Disney’s live-action take on the classic Aladdin will go down in history as one of 2019’s biggest hits. The fantasy-musical remake crossed $1 billion worldwide during the packed summer season, no less and after some initial controversy surrounding Will Smith’s CGI Genie. Yet, Aladdin star Mena Massoud recently admitted earlier this week he hasn’t nabbed a single audition since playing the titular street rat.
Luckily, the 28-year-old actor has Genie / life coach Will Smith on his side to offer him up some incredible advice about the unexpected rough patch after starring in the blockbuster hit. Here’s Smith’s advice:
Such wise words. Will Smith’s encouragement was given to People the red carpet at the world premiere for Spies in Disguise. Hopefully, Mena Massoud sees it and looks at his current situation from a whole new perspective! Although Smith has been a popular talent in Hollywood since his ‘90s Fresh Prince days but he’s certainly has seen his own hills and valleys in the industry.
In a recent interview, Mena Massoud opened up about the crickets surrounding any upcoming movie opportunities since starring in Aladdin back in May. He explained that the “big truth” is that he hasn’t even been given an audition since starring in the Disney role. In his words:
The actor does have a new television show called Reprisal from Hulu that just premiered, but he found the role before Aladdin became a big hit. Mena Massoud may also return as the Disney character for a planned Aladdin sequel currently in development. Just the opportunity to play an iconic prince is such as honor that may continue to guide the actor into stardom in the next few years. Not to mention it was his first starring role ever!
Naomi Scott, Jasmine to Mena Massoud’s Aladdin recently starring in a reboot to Charlie’s Angels but it didn’t make a splash among moviegoers. No matter how things are currently going for the actors, they can certainly celebrate a wish granted with Aladdin!
We are just two weeks away from the final film of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. One of the most beloved stories in movie history will come to an end after more than 40 years. These films are known for incredible space battles, political drama and, of course, lightsabers. Not to mention an avid fanbase who love to get into the nitty gritty details.
So, before the saga concludes, we’re offering a chance to prepare for the end by revisiting one of the earlier films in the Star Wars franchise. Just fill out the quiz below for a personalized recommendation!
Frozen II, like the original film that came before, is a bonafide hit. The sequel has grossed over three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide so far and it seems certain to become Disney’s sixth billion dollar film of 2019, which is insane all by itself.
The movie may not be getting quite the critical reception that the original movie did, but it’s still largely being praised, and audiences are clearly still in love with Anna, Elsa, and all the rest. Having said that, the primary audience that seems to truly be embracing Frozen II is the younger set, that’s being brought to the theater by mom and dad.
Those adults that find themselves checking out the movie seem to be having more fun poking fun at Disney’s newest animated musical. Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings took to Twitter to suggest that Disney missed the mark when titling Frozen II.
An animated Disney movie is a pretty safe bet when it comes to family entertainment. Especially during the holidays, it’s just the sort of thing that a family might share together. For a lot of us a Disney movie was probably our first theatrical experience. You can bet that Frozen II is probably becoming the first movie a lot of kids have seen in a theater.
Of course, kids and movies don’t always mix well. They can have trouble sitting still, they don’t always stay quiet, and the really young ones can get fussy. Also, other problems can pop up.
And if you’ve just sat through a movie in a theater full of little kids, you may become very much in need of a different kind of Frozen II.
As the father of a two-and-a-half-year-old who clearly can’t sit still for a 90-minute feature film, I’m not yet at the point where I’ll be bringing her to the movies. Even when I do, I can guess it will be a chore. Although, I have hopes that, as the daughter of a professional film critic, I’ll be able to bring her up to appreciate film the same way this dad apparently has.
While it makes sense that kids are going to be Frozen II‘s real audience, there’s actually quite a bit in the movie for parents to enjoy. Some of themes of the film are a bit darker and might resonate more with those who have lived life a bit longer. Olaf’s song “When I Am Older” is going to mean something entirely different to parents than it will to their kids. And Everything about “Lost in the Woods” is going to be lost on anybody who doesn’t have a functional knowledge of music from the 1980s.
Disney has always tried to be family entertainment, not simply children’s entertainment, and Frozen II succeeds in that, even if it is easy to poke a little fun.
Al Pacino is one of our all-time greatest working actors. It is hard to dispute his legacy. Having starred in a number of excellent movies over the years, including, but certainly not limited to, The Godfather trilogy, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Heat,Glengarry Glen Ross, and, most recently, Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood and The Irishman, Pacino has proven his talents in a wide number of well-acclaimed movies. But the renowned thespian has also starred in just as many not-so-great movies — if not more. In fact, one could reasonably argue that, for every great movie Pacino has starred in, there are just as many stinkers attached to his name. But just because the film itself is bad doesn’t mean that he’s bad in them. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Al Pacino likes a challenge. As he recently admitted in an interview with GQ, the veteran actor often knows when a movie is going sideways (or wasn’t very good from the beginning). Rather than take his lumps, though, Pacino is strangely invigorated by the possibility of upping the ante and improving the film from bad to simply “mediocre.” Some folks say you shouldn’t strive for mediocrity. But Pacino isn’t simply anyone. In any case, while it’s not too clear which movies he’s referring to in this case, there are several examples of lackluster movies attached to Pacino’s name. And within a number of those wayward movies are entertaining or inspired performances from Al Pacino, who is clearly working overtime to salvage whatever he can there.
Even when Al Pacino isn’t very good, it’s rare to see the actor half-assing it. He is a committed performer, and he will do whatever he can to leave an impression or make the most of his time starring on the silver screen. Suffice to say, Pacino has provided us with a number of impressive or simply memorable performances over the years. These are a simply a few times where his talents, insistence, and persistence as an dedicated, hard-working actor resulted in great/rewarding Pacino performances in not-very-good movies. Some movies don’t deserve his skills, but he provides them anyhow.
Jack And Jill (2011)
Al Pacino won not one but two Razzie awards for his supporting work in 2011’s Jack and Jill. One for his performance and one for his odd on-screen dynamic (or perhaps lack thereof) with Adam Sandler in the role of Jill. While that movie earns no shortage of disdain, much of which has been dished out by the critics already, it’s hard to properly criticize Al Pacino’s mesmerizing performance. While it’s a fascinatingly bizarre turn from the acclaimed actor, it’s absolutely a scene-stealer — one that lets the dramatic heavyweight to let loose and play with his public image in strange, surprising ways.
In the part of “Al Pacino,” the role he was born to play, Al Pacino fully embraces the liberating opportunity to have fun playing a heightened version of himself, one who has fallen madly in love with Adam Sandler’s Jill. It allows the actor to say lines he would otherwise never get to say and participate in an elaborate musical number for Dunkin’ Donuts as “Dunkaccino,” which gave us the line “Say hello to my chocolate blend!” It’s utterly insane that the Oscar-winning actor even agreed to do it at all, but his involvement in Jack and Jill is, nevertheless, the comedy’s only funny or redeeming aspect.
88 Minutes (2007)
With its overly melodramatic tendencies, lame story twists and clunky execution, 88 Minutes can easily be called one of the worst movies to star Al Pacino. Yet, even when he’s in a total stinker, the Academy Award-winning actor will make the most of his time on-screen. Pacino is clearly trying to make this one work, flailing around, yelling, hooting and hollering. He takes the air out of the room every time he’s on-screen. Yet, there is no denying that he is a charismatic presence. Al Pacino is not doing his best work in 88 Minutes, but he is certainly putting on a performance — to say the least.
The premise itself is decent enough: a college professor (and part-time forensic psychologist?) gets a call saying that he has only 88 minutes to live. From there, it’s a chase to find out who is hunting him down and why. Unfortunately, with the plot’s over-reliance on red herrings and flimsy character work, 88 Minutes isn’t a breezy watch. It also doesn’t help that it’s actually 108 minutes long (stick to the script!). (Side note: this movie does, in fact, actually stay true to the timeframe found in the title after the clock is set inside the plot, for whatever it’s worth.) Nevertheless, what would’ve been a totally disposable, “2 p.m. on a lazy Sunday on HBO” movie becomes moderately watchable thanks to Al Pacino’s lunatic lead performance. From his zany haircut to his flair for the dramatic, Pacino isn’t going to let this weirdly sleepy movie fall to the waist-side without him giving everything he’s got.
Two For The Money (2005)
While I hold a soft spot for it, Two for the Money isn’t necessarily a great film. It’s a gambling drama that relies heavily on cliches and a formulaic plot, and it doesn’t stand out on its own to be fully rewarding of the talents of its two Oscar-winning stars, Matthew McConaughey and, naturally, Al Pacino. Nevertheless, while the plot itself is forgettable in its approach, Pacino does leave an impression thanks to his memorably loud, crude supporting turn.
As a gambling tycoon, Al Pacino plays a character who lives and dies in the moment, with everything always on the line and everything to lose in an instant. As a result, the veteran actor plays up his appetite for high dramatics, verbal dexterity, and foul-mouthed giddiness. The resulting performance is expectedly explosive, and one that gives what might’ve been an otherwise boilerplate movie a little bit more kick and flavor. Suffice to say, it is one for the money and two for the show. While Matthew McConaughey can be known for his great performances, it’s Al Pacino stealing the spotlight here.
Righteous Kill (2008)
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are undeniably two of the most well-acclaimed, well-regarded and most instantly recognizable actors in cinema history. And they have graced the screen together on a select few occasions. They both star in The Godfather: Part II, for instance, but they don’t share any scenes together. Beyond that, they starred together in Heat, though they only have one highly memorable scene with one another, and they were both recently at the forefront of Martin Scorsese’s newest film, The Irishman, where they share a surprisingly tender on-screen bromance as Frank Sheeran and Jimmy Hoffa, respectively. But nobody really talks about their other cinematic duet, 2008’s Righteous Kill. There’s a pretty good reason why …
In short, Righteous Kill is a misfire. It’s a boring, plotting mess of a movie, and one that certainly doesn’t deserve the pedigree of either Robert De Niro or Al Pacino, let alone both of them working together. Nevertheless, you can give these two actors the worst screenplay imaginable and they’d still try to find a way to salvage it if they could. While Righteous Kill never hits its target, it’s hard to make anything with these two thespians completely dull. Sure enough, both Al Pacino and notably Robert De Niro turn in enjoyable turns. While De Niro might be stronger of the two in this film, Pacino’s work is certainly much flashier, allowing the actor to have another chance to play it up and cut loose once more — even if he doesn’t reconnect his spark with De Niro. Thankfully, as noted earlier, the actors were given another chance to work together in The Irishman. That movie is certainly much better.
One of the most notoriously bad movies in arguably the history of cinema, there have been many bad things said about Gigli. It had an impact on the careers of both of its romantic leads, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, it ended writer/director Martin Brest’s filmmaking career (he’s still residing in director’s jail) and it won a whopping 10 Razzies, including Worst Picture of the Decade in 2010 and Worst “Comedy” Of Our First 25 Years in 2005. It’s safe to say that it’s not a well-beloved movie. That’s putting it mildly, to say the least. Yet, Al Pacino continues to provide a magnetizing presence.
Al Pacino only has a bit part in the proceedings, yet he spends the majority of his screen-time in Gigli yelling and demanding your attention. The actor isn’t one to walk gracefully into the movie’s demise. No, he’ll make a production out of it, as the actor has proven several times throughout his career. Notably in several of the movies mentioned in this list. Sure enough, Pacino goes out swinging. And while he garnered Pacino his second Razzie nom, it proved that even under the worst circumstances, Al Pacino will make his time on the silver screen worth the while — even if he cannot save the film.
These are only a few of the not-so-great movies to star Al Pacino over the years. Unfortunately, while the award-winning A-list actor has most certainly proven himself several times over throughout the decades, he isn’t not immune to making bad movies. Sure enough, while he tries his best to save a few of them, he can only do so much. Nevertheless, as we have noted, Pacino isn’t one to simply accept a paycheck. He will try to save a movie as best as possible, and though he’s not always successful, he knows how to make it count. These movies certainly wouldn’t be the same without him.
While some have quibbled about the extremely long runtime of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman or the quality of the de-aging, one thing beyond reproach is the acting talent of those involved. The Netflix film assembled an all-star cast of acting heavyweights and character actors, any of whom would be a solid addition to another movie. To that end, Sony’s upcoming sequel Venom 2 has added a star from Netflix’s The Irishman.
Actor Stephen Graham, who plays Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano in Martin Scorsese’s crime epic, has joined Venom 2 according to Deadline. For the moment, Stephen Graham’s role in the sequel is being kept under wraps. So, for now, we’ll merely have to speculate whether he will be a good guy or a bad one and whether or not he’ll be sporting a symbiote sidekick.
The two time SAG ensemble award winner for Boardwalk Empire joins a cast that includes the returning Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams, as well as Woody Harrelson, who made a cameo as future Carnage, Kletus Kasady, in Venom and is expected to have a much larger role in the sequel.
Stephen Graham is also only the second new actor that has been reportedly added to the cast of Venom 2. The other is Oscar nominee Naomie Harris, who is in talks to play the villain Shriek in the film.
Stephen Graham may be new to comic book movie fare, as he is perhaps best known for gangster films like The Irishman, Snatch and Gangs of New York, but in Venom 2 he will be among old friends and frequent collaborators. The prolific actor previously starred with Venom star Tom Hardy in HBO’s Band of Brothers and the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. More recently, the duo teamed up in the so-gritty-you-have-to-brush-your-teeth-afterwards TV series Taboo.
In addition to his frequent collaborations with Tom Hardy, Venom 2 also won’t be Stephen Graham’s first time working with Andy Serkis, who is replacing Ruben Fleischer as the director of Venom 2. Andy Serkis and Stephen Graham both star in the upcoming FX mini-series adaptation of A Christmas Carol, starring Guy Pearce.
In the new take on the classic holiday tale, Andy Serkis plays the Ghost of Christmas Past with Stephen Graham handling the role of Jacob Marley. One of the executive producers on A Christmas Carol? Tom Hardy. So, everyone involved should be pretty comfortable working with each other at this point.
We don’t yet know the story of Venom 2, but we do know that the sequel will be leaning into the relationship between Eddie Brock and his symbiote hitchhiker, which was such a highlight of the first film.
Venom 2 is now filming and is set to hit theaters on October 2, 2020. You can see Stephen Graham in The Irishman on Netflix now and check out our 2020 Release Schedule to keep track of all of next year’s biggest movies.
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It’s a very exciting time for the Star Wars franchise. We’re just weeks away from the release of The Rise of Skywalker, which will end up the nine-film Skywalker Saga that George Lucas began back with A New Hope. Additionally, Lucasfilm recently introduced live-action TV for the first time with The Mandalorian on Disney+. At least two more shows are coming to the streaming service, and according to The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau, those stories are bound to connect to the movies.
While The Mandalorian is telling a wholly unique story within the Star Wars universe, the next two shows will star characters that originally appeared in film. After all, Diego Luna and Ewan McGregor are reprising their roles in their respective shows. Jon Favreau think it’s only a matter of time before the crossover goes in the other direction, and original Disney+ series interact with favorites from the films. As he tells it,
Well, that’s exciting. Serialized storytelling has become popular since the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe– another property owned by Disney. And with the galaxy far, far away growing thanks to the original content coming to Disney+, there’s ample opportunity for crossovers in the future. But the question is, what could they be?
Jon Favreau’s comments to THR are sure to excite the generations of Star Wars fans out there who are excited for the franchise’s mysterious future. With The Rise of Skywalker ending the main storyline as we know it, Lucasfilm should have particular freedom with its TV and film projects, and how they interact. The Mandalorian has already got a strong following, and crossovers have the potential to draw even more subscribers to Disney+.
Smart money says that The Mandalorian will eventually have some type of connection to the franchise trilogy. The new show is set between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, in a lawless time without The Empire. I’d love to see the title character to eventually cross ways with The Resistance or the early formation of the First Order. The heroes may be very interesting The Child, and its connection to The Force.
The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will hit theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.
The Ghostbusters franchise is a piece of film history, which has been passed down among generations. The titular group of supernatural experts have gone through a few incarnations, including a kids’ cartoon and Paul Feig’s all-female version from 2016. Next up is Jason Reitman’s upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which will star Paul Rudd alongside (most of) the original cast of actors. The film’s contents have been largely a mystery, but the first images have just arrived. And they’re a doozy.
The overall plot of Ghostbusters: Afterlife is currently unclear, but it’s set up to be a direct sequel to the original pair of movies. It looks like Jason Reitman’s upcoming addition to the franchise will have a large cinematic scale. Because the first images from the movie tease some stunning landscapes, as well as Paul Rudd’s newcomer Mr. Grooberson. Check them out below, courtesy of Vanity Fair.
More than two years later the call to see a “Snyder Cut” of Justice League and see the version of the movie original director Zack Snyder would have made isn’t only going strong, it appears to be stronger than ever. However, one of the biggest questions about such a movie, were it ever to see the light of day, is just how much of it have we actually already seen?
Zack Snyder completed principal photography on Justice League before Joss Whedon was brought in to do reshoots, and those reshoots were reportedly extensive. So just how much of what Zack Snyder filmed actually made it into the final theatrical version of the Justice League we all saw\?According to Zack Snyder’s Director of Photography, Fabian Wagner, not very much at all.
During a recent mastercalss helmed by Fabian Wagner, the DOP was asked about the “Snyder Cut” of the film and in a response posted by Leonardo Oliveira, Wagner estimates that only about 10% of what he shot is in the movie that we’ve all seen.
Needless to say, that’s a shockingly small amount. There was no question that the Joss Whedon reshoots changed Justice Leaguein a significant way and that a lot of what was originally filmed had been replaced, but essentially, it turns out that almost none of the original footage survived.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the movie itself changed in a drastic way. It could be that the reshoots simply made new versions of existing scenes, perhaps making then lighter, as a response to the negative reaction Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received from some corners due to its dower tone.
Of course, it could also mean that most of the movie was drastically changed and a fundamental plot level. We won’t know for sure unless we ever actually see a Snyder Cut of the film.
I’ve never been one who cared all that much if I ever saw another cut of Justice League. I was certainly curious, but my interest was more academic than anything. While this doesn’t change my opinion fundamentally, it certainly does increase my curiosity.
You can check out Fabian Wagner’s complete comments in the video below.
While there is still a lot of very vocal support for the Snyder Cut, what there has not been is much of an indication that anybody is listening. Nobody at WB has publicly responded to the campaign in any way that so much as implies a release could happen, nevermind that it will. The launch event for HBO Max went by without so much as a reference to the movie.
The issue is that, while the movie does “exist” in that the footage is complete, it certainly needs, at minimum, a lot of post-production work, and that means somebody, like Warner Bros. would need to spend money to make the movie releasable, and the studio would have to believe that there’s enough interest to make a profit on that expense.
Still, those dedicated to the movement are not showing any signs of giving up. Will we ever see that other 90% of the movie? If the fans have any ability to make it happen, they will.
The Jurassic Park franchise is a beloved part of film history, especially Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original movie. That blockbuster broke new ground for visual and practical effects, which brought the dinosaurs to life. It also introduced iconic characters, including Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler. Dern will reprise her role in Colin Trevorrow’s untitled Jurassic World 3, and the Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress is especially eager to move her character’s story forward.
Ellie Sattler was a genius and bonafide badass throughout the course of Jurassic Park, and she eventually popped up safe at home in the third movie. She’ll finally appear in the third Jurassic World film, alongside Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm and Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant. Laura Dern recently spoke about the upcoming blockbuster and her character, saying:
It looks like Laura Dern is ready to bring Ellie Sattler to the modern world. And considering how high the stakes are in the wake of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s twist ending, the world is going to need Ellie more than ever.
Fallen Kingdom ended the way no one expected: by the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar being released into the world. After the island itself was destroyed in a volcanic eruption, a handful of Dinos were rescued and brought to The Lockwood Estate. But young Maisie ultimately freed the genetically engineered creatures. Now Jurassic World has become a reality, and things will likely be chaos when we pick up the story in Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming threequel. We got a glimpse at this new dangerous world with the short movieBattle at Big Rock, but that’s only the beginning.
Laura Dern is excited to show the older version of Ellie in Jurassic World 3, and see how she’s continued to become more capable and confident. In the same conversation with Deadline, she describes what it was like to work on the original Steven Spielerg classic, saying:
Jurassic Park broke new ground in a few ways, and has remained a classic part of film history. The Jurassic World franchise has been able to make a ton of money at the box office, and show even more thrilling and unbelievable visuals. I mean, just take Fallen Kingdom‘s volcano sequence.
It should be interesting to see how Colin Trevorrow utilizes the original cast in Jurassic World 3, and how much action they’ll get. Jeff Goldblum was kept thoroughly away from the main plot of Fallen Kingdom, but now that the Dinosaurs are among us, the heroes from the original movie will have some much needed insight.
Jurassic World 3 is currently set to arrive in theaters on June 11, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.
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It’s a very exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. We’re just weeks away from the release of J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker, which will conclude the nine-film Skywalker Saga forever. Additionally, Disney+ is bringing live-action Star Wars TV to the masses, with The Mandalorian already breaking internet thanks to Baby Yoda. The new streaming service has the ability to greatly expand the galaxy far, far away. But it looks like John Boyega isn’t interested in playing Finn on the small screen.
Finn is one of the three heroes of the current trilogy, starting The Force Awakens as a Stormtrooper who was too mortified by the fury of the First Order. The popularity of the franchise has made Boyega a household name, but it doesn’t look like he’s interested in continuing his signature character’s journey on Disney+. When he was recently asked about this prospect he joked, saying:
Well, that’s pretty cut and dry. It looks like John Boyega has no interest in joining the likes of Obi-Wan and The Mandalorian on Disney’s new streaming service. But he might be interested in playing Finn on the big screen again, if his co-stars were interested.
John Boyega’s comments to Variety might disappoint Star Wars fans who are excited about the narrative possibilities that Disney+ provides. While the future of the franchise’s life on the big screen is a mystery, there’s plenty of exciting content coming to The House of Mouse’s new service. In addition to The Mandalorian, Ewan McGregor will star in his own series as Obi-Wan Kenobi. What’s more, Diego Luna will reprise his Rogue One character Cassian Andor in yet another live-action show.
But we shouldn’t expect Finn to pop up in one of these projects, or get his own series on Disney+. John Boyega wants to remain a movie character, and might be open to playing his character again in that way. Although he did admit in the same interview that he’d be down for another movie, given Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac joined him. But unfortunately, his co-stars don’t seem interested.
Disney+ does have some great Star Wars content for subscribers, with all of the Skywalker Saga besides The Last Jedi streaming, in addition to The Mandalorian. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial.
The fame associated with the Star Wars franchise is intense, so it’s been a whirlwind journey for John Boyega and his co-stars. And it looks like as a whole, they’re looking forward to a break after The Rise of Skywalker finally hits theaters. After keeping the secrets of the franchise for so many years, it’ll no doubt be a relief to finally relax. And if Boyega is going to ever return to the property, he wants to do it on the big screen. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will hit theaters December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.