The Mule

Good day, avengers of all things closet-bound and feared. Hollywood kicked off the Halloween season with the Conjuring prequel Annabelle and audiences were ready to watch it. The supernatural thriller brought in an estimated $37.2 million over the weekend, taking second place to David Fincher’s mystery thriller Gone Girl. How about we get a mash-up between the two where a doll gets possessed by the spirit of Ben Affleck and turns a young innocent family into Oscar winners?

Bad Times At The El Royale Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

Amidst the comic book movies, fantasy blockbusters and awards contenders releasing this fall is a star-studded film that looks weirder and more intriguing than many of them. Bad Times at the El Royale is the second feature film helmed by writer-director Drew Goddard, who made his directorial debut with 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods. The trailers for the film have been a strange brew of a mysterious plot, colorful characters and fun dialogue. The initial reviews for the film are in, so does it live up to its cast and trailers? It seems that for the most part, it does.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell caught Bad Times at the El Royale early like many critics. You can read his initial thoughts in his tweet reaction, but overall, he seemed to still really enjoy the movie and feel that it is definitely worth your time, despite having some issues with the ending. As for full reviews, Collider‘s Haleigh Foutch really seemed to love the film, giving it an A- in her review, where she highlighted Bad Times at the El Royale‘s sumptuous visuals and perhaps something you wouldn’t expect, its heart.

In her alliterative take, Haleigh characterized Drew Goddard‘s film as both visually stunning and propulsive. It’s that latter point that seems to be one of the points of contention about the film. Some reviews didn’t find the film propulsive enough, calling it overly long or a slog. Despite that potential pacing problem, ScreenRant‘s Molly Freeman still found the juice to be worth the squeeze thanks to how entertaining the film and its stellar cast are, saying:

The large cast full of talented, big name actors spouting fun dialogue is one of the most compelling things about Bad Times at the El Royale, and based on many of the reviews like this one for the film, that cast did not go to waste. However, there were some dissenting opinions. For The Hollywood Reporter‘s Sheri Linden, the film seemed to be all style and no substance, with the length once again being an issue.

Overall, the prevailing theme that I see is that Bad Times at the El Royale is not a perfect movie, but it does have a lot to like. There are very few people that seem to loathe it with many appreciating it despite its flaws. Jim Vejvoda at IGN seems to sum this up in his review.

Right now Bad Times at the El Royale is sitting at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, but plenty more reviews will come in once the film opens on October 12. Check out our release schedule to see all the biggest movies still to come in 2018.

Apparently Lady Gaga’s Fans Are Telling People Not To See Venom In Theaters

Since Sony’s announcement of a solo movie for Venom without Spider-man was made, fans have been eager to see just how the offbeat release would play out. Last night, Venom had its world premiere and some early reviewers took to Twitter to offer some first impressions. The reactions revealed the film to be disappointing to many, while others found it oddly entertaining and fun. At the same time an outpour of Twitter users also started badmouthing Venom just because … well they like Lady Gaga more. Plus, her leading lady debut A Star is Born will be released on the same day.

Lady Gaga fans, also known as The Little Monsters, look to have no problem taking on the alien symbiote, according to a Buzzfeed News report. It started when a few Twitter users noticed a string of tweets from multiple users commenting the same exact disappointing comment about Venom, word for word. Other similar tweets directly referenced their decision to see A Star is Born next after bashing Venom as well. Users who noticed this sudden trend attributed it to bots attacking the movie, while others pointed to Lady Gaga fans fabricating negative reviews for Venom in order to turn the conversation back to A Star is Born.

Some of the “Twitter trolls” were contacted in the report, showing the trend wasn’t just a bot problem. One user who had the same tweet with multiple other users explained he was just bored, and it was a joke between him and a few of his mutuals to steal each other’s tweets. Another user explained that she collaborated with other fans to create fake IDs on Twitter to trash the Venom premiere. In the past, Lady Gaga has reached out to her fans on Twitter before, to ask them to stop trolling the internet on her behalf so this anti-Venom trend isn’t completely surprising. The pop star has a colossal fan following and seeing her succeed this weekend at the box office might be the intention behind some of these widespread tweets criticizing Venom.

Since A Star is Born was first screened about a month ago, it electrified audiences, bringing in an overwhelming amount of rave reviews its way. This supposed wrath from The Little Monsters may not be necessary, as Lady Gaga fans and excited cinephiles head to the theaters this weekend. Venom certainly will have the curiosity of comic book fans on their side, but as more reputable critics express their distaste for the movie, it could be looking at a bomb. Following the Venom trolls, fans have been lightly firing back, with some expressing their desire to see it despite the reviews while others used the language of the trolls to flip it in favor of Venom.

The two upcoming releases are polar-opposites, making for an exciting box office brawl this weekend when Venom and A Star is Born come to theaters on October 5.

How The Sisters Brothers Convinces You To Sympathize With Murderers, According To John C. Reilly

Westerns come in all shapes and sizes. But traditionally, the heroes of that particular genre ride into town wearing white, while they stave off a threat that’s dressed head to toe in black. Over the years, the conventions of the Western genre have been twisted and tweaked by talented filmmakers, but few have been manipulated quite the same way that Jacques Audiard does for The Sisters Brothers. Take, for example, the siblings of the title. They are hired killers, men trained to hunt down prey for their despicable boss, The Commodore (Rutger Hauer). And yet, Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix) are borderline likable, and you even end up rooting for them as the movie jogs along. We asked John C. Reilly about that, and he opened up by saying:

In The Sisters Brothers, which is preparing to open in more theaters after a limited release in select markets, John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix play squabbling siblings who work together as a murderous team, even though Phoenix’s character likes their jobs as bounty hunters way more than Reilly’s character does. Their latest assignment is to hunt a man (played by Riz Ahmed) who has invented an unusual chemical substance that can aid in the gold-mining expeditions of the Old West. Only, travel in that day is slow, and the Sisters brothers run into conflict every stop of the way. Plus, Ahmed has met with Jake Gyllenhaal, and they have plans of their own.

Here’s John C. Reilly, talking about the reputation of the siblings in The Sisters Brothers, and why he finds them sympathetic:

The Sisters Brothers is an unexpected journey through some soulful storytelling, digging far below the surface of four interesting men who come across as out of touch with their own time. Photographed beautifully by cinematographer Benoit Debie (Enter the Void), it’s both an homage to classic Westerns, and a reinvention of this type of storytelling.

The Sisters Brothers should be playing in a theater near you as we speak.

Dark Phoenix Director Simon Kinberg Explains Why The X-Men Film Was Delayed

The X-Men movies started back in 2000, and has withstood the test of time as cinematic universes and comic book movies have become commonplace. But the iconic franchise is now in a state of flux, as a few movies’ release dates were recently adjusted. Additionally, the impending merger between Disney and Fox makes the future of the X-Men unclear. These unknowns were highlighted when the release date for Dark Phoenix was delayed a series of months, just one day after the film’s first trailer finally arrived. Producer Simon Kinberg is attached to direct, and recently explained why Dark Phoenix‘s release date was delayed, saying:

It looks like there are some big picture reasons for the Dark Phoenix‘s delay, as well as some logistical issues, like having the time to render all of the CGI needed for the project. So while fans may have some trepidation, Simon Kinberg and the folks at 20th Century Fox seem to be in control of the situation. Or at the very least, the narrative of the schedule change.

Simon Kinberg’s comments to Collider make a ton of great points, which help to illuminate the process of filmmaking and marketing. Fans have been eager for footage of Dark Phoenix, which the studio eventually delivered last week. But information has been limited for a reason, including when it comes to a release date. And since Gambit hasn’t even begun filming, 20th Century Fox had a slot to put Dark Phoenix that allowed for work to be completed on Simon Kinberg’s upcoming directorial debut. Plus, the delay will allow a concentrated release in both domestic and international markets.

That being said, the reshoots are going to inspire some dread by comic book fans, who aren’t sure if Dark Phoenix will be up to snuff. X-Men: Apocalypse ended up being a disappointment, so the pressure is on to for the franchise to deliver a win. It’s unclear if Marvel will keep the same cast when it eventually gains access to the X-Men characters, so there’s a lot to figure out.

Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters on June 7th 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Of Course Jersey Shore’s Vinny And Pauly Know Each Other’s Weirdest Sex Location

Vinny Guadagnino and Pauly D’s bromance could be clever editing by the Jersey Shore Family Vacation crew, although, if so, everyone is pretty committed to pretending it’s a genuine friendship between two reality show pals. The two actually put their relationship to the test recently via a “Bromittment Game,” for MTV, and it turns out they know a lot of crazy stuff about each other. This included birthday dates, biggest pet peeves they have about each other, and of course, the weirdest location they’ve ever had sex.

First up to guess was Vinny, who, without hesitation, guessed Pauly D’s weirdest hookup location was inside of an airplane. The Jersey Shore Family Vacation member looked surprised when he was right, and later admitted it was a guess that he “pulled out of his ass.” That almost makes it more impressive, considering Vinny was just going off his instincts and what he knows about his friend to get the correct answer. Or, maybe he just figured Pauly spends so much time on tour he’s had to join the mile-high club at least once over the years.

Pauly D was up next, and while his initial guess of an elevator was wrong, he managed to correctly determine Vinny’s spot was a club bathroom on his second try. It wasn’t quite as impressive as Vinny’s hail mary guess, although Pauly D does get a pass, considering he was able to answer more correct questions about Vinny than vice versa. The two also tackled questions that involved knowing each others birthdays, middle names, and their biggest pet peeves:

Some of those answers were a little obvious, as many in the Jersey Shore Family Vacation cast take issue with Vinny’s Keto diet. Pauly was particularly weirded out by his pal’s new lifestyle change in Season 1 of the revival, as he watched a drunken Vinny pull the cheese and meat from a pizza and leave the crust behind. On the flip side, everyone is definitely annoyed by Pauly’s hyperactivity, which he often displays in the morning when he wakes up his friends by screaming.

MTV’s video offers some pretty compelling evidence Vinny and Pauly are just as tight as the Jersey Shore franchise has led audiences to believe, but is it just another piece of propaganda to convince viewers the two are closer than they actually are? Even if it were, it’s hard to believe the duo aren’t that close after serving as each other’s wingmen since the original show first aired back in 2009. Whatever the true nature of their friendship is, we doubt we’re going to see these two best buds splitting up anytime in the show’s near future, because viewers love their bromance.

Gwyneth Paltrow Shares A Romantic New Image Following Her Hampton Wedding

Gwyneth Paltrow is once again a married woman. The Academy Award-winning actress and the founder of the lifestyle brand Goop tied the knot to Brad Falchuk, the co-creator of Glee, American Horror Story and Scream Queens, over the weekend during a private ceremony in the Hamptons. And while it was a celebrity-filled occasion, it was an occasion that was notably away from the public gaze. There have been only a few photos taken at the event, and most of them are away from the actual wedding. But to confirm the news and share her joy, Gwyneth Paltrow posted a picture of herself holding the ringed hand of her new husband, and proving to the world that it is official. Check out the photo yourself, courtesy of social media, below.

While Gwyneth Paltrow is typically an open and conversational public figure, to the point where she’ll talk about disparaging retorts made against her that claim that she’s “the most hateable celebrity in the world,” the actress/lifestyle brand founder opted not to make a public spectacle of her nuptials. That’s not to say that the wedding was small, by any measure. But it was secluded enough that the press wasn’t in attendance, and it was only meant to be seen the bride, the groom and everyone who attended the ceremony firsthand. But with this photo, Paltrow offers her followers a glimpse into her newfound married life, which is the first time she got married since she got divorced from her first husband, Chris Martin, the father of her two children.

As it was reported earlier, the Hamptons-based wedding was attended by a steady slew of celebrity personalities, including (but limited to), Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, Cameron Diaz, and Robert Downey Jr., her regular Marvel Cinematic Universe co-star and love interest inside those films. While the details about the recent wedding are limited at the moment, we expect that will change in the days, weeks or months to come. Paltrow will likely provide a few more details about her feelings re-entering marriage and how her shared life with Brad Falchuk is going, swimmingly or otherwise. The actress has a podcast and several other resources to provide her thoughts and feelings about the momentous occasion, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the details that might arrive.

It has been difficult to get past her previous marriage to Chris Martin, particularly with their young children involved, but this newest marriage shows that Gwyneth Paltrow is finally moving forward and happy doing so too. Divorce is never pleasant, and it can be very difficult on a family. But marriage can often be bliss, and that seems to be the case here. It seems like the newfound marriage life is treating Paltrow well, based on these new photos. Of course, we’ll continue to keep you posted on the latest news and updates with Gwyneth Paltrow and more right here at CinemaBlend.

Two New Network Shows Have Totally Dominated In Live+3 Gains

As many networks tend to do, NBC has been working to build up its repertoire of high-rated hits for the fall season. As the ratings battles are already heating up, the network can proudly affirm two of its new shows not only made notable bows with their series premieres, but also blazed trails in Live+3 delayed viewing stats. In particular, the Lost-lite thriller Manifest has broken a ratings record, and it is not the only one winning over late-coming viewers, as the medical drama New Amsterdam is also scoring big in Live+3.

Following the addition of Live+3 day calculations, NBC’s mysterious new drama Manifest handily landed above the 16 million-viewer mark with its current totals topping out at 16.13 million. Manifest made NBC history with its debut episode, which brought in the biggest delayed-viewing TV audience for any premiere in the network’s history, with more than 5.7 million viewers. As well, that total ranks third among all Live+3 gains in all of the broadcast and cable debuts on record, and is fourth overall among every single telecast where Live+3 stats were measured.

With its overall viewership totals, Manifest also delivered NBC’s most-watched series premiere in six years, following Live+3 calculations being tallied. The actual record was set by The Blacklist in 2013. And speaking of that crime drama, its series alum Ryan Eggold’s new series that also got off to a strong start for NBC.

Likely benefitting from the lead-in audience provided by This Is Us, NBC’s new medical drama New Amsterdam scored solid premiere numbers that saw another 3.9 million viewers added in Live+3 day totals. Bringing those that have watched the series’ debut from 8.4 million to 12.3 million. Following Live+3 day tabulation, the tearjerker This Is Us added 4 million viewers for its Season 3 premiere, per Deadline, putting its current total at 14.6 million viewers. That means New Amsterdam came just shy of matching the number of total viewers added by one of the biggest shows on TV,

So, it is safe to say that NBC got some excellent news with its ratings report. Given the later time slots for both Manifest and New Amsterdam, it makes sense that some people would have to put off the excitement of watching them until the next day. Both Manifest and New Amsterdam air at 10 p.m. ET on their respective nights.

NBC’s slate of new programming was not the only one to do well in delayed viewing. The much-anticipated Season 3 premiere of Fox’s Lethal Weapon also made quite an impression, seeing a 63% increase in total viewers following Live+3 day numbers, going from 3.4 million to 5.6 million. Not bad at all. And consistent DVR winners like The Big Bang Theory and others are also keeping even with previous years. Overall, network television got off to a big start with a heavy week of new content.

You can tune in for the next chapter of the ratings hits, with wew episodes of Manifest airing Mondays on NBC at 10 p.m. ET. New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET, also on NBC. All of the NBC dramas join a slew of series making their returns and premieres this fall on NBC and other networks.

Hocus Pocus’ Thora Birch Didn’t Love Her Cat Co-Star

There are many holiday fans out there for whom October 1st marks the beginning of Halloween season. And aside from the candy and costumes, this includes plenty of annual TV and movie watching. For many cinephiles, there is no Halloween movie quite as beloved Hocus Pocus. The 1993 Disney classic has gained a cult fandom in the years since its release, with every line of dialogue becoming a quotable part of the autumnal experience. American Beauty actress Thora Birch played young Dani Dennison, who was often seen looking out for magical cat Binx. But the actress actually didn’t get along with her feline co-star, both machine and real. As she tells it,

It looks like Thora Birch was never able to truly relax with Binx, despite sharing so many scenes with the talking cat. Instead, she had to either worry about the technology of the robots, or hope that she got along with the myriad live cats on set. Binx really did have nine lives.

Thora Birch’s help to paint a more realistic picture of Hocus Pocus. Because its been playing on TV annually for years, the Kenny Ortega classic has a special place in viewer’s hearts. The nostalgic feels and childhood memories make Hocus Pocus exciting every single Halloween, and it’s hard to imagine what it was like on set. Birch was just a young girl at the time, but her memories regarding Binx seem to be clear.

Thackery Binx served as the provider of exposition for Hocus Pocus, after living as a black cat in Salem since 1693. And because it was the 90’s and everyone loves talking animals, Binx was able to retain his ability to speak in cat form. Binx instantly formed a bond with Thora Birch’s Dani, protecting her from the Sandersons as he couldn’t with his sister Emily. But he wasn’t so well put together IRL, and Thora Birch had a hard time with her cat-focused scenes in Hocus Pocus.

In her same conversation with ABC, Thora Birch also expressed how much she still loves Hocus Pocus, and cherishes her time on set as a young actress. While she went on to star in projects like American Beauty, she claims Hocus Pocus was the most fun she ever had on set. But what’s not to love? There’s Bette Midler, special affects, and musical numbers. And while Dani didn’t end up keeping Binx as her house cat, her relationship with her brother Max ended up stronger by the film’s end.

Hocus Pocus will get some new love this year, as Freeform is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash. The special will air October 20th, featuring interviews with the cast, including Thora Birch. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

One Walking Dead Star Doesn’t Think Rick’s Exit Will Hurt The Show

While some cast members of The Walking Dead may have nervously started packing their bags when they heard Andrew Lincoln was leaving the show, others were more optimistic about how Rick Grimes’ absence may affect the long-running drama. Jesus portrayer Tom Payne is one of those actors, and recently stated he thinks Rick’s exit won’t hurt the series, and may even help it in the long run:

Tom Payne is banking on the mystery of how a Rick-less society survives to keep viewers invested in The Walking Dead throughout Season 9 and thereafter. He’s right that there will undoubtedly be some novelty in seeing how the show carries on without the beard-boasting character who has been the heart of the show and comic books. One could also argue audiences have already see a bunch of survivors finding their way in the world without Rick Grimes on Fear The Walking Dead.

Of course, it’s not as though Rick is the only member of the series fans care about, so there’s no denying there will be an appeal to see what other fan-favorite characters will get more screentime with Rick gone. Not to mention the kinds of storylines that will come involving power struggles for leadership, and seeing how those comic-specific narratives get adapted for TV without Lincoln around.

Tom Payne explained to Digital Spy that Rick’s leaving shakes things up in a good way, as Season 9 turns the traditional structure of the typical season of The Walking Dead on its head. Payne laid out the usual story structure of the average season, and then explained how Season 9 will do things differently:

As far as how long The Walking Dead will survive on AMC without Rick Grimes, Tom Payne isn’t all that concerned. Payne said he sees the show lasting at least as long as the comics keep coming, and mentioned that creator Robert Kirkman has stated he’s not stopping anytime soon, possibly for another 100 issues at the least. That could ensure the show still has plenty of content and characters to continue to build its on-going story for the next decade, if not longer, provided fans are still tuning in. Who knows, maybe The Walking Dead is really on its way to becoming the next Coronation Street? At least in terms of employing British stars.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC for Season 9 on Sunday, October 7, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Keep tabs on all television shows premiering or returning over the next couple of months with our fall premiere guide.