Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Return for a Fourth Round in the Franchise and Continue to Deal with the Challenges of Aging in a Young Man's Game.


This Experimental Slasher Flick puts Audiences Literally In-Step with the Killer and Features Some of the Most Gruesome Deaths in the Genre's History.


Director George Miller Returns to the Wasteland with a Full-Fledged Epic that Balances the Titular Character's Story with the Bombastic Vehicular Mayhem.


This Latest Installment in the Planet of the Apes Franchise isn't Necessarily Bad, but is Probably more of a Forgotten Chapter in the Franchise Mythology.


Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt Kick-Off the Summer Movie Season with a Big, Fun, and Funny Action-Packed Adventure that Fully Delivers on its Promises.



For all the hoopla surrounding the whitewashing of what were originally Japanese characters and the hype that surrounded the source material from which Ghost in the Shell is based one might imagine it being easy to go into this movie with some sort of expectation. Given I have no connection to Masamune Shirow's original 1989 manga or the 1995 anime and understood that in order for such a property to get the big budget Hollywood treatment that it would require someone like a Scarlett Johansson in the lead role I went into Ghost in the Shell with no qualms and more or less an open mind in the hopes that ScarJo was only continuing to make interesting action movies concerning A.I. as she'd done not three years ago with Lucy. While Ghost in the Shell doesn't feel like a breakout in the same way that Luc Besson film was it is still very much an entertaining if not more dour experience than I half expected it to be given the color scheme of the marketing. Speaking to color scheme, it is in the futuristic environment that Ghost in the Shell finds its greatest strengths. Rather than simply offering a few neat visual cues here and there director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsmen) owes his production designer, Jan Roelfs (Gattaca, 47 Ronin), and art department a huge thank you as it is this fully realized if not somewhat familiar future world that gives the film a sense of uniqueness despite its overall derivative nature. Of course, the deal with Ghost in the Shell is very much the same as the case was with 2012's John Carter in that much of what the source material inspired in popular culture (namely The Matrix) this big screen feature will now be accused of resembling. It's a sad state of truth, but the order of exposure appropriates how properties are perceived in the larger scope of the public eye and in some cases can tarnish the brand name. Ghost in the Shell isn't bad enough to offend or truly tarnish the name of the material it has re-imagined, but more it isn't noteworthy enough to seemingly live up to the past incarnations that share its namesake. Given I have no connections to those earlier versions of these ideas I actually came away thinking Sanders film was well constructed, that it held more emotional heft than expected, and executed its main ideas clearly if not as effectively as it could/should have.

LIFE Review

First impressions undoubtedly set a tone that will forever tinge the perception one has of another person or thing-such as a piece of entertainment. The first impression given by Life is that of an old fashioned horror movie. Sure, the comparisons to Alien are easy and to obvious extents, valid, but Life gives such an immediate indication of being inherently old fashioned in its approach to what would still be new frontiers that one can't help but to allow those tendencies to carry on throughout the entirety of the film even as it becomes slightly silly and a little long in the tooth. Life accomplishes such vibes by taking pride in showing the audience things we've become conditioned to by the movies that truly are spectacular were we to actually step back and appreciate them once in a while. Whether it be something as simple as the view of earth from space or the way in which director Daniel Espinosa's (Safe House) camera flies as effortlessly through the spacecraft in zero gravity as the characters do-these actions and spectacle are more appreciated due to the sense of sincerity the tone and score from Jon Ekstrand give off. Espinosa's film, which was written by the guys who wrote Deadpool and Zombieland (Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick), places itself squarely into the horror mold while utilizing the always compromising environment that is outer space to heighten the tensions and push the suspense up to eleven. In short, Life doesn't take so many notes from space movies as it does scary ones. Life is a thriller that means to make you claustrophobic despite the fact escaping said confined space would result in a slow, likely agonizing death. There are no good options except to stay and fight and so, as our six man crew is picked off one by one, we are exposed to the dangers of curiosity outweighing fear. We are exposed to how being blinded by what such discoveries promise can distract from the potential trouble at hand, but Life never becomes too heavy handed or ham fisted in these explorations of our psychologies or mentalities. Rather, the film finds a large entertainment factor in coming up with different types of situations to find that tension and suspense in-leaving the larger ideas to fill in the gaps in between; almost as if the residuals of the more striking moments are intentionally left to linger and for viewers to comprehend once the shock wears off. It's an idea that's easy to propose, but Life actually pulls it off rather well and is all the more fulfilling for it.

First Trailer for IT Re-Make
Confession time: I've never read nor have I seen the 1990 miniseries that was based on the acclaimed Stephen King novel. That King novel, which was originally published in September of 1986 spawned a two-part television event that has always felt well-renowned, but that I always felt would be too terrifying to entertain me. As I got older and became a more eclectic movie-watcher this was one that simply fell by the wayside. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, one following a group of seven misfit eleven year old children in 1958 and the other following these children as grown-ups who come back to their hometown of Derry, Maine in the mid-eighties to face the ominous Pennywise, a being who exploits the fears of its victims thus the reason "it" primarily appears in the form of a clown. The 1990 adaptation split the two time periods into two distinct parts, or so I'm told, and there are apparently plans already in the works for a sequel to this latest iteration of the source material that would continue the original story of "The Losers' Club," as the kids call themselves, into their adult years. As for how this first outing might fare-so far it certainly has my attention. Despite some solid horror efforts over the past few years I can't help but feel we've had a drought on what are truly genre-defining horror films and though It will largely capitalize on its known brand and iconic elements I'm sure there are plenty of people such as myself who've only heard tell of the dread that Pennywise has brought to his victims that will flock to this re-imagining in droves. Coming from the director of Mama, Andrés Muschietti, this certainly has the look and eerie feel of a classic horror flick and to that effect, it's been a while since we've had a solid Stephen King adaptation as well so if nothing else here's to hoping Muschietti's film might reverse that fortune. This first, teaser trailer certainly bodes well for what we might be getting this fall as the trailer sets the tone for something truly menacing. It stars Jackson Robert Scott, Bill Skarsgaard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, and opens on September 8th, 2017.   

It's still strange that we have a new Spider-Man movie coming that is again re-booting the series for the third time in fifteen years, but here we are. Of course, the difference with Spider-Man: Homecoming is the fact this latest version of the webslinger will be co-existing with the heroes that have come to define the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fighting alongside them. In the same way Power Rangers did this past weekend Homecoming seems to want to take on this John Hughes-like approach to Spidey as the major differentiators have always been Peter Parker's young age and prime high school status. This is taken as a point of pride here as opposed to twenty-somethings playing high school seniors as they've done in the movies before. This certainly makes the fact we're getting a new Spider-Man flick a win, but if this new trailer shows anything else it's that this won't simply be an origin story, but a full on action adventure picture. Directed by John Watts (Cop Car) it seems he and his writers room are taking their film as retro as we've indeed heard throughout most of the production. From the design of the logo to the very outspoken intent of making this an inexperienced Peter Parker who enlists Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark as something of a mentor (who designed Spidey's suit as we saw in Civil War), but who really just exists as a normal kid with super powers in a world where superheroes are more or less the norm. This is timely considering this too is what Spider-Man movies have become in an era where the Guardians of the Galaxy are as widely known as Captain America, but while this newest trailer delivers what we all expect from a Spider-Man movie I'm excited to see what else Watts has up his sleeve to make this latest iteration stand apart from his protagonist's new pack. Spider-Man: Homecoming also stars Tom Holland, Jon Favreau, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, and opens on July 7th, 2017.

On DVD & Blu-Ray: March 28, 2017

Initial Reaction: Video Review - POWER RANGERS
It's been a tough month here at Initial Reaction. First, I was unable to make the early screening of Logan to kick off the month leaving me to miss our scheduled filming time for the review. The next week went smooth enough until our editor decided to try something different without consulting us first and then deleting the footage as soon as the review was uploaded with no option but to leave the review as is. Then, the weekend of what would ultimately turn out to be the biggest release of the month if not one of the biggest movies of the year in Beauty and the Beast saw our camera and review footage get stolen. I've since filed a police report in (admittedly desperate) hopes of retrieving the camera and maybe even possibly the footage. I know that will never happen, but one has to have some kind of optimism when the thought of someone simply picking up your property and taking it as their own does nothing but irritate you more the more I think about it. This brings us to this most recent week where I was once again unable to make it to the B&B Chenal 9 & IMAX theater in Little Rock in order to review the re-boot of the much-loved 90's TV series that was Power Rangers. Being out of town for my grown-up job I was still able to catch a screening of the movie Thursday evening, but for our video review Charles was able to recruit his good friend Tim to fill in for me and I couldn't be more appreciative to both of these guys for making this happen. I'd been looking forward to Power Rangers for some time and was happy to finally see the film and happy to see it turned out, frankly, better than I expected. With an estimated $40.5 million from 3,693 locations the film delivered on the high end of pre-release tracking with opening day audiences giving the film an "A" CinemaScore and audiences under the age of 18 scoring the film an "A+". This bodes well for the kind of legs Power Rangers might have over the next few weeks as the Spring blockbuster season continues this week with the release of Ghost in the Shell which, God willing, we'll be reviewing. Until then, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel as we have a new review (or reviews) up each week!

Official Trailer for JUSTICE LEAGUE
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." It's not hard to see why many fans of Batman and DC Comics' heroes in general might be feeling this way towards the newly released Justice League trailer because if one thing is evident it's the fact the studio and director Zack Snyder know how to cut an impressive trailer. What has also become clear though, is that they can craft an impressive and outright stellar trailer from a weak film. There is no greater example of this than with last years train wreck that was Suicide Squad. While I rather enjoyed Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice more than most I can see how such an argument might be made as the trailers certainly indicated something far more exceptional than what we were ultimately delivered. All hopes are riding on Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman at the moment as all three trailers we've seen from the film have been superb and if that film can prove to be as much when it debuts this summer it might right the ship for the struggling DC Cinematic Universe. All of that is to say that of course this trailer looks and feels awesome. What is there not to like? Ben Affleck's Batman is doing his thing, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is more or less his second in command while Ezra Miller's The Flash and Jason Momoa's Aquaman make it look like either of them could very easily steal the show. The only kind of question mark is Ray Fisher's Cyborg, but I like what we see of that mostly-CGI character here. What's interesting about this movie is that we have to keep in mind it was being planned and prepped for long before the backlash Dawn of Justice received and it is a film that has clearly had a new light shined on it due to those reactions. If you read any of the set visits from last summer you'll remember the fact WB and Snyder immediately went to work building a more positive narrative around the DCEU and for the most part, that was totally demolished by Suicide Squad.  Ultimately, the film might have a spunkier tone due to quick re-writes, but it will still look like and be an epic Snyder film which is what these heroes and gods deserve. I don't mind owning up to the fact I'm a Snyder fan and that I hope his vision for this cinematic universe is seen through to the end. Side note: really happy they still haven't showed us a glimpse of Henry Cavill's Superman despite the fact we know he will be back in some capacity for Justice Laague which hits theaters on November 17th, 2017. J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, and Amber Heard also star.


I was six years-old in 1993 when the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted stateside and I could not have been more enthralled with the goofy series. It was as if someone had taken all the tropes and character archetypes I could have imagined in a super hero series and shot them at the screen with a paintball gun. The bright colors, the over-the-top antagonists, and the general playbook each episode followed may have both satisfied and informed what I thought the general public expected super hero lore to fulfill, it was so early in my life I can hardly remember what I knew prior, but whether it was one or both the fact remains that Power Rangers was a cornerstone of my childhood and one that I have always had a great amount of fondness for. I've even gone so far as to write a first draft of a novel based on an idea that spurned from the series and what it might have been like had it matured with its viewers a la Harry Potter, but now that we have this re-boot I may want to start in on the sophomore effort. Anyway, the point is-for this reason and everything else I've mentioned thus far I was beyond excited to see what this modern day interpretation of the material had to offer. Directed by Dean Israelite, the guy who made Project Almanac, this new Power Rangers movie essentially combines the conviction of The Breakfast Club characters with the plight of those in Josh Trank's Chronicle from 2012. And in similar style. Granted, this is combined with all the hallmarks of what made the original series so fun, but you get the picture. And so, how does this latest nostalgia-fueled re-boot fare in terms of satisfying a lifelong fan? Pretty damn well. In fact, far better than expected in terms of the aspect that will guarantee it the most staying power as a franchise-it's core cast of charismatic and ultimately formidable teens. It's refreshing, weirdly, for despite the fact everything in Power Rangers is more or less recycled from the series and other sources the movie as a whole manages to revitalize in the way it was no doubt intended.

Official Trailer for BAYWATCH
We've been seeing trailers for the reboot of Baywatch since early in December, but as the warmer weather finally begins to set in and the summer movie season inches ever closer it's beginning to make a lot more sense why we may not necessarily need a reboot of Baywatch, but why this thing was obviously greenlit. In what is seemingly a mix of the Jump Street movies and Bad Boys with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zac Efron taking on the buddy cop archetypes, except they're lifeguards...get it? They think they're cops, but they're only lifeguards. While the trailer again wears this joke thin in it's appreciated, but overcompensating self-awareness there is enough other fun chemistry and good laughs to go around here for me to totally be game. Directed by Seth Gordon, whose initial Horrible Bosses felt edgy and was great, the guy has somewhat turned into a director-for-hire when it comes to comedy as he's helmed several sitcoms as well as the forgettable Four Christmases and Identity Thief (he also made the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters which I've heard is solid, but never saw). That's not to say the project is doomed to be generic, but more that The Rock probably had a hand in hiring this guy who was reliable and could competently execute what he wanted this reboot he was spearheading to be without putting up a fight. It makes sense and as long as someone has a vision I'm not going to be too doubtful. It's clear The Rock, who is very obviously a smart businessman and producer, saw untapped potential here in today's market of brand recognition and nostalgia-fueled spending and has taken attractive elements to bring as much together. This looks like a fun, Memorial Day weekend movie and I'm sure that will be exactly what it is. Baywatch stars Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddarrio, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Hannibal Buress, Rob Huebel, and opens on May 26th, 2017.     


When I was a little kid and would take in a particular Disney animated feature multiple times within a very short window I always wondered what it might be like to see such characters and such worlds come to life. Real life. I never thought it would happen after the live action versions of 101 Dalmatians and its money-grubbing sequel underwhelmed (at least they did in my adolescent mind), but then again I also desperately hoped that one day movie studios might wise-up and begin building a shared universe where my favorite super heroes interacted on the big screen as well. As I've grown up and become a parent myself it seems Disney has decided to make all of my dreams come true while also giving their most iconic of animated classics updates so that they might reach wider audiences and new generations-including my daughter's. Over the past seven years or so now we've seen an uptick in the number of live-action films based on classic Disney properties. Whether they be from the respective studio that originated the tale in popular culture or not it seems many have noticed this as a way to garner solid returns-despite the brand recognition formula not always working (I liked you, Tarzan, but you cost too much). Though Disney began this recent trend by attempting to re-work properties such as Alice in Wonderland and the Sleeping Beauty story in the form of the Angelina Jolie vehicle that is Maleficent, it has been the last two live action adaptations in Cinderella and The Jungle Book that have yielded the best results in terms of quality (with all doing rather well financially). The point being, when it comes to these re-imaginings the best bet for both pleasing audiences and critics alike seems to be sticking with the source material and simply adding flourishes where might be necessary. This is one of the highlights of this latest incarnation of Beauty and the Beast as more logic and depth are applied to the characters and their plights despite the film as a whole being little more than a pound for pound remake of the Oscar nominated 1991 animated version. One would be hard-pressed to even call what director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) has made here an interpretation, but while there isn't anything in particular that separates the film apart as being great in its own regard, it pays honorable enough homage to this reviewer's childhood memories that it would be difficult to argue with the thrills and excitement it delivered in selling such a fantastical story come to life.

Teaser Trailer for Disney & PIxar's COCO
Disney and Pixar have released the first look at what will be their second feature to be released this year after this summer's Cars 3 in Coco. Not waiting for Cars 3 to hit theaters before they ramp up the marketing push, the studio is getting a slight teaser out in front of this week's Beauty and the Beast and oh, what a teaser it is. Having never been a fan of the Cars franchise and always being slightly disappointed when that is what comes up on the roster for the year in Pixar it was always reassuring to know there would be another, original Disney/Pixar movie coming down the line not too long after. Cars 3 will do well enough and do its job of selling merchandise far and wide, but Coco is the one to look forward to this year as it offers the first original story from the studio since the one-two punch of Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur in 2015. Getting back to the trailer though, the clip begins by highlighting a young boy named Miguel and his infatuation with what we are led to believe is a family member who was famous for his musical talents in which Miguel also shares a passion. All of this is beautifully rendered in warm colors with tinges of infectious melodies, but the real weight comes when the text outlines what the narrative might actually be grappling with. Knowing only that Coco, like 2014's The Book of Life, would in one way or another incorporate Día de Muertos or the Mexican holiday known as the Day of the Dead I wasn't sure what to expect, but as this teaser highlights it will seemingly reach for more than just the fantastic visual sense the holiday might bring to the screen, but it will capture the essence-the soul-of why such a day is celebrated rather than mourned over. The text throughout the trailer tells the audience, "We are all a part of those who came before," hinting at ideas of legacy and influence and the amalgamation of what such words can lead to all conveyed through this specific cultural event that honors as much. In short, this is one of those Pixar features that seems to be reaching for more and with that already impressive piece of the score highlighted here as well as the visuals towards the end I can't wait to see the journey on which the film takes us. Coco features the voice talents of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renée Victor, and opens on November 22nd, 2017. 

New Trailer for DESPICABLE ME 3
Despicable Me 3 will likely be the biggest earning film of the summer movie season and today Universal and Illumination have released the second trailer for the film. While I never expected in the summer of 2010 while watching the genuinely fun and inventive Despicable Me that it would become one of the biggest animated franchises of its day here we sit seven years later and four films in as not only has Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions received two sequels, but his minions themselves have had their own movie. After the underwhelming sequel though and rather bad Minions spin-off my expectation for anything noteworthy to come out of this franchise has significantly decreased. Sure, there are still a few funny bits in this second trailer it seems to be a totally different third installment than what the previous trailer pitched. Whereas the clip released in December highlighted Gru coming up against a new villain Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker) this new trailer solely focuses on the reveal that Gru somehow has a twin brother we've never heard about and that there will be a wrestling of the conscience on Gru's part over whether to remain true to his new life or fall back into being a bad guy. If anything, this trailer makes it seem as if Parker's Bratt is simply the cold open villain in a bit meant to pull in parents of children whose adolescence took place when South Park was in its heyday with the 80's-inspired character further capitalizing on our current nostalgic fascination with that decade. While I certainly hope that isn't the case given the initial trailer was much funnier than this one, we shall have to wait and see exactly how Gru's ever-expanding story unfolds. Still of note, there are more minions to be seen here than Gru's daughters which, if you might recall, were really the heart and soul of that original film and could certainly serve that purpose again here with the introduction of Dru (also voiced by Steve Carell). Of course, none of this really matters to Universal or Illumination as they both well know that Despicable 3 is destined to make buckets and buckets of money. Despicable Me 3 also features the voice talents of Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Jenny Slate, Pierre Coffin, Dana Gaier, and opens on June 30, 2017.

On DVD & Blu-Ray: March 14, 2017

Initial Reaction: Video Review - KONG: SKULL ISLAND
For the third weekend in a row good will has reigned down upon the big, new release with the previous week's number one movie holding on strong. In this March that may as well be June the blockbusters continued to roll out as Kong: Skull Island hit theaters and nabbed an estimated $61 million which was good enough for a $15,865 per theater average from 3,846 locations. This is on top of a really solid international numbers as the latest monster movie in Warner Bros. and Legendary's planned monsterverse garnered an estimated $81.6 million in 65 territories for a $142.6 million worldwide total. This is good news as the obvious comparison here is Kong's predecessor in Gareth Edward's 2014 Godzilla which earned $93 million opening weekend back in May of that year going on to score a $529 million worldwide total on a $160 million budget. Kong was a little more expensive at $180 million, but while Godzilla opened bigger domestically it didn't have a great multiplier (2.15x) whereas Kong has already been outperforming the King of the Monsters in international markets with several opening dates in major markets still to come including China and Japan. As for the rest of the top five this weekend LOGAN continued to do strong numbers scoring a second weekend total of $37.85 million topping $100 million domestically in just five days and has now brought in over $150 million in just ten days. LOGAN will soon become the biggest domestic earner of the year as it will pass The LEGO Batman Movie in a matter of days (though it too will be passed by Beauty & the Beast this coming weekend) and is already the biggest worldwide release of the year with a cume of $438.3 million also giving it that status of the highest grossing worldwide release among the three standalone Wolverine releases. And for the third weekend in a row Jordan Peele's Get Out has more than surpassed expectations dropping only 25.4% for an estimated $21 million giving the film a current domestic total of $111 million on a mere $4.5 million budget. The film opens in the UK this week and as there is no competition opening in the near future there is no telling when this train will start to slow. We'll be seeing Beauty & the Beast this weekend so be sure to check back for our review of the hotly anticipated live-action re-telling, but until then follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel as we have a new review (or reviews) up each week!

First Trailer for Edgar Wright's BABY DRIVER
After dropping out of directing Ant-Man at the seeming behest of Marvel many were disappointed it would be even longer before we received a new film from director Edgar Wright, the guy who made the marvelous Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy as well as the phenomenal Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Having written and directed the film, which follows a talented, young getaway driver who, in a very Wright touch, relies on his own personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. It is after this driver is coerced into working for a crime boss that he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love, and freedom. Featuring a cast led by Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) that also includes Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, and Lily James (Cinderella) Wright certainly has set the tone for a different flavor of ice cream this time around, but with his singular style and vision it's always clear that what we're watching is very much a piece from an artist who keeps a coherent throughline with all of his work, but at the same time isn't afraid to try something new and daring. This became especially clear when he broke away from regular collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for Scott Pilgrim (which may arguably be his best film), but with Baby Driver it seems the auteur has pushed himself even further to both still operate in the cinematic world he has created while also coming up with something new rather than simply relying on his same old tricks. In short, I'm liking what I'm seeing here-Elgort is a more than capable lead and seems to have handled the weight of this original and uniquely conveyed picture with ease while that stellar supporting cast seem to be having nothing short of a blast; Hamm, Foxx, and Spacey especially seem to have been inspired by the refreshing take on movie-making and while I feel like was rather late to step onto the Wright train this is certainly one of my most anticipated of the year and can't wait to see what the film in its entirety holds. Baby Driver also stars Eiza González, Flea, Sky Ferreira, Jeff Chase, and opens on August 11th, 2017 after premiering at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX tonight.

Full Trailer for WONDER WOMAN Starring Gal Gadot
And the trailers for the summer movie season keep on coming as Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for director Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman AKA the last great hope for the DC Extended Universe. The first trailer for the film premiered last summer at Comic-Con and couldn't even be overshadowed by the release of the first Justice League footage. That first look showed off Matthew Jensen's gorgeous cinematography, some exhilarating and intense action sequences, as well as some seemingly solid chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine who looks to provide an opportunity for smaller moments and humor that will take advantage of the out of her element Amazonian princess. This latest trailer combines those best elements of that initial trailer as well as the more informative, but just as gorgeous full trailer that debuted in November. Wonder Woman sees Gal Gadot reprising her role as the titular warrior that first debuted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While that film wasn't a unanimous winner most agreed that Gadot's Wonder Woman was one of the highlights. With this being Wonder Woman's first solo feature film a lot of pressure has no doubt been applied to Jenkins (who directed Charlize Theron in her Oscar-winning role in Monster) and screenwriters Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg, both of whom have either worked with Zack Snyder on previous DCEU films or, in Johns case, will be overseeing the DCEU from this point on. Wonder Woman, which is set before the events of BvS, tells the origin story of Diana Prince. Set in the midst of World War I, Prince’s sheltered island paradise life is upended when Pine's Steve Trevor crash lands and tells of the conflict happening in the outside world, spurning Diana into action. Wonder Woman also stars Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui, and opens on June 2nd, 2017.

Red-Band Trailer for ATOMIC BLONDE Starring Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron, who never had that solitary break-out role it seems she was always destined to have (an Oscar winning role is a different kind of thing), seems to have found her John Wick after coming the closest she's ever been two years ago in Mad Max: Fury Road. While Imperator Furiosa may yet lead to a series of films in which the actress becomes a definitive symbol of a single character the lady leading the war against Immortan Joe may now have some competition in the form of Lorraine Broughton. Speaking of John Wick, Atomic Blonde comes from stuntman and co-director of that Keanu Reeves rejuvinator as well as the upcoming Deadpool 2, David Leitch. Leitch, who along with Chad Stahelski both directed and choreographed the fight scenes in John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 has seemingly taken a screenplay by Kurt Johnstad (300, 300: Rise of an Empire) who adapted the graphic novel and done very much what he and Stahelski did with the first John Wick. Granted, I have no idea the popularity, tone, or story of the source material and thus can't interpret how close any of this hues to that, but nonetheless this looks pretty freakin' awesome. Though I'd hoped for a little more of a hook in the opening action set piece the trailer itself goes on to provide plenty of these. Whether it be in James McAvoy seemingly turning in another unique performance, Sofia Boutella turning up the heat between her and Theron's lead protagonist or Theron herself jumping out of a multi-story building with only a man's neck serving as the anchor-Atomic Blonde has a prime end of summer release date and all the markings of a breakout original action hit that, if well-received and profitable, could end up serving as the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Theron from now on. Time will tell. Atomic Blonde also stars John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, and will actually debut at the SXSW Festival in Austin this Sunday, March 12, before arriving in theaters on July 28, 2017.  


In the vein of Marc Webb going from (500) Days of Summer to The Amazing Spider-Man and Colin Trevorrow from the quaint Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic World, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have plucked indie director Jordan Vogt-Roberts from the safety of his summer getaway that he so lovingly crafted in his 2013 break-out, The Kings of Summer, and thrust him into the world of blockbusters with literally one of the biggest stars in Hollywood history: King Kong. In an effort to re-boot the property that hasn't been touched since Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson's epic attempt in 2005 and build a cinematic universe a la Marvel with Gareth Edwards 2014 iteration of Godzilla, WB and Legendary have given Vogt-Roberts the keys to Skull Island AKA the home of the titular Kong and several other species of creatures, most of which are prehistoric in nature, but in other cases-are species that come straight from the pages of an old school horror/fantasy novel. A place where those who own the earth really reside, the place that God forgot to finish. The place where not only a human tribe somehow still resides, but so is there proof of dinosaurs, of more than one Kong, and of devils from the deep that the best character in the film affectionately refers to as "skullcrawlers". And so, the question is-what has the director done with such an environment to elevate the mythology it inherently carries? What has he done to give this mythical island a real sense of place and of substance and of tangibility? Well, the answer to that question is more positive than what the response might be to, "How good is the movie overall?" as the movie itself is pleasant and fun enough, but the real value in the piece comes from seeing that of Kong do what audiences want to see him do on a large scale and creating a full-on world in which these unbelievably thin characters and rote plot exist. It is because this world in which these things exist does indeed feel so lived in and palpable that much is forgiven. Even the special effect that is Kong himself holds more weight and authenticity than one might expect with the film eliciting a real soul from the beast which is more than it can say for the majority of its human cast. This is all to say that Kong: Skull Island certainly has its issues and could benefit from having at least one protagonist other than the movie's eponymous monster that we could sympathize with, but in a strange turn of events the spectacle holds more significance than the non-existent emotions and ideas it seems to have never had any ambition of carrying. In that regard, this is very much decent enough popcorn entertainment-fine if not completely forgettable.

There is a new Fate of the Furious trailer out and it is just as bonkers, campy, and outlandish as I could have ever hoped. It's hard not to wonder if this franchise would feel more stagnant were it not for the tragic and untimely death of Paul Walker in the middle of production on the seventh film, but with the eighth film in the franchise it seems Dominic Toretto and his gang are moving on to different terrain and by that I mean both literally as well as in terms of story. I somewhat artlessly assumed that the beginning of the "final" trilogy in this ever-expanding brand would more or less follow the beats of those that had come before it meaning Dom and his gang would get roped into an elaborate mission that requires their particular set of skills to stop a new villain of the week, this time played by Charlize Theron. Obviously, I assumed wrong as the first trailer for the film painted a very different dynamic between this "family" we've all come to know and love. For one reason or another, Toretto has betrayed all those he once cared about and considered family by going to work for Theron's antagonist who reveals herself in this trailer to have had a hand in the last few films (meaning 6 & 7) despite the fact the apparent culprits of those films, the Shaw brothers, being either deceased or recruited to help the original team defeat Dom and Theron's Cipher. Like the remaining members of the crew in Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Roman (Tyrese) and of course Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) I don't know how I feel about this, but this is certainly an interesting way to kick off this new (final?) phase in the Fast & Furious franchise and I look forward to seeing what twist series screenwriter Chris Morgan has come up with to justify Dom's sudden turn as well as what new franchise director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) has come up with to leave his mark. The Fate of the Furious also stars Jason Statham, Kurt Russel, Scott Eastwood, Elsa Pataky, Helen Mirren, and opens on April 14th, 2017.

Initial Reaction: Video Review - LOGAN
I was unable to attend the review screening of LOGAN this past week, but was lucky to have old friend of the show, Danner, fill in for me to review the biggest release of the year so far. I wrote a full review for the movie still, but the short version is: I really, really dug it and can't wait to see it again. It seems my counterparts felt the same way as they both gave the film four and four and a half star ratings (those were unfortunately cut out of the review due to some technical difficulties with our SD cards and the storage available), but it seems Charles, Danner, and I weren't the only fans of Hugh Jackman's last go-around as Wolverine, but many people around the globe were excited to see an R-rated X-Men movie as LOGAN pulled in the fourth biggest R-rated opening weekend of all time, now ahead of The Hangover Part II at $86 million in 2011, and just behind American Sniper with $89.2 million in 2015. With a stellar $88.4 million, LOGAN nabbed a rather stunning $21,717 per screen average. Internationally the film added another $152 million over the weekend for a worldwide total that now stands at $254.6 million on what was reportedly a budget of less than $100 million. With a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% and an A- CinemaScore from opening day audiences it seems LOGAN will have a strong run ahead of him. Of course, this March is unusually crowded with would-be blockbusters such as Kong: Skull Island this week, Beauty and the Beast next week, with the new Power Rangers movie the week after that, and the American Ghost in the Shell adaptation following the week after that. It will be interesting to see if each of these titles will garner a respectable audience or if packing in major releases like this week after week will do what seems inevitable and have some of them cancelling the others out. With LOGAN being a hard-R it at least has something to differentiate itself with the same able to be said about Beauty and the Beast, but with the rest being PG-13 actioners I'll be curious to see which films come out on top come April Fools Day. That's it for now, but as always, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel as we have a new review (or reviews) up each week!

LOGAN Review

It's disappointing. Tragic, even. All those struggles and all that time invested in trying to make the world a better place and this is what they have to show for it. This is what it's all come to. There is a sweeping sorrow to Hugh Jackman's swan song as The Wolverine, but much like its brutal, bloody, and exceptionally R-rated violence, this tone feels justified and necessary. Necessary not only in the aesthetic sense of what is befitting to Logan's world, but necessary in that tragedy always was the way of the world for Logan AKA James Howlett, so why might his conclusion be spared such tribulations? Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for our titular mutant LOGAN is another tale in which our protagonist is pulled into a conflict in which he bears no responsibility in creating, but that his storied past has somehow served as an influence and thus he is then unwillingly pulled into the scenario. This time things are different though, as before and in the many movies we've seen Jackman portray Wolverine the character has always been reluctant, but ultimately unable to deny his true and selfless heroism. He couldn't help but to care, couldn't help but to stand up for the little guy and what he felt to be right, but in LOGAN Wolverine is a much more broken man than we've ever seen him before. His extended past is beginning to catch up with him and we can see that he's tired of playing this role, he's tired of being the hero, of feeling the responsibility to save the day and that he's essentially forcing himself to not care any longer, but rather focus on the task at hand-a task that sees putting himself and an old friend first. In the midst of all this is the centerpiece that is Jackman's final turn as the adamantium clawed mutant making this grief and misery and pain all the more palpable. Jackman so embodies the character at this point though, it's hard to imagine he has a hard time slipping into even the worn and weathered skin of his alter ego at this stage in the game. And while it is Jackman's (presumably) final turn in his most iconic role that is rightly at the center of what makes LOGAN so emotionally rich and narratively compelling there is plenty going on around him that builds the film up in these ways and make it a genuinely thrilling end of an era.

As March now features as many blockbuster-type movies as the summer it is only fitting that we're now beginning to get full looks and extended trailers for some of the biggest summer 2017 films so as they might play in front of these March blockbusters. With Logan opening tonight and Beauty and the Beast in two weeks Disney is riding the good will of that Super Bowl ad and have released a full-length trailer for the fifth installment in their massive Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. While generally a fan of the original trilogy I can hardly remember much of anything about Rob Marshall's 2011 continuation On Stranger Tides. All of that said, this latest installment that is once again produced by Jerry Bruckheimer has courted directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg who are the duo behind the foreign adventure film Kon-Tiki from 2012 which was (not coincidentally) about a 1947 expedition by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. Though the initial teaser wasn't much for conjuring up excitement, this new clip fully divulges the present situation of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow and exactly why Javier Bardem's Captain Salazar is so hellbent to deliver death to Captain Jack by way of series newcomer Brenton Thwaites. While this will seemingly play as a revenge tale there is a lot to like in this trailer as, most importantly, it just feels like a lot of fun-which is what the original trilogy was drained of after the original. The special effects look downright amazing with young Johnny Depp deserving a second glance only because it was more convincing than initially imagined whereas another newcomer, played by Kaya Scodelario, certainly seems to be spicing things up. And while there is still no mention of Orlando Bloom or Kiera Knightley's involvement in the plot I like that they're saving a few surprises for if there is anything disheartening about this trailer it's that it shows too much. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales also stars David Wenham, Geoffrey Rush, and...Paul McCartney? This latest (last?) installment sails into theaters on May 26th, 2017.