Ryan Reynolds improves his game in the Free Guy Trailer


You have to hand it to Ryan Reynolds, he knows how to market his projects. In the course of a few days, he made an advertisement for a TV that linked to a new film and his gin company, Aviation Gin. He also made a separate commercial for Aviation Gin starring Monica Ruiz, who everyone knows as the wife in the Peleton ads. Now, 20th Century Fox reunites Reynolds and his Green Lantern co-star, Taika Waititi in Free Guy.

Free Guy has Reynolds playing an NPC (Non-Playable Character) in a Video Game that is due to be shut down. Using classic video game items like power ups, guns and dance emotes, Reynolds’ character decides it’s time to level up. While we’re not sure of where this all goes, it’s good to see Ryan bring some of that Deadpool flair under the Disney umbrella.

Free Guy, Directed by Shawn Levy (Date Night), is set to release on July 3, 2020.

Here Are The 2019 Nominations of the Detroit Film Critics Society!


Earlier on Friday, the Detroit Film Critics Society released their nominations for the best of 2019!

Now, back in 2018, the DFCS honored some great films that were overlooked by the Academy, films like Eighth Grade, A Quiet Place, and First Reformed.  I mean, I really, really loved the 2018 DFCS awards.  And you know what?  I’m pretty happy with what they came up with for 2019 as well!  I especially like the nomination for Anna Paquin in The Irishman.  With all the overblown controversy about how many lines she spoke in the film, it is often overlooked that she gave a great performance and, with just the power of her withering glare, pretty much transformed Peggy into the conscience of the film.

Here are the DFCS nominees for the best of 2019!  The winners will be announced on December 9th!

BEST PICTURE
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Parasite

BEST DIRECTOR
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Bong Joon-ho – Parasite
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

BEST ACTRESS
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story
Julianne Moore – Gloria Bell
Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Charlize Theron – Bombshell
Renee Zellweger – Judy

BEST ACTOR
Robert De Niro – The Irishman
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Joe Pesci – The Irishman
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Sam Rockwell – Richard Jewell
Wesley Snipes – Dolemite Is My Name

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell
Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit
Anna Paquin – The Irishman
Florence Pugh – Little Women

BEST SCREENPLAY
The Irishman
The Lighthouse
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Parasite

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Klaus
Toy Story 4

BEST USE OF MUSIC
1917
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Rocketman
Uncut Gems
Wild Rose

BEST ENSEMBLE
Dolemite Is My Name
The Farewell
The Irishman
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Parasite

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Amazing Grace
Apollo 11
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
Knocking Down the House
Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

BREAKTHROUGH
Ana de Armas – actress (Knives Out, The Informer, Yesterday)
Jessie Buckley – actress (Wild Rose, Judy)
Kaitlyn Dever – actress (Booksmart, Them That Follow)
Aisling Franciosi – actress (The Nightingale)
Paul Walter Hauser – actor (Richard Jewell)
Florence Pugh – actress (Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, Little Women)
Lulu Wang – director (The Farewell)
Olivia Wilde – director (Booksmart)

Lifetime Film Review: The Killer Next Door (dir by Ben Meyerson)


Ah, the suburbs!

Listen, it doesn’t matter how big your house is or how nice of a career you’ve got going or how pretty your family might be.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a nice pool or a nice house or if your sister-in-law lives right next door.  It doesn’t matter how friendly the neighbors seem to be or that there’s a really hot guy at your new job.  If you live in the suburbs, you are screwed.

At least, that’s what I’ve learned from watching Lifetime movies.  Now, I should admit that I live in a suburb and …. well, it’s pretty nice.  But I’m guessing that my neighborhood must be the exception to the rule because, as I’ve learned from watching Lifetime, every other suburban neighborhood is a hotbed of murder, betrayal, and kidnapping.

Take The Killer Next Door, for instance!

Julie (Andrea Bogart) and her ten year-old son, Matty (Nicholas Borne), have just moved into a nice, big house in the suburbs.  Julie’s been having a tough time ever since her husband was killed in a tragic auto accident.  But, finally, it looks like things might be getting better!  She’s got a new home and a new job as a personal trainer, where she meets big, handsome Blake (John-Michael Carlton).  Living right next door, she’s get her sister-in-law, Alison (Hannah Barefoot).  As Alison makes clear, she’s more than willing to help Julie in whatever way possible.  Alison definitely wants to look after Matty whenever Julie can’t be there.  In fact, Alison is so determined to be there for Matty that she even seems to get a little bit offended when Julie hires a nanny!  Hmmmm, I wonder where this could be leading….

As Julie soon discovers, she’s moved into a very tight-knit and somewhat gossipy neighborhood.  In fact, there’s even a website where everyone in the neighborhood can post comments about upcoming events, along with totally mean stuff about the newest member of the community!  Julie quickly discovers — with Alison’s help — that her new neighbors apparently don’t like her!  Little things — like taking the trash out on the wrong day — really set them off.  And then there’s the time that Julie thinks Matty has been kidnapped and she gets the entire neighborhood to set up a search party, just for Alison to come driving up in her SUV with Matty sitting in the passenger’s seat.  It was all just a misunderstanding!  Needless to say, Julie’s neighbors are not amused.  All that drama for nothing….

Anyway, no one should be shocked to discover that Alison isn’t exactly the benevolent sister-in-law that she pretends to be.  In fact, she’s setting Julie up.  But will Julie realize what’s happening or will she be too caught up in arguing with her neighbors to notice that Alison is stealing her son away from her?  You’ll have to watch to find out….

I always enjoy a good, “evil in the suburbs” movie so I enjoyed The Killer Next Door.  It’s pretty obvious from the start that Alison is not to be trusted but that’s actually what makes a movie like this fun.  You know that Julie’s being set up and the suspense comes from trying to guess how long it’s going to take Julie to figure it out.  Mostly, I liked the film’s portrayal of all of Julie’s gossipy neighbors.  No matter what was happening, you could always be sure that one of them would pop up in the background with a disapproving look on their face.  The Killer Next Door was a fun trip to Suburban Hell.

Here’s The Trailer For The Assistant!


Here’s the trailer for The Assistant, starring Ozark‘s Julia Garner as …. well, as an assistant.

(Of course, the correct term in administrative professional.)

I’m usually pretty skeptical of late January/early February releases but this trailer looks pretty good and the film’s been well-reviewed by some sites and people whose opinions I generally respect.  I’ve worked as an assistant in an office so, to a certain extent, I could relate to the trailer.  Of course, my experiences were never as bad as Julia Garner’s appear to have been.  For instance, it recently occurred to me that I’ve never had an employer yell at me.  Apparently, that makes me unique or something.

Anyway, prepare to take a journey into wage slavery with the trailer for The Assistant!

 

Here Are The AFI’s Top Ten of 2019


The American Film Institute released their picks for the 10 best American films of 2019.  The AFI list is usually a pretty good indicator of what’s going to be nominated for best picture.  While it’s rare that every film on the AFI’s list gets a best picture nomination, it’s even more rare for a film to get a nomination without also appearing on the list.  (Then again, it has happened in the past so who knows?  Life is a mystery, as Doc Bowman likes to put it.)

So, with that in mind, here’s the AFI list.  You’ll notice no mention of Uncut Gems, The Two Popes, or Hustlers.  However, Joker made it so maybe that’ll shut up everyone on twitter whose complaining about Joaquin Phoenix not winnings the NYFCC’s best actor award.  (Probably not.)

MOTION PICTURES OF THE YEAR

“The Farewell”

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”

“Joker”

“Knives Out”

“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”

“1917”

“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

“Richard Jewell”

 

SPECIAL AWARD “Parasite”

(As South Korean film, Parasite was not eligible for the regular AFI honors — hence, the special award.)

 

New York Film Critics Circle Honor The Irishman, Banderas, and Nyong’o!


The New York Film Critics Circle just voted on and announced their picks for the best of 2019!  (It took about four and a half hours, which is quick by NYFCC standards.)  The Irishman winning Best Picture isn’t a shock but just check out some of the other winners!  The Safdie Brothers for best director!  Lupita Nyong’o and Antonio Banderas for best lead performances!  Check out all the love given to international films!

Now, just because a critics group embraces a film or performance, that doesn’t mean the Oscars will do the same.  (Last year, for instance, Regina Hall was deservedly named best actress but was snubbed by the Academy.)  Still, these awards will keep these names in the conversation and both Banderas and Nyong’o — who, despite their acclaimed performances, have been overshadowed by Adams Driver and Sandler and Renee Zellweger — will probably see at least a little renewed interest as a result of these wins.

Here are the NYFCC winners!

  • Best Picture: The Irishman
  • Best Director: The Safdie Brothers for Uncut Gems
  • Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
  • Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o in Us
  • Best Actor: Antonio Banderas in Pain & Glory
  • Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern in Marriage Story and Little Women
  • Best Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci in The Irishman
  • Best Cinematography: Claire Mathon, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Best Non-fiction Film: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov, “Honeyland” (NEON)
  • Best Foreign Language Film: “Parasite” (South Korea)
  • Best Animated Feature: Jérémy Clapin, “I Lost My Body” (Netflix)
  • Best First Film: Mati Diop, “Atlantics”
  • Special Award For Career Achievement: Randy Newman
  • Special Award: Indie Collect

 

Here Are The 20 Semi-Finalists From The Best Visual Effects Oscar


For those of you trying to perfect your Oscar nominations before they’re announced in January, here are the 20 semi-finalists for the Best Visual Effects Oscar!  So, if you were planning on predicting a nomination for Godzilla or Shazam!, drop them from your list because they didn’t make it.  Instead, the nominees will come from the list below:

  • “Ad Astra”
  • “The Aeronauts”
  • “Aladdin”
  • “Alita: Battle Angel”
  • “Avengers: Endgame”
  • “Captain Marvel”
  • “Cats”
  • “Dumbo”
  • “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
  • “Ford v Ferrari”
  • “Gemini Man”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “Jumanji: The Next Level”
  • “The Lion King”
  • “Men in Black: International”
  • “Midway”
  • “1917”
  • “Spider-Man: Far from Home”
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
  • “Terminator: Dark Fate”