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The Big Problem With The Black Manta Suit, According To Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Whether you’re an avid comic book reader or grew up watching the Super Friends on TV, there’s a good chance that if you’re a fan of Aquaman, you’re also a fan of his most iconic nemesis, Black Manta. You couldn’t have a big screen Aquaman movie without bringing the character along for the ride, and while it’s clear Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had a blast playing the character, it wasn’t all fun and games. It turns out that suit isn’t quite as much fun as it looks as it was incredibly heavy. According to the actor…

While most of the big superhero outfits of the day, like the Iron Man suit, are now more CGI than actual costume, it seems that Aquaman decided to make the Black Manta suit the real thing, at least from a physical sense, it probably doesn’t shoot lasers. A costume that weighs 100 pounds, as the actor tells The IMDb Show, is no joke, it’s got to be difficult to move around in the thing, and visibility with that helmet has to be less than great. It might make sense as a supervillain, but for an actor wearing something like that it must be a chore.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the difficulty that comes with bringing a popular comic book hero to life on screen. It’s something of a regular occurrence now as more and more comic characters make the leap. When characters like Black Manta were created, no thought was given to the practicality of the costume, it was simply a question of what design looked the best on the page. Nobody worried about how such a thing would translate to film and a real person.

However, the characters have become such icons that people want to see them on screen just as they look in the comics. This means creating what might otherwise be an utterly impractical costume, like the massive helmet of Black Manta, just the way fans remember it.

It seems to have been worth it. Aquaman has become a massive hit and the highest grossing DC movie to date around the world. That’s probably not entirely because Black Manta looks amazing, but that fact probably doesn’t hurt either. He does look like his comic self jumped right off the comic page. Fans of the villain, and there are many, have to be satisfied with what they got.

Add to that the fact that odds are we’ll see Black Manta again in the future of the DC universe, and it would appear Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will be getting quite the workout in his massive costume for the foreseeable future.

Keanu Reeves’ Replicas Is Making Smart Use Of Rotten Tomatoes In Its Ads

Keanu Reeves has a sci-fi movie called Replicas opening this Friday. It took years to get to theaters, and it doesn’t look like it’s destined for big bucks. But it may at least have found a clever marketing strategy to make lemonade out of potential lemons.

I was watching ABC or NBC Monday night and noticed an ad for Replicas. The TV spot showed the Rotten Tomatoes logo with 93% on it — with it noted that 93% of Rotten Tomatoes users want to see the movie.

I’m not sure how common it is to market a film that way. It might just be new to me, or just the first time I really paid attention because Keanu always commands my attention. But I thought it was a pretty clever way to market this particular film.

Checking Rotten Tomatoes just now, there is still no actual Tomatometer score for Replicas yet, even though the movie is officially opening in two days on January 11. There’s only one review in there right now, and it’s rotten.

This movie had a long gestation. It started filming in the summer of 2016 and it’s only releasing now in early 2019. It seems destined for a low RT score from critics and probably only a marginally better RT audience score. CinemaBlend’s own Doug Norrie predicts Replicas will end up with a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 28%.

So this was Replicas‘ one-and-only chance to use the Rotten Tomatoes brand with 93%. (It’s at 92% right now, from 513 ratings, but on TV I’m pretty sure I saw it at 93. I didn’t tape or rewind it, though, because it might’ve been while I was watching The Bachelor and that’s shameful enough to live through once.)

I’ve seen films use regular moviegoers in ads before, showing people reacting after a screening, or tweets plugging the movie. And of course movies love to promote when their films get a very fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, and/or a high CinemaScore from polled moviegoers.

But in this case, Replicas can capture the value of the RT brand — because yes, whatever you may personally think, it does still have value — get the consensus value of 93%, and also get the value of that 93 percent interest being from regular moviegoers, not “The Critics.”

When I lived in Wyoming, I used to work with a woman who would only go see a movie if it had a Rotten Tomatoes rating higher than about 75%. That was over a decade ago, and I have no idea if she still feels that way at a time when the divide between critics and audiences is more pronounced than ever. But I’m curious if seeing 93% — or 92% — interest like this would sway her. It does give the film that consensus value, and suggests it will be a big event, or something people will be talking about.

Ticket prices have gone up since that point, and some of us don’t live very close to movie theaters. We all need incentive to head out to the cinema, some more than others. For me, Keanu might be enough, unless the eventual reviews are so bad I decide to just wait for the home release.

Whatever happens from here, I thought it was a smart way to find a marketing angle for a movie that otherwise looks like it’s going to struggle at the box office.

Entertainment Studios bought the North American/domestic box office rights to Replicas for $4 million after a private screening at the recent Toronto Film Festival, THR reported. Deadline estimates Replicas will make $4-$7 million in its opening weekend January 11-13. Aquaman is still expected to dominate for its fourth weekend, and potentially reach $1 billion worldwide.

It doesn’t look like Replicas was ever intended to be a major movie, and these days many smaller films go straight to VOD (or Netflix) without getting a theatrical release at all, so Replicas is already a step ahead of many titles. Replicas must be getting a fairly wide release if I can see it in my local theater on the New Hampshire/Maine border; that was not the case for Keanu’s movie Destination Wedding with Winona Ryder, which I was particularly looking forward to seeing before I realized I’d have to travel over an hour.

In Replicas, Keanu Reeves plays neuro-scientist William Foster, who is on the verge of successfully transferring human consciousness into a computer when his family (including wife Mona, played by Alice Eve) is killed in a car crash. Desperate to resurrect his family, William recruits fellow scientist Ed Whittle (Thomas Middleditch) to help him secretly clone their bodies and create replicas. William ultimately faces a “Sophie’s Choice” when it turns out that they can only bring three of the four family members back to life.

Replicas may have a quiet run, but Keanu Reeves has at least two big hits on the docket for 2019 — John Wick: Chapter 3, opening May 17, and Toy Story 4, opening June 21. We don’t know too much yet about his Toy Story voice role, but we know plenty about John Wick 3.

Obviously his career will be fine even if Replicas doesn’t go too far. Keanu has spent decades in this balance of indie films and major blockbusters. For every Bill & Ted, Speed, The Matrix, or John Wick, he has a smaller film like My Own Private Idaho, Siberia, or Destination Wedding. (No one asked, but his work in I Love You To Death is truly undervalued; he and William Hurt are an unexpectedly brilliant comedic pairing.)

Keanu Reeves clearly has brand value of his own — which is why his name and face dominate the Replicas posters — and his presence is probably why so many RT users expressed interest in the movie. We’ll see how well the movie does in its opening weekend when the numbers roll in this Sunday, but it will be hard to really quantify how much those ads specifically got people into seats.

Replicas opens in theaters this Friday, January 11. Here’s what else is headed to theaters in the jam-packed 2019.

Do You Plan To See Replicas?

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Queen’s Brian May Addresses Poor Bohemian Rhapsody Reviews After Golden Globe Win

Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t adored by critics, but it didn’t stop the film from winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama on Sunday night. It does seem to be an odd situation that a film that is viewed by so many to be…you know…it’s fine…is now called Best Picture, but Queen’s Brian May thinks the reason that the movie was hit so hard by critics, is that they judged the film too early. According to May…

It seems that Brian May feels that the critics went into _Bohemian Rhapsody _with preconceived notions that he feels they then needed to stand by in the final reviews, rather than give the complete film the fair shake it deserved.

It’s certainly true that from the first trailers there were concerns raised about Bohemian Rhapsody. The trailers only showed Freddie Mercury’s relationship with Mary Austin, leading many to wonder if the fact that Mercury was gay was going to be downplayed or ignored. When the film was released, it was clear that wasn’t the case, but many still felt that the film lacked depth, giving us only a surface level look at the man and the band rather than the deep dive that a life like that of Freddie Mercury truly deserved.

While many of those critics likely wouldn’t agree with the Golden Globes win for Bohemian Rhapsody, fewer would take issue with Rami Malek’s win for Best Actor. Many of the same reviews that were critical of the film did point out Malek’s transformative performance as Mercury as a high point for the film. He clearly gave the movie his all.

To be clear, overall the reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody are still positive. Review Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 62% positive score, the reviews simply aren’t overwhelmingly glowing in the way you often expect out of movies considered for the end of the year awards like the Golden Globes. Bohemian Rhapsody is actually one of the poorest performing films from a review standpoint to win the Golden Globe for Best Picture.

Whether or not critics really refused to give Bohemian Rhapsody a fair review, as May claims according to Yahoo, is an ultimately impossible question to answer. Lots of movies review poorly upon release before time and distance eventually convince many that the film is actually good. There’s always the possibility that will happen here, and the Golden Globes certainly saw something in the film worthy of the prize.

Of course, critics don’t vote for the Golden Globes, and they also don’t vote for the Oscars, If critics are alone in their regard for Bohemian Rhapsody, and the film’s box office shows that the average movie fan also loved the film, then we could see the critics be proven “wrong” yet again.

Could The Avengers: Endgame VR Experience Reveal A Potential Spoiler?

Since Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters last April, the conversation the discussion around the Russo Brothers’ massive ensemble piece hasn’t slowed down. This is mostly due to the film’s twist ending, where Josh Brolin’s Thanos succeeded in his even quest, and wiped out half the galaxy with the snap of his finger. As such, fans have been searching for any idea of what is coming next in Avengers: Endgame.

The marketing for Endgame has been slowly amping up, with the film’s official title and first brief trailer recently revealed. Now a VR experience is being debuted ahead of the film’s release, with some fans believing a potential spoiler could be hidden. As Variety reports, the experience is titled Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run, a VR system that is being debut by Audi for CES 2019. And considering the precarious position of the surviving heroes in the MCU, could this hint at Rocket rescuing Iron Man and Nebula in Endgame?

When the Avengers: Endgame trailer debuted, one thing was clear: Tony Stark was in serious danger. The trailer opens up with Robert Downey Jr.’s signature character recording a goodbye message to his wife Pepper Potts, revealing he’d soon run out of oxygen. He and Nebula were left stranded on Titan in Infinity War, after failing to separate Thanos from the Infinity Gauntlet. But could Rocket Raccoon be the one to rescue him?

Its a narrative that would track, given Rocket’s position at the end of Infinity War. He is the only surviving member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, after Gamora was murdered by Thanos and the rest of the team faded to dust in The Decimation. Given his emotional issues, it makes sense that he wouldn’t stay on Earth, and would perhaps travel back through the galaxy, and stumble upon Tony and Nebula on the way to Titan. Nebula was also seen communicating with Mantis during Infinity War, so she and Rocket may be able to get in touch in order to schedule a rescue mission.

Of course, Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run could also just be a fun gaming experience, and something for Marvel fans to enjoy safely from the backseat of a new Audi. But moviegoers are eager for any and all information about Avengers: Endgame, given the world-changing affects of Thanos. The trailer was purposefully vague, only showing a few shots of the surviving Avengers to set the tone of the movie. But the marketing material will reportedly only feature footage from the first 15 minutes of the movie, meaning that anything could happen once Endgame finally arrives in theaters.

Luckily, audiences are finally going to get some answers, and sooner than anticipated. Avengers: Endgame was recently moved up to April 26th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies this year.

See What The Bird Box Monster Could Have Looked Like

Yep, it’s a big fat baby. Bird Box has been a huge hit for Netflix, despite — or maybe because of — the fact that it never shows the deadly monsters in question. Sandra Bullock already said the creature they made for her pregnant lead character Malorie was a green snake-like man with a horrific baby face, and it was more funny than frightening. Since the objective wasn’t to make people laugh, they cut the monster out of the horror movie. But special effects artist Andy Bergholtz recently shared some photos of what Malorie’s creature could’ve looked like:

Andy Bergholtz shared those photos with some behind-the-scenes notes, then the images were deleted from Instagram. But The Brag salvaged the images, and TheWrap shared what Bergholtz had revealed about them.

Screenwriter Eric Heisserer had previously said he was basically forced to write a scene where Malorie has a kind of nightmare sequence seeing her own monster. One of the producers had insisted they show something, he said. Director Susanne Bier said they spent a lot of energy filming the scene, but insisted they cut it because she realized it was going to be more funny than tense. Sandra Bullock herself said the “long fat baby” just made her laugh.

Creature designer Andy Bergholtz said the monsters would look different for each person, based on their fears, leading them to take their own lives. He also said that Malorie’s particular monster wouldn’t really have looked like a snake-like green man, an actor in a spandex green-screen suit was supposed to portray a giant CGI creature with a monstrous body to be added later.

Either way, it sounds like everything turned out much better to just have the monsters be hinted to through things like crazy Gary’s (Tom Hollander) drawings.

Samuel L. Jackson Teases The Origin Of Nick Fury’s Eye Injury In Captain Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a fascinating place right now, with just two movies left before Phase Three concludes. While all eyes are on what will happen after Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Endgame, there is a new origin story arriving first: Captain Marvel. Starring Brie Larson as the ultra-powerful title character, Captain Marvel will bring something new to the universe as a period piece set in 1995. And it’ll bring back MCU favorites Nick Fury and Phil Coulson in the process.

The magic of CGI will de-age actors Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson, with Marvel audiences privy to S.H.I.E.L.D. long before Tony Stark changed the world in Iron Man. Fury will also have both good eyes in the movie, and now Jackson revealed that the upcoming blockbuster will show how that injury came about. As he said,

Well, this is exciting. With Nick Fury getting his first exposure to superpowered individuals and aliens with Captain Marvel, the iconic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is going to be scarred from the incident– both physically and emotionally. Are you pumped yet?

Samuel L. Jackson’s comments teases how integral Nick Fury will likely be throughout the course of Captain Marvel. Focused on the fractured psyche and history of Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s movie will also feature plenty of MCU favorites– while also fleshing out the cosmic side of the shared universe.

When audiences met Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury at the tail end of 2007’s Iron Man, he was already a hardened S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, who revealed that the universe was much bigger than Tony Stark imagined. In his same conversation with ET, Samuel L. Jackson hinted at the long and storied past of his character, saying:

Despite being the connective tissue of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the person that gathered the original Avengers, Nick Fury’s backstory is still largely a mystery. And since he’s been noticeably absent throughout Phase Three, news of his expanded role in Captain Marvel is extra exciting.

Captain Marvel will arrive in theaters on March 8th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Kevin Hart Will Not Come Back To Host The Oscars, So Stop Asking

Kevin Hart will not be hosting the Oscars. He’s previously said he will not be hosting the Oscars after actually stepping away from hosting the Oscars a few weeks ago. Now, on Good Morning America, Kevin Hart spoke to Michael Strahan, once again explaining he won’t be taking the main stage at the big movie awards event. He said:

Previously, Kevin Hart stepped down after some homophobic tweets resurfaced online. The tweets were jokes made he had previously apologized about in the past. After they resurfaced, Hart made the rounds to explain he was a changed person and to re-apologize on social media.

This time around on Good Morning America, he reiterated more than once comments along the lines of “for the last time I’m addressing this.” He said he was leaving the conversation as it was and if people aren’t willing to accept his previous apologies, he feels there’s really nothing else he can say on the subject. In addition, if anyone had hopes Kevin Hart might change his mind about hosting the Oscars, those hopes should die now.

In addition, her says he will not longer continue to apologize for the comments he had previously tweeted and apologized for years ago.

Part of the confusion around the Oscars may stem from another interview Kevin Hart did on Ellen a few days ago. At the time, the daytime TV host said she believed in Kevin Hart and had even called up the Academy to tell them she personally felt Kevin Hart had changed in the time since he tweeted almost a decade ago.

It almost seemed to be a part of a comeback for the actor or a bid to take the awards back. However, apparently that’s not so.

Meanwhile, the Academy Awards still don’t have a host this year, and not a lot of people seem excited about stepping up to the plate. Seasoned hosts like Steve Harvey have even come out to explain why they wouldn’t put their name in the ring for the gig. Thus, the search continues.

In the meantime, Kevin Hart’s new movie The Upside, about a struggling former criminal who ends up taking care of a paraplegic (played by Bryan Cranston in the movie), will open on January 11. Oscar nominations will be announced on January 22. With a little luck and some fairy dust, hopefully we’ll have a plan for the event by then.

New Glass Video Features David Dunn’s Son From Unbreakable

It’s been almost 20 years since M. Night Shyamalan released Unbreakable and while we thought that story was over, with the release of Split, we learned that it was far from done. In the new movie Glass, we’ll learn what Bruce Willis‘ hero David Dunn has been up to for the last couple of decades, but we’ll also be reintroduced to a character we haven’t seen since he was a kid, David’s son Joseph. Check him out all grown up in the video below.

The clip posted to Twitter shows us a pair of scenes. One comes from the original Unbreakable. It’s the moment where young Joseph Dunn realizes that his father has become a superhero. His father shows him a newspaper story of the anonymous act of heroism he has committed. The awe in the child’s eyes is clear. We then fast forward to a scene from Glass and see Joseph has grown up. He appears to be working with his father and reveals that David Dunn now has his own superhero name, The Overseer.

Exactly what David Dunn has been up to for the last 19 years, we don’t really know yet. One assumes he has continued to play the hero, but if he’s only being named 19 years after the events of Unbreakable, then it would seem he has done a solid job keeping out of the spotlight up until now. Of course, based on the trailers we know that David finds himself inside an asylum at some point, so it appears that not only will David Dunn be seen by the public, he’ll actually be apprehended at some point.

Actor Joseph Treat Clark portrayed Joseph Dunn in the original Unbreakable. The actor is back, 19 years later, to play the role again. In addition to the actor returning for the role, the new film will also reportedly contain unused footage of him from Unbreakable.

It’s still more than a little surreal that we’re standing here on the edge of the final film in an Unbreakable trilogy. The first movie is one of M. Night Shyamalan’s early hits. His follow-up to The Sixth Sense is a great movie without question, and Split was largely viewed as a return to form even before the post-credits scene that revealed it was all taking place in the same universe as Unbreakable.

Glass will see the return of Samuel L. Jackson‘s nemesis to David Dunn as well as the characters from Split. For some, it’s going to be one of the most anticipated movies of the new year and the first of many superhero movies that 2019 will bring.

Glass arrives in theaters on January 18.

The Oscars Are Reportedly Going Without A Host This Year

Awards Season is in full swing, as the 2019 Golden Globes awarded the first trophies of the year. And after all the other ceremonies have decided on winners, the biggest honor is the annual Academy Awards. Aside from the winners and nominees, much of the conversation around the Oscars comes down to its host, with plenty of legends keeping the show moving over the years.

Unfortunately, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is having a rough go ahead of this year’s ceremony. Just one month ago, comedian/actor Kevin Hart announced he would be hosting the 91st Academy Awards. But he was recently moved from the position, after homophobic tweets from years ago resurfaced. It’s a controversy that has dominated the entertainment world for several days, and now it looks like the Oscars aren’t seeking a replacement, but going host-less this year.

This report comes to us from Variety, and is another unexpected twist in the still unfolding story of Kevin Hart’s departure. After Hart revealed he wouldn’t be hosting the evening, many assumed that another comedian or actor would be asked to be the MC of the iconic evening. But now it seems that the Oscars are forgoing hosting at all. Instead, the ceremony will utilized a myriad of actors, who will reportedly introduce segments of the show.

The 2019 Oscars going without a host makes history, as it’s the first time the ceremony has done this in nearly three decades. But with the ceremony a matter of weeks away, trying to find someone to host the evening isn’t an easy task. And given the ongoing controversy surrounding Kevin Hart’s departure, endless comparisons to the comedian would likely plague whoever took the job. Instead, the Academy is shifting the narrative and going a new route for the 91st Oscars.

Kevin Hart’s departure from his hosting duties has been one of the hottest issues in the entertainment world, and it’s a story that continues to evolve with every passing day. The issue began when old tweets of Hart’s resurfaced, which people found homophobic. He was then reportedly asked to apologize for the jokes by The Academy, but originally refused– stating he’d already addressed his past missteps. But the questions have kept coming, with Hart making new statements as the situation continues to get more complicated.

The lack of a host isn’t the first controversy that has surrounded this year’s Oscars. The Academy previously revealed its plans to introduce a popular film category, a decision that was met with both umbrage and joy from certain moviegoers. That category has been tabled for another year, but it’s clear that his year’s Oscars won’t be the most seamless. Let’s just hope there’s not another envelope debacle.

The Academy Awards will air February 24th. In the meantime, make sure you check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

The Big Way Hamilton Helped Lin-Manuel Miranda Land Mary Poppins Returns

A few years ago, everyone couldn’t stop buzzing about the hit rap musical Hamilton about one of America’s Founding Fathers — and honestly has much changed since? Fans are still struggling to get Hamilton tickets and Lin-Manuel Miranda popularity has only soared higher.

The Hamilton creator’s life has certainly turned around thanks to his original musical, but it also was one the key reasons he nabbed the role of Jack the Lamplighter in Mary Poppins Returns. Here’s how Lin-Manuel Miranda was picked to be in the Disney musical, according to director Rob Marshall:

There ya go, just create a history-making blockbuster musical and you’re set! Back in 2015, the musical-theater-loving community couldn’t get Hamilton out of their heads. So when Rob Marshall and John DeLuca, who was producer, choreographer and screen story writer along with Marshall and screenwriter David Magee on Mary Poppins Returns were looking for a Jack, Lin-Manuel Miranda was a no-brainer.

Looks like Lin-Manuel Miranda was on the filmmakers’ minds right as they were trying to figure out casting. Once they met with him, it sealed the deal as he fit the bill for the sunshine-y character they were looking for in Mary Poppins Returns‘ Jack.

In his interview with Deadline, Rob Marshall also said that he was following Hamilton from the beginning, before it made its debut on Broadway. While Lin-Manuel Miranda was getting a lot of credit at the time for creating the musical, Marshall saw it for himself, also saw his skill as a performer.

Rob Marshall thinks part of why Mary Poppins Returns was an attractive project for Miranda was that it allowed him to hone in on just being an actor, and not also being involved in writing the project. His past projects like Moana and In the Heights have seen him primarily writing before lending his acting and singing chops.

Lin-Manuel Miranda took his shot at being a part of the Mary Poppins sequel alongside Emily Blunt, and it certainly has paid off. The movie has been positively received by critics and audiences alike for its blend of nostalgia, new material and delightful message.