Dumbo

With Dumbo, Tim Burton Proves He Still Knows How to Give Us What We Want

It was Tim Burton’s dreadful, garish, and bafflingly profitable live-action retooling of Alice in Wonderland that helped kick off the Disney-remake craze nearly a decade ago, so it’s understandable to expect the worst from DumboThe director has never handled sentiment well, and the original 1941 Dumbo is, in some ways, the softest and simplest of the first wave of Disney animated classics; the idea of that compact, understated tale of friendship and maternal love somehow fueling another ornate, bloated Tim Burton super-production sends chills up the spine. But the new Dumbo, as compromised as it is, somehow turns out to be one of the director’s better films of recent years — even as it reveals some of his more frustrating shortcomings.

Not unlike Alice, this live-action take on Dumbo only borrows the bare bones of its story from the original. Dumbo is still a big-eared Asian elephant born in a circus and initially dismissed as a freak, but his companions this time are humans, primarily World War I vet and amputee Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his two kids, Joe and Milly (Finley Hobbins and Nico Parker), all of whom work for a traveling circus run by the boisterous and slightly shady Max Medici (Danny DeVito). The movie also takes from the original the tender bond between Dumbo and his protective mother, who is exiled after she rampages and kills a particularly harsh circus trainer. (And yes, we do get to hear a wonderful, new variation on the achingly tender song “Baby Mine.”)

The Farrier kids take over most of the narrative duties handled in the original by the scrappy Timothy Q. Mouse, who was basically a poor man’s Jiminy Cricket. But they’ve been given a lot more to do here. In the 1941 version, Dumbo doesn’t really fly until late in the story, a development that has the quality of a release, a catharsis. Here, it comes early — and as soon as the adorable little thing takes wing (or should that be “takes ear”?), Max gets a visit from V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), a flamboyant, hot-shot New York carnival impresario, who whisks Dumbo and his human companions off to the infamous, massive Coney Island amusement park Dreamland.

The real-life version of that park, by the way, had already burned down by the year 1919, which is when Dumbo takes place, but I did get a kick out of the film’s attempt to recreate the place — and to give us an alternate, fictional reason for the cataclysmic fire that engulfed it. The colorful world of Dreamland and its many attractions might also remind viewers of Disneyland itself, which prompts interesting thoughts about what Burton might be saying here, as Dumbo gets exploited by the rapacious, seemingly kid-friendly capitalist Vandevere. Could the picture be an allegory for the director’s own time toiling in the Disney factory? Maybe, but Dumbo doesn’t lend much to that reading — most of the story and the dialogue here are pitched at the level of children’s fantasy, simple and direct and subtlety-free. And don’t expect any of that sly, irreverent edge of grown-up cynicism that Burton brought to so much of his early work. This is not the man who gave us Edward Scissorhands, and he hasn’t been for a while.

But here’s the good news: The circus settings do liberate Burton, giving him the opportunity to stage elaborate, bizarre acts with grandiosity and verve. Whether we’re watching Dumbo hoisted along a fake burning building to launch himself off a collapsing platform, or trying to navigate an ill-advised trapeze act, whenever the spotlights come on and the crowd roars, Dumbo comes to life. It helps also that Burton never lets us forget that we’re watching an elephant flying. The way the creature bops along awkwardly with each flap of his ears enhances the weirdness. We want to cheer, but we also want to laugh at the absurdity of it all. And the spectacle never gets tedious or tiresome (as it did in Alice and Dark Shadows) or confusing (as it did in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children). I could watch the circus scenes of this film forever, and thankfully, there are plenty of them.

Captive State

Film Review: ‘Captive State’

An audacious and suspenseful thriller about resistance fighters waging an underdog campaign against occupying extraterrestrials.

Director:
Rupert Wyatt
With:
John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Vera Farmiga, Kevin Dunn, James Ransone, Alan Ruck, Madeline Brewer, Machine Gun Kelly, Kevin J. O’Connor, Ben Daniels, Caitlin Ewal.
Release Date:
Mar 15, 2019

Rated PG-13 1 hour 49 minutes

Official Site: http://www.focusfeatures.com/captivestate/

Given the allusions to literal and thematic Trojan Horses that pepper its third act, one probably shouldn’t be surprised that “Captive State” — which opened cold on March 14 after Focus mysteriously canceled screenings for critics — actually is something of a purposefully camouflaged interloper. Although the TV ads and other promotional material appear to promise a megaplex-ready thrill ride about space invaders and rebellious Earthlings, this rigorously intelligent, cunningly inventive, and impressively suspenseful drama plays more like a classic tale about a disparate group of resistance fighters united in a guerrilla campaign against an occupying force.

The big difference here, of course, is that the occupiers are extraterrestrials, not German troops or British colonialists. But, truth to tell, director Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) and scriptwriter Erica Beeney (“The Battle of Shaker Heights”) don’t seem terribly interested in those intergalactic beasties, which appear only fleetingly on scattered occasions, and resemble some weird DNA commingling of Bigfoot, Elmo of “Sesame Street,” and a cactus. They’re scary enough to serve their purpose, but they’re certainly not the main attraction. Which is one of several reasons why “Captive State” is liable to make its mark as an esteemed cult favorite rather than as a box-office blockbuster.

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There’s an appropriate and effective lo-fi look and feel to the way Wyatt and his ace production team depict everyday life under occupation in Chicago nine years after the extraterrestrials arrived, demanded unconditional surrender, and forced all nations on Earth to disarm and disband armies. While the new “legislators” (as the invaders are known) remain primarily in underground lairs, obedient quislings in government and law enforcement maintain tyrannical control over the populace.

Mind you, the majority of folks in Chicago — and presumably, elsewhere in the U.S. and across the globe — have drunk the Kool-Aid and accepted the many apparent benefits (strong economy, diminished unemployment, etc.) of extraterrestrial rule. A lavish pep rally, complete with a new and invader-stroking version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” tells us all we need to know about how easily the sheep have been corralled.

But a few diehard freedom-fighters remain at large in the community, thereby necessitating the constant vigilance of lawmen like William Mulligan (John Goodman), commander of an inner-city neighborhood where insurgents reportedly congregate.

Under the new regime, digital technology is for the most part illegal — even the cops must rely on Polaroid cameras and tape recorders for surveillance and evidence gathering — leading to gainful employment for Gabriel (Ashton Sanders of “Moonlight”), one of many factory workers tasked with wiping data from cellphones and other devices that have been outlawed. Obviously, there isn’t much in the way of a background check where Gabriel works: He is the brother of Rafe, a resistance fighter who has morphed into an inspirational legend after being listed among the casualties after a police raid. Just as obviously, the cops didn’t do due diligence: Rafe (Jonathan Majors) is alive and reasonably well, and eager to help Gabriel get out of town before the resistance’s next major blow against the oppressors.

To say much more about plot specifics would not be fair, because “Captive State” is one of those relatively rare movies that are all the more gripping if you don’t fully understand what is happening on a minute-to-minute basis, and you’re forced to focus your attention to suss out just who is deserving of a rooting interest, and why they’re doing what they do. The plot has something to do with an assassination conspiracy, which generates as much sweaty-palmed tension as anything in the “Bourne Identity” franchise, and something else to do with contriving to make someone seem as safe and trustworthy as — yes, you guessed it! — a Trojan Horse. Rob Simonsen’s pulsating score propels the movie through the moodily hued urban landscape that DP Alex Disenhof aptly depicts as a place where the sun seldom shines, and nights are fraught with threats.

If you’re a movie buff, you’re more likely to be thinking of Roberto Rossellini’s “Open City,” Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Army of Shadows,” or even Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle for Algiers” than any version of “The War of the Worlds” as “Captive State” methodically envelops you. But if you have never seen — or even heard of — most of the aforementioned films, don’t let that keep you away. Wyatt and Beeney have pulled off something truly audacious and ingenious here, even if they don’t always make it easy to keep up with them.

In fact, they invite, if not demand, repeated viewings of their handiwork, if only to better appreciate the contributions made by, in addition to those already mentioned, Kevin Dunn as a sleazily self-serving collaborator, Alan Ruck as a newspaper reporter in league with the resistance — and Vera Farmiga as a shady lady who knows how to affect a friend, and her audience, with her shrewd use of Nat King Cole’s recording of “Stardust.” If you were on the fence about a movie that’s being hidden from press and positioned to audiences, go ahead, see “Captive State” now. Don’t wait for the cult to coalesce.

Film Review: ‘Captive State’

Reviewed at Regal Gateway Stadium 16, Austin, March 14, 2019. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 109 MIN.

Production: A Focus Features release of a Participant Media presentation of a Lightfuse & Gettaway production. Producers: David Crockett, Rupert Wyatt. Executive producers: Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Ron Schmidt, Adam Simon.

Crew: Director: Rupert Wyatt. Screenplay: Erica Beeney, Wyatt. Camera (color): Alex Disenhof. Editor: Andrew Groves. Music: Rob Simonsen.

With: John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Vera Farmiga, Kevin Dunn, James Ransone, Alan Ruck, Madeline Brewer, Machine Gun Kelly, Kevin J. O’Connor, Ben Daniels, Caitlin Ewal.

US

Us review – Jordan Peele’s brash and brilliant beach holiday horror

Peele’s follow-up to Get Out is a superb doppelganger satire of the American dream, with Lupita Nyong’o delivering a magnificent performance

An almost erotic surge of dread powers this brash and spectacular new horror-comedy from Jordan Peele, right from its ineffably creepy opening. It’s a satirical doppelgänger nightmare of the American Way, a horrified double-take in the mirror of certainty, a realisation that the corroborative image of happiness and prosperity you hoped to see has turned its back, like something by Magritte. And though this doesn’t quite have the same lethal narrative discipline of Peele’s debut masterpiece Get Out, with its drum-tight clarity and control, what it certainly does have is a magnificent lead performance from Lupita Nyong’o, who brings to it a basilisk stare of horror. The musical score by Michael Abels has the same disturbing “Satan spiritual” feel of his compositions for Get Out.

This is a Twilight Zone chiller with something of John Frankenheimer or George A Romero. It opens with a playful borrowing from the spirit and the letter of Spielberg’s Jaws and there’s a horribly prescient invocation of Michael Jackson. The title is of course ambiguous: meaning either the snugly inclusive “us” or the US itself. (An RSC group-devised play about Vietnam in 1966 directed by Peter Brook had the same title and the same double-edged meaning.)

Jordan Peele on Us: ‘This is a very different movie from Get Out’

Nyong’o plays Adelaide, who with her genial, good-natured husband Gabe (Winston Duke) is taking the kids for a summer lakehouse vacation: this is Zora and kid brother Pluto, in which roles Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex are both excellent. The family is in a handsomely appointed cabin, which they have stayed in before, but Gabe is discontented. He wants to drive a little further down to the coast for some old-fashioned family time at the beach. Adelaide is not so sure. It was at this very beach resort that she had a horrible experience when she was a child – in 1986, the Reaganite era of the optimistic Hands Across America charity campaign. While with her mom and dad at the funfair, right after her dad had won her a Michael Jackson T-shirt at a sideshow booth, little Adelaide had wandered off on her own and had a terrible experience. Now, as an adult, she is terrified of her own children straying from her and being “taken”. And she has cause to remember a sickening detail: a strange man on the pier holding a sign with the Biblical reference – Jeremiah 11:11.

The traumatised memory has stayed with her, although she has never spoken about it, and being back at this cursed place makes her jittery and on edge. On the beach, they are reunited with a somewhat jaded white couple, the Myerses (Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker) who annoy Gabe by showing off about being just that little bit richer. Their cabin is flashier, Myers’s car is a cooler model than Gabe’s and his rented boat seems in better shape. (Gabe’s is called “Craw Daddy”; Myers’s is toe-curlingly called “B’Yacht’ch”.) And so Adelaide and Gabe’s compromised family happiness, with its tingling undertow of material and personal disquiet, is shattered one night when they see a group of four people standing in their driveway, a group which seems eerily familiar.

Impostor syndrome is something that afflicts people who have fought their way up to a position of some prestige, while never quite being able to suppress the feeling that they don’t deserve it, that they are just fakes, and that they are taking up a space that should be filled by someone more deserving. Is that partly what Us is about: a whole nation of people who each feel a shadow of historical rebuke behind them? Or perhaps the impostors are coming back to grab everything back, having just been deposed? The demonic invaders seem to be attacking from below and at the height of the horror and mayhem, Gabe and Adelaide briefly discuss the possibility of escaping to Mexico, before deciding they are much better off where they are. Perhaps if America was in dispute with Canada, we would be getting a Zeitgeisty horror-thriller about Americans getting attacked from above.

Yet perhaps these lines of interpretation are beside the point and what is important is the attack from within. It leads to uproarious scenes of chaos, as Gabe shouts to the invaders: “If you wanna get crazy, we can get crazy” – and crazy is certainly what they get, especially in the outrageous fight scene which makes shrewd use of the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations and NWA’s Fuck tha Police.

The fiercely charismatic, mesmeric gaze of Lupita Nyong’o holds the movie together, and I have to say that without her presence, the movie’s final spasm of anarchic weirdness might have lost its grip. She radiates a force-field of pure defiance.
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Five Feet Apart

Film Review: ‘Five Feet Apart’
Haley Lu Richardson shines in an otherwise formulaic teen romance.

A tearjerking romance centered around two teenagers living with cystic fibrosis, first-time feature director Justin Baldoni’s “Five Feet Apart” is ultimately little more than a cover band treatment of “The Fault in Our Stars.” But as far as cover bands go, at least it has a hell of a frontwoman in Haley Lu Richardson. Fresh off of memorable supporting parts in “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Support the Girls,” Richardson gives a star turn every bit as charismatic and assured as the film is formulaic and forgettable, bringing soul, style and nuance to a character that could have easily been a condescending caricature.

An exceptional talent in a sea of well-meaning adequacy, Richardson plays Stella, a bright, wryly optimistic high schooler who has been dealing with cystic fibrosis since childhood. When we meet her, she’s just landed in the hospital for yet another extended stay, and wastes no time decorating every inch of her room, organizing her pills into perfect color-coded rows, and putting together detailed to-do lists for each day. Designing apps from bed and livestreaming her treatment sessions as she waits for a lung transplant, she’s turned her corner of the hospital into something of a second home, maintaining a running dialogue with maternal head nurse Barb (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) and her deferential gay best friend Poe (Moises Arias), a fellow longtime patient.

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But this time, there’s a new kid in the ward: Sarcastic, vaguely rebellious, smolderingly handsome Will (Cole Sprouse) has arrived to undergo an experimental clinical trial, and his cavalier attitude toward his own treatment raises the hyper-disciplined Stella’s hackles. Of course, the film conspires to thrust them together almost immediately, and they warm to one another through a hurried on-again-off-again courtship, striking quid-pro-quo deals, FaceTiming each other well into the night, and inevitably hitting speed bumps as they brush up against each another’s secrets and traumas.

There is, however, a much bigger obstacle to their relationship than the typical rom-com crises: “CFers,” as the characters refer to themselves, are perpetually told to observe the “six-foot rule,” keeping a safe distance from other people with cystic fibrosis to avoid cross-infection. This is a particular concern when it comes to Will, who is infected with the dangerous bacteria B. cepacia, vastly increasing the risk to Stella should she get too close to him. So not only is their budding romance haunted by the very real specter of early mortality, they can’t even hold hands, let alone kiss.

(In case you’re wondering why the film is titled “Five Feet Apart” when the rules call for six, the script does eventually offer a reason for the missing foot. It doesn’t, however, make a whole lot of sense.)

The screenplay, written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, can’t help but clutter up the works with contrivances and clunky dialogue throughout. The film’s handling of Poe falls back on some rather unfortunate “gay best friend” tropes that one might have hoped we’d long since left behind, and its soap-operatic third act offers a jarring pileup of melodramatic twists, some of which drew literal guffaws from the teenage members of an early screening audience. (Several of them went on to openly weep at the film’s denouement, to be fair.) But the film’s middle passage is able to generate genuine sweetness, largely due to Richardson’s low-key magnetism.

When the hesitant couple finally steals away to go on a date (holding a pool cue between them to keep their distance, as well as to serve as a source of surrogate contact) Baldoni cultivates some real sparks, and even a hint of chastely sensual heat, despite rarely leaving the hospital setting. It’s in these scenes – much more so than in its well-intentioned but quasi-academic sequences explaining the challenges of cystic fibrosis – that “Five Feet Apart” manages to humanize the effects of the disease most tangibly and affectingly. If only the rest of the film had followed suit, it might have risen to the level of its star.

Film Review: ‘Five Feet Apart’

Reviewed at AMC Century City, Los Angeles, March 12, 2019.

Production: A CBS Films presentation of a Welle Entertainment, Wayfarer Entertainment production. Produced by Cathy Shulman, Justin Baldoni. Executive producer, Christopher H. Warner.

Crew: Directed by Justin Baldoni. Screenplay, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis. Camera (color): Frankie G. DeMarco. Editor: Angela M. Catanzaro. Music: Brian Tyler, Breton Vivian.

With: Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Parminder Nagra, Claire Forlani, Emily Baldoni.

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel streaming: Can you watch Captain Marvel online? Is it legal?
CAPTAIN MARVEL has not only broken barriers at the box office but she’s also a fun superhero to watch. But can you stream Captain Marvel online?

Captain Marvel soared higher, further, and faster than any other standalone Marvel film. The film was praised by many critics and has broken records at the box office. Though seeing the movie in cinemas is undeniably a fun experience, some fans want to watch it at home.
Can you stream Captain Marvel?

No, as of writing there is no way to legally stream Captain Marvel.

The movie has only been out in cinemas for a week.

You can watch it in IMAX and 3D as well as on standard screens.

Any website claiming to have the film for streaming or download is illegal.

CAPTAIN MARVEL POWERS: HOW DID CAPTAIN MARVEL GET HER POWERS?
Captain Marvel Blu-ray release date is estimated for June 2019.

The film will likely also be available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes in June 2019.

From this point, it may only be a matter of months before the film is available to stream.

However, Disney is launching its own streaming service, so the movie will likely not wind up on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

CAPTAIN MARVEL VS THOR: WHERE IS CAPTAIN MARVEL FROM? WHO IS STRONGER?

Disney’s streaming service international licensing deal has not been made official yet.

When the film does come out as a home edition, there will likely be plenty of bonus features and behind the scenes footage.

For now, you’ll have to head to cinemas to see Captain Marvel in action.

You can also see her in the brand new Avengers: Endgame trailer, released today.

CAPTAIN MARVEL AFTER CREDITS: ARE THERE AFTER CREDITS SCENES? HOW MANY
She appears in the very end of the trailer in a friendly face-off with Thor.

The newest Avenger, played by Brie Larson, only appears in the last moments of the trailer.

In an attempt to startle her, Thor summons his hammer.

The hammer whizzes straight past Danvers’ ear, but she doesn’t flinch.

Thor says stonily: “I like this one,” before smirking devilishly at Natasha (aka Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson).

Captain Marvel is now playing in cinemas

Wonder Park

Film Review: ‘Wonder Park’ lacks the thing it celebrates– imagination

It’s safe to assume that any animated movie made for children will probably not entirely cleave to reality. When a tale pretty much starts off with a talking mouse, you know things are going to get weird from time to time.

The problem with “Wonder Park,” which is set in a magical theme park, is not the element of the fantastical. The problem – one of many – is that the story can’t seem to weave that element into a narrative that makes sense. To put it simply, “Wonder Park” can’t keep the wonder and the park on the same page.

That story begins in Wonderland, a place inhabited by a group of furry park mascots. Their leader is Peanut (voiced by Norbert Leo Butz), a monkey who creates the park’s rides by waving around a magic marker (and I mean “magic” literally).

It turns out that Wonderland isn’t real, but the product of someone’s imagination: a little girl named June (voice of Brianna Denski), who dreamed it up with her mother (Jennifer Garner). After Mom is diagnosed with a mysterious illness and goes away for treatment, June, a precocious kid with a taste for danger, puts the notion of Wonderland aside and becomes dedicated to safety and security, rather than fun. But while on her way to math camp one summer, June escapes from the bus, intending to return home to be with her father. En route, she stumbles across – wait for it – Wonderland.

The visitors have all left. Rides are crumbling. Peanut is missing, and the rest of the mascots are under threat from something called “chimpanzombies”: stuffed-animal prizes from the park’s games of skill that have come terrifyingly to life. June and the mascots must team up to save the park, which was, apparently, real the whole time.

Or was it?

Much of the movie feels like filler. Shots are often overlong; scenes drag or are entirely unnecessary. If June’s adventure in Wonderland is the engine that drives the story, why does it take nearly 40 minutes to get there? Pixar can tell us about childhood sweethearts who grow up to marry and have a long, happy life together – and all in the first 10 minutes of “Up.” Why must we spend what feels like hours watching one scene after another demonstrating that June likes to build stuff?

Still, she’s a compelling-enough character. It’s nice, for once, to see a girl on-screen with a knack for engineering and a fondness for math. But June is also the only one in the movie with any sort of depth or character development. Each of the animals she pals around with has one – if any – defining characteristic. (They’re all on the level of: Steve the porcupine is nervous and can also shoot needles from his body. Never mind the fact that a wildly creative kid has invented an entire amusement park, and we’re supposed to believe that the best name she can come up with for a porcupine is “Steve.”)

Worse yet, the visuals are dreary, and the colors muted. That’s another mystery, since Wonderland is supposedly based on a child’s mind. On the plus side, there is a very funny song about the number pi.

Wonder Park” might have made a charming short film – perhaps about how grief affects a child and how creativity can be a powerful response to that. As is, it’s a pointless and meandering meditation on, well, nothing. There’s no director credited either, the result of the original filmmaker, Dylan Brown, being fired for what Paramount said were inappropriate sexual comments and behavior.

That’s a shame. But it’s also a shame that a movie about one girl’s soaring imagination falls completely flat.

‘Wonder Park’

One star our of four. Rated PG. Contains action and rude humor. 93 minutes

 

Penguins

See ‘March of the Penguins 2’ for free at Detroit’s Beacon Park on Saturday

Saturday is an ideal day to waddle on down to Detroit’s Beacon Park.

As part of the downtown park’s February Flicks series, Beacon is offering two free film screenings on Saturday in its heated tent.
“March of the Penguins 2”

“March of the Penguins 2” (Photo: Hulu)

First up is “March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step.” The 2017 sequel to the Oscar-winning documentary is a family-friendly movie that follows father-and-son Emperor penguins as they embark together on a dangerous journey into the unknowns of Antarctica. The film was made by the same creative team responsible for the original documentary, and once again is narrated by Morgan Freeman.

“Penguins” is being co-presented by Freep Film Festival as part of its monthly screening series.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., there will be a penguin-related presentation by folks from the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo. Kids will have the opportunity to make penguin-related crafts and get photos.
A heated tent becomes a movie theater at Beacon Park’s February Flicks series.

A heated tent becomes a movie theater at Beacon Park’s February Flicks series. (Photo: Downtown Detroit Partnership)

“March of the Penguins 2” will be followed on Saturday by science fiction action flick “Ready Player One” at 6:30 p.m.

The remaining two films in the February Flicks series screen on Feb. 23: “Black Panther” (4 p.m.) and “Selma” (6:30 p.m.) The February Flicks series is presented by the DTE Beacon Park Foundation and the Downtown Detroit Partnership.

Avengers Endgame

New Avengers: Endgame Trailer Features Captain Marvel, New Suits

A new Avengers: Endgame trailer has just been released and while it looks at the past for some of our heroes, it also features new footage – including Captain Marvel, some new suits for the Avengers team, and what appears to be Tony Stark back on earth.

Avengers: Endgame – Official Trailer 2
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In addition to the trailer, a new poster was also revealed that features Thanos and those that survived his devastating snap.
Avengers Poster

This new trailer is the second official trailer we’ve received for the film that will continue the catastrophic events that occurred in Avengers: Infinity war and the first that features Captain Marvel, whose origin film released last week to very positive reviews.

Avengers: Endgame, which will be released in theaters on April 26, 2019 (April 25 in the UK), may potentially be the longest Marvel movie ever, with the Russo Brothers saying the film was around the “three-hour mark,” although that was before some edits.

There has obviously been a ton of speculation and theories about what will occur in Avengers: Endgame, and we’ve looked at what Hawkeye’s new costume reveals about the film, how Captain Marvel’s spoilery new power may impact Endgame, and so much more.

Avengers: Endgame – First Trailer

Avengers: Endgame is just one of the many high-profile films that are being released this year, a list that also includes Star Wars: Episode IX, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, and so many more.

For more on the new Avengers movie, check out our thoughts on if a new Hawkeye is being set up for the MCU, or catch up on our theories about the new Avengers Endgame suits. Or learn what Hawkeye’s Ronin costume reveals about the state of the MCU in Endgame!

Avengers Endgame new trailer: Iron Man returns home, Captain America does ‘whatever it takes’ to defeat Thanos

Marvel Studios has released the third (and possibly) the final trailer for Avengers: Endgame on Thursday. The 2.5-minute trailer aims to encapsulate the entire history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by invoking a decade’s worth of nostalgia.

To avoid revealing spoilery information in the Avengers Endgame trailer, Marvel seems to have come up with an effective strategy – the trailer appears to contain just as much old footage as it does fresh shots from the upcoming film. This serves multiple purposes – not only do we, as fans, get to reminisce about our favourite heroes, but the secrets are maintained.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige had previously hinted that the idea is to not reveal anything beyond the film’s opening 30 minutes in the promotional material, which they’ve done so far.

This new Endgame trailer opens with Tony Stark, stranded in space following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, narrating a message to his fiance, Pepper Potts. This is interspersed with glimpses from the first Iron Man movie. “It seems like a 1000 years ago, I fought my way out of that cave, became Iron Man, realised I loved you. And I know we said no more surprises, but I was really hoping we could pull of one last one,” he says.

The same process is repeated with Captain America, but the voiceover that accompanies his scenes suggests that a popular fan theory might perhaps be true. “The world has changed, none of us can go back, all we can do is our best, and sometimes the best we can do is to start over,” we hear a voice say, indicating perhaps that the MCU is in for a reboot, following the introduction of alternate realities and dimensions.

Also read: Captain Marvel movie review: Brie Larson stars in a feature length trailer for Avengers Endgame

But the biggest clue as to this theory’s veracity comes in the film’s money shot at the end. While Marvel, for obvious reasons couldn’t show glimpses of the final showdown with Thanos, they gave us the next best thing. Shots of Ant-Man shrinking are followed immediately by Captain America and Iron Man leading the heroes into the Quantum Realm, dressed in brand new suits.

Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans,Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and others. The film is slated for an April 26 release.

Avengers: Endgame’ Official Trailer: Marvel Unleashes the Biggest Superhero Event in Film History

From one record-breaking blockbuster to another, Marvel is looking to have its biggest year yet. Fresh off the box office success of “Captain Marvel” (which has already grossed over $500 million worldwide in less than a week and is destined to cross the $1 billion mark), Disney and Marvel Studios have unleashed the official trailer for next month’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which is easily the most highly anticipated entry in this decade-long franchise.

“Endgame” takes place after the events of last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” with half of the world’s population gone after Thanos secured all the Infinity Stones and snapped his finger. The surviving Avengers on Earth, including Captain America and Black Widow, team up to try and find the one way to reverse Thanos’ destruction. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye (now the samurai-wielding Ronin) did not appear in “Infinity War” but are all back this time and apparently integral to how the Avengers plan to defeat Thanos and bring back their missing heroes, including Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Star Lord.

The very large “Avengers: Endgame” ensemble cast is led by Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, and Elizabeth Olsen, among many others.

Disney will release “Avengers: Endgame” in theaters nationwide on April 26.

It’s the end of the world in Marvel’s final Avengers: Endgame trailer

The end of Avengers: Infinity War did not leave our heroes in the best places, and Marvel’s latest trailer for Avengers: Endgame looks to drive home that point. It features a solemn recap of the earliest days of the franchise to drive home just how far the heroes — and fans — have come.

Like previous trailers, the latest clip is light on details for what will come in the big finale that Endgame promises to be. But a repeating mantra is that the Avengers will do “whatever it takes” to try and undo the damage that Thanos (Josh Brolin) has done — even if Thanos himself fails to make an appearance in the trailer.

Whatever last-ditch plan the collected heroes of the Marvel universe will try, at least we know that it’ll be in style, with the reveal of some slick, white Avengers uniforms. The trailer does end with one surprise: a scene with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), fresh off her blockbuster debut last week to help out the rest of the Avengers.

Presumably, we’ll find out whether Marvel’s heroes can succeed in just a few short weeks when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th.

After

A young woman falls for a guy with a dark secret and the two embark on a rocky relationship. Based on the novel by Anna Todd.

Storyline

Based on Anna Todd’s novel, AFTER follows Tessa (Langford), a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart, as she enters her first semester in college. Armed with grand ambitions for her future, her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott (Tiffin), a magnetic, brooding rebel who makes her question all she thought she knew about herself and what she wants out of life. Written by Aviron Pictures

The Curse of La Llorona

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’

The predatory bogeywoman of Mexican legend haunts 1970s Los Angeles in Michael Chaves’ efficiently formulaic shocker.

Director:
Michael Chaves
With:
Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou.
Release Date:
Apr 19, 2019

Rated R 1 hour 33 minutes

Official Site: https://www.thecurseoflallorona.com/

Things go bump in the night — and, as an occasional change of pace, in the middle of the afternoon — with a frequency that will neither surprise nor disappoint genre fans throughout “The Curse of La Llorona,” an efficiently formulaic shocker inspired by the centuries-old Mexican legend of the titular bogeywoman. It’s set in Los Angeles during the early 1970s, for no readily apparent reason other than to justify the what-the-hell inclusion of Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” theme on the soundtrack. But its true location clearly is a distant corner of producer James Wan’s “The Conjuring” extended horror-movie universe, which gets a fleeting wink-wink hat-tip early on with a clever cameo appearance by Tony Amendola in his “Annabelle” role as Father Perez.

Linda Cardellini strikes a credible balance of maternal instincts and mortal terror as Anna Garcia, a social worker and widowed mom who suspects the worst when she discovers a woman in her caseload has been keeping her two small boys locked in a closet in their apartment. Despite the mother’s frantic insistence that she’s been driven to extremes to protect her children from an ungodly evil, the boys are taken away from her and placed in foster care. Within hours, they are found drowned in a reservoir — and Patricia (Patricia Velásquez), the distraught mom, is considered a prime suspect.

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As it turns out, however, the real culprit is La Llorona, aka The Weeping Woman, the malevolent spirit of a 17th-century Mexican beauty who drowned her own two children in a jealous rage to punish her unfaithful husband, and now walks the Earth to claim, or kill, other unfortunate youngsters. But wait, there’s more: Because Patricia blames Anna for her tragic loss, she prays for La Llorona to add the social worker’s young children, Samantha (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen) and Chris (Roman Christou), to her hit list. It doesn’t take long for prayers to be answered.

First-time feature director Michael Chaves is a great deal short of subtle while, as regularly as clockwork, he utilizes La Llorona (portrayed by Marisol Ramirez as a decrepit apparition in a white gown and veil) to provide the jarring pay-off for slow-build scenes featuring sudden gusts of wind, slamming doors and windows, and portentous shots of dripping faucets, unwinding car-window handles, and a backyard swimming pool that appears roughly the size of Rhode Island.

But, then again, people who buy tickets for a rock-the-house scare fest like “The Curse of La Llorona” — and, rest assured, this movie is bound to sell lots and lots of tickets to easily satisfied customers when it opens April 19 — usually aren’t in the market for nuance and understatement. No, they really want to savor the shared experience of screaming, or at least audibly expressing startlement, each time someone or something does the equivalent of sneaking up on them and yelling “Boo!”

That same audience customarily also enjoys laughing out loud at those clumps of cliché-heavy, on-the-nose dialogue that sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadvertently, provide comic relief. Scriptwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis provide an adequate sprinkling of such howlers, saving the best lines for Raymond Cruz as Rafael Olvera, a former priest turned freelance curandero (or faith healer) armed with a slew of magic potions and powders, and a sly, self-mocking wit.

Cruz infuses Rafael with such incontestable authority that you almost believe he’s proposing a rational game plan rather than rationalizing a plot contrivance when he tells Anna and her children that they might as well stick around their besieged house during the third act and fight La Llorona there because, really, she’d probably just follow them if they vamoose to somewhere safer. Even if they’d flee to a place with better lighting, and without a ginormous swimming pool.

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’

Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (Headliners), March 15, 2019. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 93 MIN.

Production: A Warner Bros. release of a New Line Cinema presentation of an Atomic Monster/Emile Gladstone Production. Producers: James Wan, Gary Dauberman, Emile Gladstone. Executive producers: Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Michelle Morrissey, Michael Clear.

Crew: Director: Michael Chaves. Screenplay: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis. Camera (color): Michael Burgess. Editor: Peter Gvozdas. Music: Joseph Bishara.

With: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou.