A Monster Calls review

J.A. Bayona‘s adaptation of Patrick NessA Monster Calls is a five-hankie sobfest, a ruthlessly effective tearjerker even by cancer drama standards. The sniffles start with the premise. A boy (Lewis MacDougall) struggles with his mother’s terminal illness, and calls upon a giant tree monster for help. The monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) forces a deal upon the boy: he’ll tell three stories, after which the boy will have to reveal his own deepest, darkest secret.

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The Female Brain cast

The cast of The Female Brain has gotten bigger and better. Signing up for actress, comedian, and writer Whitney Cumming‘s (2 Broke Girls) feature directorial debut are actors James Marsden (Westworld), Lucy Punch (Into the Woods), and Toby Kebbell, who stars in this weekend’s Ben-Hur remake. The of three of them are joining Sofia VergaraCecily Strong, and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Power Forward, Blake Griffin, in Cumming’s adaptation of Louann Brizendine‘s “The Female Brain.”

Below, learn more about The Female Brain cast.

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lego batman movie poster

Pretty much the moment Toby Kebbell was cast in Kong: Skull Island, speculation began about whether he’d be playing King Kong. After all, Kebbell’s resume includes several high-profile mo-cap roles, including the ape Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the orc Durotan in Warcraft; he seemed like a natural fit to play Kong via the magic of motion capture. But earlier this year, Kebbell clarified that while he’d helped out with the role, Terry Notary was the one ultimately playing King Kong.

And that was that, or so we thought until now. In a more recent interview, Kebbell dropped some cryptic comments that suggest he may have been more involved with the King Kong role than previously believed.  Read More »

A Monster Calls teaser trailer

Who knew that lonely kids befriending gigantic but surprisingly sweet monsters would turn out to be such a big theme of 2016? Earlier this month we got The BFG, Steven Spielberg’s take on the Roald Dahl classic, and next month we’ll get Pete’s Dragon, David Lowery’s updated version of the 1977 Disney film. Then this fall brings A Monster CallsJ.A. Bayona‘s adaptation of Patrick Ness‘ book.

Lewis MacDougall leads the film as Conor, a 12-year-old who’s having a tough time all around. At home, he’s struggling with his mother’s illness; at school, he’s targeted by bullies. He escapes into a fantasy world with the help of a giant tree monster voiced by Liam Neeson. It all sounds very silly when I put it that way, I know, but A Monster Calls looks like a visually sumptuous treat and a real tearjerker to boot. Watch the A Monster Calls trailer below.  Read More »


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Ben-Hur trailer

Some of Toby Kebbell‘s most prominent roles are the ones where he’s hidden behind CG and mo-cap magic: Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four, and most recently Durotan in Warcraft. But he’ll show his face for real later this summer in Timur Bekmambetov‘s re-adaptation of Ben-Hur, where he plays the duplicitous Messala to Jack Huston‘s Judah Ben-Hur.

If you’ve seen the William Wyler classic, you already know the story: Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince who’s forced into slavery thanks to the betrayal of his best friend, Roman officer Messala. Years later, Ben-Hur returns seeking revenge via chariot race. A new Ben-Hur trailer plays up the tragedy of Ben-Hur’s ordeal, while a new Ben-Hur featurette reveals the practical stunt work from the climactic chariot race sequence. Watch ’em both below.  Read More »

Warcraft TV Spot

Warcraft isn’t actor Toby Kebbell’s first rodeo with motion-capture. Following up his performance in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in which he played Koba, Kebbell stars in director Duncan Jones‘ fantasy film as Durotan, a noble orc more interested in peace than war. The Blizzard adaptation shows both sides of a war — and Durotan is unquestionably the moral compass on the orcs’ side.

It’s this nobility and thoughtfulness, as Kebbell explained to us, that informed the physicality of his performance. Below, read our Toby Kebbell interview.

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warcraft IMAX 3D

Based on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, the multiplayer role-playing game, Warcraft represents a chance to turn the tide for video game adaptations. A lot is riding on the film–this is far from a cheap video game movie–but will audiences unfamiliar with Blizzard’s property flock to director Duncan Jones‘ (Moon) fantasy film? We’ll soon find out. So far, Warcraft isn’t faring well with critics, but it’s not without its supporters.

Below, check out the Warcraft early buzz.

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World of Warcraft pic 2

The more we see from Duncan Jones‘ Warcraft, the more compelling it looks. While fans of the video game were divided over the first trailer, which featured unfinished VFX, the last extended TV spot presented a more tactile glimpse at the world Jones and all involved have crafted. The orc, in that TV spot, was completely convincing, and so was the environment it was fighting in.

To get another close-up look at the film, check out the new Warcraft character posters below.

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morgan freeman

“Action star” probably isn’t the first thing you think of when Judah Ben-Hur’s name comes to mind. He doesn’t believe in killing. Compassion is Ben-Hur’s true weapon, and that’s why he’s such a heroic character, especially in William Wyler‘s 1959 film.

A few weeks ago we got our first look at the upcoming reimagining of the film, which is directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted). And although the trailer has plenty of excitement, according to the director, this version will not turn Judah Ben-Hur into a more modern action hero.

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Ben-Hur trailer

Jack Huston kicked off 2016 as one of the better parts of the fairly terrible Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, stealing scene after scene from ostensible male lead Sam Riley. Now his next big release of 2016 puts him front and center, in the iconic role of Judah Ben-Hur.

The main beats of Timur Bekmambetov‘s Ben-Hur should seem familiar to anyone who’s seen the earlier film. Huston’s Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince who’s betrayed by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) and forced into slavery. He survives and returns to seek his revenge in the arena. Morgan Freeman plays the man who teaches Ben-Hur all about chariot racing. Nazanin Boniadi, Pilou Asbaek, and Rodrigo Santoro also star.  Read More »