CS Video: Raya and the Last Dragon Filmmakers on Disney’s New Animated Adventure

by Kylie Hemmert

CS Video: Raya and the Last Dragon Filmmakers on Disney's New Animated Adventure

CS Video: Raya and the Last Dragon Filmmakers on Disney’s New Animated Adventure

Ahead of the movie’s release this weekend, ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to speak with the Raya and the Last Dragon filmmakers about Disney’s new animated adventure. Directors and co-writers Carlos López Estrada and Don Hall, along with co-writer Qui Nguyen talk about the idea of doing an action-adventure fantasy movie “inspired by the cultures of Southeast Asia” and why they felt adding songs would have been “a little too much.” They also discuss the big theme of family in the movie and how those bonds fuel Raya’s journey throughout the film, the crafting of the significant relationships in the story, and much more.

The movie is set to hit theaters and Disney+ Premier Access this Friday on March 5. You can check out our interview now in the player below!

RELATED: Raya and the Last Dragon Sneak Peek Features Original Song by Jhené Aiko

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well.

Raya and the Last Dragon is led by Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as Raya, who will be the first Southeast Asian to lead a Disney animated film. Tran stars alongside Awkwafina (The Farewell), who is voicing the dragon named Sisu.

Contactless Tickets – Advance ticket purchase and Mobile ticket entry on Fandango! – Going back to movie theaters! 

In addition to Tran and Awkwafina, the voice cast for the film includes Gemma Chan (Captain Marvel) as Raya’s nemesis, Namaari; Daniel Dae Kim (Hellboy) as Raya’s visionary father, Benja; Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) as Namaari’s powerful mother, Virana; Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) as Tong, a formidable giant; Izaac Wang as Boun, a 10-year-old entrepreneur; Thalia Tran as the mischievous toddler Little Noi; Alan Tudyk (Harley Quinn) as Tuk Tuk, Raya’s best friend and trusty steed; Lucille Soong (Fresh Off the Boat) as Dang Hu, the leader of the land of Talon; Patti Harrison (Shrill) as the chief of the Tail land; and Ross Butler (To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You) as chief of the Spine land.

RELATED: Raya and the Last Dragon Featurette Explores Production of Disney Adventure

Raya and the Last Dragon is co-directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6), Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting), Paul Briggs (Zootopia), and John Ripa from a script written by Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians) and Qui Nguyen.

March 2 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

by Max Evry

March 2 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

March 2 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

Welcome to ComingSoon.net’s March 2 Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD column! We’ve highlighted this week’s releases in detailed write-ups of different titles below! Click each highlighted title to purchase through Amazon! 

New Movies on Blu-ray/DVD

Monster Hunter
When an unexpected sandstorm transports soldiers to a new world, they discover an unknown habitat with monsters immune to their firepower.

Fatale
A wild one-night stand plunges a sports agent into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a police detective in this suspenseful and provocative psychological thriller.

Wrong Turn
Backwoods terror and never-jangling suspense meet when a group of friends hiking the Appalachian Trail come face-to-face with a community of dangerous mountain dwellers.

Scare Me
During a power outage, two strangers tell scary stories.

400 Bullets
A night in Afghanistan is about to get a lot worse for Rana Rai, a Ghurka Soldier left to guard a British military outpost, when Captain Noah Brant arrives looking for refuge from a group of Rogue Special Ops and a cell of heavily armed Taliban.

Cheer! Rally! Kill! 5-Film Collection (DVD)
Obsession, deception, murder, and mayhem . . . let the cheerleader games begin! Follow these twisted tales of campus queens, awkward teens, ambitious daughters, and overbearing mothers in five cheer-driven thrillers starring Denise Richards, Gail O’Grady, Vivica A. Fox, Kayla Wallace and more.

Reissues

She’s the Man
Teen star Amanda Bynes turns Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ on its ear in this spunky variation on the gender-bending comedy.

Girls Rule Collection
This three movie set includes the infinitely quotable and culturally iconic films Mean Girls, Clueless, and She’s The Man.

Cthulhu Mansion
After a drug deal gone wrong, a group of punks attempt to flee a local amusement park by taking a mysterious old magician named Chandu (Frank Finlay; Lifeforce) and his beautiful daughter hostage. While trying to evade the police, the punks force Chandu to take them to his secluded mansion where they plan to seek refuge for the night and wait for the heat to die down. Unbeknownst to them, Chandu’s obsession with the black arts and the occult has summoned an evil that not even he can control. As the house itself begins to terrorize and kill the trespassers, the survivors desperately attempt to uncover the horrifying secret to the mansion’s magical spells, along with Chandu’s own dark past…

New On Digital HD

Promising Young Woman
Traumatized by a tragic event in her past, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) seeks out vengeance in this thrilling and wildly entertaining story about a delicious new take on revenge.

Minari
A Korean-American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they find the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

The World to Come
In this powerful 19th century romance set in the American Northeast, Abigail, a farmer’s wife, and her new neighbor Tallie find themselves irrevocably drawn to each other. A grieving Abigail tends to her withdrawn husband Dyer as free spirit Tallie bristles at the jealous control of her husband. Together, their intimacy begins to fill a void in each other’s lives they never knew existed.

The Mauritanian
A detainee at the U.S military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center is held without charges for over a decade and seeks help from a defense attorney for his release.

Half Brothers
Two very different half-brothers meet and are forced on a journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path he took as an immigrant from Mexico to the US.

La Llorona
After being accused of mass genocide, a retired general is targeted by a wrathful supernatural force when the truth of his actions come to surface.

The Affair (exclusive clip) (on VOD March 5)
THE AFFAIR is set in 1930s Czechoslovakia, and follows newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer who are filled with optimism and happiness in their newly built modern masterpiece of a home. But Liesel harbors forbidden romantic feelings for her best friend Hana. Nazi troops enter the country, threatening the Landauer’s lives and the burning desire between the two women

Undertow (exclusive clip)
After she miscarries, Claire, a married woman deals with manic episodes by getting obsessed with Angie, a young feisty pregnant teen, brought into her life. However Claire’s paranoia makes her suspicious of her husband’s relationship with Angie.

Safer at Home (exclusive clip)
Two years into the pandemic, a group of friends throw an online party with a night of games, drinking and drugs. After taking an ecstasy pill, things go terribly wrong and the safety of their home becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside.

Pixie (exclusive clip)
Olivia Cooke and Alec Baldwin star in this action-packed crime story set in Ireland. On a path to avenge her mother’s death, Pixie Hardy (Cooke) attempts a heist that will give her the means to leave her small town life behind. When the plan goes horribly wrong she’s forced to team up with a pair of misfits who are clearly in over their heads. On the run from an organized gang – criminal priests and nuns, led by Father McGrath (Baldwin) – the trio will scheme and swindle anyone they come across in this hilarious and thrilling adventure.

TV on Blu-ray and DVD

Rick and Morty: Seasons 1-4
You paid for 10 episodes, chill broh. Buckle in for disappointment because there’s no way these episodes will be good enough for how long you waited. But maybe they will be? It’s season four! It’s sexy and smooth. Buckle in! Did I already say that? Definitely stay buckled in.

Victor and Valentino: Folk Art Foes (DVD)
Want to find out if the legend of the Chupacabra is real? Or explore a secret skatepark hidden in the jungle? Want to go on a trip to the underworld? Yeah you do! So come hang out with Victor and Valentino as these two brothers do all of this and much more in the supernatural town of Monte Macabre.

Ranked: The 12 Best Kathryn Hahn Roles Before WandaVision

by Josh Plainse

Ranked: The 12 Best Kathryn Hahn Roles Before WandaVision

ComingSoon.net has ranked Kathryn Hahn’s best roles prior to (finally) getting the widespread recognition she deserved all along in WandaVision. Check out our selections below!

RELATED: CS Video: Kathryn Hahn Talks Joining The MCU With WandaVision

As amazing as Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany have been in WandaVision, the series’ true standout is Kathryn Hahn. Her performance as the titular pair’s “nosy neighbor,” Agnes has turned into much more than just another supporting role; nailing every sitcom iteration and ultimately (spoiler alert) becoming the show’s big bad (or is she?)—she steals almost every scene she is in. The practice of scene-stealing is an art Hahn has perfected over the years (in many many projects); starring in several films and television shows. 

From a history of playing the funny supporting characters in films like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Step Brothers to starring in dramas like Private Life, Hahn is arguably one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, For whatever reason, we recognize her but don’t exactly know why. Thankfully, this will no longer be the case moving forward. As we salute Marvel Studios for finally making Hahn mainstream, let’s take a look back at some of Hahn’s best roles.

RELATED: The Shrink Next Door: Kathryn Hahn Joins Will Ferrell & Paul Rudd-Led Apple Miniseries

Have you always been a fan? What projects have you loved her in? Let us know in the comments below!

12. Michelle Rueben – How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

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Hahn’s role in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days launched the typecasting of her as romantic comedies’ (A Lot like LoveWin a Date with Tod Hamilton!The Holiday, etc.) got-to “funny best friend.” In it, she fills these shoes for Kate Hudson’s Andie as she attempts to bamboozle Matthew McConaughey’s Ben.

HD wallpaper: Movie, Bad Moms, Carla (Bad Moms), Kathryn Hahn | Wallpaper Flare

11. Carla – Bad Moms (2017)

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Like her roles in AnchormanStep Brothers, and We’re the Millers, Hahn fully embraces slapstick comedy in the Bad Moms franchise. She plays Carla, a chaotic single mom and Brazilian-wax specialist who steals the show. In fact, if she wasn’t forced into a supporting role behind Mila Kunis, this film would probably be a lot better.

Kathryn Hahn on 'Happyish' and Finding Her Inner 'Fartist' - Rolling Stone

10. Lee Payne – HAPPYish (2015)

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In this dark comedy, Hahn plays Lee Payne, the wife of Thom Payne (Steve Coogan) struggling to balance her artistic passion and motherhood. While not the most acclaimed show, HAPPYish succeeds thanks to both Hahn and Coogan’s relatably satirical performances.

Interview: I Know This Much is True's Kathryn Hahn - Brief Take

9. Dessa Constantine – I Know This Much Is True (2020)

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In the Mark Ruffalo vehicle/mini-series, I Know This Much is True, Hahn plays Dominick’s ex-wife, Dessa. Having ended their marriage following the loss of their child, Hahn’s portrayal of Dessa’s heartbreak and trauma while still being a beacon of support for the two main characters is incredible. 

Trailer For Sundance Drama 'Afternoon Delight' With Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor & More

8. Rachel – Afternoon Delight (2013)

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Afternoon Delight follows Hahn as Rachel, a sexually-frustrated wife who goes to a strip club with her husband to spice things up. This leads to Rachel deciding to hire a stripper (Juno Temple) as the couple’s live-in nanny. Hahn basically makes this film (not basically, she does).

How Kathryn Hahn became a modern Hollywood comedy hero - Business Insider

7. Alice – Step Brothers (2008)

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Hahn’s breakout role in Adam McKay’s Step Brothers aided her career a lot of momentum. Holding your own beside comedic legends is no small feat and she does just that as Alice, the unhinged wife of Brennan’s (Will Ferrell brother, Derek (Adam Scott), who has a weird obsession with Dale (John C. Reilly). With a propensity for renditions of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and awkward make-out sessions, Hahn’s comedic performance is nothing short of scene-stealing.

What? Into the Spider-Verse's Perfect Doc Ock Almost a Man? | The Mary Sue

6. Olivia “Liv” Octavius – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

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Hahn brings an inimitable amount of goof and menace to the role of Into the Spider-Verse’s gender-swapped Doctor Octopus. The film’s cast of voice actors is absolutely stacked and somehow (like her other Marvel outing in WandaVision) stands out as one of its best. Her performance is all over the place (in the best way) and is a fantastic argument for more voice-over work moving forward.

Kathryn Hahn Talks I Love Dick Alongside Fellow Cast & Crew

5. Chris Kraus – I Love Dick (2016)

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In I Love Dick, Hahn plays a fictional version of Chris Kraus, who wrote the novel on which the series is based. The story follows the artist as she develops a psychosexual fascination with a local Texas professor, Dick, played by Kevin Bacon (despite being married to Griffin Dunne’s character). The series marks Hahn’s first leading/complicated role which she totally nails…even though the show was canceled after its first season.

Get Absorbed in Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti's Private Life | Vanity Fair

4. Rachel Biegler – Private Life (2018)

Click here to watch on Netflix!

Private Life sees Hahn play Rachel who, along with her husband, Richard (Paul Giamatti), desperately attempt to get pregnant. Things are complicated when their niece, Sadie (Kayli Carter), decides to come live with them in New York. Both poignant and hilarious, Hahn captures the devastatingly complex emotions of a woman struggling to have a child.

Pie-Mary (2015)

3. Jennifer Barkley – Parks & Recreation (2009 – 2020)

Click here to purchase the complete series!

Hahn plays Parks & Recreation’s Jennifer Barkley, the political mastermind who initially comes to Pawnee to run Bobby Newport’s campaign against Leslie Knope. Her independent and confident attitude makes her a character fans love to hate, so much so that she ends up helping Ben Wyatt run for Congress, solidifying her as perhaps the show’s more impactful (memorable) and iconic recurring guest star – a perfect showcase for Hahn’s unique talents.

Transparent' Season 3 Will Flash Back to 12-Year-Old Maura | IndieWire

2. Raquel Fein – Transparent (2014 – 2019)

Click here to watch on Amazon Prime!

Hahn’s only Emmy nomination was a result of her role in Transparent. The series follows the Pfefferman family as they come to terms with the fact that their father is a transgender woman named Maura. Hahn plays Rabbi Raquel Fein, who dates Maura’s son, Josh. While a supporting character, Hahn stands out as one of the show’s funniest and most unique. 

The Daily Northwestern | Kathryn Hahn talks taking the lead in HBO's 'Mrs. Fletcher'

1. Eve Fletcher – Mrs. Fletcher (2019)

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In one of her few (unfortunately) leading roles, Hahn plays Eve Fletcher, a divorced mom who decides to reinvent herself following her son’s college departure. Her performance explores sexual awakening, ageism, and gender in a show they may not entirely know what it is trying to say. Regardless, as a suburban mom who finally decides to live, Hahn shines, playing against type without ever betraying her signature charisma. A career-best.

POLL RESULTS: What is the Best Saturday Morning Cartoon of All Time?

by Jeff Ames

POLL RESULTS: What is the Best Saturday Morning Cartoon of All Time?

Well, this is quite shocking! After polling nearly 3,000 readers, we have the results for the Best Saturday Morning Cartoon of All Time. And while we missed a few — sorry G.I. Joe and Transformers — the choices were still diverse enough to offer some fairly stiff competition. Check out the results below!

RELATED: POLL RESULTS: Who Should Win in Godzilla vs. Kong?

  1. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show (16%, 463 votes)

  2. Batman: The Animated Series (14%, 399 votes)

  3. X-Men (11%, 313 votes)

  4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (11%, 309 votes)

  5. Scooby-Doo (8%, 234 votes)

So, there you have it. As it turns out, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show takes the crown as your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon with Batman: The Animated Series coming in at a close second — even if it wasn’t technically a Saturday Morning Cartoon, it at least started on Saturday mornings. Ok, that’s a stretch, but still …

RELATED: POLL RESULTS: Who Should Play Live-Action Miles Morales?

It is quite shocking that Bugs Bunny and his pals were able to trump the likes of X-Men, The Real Ghostbusters, Spider-Man and even ThunderCats. But, hey, the crowd has spoken. And here’s the best part: MeTV is currently airing some of these great Saturday morning cartoons, meaning you can wake up on the weekend and enjoy the likes of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Road Runner, Popeye, Tom & Jerry and other favorites.

For more info, visit MeTV!

Here’s the rest of the results:

6. Super Friends (7%, 198 votes)

7. ThunderCats (5%, 136 votes)

8. The Real Ghostbusters (5%, 134 votes)

9. Spider-Man (3%, 102 votes)

10. Gargoyles (3%, 75 votes)

11. DuckTales (2%, 70 votes)

12. Animaniacs (2%, 48 votes)

13. Voltron (2%, 47 votes)

14. SpongeBob SquarePants (1%, 44 votes)

15. Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (1%, 44 votes)

16. The Smurfs (1%, 40 votes)

17.Popeye and Friends (1%, 36 votes)

18. Garfield and Friends (1%, 31 votes)

19. Land of the Lost (1%, 30 votes)

20. Fat Albert (1%, 28 votes)

21. Disney’s Adventures of the Gummy Bears (1%, 27 votes)

22. Darkwing Duck (1%, 18 votes)

23. Tom & Jerry Kids (1%, 18 votes)

24. The Tick (1%, 17 votes)

25. Bobby’s World (1%, 15 votes)

26. Hey Arnold! (1%, 15 votes)

27. Doug (1%, 12 votes)

The 5 Funniest Starz Shows

by Nate Williams

funniest starz shows

The 5 Funniest Starz Shows

ComingSoon.net is changing the channel to see what the funniest shows on Starz are. Check out our picks in the gallery below!

RELATED: New to Stream: Starz March 2021 Movie & TV Titles Announced

Of all the premium cable networks to choose form, Starz might not be everyone’s very first choice. With HBO and Showtime dominating a large chunk of the original television market, it can be hard to truly know what else is out there, options wise. For those who didn’t already know, these Starz comedies are well worth your time.

RELATED: New to Stream: HBO Max March 2021 Highlights

HBO’s sitcoms like The Righteous Gemstones and Silicon Valley are well-deserving of praise and Showtime’s recent efforts like Who Is America? have been incredibly well done as well, but Starz has actually been in the original comedy game for over a decade now. Take a look at these hilarious Starz shows and let us know what you think.

CS Recommends: Cowboy Bebop, Plus Movies, Merch & More!

by Max Evry

CS Recommends: Cowboy Bebop, Plus TV, Merch & More!

CS Recommends: Cowboy Bebop, Plus Movies, Merch & More!

Stuck inside? Don’t know what to watch/read/play/listen to? ComingSoon.net has got you covered. In this week’s CS Recommends our staff kicks off gives you solid tips on the best media to consume during your downtime, including groundbreaking anime series Cowboy Bebop and more! Check out our picks below!

RELATED: CS Collectibles: Martian Manhunter, Ahsoka, Darth Maul & More!

MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: Mandy Merch from Legion M

Click here to purchase the merch!

Click here to purchase Mandy!

One of the most memorable indie features in forever was Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy, a dreamlike revenge story in which Nicolas Cage gives an all-timer performance for the ages. Whether you loved seeing cage do coke off a shard of glass or battle motorcycle mutants in a quarry, Mandy is just one of those movies that never leaves you once you experience it. Now the folks at Legion M have several cool pieces of merch to celebrate the film, including a t-shirt with Cage’s blood-smeared face, a sweater with Cage holding his giant axe, and a sweet pin. Check out all that and more at their site!

KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: Dexter

Click here to purchase the complete series!

With Showtime’s upcoming 10-episode revival of the award-winning series Dexter currently in development, now is the perfect time to revisit, or discover for the first time, one of the best series ever made (no matter how you feel about the ending, it does not change how incredible the series was as a whole — though, admittedly, nothing quite beats those early seasons). Michael C. Hall effortlessly plays Dexter Morgan, a serial killer who specifically targets other serial killers while also working as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department. Surrounded by a fantastic ensemble cast, Hall breathes life into one of television’s most fascinating characters as the show explores our dark passengers, all the while perfectly balancing dark humor with its heavier themes.

GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: Cowboy Bebop

Click here to purchase the complete series!

Though we may still be an unknown ways away from the John Cho-led live-action iteration, there is literally never a bad time to dive into the blues and jazz-infused sci-fi world of the Keiko Nobumoto-penned anime Cowboy Bebop. Centered on the lives of the bounty hunting group aboard the titular craft, the series covers nearly every genre from sci-fi to western to noir to comedy and existential ennui, balancing every tone with precision and delivering some of the most captivating and perfectly-paced adventures with gorgeous animation that is still stunning 23 years later and one of the best soundtracks and theme songs of anything in existence. Whether you’re a major anime fan or looking for shows to get into the genre, this is by far one of the best out there.

MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: Dead Poets Society (1989)

Click here to purchase!

Starring Ethan Hawke and the late Robin Williams, the film tells the story of a group of young men at an elite prep school. They secretly formed their own poetry club called the Dead Poets Society after getting inspired by their new English teacher, John Keating. Through Keating’s eccentric teaching methods, he was able to encourage them to make their lives worth living without conforming to any societal norms. However, it is always easier said than done as the boys will soon realize how difficult it is to really “Seize the day” when outside forces always tend to suppress their views and dreams.

This 1989 coming-of-age drama is unarguably one of the best in its genre as it brilliantly delivers a relatable and charming storyline that will somehow break your heart. In addition to its Oscar-winning screenplay, the film also most importantly featured one of the most memorable performances by Williams as well as a preview into the immense talent of then-rising star Ethan Hawke. If you’re a fan of the coming-of-age genre like me, I highly-recommend you to check out or revisit this classic gem.

JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: Black Hawk Down

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Is Black Hawk Down the greatest war film ever made? That’s debatable, but few films have effectively captured the chaos and violence of combat quite like Ridley Scott’s powerful 2001 drama. Exquisitely shot and featuring a handful of great performances from the likes of Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana and Sam Shepard, Black Hawk Down is about as anti-war as a film can get, but also stands as a powerful tribute to all the brave soldiers who give their lives for each other and their country when duty calls. Plus, Hans Zimmer’s score is awesome.

Side note: it’s quite astounding that Ridley Scott failed to pick up an Oscar for his work here. The man lost to Ron Howard for A Beautiful Mind, which, I can only surmise, occurred because voters were split on Scott, Peter Jackson (for Lord of the Rings) and David Lynch (Mulholland Drive). What a debacle, but also, that’s a damned good pool of directors!

ComingSoon.net recommends all readers comply with CDC guidelines and remain as isolated as possible during this urgent time.

CS Video: Director Tim Story Talks This Weekend’s Tom & Jerry!

by Max Evry

CS Video: Director Tim Story Talks This Weekend's Tom & Jerry!

CS Video: Director Tim Story Talks This Weekend’s Tom & Jerry!

Warner Bros. provided ComingSoon.net with the chance to speak with director Tim Story (Shaft, Ride Along, Fantastic Four) about this weekend’s Tom & Jerry, the animated/live-action hybrid adventure starring Chloë Grace Moretz. Fans can see the movie now in theaters and on HBO Max, and check out the interview in the player below!

In the interview we chat with Story about how involved he was in crafting each sequence in terms of shooting plates, etc. We also chat about which specific era of Tom & Jerry cartoons he was influenced by, considering the movie presents the cat and mouse in all their 2D glory!

RELATED: Tom & Jerry Trailer: All Friends Fight, These Friends Battle

One of the most beloved rivalries in history is reignited when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him. The ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding, and possibly the hotel itself. But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them. An eye-popping blend of classic animation and live-action, Tom and Jerry’s new big-screen adventure stakes new ground for the iconic characters and forces them to do the unthinkable… work together to save the day.

The film will follow Chloë Grace Moretz (Suspiria)’s Kayla, a new employee at the extravagant Park hotel who hires broke alley cat Tom to get rid of mouse Jerry in an attempt to secure her job. Michael Peña (Ant-Man & the Wasp) has signed on to star as Terrance, the deputy general manager of the hotel who acts as a bully to Kayla and begins clashing with his new employee as she impresses upper management with her battle against the animal duo.

In addition to Moretz and Peña, the cast for the film includes Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2), Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live), and Ken Jeong (Crazy Rich Asians). Tim Story is directing for Warner Bros. from a script by Kevin Costello.

RELATED: New to Stream: HBO Max March 2021 Highlights

Tom & Jerry is slated to hit theaters on February 26, and will be available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from the theatrical release.

CS Collectibles: Martian Manhunter, Ahsoka, Darth Maul & More!

by Jeff Ames

CS Collectibles: Martian Manhunter, Ahsoka, Darth Maul & More!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of CS Collectibles, ComingSoon.net’s newest weekly column that brings you the best in premium collectibles! Find out all the latest on statues, figures, posters, cards, eBay deals, Amazon deals & much more below!

NEWS

Sideshow

Sideshow presents The Child Life-Size Figure, created in partnership with Legacy Effects to bring you the galaxy’s most sought-after bounty.

Lovingly referred to by audiences as ‘Baby Yoda’, the mysterious alien known as The Child or Grogu has quickly become the breakout fan-favorite of Star Wars™: The Mandalorian on Disney+. Now eager collectors can become a clan of two and bring home the asset as an incredible 1:1 scale Star Wars collectible, no tracking fob needed.

The Child Life-Size Figure measures 16.5” tall, standing on a simple ship deck base that lets this adorable alien steal all of the focus- along with the Mandalorian’s ship parts. Inspired by its unique onscreen appearance, this mixed media statue features a tan fabric coat swaddling The Child as it gazes up with charming wide eyes, hiding the silver shift knob from the Razor Crest™ in its right hand.

Every inch of this incredibly lifelike figure has been meticulously detailed to recreate everything that Star Wars fans love about the young alien, from the fuzz on its wrinkled head to its irresistible pout, all the way down to its tiny, toddling feet. Fans looking to bring home The Mandalorian collectibles need look no further- bounty hunting is a complicated profession but collecting the galaxy’s cutest alien has never been easier!

Secure the asset for your Star Wars figures collection and bring home The Child Life-Size Figure today.

The Child Star Wars Life-Size Figure – $375.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

“Always remember I am fear! Always remember I am a hunter!”

Sideshow presents the Darth Maul Mythos Statue, on the attack through your galaxy of Star Wars collectibles.

As a collection, Sideshow’s Mythos series are fine art collectibles that allow the collector to imagine what could have been, but maybe never was. Myths meant to be initiated by the eye and completed by the mind.

The Darth Maul Mythos Statue measures 23.5″ tall, as the hateful Zabrak warrior leaps from the crumbling ruins of a Sith temple monument, wielding his famed dual-bladed red lightsaber. In a savage rage, Maul prepares to enact his revenge on the accursed Jedi Order, the ones who took his legs and left him near death.

The polystone Darth Maul Mythos Statue features a fully sculpted costume composed of weathered black skirts, belts, arm wraps, and a black collar. As a result of his fateful duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Dathomirian Sith now has powerful, highly detailed robotic legs that allow him to hunt his Jedi prey with animalistic precision. Darth Maul is also covered in customary Zabrak markings, creating his signature red and black appearance. This dynamic statue also includes two portraits for collectors to choose from; one grimacing head with shortened horns, and one raging head with longer horns.

At last, show the Jedi in your collection that they are no match for the Darth Maul Mythos Statue, a must-have for Star Wars fans of any era.

Darth Maul™ Mythos Star Wars Statue – $610.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Diamond Select 

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! She’s one of the most popular characters in Star Wars fandom, and now Ahsoka Tano is a Legend in 3D! This approximately 10-inch bust captures the Jedi Knight in ½ scale, atop a sculpted, lightsaber-inspired pedestal. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, she features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packaged in a numbered, full-color box with a certificate of authenticity.

DIAMOND SELECT TOYS Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Ahsoka Legends in 3-Dimensions 1:2 Scale Bust, 10 inches

A Diamond Select Toys Release! Let the games begin! This action figure of the Hulk depicts him in his gladiator armor from the character-redefining “Planet Hulk” storyline in The Incredible Hulk comics. The figure stands approximately 10 inches tall (11.5 inches with his feather crest) and features 16 points of articulation, allowing him to strike a wide variety of combat-ready poses. Accessories include an 8-inch-long battle axe and a 5-inch tall spiked shield. Sculpted by Jean St. Jean. Formerly a Disney Store exclusive.

DIAMOND SELECT TOYS Marvel Select: Planet Hulk Action Figure, Multicolor

Mondo

Shuffling out the tomb to bring you a horrifying vessel from which to sip your sinister spirits from, it’s the official Universal Monsters The Mummy Tiki Mug! This monstrous mug is designed by the deadly Doug P’Gosh, sculpted by the mischievous Matthew Black, and produced with the help the terrifying Tiki Farm team. The Mummy features his horrible visage on one side, a scream scene from the film on the other, and holds 16oz the lethal liquid your choice! Call your mummy and ask for permission to add this mug to your collection now!

This version The Mummy features a Tan base blaze, with a Pharaoh Brown wiped glaze over it.

Please note: These mugs are handmade, making each one unique, so slight variations from images shown may occur.

The Mummy Universal Monsters Tiki Mug – $50.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

For more than twenty years, Nickelodeon’s unapologetically silly animated farce has entertained children and grownups alike. We’re big fans of SpongeBob, and sooooo excited to introduce you to a new Tiki Mug featuring the moai-inspired home of the Squidward Tentacles.

Designed by Joe Allard and sculpted by Ramirez Studios, this design is available in three colorways – Regular Variant matching the series coloring, the Riptide Variant with a blue/brown glaze, and the Driftwood Variant featuring a reactive brown glaze.

Please note: These mugs are handmade, making each one unique, so slight variations from images shown may occur.

Squidward’s House (Riptide Variant) Spongebob Squarepants Tiki Mug – $55.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Iron Studios

Sideshow and Iron Studios present the Peni Parker & SP//dr Deluxe 1:10 Battle Diorama Series Statue!

The Battle Diorama Series will feature characters from the hit animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! This hand-painted Statue stands approximately 9.8″ tall and is based on the original movie references.

Take your leap of faith and add this to your collection today!

Peni Parker & SP//dr Deluxe Marvel 1:10 Scale Statue – $210.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Sideshow and Iron Studios present the latest from the Art Scale 1:10 line – the Martian Manhunter Statue by Ivan Reis! Based on concept art from DC Comics and Chiaroscuro Studios, this polystone statue is hand-painted and limited edition.

DC Comics fans, don’t miss your chance to add Martian Manhunter to your collection!

Martian Manhunter DC Comics 1:10 Scale Statue – $135.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Prime 1 Studios

How many more innocent people die until you accept that some lives need to be taken?!”

Sideshow and Prime 1 Studio are excited to present the Injustice 2 Superman Statue! Injustice 2 is a spectacular fighting video game that is a sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. It was released by NetherRealm Studios, known for creating the recent Mortal Kombat games. Injustice 2’s storyline centers around Batman and his allies as they try to rebuild the planet after taking down Superman and ending his regime. However, the arrival of the new villain group called “The Society” as well as the arrival of Brainiac forces Batman to free his old friend to help him fight the enemies.

The Superman Statue has a sculpted blue costume with textured elements and red and gold accents, including the beautifully crafted iconic red cape. Don’t miss out to add Superman Statue to your collections!

Superman DC Comics Statue – $799.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

“That`s … Berserker Armor….That`s Guts!!” – Schierke

Sideshow and Prime 1 Studio are proud to present the Beast of Casca’s Dream 1:4 Scale Statue from Berserk. The Beast of Casca’s Dream is the creature specifically to represent Guts in Casca’s dream. Guts is the main protagonist of Berserk also known as The Black Swordsman. He represents another form in Casca’s dream, a beast wearing the Berserker armor which represents his fear and rage.

This statue has two alternate Portraits with different neck angles. The statue design is based on one of the iconic scene of the recent released of the dark fantasy Manga book. The Beast of Casca’s dream is crafted with attention to detail and is true to the original design of the Manga.

This is the must-have for any fan of the Berserk Manga.

Beast of Casca’s Dream Berserk Statue – $899.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

PCS Collectibles

Mission complete! Standing by for next command!”

Sideshow and PCS Collectibles present the Cammy: Killer Bee 1:3 Scale Statue, reporting to your team of Street Fighter collectibles.

The Cammy: Killer Bee 1:3 Scale Statue measures 28” tall in her signature blue costume from the fan-favorite Street Fighter Alpha series. Her muscular physique and overall look are recreated based on in-game models to give fans an accurate, high-fidelity collectible of the second lady of Street Fighter.

Captured in mixed media, Cammy’s Killer Bee uniform is composed of a tailored fabric leotard with sculpted accents like red gloves, black boots, and blue hat. Her detailed portrait features sculpted blonde braids and a scar on her left cheek. Blue lightning stripes on her legs complete the look as the skilled assassin strikes an intimidating pose on top of a base inspired by the in-game English Manor stage from the Street Fighter games.

Mission update: add the Cammy: Killer Bee 1:3 Scale Statue from PCS Collectibles to your Street Fighter collection today!

Cammy: Killer Bee Street Fighter Statue – $925.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

The Satsui no Hado has long been a cautionary tale in the Street Fighter franchise, a destructive form of Ki that exploits the baser aspects of humanity, corrupting even the purest of souls. Goutetsu taught it to his student Akuma, who embraced it, and Gouken, who recognized it’s risk, refusing to train his own disciples.

The more we were warned about it, the more we speculated on what would happen if a character as strong as Ryu forsook his education and let the Satsui consume him.

Evil Ryu is our answer, Ryu turned inside out, the surge of murderous intent awakened. He can no longer resist the evil energy within, plunging deeper into darkness with every victory. Purged of all traces of honor and decency, this is a Ryu with a blood thirst and ritualistic belligerence bordering on a feral barbarism. Assuming this anger has made him mindless would be your last mistake, however, as Dark Ryu is perhaps the most calculating and dangerous character in the game.

In Story Mode, we’ve seen Ryu flashback to his fateful fight with Sagat, how his “cheap win” still torments him. Eyes literally red with anger, he unleashed a Metsu Shoryuken so devastating it scarred Sagat’s chest. Disfiguring an opponent was anguishing enough, but what truly frightened and shamed Ryu is how much feeling that power excited him.

But was it an even more pivotal moment in the franchise than we realize?

Sideshow and Pop Culture Shock Collectibles are proud to present their very first independent 1:4 scale Evil Ryu statue, a unique sculpt created from the actual CG model, and not just a palette swap.

This is Ryu stained with the blood of death, Supreme Master of the Fist, brutal and murderous, looking for the one that can defeat him. The fine artists at Pop Culture Shock have perfectly captured his menace and power, perfecting all his signature elements, from his animalistic fangs to his Akuma-like spikey inferno of hair. And of course, no Evil Ryu would be complete without the gaping crater to hell burned into his chest, or that scar on his back that looks ominously like a “Heaven” kanji.

This high-quality polystone collectible features a tailored cloth costume, LEDs in the eyes, chest and back and two (2) portraits, evil grin, and scream.

This collectible also has a certificate of authenticity.

Evil Ryu Murderous Intent Street Fighter Statue – $269.99
from: Sideshow Inc.

Hot Toys

‘Midas’ Iron Man Mark XXI, debuted in Iron Man 3, was a fully loaded high-altitude suit created by Tony Stark, activated during the battle against Aldrich Killian when Tony ordered J.A.R.V.I.S to initiate the “House Party Protocol”.

Pays great homage to one of Iron Man’s very first costumes, Hot Toys is delighted to unveil today the Iron Man Mark XXI (Midas) Sixth Scale Collectible Figure from Iron Man 3 as a Hot Toys Exclusive item. Painted in different shades of metallic gold and silver, the overall appearance of the highly-detailed figure has elevated with additional chrome painting to bring out the finer armor details.

The Iron Man figure made in diecast is crafted based on the image of Midas in Iron Man 3, has faithfully reproduced the distinctive design of the suit features a LED-light up helmeted head; LED light-up functions scattered throughout the upper body, back and Arc Reactor on chest; signature armor beautifully painted in mixed shades of gold, silver and bronze color; a variety of interchangeable armors parts, hands of Iron Man’s iconic poses; and a dynamic figure stand with movie logo.

This lustrous Iron Man will surely stand out in your House Party Protocol collection!

Iron Man Mark XXI (Midas) Marvel Sixth Scale Figure – $405.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Under different circumstances, this would be a kind of awesome.”

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos has wiped out half the universe and fractured the remaining Avengers. Hawkeye’s fellow Avengers are called to action, his arrows and his newfound determination might be exactly what the super heroes will need to save the world.

Sideshow and Hot Toys present the Hawkeye (Deluxe Version) Sixth Scale Collectible Figure from Avengers: Endgame.

Expertly crafted based on Jeremy Renner’s appearance as Hawkeye/Clint Barton inAvengers: Endgame with astonishing likeness, the highly-detailed collectible figure features a newly developed head sculpt, meticulously tailored costume, assorted weapons and accessories including bow and arrows, dagger, shurikens and a movie-themed figure stand with an interchangeable graphic card. The highlight of this Deluxe Version is Hawkeye’s Alternate Version outfit skillfully translated on this Sixth Scale Collectible Figure which exclusively includes an array of interchangeable parts such as a newly developed masked head sculpt, vest, arm guards, katana with sheath and a number of gloved hands for fans to display the figure in variety of action poses!

Team up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with this new Hawkeye (Deluxe Version) Sixth Scale Figure inspired by Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame!

Hawkeye (Deluxe Version) Marvel Sixth Scale Figure – $274.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Super7

Cowabunga, dudes! Relive the fun and excitement of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures with these figures from Super 7! Super Seven presents Leonardo, the wise leader of the Turtles! He comes with: an Alternate head, Fists (2), Gripping Hands (2), Expressive Hands (2), Open Communicator, Closed Communicator, Pizza Slice, Katana (2), and his Weapon Rack Including: a Kama, Turtle Fist Dagger (2), Sai (2), and Ninja Stars!

Super 7 Teenage Ultimates Wave 2 Leonardo Action Figure

“Push it to Pop it! Rock it to Lock it! Break it to Make it!” The dance explosion of the 80’s jumps off the screen with the Ozone 3.75-inch ReAction Figure.

Super7 Breakin Reaction Figure – Ozone

Loot Crate

TMNT LIMITED EDITION CRATES – SERIES II

Loot Crate and NECA have teamed up again for a brand new collection of limited edition TMNT collectibles, apparel and gear following the SOLD OUT first series. Don’t miss out on these new and exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crates! Order all 4 and get a totally tubular bonus figure! Supplies are limited.

Click here to order!

Wizards of the Coast

Click here to purchase Zendikar Rising Draft Booster Box!

Click here to purchase Zendikar Rising Bundle!

Click here to purchase Ikoria!

Click here to purchase Core 2021!

What do you think of CS Collectibles so far? Let us know in the comments below!

February 23 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

by Max Evry

February 23 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

February 23 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

Welcome to ComingSoon.net’s February 23 Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD column! We’ve highlighted this week’s releases in detailed write-ups of different titles below! Click each highlighted title to purchase through Amazon! 

New Movies on Blu-ray/DVD

The Croods: A New Age
In search of a new home, the Croods encounter the more sophisticated Betterman family. A new threat forces the two families to set aside their differences to avoid extinction.

The Last Vermeer
An all but forgotten true story about a soldier investigating a renowned Dutch artist, who is accused of conspiring with the Nazis.

Horizon Line
A couple flying on a small plane to attend a tropical island wedding must fight for their lives after their pilot suffers a heart attack.

Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob (DVD)
Scooby-Doo and the gang journey back in time to help King Arthur save his throne from an evil sorceress.

Redemption Day (DVD)
Having just returned home, decorated U.S. Marine Captain Brad Paxton’s (Gary Dourdan) wife, Kate, is kidnapped by a terrorist group while working in Morocco. He is forced back into action for a daring and deadly operation to save the woman he loves.

Alone With Her Dreams (DVD)
Lucia must stay behind under the care of her stern and overbearing grandmother in 1960’s Sicily, while her parents and younger brother emigrate to France to find work. The girl mopes the days away and grows increasingly curious about her grandmother’s hatred towards other members of the family on the island, until one day she discovers the reason why and uncovers a terrible secret.

Mambo Man (DVD)
Mambo Man is the story of JC, a Cuban farmer and music promoter who is presented with a business proposition that appears too good to be true. Desperate to alleviate his financial woes, JC gambles everything he has on it, and along the way learns who his true friends are.

Book Club

Alien: Into Charybdis (The Alien Series, Book 9)
“Shy” Hunt and the tech team from McAllen Integrations thought they’d have an easy job—set up environmental systems for the brand new Hasanova Data Solutions colony, built on the abandoned ruins of a complex known as “Charybdis.” There are just two problems: the colony belongs to the Iranian state, so diplomacy is strained at best, and the complex is located above a series of hidden caves that contain deadly secrets. When a bizarre ship lands on a nearby island, one of the workers is attacked by a taloned creature, and trust evaporates between the Iranians and Americans. The McAllen Integrations crew are imprisoned, accused as spies, but manage to send out a distress signal… to the Colonial Marines.

Reissues

Port of Freedom
German heartthrob Hans Albers stars as Hannes, a former sailor who now works as an entertainer, playing his accordion in the streets and cabarets of the garish red light district of Hamburg. When he meets a headstrong young farmgirl (Ilse Werner), Hannes’s passions are reawakened, and he is torn between his love for Gisa and the beckoning call of the sea.

Pump Up the Volume
By day, Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is a painfully shy new kid in a small Arizona town. But by night, hes Hard Harry, the cynical, uncensored DJ of a pirate radio station. Idolized by his high school classmates (who are unaware of his real identity), Harry becomes a hero with his fiercely funny monologues on sex, love, and rock and roll. But when he exposes the corrupt school principal, she calls in the FCC to shut Harry down.

John Hughes 5-Movie Collection
From teenage heartache to adult comedy-of-errors, get all the essential John Hughes movies including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and She’s Having a Baby in one awesome collection!

Lady Sings the Blues
The essence of Billie Holiday, one of America’s most loved and memorable blues singers, is captured brilliantly in a tour-de-force debut performance by singer Diana Ross. This stunning biography received 5 Academy Award nominations, including Diana Ross for “Best Actress”. Starring opposite Ross are Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor.

The Hand That Feeds The Dead
Baron Ivan Rassimov, a brilliant doctor, died horribly during a laboratory fire. Since that day, his daughter Tanja retired to a life of seclusion, covers her disfigured face. Professor Nijinski once a student of Rassimov, has married Tanja, and is trying to restore her lost beauty. However, to reach his goal, professor Nijinski needs beautiful young victims for his transplant experiments.

Castle Of The Creeping Flesh
In an ancient castle, a mad scientist is trying to revive his dead daughter by an operation, but there are certain body parts he needs that he can’t get. His problem is solved when a group of young party-goers stumble into his castle.

Shogun’s Joy Of Torture
From the outrageous imagination of cult director Teruo Ishii comes this infamous omnibus of three shocking tales of crime and punishment.

My Dream is Yours
Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) directed this frothy but moving musical starring Doris Day and Eve Arden. A talented young singer on her way to stardom is in love with another singing star.

Plague Town
For a dysfunctional American family, a trip to the Irish countryside is about to go very wrong. Folksy locals have a sinister agenda. The forest is filled with packs of giggling, deformed children who enjoy playing sadistically depraved games. And in the nearby village, kindly grandmothers knit a waking nightmare. Now the ultimate horror is about to hit home-in a place called Plague Town.

The Attic Expeditions
Trevor (Andras Jones) is a young man who has been sentenced to a long stay in a mental hospital after brutally killing his girlfriend. However, the longer Trevor is in the stir, the more he wonders if the murder ever really happened, or if it’s all just a horrible fantasy implanted in his brain by Dr. Elk (Jeffrey Combs), the sinister director of the asylum.

New On Digital HD

Silk Road
Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) launches the website Silk Road, a completely anonymous drug market, catching the focus of disgraced DEA agent Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke). As their private lives erode, they are trapped in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse.

Pinocchio
Academy Award winner Roberto Benigni stars as Geppetto in the enchantingly reimagined Pinocchio, about a puppet that magically comes to life and dreams of being a real boy.

TV on Blu-ray and DVD

Betty White’s Pet Set: The Complete Series (DVD)
In 1971, just prior to Betty’s sitcom superstardom, she created and hosted a weekly program, BETTY WHITE’S PET SET, celebrating her lifelong love of animals. Produced with her husband Allen Ludden (Password), BETTY WHITE’S PET SET — not seen in decades — gave Betty the opportunity to welcome celebrity friends with their dogs, cats and horses in additional to a wide range of wild animals including tigers, bears, elephants, lions, wolves, gorillas, chimps, cougars, cheetahs, seals, kangaroos, zebras, eagles, snakes, penguins and many more creatures both in the studio and on location.

Inside Amy Schumer: The Complete Series (DVD)
Stand-up superstar Amy Schumer steps off the stage and right into a series of embarrassing episodes. From envelope pushing sketches (Two Girls, One Cup auditions, anyone?) to wildly inappropriate interviews with real people, this is life as she knows it.

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series (DVD)
The ‘60s gave us “in-crowds,” “be-ins” and “love-ins,” and starting in 1968, the happening place for free-form comedy was Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, broadcast from beautiful downtown Burbank. Straight man Rowan and wisecracking co-host Martin led a gaggle of goofballs through a rapid-fire assault of one-liners, skits, bits and non sequiturs that left viewers in hysterics and disbelief. Anything and anyone in the public eye was a target. Political correctness? Forget it! The groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning show anchored the Monday 8 p.m. time slot on NBC until March 12th, 1973.

The Croods: A New Age

CS Set Visit: Director Adam Wingard on Godzilla vs. Kong!

by Max Evry

CS Set Visit: Director Adam Wingard on Godzilla vs. Kong!

CS Set Visit: Director Adam Wingard on Godzilla vs. Kong!

Back in March 2019 ComingSoon.net took a trip to Village Roadshow Studios in idyllic Queensland, Australia to visit the set of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong! The fourth entry in their MonsterVerse series follows in the footsteps of previous entries Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), each of which had a unique filmmaker at the helm. For the $200 million GvK the studio brought in noted genre director Adam Wingard (Death Note, The Guest, Blair Witch), who had the unique experience of making a sequel before the previous installment King of the Monsters had even been seen by audiences.

RELATED: CS Visits the Australia Set of Godzilla vs. Kong!

“I really love sequels,” stated Wingard during our discussion after the trailer was released. “One of my favorite films is ‘Terminator 2,’ and also ‘Aliens.’ I love sequels where they can take something somebody else has done and then do their own spin on it and expand. This film is directly taking place after ‘King of Monsters,’ but it’s also way in the future from ‘Skull Island,’ which took place in the seventies. One of the most important things was that this feels like a legitimate sequel to those movies, that this feels like a legitimate match up between Godzilla vs Kong, even though Kong is a little bit different because he’s aged from the time of the last movie.”

While we were unable to chat with Wingard while we were on set, we talked to him shortly after the release of the amazing trailer and the simultaneous HBO Max and theatrical release on March 31 was announced. Interested in whether or not the disappointing returns and fan complaints about King of the Monsters affected Godzilla vs Kong, Wingard denied much in the way of course correction, and with good reason.

“One of the reasons why they brought me for a follow up to ‘King of Monsters’ is because I am so different than Michael Dougherty as a director,” Wingard explained. “He leans more into the horror realm, and his approach to Godzilla is really scary in a lot of ways, and I think that they knew that the next film after that had to be different regardless of how it was going to be received. My take was always going to be tonally very fun and colorful, so fortunately it didn’t really affect us too much in a literal way. There wasn’t a major course correction in terms of what the film was going to be about or how we had to approach certain action scenes or any of that kind of stuff, because fortunately we were already doing our own thing and it matched up with what it felt like people had been wanting anyways. Obviously I’m aware that people felt like the movie was too dark in places, or there were too many particle effects. My version always had the ocean battle with this magic hour sunset look. My very first image of the movie was King Kong and Godzilla fighting in a neon futuristic synth wave city. That already has lighting built into it because that’s what the whole sequence is, and so those kind of things didn’t really get affected thankfully.”

The two title monsters had previously met up to duke it out in Ishirō Honda’s 1962 cult classic King Kong vs. Godzilla. Wingard’s film dispenses with the painfully dated depiction of islanders as well as the man-in-suit practical effects, but it also differs from its predecessor in one key way: Continuity.

“Part of the problem with ‘King Kong versus Godzilla,’ the original movie, is that we’d already established Godzilla, he looks basically like he did in the earlier films, but this was a new King Kong,” opined Wingard. “This was the first Toho version of King Kong. He looks a little weird, and he’s not stop motion either, you know? So he feels like a totally new character. It’s a totally new interpretation. So in a weird way, you don’t feel like this is really King Kong versus Godzilla. You’re like, ‘It’s Godzilla, but this other guy is a different version of King Kong.’ I look at ‘Batman vs Superman,’ as an example -and this is just my opinion- but my issue with that movie is it’s a new Batman. It’s Ben Affleck as Batman. Up until then Christian Bale was the definitive Batman, so it felt like we’re doing Batman vs Superman, we’re also restarting Batman. So it doesn’t have that feeling of the ultimate match up of these characters. There’s something off about it, and so going into this movie I didn’t want that feeling. Normally Legendary would allow the directors to put their spin on Godzilla and I could’ve changed them. I like how Dougherty updated Godzilla with the classic maple leafs on his back. But for me I wanted this to feel like the Godzilla we’ve been used to for the last few movies, and I wanted Kong to feel like the Kong that we had in ‘Skull Island’ so that when they fought it really felt like this was really them going at each other. Even though I probably would have liked to, for instance, made Godzilla’s head a little bit bigger, his head’s a little small, you know? That complaint is not lost on me, but at the end of the day, it’s like, ‘This is the Godzilla that we have here and let’s see how he matches up with King Kong.’ Let’s not try to like, change it up and do something different.”

“When Adam came on we had an idea for where wanted to go with the movie,” explained producer Alex Garcia. “We had a really early treatment about what the movie could be, but a lot of heavy lifting was done with Adam. So while elements of that are still what the initial story was and is still there, Adam came in right at the moment where we could say ‘Okay, we’re making this movie here’s what we’re thinking,’ and he was really able to take some of these elements further. We had loosely talked about the idea of this corporation and of Hollow Earth, but there’s also a through line about conspiracy theories. It plays with those ideas and why we come up with those things and the reactions to dangers and things we’re afraid of. We come up with all these things to often help to mask and help to process those things – and that’s something Adam’s really interested in. So that is seeded in through all of this and it really took the movie further.”

“When it comes to these godlike creatures, the movie itself is split into two concurrent storylines, which you could organize as Team Godzilla/Team Kong,” said Wingard. “Team Godzilla’s being led by Millie Bobby Brown and Brian Tyree Henry. Team Kong is on the other side of the world being led by Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall. Each one of the human’s stories really punches up what the monsters are going through and gives us more emphasis. It’s an exploration of the future and the past, and you see a little bit of that in the trailer with the neon lights and putting Godzilla in that kind of setting.”

Of course in our set visit report we got to see the amazing set of the control room inside King Ghidorah’s skull, which Millie Bobby Brown and her friends infiltrate. Wingard helped put that scene we saw shooting into context… without spoiling too much.

“In a subtle way Ghidorah kind of haunts this movie,” Wingard teased. “That’s the most recent event, in terms of the monster world, because this film takes place a relatively short period afterwards, but specifics is just one of those things where I can’t really talk about it too much because I want people to have as pure of an experience as they can.”

RELATED: POLL RESULTS: Who Should Win in Godzilla vs. Kong?

Between our set visit and the trailer it’s easy to see why Wingard’s vision for the film is perfect. He watched every Godzilla movie ever made before embarking on it, so he was aware that when the Toho Godzilla films began in the 50’s they were somber, made in a post-Hiroshima context. The first few films in Legendary’s MonsterVerse mirrored that, but as the Toho films went on they became more colorful, outlandish and fun. Godzilla vs Kong looks to bring the fun back into the new franchise.

“The thing that attracted me to doing the MonsterVerse version of Godzilla and Kong is the fact that each one of these films by every director before me -Gareth Edwards, Mike Dougherty, Jordan Vogt-Roberts- each one was able to put their stamp on these different films,” he said. “Each movie feels like that director’s film. I wanted to be able to make not just the Adam Wingard version of Godzilla and Kong but also the most Adam Wingard movie that I can make. I wanted to get everything that represented me as a filmmaker into this, and all the things that made me excited about doing a monster movie in general. Part of that is just a tone thing. I like movies with a fun tone. This is the first PG-13 film I’ve ever done. I’ve never done a movie that wasn’t rated R, wasn’t violent and lots of swearing and stuff. That was a unique experience, but not a difficult one because my leanings and my background in terms of what made me want to become a filmmaker in the first place are always films made for kids. A lot of them were rated R films, but they’re still made for kids. For instance, ‘Terminator 2’ is like a gateway horror film. It’s really made for kid sensibilities, but it’s rated R, it’s very violent, but not so much so that you can’t watch it as a kid. Sci-fi was actually my way into getting into ‘Terminator,’ ‘Aliens,’ and all those things. Those were the movies that gatewayed me into horror, and this movie is returning to sci-fi roots that originally sucked me into wanting to become a filmmaker in the first place.”

Godzilla vs. Kong is set to open in theaters and stream on HBO Max beginning March 31.

CS Interview: Matthew Modine Talks Wrong Turn & Love for Horror Genre

by Grant Hermanns

CS Interview: Matthew Modine Talks Wrong Turn & Love for Horror Genre

CS Interview: Matthew Modine talks Wrong Turn & love for horror genre

Just in time for the reboot’s Blu-ray release, ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Matthew Modine (Stranger Things) to discuss Wrong Turn and his love for the horror genre!

WARNING: Some spoilers lie ahead for 2021’s Wrong Turn

RELATED: CS Interview: Writer/Director Sean Ellis on Werewolf Thriller Eight for Silver [Sundance]

ComingSoon.net: Wrong Turn is a franchise that’s been around for a while, though I was honestly surprised it was getting rebooted so soon, but what about the project really interested in you in wanting to be a part of it?

Matthew Modine: Well, I understood it, and I loved the genre. My father was a drive-in theater manager and I grew up watching these kind of horror movies at his drive-in. A lot of Roger Corman kind of horror films, Jack Nicholson was in some of them, Boris Karloff. I mean, there were so many that we used to have what we called Dusk Till Dawn screenings, where from the time that the sun went down to the time that the sun came up, there’d be about five horror movies that we’d play. It was always a challenge to see if you could stay up and watch all five of them, and then my dad, he told me not to watch Night of the Living Dead and it was in black and white. So, instead of sitting out on the ground at the drive-in and putting the speaker next to me and watching the movie because he didn’t want me to watch it, I snuck in the projection booth and I watched it without sound sitting next to the projector and it was just absolutely terrifying. I think it was more frightening to see blood in black and white and watching a movie like that, because actually, you don’t need any sound to watch Night of the Living Dead. It’s almost a perfect old, silent movie and it really messed me up. Just as I was about to get over my fear of horror movies, I saw The Exorcist, William Friedkin’s masterpiece with Linda Blair, and just as I was about to get over it, I went through it all over again.

CS: That’s quite the double whammy of horror movies for when you’re younger.

MM:  Yeah, so this was really easy for me to imagine myself in the circumstances of the character because I have a daughter, I have a son. And god forbid anything should ever happen to either one of them, if they go missing, but as a parent, mother or father, you do everything you could to go find them and rescue them from whatever peril it was that they may find themselves in.

CS: Were you familiar with the franchise prior to this one?

MM: Yes, I think the first one. I didn’t see the subsequent ones, but the first one was good.

CS: What did you think when you got the script for this one and saw how different it was from the original?

MM: Well, it was so relatable that you could imagine that, you know, if I were African American, I could relate to this film in a sense of the wrong turn that Trayvon Martin made going into a gated community, a closed community and facing that nightmare. This is a story about these kids, these young kids who go into this old town and that was their first wrong turn and then subsequently going on this hike and making a wrong turn and finding themselves in a different kind of, let’s call it a gated community, and what they’re now going to have to deal with. The wonderful thing is that the author, the original author of the Wrong Turn movies really gives it a spin and makes you have to wonder who were the bad guys? You’ve got the terrific Bill Sage playing that role, and bringing his logic and illogic to the circumstances my daughter and her boyfriend find themselves in and the others. The justice that they’re going to have to face that is The Foundation’s justice.

CS: Even though you didn’t have too many scenes with them, what was it like sort of building a rapport with Charlotte and Bill for your scenes together?

MM: With Bill, he’s just an absolute professional, he’s super charming. Also, it’s important because she was really terrific, Amy Warner, who played the lady who tells me about the people who live on the mountain. She was terrific, she ran the inn and then she comes into the bar when I’m having food and explains who The Foundation is and what I’m up against. But Bill Sage was terrific and Charlotte Vega, she’s just really professional. She  showed up and she really focused on her work and that made it really easy to work with her. As I say, the circumstances of climbing the mountain and the physical aspects of making the movie, because we were on a real mountain really hiking in and really doing those things, and having a daughter, there wasn’t a lot of what you’d call acting required. I just had to, what we say, react to the situations, reacting to the environment, reacting to the physical aspects of the film, reacting to the devices that The Foundation has designed to kill people, reacting to the situation that my movie daughter found herself in.

CS: Since you do mention a lot of the physical elements of it, were you much of an outdoorsy, nature kind of person prior to this? Or did this sort of open you up for heading into the hills a little more often?

MM: I loved going hiking. I walk every day about six miles. That’s what I do for exercise, just to get out and go marching around and looking at things and try to always take a different trail, a different path, different walks through town so you see different things. It’s just a good way to get exercise and to think, which I’m not really thinking about anything. Sometimes I listen to books on tape, but you know, I love getting out. I wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail, about 10 years ago I was working in England and I started walking about 10 miles a day because I said I think that’s what I could do, maybe I could do 15 miles a day on the Appalachian Trail, depending on how steep the trails were. So, I started preparing to do it and then I got Lyme Disease. Back east, we have Lyme Disease, I think it’s made its way out west, but yeah it almost killed me. You know, going on the Appalachian Trail, you would be faced with that every day. You have to do what you call tick checks and be like a monkey with whoever it is you’re hiking with and really groom each other every day because you just don’t want to get that. The tick is so small, it’s about the size of a poppyseed and boy will that spoil your day, getting Lyme Disease.

Click here to purchase your own Blu-ray copy of Wrong Turn!

CS: Yeah I can’t even imagine, so I’m sure between that and working on this movie, the Appalachian Trail doesn’t seem quite as inviting. [laughs]

MM: Yeah, it’s not as attractive as it was before, yeah. [laughs]

CS: For this film because you get your fair share of wounds in it, what was it like sort of filming those sequences?

MM: Well, I had a good time. I mean, it was really fun. The director Mike Nelson, he was really prepared and knew what he wanted, so he really understood the genre and he knew how to cut together an action sequence so that it was fun and dramatic. So I got to say, it was a really pleasurable experience making the movie.

CS: If they were able to find a narrative path for you to return along with everybody else, would you be open to it?

MM: The survivors. Yeah, I would love to hear how that could be turned into a sequel, you know, to have a sequel to that story. But I guess more of those people from The Foundation would come down. That would be my one critique of the movie was they put that title card at the end of the movie after and I think a lot of people might walk out of the movie at that moment not realizing that my daughter is about to kill everybody in the van, in the little camper van that they’re in. By the way, that’s my daughter singing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land” in that sequence.

CS: Your actual daughter or your —?

MM: My actual daughter, Ruby, yeah, Ruby Modine singing.

CS: Oh wow, that’s awesome. I didn’t even pick up on that. Did Mike Nelson talk to her for that?

MM: Yeah, he got in contact with her. He heard her, I was playing some of her music when we were making the movie. She had an EP come out and she sent like four songs and he was like, “Wow, she’s really good. She’s really talented.” I said, “Yeah, if you ever have an opportunity, if you want her to sing something, you should contact her.” And then, he wanted to put “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land” in the film, so he contacted her and they did that together. They worked on how that version, that kind of creepy version of the song — she also has a new album out also called “Infinity Mixtape.”

CS: That’s awesome, I’ll have to look into the album. What was it like for you to see the film get its limited theatrical release, and now leading up to it, it’s Blu-ray release?

MM: Well, I mean, obviously when we made the film there was no COVID and how the whole world has gone upside down in this, with this pandemic, it’s really unfortunate because I would’ve loved to have gone to see the movie in a theater with an audience. That would’ve been so much fun, I know that it’s doing very well in Australia, where they have a lot of outdoor theaters in summertime in Australia. So, there’s a lot of outdoor theaters and people going to see it and it’s a big hit down there, but yeah, I mean, you just have to do what the circumstances — where they say it’s not the cards you’re dealt, it’s the way you play them. The circumstances are what they are and people aren’t going to movie theaters, so I just look forward to the film doing as best it can on Blu-ray and streaming.

RELATED: Evil Dead Rise: Bruce Campbell Offers New Update on Fifth Installment

The Wrong Turn reboot will feature a cross-country hiking expedition that puts a group of friends in the land of an inclusive society called The Foundation, described as people who have lived in the mountains since before the Civil War. The friends soon discover they are under a different rule of law, and may not be the victims they thought they were.

Purchase your copy of the 2003 movie here!

The film is directed by Mike P. Nelson (The Domestics) from a script written by the original film’s writer Alan B. McElroy. It will be led by Spanish-British actress Charlotte Vega (The Lodgers), Matthew Modine (47 Meters Down), Damian Maffei (The Strangers: Prey at Night), Bill Sage (Hap and Leonard), Emma Dumont (The Gifted), Valerie Jane Parker (Greenleaf), Chaney Morrow (Haunt) and David Hutchinson (American Horror Story).

The horror franchise began in 2003 with a theatrical film that was a modest box office success and received generally mixed reviews, spawning a direct-to-video franchise made up of two sequels and three prequels running up to 2014 before going dormant.

Wrong Turn is now available on digital platforms and Blu-ray!

CS Visits the Australia Set of Godzilla vs. Kong!

by Max Evry

CS Visits the Australia Set of Godzilla vs. Kong!

CS Visits the Australia Set of Godzilla vs. Kong!

On March 26, 2019 ComingSoon.net took a jaunt to Village Roadshow Studios idyllic Queensland, Australia to visit the set of a little movie with two very big protagonists: Godzilla vs. Kong! Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary’s fourth entry in their MonsterVerse series follows in the footsteps of previous entries Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), all of which share the common thread of the omnipresent Monarch organization monitoring and attempting control of the iconic monsters referred to as Titans.

While there have been many films featuring both Godzilla and King Kong separately, there is a precedent for the two to duke it out with Ishirō Honda’s 1962 cult classic King Kong vs. Godzilla. This new $200 million version from noted genre director Adam Wingard (Death Note, The Guest, Blair Witch) dispenses with the painfully dated depiction of islanders, man-in-suit effects and pretty much everything else from the ’62 film in favor of a neon-soaked modern take that is not a remake but definitely a follow-up to what was mapped out in King of the Monsters, a movie that -at the time of filming- had yet to come out in theaters. Thus, both we as visitors to the set and Wingard as a filmmaker had the unique experience of experiencing a sequel-in-the-making before the previous installment had even been seen by audiences.

RELATED: POLL RESULTS: Who Should Win in Godzilla vs. Kong?

Upon entering the War Room we are greeted by vivid neon-soaked production paintings of Kong and Godzilla going at it something fierce in the streets of Hong Kong in the film’s third act. These are instantly iconic images of the two cinematic beasts swinging parkhour-style from buildings or blasting fire breath at each other, respectively. We catch a glimpse at HEAVs: Hollow Earth Aerial Vehicles, a reference to the (IRL crackpot) theory espoused by Dr. Houston Brooks (Joe Morton/Corey Hawkins) in King of the Monsters/Skull Island which turns out to be true. The paintings also tease a massive action set piece where Godzilla attacks a flotilla of ships carrying Kong, where the two of them first face off.

We learn about a few changes since the events of KOTM: Kyle Chandler’s Dr. Mark Russell is now a director at Monarch (marking Chandler’s second Kong movie after Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong), and there has been a lot of rebuilding in the wake of monster destruction which is mostly handled by the powerful Apex Corporation. Kong is significantly larger than he was (he was still an adolescent in Skull Island) and Godzilla has suddenly become unstable after a few years of keeping the other Titans contained. Russell’s daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) believes Apex is somehow behind Godzilla’s erratic behavior.

“The movie opens on Skull Island, which has changed a lot in the 40-something years since we last saw it in ‘Kong,’ and when the movie first opens we are witnessing the beginning of a really massive event, a massive mission being undertaken to stem this global threat,” says producer Alex Garcia, who has shepherded all four MonsterVerse movies to the screen. “The Titans are around the planet, they have largely remained dormant at the end of King of the Monsters, we see that there are many Titans in the world and Godzilla has been reinstated as the apex predator and he’s maintaining a balance. But as we come into this movie Godzilla has been acting erratically for the last few months – no one knows why. He’s been attacking certain cities, facilities. Madison Russell – who is Mille Bobby Brown’s character – she is really the advocate for Godzilla in this film. She spends the film trying to vindicate Godzilla. She believes, with all her heart, that for a lot of personal and emotional reasons that there must be a reason Godzilla is doing what he’s doing. She believes that while he’s not benevolent to us, that what he wants is good for all mankind. The other side of the story is that Monarch, in reacting to this global fear of the creatures, has spent a lot of time and a lot of money creating entrances into the Hollow Earth, these areas where it can be an easier entry into that eco-system.”

“Madison, who is aware of all this, decides to go off and find out on her own, because she’s afraid of what’s going to happen to Godzilla, she goes on a fact-finding journey to dig into what she believes is a conspiracy caused by this organization called Apex. She launched off with a good friend named Josh (Julian Dennison), and they eventually intersect with Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), who is a former, disgruntled employee of Apex. The three of them become this funny trio trying to uncover the mystery at the center of Apex.”

Appropriately when we first step on set we pass an oversized Kong/Godzilla-sized slate made for the production. Turns out that everything is big here. Entering the massive “Skull Set” on Stage 8, we are greeted by a MASSIVE practical Ghidorah skull, which was acquired by Charles Dance’s Alan Jonah with the flesh still on it at the tail end of KOTM. There are many multi-colored ultraviolet wires going into the skull from the ceiling. It is highly detailed, with many machine elements embedded into the design. There is a portal through the jaw, with is a control room inside the skull sporting a computer array, where the floor is black and reflective and everything is bathed in blue light, with the overall feel of an MDM nightclub.

We see Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Brian Tyree Henry (Joker) and Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2) rehearse a scene where they infiltrate the entrance of the jaw. They look above at the clear glass floor and see people walking above them. As they enter sneakily with Millie in the lead, Julian asks, “What are you doing, Madison?”

Above them Shun Oguri as Ren Serizawa says, “Thank you for your service.”

“This is a stupid plan,” whispers Julian.

Then the 15-year-old Millie shoots past her mark by accident, and exclaims “Oh s**t, I’m sorry,” breaking character. She moves back and they continue the take.

“I play Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe)’s son,” says Oguri. “He works for Apex, which is a tech company, a privately owned tech company, that’s trying to solve the Titan problems. And he is one of their scientists. His father was very occupied solving world problems with Godzilla, and he did sort of follow into his father’s footsteps, but he doesn’t believe he was heard by his father. In general, he is a character who wants to protect the Earth and that is his goal in general. I think the means to get to the goal is a little bit different from everyone else, and his father.”

“Five years have gone by and Madison has grown up,” Brown tells us later. “It’s definitely a coming of age story for her. Her storyline has definitely evolved greatly in the way she deals with things, her attitude towards life, how much more stronger of a person. Really trying to follow in her mother’s footsteps as well as strength-wise she’s becoming more strong, more independent and understanding what she needs to do. Five years are gone by and she’s basically a badass. In ‘King of the Monsters’ her relationship with Godzilla was pretty distant. There are moments in ‘King of the Monsters’ where she gets to have amazing scenes with him, but definitely this movie is much more about the technical side of it, learning more about the data of him as a Titan. It’s much more technical and she’s becoming more knowledgeable of him.”

“My character, Josh, he’s kind of a nerd, adds Dennison. “He doesn’t really have a lot of friends and Madison’s kind of his only friend and he’s always trailing behind her and she’s always very direct. He’s kind of the realist in the duo, and he kind of brings it, ‘Oh, we shouldn’t do that because we’ll die.’ And she’s, ‘No, it will be fine.’ So, I think they play very well. And they’re a very good mix of just craziness.”

“My character is Bernie Hayes, he used to be an employee of Apex Industries, kind of one of the cogs in the chain of all the things they do there,” says Henry. “He lost his wife along the way and kind of turned in on himself and decided to expose Apex for what it really is. He’s kind of like an inside conspiracy theorist, he runs his own podcast that kind of exposes what’s going on in this random world of technology we have found ourselves in and the corruptness of it all. He ends up being befriended by these two kids – Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and Josh (Julian Dennison) – to kind of embark on this journey with them to expose this industry that is kind of bringing amongst the destruction with Godzilla – and all the things going on with Godzilla and Kong.”

Each time the team goes again for another take the actors change it up slightly, keeping it fresh. On take 2 Brian says, “This doesn’t seem like a really smart idea. They can come back at any time.” Then Shun enters from above.

On take 3, Julian says, “What are you guys doing?”

“C’mon,” replies Bryan. Millie looks tense while she waits underneath the translucent floor, then covers her mouth.

On take 4, Julian starts with, “Madison, wait.” Then Brian whispers/orders, “Down down down down.”

On take 5 Julian starts with, “What’re you guys doing?” Then Brian whispers/orders “Get down, get down.”

Millie looks at Shun above her, following him with her hands and eyes, then moves forward. Brian reluctantly follows, exclaiming, “That’s it, follow the teenagers.”

Take 6 is similar but moves a lot faster, with Julian starting with, “What’re you doing?” and Brian ending on the sarcastic, “Okay, it’s an adventure.”

On Take 7, Brian takes it further, this time buttoning the scene on, “Okay… ’cause following teenagers always works, Bernie. I’m not gonna survive… You’re gonna survive.”

Then on Take 8, Brian says, “Yeah, that’s it Bernie…. ’cause following teenagers always works out in your favor, right? Now I sound like a pedophile, can’t do that.”

“They’re absolutely incredible, you know, says Henry of his co-stars. “I get a little nervous sometimes when I think about working with teenagers in this capacity because what they have to do and what they’re called upon is so difficult and so hard, and especially with Millie’s character there’s an emotional center for what she’s lost from the previous movie. So my duty is just to be there to nurture them, and just protect them in this way. I kind of refer to myself as the Brienne of Tarth of this movie (laughs). Other than that, you know, it’s a weird kind of comradery of being the adult with these teenagers and you wanna make sure there is an authority figure, that there is someone watching out for them, but at the same, I’m still going through what I’m going through of trying to figure out how this industry can do something so harsh and so mean and so cruel to the world, while also trying to give them hope for the future. I feel like that’s my place as Brian with them as actors too, honestly.”

Godzilla vs. Kong is set to open in theaters and stream on HBO Max beginning March 31.

CS Interview: Michael K. Williams on Body Brokers, F is for Family & More

by Grant Hermanns

CS Interview: Michael K. Williams on Body Brokers, F is for Family & More

CS Interview: Michael K. Williams on Body Brokers, F is for Family & more

Just in time for the true crime drama’s digital debut, ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with four-time Emmy nominee Michael K. Williams to discuss Body Brokers as well as his possible return to the final season of Netflix’s F is for Family and hopes for a second season of HBO’s Lovecraft Country.

RELATED: CS Video: Land Interviews With Director & Stars Robin Wright & Demián Bichir

ComingSoon.net: Body Brokers is a really interesting concept and it’s a field I feel is not really explored too often on film. What about the project really drew you to it?

Michael K. Williams: I was pretty taken back that this is actually based on real events. This is, in my opinion the story and the poster child of capitalism taking advantage of vulnerable people. The same mentality that we reveal in Body Brokers, to me, is the same mentality with for-profit prisons, like these institutions are meant to rehabilitate and help to correct people’s wrongs and they get exploited. It becomes more about filling the bed than actually helping people that are in those beds, it’s just kind of disheartening, in my opinion. Then there was Wood. Wood was a huge draw for me. In a lot of the films or the stories that we’ve told or that I’ve seen that deal with addicts or recovery, it’s implied that just because a person puts down the drug or alcohol that all their problems go away and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The drug is not the problem, the drug is a symptom of the problem and there’s all sorts of character defects that still exist there when the drugs are gone. To me, Wood was a perfect example of that.

CS: So what kind of research did you find yourself conducting prior to starting filming, to really get in tune with the story?

MKW: There wasn’t really much research that was needed. John Swab, in my opinion, he did all the groundwork for us. You know, for me at least, I just needed to lock in and look for the truth that was already on the page. But Wood and the capitalists, it was kind of black and white until it came time when we had to make a decision that involved Utah toward the end. Other than that, he’s pretty much black and white, man. He’s a poster child for capitalists and as far as the world was concerned, everything you see on that and every frame of that movie, John Swab had already put it on the page.

CS: What did you find were some of the biggest creative challenges for you then, getting to the heart of Wood?

MKW: I don’t know if it was anything that was hard, but I will tell you one of the more liberating scenes when he stomps that doctor out to death, when he kills that guy. That felt really liberating in that moment, I understood where that rage is coming from of being looked down upon. It felt familiar and there was also the moment when he realized that he cared. He genuinely cared about Utah, when they had that conversation in the car, you know? That’s a really beautiful moment between Wood and Utah and Jack Kilmer, man, he just brought such a vulnerability and an honesty and a strength to Utah, it was just all right there in his eyes, man. Those two moments were very liberating for me.

Click here to rent or purchase Body Brokers!

CS: Since you mention Jack, so much of the film really rides on the evolving chemistry that you two have with one another. What was it like for you sort of building that chemistry with Jack prior to filming?

MKW: It was effortless, he and I, I think we met on set. If you ever get to talk to him, he is effortless to, you know, I can’t really explain it, but like we say in Brooklyn, real recognize real. He’s a real young man. You know, we met on set and we actually ended up, once we worked together, then we began to hang out. It was a flow, like we hung out a little bit in Tulsa and I got to know him off the set. That happened again, like I said, after we started working, so he brings this energy to the set that you look him in his eyes and there’s nothing that needs to be said. You know where you need to go to connect because he’s all the way in it and truly, I really enjoy working with him, really enjoy it.

CS: That’s fantastic. What was it also like then building the chemistry with Frank Grillo? You two don’t have too many scenes together, but the chemistry you do have in those few scenes is really intriguing to watch.

MKW: I love the connection between — I forget Frank’s character’s name right now, but I love the dynamic because after we see Wood lose his temper and refer to his old ways, we see when he’s talking to Frank Grillo’s character, all of a sudden now the man becomes the child. You know, there was this moment when they’re talking in the parking lot and Wood is asking him what to do with the body and you could see the change in Wood’s energy, like Frank’s character became the fixer and Wood became the bright-eyed, the wide-eyed kid who needed to be told what to do. Frank brings this thing, he’s got this sinister-ness to him, but he gives you this assurance that everything’s going to be all right. He brought that vernacular, again effortless, he gave me what I needed to shift. Because we need to see a shift in Wood at that point. We didn’t have many scenes together, we really had like, I think really that one, but yeah, I needed that. What he brought to the table, I needed that for my shift, and it was a great exchange of energy, great.

CS: A lot of the shooting locations, too, in the film really interested me, it seemed like some of it was here in LA, but then some of it seemed really sort of ambiguous as to where it was. Could you tell me what shooting on some of the locations was like?

MKW: Most of the film, I think, I remember was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I believe that’s where John Swab is from, and that’s a really forgotten city for a multitude of reasons. The opioid epidemic ran rapid there, if you remember when one of those pharma companies had to pay off all those millions of dollars or trillions of dollars or billions, whatever, but I think Johnson & Johnson made the payout for the opioid, the epidemic, when they caught them coming and going. That money went to the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma. So you know, to see the city coming out of that and there are a lot of people hurting themselves in that city, and you can see the city trying to come back from that when we were filming. That was really humbling to see. What blew my mind, what really dropped me to my knees was actually standing on the corner of Greenwood, Archer and Pine which is where Black Wall Street was, and knowing what happened there. I don’t know if you know this, but we were filming — I filmed Body Brokers while I was on break from filming Lovecraft Country, So to have that experience of going to Tulsa to tell a story like this, like Body Brokers, in a city like Tulsa, to have the opportunity to see where the ancestors used to live and what it looks like now, I can’t really put it into words, electrifying, maybe. A lot of emotion. I want to be clear, they’re coming back. The spirit of the people is alive and you see that. They may be down, but they ain’t out. The people, the spirit of the people in Tulsa, Blacks and whites, you can see the fight in their eyes, man. That city is on the mend and I just want to make that clear. I saw that, it was very humbling to see the fight that was still in that city.

CS: That’s incredible. Since you do mention it, Lovecraft Country ended not too long ago with its first season and there’s been a lot of — personally, I’m hopeful for a second season, but we just heard word that the writers are still looking for a possible path for the future. Can you see yourself coming back for more, if they found a path for Montrose?

MKW: Yeah, you know, it’s a lot of we’ll have to wait and see. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in Hollywood, is they say to never say never. [Laughs] But yeah, you know, I could see me going back if things aligned and the paths were still aligned. You know, that show took three years to write, so I’m not expecting anything anytime soon. By the time they were ready to start casting actors, those writers have already given two and a half years of their life in the writers’ room. I could be wrong, but I think it would be very ambitious of us as an audience to expect another season right away. I could be wrong, I don’t know.

CS: Sure. I can appreciate that. For my final question, we also heard back in October that F is for Family would be coming back for one more season and I’m curious if Bill Burr has reached out to you to have you come back as Smokey for any more episodes in the final season?

MKW: [In Smokey’s Voice] Damn, they want to hear that Smokey might be coming back? I don’t know, motherfucker, I hear he might be coming back. He might, he might, he might be coming back. One mo’ time, one mo’ time. [Laughs] I heard rumors that there’s going to be another season and I do hear that.

CS: That would be awesome to see you come back in that role because that is one of my favorite side characters on that show.

MKW: I think you stand alone because that’d be one of the funniest things I’ve ever worked on that no one knows about, so I mean, that really made my day that you even know what that is because like, nobody in my house knows. [Laughs]

RELATED: Lovecraft Country Writers Plotting Out Season 2 With Hopes of Renewal

Written and directed by John Swab, Body Brokers is based on a true story and centers on a drug addict who is brought to Los Angeles for treatment, but soon learns the treatment center is not meant to help people but instead acts as a coverup for a fraud operation enlisting addicts to recruit other addicts.

The ensemble cast for the film includes Jack Kilmer (The Nice Guys), Williams, Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day), Alice Englert (Them That Follow), Peter Greene (The Mask), Frank Grillo (Boss Level), Melissa Leo (I Know This Much is True) and Thomas Dekker (Miss Bala)

Body Brokers is now available on digital platforms and VOD, the first season of Lovecraft Country is available to stream on HBO Max and the first four seasons of F is for Family are available to stream on Netflix now!

Stump the Editor Episode 6: David Koechner!

by Max Evry

Stump the Editor Episode 6: David Koechner!

Stump the Editor Episode 6: David Koechner!

Welcome to the latest episode of ComingSoon.net’s podcast, Stump the Editor! This week actor and comedian David Koechner (Anchorman, Krampus) drops by to duel with CS editor Max Evry for movie trivia domination! Koechner’s latest comedy film The Right One is now available on VOD, Digital and Blu-ray!

Join host Kristy Puchko (Pajiba, The /Filmcast) as she pits ComingSoon.net’s Managing Editor Max Evry against a string of celebrity guests in a grueling round of movie trivia. Then, in the second round, the guests get to turn the tables on Max by asking him trivia questions about their own career! Listen or download the podcast via the player below!

Click here to rent or purchase The Right One!

Starring Nick Thune, Cleopatra Coleman, Iliza Shlesinger and David Koechner, The Right One is a heartfelt and hilarious rom-com following Sara, a novelist struggling with writer’s block who needs inspiration—and finds it when she serendipitously meets Godfrey, a down-on-his-luck oddball who constantly changes personas in order to cope with a traumatic past and avoid reality. Just as Godfrey begins to open up to Sara, he discovers that she’s been using him as inspiration for her next novel, and he vanishes from her life. Did Sara just lose the man of her dreams, or will she be able to find him and make things right?

Previous Episodes:

Stump the Editor Episode 1: Jonah Ray!

Stump the Editor Episode 2: Scott Adkins & Jesse V. Johnson!

Stump the Editor Episode 3: Baron Vaughn!

Stump the Editor Episode 4: Brea Grant!

Stump the Editor Episode 5: Alex Winter!

What guests would you like to hear on future episodes of ComingSoon.net’s Stump the Editor? Let us know in the comments below!

CS Score Reviews Harry Potter, Speaks with Cherry Composer Henry Jackman

by Jeff Ames

CS Score reviews Harry Potter, speaks with Cherry composer Henry Jackman

Hey there, fellow soundtrack lovers! As Ned Ryerson would say, we’ve got a doozy today! First, we’re going to take a look at La La Land Records’ Harry Potter: The John Williams Soundtrack Collection along with the label’s Days of Thunder expanded edition by Hans Zimmer. Then, we were given the incredible opportunity to interview Émoi’, composer of the upcoming Nicholas Cage thriller Willy’s Wonderland, who took the time to discuss everything from his scoring process to his fear of Chuck E. Cheese. And finally, we’ve got a terrific interview with renowned composer Henry Jackman, who was kind enough to discuss his work on Joe and Anthony Russo’s upcoming drama Cherry.

Let’s do this thing!


NEWS

First, in case you missed it, check out the first track to Tom Holkenborg’s score for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The track, titled “The Crew at Warpower,” runs nearly seven minutes and kicks all kinds of ass! I can’t wait for this score!

Danny Elfman has signed on to compose the score for Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange sequel! This is awesome news as the pair have teamed up on a number of high profile projects, including Darkman, the Spider-Man trilogy and Oz: The Great and Powerful, among other collaborations. Good move, Marvel!

REVIEWS

Harry Potter: The John Williams Soundtrack Collection
John Williams

Christmas came early this year! Like, waaaay early. It’s only February. And yet, La La Land Records surprised the film score community when it announced the limited reissue of Harry Potter: The John Williams Soundtrack Collection, a massive 7CD set comprised of expanded scores for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and (best of all) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Each film score comes with its own production booklet, while the box set entire features a 44-page booklet featuring general music information and track listings fro all three scores.

Produced, assembled and mastered by Mike Matessino, all three scores were fully remastered from the original 5.1 and stereo mixes by Simon Rhodes (SORCERER’S STONE & CHAMBER OF SECRETS) and Shawn Murphy (PRISONER OF AZKABAN). For SORCERER’S STONE, the original analog master tapes were newly transferred at high resolution and the score was meticulously re-edited and output from the first-generation material for maximum quality.

The exclusive, in-depth liner notes are written by Mike Matessino and the release’s wizard-worthy art design is by Jim Titus. 

I’m not going to jump into a detailed review of each score as Williams’ work has been covered any number of times since premiering way back in 2001. Suffice to say, I appreciate Sorcerer’s Stone, really like Chamber of Secrets and absolutely adore Prisoner of Azkaban. Of the three, Azkaban supplies the most unique sound and is a fine example of blockbuster film scoring, even if it fails to carry over themes established in the previous two entries. Azkaban is dark, scary and a whole lotta fun and packed with soaring themes such as “Buckbeak’s Flight” and haunting cues such as those found in “Rainy Nights, Dementors and Birds,” all of which perfectly capture Alfonso Cuaron’s drastically different approach to the popular franchise. And while the music lacks that, ah, magical innocence heard in Sorcerer’s Stone and the swashbuckling Chamber of Secrets, it still packs an emotional punch; and escalates to near operatic levels thanks to Williams’ terrific use of choir and clever use of period instruments.

That’s not to diminish Sorcerer’s Stone or Chamber of Secrets. For the former, Williams produced as thrilling an adventure score as one could hope. The only gripe is that nothing in Sorcerer’s Stone, outside of the main theme, tickles the imagination. We’ve heard this Williams countless times before in his scores for Hook, Home Alone and Star Wars. Yes, it’s Sorcerer’s Stone is an excellent score; and yes, there are moments that will quite literally take your breath away, but at a whopping two hours and fourteen minutes, you may long for a little more, ah, variety to go with the familiar lighthearted adventure beats the maestro has employed so often throughout his astonishing career.

Chamber of Secrets is the better of the two early films and gave Williams an opportunity to go a shade darker this time ’round. Notably, the main theme for the titular Chamber of Secrets is thrilling to behold. While Fawkes’ theme ranks among the series’ best, particularly when it’s given the chance to really explode during the film’s climax.

Notably, another downside to the first two entries are the abundance of themes that are introduced … only to be dropped in later entries. Williams scored the first three films before passing the baton to Patrick Doyle, who then ceded duties to Nicholas Hooper. By the time Alexandre Desplat took the reins for the last two films of the blockbuster franchise, nearly all of Williams’ themes had been discarded in favor a more modern, disconnected sound. As such, themes heard in Sorcerer’s Stone, such as the one used to signal Voldemort, are little more than cruel teases of what could have been had the maestro hung around for all eight films.

For more information on Harry Potter: The John Williams Box Set, visit La La Land Records.

Click here to purchase the original soundtracks!

Days of Thunder
Hans Zimmer

Oh, Days of Thunder, where have you been all my life? As a fan of late 80s/early 90s cinema, I had inexplicably stuck my nose up at Tony Scott’s race car drama and discarded it as little more than a Top Gun knockoff. Then, sometime last week, I stumbled upon the score and instantly fell in love with Hans Zimmer’s chill-bump-inducing sound. Sure, it’s cheesy and more in line with, say, Broken Arrow than Crimson Tide, but Days of Thunder’s soundtrack is a blast from start to finish. And, honestly, at $19.99, the expanded score found at La La Land Records is actually quite the bargain. This is a roll-the-windows-down-and-drive-real-fast-during-a-summer-evening type of soundtrack if you catch my drift, replete with electronic beats, killer drums and Zimmer’s patented synths and keyboards.

And, hey! The film actually isn’t too bad, either …

For more information of Days of Thunder 30th Anniversary Limited Edition, visit La La Land Records.

Click here to purchase!


Interview with Willy’s Wonderland Composer Émoi’

Willy’s Wonderland synopsis: When his car breaks down, a quiet loner agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland.

Émoi composed the score, wrote and sang all the lyrics to the songs in the film and also provides the voice of the evil animatronic Willy. He was gracious enough to speak with ComingSoon.net about this wild new adventure.

Check out the soundtrack for Willy’s Wonderland here!

ComingSoon.net: What drew you to Willy’s Wonderland?

Émoi: I grew up on these kinds of films, and I absolutely love this genre. If I were given the choice to score any film ever made, I would choose Willy’s Wonderland…and that is me being completely honest. The fact I got the job, makes me feel so fortunate and grateful.

CS: The movie seems to prey upon our fears of those freaky Chuck E Cheese robots we all grew up with — and it sounds like you had a couple of particularly creepy incidents with said robots as a kid. How did the Chuck E Cheese brand, and your memory of it, inspire your score?

Émoi: Chuck E. Cheese was a really big thing when I was growing up. The place had its own very unique vibe. I made so many memories there with all my friends, playing skee-ball, eating our body weight in pizza, trading our tickets for prizes. It was magical, and yet, there was this unspoken discomfort caused by the oversized animatronic characters that for the most part hunched life-less on the stage, and then would suddenly spring to life and start singing. So for Willy’s, the music had to be all those things: magical, fun, entertaining, quirky, nostalgic, and frightening.

CS: You wear a lot of different hats in the film — which aspect was the most fun? The most difficult?

Émoi: Voicing Willy was pretty darn fun. I mean, I had a blast writing the score, but scoring and recording are a heck of a lot of work. Voicing Willy and singing the songs wasn’t stressful at all, it was actually a really nice escape. The hardest part for me was the role of Music Editor. Because I didn’t much enjoy chopping up my own score (laughs). It’s so hard because as composer, you fall in love with an idea, and as Music Editor you have to objectively cut the music to the updated edits, and sometimes you have to cut or modify that idea the composer was in love with. There were a few times I had some real arguments with myself (laughs).

CS: So, this is your first feature film correct? How challenging was the production overall compared to some of the other work you’ve produced — and considering this is your first full length feature?

Émoi: Yes, this is my first full length feature. And almost every project I’ve done prior to Willy’s was a 2-3 month commitment at the max. Willy’s was over a year, and 8 months of it was a solid 24/7 work schedule. I barely slept at all. The good news is, it kept me very socially distanced, and my experience of the year 2020 would have been pretty much exactly the same whether or not there was a pandemic. I didn’t miss out on anything I wouldn’t have missed out on anyway.

CS: From what I’ve read, you had to get really creative with this one due to the pandemic. What were some of the tricks you utilized to create this score?

Émoi: The pandemic limited our ability to collaborate in-person. Which meant no studio musicians or singers could come into my studio. I couldn’t have a music editor, assistant, engineer, or anyone working next to me. So there weren’t really any tricks – I wish there were – but it just meant I had to work 10 times harder, and sleep a heck of a lot less.

CS: What is your scoring process like?

Émoi: The way I typically write, is I’ll read a script, or listen to a director talking about his vision, and I’ll start hearing the music in my head. Then I’ll record myself singing the various parts I’m hearing. I’ll then listen to the recording and try to piece it together on piano. Then I’ll take the piano version, and start imagining what instruments should be playing the notes. Less typically, but often, I’ll also sit at the piano and have the picture play as I fumble around on the keys until I hit the notes that connect with what I’m seeing and feeling, then I’ll start build it out that way.

CS: This film looks absolutely batshit crazy—how much fun is a project like this? And how much freedom overall does it provide a composer?

Émoi: Batshit crazy is an understatement (laughs). This movie is a shit house rat dropping acid at a 3 a.m. rave hosted by a bag of cats. And that’s a big part of why it is so amazing. I cannot express in words how fun it was to work on this film. I had the greatest team behind me, and they supported my vision so much. That, and the fact that the pandemic prevented in-person discussion, I was given probably more freedom than what is typical.

CS: What was your collaboration like with the director?

Émoi: It was incredible. Kevin and I had an initial call in October of 2019, and we hit it off like we’d been friends for years. We had the same taste in films, music, pretty much everything, so working together was extremely fun.

CS: What aspect of the score are you most excited for people to hear?

Émoi: The character sing-alongs are going to no-doubt be what is talked about as they are catchy and ridiculous. But I’m hoping viewers really tune-in to some of the darkly beautiful and nostalgic aspects of the score as well.

CS: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Émoi: I am very excited about a pilot that I am finishing up that is a supernatural detective thriller. Besides that, there are also a few feature length scripts I’m reading, as well as a potential TV series. With the pandemic still looming, things are slowed down a bit, but I think the future is bright!!


Interview with Cherry Composer Henry Jackman

Henry Jackman is one of most accomplished composers working in the industry today having scored films such as Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Captain America: Civil War, Kong: Skull Island, The Predator and many others. His latest project, the upcoming film Cherry, releases  in theaters on February 26 and globally on Apple TV+ on March 12. Jackman was kind enough to sit down with ComingSoon.net to talk about the anticipated film from Joe and Anthony Russo.

ComingSoon.net: What drew you to the film Cherry?

Henry Jackman: Well, I’m very lucky in that I’ve done let’s see, two, you know, Captain America: Winter Solider and Captain America: Civil War with Joe and Anthony Russo. And they also produced Mosul and 21 Bridges. So over the years, I formed a really close relationship with them, and I was very lucky in that their next project after the hugely successful Avengers films was this very curious, really experimental and interesting artistic film, which they asked me to do the music for.

CS: Can you talk about some of the different techniques and instruments you implemented for the music of Cherry?

Jackman: Yeah, for sure. When I saw the first cut of the movie, I mean, I already knew from reading the script and from the discussions with Joe and Anthony that this was going to be a million miles away from the super hero movies that we’d done together. It was such an unusual film that I didn’t want to start just writing the specific cues straight away just to the picture. So I began to write these kind of standalone pieces based on the discussions and the script and by freezing still images and a whole range of different things, really. So there’s big speeches, it had to be really eclectic, but somehow unified, which is kind of a tall order. So although I had a theme, I mean, if I had different kind of textures, there’s a fair amount of original analog synth in there. When I say that, I don’t mean plug-ins, I mean I was actually fooling around with late 70s synths and recording them in a really old sort of way and dealing with the fact that every time you turn them on, they’re slightly out of tune and inconsistent.

There’s piano, there’s cello. And I was experimenting with ukulele and ambient harp, a zither, some strange instrument, which I didn’t quite know what it is or what it’s called. I call it the magic circle. It’s some sort of strange mallet-based instrument and it made a very nice sound. And really, I just grabbed anything from my trusty SH5 and MKS50 analog synth to a whole eclectic range of instruments. And you know, there were a couple of cues that had the strings. Oh, not to mention, I recorded the Tallis Scholars Choir, and then they’re going  – and not only that, having recorded things, it was an awful lot of messing around with production technique, so I was laying things onto cassette tape and then bringing them back into the sequencer, deliberately trying to make the tone a bit more unstable because I was using a cassette machine that didn’t quite function properly.

CS: Do you find a project like this liberating at all since you’re free to do what you want to do? Or, do you find it more challenging? 

Jackman: That’s a really good question. I think there is something liberating and fantastic about having no idea what something’s going to sound like because you’re not only the them and the melody, you’re creating all of the textures. It is very exciting and it’s liberating and it’s experimental. You know, it’s also a little more unknown because you don’t necessarily know if these experimental musical explorations that you’re engaged in are actually going to go anywhere, whereas if you’re writing a piece with the Symphony Orchestra, you know, the piece still has to be good but you’re not asking too many questions about the validity of the Symphony Orchestra. It’s an established format. So, I enjoy both. I really enjoyed in the case of Cherry, having such a sort of renegade approach to how to put things together. But that’s not to say that when I return to the Symphony Orchestra, there’s also many things to enjoy about using the Symphony Orchestra. I mean, thankfully I’ve got a career where hopefully I’ll get to do a bit of both. But yeah, there’s no denying. You need a bit more time when you’re creating so much new tonality. But both have their advantages and disadvantages. But as far as Cherry is concerned, I was like a sort of mad doctor in a laboratory experimenting with all these things and I definitely loved it.

CS: You’re basically underscoring a man’s descent into his own personal hell. How taxing is it on you, because I imagine you have to put in a lot of emotion to the score in order to convey the proper amount of emotion on screen to underscore the action of the characters? 

Jackman: Oh yeah, no, that’s another really good question, yeah. The funny thing is, you notice that by the way, what you’re saying is in fact completely true. But you don’t necessarily notice until it’s over because you have to descend stair by stair down the staircase into the committing to the emotion and the PTSD and the madness and the experience. And because as you’re writing the score, you don’t achieve the music which supports that on day one. It’s a process. But you’re sort of slowly sinking into the absolute, you know, aesthetics of the film, kind of without realizing. It’s more like when you finally finish and you sign up on it and everything’s working and you’ve mixed everything and everything’s in the movie, you then suddenly realize, wow, that was exhausting, sort of retroactively, you know? A bit like if you hadn’t known that I’d put weights in your shoes, it’s only when you wear a different pair of shoes you go, oh, I didn’t realize I was walking around with weights — and I don’t want to sound negative. It’s a bad analogy to say it’s like walking around with weights in your shoes.

But to the extent of the commitment to the project and some of the subject matter it explores, you know, mental illness, PTSD, drug addiction. But there’s a wry humor to the movie. It dances between the serious subject matter, and it does have a layer of dark humor to it. So it’s still entertaining to watch the film, despite the fact that it has a heavy subject matter. So that’s what I bear in mind. But you’re right, I did notice when I finished, I sort of realized retrospectively just how I put everything I got into it. But you’re not so aware of that while you’re in the heat of battle. When you’ve finished, you realize you’ve left everything you had in the movie.

CS: One of my favorite cues from the whole film comes right at the end — a beautiful piece of music that feels like an exhale after this really intense experience.

Jackman: Well, exactly, yeah. Now the funny thing is, there’s a theme that comes in maybe halfway through that very long scene. I think it’s like eight or nine piece at the end. And funnily enough, that theme has been teasing throughout the movie. In fact, that tune appears in the very first piece of music in the movie. And it appears in various octave forms and different orchestrations and mangled forms. And it’s been hinted at a few times during the film. And then that last coda at the end of the film was a really great opportunity, also because of the time, you get to write an eight or nine-minute piece, it was a chance to take the theme that has been hinted at and suggested and let it really blossom into something. So I was really grateful – the way the filmmaking worked at the end left a lot of space for the music to be able to do that.

CS: And then also that opera piece that plays during a pivotal moment of the story. 

Jackman: Well, that was, I think Joe was very keen on that. I think it’s a really good idea, that something – it’s also in the tradition of filmmaking. I’m trying to think, there’s only classic opera moments in [Martin] Scorsese [films], maybe there are, maybe there aren’t. I can’t recall them exactly. But it also, it’s so different to some of the experimental aspects of the score that the few pieces of Verdi really perform a great function in the overall experience of the movie.

CS: How do you think you’ve evolved as a composer over the course of your career? And would you have approached a film like Cherry the same way back in the early 2000s, when you first started?

Jackman: Oh I have no idea, is the truth. But I think, well, I hope I’ve gotten better. You never know. I can only allow other people to decide that. I mean, I was very green then. The way I approach film music is I just do the absolute best job I can, so I’m sure I would’ve held myself into it to the best of my ability had it been a lot earlier. But no doubt, I probably would have missed the mark a bit more, maybe needed a lot more help from Joe and Anthony, who by the way, are very collaborative and helpful anyway. But, yeah, it probably would have been a little early. I think once you’ve done a number of scores, even if they’re wildly different to Cherry – once you’ve done a number of scores, I think it was the right time. I think I was ready to take on the magnitude of the creative task of writing the music for Cherry, where had it been 10 years previous, I might have missed the mark.

POLL: What is the Best Saturday Morning Cartoon of All Time?

by Jeff Ames

POLL: What is the Best Saturday Morning Cartoon of All Time?

MeTV is currently airing some of the greatest Saturday morning cartoons ever made featuring the likes of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Road Runner, Popeye, Tom & Jerry and other favorites. That got us thinking, what’s the best Saturday morning cartoon of all time? Batman: The Animated Series? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The Real Ghostbusters? The list goes on and on.

RELATED: CS Soapbox: Things We Want From The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

So, how about it? What’s the best Saturday morning cartoon of all time? Cast your vote below! And be sure to check out Toon In With Me on MeTV, a hosted series featuring comedy sketches, special guests, interviews, games and more, produced to lead into many of the greatest classic cartoon shorts ever made — Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Road Runner and the many other fan favorites from the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes shorts. The humor in the original sketches is geared towards an adult audience who remember growing up with hosted morning shows and morning cartoons.

For more info, visit MeTV!

What is the Best Saturday Morning Cartoon of All-Time?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
DuckTales
Fat Albert
Batman: The Animated Series
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show
Scooby-Doo
The Smurfs
Animaniacs
Super Friends
Doug
SpongeBob SquarePants
Garfield and Friends
Disney’s Adventures of the Gummy Bears
Bobby’s World
X-Men
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Heathcliff and the Catillac Cts
Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies
The Tick
Darkwing Duck
Beetlejuice
Hey Arnold!
ThunderCats
Spider-Man
The Real Ghostbusters
Voltron
Gargoyles
Tom and Jerry kids
Street Sharks
Land of the Lost
Popeye and Friends

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CS Soapbox: Lawrence v. LaRusso… Who’s the Better Sensei?

by Josh Plainse

CS Soapbox: Lawrence v. LaRusso... Who’s the Better Sensei?

CS Soapbox: Cobra Kai’s Johnny Lawrence v. Daniel LaRusso, Who’s the Better Sensei?

WARNING!!!: This piece contains SPOILERS for Cobra Kai! Proceed with caution!

Since becoming cognizant, humanity has asked the hard questions: are we alone in the universe? Are eyebrows considered facial hair? Who’s the better sensei, Johnny Lawrence or Daniel LaRusso? What does it all mean? While attempts at answering the latter prove increasingly futile, the former, which was thought lost but not forgotten, has been found thanks to Cobra Kai

1984’s The Karate Kid is a classic. A story following Daniel LaRusso who, after moving to Southern California, finds himself the victim of a group of bullies studying karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. The lead victimizer is Johnny Lawrence, the ex-boyfriend of Daniel’s new love interest (and quintessential girl next door) Ali Mills. Thankfully, Daniel meets an eccentric handyman and Okinawan karate master, Mr. Miyagi who teaches the teenager both defense-oriented karate and a “wax on, wax off” philosophy to combat John Kreese and Cobra Kai’s “strike first. Strike hard. No mercy.” In the end, Daniel silences his aggressors, wins the All Valley Karate Tournament, and becomes the best around—nothing’s going to ever keep him down. But a whole lot keeps Johnny down. 

RELATED: CS Interview: The Cast of Cobra Kai on Season 3

When Daniel won the ALL Valley Karate Tournament, he won at life, going on to have a loving family and live a lavish lifestyle. Johnny lost. He drank away the decades that followed, knocked up a girl, abandoned his son, and, at the beginning of Cobra Kai, is completely broke. This is why the once spoiled rich kid (with an abusive father) decides to reopen his old dojo—something that triggers Daniel’s PTSD and leads to the formation of the opposing dojo, Miyagi-Do Karate. As the protagonist of Cobra Kai, Johnny, a man stuck in the ‘80s, desperate to relive his glory years, is granted the relatability he deserves. Daniel is as (self?) righteous as ever. 

Cobra Kai’s popularity proves that the lessons taught and learned by Johnny and Daniel are more relevant than ever. As sensei, Johnny is intense while Daniel is predictably subdued, adapting approaches taught to them by their respective teachers. More than that, their methods reflect their worlds. For Johnny, the world is a cruel place that only respects aggression. So, he puts his students in conflict with one another, inflicts rigorous/borderline dangerous training methods, and berates them, even repeatability insulting Eli’s lip deformity, pushing him into the mohawk-sporting persona “Hawk.” It’s in line with Johnny’s core objective: be a badass. A fist-pump, beer-chug worthy idea that gives the students of Cobra Kai the confidence to stand up to their bullies and helps Miguel Diaz defy science and walk again. The only problem with Johnny’s teaching style was that one big lie. 

RELATED: Ralph Macchio & William Zabka Talk the Real Villain of Cobra Kai

No mercy. When Johnny sees the adverse effects of Kreese’s philosophy, he abandons the aforementioned part of Cobra Kai’s mantra and attempts to cut his old sensei from his life. Johnny genuinely cares bout his students and doesn’t want to see them end up like him. Unfortunately, Kreese isn’t easily rid of, season 3 painting a vivid picture of who the war veteran actually is and how far he’s willing to go serving his greater good. Despite its shifting perspective—From Johnny and Kreese to Daniel, Sam, and Robbie, Cobra Kai almost always pays homage to, and draws parallels with, The Karate Kid

Johnny’s first student, Miguel, is essentially a young Daniel—an underprivileged “dweeb” who meets his mentor in the apartment complex where he and his mother live. However, while Johnny tells Miguel, “don’t be a pussy,” Miyagi taught Daniel to “wax on, wax off.” Weirdly, both Johnny and Daniel are Miyagi’s spiritual successors. Daniel is just actively (and desperately) struggling to honor his late master.

When training his daughter, Sam, and Johnny’s son, Robbie, Daniel he has the pair do chores to develop muscle memory and instill a work ethic. He inspires growth, reflection, patience, and maturity. Above all, Miyagi-Do Karate teaches martial arts to be used for defensive purposes only. This helps his students fend off members of Cobra Kai at their high school and reasserts the fact that Cobra Kai, and Johnny, are flawed, albeit obnoxiously. 

Season 3 is the pinnacle of Daniel’s deconstruction. After traveling to Japan, his former enemy in The Karate Kid Part II, Chozen, reveals a secret, lethal pressure point techniques Mr. Miyagi kept secret from Daniel. Having no option other than to kill, Miyagi’s ancestors once had to defend Okinawa against Japanese invaders. Defense can come in many forms, and “if an enemy insists on war, then you take away their ability to wage it.” It’s a storyline that plants a seed in Daniel’s mind about Johnny and their so-called differences—maybe the best defense is a good offense? Johnny is not too stubborn, too drunk, or too old to change…and neither is Daniel. 

The first film preached balance in all aspects of life. The end of The Karate Kid’s is a metaphor for Cobra Kai: everyone is the hero of their own story. Whether you adhere to How I Met Your Mother and Barney Stinson’s view of The Karate Kid (being about a ”scrawny loser from New Jersey who barely even knows karate”) or simply support the evidence arguing Daniel’s climactic crane kick as illegal, there was no denying the classic underdog story is problematic. In 2018, Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg’s Cobra Kai reframed not only the story of Daniel LaRusso but of the once bully, Johnny Lawrence. 

RELATED: 5 Steve Guttenberg Movies That Deserve the Cobra Kai Treatment

Whether you’re Miguel, Robbie, Sam, Tory, Kreese, Johnny, or Daniel. By making Johnny the initial protagonist, Cobra Kai critiques nostalgia by mocking the fact that he knows nothing about technology, listens to the same music, uses dated vernacular. It’s satire but it also has heart, showing you everyone’s backstory and giving you almost no one to hate. If the show has a central message then it’s that combat, like life, is unforgiving but be compassionate anyway.

Being around people with opposing, aggressive, convincing, sometimes even charming ideas helps one to reaffirm one’s identity. This doesn’t mean don’t have an open mind, the point of having an open mind is to close it on certain subjects. If you don’t you are forfeiting your right to think. The end of Cobra Kai’s third season encapsulates this, bringing two remote associations together: sensei Lawrence and sensei LaRusso. 

So, there’s no way we’re alone in the universe, eyebrows are most definitely facial hair, and neither Johnny Lawrence nor Daniel LaRusso is the better sensei, they are two halves made whole. In season 4, the pair will become a two-headed beast of flirting ideologies, forcing on compassion to direct their moral compass as their students, together, take on Kreese’s Cobra Kai at the All-Valley. Vegas odds are on a hilarious, brutal, and touching conclusion that sees Kreese realize the error of his ways, even if it’s a tad too late.

CS Collectibles: Daenerys, Panthro, Harley Quinn & More!

by Jeff Ames

CS Collectibles: Daenerys, Panthro, Harley Quinn & More!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of CS Collectibles, ComingSoon.net’s newest weekly column that brings you the best in premium collectibles! Find out all the latest on statues, figures, posters, cards, eBay deals, Amazon deals & much more below!

NEWS

Sideshow

“I will take what is mine with fire and blood.”

Prime 1 Studio & Blitzway are proud to present the first collaboration piece from one of the most popular American fantasy drama TV series Game of Thrones – the beautiful Dragon Queen – Daenerys Targaryen portrayed by English actress Emilia Clarke.

With Studio Hive joining for the Concept Design and Blitzway’s special top artist team with the incredible talented Blitzway’s Sculptor/Painter K. A. Kim, they have created a high-quality stunning piece of art and beautiful features through the innovative collaboration and interaction between the two companies applying each other’s aesthetics and technologies.

Daenerys is one of the candidates for the Iron Throne. She is described as a beautiful woman, with long, pale silver-gold hair and eyes like amethysts.

Blitzway’s special top artist team did a wonderful job on the statue as they are top in class for face modeling. All the characteristics are faithfully reproduced down to the smallest details. The dress is made of fabric material which gives a nice touch of reality. The beautiful Mother of Dragons is surrounded by her three baby dragons – Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. They are crafted with precision and attention to detail to please even the most demanding fans.

Do not miss the opportunity to add this wonderful piece to your fantasy collection!

Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons Game of Thrones Statue – $1,199.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Born on Earth but drawn to the stars, Peter Quill became the interstellar adventurer known as Star-Lord. Equipped with this helmet to protect him from the vacuum of space, his high-tech blasters, a dependable starship and a mix-tape of music from home, the headstrong Star-Lord must rally an unlikely team of interstellar misfits – Guardians of the Galaxy – for an all or nothing attempt to protect the cosmos.

This EFX Star-Lord helmet is a faithful reproduction of the iconic helmet worn by Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. With the provenance of the master patterns made from an original screen-used helmet from the Marvel Studios archives, the 2 piece construction, accurate paint scheme, and even the hardware detail, we are confident that you will be proud to display this helmet as part of your prop replica collection for years to come.

Star-Lord Helmet Marvel Prop Replica – $699.99
from: Sideshow Inc.

Diamond Select

A Diamond Select Toys release! The clown Prince of crime is the new King of the DC gallery line! Measuring approximately 9 inches tall, this PVC sculpture of the Joker features detailed sculpting by Alterton based on a design by Caesar. With a playing card in one hand and a dagger behind his back, the Joker has his eye on taking over your toy shelf! Packaged in a full-color window box with an opening front panel. Formerly a games top exclusive.

DIAMOND SELECT TOYS DC Gallery: The Joker PVC Figure

A Diamond Select Toys Release! Death becomes her! The Suicide Squad’s liveliest heroine has survived the zombie outbreak and retained her trademark attitude. Blowing a kiss with her face covered with scars, she strikes a pose by a chain-link fence in this approximately 8″ sculpture. Cast in high-quality PVC, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Sam Greenwell.

DIAMOND SELECT TOYS DC Gallery: DCeased Harley Quinn PVC Figure, Multicolor, 8″

Mondo

Sideshow and Mondo present the Iron Giant Mondo Mecha Figure!

The first in the MONDO MECHA collection (a line of highly articulated robot figures), The Iron Giant features more articulation than any previous Iron Giant figure we’ve offered! He stands approx. 12.5″ tall, with 35+ points of articulation, and a lot of interchangeable hands, heads, and accessories!

Start your MONDO MECHA collection with one of the most beloved robots of all time!

Iron Giant The Iron Giant Collectible Figure – $200.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Sideshow and Mondo present the Gordon Freeman Sixth Scale Figure!

Half-Life 2 has been hailed as one of the best first-person shooter of all time, and its silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman, a gaming icon.

Available for the first time in 1:6 scale, Gordon Freeman features his iconic armor, fabric undersuit, 25+ points of articulation, multiple switch-out hands, various weapons, and his Gravity Gun with light-up feature!

Gordon Freeman Half-Life 2 Sixth Scale Figure – $200.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Iron Studios

Sideshow and Iron Studios present the latest from the Art Scale 1:10 line – the Batman Deluxe Statue! Based on the likeness of Christian Bale as Batman, this polystone statue is hand-painted and limited edition.

DC Comics fans, don’t miss your chance to add the Dark Knight to your collection!

Batman Deluxe DC Comics 1:10 Scale Statue – $180.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Sideshow and Iron Studios are proud to announce the latest from the Battle Diorama Series Art Scale 1:10 line – Panthro! From ThunderCats, the Panthro Art Scale Statue is limited edition and comes with a detailed hand-painted base.

Don’t miss your chance to add the Panthro 1:10 Statue to your collection!

Panthro ThunderCats 1:10 Scale Statue – $135.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Prime 1 Studios

“When you sacrifice, you must cut yourself from Humanity…”

Prime 1 Studio is proud to present the Quarter Scale Ubik Statue from Berserk (Manga). Ubik has the form of a small floating demon wearing glasses and having tentacle-like legs.

Ubik appears to be a deceiver; he can conjure up images from the past to persuade potential Apostles and God Hands to fulfill the ritual of sacrifice. It is he who convinced Griffith to continue walking towards his dream as a demon. Both the panel and the painting depict many fantastic yet disturbing visions that could represent Ubik’s nature and purpose, one of the more interesting things being the giant tree-man he rides in, believed by many to symbolize the Antichrist.

Ubik Berserk Statue – $349.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Sideshow and Prime 1 Studio are proud to present the 1:4 scale Fugitive Predator Deluxe version from The Predator (2018 Film).

Predators have been genetically evolving themselves to be stronger, smarter and more lethal than ever before. When a young boy accidentally activates a mysterious alien device and becomes the target of these enhanced Predators, only his father and the most unlikely ragtag band of crazy ex-military agents can save him – and the human race from obliteration. From Shane Black, the Director of Iron Man 3, comes the high-octane action thriller that takes the original 80’s cult classic to the next level.

This is the ultimate statue which included several switchable parts and portraits. A must-have collectible for all Predator fans!

Fugitive Predator Deluxe Version Predator Statue – $1,449.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

PCS Collectibles

Execute.”

Sideshow and PCS Collectibles present the Cammy: Decapre 1:3 Scale Statue, infiltrating your team of Street Fighter collectibles.

The Cammy: Decapre 1:3 Scale Statue measures 28” tall, dressed in her dark Shadaloo Doll outfit from her appearance in the Street Fighter series. Decapre’s muscular physique and overall look are recreated based on in-game models to give fans an accurate, high-fidelity collectible of this dangerous clone assassin.

Captured in mixed media, Decapre’s Shadaloo uniform is composed of a tailored fabric bodysuit with sculpted accents like her black boots and red gloves, her right fist tipped with a large dagger. The Cammy: Decapre 1:3 Scale Statue includes two portraits- one masked head and one unmasked to reveal the burn scars along the left side of her face. Her portrait also features long, platinum braids, completing her uncanny similarity to her fated rival Cammy. Armed and dangerous, Decapre strikes an intimidating pose on top of a base inspired by the in-game English Manor stage from the Street Fighter games.

Clone your Street Fighter collection and bring home the Cammy: Decapre 1:3 Scale Statue from PCS Collectibles today!

Cammy: Decapre Street Fighter Statue – $925.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

The 10th Anniversary Akuma 1:4 Mixed Media Statue “Deluxe Version” celebrates 10 years since Pop Culture Shock first released their iconic Akuma statue way back in 2007, while also paying tribute to the characters exciting modern appearance.

Featuring swap out Classic and Modern portraits, Head/Torso LED FX, swap out hands and a head stand. This piece is a must-have for all PCS and Street Fighter fans.

Akuma 10 Year Deluxe Street Fighter Statue – $599.99
from: Sideshow Inc.

Hot Toys

“Can we put the bickering on hold until we survive this massive space battle?”

As one of the greatest warriors in the universe, Gamora is now her own person who found a purpose and a family. The most dangerous woman in the galaxy has put her skills to a better use, and fans are all excited to see her fight the Mad Titan Thanos.

Sideshow and Hot Toys are very excited to introduce the Gamora Sixth Scale Collectible Figure which comes with an array of unique accessories from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!

The new Gamora sixth scale collectible figure is expertly crafted based on the image of Zoe Saldana as Gamora in the film. The figure features a newly developed head sculpt with long curly black and purplish-red real fabric hair, a finely detailed costume including a meticulously tailored leather-like coat. This collectible also comes with a sword, a folded up sword, a blaster, an interchangeable long sleeve tee, an Aero Rigs armored with a chest plate, a miniature Baby Groot holding a bomb and a movie-themed figure stand!

Do not miss out on the opportunity to add the new Gamora to your Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 collection.

Gamora Marvel Sixth Scale Figure – $251.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

The man. The myth. The legend.

The John Wick series follows the exploits of the legendary hit man as he unleashes mayhem and fury on the mobsters who have wronged him and the army of international assassins who want him dead. Exploding with highly choreographed gun-fu and combat, the thrilling action-packed films tell the classic stories of vengeance and redemption.

Sideshow and Hot Toys proudly present the John Wick® Sixth Scale Collectible Figure from John Wick: Chapter 2.

Masterfully crafted, this impressive movie-accurate John Wick Sixth Scale Collectible Figure features a highly detailed head sculpt, a finely tailored three-piece suit, multiple articulations and an arsenal of weapon accessories including a variety of pistols, shotguns and rifles. This figure also features a knife, John Wick’s signature pencil, two Blood Oath Markers, several gold coins and a specially designed figure stand.

Don’t miss your chance to add this new John Wick Collectible Figure to your collection.

John Wick John Wick Sixth Scale Figure – $243.00
from: Sideshow Inc.

Super7

Super7 ReAction Figures Transformers Fallen Leader Optimus Prime. *Spoiler Alert!* This Target exclusive is a repaint of the standard Optimus figure as depicted when he dies in the 1986 movie.

Super7 ReAction Figures Transformers Fallen Leader Optimus Prime Exclusive

Super7 is happy to present the masters of the universe vintage 5.5-Inch figures collection.The original motu action figures re-imagined to match the character designs from the animated cartoon!these new carded vintage figures come with their own accessories: He-Man W/ power sword, half-sword, and shield, Skeletor W/ havoc staff, power sword, and half-sword, she-r W/ sword of protection, shield and sword, and hordes W/ arm cannon and crossbow.

Super7 Masters of The Universe Vintage Collection Action Figure She-RA 14 cm, Red

Loot Crate

Celebrate the iconic 1994 film The Crow with this limited run capsule collection of exclusive and officially licensed apparel! Each item is 100% cotton and made in the U.S.A.

Click here to order!

Wizards of the Coast

Click here to purchase Zendikar Rising Draft Booster Box!

Click here to purchase Zendikar Rising Bundle!

Click here to purchase Ikoria!

Click here to purchase Core 2021!

What do you think of CS Collectibles so far? Let us know in the comments below!

February 16 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

by Max Evry

February 16 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

February 16 Blu-ray, Digital and DVD Releases

Welcome to ComingSoon.net’s February 16 Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD column! We’ve highlighted this week’s releases in detailed write-ups of different titles below! Click each highlighted title to purchase through Amazon! 

New Movies on Blu-ray/DVD

Archenemy
Max Fist claims to be a hero from another dimension who fell through time and space to Earth, where he has no powers but still fights crime.

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters
Maggie Grace, Diane Keaton, and Jeremy Irons lead this warmhearted romantic comedy that follows a colorful cast of characters searching for love against the backdrop of a wedding.

The Swordsman
After being blinded in a coup against the king, Joseon’s greatest swordsman goes into hiding, far removed from his city’s anguish. But when traffickers kidnap his daughter, he has no choice but to unsheathe his sword once more.

Fear of Rain
FEAR OF RAIN dives into the terrifying inner workings of a young woman (Madison Iseman) who desperately wants to believe the world that she sees and feels is real…but instead she is forced to question everything, and everyone, around her.

Random Acts of Violence
A crazed fan uses comic writer Todd Walkley’s ’Slasherman’ as inspiration for his killings forcing Todd to put an end to his comic once and for all.

Breaking Surface
During a winter dive on a remote part of the coast in Northern Norway, two sisters’ lives fall into danger; when a rockfall traps one of the sisters on the ocean floor, a battle against time begins in the middle of the wilderness.

God Of The Piano (DVD)
Anat has never been able to reach her father’s exacting musical standards, and now her family’s hope of producing a musical prodigy rests on her unborn son. When the baby is born deaf, she cannot accept it and resorts to extreme measures to ensure that her child will be the composer that her father always wanted.

Mayor (DVD)
Mayor is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and a surprising amount of humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don’t have a country?

Reissues

Do the Right Thing (4K)
Spike Lee wrote, produced, directed and starred in this critically acclaimed comedy-drama, featuring Danny Aiello, chronicling the hottest day of the year in a diverse Brooklyn neighborhood.

Man With a Movie Camera
This dawn-to-dusk view of the Soviet Union offers a montage of urban Russian life, showing the people of the city at work and at play. Considered one of the most innovative and influential films of the silent era. Score by Michael Nyman.

Baby Doll
This steamy Southern drama stars Oscar-winner Karl Malden, as a cotton gin owner married to a sultry teenaged bride, who steadfastly refuses to sleep with her husband until she turns 20.

Orgy Of The Living Dead
When handsome gentleman Serge (Stelvio Rosi) arrives in a quiet 19th century European village for the reading of his late uncle’s will, he immediately enters a nightmare world of mad science, murder and reanimated corpses.

The Belles of St.Trinian’s
The schoolgirls of St. Trinian’s are more interested in racing forms than books as they try to get-rich-quick. They are abetted by the headmistress’ brother. In this classic comedy which spawned several sequels, both the headmistress and her brother are played by Alastair Sim. Based on the cartoons of Ronald Searle.

Wild West Days
Kentucky Wade and his two buddies ride to help a couple who are being threatened by outlaws. Kentucky and his pals also keep busy fighting their way across the plains and mountains to battle a tribe of Indians led by Red Hatchet. Shortly they also contend with false reports of a strike, which starts a gold rush and exciting hair-trigger action.

Santo In The Treasure Of Dracula: The Sexy Vampire Version
After inventing a time machine, Mexican wrestler, El Santo, uses it to go back in time to track down the location of Dracula’s hidden treasure. This is with the noble intention of using the treasure to help fund a children’s hospital. In his quest to obtain the treasure, he is forced to face down and battle Dracula and his bevy of beautiful, vampire vixens. The original 1969 release of Santo en El Tesoro de Drácula was black-and-white and featured no nudity. The film was simultaneously shot in colour featuring full frontal nudity for European markets and finally released in Mexico in 2012 as El Vampiro y el Sexo.

Watching TV with the Red Chinese (DVD)
A trio of Chinese exchange students, Tzu (James Chen, The Walking Dead), Wa (Keong Sim, Dead To Me) and Chen (Leonardo Nam, The Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift) arrive in New York City in 1980, eager for what America has to offer. They make friends including a literature teacher named Dexter (Ryan O’Nan, Queen of the South) and his girlfriend Suzanne (Gillian Jacobs, Community).

New On Digital HD

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (exclusive clip)
Playing himself in this raucous comedy, Paul Hogan is a retired actor and overshadowed by his Crocodile Dundee character. Due to be knighted by the Queen of England, he gets caught up in a series of hilarious scandals.

Rams (exclusive clip)
Two estranged brothers, Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), are at war raising separate flocks of sheep. When Les’s prize ram is diagnosed with a rare and lethal illness, authorities order a purge of every sheep in the valley but Colin attempts to stealthily outwit the powers that be.

I Blame Society (exclusive clip)
A struggling filmmaker senses her peers are losing faith in her ability to succeed, so she decides to prove herself by finishing her last abandoned film, and committing the perfect murder.

Music
Zu is newly sober and finding her way in the world when she receives news that she is to become the sole guardian of her half-sister named Music, a young girl on the autism spectrum. The film explores two of Sia’s favorite themes –finding your voice and what it means to create family.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
From Bridesmaids co-stars and co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo comes this comedy about two best friends who leave their small town and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Willy’s Wonderland
When his car breaks down, a quiet loner (Nic Cage) agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland.

Saint Maud
A newly devout hospice nurse, becomes obsessed with saving her dying patient’s soul – but sinister forces, and her own sinful past, threaten to put an end to her holy calling.

Monster Hunter
When an unexpected sandstorm transports soldiers to a new world, they discover an unknown habitat with monsters immune to their firepower.

Supernova
Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners of twenty years, are traveling across England in their old camper van visiting friends, family, and places from their past. Following a life-changing diagnosis, their time together has become more important than ever until secret plans test their love like never before.

Wonder Woman 1984
Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing a wide array of foes including: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA
In 1977, with just four months left, NASA struggles to recruit scientists, engineers and astronauts for their new Space Shuttle Program. That is when Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Uhura, challenges them by asking the question: Where are my people?

TV on Blu-ray and DVD

Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season
Based on Matt Ruff’s novel, this series follows Korean war vet Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia and his Uncle George on a journey across 1950s Jim Crow America where they face racist terrors and the terrifying monsters of an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

Bordertown Season 2
In Season 2 of the Finnish Nordic Noir hit Bordertown, chief investigator Kari Sorjonen of the Serious Crimes Unit deals with a variety of harrowing homicides on the border between Finland and Russia. Each of these murder cases takes the viewer on a journey into humanity’s dark
underbelly, in which no one will be able to escape their past.

Harley Quinn: The Complete First and Second Seasons
Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) has finally broken things off once and for all with the Joker (Alan Tudyk) and attempts to make it on her own as the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City in this half hour adult animated action comedy series. With the help of Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) and a ragtag crew of DC castoffs, Harley tries to earn a seat at the biggest table in villainy: the Legion of Doom. Dont worry, she has got this. Or does she? In Season 2, Harley has defeated the Joker, and Gotham City is hers for the taking, whats left of it, that is. Her celebration in the newly created chaos is cut short when Penguin, Bane, Mr. Freeze, The Riddler and Two Face join forces to restore order in the criminal underworld. Calling themselves the Injustice League, they are intent on keeping Harley and her crew from taking control as the top villains in Gotham.

CS Soapbox: Things We Want From The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

by Grant Hermanns

CS Soapbox: Things We Want From The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

CS Soapbox: Things we want from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot

Last summer brought the interesting announcement that a CG film reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise was in the works from the all-star team of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe and Brendan O’Brien and while Rogen has offered that the film will offer more of an emphasis on the age of the characters, there’s still a lot of unknowns about what fans can expect from the next film. On a whim and a need for some nostalgic fun, I went back through every theatrical Turtles film and with all of them now fresh in my head, let’s explore some of the biggest things we need to see from the franchise going forward.

RELATED: Seth Rogen Says How His Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Will Be Different

Bring Back Some Reboot Cast Members

Say what you will about the Michael Bay-produced TMNT movies — and believe me, I know there’s A LOT you can say – one thing they did fairly well was building their ensemble rosters. Sure, Megan Fox’s April was just eye candy, Johnny Knoxville and his replacement Pete Ploszek weren’t well-suited for Leonardo and Tony Shaloub was just so boring as Splinter. That being said, Noel Fisher and Alan Ritchson were pitch perfect as Michelangelo and Raphael, Stephen Amell was a very likable Casey Jones who deserved a better script, Gary Anthony Williams and Sheamus were killer as Bebop and Rocksteady, Tyler Perry made for a very fun Baxter Stockman, Brian Tee is quite the menacing Shredder and Will Arnett is hilarious as Vern Fenwick. I get that Paramount is probably looking to distance themselves from the last two films, but with how well a lot of these performers did for their roles, it would really be a shame to see none of them come back, which could be possible if the studio finally adheres to my next point…

Treat the Turtles Actors Better

It’s been an unofficial tradition going back to the original 1990 film adaptation and carried all the way through 2016’s Out of the Shadows that the actors portraying the titular heroes never get any kind of love or respect for their work on the films. If to look at every film’s poster, one thing that becomes clear after a quick glance is that none of them credit the actors behind the turtles under the cast sections, with the first two films only crediting two of the human character actors and the Bay-produced reboots featuring zero actor credits on theirs. Most egregious of the bunch is 2007’s CG film TMNT, in which Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Patrick Stewart were rightfully credited under the cast and even included Kevin Smith for his cameo and Laurence Fishburne for his narration. You have an entirely animated film that makes it easier to justify putting the stars behind the Turtles on the poster and yet still they were omitted. Pair this with Ritchson’s stories to Collider Live about the terrible conditions he and his turtle co-stars were put through on the reboot films and it shows a pattern of the studios behind the films showing a general lack of appreciation or respect for their performers that really needs to come to an end given they’re the real heart of these films in the same vein as Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel of Guardians of the Galaxy or Andy Serkis in the Planet of the Apes and Lord of the Rings trilogies.

RELATED: CS Soapbox: Why Mark Mothersbaugh’s Ragnarok is the Most Eccentric MCU Score

Tone Down Raph vs. Leo

 

I’m gonna be frank, I am sick and tired of almost every single film believing that the most interesting element of the titular team is the at-each-others’-throats dynamic of leader Leonardo and hot head Raphael. It may be something explored in the comics, but no film has ever really touched upon it in a unique or compelling manner, with Leo consistently being secretive and only further inciting Raph’s rage as they disagree on how to handle their current situation. One of the few things the sequels of the original trilogy got right was moving away from this and just making them feel like a united team of goofs, throwing jabs for fun instead of out of a desire to hurt each other. Sibling rivalry might be a dynamic of the group, but it needs to stop being THE dynamic in every story. Speaking of repetition…

No. More. Shredder.

Every superhero or team might have an arch-enemy, but the problem with this is when Hollywood brings them to screens they believe every film should feature that villain in some capacity, be it a supporting or main antagonist role. Between the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield-fronted Spider-Man films, audiences were given two iterations of Norman and Harry Osbourne and their Goblin transformations, in the 80 years since his comic debut The Joker has been portrayed by over 20 stars across film, TV and video games. For the TMNT universe, the leader of the Foot Clan, Shredder, has been the go-to villain for the films and he’s now become the least interesting to see on screen, especially as he’s been generally reduced to a character hiding in the shadows while other characters boast about his fighting capabilities, making his quick dispatching at the hands of the Turtles bland every time. Across their 30 years of living in comics, the Turtles have encountered a roster of plenty interesting villains who have yet to get their proper dues on screen, many who were planned to arrive in sequels to past projects that were subsequently cancelled, from the Triceratons to Karai to even Krang and Baxter Stockman, the latter of whom made their big-screen debuts in Out of the Shadows but weren’t utilized in enough of a meaningful manner and plot threads certainly left open for both characters to return in meaningful fashion. With the next film, it’d be nice to see the story finally move away from Shredder and the Foot Clan and focus on someone else, possibly even taking the path of the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man films by focusing on other villains and skipping well-worn origin story territory rather than revisiting the Goblins and Uncle Ben’s death again.

Click here to purchase the six-film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection!

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Violent

One of the key elements of the comics that the films have been very inconsistent on handling is the overall tone. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comics initially started off far more violent and gritty than the more colorful and cartoonish tone the franchise would eventually take and this departure has become quite grating and the films can never quite find the right balance between the two worlds. While the original 1990 film actually kept relatively close to the source material, parental concerns over the violence seen in the film led to almost every subsequent film toning it down more and more, with the first sequel not even allowing them to use their weapons, only engaging in hand-to-hand combat. The 2007 CG film did attempt a return to a darker tone, but its attempts at family-friendly humor and action didn’t seem to fit in the mold, and the Paramount reboots took a similar approach to the Transformers films, but also couldn’t quite find the right mix of cartoonish action and humor and edgier characters and writing. A hard-R Turtles film is not what I’m suggesting, as that would be far too drastic a tonal shift, but instead of giving into the studios’ desire of a strictly family-friendly outing do something that pushes some boundaries. The fact that the heroes are teenagers and the worst swear words we’ve heard uttered by them are “damn” and “shit” feels very inaccurate for that age group’s vocabulary. Though some parents might be perturbed by it happening, it would also be nice to finally see one of the heroes actually kill an enemy and then see their emotional struggle with the action, given that every film has seen the group take down countless enemies without blinking an eye or showing any kind of emotional distress. Exploring this would add a unique layer of character development to the story not previously seen in a Turtles film and wouldn’t turn away parents still complaining about the violence as younger audiences can actually see potential consequences for putting violence out into the world, no matter which side of the moral line you’re on.

With the creative talent behind the project, my concerns for the film are very low as the group has consistently delivered, and if even one of these things comes to fruition in the next film, fans should be very excited for what the future of the TMNT franchise has in store for them.

What do you want to see from the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot? Do you agree with the points raised here? Let us know in the comments below!

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