Pixar’s First SparkShorts Short Film Is A Feminist Allegory – With Yarn

Pixar debuts Purl, the first short film released as part of the company’s SparkShorts venture meant to promote up-and-coming storytellers. Pixar shorts have become as beloved among fans of animated fare as the studio’s full-length features themselves. Arguably, Pixar introduced generations of moviegoers to the short film medium, making them accessible to viewers of all ages. Similarly, Pixar has used their short films to foster talent within its own ranks. In recent years, Pixar has shown a focused effort in spotlighting different voices and stories with their short films, as evidenced by 2015’s Sanjay’s Super Team and 2018’s Bao.

Earlier this year, Pixar announced the creation of SparkShorts, an in-house “experimental storytelling initiative” that aims to give more opportunities to up-and-coming creators within the company. Purl was among the initial group of short films announced as part of the SparkShorts program, and now the full version is available to watch online.

Related: Every Exclusive Movie & TV Show Coming To Disney Plus

Pixar unveiled the full 8-minute short film Purl on YouTube, along with a poster for the project, and teased that there will be more coming to Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, later in 2019. Purl was written and directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan. The film follows the titular young ball of yarn who starts working at the high-energy, male centric start-up B.R.O. Capital, but she doesn’t quite fit in. Purl explores what lengths to which the character will go to in order to fit in at B.R.O. Capital and how that will affect other employees. Watch Purl and check out the poster below.

Purl touches on the phenomenon of male-dominated workplaces, particularly what women do (or feel they need to do) in order to fit in within those offices. In a meet-the-filmmakers video released by Pixar, Lester explained that the inspiration for Purl came from her own time working in animation, an experience shared by Libbert-Duncan. Lester said:

It’s based on my experience being in animation. My first job, I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. And then I came to Pixar and I started to work on teams with women for the first time, and that actually made me realize how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind.

Folks who have felt similarly ostracized in their workplaces will no doubt relate to Purl, which goes to show how important SparkShorts is as an initiative within one of the biggest animation powerhouses in Hollywood. The initiative will also hopefully go a long way in bolstering in-house community at Pixar, which was the center of a #MeToo news story in late 2017 when CCO John Lasseter took a leave of absence amid sexual harassment and misconduct accusations. Lasseter left Pixar officially at the end of 2018. According to reports, Lasseter fostered a work environment where employees felt uncomfortable due to his behavior, which included “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” Though Purl doesn’t tackle the issue of behavior like Lasseter’s head-on, the short film does address certain folks, particularly women, feeling ostracized in male-centric workplaces. Both are, arguably, different symptoms for the same overarching problem in Hollywood and other male-dominated industries.

In terms of other upcoming SparkShorts projects, Pixar is planning to debut short films Smash and Grab, Kitbull, Float, Loop and Wind. While Smash and Grab and Kitbull will be made available on YouTube in the coming weeks, it’s unclear when the next three will release or whether viewers will have to wait for the launch of Disney+. For now, Pixar fans can get an idea of what to expect from SparkShorts with Purl.

Next: Pixar Can (And Should) Be Better Under Pete Docter

Source: Disney/Pixar

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2019-02-04 01:02:43

X-Men’s Chris Claremont Thinks Idris Elba Should Play Bishop

One of the most important writers in the history of the X-Men franchise has made his choice for who should play the time-traveling mutant known as Bishop in future X-Men projects, as Chris Claremont has declared on Facebook that Idris Elba should take on the role.

Claremont is widely considered to be the most important writer in the history of the X-Men comic books. The team was originally created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, but it’s Claremont’s stint as a writer on Uncanny X-Men that helped propel the team to mainstream status, as he created and co-created the iconic “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Days of Future Past” storylines, the former of which is being loosely adapted for the next X-Men movie. It should be mentioned that Claremont created lots of famous X-Men characters during his tenure as writer, but Bishop was not one of them, as he was created by John Byrne and Whilce Portacio.

Related: Idris Elba In Talks To Lead Max Landis’ Supernatural Thriller Deeper

Claremont put up a post on Facebook talking about the trailer for the upcoming Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw movie, in which Elba plays the leader of a terrorist organization. It was after seeing Elba playing a villain role in the trailer that Claremont took to Facebook to talk about how he would be an amazing choice for his vision of Bishop in future X-Men movie projects.

Elba already has a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he plays Heimdall of Asgard. The last time we saw Heimdall was when he was being slain at the start of Avengers: Infinity War, but he ‘s playing a Norse god and this is a comic book movie, so he could easily be brought back to life in a future film.

Bishop has already appeared in the X-Men movie franchise as one of the mutants from the future timeline in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where he was played by Omar Sy. The movie version of Bishop was only a minor character, which is in stark contrast to the comic book version of the character. The original version of Bishop from the comics was a mutant who was sent back in time to stop the X-Men from being betrayed by one of their own, which served as a running storyline for years until it was revealed that Charles Xavier himself was the traitor. The Disney-Fox Acquisition seems to be bringing the X-Men movie franchise to a close, which means that Marvel’s mutants will soon be free to join the MCU, where they’ll all almost certainly be recast. If Heimdall has truly met his end at the hands of Thanos and his servants, then there is nothing stopping Elba from playing Bishop.

The famous “Days of Future Past” storyline has already been adapted into a movie, but that film based the time travel plot around Kitty Pryde and Wolverine. The lack of focus on Bishop in that film opens up the possibility of him playing a major role in one of the upcoming X-Men movies, as the traitor storyline (along with the “Onslaught” storyline that it led into) have yet to be adapted for the movies. It’s possible that Claremont’s casting wish might come true in the future.

More: Dark Phoenix: Jessica Chastain’s Villain Controls Jean Grey in New Image

Source: Chris Claremont

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2019-02-03 01:02:30

Dwayne Johnson Confirms He’s Not In Fast & Furious 9

Hobbs Gives Orders in Fate of the Furious

Dwayne Johnson confirmed his character Hobbs won’t be appearing in Fast & Furious 9. The character of Hobbs has become such an important part of the series it’s easy to forget he only joined in Fast Five. That entry marked a departure in tone for the franchise, moving away from the street racing angle to becoming more like heist movies with elaborate action scenes. Hobbs was introduced as the ultimate antagonist to Dom’s (Vin Diesel) team: a federal agent who will stop at nothing to apprehend them.

Of course, he soon became an honorary member of their clan and has appeared in every installment since. Johnson had a well-publicized falling out with co-star and producer Diesel during production on The Fate Of The Furious, and it was later revealed they didn’t film any scenes together. Johnson also displayed strong chemistry with Jason Statham during the film, and it was decided the two should join forces for a spinoff that would later be titled Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. It appears Diesel may not have agreed with this plan, as he reportedly cut a post-credit scene from Fate that teased this solo movie.

Related: The Rock Reveals Hobbs & Shaw On-Screen Brothers & Vintage Car Shop

Neither co-star Tyrese Gibson nor longtime franchise producer Neal H. Moritz appeared happy about Hobbs & Shaw either, with the former calling out Johnson for agreeing to it and the latter suing the studio. Now in a new conversation with MTV News, Johnson confirmed he won’t be appearing in Fast & Furious 9. That said, he does leave the door open for a return to the main series and claims Hobbs and Dom still have business to sort out.

The plan has always been for the Fast and Furious universe to grow and expand. As of now, we’re not in Fast 9 because they’re getting ready to start shooting. But who knows with Fast 10 and down the road, you never know. Because look, at the end of the day, the truth is, there’s unfinished business between Hobbs and Dom. It’s unfinished.

Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs in Fast and Furious 5

Given the popularity of Hobbs, it could be seen as an odd move to not have the character appear in Fast & Furious 9 at all. While Johnson sitting out the movie could purely be a result of the actor’s wildly busy schedule, there’s likely still simmering tension between Johnson and Diesel that needs to be cleared first before they work together again. The star appears open to returning in Fast & Furious 10 – which is set to end the main series – so he knows fans would like to see the Hobbs and Dom relationship resolved.

Regardless of any behind the scenes drama, the fanbase appears very excited for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The movie is opening the door for other spinoffs in that universe too, with Diesel recently confirming a female spinoff is in the works. Fast & Furious 9 itself is due to starting filming soon for an April 2020 release date.

More: Dwayne Johnson Teases Hobbs & Shaw Trailer For 2019 Super Bowl

Source: MTV News

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2019-01-29 01:01:14

True Detective: 10 Facts About Season Three’s Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali is now playing the lead character in the third season of True Detective, but who exactly is this buzz-worthy new addition to the show? If his face seems familiar, that’s probably because it is; Ali has already starred in Green Book, MoonlightHouse of Cards, and much more, so this isn’t exactly his first rodeo. Although his True Detective role was originally intended for a white actor, Ali convinced the show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto, to let him take a crack at it and we’re so glad he did. Mahershala has been a successful actor for years, but many people still know next to nothing about him (and can barely pronounce his name). Here are 10 interesting facts about True Detective season three’s lead, Mahershala Ali.

RELATED: True Detective Season 3 Is In The Same World As Season 1

10. His Name Is Even Longer Than You Think

I know, I know, how could it possibly get any longer? Believe it or not, Mahershala’s mother gave him the longest name in the Bible: Mahershalalhashbaz. That’s quite a mouthful for an actor (or anyone, really), so he shortened his first name to Mahershala (pronounced Mah-HER-shuh-lah) in 2010 when he began his acting career.

“People have to be able to say your name,” he told Vanity Fair. “I didn’t want a couple of syllables to get in the way of me having the fullest experience as an actor.

9. He Was Raised Christian But Converted To Islam

Despite being raised by a Christian minister (his mother), Ali converted to Islam in 1999 after attending a mosque with his future wife, Amatus-Sami Karim. Shortly after, he joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in California and changed his surname from Gilmore to Ali.  So, how did his mother feel about his conversion? According to his SAG Awards speech, she wasn’t exactly thrilled, but Ali says they were able to get through it and that the love between them has only grown over the years.

RELATED: True Detective Season 3 Rotten Tomatoes Score Higher Than Season 2

8. House Of Cards Was His Big Break

7. He’s The First Muslim To Win An Academy Award

In 2017, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Juan in Moonlight, the coming-of-age story of a black gay man. Ali had also previously appeared in another Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures. Honestly, it seems like everything Ali touches turns to gold, as he’s also won the Screen Actors Guild, Critic’s Choice, and the NAACP Image award. I guess when you’re good, you’re good. In his Oscar acceptance speech, Ali thanked the cast, his family, and his teachers, who taught him that “It’s not about you, it’s about these characters.”

RELATED: Where Does Moonlight Rank Among Recent Best Picture Winners?

6. His Father Was A Broadway Actor And Dancer

I guess he had to get the showbiz gene from somewhere! Ali’s father, Phillip Gilmore, was a very accomplished actor and dancer who appeared on Broadway and in Malcolm X. As you can see in Ali’s Instagram caption above, his father competed in Soul Train’s national dance contest and won $2,500, but the Bay Area became too small for his dreams. Ali told The Hollywood Reporter that his dad was “very talented” and left California to pursue his entertainment career in New York City.

“I don’t think he had the space to do what he needed to do,” explained Ali. Once arriving in New York, Philip got into the Dance Theatre of Harlem and began touring as part of the larger shows.

5. He Received A Basketball Scholarship

It doesn’t seem fair that one person can lay claim to so many talents, but apparently there’s nothing Mahershala Ali can’t do. Right after high school, Ali was offered a basketball scholarship to St. Mary’s College of California, graduating in 1996 with a degree in mass communications. After landing an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater, Ali developed an interest in acting and enrolled in New York University’s graduate acting program, earning his master’s degree in 2000.

RELATED: True Detective Season 3 Full Trailer: Mahershala Ali Is A Haunted Investigator

4. He Used To Be A Rapper

Basketball, acting, writing, and now rapping? As I said, there’s nothing this guy can’t do. In addition to being amazing at everything else, Ali once had a recording contract as a rapper and released an album called Curb Side Service in 2007 under the stage name “Prince Ali.” It was no small thing, either; he had his own music label called Eye5 Recordings and collaborated with some big names, including Talib Kweli and Keith Murray.

3. He Makes Mix Tapes For His Characters

According to The Guardian, Ali has a playlist for every character he portrays on a show. His playlist for Cottonmouth in Luke Cage, for example, includes “Soldier” by Erykah Badu, “Danger Zone” by Big L., and “Deeper” by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib. Remy Danton’s playlist (his character in House of Cards) has “a lot of Jay Z… I always felt if Jay Z had had different opportunities, he could be someone like Remy.”

Juan from Moonlight listens to mostly hip-hop in the “chopped and screwed” Southern style, mixed with Bach and Mozart. So, what kind of playlist will Wayne Hays, his new character in True Detective, listen to? Only time will tell.

RELATED: Every MCU TV Show Ranked Worst To Best

2. He’s A Father And Husband

Sorry, ladies, but Ali is gorgeous, talented, AND taken. Ali first met his wife, Amatus Sam-Karim, back in 1999 when they attended NYU together, but they didn’t become an item until years later. The couple tied the knot in 2013 and announced in late 2016 that they were pregnant with their first baby. Their daughter, Bari Najma Ali, was born only four days before he won his first Oscar his role in Moonlight; so I’d say 2017 was quite the banner year for them. Ali gave a beautiful dedication to his wife in his Oscars acceptance speech, thanking her for “being a such a soldier through this process and really carrying me through it all.”

1. If He Wasn’t Acting, He’d Be Writing

Ali has accomplished quite a lot in his life, so it can be easy to forget that he went to college for a degree in mass communications. When asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t acting, Ali told GQ, “I would hope I would have fallen into writing.” He went onto say that if the acting thing hadn’t worked out, he would have tried to get into the creative writing program at Berkeley. Although Ali says he has written a couple of scripts, he has yet to come up with anything “amazing yet.” Don’t worry, fans, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

NEXT: True Detective Season 3 Cast & Character Guide

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2019-01-25 01:01:14

Star Wars Celebration 2019 Complete Guest List (So Far)

Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca in Solo

Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo and Darth Maul voice performer Sam Witwer will be among the talent attending Star Wars Celebration this year. After taking the year off in 2018, Lucasfilm is bringing back their trademark convention for 2019, holding it in Chicago this April. Considering the sheer amount of Star Wars content set to release over the next several months (Episode IX, The Mandalorian, other canon materials), it isn’t surprising to see Celebration return. It would be a wasted opportunity on the studio’s part if they didn’t spotlight everything they have coming across various panels.

The public at large always has a key interest in Celebration, especially since new footage from upcoming projects tends to debut there before being released online. But of course, the convention has plenty more to offer for those actually in attendance – such as a chance to meet the people who have helped bring the galaxy far, far away to life over the years. Now, with just a few months remaining until Celebration, fans know who they’ll be able to greet.

Related: Every Reveal From Star Wars 9’s Set Photos

On the official Star Wars website, it was announced Suotamo and Witwer will be in the Topps autograph area. They’ll be joined by an extensive list of others, which you can see below. Additionally, Lucasfilm unveiled official poster art for Celebration.

  • Greg Grunberg (The Force Awakens actor)
  • Dave Chapman (BB-8, Rio Durant, and Lady Proxima puppeteer)
  • Greg Proops (Star Wars Resistance voice actor)
  • Paul Kasey (Force Awakens and Rogue One actor)
  • Ian McElhinney (Rogue One actor)
  • Orli Shoshan (Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith actress)

The one-sheet bears resemblance to the one used for Celebration 2017 in that it combines the three trilogies of the Skywalker saga, highlighting the franchise’s generational approach to storytelling. Rather fittingly, it calls attention to the ever-warring light and dark sides, with iconic villains like Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Darth Maul positioned on the right and the heroic Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the left. Lando Calrissian’s inclusion is nice to see as well, considering Billy Dee Williams is reprising the role for Episode IX and a younger version of the character (played by Donald Glover) was in last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the scoundrel’s return and it’ll be interesting to see how Lando fits into the sequel trilogy finale.

This is surely just the beginning of official Star Wars Celebration announcements as Lucasfilm finalizes the schedule for their big event. J.J. Abrams and crew are currently hard at work still filming Episode IX, but they’ll reportedly wrap by February, which means there’ll be plenty of time to make the movie a centerpiece of the convention. Screen Rant will keep you updated with the latest as it happens.

More: Only Kylo Ren’s Death Can End The Skywalker Saga

Source: StarWars.com

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2019-01-22 01:01:05

Netflix May Spend Up to $15 Billion in 2019

Best New Netflix Releases Weekend January 18

After spending an estimated $12-13 billion in 2018, early reports project that Netflix may spend up to $15 billion in cash on content alone in 2019. The streaming leader continues to acquire and curate new content every month in addition to bolstering its slate of original programming – and there appears to be no slowing down.

Since its inception in 1997, Netflix has exploded from just a DVD-based mail service to a global streaming juggernaut for film and TV. Fueled by its ever-expanding list of titles, rising theater costs, and the sheer convenience of at-home viewing, Netflix has been able to amass more than 130 million paid subscribers around the world. A look at its upcoming releases quickly reveals why people flock to and stick with the service: there’s an original crime drama called The Irishman from Martin Scorsese, Ryan Murphy is creating a music-driven comedy series called The Politician, and fan-favorite hits like The Crown and Stranger Things are set to return.

Related: Worldwide Streaming Revenue Predicted To Top Box Office Next Year

Per a report from Variety, analysts are expecting content spending to climb another 25% from last year’s $12-13 billion spend, reaching right around $15 billion for 2019. This increase is in spite of the fact that the company is still burning through cash at a rapid rate, telling investors that it expects to record negative $3 billion in free cash flow this year. For his part, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seems relatively unfazed by the strategy in saying, “The more investment you’re putting in, the more people are finding content that they love and the more they have value in the service.”

Netflix You and Sex Education

In part, Netflix is likely expecting the extra revenue from subscription plan hikes announced earlier this month to help offset some of the debt that’s piling up. No doubt the streaming giant feels secure in raising prices, as its (unverifiable) viewing metrics claim that Bird Box will have been watched by 80 million subscribers in its first four weeks and upcoming titles You and Sex Education will reach a combined 40 million households over a similar time frame. Still, the additional revenue doesn’t seem like it could be enough to counter high-profile moves like the acquisition of Chris Evans and Tom Holland’s The Devil All the Time or Steve Carell and Greg Daniels’ Space Force – which isn’t even considering the massive rise in marketing spending.

One thing is clear: with an influx of serious streaming competition from Disney, IMDb, Roku, and countless other media companies, Netflix’s approach has been to focus on building a large gap in available content before they hit the market instead of focusing on profitability now. Investors, for the most part, seem happy with the strategy, but it’ll be interesting to see if the company can avoid spreading itself too thin before it realizes the gains of all its hard work.

Next: Netflix Original TV Shows To Be Most Excited About In 2019

Source: Variety

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2019-01-19 02:01:56

Marvel’s The Punisher Promo Teases An Action-Packed Season 2

Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle in The Punisher Season 2

A new promo has landed for the second season of Marvel’s The Punisher, and it promises an action-packed ride. Despite the relatively simple premise of the comic, the character proved tricky to translate to live-action in the past. Dolph Lundgren was the first to try with 1989’s The Punisher, but despite a gleefully high body count and some creative action, it failed to make much of an impact and ended up going straight to video in the U.S. following the bankruptcy of its production company. Tom Jane took over for the 2004 attempt, but while the actor received good reviews for his work, the film was criticized for its jarring tonal shifts and John Travolta’s villain.

The character was rebooted again for Punisher: War Zone, which has since become a beloved cult classic thanks to its over-the-top gore and black humor, but it remains to this day the lowest-grossing Marvel movie. Given the inherent R-rated nature of the material, the character was never going to get his own MCU movie and instead made his debut on the second season of Daredevil played by Jon Bernthal. The actor was pretty much perfect casting, and the character proved so popular he soon earned his own solo series. While reviews for The Punisher’s first season were somewhat mixed, it definitely made fans very happy.

Related: Screen Rant’s The Punisher Season 2 Review

The Punisher returns to Netflix on Jan. 18, with Frank Castle once again trying to turn away from his past, only to quickly strap the bulletproof vest back on. Now a new promo for the show has arrived on Twitter, which concisely sets up the plot of the second season and teases some of the brutal encounters The Punisher will find himself in.

The Punisher’s new season also sees Castle’s former friend Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) transform into the villain Jigsaw, though the character has been reimagined for the show. In the comics, Russo is a handsome gangster whose face is completely disfigured, but in the series, his scars are relatively tame following his brutal showdown with Castle. Instead, his shattered memory is considered the ‘jigsaw’ he needs to figure out while he seeks revenge against the Punisher. Some fans are disappointed by this approach, and Barnes has defended this more psychological take on Jigsaw.

While The Punisher hasn’t technically been cancelled by Netflix yet, many are expecting it will receive the axe very soon. Daredevil and Luke Cage are already gone, while many expect Jessica Jones to end after its upcoming third season. If this really is the final season of The Punisher, hopefully, the show will go out on a strong note.

More: Why The Punisher Will Probably Be Canceled After Season 2

The Punisher season 2 premieres Friday, January 18th on Netflix.

Source: The Punisher

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2019-01-16 01:01:04

Kingsman Creator Reveals Photo of Mark Strong’s Alternate Fate in The Golden Circle

Kingsman creator Mark Millar has posted photos showing a happier alternate fate for Mark Strong’s Merlin in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The original Kingsman was adapted from Millar’s graphic novel of the same name and found a teenager named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) training to become a member of an elite spy group.

While Kingsman: The Golden Circle was another success, it received a more mixed critical response. Whereas the first movie felt like a throwback to the colorful spy movies of the 1970s, Kingsman: The Golden Circle’s long runtime and childish sense of humor were commonly cited as two major problems. It also brought Colin Firth’s Harry Hart back to life after his fairly definitive death in the original. While Hart was a big hit with audiences who wanted to see the character return, his resurrection via some magical healing gel slightly cheapened his emotional demise. That said, he wasn’t the only major character to die in the franchise.

Related: Harry’s Return in Kingsman: The Golden Circle Explained

Kingman: The Golden Circle saw the death of another fan favorite character in Mark Strong’s Merlin, who is killed in a mine explosion. This scene is a shocking and heartbreaking moment for the characters and audience alike, but the original cut revealed Merlin actually survived this scene. He even later attended Eggsy’s wedding at the end of the film. Now, Millar has taken to Twitter to show some rare photos of a living Merlin during the final scene.

Merlin’s heroic death is considered one of the film’s highlights, but the first cut of Kingsman: The Golden Circle reveals the explosion only cost him his legs. He was supposed to crawl into the diner following the final fight scene, revealing his survival to Eggsy, and he would then be seen with prosthetic legs at the wedding. Test audiences were said to feel cheated that Merlin’s “death” was used as a cheap gag, so his demise was made permanent in the final cut.

While Kingsman: The Golden Circle didn’t receive the same critical buzz as the first film, the franchise’s future is looking strong. A prequel called Kingsman: The Great Game will star Ralph Fiennes, and will film before Egerton and Firth return for Kingsman 3. An 8-part Kingsman TV show, as well as a spinoff focused on sister organization The Statesman, are also in development, and Egerton has recently stated he’d like to take a 10-15 year break from the series following the third movie before returning to mentor a new agent in a future sequel.

More: Breaking Down The New Kingsman Shared Universe

Source: Mark Millar

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2019-01-13 01:01:00

20 Things That Make No Sense About Young Justice

Superhero cartoon shows come and go, and once in a while, they go too soon. That’s what happened with the brilliant Cartoon Network show Young Justice. The animated teen team drama took the traditional sidekicks for the characters from DC’s core pantheon – Batman, Superman, Aquaman, etc. – and jammed them all into a single series.

Of course, this sort of thing had been done before in the comics with Teen Titans (and is now being done in live-action TV with Titans). Young Justice did all that while featuring excellent storytelling, plots, and character development. That sort of perfect gelling of filmmaking elements is a rarity in the animated series world. So fans could not be happier with the return of the continuity now that Young Justice: Outsiders is finally available on DC’s new streaming service, DC Universe. The follow-up series picks up a couple years after Young Justice‘s original finale.

While the return of the show is warmly welcomed, the original Young Justice was not without its flaws. In fact, there were a whole lot of things about it that simply did not add up. Certain conflicts, behaviors, story choices, and even production drama left many fans scratching their heads. Look – there’s no such thing as a perfect TV show– and that’s fine. Let us lovingly look at some of the most glaring inconsistencies in Young Justice‘s run.

Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Young Justice.

20 They Seem to Be Tougher Than the Justice League

While the Young Justice team faces off with many foes, the one overarching enemy they deal with throughout the series is “The Light” – a group of incredibly powerful supervillains who have an almost unstoppable plan to take over the world. These are not second stringers. We’re talking about heavy hitters like Vandal Savage, Queen Bee, Lex Luthor, and Ra’s al Ghul.

This should be the Justice League’s fight, right? After all, they’re the A-Team when it comes to protecting the earth. Instead, it’s the sidekicks who win the day at the end of season two. Sure, they got help from the JL, but they led the charge and proved themselves.

19 Superman’s Relationship with Conner

When is Superman not so Super? When he can’t handle a little thing like facing a youthful cloned version of himself. In Young Justice, Superboy is Conner Kent, the human-Kryptonian hybrid who owes half of his DNA to Kal-El, otherwise known as Clark Kent – or Superman.

The evil project Cadmus secreted away a genetic sample of Metropolis’ favorite hero in order to create this unique metahuman. Rescued from the lab that bred him, Connor becomes a hero in his own right, but Superman just can’t face him. Rather than accept him into his life, he avoids a young man who is effectively his own son. For a guy who’s dealt with a lot of crazy stuff, Supes’ inability to treat the product of his own genes is kind of a bummer.

18 Miss Martian’s Body Insecurity

One of the most confusing side stories in Young Justice is a struggle that Miss Martian experiences. Determined to be accepted by her humanoid counterparts, she borrows an entire persona from a TV show called Hello Megan! Her big concern is one many young people can relate to: she’s worried that her body looks weird. As a shape-shifting Martian, she’s not just concerned with her weight or hairstyle. Her natural form is totally alien, kind of like a mix of lizard and insect, so she’s afraid to show it to the group and maintains a “normal” human form.

The thing is – these are metahumans! They’re totally accustomed to extraterrestrials, demons, and all sorts of weird stuff. Would they really be that thrown by Miss Martian’s true appearance?

17 They Went from Small Team to Free-for-All

In the first season of Young Justice, we got a nice, tight group of teen superheroes coming into their own. Robin, Miss Martian, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, and Artemis were fleshed out nicely and the audience got to feel out their character development nicely.

Once we got to season two – aka “Invasion” – the flood gates of superhero sidekicks broke wide open. Loads of new members were added to the roster, from top-tier heroines like Wonder Girl and Batgirl to the lesser-known heroes like Lagoon Boy and Bumblebee. Suddenly we went from following core protagonists to chasing a hodgepodge of metahumans who poped up left and right. While it was fun to get to see all of them in action, it was disorienting.

16 If Impulse Saved the Future, He Shouldn’t Exist

Yes, it’s time once again to ask the age-old question: just what happens if a time traveler travels to the past and effectively changes the future? That’s exactly what Impulse arrives to do.

Another speedster in the image of Flash and Kid Flash, the hyperactive wise-cracker comes from a future so bleak, he’s determined to prevent it from happening. He apparently succeeds, which in turn, should mean that he himself never exists. Confusing, isn’t it? It’s a common problem in superhero mythology, which in turn becomes a challenge in physics. Do alternate timelines exist? Or has everything that will happen already happened?

15 The Justice League Are Bad Mentors

The whole idea of Young Justice is that the Justice League has taken to mentoring a bunch of youngster superheroes to become the best that they can be. We do get to see a lot of those elder statesmen and women showing up to lend a helping hand. However, they’re not the most supportive mentors.

Superman won’t even look at Superboy, Batman constantly scolds Robin, J’onn J’onzz is regularly impatient with M’Gann – it’s the worst king of tough love you can imagine. Meanwhile, Green Arrow is too much of a helicopter parent, and Red Tornado is left behind to babysit the group like they were toddlers. The one exception? Black Canary. She’s the only “good cop” in the bunch. The rest need to learn some empathy.

14 Nobody Should Trust Artemis That Much

The members of Young Justice share a specific goal: to do good in the world. However, one of their core members was part of one of the most wicked crime families in the world. Oh – and that person was placed into their group as a mole to infiltrate and destroy their efforts from within. That member is Artemis.

As the daughter of the Sports Master and sister to the assassin known as Cheshire, she was groomed to be a spy in the house of Young Justice. She is eventually exposed, but is very quickly forgiven and accepted with full trust by Robin and the rest. It’s a nice Hollywood ending moment, but not very realistic coming from what is essentially a squadron of super soldiers.

13 Basically, They Are Superhero Child Labor

Today, kids are not allowed to work instead of going to school, and they certainly cannot perform hazardous functions. Additionally, if an underage worker is to be allowed to do anything at all, it must be under the authorization of a parent or guardian and during very limited hours. Young Justice meets exactly none of these criteria.

Sure, in the Golden Age of comics, people didn’t think about little things like workplace protections and the morality of exploiting the youth– that’s when sidekicks flourished. These days, it just looks like very bad policy for superheroes, of all people, to use child labor in the form of their teenage sidekicks.

12 Black Manta Was Fooled Way Too Easily

Like Artemis, Aqualad was accepted a little too quickly by The Light. Though he was son of Black Manta, Kaldur’ahm had long since rejected his father’s wicked ways. Choosing the side of good, Aqualad proved from a very young age that he was dedicating his life to fighting evil. When the Young Justice team got the bright idea of using an insider to infiltrate the toughest cabal of supervillains in the world, getting Kaldur to play on his daddy’s emotions might seem logical.

However, Black Manta is ruthless, as is Vandal Savage and the rest of The Light. How could they not see the obvious? How could they let the heroes pull the wool over their eyes so easily? While we never got to see that process due to the time gap between seasons, it’s kind of hard to believe this deception would have worked.

11 Cadmus Is Way Too Powerful

In the world of comic books and in the films and TV shows that come from it, there are a whole lot of secret organizations which are just too crazy to exist. Cadmus in Young Justice is just way off the charts. This is a super-scientist lab is built right under Washington, D.C., and it’s gone way beyond rogue. Apparently with no meaningful oversight by the government, it pretty much uses its genetic labs to create races of monsters, all controlled and protected by a private army using advanced tech.

At least in the Justice League Unlimited animated series, Cadmus was seen spiraling out of control and came into conflict with Amanda Waller, its government overseer. In Young Justice, Cadmus just seems to go way too far with no meaningful check outside of direct attack by superheroes.

10 Five-Year Time Jump Between Season 1 and 2

While season one of Young Justice was an instant hit with superhero fans, season two threw viewers for a loop. Despite appearing only months after the last episode of season one, season two opens an astounding five years after the events audiences last saw.

Many things had changed. The “kids” were now young adults. and younger kids were the new Young Justice (sort of). Relationships had changed, allegiances had shifted, and oh yes – the world was in the middle of a secret alien invasion. It was a shift that gave many viewers continuity whiplash. It was all good when the story got going, but it was an odd choice for the series to leapfrog over five years of story development and character exploration so quickly.

9 Unstoppable Foes Are Way Too Stoppable

Supervillain groups have come and gone, but The Light is one of the most impressive collection of top-tier rogues ever assembled. This isn’t just a bunch of metahumans with ridiculous powers. These are the alphas of evil; Planners, thinkers, leaders – truly an assembly of kings and queens. They are the combined brilliance and cunning of the likes of Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor, Queen Bee, R’as al Ghul – and don’t forget – Darkseid is their sponsor.

For most of the series, they totally outplayed Young Justice. Yes, they had their big plan, and a lot of it worked, but the kids seemed to beat up the adults a little too quickly in the end.

8 Darkseid Could Have Beaten Them Easily

As a combination of the cream of the DC supervillains crop, the Light should be enough to take out the Young Justice team’s inexperience and lesser powers. As we already know, the Light were nonetheless defeated in the end. But what about the secret leader of this nefarious group?

It’s only in the final episode of season two that we see the man behind the curtain – Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips. Arguably the single most powerful foe in the DC universe, surely he could have stepped in and dispatched the kids any time he wanted to? Sure, he’ll laugh self-assuredly and say it’s all part of the plan, but it doesn’t add up. Including this villain in the story without having him jump in when things go south seems like a cop-out.

7 The Original Characters Are No Longer “Young”

When considering the five-year gap between season one and season two of Young Justice, there’s a kind of ageist elephant looming in the room, and it’s probably already past puberty. In season one, it’s reasonable to guess that the team’s members were anywhere from about thirteen to sixteen years old, but in season two, that means they are anywhere from eighteen to twenty-one years old. Not so young anymore!

Shouldn’t they be in the proper Justice League by now? After all, they’re old enough to vote, work (legally this time), and even serve in the armed forces. Not to mention, a whole bunch of younger kids are brought in to bolster their numbers. The original Robin, “Kid” Flash, Artemis, and the rest are even older in Young Justice: Outsiders. At this rate, they’ll need to be in Geriatric Justice!

6 Red Tornado Is the Worst Babysitter Possible

At the very outset of the Young Justice television series, the Justice League are so contemptuous of their underlings that it’s decided they will be overseen by Red Tornado, a soulless superpowered android. Essentially, he’s their super-babysitter. While his impeccable logic may help make the best tactical decisions about the missions they take, these are children we’re talking about! They need more than practical lessons; they need love, encouragement, and nurturing.

No offense to Red Tornado, but his tin-plated brain isn’t necessarily the best candidate for those functions. Why not just leave them with their tablets and cell phones? They can figure out their own missions just using the internet– which they often do, anyway.

5 the Justice League Walk Free After the Rimbor Trial

One of the major subplots in Young Justice involves the disappearance of core members of the Justice League, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Where did they go? Apparently, their minds were taken over by bad guys and they were compelled to cause massive destruction on a faraway planet. It was so bad that countless aliens lost their lives.

When evidence of what they did was uncovered, they faced trial on the planet Rimbor. They were were found guilty, and even new evidence did not sway the tribunal. Then M’gann and Conner’s little speech about how it would be a good thing if the Justice League was acquitted somehow changed their minds. This 11th hour plea seems very unlikely to cause such an abrupt switch of verdict.

4 Why Is Dr. Fate’s Enslavement of Zatara Tolerated?

Dr. Fate is a truly unique character within the halls of the Justice League. He is the Lord of Order known as Nabu, hailing from an ethereal pantheon of demigods dedicated to maintaining the balance of things in the universe against the powers of chaos. The only way Dr. Fate can manifest himself as an effective agent in our earthly realm is by possessing the body of a human being. This happens when anybody dons Fate’s helmet.

In Young Justice, the child sorceress Zatanna puts the helmet on in a desperate moment to battle back some bad guys. Once the fight is over, Fate refuses to release Zatanna – until her dad Zatara sacrifices his freedom to host the Lord of Order. Basically, it’s domination by blackmail and the Justice League does nothing about it.

3 Wally West’s Suspicious Disappearance

Did Kid Flash make the ultimate sacrifice? It sure seemed to be the case at the end of season two of Young Justice. The invading alien force known as The Reach activates a weapon that will mean the end of the world as we know it. The only way to stop it is if the Earth’s top speedsters – Flash, Kid Flash, and Impulse – run fast enough to create a counteracting vortex around it. The plan works, but Wally West can’t slow down at the end and literally disappears out of existence and into the Speed Force.

That’s the end of the young speedster, right? Not so fast! More than an elemental force, the Speed Force is an alternate realm, so don’t be surprised if we see Wally make an “unexpected” return in Young Justice: Outsiders.

2 It’s Really a Mashup of Teen Titans and Young Justice

Way back in the Silver Age of comics, Teen Titans came into being as the original superhero team made up of sidekicks. Later, in the ’80s, the New Teen Titans arrived on the scene, adding brand new young heroes who weren’t sidekicks at all – like Cyborg and Raven. In the early 2000s, the Young Justice comic turned this idea on its head once more with a different sort of revamp.

Once the Young Justice animated series hit, it pretty much became a mashup of all those that had come before– and much more. It might have made more sense to simply assemble the team and give the show its own brand new name to avoid confusion, but too late now!

1 It was Canceled

Reality has a way of being even stranger than fiction. The first two seasons of Young Justice were fan favorites, garnering decent ratings. When it was announced that the series was canceled, audiences were bowled over. Why in the world would such a well-received show get the axe so callously? The answer is pretty strange.

The original Young Justice series was funded by a deal made with Mattel toys, tying merchandise based on the show with support for the production. When not enough of those toys sold, Mattel was out and Warner Bros. decided it was easier to cancel the popular show rather than figure out another way to find a budget. It just goes to show that poorly constructed business models can be more destructive than even the most powerful supervillains! Thankfully Young Justice found new life on DC Universe with Outsiders.

What else doesn’t make sense about Young Justice? Let us know in the comments!

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2019-01-12 01:01:07

Glass: Rotten Tomatoes Reveals ‘Rotten’ Score Based On Early Reviews

After some brutal early reviews for the movie, Rotten Tomatoes has revealed a “rotten” 35% score for M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass. Shyamalan’s latest arrives two years after his last movie Split, starring James McAvoy as a man with multiple personalities who kidnaps a group of school girls, revived the director’s reputation while grossing $278 million at the global box office.

In addition to providing classic Shyamalan thrills, Split also contained one of the director’s signature twists, when Bruce Willis’ David Dunn character from Shyalaman’s Unbreakable showed up for a brief cameo. With the film’s box office tally rising, Shyamalan explained that Split was indeed intended as a sequel to Unbreakable, and revealed that his next movie Glass would wrap up the trilogy by bringing back McAvoy and Willis together with Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price. Glass soon became one of the most buzzed-about films of 2019, with fans anticipating a satisfying wrap-up to the story kicked off in Unbreakable and surprisingly continued in Split.

Related: 2019 Will Have The Most Superhero Movies Ever Released

However, after early screenings of Glass, it appears those excited fans may be in for a disappointing experience. After the first round of early reviews largely panned Shyamalan’s newest effort, aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes has rendered an initial verdict and given Glass a score of 35%, putting it firmly in “rotten” territory. It remains to be seen if Glass will do better on the audience side of the Rotten Tomatoes ledger after it hits theaters in nationwide release.

Getting hit with a “rotten” rating by Rotten Tomatoes is of course nothing new for M. Night Shyamalan, who has seen several of his releases get panned by critics over the years. Unsurprisingly, Shyamalan’s worst-performing movie ever on Rotten Tomatoes is his 2010 debacle The Last Airbender, which currently sits at a dismal 5%. The director’s Will Smith-led 2012 sci-fi disaster After Earth also got crushed by critics, receiving a score of 11%, while his unintentionally (or maybe intentionally) hilarious 2008 disaster movie The Happening sits at 18%.

But Shyamalan hasn’t always been a target for so much critical wrath. His breakout feature The Sixth Sense was a smash hit when it came out in 1999, and carries an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Unbreakable itself stands at a solid 69%, just a little bit behind the director’s sci-fi classic Signs at 73%. In more recent years, Shyamalan has seen his quirky horror excursion The Visit score 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Split did even better with a score of 76%.

It’s no shock at all to see Shyamalan’s Rotten Tomato scores falling all over map, given the well-documented ups-and-downs of his long career. If Rotten Tomatoes’s 35% score for Glass is any indication, Shyamalan has indeed hit another one of those low points. But if the writer-director has proven anything over the years, it’s that he somehow always manages to bounce back. It appears however that, when Shyamalan does come back again, it won’t be with another sequel to Unbreakable/Split, as the trilogy most likely will not continue beyond Glass.

More: 2019 Is The Year Of Movies Lying About Being The End

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

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2019-01-10 01:01:22