Shang Chi Trailer Lands To Set the MCU Phase 4 Stage

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings marks the first solo debut of a new hero in a post-Endgame Marvel Cinematic Universe, and if the first trailer is any indication, they’re hitting the ground running with the new era. Take a look below:

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Warner Bros Releases First Mortal Kombat Trailer

I have a soft-spot for 90s era super-hero-adjacent films. Stuff like Darkman, Phantom, The Crow, Dark City, The Shadow, even The Mask, or treading into proper (anti)heroes like Spawn and Blade. And I’ll even put the original Mortal Kombat duology in that mix, despite how Annihilation turned out. I do still love them so. It was that love of the property that led me to closely following the production of the new Mortal Kombat reboot film from Warner Bros. And now we finally have a trailer for it. Check it out below:

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HBOMax Releases Trailer for Heist Comedy Locked Down

I’ve seen a lot of garbage trailers for probably garbage films that were slapdash attempts to cash in on being a Covid film about Covid made during Covid. I know I was growing weary of the Zoom reunions of shows long off the air exploring what their characters are doing in lockdown. The harder film and TV tried to be topical, the worse it got. All that said… Locked Down actually looks pretty fun, and I’ll approach with cautious optimism. Check out the recently released trailer here:

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First Trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Villeneuve, John Spaihts, and Eric Roth, based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.
Starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya Coleman, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.
Release Date: 18 December 2020
Studio: Warner Bros. & Legendary Pictures

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‘Bill and Ted Face The Music’ Announces Combo VOD/Theatrical Release With New Trailer

Rumours had been circulating for years of a long gestating third entry into the saga of Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan, and finally last year it became official from Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves themselves.

The first trailer dropped on June 9th with an anticipated August 21st theatrical release, but as theatre reopenings keep getting pushed back, as well as major tent-pole release dates, it was a matter of time before Orion Pictures and United Artists Releasing had to make a call on what to do.

That brings us to today, about a month away from the anticipated release, and they’ve officially announced a release to select theatres and VOD platforms for September 1st! And this came along with a most excellent new trailer.

The official film’s synopsis, courtesy IMDb:

Once told they’d save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.

– IMDb

Bill & Ted Face The Music is directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), written by original Bill & Ted scribes Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon, and stars Reeves & Winter reprising their beloved roles of Ted and Bill (respectively), William Sadler returning as Death, Hal Landon, Jr. back as Ted’s father, Amy Stoch back as Missy… I mean Mom… and they’ll be joined by newcomers Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Bombshell), Beck Bennett (Saturday Night Live), Kid Cudi, Erinn Hayes (Childrens’ Hospital), Jayma Mays (Glee), Holland Taylor (Legally Blonde), Kirsten Schaal (Bob’s Burgers), Jillian Bell (Britney Runs A Marathon), and Anthony Carrigan (Barry). 

Top 10 Films of 2010

These were the films that struck a cord with me in 2010, that I enjoyed for various reasons. Before the list, some Honourable Mentions, just missing the top 10: The Losers,  Tron: Legacy, Easy A, How To Train Your Dragon, The Crazies, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows prt 1, Iron Man 2, Catfish, The A-Team, Tangled

10- The Town (Directed by Ben Affleck; Starring Ben Affleck, John Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall) Even after Gone Baby Gone, I wouldn’t have pegged Affleck as a director who could deliver. But here we are. He’s 2 for 2. He was able to get some great performances out of some terrific actors, and he even elevated his game in front of the camera. We get a tight thriller that excites every step of the way, and pushes Jon Hamm more and more into super stardom.

9- Black Swan (Directed by Darren Aronofsky; Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel) One thing that can be said about Aronofsky’s films is that they are an experience. And he comes off his gut wrenching look at professional wrestling by taking  a look at the New York Ballet scene, and how the drive to be the best can drive one mad. We experience the descent Portman’s Nina goes through, in her best performance to date.

8- The Fighter (Directed by David O. Russell; Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams) Say what you will about Russell, his films tend to be love or hate, but this one is hard to hate. His last pairing with Wahlberg produced Marky Mark’s best performance, add in the drama of a boxing story (which I’m a sucker for) and the almost always great Bale and Adams, it’s a winner.

7- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Directed by Edgar Wright; Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and  Chris Evans) It was easy to miss and dismiss this film as being too esoteric, too targeted, too Michael Cera being Michael Cera (again). But what you missed with this film is one of the most strikingly original romantic comedies, and for once, Cera playing his type works in the film’s favour, as it contrasts with his adversaries. Wright consistently delivers some of the most finely crafted films, even if they are genre films.

6- True Grit (Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen; Starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon Hailee Steinfeld and Josh Brolin) My approach to this film is how I approach most remakes. If they bring something new to the table, or can stand on their own merits, then there’s nothing wrong with them. The Coen brothers bringing their dark humour and bleak sensibilities to the classic (which is actually a readaptation of a book, rather then a remake of a film) western, and Bridges continues with a late career resurgence in both quality and popularity.  Of particular note, young Hailee Steinfeld, with the gravitas and talent not normally seen in someone so young, and holding her own against the likes of Bridges, Damon and Brolin.

5- Let Me In (Directed by Matt Reeves; Starring Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Richard Jenkins) Like True Grit, Let Me In is less of a remake (of the 2008 Swedish film Let The Right One In) and more of a readaptation of the original novel, and it loses none of the haunting beauty of the original. It’s a disservice to compare the two, as both are fascinating. The two children, who were both about 13 when the film was being made, carry the film, and handle the roles better than some actors with twice the age and experience.  Reeves is an emerging voice in genre cinema, and made an indelible impression.

4- Toy Story 3 (Directed by Lee Unkrich; Starring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack) Pixar has been on a 15 year hot streak since the first Toy Story in 95, and I’m not ashamed to say that this brought a tear to my eye (several tears, actually). Pixar never compromises story for spectacle, one thing other animation houses (including Pixar parent, Disney) have struggled with. But they are first and foremost storytellers, and give the fans who grew up with Woody, Buzz & crew a great final, closing chapter.

3- Kick Ass (Directed by Matthew Vaughn; Starring Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Mark Strong) The superhero genre reached critical mass and market saturation with the powerhouse of The Dark Knight and Marvel Studio’s ambitions Avengers plan, but 2010 belonged to a nerdy guy who just wanted to do good. Not since Edgar Wright’s Hott Fuzz has a film so thoroughly skewered the conventions of the genre, yet lived entirely within the confines of the conventions. Moretz delivers her first great performance of the year, and coupled with Let Me In, she should be a lock come Oscar time, and I’m looking forward to more from her for years to come.

2- The Social Network (Directed by David Fincher; Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer and Justin Timberlake) Fincher works from a script by the great Aaron Sorkin, a story that they both acknowledge is both a fictionalized and sensationalized account of mostly true events, but sometimes what actually happened needs to be jazzed up a bit. Eisenberg is the best emerging talent, breaking through in 09, and hitting his stride in ’10 to bring excitement and energy to Zuckerberg and the start of Facebook.

1- Inception (Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy) I’ve seen critiques of this go both ways, but in earnest, Nolan does the near impossible: Combines the spectacle to to appease mainstream audiences, but he actually has a complex plot, interesting characters, and compelling dialog. I’ve been following Nolan for 10 years, and he’s a filmmaker who will consistently deliver. And the cast, what a phenomenal ensemble cast he put together, especially the always pleasing Cotillard.

Not on the list because I have yet to see them:

127 Hours, The King’s Speech, Winter’s Bone, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Waiting for Superman

Top Films of 2009

So I figure that now that we’re at the half-way point of the year, I’d do a catch up, the Top 20 films of 2009 so far. In doing so, I came to a realization. 2009 has been a down year for movies. Maybe we’re finally dealing with the ramifications of the 2007/08 WGA Strike. Or maybe it’s just taking a while to get going. The second half of the year looks good though, with (all links go to trailers) Zombieland, Public Enemies, Inglorious Basterds, Funny People, District 9, Where The Wild Things Are, Avatar (no trailer available) and Sherlock Holmes.

All titles are links to clips/trailers

1)Star Trek
5)The Hangover
6)Drag Me To Hell
7)Terminator Salvation
8)I Love You Man
9)State of Play
10)Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
11)X-Men Origins: Wolverine
12)The Last House on the Left
14)Monsters vs. Aliens
15)Sunshine Cleaning
17)The International
18)Race To Witch Mountain
19)The Proposal
20)He’s Just Not That Into You

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