Rian Johnson to Helm New Star Wars Trilogy

via Wikipedia
via Rian Johnson
via Rian Johnson on Instagram

Things must really have gone right with Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. At least, that would seem to be the indication as Disney has just announced that they will be allowing Rian to helm a stand alone trilogy set within the Star Wars universe!

Congrats to him!

Quite the amazing opportunity, and hopefully it will be something we can all be even more excited about come Dec. 15 when we’ve (hopefully) confirmed what Disney must already be assuming about his abilities to make amazingly good Star Wars content.

Check the below Wired.com article for more info!

https://www.wired.com/story/rian-johnson-new-star-wars-trilogy/

Also, check out our “Coming Soon & News” podcast episode below for some additional Star Wars: The Last Jedi release discussion and the controversial theater exhibition agreement they’ve been pushing.

“Coming Soon” & News – Murder on the Orient Express, & Daddy’s Home 2

Disney Streaming Service… Cheaper Than Netflix?

Perhaps you’ve heard news about Disney offering a new standalone streaming service slated to release in 2019? Well new details have now begun to emerge, including some info on pricing!

Check out the below Polygon the article linked below for more details!

https://www.polygon.com/2017/11/9/16631246/disney-streaming-service-price-launch-date-movies-tv-marvel-star-was

Also, check out our latest “Coming Soon & News” episode below where we discuss some additional news about Disney and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

“Coming Soon” & News – Murder on the Orient Express, & Daddy’s Home 2

The Final Trailer for Stranger Things season 2 is Here…Happy Friday the 13th!!

It’s Friday the 13th, and we now have our final trailer for Stranger Things season 2 before its eagerly awaited Netflix binge-worthy release on October 27th!

I was lucky enough to see the trailer release in July at San Diego Comic-Con, and since then, I’ve been a mixed bag of eagerly awaiting the show’s release or trying to not think about it to make the wait go quicker.

From all that we’ve been seeing and reading, we know that we can expect more nostalgia and bigger monsters in the upcoming season. Based on this new trailer, there’s that and a lot more. The showrunners have discussed how they’ve drawn their inspiration for this season from the big 1980s sequels, such as Aliens or Terminator 2, and this trailer shows that they have amped up the action and stakes this time around.

In it, we get some more time with Eleven and see a bit more of what she might be up to this season (beyond retrieving Eggo waffles left behind by Hopper), as well as a ton more glimpses of the big new creature/monster that will be running amok throughout this season, most likely — and I seriously want to know what that thing is! First I thought some sort of spider, now it almost looks like some sort of shadow or mist with a mind of it’s own!

We also get a lot more time with Will. It’s pretty apparent that the effects of the Upside Down world haven’t quite left him in a good state and he’s now taken to seeing many different things. It seems that everyone will sooner or later realize this and they will need to rally around him to help save him and confront this growing darkness from the other world.

Oh yeah, and for those that are into that whole “shipping” sort of thing, it appears Nancy and Jonathan will be spending more time together. At this point, it’s looking like poor Steve may be spending more time with his spiked bat (Lucille 2.0) this season, overall.

 

Stranger things season 2 the reel review podcast movie review tube talk itunes show episodes Netflix matt hay and joel cunningham

Stranger Things – Season 2  releasing Oct. 27th

Netlfix’s “Stranger Things website: https://www.netflix.com/title/80057281

Trailer 1 post: http://reelreviewmedia.com/2017/07/23/stranger-things-season-2-trailer/

Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer is HERE!

The new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally arrived!!

Disney aired the latest look at Rian Johnson’s upcoming film during Monday Night Football’s halftime show. The expectation has been that the new trailer won’t give anything big away, but director Rian Johnson warned fans on Twitter that the hardest of the hardcore might want to even avoid watching this clip to preserve all of the film’s surprises.

The film won’t hit theaters until December 15, 2017, but tickets are now on sale (IMAX, Fandango, Cinemark, AMC, Alamo Drafthouse, Atom Tickets, MovieTickets.com).

Be sure to pick yours up for what is sure to be a eventful opening night!

And in case for whatever reason you need a little more convincing, check out the trailer below!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he meets Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force.

Check out Matt’s trailer #1 reaction video HERE.

Oh, and if you just need more time in the universe, don’t forget that EA just announced an extension to the Star Wars Battlefront II open beta.!

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

There’s some positive aspects to “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” that I wish I could devote this review to discussing — the action sequences that relied on a heavy dose of practical effects; the updated take on the tried-and-true frenemies journey that the bickering main characters must march down; even the ongoing romantic & relational shortcomings of the main cast of characters – but at the most basic level, the mixture of obvious plot beats & progression, unfunny dialogue, and non-stakes building action combined to make the entire two hour run time of this film feel mostly bland and forgettable.

Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is the devil-may-care, tell-it-like-it-is crazy hit-man who must make it to the “trial of the century” to provide the incriminating evidence needed to bring the genocidal Belarusian tyrant Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) to justice.

Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds,) is the “triple-A rated” uptight, overly-prepared bodyguard (who non-surprisingly doesn’t actually end up having all the answers) providing his services and hoping to somehow get his “elite” rating back after losing it during a job that went sour in years prior. He is hired by his former amante turned Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), since there really is just nobody else that can be trusted!

The primary feeling I had after watching the film was that throughout the action, throughout the dialogue, throughout the romances and relationships of the characters, almost no stakes were provided. If any stakes had been there for me (and considering the talent involved and the mostly effective cinematography), this film could have been a potentially standout experience.

Both Samuel Jackson and Ryan Reynolds (and the majority of the cast, with the exception of Gary Oldman who felt a bit too unbelievable in the role) do a decent enough job, but the two of them feel as if they were giving maybe fifty percent of their true acting chops and signature style.

The one-liners and tension between them and the cast could have been fun, but most of the film dialogue felt predictable and had too little heart. They felt more like new buddy’s just looking to throw a bit of shade at each other rather than having any actual grievances.

Additionally, their relationship felt like it could have used more of a father/son dynamic and less of a “who’s the best at…” vibe.

I could have also seen good things coming from adding Amelia to the travel mix to keep the relational and romantic tensions high and provide something to overcome during the trip beyond just “getting there.”

For the action, a couple good set pieces/scenes do exist (the tool shop fight, and the big car chase through Amsterdam in particular), but the rest felt mostly bland and borderline staged.

Also, for a film that heavily discusses and operates in a world of hitmen, espionage, and government security agencies, one would expect a few plot twists here or there. Outside of the obvious and mostly unimportant reveal of who really messed up Michael’s big job, and us quickly finding out who was betraying Interpol (also very obvious and with no apparent deeper reason other than “money”) there was more or less nothing of the sort.

On the positive side, the romance between Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) and Darius is a highlight, and out of all the aspects of the script felt the most original and interesting to me.

Also, the film had a bit of heart that played out through the relationship between Darius and Michael. By the end of the film, you generally get the sense that they liked each other, but sadly not the sense that you should care if they did or did not.

In totality, this film could have used a more present threat, a bit of originality in the dialogue and action*, and more palpable stakes. There was too much film, and not enough fun, originality, or even a taste of the self-referential treatment Ryan Reynolds is so well known for and which could have aided this film greatly.

An additional side note, can we please lose the Wilhelm scream already folks? How do sound editors not rebel or threaten to quit on the spot at this point when requested to make use of it?

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” – C-/71

Joel Cunningham
Co-Host of The Reel Review

*A few minor examples of the unoriginal action ruining the stakes:
– The entire back of a car catching fire when shot by a handgun.
– Bad guys popping out of nowhere only to get immediately shot & killed.
– A nearly impossible leap to safety from a tall building into scaffolding/trash bins.

Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim de Almeida
Rating: R, for strong violence and language throughout
Running Time: 1h 58m
Genre(s): Action & Adventure, Comedy
Studio: Summit Entertainment

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

I’m not sure if it is what they intended, but the animated film “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” can easily be considered a “must-see” summer film for children under the age of 5.

Other filmgoers will, in general, likely find the 1.5hr film to be filled with flat, obvious puns and jokes, bland voice acting, and plot developments that go about as deep as you’d expect from a kids/family film about furry animals trying to find food and a home.

The rag-tag team of animals, led by a slightly surly at best, cocksure squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett), are in danger of being homeless after the loss of their current home, a nut shop. In their efforts to find a new hogar dulce hogar at the nearby city park, they come into conflict with the cities evil, self-serving, ham-it-up-for-the-camera mayor (Bobby Moynihan), complete with Texan accent.

The mayor plans to build a shoddy amusement park over the park for the sake of adding to his already significant coffers, while the animals must build their resolve enough to be led by Surly to stand up for themselves and stop him.

At one or two points, the plot attempts to introduce the concept of getting in touch with ones “animal instincts,” but this is quickly dismissed in lieu of time for inserting bland and needless buffoonery.

Additionally, the romantic sub-plots in the film – one between Surly and Andie (Katherine Heigl), the moralizing, voice of reason squirrel just waiting to learn to loosen up, and Frank (Bobby Cannavale), a dimwitted French bulldog who falls in love with the precocious pug Precious (Maya Rudolph) – felt like they could have aided in fleshing out the story and adding a bit of thematic depth, but were unfortunately wasted and served only very minor importance.

Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan), the leader of a Chinatown mice gang, also felt like a potential highlight, but ended up being wasted due to limited screen time.

The animation, generally something that even the worst reviewed, major studio animated film releases seem to be doing at least well with (e.g., “The Boss Baby,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village”) also felt overly simplistic and as though the characters were sometimes lacking in proper CGI physics. This despite the over-the-top, slapstick style.

Additionally, “The Nut Job 2” could have used a giant pacing shift into a slightly lower gear to slow things down, and one talented joke writer (instead of the 5 lesser so it had) to provide fresh, and more and less nutty (less flat, fewer puns, pun intended) humor.

Director Cal Brunker (previously a storyboard artist for “Despicable Me”), does not bring anything near the enjoyment, sincerity, or the warmth of that film to this effort, and the score by Heitor Pereira, felt bland, repetitious, and unsupportive to the tone and pacing of the film.

This film could maybe not have been beloved, but potentially have been a fun, silly romp to take the kids to and zone out during. Unfortunately, it ended up feeling much more like the feature film version of the romantic regurgitation technique employed by the dogs towards each other.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” – D+/68

Joel Cunningham
Co-Host of The Reel Review

Director: Cal Brunker
Stars: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan, Isabela Moner
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1h 31m
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy,Family

Correction: August 20, 2017
Composer for this film has been updated to Heitor Pereira. Ella Louise Allaire was originally listed in error.

Avatar 2 to use glasses free 3D technology. Wait…what?!

Some pretty incredible news being released today from multiple sources regarding Avatar 2 and some new technology that’ll be used to project it! Apparently, Avatar 2 will be a 3D film, but not require 3D glasses! 

Check the links below for more info!

 

Will this awesome new tech be implemented in other films? We can only hope!