On the January 26, 2021 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson is joined by /Film managing editor Jacob Hall, and writers Hoai-Tran Bui and Chris Evangelista to discuss the latest film and TV news and answer a few mailbag questions. Read More »
Sony Pictures recently reshuffled some 2021 release dates due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now, another title has been delayed. After being pushed back from its initial release in April 2020, the horror sequel Escape Room 2 was never given a new 2021 release date. The movie is still on the way, but we’ll be waiting until early 2022 before we see where the next puzzle takes us. Read More »
Yesterday, Disney announced that its beloved Jungle Cruise ride would be undergoing some updates. Naturally, speculation arose that some of those updates might involve adding depictions of Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, the stars of the studio’s upcoming live-action Jungle Cruise film – but in a new interview, an Imagineer executive threw cold water on those assumptions. Read More »
I wonder if anyone sat around playing the video game Borderlands when it debuted in 2009 and thought to themselves, “Man, the guy who directed Hostel should turn this into a movie that stars Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings and that funny guy from those Seltzer/Friedberg spoof films. And it’d be great if it was written by the person who wrote Superhero Movie.” If you recall ever meeting such a dorm room Nostradamus, it might be smart to call him up and ask for suggestions for lotto numbers or stock market tips.
It’s true: Kevin Hart, who appeared in Scary Movie 3 & 4, Epic Movie, Superhero Movie, and Extreme Movie before becoming one of the most famous stand-up comedians in the world, will star in a Borderlands movie alongside Cate Blanchett that will be written by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and directed by Eli Roth. And it seems as if Hart will be stretching into unfamiliar territory as an actor with this role. Read More »
Here in the old U.S. of A., we just came off of one of the most stressful elections in recent memory. It’s enough to make you not want to think about any sort of election ever again. But the folks running the X-Men comics don’t agree, so they’re letting readers vote for the final member of the next X-Men team, representing the nation of Krakoa. What’s Krakoa? I’m glad you asked, reader – it’s a “sentient living island located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,” and the mutants of the Marvel universe have flocked there to set up their own democracy.
Good for them! In the current comics, a new X-Men team is being assembled and the mutants of Krakoa get to vote on who will join the line-up. And Marvel is letting readers get in on the fun by voting for one final member of the group. Does that imply that the readers are secretly mutants, since they’re taking part in the vote? Maybe! Or maybe I’m reading too much into this.
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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Bad Genius
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch: Poor scholarship student Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying) gets roped into a scheme by the wealthy students at her school to start leaking the answers to tests through a series of codes. Her scheme eventually escalates into a full-fledged crime ring as the students target an international university admissions exam that will earn them millions.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Because you should watch the sleek original before Hollywood gets its grubby hands on it.
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The start of Hollywood productions shooting in Australia or New Zealand is often marked by performances from indigenous dancers. And people all over the world have taken notice. The Maori Haka dance has gained particular fame, especially in its spreading through New Zealand sports. But few Hollywood stars use their platform to go deeper into the history of First Nations people.
With the start of production on the upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, star Chris Hemsworth did precisely that, paying tribute to the indigenous Australians who greeted them as they started their shoot.
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The dream of the ’90s is alive in The Little Things, a new serial killer thriller that’s actually anything but new. Writer-director John Lee Hancock penned the script back in the early 1990s, and the finished film arrives here in 2021 with its ’90s aesthetic intact. The cars are boxy, there’s not a cell phone in sight, and there’s nothing here you haven’t seen in a dozen other serial killer thrillers before. Hancock’s script first surfaced in 1993, which means it pre-dated 1995’s Seven. But while the source material came before David Fincher’s gloomy serial killer hit, the film itself is often woefully derivative. Moviegoers nostalgic for those serial killer flicks of yesterday may get a cheap thrill out of what’s on display here, but that’ll only get them so far.
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The term “strong female character” is bandied about in Hollywood so much that it’s lost much of its meaning. It’s become a buzz word to describe physically strong and usually stoic female characters — not the emotionally nuanced and complex characters that should be the first thing to come to mind. But the largest flaw with the concept of the “strong female character” is usually that there’s only one of them in a major feature film, as if that’s enough to fill the quota. But Raya and the Last Dragon bucks that trend by giving you not just one “strong female character,” but three.
In Raya and the Last Dragon, Kelly-Marie Tran‘s titular lone warrior soon learns that she’s not alone, no matter how she would prefer to work. After gaining a new unlikely friend in Awkwafina‘s dragon Sisu, Raya quickly accumulates a group of allies — but you can’t have a team without a good enemy. That enemy is Namaari, voiced by Gemma Chan, a former friend turned foe who forms the third part of this all-female trio of lead characters.
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Raya and the Last Dragon came together under unusual circumstances. Completed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the team of hundreds of animators, directors, writers, and actors had to work on the Disney fantasy-adventure epic from home and had to trust in one another — a bond that would spill over into the film itself. Raya and the Last Dragon is about “learning to trust” in others, directors Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada said during the early press day for Raya and the Last Dragon. And that couldn’t be more fitting, considering the unusual way it (almost miraculously) came together.
Animators had to work on scenes while balancing pets and kids on their knees, voice actors had to install recording studios out of their closets, and the directors and writers had to gather this all together while building a rich, culturally-authentic world with the film’s team of consultants, including the Southeast Asia Story Trust.
“It’s a story about trust, and it’s a story about people doing what’s needed to come together,” producer Osnat Shurer said during the press day Q&A.
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