DADDY'S HOME

In terms of box office news, all anyone could talk about last winter was the complete and utter domination of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and with good reason — it smashed nearly every record in its path, becoming the third-highest grossing movie of all time. But a few films managed to flourish even in the shadow of Starkiller Base, and one of those was Daddy’s Home. Opening the weekend after Star Wars, the comedy quietly racked up an impressive $240 million worldwide over the course of its run. So you can probably guess what I’m about to tell you next.

Yup, Paramount is moving forward with a sequel to Daddy’s Home, with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell set to return as the rival dads. No director has been announced, but Sean Anders (who also directed the last film) and John Morris are returning to write the script.  Read More »

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hasbro cinematic universe

Late last year, we first learned about plans for a “Hasbro Cinematic Universe” that would unite the G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Micronauts, and ROM characters in a shared on-screen world. At the time, this news filled me with dread. Not because I bear any ill will toward these characters, but because it sounded like a desperate attempt to ape the Marvel studios model. A Hasbro Cinematic Universe? Really?

And while I will keep an eyebrow raised in skeptical protest for the time being, the people who have been recruited into this project’s “writers room” only inspire confidence. If you’re going to do something as batty as this, you might as well hire a collection some of the most interesting writers working today. Seriously: there’s a Pulitzer Prize winner now attached to the Hasbro Cinematic Universe.

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terminator 6

Here’s how you know the Terminator series is in a rut: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator Genisys were all announced as the first film in a new trilogy, only for those direct sequels to never materialize. Each of the past three sequels in this once-untouchable series has been an attempt to reboot the whole thing, to build the foundation for the future of the franchise, only for the entire enterprise to end in tears.

Terminator Genisys was critically reviled, shrugged off by audiences, and a box office disappointment, grossing less than $100 million at the domestic box office. And despite a major cliffhanger and the promise of more films to follow, star Emilia Clarke says she will not be back for any future sequels.

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transformers isabela moner

I won’t say that the Transformers movie series is cursed. It’s too successful, too huge, and too popular to carry such a label, even if Transformers: Age of Extinction underperformed at the domestic box office. However, the Transformers movie series does have the nasty habit of chewing up actors and spitting them out and ensuring that nobody takes them seriously for a good long while. Look at Shia LeBeouf, whose time in the series saw him transition from a promising young actor into walking, weeping art project. Look at Megan Fox, who was reduced to a sex object and has had to spend the past few five years reminding us that she’s a perfectly fine actress with rock solid chops. Only Mark Wahlberg has weathered this series and that’s because he’s Mark Wahlberg – nothing embarrasses him anymore.

So the news that the young TV star Isabela Moner is joining the cast of Transformers 5 makes me want to grab her parents by shoulders and give them a good shake while demanding for them to explain why they obviously don’t love their child.

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Ghost in the Shell

Marvel may be dragging their feet on a Black Widow solo movie, but Scarlett Johansson‘s already well on her way to sci-fi action stardom. After kicking ass in Luc Besson’s Lucy, she’s got another big genre film on her hands with Ghost in the ShellRupert Sanders‘ live-action adaptation of the iconic Japanese manga. Production on the long-simmering project is finally underway as of this week, and Paramount and DreamWorks have the photo to prove it. Get your Ghost in the Shell first look below.  Read More »

Star Trek Beyond Barco Escape

Back in 2014, a company called Barco teamed up with 20th Century Fox to debut The Maze Runner as the first film to use their new format called Barco Escape. Using three different screens, Barco Escape attempts to immerse audiences even more deeply into any given film by adding images on the left and right of the primary screen in front of you, creating a panoramic experience in theaters.

Now Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot are the next to give the format a shot by releasing Star Trek Beyond in the experimental Barco Escape format this summer. Get details on the special Star Trek Beyond Barco Escape release below. Read More »

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god particle john krasinski

John Krasinski has brushed his shoulder against movie stardom a few times now. Although best known for playing the affable goofball Jim Halpert on the NBC version of The Office, Krasinski almost played Captain America for Marvel Studios. When that didn’t work out, he landed the role of a different kind of American soldier in Michael Bay’s 13 Hours, but that film fizzled at the box office. Krasinski is a fine actor, adept with both comedy and drama, but he always feels like he’s just one big role away from headlining more movies.

Perhaps that role could come in God Particle, the new J.J. Abrams-produced science fiction thriller that Krasinksi is currently in talks to join.

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CinemaCon

We’re back in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater exhibitors. As you probably know by now, theater owners from around the nation gather to, among other things, watch presentations from all of the major movie studios previewing their film slates for the upcoming year and beyond. The opening night presentation was Paramount Pictures, which came to Vegas to promote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Ben-Hur, the first teaser trailer for the Ring franchise film Rings, the first footage from Tom Cruise’s sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Robert Zemeckis’ spy thriller Allied, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and a very early look at Baywatch starring The Rock and Zac Efron.

But the two biggest surprises involved Prisoners/Sicario/Blade Runner 2 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Story Of Your Life and the shocking lack of any Star Trek Beyond preview despite having Simon Pegg and JJ Abrams in town and on stage for an award celebration. The new Villeneuve film seems like a smart science fiction film, think Contact meets Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Hit the jump to watch a video blog reaction talking about all the clips shown at the presentation.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows trailer

Much to many fans’ disappointment, 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn’t really about the Turtles. Megan Fox‘s April O’Neil was the true protagonist of the movie, while the Turtles themselves languished in the shadows (all the better to save money on all that expensive CG rendering). But the cast and crew have promised that the sequel, this summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, will finally bring the heroes in a half shell into the spotlight. And the latest trailer certainly seems to make good on that promise: it’s all about the Turtles, diving headfirst into action and making dumb jokes with each other and angsting about their mutation.

Plus, if your favorite Turtles characters were always the villains and supporting players, there are plenty of them, too. This movie has Shredder and Baxter Stockman and Bebop and Rocksteady and Krang, and even a bit of Casey Jones for good measure. And yes, April and Vernon Fenwick are back too. Watch the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows trailer, featuring plenty of new footage, below.  Read More »