Review: ‘Wonder Woman’

With the DC cinematic universe hanging in the balance, Warner Bros. put their faith in director Patty Jenkins and actress Gal Gadot to bring the long overdue first Wonder Woman movie to the big screen and deliver they did. The film is exciting, humorous, beautifully filmed and one of the best superhero films so far. If we’ve learned nothing else, we know now to never send a man to do a woman’s job.

The film opens with a young Diana learning the ways of the Amazonians. Raised by her mother, Hippolyta, Queen of Themyscira (Connie Nielson), Diana has been sheltered from the warrior ways of her people. Her Aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) is the finest general in the Amazonian army and determined to teach Diana to defend herself against her sister’s wishes. A reluctant Hippolyta agrees to Diana’s training as long as she is trained harder and more vigorously than any Amazonian before her. Now grown, Diana (Gal Gadot) begins to learn the challenges of her position and comes to understand that there is a power in her greater than she’s ever known.

A plane is shot down and crashes off the coast of Themyscira and pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) finds himself rescued by Diana and faced with the explaining his uninvited entrance.  A German warship captained by general Ludendorff (Danny Huston) has followed Trevor’s downed plane to find Themyscira and the Amazonians, setting their sights on annihilation of the foreign foe. Driven back for the time being, Trevor must confide in Diana and the Amazonians as to why he is there and to the severity of his mission. Knowing she cannot sit by while a world she knows nothing about is destroyed, Diana sets off with Steve Trevor to enter the war and stand up for those who cannot help themselves.

And the film’s just getting started! What follows can easily be taken as a spoiler to some so we’ll stop the summary right there. Director Patty Jenkins has created a wonderfully empowering film for women everywhere, a rarity in Hollywood, and one that should and will be celebrated. Gal Gadot is the perfect embodiment of Diana Prince and a true treasure to behold. Gadot’s portrayal is a strong symbol of the importance of Wonder Woman in pop culture and the feminist movement and young children to look up to. Chris Pine is marvelous with his witty humor and his tried and true valor. Pine compliments Gadot’s performance perfectly and never overshadows.

Overall, Wonder Woman is a near perfect superhero film and a bright shining light in the dismal DC cinematic universe so far. A film that hearkens back to the spirit of Capatin America: The First Avenger while never feeling or trying to be a retread. Wonder Woman is a true gem.

Stars:

4 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

None

Trailer:

Teaser Trailer for ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ is Here!

Star Trek Beyond

Paramount Pictures has released the teaser trailer for Star Trek: Beyond and we have it for you below!

From director Justin Lin comes Star Trek: Beyond starring Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zach Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban.

Star Trek: Beyond hits theaters July 22, 2016

D23 Coverage: Live Action Presentation including ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’

570167739AP00089_Worlds_GalDisney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their live action film slates this morning at the D23 EXPO 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The presentations, which revealed exclusive news and details about the upcoming live action films, were aided by live and video appearances from talent and filmmakers. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted the highly anticipated biennial event.

 “It’s quite something to be able to have Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm all on the same stage, and it’s tremendously gratifying to unveil our upcoming projects to our most dedicated fans first,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “We always have an incredible time at the D23 EXPO.”

After welcoming the crowd to D23 EXPO 2015, Horn introduced Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, and Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, to present overviews of the Marvel Studios and Disney live action slates. Later Horn returned to the stage to present the Lucasfilm film slate to the enthusiastic audience.

A recap of the presentation follows:

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  • Kevin Feige led off with a glimpse into the world of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange, featuring  a video greeting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as the title character, followed by a pre-production piece that offered fans a taste of the look and feel of the upcoming  film, opening in U.S. theaters on October 26, 2016.

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  • Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” marched into D23 EXPO with an introduction by its producer, Kevin Feige. To the delight of the audience, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up on stage to help Feige show never-seen-before footage from the movie. Before the footage rolled, Feige revealed that there was a special “Easter egg” for fans to find: it was aptly a nod to D23 EXPO.

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War opens in the U.S. on May 6, 2016.292472054,CEE631B59597DF48D0F

  • Sean Bailey took the stage to introduce the first film in the Disney live-action lineup, “The Finest Hours, which is based on the remarkable true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. Chris Pine, who plays Bernie Webber, the captain of the rescue boat, joined Bailey on stage to give fans a peak at the heroic action-thriller.

Presented in Digital 3D, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and also stars Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana, transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

The Finest Hours is produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero and Doug Merrifield is the executive producer. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. The Finest Hours storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016.

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  • After an introduction by Sean Bailey, Jon Favreau, director of Disney’s upcoming “The Jungle Book, welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar® winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha. Favreau treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film, and each guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation. The all-new, live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgli’s journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s 1967 animated classic, the film features state-of the-art technology that immerses audiences in the lush world like never before. The Jungle Book also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor produce and the screenplay is by Justin Marks. The Jungle Book hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016.

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  • Bailey welcomed Mia Wasikowska to the stage, where she thrilled fans with a preview of the all-new spectacular adventure, “Alice Through the Looking Glass, featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories. Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with Alice in Wonderland, in which Alice (Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The film, which once again features Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, introduces several new characters as well: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd, and Tim Burton produce and John G. Scotti is the executive producer. The screenplay is by Linda Woolverton. Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

In addition to attending the film’s presentation in Hall D23 at the Convention Center, fans had the opportunity to transform themselves into their favorite characters from Underland with an interactive experience, Travel Through the Looking Glass. By means of a first-to-market face-tracking application, D23 EXPO participants entering one of four photo booths located on the show floor were able to become the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit or the Cheshire Cat with full digital-makeup and cinematic 3D objects seamlessly—and instantly—applied to their reflections, and in real time. They were then emailed a 10-second video and still image, which they could share on their favorite social media platforms.

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  • Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in “Pete’s Dragon, a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film. The heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon, Pete’s Dragon is directed by David Lowery, produced by Jim Whitaker, and executive-produced by Barrie Osborne, and also stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford. Pete’s Dragon opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
  • Bailey, with the help of Lupita Nyong’o, introduced the crowd to the upcoming film “Queen of Katwe,” which is based on the inspirational true story of a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga.
  • Bailey next presented “Beauty and the Beast,including a musical greeting from stars Emma Watson, Josh Gad and Luke Evans—sent from the London set where they are currently filming. The live-action musical, a retelling of the studio’s animated classic, stars Watson,  Dan Stevens, Evans, Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald and newcomer Nathan Mack. The film is directed by Bill Condon.  Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated classic, provides the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Tim Rice, as well as several new songs. Beauty and the Beast will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

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  • A surprise visit by Johnny Depp, who showed up on stage completely decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow, brought down the house and thrilled fans at Sean Bailey’s presentation of the next exciting film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean “ franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” 

570167739AP00093_Worlds_GalThrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him.  Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

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The film is directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning and stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales releases in U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017.

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  • Alan Horn took the stage again to present the Lucasfilm slate and timeline to the D23 EXPO fans.  Horn told the audience that there were only 124 days to the release of Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” on December 18, 2015 and added that there have been record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response. Touching on “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” Horn reminded the audience that Rian Johnson will be directing the film slated for release on May 26, 2017. Then in a surprise announcement, Horn informed everyone that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) has signed on to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which is scheduled for release in 2019.

Moving on to the new Star Wars stories series, Horn touched on the “Untitled Han Solo” stand-alone film, slated for release on May 25, 2018 by reminding everyone that it  will be directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.

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  • Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for Rogue One, the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is directing Rogue One, which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.

The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award® for her leading role in The Theory of Everything; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar®-winning Milk and the critically acclaimed Killing Them Softly; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy® for his leading role in Bloodline and co-starring  in the upcoming Mississippi Grind; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in Ip Man and Blade II; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning Let the Bullets Fly and Devils on the Doorstep; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ The Butler and winner of an Academy Award® for his leading role in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in The Hunt and was the memorable villain from 2006’s Casino RoyaleAlan Tudyk,  who plays a performance-capture character in Rogue One, stars in the soon-to-be-released “Con Man” series and “Trumbo,” which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in Nightcrawler and starred in the BAFTA-winning film Four Lions.

The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ended the live-action presentation with a bang as J.J. Abrams introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. The crowd cheered when John Boyega announced that everyone there would get a Drew Struzan D23 EXPO commemorative poster to take home. Then, in a bringing-down-the house surprise moment, Harrison Ford, who is reprising his role as Han Solo, joined Abrams on stage to wild applause.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von SydowKathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.

Chris Pine Signs on to Play Wonder Woman’s Steve Trevor

Chris Pine

The Wrap is reporting that Chris Pine has signed on to play Steve Trevor in director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman opposite Gal Gadot. Recent rumors that suggested he might instead in the upcoming Green Lantern Corp but ultimately chose against it.

The romantic interest of Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor was a U.S. military intelligence officer who became stranded on Wonder Woman’s homeland and developed a close relationship with the heroine.

More as it becomes available

Wonder Woman hits theaters on  June 23, 2017

Rumor: Chris Pine is Your New Green Lantern

Chris Pine

Latino Review is reporting some big news on the Green Lantern casting. Apparently the reboot will focus on more than two of the Green Lantern Corps, one of which will be Hal Jordan, who was previously played by Ryan Reynolds in the 2011 features film. Reports claim that Chris Pine will be announced as the new Green Lantern. As for the other Lantern? Well, previous rumors have Tyrese Gibson (Furious 7) starring as John Stewart, though nothing has been officially announced.

These are rumors at this point, but with SDCC right around the corner, we will soon know more. Stay tuned to RND for breaking news!

RED NOSE DAY USA is today! Live on NBC tonight at 8/7c

Red Nose Day, the U.K.’s #1 television fundraising event, is coming to America in a spectacular live star-studded special Thursday, May 21 (8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.

redNoseDay_marketingBand_learnMore_1080x350Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jodie Foster and more, are coming together to have fun, raise money and change lives in an incredible “fun-raising” special. Featuring great comedy, videos produced by Funny Or Die, incredible music performances and Hollywood’s favorite stars, the benefit event will help 12 charity organizations lift children and young people out of poverty, in the U.S. and throughout the world.

RND_Tonight_350x467_v1Julianne Moore, Jack Black, Coldplay and Neil Patrick Harris will also appear, along with John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Michelle Rodriguez, Gwyneth Paltrow and music sensations John Legend and “Voice” coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams. Sienna Miller, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Leslie Mann, January Jones and Simon Cowell will also be joining the fun, as well as Matt Lauer, Carson Daly, Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine, Jeff Goldblum, Billy Eichner, Martin Short, Laura Linney, Anna Kendrick, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, John Michael Higgins, Bill and Melinda Gates, Stephen Merchant, Naomi Campbell, Anna Camp, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Yvette Nicole Brown, Retta, Natalie Morales, Danny Pudi and Rob Huebel.

In addition, the star-studded event for charity will feature “Game of Thrones” cast members Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Iwan Rheon, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Mark Addy, John Bradley, Rose Leslie, Alfie Allen and Charlotte Hope.  “Orange is the New Black” cast Dascha Polanco, Samira Wiley, Yael Stone, Selenis Leyva, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore and Jackie Cruz will also be part of the charity special.

Nick CanonDancathonNick Cannon will kick off the festivities for NBC’s broadcast of “Red Nose Day” with “Red Nose Day Danceathon with Nick Cannon,” streaming live on NBC.com beginning Wednesday, May 20. “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon will attempt to dance non-stop for 24 hours in honor of the inaugural Red Nose Day celebration in the United States, leading into the “Red Nose Day” telecast on Thursday, May 21. Streamed live from the NBC Experience Store at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the day of dance will be filled with guest DJs and musicians, celebrity drop-ins, and a variety of dance acts and troupes. Viewers can support Cannon’s endeavor through sponsorship and donation.

DonateThe money raised during Red Nose Day will be used to fund programs that address the immediate needs of children and young people living in poverty in the U.S. and internationally in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The money will be split between domestic and international poverty issues. The pre-selected charity partners are Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity: water; Children’s Health Fund; Feeding America; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund; LIFT; National Council of La Raza; National Urban League; Oxfam America; Save the Children and United Way.

In the U.K., Red Nose Day has been a tradition for 30 years and is an inspiring cultural phenomenon that unites people from all walks of life in the interest of saving and changing lives across the globe. With superstar presenters and comedians, original sketch comedy, hilarious film parodies and amazing musical performances, Red Nose Day has been one of the BBC’s highest-rated Friday night shows for many years and raised more than $1 billion in donations so far for organizations addressing poverty.

Created in 1985 by Oscar nominee and Emmy Award-winning writer-director-producer Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Bridget Jones Diary,” “Notting Hill”), Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that mass media and celebrities can help raise money and increase awareness of poverty in order to save and change millions of lives.

Curtis is an executive producer for the NBC telecast (a Universal Television production), along with Hamish Hamilton and Ian Stewart of Done + Dusted Productions. Henrietta Conrad and Lily Sobhani will also serve as executive producers, as will Mike Farah, Anna Wenger and Joe Farrell from Funny Or Die. Hamilton is set to direct.

CBS Films Acquires ‘Comancheria’ Starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster

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CBS Films announced today that it has acquired US rights to the action heist thriller COMANCHERIADavid Mackenzie (Starred Up) is set to direct the film from a screenplay by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario).  Sidney Kimmel, Peter Berg (Film 44) and Julie Yorn (LBI) will produce the film with Carla Hacken and Gigi Pritzker serving as executive producers.

In COMANCHERIA, two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster), go on a calculated bank robbery spree that puts them on a collision course with a West Texas Ranger (Academy Award©-winner Jeff Bridges) determined to take them down.

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment developed the project with Film 44.  Odd Lot recently joined SKE on the film and will co-produce and co-finance.

Principal photography begins May 26th in New Mexico.  Sierra Affinity will be selling international rights at the Cannes Film Festival.

“We pride ourselves on making and acquiring quality films in every genre.  By that measure, Taylor and David’s category-bending heartland take on Robin Hood made COMANCHERIA something of an obsession,” commented Scott Shooman, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, CBS Films.  “Add in an extraordinary cast lead by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster and smart partners in Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Odd Lot Entertainment, Film 44 and LBI  and we know that this will be a film that reminds a wide audience why they love riveting authentic movies.” 

Shooman will oversee the project for CBS Films, which will distribute COMANCHERIA in partnership with Lionsgate.

Michael’s Review: ‘Into the Woods’- Be Careful What You Wish For

ITW_1-Sht_v18_LgComing from the theater, director Rob Marshall has always had a passion for the musical. Starting as a choreographer and ascending to the directors chair, the adaptation of beloved Broadway shows has always attracted Marshall to film projects as he has previously brought Chicago and Nine to the big screen. Naturally there was little surprise when he was announced as the director of Disney’s Into The Woods film adaptation, based on James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name. Question is, can he bring the same magic that made the Broadway show so timeless? Read More →