All posts by sleeplessdave

I love to write, and I love all things geek: movies, TV, comics, and more. Stories provide an escape from this increasingly loathsome world. In my site and my writing I try to celebrate the worlds that allow us to escape: from the shores of Middle-Earth, to atop The Wall and Castle Black, to the bridge of the USS Enterprise, and to a galaxy far, far away.

No Formal In Theaters Column for 8/3/2018

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Quick and dirty In Theaters column this week.  Mission Impossible: Fallout returned us to our winning ways.  Fallout took in a franchise record $61.3 million to handily take the weekend crown last week over #2 Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, which managed $15.2 million.  This weekend brings three new wide releases: Disney’s Christopher Robin, Kate McKinnon’s comedy The Spy Who Loved Me, and the critically-acclaimed Eighth Grade.  This weekend’s box office race will be between Fallout in its sophomore week and Christopher Robin.  Right now, looking at it, I think Fallout will be able to hang on due to repeat business and its crazy good reviews pulling in people who normally wouldn’t see a Mission Impossible film in the theater.  Looks like it will be really, really close.

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My Favorite Scene: The American President (1995) “Ordering Flowers”

I’m so glad Aaron Sorkin wrote The American President and its intellectual sequel, The West Wing, at the time he did.  It’s hard to imagine either working today.  If you’re a fan of The West Wing and have never seen The American President, you absolutely should.  It’s a wonderful film, and you can clearly see Sorkin working out ideas that he would later expand on in much more detail in The West Wing.  A number of cast members, led by Martin Sheen who plays White House Chief of Staff in The American President and President Bartlet in The West Wing, star in both the film and the TV series.  Both Sorkin projects are unabashed love letters to the American system of democracy and the ideal of public service.  Those concepts have been so tarnished in the decade since The West Wing left the air that I can’t give any serious credence to the rumors of the show’s revival.

The Presidency and The White House are as much a part of the cast of The American President as Michael Douglas or Annette Bening (both of whom turn in some of the best performances of their careers).  There have been hundreds of film Presidents, but The American President takes a uniquely human look at the President.  Andrew Shepard (Douglas) is looked at as a father and a man in love as much as he is the President.  The film captures the last era before the Internet would change how everyone, including POTUS, would interact forever.  All in all (and I realize I’m publishing this on a blog, the irony does not escape me) it was a more civilized age.  It’s nice to be able to go back to media time capsules like this and unplug from the current political paradigm.  Sorkin is my favorite writer in any medium, and I can’t wait to see what does next.

Michael Douglas and Annette Bening in The American President

Venom Trailer #2 (2018) *The World Has Enough Superheroes*

Venom’s second full trailer focuses less on the film’s plot and more on showing off Spider-Man’s morally ambiguous doppelganger.  The Venom teaser took a lot of heat for not really showing the symbiote (a word I have apparently been mispronouncing for 30 years).  The first Venom trailer was more story-based but did show a lot of Venom.  The second Venom trailer has more Venom than Tom Hardy.  Aside from the lack of a spider-symbol on his chest (given the absence of Spider-Man from Sony’s Spiderverse, that wouldn’t make sense) Venom looks pretty much exactly as Todd McFarlane drew him when he debuted in Amazing Spider-Man.  There is a ton of Venom fanservice going on in this film, which if nothing else, seems like it is going to be a very different type of comic book movie.  We’ll see if that’s a good or a bad thing when Venom hits theaters October 5, 2018.

Continue reading Venom Trailer #2 (2018) *The World Has Enough Superheroes*

Release Date Set for Jumanji 3

<img style="max-width: 100%;" src="https://images-production.freetls.fastly.net/uploads/photos/file/271350/jumanji-dwayne-johnson.jpg?auto=compress&crop=top&fit=max&q=55&w=750%5D(Source: Life & Style)Sony has officially confirmed that Jumanji 3 will be released on December 13, 2019. <a href=" data-mce-src="https://images-production.freetls.fastly.net/uploads/photos/file/271350/jumanji-dwayne-johnson.jpg?auto=compress&crop=top&fit=max&q=55&w=750%5D(Source: Life & Style)Sony has officially confirmed that Jumanji 3 will be released on December 13, 2019.

Sony has officially confirmed that Jumanji 3 will be released on December 13, 2019. Variety revealed that Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillen will all reprise their roles. Director Jake Kasdan and producer Matt Tolmach will be on board, too.

(Spoiler warning: Details about the first two Jumanji films are discussed below.)

It will be interesting to see how Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s central characters will return to the big screen again considering that the video game was destroyed at the end of the last film. Digital Spy points out that it’s one of the few movies that has an ending that doesn’t set up the next installment.

Since Johnson, Black, Hart, and Gillen play avatars inside Jumanji, the new story will have to figure out how the next film will play out. One theory is that they could play their actual characters who have to stop the Jumanji game wreaking havoc in the real world.

Done the right way this could actually lead to many more creative possibilities. And let’s not forget that Jon Favreau’s Zathura is a spin-off of the Jumanji franchise as well. It would certainly be interesting to see those two insane worlds collide.

Another aspect that could be explored in the new film is the motivation behind the game aside from simply causing anarchy. The next installment could finally explain where the game originated from; who or what made it; and why it was unleashed on the world. These are probably questions that fans have been wondering about ever since the first movie came out in 1995. The original Jumanji was a hit that garnered a huge following when it went to video and later television. Collider credits some of the success of the adventure film to Robin Williams’s performance. The original also broke new ground with its special effects, which were ahead of their time.

The movie’s fun-loving appeal translated to the latest edition with Dwayne Johnson now fronting the franchise. This soon led to the film branching out into a number of different ventures to build upon the hype machine surrounding one of this year’s biggest blockbusters. Among the many iconic films that have games on CheekyBingo, Jumanji has a slot title that has become very popular on the back of the Jake Kasdan-directed film. The game’s graphics simulate some of the most memorable scenes from the original film, such as the famous stampede and giant plant attack that resonate with fans even 22 years after the original was released. Killing Time previously pointed out that the sequel’s appeal is mainly due to its video game premise, which drew in the console crowd. Plus, it was an action/comedy, a genre enjoyed even by casual moviegoers.

Sony must be pretty confident to schedule the release of the next film just a week before the release of Star Wars Episode IX. But then again, it didn’t stop them from releasing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle just 10 days before The Last Jedi, as it still achieved box office success.

*This look at the past and future of the Jumanji franchise was written by Sue Williams.

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle Poster