Coming to Netflix in September, Hold the Dark is the latest from Jeremy Saulnier, who previously brought us the brutal Blue Ruin and Green Room. Jeffrey Wright stars as Russell Core, a retired wolf hunter who answers a request from a mother (Riley Keough) in a remote Alaskan town whose son was taken by wolves. Core’s investigation seems to uncover more than just some hungry wolves with what appears to be some sort of cult or ritualistic killing going on. Alexander Skarsgard and James Badge Dale co-star. If nothing else, expect this to be super dark and super brutal if Saulnier’s previous films are any indication. The movie hits Netflix on September 28th and you can check out the trailer below.
The latest from A24, who brought us Green Room, The Witch, Swiss Army Man, Moonlight, The Lobster and more last year, It Comes At Night is an apocalyptic horror movie that features a family, led by Joel Edgerton, who are trying to survive as some sort of “unnatural threat” is destroying the world around them. A young family arrives seeking shelter and tensions quickly reach the breaking point. There have been a ton of these kinds of movies in the past but it’s always a solid formula for drama and A24 gives it that little push toward being more artful and classy. It’s directed by Trey Edwards Shults, who directed Krisha previously for A24, and it’s out on August 25th. Check out the trailer below.
RIP John Hurt: Legendary actor John Hurt passed away at age 71 yesterday (1/27). It’s almost easier to list movies he hasn’t been in, as he has over 200 credits. Alien, V for Vendetta, Hellboy, Harry Potter, King Ralph, 1984 and The Hit are just some of the things he’s appeared in.
Dominic West joins Tomb Raider: Dominic West will play Lord Richard Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider movie, which began shooting earlier this week. He’ll most likely appear in some sort of flashbacks because, if they are going from the two games in the rebooted series, he died when Lara was fairly young but was the impetus for her quest in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
RIP Mike Connors and Mary Tyler Moore: Two TV legends passed away this week with Mike Connors, who played the titular private eye on Mannix, passed away at age 91 and Mary Tyler Moore, who became a household name on her own show and The Dick Van Dyke Show, passed away at age 80.
Baze and Chirrut Rogue One Prequel book on the way: A new Star Wars novel, Guardians of the Whills, will follow Donnie Yen’s Chirrut and Jiang Wen’s Baze on Jedha prior to meeting Jyn Erson in Rogue One and their first encounter with Rebel extremist Saw Gerrara. The novel will hit May 2nd.
Full Black Panther cast and plot synopsis revealed: Black Panther is in production and Marvel/Disney released the full cast list and plot synopsis. Chadwick Boseman is obviously back as T’Challa with Michael B. Jordan as the possible main villain Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri. Martin Freeman will also be back as Civil War’s Everett K. Ross and Andy Serkis will return from Age of Ultron as Ulysses Klaue. The plot synopsis is: “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk”
Square Enix signs multi-game/multi-year deal with Marvel: Marvel announced this week that they have signed a huge deal with Square Enix to have the game company develop games, the first of which is based on the MCU and tentatively titled The Avengers Project. Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, the teams behind Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, will be collaborating on this game and we’ll get more details in 2018.
NBC orders What About Bob? remake: The Bill Murray starring, Frank Oz directed comedy classic What About Bob? will be a gender swapped sitcom on NBC. The show will follow a female psychiatrist who has to deal with a clingy, overbearing female patient.
Green Room director’s next project: Jeremy Saulnier, director of the incredible and brutal Green Room last year, has signed on to direct a new Netflix thriller movie based on the novel Hold the Dark. The book and now the movie follows a wolf expert named Russell Core who is called to a small town in Alaska to investigate the disappearance of three children that may have been killed by wolves but finds out there is something darker going on.
Naomie Harris joins Rampage movie: After a heavy, and Oscar nominated, performance in Moonlight, Naomie Harris is joining The Rock for something a bit lighter, the upcoming adaptation of the Rampage games. Harris will play a kind hearted geneticist who joins The Rock’s animal expert to stop the rampaging monsters of the game.
Jacob Tremblay and Tom Jane join The Predator: Room co-star Tremblay will play Boyd Holbrook’s son in the upcoming Shane Black Predator sequel while Tom Jane has apparently entered final negotiations for an unknown role in the movie.
Apocalypse Now game on Kickstarter: Francis Ford Coppola has officially endorsed a new game based on Apocalypse Now that is currently looking for $900,000 on Kickstarter. The game will be a first person psychological horror/shooter as you play as Captain Willard trying to track down the missing Col. Kurtz deep in the Vietnam jungle.
Fox orders X-Men pilot from Bryan Singer and Matt Nix: Legion is premiering shortly on FX but Fox proper is possibly getting an X-Men show as well from X-Men director Bryan Singer and Burn Notice’s Matt Nix. The show will follow parents who learn their children are mutants and go on the run from the government, eventually finding an underground group of other mutants. Fox was previously developing a period show called Hellfire that was set in the titular club but that seems dead.
Every Which Way But Loose getting a remake: The Clint Eastwood classic where Clint played a trucker with an orangutan best friend is the latest movie on the remake block, with The Sex Trip director Anthony G. Cohen at the helm and original producer James Fargo producing as well.
2016 was a rough year in a lot of ways (so many celebrity deaths) but especially movie wise. This past summer was maybe one of the worst ever, with only a few really great movies and rest being either mediocre or terrible. Luckily, there were a ton of great smaller movies released this year to make up for it and here are my picks for the top 10 best movies of the year.
Captain America: Civil War: There were more superhero movies than ever before this year but none as fun and action packed as Civil War. Even more so than The Avengers, Civil War was a culmination of everything in the MCU leading up to it as almost all the heroes we’ve been introduced to up to that point squared off depending on what side of the Sokovia Accords they were on and the airport fight is one of the greatest comic book movie sequences, period. It also did an excellent job of introducing both Black Panther and Spider-Man(!!!) and I could not be more excited to see what lies ahead for both of their solo movies. Make mine Marvel. (It also got added to Netflix as a streaming Christmas present)
Deadpool: Another Marvel movie, except this time from Fox, Deadpool was a labor of love that paid off big time with a pitch perfect translation of the Merc with a Mouth to the big screen. Ryan Reynolds was born for the role of Deadpool and his machine gun joke delivery is just as impressive as the acrobatic moves he uses during combat. Hilarious, vulgar, over the top, Deadpool was just an absolute blast from the first minute when those great fake credits started rolling and didn’t stop until the Ferris Bueller tribute stinger scene.
Rogue One: If Rogue One is how the rest of the spin-off Star Wars movies are going to be, I’m all in, as Rogue One felt like a great Expanded Universe novel brought to the big screen and it’s grittier, darker tone was a great change of pace from the main Saga movies. Fantastic supporting roles from Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk, possibly the greatest Darth Vader sequence in the franchise and an incredible third act featuring the Battle of Scarif are just some of the ways Rogue One was a slam dunk and it continues to be a fantastic time to be a Star Wars fan.
The Nice Guys: After directing Iron Man 3, Shane Black returns to his roots with the unapologetically violent and vulgar The Nice Guys. Although it didn’t seem like it on paper, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are a brilliant comedic duo as a pair of private detectives in 70’s Los Angeles trying to figure out a conspiracy involving the auto industry and a dead porn star and the movie makes excellent use of it’s setting, with 70’s sleaze oozing out of every frame and an excellent soundtrack. If you loved Black’s work on movies like Lethal Weapon, The Nice Guys is an incredible return to that style of action movie.
10 Cloverfield Lane: Feeling like an excellent installment of The Twilight Zone or Outer Limits, 10 Cloverfield Lane was a claustrophobic, tense thriller from Dan Trachtenberg which featured an incredible battle of wills between John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and it’s paced brilliantly so that your constantly guessing what is actually happening outside the bomb shelter setting. The end does go a little off the rails but it’s nothing that takes away from the excellence of the film.
Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme’s introduction into the MCU was a fairly standard origin story but it featured the most mind blowing visuals we’ve ever seen from the universe, with action sequences that look like NYC got put into a kaleidoscope or one that unravels in reverse. Benedict Cumberbatch, despite his slightly sketchy New York accent, was a fantastic Stephen Strange and I can’t wait to see how he interacts with the larger MCU and his fellow Marvel superheroes.
Zootopia: Disney was on fire all year and Zootopia was the best non-Marvel, non-Star Wars movie I saw from the House of Mouse. The world of Zootopia is so dense and fantastically realized that it didn’t even really need a plot, as just seeing how all these different ecosystems and animals co-existed was fascinating enough. However, it had a really fun mystery at it’s center and a great odd couple pair in Ginnifer Goodwin’s Judy Hopps and Jason Bateman’s Nick Wilde along with a slew of great supporting work from the likes of Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, JK Simmons, Bonnie Hunt, Tommy Chong and more. Not sure about that Shakira song though.
Green Room: Green Room is proof of what a loss Anton Yelchin’s death was as he is fantastic as the leader of a punk band trapped in a neo-nazi bar after they stumble across a dead body following their set. Maybe the most brutal movie I saw all year, Green Room does not shy away from anything as Yelchin and his band mates try to figure out how to escape the club with their lives while the cold, calculating and terrifying Patrick Stewart methodically moves forward with his plan to cover everything up. This is one of those “so tense I forgot to breathe” movies and it’s actually on Amazon Instant if you haven’t seen it yet.
Hell or High Water: Chris Pine and Ben Foster are excellent as a pair of bank robbing brothers in this excellent crime thriller, trying to get enough money to pay off the loan on their mother’s ranch before it’s foreclosed on. Jeff Bridges is just as excellent as the Texas Ranger on their trail, trying to get one last hit of heroics before he retires. The characters and setting all feel incredibly lived in and it’s just solid in every possible way.
The Witch: Unsettling and full of dread pretty much from the get go, The Witch is probably not what most modern horror fans want but if you were able to get into it, it was a slow burn look at a Puritan family collapsing as suspicion of a witch among them begins to build. The look of everything and the way the dialogue is written and delivered all feel incredibly authentic and it introduced a new horror icon in Black Phillip the Goat. It’s also on Amazon Instant if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping: The funniest movie I saw this year and a great slew of new Lonely Island songs to boot.
Arrival: I didn’t go as gaga over it as most of the critics but I did think it was an extremely well made and interesting thriller and another great addition to Denis Villeneuve’s catalog of films.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: It was a mess, but it was an interesting mess and I’m all in for Batfleck, especially after that climactic Batman fight scene. Also I liked Suicide Squad more than the majority as well.
Star Trek Beyond: Probably the second best entry in the new Abramsverse that was one of the few great movies of Summer 2016.
Ouija: Origin of Evil: A shocking 180 from the first Ouija (or so I hear) that was actually one of the best horror movies of 2016, if you skipped it because of the first, do yourself a favor and give it a shot.
Central Intelligence: The Rock and Kevin Hart are an excellent new comedic duo.
The Jungle Book: Incredible looking CG animals and a plot that flowed better than the original animated feature.
Movies I Didn’t Have A Chance to See That I Wanted To:
This week on the podcast, Chris and Joe are back from seeing The Misfits at Riot Fest and join Zach to pay their respects to Gene Wilder, pitch Sidekicks 2, Deathstroke joining the DCEU, Hard Target 2, the ghost rules of Crimson Peak, if you’re supposed to root for Kevin Costner in Criminal and more.
News: RIP Gene Wilder, Underworld: Blood Wars, Mascots and ARQ trailers, Joe Manganiello is Deathstroke in the DCEU, Jackie Chan getting an honorary Oscar, Shanghai Dawn gets a director, Stranger Things season 2 confirmed, Narcos renewed for two more seasons, Bill Nye and the Mythbusters build team getting Netflix shows, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling comedy coming to Netflix.
Show and Tell: Joe watched The Tick pilot and American Ultra, Chris watched Crimson Peak and Zootopia and Zach saw Mechanic: Resurrection, Hard Target 2, I Am Wrath, Criminal, Green Room, Keanu, Bonnie & Clyde, Mr. Robot Season 1 and the premiere of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.
It seems like 2016 is the year of tense, close quarters thrillers with Green Room earlier this year, Don’t Breathe in a few weeks and, in September, James Caan may be hiding some sort of horrific secret in The Good Neighbor. The target of a pair of teen douchebags across the street who want to see if they can convince him his house is haunted, Caan doesn’t react as expected and the pair start to believe he’s hiding something in his basement and things escalate as they try to break in and figure out what’s going on. It debuted at SXSW this year and got some good buzz, drawing comparisons to Rear Window. It’s out on September 16th and you can check out the trailer below.