Fantastic Beasts 3

Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, ahead!

 

Following Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, viewers were left with a myriad of unanswered questions. However, most of us took assurance in the fact that we would only have to wait two years for the next installment to figure out things like: how is Credence a Dumbledore? How is Minerva McGonagall alive years before her birth? How is it even humanly possible that Eddie Redmayne continues to get more and more adorable in the role of Newt Scamander?

However, our hopes were rudely shattered by the news, which broke in January, that production of Fantastic Beasts 3 had been pushed back to the fall of this year – it had been expected to start production in the summer. This was followed by the revelation that the release date rumored to be reserved for Fantastic Beasts 3, November 20th, 2020, had been given to the sci-fi epic Dune. Now we’ve been able to glean a few more details about why the production was delayed. In an interview with the LA Times, Warner Brothers chief executive Kevin Tsujihara revealed that he is aware that Crimes of Grindelwald was no critical darling, and that its box-office gross was not what he had hoped for: he suggested that this is being taken into consideration now, and that J.K Rowling is “working hard” on the script for Fantastic Beasts 3, which is interesting, since she finished writing it all the way back in December. Tsujihara also said that the third film will be better even than the first Fantastic Beasts movie, and that Rowling has “an incredible vision” of what the future installments in the series will be like. This is all very promising, especially when combined with Fantastic Beasts actor Dan Fogler’s statement that Fantastic Beasts 3 will be bigger than the first two movie combined. We can only hope that more news is on its way, and that we can get answers to our questions soon. But at the moment, it seems most likely that Fantastic Beasts 3 will be Apparating into theaters in 2021. That, of course, is small comfort for all of us fans who are dying to see what happens next to Newt & Co., but in my opinion the delay will actually be helpful: Crimes of Grindelwald, of course, was torn apart by critics and had only a moderate success at the box-office, so giving the production team more time to craft an excellent movie is not a bad idea, by any means. Continue reading “Fantastic Beasts 3”

Dark Phoenix Trailer 2!

Ah, here we have it. The first teaser for this movie was beyond underwhelming. The FOX X-Men franchise has been driven into the ground. The actors seem bored in their roles. Everything about this movie just feels tired. It can’t even settle on a release date.

And, unfortunately, this trailer really does nothing to change that.

We see some very good acting from Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), and James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) is terrific as always – but that’s about it. The other X-Men all look pretty awful, in some of their worst outfits yet. The inevitable epic showdown on a moving train is kind of been-there-done-that. I mean, yeah, Jessica Chastain sure looks creepy, and it’ll be interesting to learn who she’s playing, but I’m not exactly on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out. This series feels like it’s doing anything in its power to go out with a bang before Marvel gets the X-Men, and yet…it’s trying too hard. Attempting to make this feel “epic”, the filmmakers have basically made it into X3, and we all know what that means. A cheap rehash of a better story, pulling the nostalgia card to try and win back disillusioned audiences, a not-so-subtle attempt to remake something that does not need to be remade. And X3 isn’t even that good of a movie anyway!

But let’s see: is there anything in this trailer worth salvaging? Well, as previously mentioned, Sophie Turner looks she’ll do a fine job – she’s such a good actress – as does James McAvoy. Storm’s powers are given a moment toward the end of the trailer, but the CGI looks pretty underwhelming again, given what we’ve seen of lightning powers from Thor: Ragnarok. Mystique is still rather dull, and still looks like a bad cosplay of herself (though I do like her shoes, at 0:17). At least Jean Grey has something of a “look” going on – I love the veins of fire that web through her face. Jessica Chastain rocks a pair of spiky heels at 1:46 – I’ll admit, that scene looks like it’ll be cool: with her advancing calmly into a rain of gunfire. We see glimpses of a battle in outer space – again, cool imagery. Characters like Beast, Nightcrawler, and Quicksilver again are merely background filler, and will likely remain that way – though, honestly, that’s not much of a loss. Cyclops appears to get a good deal of screentime, from what we see here, and seems concerned about Jean: oh yeah, I forgot, there’s supposed to be a romantic thing going on there. *yawn*

So yeah, this movie’s trailers thus far have done nothing to captivate me. I feel bad for the franchise, and I wish it didn’t have to end this way: but we’ll see. It could be good. Turner’s acting skills, at least, should be enough to put a fine veneer of watchability on this movie, which, without her, would probably not be worth seeing at all. If anything from this franchise should be kept by Marvel when they start making X-Men movies, it should be her.

Trailer Rating: 4/10

Detective Pikachu Second Trailer!

So, to be honest, I’m coming into this movie woefully unprepared: my knowledge of Pokémon is limited to a sticker book I had as a kid, and a few animated movies that I used to watch – though, granted, I watched those movies a lot, and they were quite good. Back then, when I was about ten, I could probably recite the names and skill-sets of about twenty different Pokémon off the top of my head. Now…well, I know there’s Pikachu, and…

(I’m being too harsh on myself, honestly. I did remember Mewtwo when he appeared in the trailer, even if I didn’t necessarily remember his name.)

But anyway – so, aside from the fact that I really don’t know any most of the Pokémon, I think the trailer looks pretty appealing. It doesn’t strike me as anything too fantastic, yet: Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu is undoubtedly the main draw for me – there’s something irresistibly intriguing about this new take on the fuzzy yellow critter (plus, hearing Pikachu say “hell” is somewhat endearing). This second trailer is definitely more interesting than the first, for me – here, we see some sort of secret laboratory being teased, which looks quite exciting, and the story takes more shape: we learn that Pikachu is suffering from amnesia (huh?), and the whole reason for him being a detective is given a bit more explanation. The Snorlax at 0:40 is absolutely adorable – more adorable than Pikachu, I’d almost dare to admit. We’ve got the Mewtwo reveal at 2:04, accompanied by Pikachu exclaiming “That’s a twist”. There are definitely things here that make me interested, but I’m not yet hooked to the point where I need to see this movie. It’s odd: I know Pokémon was a large part of my childhood, and, as I said, I loved the animated movies, but this doesn’t give me those types of vibes. Maybe it’s the transition to live-action and the more generic Hollywood feel to this story. Anyway, I’m interested to see more from this movie – I need something to really draw me in, and I’m not quite there yet.

Trailer Rating: 7/10

91st Academy Awards

Last night, we were treated to one of the most memorable ceremonies in recent years. Rebounding from a string of controversies and setbacks, the show did indeed go on – and turned out to be surprisingly good. Without a host, the show flowed much more smoothly and we were spared a good deal of annoying jokes. The spotlight was instead turned on the movies themselves: all eight Best Picture nominees seemed relatively tied, but in the end it was Green Book that surprisingly edged past the competition – not without controversy of its own. There were some shocking snubs – both Lady Gaga and Glenn Close were defeated by Olivia Colman of The Favourite (Colman had, in my opinion, one of the best and most genuine acceptance speeches of the night). There were well-deserved wins: Spike Lee, writer of BlacKkKlansman, was honored with the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay; Alfonso Cuaron took home the Oscars for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography, all for his semi-autobiographical film Roma; Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse was honored with the Best Animated Feature award; Rami Malek’s phenomenal performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody earned him the award for Best Actor.

The presenters did a fantastic job keeping the show moving along, but each still got ample time to shine: whether that was Jason Momoa in a pink velvet suit, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson representing the upcoming Marvel movie Captain Marvel, or a whimsically attired Melissa McCarthy. There were some missteps – Awkwafina and John Mulaney’s presentation of Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short was particularly cringe-worthy, and there was a bit of difficult with the Makeup and Hairstyling team from Vice, who didn’t seem at all prepared for their victory (which, considering they were only up against two other nominees, neither of whom had any chance of winning, is a little peculiar). And the performances were not all the best: I’m not particularly fond of either Lady Gaga or Bradley Cooper, so having to watch them cuddle up together while singing “Shallow” was rather boring – similarly, the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack is not even remotely comparable to that of the original, so “The Place Where Lost Things Go” could not be helped by the impressive vocals of Bette Midler. And as for “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”, well…the less said about that, the better.

In the end, it was Julia Roberts who presented the final award, for Best Picture, and it was the cast and crew of Green Book who took the stage to accept that award, much to the surprise of critics who had predicted a clean sweep for Roma. Personally, I was expecting The Favourite to win, and was shocked by the result: Green Book has been clouded in controversy these past few months. Spike Lee even got up and tried to leave the theater after the movie was announced Best Picture, and his anger is in some ways understandable: the Academy does seem to still be stuck in a thirty-year old worldview, especially when it comes to race relations and diversity. It’s a shame, because up to that point we had seen an astonishing number of people of color take the stage to accept various awards, including Ruth E. Carter, the first African-American woman to win the Best Costume Design Oscar; and Regina King, who was Best Supporting Actress for her work in If Beale Street Could Talk. Presenters had included civil rights activist John Lewis, sports legend Serena Williams, and comedian Trevor Noah. After so much progress was achieved last night, to suddenly find ourselves talking about this setback is pretty disheartening. And I say this with all possible respect for Green Book, which is a very good movie, and whose stars, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, are both terrific actors (Ali even won the Oscar for Best Supporting Oscar last night, also for Green Book). It seems inevitable now that every time Best Picture is called, the entertainment industry collectively rolls its eyes: that’s no surprise. What is somewhat surprising is how willfully blind the Academy must have been, deciding that this was the right choice. Over A Star Is Born, yeah, of course. But over films like BlacKkKlansman, or Roma? No, Green Book probably didn’t earn that win. I would much rather have had Black Panther take the award, to be honest. The progressive superhero movie won just three Oscars, and could have made much more of a positive impact than Green Book.

The Wide Screen

The Wide Screen is a blog dedicated to film reviews and movie news (founded on the same day as the 91st Academy Awards, coincidentally). Whether you’re looking for all the latest info on your favorite movie franchises, trying to decide what’s worth seeing in theaters, searching for in-depth breakdowns of movie trailers, or staying up to date with news from the entertainment industry; the Wide Screen has got you covered!