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TidBits: Black Panther, Jumanji, Descendants 3, The Umbrella Academy

by on Feb.18, 2018, under Movies, Television

Another weekend TidBits to catch up…

Marvel’s Blank Panther is devouring the box office, likely looking at $150 million this weekend, and possibly opening the window to the entire Marvel universe for a shot in the films. A beautifully visual movie superbly acted – expect a review shortly.

In the meantime, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has been keeping to the top of the charts, winning most weeks since Star Wars: The Last Jedi died down, and provided a lighthearted movie among the more intense competition. It will cross $900 million world-wide today. See what we thought of the film.

Disney Channel has ordered up a third installment of The Descendants, their teen-centric fantasy musical TV movie series. The Kenny Ortega-produced franchise follows the teen descendants of Disney’s well-known princesses and villains and stars Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope and China Anne McClain. The teaser (see below) has Mal (Cameron), the descendant of Maleficent, indicate that the new villain will be – her dad.

The Umbrella Academy, Netflix’s upcoming series based on the Gerard Way graphic novels about a dysfunctional academy/family of superheroes, named a number of regular and recurring cast this week. Regular cast announced incclude Cameron Britton (Mindhunter) will be Hazel, an infamously ruthless and efficient time-travelling hit-man; Colm Feore (House of Cards, The Chronicles of Riddick) is Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a wealthy entrepreneur and world-renowned scientist and the adopted father of the academy students; and Adam Godley (Breaking Bad), will portray (via voice/motion-capture) Pogo, a genetically-engineered chimpanzee. Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) will appear in a recurring role as Detective Patch, a fast rising, by the book detective of the police department. Previously announced as starring in the show are Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gallagher.
(continue reading…)


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Reborn Desilu Studios to reboot V as a feature film

by on Feb.13, 2018, under Movies

The 1983 NBC mini-series V is getting another reboot – and the studio behind it is rebooting as well.

Desilu Studios – a revival of the name of the studio created by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that was one of the largest independent studios in the 50s and 60s and later became the television division of Paramount, announced a feature film version of the show to be written by original creator Kenneth Johnson, and currently using the title V: The Movie.

The original 1983 mini-series starring Marc Singer, Faye Grant and Jane Badler (and who could forget a pre-Freddy Robert Englund as the meek Willie) told the take of the arrival of the Visitors, seemingly friendly humanoid aliens looking for some resources for their ailing world and in return would share their advanced technology with the people of Earth. However, it turns out that they are reptilians in disguise, and really plan to take all of Earth’s fresh water supplies – and use the humans themselves as a food source. A resistance gains momentum to fight the Visitors.

The mini-series proved popular and spawned a sequel mini-series in V: The Final Battle, which concluded the main storyline, and a TV series that was (mercifully – I swear I did a review but now I can’t find it) canceled after 13 episodes. These productions were very 80s in style, with a thinly veiled (and later more explicit) Nazi allusion. In 2009, a reboot of the series aired on ABC for two seasons.

The new Desilu Studios was formed by Charles B. Hensley when he acquired the name. All the original Desilu productions were owned by Paramount and now CBS, including the original Star Trek.


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Could we get TWO new Star Wars sagas?

by on Feb.06, 2018, under Movies

We already know that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been charged with developing a new saga trilogy to follow on once the Skywalker saga is concluded with Episode IX. But now it appears there is another saga in the works, this one from the minds of Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

We wonder if this might squeeze out the anthology films, while these two sagas interleave their release years.

Disney happened to have their earnings call today as well, and CEO Bob Iger was asked if they considered doing a series, given their experience in the small format. Their interest was in creating Star Wars films,” replied Iger. “We’ve been talking with them for some time. They didn’t express interest in a series.”

Of course there were no details on release dates or plot, but Iger did say they were focused on “a particular point in time” in the Star Wars universe. I’m still hoping for some new stories set in the Old Republic.


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Super Bowl Trailers: Solo: A Star Wars Story

by on Feb.05, 2018, under Movies

In theaters May 25th


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Super Bowl Trailers: Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War

by on Feb.05, 2018, under Movies

In theaters May 4th


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Super Bowl Trailers: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom second trailer

by on Feb.05, 2018, under Movies

In theaters June 22nd


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The Cloverfield Paradox – a trailer, a name and a surprise release?

by on Feb.05, 2018, under Movies

And the biggest surprise Super Bowl commercial (where many are spoiled before hand) seems to go to The Cloverfield Paradox…not because we finally got the new title (it had been going around as The God Particle) and see the first footage, but actually because Netflix released it for streaming immediately after the game! That’s right – it’s available now from Netflix…it had been rumored that the streaming service would acquire the film, which had been very quiet about showing footage, and was planned to be released in theaters in April.

So far, reviews have been poor to mixed – Rotten Tomatoes so far has a tomatometer score of 15% on 41 reviews from critics, and a 61% audience score.


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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay screenwriter returns to genre with S.T.A.G.S.

by on Feb.03, 2018, under Movies

Peter Craig, who wrote the screenplay for both parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, will return to young adult/teen violence by adapting S.T.A.G.S., the YA novel from M.A. Bennett released this past week.

The movie, from Fox 2000 and Chernin Entertainment, revolves around St. Aidan the Great’s School (S.T.A.G.S.), an exclusive English boarding school. Greer and nine other first year students are surprised to receive invitations from the Medievals, the school’s most admired – and snootiest – group of students, to attend a private weekend retreat, given that they’ve only received ridicule from them. But the retreat which promised “hunting” turns foul, as the first years are in fact the prey being hunted…


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HotShot Trailer: Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp

by on Jan.30, 2018, under Movies

Real Heroes. Not Actual Size.

In theaters July 6th


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Maze Runner: The Death Cure tops box office; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still rolling

by on Jan.29, 2018, under Movies

The third movie in the Maze Runner trilogy, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, had a strong opening weekend, taking in $23.5M domestically and $62.6M internationally, and $105.5M overall including some openings a week earlier. The movie appears to have retained the fans, after a lackluster Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and a long delay in production due to star Dylan O’Brien’s injuries sustained on set.

Still going strong is the deserved Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, taking in another $16.1M and totaling $338M domestically, making it one of Sony’s biggest movies ever.

Another movie that has emerged out from the shadow of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is The Greatest Showman, a catchy musical (and very fictional) account of how master showman P.T. Barnum got his start. Facing tough competition through its run, it still gained $9.5M this weekend and $126M total. If you like musicals, give this movie a shot.


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