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2018-08-17T22:58:25.493Z
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Reaction to Venom has been a bit muted, but the Spider-Man spin-off is on track to strike box office gold. Early Venom box office projections indicate the anti-superhero film might just break some box office records when it hits theaters in October. 

Will Venom and his tongue lick the competition, or will the film drift into obscurity like a turd in the wind? I felt almost positive that Venom was going to underperform box office-wise, simply because the trailers have been lackluster and I haven’t encountered anyone who seems genuinely excited for the flick. But hey, I’ve been wrong before. And Box Office Pro is indicating I might be wrong here, too. The site says Venom is on track for a $55 – $85 million opening weekend, revised from $30 – $50 million.

This isn’t an exact science, so the projections could be off. But statistics indicate interest in Venom has increased since the debut of the second trailed (the one with the turd line), and that if trends continue, “Venom could break the October record or even have a shot at becoming the first film to ever crack a $100 million+ debut in the month.”

Venom Trailer

Per Box Office Mojo, the biggest October opening weekend currently belongs to Gravity, which took in $55,785,112. The second biggest is The Martian, with $54,308,575. These two coupled together might indicate audiences really like movies about space in October....

Universal’s Dark Universe tripped over its own feet right out of the gate, and the general assumption is that the planned horror cinematic universe is dead and buried. But should the Dark Universe crawl its way out of the grave, Blumhouse would like to take the reigns. During a Q&A session, Blumhouse head honcho Jason Blum expressed great interest in taking control of Universal’s monsters.

Dark Universe 

You remember The Dark Universe, right? It was Universal’s attempt to forge their own Marvel-like cinematic universe, using their classic monsters instead of superheroes. The series kicked-off with The Mummy, and then instantly ground to a halt. The Mummy, for lack of a better word, sucked. So much so that the next Dark Universe flick, Bride of Frankenstein, was soon put on hold. So what went wrong? A lot of things, but the biggest goof was Universal’s decision to approach these films as action movies.

The classic Universal Monster movies – DraculaFrankenstein, and so on – weren’t action flicks. They were eerie, slow-burning, gothic melodramas. And, most of all, they were horror movies. Time and time again, box office returns have proven that audiences love horror. They will flock to a horror movie, even if it’s getting terrible reviews. If you need proof of this, look no further than Blumhouse – the production company that has...

You’re lounging on your couch after a long day, binge watching the new season of your favorite Netflix show. But in between episodes, BAM – a video ad drops in and interrupts the flow, promoting a different show that the streaming service thinks you’ll want to watch. It may sound like a campfire horror story or a lost episode of Black Mirror, but Netflix is now testing a new feature that’s designed to do exactly that.

Netflix Commercial Breaks

Some Netflix users took to Reddit and Twitter today (via TechCrunch) to complain about this new test feature, which interrupts binge watching sessions by inserting “full-screen videos, personalized to the user, featuring content Netflix would have otherwise suggested elsewhere in its user interface” in between episodes. All of the preview information about the next episode you were set to see disappears, and a video ad temporarily replaces it.

I can see why that would be incredibly annoying for these unfortunate users Netflix is currently using as test subjects: they’re paying for an ad-free service. This isn’t like Hulu, where you watch content with the full knowledge that you’re going to be fed commercials between acts. It’s more akin to the commercials that play in movie theaters after the trailers but before the movie starts – nobody wants those. The biggest difference here is that as of now, these video...

If you’re bored with the traditional movies found in your local theater, fear not: Mandy is coming.

That’s not to say that all of the films that are out right now are traditional – far from it – but Mandy, the trippy and twisted revenge thriller from director Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow), is operating on an entirely different level from anything that’s been in theaters for a long time. This movie is next-level nuts, and now you can to have the chance to see it a bit early.

Regal Cinemas and Alamo Drafthouse have teamed up with RLJE Films to offer Mandy advance screenings in over 200 theaters across the United States – and in addition to seeing the film early, attendees will also be able to see an exclusive taped conversation between Cosmatos and star Nicolas Cage afterward. Trust me – Cage fans won’t want to miss this.

Only those who have seen the film on the festival circuit are fully aware of the insane places it goes, but this trailer does a pretty solid job of setting the stage:

The advance screenings are happening for one night only on September 13, 2018, and tickets are available now at Tickets.MandyMovie.com to see the film in 24 Alamo Drafthouse locations, 202 Regal theaters, and a few additional locations throughout the country. The...

In terms of superhero movies, does it get any better than Michelle Pfeiffer‘s performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Batman Returns? And do superhero movies get any worse than 2004’s Catwoman, the laughable solo film starring Halle Berry in the title role? Those are rhetorical questions, by the way – the answer to both is clearly “no.”

In a parallel universe, the Halle Berry version movie never happened. Warner Bros. was considering making a Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman solo film in the late 1990s, and screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) pitched the studio an idea. August just found his old notes for the pitch, and shared them on Twitter to give us a sense of what that movie could have been like.

August recently participated in a Twitter hashtag called #ShareYourRejections, where he revealed that he pitched a Catwoman sequel that would have picked up with Michelle Pfeiffer’s iconic version of the character after the events of 1992’s Batman Returns.

Even from this brief intro, I already wish we could have seen this movie. We’ve seen a quick glimpse of Gotham at Halloween in previous movies, but there’s still...

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, you could always count on a new Puppet Master movie showing up on your video store’s new release shelf. Prolific producer Charles Band cranked them out beginning in 1989, not coincidentally a year after Child’s Play premiered in theaters. A gang of old puppets would come to life and kill a hapless cast of actors each year.

Now Puppet Master has been rebooted, but Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich reimagines the original franchise in a far nastier form. Thomas Lennon stars as a collector who comes into the deadly puppets of Andre Toulon (Udo Kier), and they start killing in newer, more graphic ways than ever.

The Littlest Reich is directed by the Swedish duo Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, whose previous credits include Wither and Animalistic. Laguna Skyped with /Film from Sweden to discuss the new take on Puppet Master, which is in select theaters today.

How did this come about? Were you and Tommy already Puppet Master fans? Did you present the idea to do a re-imagining?

No. The story goes like this. Tommy, me, and our other childhood friend David [Liljeblad] grew up together and we started doing feature films with virtually no budgets, like $10,000 back in 2008. We were convinced we could live off of it just...

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday when families gather to feast and enjoy fellowship with each other. It’s also a time when you can’t help but get into an argument about politics with your extended family, creating tension in the household as you aggressively eat your pumpkin pie. Well, that dreaded conversation is about to get a whole lot worse thanks to a new comedy.

The Oath, a new film starring Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish from the producers of Get Out and BlacKkKlansman, unfolds at Thanksgiving in the wake of an unprecedented decision by the government asking citizens to sign a loyalty oath to the President of the United States of America. What the hell does that mean? We’re not sure, but The Oath teaser trailer will certainly make you feel like you’re home for the holidays.

Watch The Oath Teaser Trailer

This first teaser trailer doesn’t give much away in the vein of details about the titular oath that citizens are being asked to sign. Instead, it focuses on the all-too-familiar confrontations between family members when political ideologies clash and you can’t help but lash out at each other in the most insulting ways possible.

However, there are hints of a Purge level of physical confrontation here. Plus, the official synopsis hints that this family Thanksgiving is made all the more uneasy...

(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrically released movies. In this edition, we dye our hair, throw on something from our bff’s closet, and get totally basic with the sequel to Single White Female.)

Single White Female opened in late summer of 1992 to become a modest hit – $48 million on a $16 million budget – and it went on to enter the pop culture lexicon as shorthand for a stalker, complete with a spoof on Saturday Night Live and a reference in the show Psych. It’s a solid, sexy thriller that satisfies even if it doesn’t wow, and if you’ve seen the film you know it’s not exactly one begging for a sequel. Nothing about it needed to continue, but for some people, that itself is a reason to continue.

So 13 years later, it did just that in the form of a direct-to-video sequel in name only. It’s only natural to wonder if the sequel tells a similar story about a female psycho obsessing over another woman, and I’m happy to report that it does indeed. There’s no pesky original plot to worry about here, and the filmmakers double down on their commitment to the bit by calling it Single White Female 2: The Psycho. It’s essentially the same as saying The Psycho 2: The Psycho, but hey, redundancy has its purposes.

The scariest thing about things that go bump in the night is not being able to see them — are the monsters, ghouls, and demons just a figment of your imagination or are they lurking just behind you, waiting to attack? R.L. Stine‘s Goosebumps books always perfectly tapped into this pervasive fear while introducing iconic monsters like Slappy the Dummy.

But in the new Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween trailer, the mystery disappears as Slappy leads an army of spooky R.L. Stine creatures into the real world to “make Halloween last forever.”

Goosebumps 2 Haunted Halloween Trailer

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween never looked so action-packed as it does in this international trailer, which shows our three protagonist kids (Jeremy Ray Taylor, Madison Iseman, and Caleel Harris) facing off against an army of witches, monsters, and tons of glow-y creatures. But most terrifying: a legion of giant gummy bears with killer instincts.

The Goosebumps movies have never tried to be truly scary and it looks like Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is leaning into its silly camp tones, with our trio of kids running about town trying to stop the mayhem, while Ken Jeong wears silly costumes. Jeong’s character eventually gets in on the adventure, as the kids frantically plead for help to reverse the enchantment laid by R.L. Stine’s book. If they can’t stop it, Halloween will last forever! Ironically, Goosebumps 2: Haunted...

Computer screen movies – stuff like Unfriended and Searching – are becoming more and more popular, and we have one person to thank for that: Timur Bekmambetov. The filmmaker and producer is at the forefront of “Screenlife“, a technology that tells stories through computer screens. And Bekmambetov doesn’t plan on stopping – he’s currently developing 14 computer screen movies, across a variety of genres. The question is: does the general public want to see them?

Computer Screen Movies

The LA Times has a profile of Timur Bekmambetov in which the Russian Kazakh filmmaker discusses his predilection for computer screen-based movies. In case you’re not sure what the heck that is, think of the horror film Unfriended, which Bekmambetov produced – a film where all the action takes place within computer screens.. There was a time when Unfriended might be considered “found footage”, but the on-screen style of storytelling is quickly evolving into its own sub-genre. Bekmambetov also produced the sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, and the upcoming Searching, both of which feature computer screen storytelling.

“I don’t know if it’s bad or good, but I feel that half of my life — the most important events of my life — are happening on screen today,” Bekmambetov says in the piece. “I’m finding friends, losing friends, falling in love, losing people I...

The Nun is about to jump out of the darkness and scream right into your ear-holes. And audiences are really excited – so much so that they’re going to help turn the latest Conjuring universe entry into a big hit. Early The Nun box office tracking indicates the fright film is headed to a strong opening weekend.

Are you excited about loud, clanging noises and ghoul faces rushing right at the camera? If so, you must be pumped about The Nun hitting theaters very soon. And you’re not alone – the film is tracking for a big opening weekend, proving audiences want more of The Conjuring universe in their lives. Variety reveals The Nun is headed towards a $32 million opening weekend, with some projections suggesting it could go as high as $37 million.

The Nun is yet another spin-off of The Conjuring. The film fills in the backstory of the creepy nun that appeared in The Conjuring 2. In that film, it was revealed the habit-wearing specter was actually a demon named Valak. But if that wasn’t enough backstory for you, The Nun will fill in the blanks, taking the story back to the 1950s.

So how does The Nun‘s projected opening weekend stack up against the openings of the other Conjuring films? Let’s take a look.

The Conjuring

The first entry in the...

If you’re looking for Western-produced movies with solely-Asian casts, your pickings are slim, which is why there’s been a lot of talk surrounding Crazy Rich Asians‘ status as the first of its kind in a quarter-century. But there also aren’t many Western-made movies where the cast is half-Asian. Or even where there’s more than one Asian character. I’m not sure whether that makes Crazy Rich Asians more impressive or if it simply signals the relative, representational failures of the Hollywood system.

Why not both, right?

Based on the bestselling book, Crazy Rich Asians sends Rachel (Constance Wu) into the lion’s den of meeting her boyfriend Nick’s (Henry Golding) family at a wedding in Singapore. Nick never told her that his family is insanely wealthy, Rachel has to win over Nick’s formidable mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), and rom-com goodness ensues.

Our own Karen Han says  it’s “chock-full of little details that may well fly over the heads of some viewers, but will vault the film into another stratosphere for others. The cultural specificity is more charming than the delirious displays of wealth by leaps and bounds, and ultimately what makes it impossible to say that Crazy Rich Asians is just a carbon copy of other meeting-the-in-laws comedies that have come before it.”

Let’s see what to double feature with this history-maker.

The Joy Luck Club (1993)

When you hear people say Crazy Rich Asians is...

Update: HBO has officially picked up Damon Lindelof’s new take on Watchmen, which isn’t an adaptation or a sequel as much as a remix of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic comic book series.

Our original story about actor Jeremy Irons joining the show’s cast can be read below.

The Watchmen TV series just added a surprising new cast member: Jeremy Irons. Damon Lindelof‘s HBO series inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic graphic novel is set 30 years after the events of the comic, and has been called more of a “remix” than a straight adaptation. In other words, don’t count on Irons playing a character straight from the comic.

Deadline has the scoop about Irons joining the Watchmen TV series cast. HBO has yet to announce specifics regarding Irons’ character, but Deadline says the acclaimed actor will likely be playing an “aging and imperious lord of a British manor.” If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out which character from the comic this might be, don’t bother. With each new piece of info that arrives, I grow more and more convinced none of the main characters on Lindelof’s show will be drawn from the original source material.

As Lindelof said in the past, he has “no desire...

Director Peter Berg is not one for wasting time. He says as much, but it’s also evident when you’re on the set of one of his movies, speaking with an actor he’s worked with, or talking to the man himself. Look no further than his filmography the last few years to see the borderline light-speed pace at which he works. He’s made four movies in the last two years, including his latest pic, Mile 22. Nobody could ever call Peter Berg lazy, that’s for certain.

His newest and fourth collaboration with Mark Wahlberg is a significantly lighter film than their past work. It’s Berg, who made a remarkable directorial debut with The Rundown, returning to straight-up action movies. The Kingdom director brings his eye for fast-paced, practical, and point-of-view-driven action to his new lean and mean action movie. Recently, Berg told us about filming Mile 22‘s action, his respect for Wahlberg’s work ethic, when we’ll see his Rihanna documentary, and more.

Mile 22 was originally talked about as being a martial arts film, so how did the project evolve over the years? 

I always wanted to make a movie with Iko [Uwais]. I mean, it really was that simple. I was a huge fan of his. I think the guy is very unique, very special and I just wanted to work with him. And then Mark got involved and it got a little bit bigger. At the core it was...

(Welcome to Comic Book Drive-In, a series where comic and movie fans Jazmine Joyner and Rosie Knight recommend brand new, ongoing, and completed comic book series that tie into classic films and new releases.)

This issue of Comic Book Drive-In is all about The Matrix. Arguably the Wachowski sisters’ masterpiece, The Matrix is a groundbreaking science-fiction flick which was a cinematic representation of the siblings’ love for Japanese film, Hong Kong cinema, anime, and western comics.

We decided this would be a prime pick for Comic Book Drive-In as comics are literally in the DNA of the film – comic book artists were integral to the film’s vision, with Geof Darrow designing the real world of “Zion” and Steve Skroce storyboarding the original Matrix pitch – and we couldn’t wait to suggest some of our favorite books that complement this science fiction classic.

New Comic: The New World #1

The Talent: Ales Kot (writer), Tradd Moore (artist), Heather Moore (colorist), Clayton Cowles (letterer)

What It’s About: In a world devastated by a nuclear holocaust that destroyed five metropolitan cities in North America, society survives in “New California,” which is policed by a brutal, televised force called the Guardians. The New World follows celebrity Guardian Stella Maris – the granddaughter of...

Mark Wahlberg is unleashed by director Peter Berg in Mile 22. Playing the unabashedly unsavory hero Jimmy Silva, Wahlberg gives a high-wired performance that never runs out of gas. If you like your Wahlberg fast and loud, Mile 22 has the performance for you.

Wahlberg’s work is reminiscent of some of his great supporting turns where he gets to play a character a little off-center and let loose. He makes Jimmy Silva feel like a supporting character that happens to be the star of the movie. The role is not too far off from the idea of a hothead character like Tommy from I Heart Huckabees (one of Wahlberg’s greatest achievement in my book) becoming an action hero for the U.S. government. The actor recently spoke to us about his fourth collaboration with Peter Berg, his very impressive work ethic, box office, and more.

Jimmy Silva doesn’t feel like the typical hero of a movie who saves the day.

Absolutely. That’s what we were looking for.

How do you prepare to play a character like that before shooting, who’s always at an 11?

When we talk about what I had to do to prepare, I just had to make sure that I could come with that energy every day and stay on like that. Because I’m a pretty mellow guy. I usually spend most of my energy before 8:00 in the morning, and that’s before I get to the set. So then to be able...

When American-born Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) meets her boyfriend Nick’s mother Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) for the first time at their lush Singaporean mansion in Crazy Rich Asians, she enthusiastically lists off her accomplishments: lauded economics professor at NYU, talented, brilliant, probably played piano since elementary school. It’s a check list that any Asian-American parent would beam at, but to which Eleanor only coolly responds, “Pursuing one’s passion…how American.”

This fleeting confrontation toward the beginning of the film perfectly illustrates the divide between Asians and Asian-Americans that both communities still try to navigate today. And surprisingly, Crazy Rich Asians’ conflict between filial piety and passion gets to the heart of the muddled, ill-defined Asian-American identity.

At first glance, Crazy Rich Asians doesn’t seem to be about Asian-Americans at all. The only significant Asian-American character is our heroine Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American economics professor whose likable everywoman vibe practically oozes out of her mom’s homemade lunches and her practical “Gap look.” The rest of the cast is made up almost entirely of homegrown Singaporeans who live and breathe in an exclusive sphere of wealth and opulence. They live in a world so unlike what we’ve seen of Asians onscreen, yet so familiar: one of jet-setting lifestyles, priceless jewelry, and extravagant parties.

But it immediately becomes clear that Crazy Rich Asians is as much about a clash of cultures as...

If you’ve ever scrolled through multiple streaming services looking for an old favorite movie and came up empty, screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Go) feels your pain. August, one of the co-hosts of the popular Scriptnotes podcast, recently tried to track down 1984’s The Flamingo Kid only to find that it’s joined the sad membership of older movies not available online to rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or any other service in the United States.

This is not a new observation – ever since the dawn of streaming services, hundreds of movies have been left by the wayside. But August took his frustrations and is attempting to channel them into a campaign to get some of these older films released digitally, and you can find out how to help below.

Cocoon. Willow. True Lies. Apocalypto. The list is long for titles that are not available on digital platforms, but August wants to do something to change that. In a recent blog entry on his personal website, the screenwriter began crowdsourcing a document called “Missing Movies” which lists over 390 entries from 1980 until today that aren’t available for rental, purchase, or streaming. (He acknowledges that since the document is crowdsourced, there are going to be some inaccuracies.) But August asked a reader to take things one step further:

While a crowdsourced list can...

The first Star Wars Resistance trailer has arrived, giving us a first look at the anime-inspired animated series coming to The Disney Channel this fall and providing us with a whole new roster of Resistance heroes to root for. Check it out below.

Star Wars Resistance Trailer

New details have arrived along with the trailer, which teases the one-hour premiere titled “The Recruit.” In this episode, Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and his trusty droid BB-8 usher in a newly appointed spy named Kaz to the Colossus, a massive aircraft re-fueling platform on an outer rim water planet, home to colorful new aliens, droids, and creatures. We’ll let the official press release explain more:

“While undercover, Kaz works as a mechanic and lives with Poe’s old friend Yeager, a veteran pilot who operates a starship repair shop run by his crew: Tam, Neeku and their old battered astromech droid, Bucket. Kaz soon finds himself in over his head with his newfound friend BB-8 as he’ll have to compete in dangerous sky races, keep his mission a secret from his newfound family, and avoid the danger of the First Order.”

This series has some flairs of Star Wars Rebels, complete with a colorful new ensemble crew to lead the series. But it’s the animation style that makes this one stand out. It’s...

Romantic comedies have been a storytelling staple ever since Shakespeare introduced the world to Benedick and Beatrice in Much About Nothing, but the genre really found its footing in film with It Happened One Night in 1934. Frank Capra’s simple tale of a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and an ambitious reporter (Clark Gable) was the first of only three features in history to sweep the Academy Awards in all major categories.

Clearly, a humorous spin on a romantic story resonated with audiences and the genre continued to thrive through the days of Hepburn and Monroe. However, the modern rom-com we know and love today really found its stride in 1989 with Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally. Nora Ephron, the godmother of rom-com writing, asked one simple question in her script, “Can a man and a woman just be friends?” and an entire era was born.

From ’89 to ’09, the cinemas were booming with clumsy, career-obsessed women who found a love they weren’t even looking for by simply bumping into an unsuspecting man with an alarmingly handsome face. For two whole decades, we were blessed with Hanks and Ryan, Julia Roberts and whoever, Nancy Meyers vehicles, and the firm affirmation that Christmas was the most romantic time of year.