Blog Archives

The Critics’ Knives Will Be out for Rian Johnson’s New Movie

Screenwriter and film director Rian Johnson will forever be tied to his small independent film ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.’ For those who have seen the movie and who have followed the fan reaction to it, there’s certainly been a mixed response, to say the least. And this extends to the cast, with Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley sharing their thoughts on the plot as well as understanding the strong fan reactions from 10,000 feet/the movie theater seat.

As a ‘Star Wars’ movie fan, ‘The Last Jedi’ was good in parts and not so great in parts concerning individual scenes, characters, dialogue, and overall plot points and major plot decisions.

Returning back to Rian Johnson, he has written the screenplay and directed a murder mystery movie that takes place in a spooky mansion. This movie with a star-studded cast has the tone of the 2017 adaptation of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ sans train with some four-letter words and a hint of fun circa the 1985 murder mystery classic ‘Clue.’

‘Knives Out’ Cast:

  • Daniel Craig
  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Christopher Plummer
  • Chris Evans
  • Toni Collette
  • Don Johnson
  • Michael Shannon
  • Lakeith Stanfield
  • Ana de Armas

Check out the brand new official trailer for ‘Knives Out.’

(FYI – There’s a rant with a four-letter word that starts with the letter “s”) 

‘Knives Out’ looks — admittedly on a less consequential scale — like it will be just as divisive as ‘The Last Jedi’ with audiences concerning how the writing and plot twists play out by the end. Is it intended to be goofy, serious or a gutsy combination of the two? ‘Clue’ is the gold standard for a murder mystery movie with thrills and humor intertwined just so perfectly.

We’ll find out if Rian Johnson’s aptly titled ‘Knives Out’ set for a Thanksgiving release date will carve up a winner.

Maybe Rian Johnson included a scene that was a future wish of Marshall in ‘How I Met Your Mother’?

The opportunity is right there for ‘The Last Jedi’ director. I’m sure he still has access to a lightsaber…


Happy Monday!

Just minutes ago (literally), the first official trailer for ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ dropped online by Sony Pictures Entertainment. It’s the third film in the series, but the immediate sequel to the 2017 movie ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ that was made without Robin Williams. The latest two films have, appropriately, been made with a different tone and direction than the original classic from 1995. And this new level of ‘Jumanji’ cinematic storytelling centered around a vintage video game called Jumanji gone awry has been surprisingly entertaining and interesting.

The primary cast includes Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. A couple of the newcomers to the series includes movie veterans Danny DeVito and Danny Glover.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…

What’s old is new again.

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ arrives in a theater near you this Christmas.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

Electricity’s Present Currency First Had a Past Current

Currently, Elon Musk’s Tesla electric cars are facing a variety of challenges ranging from affordability, supply chain viability, and reliable nationwide infrastructure. But back in the 1880s, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and George Westinghouse were engaged in a battle for America’s electric future that is regarded as the “War of Currents.”

101 Studios, with an executive producer credit for Martin Scorsese, will be releasing the cleverly titled movie ‘The Current War’ that is based on the “War of Currents.” Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) will attempt to electrify (I had to) modern audiences to the inception of how the inventors and big-thinkers of the late 19th century strived to win and define America’s electrical current and future.

Check out the brand new trailer for ‘The Current War.’

The Benedict Cumberbatch-led film looks like a fascinating and dramatically engaging take (based on a true story) of an important moment in American history as well as the overarching theme of the ever-unfolding story of innovators and inventors. And, interestingly, this film that highlights the inception of America’s electric past fittingly connects modern pursuits of a wide-range of electric energy solutions.

‘The Current War’ arrives at a theater near you on October 4, 2019.

Make Room (Or Space) for ‘Ad Astra’ on 9/20/19

It seems as if major Hollywood studios have unintentionally (or intentionally) designated this week as a new movie trailer week.

On that note, the list of movies that take place in space is long and expansive. As in really long and expansive. Particularly in recent years, there’s clearly been interest from moviemakers in LA and demand from audiences worldwide who want to travel to space via the silver screen sans the otherworldly price tag with acting’s biggest headline-grabbers. Just since 2013, films like ‘Gravity,’ ‘Interstellar,’ ‘The Martian,’ ‘Passengers,’ ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘First Man’ (to name just a few) have explored space, based either on a true story or with a fairly high degree of realism within a fictional story to critical and box office success. Leading A-list actors and actresses in these aforementioned films include Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Octavia Spencer, and Ryan Gosling.

And now fellow A-List actor Brad Pitt wants in on the action with his new space thriller called ‘Ad Astra,’ which is Latin for “to the stars.”

Interestingly, Liv Tyler portrays Brad Pitt’s wife who remains on earth while her husband ventures into the unknown in the heavens above for a mission revolving around the existence of this planet, which is oddly reminiscent of her role in the 1998 movie ‘Armageddon.’


Anyways, the plot seems intertwined with exciting action sequences and personal relationships — near and far — that will surely reveal the true purpose of this film involving the enigmatic father character portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones as well as potentially ushering in the newest chapter in 21st-century science fiction. One of ‘Ad Astra’ director James Gray’s films is the 2015 documentary ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut.’ With this in mind, we should keep a keen eye on whether Mr. Gray (who wrote and directed ‘Ad Astra’) utilized any suspenseful techniques made famous by Mr. Hitchcock. For a movie that takes place in space with infinite scale, weaving in Hitchcock thrills via claustrophobia, for example, would bring a level of closeness to a story that will prioritize every ounce of available oxygen.

We know what ‘Ad Astra’ means in Latin, but what does it mean cinematically in 2019? Does the movie’s poster playfully reveal any clues?


While the eye immediately goes to the astronaut’s warped movement in space — which is tantalizingly puzzling — why is the “R” in the title sliced in half in the poster? And then there’s the movie’s tag line, “The answers we seek are just outside our reach.” That suggests a new dimension in space with a Gandalf-caliber “You shall not pass” barrier. Where have we seen that before?

‘Ad Astra’ arrives in a theater near you on September 20.