the secret life of pets off the leash

The Secret Life of Pets is coming back with the upcoming Universal Studios Hollywood attraction The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! But a Secret Life of Pets theme park ride wouldn’t be complete without the celebrity voices that helped make the Illumination animated films box office hits. So it’s a good thing that the entire star-studded voice cast will be reprising their roles for the theme park attraction.

NBC Universal has confirmed that Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, and more will be performing the voices of their furry characters for The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! Learn more about the returning cast and exciting new details about the ride below.

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Kung Fu movie - David Carradine

Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to Kung Fu, the 1970s TV series starring David Carradine, and the studio has hired David Leitch to direct a contemporary Kung Fu movie. Leitch, who has previously directed films like Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Hobbs and Shaw, seems like an obvious choice to infuse this story with the kind of frenetic, action-packed choreography we’ve seen across his filmography.
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dolittle behind the scenes problems

Another week, another story about how a box office disaster ended up the way it did. But Dolittle, which is on track to be Universal’s first massive box office bomb of the year, is unique in that these stories are coming right now and not right after release.

By now you’ve probably heard some of the tales of infamy surrounding the $175 million family blockbuster starring Robert Downey Jr. — the nonsensical storyline, the badly CGI’d talking animals, the dragon fart scene. But what you may not know is that most of those problems that Dolittle is currently getting slammed for (with a whopping 19% on Rotten Tomatoes) got added by Universal in a series of costly reshoots and tonal tinkering in an attempt to appeal to a global audience. (Cue dragon fart noise.)

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dolittle character featurettes

Do you spend the entire runtime of a movie trying to pinpoint who that voice coming out of the CGI gorilla belongs to? Then Dolittle is just for you. The new family adventure film starring Robert Downey Jr. revives the classic character for a new generation, complete with CGI animals voiced by way overqualified actors. And Universal Pictures, who probably spent a lot of money getting those actors into the recording booths, is dropping a series of new Dolittle character featurettes to remind you of that all-star cast, which includes the likes of Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, John Cena, Octavia Spencer, Rami MalekMarion CotillardKumail Nanjiani and more.

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dolittle review

Everyone was a little baffled when Robert Downey Jr. chose to follow his career-defining role as Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with…Dolittle. It turns out, they were right to be. The Stephen Gaghan-directed family adventure film reboots the Doctor Dolittle films, which last saw Eddie Murphy taking on the role of the animal-talking doctor in the 1998 modern-day comedy and its sequels. But Gaghan’s new film, like the 1967 musical starring Rex Harrison, takes more direct inspiration from the Hugh Lofting children’s novels set in the Victorian era. And like the infamously embattled Harrison film, it is a haphazard mess.

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1917 interview actors

The World War I epic 1917 is so much more than the sum of its single-take gimmick. The film is the story of two brave Lance Corporals — Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman, from Blinded by the Light and Game of Thrones) and Schofield (George MacKay, of Captain Fantastic and Ophelia), who make an arduous and tense trek across what is supposed to be one active battlefield after another. The two young British soldiers are asked to deliver a message to the front line of a battle that is expected to launch the following morning. The message is meant to stop the 1,600 troops from charging into a trap that will result in the massacre of most of the men, one of whom is Blake’s brother. Along their journey, the pair stumble upon what is essentially the totality of the war experience at the time — when men with guns on horses were just beginning to be replaced by massively destructive tanks. As a result, the film gets more unbearably immediate with each passing minute.

This outstanding technical and heartfelt achievement comes courtesy of director/co-writer Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall, Revolutionary Road), who rehearsed both the geographic and emotional beats more like a stage play than a film where editing can be used to hide mistakes or combine the best parts of multiple takes. But by constructing 1917 to look like a single take, many of his directing tools were stripped away, leaving only the performances to carry the weight of this devastating story.

/Film spoke with stars Chapman and MacKay in Chicago recently to discuss how they made personal connections to a World War I story, the months-long rehearsal process that was required to pull off the single-take appearance of the film, and remembering the emotional heart of the story as well as their choreographed movement.
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1917 interview krysty wilson-cairns

1917 is a masterful piece of craftsmanship. Sam Mendes‘ one-shot epic takes a forward-thinking approach to its depiction of World War I, which is an almost apocalyptic vision. It’s a rare vision, too, in which the camerawork and technique are noticeable yet don’t detract from the experience. To write the ambitious war movie, Mendes called Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was a writer on the Mendes-produced Penny Dreadful and recently co-wrote Edgar Wright’s next film, Last Night in Soho.

Over the last few years, Mendes and Wilson-Cairns collaborated and wrote a handful of scripts together, but for one reason or another, they never became movies. After what they’ve accomplished with 1917, we can only imagine what they could’ve done together sooner. They aimed high and didn’t miss their target on this one. Recently, Wilson-Cairns told us about the earliest ideas for 1917, influential war poetry, and the advantages of writing a one-shot movie. [Warning: this Q&A contains spoilers.]

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cats box office

The only thing Cats can’t drag in is more money. Tom Hooper‘s pricey big-screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is on track to lose up to $100 million at the box office, making the Universal film one of the biggest box office bombs of the year.

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cats oscar

Cats is no longer Universal’s Jellicle choice for its Oscar contenders. The studio has removed Tom Hooper‘s feature film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical from its FYC page — the page listing Universal’s Oscar-qualifying movies. This effectively removes (or declaws) Cats chances for the major Academy Awards categories that the musical cat-tastrophe was aiming for, including visual effects and original song.

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star wars the rise of skywalker

Cats wasn’t the Jellicle choice for audiences at the movies this weekend. The expensive Tom Hooper-directed CGI monstrosity bombed at the box office, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker soared to the top of the weekend box office charts, even though it didn’t come close to matching the opening weekend of its trilogy predecessors.

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