Friday, May 24, 2019
So earlier today, I saw Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie (of 2000's Snatch and 2009's Sherlock Holmes), at the local AMC Theatre. I don't recall watching the 1992 animated original in its entirety (though I did listen to its music score on CD countless of um, times back in grade school), but yea— Naomi Scott was totally awesome as Jasmine (with Mena Massoud, Will Smith and Marwan Kenzari doing great jobs portraying Aladdin, the Genie and Jafar, respectively; Nasim Pedrad gave an amusing performance as Dalia...a character invented for the live-action film). Such an amazing singer! Love her and Massoud's rendition of "A Whole New World," as well as "Speechless," a song specifically created for Jasmine in the new movie.
So when does Naomi Scott reprise her role as the Pink Ranger in Power Rangers 2? Will it be after Scott kicks ass in this November's latest take on Charlie's Angels (directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Scott, Kristen Stewart, Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou)? Carry on.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
The Walt Disney Studios Announces Film Release Schedule (News Release)
The Walt Disney Studios has unveiled its upcoming slate following the recent acquisition of the Fox film studios, including changes to previously dated films and a number of major additions.
After kicking off with the record-setting success of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, The Walt Disney Studios’ 2019 summer slate includes Disney’s Aladdin on May 24, Fox’s Dark Phoenix on June 7, Pixar’s Toy Story 4 on June 21, Fox’s Stuber on July 12 and Disney’s The Lion King on July 19. Fox 2000’s The Art of Racing in the Rain moves up to August 9, and Fox Searchlight’s Ready or Not will release on August 23, while three films move to later dates: Ad Astra (September 20, 2019), The New Mutants (April 3, 2020) and Artemis Fowl (May 29, 2020).
The Studios’ 2019 slate rounds out with Fox’s The Woman in the Window on October 4 and Ford V. Ferrari on November 15, Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on October 18 and Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 on November 22, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on December 20 and Blue Sky Studios’ Spies in Disguise, moving from September to Christmas. Among early 2020 titles are Fox’s Underwater on January 10, a new Kingsman movie on February 14 and Call of the Wild on February 21, followed by Pixar’s Onward on March 6 and Disney’s Mulan on March 27.
The updated calendar also sets release dates for major franchises Avatar and Star Wars. With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker bringing the original Skywalker saga to its conclusion, three new as-yet-untitled Star Wars films will release on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year beginning in 2022. Four forthcoming Avatar films, expanding the vibrant world of Pandora, will release on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year beginning in 2021. In the holiday corridor for 2020, Fox’s West Side Story adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, will debut December 18 in the pre-Christmas slot, with Disney’s Cruella opening Wednesday, December 23, for the long holiday weekend.
“We’re excited to put in place a robust and diverse slate that lays the foundation of our long-term strategy, bringing together a breadth of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, Fox Searchlight and Blue Sky Studios to create an extraordinary collection of cinematic experiences for audiences around the world,” said Cathleen Taff, president, Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights, The Walt Disney Studios. “With a strong summer already in place, we are eager to carry that momentum forward over the coming years thanks to a creative wellspring of bold and imaginative stories coming from our world-class studios—including several new chapters of two revered franchises, Avatar and Star Wars.”
Source: The Walt Disney Company
Friday, April 12, 2019
Earlier today, Disney and Lucasfilm revealed the long-awaited title and first trailer to Star Wars: Episode IX at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Now known as The Rise of Skywalker, this ninth and final installment in the Skywalker saga will bring back the biggest villain from the prequel films and original trilogy: Emperor Palpatine himself (who'll once again be played by Ian McDiarmid)! Of course, we obviously don't know if the Sith Formerly Known As Darth Sidious will return as a clone, a Force Ghost, a mere holographic recording on an old Imperial computer, or...as flesh and blood since Palpatine may have actually discovered how to cheat death as mentioned in the story about Darth Plagueis the Wise in Revenge of the Sith. That last one seems unlikely, but it was so cool to hear the Emperor's cackle at the end of this teaser!
Other notes about the trailer: Rey flipping over Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer is friggin' awesome, it's cool that Kylo's helmet is re-assembled (though I have no issues with him being helmetless like he was in The Last Jedi), BB-8's new sidekick Dio is adorable, there's still no sign of a true B-Wing starfighter in the sequel trilogy (the ski speeders in The Last Jedi don't count) and Lando Calrissian is back! The old-school one portrayed by Billy Dee Williams, not the Danny Glover version who apparently wanted to make love to a droid in Solo: A Star Wars Story. And General Leia lives on!
December 20 can't come soon enough... That is all.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
So I saw Academy Award winner Jordan Peele's newest horror flick today. What Us lacks in scares, it makes up for in humor, likeable characters and a high concept (like the Happy Death Day movies). Us is similar to Stephen King's IT in that it deals with mysterious, homicidal beings (though in IT, it's an inter-dimensional monster that haunts the small town of Derry) who reside inside underground tunnels and sewers. But it isn't just children that these doppelgängers (dubbed Shadows) threaten—which is indicated in the TV spots and movie trailer. By the film's climax, we see that the California city of Santa Cruz (where the story takes place) won't be the only town to be affected by the Shadows. Will we see the nationwide aftermath of the invasion in an Us 2? Speaking more about the movie's climax, we'll overlook the fact that you can see the big twist from a mile away!
The gist of this review: Jordan Peele comes up with the most intriguing ideas for horror flicks... I look forward to seeing what he conjures up next for the big screen (not necessarily Us 2)! I like how Us integrates the instrumentals of Luniz's 1995 hip-hop song I Got 5 on It in its music score by Michael Abels, and I seriously think that Lupita Nyong'o should get an Oscar nomination for her dual performance as Adelaide Wilson and Red. Carry on.
Friday, March 8, 2019
So a few hours ago, I watched Captain Marvel, Marvel Studios' first film release of 2019, and the theatrical precursor to next month's Avengers: Endgame—and here are my notes:
- I like how the opening Marvel logo honors the late and great Stan Lee. I was wondering how the first Marvel Studios release since Lee's passing last year would honor the legendary Marvel creator...
- I like the twists in the film (especially in regards to Mar-Vell's true identity) and how Carol Danvers getting her powers is obviously different from what the trailers showed us...
- I like how Captain Marvel fully explains why Nick Fury created The Avengers Initiative (and of course, why he wears that eye patch)—though this contradicts the 2011 Captain America flick being titled Captain America: The First Avenger...when he apparently wasn't (at least in regards to who motivated Fury to come up with the name for this SHIELD program in the first place; Steve Rogers was still buried in Arctic ice at the time)!
- The Avengers: Endgame-related end credits scene is reason enough to see this movie again! Along with Brie Larson, Lashana Lynch and company being such badasses in this film. Happy International Women's Day!
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Earlier today, I saw the Todd Douglas Miller-directed documentary Apollo 11 in IMAX at an AMC Theatre in Orange County, CA. All I can say is, moon landing hoaxers and conspiracy theorists in general need to watch this film ASAP. Lots of never-before-seen footage and photos taken during the 8-day mission almost 50 years ago provide compelling evidence that "one giant leap for mankind" was indeed made on July 20, 1969...and three astronauts, along with 400,000 folks at various NASA centers around America, made this amazing feat happen.
The last day to watch Apollo 11 in IMAX at mainstream movie theaters is tomorrow (to clear the way for Captain Marvel's arrival the next day), but the film opens in wide release this Friday, March 8. Watch this movie when it does!
NASA / Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.
NASA / Neil A. Armstrong
Sunday, February 17, 2019
So I watched Happy Death Day 2U yesterday. It was just as enjoyable as 2017's Happy Death Day! Happy Death Day 2U not only worked on a horror film level (with nice bits of drama, a murder-mystery theme and comedy), but it also had some cool sci-fi elements too.
Make Happy Death Day 3Peat happen, Universal! Yes, I made that title up.
Friday, February 1, 2019
So I watched Miss Bala at the theater earlier today. Like last year's Sicario: Day of the Soldado, this film is released by Sony Pictures—meaning that it would be cool to see a crossover between Alejandro, the hit man played by Benicio Del Toro in Day of the Soldado (and 2015's Sicario, which wasn't distributed by Sony), and Gloria...the make-up artist-turned-assassin portrayed by Gina Rodriguez in Miss Bala! SPOILER ALERT: They are both rogue gunfighters who end up working as CIA assets to take down Mexican drug cartels. And they both look badass doing so! That is all.
Monday, January 14, 2019
Earlier today, my CD copy of David Arnold's complete music score for the first Independence Day movie came in the mail! Thank you, Amazon. I bought the original ID4 score a few weeks after the film was theatrically released in July of 1996...but that album only contained 14 tracks, and were mostly alternate versions of the music that actually played in the movie. The complete music score (which cost $99 due to the fact that only 5,000 copies were made; I got lucky ordering it since this album was released back in 2010) has two discs that have a total of 29 tracks that appeared in Independence Day, plus 13 additional tracks that were composed by Arnold but re-written due to edits to the film itself. Nice.
My favorite tracks from the complete album are...
- 1969: We Came In Peace
- Mysto Bridge/Satellite Collision/Destroyers Disengage/Russell Casse - Pilot
- The Darkest Day
- Base Attack
- Slimey Wakes Up
- The President's Speech
- Just In Case/Attacker Fires Up
- The Launch Tunnel/Mutha Ship/Virus Uploaded
- Hide/Russell's Packin' (The Day We Fight Back)
- He Did It
- Jolly Roger
- End Credits
I imported the songs to my laptop computer and converted them to MP3s so I can listen to 'em over and over and over while I'm bloggin'... Carry on!
Saturday, January 5, 2019
I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody earlier today, and needless to say...Rami Malek not getting a Best Actor Oscar nomination (on January 22) for his role as Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury will be as much an outrage as The Dark Knight not getting a nomination in that 5th Best Picture slot 10 years ago this month. And the portrayal of the 1985 Live Aid concert at the end of the movie is enough to warrant a Best Picture nod for Bohemian Rhapsody itself. Or at least Best Film Editing. That is all.