Josh Digs Into ‘Narcos’ Season 2 and the History of Pablo Escobar!

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Narcos Season 2: The Fall of Don Pablo

by: Josh Outred

I recently finished season 2 of the hit Netflix Crime Drama, Narcos. The documentary-thriller which tells the story of Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, Colombia’s most famous drug lord and leader of the once renowned Medellin Cartel.

Season 1 of Narcos, which debuted last September, catalogued the rise of Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) from small-time illegal contraband activities to Colombian drug lord and the world’s seventh richest man. His story through season 1 was one of incredible violence, ruthlessness and lust to sit on the throne of Colombia. We got to see how Escobar gained the name of El Padrino (The Godfather), through acts of terror this man who came from nothing would go on to be the most wanted man in Colombia’s history.

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Now, it’s no secret as to how Pablo Escobar’s story ends, on December 2nd 1993 to be precise, the question was, who would fire that fatal shot? It is still unknown to the general public as to who actually killed Escobar; the Colombian police say they pulled the trigger; however his son Sebastian Marroquin as he’s now known claims his father committed suicide on that rooftop, firing the final shot through his ear.

By all accounts, Narcos has been fairly faithful to the real-life tale of Escobar’s rise and fall; the show clearly states however that certain character names and scenarios have been altered for dramatic purposes. Narcos season 2 perfectly executes its key scenes and adds a cinematic value that wasn’t there in the first season. For example, during the second episode Cambalache we see homage paid to the famous baptism scene from The Godfather, the montage scene in which Michael Corleone’s son is baptised is dramatically recreated as Escobar dances to the opera with his wife, Tata (Paulina Gaitan), we cut back and forth as Colombian police are executed throughout Medellin on Pablo’s orders.

Along with perfectly executed scenes like this comes a performance from Wagner Moura that’ll go down as one of his best, captivating and absolutely unmissable. There have been plenty of renditions of Escobar over the years and Moura’s is by far the standout of them all. In season 1 we saw him as a man who had what seemed to be unlimited resources and power coming from every angle, an unpredictable younger man who was not afraid to put himself in the limelight and do what was necessary to keep his cocaine empire intact. This season however, we see Wagner Moura as Escobar in a completely different shade. As the cracks begin to get wider and Pablo’s iron fist starts to melt, we see a man under pressure, as the Cali Cartel and former associates move against the man on the run, taking over his cocaine production laboratories and capitalising on Escobar’s now illusive figure.
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Moura, who gained 40 pounds for the latter half of season 2, gives a Shakespearean-esque performance, a very sombre yet edgy look into the final months of this once untouchable Tsar of cocaine. The show’s creators Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato and Doug Miro have crafted this season’s Pablo Escobar as the villain you hate to love, and who, for 90% of this season you actually sympathise for more than DEA agents Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Pena (Pedro Pascal).

One scene in particular where Wagner Moura portrays Escobar in a way none of us saw coming appears in the final episode, Al Fin Cayo. In this scene Pablo sees and converses with an apparition of his late cousin and business partner, Gustavo (Juan Pablo Raba). During these few moments both actors give such an emotionally weighty performance without all the tears and blubbering so often sprinkled all over, Pablo admits to Gustavo that it all fell apart the day he left, and that he misses him every single day of his life, it’ll break you, trust me!

With all that said, let’s go to the death scene we were all waiting for, and boy was it done to perfection. As Pablo has one final conversation with his wife and children via radio (the only way they could communicate for months), Search Bloc (the force set up to hunt and find Escobar) are doing their rounds, listening to static and hoping for any lead. Finally, Colonel Martinez’ son has a breakthrough, he tracks Escobar’s final conversation (this is the one time he stays on the line too long), when they finally reach the location he sees Pablo, stood up in the window for all to see, possibly becoming a little sloppy in his final days. What ensues is some of the greatest climatic moments of the small screen that surpass even the best of Breaking Bad, that’s right, better than Walt’s final moments! The combination of Wagner Moura’s desperation and almost heroic gun slinging, Limon’s (Leynar Gomez) loyalty, and Search bloc’s final stand and Steve Murphy finally getting the man he’d been after for years amount to a truly epic shootout on a suburb rooftop in Medellin – the actual rooftop of Pablo Escobar’s death.

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All in all I truly can’t say a bad word about the second season of Narcos; it had me gripped from the get-go. With cinematic references, and an award-worthy performance from Wagner Moura, Narcos season 2 hit all the right buttons. Suspenseful, nail-biting and gripping combined with the illuminating documentary style; Narcos truly is the best of its kind. I wonder how season 3 and 4 will work without its key player, the character who ultimately drove the show from start to finish. I guess we’ll find out in 2017.

For the love of Narcos, give Wagner Moura an Emmy!

How Josh Learned to Stop Worrying and Love ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

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by: Josh Outred

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as most of you probably already know (although it’s becoming apparent that Disney would prefer more people knew at this stage), is the first in a series of standalone Star Wars films set away from the main Skywalker saga, it will tell the story of how a rag-tag band of Rebels stole the plans to the Empire’s first Death Star. The cast and crew of the film have referred to Rogue One as a gritty, on-the-ground war movie, something many Star Wars fans, myself included, have been waiting for.

However, it’s no secret that since the film was first announced, I haven’t exactly been its biggest supporter. As a huge Star Wars guy, this lack of enthusiasm surprised even me. How could I not be excited for this film? It’s Star Wars, naturally I expected to be ecstatic about the announcement of this film, and I just wasn’t.

Now, I’ve come to realize that initial disappointment came down to one main reason, at the time we were all anticipating the release of The Force Awakens (and personally I was hyper-focused on that film), I wanted to embrace the special time leading up to the seventh edition in the Star Wars saga, a film so many of us had waited years for. Rogue One was announced in the midst of all that excitement and anticipation and I just truly couldn’t focus on it, or be excited for it.

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The Force Awakens was such a highly anticipated film, most Star Wars fans never thought we’d ever see a sequel to Return of the Jedi, so when its announcement finally came I think I speak for everyone when I say it was memorable. I couldn’t believe we were finally going to see Luke, Han and Leia on the silver screen again. What was the story? Were Han and Leia still a couple? So many questions, so few answers, with infinite possibilities. It made for an exciting time. The thought of seeing another story with those characters made me (and many other fans) incredibly emotional. Frankly it still does.

Rogue One bought about a dilemma for me, the story was said to focus on the stolen Death Star plans that lead directly into the original entry into the Star Wars universe, A New Hope. This was a story that as a child I played out with my action figures on my bedroom floor – yet I was not excited in the slightest. I decided that I needed more time to soak it all in. First of all, I needed to see The Force Awakens and take in all that it had to offer, maybe then I’d begin the feverish anticipation that others already felt about it?

January came around, after seeing Episode VII a number of times I began to turn my attention timidly to December, still not quite sure of what to expect. Was I really ready to leave Luke and Leia again after only just being reacquainted with my childhood heroes?

April arrived and so did the first teaser for Rogue One, at last we were getting a glimpse at this so called “war movie”. The teaser worked on a number of levels for me; however, I still wasn’t completely sold. I still wonder whether or not I was over my Force Awakens hangover at this point, we’d only just been introduced to brand new characters like Rey and Finn, so the thought of having to fall in love with a whole group of completely unfamiliar characters just a year later worried me. I really wanted to care about this film but something just wasn’t clicking into place.

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As we got further away from The Force Awakens and closer to Rogue One I started to wonder whether or not that I was ever going to feel ready for this departure from the saga films. The change, even though we were still in a galaxy far, far away, made me nervous. It wasn’t until the home release of Episode VII that my feelings started to sway in a different direction. After countless viewings of The Force Awakens, and the release of the first full trailer for Rogue One, something switched in me, I was ready; the change no longer frightened me like it had for so long.

After being thrust back into Star Wars in such a tonally and visually familiar way with The Force Awakens we were all on a nostalgic high, it seemed that everything we originally loved was back, and it was beautiful, however, I started to crave the newness that the spin-off’s had to offer. I was ready to jump into a new story with new characters in a somewhat unfamiliar world. The Force Awakens was very much a reintroduction to Star Wars and now I was beginning to feel like fresh locations and stories set in this familiar home were necessary for not just me, but the longevity of Star Wars itself.

As different as Rogue One will evidently be to what has come before it, Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) has clearly tried to keep this film feeling like Star Wars. Introducing new ships like the Rebel’s U-Wing and the Imperial’s TIE Striker, along with the new Death Trooper (pictured above), the aesthetic of Rogue One doesn’t sway from what we all know and love. The visually familiar aspect is key to keeping this film a Star Wars film, Gareth Edwards was even quoted in a recent interview with Empire Magazine as saying; we found if you go slightly to the left, its not Star Wars, its just some other sci-fi movie. But go too far the other way and it just feels like youre doing a karaoke number of what George has already done. I really appreciate his terminology here, he’s coming at it from the perspective that George Lucas is no longer at the helm of these films, and although it’s still the world he created, it’s now being shepherded forward by a new generation of filmmakers, who most importantly, have their own methods of telling a story from the page to the screen.

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It’s incredibly important to me that the new era of Star Wars films remain faithful to George’s vision and the world building he so brilliantly crafted, however, for these films to have the longevity and shelf life that the other Star Wars movies have so rightfully had, thresholds have to be crossed. It’s not just about staying safe and trying to stay as visually close to what George created, it’s about telling a story, an original story that reflects the creativity of the director at the helm of the film, to respect what’s come before but progress Star Wars storytelling forward for new generations, for years to come.

It’s by this reasoning that my anticipation level for Rogue One went from zero to a hundred in quite a short space of time. Watching The Force Awakens over and over I just found myself wanting the unknown, the unfamiliar, to go forward in this vast canvas of potential storytelling and find new iconic characters and imagery to love and behold.

Although Rogue One is set in a an era very near and dear to us, the creatives behind it have clearly tried their utmost to push the boundaries and present to us a film that will give us the comfort of our favorite living room chair, whilst adding some new décor to the house. It’s a truly incredible time to be a Star Wars fan, I feel like now is the time to step into the unknown and embrace all that the future films have to offer.

Now that we’re are 9 months post The Force Awakens release and on the cusp of this first spin-off film, I think I can finally say with confidence- I’m ready!

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt Fall in Love in Outer Space in ‘Passengers’

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Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As Jim and Aurora try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction… only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

IR Newsfeed 9/12/16 – Benecio V Shane Black’s ‘Predator’, First Look at Ghost Rider in A.o.S., X-Men at the Mall, The Villain of Wolverine III Revealed, and More!

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All Your News for Monday, 9/12/16:

Benecio del Toro in Talks to Join Shane Black’s Predator! Click here for the full story

Your First Look at Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes, in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mutants Visit the Mall During the Apocalypse in aTerrific  X-Men: Apocalypse Deleted Scene

Bryan Singer, who is not the Director of  Wolverine III, Confirms Mr. Sinister as the Villain

Obviously Jurassic World will be a Trilogy

Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell to Riot in New Kathryn Bigelow Film. Read On!

Does Anyone Care That G.I. Joe 3 is Delayed? Blame Dwayne Johnson

Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried Join Taxi Driver Scribe in his Latest Directorial Effort

IR Newsfeed 9/9/16 – Lexi Alexander Takes on Chris Benoit, Affleck’s ‘Live by Night’ and More!

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Your news for Friday, 9/9/16:

Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander is set to direct Crossface, based on tragic life story of professional wrestler Chris BenoitBenoit committed suicide after taking the lives of his wife and son in 2007. Read on.

Affleck tries to cap more people in the trailer for his latest directorial effort Live by Night than he did in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Zzzzzz. Check it out!

Brie Larson leads in all-star cast of Armie Hammer, Sharto Copley, Jack Reynor and Cillian Murphy in a what looks to be a great new shoot-em-up Free Fire. Give it a Look!

 

Ben Affleck is a Boston Outlaw in the First Trailer for ‘Live by Night’

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Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) directed and stars in the dramatic crime thriller “Live by Night.” Affleck also wrote the screenplay based on the award-winning best-seller by Dennis Lehane, marking the second collaboration for the fellow Boston natives, following the acclaimed drama “Gone Baby Gone.”

“Live by Night” is set in the roaring `20s when Prohibition hasn’t stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The opportunity to gain power and money is there for any man with enough ambition and nerve and Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police Superintendent, long ago turned his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw. But even among criminals there are rules and Joe breaks a big one: crossing a powerful mob boss by stealing his money and his moll. The fiery affair ends in tragedy, setting Joe on a path of revenge, ambition, romance and betrayal that propels him out of Boston and up the ladder of Tampa’s steamy rum-running underworld.

“Live by Night” is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Out of the Furnace”) and Jennifer Davisson (“The Ides of March,” “Orphan”), under the Appian Way banner; and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Todd (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Across the Universe”) for Pearl Street Films. Chris Brigham, Chay Carter and Dennis Lehane are serving as executive producers.

Starring with Affleck are Elle Fanning (“Maleficent”), Chris Messina (“Argo,” “The Mindy Project”), Sienna Miller (“American Sniper,” “Foxcatcher”), Zoe Saldana (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avatar”), and Oscar winner Chris Cooper (“Adaptation,” “The Town”). The cast also includes Max Casella, (“Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Blue Jasmine”), J.D. Evermore (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Remo Girone (“Heaven”), Robert Glenister (“Persuasion”), Anthony Michael Hall (“Foxcatcher”), Matthew Maher (“Gone Baby Gone”), Miguel J. Pimentel, Chris Sullivan (“The Drop”) and Titus Welliver (“Argo,” “The Town”).

Behind the scenes, Affleck collaborated with three-time Oscar-winning director of photography Robert Richardson (“JFK,” “The Aviator,” “Hugo”) Oscar-nominated production designer Jess Gonchor (“True Grit,” “Foxcatcher”), Oscar-winning editor William Goldenberg (“Argo”), and Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Argo”). The score is composed by Harry Gregson-Williams (“The Martian,” “Gone Baby Gone”).

Slated for release on January 13, 2017, “Live By Night” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, to be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Brie Larson and R-Rated Gunfire in the Red Band Trailer for ‘Free Fire’

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Free Fire centers around an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Justine (Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen and a gang led by Vernon (Copley) and Ord (Hammer), who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired during the handover, complete pandemonium ensues, with everyone at the scene suddenly thrust into a heart-stopping game of survival.

IR Newsfeed 9/8/16 – Batman Villain Casting News, PTA and Daniel Day-Lewis Reteaming and More!

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All your news for Thursday, 9/8/16:

Joe Manganiello set to play villain Deathstroke in standalone Batman film directed by Ben Affleck per Geoff Johns

Meryl Streep teaming up with J.J. Abrams for television adaptation of novel The Nix. Details here.

Fuck Yeah! There Will Be Blood collaborators Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis are teaming up again for a film to be released in 2017! Story Here!

Check out the trailer for Supersonic the official documentary that chronicles the rise and fall of Oasis in Noel and Liam Gallagher’s own words: View the trailer!

 

Oasis Doesn’t Look Back in Anger in the First Trailer for ‘Supersonic’

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From award-winning director Mat Whitecross, SUPERSONIC tells the remarkable story of iconic band Oasis – in their own words.

Featuring extensive unseen archive, SUPERSONIC charts the meteoric rise of Oasis from the council estates of Manchester to some of the biggest concerts of all time in just 3 short years. This palpable, raw and moving film shines a light on one of the most genre and generation-defining British bands that has ever existed.

Kate Beckinsale is Back in the New ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ Trailer

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The next installment in the blockbuster franchise, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

IR Newsfeed 9/7/16 – Johnny Depp Investigates Biggie and Tupac Murders, Young Frankenstein, Michael Cera and More!

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Your one stop for pop culture news for today, 9/7/16:

Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling circling Ava DuVerney’s A Wrinkle in Time adaptation: Get the Skinny Here

Michael Cera to perfect his walk-and-talk alongside Jessica Chastain in new Aaron Sorkin film. Check it out.

Was Anybody Clamoring for a New Underworld film? Well, here’s the trailer anyway

Bill Pullman and Jim Caviezel Starring in Low Budget Western Ballad of Lefty Brown: Exclusive Here

The Crow planning to begin Production in January: Get the Scoop Here

Johnny Depp to play Biggie and Tupac murder investigator Russell Poole in Labyrinth: Get the Details Here

Will Smith is Sadder Than People Who Paid to See Suicide Squad in the First Trailer for Collateral Beauty: Check it out!

Rebecca Ferguson, the best part of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is joining Hugh Jackman in P.T. Barnum Musical: Get the Full Story

Gene Wilder fans rejoice! Young Frankenstein returning to theaters on 10/5/16 for one night only: Give it a Click 

 

 

 

Will Smith is Sad in the First Trailer for ‘Collateral Beauty’

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Check out the brand new trailer for Collateral Beauty, in theaters December 16th- Starring Will Smith, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley with Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris.

Oscar winner David Frankel (“Dear Diary,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) directs the thought-provoking, ensemble drama “Collateral Beauty,” from New Line Cinema, Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) experiences a deep personal tragedy and retreats from life entirely, his colleagues devise a drastic plan to force him to confront his grief in a surprising and profoundly human way.

“Collateral Beauty” features an all-star cast, including Will Smith (“Suicide Squad,” “Concussion”), Edward Norton (“Birdman or [The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance]”), Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”), Michael Peña (“The Martian”), Naomie Harris (“Spectre”), Jacob Latimore (“The Maze Runner”), with Oscar winners Kate Winslet (“The Reader,” “Steve Jobs”) and Helen Mirren (“The Queen,” “Trumbo”)

 

Your First Look At Art3mis and the World of Spielberg’s Ready Player One!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

I was late to the game with Ready Player One. For years I’d been badgered to pick the book up and when I did, I devoured it over the course of one sitting. I never do that, but I couldn’t put it down. It felt as though author Ernie Cline had tapped into what comprises me at a cellular level. It felt like this book was written specifically for me. I grew up in the years that Ready Player One references with reverence. I was a kid of the 80’s and recall vividly the scenes that Cline laid out on the page.

For years there had been chatter about a film version of Cline’s futuristic flashback but it seemed too far fetched to believe we would ever get a faithful adaptation. It was hard to imagine anyone would be able to secure the rights to everything referenced in the book. And let’s be fair, without that element,  the story would lose its essence. This is a story about 80’s popular culture, after all and it needs every single drop of 80’s goodness to do Cline’s story justice.

Enter Steven Spielberg.

If there is one filmmaker who has what it takes to lock down exactly what Ready Player One needs, it’s the bearded one. No filmmaker has the toolbox to capture the 80’s like Spielberg, considering that he was the filmmaker to shape the 80’s for those of us who grew up in them. When I think of the 80’s I think of E.T., Goonies, Gremlins, Poltergeist, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, all movies that we owe in some part to Steven Spielberg.

With the right director in place, we needed the right cast. And boy has Spielberg ever assembled the right cast to bring the Cline’s story to life including Olivia Cooke, Tye Sheridan, Simon Pegg, Ben Mendolsohn, Mark Rylance and T.J. Miller among others.

Today a flood of images hit the internet as Spielberg’s film has taken to the streets in England for part of principle photography. Take a look below to get your first gander at the world he’s bringing to life…

Check It Out: New International Trailer for Harry Potter Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) stars in the central role of wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter blockbusters.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs, Inherent Vice) as Tina; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Jacob; Alison Sudol (Dig, Transparent) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Ezra Miller (Trainwreck) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (In America, Sweet and Lowdown) as Mary Lou; Oscar winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, TV’s Ray Donovan) as Henry Shaw, Sr.; Ron Perlman (the Hellboyfilms) as Gnarlack; Carmen Ejogo (Selma) as Seraphina; Jenn Murray (Brooklyn) as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell (True Detective) as Percival Graves.

The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved Harry Potterbooks were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.

The film reunites a number of people from the Harry Potter features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

Collaborating with Yates behind the scenes are: Oscar-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (A River Runs Through It, the Sherlock Holmesmovies), three-time Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (The English Patient, Dangerous Liaisons, Gandhi, the Harry Potter films), three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Alice in Wonderland), Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim Burke (Gladiator, the Harry Potter films), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Christian Manz (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 1), and Yates’ longtime editor Mark Day (the last fourHarry Potter films).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, which was home to the Harry Potter films for a decade. Some scenes were also shot on location in Liverpool, England.

Warner Bros. Pictures has slated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for worldwide release in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

A Big Lebowski Jesus Quintana Spinoff Film is Filming Right Now!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

We can all agree on a few things. The sky is blue, Cotton Candy Grapes are legitimate food sorcery (seriously, check them out. I’m OBSESSED), and John Turturro’s Jesus Quintana stole every scene that he appeared in in the Coen Brothers 1998 cult masterpiece The Big Lebowski. This really says something when you stop to consider that he was acting against Steve Buscemi, Jeff Bridges and John Goodman who were all putting in all-time great performances.

Over the years the idea of a spinoff starring “The Jesus” had been teased and kicked around, but you always had a feeling that the Coen’s liked the idea more in theory than actually stepping in and directing the film, telling MTV in 2009:

“We don’t see it yet,” Ethan said.

“That movie has more of an enduring fascination for other people than it does for us,” Joel added.

Turturro himself has always been VERY vocal in his desire to make a spinoff starring the scene stealing pederast though, with the Coens noting in that same interview:

“Oh, he serious. He’s on board,” Ethan said.

“He’s very serious,” Joel added.

Ethan does go as far as saying that “It could happen.”

That was 2009, flash forward seven years and John Turturro is currently in New York directing and starring in an adaptation of the 1974 French film Going Places (Les Valseuses) which follows “a trio of misfits whose irreverent, sexually charged dynamic evolves into a love story as their spontaneous and flippant attitude backfires time and again. When they make enemies with a gun-toting hairdresser, their journey becomes one of constant escape.”

Sounds like a fun premise, but what wasn’t known (until BirthMoviesDeath clued everyone in) is the fact that Turturro is dusting off our favorite amateur (but VERY serious) bowler from The Big Lebowski, Jesus Quintana, for his film. Yeah, let that sink in. We are getting more of The Jesus. Finally.

Joining Turturro is Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou and Susan Sarandon. BMD report that “Turturro’s Jesus and Cannavale’s Petey, compete to give a woman (Tautou) her first orgasm after she’s roped into their hijinks. Sarandon also ends up in their company, playing a criminal who just got out after a long stint in prison.”

For the record I’d be much happier to see a Lebowski spinoff written and directed by the Coens, but I have to imagine the project has their blessing. Turturro is a pretty good filmmaker in his own right, (check out Fading Gigolo) so at least it’s being helmed by the second best guy. Hopefully Turturro’s enthusiastic affection for the character translates to a great film.

What’s The Jesus been up? Did he make it past the semis without having to take Walter’s piece away from him? There’s no word on if he’s kept up his game, but BMD say they do know that “his off-beat hair choices and proclivity for purple both remain firmly intact.”

Thank heavens for little miracles. At least he’s moved on from eight year olds.

Fuck Me, Jared Leto to Annoy the Shit Out of the Blade Runner 2 Cast & Crew

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner has always been sacred ground to me. I own the film in nearly every iteration and can run you through the differences and merits of the Workprint, US Theatrical, International, Director’s and Scott’s Final Cut of the film if you have some time. I’ve read Paul M. Sammon’s meticulous researched history of the fillm’s production, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner  cover to cover many times. (It really is one of the greatest making of film books out there) So I’m a little passionate and more than a little precious when it comes to Blade Runner. After that preamble I’m sure that you wouldn’t be too shocked to find out that the film easily cracks my favorite five films of all time.

I started off anti BR2 from the get go. The film’s original ending (the one from the Workprint/Director’s Cut/Final Cut not the weird theatrical one using shots from The Shining) left the story where I wanted. The ending was ambiguous and left viewers to ponder the questions and come up with their own answers. Inherently, a sequel will have to undo that, right? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But with Ridley Scott coming back with Harrison Ford, I was willing to give it a chance.

Then Ridley Scott dropped out and they cast Ryan Gosling as the lead. I’m not at all a Ryan Gosling guy in the least. Sometimes he’s really good, but mostly I feel like I can see the mechanics of his acting. “My character would roll his pack of smokes up in the sleeve of his white t-shirt because he’s really blue collar.”  Something about him as an actor just doesn’t rub me the right way. More power to you if you’re a fan, but his presence in a film generally doesn’t put my ass in a seat. Director Denis Villeneuve is another story completely. He’s easily one of the most exciting filmmakers working today and seems to be improving with every new film. The rest of the cast he’s assembled is amazing with Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis (she’s got to be a riff on Pris, Right??), Dave Bautista (who blocked me then unblocked me on Twitter for saying I was on the fence about BR2), Barkhad Abdi (The dude who jacked Tom Hanks’ ship in Captain Philips) And Ana De Armas (who was wonderful in Knock Knock) filling out the rest of the cast.

Today Variety announced that Villeneuve has added Jared Leto to his cast for his as yet Untitled Blade Runner Sequel. I can’t stand Jared Leto. Is he talented? Of course. He’s a great actor and deserving of his Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, but man is he a pretentious douchebag. I have zero doubt that a filmmaker like Villeneuve knows precisely what he’s doing, but it does not sell me on this film in the least. After Leto’s recent antics on the set of Suicide Squad, and the reception of his “performance,” Leto is luckier to have this film than this film is to have him. It’s an impressive feat to follow up an Academy Award winning performance with a film a performance so terrible that they nearly cut him out of the film completely. Thankfully, BR2 has been filming for a bit so Leto’s role is likely not very big. You have to wonder if WB pushed him on Villeneuve as a way to rehab his damaged (see what I did there) image with a good role as a way to wave the stink lines away from one of their biggest characters in the DCEU.

 

Don’t Expect to See Natalie Portman in the MCU Again Anytime Soon

natalie_portman_in_thor_2-wide

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

The writing has been on the wall for a while now but it looks like Natalie Portman’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at an end. Word around the campfire for a while has been that Jane Foster would not be appearing in Thor’s upcoming third adventure titled Thor: Ragnarok and now in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal Portman seems to confirm that rather than the academy award winner being done with the MCU, the MCU is done with her:

“As far as I know, I’m done. I don’t know if maybe one day, they’ll ask for an Avengers 7 or whatever, but as far as I know, I’m done. It was a great thing to be a part of.”

Something about this does not pass the sniff test to me. I can’t for a minute believe that Marvel would choose to walk away from having an actress of Portman’s caliber in their stable of other Oscar winners. I immediately assumed that this story was going to be that Portman was dragging her feet about returning due to her wanting to pursue more traditional non-superhero films. Then again, the direction they’ve been going since Jane Foster was established kind of leaves her out. The character is kind of an albatross for Thor’s solo adventures and the MCU’s larger story arcs in general. Who knows, with Jane Foster swinging Mjolnir around in the comics we could maybe see Portman taking a much larger role in MCU future.

Perhaps that’s the plan for Avengers 7…

A New Clue Film in the Works!

Clue

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

Even though I was a child of the 80’s and identify most of my film tastes to everything that I absorbed, I didn’t see the original 1985 film adaptation for the board game Clue until a couple years ago. I couldn’t believe that a film that delightful had somehow escaped me for all those years. Thankfully I saw it, but man, what a terrific film that I would have worn out, had I seen it as a kid.

Now The Tracking Board reports that a new film based on Clue is in the works at 20th Century Fox. Universal worked for years to get a new film off the ground until 2011, with Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski attached to direct last. No word on whether or not Verbinski will have anything to do with the film now that it’s at Fox.

Unsurprisingly there are no story details at this point, but like everything these days Fox may be hoping to make a franchise out of Clue with The Tracking Board reporting, “there’s a desire to move the story out of the parlor and make it a game of “worldwide mystery” with action-adventure elements, potentially setting up a possible franchise that could play well internationally.”

This drives me nuts. How about focusing on making a single entertaining film, rather than trying to focus on multiple films? Let’s learn to walk before we run.

I can’t imagine anyone else taking up the historic roles after the 1985 film. Who would be your pick to play Miss Scarlet or Yvette?

I have a thought on who I’d love to see as Mr. Body…

Trump

 

Maybe it’s just wish fulfillment.

Your Favorite Alcoholic Santa Suits up Again in the First Trailer for Bad Santa 2!

Bad Santa 2

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

It looks like today is the day of nostalgia teaser trailers.

I am a fan of inappropriate holiday films and the original Bad Santa had everything I wanted in an inappropriate Christmas film. Billy Bob Thornton has been very vocal in the past about not wanting to move forward with a sequel if it wasn’t going to live up to the original film. Now that we have a new adventure on the way, I can’t wait to see what they’ve cooked up.

Outside of Thonrton’s Willie, it seems as though we’ll have Thurman Merman and Marcus (Tony Cox) returning for the sequel. I’m not sure how they’re explaining Marcus, since he died in the first film.

Joining the three returning cast members is Kathy Bates as Thornton’s foul mouthed mother and Christina Henricks as an Ivy league uppercrust running a charity that is targeted by Willie and mom.

The Gang’s All Here in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 Trailer!

Trainspotting 2

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

There’s something comforting to know Spud, Denton, Sick Boy and Begbie are all still kicking twenty years after Trainspotting. It’s also comforting to know that Danny Boyle is the guy behind the camera for their next adventure. Not much is known about the film at this point other than the film will be loosely set on the sequel novel penned by Irvine Welch titled Porno. 

The trailer really is a perfect tease, a throwback to the first films iconic marketing that make original fans nostalgic. From the orange backdrops to the Iggy Pop tune. I can’t wait to see what Boyle and crew have cooked up for the gangs next adventure. I can’t believe it’s been twenty years.