Starring: Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown, Richard Brake, Max Casella, Daniel Mays
Directed by: Reed Morano
Plot: Stephanie Patrick, is an ordinary woman on a path of self-destruction after her family is tragically killed in a plane crash. When Stephanie discovers that the crash was not an accident, she enters a dark, complex world to seek revenge on those responsible and find her own redemption.
Rotten Tomatoes Freshness: 28%
Critic Consensus: “Blake Lively delivers an impressive lead performance, but The Rhythm Section plods predictably through a story that could have used some flashier riffs”
Gretel & Hansel
Starring: Sophia Lillis, Samuel Leakey, Alice Krige, Jessica De Gouw, Charles Babaola
Directed by: Oz Perkins
Plot: A long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.
The highly anticipated conclusion to 2017’s fantastic reboot of IT arrives in September as, 27 years later, the grown Loser’s Club tries to stop the demonic Pennywise once and for all. Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) never left Derry, ME and when he realizes that the entity that terrorized them as kids is back, he calls the Losers, who have all moved away and forgotten what happened, to get them to come back and fight the evil clown Pennywise one last time. James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Jay Ryan, and James Ransome are the rest of the grown Losers and the young crew (Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Glazer, Jaeden Martell, Wyatt Olef, and Chosen Jacobs) are back as well to fill some more backstory from the 80s. Andy Muschietti is back to direct and it looks fantastic, with some crazy new visuals and Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) as insane and deadly as ever. The movie arrives on September 6th and you can check out the new trailer below.
New Nancy Drew movie on the way: WB is rebooting Nancy Drew with IT’s Sophia Lillis as the teenage detective. The movie will be Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase, based on the second book in the classic book series, where Nancy investigates stolen goods in a Civil War-era mansion.
Ash vs Evil Dead cancelled: Starz has cancelled Ash vs Evil Dead after three seasons due to falling ratings for the current third season. There was a huge delay between season 2 and 3 as there was behind the scenes shuffling and showrunner drama which may have contributed to the fall off. There are two more episodes for this season and hopefully it wraps things up in a satisfying way.
David Leitch directing The Division: Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch has signed on to direct the adaptation of Ubisoft’s The Division. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain signed on a while ago to star in the movie which, like the game, will be set in a near future NYC that has been attacked by an apocalyptic bioattack and The Division is a group of sleeper cell special forces troops who are activated to try and contain the chaos that is breaking out.
Villains cast for Jungle Cruise: The villains opposing The Rock and Emily Blunt in Disney’s adaptation of their classic Jungle Cruise ride have been cast with Jesse Plemons and Edgar Ramirez. There’s no details on Plemons’ character but Ramirez will be a “a man with a conquistador background”. Jaume Collet-Sera is directing the movie and it will be out next winter.
F. Gary Gray directing MASK movie: The director of The Fate of the Furious and Straight Outta Compton is taking on the 80’s cartoon series MASK for Hasbro/Paramount, which may be part of a “Hasbro Cinematic Universe” that would include Transformers, GI Joe, MASK and ROM the Spaceknight. MASK was the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, led by the heroic Matt Trakker, who fought the evil forces of VENOM, with both sides having vehicles that could transform into different vehicles, like a jeep that can turn into a boat or a helicopter that can shift into a fighter jet.
Night Man coming to DVD: The insanely cheesy 90’s syndicated show Night Man, technically a “Marvel” show although really based on a Malibu comic (which Marvel bought), is coming to DVD with the full series of 44 episodes arriving in June. Night Man was the alter ego of Johnny Domino(!), a saxophone player who is struck by lightning and given a variety of powers, including invisibility and flight, and he becomes the superhero Night Man to stop crime.
Stranger Things 3 adds two new cast members: Stranger Things is expanding the world of Hawkins with two new cast members coming in Season 3. Cary Elwes will play Mayor Kline who is, “handsome, slick, and sleazy … classic ’80s politician” and Jake Busey will play Bruce, “a journalist for The Hawkins Post who has a sick sense of humor and questionable morals”. No word on a release date for Season 3 has been revealed yet.
The Goldbergs spin-off picked up by ABC: The Goldbergs spin-off, starring Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen, was first not picked up and it’s pilot was aired during this current season of The Golbergs proper as a special but now, ABC has picked up a retooled version of the spin-off for a full season. The retool refocuses on the school and the teachers and adds AJ Michalka, who plays Lainey Lewis on the main show, as a teacher alongside Principal Glascott and Coach Mellor. Principal Glascott’s family, which was the focus of the original pilot, is also being scaled back.
XXX 4 is on the way: Xander Cage will be back in the fourth entry of the XXX series, which will start shooting this December. DJ Caruso is back from The Return of Xander Cage to direct and Vin Diesel, obviously, is back as Xander Cage but there’s no word on if any of his team from Return will be back, like Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Ruby Rose, Deepika Padukone or even Ice Cube.
Josh Brolin will play Cable in three more movies: As the hype reaches fever pitch for Deadpool 2, Josh Brolin, who will be part of two of the biggest movies of 2018, said that he will play Cable in at least three more movies. There is definitely an X-Force movie in the works with Cable in the lead and probably Deadpool 3 if 2 does as good or better than the original but it’s not clear what exactly the full plan is going forward.
Spielberg producing and may direct a Blackhawk movie: Spielberg has teamed up with WB and DC to produce, and possibly direct, an adaptation of Blackhawk. Blackhawk was created in the 1940’s and was the leader of an international team of fighter pilots that battled the Axis forces and more fantastical, pulpy villains.
Harley Quinn movie gets a director: The announced Gotham City Sirens/Harley Quinn movie has a director with the relatively unknown Cathy Yan, with her only notable movie the Sundance movie Dead Pigs. It seems like the movie may be Harley and team of other female supervillains taking on the Birds of Prey.
Labyrinth musical on the way: Brian Henson, the son of Jim Henson and chairman of The Jim Henson Company, said in a recent interview that a Labyrinth musical is in development, with possible plans to show it in London’s West End. There also is still talk of a sequel movie and there’s also a prequel comic in development that will explore the origins of Jareth, the Goblin King.
How to Train Your Dragon 3 gets title and synopsis: The upcoming How to Train Your Dragon 3 is now How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and the synopsis is: “As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless’ discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup’s reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind”. The movie is looking at a March 1st, 2019 release.
Injustice/He-Man crossover coming to comics: A six issue miniseries from DC and Mattel is coming called Injustice vs He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The book will find He-Man and his allies coming to the aid of the Injustice universe’s Batman for help overthrowing the evil Injustice Superman and his regime. You can get the comic digitally on July 18.
Joe Bob Briggs is back for a horror marathon: For people of a certain age, TNT’s Monstervision is a beloved part of their TV watching history, which was hosted by the champion of B-movies, Joe Bob Briggs. Joe Bob is making his triumphant return to hosting with a 24 hour horror marathon that will stream on Shudder. Joe Bob’s famous “Drive In Totals”, where he lets you know how much gore and nudity are in each movie, will return along with a ton of special guests and characters from Drive-In Theater and Monstervision but no specific movies have been revealed yet. The marathon will be sometime in June.
RIP Harry Anderson and R. Lee Ermey: Two great character actors passed away over the last week. Harry Anderson passed away at age 65 and was, of course, best known for starring in Night Court and his recurring role on Cheers but he was also Ritchie Tozer on the 90’s version of IT while R. Lee Ermey passed away at age 74 from pneumonia and was best known for his role in Full Metal Jacket but appeared in tons of small roles throughout the years, like in Seven, Toy Story and Saving Silverman, and also hosted History Channel’s military shows Mail Call and Lock N Load.
Jason Clarke in talks to star in Pet Semetary remake: Jason Clarke is apparently in talks to star in the upcoming remake of Pet Semetary as Dr. Louis Creed, who uses the powers of the nearby pet cemetary to bring back his son back to life after he’s tragically killed in an accident. Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch are directing the remake. The duo previously directed the critically acclaimed horror movie Starry Eyes.
Official Jurassic Park LEGO set on the way: An official Jurassic Park LEGO set is on the way with a set deemed “Velociraptor Chase” that will be based around the climax of the original JP where Grant and Sattler try to keep the Raptors out of the command center while Lex hacks the Unix system. The set is 360 pieces and features mini-figs of Grant, Ellie, Tim, Lex and a Raptor and will be $40 and is available exclusively at Walmart right now.
One of Stephen King’s most popular novels, the miniseries from the 90’s is also one of King’s most widely remembered adaptations, if only for the classic portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown by the one and only Tim Curry. Now IT has returned and it’s easily not only one of the best horror movies of the year, but just movies period.
Taking on only the first half of the massive novel when our protagonists, The Losers’ Club, are kids, the movie updates the time frame from the 50’s to the 80’s and the Losers all start to become stalked and terrified by an evil force that usually takes the form of a nasty looking clown but also takes the form of whatever scares the kids the most. De facto leader of the Losers, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), has the most personal stakes as his little brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) is taken and killed by IT as the inciting incident to the Losers getting involved. All the kids are incredible and never feel like they are actors playing roles, they feel like actual kids in the 80’s dealing with crazy, scary shit and they also have tons of heart and you really get to care about them and that adds to the tension and fear as things with Pennywise escalate. There definitely is a hierarchy though as far as importance and just fleshing out of character that is sort of like a pyramid, with Bill at the top and then Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Ritchie (Finn Wolfhard) right under, who have a great back and forth with each other and deliver most of the movie’s humor. Beverly (Sophia Lillis) and Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) are probably the next tier down as Ben is mostly just an exposition machine and the love triangle between Bev, Ben and Bill is not really fully realized and kind of feels like an afterthought. Stan (Wyatt Oleff) and Mike (Chosen Jacobs) are probably on the bottom tier, neither of them are bad by any stretch but they don’t really have a lot to do, although Mike does get a big moment with the movie’s non-demonic villain, Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton). Bill Skarsgaard is great as well as Pennywise, doing something much more intense and sinister than Tim Curry, who had a lot of times where he felt like more of a wacky prankster. The comparison has been thrown around pretty much everywhere but it is really apt; Curry is like the Jack Nicholson version of The Joker and Skarsgaard is like the Heath Ledger version, both of them showing off different sides of the same character and both succeeding in their separate ways. Skarsgaard’s Pennywise also has a more disturbing and limber way of appearing and moving about, like when he contorts out of a cupboard or explodes out of a coffin and he also takes on many more forms than the Curry version, including a distorted, impressionistic flute player, a zombie leper, a headless body and more. The classic scenes from the mini-series are also done in an excellent, updated way, like when Bev’s bathroom explodes in blood, the new version is like the Evil Dead reboot as gallons and gallons of blood explode out of the sink.
Right off the bat, the new IT also doesn’t pull any punches and definitely earns it’s R rating as Georgie’s death is way more extreme than in the mini-series and there’s plenty more violence and creepy gore as the movie progresses and there’s some great set piece sequences, like when the kids explore the Well House to discover where Pennywise is hiding out and the climactic battle in the sewers. There’s also no restrictions on the kid’s banter, especially all of Ritchie’s hilarious dick jokes, and it feels like a throwback to things like The Monster Squad or Goonies, where kids could just say “shit” and make raunchy jokes and no one cared.
If you’re a fan of the novel, the original miniseries or just horror movies in general, the new IT is an excellent update that wisely cuts out and updates things while keeping the heart and spirit of the source material and delivers some crazy and scary thrills. Skarsgaard is a great new Pennywise and The Losers’ Club kids are charming and hilarious and you really care about what happens to them. This is definitely one of the best movies of the year and easily the best straight up horror movie, check it out as soon as you can.