Lion King 2019 Rotten Tomatoes Score Is Low After Early Reviews

The Lion King debuts to a Rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes after the first reviews are published. In the last handful of years, Disney has had great success producing re-imaginings of some of their most beloved animated classics. Most recently, Aladdin became a major box office smash, surprisingly moving past the $900 million mark worldwide. Others, like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, proved to be sizable draws themselves and demonstrated there was an audience for these retellings. To the shock of no one, Disney has plenty more on the way.

Up next is a new rendition of The Lion King, a remake of the 1994 animated classic that remains a beloved and treasured installment in the Disney canon. Directed by The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau, there’s been plenty of hype and anticipation surrounding the project, particularly after the all-star cast was announced. The Lion King is poised to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year, evidenced by the trailer breaking viewership records and marketing continuing to drum up excitement. And while The Lion King is sure to be a commercial success, it’s not going to go down as a critical darling.

Related: Every Major Movie Releasing In July 2019

Today, the Lion King review embargo lifted, and after the first wave was published, the film has a Rotten score on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. As of this writing, it stands at 58% with 87 reviews counted. A critics consensus has already emerged:

Though it can take pride in its visual achievements, this reimagined The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved-though for some fans that may just be enough.

This development is a little surprising, since Lion King social media reactions released earlier this week painted a more positive picture. On social media, most appeared to be in agreement that The Lion King was an astounding technical achievement and praised the efforts of the actors involved (most notably Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa). One common critique of those bite-sized reviews was that the photorealistic animals (obviously) couldn’t emote like they do in the original animated movie, but overall people seemed to enjoy it. The full reviews are more mixed, however. Everyone is quick to acknowledge the incredible visual effects that were used to bring the story to life, but for some that wasn’t enough to make up for the film’s shortcomings. An argument can be made that The Lion King is an exercise of style over substance.

That’s been the fate of many of these Disney remakes; even the ones that go down as being financially successful are largely seen as hollow retellings that lack the magic and imagination of their animated counterparts. The business incentive behind this endeavor was always clear, but from a creative standpoint, Disney’s in a tough spot. It’s always difficult to remake an acclaimed film, since there’s little (if anything) to improve upon. The best movie remakes are the ones that take an intriguing premise with potential and make the most of it after the initial attempt was underwhelming (Ocean’s Eleven, etc.). The Lion King will make money this summer, but it sounds like rewatching the original would be a more rewarding experience.

More: Why The Lion King’s Mouth Movement Looks So Unsettling

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

2019-07-11 01:07:23

Chris Agar

Avengers: Endgame Early Reviews – A True Love Letter to MCU Fans

The first reviews for Avengers: Endgame have arrived. A direct followup to Avengers: Infinity War, Anthony and Joe Russo’s Endgame marks the long-awaited finale to Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 21 MCU films released to date. The movie further promises to usher in a whole new paradigm for the franchise at large. Indeed, by the time the Avengers have defeated Thanos once and for all in the film, the MCU (and all the beings that populate it) could end up looking a whole lot different.

That being said, it was recently revealed that July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, not Endgame, marks the true end to Phase 3. Even so, Endgame is expected to conclude the Infinity Saga, with Far From Home serving as an epilogue that feeds into Phase 4. With so much secrecy around the latter right now, it’s little wonder that Disney and Marvel have been jumpier than usual about keeping Endgame spoilers under wraps. Now, however, they’ve finally screened the movie for the press, ahead of its release in theaters this week.

Related: Every Avengers: Endgame Trailer, TV Spot & Clip

Disney and Marvel dropped the social media embargo on Endgame reactions last night, following its world premiere. The film has since been shown to critics in general, who have started weighing in with their thoughts and feelings about the movie’s quality, all the hype and subterfuge aside. For more on that, check out these spoiler-free excerpts from the early Endgame reviews.

Molly Freeman, Screen Rant

Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame is a whole lotta movie, but the filmmakers put every single second of its three-hour runtime to good use. Since Endgame concludes the Infinity Saga (the official title of the story thus far), Marvel and the filmmakers have the unenviable task of delivering a movie that satisfies all MCU fans. While there are bound to be aspects of Avengers: Endgame that don’t work for all viewers, for the most part the movie actually, truly offers a satisfying ending to the Infinity Saga.

Leah Greenblatt, EW

For the millions who watched half the Marvel universe vaporize onscreen in the final moments of 2018’s Infinity War… there had to be one last sequel to set it right. Nearly a year to the day, Endgame returns with the promise of many things: revenge, redemption, a runtime that defies the limits of most streetside parking meters. And the movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“Avengers: Endgame” has almost nothing on its mind but crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of a far-flung superhero saga, but to anyone with even a minor emotional stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has all the fleeting satisfaction of a shot of whipped cream delivered directly from the spray can. And that’s not a bad thing… “Avengers: Endgame” is a popcorn epic, of the extra salt-and-butter variety.

Angie Han, Mashable

Avengers: Endgame is not the best Marvel movie ever made. It’s not the prettiest or the funniest; it won’t blow your mind with new ideas or complicated character development. But it is the most Marvel movie ever made, and there’s something incredible about that. This is Marvel flexing, building on over 10 years and 20-plus films of careful groundwork and intricate planning to show us what it can do that no other movie franchise can. As such, it’s an immensely satisfying finish to this era of the series.

Peter Debruge, Variety

Time and again, “Endgame” makes the point that family matters, whether that means biological ties… or those bound by duty. The final takeaway from this decade-long journey is that heroism isn’t defined by bravery or super-abilities, but by what one gives up for the greater good. Among the many frustrations of the Snap was that it robbed so many great characters – and gazillions of anonymous creatures throughout the galaxy – of proactively making that choice. “Endgame” isn’t exactly a do-over, but it builds to an infinitely more satisfying conclusion.

Todd McCarthy, THR

A gargantuan film by any standard, this three-hour extravaganza shuffles back into the action numerous significant characters seen in recent Marvel films as it wraps up an epic story in which the survival of the known universe is (once again) at stake. While constantly eventful and a feast for the eyes, it’s also notably more somber than its predecessors. But just when it might seem about to become too grim, Robert Downey Jr. rides to the rescue with an inspired serio-comic performance that reminds you how good he can be.

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Suffice to say, “Endgame” delivers the payoff countless fans hoped for, even as it struggles to fuse that commercial mandate into a gratifying whole. There’s much to enjoy about this mishmash of tender goodbyes and last-minute strategies to save the universe, but after an intelligent first hour, “Endgame” amounts to a dense nostalgia trip. With “Infinity War,” it was thrilling to watch a mass-market movie let the bad guy win, and it’s less satisfying to see the Avengers clean up the mess one last time. The title of “Endgame” is misleading: This busy love letter to the biggest movie franchise of all time unleashes several endings at once, resulting in a fascinating – if at times messy – collection of competing agendas.

Laura Prudom, IGN

Endgame is a film that feels like it was made by fans, for fans – to the point where some scenes will undoubtedly be labeled as outright fanservice. But it’s hard to view those moments as cynical pandering so much as earned and effective homages to the moments, characters, and relationships we’ve grown so invested in over the past 11 years. Several scenes truly feel like a Jack Kirby splash page come to life, and that’s an utterly exhilarating realization, something that forces you to absorb the sheer scope of what Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and his team have assembled: an interconnected cinematic endeavor beyond comparison.

Altogether, it sounds like Endgame is a splashy, sprawling, messy, and ultimately triumphant love letter to the MCU’s fans. Nearly every review for the film so far notes that it’s overflowing with fan service moments, yet appear to agree that Endgame is largely justified in taking this approach. It seems that everyone involved with the movie’s production (from its ensemble cast to its equally massive crew) are also aware of the film’s significance, and stepped up their game accordingly. The end result might not be Marvel Studios’ best, but (to paraphrase one of these reviews) it’s certainly their Marvel-est movie, and should leave fans feeling emotionally satisfied… if also pretty drained, in the end.

Yes, as though it wasn’t already obvious, nearly every review makes it clear: Endgame should succeed in making viewers feel a wide range of emotions, by the time it’s over. Several people admitted to crying multiple times while watching the film in the early reactions, so everyone would do best to prepare themselves as necessary. Beyond that, it’s good to hear that the movie lives up to the staggering expectations overall, and concludes the Infinity Saga on an altogether strong note. Here’s to the next eleven years of MCU storytelling to come.

NEXT: The 5 Movies You Have to Watch to Understand Avengers: Endgame

Source: Various [see the above links]

2019-04-23 03:04:45

Sandy Schaefer

Bad Glass Reviews Made M. Night Shyamalan Cry

The poor reviews of Glass made director M. Night Shyamalan cry. Glass, which starred Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and Bruce Willis, was the third and final film of the Unbreakable trilogy. The 2000 film was followed up with a surprise sequel in 2017 called Split, which starred McAvoy as a man with 23 distinct personalities. Glass was the cumulation of these stories, tying together the stories of Elijah Price, Kevin Wendell Crumb, and David Dunn.

Glass may be Shyamalan’s most recent film, but he has been involved with filmmaking since the early ’90s. He first recieved critical praise for The Sixth Sense in 1999, before going on to make movies like Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. Shyamalan’s praise didn’t last forever though, especially after he directed The Last Airbender and After Earth, both of which were critical and financial flops. The found-footage horror movie The Visit and Split seemed to help Shyamalan’s reputation for a while, but then Glass recieved some truly brutal reviews.

Related: Every Clue In Glass To The Clover Twist

During a lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business (via Indiewire), Shyamalan spoke about when he first heard that Glass was getting negative reviews:

“I was in London when I heard the U.S. reviews for ‘Glass’ were poor. I was in a makeup chair for a TV show, and I cried. We’d just come back from the London screenings, which were through the roof. We had only great screenings of the movie around the world. So essentially I wasn’t prepared. I had this false sense of being a part of the group in a safe way. But boy, did I feel distraught that day.”

Even though reviews for Glass were mainly negative, Glass wasn’t exactly a commercial disappointment. The film more than turned a profit off of its $20 million budget. That being said, the haul for Glass didn’t even come close to Split, which ended its worldwide box office run at $278,454,538. Movie studios can survive films flopping at the box office, but Shyamalan needed Glass to do well financially since he personally funded Glass himself.

Like any film, the cast and crew of Glass no doubt put a lot of effort and energy into the Unbreakable trilogy’s finale. While Shyamalan was likely relieved when Glass turned out to be a box office success, it makes sense why he would be disappointed about the film’s reviews. After all, not very many directors would be happy about their film getting poor reviews, especially if it was an original story like Glass was for Shyamalan. Even though most people ended up not being too fond of Glassthat doesn’t seem to be stopping the director, who is currently hard at work on the Apple series Servant and is also developing a new movie called Labor of Love. Needless to say, Hollywood hasn’t seen the last of Shyamalan.

More: Glass Needs A Sequel: What’s Next For The Unbreakable Universe?

Source: Indiewire

2019-04-18 04:04:34

Christopher Fiduccia

The Most Brutal Reviews of Hellboy

Hellboy has come to the big screen in a new form – but the reviews are not being kind to the big red guy. Directed by Neil Marshall, the 2019 Hellboy was put into production after years of fans begging for a third Hellboy movie from director Guillermo del Toro, and for Ron Perlman to return to the title role. Instead, the franchise has been rebooted with Stranger Things actor David Harbour sporting the over-sized hand and sawn-off horns.

After the first negative reviews of Hellboy were released, a report soon emerged that detailed a troubled production, in which Marshall’s cinematographer, Sam McCurdy, was fired and producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin allegedly interrupted rehearsals and even gave the actors directions that contradicted Marshall’s. How much of the report is accurate remains unclear (the producers’ attorney denied most of the claims), but it seems that conflict behind the scenes may have had a serious impact on the finished product.

Related: Hellboy 2019’s Ending Explained

Hellboy currently holds a 15% score on Rotten Tomatoes with 145 reviews counted, and an average rating of just 3.5/10 – and that less-than-enthusiastic response has been reflected in its dismal $12 million opening weekend at the box office. To give you an idea of what went wrong, here are some “highlights” from the most brutal reviews of Hellboy:

Reel Views:

Comparing it to Del Toro’s 2004 original and 2008 sequel is like making an analogy between a Broadway production and a high school stage show. My memories of the first Hellboy were of a fun, fantastical superhero adventure. Future thoughts of the 2019 iteration are likely to curdle; it’s a chore to sit through and not something I’ll want to revisit at any point for any reason.

The New York Times:

“The end is coming,” Hellboy’s dying friend says near the beginning, and I was already thinking, “Oh yes, please.”

Time Out:

Guillermo del Toro’s original two Hellboy films gave us a lovable outsider with a big heart, a bigger fist and a penchant for cats and cigars, but only the fist survives this horrible redo… It’s two hours long but feels like an eternity, lurching incoherently from one noisy set-piece to another.

New York Post:

The race for worst movie of the year is heating up. You could even say it’s hotter than hell, now that “Hellboy” has taken the lead. This awful, disgusting, unfunny, idiotically plotted comic book flick offends the senses as much as the rankest subway car on the hottest summer day.


It’s lunging to be a badass hard-R epic, but it’s basically a pile of origin-story gobbledygook, frenetic and undercooked, full of limb-hacking, eye-gouging monster battles as well as an atmosphere of apocalyptic grunge that signifies next to nothing.

The AV Club:

The sentimental father-son subplot is Hellboy at its most laughably absurd, highlighting the chasm between its script and its direction. Harbour, so endearing as Sheriff Hopper on Stranger Things, has none of the agreeable humor Ron Perlman brought to the character; as a result, his many quips go over like a fart in an elevator.

While the general critic consensus on Hellboy isn’t exactly great, the reboot wasn’t quite universally hated. Even negative reviews found room to praise Marshall’s direction or the movie’s commitment to complete insanity. Here are some highlights from those who found something to love about this monster:

The Wrap:

Marshall’s “Hellboy” is a horrifyingly good time. It captures the breathless quality of reading 30 issues of a single comic-book series in one sugar-addled afternoon, shoving as many amazing characters and storylines and images into one film as it can possibly hold. It could have seemed overstuffed and frenetic, but this new “Hellboy” instead comes across as imaginative and freewheeling.

Boston Herald:

This new “Hellboy,” which is based on a 2008 comic book series by Mignola and adapted to the screen by Andrew Cosby (TV’s “Eureka”), is at times totally nuts and slipshod. But the effects are fun and inventive for a change, and Marshall’s punk rock sensibility works well with a lot, if not all, of the demonic shenanigans going on.

Film Bunker:

Sure, this thing won’t win any Oscars, but it is a slice-em and dice-em-style piece of absolute madness that is quite endearing to watch… I found this film rather like a greasy McDonalds breakfast—sometimes it tastes like s**t, but when you are hungover and mostly braindead, it hits just the right spot.

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Hellboy

2019-04-14 12:04:53

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Hellboy Reboot Bombs at Box Office Following Scathing Reviews

Things aren’t looking good for director Neil Marshall’s 2019 Hellboy reboot, which was released in theaters across North America on April 12, and is already bombing at the box office. While originally expected to rake in somewhere between $16 and $20 million dollars on opening weekend, the reboot brought in considerably less.

Marshall’s Hellboy promised a closer connection to Mike Mignola’s graphic novels than previous film adaptions, especially with Mignola’s co-authorship of the screenplay. SR’s Molly Freeman points out in her review, however, that this closeness to the comics is part of what makes the film a flop. The film delves into Hellboy’s backstory, as well as other important characters’ origins. While these storylines may closely resemble those within the comic universe, the film lacks a compelling storyline to tie everything together.

Related: Hellboy Reportedly A Mess Behind The Scenes With Rewrites & Walkouts

The R-rated reboot is the third film to adapt Mignola’s graphic novels, after two outings directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman. The reboot stars Stranger Things actor David Harbour in the titular role, Milla Jovovich as Nimue (a.k.a The Blood Queen), and Ian McShane as Professor Broom, Hellboy’s adoptive father. Unfortunately, Variety reports that Marshall’s reboot isn’t faring well at the box office, opening at #3 to only $12 million, a disastrous take when one considers the film’s budget of $50 million. This follows a mountain of bad reviews from critics.

Although del Toro had no part in the reboot, Mignola and Andrew Cosby’s pairing on the screenplay seemed promising for the film’s success. Despite the impressive cast and production crew, Hellboy, as mentioned above, did not rank well with critics. Lionsgate’s reboot currently holds a lowly 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a humble Metacritic score of 31. Variety partially attributes this failure to the box office successes of Warner Bros.’ Shazam and Universal’s Little. Shazam has held the number one spot at the box office for the past two weeks, following a $159.1 million debut. Little had a $15 million debut, despite having earned mixed reviews from critics.

However, despite that success, Shazam has actually done rather poorly in comparison to other films in the DC Universe. In fact, of the seven DCEU films, Shazam has so far done the worst at the box office, with Batman vs. Superman holding the number one spot with a $422.5 million debut. Nonetheless, Shazam has done considerably better at the box office than Marshall’s Hellboy. Although Lionsgate’s reboot promised a compelling backstory, an A-list cast, and the involvement of Mignola, that wasn’t enough to make the film a box office success. To be fair, the film follows Del Toro’s Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which were both critically acclaimed. The reboot had big shoes to fill, and so far, has yet to deliver. Hellboy is currently in theaters worldwide. Only time will tell if the film will manage to turn its fortunes around, or if this 2019 adaption will land itself a permanent place on the long list of failed franchise reboots.

More: Hellboy Movies, Ranked Worst to Best

Source: Variety

2019-04-14 12:04:20

Taylor Charendoff

Shazam Box Office Projections Increase Following Positive Reviews

Shazam box office projections have increased slightly after the film received widely positive reviews from critics. It didn’t take long for Warner Bros. to rebound from the commercial and critical failure of Justice League. Last year, Aquaman became the highest-grossing DC film of all-time by punching a ticket into the $1 billion club and now the studio looks to have another hit on their hands with Shazam. Arriving in theaters this weekend, the film promises to be an entertaining and heartfelt superhero origin story.

Buzz surrounding the film is enthusiastically positive, as Shazam is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and expected to take the #1 spot at the box office. While WB has plenty to celebrate, Shazam is still poised to score the lowest opening weekend in the DCEU thus far. It stood reason to hope that with word-of-mouth as strong as it is, the film would fare better commercially, and it turns out that’s very much the case.

Related: Why the Original Captain Marvel is Now Called Shazam

According to Box Office ProShazam’s opening weekend estimates have increased since the reviews made their way online. Originally, it was thought to score around $40 million in its first three days, but now that figure could be as high as $55 million. Admittedly, this would still be below Aquaman’s $67.8 million, but the studio certainly isn’t going to turn down extra money.

Regardless of how much money Shazam pulls in during its first frame, it’s in good standing financially. Compared to most recent superhero movies, Shazam was fairly inexpensive to make, with a budget between $80-100 million. This means it doesn’t need to break the bank in order to turn a profit. In all likelihood, Shazam won’t hit $1 billion worldwide, and that’s perfectly fine. It will still go down as a profitable endeavor for WB, making the prospect of sequels greater. The creative team is already game to do a followup, so everyone involved is confident Shazam will do well with audiences.

The positive reviews definitely give Shazam a boost, but it’ll also benefit from not facing intense competition. Captain Marvel has already done a majority of its damage, and fellow new release Pet Sematary is thought to finish in a distant second. The Stephen King remake is projected to earn around $29 million domestically for the weekend, suggesting it isn’t much of a threat to the latest from DC. And Shazam will have a few weekends to itself before Avengers: Endgame arrives to shatter records, so it should be sitting pretty.

More: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Had A Shazam Reference

Source: Box Office Pro

2019-04-04 09:04:48

Chris Agar

Glass Early Reviews: Shyamalan’s Unbreakable & Split Sequel is a Mess

Reviews are coming in for M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, a movie that takes place in the same universe as Unbreakable and Split. It’s been twenty years now since young Haley Joel Osment saw dead people in Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, a supernatural thriller that put his name on the map and made him one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. The filmmaker would go on to reunite with Sixth Sense actor Bruce Willis one year later on Unbreakable, a comic book inspired thriller that was generally well-received but nowhere near as successful as Shyamalan’s ghost story.

It goes without saying, but a whole lot has changed since Unbreakable was released. The superhero movie genre underwent a renaissance that’s earned Shyamalan’s film – itself, a deconstruction of comic book superhero tropes – a newfound level of reverence and appreciation in the years since its release. At the same time, Shyamalan’s career took a dive after his initial success and the filmmaker became something of a laughingstock, mocked for the recurring elements of his work – especially his twist endings – that made his name in the first place.

Related: Split’s Villain Was Originally in Unbreakable

Then, in a twist worthy of Shyamalan, the storyteller made a comeback, beginning with his 2015 found footage thriller The Visit and continuing on to 2017’s Split: a stealthy continuation of Unbreakable and one of his best-received (and most lucrative) films in years. Everyone’s been waiting to see if Shyamalan’s hot streak continues with Glass, not least of all because it brings the casts from Unbreakable and Split together for (supposedly) one last film. We’ve rounded up spoiler-free excerpts from the first wave of Glass reviews below, for those anxious to find out what critics are making of the film so far.

Bruce WIllis, James McAvoy, and Samuel L. Jackson in Glass

The Wrap‘s Monica Castillo calls Glass a “stylish but shallow sequel”, explaining:

Performances aside, “Glass” is a pretty mixed bag of exposition-filled dull moments and pedantic dialogue. Shyamalan, who also wrote the movie, unloads comic-book knowledge at the expense of character development, going so far as to explain what a “showdown” is and having a character give a brief history of the comics medium, which seems extraneous in a world where superhero movies have opened in theaters every summer for the past decade. That moment would have worked in 2000, but nowadays, any kid on an American playground has heard of the Avengers. Despite its flaws, the movie has a fair share of entertaining scenes, usually the ones involving all three leads. However messy, Shyamalan still has a few tricks up his sleeve when tying the threads of these separate movies together.

Mashable‘s Angie Han expresses a similar sentiment in he review, saying the film “tries and fails to shatter the comic book movie formula”:

Glass is M. Night Shyamalan’s sequel to his Unbreakable and Split, and like Unbreakable before it, wants to be a deconstruction of the superhero genre. But where Unbreakable was meticulous, re-examining well-worn tropes through well-drawn characters, Glass is uncontrolled. It doesn’t so much analyze or update those tropes as it does lampshade them, and call it a day. Perhaps that would’ve been more forgivable in the early 2000s, when Unbreakable was released, before Spider-Man or Nolan’s Batman or the MCU and DCEU. Now, though, it feels downright bizarre for a movie to act as if the same audience that turned Avengers: Infinity War into a $2 billion juggernaut might need a refresher on what Superman is.

Variety‘s Owen Glieberman is only somewhat more positive, saying the film “holds you without haunting you”:

Shyamalan, though, as he proved with “Split,” can still win over an audience, and in “Glass” he’s a poised and confident filmmaker who seizes our attention. Yet the movie, watchable as it is, is still a disappointment, because it extends and belabors the conceits of “Unbreakable” without the sensation of mystical dark discovery that made that film indelible. “Glass” is a sequel that feels more dutiful than necessary. It turns the earlier film’s ominous pop poetry into overexplicit blockbuster prose.

/Film‘s Chris Evangelista is even more critical of the film in his review, calling Glass “a huge, unfortunate step backwards” after Shyamalan’s recent successes:

In his past work, [Shyamalan has] displayed a wonderful knowledge of cinematic language, and a masterful control of the camera. But none of that is on display in Glass, which only has a few memorable shots spliced into a visually bland, flat space. This becomes even more noticeable when the director cuts in some deleted scenes from Unbreakable, which look gorgeous, atmospheric, and, well, cinematic. Where did the filmmaker who shot those scenes 19 years ago disappear to? Like Superman exposed to kryptonite, Shyamalan has lost all his powers directing Glass. I can only hope he gets them back soon.

THR‘s John DeFore is similarly muted in his response, calling Glass a “partly-satisfying conclusion” to Shyamalan’s superhero trilogy:

Like Unbreakable and Split, Glass wants its extraordinary feats to be as grounded as possible in the real world. The tension between wish-fulfillment heroics and realism was tantalizing in Unbreakable. Here, it’s more confused. Those of us who have steered clear of gossip sites or promotional interviews may find ourselves, after the big showdown Mr. Glass has engineered, not certain what we have seen. Is Glass the least satisfying chapter of an often enjoyable, conceptually intriguing trilogy? Or is it an attempt to launch a broader Shyamalaniverse, in which ordinary men and women throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs will discover their own inspiring abilities? Marketplace realities make the latter more likely. Here’s hoping the former is the case.

Collider‘s Vinnie Mancuso feels Glass reflects Shyamalan’s best and worst tendencies as a filmmaker (or, as his pun-y review title puts it, “split personalities”):

[One] of Shyamalan’s worst tendencies is to not let a clever idea just be clever. Glass‘s overall schtick, a cerebral thriller that follows the beats of a comic book, is a smart one, but Shyamalan falls a bit too in love with his own form. He’s not just showing you a cool thing, he needs you to know why it’s cool in context and needs to explain every layer of subtext. By the end of Glass, every single main player has transformed into Jamie Kennedy‘s character in Scream, a cacophony of know-it-all experts shouting at each other – and the audience – about The Rules of comic book storytelling. This is especially grating in 2019, when [your] six-year-old nephew could probably write a treatise on how this stuff works.

Polygon‘s Karen Han is likewise split (har, har) in her review, saying Glass is a “thrilling yet frustrating end to the Unbreakable trilogy”:

In theory, it’s a natural finale. As characters, David, Kevin, and Elijah hinge on an exaggeration of human nature and the difficulty inherent in finding one’s place in the world, with their alignments putting them on colliding paths. Finding a middle between the more aggressive, out-and-out supernaturalism of Split and the internal, emotional stakes of Unbreakable should bring the Eastrail 177 trilogy to a clean close. In practice, however, Glass ends up feeling at war with itself. No easily achievable middle ground exists, particularly not when one of the two extremes, Split, is such a knot of thorns already, as it deals (poorly) with dissociative identity disorder, Stockholm syndrome, and the idea that only those who have suffered deserve to live.

Perhaps Uproxx‘s Mike Ryan sums things up best when he describes Glass as a “bewildering misfire, yet also strangely fascinating”:

There’s a big part of me that loves that Glass exists in the world. I do appreciate that Shyamalan was going for something here, even though that something doesn’t work. It’s almost like Shyamalan was trying to make his own version of The Last Jedi – a meta-deconstruction of what came before; in this case superhero movies – only he got too engrossed in the deconstruction part and forgot to make it entertaining. In a way, Glass feels like a giant middle finger to the very people who would be excited to see Glass. That, on its own, is inherently fascinating… And I want to word this as kindly as possible, but there are sequences in this movie that, how should I put it: let’s just say maybe bring a caffeinated beverage.

On the whole, critics seem pretty mixed to negative on Glass… and yet, it appears many find the film equal parts fascinating and frustrating. That’s certainly better than being an uninteresting failure and suggests Glass may yet find a cult following among critics and general audiences alike. It wouldn’t be the first Shyamalan movie to do that either; a number of the director’s critically-derided movies have their fair share of supporters (see also: The Village) and Unbreakable itself earned a mixed to positive response, upon its initial release.

Either way, it looks like Universal/Blumhouse made the right call in releasing Glass in January. The month is typically a dumping ground for studios and odds are people will be more willing to give Shyamalan’s new film a shot now than they would’ve been, had Glass hit theaters during a far more competitive frame. Those who’ve been waiting some twenty years to see the Unbreakable sequel may end up disappointed by what Shyamalan’s delivered here, but they may want to check it out all the same and find out what they make of his latest eccentric creation.

MORE: Every Glass Update You Need to Know

Source: Various [see the above links]

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2019-01-09 01:01:23

‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch’ makes off with $66M at box office

“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” sledded past mixed reviews and made off with $66 million for Universal Pictures to top the weekend North American box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Last week’s…Click To Continue

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Black Panther 2 Moving Forward With Ryan Coogler Set to Write & Direct

Ryan Coogler is confirmed to return to write and direct Black Panther 2. Marvel Studios found massive success earlier this year with the launch of Black Panther. It was the first MCU movie to star a person of color in Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. The movie featured almost an entirely black cast and wound up receiving rave reviews, in addition to earning over $1 billion at the box office.

Due to the success, there’s been heavy speculation about the status of a sequel. There’s been no official word from Marvel Studios about where the movie stood, let alone the status of the film’s cast. However, the biggest focus for many was whether or not writer-director Ryan Coogler would return.

Related: Michael B. Jordan Open to Black Panther 2 Return

THR has now confirmed that Ryan Coogler is indeed returning to Wakanda. They’ve confirmed that he’ll write and direct Black Panther 2 for Marvel Studios. Production is currently expected to get started in late 2019 or early 2020.

Coogler returning to direct Black Panther 2 has been expected for some time, but now it is nice to finally have the confirmation that he’s returning. He’d signed up for other projects since Black Panther hit theaters, so he took his time deciding to return to Wakanda. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously said he wanted Coogler to make the sequel. They’re doing just that with this announcement, as they may have wanted to get the sequel moving even quicker because of just how big of a hit the original was.

Now that Coogler is locked in for Black Panther 2, the hope to shoot the sequel in late 2019 or early 2020 will depend on a few things. The first will be Coogler finishing the script and getting it into the proper place to actually start production. Feige previously said they have a “pretty solid direction” for the sequel’s story, so this may just be a matter of Coogler putting pen to paper. The other major step that will need to be completed is actually aligning the franchise’s multiple stars’ busy schedules. Boseman is continuing to take on new projects, while breakout cast members like Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira have also continued to book future movies.

Although Marvel has yet to confirm Coogler’s return or even that they’re making Black Panther 2, the longterm planning on their part clued many in on this timetable for the sequel. They previously dated untitled Marvel movies into 2022, and the February 2021 release date was quickly pointed to by many as Black Panther 2‘s likely landing spot. This reported production schedule should only reaffirm that belief. Of course, Marvel doesn’t plan on announcing any of their future projects officially until after Avengers 4 hits theaters, so it may still be several months before Coogler’s involvement and Black Panther 2‘s release date become officially official. But for now, his involvement has been confirmed by several sources and is a great step forward for the sequel.

MORE: Letitia Wright Wants Shuri to Become Black Panther

Source: THR

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2018-10-11 01:10:10 – Cooper Hood

Suicide Squad Director Supports James Gunn For Sequel

Suicide Squad director David Ayer supports the hiring of James Gunn for Suicide Squad 2. Warner Bros. and DC found varying degrees of success with the first Suicide Squad movie. The film grossed nearly $750 million worldwide, despite extremely negative reviews. The criticisms largely fell on the shoulders of its director David Ayer. But, WB still expressed interest in working with him on a Harley Quinn spinoff Gotham City Sirens, while Gavin O’Connor was originally hired to direct Task Force X’s sequel.

O’Connor quietly left the project recently, leaving the job open for the taking, and the latest report says fired Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn will write and possibly direct. The news came with reports that this won’t be a true sequel, and could instead see Gunn bring his own style, tone, and cast to the film. Some fans are understandably upset that WB may be willing to throw away everything from the first film, but Ayer isn’t.

Related: James Gunn Is Better Suited For Suicide Squad Than Guardians

A fan asked Ayer on Twitter for his thoughts on Gunn’s hiring, and the report that he could basically do whatever he wants. Instead of Ayer firing back at WB for potentially wiping away what he brought to Suicide Squad’s characters and their universe, he feels like Gunn is an excellent choice, and that this move overall is great for DC.

This could obviously be a difficult scenario for fans of the first Suicide Squad. Although it wasn’t perfect, plenty still found the movie to be quite enjoyable, thanks in large part to the titular characters. Gunn potentially restarting the franchise with a brand new cast would eliminate any character work and relationships from before. But, one has to respect Ayer for voicing this opinion, even if it means years of his own work may have been for nought.

Before fans get too upset with the possibility of Gunn’s relaunch, it’s best to wait for official details to come out. The reboot report had no details on what that would entail, so it’s still possible that some of the more well-received characters could return. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot are the two most likely candidates to remain, while Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinneman’s Rick Flag, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, or Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc could all return too. Even if none of them do, and Gunn starts from scratch completely with the characters, mythology, and so on, Ayer’s support will hopefully go a long way in calming any sections of the fanbase that may not be thrilled with where Suicide Squad 2 could be heading.

MORE: DC Characters Who Should Join Suicide Squad 2’s Team

Source: David Ayer

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2018-10-09 05:10:13 – Cooper Hood