Jim Carrey Takes Trump Presidency to ‘Extinction Level’ in Latest Political Cartoon (Photo)

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Jim Carrey hits the panic button in his latest objet d’art, depicting President Donald Trump as a flaming, screaming asteroid headed for earth and saying his presidency will become an “extinction level event.”
In his political cartoon…

‘The Mustang’ and Matthias Schoenaerts Ride Into Indie Box Office

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A slew of new releases hit the indie box office this weekend, with the top per screen average going to Focus Features’ “The Mustang,” which stars Matthias Schoenaerts as a violent prison inmate who undergoes a personal transformation when he is entered into a mustang taming program.

Released on five screens in Los Angeles and New York, the film grossed $94,750 for an average of $18,950. Critics have hailed the performances of Schoenaerts and co-star Bruce Dern, as well as the direction of Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, giving the film a 95 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’ Scores $69 Million in Second Weekend at Box Office

Less impressive was Fox Searchlight’s “The Aftermath,” which also released this weekend on five screens in L.A. and New York and grossed $57,000 for a per screen average of $11,500. Set after the end of World War II, the film stars Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke as a British couple who move into a home in Hamburg that has been recommissioned by the British but is still inhabited by a German widower (Alexander Skarsgard) and his troubled daughter. Circumstances lead to a secret tryst between the woman and the widower, as tensions between Britain and Germany remain high.

Directed by James Kent, the film will expand to 28 theaters next weekend but faces poor critical reviews, as it earned a 27 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

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Among holdovers, A24’s “Gloria Bell” expanded to 39 screens in its second weekend and grossed $378,000 for a total of $568,000, while NEON/CNN Films’ “Apollo 11” expanded to 588 screens and added $1.22 million for a total of $5.5 million after three weekends.

Finally, Magnolia and Shorts.TV’s annual screening of the Oscar short film nominees is reaching the end of its theatrical run, adding $14,500 this weekend to bring its total to $3.5 million, a record for the Oscar screening series.

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‘Captain Marvel’ Scores $69 Million in Second Weekend at Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Captain Marvel” continues to dominate the box office in its second weekend, topping the charts with $69 million grossed domestically and $119.7 million grossed overseas.

While the domestic total was a 56 percent drop from the film’s $153.4 million opening weekend — larger than the 43-44 percent drop for “Black Panther” and “Wonder Woman” — it still sits only behind 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” ($90 million) on the all-time list of second weekend totals in March. With $189 million grossed worldwide this weekend, including $12.5 million from IMAX screens, the film now has a global total of $760 million, surpassing the $623 million global run of “Ant-Man & The Wasp” in less than two weeks.

In second is Paramount’s “Wonder Park,” which is opening to $16 million from 3,838 screens. That’s higher than the $10-14 million start projected by trackers, but with a budget reported to be as high as $100 million, this animated film faces a long road to profitability. Still, Paramount is hoping for a strong hold as kids head out of school for spring break in the coming weeks. The film has a weak 30 percent Rotten Tomatoes score but has a B+ from audiences on CinemaScore.

Also Read: The Weird and Diverse Comic Book History of ‘Captain Marvel’

In third is CBS Films/Lionsgate’s “Five Feet Apart,” which is opening to $13.1 million from 2,803 screens. Made on a $7 million budget, the film was projected for a $7-10 million opening but has performed well with female audiences, who comprised 82 percent of the total audience and gave it an A on CinemaScore. Critics were more lukewarm with a 53 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is in fourth with $9.3 million, bringing its total to $135 million after four weekends, while Lionsgate’s “A Madea Family Funeral” is in fifth with $7.8 million and a $58.8 million total after three weekends.

Also Read: Let’s Talk About Captain Marvel, Feminism and Fragile Fanboys’ Angst (Podcast)

Outside the top five, Lionsgate/Pantelion’s “No Manches Frida 2” hit theaters with a targeted release of 472 screens, grossing $3.7 million and matching the opening of the first “No Manches Frida” in 2016. In seventh is Focus Features/Participant Media/Amblin’s “Captive State,” which opened to $3.1 million from 2,548 screens but has been received poorly with a C- on CinemaScore and a 46 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Lastly, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2” finally crossed the $100 million mark in its sixth weekend in theaters, grossing $2.1 million to take eighth on this weekend’s charts and bring its domestic total to $101.3 million. By comparison, the first “Lego Movie” grossed $236.9 million after six weekends, putting the sequel 57 percent behind the original’s pace.

Next weekend will likely see “Captain Marvel” cede the No. 1 spot to Universal/Monkeypaw’s “Us,” Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Get Out.” The film’s release was pushed back a week to allow buzz to grow from its world premiere at SXSW, where it received a standing ovation and unanimous praise from the critics in attendance. “Us” is currently projected for a $40-42 million opening, which would be an improvement on the $33.3 million opening of “Get Out” in February 2017.

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‘Pet Sematary’ Film Review: Stephen King Remake Digs Up Fresh New Scares

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For fans of Mary Lambert’s original 1989 adaptation of the beloved Stephen King book, the new remake of “Pet Sematary” is different enough to offer shock and surprises to even the most ardent of loyalists.

At its premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival, several audience members braced themselves for pivotal moments from the older movie, and then jumped or nervously laughed when their anticipation was met by a clever psych-outs by directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, whose previous film, “Starry Eyes” also played at SXSW.

The movie opens differently than its predecessor. This time, the family car door is open, and there are bloody handprints still fresh on the driver’s side window. A thick trail of blood leads from the house to outside, but there are no characters in the frame or much of a clue at what’s happened. The film then jumps back to the fateful day the Creed family moved from Boston to Ludlow, Maine, teasing the high-speed danger just outside their new home’s driveway. Behind their home is a macabre grave site the local kids have named a “pet sematary” for their deceased animals. Just beyond the borders of the area lies an even scarier plot of land.

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While many of the favorite characters remain almost intact from King’s book, there are a few tweaks by the actors in their performances to give this version some more twists. Louis (Jason Clarke), a sensitive doctor, seems more attuned to the needs of his family. He’s very playful and connected with his daughter and son, and his softened persona makes him a more tragic figure as the events start to turn dark.

His wife, Rachel (Amy Seimetz), feels more grounded than her predecessor. Seimetz displays her character’s childhood traumas on the surface, like a woman fighting down her demons from taking over. John Lithgow brings a much more sympathetic approach to older local Jud and his curiosity about the supernatural grounds. But the film’s breakout star is Jeté Laurence (“Sneaky Pete”), whose scary-good performance as the sweet and naturally curious 8-year-old Ellie recasts what could have been a silly part into something that’s genuinely creepy and heartbreaking.

Also Read: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’ (Guest Blog)

This “Pet Sematary” is notably different in pacing, starting off with a disturbing image and working quickly to retrace the steps that led to that moment. The movie is relatively on the bloody side of horror, including scenes like the film’s opening shot and the unfortunate family cat that gets a mangy makeover later in the movie. Cinematographer Laurie Rose (“Stan & Ollie”) casts much of the film in a pale blue pall, as though the sun never comes out in this part of Maine.

While the trailer unbelievably spoils one of the remake’s biggest plot twists, there’s still a lot of hidden references for people familiar to the story, like an updated cover version of The Ramones’ “Pet Sematary” over the credits. For those new to what happens, this remake will perhaps act as a gateway to checking out more adaptations of King’s stories or reading his books.

One of the most enduring aspects of the narrative is how it addresses grief, our inability to let go of loved ones when they die, and our fear about discussing mortality. Louis and Rachel fight over how to talk to Ellie about death, revealing an American cultural taboo around the subject. Rachel, traumatized by the early death of her sick sister, wants to shield her daughter from the harsh sting of losing a loved one for as long as she can. Louis disagrees, and there’s a sense that the movie sides with him, although it later shows that while he can talk about loss in the abstract, and try to fight against it as a doctor, he still does not know what it means to grieve for someone and to let them go.

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(When the directors and some members of the cast and crew took the stage after the screening, Widmyer described his “Pet Sematary” as “elevated horror.” There’s not an “elevated” thing about it. It’s not high-concept, paced like a slow-burn arthouse movie, or meant to shatter audiences’ expectations of what defines a horror movie. “Pet Sematary” is just a regular horror movie told with the directors’ style, and it’s not like this genre is short on stylish directors: Sam Raimi, George Romero, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg, to name just a few, scared audiences with their groundbreaking works, yet their movies may never be classified as “elevated horror.” It’s a false label that sneers at the history and conventions of the genre for the sake of filmmakers’ egos and, in a way, it diminishes what Lambert accomplished with her version of “Pet Sematary” in order to “elevate” their vision above hers.)

That Q&A aside, I quite enjoyed the thrills of the new “Pet Sematary,” much like I enjoyed the scares of the old movie. Its terrifying story about death still leaves audiences with much to think about long after the credits roll, and the twists that lead to a new ending are fun to follow. Thirty years after the original movie frightened audiences, its source material has given new life to one of the best Stephen King adaptations in the past decade.



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‘Running With Beto,’ Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ Win SXSW Audience Awards

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Beto O’Rourke was a winner at South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, or at least the film chronicling his campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate, “Running With Beto,” was, as it took home the Audience Award for Documentary Spotlight Saturday.

The audience favorite Narrative Spotlight section went to “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” starring Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern. The film is about a young man with Down syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) who runs away from a nursing home to become a professional wrestler.

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Headliners and 24 Beats Per Second Audience Award winners will be announced on Monday, March 19.

Here’s a complete list of Saturday’s winners:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
“Saint Frances
”
Director: Alex Thompson

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
“For Sama
”
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT 

“The Peanut Butter Falcon
”
Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT
“Running With Beto
”
Director: David Modigliano

VISIONS
“The Garden Left Behind”
Director: Flavio Alves

MIDNIGHTERS
“Boyz In the Wood
”
Director: Ninian Doff

EPISODIC PREMIERES
“Ramy
”
Showrunner: Bridget Bedard

GLOBAL
“Cachada: The Opportunity
”
Director: Marlén Viñayo

FESTIVAL FAVORITES
“Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins”
Director: Janice Engel

SXSW Film Design Awards

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
“Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse”
Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez

VIRTUAL CINEMA JURY AWARD WINNERS

360° VIDEO: DOCUMENTARY
“Send Me Home”
Director: Cassandra Evanisko

360° VIDEO: NARRATIVE
“Metro Veinte: Cita Ciega”
Director: Maria Belen Poncio

INTERACTIVE
“Runnin’”
Director: Kiira Benzing

STORYTELLING
“Gloomy Eyes”
Director: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado

BEST USE OF IMMERSIVE ARTS
“Home After War”
Director: Gayatri Parameswaran

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The Weird and Diverse Comic Book History of ‘Captain Marvel’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

[Spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel.”]

So you’ve seen “Captain Marvel” and now you have a bunch of questions about Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, her history — and wait who was Marvel… or was it Mar-Vell? And what about Monica Rambeau.

Like every other film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Captain Marvel” only loosely adapts from the comic books, streamlining a hell of a lot. It does a fine job of bringing together characters who are only loosely-connected in the comics, and it boasts a strong, diverse cast to boot. But what is the actual history of Captain Marvel?

That’s a huge question. The answer involves not only characters like Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers, but a cosmic badass partly inspired by actress Pam Grier, some extremely convoluted alien relations, and the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel comic book. Strap in because it’s complicated, weird as hell (this is a good thing), and occasionally ahead of its time.

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Mar-Vell

To start, in the comics Carol Danvers isn’t the first Captain Marvel, or even the second — she’s the seventh. The first is Mar-Vell.

In the film, Mar-Vell is the Kree scientist, played by Annette Bening, who rebels against her people’s imperialistic wars of conquest and comes to earth disguised as a human named Wendy Lawson. Mar-Vell’s comics counterpart is male, but just like in the film, he’s a mentor to Carol Danvers and partly responsible for how she got her powers. (More on that later.)

Created in 1967 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Mar-Vell was a Kree warrior sent to earth on an observation mission with the ultimate goal of destroying the planet. Because of course.

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Mar-Vell disguises himself as a recently-deceased human named Walter Lawson. But Mar-Vell was also enhanced with Kree tech, which gives him abilities that on earth look a lot like superpowers. He soon uses those powers to save a bunch of people, and because they mispronounced his Kree name, he became known as “Captain Marvel.”

Mar-Vell goes to work for NASA, where he meets Carol Danvers, NASA’s head of security. He develops feelings for Carol, and sympathy for humanity as a whole, and eventually turns on the Kree to protect the earth. A lot of crazy-as-hell comic book stuff happens over the years, and he even becomes the arch enemy of Thanos (yes, that Thanos).

Unfortunately, during one of his adventures Mar-Vell was exposed to powerful carcinogens, and because he was considered a traitor, the Kree denied him access to their advanced medical technology. So, unusually for a major comic character, Mar-Vell died for real, from cancer, in Marvel Comics’ first-ever graphic novel, 1982’s “The Death of Captain Marvel,” written by Jim Starlin.

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Monica Rambeau

Mar-Vell’s death cleared the way for a new hero to take over as Captain Marvel — but it wasn’t Carol (yet). Created by writer Roger Stern and artists John Romita Jr. in 1982, the second Captain Marvel — and Marvel’s first African-American female superhero — was Monica Rambeau.

Monica is a New Orleans Harbor Patrol lieutenant who gets exposed to extra-dimensional energy that gives her the ability to transform into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum, super-speed, and flight.

Stern and Romita initially drew inspiration from actress Pam Grier, but went much more glam than noir on the page. As you can see, Monica adopts a completely dope black and white costume that is easily one of Marvel’s most iconic 1980s visuals. Though she eventually tones down the (awesome) Earth, Wind & Fire aspects of her first costume, Monica sticks with a variation on that striking color scheme in every subsequent costume.

Called the new Captain Marvel by the media, Monica accepts the moniker and with Spider-Man’s help begins training with The Avengers to get her powers under control.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: So Where Did Carol Go for 25 Years Before ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

Monica was even appointed the leader of the Avengers for a while, but in a 1988 storyline, she lost her powers and stepped down. Luckily she got them back, plus a few new ones, and returned a year later as the star of her own series, “Captain Marvel” vol. 2, which lasted from 1989 to 1994.

Eventually, in a 1996 storyline Monica adopts a new superhero name, Photon; in 2006 she becomes Pulsar; and since 2010 she’s been best known as Spectrum. And yes, she still rocks an amazing outfit. You can read a lot more about her here.

Monica, of course, appears in “Captain Marvel.” Played by Akira Akbar, she’s the young daughter of Carol’s best friend and fellow Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau. She doesn’t get up to any heroics, but the film clearly sets her up for a potentially larger role in the future of the MCU — especially since her mother’s callsign was, wait for it, “Photon.”

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Four More Captain Marvels

Monica became Photon is because of Genis-Vell, the son of Mar-Vell, created in 1993 by Ron Marz and Ron Lim. Genis started calling himself Captain Marvel, he and Monica argued about it, and eventually out of respect for Mar-Vell, Monica let Genis have it.

Awkwardly, Genis later started calling himself Photon. So, once again, Monica let Genis have the superhero name she was already using. It’s a, uh, weird writing decision, but at least it eventually got us to the much cooler Spectrum.

The next three Captains Marvel are a too convoluted to get into here, but briefly:

  • Genis was succeeded by Phyla-Vell (created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta) — read more about her here.
  • Phyla-Vell was succeeded by Khn’nr, a brain-damaged Skrull sleeper agent (created by Paul Jenkins and Tom Raney).
  • And Khn’nr was succeeded by Noh-Varr, who is currently known as Protector (created by Grant Morrison and J. G. Jones).

Also Read: All 55 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including ‘Captain Marvel’

Ms. Marvel, and Ms. Marvel

Which finally brings us back to Carol Danvers, and the hero she inspired, Kamala Khan.

Created in 1968 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, Carol starts out like her movie counterpart as a former air force officer.

Unlike the film, where her powers come from the Tesseract (read all about that here), in the comics Carol leveled-up the old fashioned way: by being bombarded with radiation. She’d been taken hostage by Mar-Vell’s nemesis, Yon-Rogg (played by Jude Law in the film), and as Mar-Vell tried to rescue her, she was exposed to a Kree weapon that, essentially, turned her half-Kree.

In 1977 she got her own comic series as the hero “Ms. Marvel.”

Though canceled two years later, it was groundbreaking for its expressly feminist subject matter, including Carol’s fight for equal pay in her civilian identity. After the series ended she was a frequent player in “X-Men” and “Avengers”-related stories — most notoriously in a hugely-criticized 1980 storyline by Bob Layton, David Michelinie, George Pérez, and Jim Shooter, where the Avengers fail to recognize she’d been brainwashed and raped.

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(Thankfully, “Ms. Marvel” writer Chris Claremont undid this a year later in a story that has Carol angrily confront the Avengers for their failure to see what happened.)

Over the years Carol assumed other hero identities — Binary in 1982, Warbird in 1998, and a return to Ms. Marvel in 2006. She finally became the official, undisputed Captain Marvel in a 2012 storyline too convoluted to summarize here, and, judging from the $575 million-and-counting box office of the film, she’s likely not changing back any time soon.

Enter Kamala Khan.

Created in 2013 by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Jamie McKelvie, Pakistani-American Kamala is an otherwise normal Jersey City, New Jersey teenager who deals with the usual parental, high school and social drama. She’s also, unbeknownst to her, an Inhuman, otherwise ordinary people who developed extremely strange, totally unique powewrs if exposed to mutagenic substance called “terrigen mists.”

Exposure turns Kamala into a polymorph — she can deform, expand, or compress any part of, or her entire body into any shape she can imagine. Already a huge Carol Danvers fangirl, Kamala calls herself Ms. Marvel in tribute to her idol and gets to work saving civilians. She must now balance the responsibilities of school, friendships, her familial relationships, and her cultural heritage while saving lives as a masked hero.

Also Read: All 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)

She’s big deal for the Marvel universe, not only because of her powers and dope costume. She’s the first Muslim hero to headline a Marvel series, and helped spearhead a serious push by the comics publisher for greater diversity and representation in its titles. And she’s also the focus of some really authentic, genuinely touching coming of age tales.

And before you ask, she doesn’t appear in Captain Marvel, but she’s had something of a mentor-student relationship with Carol Danvers in the comics. Here’s hoping when “Captain Marvel” gets its inevitable sequel, Kamala will make her big screen debut too.

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‘The Day Shall Come’ Film Review: ‘Four Lions’ Director Returns With Another Blistering Political Satire

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In Christopher Morris’ new satire, “The Day Shall Come,” the stories of many people in the United States are condensed into one bitterly funny but dark comedy about the shortcomings of our justice system.

On one side is a charismatic man with delusions of grandeur, Moses (newcomer Marchánt Davis). He oversees a peaceful sect based on a fairly convoluted belief system that references Black Islamist, Jewish and Christian traditions. Moses works with his wife, Venus (Danielle Brooks, “Orange Is the New Black”) on the farm, takes in former drug dealers off the streets, and preaches the gospel of nonviolence and communal living. However, his unorthodox prayers call out to the liberator of Haiti, Francois-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture, and to Black Santa. It’s erratic enough behavior to get on the FBI’s radar, who deem Moses and his Star of Six group a possible threat.

What follows is a “Veep”-like look at the behind-the-scenes fumblings of the FBI. Driven by careerist aspirations, the group puts their self-interests above the need to do what’s right. Kendra (Anna Kendrick) leads the charge with shaky intel, feeding her boss Andy (Denis O’Hare) the false hope of a good case on which to end his career. As the FBI tries to trap Moses and frame him for intent to commit terrorist attacks, he proves not to be a traditional target, giving both the FBI and the movie their fair share of surprises.

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Despite the serious subject, Morris gives “The Day Shall Come” a brisk and upbeat tone. Some situations are so silly, you can’t help but laugh. The movie excels at the snappy workplace back-and-forth dialogue between Kendra and her antagonistic all-male team, perhaps a beneficiary of Morris’ time as a director on “Veep.” The scenes of the FBI are mostly cast under the pall of fluorescent blue lights, contrasting against the bright warmth of the pink Miami home and rundown community farm where Moses and his followers work.

Morris struggles with how to approach Moses, an innocent yet strange victim. While it’s clear that he sympathizes with what the unfairly targeted man is going through, a number of the jokes are still at his expense. In treating everyone equally as fools, there’s a disparity in who can withstand that kind of lampooning and who gets maligned in the real world.

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Unfortunately, Kendrick is not on screen enough to build out a great performance, but Davis uses her short scenes to dig into the humanity of his outsized character. There’s a tragic element in the way that Moses doesn’t understand his betrayal, which makes the actions of the FBI seem even crueler. Like the bumbling jihadists of Morris’ previous film, “Four Lions,” Moses is nowhere near ready to become a terrorist, not that he’s trying to become one. It’s the government that villainizes him and his beliefs.

The one major fault in “The Day Shall Come” stems from treating everyone from the FBI to their poorly-sourced targets as buffoons, which absolves the FBI from the serious implications of its actions. In order to save their careers, the agents scramble to arrest someone more in need of psychiatric help than prison bars, undercutting the fact that not only did they upend the lives of four people — including Venus, who left before Moses fell to temptation —  but the FBI’s actions also affected their families, Venus and Moses’ daughter, and their Liberty City community.

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“The Day Shall Come” is greatest when skewering power and shining a light on grave legal overreach. That we can laugh about it is great, but it’s a sign of our own security, of how unlikely we feel that we would be targeted in the same way. For others, laughing at this movie may not be so easy.

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‘Captive State’ Film Review: Space Invaders Occupy Earth Without the Benefit of a Decent Script

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

If near-future science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that humanity is irremediably doomed; either we succumb to rapacious technology or natural disasters of our own making, or an invasion by foes beyond our atmosphere wipes us out or enslaves us. Rupert Wyatt’s “Captive State” adheres to the latter variant but shows no intention of providing entertainment, just an unsatisfying potluck of quasi-relevant, frustration-inducing ideas.

Nine years after first contact, Earth’s governments have surrendered power to the alien overlords, whose spiny-looking leader is known as The Legislator. These creatures are benevolent in the way that a dictator is good to anyone: They’ve delivered stability in exchange for oppression. Up-close, the extraterrestrial enemies read as a crossbreed between a hairy tarantula and a lychee (yes, the tropical Asian fruit).

In response, the unimaginatively named insurgent group Phoenix has emerged and consistently carried out attacks on the “closed zones,” underground areas from which the villains run their resource-draining operation. That’s as much as can be gathered with certainty from the screenplay by Wyatt and Erica Beeney (“The Battle of Shaker Heights”). There may well be written text out there that explains the intricacies of the “Captive State” mythology, but none of it makes it onto the screen.

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John Goodman, in a phoned-in chore of a performance similar to others he’s cranked out with ease over the years, plays serious detective William Mulligan, the man tasked with stopping the Chicago cell of the humanist troublemakers. Together with Ashton Sanders (“Moonlight”) as teen rebel Gabriel Drummond, mourning his heroic brother, Goodman functions as the movie’s weak emotional anchor among plenty of even more thinly developed earthlings.

A stilted argument serves as Jonathan Majors’ most noteworthy contribution; Majors is a great actor elsewhere, who’ll get his time in the sun later this year when Sundance hit “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” arrives in theaters. Meanwhile, a wasted Vera Farmiga gets three scenes as a book-smart prostitute, while KiKi Layne (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) makes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. That concludes the list of folks with even a shred of narrative weight.

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Even after a full hour of tediously dry yet flagrant setup, the essential points of the film’s premise remain devoid of clarity. Make no mistake, just because a slew of nameless characters are introduced by the minute as if by revolving door, it doesn’t mean the plot gets any more enticing. People walk in and out of frame at such pace, one can only hope they are all wearing pedometers to register their futile efforts to rescue us not from destruction but boredom. Thrills are few, and they are all in the trailer.

It’s almost impressive the level of insufferable dourness that “Captive State” achieves, both in form and tone. Whatever existential conundrum or socio-political concern it pretends to be compelled by dissolves into a pool of convoluted sequences that pull our attention from the message (whatever that might be) in order to try to figure who is who and what is going on from one cut to the next. A grounded espionage thriller with otherworldly antagonists sounds truly gripping, but this isn’t it.

Wyatt could possibly be making a point about solidarity in the face of a common adversary, or how a committed few can enact change, or maybe even making connections with the current state of affairs, but if that’s the case, it’s all obscured behind dry speeches and mundane filmmaking. Its urban landscapes and washed-out colors do little to add aesthetic singularity or visual allure, although they do fit right in with the lo-fi approach. What’s carried over from other space-invaders chronicles are the primitive sounds that make up their foreign language and a score that reuses eerie audio cues that immediately ring of outer space.

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Delving into the purposeless particularities of this self-important snoozer could require an elaborate dissertation. That’s far beyond the attention it warrants. Still, some rather nonsensical quirks of note include the grotesque bugs implanted on mankind to track our every mode — A commentary on cell phones? Who knows. — a flammable and transparent organic substance that works in mysterious ways, and the curious notion that aliens hate how humans smell.

Following a major operation during a “unity rally,” where American leaders welcome an alien dignitary, a ridiculous brawl erupts that demonstrates that the movie couldn’t care less about its own rules. These hyper-intelligent alien entities, which we’ve earlier seen pulverize human bodies into bloody dust within seconds, are somehow defeated with a fire extinguisher and a quick strangulation session. Turns out they are no stronger than a regular henchman. (Fun fact: They also look like lychees on the inside.)

Lacking poignancy at every level, what could have been a moderately exciting, if unoriginal, occupation thriller instead becomes a muddled and dispirited disappointment from the director who once earned high praise for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”



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Third ‘Annabelle’ Film Scores Creepy Title ‘Annabelle Comes Home’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The third movie in the “Annabelle” franchise has been titled “Annabelle Comes Home,” New Line Cinema announced Friday.

The horror film will hit theaters on June 28 of this year. Gary Dauberman — who will be making his directorial debut — wrote the screenplay and co-wrote the story with horror guru James Wan. Peter Safran and Wan are producing.

The film stars Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The latter two are reprising their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren from the “Conjuring” franchise.

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“Annabelle Comes Home” will follow Ed and Lorraine Warren, who hope to end further damage the haunted doll has created by moving her back to their artifact room in their own home. However, doll unlocks the evil spirits in the house, and she sets her sights on a new target: the Warren’s 10-year-old daughter.

This will be the sixth installment in the “Conjuring” franchise, which also include “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Annabelle,” “Annabelle: Creation” and “The Nun.” Together, all the films have earned more than $500 million at the domestic box office.

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The studio is also in active development on “The Conjuring 3” and “The Crooked Man,” the latter of which is also drawn on a character appearing in “The Conjuring 2.”

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‘The Mustang’ Film Review: Matthias Schoenaerts Tames a Horse and Saves Himself in Prison Drama

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Horses and men have been mythic companions as long as movies have been around, so why does it feel as if within only the last couple of years, with “The Rider,” “Lean on Pete,” and now French filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s touching drama “The Mustang,” have we gotten a fuller examination of this relationship?

Maybe because we’re finally seeing horses treated as flesh-and-blood characters and not simply beautiful accessories or four-legged extensions of the rider’s personality (or just vehicles for transport). Which is surely why de Clermont-Tonnerre was drawn to the stories coming out of prison programs around the world that utilized animals as therapy — living, breathing, loving creatures who could help re-socialize those coarsened by incarceration.

But “The Mustang” — which de Clermont-Tonnerre wrote with Mona Fastvold (“The Childhood of a Leader”) and Brock Norman Brock (“Yardie”), and which recently premiered at Sundance — isn’t just about what happens when a hardened prisoner (Matthias Schoenaerts) learns to tame a wild horse. We’ve all seen enough movies that we can say it together: he learns about himself, too. What’s uniquely resonant about her approach is that, by framing this rehabilitation story in the context of not just our treatment of the incarcerated but also the horses’ situation (wild mustangs rounded up en masse as a population control measure), her film is about a relationship forged in a give-and-take that treats beast and human as emotional equals.

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In fact, de Clermont-Tonnerre’s opening images are of freedom, captured explicitly from the perspective of the animals: a herd of mustangs at play, at rest, and roaming in a gorgeous mountain range, until the sound of whirring blades cuts through the sound of hooves, and a copter enters the wide frame to guide these horses into pens. Needless to say, the creatures don’t respond well, their every kick and exhortation thick with agitated aggression.

Just as significant in the filmmaker’s desire to link horse and human before they even meet, when the film cuts to a Nevada prison counselor (Connie Britton) evaluating a new transfer who’s off-camera, we only hear the prisoner’s animalistic, unresponsive snorting. This is our introduction to Schoenaerts’ Roman, a barrel-chested, menacing and tight-lipped convict of many years trying to get out of isolation and into gen pop again, except, as he grunts to Britton, “I’m not good with people.” He’s barely communicable even with his own pregnant teenage daughter (Gideon Adlon, “Blockers”), whose stone-faced visits suggest that whatever put Roman behind bars for 12 years (the horrific details of which we learn later), forgiveness has been difficult, and parenting non-existent.

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“Outdoor maintenance” is where Roman finds himself, shoveling horse manure, until the sound of a buckskin’s furious kicking against the door of its sunless pen draws his attention. Schoenaerts’ eyes, simultaneously curious and wary, say it all: Is this inmate angrier than I am? Once accepted into the prison’s horse-training program under crusty administrator Myles (a full-throttle Bruce Dern), and guided through the process by genial fellow inmate Henry (Jason Mitchell, “Mudbound”), Roman is forced to realize how much his unbridled rage prevents meaningful connection with others.

De Clermont-Tonnerre doesn’t shy from visually synching Roman’s breakthroughs with Marquis, the name he gives his ornery charge, with his own inner journey. After a lovely shot in which Marquis’s head silently, sensitively enters the frame to brush up against the dejected Roman — representing their first true bonding — she cuts to Roman inside the prison, at a window, the angle of which offers a reflection as bold as a mirror’s.

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The filmmaker is aware that she’s in Western territory, yet she judiciously deploys Ruben Impens’ (“The Broken Circle Breakdown”) textured cinematography, and the intimately boxy 1.66:1 aspect ratio, for classically mythic images only when they resonantly tweak the genre’s visual language: a line of men on horseback riding through a stunning landscape, for instance, accompanied only by a watchful prison vehicle.

And while she’s injected “The Mustang” with an appealingly non-judgmental depiction of penitentiary life, de Clermont-Tonnerre is less skillful breathing new life into certain prison-narrative tropes. The one vivid byproduct of a tepidly rendered subplot involving Roman’s threatening cellmate is that Schoenaerts, when required to unleash toxic masculine violence, is terrifyingly good at it. Thankfully he’s just a magnetic actor overall, keen to the ways the physicality of brutish men is sometimes made hopelessly awkward by the injection of emotional healing.

The horses magnificently do their part, too, as co-stars in this redemption saga, mostly because de Clermont-Tonnerre gives them plenty of screen time to be irritable, sad, manic, desperate, but also begrudging, friendly, spirited, and at peace. It says a lot about where “The Mustang” stands in the history of man-and-his-horse movies that when auction day arrives, and the camera pans across a line of changed prisoners sitting atop similarly becalmed, four-legged hardcases, I found myself scanning the horses’ faces to gauge what they were thinking.



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James Gunn Thanks Disney for His ‘Guardians’ Return: ‘I Am Always Learning’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In his first tweet back since being fired, James Gunn has thanked Disney and his fans for being rehired to direct and write “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and said he is “always learning” about how he can be “the best human being I can be.”

“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be,” Gunn said Friday on Twitter. “I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love to you all.”

Disney reinstated Gunn on Friday after firing him from the third film in Marvel’s “Guardians” franchise last July when online critics discovered years-old tweets in which he joked about rape and pedophilia. Gunn apologized and said he had grown as a person in the years since the jokes. Despite calls from many fans to reinstate him, Disney made clear at the time that Gunn would not direct the third “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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Disney said in a statement from Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn that the jokes were “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.” According to an individual with knowledge, the decision to rehire Gunn was made months ago following conversations.

In January, TheWrap reported that Gunn was in talks to direct “The Suicide Squad” for DC. The sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” will hit theaters on August 6, 2021, Warner Bros. announced Wednesday. Peter Safran and Charles Roven will produce. He will complete this film first, with production to start in September, before returning to Disney for “Guardians 3.”

As TheWrap first reported, Gunn wrote the script for “The Suicide Squad.” The film is said to have a completely new take on the property, in which DC supervillains are recruited by the government to carry out secret missions too dirty for the likes of Superman and Batman.

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise has made over $700 million at the box office, with the last installment scoring an opening weekend of $146 million two years ago.

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‘Yardie’ Film Review: Idris Elba Falls Short With Atmospheric Directorial Debut

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There’s something missing in “Yardie,” Idris Elba’s directorial debut, but I can’t quite place my finger on it. The acting is decent, the cinematography is well-executed, and the music is on point, but the delivery and the tone are completely mismatched. It feels as if the film itself is aching to say something more, but is ultimately muted by choices the freshman director withheld from making.

Based on the 1992 book by Victor Headley, the film opens in 1973 Kingston, Jamaica. There’s a gang war, and young D (Antwayne Eccleston) is being raised by his older brother, Jerry Dread (Everaldo Creary, “Better Mus Come”) while King Fox (Sheldon Shepherd) — a gang leader, don, and music producer — acts a sort of father figure to both. During a concert meant to unite rival gangs in Kingston, Jerry is gunned down, leaving D to be raised by King Fox.

Years later, adult D (Aml Ameen, “Sense 8”) is working for King Fox in whatever capacity he needs, which includes becoming a courier to London where he needs to deliver cocaine to local crime boss Rico (Stephen Graham, “Boardwalk Empire”). While in London, D attempts to reconnect with his childhood love, Yvonne (Shantol Jackson) and their young daughter, who he hasn’t seen since her infancy. The coke deal goes awry, and as D figures out his next step, he must choose between keeping his family safe or taking down the person he thinks killed his brother.

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Though the film offers solid performances from its ensemble, much of Ameen’s work is overshadowed by clumsy narration that weaves in and out at odd moments. Ameen is capable of carrying much of the film’s inner monologues in his own performance, which makes the narration extraneous and baffling.

Graham, a fine actor, does the best he can with the caricature of a drug lord he is given. The problem lies in the script by Brock Norman Brock (“Bronson”) and Martin Stellman (“Babylon”): Rico reads like a parody instead of the actual threat he may pose to D, which isn’t Graham’s fault, but the writers’ and director Elba’s indecisive choices.

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Having not read Headley’s novel, but knowing that it became a literary sensation by being sold outside concert halls and hair salons within the very community it discusses, it would appear that the source material has more to say about warring neighborhoods, and the rampant drugs and crime surrounding them. In the big-screen version of “Yardie,” these ideas are touched on superficially without going deep enough to provide true representation. The film’s tone wobbles between full-on crime drama and the book’s empathetic portrayal of a specific community.

Elba’s film reflects conflict through its soundtrack, relying solely on music supervisor Nick Angel’s choices, which exude both the joy of the Rastafarian lifestyle and the darkness of a country plagued by gang wars. There are moments when an adult D takes the mic and spouts verses that are beautiful, painful and poetic, but this B-story goes nowhere, thus ending any way of having the music save the choppiness of the film’s tone.

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Director of photography John Conroy (who worked with Elba on TV’s “Luther”) also tries to bridge the gaps in tone by allowing the audience a chance to see a side of Jamaica that isn’t typically seen. The country remains as beautiful as we’re used to seeing it, but Conroy makes the dark underbelly come alive in color, showing what a beautifully broken existence it is to live in a world with a stunning landscape surrounded by poverty and crime. On the flip side, however, London could have been presented a bit grittier — instead it feels tidy, despite the chaos Rico and his gang cause.

There’s no question that Elba is a talented actor, but his debut on the other side of the lens falls a bit short. Director need to make decisions to get a story across, and Elba appears to have been too shy or too reluctant to make them. “Yardie” suffers for it.



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‘The Hummingbird Project’ Film Review: Jesse Eisenberg Launches an Overly Ambitious Scheme, and Ultimately, So’s the Movie

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

One millisecond is a nearly infinitesimal fraction of time. Heck, it just took you about a thousand milliseconds to read the words: “one millisecond.” So telling a story about a high-stakes race to convey information one measly millisecond faster than anybody else sounds like an exercise in making a heck of a lot of ado over, quite literally, almost nothing.

Thankfully, Kim Nguyen’s “The Hummingbird Project” is in on the joke. It’s a dryly humorous caper about a pair of cousins, Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgård), who scheme to build a fiberoptic pipeline from Kansas City to New Jersey under the nose of their wealthy ex-employer, Eva Torres (Salma Hayek). Once built, their connection to the stock exchange will be one millisecond faster than anyone else’s, and that’s all the time they need to make a fortune.

Yes, that’s it; that’s their whole plan. They may be somewhat unethical, but they’re hardly Lex Luthor and Eric Northman. Vincent and Anton pitch their idea to legitimate investors and then try to charm and (when necessary) drink the allegorical milkshakes of the various landowners who stand in the way of them digging a modest-width, albeit incredibly long, hole in the ground.

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Nguyen, director of the Oscar-nominated “War Witch,” plays most of “The Hummingbird Project” like an old-school heist movie, complete with fast-talking cons and schematics every which way. The cognitive disconnect between how serious Vincent and Anton take their mission and the mundanity of actually digging holes is inherently funny, and Nguyen milks that contrast for delicious irony and, eventually, some only partly-earned pathos.

“The Hummingbird Project” is the kind of film where Salma Hayek says, as she reaches out to a colleague, “You don’t have to hide behind this gimmicky neutrino-messaging bullsh*t,” as if she doesn’t sound like she’s reading stereo instructions. The playful score by Yves Gourmeur (“Méprises”) and sharp, serious cinematography by Nicolas Bolduc (“Enemy”) are also whimsically at odds with one another. It’s a film that owns its contrasts, that’s for certain.

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But although the story of “The Hummingbird Project” begins with a slick, Soderbergh-ian heist mentality, it gradually evolves into a rather sad tale about what a waste of time it is to try to steal a millisecond. As one of our protagonists wrestles with his mortality, and his decision to build the pipeline even if it literally kills him, the other expands his consciousness to acknowledge that all their effort to make a few insanely rich investors just a little bit richer does absolutely nothing to help the people working at the companies in which they’re actually investing.

That’s a thoughtful approach to a film like this but sadly, “The Hummingbird Project” doesn’t earn its enlightened conclusion. Most of the characters are eccentric, sometimes to the point of caricature; that, or they merely serve a function to the plot. Eisenberg seems to be playing a significantly less successful version of his Mark Zuckerberg character in “The Social Network,” with all the detachment and scheming but almost none of the skills to back up his bravado. Eisenberg is great at that, but it doesn’t do much to earn our empathy.

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Meanwhile, Skarsgård plays a genius whose behavior would seem to indicate that he’s on the spectrum, although that’s never directly addressed. The actor appears to relish playing a brainy character: It looks like he dove headfirst into the electric razor that gave him a huge receding hairline. And it’s exceedingly amusing, for those who relish hackneyed moments of inspiration in movies, to see him amble from one seemingly random moment to another, in search of the big “eureka” that will solve all his problems and finally buy them that extra millisecond. Will he find a way to skip junctions after he tries skipping stones? No. Will he realize that fiberoptic cables are affected by water after he picks up the frog? No. You’ll see what it is, and if you’re into meta-narratives, you’ll probably be happy with its banality.

But all this whimsy does little to address the film’s frustratingly simple conclusions about life, the universe and everything. One of the characters basically comes right out and says, like he’s the biggest genius of them all, that the real treasure was the friends they made along the way. At that point “The Hummingbird Project” goes from ironic to trite in — it seems — less than a millisecond.

“The Hummingbird Project” is most of a great movie. Amiable performances and a deft pace combine with high-contrast storytelling, and the results are generally engaging. Sometimes funny, sometimes smart, always watchable, but perhaps the film’s dedication to turning a clever tale into something profound was a miscalculation. Perhaps there were simply better ways to spend the time.



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James Gunn Returns to Direct, Write ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

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Disney has reinstated James Gunn to write and direct “Guardians of the Galaxy 3,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Gunn was fired from Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise last July after online critics discovered years-old tweets in which he joked about rape and pedophilia. Gunn apologized and said he had grown as a person in the years since the jokes. Despite calls from many fans to reinstate him, Disney made clear at the time that Gunn would not direct the third “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Disney said in a statement from Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn that the jokes were “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.” According to an individual with knowledge, the decision to rehire Gunn was made months ago following conversations.

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In January, TheWrap reported that Gunn was in talks to direct “The Suicide Squad” for DC. The sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” will hit theaters on August 6, 2021, Warner Bros. announced Wednesday. Peter Safran and Charles Roven will produce. He will complete this film first, with production to start in September, before returning to Disney for “Guardians 3.”

As TheWrap first reported, Gunn wrote the script for “The Suicide Squad.” The film is said to have a completely new take on the property, in which DC supervillains are recruited by the government to carry out secret missions too dirty for the likes of Superman and Batman.

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise has made over $700 million at the box office, with the last installment scoring an opening weekend of $146 million two years ago. Both films were highly praised by critics and fans alike.

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Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the “Guardians” films, was vocal about Gunn’s firing. Bautista tweeted that it was “pretty nauseating” working for Disney after it empowered “a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis.”

“It’s a bitter-sweet conversation — um, no it’s a bitter-bitter conversation because I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn,” Bautista said on “The Jonathan Ross Show” last August. “They’re putting the movie off. It’s on hold indefinitely. To be honest with you I don’t know if I want to work for Disney.”

Deadline first reported the news.

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‘You’ Star Elizabeth Lail to Lead STXfilms’ Horror Movie ‘Countdown’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“You” star Elizabeth Lail has been cast to star in STXfilm’s upcoming horror film “Countdown.”

The film centers around a young nurse who downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when a person is going to die — then it tells her she only has three days to live. With time ticking away and a mysterious figure haunting her, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out.

“Elizabeth Lail is an exciting young actress whose breakout performance in the wildly popular psychological thriller ‘You’ was a breath of fresh air,” STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson said in a statement. “‘Countdown’ is a wholly original, scary and fun script and we’re thrilled to have found the perfect lead to bring this story to life for audiences around the world.”

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The film was written, and will be directed by Justin Dec.

Sean Anders, John Morris, (“Daddy’s Home” and “Instant Family”), John Rickard (“Rampage” and “Final Destination 5”) and Zack Schiller (“Escape Plan” franchise) will produced “Countdown,” with STXfilms’ Drew Simon and Catherine Hagedorn overseeing the production on behalf of the studio.

STXinternational is handling international distribution and distributing directly in the U.K. and Ireland.

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Coming off of the box office hit “The Upside,” starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, STXfilms will next release “Best of Enemies” starring Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson and Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell on April 5.

In addition to “You,” Lail guest-starred on “The Blacklist” and played Princess Anna from “Frozen” on “Once Upon a Time.” She is represented by ICM Partners and Authentic.

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Golden Globes Set 2020 Date for Earliest Ceremony Ever

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced that the 2020 Golden Globe Awards will take place on Sunday, Jan. 5, the earliest date that the Globes have ever been held.

As usual, the ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC and will be produced by Dick Clark Productions.

While the Globes show has been steadily moving earlier in the year for decades, the early date will be particularly important in 2020 as the Academy Awards shifts to Feb. 9, which will be the earliest Oscars show ever by almost two weeks.

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The Oscars’ move will force many other awards shows to shift their usual timing – but the Globes have been held on the first Sunday in January for the last two years, a spot ideally positioned for the newly accelerated and constricted awards calendar.

The first two Golden Globes ceremonies were held in late January in 1944 and 1945, but the show moved to March in 1946 and was held in either February or March until 1973. At that point it moved into January to stay, steadily moving earlier in the month as the Oscars moved from March and April into February.

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Ike Barinholtz Joins Cast of Damon Lindelof’s Action-Thriller ‘The Hunt’ at Universal

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Universal Pictures announced on Friday that Ike Barinholtz has joined the cast of the studio’s upcoming action-thriller “The Hunt.”

The plot for “The Hunt” has been kept under wraps. Deadline reported earlier this week that it’s expected to explore the escalating aggressiveness between the political right and left in America.

The script for the film is being written by “Lost” and “The Leftovers” creator Damon Lindelof and collaborator Nick Cuse.

Craig Zobel, who worked with Lindelof and Cuse on the HBO series “The Leftovers,” will direct.

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Universal plans to release the film in theaters on Oct. 18.

It was announced earlier in the week that Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story”), Justin Hartley (“This is Us”) and Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) will star in the film.

Barinholtz was last seen opposite Tiffany Haddish in “The Oath,” which he also directed. His other film credits include “Blockers,” “Snatched,” “Neighbors” and Neighbors 2,” “Suicide Squad” and “Sisters.” He also wrote the action comedy “Central Intelligence” starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson with writing partner David Stassen.

Barinholtz will next be seen in CBS All Access’ “The Twilight Zone,” from “Get Out” and “Us” writer/director Jordan Peele. Among Barinholtz’s TV credits is “The Mindy Project,” for which he also served as a writer and producer, and he reunited with creator Mindy Kaling for the upcoming June release of the Sundance hit comedy “Late Night.”

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Jason Blum will produce “The Hunt” for his Blumhouse Productions alongside Lindelof for his White Rabbit shingle, while Cuse and Zobel executive produce.

Universal’s senior executive vice president of production Erik Baiers, senior vice president of production Jay Polidoro and creative executive Mika Pryce will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Barinholtz is represented by UTA, Artists First Inc. and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Zobel is represented by CAA and Alan Wertheimer, and Lindelof is represented by CAA and Myman Greenspan.

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Netflix’s ‘The Legend of Cocaine Island’ Trailer Is a Southern Fairytale Fueled by Drug Runners (Video)

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As a man says in the trailer for the Netflix documentary “The Legend of Cocaine Island,” there are Northern fairy tales and Southern fairy tales. Northern ones start off, “Once upon a time…,” while a Southern one begins, “You ain’t goin’ to believe this s—.”

“The Legend of Cocaine Island” boasts that it’s a Southern fairy tale, and it features a handful of down south good ‘ol boys who get caught up in a myth about a stash of $2 million worth of cocaine to the point that they start living like Scarface.

“I was talking that smack, that drug talk,” one of the documentary’s subjects Rodney Hyden says in the trailer. “Say hello to my little friend!”

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Directed by Theo Love, “The Legend of Cocaine Island” premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival under the title “White Tide: The Legend of Culebra.” It’s now set to premiere on Netflix with this more sensationalized title. But the story is crazy enough to be worth it. Here’s the full synopsis:

Rodney Hyden is an American dreamer: a small business owner and family man from Central Florida. But after he’s wiped out by the Great Recession, Rodney hears a story that could be his ticket out of his mounting debt: a tale of a map, an island and buried treasure. Fueled by a combination of economic desperation and blissful ignorance, Rodney hatches a plan to retrieve a possibly mythical $2 million stash of cocaine from its reported Caribbean hiding place. With the help of a colorful group of misfits – and without prior drug-running experience – Rodney sets out in pursuit of his very own American dream, with surprising results.

“The Legend of Cocaine Island” is a Sidestilt Production in association with Dreamco Pictures. The documentary premieres globally on Netflix on March 29.

Watch the trailer above.

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‘Captain Marvel’ Editor Reveals Alternate Ending That Needed More ‘Closure’

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Spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel”

“Captain Marvel” editor Debbie Berman said in a new interview that the original ending to “Captain Marvel” didn’t have the same emotional “closure” or “resonance” that the film ultimately did in its final cut.

In an early iteration of “Captain Marvel,” Berman said that the film ended with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) flying off into space alone. But, she suggested some tweaks to directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, saying that moment didn’t feel quite right.

“It used to end with Carol flying off into space alone, and I found that a bit jarring. Like, where exactly was she going? And what was she doing,” Berman said in an interview with ET. “It felt like we needed a stronger visual to assert a more specific justification for her leaving and disappearing for so many years. So we added Talos and his family in their spaceship waiting for her, and they all fly off together.”

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The addition helps explain what Carol was actually doing in between the events of “Captain Marvel” and her return to Earth in “Avengers: Endgame,” with Carol helping to rescue the colony of Skrulls from the Kree. Berman said it also gave the film a stronger emotional pull as well.

“It gave her more of a sense of purpose and made it easier to believe that she left her newfound life on Earth because she was with a friend we knew she cared about, and for a more specific mission,” Berman said. “It gave more resonance and closure to her final moment in the film.”

Berman also edited “Black Panther” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and by working with Marvel’s first female director, Berman said she found opportunities to give the story a woman’s touch where another editor might’ve approached it differently, like during Carol’s reunion with her best friend, Maria.

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Berman said she was given the luxury to hold a wide shot of the two of them for longer than is typical in a fast-moving action film. She also chose an emotional take of Carol shedding a tear as she said the line, “My name is Carol.”

“I had a lot of other takes of that line where she just said it in a stoic, kick-ass fashion. And I was drawn to those other takes because that’s what I am used to seeing — and in a way, I’ve been programmed to feel that someone being strong and emotionless is the right play,” Berman said. “But then I thought, I have never seen a superhero cry while saying her most kick-ass of lines, and honestly, if I had gone through everything she had just gone through, no matter how strong I was feeling at that moment, I think I would be having a multitude of emotional experiences simultaneously.”

Read the full interview with Berman via ET Online.

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