Toy Story 4 Review

Disney and Pixar Upend Expectations with this Fourth Sequel that Comes to Justify Itself in Moving and Necessary Ways.

Child's Play Review

This Re-Boot/Re-Make of the Original, 1988 Killer Doll Slasher Flick is Made Fun by a Game Cast and some Creatively Endearing Choices.

Aladdin Review

Will Smith and a Charismatic Ensemble Bring Director Guy Ritchie's Live-Action Re-Make of the Classic Animated Tale to Life Just Enough to Justify its Existence.

MIB: International Review

Director F. Gary Gray and a Charismatic Cast Featuring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson aren't Enough to Lift this Reboot to the Height of its Predecessors.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Review

This Sequel to the High-Concept, but Only Mildly Entertaining 2016 Film Tries for More yet Comes up Feeling Emptier than Before.

Tavern Talk: Video Review - IT CHAPTER TWO

IT Chapter Two kicked off the fall box office season with a strong $91 million debut though it failed to match the first film's $123 million opening back in 2017. On a more granular level, IT Chapter Two debuted in 4,570 theaters over the weekend with a per theater average of $19,926 while its predecessor earned about $10,000 more per theater on opening weekend in roughly 500 fewer theaters. There is also the running time to consider as Chapter Two runs ten minutes short of three hours (trailers and commercials not included) while the first film was a notable half hour shorter if not slightly more. Whether this had an impact on the number of shows theaters held is indeterminable as is the number of tickets bought to other movies by underage teens who then snuck into this finale, but the point of it all being that while IT Chapter Two might not have risen to the heights of its predecessor it was still well within expectations, ranking as the second largest horror opening of all-time behind only its companion film. Furthermore, 2017's IT remains the only horror film to ever open with more than $100 million meaning these two films now rank as the first and second largest openings for both a horror film as well as the first and second largest September openings of all-time. Now the question will be how much can Chapter Two leg it to? The first film finished with a domestic total of $327 million with $372 million more coming if from the rest of the world for a global cume of over $700 million. Odds are Chapter Two won't reach those heights, but as far as domestic totals go it's not hard to see the film crossing the $200 million mark-maybe even going as high as $240 million; this is especially true if the competition is right through the rest of the month (Ad Astra, Rambo, and Judy are among the other movies for adults opening in September with no other horror releases to speak of until Joker on October 4th) and into the midst of Halloween season. On the plus side, the film also received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening weekend audiences, the same as the original film, meaning prospects should be largely positive per word of mouth. Internationally, IT Chapter Two opened in 75 markets and delivered $94 million, giving the film a $185 million global opening. As always, be sure to follow the official TAVERN TALK by Initial Reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week!

Final Trailer for DOCTOR SLEEP Starring Ewan McGregor

It's been five or six years since I've seen Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and while it's certainly one of those movie experiences that stays with you I'll definitely be refreshing my memory when it comes to Kubrick's horror classic before venturing into director Mike Flanagan's (The Haunting of Hill House, Ouija: Origin of Evil) adaptation of Stephen King's sequel to both his and Kubrick's seminal work. The story of how Doctor Sleep, the novel, came to be is fairly interesting given in December of 2009, King posted a poll on his official website asking fans to vote for which book he should write next, Doctor Sleep or the next Dark Tower novel. The poll closed on December 31, 2009, when it was revealed that Doctor Sleep won by a mere forty-nine votes. King then posted an update confirming Doctor Sleep was in the works in 2011 and that the plot included a traveling group of psychic vampires called "The True Knot". Eventually, Doctor Sleep was published on September 24, 2013 and now-almost forty years after the release of Kubrick's film which King himself remains disappointed in-we have this film adaptation of the thirty-six year-later sequel King wrote to his original book. All of that said, it would seem a delicate situation to try and craft a movie sequel to said seminal work not only for the reason that The Shining is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made, but also because a sequel is largely only ever just a sequel-"the second one"-and will forever live in the shadow of that original. So, the question is, "how does one combat that? Does one even try?" While I haven't read King's sequel and have no idea as to the critical response or how it was received by general consumers (or, for that matter, how the original novel was received as the film adaptation has always overshadowed the original work in my lifetime) it is comforting to know that someone as well revered and well seasoned in the horror genre as Flanagan is the one who was given the keys to build this castle. Like I said, I haven't read either of King's novels and its been a few years since I've seen The Shining, but as a horror film in and of itself this final trailer Warner Bros. has released offers an intriguing premise and spooky atmosphere outside of its promise of returning to the Overlook Hotel. Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Jacob Tremblay, Cliff Curtis, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Alyn Lind and arrives in theaters on November 8, 2019.

First Trailer for BAD BOYS FOR LIFE Starring Will Smith & Martin Lawrence

There were a mere eight years between 1995's Bad Boys and 2003's Bad Boys II, so believe me when I say I'd thought the expiration date had long since passed for us to get that much requested third film to round out a trilogy of Bad Boys films featuring Will Smith's Mike Lowery and Martin Lawrence's Marcus Burnett and yet...here we are. I'm still somewhat in shock this movie actually exists, has been shot and now has a release date and trailer. It's real and for better or worse in terms of the final result, it feels so good to see Smith and Lawrence together again. Bad Boys II came out the summer after I turned sixteen and though I'd seen plenty of action flicks before, Bad Boys II felt like the be all end all to big, gluttonous R-rated action that just blew me away with its scope, its style, its comedy and everything in between. And while it's taken seventeen years, "better late than never" is the mantra we're going with here as new series directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were brought in to try and replicate the aesthetic and energy of Michael Bay from a screenplay by Joe Carnahan and Chris Bremner, with a story credit going to Peter Craig (The Town). Carnahan was originally set to direct this third installment, which I think would have been a wise choice given the typical bonkers nature of his movies (Smokin' Aces, The A-Team, Stretch) mixed with the general credibility he lends them in terms of emotional investment, but El Arbi and Fallah seem to have continuing franchises on lock down as they'll next be directing Beverly Hills Cop 4. One can only hope this bodes well for the quality of Bad Boys for Lif3 (I don't know if that's how we're officially writing it, but I like it), but as of right now this trailer delivers everything I could hope to get from a Bad Boys movie in that Smith and Lawrence look to be in good form, the action feels like a priority and they're undoubtedly busting some kind of drug ring; opposing styles/personalities be damned. Bad Boys For Life also stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate Del Castillo, Nicky Jam, Joe Pantoliano and opens on January 17, 2020.