun protagonist to follow. Let’s hope Lord and Miller, alongside co-writers Dan Lin and Roy Lee AND directors Mike Mitchell and Trisha Gum, can pull this one off!

    MADHERO: I always appreciate the use of Beastie Boys' Intergalactic

    STICKMAN: Loving the idea that this, a story that's a sorta embellished retelling of a boy's imagination, has a gender politics callback to the previous movie that occurred years before this one. Other than that kinda cringey looks to be a fun continuation of the original movie.

    MADHERO: The Friends line-up being a thing here does sorta suggest we're going to be seeing more of that here, especially with some of the comments made. I do think Lord and Miller said that they wanted to do more with Wyldstyle/Lucy that they ultimately ended up doing, so I guess this is part of that, even if it involves kidnapping

    LARRY: Yeah it doesn't look like a change in directors really made much of an impact. Watching Duplo fuck up Bricksburg is gonna be a weird sequence.

    MADHERO: As a Brooklyn 99 fan, I'm really happy that they added Stephanie Beatriz to the cast. She's great on that show. My main hope is to see some FUCKING BIONICLE!

    STICKMAN: I would literally scream if Bionicle turned up.

    LARRY: Brush off all that "sorry we forgot about you" dust.

    MADHERO: The people demand it, Lord and Miller. Do the right thing.



    Hey, it's your boi The Stickman,  in 'Horror movies that caused a lot of buzz at Cinemacon but are now finally getting a first look online' Corner.  Halloween...the direct sequel to Halloween...but not the remake of Halloween, no, the original Halloween. There was once a point in time where a new Halloween movie release was about as exciting as having toast for breakfast, it’s now  been almost 10 years since the last installment, as it, along with most of the titans of the slasher genre have tried and failed to adapt to modern temperaments. That said, it's fair to say people are rather excited for this entry, a retcon of all Halloween's that followed from the 1978 classic that sees Laurie Strode and Michael Myers face each other again, for presumably the final time.

     In what's a reasonably substantial first trailer, we see Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode, now a hardened, combat ready woman eager to finally get her revenge on the man/monster who turned her life upside down forever. After an asylum bus crash, an escaped Myers returning to the scene of his original crime, it seems she'll get her chance. It's hard not to be wary of a Halloween movie, and a slasher movie in general, after so many years of mediocrity and lazy filmmaking, but the winds seem to be moving in the right direction for this one, and hopefully it proves to be a crowd pleaser this...HALLOWEEN. Halloween, the sequel to Halloween...out Halloween.

    MADHERO: I liked the part where they made fun of the sequels and talked about Myers being Strode's brother as something made up.

    LARRY: It's very fashionable nowadays to be self-aware, it seems.

    STICKMAN: It's always a good idea to shit on slasher movie sequels.

    MADHERO: He got his ass beat by Busta Rhymes in one of them. They deserve all the beating and being removed from canon. It really looks like its going back to basics, and there's some really fun imagery there what with the mental ward and all.

    STICKMAN: That was surprisingly cool imagery for a Halloween movie. I think this kinda looks like an Aliens equivalent to Alien, where the unprepared victim becomes the attacker of sorts in the follow-up and I am HEEEERE for this.

    MADHERO: Jamie Lee Curtis definitely gives off a Sarah Connor in T2 kinda vibe, and that's a very interesting way to go, especially when compared to H20, which made her suffer from PTSD.

    LARRY: As someone who isn't really into Halloween all that much, this kinda makes me intrigued to watch them all.

    STICKMAN: I wouldn't. Halloween 1 is the classic, Halloween 3 is the cult favourite, the rest are kinda...garbo.

    LARRY: But won't this one feel great if it's any good given how trash its been?

    MADHERO: Just watch the original. That's an absolute classic and the only one important here. And yes, also Halloween 3

    STICKMAN: Halloween 3 is the real Halloween movie, where's THAT sequel.

    MADHERO: The Silver Shamrock must live. Also John Carpenter may not be directing, but he's doing the music so get ready for some synthy tunes

    STICKMAN: I am ready for some John Carptenter beats.

    LARRY: They better not fucking modernize him. If I hear a fucking trap beat over the fucking Halloween theme...

    STICKMAN: You can't modernise John Carpenter, he's like 900 years old. Also sweet dreams, anyone who's closets don't shut properly.


    WHAT'S THIS? A TRANSFORMERS MOVIE THAT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE ASS?! Ok maybe that's harsh, but damn, this was a weird surprise to see. The Transformers spin-off Bumblebee always seemed like a bit of a dumb idea, and to be fair it still is, but there's something to be said about the lack of Bayhem and throwing in a spice of Iron Giant that just makes this feel more hopeful about this spin-off that may or may not launch a cinematic universe, what with Last Knight not doing great.

    The trailer doesn't really go into much detail, with Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie getting a Volkswagen Beetle, who as it turns out, is the Transformer with the inability to talk that we we all know and love(?), 20 years before he would go and pee on John Turturro.  The rest of the trailer shows some action, but much clearer, and also a tease for Starscream, who doesn't look like a metal Dorito this time and looks like his original form and color scheme. So yeah, I'm pleased by what I'm seeing. I really do hope Travis Knight and co manage to stick the landing and remind me why I liked this franchise in the first place. It'd be nice not to second guess being a Transformers fan.

    STICKMAN: Bumblebee is a cutie. Protect him.

    LARRY: I’m honestly here for this film.

    STICKMAN: I'm not here for this film, but I'm here for Bumbleboi. By making him cute they're setting us up to cry when he gets thrown through the ringer.

    LARRY: This looks far more in line with what a Transformers spinoff would look like if the original films weren’t ass.

    MADHERO: I think the important factor here is that this is the first Transformers movie without Michael Bay, and one that doesn't cost like 300 million or so. This is a much more smaller scale and intimate story, with some bot action for good measure.

    STICKMAN: There's rumours that after this they are aiming to change up the Transformers movies in general, without Bay. That'd be nice.

    LARRY: That’d be lovely. Let Knight take over for all I care.

    STICKMAN: No no, Travis Knight needs to come back to LAIKA. WHERE HE BELONGS.

    MADHERO: With Last Knight being a disappointment at the box office and plans for TF 6 canceled, I really do hope this'll be a good new direction for them. Also, OG Starscream is making me more hype than it should.

    STICKMAN: As someone without any connection to the original stuff, and not being a fan of the movies at all...I don't have a huge amount of interest in this, but Bumblebee is my favourite and he's the best thing about this already sooooo.

    LARRY: Also, to all of the people trying to add a sexual tension between Steinfeld and Bunblebee........please stop.

    MADHERO: I haven't seen any of that, but I'm sure that exists and I'm scared to look.


    My favorite trailer we are discussing today is for Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse, a film that…honestly just has everything in its favor. While I still wish we got just a bit more plot squeezed out, we got to see plenty of new glorious characters: Miles’ father, a police officer and a total “dad”, Myles’ mentor, what appears to be an old and worn out Peter Parker (though some have theorized otherwise…),  played by Jake Johnson. Oh, and the amazing reveal of SPIDER-GWENNNNNNN (Hailee Steinfeld). Amazing to see her in cinematic form.

     We also get more of that luscious, vivid animation; this is honestly my favorite part. It feels like a damn comic book, from the colors, to the movement, to the pure energy bursting through it. Not to mention actual comic book descriptions appearing on screen. It really doesn’t look like any animated film out there. Needless to say, this film is gonna be a doozy when it hits us in December.



    MADHERO: It sure is a good time to be a fan of Lord and Miller or Hailee Steinfeld. That or animation in general. Weird to think that this has a lot of the same animators as The Emoji Movie.

    STICKMAN: With stuff like The LEGO Movie and this being around, it's really nice to see mainstream animation becoming more visually diverse, I hope the trend continues.

    LARRY: Yeah this just looks like boatloads of fun, nuff said. It’s a movie that speaks for itself.

    MADHERO: Well its nice to see that they're tackling Spider-Verse, which both serves as a good way to introduce Miles Morales and the other Spider-Men out there. That's a story not unadaptable, but definitely a lot harder in live-action.

    STICKMAN: I'm still not sure just how they're tackling it honestly. There's no mention of these different spidies being from different dimensions, but there's 3 of them...and Spider-Gwen just casually turning up kinda suggests there is dimensional play at wooork, right?

    MADHERO: Its really cool to see Spider-Gwen in there. Read her comics if you haven't and want a alternate take on the Marvel universe. It's really good.

    LARRY: Ugh it’s so COOL to see her realized on screen. I’m gonna nerd out SO HARD.

    STICKMAN: I like that we've got an older Peter Parker too, there's a lot lot to be excited about. Miles' dad is a lot funnier in the film than he is in the comics.

    MADHERO: Its also cool to have Morales as the lead. It may not be Black Panther level, but its up there. That and along with the amazing animation makes it all seem very exciting. Hopefully it pays off.

    LARRY: My boi SHAMEIK MOORE finally getting some more work.

    STICKMAN: God if this film blows I'm going to be SO DISAPPOINTED.


    STICKMAN: I'm happy for Venom to die so I get a good Miles movie. I'm MORE than happy.


    Although the follow-up film from 'Call me by your Name' director Luca Guadagnino was always going to be a hot topic,  after news of all the Amazon Studios luncheon discourse from the remake of 70s horror classic Suspiria broke out, it's fair to say a lot of people were looking forward to seeing the film for themselves. WELL, the first teaser is out, and whilst it doesn't deliver on the grisly sequences that caused canapes and mini-sandwiches to be dropped to the ground a couple months back, it did instead deliver a rather promising and effectively eerie experience for sure.

    Bolstered by what's already a very exciting and creepy score by Radiohead singer and first time film composer Thom Yorke, we didn't see a lot of disturbing scenes at all really, but instead the hint of the horrible deeds to come just out of frame.

    Although notably lacking the psychedelic colours of the original film, it seems to be following a similar direction in terms of location and narrative, albeit perhaps with a more intense and graphic modern horror mentality. Ignoring the music and visuals, Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson are the stars of this teaser, them...and a rather unpleasant looking metal implement draped neatly on a table covered in blood. I guess we'll find out where all that raspberry jam came from later this year, but with the  highly toted extreme violence and now a very promising teaser that's gotten the film a lot of attention? Suspiria has a lot to live up to.

    MADHERO: This is one spoopy trailer. Well, more unsettling really.

    LARRY: Lots of teasing and good shots. Saving the spoopiness for the film.

    STICKMAN: It's pretty great that we've got two great looking horror trailers this week, and they couldn't be more different if they tried. Arthouse disturbing horror versus popcorn entertainment. I'm down for both, and this looks great so far.

    LARRY: Plus you got Hereditary out right now. Good time for horror.

    MADHERO: I do notice that Jessica Harper is listed in the credits, and she's the original lead in Suspiria. Could this be....A SEQUEL?!

    STICKMAN: OH MY GAWWWWD It's probably just a cameo to be fair. Maybe we find out where all the colours went.

    LARRY: Oh lordddddd

    MADHERO: Sucked out like in Paper Mario Color Splash. Its an interesting stylistic choice when compared to the original, which is super colorful and adds to its psychadelic nature. This one seems more muted, but from what we've heard, will probably still be batshit insane.

    STICKMAN: I'm so down for it. If people walk out the cinema, it's gonna be amazing. I do wonder if we're going to get to see any of the grisly details prior to release, or if they're saving the nightmares for the big screen.

    MADHERO - Last Sunday at 1:09 AM

    Shout-out to the Twitter account as well which has been having fun.

    LARRY: Also a really nice logo. Can’t wait for when they begin competing for Oscars.

    STICKMAN: And that SCORE. My crazy dancing boy Thom Yorke giving us that creepy synth goodness. The members of Radiohead will soon be composing all movies.


    MADHERO: Its gonna be a goodun for sure. Alright., we had plenty of trailers, but we also have plenty of FILMS COMING OUT!


    MADHERO: Sorry. Yep, so much so that Larry has only gone and seen one of them already. Genderswapped remakes are really hot right now, what with Ghostbusters totally not causing any controversy, and that Overboard remake.....existing I guess. We now move on to Ocean's 8, although here its more of a sequel from what I've heard. I dunno, didn't see it, but Larry sure did.

    LARRY: Well, it is technically a sequel I suppose.

    MADHERO: Alright, enough set up. How does this destroy the Hollywood patriarchy? Also is it any good?


    OCEANS 8

    DIRECTOR: Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Free State of Jones)

    STARRING: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Armitage, James Corden

    SYNOPSIS: Debbie Ocean (Bullock) attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first step is to assemble the perfect crew (Blanchett, Kaling etc.)

    LARRY: So I didn’t initially plan on seeing Ocean’s 8, but my friend got access to an early screening of the film this past Wednesday, and it was free, which me likey. So, I decided to give what looked like an unnecessary cash grab a chance, and I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying myself.


    It’s no masterpiece by any stretch—it doesn’t even touch Ocean’s 11, though it probably falls in the middle between Ocean’s 12 or 13 in terms of quality. However, it’s cast is very strong, each being their own distinct personality while having a fun chemistry with one another, and the script has many genuinely funny moments, which unfortunately is somewhat rare for these gender-bent reboots. It’s heist isn’t particularly that clever or inventive, but it still delivers the suspense that any heist movie should strive for. Its problems lie in the storytelling, with a third act this is ultimately pointless and poorly structured. Plus, it doesn’t seem to have much to say other than....female empowerment yay. But, for a film with little to offer thematically or sub-textually, it, at the very least, is a fun time at the movies for those looking for some laughs and good times. I certainly didn’t regret not paying for it.

    STICKMAN: Does it do anything different to draw in someone like me, who didn't like the Oceans films priorrrr?

    LARRY: Oh, definitely not I’m afraid. This is an Ocean’s film, through and through.

    MADHERO: The cast looks like its having a lot of fun. Are there any that in particular stand out and ones you could've done without? The previous Oceans movies had Clooney, Pitt and Damon and the rest besides Cockney Don Cheadle were pretty disposable

    LARRY: I mean, yeah some are clearly funnier than others. Sandra Bullock is thriving in this role, and Blanchett provides some of the best lines. Anne Hathaway basically plays a parody of herself and is excellent, and probably the biggest surprise was Sarah Paulson being pretty great. The most disposable is probably Mindy Kaling, cuz she gets the least amount to do and the most clunkers in regards to jokes.

    MADHERO: Well that's unfortunate, considering how fun Kaling is on stuff like The Office. How much is there in terms of connections to the other Oceans movies? Some cameos maybe?

    LARRY: Yes, a few distinct cameos and Clooney’s character being dead (not a spoiler, it’s literally in the trailers). These appearances have little weight on the story, they might as well be slightly elevated Stan Lee cameos. One of them is actually arguably a MASSIVE plot contrivance

    MADHERO: O dang. RIP. So yeah, sounds like its a fun if rather disposable film. Nothing wrong with that, and a good two hours, but you won't be thinking about it much after. That a fair assumption for your wrap up?

    LARRY: Yeah, it’s disposable for someone like me. But I’m sure some people will really enjoy it. It’s also worth noting that Gary Ross is a solid director all things considered and it’s cool to see him getting big films like this, even if they ultimately aren’t his strongest work.

    STICKMAN: I'll give it a hard pass.


    LARRY: Yeah, I didn’t expect otherwise lol. I would’ve passed too, but free movies and fun friend timessssss. Also, Cate Blanchett forever has my heart now. With this, Blue Jasmine, and Carol, she may be my new favorite actress.

    STICKMAN: She's pretty neato beans.

    MADHERO: She's pretty Incredible. Speaking of which.....

    STICKMAN: Niiice

    LARRY: Wowwwwwww



    DIRECTOR: Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille)

    STARRING: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, Jonathan Banks, Bob Odenkirk

    SYNOPSIS: Bob Parr AKA Mr. Incredible (Nelson) is left to care fort he family (Vowell, Milner) while Helen AKA Elastigirl (Hunter) is out saving the world in a campaign to bring “supers” back.


    STICKMAN: I'm in the minority where I wasn't like...super into The Incredibles? I liked it, but I didn't loooove it. I've only seen it the one time and that's when it first came out.

    LARRY: Well it’s time to revisit it!! I’m seeing a double feature of both films, which about to be the highlight of my Summer.

    MADHERO: It sure has taken their sweet time getting there. I've been wanting a sequel to this film since I was 10, and I'm 24 now. That's fucking wild. Anyway, this looks like fun.

    STICKMAN: Sounds like it's gonna deliver the goods, too.

    LARRY: Reviews are hella positive. I JUST WANNA SEE IT ALREADY

    MADHERO: Yeah, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from the trailers, but the impressions from critics that watched it have been extremely positive

    STICKMAN: The trailers seem to be hiding a lot of the film, which is a good thing if what's being hidden is great.

    LARRY: Can’t wait to relish in shady Bob Odenkirk.

    STICKMAN: I've yet to see anyone call it a tearjerker, which is a miracle given Pixar made this film.

    MADHERO: Yep. Apparently Jack-Jack and Edna steal the show, so I'm very curious why what they do. And Odenkirk in your movie is never a bad thing.

    LARRY: Ednaaaaaa.Brad Bird’s greatest accomplishment.

    MADHERO: 14 years I've waited, so I'm definitely seeing this asap. If this makes me want a Incredibles 3 and I'll only get it when I'm 38, I'm going to be pissssssed.


    DIRECTOR: Jeff Tomsic (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fish, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb

    SYNOPSIS: A group of ex-classmates (Helms, Renner etc.) meet up and organize a game of tag that finds them traveling across the country.

    STICKMAN: Here's where Hawkeye was. "Sorry I couldn't fight Thanos you guys, I was playing Tag"

    LARRY: Yeah he had to get his arms CGI’d.

    STICKMAN: That's a fun tidbit for this otherwise soso looking film.

    MADHERO: Just hanging out with the coach from Spider-Man Homecoming, so there's your MCU connection

    LARRY: If Tag became canon with the MCU, I’d have zero problems with that.

    MADHERO: For a comedy, this does actually have a pretty interesting cast. I guess Buress, Johnson and Helms are people you expect in a comedy like this, but less so with Renner and Jon Hamm, and people don't give enough credit to how funny Jon Hamm is.

    LARRY: Don’t forget my boi Jake Johnson!!

    MADHERO: I'm not the biggest fan of that guy, but that may be cause I can't stand New Girl.

    LARRY: Go watch Safety Not Guaranteed and get back to me.

    MADHERO: O yeah he was in that. That was good. But yeah, fun comedy about a weird real life story and will likely be about the real tag being the friends we met along the way.

    LARRY: I’m excited for this one!! Cast looks great, humor looks funny, and even some fun physical comedy. Ticket sold for me.

    STICKMAN: I'll be here, not watching.


    DIRECTOR: Ari Aster (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

    SYONPSIS: When the matriarch of the Graham family dies, her daughter, Annie (Collette), suspects a presence was left behind. With the household under threat by a supernatural force, Annie must explore the darkness to escape their inherited fate.

    STICKMAN: OOOooOooh.

    MADHERO: Prepare for the spoops delivered straight by A24.

    LARRY: Gotta love that divisive D+. Some people just can’t handle the spoops.

    STICKMAN: The best horror films make people angry. Strong reviews but a mixed audience reception, someone called this film emotional terrorism, and I'm here for this.

    LARRY: I completely agree. Just fascinating to note that.

    MADHERO: The Alamo Drafthouse apparently had some people wear heart monitors during the screening and some shot up to 165 Bpm which is pretty wild.

    STICKMAN: I can't wait to have a £10 heart attack.

    LARRY: I’m genuinely scared to go see this one. I don’t do well with horror.

    STICKMAN: I'll hold your hand babe.

    MADHERO: The film goes quite batshit at the end, so my guess that when it all gets a little too in tents.

    STICKMAN: Another solid 2018 horror film. BRING IT ON I SAY.


    DIRECTOR: Drew Pearce (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Tyree Henry, Dave Bautista, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day

    SYNOPSIS: Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, 'Hotel Artemis' follows the Nurse (Foster), who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.

    LARRY: Poor everyone in this film... Doesn’t seem to be doing too hot.

    STICKMAN: This feels like such an under the radar release for something seemingly so high profile, given the cast.

    MADHERO: You know this is one of those films that got made when John Wick got really popular . Definitely has that vibe, even if it apparently doesn't have nearly as much action as expected.

    LARRY: I’d go for Bautista alone.

    MADHERO: Its a genuinely great cast. Jodie Foster, who seems to be having a lot of fun, Sterling K. Brown, Charlie Day, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum. I feel like this is going to get a cult following very soon

    STICKMAN: Jodie Foster alone y'knooow, but oh welll.

    LARRY: Hopefully Charlie Day doesn’t fuck a Kaiju brain in this film...

    STICKMAN: Wait what.

    MADHERO: I think that's from Uprising. Also gross.

    LARRY: I wish it wasn’t a thing. But it certainly is.

    STICKMAN: I'm so confused.

    MADHERO: I could've gone my life without knowing that. Anyway, this might be for people who want something smaller, but probably don't expect much in the way of action that the trailers might tell you.

    STICKMAN: Why he fuck the braaain though.

    MADHERO: See Uprising and find out.


    DIRECTOR: Director X (Across the Line, Center Stage: On Pointe)

    STARRING: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis

    SYNOPSIS: Youngblood Priest (Jackson), a cocaine dealer, decides to make one more deal before getting out of the business and turning his life around.

    MADHERO: From Acclaimed director....Director X

    STICKMAN: My...favourite?

    MADHERO: This is one of those cases where this is beyond our scene, cause he's directed stuff like the Hotline Bling video  and plenty more music videos. It just really caught me off guard and thought it was funny

    LARRY: Its funny. Ya won’t catch me near it tho.

    MADHERO: Of all the movies to remake, Superfly seems like such a weird one since its such a part of its era and genre. That film basically  started the blaxploitation genre.

    LARRY: Yeah. Not sure if we need more blaxploitation....

    MADHERO: Well maybe it was a Black Dynamite style homage. This just kinda feels like a really standard gangster film.


    LARRY: Yeah the name of the director is more interesting than the film.

    MADHERO: This is one of those reboots that we really could've done without.

    STICKMAN: I wasn't aware of it prior to this episode, and I'll forget about it soon after.

    LARRY: Weird how something managed to topple Ocean’s 8 for most unnecessary reboot. What a world.


    MADHERO: Right, that about does it  for the films out this week, but luckily there's MOVIE OF THE WEEK!

    STICKMAN: Niiice

    MADHERO: Its a bit of a weird week, what with a pretty big movie that;s out right now  here in Europe but not quite yet in the US, but we figured something out, and I think we have quite a eclectic list.

    STICKMAN: But I saw the big blockbuster movie of the week though.

    LARRY: Proud to always deliver those subversive indie hitters.

    MADHERO: Subversive indie hitter, you say? Well then, Larry. What's your Movie of the Week?


    LARRY: I’m sure some of our readers in the states have seen the occasional ad or trailer for this film online since its premiere at Sundance, and if you would’ve skipped it based on that and that alone, I wouldn’t have blamed you. But do NOT let its marketing fool you; American Animals is not your average heist film. Not even close. What the marketing has been deceptively (and I say that as a compliment) hiding is this film’s clever blending of both documentary and narrative techniques to create its own strange specimen of a genre.

    I don’t want to spoil how, it’s best you go in blind, but hot damn did it throw me for a loop. What follows is an interestingly crafted story that had me engaged from minute one; with a strong directorial voice from Bart Layton, a great cast led by Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan, and some ingenious editing, It masterfully plays with audience perception in ways that few films ever have and probably ever will. Even though it ultimately doesn’t do as much with its world as I would’ve liked to see, it nevertheless is a minutely flawed but still thoroughly enjoyable, darkly funny experience that I couldn’t recommend enough. One of my favorite films of the year thus far.

    STICKMAN: This looks like it could be a fun heist capperrrr.

    LARRY: Oh, it’s so much more than that my friend.

    MADHERO: I honestly had only vaguely heard of this and haven't seen any trailers for it. Cool poster though. Do creepy looking flamingos come into play?

    LARRY: I mean, I didn’t think it looked creepy per se. But there is indeed a flamingo. It is a cool poster, with an aesthetic heavily featured in the film.

    STICKMAN: It makes me want to play Hotline Miami  for some reason.

    LARRY: Whenever you guys get it, you gotta go see it.

    MADHERO: A good heist film is always fun to watch. I guess this one is a little less expensive than the one in Oceans 8

    STICKMAN: I wanna see an animal heist movie that isn't The Nut Job.

    LARRY: Okay but I wanna stress. This is NOT just a heist film. Don’t go in expecting anything like Ocean’s. I swear, the blinder you go in, the more it’ll surprise you in the best ways.

    MADHERO: Alright, Sticky. What's your Movie of the Week?

    STICKMAN: This week's E3, so what better time to look at a movie based on a video game that didn't do very well critically or financially! Hurrah! The third installment in the movie versions of the popular series, and a reboot more on par with the gritty game reboot....reboot...TOMB a film that isn't perfect by any means, it's got a long wrong with it, and when compared to the game itself, lacks the same ambition, scope or its own film? It's pretty good honestly.

    The opening scenes prior to her actual adventure are probably the best parts, since they do their own thing and show the character with a lot of heart and personality. Once things get to the island, it's a little less engaging, but it's still fun, with enough discourse-inducing deviations from the source material to make it a fresh experience even to those who've played the game itself.  Again, this ain't a great movie, but it's easily the best video game  movie to date that isn't Resident Evil Vendetta, which is the Citizen Kane of video game movies.

    MADHERO: This one is definitely the most appropriate for this time of year.

    STICKMAN: Lara Croft was even at E3. You're WELCOME GUYS.

    LARRY: I still have yet to see this, though I’ve been meaning to.

    STICKMAN:It's fun, I'm not going to pretend it's an amazing movie, but as a fan of the franchise I enjoyed it. It's biggest flaws are how it isn't like the game, so if you haven't played the gaaaame...

    MADHERO: Its been interesting to see this come and slightly go. Wasn't a huge hit but definitely successful.

    STICKMAN: It was a mild success but it didn't quite hit the cultural zeitgeist, as tossers would say.

    MADHERO: It wasn't no "Jolie posters everywhere " type of success. Does make me wonder what the plan is. Still, it can comfortably hold the crown for best Hollywood video game  game movie for now.

    LARRY: Personally I’m only interested in still seeing this for Vikander, cuz I hear she is quite good in it. And I’m happy she got this opportunity.

    STICKMAN: She's a great Lara yeah. I think the first 20 minutes are the highlight and then it loses its way a bit, STILL...worth a watch maybe. I don't know if it'll get a sequel given it was a tepid box office success, but who knooooows. Anyway, what'd you watch Mad, some weird Netflix release?

    MADHERO: My Movie of the not for the faint of heart  Seriously, while the trailer may not seem that scary, it not does prepare for the absolute mayhem that unfolds. Bone Tomahawk follows sherrif Kurt Russell as he and a posse go into the wilderness of the Wild West after a couple of people are kidnapped by a clan of troglodytes, who as it turns out, are cannibals, so that's fun. The film itself takes a while to get going, with you mostly alongside these characters and what the harsh environment is doing to their mental state.

    But once it gets going, oh lord does it get going. Any gorehound will probably have their moments of OH MY FUCKING GOD. There's one sequence there that's so bad that I had to pause and make sure I wasn't feeling ill, and I'm generally pretty good when it comes to that stuff. Its fucking insane, and much credit to S. Craig Zahler, who assembled quite a good cast and immediately becomes a different voice in Hollywood. He seems to have cemented that with Brawl in Cell Block 99 as well. So as mentioned, not for the faint of heart, but you're in for a great ride if you're prepared.

    STICKMAN: I like movie horror gore, but I don't like Westerns. What a sticky situation.

    LARRY: I’m interested now that I hear it’s bonkers.

    MADHERO: A Western can often be boring. This one is definitely not, but you need to take the time before it gets to the crazy shit

    STICKMAN: So it's like Dust till Dawn, which I didn't realise was THAT movie until it happened. And then I was like...oh.

    MADHERO: Sorta. You get hints here and there, but there's definitely the moment where the brakes go off and its full speed ahead.

    STICKMAN: Cannibals always have that effect, I find.

    LARRY: I’m down for some good ol’ fashioned gore.

    MADHERO: Oh this ain't good ol fashioned. This goes really, really hard. You are not prepared for the "wishbone scene"

    LARRY: Honestly I wish more films went as far as you say this does. Studio films are afraid of their audiences getting petrified. But man, gore tends to enhance a film if it’s done properly.

    STICKMAN: We should aaaaalll watch Dredd.

    MADHERO: Its on Netflix here, but it should be on digital for relatively cheap. Check it out for sure if you want something different. Don't have a weak stomach though

    STICKMAN: My stomach is strong and hearty, except when eating oranges.


    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for this episode. Next up we're going to talk about DINOSAURS!  That's always fun.

    STICKMAN: I love Dinosaurs. Maybe too much.

    LARRY: DINOSSSSSSbutalsolazyandhackneyedstorytellingBUT DINOSSSSSS

    MADHERO: Its for a Jurassic World sequel though, so y'know, prepare for takes.

    STICKMAN: I've seen it already so y'all gotta check yourself.

    MADHERO: Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Find out what Stickman thinks about his lizard bros......NEXT TIME!


    LARRY: Peace out, home skillets.

  • Alex Wolff Discusses Going Through Hell To Make Hereditary!

    2 weeks ago


    As you probably know by now, I adore Hereditary. I love, love, love, love that movie. I love how fucked up it is, I love writer/director Ari Aster's attention to detail, both visual and character-wise, I love the pacing, tone and acceleration into madness and I love how it has absolutely wrecked both audiences I've seen it with now.

    None of that would be possible without a kickass cast and while everybody shines this movie really boils down to Toni Collette and Alex Wolff for me. They get put through hell here and both absolutely shine in their roles.

    So you can imagine I was super psyched to get to talk with Alex Wolff about the making of this movie. The dude started off a Nickelodeon kid actor and has graduated to this incredibly complex, unquestionably fucked up role of a lifetime.

    I think we did a pretty good job of avoiding spoilers, so you should be free and clear on that front. Wolff was a very fun and funny interview, as you'll see by our very first interaction. He also proved to be a real-deal cinephile and actually knew his shit, which is refreshing when you're talking to someone so young.

    Enjoy the chat!


    Alex Wolff: Hey, Eric.

    Eric Vespe: Hey, man. How're you doing?

    Alex Wolff: I'm good, I'm good. I'm in the middle of a junket and I'm looking at some pretty delicious breakfast, but I'm not going to be eating on the phone with you, so I'm just staring at it and it really, really looks good. Just know that's how much I care about you that I'm not just stuffing bacon into my mouth because it looks so good and if I have one bite that'll be it... Okay, I am going to eat it. I'm sorry. I care about you, but it looks too goddamn good.

    Eric Vespe: That's okay. I ask some pretty long-winded questions so there's plenty of chewing time to be had.

    Alex Wolff: Okay, great!

    Eric Vespe: So, your character is put through some crazy stuff in this movie...

    Alex Wolff: Yeah, no shit!

    Eric Vespe: Everybody goes through hell in this movie, but your character in particular is put through the ringer. I'd like to start by asking how you emotionally prepare for a role like this. I assume it's not as easy as just turning it on in front of the camera and turning it off when they yell cut. There's got to be some ramp up and cool down to go to the places that you go in this movie.

    Alex Wolff: Oh yeah. I think it's safe to say that I was deeply, deeply, deeply affected by every single moment that this character goes through. I kind of stayed in that space for the whole movie, so I left the movie with a little PTSD. It was a serious feat and a serious trauma. I feel super lucky that I got to do it, but it was definitely an upsetting thing to go through. Me and the director, Ari, had this sort of pact. We were like “Alright, let's both get into a kamikaze plane and crash into the ground. We'll both jump into the fire together and we'll both get burned and then we'll help lift each other up afterwards.” We had this very close, familial relationship throughout the movie.

    Eric Vespe: There's a scene in the movie I want to talk about. I was already onboard with this film, but there's a moment that happens about halfway through the movie where I went from just digging the movie to being fully invested and it's a moment that rests almost solely on a close up on you reacting to something horrific. How much pressure did that put on you? You have to do so much and there's no place for you to hide.

    Alex Wolff: Thank you so much, man.

    Eric Vespe: I think this moment really sets the movie on track for the craziness that follows and you sell it. Did you know all the time that Ari was going to milk your reaction as much as he did?

    Alex Wolff: I knew when I saw the movie. I didn't know. There were a lot of other things we did, but he chose to stay on that shot for so long. I'm glad because I gave it everything I had.

    It's one of those things that's hard to talk about. I just want people to see it for themselves. It was really upsetting to shoot. It's funny, we did that angle and I remember crying and sweating and Ari was hugging me. I thought I was done and I went back to the trailer, thinking it was over, and they were like “Actually, we're going to do one more. We're going to do a different shot.” I was like “Jesus Christ” So I had to get back into it. He used that, too. It's all in one close up, but he does use this one shot that's a little further back that is pretty upsetting, too.

    I just feel lucky that I have a director who trusted me enough as an actor that he'd hold it on my face. I really think Ari is a genius. He knows what he's doing.

    Eric Vespe: I got to talk to him a little bit...

    Alex Wolff: He's not a genius at interviews! But he's a genius at directing. (laughs)

    Eric Vespe: He said something really interesting about the influences he had for the movie, which were more '50s and '60s melodramas instead of horror. Did he give you any homework when you got the part? Any particular films he wanted you to watch?

    Alex Wolff: I'm a pretty big cinephile, so I take pride in the fact that there weren't many movies that he suggested that I hadn't seen, but there were some. I'd never seen In the Bedroom and I'd never seen The Ice Storm. He's also obsessed with Wong Kar-Wai and stuff, but those two movies he told me to watch them.

    Actually, no. I'd seen The Ice Storm before. I don't know what I'm talking about, but I watched it two or three times while making the movie and I watched In the Bedroom a few times. I'd just be keeping these movies on repeat. He's seen every single goddamn movie on planet Earth. I consider myself a pretty big cinephile and I've seen so many movies, but man, this motherfucker gave me a run for my money.


    Eric Vespe: As a cinephile working with a fellow cinephile I would assume that helps strengthen the trust between you two and would give you some cinematic shorthand.

    Alex Wolff: Absolutely. A hundred percent. That was part of our initial connection and knowing we were on the same page with this movie.

    Eric Vespe: Did he bring any of that into the direction? Like “This is how this moment should be played, just like this moment in Hitchcock's Psycho.” That kind of thing.

    Alex Wolff: I remember one time he compared a moment to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. He would sometimes bring references in, but he really wanted me to craft my own performance and he really wanted to craft his own movie. As much as we were inspired by other movies we never wanted to imitate other movies. We wanted to create our own thing. But it's really Ari, man. Ari's got a specific vision. He's a genius.

    Oh, and Chinatown. Chinatown was one we talked about All. The. Time.

    Eric Vespe: I like all the films you mentioned. There's such dark tones to The Ice Storm and Chinatown.

    Alex Wolff: Yeah, we never really talked about horror movies.

    Eric Vespe: Can you talk a little about the script? Was everything on the page? Did you know what you were in for from day one?

    Alex Wolff: I thought it was a great script, but I didn't quite know how uniquely it was going to be shot. I read the script a bunch of times. I read it about a year before I went in for it. I read it and I was like “This script is unbelievable.” I was terrified. It left a bad feeling in my stomach. At the end of reading it the first time my mom walked into my bedroom and I screamed out loud. It scared the shit out of me!

    I thought it was a unique, interesting script. Then I went in to audition for it and I had to break down and cry and all this stuff and the way he worked with actors... I was like “Okay, this is an amazing script, a delicate, intricate, specific script, with a director who cares about actors and knows how to work with actors.” Then I got on set and was like “Okay, this is a genius script where people talk how people actually talk. I have a director who is making sure the performances are grounded AND this camera shit he's doing is some of the craziest shit I've ever seen.” It felt like a triple punch. He knew exactly what he was doing in every sense of the word.

    Eric Vespe: Nice, so there was no first time feature filmmaker fear on your part, then?

    Alex Wolff: Well, I had a little bit of fear. This was a pretty big movie, a pretty crazy stunt to pull off for a first time director, so I was testing him and making sure. That scene where I'm under the bleachers is the moment I hold dearest to my heart and I was like “Hey, man. What do I do?” He was like “I think you should just have a panic attack.” That's awesome. It's a good way of saying it. “Just have a panic attack.”

    Eric Vespe: Thanks so much for your time. Hopefully you were able to sneak some bites of breakfast while we were talking!

    Alex Wolff: Thank you so much, Eric. I'll talk to you soon.


    Hereditary opens this Friday. Go see it! Bring an extra set of underwear. You'll need it...

  • Hereditary Director Ari Aster Wants To Use Your Horror Expectations Against You!

    2 weeks ago


    Hereditary is by far the most effective horror movie in recent memory. The downright creepy atmosphere gets under your skin, the tone lodges itself into your brain and sticks with you for days after seeing it and it will just generally kinda fuck you up for a while after seeing it.

    Who could be behind this extraordinarily macabre vision? A dark, brooding figure that lurks in the shadows, perhaps. Or maybe the kind of guy with sallow skin that you imagine has a basement full of amateur taxidermy.

    The reality is Ari Aster seems to be a normal dude. He looks like your next door neighbor or the enthusiast geeky cousin you had who will talk your ear off about classic cinema, whether you want them to or not.

    In person Aster is a shy, humble guy who seems a little surprised that people actually liked his movie. I saw him “Aw, shucks” his way through the Sundance Q&A after the premiere of this film back in January and that's how he came across when I got the chance to talk to him over the phone.

    He's also a major cinephile, so when the topic of influences comes up he has some very surprising answers. You'd think stuff like The Omen or Rosemary's Baby would be his keystone inspirations for this project, but you'd be mistaken.

    We keep the chat fairly spoiler-free, so don't worry about us ruining the experience. You do want to go into the film knowing as few of the surprises as possible, though. Aster talks about using your expectations against you in this movie and he ain't lyin'. There's some good “What the fuck!?!” moments to be had in this one.

    Enjoy the chat!


    Eric Vespe: We haven't had a chance to meet yet, but I was in that very first Sundance screening of Hereditary where you scared the shit out of everybody for the first time. So, thanks for that.

    Ari Aster: Oh, wow. No, thank you!

    Eric Vespe: The amazing thing about a film festival that you don't get in today's movie-release world is that you can walk into a film completely blind. I can't tell you how much I loved being a part of that audience as we discovered your movie. Did you watch it that night or are you the kind of filmmaker that can't watch their stuff with a crowd?

    Ari Aster: That screening and the second screening I sat through. The first one there was a speaker down in the back of the theater, so I was actually having an extended panic attack through that screening. (laughs)

    But yeah, that was a great night. When you're in post on a movie like this you get so lost in the minutiae of just making the film and you forget what you made or what you're even trying to make or what steps you're going for on the audience. Especially since a horror film is all about audience engagement. But I'd honestly forgotten I'd even made a horror movie. At the end of the day you're just trying to make a movie that works, you know?

    Eric Vespe: Yeah, I remember at the Q&A you seemed surprised that the audience kept asking you about how you made the movie so damn creepy.

    Ari Aster: I was! I was! That night the prevailing feeling was one of release. “They didn't hate it! Great!” The next night we had a screening at the MARC theater, which was even bigger and all the speakers were working beautifully and I was past the fear of people hating it. It was really beautiful. The audience was going with the film, they were feeling it, it was effecting them.

    It was also a bit surprising to see how well people were receiving it because ultimately the goal was to make a very alienating, upsetting movie. So it's been a nice surprise to see people are embracing this, like, kind of evil thing.

    Eric Vespe: You do something with tone that I think so many people who make scary movies don't do. A lot of people want to make fun horror movies, not a lot seem to want to make an upsetting horror movie. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the key to your success here is you take an old school Rosemary's Baby style approach to this where you focus on character drama first and foremost.

    Ari Aster: Thank you, yeah. I did want to go the way of the long, deliberate runway. I wanted to make a film that was grounded in a place of character and let everything grow out of that. When I was pitching the film I was never pitching it as a horror film. I do hope it delivers as a horror film, but the way I was pitching it was always as a family tragedy that warps into a nightmare.

    I wanted it to feel like a nightmare in the way that life can sometimes feel like a nightmare when real disaster strikes. In that way, I feel like the film is as much of a melodrama as much as it is a horror film. I like horror movies, but I love melodramas! In the melodramatic tradition, the movie sympathetically attaches itself to these people and what they're going through. It tries to honor the feelings by going all the way into them. I wanted to make a film that collapses under the weight of what these people are going through. I wanted the fabric of the film to tear open because it's so full of toxic, unresolvable feelings.

    Eric Vespe: It's funny that you mention melodrama because there was a film that your movie reminded me of a little bit, but I didn't think it was at all intentional and it was just me connecting dots that weren't there. It's a great Technicolor melodrama called Bigger Than Life with James Mason...

    Ari Aster: I love Bigger Than Life! Nicholas Ray.

    Eric Vespe: That movie is not at all genre, but it has a disturbing tone to it, too, as we see a family breaking down before our eyes.


    Ari Aster: I can't say I was thinking about Bigger Than Life for this one, but I love Bigger Than Life and the films of Nicholas Ray are kind of in my bones at this point just because I grew up loving them so much.

    I think, if anything, this film owes something of a debt to Douglas Sirk, especially Imitation of Life, which has a lot in common with Mildred Pierce in that it's a movie about your child turning on you, but this film also plays a lot with the idea of your parent turning on you.

    But Sirk has always bothered me. What he does with color, his sets are so artificial and garish... he was really brilliant. When I think of the end of Imitation of Life, where there's this funeral parade in the streets where everybody is dressed in these really bright pastel colors... there's something so perverse about that. There this incongruity to the images and what he's doing. He's doing two things at once that really have no business with each other.

    I first saw those films when I was a kid and I couldn't make sense of them. They confused me. They really got to me. Now I have a stronger visual vocabulary and I can see what he's doing, but the perversity of those films still really ticks at me.


    Eric Vespe: Those films really push their actors. James Mason in Bigger Than Life really goes for it as his character's fragile mental state cracks and shatters. He goes into some really dark places. That's the connection I made to your movie. You put poor Toni Collette and Alex Wolff through the ringer in this movie. How did your cast respond to you pushing them so far?

    Ari Aster: They were all very game, so I was lucky to have actors who were willing to go all the way and dive into this. It's a very intense movie and I was asking them to go to very dark places. To everyone's credit in the film nobody was holding anything back.

    The film is dealing a lot with catharsis. There are all these things being built up and built up and built up and then finally there's this upsetting release.

    Eric Vespe: That's a great way to put it. At that Sundance screening I remember looking at the people around me in that last 20 minutes and everybody was transfixed on the screen, not blinking. They were so into it. That kind of audience involvement gets me excited to watch the movie again with a new crowd.

    Ari Aster: That's one reason that I really love genre, especially the horror genre, because there are these expectations and tropes. Once you introduce one trope it lulls people into their seats. Most of the people who are in that theater are people who watch horror movies. If you're somebody who really likes horror movies you're aware of all the sub-categories and you're aware of what this device means. So, if this device appears that suggests we're going in this direction.

    There's a complacency that comes with watching a horror film. At the same time people are walking in and there's this mutual dare. The filmmaker is daring you to come in and the audience is daring the filmmaker to try to scare them. There's something very fun about establishing tropes that people recognize. I think the first third of the movie does do that. It's sort of nodding towards certain films and certain traditions and I'm hoping what it does then is it upends them in a brutal way. If you do that right it kind of shocks you out of your complacency.

    I'm always so excited when I'm watching a film and I think I know where it's going and then I suddenly realize that I'm not in control of this experience. I'm really hoping that, if anything, the movie does that.


    Eric Vespe: I can't speak for everybody, but that's certainly the effect that it had on me. You're right, when you're not sure what's coming next you feel strangely vulnerable.

    Ari Aster: Thank you. It's the Psycho thing, right? We're with Janet Leigh, she's stolen the money and I'm sure people are a little bit weary because they know the movie's called “Psycho” if they're seeing it for the first time in 1960, but we're with her. She's stolen the money, but she's decided to bring it back. She's learned her lesson. Okay. We're with her, we like her and then she's stabbed to death in the shower. Now what?

    I'm hoping that Hereditary does something similar to that where there's a kind of shared trauma among the audience that then joins you to the experience of the characters in the film. If you have that complacency that I'm talking about where you sink into a movie and you know this trope and you know this device and you watch it at a distance, where the audience is kind of elevated above the material and they're looking down at it and they're judging it from a more clinical place. But if you a delivered a blow that is tied to the blow that the characters in the film suffer that, I hope, brings you back down to the plane of the movie and hopefully you're in it now. Hopefully now you're at the film's mercy.


  • Upgrade Director Leigh Whannell Discusses His Geeky Influences And Why "Gimmick" Shouldn't Be A Dirty Word

    3 weeks ago


    There's a lot of good genre on the way. Next week sees one of the best horror films of the year, Hereditary, hitting theater screens and this weekend we have a straight up fun sci-fi action/body horror movie called Upgrade. The movie's about a guy who is paralyzed and used as a guinea pig by an eccentric Elon Musk type that claims his new AI can help paraplegics walk again. Naturally there's unseen consequences to this decision, including a kind of Gollum/Smeagol relationship that forms between the lead and the computer voice in his head.

    The movie was written and directed by Leigh Whannell, one of the masterminds behind the original Saw and Insidious. Upgrade is crazy, playing like a real-deal movie version of the best '90s direct to VHS movie you never saw. It's fun, but not stupid if you catch my drift.

    There's a clear sense of Whannell channeling some of his cinematic fetishes into this story, so when I had the chance to talk to him about it that's what we focus on. We discuss the evolution of his movie tastes and how that mirrored my own. In short, it's a chat that movie geeks can relate to. If that sounds like you, then enjoy yourself!

    We do talk about Upgrade, too, don't worry. We don't spoil anything either. Double bonus!

    Hope you folks enjoy the chat!


    Eric Vespe: Everybody who is a big movie fan has that core group of movies or a particular genre that they loved growing up. What were yours?

    Leigh Whannell: I guess it went in stages. It depends at which age you'd ask me. When I was 5 or 6 I was your pretty typical Star Wars kid, loving Star Wars, watching a VHS copy of that until it was completely worn out. Raiders of the Lost Ark... But actually my favorite film of that era was Jaws. Even more than Star Wars! I guess that maybe signposts an early love of horror, but I just loved Jaws so much. I was obsessed with movies.

    As I got a bit older and was in my early teens I was basically loving video store staples. I grew up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. It was very suburban and I wasn't deviating from the standard Die Hard/RoboCop/Lethal Weapon path. My parents weren't forcing me to watch Last Year at Marienbad, that's for sure. (laughs)

    Through my teen years I loved genre films... horror films, sci-fi, stuff like Aliens. Then when I got into film school, that's when your palate gets expanded. All of a sudden you're watching foreign films you don't have access to in the suburbs of Melbourne. My local video store wasn't stocking Wim Wenders films! It's almost like A Clockwork Orange. They sit you in a chair and forcibly make you watch all this stuff from all over the world, from different time periods. I'd say that was the final evolution with me, in terms of my taste in films.

    It's amazing, though, that as an adult, the films that I go back to are the ones I loved as a teenager. It's almost like comfort food for my soul. To sit down and watch Big Trouble In Little China, for me, is such comfort food.

    Eric Vespe: I know what you mean. There are certain films that are “Any Time Movies.” No matter what mood you're in... if you're down, they'll bring you up, if you're happy they'll just magnify that. Big Trouble is definitely one of those. Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Big Lebowski, Little Shop of Horrors are big ones for me.

    Leigh Whannell: Yep, yep. There's just a few that no matter will just put you there. E.T. is one for me. I can keep going back to E.T.

    Eric Vespe: I think anybody who's a big movie fan will recognize that trajectory. I remember I took a film appreciation class at UT and while I dabbled in older cinema that's where I really became obsessed with it. The professor showed us Sunset Boulevard and it blew my mind. It got me to commit to exploring older films.

    Leigh Whannell: Yeah, I think you're right. You have these watershed moments. I guess it's similar with music. Your music tastes evolve as you get older and you end up having these seminal moments when you're exposed to something that changes the trajectory of your musical tastes. And that happens with movies.

    I was not deviating from the standard Die Hard path. All the suburban kids around me where I grew up, they loved Die Hard, too. They loved The Crow and Lethal Weapon and all this standard Hollywood action stuff, but I remember... I think it was my last year of high school, I ended up renting Reservoir Dogs on VHS and that was definitely a watershed moment. It was a huge moment. It stood out and marked itself as more special, somehow, than those other movies, those standard Hollywood action movies of the '80s and '90s.

    I remember being excited about that film in a way that I hadn't been about other films. You're right. You can always look back and map out these points... they're kind of like the Monolith in 2001. They come to visit the monkeys every hundred years and shove us into the future.

    Reservoir Dogs was definitely a black Monolith in the desert for me. It started me investigating movies in a different way. Instead of caring about who was in the movie, I wanted to know who was making the movie; who was behind the camera. That's not something I thought up prior to Reservoir Dogs.

    I remember in that moment in time, with Tarantino, suddenly being a filmmaker was cool. It wasn't about being the movie star. In fact, I'd say that Tarantino was a much bigger star than any of this cast members.

    These all add up to a picture when you stand back and look at them.

    Eric Vespe: Yep. That era was full of that phenomenon. You had Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith as well, who were more famous than most of the name actors in their movies.

    Leigh Whannell: Exactly.

    Eric Vespe: I have a similar story... The short version is a friend of the family was a big movie nerd, so she'd take me out to see movies every weekend. She liked all sorts of movies, I was definitely more interested in genre. Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein had just come out and I wanted to see that. She said she'd take me to that if I'd go see this John Travolta movie after. I saw Frankenstein and hated it. I was fuming because the movie I wanted to see sucked and now I had to go see this stupid art house movie with the guy from Look Who's Talking in it. That one was, of course, Pulp Fiction.

    Leigh Whannell: (laughs) That's such a good consolation prize!

    Eric Vespe: Within the first five minutes of that movie my world had changed. There was something so different about film. It legitimately blew the doors open for me.

    Leigh Whannell: People really propagate the mythology of the cinema of the '70s, that auteur era with Francis Coppola and William Friedkin and Steven Spielberg, but for people my age the '90s were really that moment. All of a sudden you cared about movies in a different way. Even the biggest redneck living in my suburban neighborhood had copies of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack! That's something that would not have happened prior to that film. It was such an explosion in the culture that it seeped out to the people who normally wouldn't care about stuff like that. Even my mum knows who Quentin Tarantino is, which is pretty amazing because I doubt she could name any other film directors. It was a huge time, an exciting time.


    Eric Vespe: What I liked about Upgrade is that feels like a throwback film. The world is over the top, it has some ridiculous conceits in it, but you as a filmmaker takes it seriously, which I think is the magic formula of making a movie fun. I see a lot of movies that are super serious, I see a lot of movies that are super silly. I don't see a lot of people striving for that balance. Can you talk a little about hitting that tricky balance and maybe how some of the stuff you loved growing up fed into that?

    Leigh Whannell: Well, I'm definitely influenced by those films that I mentioned growing up. I always loved contained sci-fi and movies with a dark, film noir bent to them, especially if they incorporated sci-fi. If you look back at the first Terminator film, it's kind of a mixture between a horror film, a film noir, set in the alleyways of Los Angeles and a sci-fi movie, but it's got this punk energy to it.

    Sometimes they're very literal about those things. For instance, the first group of guys that the Terminator kills is a group of punks. The nightclub where Sarah Connor hides out is called Tech Noir. I've read plenty of stuff about that movie and James Cameron always coined the genre that way. He thought he was making a tech noir film.


    One could look at as a marketing gimmick, but it's something he really bought into. You can't help what you love and I've always just loved that. I love movies that leave you with something, movies that aspire to change your perception of story. I guess I'm trying to dance around the word “gimmick.” It's such a dirty word, but I get really excited by “gimmick movies.”

    When I first saw Memento I loved it. The whole gimmick of that movie playing backwards was exciting to me. I loved Run, Lola, Run and the gimmick of seeing the same story play out three times. Of course it has to be a good movie. You can't let the gimmick itself sell the movie. You have to make a good film, but I don't see anything wrong with a gimmick.

    I love movies that try to push the genre they're working in and frame the narrative in an interesting way, whether it's playing it out backwards or repeating the same story three times. I've always kind of written to that. Even the first Saw movie was a non-linear film. I wanted to tell a thriller that was out of order, that felt like you were waking up from being unconscious and were remembering things.

    Upgrade was kind of that to me. Some may look at it and sneer and say “What did you think was interesting about this?” But to me the idea of a character in a movie that was purely a voice in a guy's head... I found that really interesting. I feel like you always end up writing the movie you want to see and I feel like if I was 20 years old I would want to see Upgrade. That's a movie that's framed in a way that would excite me. That's what I'm always striving for. I want to satisfy the 20 year old movie-going version of me.

    Eric Vespe: I think you do a good job with that here, for sure. Even people that I've seen that didn't love the movie all say “If I'd seen this when I was 15 it would have been my favorite movie ever!”

    Leigh Whannell: (Laughs) I've seen a lot of reviews of this movie that are positive. I've lost count of the ones that say “It's silly. It's dumb fun, but it's great!” I'm like, “I thought when I made a film that good reviews the reviews would actually be good!”

    Eric Vespe: (laughs) They're positive backhanded reviews is what you're saying?

    Leigh Whannell: Yeah. My cheek is just red and stinging from the amount of backhanded compliments I've received on this one, but what're you going to do? Once the movie leaves your hands it's not yours anymore and you can't control the perception of it. You just let it go.

    Eric Vespe: Awesome, man. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. Good luck with the release!

    Leigh Whannell: Thank you, mate. I appreciate it!


    Upgrade is in theaters this weekend! Give it a shot if you like fun things!

  • How to Extend a Franchise?

    3 weeks ago

    Jon The Risemonger

    On one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon and I would even say How to Train Your Dragon 2 was not a bad sequel with some memorable visuals and a story that didn't feel like just a rehash of the first film. But it must just be in my nature to be cynical about sequels because this poster reveal has me worried about this film being a "just cause" sequel for HTTYD. That being said, I am interested to see what the first trailer looks like and hope that the story adds to the lore of the HTTYD world and ins't just another passable sequel. What are your thoughts? Excited about another dragon movie or are you ready to move on to new things already?how_to_train_your_dragon_the_hidden_worl

  • Movie Audio Tracks

    3 weeks ago

    OG_Jester is a fantastic site that hosts thousands of mp3 tracks of various movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, while the site is still up, it hasn't been updated with new content for years. In reaction to this, I've recently begun uploading movie and TV mp3 tracks to my Google drive and have made it public so anyone can listen. I also take requests. Just message me here or on Google +. I know it's a niche audience, but for those like me, such a service is indispensable.

    Anyway, here's the link.

  • Best & Worst Movies of May 2018

    3 weeks ago


    The Summer blockbuster season has begun…. And I’m honestly kinda underwhelmed. There’s some really good stuff for sure, but not as much as I would have hoped. One big disappointment in particular really underscores what I’m talking about (It’s not anywhere on this list, don’t look for it). Anyone else starting to feel like this is just a really unremarkable year for film? Whatever. That’s a topic for another day. Here’s the best & worst movies of May!

    Before I begin, a couple of disclaimers…

    1. This is based on movies that I SAW in May. 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 May, 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:

    Tully- If I’m being honest, this isn’t the best movie in the world, but it’s still really damn impressive! The performances are great, especially Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis, and it’s extremely well directed and well made. The characters are extremely likeable and compelling, it’s really funny and explores some really harsh truths and realities of parenting in such an honest and down to earth way that I absolutely adored! It has flaws for sure, but overall it’s a delightful, profound and enlightening film. I really enjoyed it and I think it’s absolutely essential viewing!

    Deadpool 2- Deadpool was a masterpiece, it was one of my favorite films of 2016 and one of my favorite superhero movies ever. This sequel is every bit as good, if not better! I absolutely adored every second of it! Ryan Reynolds continues to be perfect as Deadpool who is still every bit as wacky, ridiculous and likeable of a presence as you expect. However, they also manage to give him a really incredible arc that makes him even more compelling and gives him so much more depth. Cable is incredibly badass as well, Josh Brolin gives a phenomenal performance and the character himself is so menacing and compelling. Zazie Beetz is perfect as Domino, who is also a badass, and I really adored the way they represented her luck based powers. The X-Force is used perfectly and all the supporting characters and performances are fantastic as well. David Leitch’s direction is fantastic, the visuals are amazing and the action sequences are brilliantly constructed and delightfully brutal. It’s absolutely hilarious with it’s witty, raunchy, meta humor and once again acts as a brilliant deconstruction of the superhero genre. At the same time, however, that humor is backed up by a genuinely masterful plot that is extremely well written and complex and subversive and there’s genuine emotional depth to it that I never expected a Deadpool movie of all things to hit. There’s even actual themes explored in this thing of family, grief and child abuse…. HOW DID THIS GET INTO A DEADPOOL MOVIE?! This film also contains maybe the best mid credits sequence of all time. This is such a fun, captivating, unique, riveting film and I FUCKING LOVED IT! It’s one of the best movies of the year so far and, if you like Deadpool at all, you need to see it immediately!

    Disobedience- This film is really good! The performances are excellent, especially Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, it’s very well directed and well made, the characters are extremely deep and compelling and the plot itself is extremely well written and riveting and thematically rich. If this film is playing in your area, I highly recommend checking it out as soon as possible. It’s borderline essential!

    The Worst:

    Life of the Party- Everytime Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone collaborate on anything, the result is garbage… this is no different. This film is fucking terrible! The performances are awful, the plot is cliche and predictable, the characters are entirely one dimensional, the pacing is atrocious, the filmmaking is unremarkable at best and it’s so painfully unfunny. This is the textbook definition of a lazy, cookie cutter, garbo comedy and I hated it so much! Don’t waste your time with this one, it’s fucking awful!

    Show Dogs- My thoughts on this failed abortion of a film that should never be seen by anyone ever, least of all children, can be summed up perfectly in just three words… FUCK RAJA GOSNELL! That is all.

    Daphne & Velma- They made a direct to VOD Scooby-Doo prequel featuring Daphne & Velma going to highschool together and solving a random mystery without the rest of the Scooby gang. The good news is, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The bad news is, IT’s EVEN WORSE! I FUCKING DESPISE THIS MOVIE! The performances are shit, the visuals are shit, it operates on an entirely misguided, flat dynamic, the characters are one dimensional, the plot itself is poorly written and all over the place an dumb and predictable, it’s full of half assed nostalgia mining, the humor is shit and the pacing is awful. This film is also unintentionally hilarious! The creative decisions that are made are so mind-bogglingly stupid that I actually laughed my ass off. One fight scene (yes, fight scene) in particular is one of the best/worst scenes in any movie so far this year! And then there's the ending which assumes they're gonna get a sequel (they won’t). I don't care how hardcore of a Scooby-Doo fan you are, don't watch this movie! It’s a horrific trainwreck that nobody should ever subject themselves to!

    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: Episode 109

    3 weeks ago



    MADHERO: Hey everybody. Its time once talk Star Wars. I know, the prospect of which is so terrifying that Larry has fled to Europe, so he won't be joining us. But it means he can't stop us from bringing up this gem: I’m feeling like a star. You can’t stop my shine. I’m lovin’ Cloud City. My head’s in the sky. I’m solo, I’m Han Solo I’m Han Solo I’m Han Solo, Solo

    STICKMAN: I vote with the absence of Larry that we make this the official Fury Road fan blog.

    MADHERO: Nah, we repping Solo now, even though I'm pretty he doesn't have a problem with that.

    STICKMAN: I do though. Does that mean I have to take an unexplained trip to Europe. never to be seen again?

    MADHERO: No. Anyway time for news, of which there was a lot.




    Feels like we've been talking about this film for a while. The 'will he, won't he' of Daniel 'Slit my wrists before I do another Bond film' Craig, then the bidding war to be the new distributor that included all sorts. Them came the race to see who'd direct the film. Now....FINALLY, we've got the hardcore details.  Danny Boyle was an early frontrunner for the directing gig, but then it seemed to not be happening...but now it is, so take that I guess. Best known for Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and Slumdog Millionaire, this would be Danny Boyle's first franchise gig. It is not, however, his first gig with James Bond, or Daniel Craig. Famously the pair first worked together on a short film for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, where he picked up the actual real Queen, and they (their stunt doubles anyhow) jumped out of a helicopter together into  the stadium, to somewhat rapturous applause.

    The distributor has now shifted from the product placement heavy camp of Sony Pictures, to a surprising choice of Universal Studios, who are partly responsible for the modern Daniel Craig reinvention of Bond in the first place, thanks to their Bourne franchise changing the spy movie game for quite a long time. I'm a big Boyle fan, but I'm not sure how this will play out, excited to see though...and we WILL SEE...ON...OCTOBER 25th 2019. DUN DUN DUUUUUN.

    MADHERO: Well.... this is finally happening. I completely forgot that Boyle directed the Olympic Ceremony in 2012

    STICKMAN: He did  a pretty ace job, it's hard to forget that when you live in the UK that's for sure. It's all been downhill since 2012.

    MADHERO: You can say that again. He does make for an interesting choice. One with a lot of pedigree and distinct style, so it'll be interesting what he does on the scale of a Bond film.

    STICKMAN: I'm concerned he'll be too restrained to make a Danny Boyle film . I got that vibe from Steve Jobs, which was a great film, but it was pretty tame, directing wise. At the same time, James Bond ain't ready for Danny Boyle at his most Boyle'esque.

    MADHERO: I don't think the world is. He's got an another project with Richard Curtis coming up, so he's going to be busy. I do wonder if this film is actually going to pick up from plot points of Spectre, or if its for the most part wiping the slate clean.

    STICKMAN: I'd imagine his little relationship situation will be nipped in the bud quite quickly, and then we'll be back to our usual Bondy shenanigans.

    MADHERO: God, Spectre was a disappointment. I feel like its been ages when that film came out.

    STICKMAN: The prevailing feeling in the time since release is one of it being pretty pants, and kinda unintentionally creepy at times. Hopefully Danny Boy can give it the regeneration it needs...with Daniel Craig, who I'm hoping survives production on this film.

    MADHERO: He's getting a dump truck full of money, but its almost certainly his last outing as Bond. I'd be shocked if it wasn't.

    STICKMAN: Either way, colour me more interested than I had been now.



    Hey, since we talked Star Wars in the intro, might as well talk MORE STAR WARS AMIRITE?! Its getting hard to keep whats in development and what isn't. So far we've got Episode IX in December 2019, the new trilogy from Rian Johnson, the new trilogy from David Benihoff and DB Weiss and potentially a Obi Wan movie by Stephen Daldry. One of the earlier proposed projects featured everyone's favorite bad jetpack flier Boba Fett. Josh Trank of Chronicle fame was attached to work on A Star Wars Story project, later revealed, but never officially announced to be a Boba Fett movie, but left the project after it became clear how big of a mess his Fantastic Four movie was. After that, things got quiet around the project.

    Until now, with Hollywood Reporter revealing that James Mangold  (Logan) will direct the movie and co-write with X-Men stalwart Simon Kinberg about the Mandalorian bounty hunter, showcasing his probably badass antics before he got eaten by a hole in the ground. Or maybe it'll reveal that he survived and we'll see his adventures there, as the Expanded Universe has loved to do for ages now.  My level of caring will likely depend on the take they're going for, because as been pointed out, Boba Fett is kind of a fuck up that just happens to be in really cool armor. Mangold is an exciting choice though, so it'll be interesting what he can bring to the Star Wars universe.

    STICKMAN: Oh boy more Star Wars spin-offs. Those always do well.

    MADHERO: Oh dang. Recent box office disappointment digs.

    STICKMAN: I must say, I'm one of the people who finds Boba Fett cool despite him just having a cool set of armour and being a bounty hunter. Like there's no real reason to think he's cool, he just looks cool.

    MADHERO: Its a cool looking get-up he's got, but going back to those original films, the coolest thing he probably did was talking smack to Vader, but his actions didn't make him seem all that impressive. Its interesting how badly this is something people want to happen. Maybe because it personally just leaves me kinda cold. Will say though that Mangold's involvement is interesting.

    STICKMAN: I hope it's an 18 rated movie about existentialism and mortality again. Either that or Mangold gets fired halfway through and Ron Howard finishes it up as a 12a action adventure sci-fi movie.

    MADHERO: It'd be something very different, which I feel is something Star Wars might need if recent box office returns have anything to say about, but hey, that's an discussion for another day, when they announce the Greedo spin-off

    STICKMAN: Can't waiiiiit.




    File this one under WOAAHH NELLY if true.  Peter may not be feeling so good after the somewhat notable events of Avengers: Infinity War, but that doesn't mean production isn't ramping up on the sequel to 2017's Spider-Man Homecoming, releasing in July of next year. Whilst we don't quite know what form the MCU will take post Avengers 4 yet, we do know who Spider-Man will be facing off's Mysterio, and it just may well be played by Jake Gyllenhaal of all people.

    Although it's not a lock just yet, what is a lock is obviously, that Mysterio is in the film, and as of now, it seems like Jakey boy will be taking the role. Mysterio isn't your usual Spider-Man movie villain, being a former special effects whizz who, down on his luck, uses his powers of illusion and distraction to turn to a life of crime. He's also known for wearing a fish bowl on his head, and having a big whooshy cape. Also of note is the apparent recurrence of Michael Keaton as The Vulture, who was the villain of the previous film, which, along with the teased inclusion of Scorpion in that film, leaves the door open for a potential super villain team up...or...Sinster Six, if you will. Mainly, I just hope Peter feels better before this film, poor lad.

    MADHERO: O man, hopefully Peter is gonna feel better soon. Gonna be hard to fight a guy with a fishbowl helmet when you're a pile of dust

    STICKMAN: It's Aunt May's turn to don the mask.

    MADHERO: That would be interesting to watch. But yeah, really cool to hear that Mysterio is gonna be on the big screen finally. I remember in concept art that he was supposed to be in Spider-Man 4 played by Bruce Campbell, but more so as a cameo than a major villain.

    STICKMAN: Bruce Campbell would honestly be kinda perfect for a goofy take on that character. Mainly it's just interesting to see a somewhat different class of Spider-Villain on the big screen, and one that could come with some cool ass visuals.

    MADHERO: As it stands, it looks like we might be getting a more serious version with Gyllenhaal, who's a great actor and always want to see more of.  Also Gyllenhaal was in the running to be Spider-Man in the Maguire years, so it all comes full circle

    STICKMAN; I want it to be like the Mysterio from the Spider-Man 2 game, who has fun house Spider-Man minions and then turns the Statue of Liberty into himself with flying saucers or whatever.

    MADHERO: Yeah, probably not happening. Also cool to see Michael Keaton return. My guess he's probably going to be more of a goodie this time.

    STICKMAN: Unless a Sinister Six is formingggg.

    MADHERO: Sony loooooooooves that Sinister Six, so maybe.

    STICKMAN: Also, I said it before and I'll say it again. Mr Aziz needs his comeback. Spider-Man needs to deliver some GOD DAMN PIZZAS.

    MADHERO: Hard to deliver pizzas when you're dead.

    STICKMAN: Oh no. There's dust all over my pizza.


    Well this has been a long time coming. For those not in the know, The Happytime Murders has been a dream project from Brian Henson (son of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson) for some time now, with the concept being thrown since at least 2008. For the longest time nothing happened because it was all decidedly niche: A Roger Rabbit style world where humans and puppets co-exist, with a noir style detective of a human and puppet solving the murders of a Sesame Street style group. Somehow, it got made, and it looks.... well.

    Considering the subject matter, I was definitely expecting things to be crude, and that's exactly what we got, with puppets asking to suck people's dick for drugs, doing said drugs, swearing a bunch, and jizzing out silly string for a minute long in this 2 and a half minute trailer. Yeah. I don't really have an issue with that, but the crudeness is all that's there and in the age of Sausage Party, as well as puppet shows like Avenue Q, the material doesn't feel as shocking or funny as it thinks it is. The funniest thing is its tagline "No Sesame, All Street" and they just got sued by Sesame Workshop for that. I hope the movie isn't just a 90 minute version of this trailer, otherwise we'll have a bad time.

    STICKMAN: Fuk. It wasn't a happy time, but I do feel like getting murdered. How do you fuck up such a fun idea for a fiiilllm. How do you spend so long developing it and then fuck it up so baaaad.

    MADHERO: My guess its more niche parts (its noir elements) got removed in favor of something more raunchy. It does suck when such a good interesting premise goes to waste

    STICKMAN: Did we need 50 hours of projectile puppet jizz. Did we need vaguely dated "Hahah that woman looks like a dude" jokes. DID WE NEED THIS.

    MADHERO: The school of "the longer it goes on, the funnier it is" fails once again.

    STICKMAN: It has to be funny to begin with for that to work. The funniest thing so far is that Sesame Street are bringing the fuzz down on them. Big Bird's got his big lawyers on the job.

    MADHERO: I guess my main problem it focuses so much on being crude that it doesn't really become funny. We've seen puppets be crude on Avenue Q and Meet the Feebles. Its not as new a premise as it thinks

    STICKMAN: It looks crude as fuck, completely wastes its original seedy detective noir premise, and looks cheap as all fuck in terms of production. And Melissa McCarthy WHY.

    MADHERO: She was honestly the least of my issues with it. She seems more of a straight man here.

    STICKMAN: The fact that she was the least infuriating part is a sign of just how crappy this film looks. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT.

    MADHERO: Lets hope the actual film is better, but yeah, hopes are definitely low right now.



    In the currently active action genre movie rosters, you don't get more beloved than the John Wick films. The first one came out of nowhere and surprised a lot of people in 2014, and 2017's Chapter 2 only went from strength to strength, improving in pretty much all aspects, including, crucially, box office gross.  Naturally, a third entry is in the works, and whilst we've known this for a little while, we've gotten our first details, and they are mighty tantalizing indeed.

    Following, much as the second film did, almost directly on from the previous film, John Wick Chapter 3 (SPOILERS for those who haven't seen 2 yet) sees Keanu Reeves fighting to survive and.... escape from New York…. after he's expelled from the assassin network and becomes an open target for everyone else within it. Without the usual gadgets and safe zones, he'll have to rely on being John Wick to survive...which is pretty fortunate, given he's John Wick. The film's got a May 2019 release date, and the cast? Well it's sounding pretty awesome. Hallie Berry, Angelica Huston, Mark Dascascos, Jason Mantzoukas, Asia Kate Dillon and  other talented folk are joining existing returning cast members in this third installment as members of the order of assassins who'll presumably get in Wick's way.  More interesting for meeee personally? Two cast members from The Raid are also joining the film, meaning we're finally getting a Raid/Wick crossover...of sorts? Chapter 3 is already shaping up to be a treat. No more dead dogs, though. Please.

    MADHERO: ZOUKKKKKKKKKKS! As a fan of How Did This Get Made (and his stuff on TV) I'm so happy he gets to be in this movie. Also I guess the casting of Asia Kate Dillon makes this the first major Hollywood movie to cast an actor who identifies as gender neutral, so good on them. Rest of the casting is pretty stellar so far.

    STICKMAN: I didn't even realise that was a thing, but neato. Previous John Wick had a mute character who spoke with sign language too. It's a solid cast, a great action director, and if it delivers on the set-up of Chapter 2? HOOOOOO

    MADHERO: John Wick 1 was hard to top, and somehow 2 managed to do so. So yeah, no pressure for Chapter 3.

    STICKMAN: John Wick I feel had a tone issue, and John Wick 2 sorted that out nicely and also delivered even better action scenes. I'm very excited for this.

    MADHERO: I'll never look the same at a pencil again.

    STICKMAN: We were warned of his pencil abilities. And we did not listen. And with a weird TV show nobody asked for on the way? There's much Wick to be had.



    Sadly, we have to talk about another screen icon passing away, as it was revealed that Margot Kidder had passed away at the age  of 69 from unknown causes. When you think Margot Kidder, its hard not to think of Lois Lane, whom she played in all 4 Christopher Reeve movies. For many, she's the ideal interpetation of the character, one that hasn't still hasn't been topped. Besides that, she was also a minor scream queen with roles in Black Christmas and The Amityville Horror, which she famously called a piece of shit in an interview with the AV Club, and even popping up in Rob Zombie's Halloween remake.

    That part of her, besides her Lois Lane role, is the one largely remembered. She left Hollywood largely behind in 1996 after a famous  breakdown, preferring to live out in her home in Montana and fighting for her outspoken liberal political causes, though she would always be up for a job if asked. Its a shame to see her go at such a young age, but she'll always be remembered for her iconic role. May she rest in peace.

    STICKMAN: Didn't have the same connection to her as some people did, but it's hard to deny the prominence of some of her roles, and it's sad to hear her go at a reasonably young age.

    MADHERO: Yeah, 69 really is no age to go out on these days. I came to her performance a bit later than most people, but you can definitely see why she's seen as the definite Lois Lane. She brought an independence to that role that made her more than just Superman's girlfriend, whilst still selling the chemistry they had.

    STICKMAN: Yeah, I think we all know her as Lois Lane more than anything.

    MADHERO: There's a reason why she's often named in the same breath as Princess Leia. I do think she was an icon for a lot of women at the time who wanted to be more than just the girlfriend.

    STICKMAN: Which is a pretty great claim to fame, really. Also, being in a couple cult horror favourites ain't too shabby either.

    MADHERO: Even though she didn't get as much work later on in her career, it does partially seem to be her own decision, as well as fighting for causes she genuinely believed in to help her community. That does make it seem like she was a genuinely good person

    STICKMAN: Sounds that way. A real shame that she's passed. At least she'll have a longstanding legacy in both cinema and society in general.

    MADHERO: Indeed. As always, we wish her family nothing but the best in this difficult time. RIP


    MADHERO: Moving on, I hope you're ready to talk Kessel Runs and  pointless origin stories, because its Solo time, baby. Yes, the Star Wars prequel/spin-off is finally here, and being the fucking nerd that I am, I saw it.... not on opening night, but I sure did see it the day after.(edited)

    STICKMAN: You nerd. Nobody else  in the world saw it, so I guess it's up to you to review it. SO HOW WAS IT I GUESS, since we're obligated to taaaalk about Star Wars forever.

    MADHERO: O dang. Guess I do.



    DIRECTOR: Ron Howard (Rush, Inferno)

    STARRING: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Joonas Suotamo

    SYNOPSIS: During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo (Ehrenreich) meets his future copilot Chewbacca (Suotamo) and encounters Lando Calrissian (Glover) years before joining the Rebellion.

    MADHERO: So, its kinda hard to talk about this movie and not go into the drama that went on behind the scenes. The Han Solo origin story, which in and of itself is kind of a bad idea, was somewhat alleviated by the hiring of Phil Lord and Chris Miller as directors. Then they got fired really late into production, and the movie was handed over to Ron Howard, a very capable if not workmanlike that doesn't seem as exciting. The movie was basically redone, we didn't see footage or trailers until really late, and all of it had the smell of a complete disaster.


    I'm starting with that because if you don't know that, the movie doesn't show that. Credit where credit is due, Solo works as a fun thrillride and doesn't feel like something with clashing visions a la Justice League. In fact, one of its big strengths is how it keeps the stakes relatively low, as its more about scoundrels and scrappers learning to survive under the thumb of the Empire rather than outright stopping them. And the movie does manage to be fun with a bunch of great heist style action sequences. Special shoutout to the acting as well. Stepping into Solo's shoes couldn't have been easy, but Ehrenreich mostly nails the swagger whilst giving the characters his own spin. Same goes for Glover, who I wish was in it more, but makes for an absolutely stellar Lando. Despite all of that, the movie can't also help but That's to be expected after the director switch, but this is not as daring or different tone wise from other films, and it can't help but all feel a tad pointless.

    STICKMAN: So, you liked it, but it still lacked a reason to be?

    MADHERO: I liked it, yeah. I had a good time watching it, but it was pretty much fluff. It can't help but be that since its a prequel to a character that was already pretty clear from the first film. Its also a film that tries to answer questions that I don't think anyone really asked? Still, if you want to see him do the Kessel Run. That's there. Meeting Chewbacca and whatnot, that's all there. But I mostly enjoyed it for the action than for getting those answers.

    STICKMAN: So, people have been saying this is 'nothing new' for the Star Wars franchise, does that mean it feels the same as the prior films, or does it have its own identity?

    MADHERO: It feels new in the sense that it explores the rougher parts of the universe, one that doesn't feature any Jedi or The Force and whatnot. For a lot of its run it feels like a heist film and a Western, but its largely the case of tone where it ends up feeling too similar. Rogue One for instance felt new because of its more bleaker tone. Here, it feels a bit like Force Awakens almost: a comfortable familiarity. I feel like people who bounced off Last Jedi might find this more enjoyable

    STICKMAN: Does that mean, me, who liked Force Awakens, enjoyed Rogue One even more, and then thought Last Jedi was poopy would like this one?


    MADHERO: Maybe? You can always go and give it a shot and see where you end up. For me, who liked Last Jedi for its boldness, felt like this was a bit too samey, but maybe since people aren't blowing their loads over it, that can be benificial in terms of expectations. Few  moments aside, its not as HEY, REMEMBER THAT as I thoughtt it was going to be. No "C3PO and R2D2 randomly in Rogue One" moment here, which is a plus since that was one of my bigger worries.

    STICKMAN: I appreciated Last Jedi trying different things, I just wish they hadn't been mostly crap is all. The lack of obligatory cameo bullshit is a plus for sure. IMPORTANT QUESTION THOUGH What's the percentage of Porgs in this film.

    MADHERO: Sadly I have to report there are 0 porgs in sight. There's one alien though who appears in the cantina that is my new obsession. You'll know it when you see it and I can't wait for its spinoff.

    STICKMAN: I'm just glad there's no Porgs. And absolutely always...ALWAYS...the side background aliens who say and do nothing in Star Wars speak to me on a higher level than any main character could.


    MADHERO: Alright, I think we can  wrap up. If you want more Star Wars..... that's exactly what you'll get, and there's fun to be had with the action set pieces, but this is probably the least necessary film in the series to date. The promise of A Star Wars Story sub-series was seeing different parts of the universe and having different tones and feel than the regular episodes, and it in my mind only half succeeds. Still, if you just want a fun film, you can do far worse, and its quite amazing how it all comes together considering the production.

    STICKMAN: Is it better than the prequel films at least?

    MADHERO: O yeah. I have to see Sith again to see if that ranks above or below it, but it definitely has less cringe than that film had. So yeah, better than the prequels.

    STICKMAN: Less cringe is always good for Star Wars. Maybe I should go see it myself, there's plenty of seats availabllleee.

    MADHERO: Anyway, I think there's other movies out this week as well. Not that many of them, because Star Wars, but hey, they at least tried.

    STICKMAN: Star Wars is dead forever, so what else is out.



    DIRECTOR: Tim Kirkby (The C-Word)

    STARRING: Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Aidan Whytock, Leon Clingman

    SYNOPSIS: A daredevil (Knoxville) designs and operates his own theme park with his friends.

    STICKMAN: Never mind, come back Star Waaaars.

    MADHERO: I don't know whether to be impressed or horrified that Johnny Knoxville still is doing crazy Jackass style stunts now that he's in his late 40s.

    STICKMAN: And is obsessed with old man makeup I guess.

    MADHERO: Yeah. This and Bad Grandpa, he really loves to be an old man. Apparently its semi-based on a actual theme park in the 70s in New Jersey which was infamous for its disregard for safety. So that's fun.

    STICKMAN: This is just a shitty slapstick 'comedy' film except instead of falling over, people are being smashed through doors and shit.

    MADHERO: Well there's a certain comedy in that. Jackass was usually a good time in watching idiots do stupid things to one another.

    STICKMAN: I'm not really a fan honestly. A lot of the 'pranks' were like, eating a pile of shit, or falling in a vat of acid or whatever.

    MADHERO: Some of the pranks were......eesh, but for the most part it was fun. I'm just kinda impressed that Knoxville is still doing it. Jackass 3D kinda showed them all being terrified doing the shit that used to come easy. Guess that's why its pretty much only him now.

    STICKMAN: This is like LOGAN but for Johnny Knoxville, the life he once found easy is now a grueling ordeal to get through.

    MADHERO: I'm all for Knoxville, or Ass. Moving on.


    DIRECTOR: Baltasar Kormakur (Everest, The Oath)

    STARRING: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomes, Elizabeth Hawthorne

    SYNOPSIS: two avid sailors (Woodley, Claflin) set out on a journey across the ocean in 1983, not anticipating they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

    MADHERO: Well.... this is different

    STICKMAN: It's like...two films in one. Sentimental romancey thing. And then a survival movie.

    MADHERO: That's how it definitely feels in the trailers. I imagine the survival aspect is the key storyline here and the romance part to sell the characters. Especially considering this is from the same director as Everest.

    STICKMAN: Which famously was a resounding success, still talked about to this day. Reminds me more of The Shallows in the second part of the trailer, same kinda...surviving in the ocean schtick.

    MADHERO: Well that film did really well box office wise at the time. My guess this will probably be fine, but its weird to put this in the beginning of summer. This feels like a September-October movie. Something that might bait for awards with Woodley's performance and whatnot

    STICKMAN: Maybe it ain't so hot, and they thought they could hide it under Star Wars. Oops.

    MADHERO: Possibly. Its probably a film I ain't seeing unless reviews are really good.

    STICKMAN: Doesn't draw me in I must say. OH WELL.


    DIRECTOR: John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus, Rabbit Hole)

    STARRING: Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Matt Lucas

    SYNOPSIS: An alien (Fanning) touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants (Sharp) of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

    MADHERO: Finally. I always wanted to get these tips. Thanks movie.

    STICKMAN: I mean. Just hope those girls are like...latex clad alien people I guess.

    MADHERO: What? You mean they aren't? Damn. So anyway this looks a tad nutty, doesn't it? Latex clad aliens. Nicole Kidman as some sort of queen goth. Not your average film, this one.

    STICKMAN: This is A24 and Film 4 collaborating for maximum niche insanity.

    MADHERO: Reviews seem to suggest it might be a tad too niche. But whoever the target audience is, I imagine they're going to dig the absolute shit out of it. Probably punks and goths. Those are still a thing, right?

    STICKMAN: Stuff like this where it's just completely nuts can go either way, seems like this one's a bit of a dud. Better to try something interesting and fail, then do a decent but forgettable sci-fi action franchise prequel spin-off and accomplish nothing.


    MADHERO: Oh dang. I can't top that. Might as well move on to MOTW!


    MADHERO: As always, this is the part of the show where we talk home releases or films we saw in the cinema. Now I could just finish this up quickly and do Solo, but don't worry, we've done our homework and got some other things.

    STICKMAN: Ur yes, yes...homework.  Uhh.

    MADHERO: I already established the whole nerd thing, remember? Anyway, what do you have for MOTW?


    STICKMAN: Sooooo, I've picked a film we talked about back in our Oscar coverage, as the surefire winner of the Best Animated Feature...that then won, AMAZING. Coco was a film that had a lot of potential from the moment it was announced, but seemed to be losing steam in the road to release. came out, was adored, made all the money and won all the awards. Now it's out on DVD, and's pretty damn good, as it turns out.

    I mean, in a lot of ways it's standard Pixar fare...beautiful animation, fun humour and action scenes, lot of heart, very similar emotional pacing and ultimate conclusion...BUT...the characters, premise and world make up for the lack of originality in that department, with a creative and unique feeling film that opens a window on a culture that maybe isn't as often explored in movies that aren't The Book of Life. Despite my reservations about its familiar beats, it's still funny, it's still's still really good. It's almost frustrating that it's this good, because you really want Pixar to do something a bit different...but when they make things like this so damn well? It's hard to fault them.

    MADHERO: O hey, Coco. I remember really liking that fim.

    STICKMAN: I hope you remember it.

    MADHERO: 5th favorite movie of last year. Its getting harder and harder to rank Pixar movies in a Top 10 because their work is so stellar, but I feel like this would definitely be a part of it. I really loved the world that they created and the use of Mexican culture was really lovely to look at.

    STICKMAN: This is one of their better releases, particularity in recent years. I'm not really one to say Pixar have lost their way, but they have had a genuine dud film not that long ago, and Cars 3 was their other release last year, so it's nice to see they are still the same studio that changed the game with Toy Story all the way back in 1995. Animation is wonderful.

    MADHERO: The colors especially were amazing. You really feel the respect that they have for the culture. You could've easily imagined a movie that would've fallen into stereotype, but they managed to tell a really universal story in such a specific environment.

    STICKMAN: It's a great exploration of that culture that makes you want to explore it more beyond this film, which is pretty amazing, really. ANYWAY, what shit you watch. Some shit maybe?

    MADHERO: Well sure, I watched some shit. Shit I liked, though. While I liked the original Deadpool back when I saw it in theaters, and you have to admire the fact the movie even got made considering, rewatching it on my own did leave me feel somewhat cold on it, so I definitely had some initiial worries about the sequel, quality marketing campaign aside, which continued to be stellar.

    Thankfully, seeing it in a crowded theater, a lot of the fears proved unfounded, and I had a really good time with Deadpool 2. Its not without problems mind you, since it suffers from some major tonal shifts that don't really work well with the rest of the film's wacky antics. But when it hits, it really hits, and there's some moments that really got to me that I won't spoil. Be it Reynolds as Mr. Pool himself, who continues to be one of the best castings in Hollywood history, Zazie Beetz's Domino, who's sure to be a star after this, and of course the MVP Peter. God bless him.

    STICKMAN: I saw this film too, and had fun with it, but it's got some major issues and it doesn't fix the problems I had with the first, either. Narratively it's a right shambles.

    MADHERO: I feel this film could've maybe taken a book from Thor Ragnarok or even Ant-Man. The more dramatic stuff feels sooooooooo out of place. More so than the first film even

    STICKMAN: I was saying when I saw's everything the first film was, dialed up to 11. And in some cases, that works gangbusters, but in others it's a real problem. It's hard to discuss the issues with the tone and narrative without spoilers, but it's not a film I feel is gonna hold up on repeat viewings, much like the original Deadpool kinda didn't.

    MADHERO: There's a literal up to 11 joke in the movie. Its filled to the brim with meta humor, some of which only I got and that made me feel awkward.

    STICKMAN: It goes a bit niche at times yeah. I will say, the opening credits are fucking amazing.

    MADHERO: That Celine Dion song did not go to waste.

    STICKMAN: I feel we have a very real possibility that Deadpool will be dancing on stage at the Oscars in a year's time. What about you Larry, what did you wa-Oh...


    MADHERO: Yeah.... this is where it ends. Awkward. We should be all complete next episode with a big batch of movies to discuss, from long awaited sequels, reboots starring WOMEN! And spoopy horror that apparently hurts your very soul itself.

    STICKMAN: I'm so ready for some genuinely distressing horror. And maybe Dinosaurs too? WHAT  A WEEK.

    MADHERO: I know, can't wait for Tag. Anyways, till then. Later!


  • The History of Star Wars Fandom and How That Relates To Solo: A Star Wars Story

    1 month ago



    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Star Wars fandom was united. It was generally accepted that A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and most of Return of the Jedi were good, the Ewok spin-off movies and the Holiday Special were bad and all was right in the world

    Sure, Ewoks were always divisive, but a lot of the Return of the Jedi hate that has become commonly accepted didn't seem to pop up until around the time the Special Editions were released. As someone who was there I don't remember anybody talking shit about the movie on the whole. Ewoks, absolutely, but most people loved how the Vader/Luke/Emperor storyline played out, thought the Jabba sequence was rad as hell and the Redwoods speeder chase the most thrilling thing since the original trench run.

    Then the Special Editions happened and that was a huge event. The movies were all #1 again at the box office, but all the early days CGI soured the experience a little and then became giant points of contention when George Lucas refused to let people own the actual versions they fell in love with to begin with.

    But we all still mostly agreed on Star Wars. At least on all the important things anyway. Some of us spun off to the Extended Universe books, some of us stuck with the movies as our canon, but we all basked in the same loving glow of this series we all adored.

    Then the dark days began. For me it was sitting in the Regal Metropolitan's biggest house after waiting in line for 2 weeks for The Phantom Menace. The opening crawl went by and the audience was going absolutely batshit. It was the first official, real-deal Star Wars anything in 16 years and it was finally here. Then the Neimoidians spoke. I'll always remember the line-reading. “Yes, of course. As you know our blockade is perfectly legal.” The emphasis was on all the wrong syllables and it sounded like a white guy playing a 1940s-era Asian stereotype.


    There was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and the whole temperature of the room changed like an invisible wet blanket smothered the audience's enthusiasm at the same time. That movie has high highs (Darth Maul, a cool lightsaber fight, the remarkably thrilling podrace sequence) and low lows (pretty much every line of dialogue stiltedly spoken, a convoluted, boring plot about trade embargoes and resource hording, and front to back bad acting from good actors), which left me in a daze when I exited the theater.

    Episode 1 couldn't be bad. It's Star Wars and no official Star Wars Saga movie had been bad before, so it must be me. I rewatched it a half dozen times that summer and every successive screening made me angrier and angrier at the stuff that didn't work.

    You may love the prequels, you may hate them or you may feel indifferent about them, but it's undeniable that they deeply fractured Star Wars fandom. I thought I had moved on from that franchise until The Clone Wars was able to retroactively improve the nonsense of the prequels. Suddenly Anakin was a multi-dimensional character and I actually bought him as a good guy worth saving. Suddenly the Clones had personality and were rich characters. Suddenly the Jedi weren't just boring dudes sitting in a circle debating about mundane bullshit. I still may not love the prequels, but The Clone Wars and, later, Rebels, helped me come to terms with them.

    Then the Disney era came and for a brief time fandom was reunited again. Maybe not as permanently or purely as they were in the good ol' days, but that level of excitement between when Episode 7 was announced and it premiering was the closest I've felt to pure unity since the lead up to Episode 1.

    Again, there were always minor squabbles and some cynicism, but on the whole the question of what this new Star Wars was going to be enraptured most of us. The guessing game and slow glimpses behind the scenes and wait for that first trailer... it all felt fun again.


    There's a reason The Force Awakens broke box office records and had huge legs. It was a fantastically fun movie with one foot planted firmly in nostalgia with the legacy characters and a rehash of A New Hope's basic structure and one foot taking a giant step forward, introducing us to a whole new cast of lead characters that somehow felt perfectly Star Warsian.

    Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, Kylo Ren... they all felt like part of this universe without being direct repeats of what came before, thanks in large part to the smart decision to mix and match Star Wars character tropes. There isn't a Han Solo type. Finn and Poe have elements of the charming scoundrel, but Poe also has Luke's almost naive optimism. Rey has Luke's pure-hearted earnestness as well as a dash of Han's roughness and Leia's get-shit-done attitude, for example.

    But even this very crowd-pleasing movie couldn't completely heal the fractured fanbase. The cracks started showing up again, this time with a heavily misogynistic flavor that puts a bad taste in my mouth. The same people who believed a young man intuitively strong with the Force but without any training whatsoever could use the Force to essentially dunk a basketball from outside the stadium said that it was unrealistic that a girl who had fought for her life since she was a child could swing a lightsaber.

    That's not to say everybody who dislikes the new characters or how they're executed are misogynists or racists. I want to be clear about that because saying something that definitive undercuts the discussion at large and automatically paints anybody who disagrees with me in the most negative light possible. I would never assume that's where you're starting from if you dislike the new Disney-era saga films. However it is fair to say that if you are racist and/or misogynist odds are you hate these new movies.


    Star Wars has always been progressive. The very first film is an allegory for Vietnam, which means the evil Empire is the American Military Industry, folks. They may dress like Nazis, but the Empire is a stand in for America and the evil Emperor was Nixon. Don't take my word for it, Lucas says it here.

    But a lot of fans were happy to keep all that as subtext and weren't comfortable when that progressiveness was put on full display in the new era.

    Yes, some prequel haters were dismissive of prequel apologists and that conversation was hardly ever cordial and very often heated, but there's a meanness to the fanbase now. Maybe, like the MAGA hat wearing bullies that have sprung up in the last two years, the mean Star Wars fan was always there and just afraid to go full bore until now, but it's happening.

    That all came to a head with The Last Jedi's release. One more time, in case you missed it, I'm not saying that if you disliked any aspect of Episode 8 you are automatically lumped in with the worst of the worst. It's totally fair to not want to see Star Wars evolve past the icons that you love and that's what that film was about. Remember them, use that memory to inspire the next generation, but it's not their time anymore. We see that on the light side with grumpy old man Luke's storyline and you see that on the dark side with Kylo Ren finally evolving past just trying to imitate Vader.

    That brings us to Solo. The reason I spent so so so much time outlining the history of Star Wars fandom is because I believe where you fit into the current Star Wars fandom will determine how you react to Solo.


    I think those that loved the direction The Last Jedi and, to a degree, The Force Awakens were going in will feel like Solo is a step backwards. Their interest will be muted because it's not a story about pushing the overall lore forward. It's a nostalgia bath that wants you to relax in the warm waters of characters and iconography most of us grew up with.

    There's no real attempt at gaining any deeper understanding of the characters you already know and love. They're so focused on just making them look and feel right that any deeper reason for this movie to exist within the established lore is thrown out the window.

    For me that was frustrating. We'd get little glimpses going in that direction. In particular there's a conversation between Han and Lando where they're getting to know each other and talk a bit about their parents. The way Lando talks about his awesome mother piqued my interest. It was the first time I felt like they were exploring something about that character I didn't already know, but it's dropped as soon as it is brought up.

    And that's fine. It's not what I want out of Star Wars at this point, but I'm sure it's what a lot of people do want. They just want a fun story told in an exciting way with the characters they loved. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not all that interesting to me.

    But I'm the guy that never really got into the Extended Universe books either. I liked what I read just fine, but they just never felt like real Star Wars to me. They did for a whole lot of people, but I wasn't one of them, despite trying as hard as I could to be one.

    Solo is made for those people. It really does feel like a movie adaptation of an EU book that never was and for some that will be music to their ears.

    Whether you will think Solo is good, bad or mediocre will entirely depend on what you want out of Star Wars. My guess is that history will show it as an entertaining, but inconsequential addition to the overall lore, but only time will tell.

    On a technical level it's a solid movie. There are a couple really thrilling action sequences, one involving a train heist and one being a rather creative envisioning of the Kessel Run. These sequences are unquestionably well-executed. Towards the end they finally go for the character complexity I was hoping for with a band of pirates and smugglers, but at that point it felt like too little too late to me.

    The idea of doing a Han Solo on his pirate adventures story is pretty fun, but much like Rogue One I felt like they missed the target on integrating a famous cinematic genre into Star Wars. If they made Heat, but in Star Wars or even The French Connection, but in Star Wars, that would have been amazing, but we don't get nearly enough of the smuggler life or spend enough time in the gritty criminal underbelly of this universe. That stuff felt like a side note, kind of like how the Men On A Mission aspect of Rogue One was backgrounded pretty much until the final third and we never got to see those people actually work as a team until the big mission... when they're all separated anyway.


    Everything you've heard about Donald Glover's Lando is spot-on. He's got the charisma and chops to make me buy that he's Lando. Alden Ehrenreich is trying his damndest to pull off young Harrison Ford's swagger and he succeeds on some levels, but the fact that Glover seems to do it so effortlessly really shows how much Alden's struggling to find that pencil line thin balance between capturing a character's essence and just giving us an imitation.

    It made me wish this wasn't a story about Han Solo, to be honest. If Ehrenreich was playing a character in the Han Solo mold then I think he would have been freer to try different things and make it his own.

    I have some issues with where things leave off at the end, particularly when it comes to Solo himself. I kinda feel like it undercuts who he is at the beginning of A New Hope, but I'm not too much of a stickler about that because there is still a question about stuff that could happen between the end of Solo and the beginning of A New Hope.

    The score is pretty damn good, as to be expected. Some great themes return at the right moments and really help give those big scenes the Star Wars feel. John Powell does a fine job at keeping the non-John Williams cues feeling like Star Wars and not a pale imitation, which is a tall order.


    Ron Howard is a guy who knows how to put a film together. He has decades of experience telling him what angles work best for what scene, how to manipulate the edit and to keep the pace going, but there's not much of a director's voice on display. He does a solid job, no doubt, but I didn't feel like there was anything special going on, which is kind of my issue with the entire movie to be honest. Maybe if he had been able to build this one from the ground up instead of pinch-hitting when things went bad between Lucasfilm and Chris Miller and Phil Lord things could have been different, but that's not what we got here.

    At the press screening there was a bit of a technical difficulty. Right in the middle of the movie, just as the main heist was about to begin, the screen went dark, but the audio kept playing. This went on for about 60 seconds and then the projectionist stopped it and rewound the film. The problem was they rewound it almost a full reel, maybe 15 minutes.

    As I rewatched those 15 minutes I found I was bored, which doesn't bode well for my next actual re-watch. If that had happened during The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi or literally any original trilogy movie I wouldn't have felt that way, but I did here and that might be the most blisteringly critical thing I could say about the movie.

    It doesn't make you a bad person or a bad fan if all you want is to cuddle up to an old friend and bask in nostalgia for 2 hours and 15 minutes. If that's what you want then you'll get your money's worth here. If you want something a little deeper then you might find this journey into the Star Wars universe a little hollow.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 108

    1 month ago



    MADHERO: Hey everyone. I hope you're ready for the SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA! Since Infinity War moved dates , it no longer was the summer start we all were hoping for. But hey, who cares when you've got so many other summer movies like.....a Melissa McCarthy comedy...or one starring old people reading 50 Shades. Hmmmm....o hey this Deadpool 2 thing seems kinda fun.

    LARRY: basically still was the Summer start. It just started the Summer earlier lol

    STICKMAN: 50 Shades of Deadpool. He'd be into that.

    MADHERO: Well he got pegged in the first one, so its already way more kinky than that whole trilogy. I imagine this is the type of convo Deadpool would want us to have.

    LARRY: Yeah, you could say it really lights a fire under your ass.

    STICKMAN: Don't do that, kids. That's bad for your anus to dry it up.

    MADHERO: ......right. Lets talk some news.



    Boy oh boy this one's been a while coming, huh? Announced waaaaay back in 2014, The Predator came out strong in the early days with its promising director (Shane Black of Iron Man 3 and Nice Guys fame), ambitions of a big budget R rated picture from FOX, and a fantastic cast of actors. And then...things changed. The film's release date has changed more times than there's been Predator films to date, from March, to February to August and now September. Throw in what felt like total radio silence from everyone involved and the always troubling reshoot situations going on...and you'd be forgiven for having no hope...BUT..we finally got our first look at the film in action this week..and...uhh... looks okay? It's got Predators in it, good cast, competently filmed...uhh...there just doesn't seem to be much to discuss, huh? Opening on the much touted suburban angle with a child ...randomly getting a box of Predator gear and crashing a space ship by crashing a toy space ship. And then we cut away from anything related to that completely and instead get a lot of military action, guns, screaming and some shots of Predators being angry. And...that's it? Most of note is the use of weapons by the Predators previously only featured in the AvP films...and in general, it does feel a bit worryingly similar to AvP R in setting and characters so far. There's the rumblings of genetic hybridization going on, which means more action figures I guess. I dunno, I want to be enthusiastic but this didn't really do much for me, hope there's a better trailer waiting for us in a month or so.

    MADHERO: Well..... this was underwhelming. You give me the promise of a Predator movie directed by Shane Black, director of The Nice Guys, and THAT'S the teaser you put out. Pffffft

    STICKMAN: I know right. It didn't look like the work of a acclaimed director at all. FOX are usually pretty good with trailers too, even if the film ain't so hot. This one just don't work at all.

    LARRY: When Shane fucking Black is attached to Predator in the suburbs, you expect a really good first trailer... And this was....bland. To be fair, tone is a very big part of Shane Black and it's hard to capture that in a minute and a half.......but it could've been better than THIS.

    MADHERO: I guess that's the best thing you can say about it. It looks well made, but besides Jacob Tremblay playing around with a spaceship, it just looks like your average alien invasion, and with Black and the cast involved, you kinda expect more.

    LARRY: I love how, with this cast, they chose to spotlight Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook and not KEEGAN MICHAEL KEY. C'MON.

    STICKMAN: I'm hoping they're just hiding the best parts for the release, but you gotta get bums in seats first and then surprise us when we're watching.

    MADHERO: Either this is hiding a way more fun movie, or a complete distaster. Or something that got turned into the editing booth as something kinda bland.

    LARRY: I think it's the third.

    STICKMAN: As someone who likes all the Predator movies, and even enjoys AvP (the first one) quite a bit? I'm worried. I think this could turn out a real clunker. We've like...had next to no marketing up to this point, and a bunch of delays. I'm concerned. At least Alien Covenant was half a good movie.

    MADHERO: Its one of those things where you put faith in the people involved, but this did not really inspire confidence in the way I hoped it would. Also there's a Predator with fish-net stockings in one of the teaser images. That enough to raise hope?

    STICKMAN: I'm all about that fishnet, bruh. And he had a hell of a cod piece on.



    Hey, remember when Robert Downey Jr. played other roles instead of Iron Man? HAHAHAHA NEITHER DO I. Seriously though, its been a while since we saw Downey in anything other than as Tony Stark. While he’ll be playing Doctor Dolittle in 2019, there were also many wondering what was happening to his other franchise: his Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies.

    Yes, in 2020, RDJ, along with his partner-in-crime Jude Law, will return on screen as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the third installment of their Sherlock Holmes series. You may recall the first installment from 2009, which was...okay, and the second, subtitled "A Game of Shadows", which came out in 2011 and was actually pretty damn good. After nine friggin years without this series, you’d think they’d leave it at peace, but nope. Currently, there is no director attached, but there is a script by Chris Brancato, who is mostly known for his work in television (Hannibal, Narcos). For those hoping to see Guy Ritchie return to the series, considering his work with the live-action Aladdin, it seems unlikely. So who will take the mantle? LET'S SPECULATE, SHALL WE?

    STICKMAN: I'm the other way around on those films, Larry. First one was pretty damn good, second was okay.

    LARRY: Nah. Moriarty makes everything better.

    MADHERO: Boy they sure took their sweet time. I guess it helps that they have a framing device in Sherlock Holmes being presumed dead in the last one. I remember liking the first one, but I really didn't like the 2nd one since so much of it felt like more of the same. I haven't seen them in a while.

    LARRY: Personally I'm just happy to see RDJ doing something other than Iron Man. Granted I'd rather he do a prestige project or something, but it's nice to see him do anything else.

    STICKMAN: My concern of a third one without Guy Ritchie is that he really kinda...gave the film its personality visually and action-wise? They are very distinctive films.

    LARRY: I'm with you Sticky. With Ritchie taken up by Aladdin, I can't think of a quality replacement.

    MADHERO: The lack of Ritchie would be weird, since the first two films are consumed by his style. You can of course argue whether that's a good thing.

    STICKMAN: I think it's a good thing personally. Also get Hans Zimmer back for the score. That score is top notch. Regardless it's a much better franchise than Sherlock is.

    MADHERO: I'm kinda done with the concept of Sherlock as a whole tbh. But again, been ages since I last saw these films.






    Just when you thought he was done, they pull you back in. That seems to be Sylvester Stallone's mantra, as he returned to his role of Rocky Balboa in Creed, showing a much more vunerable side to him and see that his character has truly aged, which isn't a surprise considering he's now in his 70s. It nearly nabbed him the Oscar, and we'll see what Creed 2 does with his character, but for now, Stallone is returning  to his 2nd most famous character: John Rambo. 2008's Rambo was the last we ever saw, which was cartoonishly violent to the point of self-parody, it seemed like the series was over....until now.

    To be fair, a Rambo 5 (or Rambo V as its now known) had always been somewhat teased as a possibility, but thanks to Stallone's Instagram, we now know that its happening for realsies, with Rambo in retirement but called back when his friend's granddaughter is being taken by a Mexican sex trafficking ring. Shooting is supposedly happening this fall, with a fall 2019 release date planned. Not gonna lie, there is something cathartic about a 70 year old man continue to do this like its the 80s, but I'm fairly sure that Stallone could kick my ass easily, so I'll just shut up.

    STICKMAN: I can't believe this is real.

    LARRY: Not the MOST out of nowhere sequel we'll be talking about today.........

    MADHERO: Its been one of those things teased for such a long time that you can't believe its happening until its there, kinda like Venom for me.

    STICKMAN: I've only seen Rambo 1 and Rambo 4...I really didn't like Rambo 1 and Rambo 4 was garbage kinda garbage.

    LARRY: Ya know, this film could be a great...individual, original film with an up-and-coming writer. Doesn't have to be Rambo 5!!

    STICKMAN: We didn't need Creed but that went down pretty well.

    MADHERO: There's a huge audience for his stuff in Asia. We're getting an Escape Plan 2 and 3 because of China alone. I forgot the first Escape Plan was even a thing

    STICKMAN: What the hell's Escape Plan.

    MADHERO: The big Stallone/Schwarzenegger crossover about 3 decades too late.

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. Anyway, this is a film. Rambo vs Cartel. Sicarambo. I made that joke in Screwvies DMs but I'm making it again for the luls.


    MADHERO: Anyway, its happening, and if it is, I hope its as cartoonishly violent as Rambo 2008 was. That or awkwardly thank the Taliban like in Rambo 3.

    LARRY: Oooooooooof.



    Hoooooo boy. So Get Out was a huge fricken deal, and deservedly so in my opinion (watched it for the third time recently, still love it), and everyone has been curious as to what Jordan Peele is bound to do next. Well, saddle up, because details have just recently been revealed. His new film is titled Us and it slated for a March 15th, 2019 release date. He will once again be directing a script he wrote, and it will be produced through his production company Monkeypaw Productions and Blumhouse, with whom he worked with for Get Out. Currently, negotiations are underway for Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Elizabeth Moss to star; the story details are scarce at the moment but so far we know it will center on two suburban couples, one white and one black. Woohoo, more RACIAL TENSIONS!

    Based on these details, we can see that Peele is continuing to explore racial relations with a horror lens, but will this film be enough to feel distinctly different from his last picture? We'll just have to wait and see.  Its apparently a lot more expensive than Get Out was, with the price range supposedly around 25 milliona as opposed to Get Out's 5. i guess that's what happens when you can call yourself a Academy Award winner. Also that probably makes it the most expensive Blumhouse movie ever. All I know is, consider my ticket purchased.

    MADHERO: There's not much to go on based on what has been said, but enough is there to have my interest peaked.

    STICKMAN: Get Out was 2017's big event horror...and even though it wasn't very horror based at was pretty good, and went on to win an Oscar no less. I think there's gonna be a lot of hype around this one just on  that prestige alone. I just hope it's not more of the same.

    MADHERO: I do think Peele realizes he can't just do what he did with Get Out. It might hit on similar topics, but we probably won't see Lupita Nyongo fall into the Sunken Place.

    STICKMAN: I don't know what to expect really, although he's not new to the bizz, it was his first movie project in both writing/directing...I dunno if he's got more up his sleeve. I hope so, that'd be great. The cast is tremendous already.

    LARRY: Yeah it seems to be following a similar vein, but I think there's a lot to explore here past racial relations and maybe discuss romantic themes as well? I dunno, it should be interesting to see where it diverges and where it doesn't. Also this is suburbia as opposed to upper class people, so there's that.

    STICKMAN: Wish we had more to go on, the poster was cool. I dunno, I feel Get Out is a bit overrated but it was a good film for sure. Hope he builds on his first attempt and makes an even stronger follow-up, and actually includes some horror.

    MADHERO: Well he has plenty of experience with Key & Peele, which even though that was sketch comedy, hit on a lot of different themes regarding race. I'm already interested based on his first film, and the cast so far looks excellent.

    LARRY: Yeah, loving the pairing of Nyong'o and Duke. The two most underused BP stars coincidentally.

    STICKMAN: The cast is great. Don't let me down, Peeeeeeele.

    MADHERO: I'm glad Duke is getting more work after his breakout role in Black Panther. He really showed off his charm and I was surprised he hasn't been in much else besides a few Modern Family episodes. Also good to see Elizabeth Moss do more movies.

    STICKMAN: Praise be. Get it. References.

    LARRY: The way I see it, I'm fine with more Get Out. I'm fine with this being totally different. For me, it's a win win. Peele knows what he's doing.



    Last episode we reported on a double dose of stop motion animated goodness, which included finally getting confirmation of a new film from LAIKA. Now, at the time, LAIKA hadn't revealed any details of their project, referring to it as 'Film 5', and we all naturally assumed it'd be a little while until we heard more details. Nope. A week later and we've got the full scoop on what we now know is called 'Missing Link'.

    This new project, which sees LAIKA team up with Anapurna, sees Hugh Jackman's character, Sir Lionel Frost go in search of all things monsters and mythical. This leads him to encounter 'Mr Link', who's the last remaining missing link between man and ape, played by Zach GhagalifaI cantspellhisnameifItried. And eventually the pair go off in search of a legendary Shangri-La, a valley of monsters where the rest of his kind may be waiting for him. Zoe Saldana joins the pair as Adelnia Fortnight, who helps them on their journey, whilst a as of yet unknown villain stalks them.  Joining the cast are a host of talented people, including Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, and some British comedians nobody except me has probably heard of. The film is set for release (In the US) in Spring 2019, and has a rumoured budget of $100 Million which...seems risky, but there you go. Looking forward to it very much.

    MADHERO: 100 million for a stop motion anmated film seems.... risky.

    STICKMAN: Super risky. I guess they're banking on Hugh  Jackman's box office draw. LAIKA as a brand means quality, but it doesn't mean greenstacks.

    LARRY: I can almost guarantee the movie ain't making that back.

    MADHERO: LAIKA is semi-funded by Nike, so in that sense they have cash to burn. Anyway the movie. Seems definitely more comedic sounding, though we're all definitely gonna cry about Mr. Link loneliness or something

    STICKMAN: You say that Larry, but LAIKA have made that kinda bank before. Kubo was a box office disappointment and made around $70 Million. If the marketing focuses in Jackman, the film is good, and it's released at the right time,  they could do it.

    MADHERO: I also think that the film is aiming to be more comedic, and that tends to get the families in seats rather than an adventure story like Kubo.

    STICKMAN: Kubo was very dark but it had a lot of comedy, that wasn't the focus of the marketing for sure. Anyhow, I hope LAIKA get a hit from this. I really do. Paranorman and Coraline both did pretty well, but Boxtrolls and Kubo kinda fizzled out.

    LARRY: Depending on their release date, if they find an open time to really grab the family market, it could make good money.

    MADHERO: The movie sounds fun. Laika has yet to make a bad film (even though Boxtrolls was only just ok.) and it'll be good to see what they can bring. I admire their ambition

    LARRY: I just think the odds are immediately stacked against them at $100 million.

    STICKMAN: Given Aardman seem to have lost their ambition in recent years, LAIKA are kinda the last champions of ambitious stop motion yeah, I wish them nothing but the best, I'll be there to see it, no doubt.



    Holy shit, its actually happening this time. So once again, I'm talking about an old ass property making an comeback. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure popped up in 1989, and managed to become a cult hit that's still beloved by many who grew up with it and its bodacious attitude. The sequel, Bogus Journey, while not as good, promised a utopia where the Wyld Stallyns would write the  greatest song ever written, which would create a righteous utopia. that would save the universe from annihilation

    Of course, not much came of that. Even as his career took off in many different directions, Keanu Reeves (Ted) has always said he wanted to continue the story, as well as Alex Winter (Bill), who's career went more into the behind the scenes stuff. After years and years of teasing, it seems now that Bill and Ted Face the Music is finally happening, with MGM taking care of the production and looking for international distributors at Cannes. This installment will see Bill and Ted go back in time once again, having become middle aged, starting up families  and still not writinn the greatest song ever written, with the space time continuum now starting to get torn apart. Original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon are writing/producing, with Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2) in charge to direct. I'll be honest, Bill and Ted was something before my time, but I know plenty of people happy with this news, and it'll be fun to see Keanu Reeves do something like Theodore Logan after nearly 2 decades of Neos and John Wicks. So not for me, but know plenty who'll find this news.....EXCELLENT *guitar riff*

    STICKMAN: Bill and Ted is one of the most cheesy franchises ever. But I mean, can't deny that kinda feel-good cheese isn't welcome in this era of society.

    MADHERO: Its so cheesy that it bounces right back to endearing. Its the ultimate pair of time capsule movies. So its funny to  see it brought back in a way.

    LARRY: Ehhhhhhhh I'm not really on the boat for this. I think the original film is cheesy fun, the second is kinda lame though. I just don't like unearthing these franchises that are so deeply of their era. It doesn't feel like it needs to be brought back, it was fun at the time and it finished its run. I don't see it translating well.

    STICKMAN: I'm not sure how Keanu Reeves is gonna regress back to TUBUULARRRR DUUUUDE after being John Wick.

    MADHERO: The 2nd is nuts in a fun kinda way honestly. And I do think there's something interesting about seeing these guys now in their late 40s and not having fullfilled the prophecy yet. There's potential in that, and it'll be fun to see that contrast with Reeves especially.

    LARRY: This just makes me think about Dumb and Dumber 2 honestly.

    MADHERO: Honestly, Dumb and Dumber just did the same schtick only now with the characters being older, making it kinda sad. Here it seems like they wanna go in a different direction and its about exploring that youthful part again.

    LARRY: I's just cheesy vs....gross out?

    STICKMAN: There's gonna be a depressing angle on the whole...middle aged schtick. Given they were like, 19 or whatever in the first film. I mean it's not gonna be Logan, but there's gonna be  bittersweet feel I'd hope.

    LARRY: Yeah. I don't think I wanna see a depressing Bill and Ted.

    MADHERO: Its also probably not going to be as needlessly expensive as Dumb and Dumber Too. I think its hopefully gonna be a fun throwback. Bill and Ted was never this huge commercial hit. Also, Logan but with Bill and Ted would be a riot

    LARRY: That's true, it won't cost a whole lot.

    STICKMAN: I'm down for BILL.

    MADHERO: Wait a minute. Logan. Bill and Ted....Bill S. Preston and Theodore LOGAN! HOLY SHIT

    STICKMAN: We're through the looking glass here, people.


    MADHERO: On that massive revelation, its now time to move on to Deadpool 2.  I could also highlight the other movies, but really, this seems like the only one people care about. Unless there's some hardcore Melissa McCarthy fans out there who really want to know more about Life of the Party.

    LARRY: #MelissaMcCarthyStopMakingMovies2018

    STICKMAN: I agree with this hashtag.

    MADHERO: Harsh. Lets maybe wait with that discussion and go and talk about somethng we're interested in.

    LARRY: Meh, Deadpool who?



    DIRECTOR: David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde)

    STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Deetz, TJ Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Terry Crews

    SYNOPSIS: Deadpool (Reynolds) forms a team of mutants called the X-Force to protect a young mutant (Dennison) from the time-traveling soldier Cable (Brolin)

    MADHERO: I've been all over the map in terms of excitement for this honestly, but especially after the final trailer, I've found myself really excited for this movie. Helps that the marketing is once again top notch,

    STICKMAN: I'm kinda eh on Deadpool. I enjoyed watching the first but it is massively overrated and overstated in terms of being unique, I feel. If the new one turns out good I'll probably go see it, but I'm not excited, per ce.

    LARRY: I'm excited. Originally I wasn't but the trailers have really turned me around.

    MADHERO: I agree that I dont think its as unique as it thinks it is, and it kinda falls apart when you don't watch it with an audience, but I laughed my ass off the first time,

    STICKMAN: My hope with the sequel is that they go all in with the fourth wall breaking and don't just relegate that humour to turning to the camera and saying X-Men a bunch. The first one is funny but it's kinda a generic superhero movie once you get beyond that aspect.

    LARRY: Well there's gonna be plenty of that. X-Men references, I mean.

    STICKMAN: One plus the film has going for it is having a John Wick director on board, which means hopefully at least the fight scenes are gonna be cool...riiight?

    MADHERO: I do hope that the X-Force either get treated as more of a joke and not as characters we're supposed to care about. Domino and Peter aside, they look kinda lame. Either that or I hope they saved some good Terry Crews bits.

    LARRY: MY BOI PETER. Peter is gonna be the MVP of this film, guaranteed.

    STICKMAN: I just hope in general the film tries to be less sentimental in parts, it felt weird In the first.

    MADHERO: Well there's a Celine Dion song in there. There's gonna be sentiment at some point.

    STICKMAN: I think the MVP of the film is going to be Ryan Reynolds to be hoonnest. Without him these films would just  not work.

    MADHERO: Its gonna be hard when they need to find someone else to do it. Also Josh Brolin looks like fun as Cable. I hope they go all in on his stupid origin bullshit.

    LARRY: He probably isn't in the film all that much.

    STICKMAN: Deadpool gonna turn to camera and go "Disney, hehehe" and people gonna die laughter.


    DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone (Tammy, The Boss)

    STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Molly Gordon, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Jacki Weaver

    SYNOPSIS: When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (McCarthy) resets by going back to college - landing in the same class and school as her daughter (Gordon)

    LARRY: #MelissaMcCarthyStopMakingMovies2018

    MADHERO: I can't believe they remade Extremely Goofy Movie with Meliisa McCarthy.


    STICKMAN: Gawwwsh, ayuck. Anyway, wow many times does Mellisa McCarthy fall over in this movie.

    MADHERO: All of them. Its in her contract. I'm not as anti McCarthy as you guys are, but she really needs to stop doing movies directed by her husband. They are no bueno.

    STICKMAN: Anti McCarthyism. It's the 50s all over again.

    LARRY: I really don't comprehend it. This formula has been bad MULTIPLE TIMES. McCarthy can be a talented comedic force, she just keeps getting into clunkers.

    STICKMAN: Nobody gonna give me an award for my history joke. Okay. It's probably better written than this entire movie.

    MADHERO: Lets hope Happytime Murders isn't one of those clunkers when that eventually comes out. Also Sticky, I liked your historical joke.

    STICKMAN: Thanks babe.


    DIRECTOR: James McTeigue (The Raven, Survivor)

    STARRING: Gabrielle Union, Seth Carr, Ajiona Alexus, Christa Miller

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Union) fights to protect her family during a home invasion.

    STICKMAN: The prequel to Breaking Bad.

    MADHERO: Yep. This suuuuuuuuuuure is an home invasion movie.

    STICKMAN: The basic premise is a fun subversion but like, other than that. Hoowee...textbook. I hear it's fine? Like...the very definition of....watchable but nothing.

    LARRY: Yeah, besides for Gabrielle Union, who I do like, this looks passable. Then again, sometimes taking standard plots and infusing some representation can be a good thing.

    MADHERO: Union is not in enough movies, so its good to see her lead one, but this screams something you rent or watch drunkenly on Netflix.

    STICKMAN: Netflix is the home of 'Eh, why not' movies. In a cinema landscape too expensive to be worth taking risks on this caliber of films.

    MADHERO: Well it probably wasn't too expensive to make, so who knows. I can't say I really care about this film, but it'll have its audience.

    LARRY: I'd see it if I got the time. Deadpool 2 is gonna get my money first.

    STICKMAN: It looks fiiiine but I'm not gonna watch it unless it's on Netflix or TV and I'm bored, probably. But to be fair, I'm bored quite a lot.

    MADHERO: Its a perfect Moviepass film except that seems to be kinda dead sooooooooooo..... moving on


    DIRECTOR: Raja Gosnell (Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Smurfs 2)

    STARRING: Will Arnett, Ludacris, Natasha Lyonne, Jordin Sparks, Gabriel Iglesias, Shaquille O’Neal

    SYNOPSIS: Max (Ludacris), a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog, along with his human partner (Arnett), to avert a disaster from happening.


    LARRY: Welp.


    STICKMAN: I had to sit through this trailer in front of Isle of Dogs and it was excruciattaiiinggg.

    MADHERO: Lol, that must've been quite the mood whiplash. I know its not really my scene, but I thought this kinda family film had died off.

    STICKMAN: I mean they tend to go direct to DVD these days. Spooky Buddies and what have you.

    LARRY: I have no comment other than the ever usable PASS.

    STICKMAN: That dog did not need a Brazilian, and I didn't need fart jokes either. This is my kryptonite.

    MADHERO: I was mainly distracted by the terrible mouth movement. Also, poor Will Arnett.

    STICKMAN: A career dive on par with his horse fursona.

    LARRY: This definitely feels like a BoJack project

    STICKMAN: But would they be real dogs or people dogs?


    DIRECTOR: Bill Holderman (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen,

    SYNOPSIS: Four lifelong friends (Keaton, Fonda, Begen, Steenburgen) have their lives forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.

    STICKMAN: The less interesting spiritual sequel to Fight Club.

    MADHERO: And here I thought Show Dogs was going to be the most "Not my Thing" movie we'd talk about today.

    STICKMAN: Old people movies sure have made a resurgence these days. Much like the audience themselves, I'd imagine they'll die off soon.

    LARRY: Ooof.

    MADHERO: I think here it can be somewhat forgiven in that none of us are the right age nor gender for this. This isn't even a mom movie. Its a grandma movie.

    STICKMAN: I can't think of any movie I'd want to see less than 'Granny gets horny reading a book about BDSM and watersports'.

    MADHERO: Show Dogs?

    STICKMAN: Ah fair point.

    LARRY: Okay, to be fair, 50 Shades is a small plot point here. It's ultimately a romantic comedy.

    STICKMAN: Oh good, now it's boring too.

    LARRY: I'll take boring over horny grandmas.

    STICKMAN: We are so not the audience for this,'s almost unfair to talk about it. It's like going to a baby store and complaining none of the clothes fit us


    MADHERO: Right. Lets talk about MOVIE OF THE WEEK INSTEAD!!!!!

    STICKMAN: We should rename Movie of the Week the Movie Club, and we watch Fifty Shades of Grey and get horny and decide to explore ourselves, y'know.

    LARRY: Calm it down, Stix.

    MADHERO: No, we're not. We're keeping the original formula of talking about recent VOD/DVD releases and once we saw in the theater. No need to fix what isn't broken

    STICKMAN: I wish someone would fix me.

    MADHERO: Maybe that can happen....what your MOTW? That might be able to help you

    LARRY: Likely won't. Given his usual choices.


    STICKMAN: Oh...WELLLLL....I watched a weird South Korean superhero... comedy... drama.... nnn...thingghh? Psychokinesis, from the same director who brought you the cult favourite Train to Busan, along with a host of animated films, is exclusive to Netflix outside of South Korea, and given it was just there to waaatch? I watched it...and it was...okaaaay? 

    It's kinda  a weird one, and not as good as Train to Busan, which in of itself had issues too. Basically, it's about a father attempting to rekindle a relationship with his long-seperated daughter after her mother dies during the start of an aggressive demolition project on her place of work and living. Also...the father drank weird meteor juice that gives me telekinesis powers. What follows is a film that's part...weird slapstick comedy that feels like it's aimed at a family audience, part melodrama about lost loved ones and rekindling relationships...part violent police/corporation corruption story, and part superhero movie. That last part only really coming into play at the end. It's a film of many parts and they don't all gel that well together, but the last 30 minutes are quite fun, and it's never bad by any means. It's on Netflix, so...yeah...can't complain.

    LARRY: Train to Busan is NUTS. And...this one sounds similarly hard to pin down

    MADHERO: Well this is.... different

    STICKMAN: South Korean cinema I've noticed is always a weird blend of tones. You get a lot of goofy comedy, and then out of nowhere it'll be super melodramatic and weepy.

    LARRY: Hm. Important to keep in mind... But hey, slapstick comedy with telekinesis? I'd watch that.

    STICKMAN: There's lots of people falling over, if that's your thing. It's being promoted as something of a super hero movie, but it's not really so much that until the final act, so don't go in expecting as much.

    MADHERO: True. I think it can be interesting, and considering superhero movies are so American, its nice to get a different peespective

    STICKMAN: Yeah, it's always fun to see how a different country tackles a well-trodden genre. As it was with Train to Busan and zombie movies. I'd recommend Busan over this one, mind.

    MADHERO: Alright, Larry. What's your MOTW? Surely nothing too melodramatic, right?

    LARRY: Well, that's not exactly the word I would use.

    STICKMAN: What is the word you'd use? WHAT IS IT!? TELL ME

    LARRY: Funny. My MOTW is Tully, directed by Jason Reitman from a screenplay by Diablo Cody. This is a pair that has worked together before on both Juno and Young Adult, and it's clear that they are a good pairing for each other; whether or not you enjoy their films, This is the case with Tully, a film that stumbles here and there, but is otherwise a charming, hysterical, and poignant look at the effects of motherhood on the female psyche. Charlize Theron plays a mother of three who hires a night nanny, Tully (hey, that’s the title), played by Mackenzie Davis, and it soon becomes apparent that Tully is something of an anomaly. That's all I'll say, but the film definitely takes some...weird turns, which I'll get to later.

    Charlize Theron continues to prove that she is best when restrained, and Mackenzie Davis is a pitch-perfect match for her on screen. The cinematography is beautiful, the sound design is effective and the pacing is generally strong...until the third act, which is where the film starts to bite off more than it can chew. Still, that doesn't take away from an otherwise enjoyable film that you'll probably miss thanks to all these Wars of Infinity or whatever. I'd suggest giving it a watch if you ever get the opportunity to.

    STICKMAN: Does she drink a lot of mother's milk in this film.

    LARRY: Sticky, yes there is a lot of breastfeeding in the film.

    MADHERO: I've heard a bunch about this movie, including the twist, and honestly, I still don't really know what to know of this film and Jason Reitman as a  filmmaker.

    LARRY: I generally like Reitman, though I hear he's had a few missteps as of late. What with Men, Women, and Children and Young Adult not doing so hot.

    STICKMAN: These films do not appeal to me at all.

    MADHERO: I liked old Reitman. Don't mean Ivan, but I feel he started really well with Thank You For Smoking and Juno. Then I hated Young Adult but that's really my thing. But stuff like Labor Day and especially Men, Women and Children made me feel he really regressed as a filmmaker.

    LARRY: Well Tully definitely gets back to his roots. It feels very reminiscent of Juno. Also Thank You For Smoking is one of my all-time favorite films.

    STICKMAN: Sounds like it's a bit all over the place though.

    MADHERO: Good to hear that's it a turnaround. I don't think the subject matter interests me enough to see it, but I'm happy you liked it, even with the weird twists and turns.

    LARRY: What interested me was Theron most of all, and she is excellent here. Reminded me why she became a powerhouse in the first place.

    STICKMAN: Coo. What about you, Madthew Heroic, what manner of bullshit did you watch this week?

    LARRY: ...Madthew? Really?

    MADHERO: Welll..... just like you, I watched my bullshit through the magic of Netflix on my laptop, because its easy. So Netflix is kinda bad at advertising their movies. You'd think having an all new John Woo movie would be something to advertise. As it stands, they were too busy making Oblvious Anime Man memes and watching followers talk about Everything Sucks. Anyway,  Manhunt is the new Woo movie in question, and its very much a return to classic form.

    A Chinese prosecutor gets framed for a crime he didn't commit in Japan, and a lot of shit ensues. This has all the classic Woo tropes you can hope for. Gun Fu? Check. Crazy plottwists? Check. And Doves? O you bet there are doves. In a way, it feels like a throwback and almost like a parody of his films. It does feel a lot cleaner than his previous.films., but if you know what you're in for. you'll have a good time

    STICKMAN: Is there good action, though. Like...I can't put up with John Woo's bullshit unless there's good aaction.

    MADHERO: Yeah. A lot of the action is great.

    LARRY: Sweeeeeeeeeet. Or shall I say. WOOhoo.

    STICKMAN: What's the balance between Wooshit and Action.

    MADHERO: Theres a lot of Wooshit in there. It doesn't go full Mission Impossible 2, but there's a LOT of the things people make fun of when they talk Woo.

    STICKMAN: Ooyy. See I love over the top action films and cool fights, but John Woo ain't never done it for me.

    LARRY: I really don't feel strongly one way or the other. If it's a good movie, I'll watch it. Plain and simple.

     MADHERO: I don't think this'll be your thing. But hey, you can always give it a try since its on Netflix and turn it off otherwise.

    STICKMAN: I mean, it works for weird anime shows. Netflix is a window into all sorts of shit.

    LARRY: I'm always looking to expand my film viewing. Not afraid to dive down some weird rabbit holes.

    STICKMAN: I wish I could unxpand some of my film viewing, and remove Mission Impossible 2.


    MADHERO: Alright. That does it for this week's episode. Next up, we're getting into more summer fun with..... uh oh. The Starred Wars. Finally, I can't wait for more porg adventures. Oh wait, its a prequel before porgs existed, so I guess we have to do with gungans.

    LARRY: And Woody Harrelson.

    STICKMAN: Oh fuck, do we have more Star Wars ALREADY!? AAAGGHH. I SCREAAAAAAM.

    MADHERO: I can't bear another batch of hot takes. I'm not strong enough

    LARRY: You must become one with the hot takes, Mad. That is how you will become stronger.

    MADHERO: I refuse, but I'll prepare. See ya next time.


    LARRY: See y'all later!!

  • Captain Marvel Enlists Annette Bening!

    1 month ago


    You know, I love it when the MCU lands big, serious actors. I mean, superhero movies on the whole don't have a problem hiring all sorts of actors, from A-list to Oscar types, like Viola Davis and Will Smith in Suicide Squad or Benedict Cumberbatch for Dr. Strange or Jeff Bridges in Iron Man, but occasionally there's a bit of old school casting that makes me sit up and take notice.

    Gary Shandling in Iron Man 2 was the first one. I just never pictured a world in which Larry Sanders himself would be on screen with Tony Stark. Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was another happy surprise.

    The biggest get up to this point was Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Him being the big bad guy of that film helped Winter Soldier set a new tone for the MCU. It's still got goofy comic book shit in it (the whole Zola/Talking Computer sequence for instance), but there's a degree of legitimacy that comes with someone like Redford.

    It seems like Captain Marvel is going in that same direction, at least in terms of casting. The Hollywood Reporter has a story saying that Annette Bening was cast in a secretive role that is most likely a scientist of some sort. 


    Bening doesn't do a lot of giant budget movies and when she does they tend to be weird. Mars Attacks jumps to mind. Her big films all seem to be awards stuff, like American Beauty. She usually stays in the more serious adult drama world so when she signs up for something like Captain Marvel that tells me she believes in the story being told and/or really wants some of that sweet, sweet comic book movie money.

    Either way it's an exciting development for MCU fans. 

  • Burt Reynolds May Star In Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood!

    1 month ago


    Burt Reynolds was once the biggest movie star in Hollywood. He rode that wave for a decade before audiences opted for more action hero types like Schwarzenegger and Willis and Stallone. Movie star ranking aside, Reynolds was one of the most charismatic leading men to enjoy success in the movie industry. Watch Smokey and the Bandit or Hooper or White Lightning or Gator and tell me I'm wrong.

    The dude can phone it in for a paycheck (he did star in a Uwe Boll movie once after all), but when he's challenged he can be magic. Look no further than the performance Paul Thomas Anderson got out of him in Boogie Nights. Although he quarreled with his director that collaboration gave us something wonderful. 


    I'm hoping we'll get the same kind of commitment here. According to Deadline, Reynolds is in talks to star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. He'd be playing George Spahn, the 80 year old blind owner of the infamous Spahn Ranch, which he would rent out as a western town to movie and TV productions from time to time, although that's not why Spahn Ranch is well known today. 

    Today it's more famous as being home to the Manson Family. Spahn let Charles Manson and his follows camp down at the ranch and in exchange Charlie had his follows have sex with the elderly man. This is the real life dude here:


    The part is supposed to be a pretty juicy one. Deadline also reported that Tarantino regulars Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth are also in talks to join up in smaller parts. 

    At CinemaCon Tarantino said that there were going to be a ton of small, but memorable roles in this one, much like in his early work. I'd be shocked if Sam Jackson doesn't already have a part locked down.

    This is one of my most anticipated movies in production right now. Can't wait to see how it all comes together!

  • At the Screwvies: Infinity War Spoiler Special

    1 month ago



    MADHERO: Hello, and welcome to something that we haven't done in a while and probably should've done for Last Jedi but oh well: A SPOILER SPECIAL!  Yes, there is, at it turns out, a lot to discuss about Tully. I personally can't believe Charlize Theron turned out to be a vampire at the end. I did not see that coming. Wait? Nobody watched that movie Dang. Guess we'll discuss Infinity War then.

    STICKMAN: Thanos: The Hands of Fate.

    LARRY: Alright that was a good one, Stix. Can't beat that.

    STICKMAN: End of blog, goodbye everyone.

    MADHERO: The Hand of Fate, or the Gauntlet of Fate as it turns out. In case it wasn't clear, its a spoiler special, so if you're one of the five people (seeing from the box office) who hasn't seen Infinity War yet, turn back now.

    STICKMAN: f you read the blog entitled SPOILERS and get spoiled that's your own fault.


    MADHERO: Alright, with that out of the way......hoooooooooooooowee what a movie. Quite the gut punch of an ending, I'll tell ya hwat. Nothing meme-worthy about that.

    STICKMAN: Another MCU film's big twist turned into  a meme less than a day after it releases in the US.


    LARRY: I don't think anyone predicted the presence of memes as a potential spoiler, and yet here we are. Its a meme based on the PIVOTAL FINAL MOMENTS OF THE MOVIE

    MADHERO: First Hail Hydra, now crumbling into dust. What a world.

    STICKMAN: Just got a bit dusty is all.

    MADHERO: If you don't know the context, I guess its something people can still somewhat understand. Still though, its funny to see such a tragic moment being turned into a meme. My mom was honestly surprised that Thanos had effectively won in the end.

    STICKMAN: Most people have come to the conclusion that the narrative arc of this film followed Thanos and not everyone else, which is an interesting idea.

    LARRY: Yeah it certainly isn't...usual for the villain to "win". I would argue this film, ultimately, is about Thanos more than anyone else. Besides maybe Tony.

    MADHERO: Its about his quest to get all the Infinity Stones. I'm not sure if I believe that he's the main character, though Infinity War has so many character that it doesn't really have a main one. Its definitely his story and his victory, and it takes balls to end the film with sad music and your main villain smiling at peace, having completed his insane goal.

    STICKMAN: Someone was having a panic attack throughout the credits  in the screening I went to.


    MADHERO: I definitely heard some kids sniffing, particuarely when Spidey was the one to go. Its quite surprising all the people that have gone. Spidey, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, pretty much all the Guardians except Rocket, and while they're almost certainly some that are going to return,  its definitely a surprise at the brutality at play.

    STICKMAN: It was a memorable and emotional sequence but it didn't hold much weight to it beyond the events of the next film.

    LARRY: I don't agree it doesn't hold weight but I do see where Sticky is coming from given the news cycle.

    MADHERO: Well, that's another thing I wanted to ask. We obviously know more films are in development. There's a Homecoming 2 along the way, Black Panther 2 might not be officially announced but is probably happening soon. Guardians 3. With all that in mind,  does this ending have weight? Cause obviously we know all that stuff but the majority of the audience doesn't.

    LARRY: I do feel it holds weight, dramatically within the film's context. And I don't feel it's fair to say the ending fails at something it can't really help.

    STICKMAN: Depends on the person, from a general standpoint it lacks a sense of permanence for me. It lives and dies by being tied to this massive universe in terms of the emotional payoff of that scene.

    MADHERO: Someone compared it to Han Solo being frozen in carbonite at the end of Empire, and I feel that's a apt comparison, though of course the way films were released was way different then.

    STICKMAN: I disagree on that being  an apt comparison, because there was no suggestion at the time necessarily that Han Solo would return  in the following film.

    LARRY: I think the very act of killing off so many characters, characters that people genuinely cared for and connected to, is an act of filmic courage all in itself, even if some of them have sequels coming up. Because, let's face it, we all got caught up in that moment, sequels or otherwise. We all forgot until the credits rolled. And, I dunno, I just love cinematic moments that genuinely shock.

    STICKMAN: I absolutely did not forget. Is it courageous to kill them off knowing they'll be back in a year? Feels more about shock value than storytelling, and it worked big time, but yeah. It was a great moment, I'm just saying I didn't for one moment genuinely believe Spider-Man had just died forever.


    MADHERO: Obviously there's some deaths we know that aren't going to remain dead, but there are some we're confident are totes goners. Heimdall, Loki, Vision (maybe?) Gamora and probably some others as well.

    STICKMAN: I feel anyone who had an actual death scene is dead. I don't think it'd be fair to have sequences like that and then bring them back. Particularly Gamora and Vision.

    MADHERO: Vision I expected to go considering the stone he had in his head. The way he went out though......oof.

    STICKMAN: If you're gonna die. Die twice. That's what I always say.

    LARRY: The idea of their efforts being so damn futile. It hurt, even though it was inevitable.

    MADHERO: Thanos being so chill about it as well, just using the Time Stone to bring him back. Damn.

    STICKMAN: Well that's an interesting question in of itself. Did you go in assuming this film would end this way? Or was it a shock to not have any sort of resolution?

    LARRY: For me? A shock. I got caught up in the moment, honestly. The scene on Titan filled me with some hope, genuinely. We always knew there wasn't gonna be a complete resolution seeing as this was Part 1 or 2 originally.


    MADHERO: Well it did have a resolution. Just not the one I think many expected. Obviously we know that it originally started as Infinity War Part 1, and if you know that, the ending definitely feels like that, but after seeing it twice and seeing the film as Thanos' story, I feel like the movie genuinely holds up on its own. Movies like Deathly Hallows part 1 and Mockingjay don't really work as their own movies. I feel this does

    LARRY: Oh it definitely does. I would agree with that whole-heartedly.

    STICKMAN: Well those are different because they're telling a linear story about one group of characters. This is like, 6 or 7 franchises colliding in one cosmic nightmare. Good luck watching GotG 3 without having seen this film I guess. I think it's a great movie, providing you have that connection to the MCU

    LARRY: I would also agree with that. This is essentially the point of no return for non MCU bois. If you weren't following, you aren't gonna get half of the shit in this film.

    MADHERO: Its funny, cause their recently was a Digital Spy article about a woman seeing it without having seen any of the other stories and she actually enjoyed it. You can miss a lot of context, but maybe this works more on its own than we think, cause we have seen all those films.

    STICKMAN: I think it's a fun movie with great action scenes regardless of if you've seen the MCU collective. But in terms of characters and emotional connection? You're lost. The backstory  and development of the characters is in the past 18 movies.

    LARRY: Yeah. Audiences will always like big action. Honestly, Sticky is just me at this point haha

    MADHERO: Agreed. Its weird, cause that can be an issue, but also this movie is the fastest to reach the billion mark and still needs to go to China, so they must be doing something right

    LARRY: Because there are a LOT of fans, and the fanbase keeps growing.

    STICKMAN: If they maintain the quality of each film? Great. If there's gonna be duds and ones people choose not to see, that's gonna be an issue for Avengers 5: Moon Knight Begins.


    MADHERO: Going back to deaths and moments a bit, while I expected Vision to go, I was honestly kinda surprised Gamora went. That was probably the biggest surprise other than Red Skull suddenly reappearing.

    STICKMAN: Gamora's death was somewhat diluted by my confusion and shock at seeing Red Skull back randomly. Played by some guy from The Walking Dead who does good impressions of Huge Weaver.

    LARRY: be honest I thought it was Hugo Weaving. Couldn't tell the difference...

    MADHERO: it didn't take away from it imo. I just always assumed she'd be safe. In fact, I think the favorites in the deadpool were Iron Man, Cap, and Thor and they're all fine in the end. Like, when Tony got stabbed I assumed he'd be toast as well, but he's alive at the end. My guess for one last sendoff in Avengers 4.

    STICKMAN: Oh it was a great death, I was just sorta like...Red Skullll?  When Tony got stabbed, someone in my screening screamed OH GOD NO

    LARRY: LOL that was me in my screening. I was TERRFIED to  see him die, Jesus. But no....not today Starkkkkkk

    STICKMAN: He did feel like the guy most likely to get his card punched. If he survives the next one, I'll be very surprised.

    MADHERO: I didn't scream that, but I felt it. And then Strange had to save him by giving the stone. Wonder why he'd do that considerinig they weren't exactly tight. Could it be.....A PLAN?!

    STICKMAN: Maybe there was some sorta. MAGIC PLAN READING AFOOT



    MADHERO: Its a prevailing theory that Strange has for the most part edged things towards the one victory in the 14 million posibilities, and I guess that means keeping Tony alive. Remember, he said he wouldn't hesitate letting Tony and Peter die for the stone, so for him to give it up is definitely weird,

    STICKMAN: It can be viewed as him bluffing. But I'd imagine, given the source material, this was the plan. In the comics he squirrels a bunch of people away in a pocket dimension thing. But in this one he poofed so.

    LARRY: Yeah that's what I thought...Strange having a plan isn't hard for me to believe. He probably saw Captain Marvel in his visionssssss

    MADHERO: Obviously we don't know the plot of Avengers 4, but there's already plenty of rumors of time travel being involved in some capacity based on some set photos. Its going to be interesting to see Captain Marvel's involvement, but more will be clear once we actually see her film.

    STICKMAN: Which comes out befoooore Infinity...More? I think that's the working title.

    LARRY: Infinity (One) More (Movie). Yeah she's gonna save the MCU, and I’m here for it.

    MADHERO: Evangelion style. Nice. Would be really awkward if she has crumbled into dust as well.

    STICKMAN: Avengers: You (cannot) kill Spider-Man when he has a sequel.

    MADHERO: I do wonder how in the hell Homecoming 2 is going to be marketed considering its Sony but Spidey is also canonically dead in the MCU. It has a July release date, so its not like they can't talk about it until May when Avengers 4 is out.

    LARRY: I speculate it's gonna be pushed. And a trailer for Spidey 2 will premiere after Avengers 4.

    MADHERO: Well again, Spidey is in a awkward position since it technically comes from a different studio.

    STICKMAN: What happened to Stan Lee. Did he dissolve? “Excelsior, I don't feel so good.”

    LARRY: ...Let's hold off on the Stan Lee dying jokes for now. Not sure my heart can take it.

    MADHERO: Its definitely an interesting dilemma to have. Anyway, what about some other characters and moments. How about giant dwarf Peter Dinklage?

    STICKMAN: He was there.


    STICKMAN: That whole sequence was there. I can't get a handle on its location.

    LARRY: Kinda funny how Dinklage has now been in TWO Marvel films only to be throwaway characters.


    MADHERO: I do feel that sequence was probably the one I couldn't be bothered with, even if it leads to Thanos getting stabbed and an awesome entrance, and I loved Thor and Rocket's character interactions.

    LARRY: Yeah Thor's entire sideplot felt like the most tangential.

    STICKMAN: Oh yeah. I'm always here for Rocket, especially now nobody else is here for him.

    MADHERO: Rocket is close to MVP in this movie, but its probably Thor. Hemsworth's really showing his dramatic and comedic chops in this film.

    STICKMAN: What about Drax though. What about Drax.

    MADHERO: I mean, he had the best lines, but in terms of moments, Thor just edges out for me.

    STICKMAN: Did everyone else enjoy how the goofy mid-credits scene of hit comedy Thor Ragnarok led directly into a dark opening sequence where the entire remaining cast of Thor is murdered?

    MADHERO: RIP Korg and Miek, they were too good for this world.

    STICKMAN: I struggle to sleep at night not knowing their fate.

    MADHERO: Thor does mention only half of his ship was decimated andi its So maybe they're still around.

    LARRY: I didn't love Ragnarok so peace out, those people. The death of Valkyrie tho is sad.

    STICKMAN: Piss off, ghosts. What if the ghosts Korg sees in Ragnarok are the spirits of the people who died in Infinity War trying to reach out to Thor before the events of the film unfold?

    MADHERO: I think she's still around probably. Part of the half that got away. Loki tho seems gone for realsies

    STICKMAN: With Loki, third times the charm. He never turned Thor into a frog tho. His work is not yet done.

    LARRY: Was about time for Loki to be honest. That boi had to learn a lesson.

    MADHERO: Well hard to learn one when you're dead.

    LARRY: ....the death IS the lesson, Mad.


    MADHERO: What about Hulk never showing up despite being in the trailers. That was actually a surprise.

    LARRY: Good misdirection.

    STICKMAN: Part of me feels gipped out of that cool running scene, but it was a surprise for sure. The trailers misdirected on Thanos' mentality as well. He was played much more VILLAIN'y in those than he was in the film. Lot of unused sinister lines.

    MADHERO: No smiles of his face. He's kind of a bummer throughout. There are a lot of toys of Hulk bursting out of the Hulkbuster armor, so either they were going to do it at one point or it was a misdirect all along.

    STICKMAN: Maybe that's in the sequel. Thanos needs to take a me-day. Sit down and play some Fortnite or something.

    LARRY: He's gonna have plenty of time for me-days.

    STICKMAN: Well daddy daughter day's not happening so I guess so.

    MADHERO: He seems to be doing that at the end. Does make me wonder what his character arc is gonna be like. The Gauntlet is kaput at the end so how powerful is he now.

    LARRY: ...yes but if they go back in time, the gauntlet WON'T be kaput.

    STICKMAN: Go back in time with what infinity stone exactly. The Eye of Shigeru Miyamoto is gone too I guess. What I want to know is how Tony gonna get off that planet, what with no ship, no team and a hole in his front.

    LARRY: There are other ways of time traveling when you're literally a universe of comic books.

    MADHERO: I'm honestly surprised the film hasn't caused some sort of backlash Last Jedi style considering some of the directions it takes. I'm kinda happy with that, since I was prepared for so many bad Infinity War takes to swamp my feed and now I'm glad almost everyone seems to love it.

    STICKMAN: The only backlash I've seen is dumb backlash relating to Gamora's death, which I thought was excellent. But it's been mainly loved quite a bit so huzzah, thanks Marvel. But also fuck you Marvel, how dare you delay Ant-Man and the Wasp by a SHITTING MONTH in the UK because of a football event that ends two days after the release of the GOD DAMN MOOOVIE.

    LARRY: Yeah I am surprised that Infinity War lived up to the hype this much, honestly. Cuz.......MAN the hype was high.


    MADHERO: You could argue whether that emotional beat was earned (I'm sorta inbetween on it) but that's been basically it. Its a film that I already liked, and while I wish more characters had their moment (Cap has like.,,, 5 lines tops), I'm really impressed by the remarkable achievement the Russo's have pulled off.

    STICKMAN: Cap had one of the best lines though. Captain America meeting Groot was the comedy highlight I never saw coming.

    MADHERO: Rocket wanting Bucky's arm was better imo.

    STICKMAN: Basically, this film was awesome. It's got issues but it's hard to care when it gets so much right and delivers great visuals, action, laughs, drama and tears. It's like, the full package.

    LARRY: Also, the team up of Quill, Spidey, Strange, Tony, Mantis, AND Nebula? Surprisingly impactful. A strange but solid hodge-podge.

    STICKMAN: A DOCTOR Strange hodge-podge.

    LARRY: Oh....oh, you.

    MADHERO: Tony's utter disbelief at the Guardians' idiocy was a delight. Anyway, I think that about wraps everything up. We could be going on all day about this films and the moments in it, but we have to wrap up at some point. I think that about does it for our yearly spoiler special.

    LARRY: Damn, let's not wait so long next time...

    STICKMAN: Are we not getting the band back together for...Han Solo... A Solo Hand Story. That film I'm probably not watching tbh. Or Jurassic World 2; Oh look, there's Blue.

    MADHERO: That or Deadpool 2 or whatever. Its hard to say what everyone will be talking about. We'll find out soon enough. BYE EVERYONE!



  • Fox Continues To Kill It With Their Deadpool 2 Marketing! New Poster Is Both Funny And Beautiful!

    1 month ago


    If you couldn't be more psyched for Deadpool 2 then prepare to push yourself even further with this gorgeous and funny art poster Fox just released. "From the Studio That Killed Wolverine." Bless you all. I want this on my wall now. 


    Ain't that thing a beaut? I mean, we have Blind Al, Terry Crews, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Ricky Baker, Shatterstar and Rob Delaney all on one poster! I mean, there's everything AND, literally, the kitchen sink in this poster. If this movie is even a fraction as awesome as this poster we're all in for a great time. Only a week and a half to wait, folks!

  • Fox says Gambit Movie Might Still be in the Cards | I.G Movie News

    1 month ago


    ******video form of post

    The production of the Gambit movie has been a rocky one. The movie was officially announced in 2014, with Channing Tatum signed to the role. Unfortunately, despite Tatum's enthusiasm for the movie and his efforts to keep it alive, the production has seen three directors quit altogether, including Gore Verbinski. However, X-Men producer, Simon Kinberg claims the project isn't dead and that fans should be patient.

    The only word about any sort of production getting off the ground is the rumored start date for filming (June 19th of this year in New Orleans), speculation that director Ben Wheatley might be attached to the movie, and the possible 2019 release date. Very little information has come out otherwise, and both fans and the producers are unsure of the future of the X-Men film series, especially following the Fox/Disney buyout. As of now, nobody is sure about what will happen.

    The other issue is all the other X-Men movies that are being filmed. Deadpool 2 is set to release later this month and is expected to springboard an X-Force series. X-Men: Dark Phoenix is also undergoing pre-production, and The New Mutants is currently experiencing reshoots. It's possible Gambit might be put on the backburner for all these other, larger projects.

    As Kinberg said, we'll need to be patient and wait for any concrete updates on the status of the movie. Should things go well, we might finally have a Gambit movie very soon.


  • Wait, John Lithgow is going to play Jud Crandall in the new Pet Sematary remake?!?

    1 month ago


    This may be a little niche, but today's casting news of John Lithgow joining up with the pending Pet Sematary remake is right up my alley. Lithgow is awesome and he's going to be playing of my favorite King characters: Jud Crandall. 


    You'll remember the late, great Fred Gwynne played Jud in the original film and he did a bang up job, putting on an authentic Maine accent so thick he became a quick parody. South Park straight up cut and paste him into the series he was so memorable in that role. "Don't go down that road..." 

    Much like Gwynne, Lithgow's career has been mostly built around him being such a lovable guy. There have been a few exceptions, my favorite being his cold-blooded strangler character in Brian De Palma's Blow Out, but on the whole Lithgow was mostly the dad you always wanted.

    Crandall is the granddad you always wanted, so that fits. He's kind, smart, has an answer for everything, but he's also haunted. In this case he's haunted by the knowledge he has... of a little clearing beyond the pet cemetery where the soil is stoney, like a man's heart. And he's haunted by the power he knows that place possesses. 


    The remake cast Jason Clarke as the lead, Louis Creed, a doctor who moves his family to a small town in Maine and now Lithgow. Both have starred in recent Planet of the Apes movies, so here's hoping Andy Serkis comes in to MoCap the Creeds' undead cat, Church.

    This marks a post-IT renaissance of Stephen King adaptations and I'm there for it. What do you folks think? 

  • Eric Vespe Takes You Behind The Scenes Of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

    1 month ago


    The summer of '93 was an import one for me as a movie geek. Of course I had grown up with Steven Spielberg's work like Jaws and the Indiana Jones films and Close Encounters and ET, but I had never been caught up in one of those as an “event.” They had simply existed, either on cable or VHS. I did go see Last Crusade opening weekend with my family, but it was just a cool thing to do, not necessarily a landmark moment.

    The evening of Friday June 11th, 1993 I was at my grandparent's house. We were watching the news after dinner and the big story were the lines around the block for Jurassic Park. 


    I was so pumped to see the movie, but also nervous. I was supposed to go see it the next morning, but could I even get in?

    My grandparents very rarely went to the movies with me. Grandpa Vic would often say “I want to keep my shoes” when I'd ask him to go watch movies with me, referring to the sticky floors of the theaters. But they encouraged my movie habit and bright and early Saturday morning my Grandmother dropped me off at the domed Century Theaters in San Jose, California.

    I walked up to the ticket booth while my Grandmother waited to make sure I could actually get in and sure enough I was able to buy a ticket to the first screening that morning. No lines, no problems. I vividly remember getting a Coke and some Red Vines, thinking all that stuff on the news was overblown and then I entered the theater... a buzzing, packed theater.

    Somehow I hit the sweet spot between sold out and lining up hours in advance and just kinda slid on in. I remember sitting off-center and being perfectly happy with my seat and then the usher came in and asked everybody to scoot towards the middle so the next wave of people could have easy access to remaining seats.

    When all was said and done I somehow ended dead center, middle of the theater. It's like fate put me in that seat. Then the movie played and I was hooked in a way I had never been before. Some of it was the buzz of the crowd, some was the technical majesty of the effects, both practical and digital, on the screen, some of it was the charisma of all the actors, a good deal was John Williams' score and there was also a little bit attributed to the state of the art immersive screen I was watching it on.

    The Century theaters were domed, with curved screens so it felt a little bit like I was surrounded by the movie. Not only that, but this was my first experience with Digital Sound. The DTS logo is super cheesy now, but at the time it blew my mind (and my eardrums).

    I was so into the movie. A 12 year old boy in 1993 was already the perfect mark for Jurassic Park and when you add in the fantastic presentation to the mix you get something life-changing.

    I'll always love Jurassic Park thanks to that screening. That summer I was boy obsessed. I both read the original Michael Crichton novel and listened to the audio book (read by John Heard). I collected Jurassic Park trading cards, I bought the making of book, I listened to the soundtrack on repeat, I pumped countless quarters into the Jurassic Park pinball machine. And I dreamed of petting a real life dinosaur.

    Cut to 24 years later and I found myself in the jungles of Hawaii, about to enter a tent filled with animatronic dinosaurs. Twelve year old me was very much on my mind in that moment.

    But lets back up a second. I got the call asking if I wanted to visit the set of the Jurassic World sequel after I had booked a much-needed vacation to New Zealand in that same timeframe. However you must remember that whole page of backstory I just made you read. A little thing like vacation wasn't going to keep me from getting to visit a Jurassic park in real life. The way it all worked out I flew from Austin to LA to Aukland to Wellington (roughly 20-ish hours of travel), got to sleep for a night and then got on an airplane and headed about 10 hours back the way I just came and I did so with a smile because there was a chance I was gonna see some goddamn dinosaurs and for that I'd fly around the world three times over.

    One of the perks of getting to touch down in New Zealand first was I happened upon a bag of limited edition Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Doritos that was only available in the Southern hemisphere. The chips were green colored and “Gamora themed” and I said “Screw it, I'm going to gift these to Chris Pratt if I get the chance.”

    So, me and my movie tie-in junk food ended up in Hawaii where I found out the set visit was very limited. It was just me and Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta there, which made the whole thing feel intimate and less junket-y where you're herded like cattle from one part of the visit to another. Don't get me wrong, those visits are fine, too, but this kind is way better.


    Our first stop was the destroyed Main Street of Jurassic World, built up off of Police Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. This exterior set was totally cool to be exposed to the elements because in the story for the sequel the Park has been abandoned for years. They've given it back to the dinosaurs and thus everything is overgrown, broken down, unkempt and probably filled with a bunch of dino doo-doo. I didn't see any, but I'm sure it was there.

    They built Main Street on an old WW2 airfield and it looked identical to the one you see (in much better shape) in the first Jurassic World even though that original set was built in New Orleans. The production design team was able to recreate it in exacting detail from the construction drawings, 3-D scans and photos taken on set the first time around.

    I didn't see any evidence of it, but I'm hoping we see a skeleton holding margarita glasses in each hand somewhere in this scene.

    While that's wishful thinking on my part, what I can say is that this location doesn't play a huge part of the movie, but I was told that it serves a pretty big moment that sounds like it mirrors the original Jurassic Park.

    When our heroes return to the island they find more dead dinosaurs than alive dinosaurs. Bones, carcasses, etc. I mean, the dinos have been left to their own devices so naturally the meat-eating meatasauruses have been eating the veggiesauruses and they don't tend to clean up after themselves.

    Apparently our heroes come to Main Street and see their first sign of life: a Brachiosaur walking amongst the ruins. Like I said, it sounds like a callback to the original moment when Grant sees the Brachiosaur for the first time. There's still awe and majesty even as this island is about to go up in flames.

    One of the big characters that has been kept out of pretty much all advertising is Ted Levine's character, Wheatley. We didn't get to see him work, but we heard a lot about him. Ted Levine is a very great and intimidating character actor probably best known as Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs and his character here is apparently a real son of a bitch. He's a hard-ass military style dude on the ground to organize the extraction of the very specific species he's tasked to grab and from the sounds of things he's a little bit of a mix of Pete Postlethwaite's Roland Tembo and Peter Stormare's Dieter Stark from The Lost World in that he'd rather hunt the dinosaurs instead of saving them, but he doesn't seem to have Tembo's respect for the animal. He's a little more cruel about it and like most cruel people in the Jurassic universe things probably aren't going to end too well for this dude.

    While the production was very secretive about what happens after everybody gets off the island we did get filled in on some of the key on-island locations. We know that our group is trying to find Blue and to do so they need to journey to a radio tower on the island where they can plug in and track the dinosaurs (remember they all had tracking devices implanted). I assume there is where Justice Smith's character comes in since he's a computer dude who is deathly afraid of literally everything on the island.

    We've all seen the trailers by now so you know they find Blue. What you might have missed is that Blue has made her nest in the overturned jeep that the T-Rex messed up so beautifully in Jurassic Park. I was told later that the idea to do that came from Mondo, of all places. You may remember their teaser poster print they did for Jurassic World depicting a Raptor on top of the ruins of the car. Apparently that image stuck with the creative team and they couldn't find a place to put it in the first film, so they wrote that into the sequel.


    And speaking of Blue, I guess it's time to talk about losing my mind and petting a real, living, breathing dinosaur.

    I'm jumping forward a little bit here, but before the final part of our set visit, Peter and I got to step into the SFX tent and see some of the animatronics involved in the movie. We missed the biggest animatronic build of the shoot, sadly. They built a full sized T-Rex all drugged out and in her container, but that wasn't brought to Hawaii so I didn't get to see her.

    I did get to see a baby stegosaurus and Blue in all her head to toe glory, though, so I'm not complaining.

    The stego was a partial build. The body wasn't fully animatronic as the scene it's in apparently calls for it to be fairly stationary. The head, though, was articulated and puppeted by two guys, one controlling the rig that made its head move around in a surprisingly big range and the other using a remote control to make the eyes blink.

    Working together they made this head on metal skeleton come to life. It sniffed at my leg and nudged my outstretched hand like a big, goofy dog. Even though I could see the illusion thanks to the physical body not being in that tent at the time I still bought into it thanks to the animation happening before my eyes.

    The raptor didn't require as much suspension of disbelief. Blue was a full build. She was groggy, laying on the ground, but fully articulated. Her legs could push out, her arms moved, her ribcage expanded and contracted with each breath, her head could raise up off the ground and move around, her eyes opened and closed and could follow you, her mouth and tongue were working. In short, she was alive. In that tent at that moment, with a huge team of puppeteers behind her, Blue was a living thing.

    This was the moment I had dreamed of since I was a wide-eyed kid sitting in that movie theater watching dinosaurs come to life.

    The SFX crew told us that this particular build breaks down into three parts that when connected makes a seamless, full body Velociraptor and that it typically takes 11 puppeteers to bring her to life. Some will operate individual limbs, some the bladders built in that make it look like she's breathing, some on her face.

    The SFX team, lead by Star Wars' Neal Scanlan, didn't just create living dinosaurs. Nope, there's lots of dead ones as well. Near Blue's nest, out in the jungles of Hawaii, they built a full scale, dead adult Stegosaurus. This thing was massive. Sixty feet long, 15 feet tall, and immaculately detailed. Leathery, drying skin hanging over an exposed ribcage... It was sad and beautiful at the same time.

    There were a good dozen more dino carcasses scattered around the landscape. We went to visit the Radio Tower location, which is near where they shot the Gyrosphere Valley sequence in the first Jurassic World, at a place called Kualoa Ranch, which has been the location of a ton of movies and TV shows. When Hurley was golfing in Lost or when Lex, Tim and Dr. Grant were running from the Gallimimus in the original Jurassic Park, the Kong skeletons scene from Skull Island... that was all shot at Kualoa, a giant gorgeous amazingly beautiful reserve. I'm also told the Obamas frequent the event center.


    One of the locations in this huge natural wonder is a steep green hillside and the Radio Tower was down at the foot of that. They had rigged the whole area with gas pipes so they could pump out fire for a big lava sequence and they even dotted the landscape with those dino carcasses. From the tower location you could easily see for miles and they had a bunch dotting the landscape and like the Stego these aren't just bones, but fully detailed decomposing carcasses.

    The scene in the trailer where Chris Pratt is running down the hill yelling “RUN!” is from this location and it looks way more steep and treacherous in person than it does on camera, let me tell you.

    We saw very little actual filming, but our last stop of the day did take us to the active set.

    The scene is the finale of the big island escape and involved Justice Smith and Chris Pratt and a speeding truck racing down a dock, trying to make it to a boat being chased by lava and probably a dinosaur or two. I don't know about that last part, but it is a Jurassic movie, so if someone's running odds are there's a dinosaur involved somewhere.

    Instead of getting to watch the scene unfold we instead spent our time at this location interviewing many of the key players, including legendary producer Frank Marshall, Justice Smith and Chris Pratt. I've run all those interviews separately and will list them at the bottom of this article. I highly recommend you give them a read if you want to know more about the movie and hear some fun filming anecdotes.


    This was my first time meeting Pratt and he was every bit the joking, charming leading man type I expected from his film work. Of course within seconds of him entering our interview tent I bestowed upon him the gift of limited edition Doritos that had his face on them and to my delight he was super over the moon about it.

    There was a debate about whether or not he was going to “smash them” that night or hold on to them for posterity's sake and eat them in 20 years. That spurned a quick conversation about just how high you could get eating 20 year old movie tie-in Doritos and then we calmed down and had a nice chat about Jurassic stuff.

    Before we left we got a visit from Bryce Dallas Howard, who was in the tent next door to the one we were doing interviews in. We had interviewed her earlier in the day and since she knew she had two full blown geeks she asked us if we had any thoughts about her dad signing on to do the Han Solo movie. Of course we did and we listed off a few words of geek wisdom that she rapidly typed into the notes app on her phone and she said she was going to send them on to her dad. Whether or not she did and whether or not he took any of them to heart I have no idea, but it was a pretty cool moment nonetheless.


    And that ended the big trip. The next day I got back on a plane and went back to enjoy my vacation knowing that I had gotten to bond with a real life dinosaur. The SFX guys could explain all the servos and components that made Blue look alive all they want, but I'm pretty sure they just cloned a real life dinosaur. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

    Thanks for following along on this crazy adventure. Hopefully you know a little bit more about this crazy new Jurassic movie. If not now you know about limited edition Doritos, so I guess it's a win either way.

    If you want to read full transcripts of the interviews with the main players then here you go:

    Director JA Bayona On Making Jurassic World Scary Again

    Producers Frank Marshall & Patrick Crowley Discuss The Goals Of This Huge Sequel

    Chris Pratt Talks About Jumping Through A T-Rex's Mouth

    Bryce Dallas Howard On Becoming A Dinosaur Rights Activist

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 107

    1 month ago



    MADHERO: There was an idea, to bring together a group of mediocre people, to see if we could become legit film critics, so that people may ask about our opinion some day, so we could see the things that they never should need to see. Of course, that doesn't really apply here cause HOLY SHIT EVERYONE'S GOING TO SEE INFINITY WAR! ITS FINALLY OUT WOOPWOOP!

    STICKMAN: Who you calling mediocre. How dare you, I'm terrible.


    STICKMAN: It's no Freddy vs Jason.

    MADHERO: I've waited for this since they showed his ugly purple mug in 2012 and now its finally here. But first, we need to talk about other the news.



    A few months back, we got our first look at Sony's unnecessary, MCU excluded Spider-Man spin-off, Venom. Venom itself wasn't really anywhere to be seen, barring a splattering of black goo here and there. That's all changed now...SORTA. Sony, being one of the few studios to actually release any Cinemacon trailers to the public, have given us a more extended look at Venom that...actually had Venom in it! For 3 seconds maybe, but...heeeeey!

    The film itself looks more or less the same, a lot of cringey lines, a moody/edgy atmosphere that seems out of place in a Marvel film in 2018, and a continuing suggestion that Venom itself will not be featured in the film a huge deal in favour of Tom Hardy's oddly attractive mug. We did get to see the symbiote in action...although apparently it's a sym-BI-ote in this film. There was a lot of gooey tendrils shooting out and about, in something that felt more like The Darkness than a Venom film...and then we got our look at the big boy himself. And he was...a mixed bag? Looked fine in a still image, but the mouth movements were put it lightly. Naturally, most of the internet is now horny for Venom because he's got a tongue that looks like a dick I guess. Oh well. If you can't beat them, join them.


    MADHERO: "I think that you're working for an evil person" - a line of dialogue in the year of our lord 2018

    STICKMAN: So fellas, how erect were you at the end when you saw Venomnum.

    MADHERO: His tongue looks like a penis, as pointed out by Elizabeth Banks, so very.

    LARRY: God pls fix his mouth movement...He looks so goofy

    MADHERO: Either way, while I think this is a far better trailer than the first one, its still one that doesn't really fill me with confidence. There's a lot of talk that Venom only really shows up at the end, and if that's the case, hoo boy.

    STICKMAN: It being better than the first in only that we actually saw Venom,  really. Briefly. And considering the film is called VENOM if he's not in it for a considerable portion of time...I might just go to bed.

    LARRY: ...honestly this one may be worse for me. I am filled with ZERO confidence. Tom Hardy looks like he has no idea what the fuck he's doing half the time. Jenny Slate looks ridiculously miscast.

    MADHERO: Sym-bi-ote

    STICKMAN: I think it is time we have a Sym-Bi-Ote. Get representation going, folks. So we're all really excited then.

    LARRY: It feels more like a Mr. Fantastic origin film than a Venom origin film. Also the voice is utter cheese.

    STICKMAN: I'll just wait and look at the porn on Twitter instead of seeing the film.

    MADHERO: I'm.......indifferent. I don't think it'll be good, so I'm kinda just hoping its ok. Its such a weird thing that it exists honestly.



    So hey, CinemaCon happened, and Paramount came and revealed a solid chunks of news. Here are three of the bigger pictures: Cloverfield will be getting a brand new movie developed from the ground up, going back to Abrams’ ol’ Mystery Box fun times. Meanwhile, Overlord, originally a new Cloverfield movie out in October, will now be its own thing, and the first R rated film from Bad Robot, and is apparently insane looking. Also, A Quiet Place, which was originally going to maybe be a Cloverfield film, is confirmed to be getting a sequel following its smashing success. So, yay.

    Star Trek is getting two, count ‘em, TWO, sequels. One will be the hotly speculated-on entry from crazy boi Quentin Tarantino (my oh my what a world we live in), speculated to be its own thing with its own characters, so not related to Abrams Trek. Speaking of which, Star Trek 4 will directed by SJ Clarkson, best known for Jessica Jones, will direct that, becoming the first female director in the series!! Hooray for inclusion and representation!!

    Finally, for those of us are who still children at heart, the third Spongebob movie will called “It’s a Wonderful Sponge”. Gee, I wonder what that could be referencing. It will be another combination of 2D/3D animation. So, yay, more animated adventures with everyone’s favorite nautical sponge. Oh, and a Mission Impossible stunt so insane it defines explanation. That's going to be fun to watch.

    MADHERO: That Mission Impossible stunt, based on description alone, sound so fucking insane that I have to see it, and I was already going to do that anyway.

    STICKMAN: I haven't read it but I look forward to seeing it. Mission Impossible been on a great streak.

    LARRY: I'm just kinda here for all this Trek news.

    MADHERO: Its interesting that 2 projects are essentially moving forward, but one is going to be so dramatically different that its understandable. Don't want it to completely overtake Star Trek 4, cause I like that series, but I'm extremely curious by Tarantino's take.

    LARRY: I just think its great for a franchise to have two distinctly different directors at the helm of the same franchise

    STICKMAN: He's going to make Kirk crash the Enterprise into a tree.

    MADHERO: Holy shit, Sticky. Now you're just making me feel bad. As the resident Cloverfield stan, how do you feel about the development surrounding all of that?

    LARRY: I'm happy A Quiet Place wasn't a Cloverfield film. That's about it. Also apparently Overlord is NUTS, so I'm here for it.

    STICKMAN: I mean...I want whatever's best for my boy Cloverfield. Paradox wasn't exactly  a smash hit, and I didn't want them to continue with the lazy tie-in bullshit. Overlord being its own thing is good, especially since we might get a proper Cloversequel too.

    MADHERO: I'm curious whether Quiet Place can work concept wise as a sequel. Its not really a slasher who can come back and kill more teenagers. Curious how they'll do it without being shit.

    STICKMAN: I guess tell a story from a different perspective. But it seems based purely around the money possibilities rather than something that makes sense to doooo.

    LARRY: Part of its success was its originality, so a sequel sounds…. bad.

    MADHERO: Quiet Place is one of Paramount's first genuine hits in a while. They're gonna bleed that stone dry.



    Its time to once again discuss the continuing developments of the DC slate over at Warner Bros. One of those newly announced briefly sent the internet buck wild, as Warner Bros and Steven Spielberg announced that they would re-team for an adaptation of the comic book series Blackhawk. Now I know what you're thinking: what the hell is that? Basically, it follows a group of multicultural ace pliots, led by their mysterious leader Blackhawk as they fight the Nazi's in WWII. Since then, they've only popped up now and then, including an episode of the Justice League cartoon. You can see why Spielberg might be interested in such a project, but considering his other projects, it remains to be seen when we'll get this and whether it has any ties to the DCEU.

    Speaking of ties  to the DCEU, projects with connections seem to be moving forward. Suicide Squad seems to have a million spin-offs in development, and one of them, the Harley Quinn spin-off starring Margot Robbie, seems to be moving along, with Warner Bros and Robbie's production company Lucky Chap locking on to Cathy Yan to direct. Yan is relatively new on the block, having made Sundance hit Dead Pigs, which Robbie liked a lot. She would be the first Asian American woman to direct a superhero movie, which is pretty neat. Aquaman and Shazam were shown footage at Cinemacon,  with Aquaman really impressing with its scope despite director James Wan saying VFX werent done yet. Shazam was more BTS stuff. All in all, a lot going on at WB.

    STICKMAN: I'm sad to report that DC are at it again.

    LARRY: God, fuck ALL of this. I feel like a broken record.

    MADHERO: They're doing their best.....which isn't very good.

    STICKMAN: I mean it's too early to say if they're good or not. Then again, after Justice League, I'm pretty much done.

    MADHERO: I do think that the concept of Spielberg doing Blackhawk sounds very interesting. That is something that's seemingly very far removed from all the potential DC stuff besides WW, since its basically pilots fighitng Nazi's.

    LARRY: Eh they'd probably use WW to tie in. Doesn't seem super far fetched. Seems like an easy way of going back to the SOLE DC FILM THAT HAS BEEN OF ANY QUALITY

    STICKMAN: I don't really get why DC, who own all their properties, are off-shooting so many of their films into different categories and universes.

    MADHERO: Because their attempts to make an actual universe has turned into the DCEU.

    LARRY: I'm sick of hearing these announcements. Even if its directors I like. In fact, that kinda makes it worse.



    It's fair to say 2018 has been a pretty good year for stop-motion. Although Early Man underwhelmed slightly, it was still a lot of fun, whilst Isle of Dogs managed to be super charming. But what about the future? Well it's looking pretty bright,  LAIKA has finally announced they’re working on something new. The as of yet untitled and ungenre'd 'Film 5' is now in production, with a change of distributor/financier. Annapurna, taking over from Focus Features/Universal Studios. We don't know much about the film except it's being directed by Paranorman's Chris Butler, and stars Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana. They said it'd be a moving and funny adventure, which LAIKA described as an 'evolutionary step' for the studio, but to me it sounds like par for the course, in a good way.

    The good news don't stop there a rather out of the blue and shocking announcement, we now know that Aardman Animations are working on a sequel to their first, and most successful feature film, Chicken Run. Dropping Dreamworks in favour of their current partner, StudioCanal, as well as original co-producer Pathe. That's literally all we know at this point, but it's a cool, if somewhat...unnecessary project. That will come out in the years that follow Autumn 2019, which is when Shaun the Sheep : Farmageddon (Yes I know) comes out. Great to see stop motion films continuing to be made, and the two biggest in the bizz still going strong.

    LARRY: Damn, a sequel to CHICKEN RUN... Never thought I'd see the day...

    STICKMAN: Dreamworks actually wanted to make a Chicken Run 2 right back in the day, but without Aardman and in CGI. Thank god they weren't invited to this party.

    LARRY: Fuck that.

    STICKMAN: It was super unexpected, and exciting...but also....a bit unnecessary. Chicken Run is Aardman's best non-Wallace & Gromit thing.

    MADHERO: I think Early Man kinda didn't do as well as hoped so now they're doing something that's brought them the most success. Its still their most successfull movie release, despite releasing in 2000

    STICKMAN: It's the most successful stop motion film of all time. But then that was with Dreamworks marketing/budget, and fuck, they can sell Boss Baby, so they can sell anything.

    LARRY: This is true. But it'll be fun to give the franchise to a new generation of people. Inject some fucking British humor in our American veins.

    STICKMAN: Early Man was a disappointment financially, but I don't know how much it invoked this sequel, Aardman projects take literally years to develop so it may well be it was always the plan to do it.

    MADHERO: Well, not everything, but having a big budget helps. I do wonder if Mel Gibson is going to be back as well, cause....y'know. 2000 Mel Gibson and 2018 Mel Gibson are in very different places.

    STICKMAN: Please don't bring Mel Gibson back. Kill Rocky, I don't care. The world is ready for an all-female stop motion chicken movie.

    MADHERO: LAIKA making a new movie is always good. They always kill it and I hope to see something even half as good as Kubo.

    STICKMAN: They always kill it except when there's Boxtrolls involved. Kubo is their finest work though. And that's coming from someone who loved Paranorman.

    LARRY: KUBOOOOO What a masterpiece.

    MADHERO: Good times for stop motion announcements.




    Back in the glorious days of Summer 2015, when life was a tad better, we got Mad Max Fury Road, arguably (certainly among us hosts) one of the best films of the decade and one of the greatest action movies ever made. After years in development, it all seemingly worked out in the end, making close to 400 million at the box office,  and riding its way to 6 Oscars and a nomination for Best Picture, something I don't think any of us expected. The stars all seemed allign for a sequel, with the film ready for Tom Hardy's Max to ride another day, with director George Miller talking about a Furiosa spin-off and a sequel titled The Wasteland in development.

    Three years later, and not much has come from that, and now we kinda know why.  Turns out that Miller's production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell have sued distributor Warner Bros  for unpaid bonuses up to 7 million, claiming they kept the budget under 157 million as promised. WB meanwhile claims the movie cost 185 million and therefore doesn't have to pay the bonuses. It sounds like with all that's going on, even when its all settled down, we won't see Miller and WB working together any time soon, and leaves any future sequels with the Australian director in doubt. Its a shame it has to go this way, because I'd have loved another Fury Road.

    STICKMAN: Ohno. This isn't shiny and chrome at all.

    MADHERO: We shall not witness the Mad Max sequels.

    STICKMAN: You okay Larry? Need a hug?

    LARRY: *yawns* Oh, who, me? I'm quite content. Fury Road sucks and never deserved a sequel.

    STICKMAN: These words will not pass. My take is the original Mad Max films sucked, Fury Road is the fuckin dogs bollocks.

    LARRY: LOL can't wait for them to go somewhere and then just go back again OOOOOH THE POWER OF CINEMA

    MADHERO: I think its mainly the reaction of us liking it as much that makes him hate it more. I've been that petty with things

    STICKMAN: I feel my love for Fury Road is stronger than any enraged Larry discorse can destroy. It lives, it dies, it lives again. Basically, I suggest an assassination.

    MADHERO: It sucks that we'll never see a sequel, certainly not from Miller. He can't even go back to dancing penguins since that's owned by WB as well.

    STICKMAN: Maybe he can make a movie about penguins driving fast cars and going insane.

    LARRY: Tbh I don’t hate Fury Road. I just don’t like it and got get the appeal. Maybe George Miller can else????

    STICKMAN: George Miller made Happy Feet when he was making a vision that wans't Mad Max.

    MADHERO: Happy Feet was a weird fucking movie now that I think about it. Maybe a crossover is needed. Happy Max. Mad Feet?

    STICKMAN: FUCK HAPPY FEET. I'd watch a crossover though.

    MADHERO: Either way, I hope George Miller gets to make other things and while we're at it, Fuck WB.



    Alright, so as we discussed regarding Venom and Paramount, Cinemacon happened this week in Las Vegas, an annual events from theater chains and distributors to talk about all the stuff they have in development or have coming up to get butts in seats, something that's often more difficult than it seems since the American theater experience sounds terrible. But anyway, most of this revolved around showing footage that we didn't get to see. We basically only got Venom. So here a quick recap of some of the more interesting stories at Cinemacon



    In what was easily the weirdest thing to come out of Cinemacon, 20th Century Fox (possibly going through their last Cinemacon considering the Disney deal)  talked about developing an app called CtrlMovie. This app prompts you to make an decision of what's going to happen in the movie and in theaters this'll be done by vote. Its kinda like Telltale games, but a movie. This tech is now being used to make a Choose Your Own Adventure movie.  I hate this idea with every fiber of my being.

    STICKMAN: If it's anything like a Telltale game all the actors will noclip through the walls whilst t-posing. They actually did this idea of a joke on Futurama over a decade ago, so...yeah. Not a great idea.

    MADHERO: Its the woooooooooooooorst. I want to see a movie. Not play some scenes through my smartphone. And you know fights 'll break out cause others wanted to make a different decision. This could work for a theme park ride, but not for a movie

    LARRY: I see this as more so being interactive experience? Like a team-building thing? This ain't good for like...theatergoing.

    STICKMAN: I don't want to build a team. I want to watch a mOVIE.



    As we now know, Halloween is back, and once again its wiping the slate clean to focus on a sequel  of the original, now over 40 years later. Directed by David Gordon Green and written by Danny McBride of all people, the tense footage apparently features an older Michael Myers escaping from the mental facility he's been imprsioned in for years, once again ready to terrorize the one that got away: Laurie Strode, playerd once again by Jamie Lee Curtis. Strode is happy he escaped, cause now she can do what she always wanted: kill Michael Myers. Sounds like a good time.

    STICKMAN: God damn I wish I could've seen this FOR MYSELF.

    MADHERO: You will.....eventually.

    LARRY: Yeah, not much to comment on really. Is it any good?

    STICKMAN: I will say, Halloween ain't my favourite horror franchise, even the first film. But there's something tantalising about a reunion sequel like that.

    MADHERO: I'm just hoping Halloween III is still canon. The Silver Shamrock must live.

    STICKMAN: Oh god, I hope. Halloween III is the best one. Fight me.



    In what is arguably the funniest story coming out of Cinemacon, Amazon presented their Cinemacon panel during a standard Vegas luncheon. All was fine and dandy, up until the room started to turn red and the people got their first look at Luca Guadanigno's (Call Me By Your Name) remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria. It turns out that the footage shown was a little.....extreme, showing a dancer being telepathically thrown around a room until she's a pile of bones and all contorted, as the crowd reacted to a mix of awe and disgust at the insanity that unfolded, with people reportedly vomiting. So yeah, fun for the whole family.

    STICKMAN: Apparently she shit and piss herself as she was thrown around the room. So. There's that too. It was a luncheon event, which is pretty funny.

    MADHERO: An unforgettable luncheon indeed.

    LARRY: God, what a presentation tho. Makes me wanna see Suspiria, what can I say...

    STICKMAN: I'd of loved to have been there, it sounds really funny. Not the video but the reaction and the poor timing. People spitting out their mini-sandwiches and falling over.

    MADHERO: Its a obvious stunt, but its fucking hilarious to hear about it. Does make me really interested in the other fucked up shit that's in there.

    LARRY: How is this from Luca fucking Guadaningo? The man who gave us Call Me By Your Name and A Bigger Splash now gives us....pissing and shitting ourselves...

    STICKMAN: And here we thought jizzing in peaches was going to be the most disgusting thing we talked about this year. This guy needs a doctor.



    Hopefully, one day, we won’t have to consistently report on the passings of beloved celebrities. Alas, today is not that day. Verne Troyer, known mostly for playing the iconic role of “Mini-Me” in the Austin Powers series, has passed at the age of 49. Known for his shorter stature, he used his height to his advantage to portray unique and iconic characters in film and music videos, including The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Postal and even Harry Potter. Despite facing adversity in his life, he consistently persevered, and became a beloved face in the world of nerd-dom. It is sad to see him gone, but he will always be remembered for making us laugh, and making us smile, even if it was a tad crude. Farewell, Verne.

    STICKMAN: I can't say I've seen much of this guy, outside of some searingly annoying online casino adverts, but it's always sad to hear someone die, especially when it's pretty young at that.

    LARRY: Only 49...he had so much time left.

    MADHERO: This was kind of a bummer to hear, especially since it seems to have been a suicide. Mini-Me was a really iconic role for him. He didn't do a whole lot of other roles  (I remember seeing him in Terry Gilliam's Doctor Paranassus), but he did build a genuine connection with his fans, and you can see that by the people mourning him.

    STICKMAN: The response says a lot about what he meant to people even if he wasn't a hugely prolific actor.

    MADHERO: I still remember the ads he did for stuff like World of Warcraft.

    LARRY: And, let's face it, just two movies made Mini-Me a household name. Everyone knows that role.

    STICKMAN: I mean I ain't ever seen it but I've heard of it.

    MADHERO: Everyone knows about it in some capacity, and few actors get that oppurtunity to be that defined in a part they played. Some resent that, but I don't believe Troyer ever did. Either way, we wish Troyer's family nothing but the best in this difficult time.

    STICKMAN: Rest in peace.

    LARRY: Rest in peace, Verne. Condolences to his family and friends during this time.


    MADHERO: Alright. That's it for the news. Now its time to talk the movie we've all been waiting for: the Overboard remake starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez. Haha. Finally. But for real, Infinity War has been something that we've been awaiting for over 4 years, and after all that waiting and plenty of movies inbetween, its finally here: the seeming endgame of the current MCU as we know it.

    STICKMAN: Eh. Let's skip it.

    LARRY: Yeah it ain't that important, y'know? Same ol', same ol'

    MADHERO: Well geez. Guess the Spoiler Special we had planned is canceled then. O well. For real though we're talking about it. We're not going to spoil anything in case you haven't had the time to see it yet, and trust me, there's a lot to talk about with this film that I wouldn't dare to spoil..


    LARRY: Ridiculously so...

    MADHERO: No time wastin, its time to tackle this goliath of a movie.....NOW!



    DIRECTOR: Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War)

    STARRING: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin,

    SYNOPSIS: The Avengers (Downey Jr, Evans etc.) and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos (Brolin) before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

    MADHERO: So how do you even tackle Infinity War, because everyone is going to have a different experience with this film. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to absolutely baffle us with its scope and quality, with some bumps along the way. As someone who was there since the beginning alllllllllllll the way back in 2008 with Iron Man, I can of course say that Infinity War..... is fucking awesome. Its genuinely amazing to see a film of this magnitude unfold, with this many characters and stars all interacting with one another, and it does genuinely feel like a conclusion to what has been a  decade of films. Its an overused word, but its deserves the term "epic" with its insane action set pieces. At the same time, the movie still managed to surprise me in ways I didn't see coming , particuarely in its portrayal of Thanos, who's given a lot more pathos than expected and has been absolutely worth the build up since Avengers.


    That doesn't mean the film isn't without faults. The grand scale of it all leaves some characters more sidelined than others, and it does often feels like its spinning  its plates to make sure they don't all fall and break. Its grand scale can be quite exhausting at times, and the film really takes its time to breathe, though there are plenty of jokes and character interactions that are worth seeing. Also, anyone that hasn't been watching everything up until Captain America might find it a incomprehensible mess. Still, I can only speak from it as a fan that I thought it was an amazingly huge experience that I can't wat to see again in IMAX and has been worth all the buildup.(edited)

    STICKMAN: I'd have to agree for the most part, I really enjoyed this movie a whole bunch. It is something that's really only going to truly land  for the diehard fans, the ones who've been invested since day 1, because as it's being sold and marketed, it's all been building to you haven't done any of the construction? S'kinda...I dunno how it'll be, actually.  For me it really worked though, it was about as satisfying as it could've been, given so many different franchises and worlds had to be collided, in addition to continuing the stories laid out in those often very different films. It does feel all a bit too loud and crazy at times, for such a long film, you do come out of it very a good way for the most part.

    I will say, the specific divisions of the characters throughout the film surprised me, and there were some connections I'd of liked to be seen made that didn't happen, but this is just part 1 of a two part And it is epic, it's a true epic, in scale, ambition and stakes. People wanted the stakes to be raised in this film...and...well...yeah, they were.


    LARRY: Yeah I agree with a lot of what's being said here. I do feel like certain characters are left underwritten and underused, but the ones who are used to their fullest are excellently crafted. Thanos in particular is probably my favorite villain in the MCU, brilliantly developed with a very nuanced Brolin performance. The action is top-tier Marvel, its different intergalactic locals are stunning, and its story is paced pretty well. I do still have a quandry with just how reliable this film is on its predecessors, but as someone who has been on this journey, this was absolutely worth all of the build-up.

    STICKMAN: I'm not sure about favourite, but he was very good, they didn't go the way I expected with him, I'll say that much.

    LARRY: Yeah he wasn't just a simplistic baddie. They give him a lot of time to breathe, which I appreciated.

    MADHERO: I think we can all agree that your enjoyment of the film is going to heavily rely on your previous knowledge. My mom is going to see it on Monday and we raced through the essentials, but even then you're going to miss some pieces. Other MCU films felt strengthened by their lack of a connection almost.

    STICKMAN: I will say he didn't quite gel well with previous showings of Thanos within the MCU.

    MADHERO: Thanos has been a bit all over the place in the MCU, but I really like his take here. I don't think he's sympathetic or even relatable, but his cold calculated pragmatism and unrelenting belief that he's doing the right thing makes him an effective villain. Plus the fact he kicks everyone's ass

    STICKMAN: He does kick some ass, that can't be denied. Also I'm glad it's pointed out in the film how stupid his massive fucking testicle chin is.


    LARRY: Honestly, this film, to me, started showing the cracks in having so many directors write the same characters. I felt the Guardians were sorely underwritten in this one. They lacked the charm that Gunn brought to them.

    STICKMAN: I disagree, I think they did a good job with the Guardians. Especially Drax, the funniest boy who ever lived.

    MADHERO: Well you could say the same thing about how comic book writers tackle different characters. You can't expect every character to be written by the same person. Though apparently Gunn wrote the Guardians'' dialogue

    LARRY: ...did you like Groot? Cuz I particularly found him underused.

    MADHERO: He wasn't in it much, though I didn't expect him to be in for much. Rocket got a lot more screentime than expected. That applies to a lot of characters. Those hoping for Black Panther 2 might be a tad disappointed with how little he's in it.

    LARRY: Yeah BP is just kinda here, honestly. Those unfamiliar with his film probably will be lost.

    STICKMAN: Film felt very LotR'sy at times.


    MADHERO: The final battle is very Helm's Deep, so I agree with that. A lot of it comes back to whether this film can be enjoyed without seeing the other films. I'd say you can, because howee the action is fun, but you lose a hell of a lot of context and depth. Its super enjoyable as a fan, and better than Age of Ultron, but maybe not as good as the Avngers. I'm definitely surprised by some of the bold choices they make, especially the end, and its makes me absolutely hungry for more. This will not convert non-believers, but those drinking the Marvel Kool-aid will only want more.

    STICKMAN: I feel like it's maybe better than The Avengers because it's doing so much and succeeding in the majority of its ambitions The emotional strengths of this film are probably lost without the context. But then...who's going to see Infinity War without any MCU knowledge. I  guess we'll see how it stacks up with part 2 next year, because it really is a film of two halves.

    LARRY: Yeah, I agree part of this film can only be appreciated once we get Part 2. That being said, some of the more thematic, conceptual scenes were stunning, and this film does feature some of the most heartwrenching moments of the series as whole. So, for that, I'll say it's on par with the first Avengers at least.

    MADHERO: I don't think it needs the Part 2 to be appreciated. It stands up surprisingly well on its own in my opinion, though it does leave you with one hell of a cliffhanger. In that sense its more successfull than most Part 1's in that it actually feels satisfying on its own. But hey, maybe that's enough Infinity War for now, because believe it or not. Other movies are coming out as well.


    STICKMAN: That’s a damn lie and you know it. Nothing has come out.

    MADHERO: Well, somehow, 2 other movies decided to take on the fight with Thanos. Will they be more successful? Looking at the box office, probably not, but hey it was worth a shot.

    LARRY: Yeah what I'm saying is what Sticky is saying. But anyway YEAH I GUESS OTHER MOVIES EXIST



    DIRECTOR: Rob Greenberg (episodes of How I Met Your Mother)

    STARRING: Anna Faris, Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, John Hannah, Swoosie Kurtz

    SYNOPSIS: A spoiled playboy (Derbez) winds up with amnesia after falling off his yacht. A single, working-class mom (Faris) convinces him that they are married.

    LARRY: Over? I barely know her.

    MADHERO: Ok, who thought it was a good idea to remake Overboard in the  year of our lord 2018?

    STICKMAN: It's a remake? It's 2018?

    MADHERO: A remake of a Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn movie, yes. In that movie, its Hawn's character who's a rich socialite who gets amnesia which leads Russell's average joe character to make her believe he's her husband.

    STICKMAN: Oh good. Sounds exactly the kinda film that can take on Infinity War.

    LARRY: Perf. Wait, non-MCU Kurt Russell?? Pass.

    MADHERO: Needless to say, that shit wouldn't really fly today, which I guess it why they genderflipped it with the man getting amnesia, but its still, kinda, y'know, a tad gross.

    STICKMAN: Are we sure Aardman aren't releasing something this weekend? They seem to love releasing their financially iffy releases in the US on the same day as the biggest films of the year.

    MADHERO: Stopmotion takes time, unlike lazy remakes.

    STICKMAN: OH DAMN. This board just went WAY over.


    DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman (Young Adult, Men, Women and Children)

    STARRING: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston

    SYNOPSIS: Mother of three Marlo (Theron) comes to form a unique bond with the sometimes challenging young nanny Tully (Davis).

    LARRY: Okay this one I'm actually excited for.

    MADHERO: Ok, so I guess if intergalactic space battles aren't your thing, you can always watch Charlize Theron being tired from doing mom stuff.

    LARRY: Well the implication is that Tully is..."not from this world".

    MADHERO: Wait hold on what? The babysitter's an alien? This..... changes everything.

    STICKMAN: Is this a remake of that David Bowie documentary where he was from space. And had like, weird sex or something. I ain't seen that film.

    LARRY: No she's not an alien lol. I'm saying there's something like mystical and odd about her.

    STICKMAN: Ah poo. I'm bored now. Where's the big purple man?

    MADHERO: Oh..... I guess my main source of contempt is that I hated Young Adult, which previously featured Reitman, Theron and Cody and Reitman especially I feel has kinda stagnated as a filmmaker imo, but hey, this is supposed to be good.

    LARRY: I like Theron, man. Holding out hope.

    MADHERO: But not in Fury Road apparently.

    LARRY: Where she was utterly wasted? Yes.



    MADHERO: Well with that hot take bombshell, its now time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK! The part of the show where we tackle DVD/Netflix releases or movies we just saw in the theater. Gee, I wonder what's it gonna be.


    STICKMAN: Hey how about something I went and did at a film fest-Oh...never mind, we're doing Bradley Rocket and the Glove Gang. Cuz nobody else watched anything interesting.




    MADHERO: Look, guys, we can beat around the bush all day long and I could let Stickman be a fucking hipster and talk about his Cardiff animation festival thingy.... but c'mon, Infinity War is out right now, its just been announced that its taken Star Wars: THe Force Awakens' record with the highest domestic opening weekend of all time, and not much interesting (that we saw at least) is coming to DVD at this point. So yeah, at least on my end, Infinity War it is. My thoughts you can read in the review.

    STICKMAN: Infinity War was okay I guess.

    LARRY: Yeah something about a glove or whatever.

    STICKMAN: Did I see it at the Cardiff Animation Festival, the first of its kind? No I don't think so.  I saw ducks dancing to existential poetry. But SUUURE, this one had a tree that talked. Did you two come out of Infinity War with the worlds throbbiest headache?

    MADHERO: Well I did see it at a midnight screening, so I was pretty tired at the end of it all. No headache though.

    STICKMAN: I watched it in IMAX 3D, it was an amazing, priceless experience that left me holding my head in pain for the rest of the day.

    LARRY: Ouch. I almost never see films in 3D anymore.


    MADHERO: Going to see it in IMAX soon. Anyway, I think yhat about wraps everything up. We're not quite done yet with IW, as we'll definitely try and do a Spoiler Talk, the first one since Civil War, and then we can move on to the next big thing

    STICKMAN: That's pretty neat, we doing a Cardiff Animation Festival spoiler-talk too?

    LARRY: Wah-oh...

    MADHERO: Sure, that'll really get the clicks. People love Cardiff for its. ... sheep? Anyway we're doing Deadpool 2 next, cause the summer movie season is officially here. BYE Y'ALL

    STICKMAN: Keep your hands off my sheep. They're mine. GOOODBYYEE


  • Best & Worst Movies of April 2018

    1 month ago


    We’ve arrived at Summer Blockbuster Season's Eve and honestly it’s been kinda meh. Don’t get me wrong, we got some great films, but most of it has also been crap. I feel like this second subpar month in a row is a bit of a bad omen for the year in film, but that’s a doomsday scenario for another day. For now, let’s talk about the best & worst films of April!

    Before I begin, a couple of disclaimers…

    1. This is based on movies that I SAW in April. 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 April, 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:

    A Quiet Place- It would be an understatement to say this is by far the best horror movie of the year so far! It’s fantastic! John Krasinski does an incredible job, both in front of an behind the camera, proving himself as a talented filmmaker while at the same time giving a phenomenal performance alongside an equally amazing cast. Visually, it’s also masterful, the cinematography, editing and effects all blew me away and HOLY CRAP THIS THING IS TERRIFYING! It’s incredibly effective horror, partially because of the horrific monsters and tense crafting, but mainly because of how brilliantly it conditions you to be afraid of any form of noise. They establish very early on that noise means death, so the slightest rustle in the theater is enough to get you to piss your pants. This makes the usually lazy horror crutch of jump scares, even false jump scares, legitimately effective in a way no other film I can think of has managed. It’s masterfully minimalistic, the world building is magnificent, the characters are extraordinarily compelling and the plot itself is extremely well written and engaging and refreshingly micro. The pacing is absolute perfection and the ending is awesome! This is such a brilliantly crafted, simplistic, original, effective, riveting horror film that I can’t possibly recommend enough. Go see this movie! It deserves all the money!

    Isle of Dogs- I’d be lying if I said I fully loved this movie , but goddamn did I have a great time watching it! While it does have its fair share of flaws, overall, it’s a solid film. Wes Anderson’s direction is fantastic as always, the animation is extraordinary, the voice acting is incredible, it’s really funny, shockingly mature and the plot itself is very well written and engaging. Also, although the characters are hit or miss, the best of them are extremely compelling with absolutely incredible backstories. This is such a fun, delightful, unconventional film that is by no means perfect, but it’s absolutely worth watching! I recommend seeing it as soon as possible!

    Avengers: Infinity War- It is no exaggeration to say this was my most anticipated film of all time and HOLY SHIT IT’S FUCKING AWESOME! Ten years of Marvel movies have lead to this and it was 100% worth the wait! The MASSIVE cast all give incredible performances, each having at least one moment to shine. The characters continue to be extremely deep and compelling, there are a bunch of satisfying meetups we’ve been waiting years to see and it manages to pull off such an extraordinary balancing act. 20+ heroes and yet, somehow, it never feels like too much because the Russo Brothers have become experts at knowing exactly how much screen time each hero should have, who should be at the forefront, who should be in the background, who should be glorified cameos and the decision to split them all up into several smaller teams helps with this immensely. It’s insane that something this ambitious exists and they pull it off flawlessly. Thanos is also the most terrifying Marvel villain to date with real depth to him, providing overwhelming stakes and is portrayed brilliantly by Josh Brolin. If you don’t have nightmares about this dude after seeing the movie, something's physically wrong with you! The Russo Brothers’s direction is magnificent, the visuals are phenomenal, the action sequences are awesome and Alan Silvestri’s score is masterful. To say that the plot itself is brilliantly written and unpredictable and riveting is the understatement of the century, it’s one of the best stories Marvel has told to date which is really saying something! It genuinely feels like a true culmination of 19 films, it never feels overstuffed or unbalanced or pure setup, it’s really funny while also being incredibly hard-hitting and soul-crushingly emotional and there’s a magnificent tonal balance between the two. The ending… holy shit… the ending is brilliant and subversive and I honestly have zero idea where they’re gonna go now for the first time in this franchise’s history. Of course, there’s also an awesome Stan Lee cameo and an equally awesome post credit scene. This whole film is such a magnificent, phenomenal, incredible superhero achievement! It’s the most satisfying anything I’ve seen in years and you must see it immediately! GO TO THE THEATER AND WATCH INFINITY WAR RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

    The Worst:

    Best F(r)iends- Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero reunited on the big screen and it’s every bit as brilliantly terrible as you’d expect. The performances are awful, the direction is subpar, the filmmaking is unprofessional and lazy, there are a ton of audio problems, the dialogue is ridiculous, the music choices are dumb, the characters are nothing and the plot itself is so poorly written and bizarre and makes no form of sense. The pacing is horrendous with long drawn out sequences of nothing that completely call into question whether or not this really should have been divided into two movies (we’ll find out the answer to that question in June). The whole thing is laughable and dumb and filled to the brim with The Room bait and the ending is absurd. This is such a ridiculous mess of a film, but I kinda love it. If you can, check this out if for no other reason than to see more of Wiseau being Wiseau.

    Truth or Dare- This is the best worst movie I’ve seen in years! It’s so hilariously bad! The performances are shit, the direction is shit, the filmmaking is shit, it’s such a flat, jump scare riddled attempt at horror, the characters are less than nothing, the plot makes no sense at all, it’s fucking laughable, the rules of this haunted game of truth or dare are so under explained, the deaths are absurd, the teen melodrama subplots are cringy as fuck and it all leads up to THE MOST AMAZINGLY DUMB ENDING OF ALL TIME! This is such an absolute trainwreck and I highly recommend everyone see it because it is unintentionally the best comedy of the decade!

    I Feel Pretty - I despise this piece of shit! It’s fucking awful and borderline offensive! The performances are awful, the direction and filmmaking is awful, it’s entirely unfunny, the characters are nothing with the main character being completely unlikeable and the plot itself is so cliche and predictable. What really makes this movie anger-inducing though, is that this film’s definition of “promoting body positive” is a series of fat jokes aimed at someone who isn’t even fat. It’s so shallow and acts as a tacit admission of Hollywood’s constant fat shaming problem rather than the moral high ground stance that everyone involved almost certainly thinks it is. The worst part is, it feels like they figured out their fuck up halfway through and tried to make up for it with the most eyeroll inducingly preachy ending of all time (this fails miserably)! This is such a colossal failure in pretty much every possible way and I fucking hate it! It’s easily one of the worst movies of the year! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

    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!

  • CinemaCon: First Footage From The Suspiria Remake Is Brutal, Intense and Mean!

    1 month ago


    On this busy last day of CinemaCon I went to Amazon's presentation specifically because I was hoping to see something from the Suspiria remake.


    Dario Argento's original is considered by many to be a true masterpiece of horror. From a production design, tone and music standpoint it's hard to disagree with that. Argento's gothic, colorful movie about witchcraft at a dance school gets under the skin.

    Over the years a few different directors have approached this project, like David Gordon Green. His movie didn't happen, but he ended up with Halloween, so don't feel too bad for him. Luca Guadagnino is the one who was able to get this remake off the ground.

    He's an interesting choice for this. He's known for very emotionally charged dramas, most recently Call Me By Your Name. The fact that he's following that sensitive gay romance drama with frickin' Suspiria is bonkers by itself. What's even more bonkers is he shot Suspiria BEFORE he did Call Me By Your Name.

    But what the hell was a Suspiria remake going to look like? Well, today I got to see a little piece of it and it was sure something.

    The footage was graphic, brutal and a little mean. That's a good thing, by the way. Guadagnino ties witchcraft to dance, which is interesting. The footage began with a girl trapped in a mirrored room and then cuts to Dakota Johnson's character about to practice a dance for her instructor, the great Tilda Swinton.

    As Johnson does her routine, her movements have an impact on the poor girl trapped in the mirrored room. I didn't get the impression that Johnson knew the connection was there, but the more intense her dance got the more damage she was doing to the girl in the mirrored room. With each jerk of the Johnson's arms or twist of her body the girl is thrown around the room, her limbs contorting in unnatural ways, bones cracking, jawbone slowly dislocating, until it culminates with Johnson finishing her dance and the girl is left a crumpled, drooling ball of twisted legs, arms and torso.

    When I say the footage was mean, I'm not kidding. This scene went on for a long while. Maybe three or four minutes long and when it ends the girl in the mirrored room isn't dead. Oh no. She should be, but that mound of body parts is hitching for breath, drool spilling out of her broken mouth.

    Tonally that was right on. Visually it was radically different from Argento's movie. It's a good thing that Guadagnino isn't copying the original, but his choice seems to be to go in the complete opposite direction. 


    The footage I saw was stark and almost colorless. The walls and floor were white, the clothing was all muted, light colors.

    I only saw one little sequence, so who knows if he gets crazier with the colors later in the movie, but I don't see how you remake Suspiria and don't, you know, use color. That's like doing Superman without John Williams' score or a Jaws movie without a shark.

    That said, the most important thing for Guadagnino to nail is tone and boy did he.

  • On-set Interview: Chris Pratt Talks About Jumping through a T-Rex's Mouth from the set of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

    1 month ago


    When I got the invitation to the Hawaii set of the Jurassic World sequel I had already booked a vacation... In New Zealand. Of course I couldn't say no, but the timing was such that I flew from Austin to Wellington, New Zealand, which is about a total travel time of around 20-ish hours, get to sleep for a night, and then get right back on a plane and fly halfway back home, spend a few days in Hawaii and then fly another 8 hours back to New Zealand to enjoy the rest of my vacation.

    I mention this only because in that day and a half I was in New Zealand I found a bag of Doritos... a special bag of Doritos. I know, any bag of Doritos is a special bag of Doritos, but this was a limited edition Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 Doritos flavor that was only available in the southern hemisphere. Naturally, being the thoughtful guy I was, I picked up a bag of these green chips with Chris Pratt's face on it and hauled it all the way to Hawaii to give it to Chris Pratt himself.

    This interview was conducted in a tent on a dock where they were shooting a scene involving a big truck surrounded by fire racing to the water. The tent next door housed Bryce Dallas Howard. How do I know this? Well, she cameos in this interview after covertly dropping some eaves. You'll see.

    Right before this interview started I delivered unto Mr. Pratt his Doritos and, as expected, he was super nice about it and thanked me for bringing them to him and said he was going to either A) Destroy the whole bag or B) Save them for posterity and eat them in 20 years, which was either going to result in his death or him getting high as fuck.

    Pratt was every bit the magnetic dude you'd imagine him to be. Very laid back, but clearly super charming. You understand why he's a movie star when you meet him. The dude's funny, never put on airs and was just an overall pleasure to talk to.

    As a reminder, I conducted this interview with Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta, who joined me on this trip, so don't be surprised when you see his name pop up in the below interview, which covers a lot of ground. We learn more about where Owen is at, what he's been doing in the years since the events of Jurassic World, how Pratt deals with fanboying out over the legends he works with and much more!

    Enjoy the chat!


    Peter Sciretta: It's been a few years since Jurassic World. What has Owen been up to?

    Chris Pratt: I have an idea as to the backstory. What I know and what Bryce and I and JA have all decided on... We hint at it a little bit through the interaction between Owen and Claire, but I think he's been running away a little bit. Where we landed in terms of my backstory and our relationship is that something has broken us. We're not together. The thing that has broken us is that Claire feels as though she has to do something to make it right and Owen feels as though there's no way to make it right, so you have to move on. I think that's the thing that destroyed us.

    Claire is now working for this organization and she's pouring all her energy into trying to save these dinosaurs and my character is like “let's go on a road trip. Let's forget what's happened. You keep obsessing about this.” It all came from the idea that he's a combat veteran. He's been through some stuff beforehand, so this isn't the first time he saw something really terrible happen. He's come to realize you have to sometimes accept what you've gone through and realize there's no way of changing it. That's what broke them. It's a control thing between the two of them.

    So, what he's been up to is he's been building a cabin by a lake, off the grid a little bit, probably drinking a little bit of beer and listening to music, hanging out... being solitary.

    Eric Vespe: We know part of Owen's motivation for returning to the island is to help Blue. Can you talk a little bit about how Owen might be different this time around considering the experience he had last time around. Has his point of view changed at all?

    Chris Pratt: Through the course of this film it will change, but it happens now, not between the two movies. He's coming to terms with his responsibility in working with the raptors and ultimately what the final intention with these things could be.

    We do this cool thing... It's this video log from early on in the Raptors' lives. Owen kept a video diary tracking their progress, so we see the Raptors as hatchlings to two months old, then six months old. It's this way to look into just how mammalian they are in their intelligence levels and their cognitive reasoning skills. They exhibit behaviors of empathy. He starts to realize that they've created these things that look like raptors, but they're much more.

    This movie really does open up a whole new concept for the Jurassic movies moving forward. You get an understanding that he knew a little bit more about these raptors than he'd want to let anybody know. I think he's cynical about Hoskins from the first movie, In-Gen, what their intentions are about creating animals this dangerous and this intelligent. You can assume what somebody bad would want to do with animals like that. Part of him feels as though the best case scenario is that they all die. When this island goes up in smoke it might be the right thing and maybe finally his responsibility for potentially creating a disastrous result with these animals will go away.

    So, in a way he thinks it's a natural thing for the dinosaurs to go away, but what brings him there is not so much saving the dinosaurs, it's protecting Claire; his love for her. He knows she's too big-headed. He knows she's going to go. He's not going to let her go on her own, so it's his love for her that brings him back to the island. At first. Through the course he realizes there's a little bit more to his relationship with Blue. And that he's a robot. (laughs)


    Eric Vespe: Yes, a learning computer. He's Arnold from Terminator 2, not Terminator 1.

    Chris Pratt: Yeah, T2! (laughs)

    Peter Sciretta: The last film had a couple animatronics, but this one has a lot more. What was it like meeting these dinosaurs? I mean, I touched Blue and I almost cried.

    Chris Pratt: I know! It's really great. Because of the scenarios contrived in this film we have these passive dinosaurs. When you see the movie you'll see why they're not always running or jumping or leaping or doing things that animatronics aren't good at. They're sitting still. We did that in the first film with the Apatosaurus as it was dying in our arms. That was a real animatronic and it was amazing to hold this thing that felt living and breathing, its eyes were opening and closing. As many advancements in CGI that they've made since '93 when the first film came out they've also made some serious advancements in animatronics. These things are really very, very lifelike.

    Because of these situations we have a T-Rex and a Raptor that are full animatronic puppets. You got a dozen guys operating them and it's really cool. It's much easier as an actor to have something to react to. It's been great. Blue is awesome.

    Eric Vespe: How cool is the Rex? We've only heard about that build. We weren't able to see her in person.

    Chris Pratt: There's an awesome moment where Claire essentially rides this passed out, drugged T-Rex, which wakes up and I have to dive through its jaws. It's a really crazy sequence...

    (From next door, through the thin tent flap) Bryce Dallas Howard: SPOILER!

    Chris Pratt: Hey, I read the talking points. It said I could talk about it!

    (Still from the tent next door) Bryce Dallas Howard: Even the T-Rex?!?

    Chris Pratt: It what it says right here! (to us) Of course, Bryce is over there listening.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: (laughs) And I wouldn't call us broken, Chris!

    Chris Pratt: You've got to read the talking points.

    Peter Sciretta: Bryce was talking about how JA will play music between takes and sometimes during takes. You're used to that. James Gunn does that on the Guardians films. How is it different here with this movie?

    Chris Pratt: It's a great tool. I love it, I'm in full support of playing music through a take, even if it comes at the expense of the dialogue. Having a rhythm that's resonating through each person caught on screen is very, very helpful. You can forget that it's mid-third act and we are running for our lives. You're making this million piece puzzle and you may spend all day shooting something that takes 5 seconds. You get bored, you're sitting there annnnd action! Cut! You forget you're supposed to be breathing heavily. You forget when it's linked together it gets very manic and suspenseful. The music really helps with that.

    (JA) uses that a lot and he uses it for jump scares. He has this whole playlist that's always wired in, including a T-Rex roaring. From time to time he'll play it and we'll all react to it naturally because we don't know it's coming. He loves to manipulate us in that way, which is really helpful as an actor. He'll scare us out of nowhere or do something unexpected.

    Eric Vespe: Like play a fart sound?

    Chris Pratt: (Laughs) Not yet. We're almost done, but he hasn't done that quite yet. But I like that. It's a good tool to use to get people excited or scared or give a sense of wonderment. Especially when he plays the John Williams score. (hums the main theme) Oh my God! It allows you to do nothing because in this film we are actors and we contribute so much, of course, but there are characters we don't even see because they're going to be animated, but they're going to need to have their moment or the score will need to have its moment. It's a big collaboration and sometimes you need to sit back and let the music take center stage. When you play that music it reminds you “Oh, I don't need to try to upstage this with acting or faces or anything. I don't have to do anything here, just let the music guide me and the audience to what we're supposed to be feeling.”

    There's some great stuff, like when we're flying to the island for the first time and we're looking out the window and he's playing this music and it puts you in the scene, like you're an audience member. It's really cool. I like it a lot.

    Eric Vespe: JA was telling us that there's a heavy focus on suspense in this film. There was a little bit of that in the first Jurassic World, but it was more focused on the spectacle of the new park and the disaster movie aspect of things going wrong. Hearing that this one was going rely more on suspense did that make you more excited to do this? I can imagine the worst thing for you to do is read the script and think “We just did this.”

    Chris Pratt: It was really exciting to understand we were doing something really different. I was thrilled when I got the script. I think people have high expectations for sequels. I think with this one those expectations will be met, if not surpassed. It does something different. It opens up a new chapter. It's called Fallen Kingdom. The Kingdom of this movie is people stuck on an island with dinosaurs freaking out and killing everyone. That is falling and we're moving onto something else.

    The first one was a disaster film. Shifting the tone over to suspense is really nice because I think with suspense you can do a lot with very little. You don't see Jaws for a good 2/3rds of the movie. You know he's there, there's music, you see the evidence of it... Not to say we're doing exactly that. I don't think that necessarily works as much anymore. I was just watching Jaws the other day with my son and he's like “Where's the shark?”

    Eric Vespe: And you're like “Disowned!”

    Chris Pratt: Yeah, disowned! Get the fuck outta here! He's four and during the third act battle I was like “I'll show you the shark, get in here!” He was like “Aaaaaaaaahhh” and I was like (sternly) “You'll sit and watch! You earn this!”

    Peter Sciretta: What's it like working opposite Jeff Goldblum?


    Chris Pratt: Man, he's amazing. A huge part of the success of Jurassic World was the success of Jurassic Park. It all started in '93 with them and with him. I know that we had the blessing of Steven Spielberg and Universal and fans, but it's nice that he signs up to do this movie because in a way it's giving it his blessing. That was really cool. He's a terrific actor and maybe the kindest actor out there. He's really cool and smart and funny and interesting. It's really awesome to have him in this movie.

    Peter Sciretta: He has such a unique rhythm in how he plays things. He's different from everybody else. I feel like if I was in a scene with him I'd just become the kid that saw Jurassic Park and I'd be watching him instead of being in the scene.

    Chris Pratt: I feel like if I answer that I'll be giving away too much, but you do have to get it out of the way when you work with someone like Jeff Goldblum or I just did Guardians with Kurt Russell... You work with these people who are icons... It's a two step process. First, you have to be authentic and let them know just how crazy about them that you are. You make that really short and brief. You get that out of the way so you're not a liar or the guy that doesn't acknowledge them. You pay your respects.

    After that you immediately move to step B which is you become a peer and a collaborator or else you lose their respect. If every time you see them you go “Dude, this is so crazy!” you might not be the right guy for this job. Even when you're feeling that the third, fourth, fifth, sixth day you work together you kind of have to bury that and get right to the work.

    It's a strange thing being famous. I'm certainly not an icon like a Kurt Russell or a Jeff Goldblum. They are icons and maybe one day I will be, but if their journey is similar at all to mine you don't really feel that way about yourself, so if people feel that way about you it's kind of an uncomfortable situation that you politely and patiently wait for to be over so you can get back to being normal again. So you get through that stuff. You go “Oh my God, I love you! I can't believe we're working together!” and then you get to work.

    Peter Sciretta: All the great Michael Crichton stories had a little something on their mind. They weren't just adventure plots. They always had some kind of commentary. What do you think is on this movie's mind?

    Chris Pratt: (Pauses) It feels relevant to now and I think part of that has to do with technology, which is not necessarily something that doesn't serve the greater good, but is valuable. Maybe we put aside moral dilemmas because you can make money. It has a little to do with greed. That's a theme that resonated in the first movie as well and continues to resonate in this series. It's a cautionary tale against greed and over-ambition and a lack of respect for the natural order and confidence in our ability to control that which we can't control.

    Eric Vespe: Which is Dr. Malcolm's stance in that first movie, so it makes sense that he's back in play here.

    Chris Pratt: Yeah, that's right.

    Peter Sciretta: Who are the real monsters: the humans or the dinosaurs?

    Chris Pratt: That's a good question! (laughs)


    So that's the interview! Still got a couple more, with the two new faces in the group Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda, coming up plus my detailed set report where I tour the island, see some dead dinos and also some very much alive (read: amazing animatronic) dinos and so much more!

    Stay tuned!

  • CinemaCon: JJ Abrams Says Bad Robot's OVERLORD is NOT a Cloverfield Sequel!

    1 month ago



    Hey, everybody. At the big Paramount panel at CinemaCon this afternoon JJ Abrams appeared on-screen to introduce some footage from Bad Robot's Overlord, a WWII horror movie directed by Julius Avery. First, he said that Overlord is Bad Robot's first R-rated movie and that it's "batshit crazy."

    Then he said contrary to what you may have heard on forums and Reddit Overlord is NOT a stealth Cloverfield movie. In fact he said they're developing a "true, dedicated Cloverfield sequel" according to JJ. That means it's not one they retrofit into the universe late in the process like both 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox. 

    So, what is Overlord. Like I said it's a WW2 horror movie about a small squad of soldier shot down over enemy lines during the Normandy Invasion. From the footage it seems like the survivors stumble across a bunker with some real messed up shit inside. We're talking Re-Animator stuff involving syringes with red stuff in them that can seemingly bring people back to life, seemingly undead monstrosities and other nightmarish things. Those Nazis are never up to any good, are they?

    The standout sequence in the footage was one of the soldier approaching a gurney with a woman on it, obscured mostly by a curtain. She's begging for help in French. The soldier pulls back the curtain and reveals the head is about all that's left. It's just her head, still asking for help, and her spinal column. Everything else has been stripped away.

    So, it's gonna be gnarly. That's very much my kind of horror movie, so count me on board with this one as well!

  • CinemaCon: First Footage From Halloween Is Screened! Michael Myers Comes Home And Jamie Lee Is Ready For Him!

    1 month ago


    Universal's presentation at CinemaCon was pretty spectacular. Yes, they had Cher there to Fernando in celebration of the Mama Mia sequel. Yes, they have video introductions by people like The Rock and Peter Jackson... but the thing I was most looking forward to was the very first look anywhere of the new Halloween movie.

    And boy did they deliver.


    Producer Jason Blum brought out the great Jamie Lee Curtis to introduce the footage. The set up is that after Loomis shot Myers at the end of the first movie he was eventually captured and re-institutionalized and Laurie has been waiting and preparing for the last 40 years for him to escape. She's with her daughter and granddaughter the Halloween he does get out.

    So the footage definitively states that none of the Halloween sequels matter. Everything that has been made after the events of the first film is out the window. There was even a scene with teenage characters talking about Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. “Wasn't it her brother that killed all those people?” “It wasn't her brother. That was something people made up.”

    In the footage we see a couple of reporters or documentarians visiting the asylum where Myers is and they approach a man standing in an open courtyard, back to them, chained to the ground. Of course the dummy reporter guy pulls out the mask. I can't tell you whether or not Michael responds to that (because we didn't see any more of that scene), but it introduces the mask and Michael certainly gets it back at some point.

    My biggest takeaway from the footage was that they were taking everything very seriously. If you were wondering if having Danny McBride co-writing this with David Gordon Green meant we were getting a more comedy/horror thing you were fuckin' wrong.

    There's an insanity to Michael this time out that is really off-putting. He's not going crazy, but his body language and actions are just “off.” Super creepy.

    Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode is no damsel in distress here. In fact I don't think there was one shot of her being afraid. Quite the opposite. She's not only prepared for this moment (having rigged her house with various safe rooms, weapons and hidden compartments), she's been hoping for it. At one point she even says that she prays he gets out someday so she can kill him.

    From the footage I can say that when he does get out (looks like a bus crash lets loose a lot of the inmates) Laurie is hunting him just as much as he's hunting his victims.

    There was a great scene where a woman (I think maybe one of the reporters/documentarians?) is in a bathroom stall and you see Michael's boots walk in. She's like “Occupied” and his hand reaches over the top of the stall door and drops a half dozen bloody teeth down on her.

    That's the kind of crazy we're dealing with here.

    The footage ended with a kid in bed asking his mom (or maybe a babysitter?) to close the closet door. The door is open a crack, the light from inside spilling out. She pushes it closed, but it bounces back. She does it again, it bounces back open. Third time it bounces she opens it fully revealing Myers, knife in hand.

    Very much a straight horror movie and I can't wait to see it. The mask looked right, the tone was right, Jamie Lee was super fired up. I'm super psyched about that footage and I can't wait to see the movie.

  • On-Set Interview: Bryce Dallas Howard On What To Expect From Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

    2 months ago


    I've been lucky enough to have run into Bryce Dallas Howard many times over the years. I remember interviewing her at Comic-Con waaaaaaay back for Spider-Man 3. She's always been nothing but gracious, kind and a thoughtful interview.

    The first thing I noticed when I walked into her trailer were the tall adventurers boots she was wearing. Of course a crack had to be made about the meme of her running around the jungle wearing high heels in Jurassic World and she rolled with it, saying it was in her contract that she had to suitable footware this time out.

    Claire has evolved quite a bit from the cold, uncaring businesswoman at the start of Jurassic World. She begins Fallen Kingdom as a political advocate, passionately fighting for the rights of the dinosaurs to exist. She's trying to make some amends for the part she played in the disaster at the park in the last movie.

    Howard talks a bit about this turn for her character, where Claire goes in this film and what the future potentially holds for her. Plus I get to recommend one of my all-time favorite movie series to her, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Enjoy the chat!


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Obviously I haven't been able to talk to anybody else about this movie! You guys know a lot about the movie now, right?

    Eric Vespe: We know a little bit. We certainly know a lot more than we did yesterday!

    Peter Sciretta: It sounds cool. I'm glad that they're returning to the island. I was afraid it was going to move directly into militarized dinos or something.

    Eric Vespe: I like the set up. It reminds me of Son of Kong. Back in the day King Kong was a huge success and they rushed out a sequel about them going back to Skull Island, but they do it because the island is sinking and they're trying to rescue the last Kong. Of course that doesn't go well...

    Bryce Dallas Howard: These things never do!

    Eric Vespe: But I like that premise here because of what it means for your character. In the first movie Claire goes from someone who is cold and disconnected to realizing the implications of what she's been doing. JA told us you start this movie as a dinosaur rights activist, which means Claire gets to start the movie from a proactive position.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: It is. And going back to speak to what you were saying about being glad that it's back on the island, I feel the same way. Having shot so much of the movie in England... On the last movie we started in the jungle. We shot all in the jungle and then we went to New Orleans. For this one, we shot so much of it (in England) and then came here and Chris and I were like “Yeah, now it feels like Jurassic. Thank God!”

    Without human beings entering into a space that is dinosaur turf it doesn't feel like the Jurassic experience. That's a lot of what this movie is about. Up to this point the entertainment value of these films is that the most dangerous thing is the dinosaur where the truth is it's really human beings that are the most dangerous species. Finally in this movie we're having that clash. We've been on their turf and now they're coming on ours and ours is becoming theirs and what does that mean? That's the question.

    What I'm talking about right now isn't actually the plot. I'm not tricking you, but from a thematic standpoint that's the movie. The wish-fulfillment of Jurassic is the question “What if human beings and dinosaurs coexisted simultaneously? What would happen?” There are various permutations of what could occur. That's what these stories are examining.

    Peter Sciretta: They told us this takes place 5 years after the last one. What has happened in your character's life in those five years?

    Bryce Dallas Howard: I keep thinking 3 (years), but anyway!

    Eric Vespe: We were told it's 5 years from the end of the first movie and three years from events of the prologue in this movie. Does that make any sense?

    Bryce Dallas Howard: I'm gonna ask some questions! What I'm imagining is that it's been roughly the same amount of time that audiences have been away from this story. It's like everything has been occurring in real time, basically. When we watch this movie it's as if it takes place in 2018.

    To speak to what you were saying regarding Claire and the way she's shifted, her internal self and her external self are starting to become one whereas in the last film her behavior, her actions were really out of alignment with her values. That was the inner conflict with the character and by the end of it her power is being used for good; her righteousness is being used for good. The very thing that was leading her astray is the very thing that saved Chris Pratt and two cowering children surrounded by stuffed animals!

    Where we are now, I think, is we're seeing a woman who is definitely stepping into her power. She's fighting for these dinosaurs. She's taking responsibility and trying to basically present the argument that there's lions in the world and there are dangerous species of snakes and sharks... there's all these dangerous creatures and yet if those creatures are threatened with an extinction level event we protect them. So, guys, we have an endangered species here. They're actually here. This is now reality.

    Eric Vespe: It doesn't matter that they were genetically created by man.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yes. They're afforded the same rights as any other endangered species. That's her point of view of the situation and this is her cause.

    Eric Vespe: We know there are some newcomers and you'll be with Chris again onscreen, but tell me how Claire reacts to Ian Malcolm.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Oh my gosh. I have a real hard time separating my own personal reaction to Dr. Ian Malcolm from Claire's reaction.

    Eric Vespe: So you just keep seeing the shot of him with his shirt open from Jurassic Park?


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Exactly! That glistening chest, black shirt and perfect golden tan. Totally bronzed. I know that shot vividly! I could probably guess the lens they were using, but anyway... (laughs) I met him a couple of years ago. I mean, I didn't meet him, I saw him across a crowd. I saw him and he was his charming self, but I never met him because he was across the crowd, but we had a connection from the start.

    Then I met him in the UK. I think that Claire would absolutely have the utmost respect for his approach and his logic and his certainty and confidence. He's also very tall and did I mention he's tan and I happen to know he also sings and plays music...

    Eric Vespe: And cooks!

    Bryce Dallas Howard: And cooks food. But where does Jeff Goldblum end and Dr. Ian Malcolm begin, really? Wouldn't it be so crazy if the twist of the movie is that Claire ended up with Dr. Ian Malcolm? Forget about the dinosaurs, people!

    Eric Vespe: Well, we know he's always on the lookout for the next ex-Mrs. Malcolm.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Eric Vespe: And the ultimate arc of these films is seeing him get married and divorced over and over again.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yeah, who he goes through. That's the real journey. Oh my gosh, that would be really funny.

    Eric Vespe: But from a character perspective Claire in the first Jurassic World seemed to not have any nostalgia for the original park or the goings on there. I imagine she might have a different reaction to Malcolm then as she would now.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: He's a character who is the voice of reason. He's Michael Crichton, in a way. He's the philosopher. You're right, at the beginning she was disconnected, but now it's a different story. I've never actually thought about what Claire would think about him. That's interesting because she would have known about him. Ugh! I didn't do my homework!

    Peter Sciretta: So, what is the plan? The plan is to save the dinosaurs, but bring them where?

    Bryce Dallas Howard: I mean, that's part of the question. If you can imagine what you would do in real life, that's the dilemma. Where do you bring them? Do you put them in a zoo? Do you create a private sanctuary? Do you do this all over again with another island? What's the plan exactly?

    It's so weird the way art mirrors life. The challenge that we're having with emerging technologies and the consequences that we're needing to live with because of these paradigm-shifting technologies that are getting introduced. Figuring out policy about these technologies from a government perspective is almost impossible.

    Our government was designed to move slowly so that our lives didn't change abruptly, yet our lives are changing abruptly because of free trade and the open market is evolving so, so quickly. We are experiencing this moment where we are having to regulate ourselves, hence this Dr. Ian Malcolm being the voice of reason and representing, thematically, what this movie's about.

    Where do we bring the dinosaurs? You can imagine the government would get involved with something like that, but would they figure out what they're going to do quickly enough? If not, what do you do?

    There's a lot of activism happening right now to accelerate the solutions. Anyway, I'll step gently off my soap box... (laughs)

    Peter Sciretta: I do love that this film seems to be going back to the Michael Crichton style of having a political commentary, of saying something about us.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yeah, absolutely. He's like Isaac Asimov or HG Wells. He's a futurist. He was a scientist and he understood what was going to be happening in the future. He had an analytical mind that he used to help propel his imagination. He was one of those guys, one of those thought prophets.

    The moral questions of the first Jurassic Park provided a lot of substance, but those questions are really what we're dealing with presently that feels so urgent and so personal. To get to make a Jurassic film where at the center of it is Michael Crichton's philosophies so we can have that mirror moment, that's when movies get to do more than what movies typically get to do. A little bit. If we can. Because it can't be didactic.

    What Crichton did was he never pushed an agenda at all. He presented a dilemma. That's what sci-fi is! Sci-fi is all about “what if?” I don't have to tell you guys what sci-fi is... (laughs) But it's not about the answers, it's the questions.

    Eric Vespe: The genius of the initial concept of Jurassic Park is... I want to go there! I'm on the side of the people making the park because I want to see a T-Rex. When you're reading it you realize “Ahh, I'm kind of the bad guy for wanting this...” There's a level to complexity to that initial idea and it sounds like you guys are expanding on it.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yeah, it is the dilemma. If something can be a little bit thought-provoking and a lot of fun then even that's enough. It's when things don't have a point of view (they fail.)

    Peter Sciretta: What is Claire's relationship now with Owen?

    Bryce Dallas Howard: That's... that's... that's a question, for sure.

    Peter Sciretta: We've been told that one of them moved on and one of them didn't.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Okay.

    Peter Sciretta: Which one moved on?

    Bryce Dallas Howard: You know what? That's a question that they ask one another. (laughs) You guys will know what that means when you see the movie! It's based on an improv that Chris and I had in a room early on.

    In the trailer this morning I announced to the trailer “I'm going to start a Google Doc and if you guys have any ideas for the next movie, if there is one, fingers crossed, let me know, no matter how wild.” My makeup artist was like “You know what? You know what I really miss? Like I Love Lucy and the dynamic between Ricky and Lucy and how you would never think that they belong together, but they have each others back no matter what. The circumstances, the comedy, comes not from a lack of understanding, but from a lack of ability to communicate initially.” She said this and I was like “I'm putting it in the Google Doc.”

    There's something about the dynamic between these characters that both plays into and against the tropes of movie relationships. It's always fun to think about that. Chris and I were talking through what kind of parents Claire and Owen would be and that lead us to talk about what kind of parents we are, are we helicopter parents or not, the ways in which we could be better and blah-blah-blah.

    I was thinking later on, “You know what? I feel like Owen would be the helicopter parent and Claire would be chill and cool and be like you need to let them be what they're going to be.” That would show the evolution of Claire. It's fun to consider those things and have room for those things. You set up the trope and then you play against it. You set up the trope and then I'm with a flare outrunning a T-Rex while he's cowering with children. I like to mention that every once in a while, at least three times in every interview. (laughs)

    Eric Vespe: Can I give you a suggestion for your Google Doc? My favorite movie husband and wife of all time: Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man series. Myrna Loy and William Powell are the leads and they're an upperclass husband and wife duo who decide being rich isn't enough and they decide to solve murders on the side. To make it even better they're both drunkards.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: That's so cool!

    Eric Vespe: They love each other through and through, but toss out barbs at each other all the time.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Oh, dude, thank you so much! That's what we were talking about this morning! Someone else mentioned Castle and someone else mentioned Sherlock Holmes and Watson. It's so great when it gets to the point where's it's about partnership.

    This is interesting. In this movie, for Owen and Claire it is about partnership. We've talked about it a lot because that's what Chris and I feel like with one another. We always say “We make a good movie team!”

    JA and Belen (Atienza), his producing partner, are an incredible team. This story of what it takes to be a team and what it takes to become partners is encapsulated somewhat in the defying of the gender tropes.

    Eric Vespe: It'd probably be good to talk about JA since he's the main new ingredient here. We know that he likes to play music. He told us there was a specific scene where there was no dialogue and you were looking at something and he played three different pieces of music: a romantic one, a scary one and a funny one and he said you ended up playing it three different ways.

    Bryce Dallas Howard: I'm shocked that I've never thought of or experienced doing that before. Joe Wright plays music on set, but it's more for levity between scenes. JA doing that changes everything instantly. This whole generation of actors came up as cinephiles. That's why we love making movies because we're obsessed with movies, so for him to play these classic scores and different kinds of music just instantly gets you into that headspace and you understand what the scene's about.

    Also, we're working with a young actress... this is her first movie. She's naturally very gifted and extremely cerebral, so she's fantastic, but the music helps her just as much as it helps us. The premise of it was he was like “I'll do it for Izzy because it help her,” and Chris and I were like “Oh my God, this is amazing!”

    Something about JA that is crazy... we met each other years and years and years ago. We had a general meeting that was for a movie he didn't end up directing, that I didn't end up acting in, but he was attached as a director and we had this meeting at the Chateau that turned into this two-hour dinner and I just fell in love.

    Peter Sciretta: He's so charming!

    Bryce Dallas Howard: Oh my gosh! He's so charming and passionate and adorable. When the movie didn't happen, I honestly and kind of jokingly referred to him as “The One Who Got Away.” To all my friends! Like “The one who got away did another amazing movie without me!”

    When Colin (Trevorrow) was sharing with Chris and I who were the frontrunners he was hoping to work with and he mentioned JA I was like (gasp) “Dude, he was the one that got away!” He was like “You had a relationship with him?” “No, no, no.”

    I love Colin so-so-so-so much and it was such an incredible experience working with him and I was super bummed he wasn't going to be directing this movie, so it was really crazy to me that he mentioned JA who was literally the person I've been joking about for 10 years as the one that got away.


    That's it for this one. Still more Jurassic World goodies to go! A young fella by the name of Chris Pratt will be tomorrow. I began the interview by gifting him a limited edition back of Guardians of the Galaxy Doritos, so you know he was in a good mood for that chat.

  • Han Meets Lando In Footage Shown At CinemaCon

    2 months ago


    Today was a big day at CinemaCon. STX, Warner Bros and Disney all had their big panels and since we're so close to release of Solo: A Star Wars Story they actually treated us to a nice, juicy full sequence from the latest Star Wars movie.

    The scene had Emilia Clarke's Qi'Ra leading Alden Ehrenreich's Young Han Solo through some dingy gambling den to meet some mystery person, who is said to have slipped through the Empire's fingers more than just about anyone else. He has a ship they need for whatever they're up to. Star Wars fans know what's coming up.

    They pass a ring in the center of the smoke and alien-filled hive of scum and villainy where beat up droids are murdering the shit out of each other and then they get to the high stakes table where, yes, Mr. Lando Calrissian is playing some Sabacc with a bunch of scoundrels.

    Han walks up and the angle is low, catching his trademark DL-44 blaster at his hip, his legs framing Lando for this iconic moment of two charming rogues meeting each other for the first time.


    Donald Glover as Lando is everything you want it to be. He's so at ease in this role and naturally charming. It's like he was meant to be Billy Dee Williams' heir. He has some line as Han walks up where he's talking to one of the aliens at the table and it was something like “There are no liars in this game, just players.” Simple line, but the way he delivered it felt so authentically Lando that I was instantly won over.

    Ehrenreich as Solo I'm still iffy on. He's got the charm factor and the swagger, but something felt a little forced about it. I'm not sure if I'll feel the same way seeing his character in the context of the full movie, but he didn't feel as natural a fit to me as Glover did playing Lando.

    They have a great interaction to start. Han: “Is this seat taken?” “If the seat's empty, it's not taken, friend.” Han introduces himself, Lando returns the favor.

    Han wins his first hand of Sabacc (“Beginner's luck,” he says)... the game seemed to be played like poker, where there were rounds of betting before revealing your hand. Lando wins the next one and a conversation develops about their ships... Han's laying the groundwork for a big bet where he bets his ship (whether it exists or not) against Lando's, which we know is going to be the Millennium Falcon.

    That moment eventually comes, but not before Lando needles Solo a little bit, calling him “Han,” not “Hawn.” Han corrects him. Lando repeats his mispronunciation and that made my inner geek stand up and clap a little bit. I wondered if they were going to address that since Billy Dee's Lando always mispronounced Han's name in The Empire Strikes Back. Now there's a character reason for it.


    So, the big bet comes and Lando puts his ship on the line and then... I don't know. The footage cuts off.

    If I'm a betting man I'd say they did that for a reason. Han will win the Falcon from Lando, but I have a feeling this is a case where they're going to throw a twist on your expectation. Or they don't and I'm wrong, which happens all the time. But something in my gut is whispering that there's going to be something more to this scene.

    I'm a little bit of a tougher sell on these spin-off movies than most. I love a lot of the detail of Rogue One, but I couldn't shake the fan-fiction feeling I got from the movie. This Solo footage was fun, had great, colorful Star Wars-y feeling sets, wardrobe, aliens and characters, but I got some of that same vibe here.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing. People loved that feeling in Rogue One, just like people ate up the EU books. It's filling a niche and I can't begrudge those fans.

    For my part, it looked fun. If that's all the movie is I'll be happy. I just want it to be fun.

    Make sure to keep an eye out for more CinemaCon coverage as this crazy fest goes on!