TrailerWatch: “Blade Runner 2049” hints at secrets and war

Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling are so perfectly chiseled they could definitely be replicants.  But are they? This new trailer from Blade Runner 2049 makes me really want to find out…and regardless of the answer to that question, 2049 looks like a very cool mashup of the original film, and HBO’s Westworld.  Not too shabby, that.  Synopsis!

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

After the Entertainment Weekly piece where director Denis Villeneuve mentions that “The [color] yellow is something I can’t talk about, but…it’s a very important color”, I’m hoping that’s the hint of larger plots/Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters October 6th, 2017.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza: “Atomic Blonde”!

Did Wonder Woman wet your whistle for more women-lead butt-kicking movies?  Well then, have I got a screening for you.  Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron.  Synopsis!

Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission.  Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

A blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style, Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch (John Wick, upcoming Deadpool 2).  Also starring John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones, the film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City,” by Antony Johnston & illustrator Sam Hart.  Kurt Johnstad (300) wrote the screenplay.

Ready?  Let’s go!

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza: “Step”!

Ready to dance?  Okay, it’s too hot out.  Ready to watch people dance and be dazzled?  Me too!  Especially while I’m eating popcorn and Twizzlers.  Balance in all things, y’all.  I’ve got passes for the Baltimore area screening of Step, and I’m ready.  But first?  Synopsis!

STEP is the true-life story of a girls’ high-school step dance team against the background of the heart of Baltimore. These young women learn to laugh, love and thrive – on and off the stage – even when the world seems to work against them. Empowered by their teachers, teammates, counselors, coaches and families, they chase their ultimate dreams: to win a step championship and to be accepted into college. This all female school is reshaping the futures of its students’ lives by making it their goal to have every member of their senior class accepted to and graduate from college, many of whom will be the first in their family to do so. Deeply insightful and emotionally inspiring, STEP embodies the true meaning of sisterhood through a story of courageous young women worth cheering for.

Step teams.  B’more.  Overcoming the odds.  What more could you ask for?  Free passes!  Well c’mon!

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Con News: MOAR guests for Small Press Expo! Hernandez! Powell! Leong! KEITH KNIGHT!

Okay, remember how I said that Keith Knight’s panel at last year’s SPX was incredible?  Well y’all – he’s BAAAACK!  Along with even more incredible talent: Gilbert Hernandex (Love and Rockets), Nate Powell (March), Ignatz award winner Sloane Leong (A Map to the Sun)…

And so much more great creators.  But why am I flappin’ my fingers? Read on for full details!

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“Wish Upon” – a drinking game waiting to happen.

Sometimes I’m too lazy for a full-out piece. Sometimes everything I’ve got to say about a film can be summarized in a sentence or two. Sometimes it’s both. So herewith, a quick-n-dirty on…Wish Upon!

Nutshell: It’s fun when a horror movie gets you to laugh because it’s funny on purpose.  Not so much when a tired bunch of creators toss out a film that’s so poorly conceptualized that laughter comes along when it really shouldn’t.  Perhaps this could be a great drinking game film, but right now this tired mess of jump-scares and overused cliches just doesn’t jell.  Points for not punking out at the end, and for casting actors I enjoy. Which are the only two reasons why this film gets more than a shrug from me. Grade: D Continue reading

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“War for the Planet of the Apes” is the APE-x of this series

Nutshell: Literally awe-inspiring.  Director Matt Reeves and an incredibly talented group of motion capture and live action performers deliver a meditation on what it means to be human…and how humanity isn’t something you’re born with by simple genetics, but something hard won every single day. Grade: A

“BAD APE! Bad ape.”

Story: Fifteen years after Rise, genetically enhanced intelligent chimpanzee Cesar and his followers hope that peace can be found in the wilderness.  Sadly, humans – with a fanatical Army officer with a “Kill all Kongs” mentality at the forefront – have other ideas.  When Cesar’s group is brought low, he must decide what’s best for those under his protection. Continue reading

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza: “Dunkirk”!

I love historical dramas.  Feels like I’m getting entertainment and knowledge all in one go.  (Or better still, I leave the theater wanting to know even more about the historical events shown in the film!) So why not watch Dunkirk, a film about Allied troops in WWII with no way out…except help from home. Synopsis!

From filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar,” “Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy) comes the epic action thriller “Dunkirk.” Nolan directed “Dunkirk” from his own original screenplay, utilizing a mixture of IMAX® and 65mm film to bring the story to the screen. “Dunkirk” opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces.  Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

Well then, what are you waiting for? Storm the beaches!

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