Category: Reviews

Universal Pictures Signs Distribution Contract with Cinemark

Industries worldwide have been forced into transition during the Covid era, with alternative concepts for market growth being introduced. The film industry has experienced a pivotal shift, with streaming services becoming adopted over cinemas. Theatres worldwide haven’t earned monetary compensation since March 2020, with influential brands like AMC & Regal warning of their bankruptcy. Brands like Cinemark have selected an objective strategy as of November 17th. An updated distribution contract was announced by Universal Pictures & Cinemark, with industry analysts praising the agreement for its revolutionary format. Analysts predict that other production studios & cinemas will sign similar contracts if this format sustains high margins.

Universal Pictures & Cinemark confirmed their latest distribution began with “Freaky”, a movie mentioned last week with Vince Vaughn. Under the new contract, Freaky would launch with Cinemark on November 13th & become available on streaming platforms starting November 17th. It’s unknown how long this timeframe format will be sustained, with Cinemark remarking the contract is accounting for consumer demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most production studios in Hollywood have resisted the Covid-19 pandemic, refusing distributions methods that would transition their brands to the quarantine era. Universal Pictures didn’t sustain their standard formats and began releasing new films to On-Demand services like “Google Movies”. Universal’s most popular Covid film was “Trolls: World Tour”, which earned more than $400 Million on its digital opening weekend. Other films released by Universal Pictures during the Covid era include:

  • The Hunt
  • The Photograph
  • The Turning
  • Emma
  • The King of Staten Island
  • The Invisible Man

Summer saw Universal Pictures & AMC Theatres implement a similar contract with longer timeframes. Films releasing to AMC cannot become available for “On-Demand & Streaming Services” until seventeen days after their initial cinema release. It should be noted that before Covid-19, movies weren’t permitted to release digitally until 75 to 90 days after their theatre release.

Cinemark Theatres clarified that movies releasing with opening weekends of $50 Million or more, will sustain five weekends in cinemas before distributing digitally to various On-Demand services like Apple Movies. Ultimately, these contracts offer an opportunity for production houses to generate increased revenue during the Covid era & still support international theatres.

Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler

What initially started as a Japanese manga turned out to be so popular that it received a prequel, a live-action adaptation as well as an anime adaptation. The second season of the anime adaptation started in January this year. Here are a few things unbeknown to many regarding this top-rated series. Even though manga can cover a broad spectrum of topics, in Kakegurui, the focus is on high stake gambling. Yet, the manga isn’t the sole topic of the series enjoyed by many.

As with many series that focus on the youth, Kakegurui is also set within a school set-up. The school, Hyakkaou Private Academy, is the territory of the children to the wealthy and powerful elite in Japan. The one thing which is inevitable in this environment is that the children going here is set to follow in their parents’ footsteps as the next generation of the wealthy and powerful elite.

Whenever a group of people is together, there is bound to form a specific hierarchy, and the case is so much more evident when this particular group is a bunch of youngsters driven by power, riches and fame. This school has a stringent social hierarchy, and the position in which you are ranked is based on your contribution to the school’s student council.

A Gambling System

The core of the series is the intertwined gambling system prevalent within the school’s structure. The students are often involved in wagering significant amounts of money against each other, and this forms a significant contributing factor in their level of involvement in the school’s council and thus then also their position within the social hierarchy.

Even though the topic of debt slavery is often not mentioned, it does make a prominent appearance within the series. Whenever someone becomes another’s debt slave, they are referred to as house pets, which translates to being within the control of the person you owe money to due to outstanding gambling debt. The element of debt slavery doesn’t stay however within the borders of Hyakkaou Private Academy but indeed does go far beyond. When students graduate from the school with outstanding debt, they are still obliged to settle this, and until such time occurs, they are bound within the Life Schedule. This determines their profession in life after school as well as who they would be allowed to marry.

The protagonist in the series is known as Yumeko Jabami. Many of the students are involved in gambling to gain more status, wealth or power, but this isn’t the case with Jabami. She is gambling merely for the thrill and excitement which she learns from it. Thus making her not only dangerous, but she can also be classified as a compulsive gambler.

Bets Please, Will There Be a Game of Thrones Movie

There will be a Game of Thrones movie according to George RR Martin, it is on its way, which is excellent news to millions if not billions of fans. The author of the Song of Ice and Fire novel attended the afterparty of HBO after the Emmy’s and was happy when the important announcement was made. Martin announced the film but told the Daily Star that he would not be involved with the Game of Thrones film as he was with the series.

When asked why he would not partake in the film, he answered that he had just too much to take care of, this includes completing two more books, and something else for David Benioff, DB Weiss and HBO. George also said that he was a very slow writer and that he did not want to upset the fans. There is the belief that he wants to complete The Winds of Winter and that the film would be the prequel that allows some of the characters that are dead to return.

Taking A Dip Back to the Days of Ned Stark

It could be a dip back in time when the prominent characters were alive, and the film could include Ned Stark, Robb Stark and Oberyn Martell the Red. The books written by George can contain as much as 1,200 pages. One thing is for sure, and that is that the biggest ever show worldwide is not ending in 2019. There are already plans for the start of filming later this year, and while most fans are left to believe it’s the final, a big announcement may come soon.

For now, all focus is on how the current series would end, but sadly fans won’t be able to solve the riddle that easily. There is a lot of anti-heroic and rug-pulling that left Snow bleeding. It’s a rag to the throne kind of story, and there are some of the heroes that can’t die, so what are the odds. Some believe the white walkers are not dead and will return to kill off everyone. Other believe that the thrones will belong to Daenerys, although the last episode did many wonders after she killed off just about everything. Cersei is still alive, although she has less power.

Will The Nice Guy Win?

There is also Jon Snow, and he remains the favourite when it comes to entertainment betting, some wonder if he would take the throne, he is not that good as a leader. George Martin likes tales in which the good guy wins he likes the gentle gust to rule. Maybe the throne was destroyed by the one who wants to sit on it the most? But if you a keen supporter you might feel that the final episode will only wrap up some of the things, but at the same time introduce a whole bunch of new theories. This time around, Game of Thrones is all about epic battles, betrayals and there will be tears.

Fitness, Films & Politics

One of the most versatile sports heroes of our time is Arnold Schwarzenegger who became one of the biggest sports icons in bodybuilding, then astounded fans as a Hollywood star and then he became the Governor of California!

Schwarzenegger believes strength never comes from winning, but that it is developed by your struggles. The sports/film star also strongly feel that it is the hardships you go through and the decision not to surrender that makes you a star. He believes the worst thing anyone can be is to be like everyone else.

Powerlifter, Professional Bodybuilder, Hollywood Film Star, Filmmaker, Investor Businessman, Investor, Politician, Philanthropist, Activist and Author Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger has served two terms as the Governor of California, while he entered Hollywood in 1970 as Hercules, although his big breakthrough came when he accepted the role as Conan the Barbarian in 1982, although he is most known by movie fans as the Terminator and his words, I’ll be back is still quoted by everyone. After his duties were fulfilled as Governor, he immediately started with the filming of the Expendables 2.

How did Arnold Become the Health & Sports Legend?

The most suited for the 30th Anniversary cover of Men’s Health was Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is unlike any sports icon and even though he has many fans due to his 21-inch biceps he also became the highest paid actor after filming Conan the Barbarian.  It was simply not enough for the actor who became a legend in Hollywood to be The Terminator and he also became California’s Governor.

His greatest talent is probably how he juggles his interests, Schwarzenegger won the title as Mr Olympia seven times, the Arnold Sports Festival attracts over 18,000 athletes yearly and according to the sports star, it all started with his father making him do push-ups before he was to have any breakfast.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Awards

The list of rewards for films Schwarzenegger received includes the 1992 MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary, 1977 Golden Globe for The Best New Star of the Year and the Empire Special Honorary Award in 2014. Amongst many other rewards he also received the Life Career Award in 1992 and the Laureus World Sports Award in 2003 for his tremendous contribution to society via sports.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Films

Schwarzenegger is perfect no matter the role he played and while fans love him as Terminator, he is also brilliant in films such as Kindergarten Cop. some of the top films include the 1984 box office hit The Terminator, 1987 Predator, 1990 Total Recall, 1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1985 Commando, 1993 Last Action Hero, 1994 True Lies, 1987 The Running Man, 1996 T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, 1988 Red Heat, 1986 Raw Deal, 2013 Escape Plan, 1988 Twins, 2000 the 6th Day, 1996 Eraser, 1996 Jingle All The Way, 1970 The Villian and 1993 Dave to only list a few of the over 40 movies starring Schwarzenegger.  

Late January 2019 Film Releases

As everyone returns home and it’s time to get into the hectic schedules part of every year, several exciting films ensure hours of relaxation during the weekend. The film released during the second half of January again caters for all film devotees of all ages.

The Kid Who Would Be King – 25th of January 2019

Kings are noble and brave and have no fear as they have tons of battles to fight. In, The Kid Who Would Be King film there is a world of demons to battle, saving the world is part of your task and you need to fight an evil army. Released by Fox the fantasy adventure film offers adds a hint of comedy the kid growing up to be a king and it is Joe Cornish’ latest release, known for the film, Attack the Block.

The film tells the tale of bullied kids in a learning process of how to defend themselves and stand up for what they believe in. Alex part of the group believes he is a nobody, but that is until he stumbles upon the sword in the stone called Excalibur. His task is to unite his enemies and friends into knights and to meet and join Merlin, their goal is to beat Morgana. The cast includes Patrick Stewart, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Taylor, Dean Chaumoo and Rhianna Dorris.

The Wild Pear Tree – 30th of January 2019

An official trailer was recently released by the Cinema Guild & Film Forum of this impressive masterpiece created by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish filmmaker. Titled in Turkish – Ahlat Agaci or The Wild Pear Tree starts showing at the end of January in New York City, the Cannes Film Festival is where it premiered, then it moved to the New York and Toronto Film

Festivals and it is one of the big favourites of 2019.

The story picks up where Sinan a young writer returns to his hometown, he has to deal with his father and his family, while he struggles to believe that the writer’s dream could be possible. Dogu Demirkol in the lead plays Sinan, passionate about writing and literature and have always dreamt of becoming a successful writer.

Once he gets to return to the village that is his birthplace, he finally gets the chance to pour out his soul and heart into gathering the cash he needs to publish his work. The debts of his father catch up with him, and as with all films by Nuri Bilge, The Wild Pear Tree is a masterpiece.

Some of the other films by the Turkish filmmaker includes Climates, Winter Sleep, Three Monkeys, Distant, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Clouds of May and Small Town. The cast includes Doug Demirkol, Murat Cemcir, Serkan Keskin, Bennu Yildirimlar, and Hazar Ergüçlü. Screenplay writers include Ebru Ceylan, Akin Aksu, and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The Wild Pear Tree is released in several theatres in the United States on the 30th of January 2019.

2019 – January Film Releases

Every year starts with great excitement about the year have in store and film lovers do have lots of brilliant films to look forward to in 2019. The list of fabulous films scheduled for the year caters for superhero fans, action enthusiasts, and the long list of compelling films also features horror, comedy and several perfect for the romantic. With hundreds of releases spread across the next twelve months we list all the January releases first, so you won’t miss any of the latest releases.

Escape Room – Released on the 4th of January 2019

Critics describe Escape Room based on a deadly room creepy as hell, while the film released by Sony Pictures is perfect for those who enjoy horror films such as The Maze. Being trapped in fear most of the audience shares and once six strangers find themselves in the escape room the game takes on a whole different shape, it’s a matter of escape or dies. Actors in the film include Logan Miller, Taylor Russell, Nik Dodani, and Tyler Labine.
Escape Room is suitable for viewers over the age of 13 and genres include sci-fi, mystery and drama.

Replicas – Release Date 11th of January 2019

If you are one of the millions of Keanu Reeves fans, then your year are about to start on a high note as Reeves is the mad scientist in Replicas. The scientist is trying to figure out how to revive his family killed in an accident, eventually, he decides to clone them, although he has no idea how it will turn out. The whole idea of replicating his loved ones is as scary as it is exciting, and the cast includes John Ortiz, Thomas Middleditch, Alice Eve and Emily Alyn Lind.

A Dog’s Way Home – Releasing Date 11th of January 2019

A Dog’s Way Home offers 96 minutes of adventure and this family film takes the audience on 400-mile travel that the dog follows in search of its owner. The cast includes Jonah Hauer-King, Alexandra Shipp and Bryce Dallas Howard and is directed by Charles Martin Smith.

Glass – Scheduled for Release on the 18th of January 2019

The 129-minute film, genre classified as sci-fi, drama and mystery carry a PG of 13. Filmgoers get to meet David Dunn a security guard using his supernatural abilities to track down a disturbed man that has 24 different personalities. The cast includes Bruce Willis, Sarah Paulson and James McAvoy, while it is directed by Alex Billington.

An Acceptable Loss – Release Date 18th of January 2019

Originally the film An Acceptable Loss was titled The Pages, and the IFC Film premiered at the Virginia Film Festival. The film is based on the regret and betrayal of the whistle-blower tale regarding Libby a former US Security adviser threatened by her past. She needs to break the law and risk her life in order to expose a cover-up by the government. The film cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Alex Weismann, Jeff Hephner and Ali Burch.

Best Ever Christmas Movies Perfect for The Holiday Season

If it was up to of us, Christmas would be an all-year-round thing, half of the year because it was nearing, the other half of the year because it’s just been. There is that place where the ground is always covered in snow, it is here where Christmas never ends, and you get to snack and watch one great film after the next, allowing you to fill up on Christmas cheer. So if you need a bit of feel good, here are the best holiday-themed films:

Love Actually

The star-studded ensemble romantic comedy of Richard Curtis combines nine interweaved tales examining the intricacies of an emotion that connects all: love. Among the line-up of interesting characters surveyed is Hugh Grant as David, the truly handsome recently elected British prime minister who falls for Martine McCutcheon, a junior staffer. Laura Linney is Sarah, whose life is problematic due to her devotion to her mentally ill brother and then there is Alan Rickman portraying Harry, a wedded man attracted to his gorgeous new secretary.

A Christmas Tale

Arnaud Desplechin the French auteur crafts a spellbinding, straggling portrait of the reconciliation and togetherness of a dysfunctional family. This drama is all about the reuniting of a family at Christmas, and it is also at this time they learn about the leukaemia of their grandmother played by Catherine Deneuve. Her request to the family is to see if anyone including grandchildren are eligible as bone marrow donors. It causes quite a bit of friction in the family, mainly between her son Henri played by Mathieu Amalric and her daughter played by Anne Consigny. With all the trauma and drama, it also recalls the traumatic loss the family suffered when they lost their brother Joseph.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a malevolent and dark stop-motion fable produced by Tim Burton. It is based on the journey of Jack Skellingting who travels from Halloween Town to the less frightening town of Christmas. Viewers get to follow the catastrophic adventure of Skellinton in Halloween Town, where the pumpkin king is bored by the repeated routine of giving people in the real world a freight. The warm spirits and bright colours of Christmas-Town gives Jack Skellington a new lease on life, he wants this awesome town under his control, and he starts plotting straight away, he even kidnaps Santa and steps into his role. But it takes only a short while before Jack realises that all his planning is of no use in the amazing town of Christmas.

Apart from the three movies discussed above, we also strongly suggest films such as Home Alone, where a young member of the family is left behind by mistake. Instead of being bored over the Christmas period he becomes the security system and the burglars simply don’t stand a chance against his brilliant mind and plans.

The Happytime Murders Review

In the history of the friendly Muppet empire by Jim Henson, there’s always been a dark streak. This streak is not only exhibited within the Muppet franchise but is also showcased in movies like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. While fans treated these movies as family-friendly material, Jim Henson considered them as vehicles to portray stories in all genres. His son Brain is now unfettered by the Muppet name as he breathes life into The Happytime Murders movie as a fuzzy and fast R-rated romp.

The Happytime Murders Story

In a world where human and puppet live side by side, Bill Barretta (Phil Philipps) is a former disgraced cop who makes a living as a private eye. By taking a case that seems like a simplistic ransom play, he soon finds himself in the middle of a murder string which is connected to the Happytime Gang children’s television show. It’s going to take tough fluff to solve this case along with discipline to reunite with his former estranged partner to successfully crack the mystery behind The Happytime Murders.

While The Happytime Murders story is actually rather basic, writers Dee Austin Robertson and Todd Berger, fortunately, remembered to include a story. So while fans will enjoy a simplistic mystery plot, with several personal beats that stem from the detective noir genre, its structure is basic enough that it doesn’t break down under its true purpose. This purpose is essentially a skeletal story where loads of puppet gags hang from and when its time for jokes to fly, the film allows them to play out in full force. Furthermore, there are loads of gags, in true Muppet fashion, that parody everything from Basic Instinct to cop dramas which pay homage to every influence with a tongue planted in the cheek of this puppet-loving movie.

A Fresh Dose of Unexpected Things

There’s plenty of unexpected things that you wouldn’t expect from the puppets in The Happytime Murders. However, for those that followed the post-Muppet career of director Brain Henson will know that it is his bread and butter. Even though the movie is rather raunchy, certainly earning the R-rating, it never gives the impression that its just throwing in content for the sake of mischief without a purpose. All the jokes work perfectly in the move as they create a world where muppets are far more human than ever before. It’s also refreshing that the movie is only an hour and 30 minutes in length which allows a vicious pace of story and gags to blur past in quite an entertaining manner without getting repetitive or stale.

The most impressive thing about The Happytime Murders is certainly the way in which it commits to the premise through the human cast performances and on the page. Melissa McCarthy is basically game for anything which further sells the extreme behaviour which is coupled with felt creatures. Fans will instantly believe that a world between puppets and humans can actually work and that’s a true testament to the on-screen performances by the actors and the puppets that are always present.