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Master Z: Ip Man Legacy Review – So Begins the Ip Man Universe

They might not be a full-blown shared universe just yet, but the Ip Man films have certainly taken a step in that direction thanks to the Max Zhang-led spinoff, Master Z: Ip Man Legacy. The original Ip Man and its sequels were box office hits in China that elevated lead Donnie Yen to newfound levels of popularity in his homeland (and, ultimately, led to him gaining international fame in films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), so it stands to reason that an off-shoot could do something similar for Zhang. Wherever the greater Ip Man franchise goes from here, its first spinoff is more successful than not in realizing its simple, but unpretentious ambitions. Master Z delivers its fair share of pulpy entertainment and stylish martial arts fights without bringing anything particularly fresh to the genre.

Zhang, reprising his Ip Man 3 role here, stars as Cheung Tin-chi, a Wing Chun master who leaves his old life behind him (following his defeat behind closed doors at Ip Man’s hands), in favor of a quiet existence running a grocery store with his young son. While Master Z includes black and white flashbacks to key moments from Ip Man 3, the finer details of Tin-chi’s backstory are of little relevance to the narrative at hand. As a result, the spinoff serves as a decent entry point for those who’re unfamiliar with the previous movies in the Ip Man franchise, but makes for an otherwise unnecessary extension of the property. Nevertheless, it gives Zhang the chance to further demonstrate his mettle as a star (which he does) in a mid-20th century martial arts drama of his own.

Plot-wise, the Master Z script by Ip Man trilogy writers Edmond Wong and Chan Tai Lee weaves together story threads about British colonialists and corrupt police officers, the head of an organized crime gang (Michelle Yeoh) trying to turn her operation into a legitimate business, and Tin-chi attempting – and failing – to keep his head down amidst all this, no longer able to find any meaning in his practice of Wing Chun and life of combat. Suffice it to say, the movie is full of melodramatic subplots and one-dimensional villains, including the opium-dealing Tso Sai Kit (Kevin Cheng, playing Yeoh’s onscreen brother) and Owen Davidson (Dave Bautista), a brawny drug smuggler who pays off the cops and uses his posh restaurant as the cover for his crimes. Ultimately, these threads amount to little more than the catalyst for Tin-chi’s arc, which is pretty straightforward and might’ve benefitted from having fewer storylines to compete with for screentime.

Obviously, when it comes to this kind of B-movie genre fare, the major selling point is the martial arts fighting, not the story and character development that comes between it (more on that soon). Still, Master Z generally fails to subvert expections or take its plot threads in unexpected directions, even though some of them (like the one involving Yeoh) might’ve been able to sustain a whole film on their own. More frustrating, admittedly, are the movie’s regressive qualities, like the way it tends to reduce its female characters (those not played by Yeoh, that is) to either helpless damsels, victims brutalized by the movie’s bad guys, or capable fighters who’re inexplicably left out of the biggest battles. The latter criticism applies specifically to Julia (Liu Yan), a woman who helps Tin-chi and guides him on his personal journey, but is increasingly sidelined in favor of her brother Fu (Xing Yu), as the story progresses.

Fortunately, when it come to the fighting sequences, Master Z is much more successful in execution. The film was directed by the renowned Hong Kong martial arts filmmaker and choreographer Yuen Woo-ping (still best known in the U.S. for his work on The MatrixCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Kill Bill), and his near-fifty years of experience serves the action well here. Master Z‘s close-quarter combat sequences aren’t as innovative as Woo-ping’s most famous efforts, but he finds clever ways of staging the battles – most notably, during a fight set atop a collection of business signs – and shoots the action in a visually crisp and cohesive fashion that really showcases the athleticism of his performers and stunt team. It helps that Yeoh, Zhang, and Bautista all have very different fighting styles, so the various throwdowns avoid blurring together and each possess their own distinct look, feel, and rhythm.

Overall, Master of Z is a perfectly serviceable martial arts offering, if one that lacks the rich character-driven storytelling that made the original Ip Man such a noteworthy addition to the genre in the first place. The film might be as cartoony as the “Black Bat” comics that Tin-chi’s son is obsessed with, but it seems to recognize that for the most part, and rarely holds itself up as being more than a flashy, insubstantial pice of entertainment. It doesn’t really have lavishing production values either, so those who’re interested might want to hold off and catch this one at home (assuming it even makes its way to their local theater). As for those who prefer their Ip Man movies to actually feature Ip Man: fear not, Ip Man 4 proper is coming down the pipeline next.

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy is now playing in U.S. theaters. It is 108 minutes long and is not rated.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!


2019-04-12 05:04:36

Sandy Schaefer

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Reportedly Begins Production in February 2021

A recent report suggests that production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will begin in February of 2021. The film was put on hold after controversial tweets involving writer and director James Gunn led to Disney firing him. Initially, Disney didn’t want to rehire Gunn, but he’s since been brought back on to helm the upcoming third entry. The film was originally expected to arrive in theaters sometime next year, but with production now reportedly set to begin in a couple of years, the film will arrive in theaters at a later date.

The cosmic team fans have come to love over the last few years were initially just part of an obscure comic book until Gunn turned them into a major hit worldwide beginning with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Not much is known about the plot of the film, but Gunn has confirmed that it’ll end this specific version of the cosmic team. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Vol. 3 will also set the stage for a decade or two of future Marvel movies. Stars Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, and Dave Bautista have confirmed that they’ll return to reprise their respective roles. Bautista, who recently returned to WWE, has defended Gunn since he was let go from the project, and even threatened to quit the film at one point. Despite that, the film is moving forward and production looks to start in a couple of years.

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Probably Won’t Release Until 2023

According to Production Weekly (via Comic Book) production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will reportedly begin in February of 2021. We have reached out to Disney for comment on the report. With Gunn working on Warner Bros. The Suicide Squad, which is set to release the year production would begin on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3., that’s likely the main reason early 2021 was chosen as a planned date to begin filming the third movie involving the cosmic team. Gunn will first devote all his time to The Suicide Squad before shifting his focus towards Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3., which will be filmed under the working title of “Hot Christmas”.

While that means the film itself wouldn’t arrive for several more years, fans who’ve been waiting for a third entry can be excited knowing it’s one step closer. And, if production does begin in February of 2021 that would give Gunn enough time to wrap on The Suicide Squad so that all of his attention can be shifted toward completing the trilogy he started in 2014. The decision to rehire Gunn may not sit well with some, but there’s no denying that he’s been a key piece in the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, so his involvement means another hit is on the way.

While plans involving the production of a film could always change, hopefully, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 stays on track. It’s been nearly two years since the second entry released, and fans have been clamoring for more ever since. However, by the time the third film reaches theaters, it’ll be the longest gap in between movies for the series. And, while a release date isn’t yet known, news regarding its release should become more specific once Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 begins production.

More: The Marvel/DC War is Over, Thanks to James Gunn

Source: Production Weekly (via Comic Book)


2019-03-20 09:03:33

Eric Trigg

The Batman Reportedly Begins Production in December 2019

The Batman – written and directed by Matt Reeves – reportedly begins production in December 2019, ahead of a planned 2021 release date. Arguably the most popular superhero of all time, Batman has had a long, strange trip when it comes to big screen adventures. The Caped Crusader – along with his billionaire alter ego Bruce Wayne – debuted in theaters in 1966, starring Adam West in an offshoot of the campy 1960s TV series. Batman didn’t return to live-action films until 1989, with Michael Keaton in the lead and under the direction of Tim Burton.

Burton returned for 1992’s Batman Returns, which didn’t prove as successful as its predecessor at the time, although now it stands as something of a cult classic. 1995’s Batman Forever saw Val Kilmer don the cape and cowl, with Joel Schumacher taking over as director, and embracing the rarely tapped camp value of Gotham City once more. 1997’s Batman & Robin – also helmed by Schumacher – took that attitude up to eleven, with George Clooney as Batman. By 2005, Christopher Nolan had rescued the character via his Christian Bale-led Dark Knight trilogy, leading to the greatest level of acclaim yet for Batman movies.

Related: All 31 Upcoming & In-Development DC Films

Bale’s run as Batman was of course followed by the most recent live-action film incarnation, Ben Affleck in the DCEU. Affleck starred in both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, interacting with Superman and Wonder Woman on the big screen for the first time. However, Affleck is now out, and writer/director Reeves has been left to once again reinvent the costumed crimefighter with his upcoming film The Batman. It’s not yet known who’ll take over for Affleck in the lead role, but Production Weekly (via Comic Book) now reports that The Batman will begin production in December 2019.

While this report isn’t official confirmation of The Batman’s production schedule, it does fit with a recent tweet by Reeves himself that the film was likely to begin filming before the end of 2019. Either way, we’ve reached out to Warner Bros. for comment on the matter. There’s still little known about The Batman’s plot, although Reeves reportedly wants to cast a younger actor in the role, and a recent report suggested it might be set in the 1990s.

With The Batman having already received a 2021 release date, a production start of late 2019 should allow Reeves and company the time they need to get this latest take on Batman right. While many grew to like Affleck’s version of Batman and Bruce Wayne, the movies surrounding him were riddled with problems, and often gave DC’s legendary hero short shrift. It’s about time Batman once again gets his due on the big screen.

More: The DCEU Wasted Ben Affleck’s Batman (& His Other Skills)

Source: Production Weekly (via Comic Book)


2019-03-20 07:03:30

Michael Kennedy

Star Wars: Rogue One Prequel TV Show Begins Production October 2019

The Rogue One prequel TV show starring Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor is set to begin production in October 2019. Announced earlier this year, the series is the second live-action program Lucasfilm is producing for the Disney Plus streaming service – alongside Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian (which is currently filming). With The Americans’ Stephen Schiff onboard as showrunner, the Rogue One show will look to further flesh out the earliest days of the Rebel Alliance, telling stories with an espionage twist.

Since the project is still in the earliest stages of development, not much is known about it at this point in time – including when it’ll get in front of the cameras. The Star Wars show isn’t the only small screen gig Luna has on his schedule, seeing that his Netflix series Narcos: Mexico was recently renewed for a second season. At the time the Rogue One prequel was unveiled, it was expected it wouldn’t shoot until later in 2019 due to Luna’s Narcos commitment. Now, there’s a more concrete timeframe.

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

According to Production Weekly, the Cassian Andor show is scheduled to begin filming in October 2019. You can check out their tweet in the space below:

Should this information pan out, it would put the Rogue One prequel on track for a premiere at some point in 2020. Additionally, Lucasfilm will have the better part of a year to iron out the show’s supporting cast. So far, Luna is the only confirmed actor, but that will surely change in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see who else the studio recruits; it wouldn’t be out of the question for Alan Tudyk to return to the fold as fan-favorite droid K-2SO (considering his dynamic with Cassian), and there will definitely be plenty of new faces introduced to the canon. Lucasfilm has a knack for securing top-tier names for their films and TV shows (as evidenced by The Mandalorian’s star-studded ensemble), so keeping tabs on who’s joining the Rogue One show should make for a fun activity in 2019.

While Rogue One received positive reviews and grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, one common complaint amongst viewers was a perceived lack of character development. At least in regards to Cassian, the show should amend that problem in spades, since it will have multiple episodes (and perhaps multiple seasons) to showcase more of the character. Rogue One made several allusions to Cassian’s morally complex past – where he sometimes did questionable things in the name of a good cause. Hopefully, his TV show will be a valuable addition to the Star Wars lineup and complement the movie nicely.

More: Disney Is Making Rogue One Even Better

Source: Production Weekly




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2018-12-31 01:12:00

Six films hit the silver screen this week



‘Suspiria’Modern “Suspiria,” which adapts the cult classic of Dario Argento, revolves around the mysterious events at a dance school as a young dancer begins her studies there.Directed by Luca Guadagnino,…Click To Continue



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Harry Potter: 20 Strange Details About Draco Malfoy’s Anatomy

Draco Malfoy is one of the most memorable secondary characters in the Harry Potter movies and books. It may be due to his irredeemable and despicable behaviour,as everyone loves a good villain. It could also be the appeal of actor Tom Felton in the movies, and all the subsequent fan fiction they have produced.

However, not a lot is revealed about him in the books, and less even less is shown on screen, leaving him a mystery. We do know that his family has an unhealthy obsession with their pure blood heritage and an unflinching loyalty to Voldemort. One thing that we also know is that during his sixth year, Draco became even more villainous. He was given the task of assassinating Dumbledore and allowing the Death Eaters access to his present school, Hogwarts.

Some aspects that remained more hidden, though, including the origins of his name, which has links to the Hogwarts motto. His talents in transfiguration, charms, potions, and Occlumency are also never fully explored or known by the average person.

More surprisingly than all of this is the fact that despite being mortal enemies, Draco and Harry only duel twice – and one of them was in the presence of teachers, so it barely counts. Including these examples and every other duel that Draco is involved in, we have discovered that he never wins a single fight. This might be J. K. Rowling highlighting his cowardice and lack of morals that weaken his character ultimately. However, it might also have to do with his particular skillset.

With that said, here are the 20 Strange Details About Draco Malfoy’s Anatomy In Harry Potter.

20 He is a gifted Occlumens

While Harry Potter is undoubtedly a gifted wizard, one of the things he was never able to master was Occlumency. This is the act of closing your mind to anyone who attempts to read it.

Draco managed to surpass his rival by mastering the art of this notoriously tricky skill.

While it may seem peculiar that Draco can keep other wizards out his head while Harry cannot, this is in keeping with his character. J. K. Rowling confirmed that Draco managed to become a gifted Occlumens due to his ability to suppress his emotions. The fact that Draco can excel in this area is only due to his repressed emotional issues that may stem from his dysfunctional family.

19 His name says a lot about his personality

J. K. Rowling puts a lot of thought into her character’s names and the names of locations – and the seemingly bland name of “Draco Malfoy” is no exception upon closer examination if we take a look at its origin on Pottermore.

The name Draco can either be linked to the Latin for “dragon” or the constellation. The word “Draco” is even in Hogwart’s motto: “Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, “which translates as “never tickle a sleeping dragon.” Draco’s last name, Malfoy, could have its roots in French, with “mal foi” translating as “unfaithful.” Rowling could have perhaps been a bit more subtle when thinking of names for her villains, however, as “unfaithful dragon” doesn’t leave a lot of space for redemption.

18 He temporarily had control of the Elder Wand

During his sixth year, Draco was given the task of destroying Dumbledore and giving the Death Eaters access into Hogwarts. While he succeeded with the latter, Draco was unable to take the life of the Hogwarts headmaster.However, when confronting Dumbledore, he disarmed the professor, which was a significant action even if Draco did not realize it at the time.

 By disarming Dumbledore, Draco unknowingly had control of the most powerful wand in existence – the Elder Wand.

This was only temporary, though, as Harry later confronts Draco in his house in the Deathly Hallows and disarms him. This meant that control of the Elder Wand was passed down to Harry, who still technically can wield it today. For one brief moment, however, Draco could have been the most powerful wizard in the world.

17 He learnt the Unforgivable Curses

Draco’s sixth year at Hogwarts was a pivotal and important year for the sole Malfoy child. As well as being given the task of overthrowing his school, he was taught the Unforgiveable Curses by Bellatrix Lestrange.

Lestrange, being Draco’s aunt, most likely taught him these forbidden spells to prepare him for his role. We know for certain that Draco can perform Crucio (the torturing spell) and Imperio (the controlling spell). However, it is unclear whether Draco ever learnt the ultimate Unforgiveable Curse: Avada Kedavra, which would destroy the receiver. Though Draco seemed like an antagonist during his first year at Hogwarts, few fans expected him to become such a villain later in the story. However, it could be argued that this was due to the pressures of his family.

16 He is supposedly one of the only Death Eaters who can love

Death Eaters are more ingrained to respond with acts of hate than love. This is hardly surprising, though, considering the amount of carnage and havoc that they have created. However, what is surprising is that even though Draco is a Death Eater, he is supposedly capable of feeling genuine love.

This love manifests itself towards both his parents and his future wife, Astoria Greengrass. This is at odds with the other Death Eaters, whose hate trumps their love. Be it Bellatrix Lestrange or Lucius Malfoy, these individuals are consumed by their service to the Dark Lord. While it could be argued that they love Voldemort, this is closer to worship than a romantic or platonic love.

15 He’s proud of his pure blood family

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter may be incredible, but when it comes to metaphors, it is not very subtle. The fact that some wizarding families, such as the Malfoys, favor those with pure blood is meant to echo the real world prejudices that some hold. Draco’s parents instilled the belief that he is superior to half blood and muggles on him at a young age. This explains his resentment towards Hermione, whom he calls “Mudblud” incessantly.

This hatred for anyone who is not pure blood is a trait that many of the old wizarding families share.

The notable exceptions are Nymphodora Tonks and Sirius Black, who were cast out of the family for their beliefs that muggles and wizards are equal. Draco may not be as hostile towards muggles and muggle-born wizards by the end of the Deathly Hallows, but it is still a prejudice that he cannot escape.

14 He has used a Time Turner

J. K. Rowling may live to regret introducing Time Turners into the Wizarding World. The amount of problems that this device, which was used by Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban, could solve is countless. It could be used to stop Voldemort from ever existing or it could be used to bring back beloved characters. However, in Prisoner of Azkaban, it is used by Hermione to ensure that she can go to all her classes and to save Buckbeak.

Having not learnt the amount of plot holes attached to such a device, Rowling revealed the existence of a secret Time Turner belonging to the Malfoys. Without revealing too many details of The Cursed Child, Malfoy uses it successfully, which makes him – alongside Hermione, Harry, Albus, and Scorpius  – one of the few known people to have used a Time Turner.

13 He has a Dark Mark

Some fans believe that it was inevitable for Draco to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a Death Eater. He did this sometime between the events of Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. We know this since we can clearly see a Dark Mark on his arm during the events before Dumbledore’s assassination. While Dumbledore looked unsurprised to see Draco pointing a wand at him, he did seem surprised by the fact that Draco now had a Dark Mark.

It is not possible to get rid of a Dark Mark, so despite the fact that Draco’s character has since been redeemed, he is not able to reverse the procedure. Draco will forever have the mark of He Who Must Not Be Named on his arm.

12 He was an extremely intelligent student

Although the movies show Draco to be just an arrogant bully, in the books, we see another aspect of Draco – we soon discover that he is an intelligent student, too. While Harry was always picked on in Potions due to Snape’s hatred for him, Draco was always the teacher’s pet.

Whether he was actually better than Harry is debatable, though, as Snape never gave the Gryffindor student a fair chance. However, one subject where Malfoy definitely excelled was in Charms, in which he was described as equally intelligent as Hermione.During his sixth year, he managed to cast the extremely difficult Protean charm. The only other person in the class who could cast it was Hermione.

11 He was supposed to get along with Harry

Draco and Harry were supposed to get along. According to Pottermore, Draco’s birthday is June 5, which makes him a Gemini. Meanwhile, Harry’s birthday is July 31, which makes him a Leo.

These two star signs are meant to get along with one another and are even able to become close friends.

During their first meeting, there was definitely potential for them to become friends, as Malfoy extends a hand of friendship to Harry. However, Harry sensed Draco’s arrogance and hostility and rejected him. Despite this, the fact that their star signs match up so well may have been a coincidence on behalf of J. K. Rowling. Or perhaps it could have been a hint that had Harry Potter shaken Draco’s hand, they could have formed an evil alliance.

10 He really wished he was the heir of Slytherin

While it may be obvious that the heir of Slytherin could only be Voldemort in hindsight, there was a lot of speculation over who it could be. During the events of Chamber of Secrets, many students thought that Harry was the heir due to his Parseltongue abilities.

Harry himself believed that Draco was the heir and took Polyjuice Potion in order to investigate. However, Draco admitted he was not the heir of Slytherin despite his family’s allegiance to Slytherin and their prejudiced view against Muggles. Although Draco didn’t know who the heir was, he served as nothing more than a pawn of the real heir: Tom Marvolo Riddle. This was still an honor for his family, though.

9 During Half-Blood Prince, he is described as unhealthily pale

Though one of Draco’s defining features is his pale skin, in Half-Blood Prince, he is described as being paler than ever. This is due to the fact that he was assigned by Voldemort to take down Dumbledore and help the Death Eaters infiltrate Hogwarts, which can put a lot of stress on a person.

Since he is the only one able to complete the tasks, he begins to physically show the signs of stress. It is notable to other students, particularly Harry, who notices his rapid deterioration over the course of sixth year. Before Half-Blood Prince was filmed, Tom Felton was told that he wasn’t allowed to come back tanned from holiday. His paleness may also draw some parallel’s to Voldemort’s own appearance, as some fans have spectated that Draco becomes more gaunt by committing evil deeds.

8 He wanted to use alchemy to become a better man

Alchemy is an ancient practice. Because of this, it is shielded in mystery. However, it principally involves turning lead into gold. For some reason, Draco became heavily invested in Alchemy after he left Hogwarts.

Post-Deathly Hallows, Draco settled down with his wife and child and began to study Alchemy. Being the heir of his family fortune and the Malfoy Manor, he did not have to worry about getting a job after school. However, Draco also spent time caring for his wife, Astoria, who was ill due to a curse that was put on her ancestors. While at home, Draco soon became fascinated by alchemical manuscripts. According to Pottermore, Draco’s obsession with Alchemy was pure – he wished to use it to become a better man.

7 He is never seen winning a duel

Despite Draco and Harry being sworn enemies during their time in Hogwarts, they only face off against each other twice. Their first duel happens during their second year in front of other second year students. However, Snape and Lockhart intervene after a snake is conjured by Malfoy. When Draco and Harry next duel, it nearly results in the demise of Malfoy during Half-Blood Prince.

During the events of Order of the Phoenix, Ginny and Draco also duel, which results in Draco losing his wand.

The final duel we see Draco participate in is during Deathly Hallows, when Hermione gets the better of him. At least during his youth, it was clear that Draco’s arrogance was just used as a shield.

6 He was a Prefect

A Hogwarts prefect is meant to inspire the younger students and act as a role model to them. By definition, Harry Potter would be the ideal Prefect for Gryffindor students, or any house for that matter. However, throughout his six years at Hogwarts, he is never given the coveted Prefect badge. While students like Percy Weasley may be obvious choices to become prefects, characters like Draco Malfoy aren’t typically expected to obtain the badge.

Draco is not a character that you typically associate with good morals, leadership, or as a role model. Regardless, Draco does become a prefect. Perhaps this was done by J. K. Rowling to show us that Draco did make for a decent leader, despite his lack of morals. In fact, some fans speculate that by giving Draco the badge, Rowling was not giving up on him.

5 He has ice grey eyes in the books, but Tom Felton has blue eyes in the movies

In the books, Draco is described as having platinum blonde hair and ice grey eyes. There are many parallels between Voldemort and his army and the Axis leaders and their army in WWII, so it makes sense that Draco would look like this.  However, in real life, the actor who brought Draco Malfoy to life on the big screen, Tom Felton, looks nothing like this. Felton has brown hair and blue eyes. Because of this, he had to dye his hair blonde for the movies.

Similarly, Daniel Radcliffe did not have Harry Potter’s green eyes. However, he found the contact lenses too painful to wear so the movies were filmed without them. Though not many fans may remember Draco’s eye color from the books, Harry’s eyes are constantly referred to in both the books and movies, which makes it even more noticeable.

4 He was unable to produce a Patronus

Though anyone can find out what their Patronus is on Pottermore, it is not as simple in the Wizarding World. Some wizards and witches are actually unable to produce a Patronus. While we know that Harry’s Patronus is a stag, many fans don’t know what Draco’s is. However, it has since been revealed that Draco is unable to conjure one.

This is apparently a common trait among Death Eaters, as many fans believe that they don’t have enough light and goodness to summon one.

While it has been established that Draco is capable of feeling love, this may not enough to produce the special charm. J. K. Rowling has also mentioned that Death Eaters are unable to produce a Patronus because Voldemort controls Dementors anyway.

3 He is a master of Transfiguration

Transfiguration is known to be a difficult class to pass at Hogwarts. After all, we see how hard it is for Ron to transform Scabbers into a grail in the movies. However, Draco is an accomplished hand at this craft. We see signs of this during his second year duel against Harry.

When they face each other in the Great Hall, Draco manages to summon a snake that slithers menacingly towards Harry. If it had not been for Harry’s ability to speak Parseltongue, he might have been attacked by the snake. In his later years, Draco even manages to transform Harry into a doppëlganger of Voldemort, which is an extremely complex charm. While the movies do not emphasize Draco’s intelligence, it remains clear in the books that he should not be underestimated.

2 His love life is fairly ambiguous

Draco’s love life is left relatively ambiguous in both the Harry Potter movies and the books. The only girl we see Draco talk to in the books and movies is Pansy Parkinson, who is described as the closest Draco comes to a girlfriend in the books. However, it is never actually confirmed that Pansy is his girlfriend in the series. At one point, the books describe a scene where Pansy is resting her head on Draco’s lap, but this is the closest we ever see them get.

While Draco eventually marries Astoria, little is known about how they met or even when they married. However, we do know that his parents disapproved of Astoria and that she was kind, and taught their son Scorpius to respect others (including muggles).

1 He is the only person Voldemort is known to have hugged

One of the most sinister Voldemort moments happens when he tries to honor one of his followers. This moment occurs during the Battle of Hogwarts, when Voldemort demands loyalty from the students of Hogwarts.

In a gesture of goodwill, Voldemort slowly and awkwardly brings Draco into an embrace in front of his followers. Understandably, Draco looks absolutely terrified, since the Dark Lord has never shown affection of any kind before. This is the only known instance of a Death Eater – or anyone for that matter – receiving a hug from Voldemort.

Are there any other interesting facts about Draco Malfoy’s body in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-11 04:10:43 – Dan Struthers

10 Most Powerful Weapons In Fortnite (And 10 That Are Completely Worthless)

The multi-platform game Fortnite has taken the world by storm. Upon its release in 2017, it quickly became the most popular game across the masses. The game is free to play, though additional “skins” can be purchased, using the game’s currency “V-bucks,” which of course, must be purchased using real money. The weapons in the game, however, are 100% free.

Fortnite boasts a vast number of weapons that can all be found throughout the game’s various locations. Players can search chests and vending machines, inside of which loot can be found. Amongst this loot, players will find weapons, healing jugs, and other items. The contents of loot chests are a surprise each time. The location of these chests are fixed, however, and only a certain number will appear at a time.

There is yet another way to acquire items, however, which will cause other players to growl in frustration. In the game , players battle against each other, and the victor can gain all of the loot from those they defeat. Loot only lasts for that existing game, as each player starts over at zero after each match. Players also keep their eyes out for floor loot, llamas, and supply drops. The llamas look like a pinata from a birthday party. Destroying these will also produce various sought-after items. Supply drops contain a large amount of loot, and float in via a hot air balloon box.

While some loot chests include powerful items and weapons, others should be ignored, as they might contain some of these utterly useless weapons.

Here’s a list of the 10 Most Powerful Weapons In Fortnite (And 10 That Are Worthless).

21 Powerful: SCAR (Legendary)

Most Fortnite players know this Legendary Assault Rifle as SCAR and are eager to obtain it. SCAR stands for Special Combat Assault Rifle. This variant of the assault rifle packs a punch, as it rakes out 198 damage per second and has a 30-round magazine. It is the perfect weapon for medium range battles.

This assault rifle has great precision and can fire 5.5 rounds per second. Because of this, it is the main choice for every player’s arsenal.

This favorite weapon can be found in vending machines, floor loot, chests, and supply drops. Players have a 30.8% chance of getting it in a supply drop. It is based on the Belgian assault/battle rifle Fabrique Nationale SCAR, which was introduced in 2009.

20 Worthless: Guided Missile (Epic)

The guided missile was vaulted in season 3 following complaints of being too overpowered. However, it was re-released in the season 5.10 update with some changes. These alterations included reduced movement skill, reduced turn radius, and reduced damage. Using it makes players vulnerable to attacks from opponents, as you must be out in the open to fire it.

It delivers 74 damage to health and 400 damage to structures. We’re not saying that this weapon doesn’t get the job done, it just isn’t amongst the best weapons. The Epic Guided Missile is fun to use to destroy structures but that’s about it, as it is a risky weapon to use. Guided missiles can be found in chests and supply drops.

19 Powerful: Heavy Shotgun (Legendary)

The Legendary Heavy Shotgun is a heavier version of the Tactical Shotgun. It also has a longer range and an increased firing rate, with its overall damage per second being 77. With a higher range, it is great for mid to late gameplay when players are moving away from close-quarter contact. If you come across a Legendary Heavy Shotgun, you should definitely pick it up, as its powerful punch can help lead to victory.

This shotgun has a slight resemblance to the Franchi SPAS-12, which is an Italian manufactured shotgun. The Legendary Heavy Shotgun can be found in chests and supply drops. Players have a 50% chance of finding it in supply drops and only a 12.4% chance of finding it in chests.

18 Worthless: Pistol

This small firearm has two variants: Common and Uncommon. Most players will pass up this gun when they come across it or replace it quickly with something stronger. The damage it delivers is not the greatest, with 23-24 health and 23-24 structural damage. It does, however, have a 16-round magazine and a firing rate of 6.75 per second.

In close combat, it will get the job done, but be careful if you decide to go up against an opponent with a shotgun.

Using this firearm over long distances is a bad idea and a waste of time.  Starting out the match with this weapon gives players at least some fighting ability. Pistols are only found in floor loot.

17 Powerful: Compact SMG (Legendary)

While there are multiple versions of submachine guns in Fortnite, the Legendary Compact Submachine Gun delivers the most damage to structures and opponents at 22 and 21, respectively. It has a fire rate of 10 rounds per second and a magazine size of 40, with a reload time of 2.97 seconds. It also boasts 210 damage per second.

The Legendary Compact Submachine Gun is definitely a weapon that players want in their arsenal, so be sure not to pass it up. This Fortnite weapon was inspired by the FN P90, a Belgium made submachine gun that was created in 1990. It can be found in chests, floor loot, and supply drops.

16 Worthless: Scoped Assault Rifle

The Scoped Assault Rifle in Fortnite has two different variations: Rare and Epic. This weapon delivers a mere 23-24 health damage and 25-26 structural damage, respectively. One good thing that the Scoped Assault Rifle has going for it, though, is its pinpoint accuracy, which makes it easier to use than some other weapons.

The rifle has a 3.5 round per-second firing rate. We’re not saying that this rifle is not worth picking up, but it should be replaced by a more powerful weapon the first chance you get. It can be found in chests, floor loot, and supply drops. This Fortnite weapon is loosely inspired by the AK-12, H&K 416, and the H&K G36C, combining an assault rifle with a sniper rifle.

15 Powerful: Grenade Launcher (Legendary)

The Legendary Grenade Launcher is the perfect choice for destroying structures, as it has a whopping 410 damage. It fires rockets from its 6 round magazine and has a reload time of 2.17 seconds. Damage to opponents is 110. This weapon is great to use against another players’ structures, which can lead to their elimination if they happen to be located nearby.

To use it efficiently, players must aim higher than their target to compensate for the arc trajectory.

Players should also avoid using in small areas, as the grenades can bounce back off of a surface before exploding. This weapon is inspired by the Mikor MGL that originated in South Africa in 1981. It can be found in chests and supply drops.

14 Worthless: Burst Assault Rifle (Common)

The Burst Assault Rifle has five different variations: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. The Common Burst Assault Rifle deals out 27 health damage and 81 structural damage. It does have a 30-round magazine with a 1.75 rounds per second firing rate, however.

Bullets are fired in bursts of 3 at a time. The rifle has a 2.9 second reload time. The Burst Assault Rifle is best used in medium range combat. It’s better to avoid using this rifle against far opponents, as it is not very effective. It can be found in chests, and floor loot.  The legendary version of this rifle can also be found in supply drops, as well as in chests and floor loot.

13 Powerful: Heavy Sniper (Legendary)

Delivering 51.81 damage per second to health and 1100 to structures, the Legendary Heavy Sniper Rifle is a devastating weapon. The only downside is the long reload time, as it takes 4.05 seconds each time. Compared to other sniper rifles in the game, it has less of a bullet drop. So it’s important to take this into account when aiming at targets.

Its long range ability makes it the perfect weapon to use against unsuspecting opponents at far distances. With the Legendary Heavy Sniper, players should find a location with a great vantage point like a tower. However, be sure to have good cover, since reloading takes a while. This weapon closely resembles the Barrett M82 Anti-Material Rifle, which was standardized by the U.S. military as the M107. It can be found in floor loot, chests, supply drops, and vending machines.

12 Worthless: Minigun

The Minigun may look like a firearm that packs a punch, but looks can be deceiving. The Minigun has two variations: Epic and Legendary. However, it the gun is often overlooked since it lacks power. Its health damage comes in at 18-19, while its structural damage is 32-33. It has a high fire rate at 12-rounds per second, which makes it good for destroying structures. Upon pulling the trigger of this machine gun, there is a short delay before it begins to fire.

This delay can be dangerous, however, especially if you’re facing off against opponents whose weapons aren’t as delayed.

Because of this, it’s better to replace it with a more powerful weapon the first chance you get. The Minigun can be found in chests and supply drops.

11  6. Powerful: RPG (Legendary)

This explosive weapon deals out a devastating amount of damage. It can deal out 413 damage to structures and 121 to opponents. The Legendary RPG also has a very large range, which makes it a great choice for taking out bases.

Surprisingly, players can also ride on the rockets and some have even used them to cross the entire map. In order to do this, multiple rockets must be fired for the continuous ride. This, however, is not the easiest thing to do. The Legendary RPG can be found in chests and supply drops. The real-life inspiration for this Fortnite weapon is the RPG-7. RPG is commonly known to stand for Rocket-Propelled Grenade.

10 Worthless: Dual Pistols

The Dual Pistols comes in two variations: Rare and Epic. Considered a step above the Pistol, the Dual Pistols is considered as a 2 round burst weapon. Players should make sure that they take time to aim when using the Dual Pistols, however, as this isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

The Dual Pistols deliver a health damage of 41 for the Rare variation and 43 for the Epic variation. Because of this, it is one of the most powerful pistols. However, it doesn’t stand up against many other weapons. Like other pistols, if this is the only weapon available, you should definitely pick it up, as it will deliver more damage than the pickaxe. The Dual Pistols can be found in chests and floor loot, though players are most likely to find it in chests.

9 Powerful: Double Barrel Shotgun (Legendary)

This Fortnite weapon comes as both Epic and Legendary variants. However, the Legendary version is much better. The Legendary Double Barrel Shotgun is great for close range battle, as it delivers 228 damage per second to health and 90 to structures.

Though it is not ideal for long range use, it packs a punch in close quarters. 

If opponents put some distance between themselves and the business end of this shotgun, it will yield very little damage. It is, however, capable of delivering two shots rapidly. The Legendary Double Barrel Shotgun is sure to take down any enemies who are unlucky enough to come face-to-face against it. The Legendary Double Barrel Shotgun can be found in chests, floor loot, and supply drops.

8 Worthless: Stink Bomb

This nose hair-burning explosive releases a stinky gas cloud upon detonation. The gas appears as a yellow cloud and lasts about nine seconds. The Stink Bomb deals out 5 health damage every half-second and it can even bypass shields. Players that throw this unpleasant explosive must be careful, though, as they can also take damage from it. Teammates, however, will not suffer any damage from the Stink Bomb.

The Stink Bomb resembles real-life mustard gas or tear gas. It can be found in chests, floor loot, supply drops, and llamas. Though it can be dangerous, the Stink Bomb isn’t as threatening as many players assume. Because of this, it should be replaced as soon as players find a more powerful weapon.

7 Powerful: Damage Trap

Unlike other items on this list, the Damage Trap is a trap, and therefore is not a firearm. The Damage Trap can be placed on any surface that accepts traps. Players are able to place it on ceilings, floors, and even walls. It delivers 150 of damage to players’ health.

The Damage Trap is typically set and then left for unsuspecting and unfortunate players to come across. However, it can also be used by placing it down after trapping a player, so that they have no way to avoid it. Fortnite has had other traps in the past, but most of those have been vaulted. This uncommon weapon can be found in floor loot and supply llamas.

6 Worthless: Hand Cannon

Another pistol to make our list is the Hand Cannon, which has two variations: Epic and Legendary. While it can be useful against medium and long range targets, it is difficult to use in close range combat.

It also has a low fire rate of 0.8 rounds per second and, unfortunately, it isn’t very accurate.

However, if a player is lucky enough to land a shot on their target at close range, it will most likely get the job done. While it does deal out 60-62.4 health damage and 79-83 structural damage, it’s definitely worth replacing with a more powerful weapon later in the game. The Hand Cannon can be found in chests and floor loot.

5 Powerful: Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle (Legendary)

The Legendary Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle packs a heavy punch with its 15-round magazine. It has a 2.07 second reload time, which could be worse. It can also deliver 66.6 damage per second.

With the thermal scope, players have the ability to see chests, supply drops, llamas, and even enemy heat signatures. This makes the Legendary Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle a great scouting tool. Players would be crazy to pass this up if they came across it. Even without its thermal abilities, it is still a great weapon to have in any arsenal. It can be found in chests, supply drops, and floor loot. However, players have the highest chance at finding this weapon in a supply drop. It was inspired by an AR15 assault rifle.

4 Worthless: Tactical Shotgun

Fortnite has three variations of the Tactical Shotgun: Common, Uncommon, and Rare. The Common version has the worst reload time of the three at 6.3 seconds. It delivers only 67 health damage and 50 structural damage.

In close quarters, it can be useful to suppress an enemy. However, it does not have the quickest of fire rates, with its rate stuck at 1.5 rounds per second. Out of all of the shotguns available in the game, the Tactical deals out the least amount of damage. However, it is better than some of the other weapons at close range, like the pistol or suppressed pistol. The Tactical Shotgun can be found primarily in floor loot.

3 Powerful: Heavy Sniper Rifle (Epic)

A tier down from its Legendary counterpart, the Epic Heavy Sniper Rifle deals 150 damage to health and 1050 damage to structures. Its reload time is a little long at 4.275 seconds, but it makes up for it in destruction.

Released during August 15th’s update, the Epic Heavy Sniper Rifle quickly became a fan-favorite with players who quickly began to experiment with the best situations for its use. Many players choose to carry two of these at once so that they can quickly switch between the two to deliver the most damage. While it may not have a quick fire rate at 0.33 rounds per second, it makes up for it in damage. It can be found in chests, floor loot, and supply drops. Like the Legendary version, it resembles the real-life Barrett M82.

2 Worthless: Submachine Gun

Fortnite offers three variations of a Submachine Gun: Common, Uncommon, and Rare. However, none of these are very powerful weapons. Both the health and structural damage of the three different types ranges from 17-19.  It does have a fire rate of 12 rounds per second, though, making it good for close to medium range combat.

Its magazine has a capacity of 30 rounds, which makes up for the low amount of damage that it deals out. It can get the job done, but overall, it is less powerful than a large number of the weapons offered in the game. It may look awesome, but it is definitely lacking. The Submachine Guns can be found in chests, floor loot, and sometimes in supply drops.

1 BONUS: Quad Launcher (Coming Soon)

According to an in-game notification, this long-awaited weapon will be making its debut in Fortnite very soon. In the notification, this weapon is said to “quickly fire up to 4 rockets to blanket an area with explosive damage.”

The Quad Launcher is a shoulder mounted rocket launcher and it is already building up a reputation, as many fans are excited for its introduction into the game. Players will have to wait to find out exactly how much health and structure damage this new weapon will deliver, though, as many details are still unknown. One thing is for sure, though: this anticipated rocket launcher will definitely be something to write home about.

Are there any other powerful or worthless Fortnite weapons that we missed? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 02:10:05 – Karis James

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review – A Pretty Slappy Sequel

Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

R.L. Stine’s beloved 1990s children’s horror book series makes its way back to the big screen in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, a sequel to the live-action film adaptation of Stine’s novels that came out in 2015. While Jack Black starred as a fictional version of Stine in that movie, Sony didn’t even confirm the actor’s return for the followup until a few weeks before its release. Similarly, neither the director, writer, nor supporting cast of the (generally well-received) first Goosebumps film worked on the second installment. While Haunted Halloween certainly suffers for it, the sequel isn’t an entirely hollow continuation of the franchise either. Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

Goosebumps 2 picks up in the small town of Wardenclyffe, New York, as its residents prepare for the fast-approaching Halloween Night festivities. Meanwhile, in the Quinn household, high school senior Sarah (Madison Iseman) is trying to finish her college application and her younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is struggling with his science class project – a miniature replica of an experimental wireless transmission station in Wardenclyffe that was built and designed by Nikola Tesla, but never finished (aka. the Tesla Tower). The Quinns are joined by Sonny’s best friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris), who is staying over at their house while his parents are away for the Halloween holiday.

After some prodding from Sam, Sonny agrees to take a break from his project and clear out an abandoned local house, as part of the duo’s ongoing efforts to launch a (successful) junk cleanup business. While there, however, the pair stumble upon an incomplete manuscript for a Goosebumps novel, unaware that the building was once owned by R.L. Stine himself. Not knowing any better, Sam and Sonny unlock the book and inadvertently unleash the Goosebumps villain Slappy the Dummy back into the real world. While the living ventriloquist dummy seems (sorta) friendly at first, it’s not long before he reveals his true evil plan, with only Sam, Sonny and Sarah to stand in his way.

If the original Goosebumps movie was a throwback to the popular family-friendly spooky adventures of the 1990s (think Hocus Pocus), then Haunted Halloween is closer to being the 2018 equivalent of a direct-to cable scary movie for kids from the ’90s – that is, noticeably cheaper and more generic, yet otherwise harmless and playful in its own right. The Goosebumps 2 script by Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit) likewise carries over the first movie’s imaginative premise and conceit (e.g. Stine’s Goosebumps novel manuscripts are really enchanted objects which contain and prevent his “demons” from entering the real world) and includes references to its story, yet never really tries to build on its concepts, much less its themes and lore. Instead, Haunted Halloween offers helpful, if unchallenging, life lessons for kids and a serviceable narrative that doesn’t exactly push the envelope for the larger Goosebumps brand.

At the same time, Goosebumps 2 is perhaps more successful than its predecessor when it comes to being genuinely menacing and scary for the juice box crowd, yet still light-hearted enough to avoid traumatizing them (hence, “spoopy”). Much of the credit for that goes to director Ari Sandel (The DUFF), who does a commendable job of combining suspenseful and creepy storytelling with comedic moments here, much like Stine did so well in his original Goosebumps novels. Haunted Halloween, as indicated earlier, feels like a lower-budgeted affair than the first Goosebumps, yet Sandel and his creative team – including, DP Barry Peterson (Game Night) and production designer Rusty Smith (Get Out) – still manage to deliver a movie that’s a proper cut above a comparable TV film, in terms of overall craftsmanship. That also goes for the CGI and creature effects in the sequel’s first half (more on the second half later).

The actual setting of Haunted Halloween is mostly populated by stock types, be they the film’s young heroes or the local bullies that Sonny and Sam have to deal with (not to mention, Sarah’s dishonest would-be boyfriend). While their characters are fairly two-dimensional in the Goosebumps sequel, Harris, Iseman and Ray nevertheless have the same affable screen presence that’s allowed them to stand out in films and TV shows past and, thus, make their protagonists all the easier to root for. That also goes for the adult supporting players here, as Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) and Ken Jeong (Community) mostly channel their famous small screen personas as Sarah and Sonny’s adorkable mother Kathy and their eccentric neighbor Mr. Chu, respectively. As for Black as R.L. Stine: his own role in Goosebumps 2 is pretty superfluous, which is disappointing considering the energy that he brought to the proceedings as the first Goosebumps‘ co-protagonist (not to mention, his vocal performance as Slappy, which Black didn’t reprise in the sequel).

All in all, Haunted Halloween is a passable if derivative sequel – but not because the Goosebumps books themselves are incapable of sustaining multiple films. Rather, the problem is that the sequel recycles too much from the first movie and struggles to make creative use of the fresh elements (like the real-world Tesla Tower) that it brings into the mix here. It’s too bad, seeing as Goosebumps 2 had a wealth of different monsters and horror genres in Stine’s source novels to draw from, yet elected to continue simplifying the author’s mythology by making Slappy the big bad (again) and skimping on giving the other creatures much in the way of personality. As a result, the second half of the movie plays out as a watered down version of what happened in the original Goosebumps, albeit with lower production values and emotional impact.

Still, Goosebumps 2 should go over best with its young target demographic and provide them with enough silly scares and fun adventure to keep them engaged for its brisk runtime. Moreover, much like your average comic book movie these days, Haunted Halloween delivers its fair share of Goosebumps easter eggs and nods to the real Stine’s source material (right down to a Stan Lee-esque cameo from Stine himself), to further serve the property’s youngest fans. As for those who prefer their family-friendly fantasies with Jack Black starring front and center – The House with a Clock in Its Walls is still playing in theaters and ought to fulfill your own needs for some spoopy entertainment this Halloween season.

TRAILER

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween begins playing in U.S. theaters on Thursday evening, October 11. It is 90 minutes long and is rated PG for scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!



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2018-10-10 01:10:58 – Sandy Schaefer

22 July Review: Paul Greengrass Delivers Another Intense Docudrama

Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

In-between his efforts on the Bourne movies, journalist-turned filmmaker Paul Greengrass has spent much of his career making docudrama-thrillers about real-world events, ranging from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (United 93) to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 (Captain Phillips). While there’s an inherent risk of exploiting a real-world tragedy that comes with any such project, Greengrass has long been celebrated for his ability to dramatize terrible events on the big screen in a manner that’s intense, yet sensitive and ultimately insightful in its presentation. Thankfully, that remains the case with his Netflix Original 22 July, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the writer/director at his finest. Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

22 July picks up on July 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway, as Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a self-declared right wing extremist – prepares to carry out a terrorist attack on the city the next day. He begins his assault by setting off a bomb in a van near the main office of the then-current Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), killing eight people in the process. Breivik then proceeds to continue his attack by gunning down 69 members of a summer camp organized by the AUF – the youth division of the Norwegian Labour Party – on the island of Utøya, before he is ultimately apprehended by the police and taken into custody.

Among the members of the summer camp is one Viljar Hanssen (Jonas Strand Gravli), who manages to survive Breivik’s attack despite being shot multiple times and left permanently maimed. As Viljar struggles to recover both physically and psychologically from what happened to him (along with everyone else who survived the Utøya shootings and their loved ones), Breivik works with his chosen lawyer Geir Lippestad (Jon Øigarden) to mount a defense and use his trial as a platform to publicly announce his political agenda (which calls for the immediate deportation of all Muslims and heavier restrictions on immigration to Norway, among other things). When it becomes clear to Viljar what Breivik intends to do, he grows increasingly determined to continue his rehabilitation and testify against him in court for not only himself, but also every other person whose lives were affected by what took place on July 22.

Adapted from the book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad, Greengrass’ script for 22 July has a very clear-cut three act structure – with the first act focused on the July 22 attack, the second part set during its immediate aftermath, and the final third centered on Breivik’s trial. The film is strongest during its first and third acts in particular, as those chapters (respectively) play to Greengrass’ strengths as a suspense-thriller storyteller and provide the emotional payoff to Viljar and, thus, Norway’s overarching journey of recovery and survival. It’s the second act where things start to drag and get a little muddled, especially as 22 July splits its focus between not only Viljar’s story thread, but also Lippestad and Breivik’s trial preparation, and the investigation into Stoltenberg’s administration and its failure to prevent a terrorist attack. While there’s nothing in the second act that feels inessential, 22 July struggles to divide its attention evenly between its three plotlines and the film’s pacing suffers for it.

On the whole, however, 22 July does a nice job covering a fair amount of narrative ground, even when taking its pretty substantial runtime into consideration. It helps that Greengrass (as he’s known now for doing, as a director) never fully lifts his foot off the gas pedal and keeps the film’s proceedings feeling on-edge throughout, even during its more purely dramatic portions. The filmmaker, working this time around with DP Pål Ulvik Rokseth (The Snowman) and Oscar-winning Argo editor William Goldenberg, uses essentially the same vérité cinematography and restless editing style that he has on his previous movies, in order to fully immerse viewers in the film’s setting and action. At the same time, Greengrass slows things down a bit here and, in turn, delivers a movie that’s more visually cohesive than some of his weaker efforts in the past (see the last Bourne sequel, in particular). This serves 22 July well, allowing it to effectively work as both a grounded drama and thriller.

Given the sheer amount of information that 22 July strives to cover, though, there’s not a lot of room for the film’s actors to really shine – not in the way that Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips, for example. Even so, the 22 July cast is uniformly strong across the board, with Gravli especially doing an excellent job of portraying Viljar’s struggles with his physical injuries, PTSD, and the sheer amount of emotional baggage that he’s saddled with after barely managing to escape the attack on Utøya with his own life. Actors like Thorbjørn Harr and Isak Bakli Aglen are similarly moving in their smaller roles as members of Viljar’s family, as is Seda Witt as Lara Rashid, a young woman who starts to make a romantic connection with Viljar before both of their lives are shattered by Breivik’s attack. As for Breivik himself: Lie is quite compelling in the role and portrays the terrorist as a fully-developed person – one whose rationalization of his behavior makes him chilling and pathetic in equal measure.

As with his previous films, Greengrass uses 22 July as a means for delivering larger sociopolitical commentary about the state of things in the world, specifically where it concerns the rise of xenophobic and nationalist ideologies in various countries (the U.S. included). While his scripted dialogue can start to become a bit on the nose as its strives to get these points across (especially in the third act), Greengrass largely succeeds in allowing the story here to shine a light on these issues organically, without getting up on his figurative soapbox to drive the point home. If there’s a downside to the filmmaker’s approach, though, it’s that July 22 winds up handling its subject matter in a way that’s more engaging intellectually than emotionally and, thus, lacks the emotional resonance of Greengrass’ best work to date.

All things considered, however, Greengrass does a very good job of bringing the true story behind 22 July to cinematic life. The final result is a film that makes for an enlightening and otherwise respectful documentation of a horrifying real-world event, rather than one that comes off as exploitative or manipulative. 22 July is showing in select theaters now – in order to qualify for next year’s major film awards shows – and it certainly benefits from being seen on the big screen, but can still be appreciated just as much as a Netflix Original on your home TV. While it’s obviously not a light-hearted viewing experience, 22 July is very much worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed Greengrass’ previous non-Bourne efforts and/or would like to know more about Norway’s own infamous modern terrorist attack.

TRAILER

22 July is now available for streaming on Netflix and is playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is rated R for disturbing violence, graphic images, and language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!



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2018-10-10 01:10:22 – Sandy Schaefer

Simon Pegg Interview: The Boys

Amazon’s upcoming comic book adaptation, The Boys, dropped some big news at New York Comic Con this week; not only did was the first clip from the show revealed, but so was the news that Simon Pegg would be appearing in it. The Boys is an adaptation of the Garth Ennis comic series of the same name, which satirizes the superhero world and imagines life in a universe where those with powers become corrupted by them – but maintain their public image.

The ‘Boys’ of the comic title are a group of vigilantes, mostly without superpowers, who take it upon themselves to keep tabs on the various ‘supes’ in this world – and occasionally, to take them down. The series follows Butcher (Karl Urban), his new protege Hughie (Jack Quaid), and the rest of their gang as they wreak havoc on the twisted supes that the world sees as heroes, and it promises to be violent, foul-mouthed, and hilariously dark. After the reveal that Pegg would be appearing in the show as Hughie’s father, we sat down to talk about what fans can expect from his new character on the show.

Related: The Boys TV Show Casts Simon Pegg As Hughie’s Father

SR: So, obviously this was a big reveal for The Boys today. Can we ask now how big your part in the show is?

Simon Pegg: I’m a guest role. I think I’m in a few episodes, and it was something that we really wanted to do from the off. When the show became a reality, they were very kind to get in contact when Jack was cast and say ‘maybe you can be in the show’. And I think I suggested that maybe I could play Hughie’s father or something.

SR: So it was your idea?

Simon Pegg: Well, I can’t remember, but I feel like I did say that! Whether or not they had already had the character in mind I’m not sure, because he certainly… he serves a real purpose in the show. He’s not in the comic book, but I think in the show he represents the possibility of Hughie not taking action. And the show begins with this terrible tragedy that happens to Hugie and he has two choices; he can stay on the sofa with Dad like every Campbell man has in the past, or he can actually change his life.

And so, as a sort of visual representation of Hughie’s possible destiny, the Dad works really well as a character.

SR: And do we see any of Hughie’s Mom?

Simon Pegg: No, she passed away, so it’s just Hughie and Dad, and they have a very sweet relationship. That picture that you saw of us, the family shot, is very much prior to A-Train doing what he does. They have a very sweet little… you know they are just father and son, and he’s still got his toys in his bedroom, and they live together, and Dad dotes on him. He’s a nice guy, he’s just very ineffectual.

SR: How do you feel about the fact that in the comics, obviously Hughie is Scottish and now we’re coming over to the US for this series? Are you going to be an English Dad or are you going to do the American accent?

Simon Pegg: Well, we talked about this, and I think what happened was initially I was going to play Hughie’s Dad as Scottish in reference to the comic book, but then we decided in a way that if Hughie was used to a British accent of any kind, it would make Butcher less alien to him, in a way. Because Butcher’s got to feel like he’s from a completely different world, you know, and so he has this rough Cockney accent, and so we thought ok, let’s make them American. So I play Hughie’s father as American.

SR: Which other character are you most excited about? Which one is your favorite, either in the comics or the show… is it the same one?

Simon Pegg: I was just really happy to see the Supes, you know! When I did my first scene it was quite early on in the shoot and not all of the Boys had actually arrived. I hadn’t met Karen [Fukahara] or anybody and I was kind of like, really wanting to see some superheroes. And then when I came back to shoot some more scenes later on I got to see A-Train, and pictures of the other ones, and it was just really great to see them in 3D! But the one that I saw that was a full on ‘there he is, right in front of me’ superhero was a real treat.

SR: Do you think that this show is going to be particularly appealing to people who are maybe getting a little of that so-called ‘superhero fatigue’?

Simon Pegg: Yeah, I think that in a weird way, as a satire on superheroism, that’s kind of the least of what this show is, in a way. It’s a broader satire about the notion of power and celebrity, and it just so happens that the subjects of that particular analysis are superheroes in this show. We do, obviously, satirize superhero culture a little bit, and people might enjoy the parallels to other known superheroes that The Boys delights in. But at the same time, you know, it’s still a superhero show, I think it’s just a welcome change of tone, for sure. But it’s not like, I don’t think it’s sneering at its roots in any way. In the great tradition of comics like The Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, it’s kind of a slightly skewed version of that world, no less reverent.

SR: And other than yourself, because obviously your character doesn’t exist in the comics, were there any other major changes that surprised you, going in as a fan? At least, I am assuming you are a fan!

Simon Pegg: I am, yes! Everything that I saw, I really really liked, and I appreciate the importance, when making an adaptation, of not being too slavish. You can tie yourself in knots by being desperate to please, and I think that the best thing you can do with a story that first appeared in 2008 sis to make sure that it feels relevant in 2018. So they’ve done everything they can to do that. So the changes that I saw felt completely in keeping with the spirit of the comic book, and I know that’s what Garth Ennis really wanted as well, and Darick Robertson (the artist). And so as long as they maintain the kind of mission statement of it I’m happy to see it change. It must change, in the same way that The Walking Dead as a comic book is very different to the series, but it still has its own personality. TV is a different medium, you know, and it should have its own identity.

SR: And finally, I think we have time for one more, so given that you know the works of Garth Ennis, would you think that The Pro would be an interesting thing to be adapted next? And would you like to appear in that one, if it did?

Simon Pegg: [LAUGHS] I think anything he does is always… I think Garth kind of writes specifically to try and challenge people not to adapt… as if to say ‘alright, adapt that then!’. You know, things that just seem completely unadaptable. So, yes, I would always be happy to be involved in anything that Garth does, I’ve been a fan a long time, so yeah.

And, now they’ve done Preacher and now this, I think it’s paved the way for pretty much anything he does to appear in some form, you know, however mental. I shouldn’t say that, it’s the wrong word to say.

SR: Well, it’s a very British word.

Simon Pegg: [CHUCKLES] Yeah. So – who knows, you might have started a rumor – this is how these things start!

Next: Everything We Know About Preacher Season 4

The Boys is expected to premiere on Amazon in early 2019.



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2018-10-10 01:10:06 – Rose Moore