Category Archives:Movies

How Joaquin Phoenix Imagines His Joker Would React To Meeting Batman


The relationship between Batman and the Joker is one of the greatest, most fascinating dynamics in pop culture. Personified chaos vs. a symbol of order and justice? Sweet! Count us in! Unfortunately, in Todd Phillips’s highly anticipated standalone Joker film, the two won’t cross paths at all (or will they?). But if reviews for the film are to be believed, that fact won’t matter. The film is reportedly incredible.

But the exclusion of Batman doesn’t dissuade people from broaching the topic. Asking hypotheticals and immersing oneself in a world or a character are the hallmarks of good, passionate fans, and there’s plenty of that going around. Especially among comic book fans. Speaking with celebrity interviewer Jake Hamilton (who asked a fun question about where Batman fits in Phillips’s mythos), Joaquin Phoenix discussed Batman and whether or not his version of the Joker would be enthused to meet him.

On the big screen, we’re just beginning to scratch the surface with these two characters. But DC and the talent they hire have given us so many different portrayals and interpretations that there’s still plenty to enjoy. Of course, some of these portrayals haven’t worked so well (Jared Leto’s Joker and Ben Affleck’s Batman being two of the most recent examples), but overall DC has killed it with its casting.

Given that Todd Phillips’s Joker is a character study about the Clown Prince of Crime and how he came to be, bringing in Batman would shift the focus in an unwelcome way. Joker needs to focus on its subject and keep that focus there. Sure, it would be amazing to see Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker come shoe-to-boot with the Caped Crusader, but it seems like his character was built to be his own thing, in his own world. Luckily, it seems that Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver knocked it out of the park here. You can learn more about the film when ReelBlend’s exclusive interview with Phoenix himself hits the web on October 4.

Set to be unleashed upon the world next month, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is already shaping up to be one of the more controversial versions of the character (even though his performance has been lauded time and again). I’m excited to find out if I love or hate his portrayal (probably the former, honestly).

What do you think of Joaquin Phoenix’s comments? Would his Joker be excited to meet Batman or would he see him as a threat and nothing else? Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned for more updates on Todd Phillips’s Joker. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on October 4.

Spider-Man Writer Thinks It’s ‘Weird’ How MCU Fans Are Defending Disney Over Sony


When the news came out about Sony and Disney/Marvel splitting up over Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the MCU, many fans immediately took Disney’s side. That’s not too surprising when you consider the MCU is part of Disney’s turf — and Disney keeps Peter Parker with his Avengers and Guardians friends. Many fans just see Sony as a background player in Holland’s Spider-Man movies. An intruder in the happy family, even.

But what’s “weird” to Spider-Man screenwriter David Koepp is the passion with which fans are defending Disney — as if Disney is the “plucky underdog” who needs defending from a nefarious villain. As he noted, that’s far from the case.

David Koepp isn’t completely objective in this, since he wrote the script for the 2002 Spider-Man movie that launched Tobey Maguire’s trilogy for Columbia/Sony. During a new interview with Den of Geek, the Jurassic Park screenwriter gave an Indiana Jones 5 update, and he was asked if he was keeping up with the news on the Disney/Sony Spider-Man split.

David Koepp’s answer gave a shout-out to Sony’s animated Oscar winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and shaded Marvel Cinematic Universe fans for their overboard defense of Disney:

Yeah, Disney is the farthest thing from an underdog. But fans just want Spider-Man to stay in the same cinematic universe as Mr. Stark and the Avengers, etc., and defending Disney may look like the best way to be Team MCU. However, if fans were more critical of Disney, maybe Disney/Marvel Studios wouldn’t be able to make huge demands and then step back — knowing Marvel fans would do a lot of very public arguing for them.

Both Disney and Sony have valid arguments to make over the joint use of Spider-Man. Fans don’t have all of the information from negotiations (neither does David Koepp) but it’s common to see movie viewers sharing reasoned arguments for why X made the bigger mistake.

If you ask Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo — who is openly Team Disney/Marvel — Sony made a “tragic mistake” to let Spider-Man leave the care of Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige. Sony’s CEO has said the door is closed for now, arguing “Kevin didn’t do all the work” to make Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies a success.

Kevin Feige said he knew this Sony partnership wasn’t meant to last forever, and apparently it was fraught from the start. Tom Holland still plans to continue playing Spider-Man and he has high hopes that his movies can get even better from here.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next, but we know Sony’s Marvel Universe has Venom on the calendar for October 2, 2020. Keep up with everything heading to the big screen next year with our 2020 movie release date schedule.

Top Gun: Maverick Star Calls Tom Cruise An ‘Amazing’ Mentor, But Not Someone You Want To Race


Jay Ellis, one of the franchise’s new additions, recently spoke with Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, who asked him about his upcoming projects and picked his brain about the highly anticipated Top Gun sequel.

Adding humor to the interview was Jay Ellis’s anecdote about Tom Cruise being a fast runner — after Ellis was asked if he raced Cruise on set. It’s a fun little glimpse into how people perceive 57-year-old Cruise’s astonishing athleticism. The Tom Cruise run is famous, after all.

Jay Ellis also revealed a teeny-tiny bit about his character, saying:

It’s an understandable response. The movie doesn’t come out until next year so anything he says now will absolutely impact publicity going forward. And given how big this film will be, it is in Paramount’s best interests to keep things relatively quiet until the film is closer to release. Still, this is harmless, amusing information that just strengthens the notion that Tom Cruise is a great dude.

We don’t yet know quite what to expect from Top Gun: Maverick, other than the facts that Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are returning and that the film will use brand-new technology (presumably for its aerial scenes).

Could you beat Tom Cruise in a race? Would you even want to try? Sound off the comments below and make sure you acquaint yourself with what’s scheduled for release in 2019. There are some incredible-looking films on the horizon so start planning movie dates now!

The 5 Best Space Movies To Stream In Honor Of Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra


Interstellar 2001: A Space Odyssey Apollo 13

Ad Astra means “to the stars” and it’s far from the first movie to head there. It’s interesting how many Oscar-worthy showcase roles have come from pretending to explore space. Not all movies in the genre focus on one character fighting the odds, but that does tend to be a favorite angle. It’s hard picking just five space movies to stream in honor of Brad Pitt’s new movie, so I cheated to add a few more suggestions. Please feel free to note your own favorites!

2001: A Space Odyssey closeup red tint

2001: A Space Odyssey

A masterpiece in general, and THE space masterpiece. It’s still hard to believe Stanley Kubrick made this movie in 1968. It’s worth re-watching 2001 to appreciate the ambition and artistry, and note how it’s been referenced in so many later films. Countless filmmakers were inspired by 2001, including Star Wars‘ George Lucas and Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘s Steven Spielberg. In honor of 2001’s 50th anniversary, Interstellar director Christopher Nolan presented a mastered 70mm print at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Stream 2001: A Space Odyssey on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes, or Google Play from $4 up. It should be on Netflix at all times, but it isn’t.

Apollo 13 cast Bill Paxton Kevin Bacon Tom Hanks

Apollo 13

Houston, we have a problem — this one isn’t available on Netflix either. Not as of September 2019, anyway. I saw Apollo 13 five times in the movie theater in 1995, and listened to the soundtrack far more times. As Alien likes to say, “In space, no one can hear you scream,” so it’s funny how often space movies have striking soundtracks to pair with awe-inspiring visuals. (Gravity, I’m talking to you.) James Horner’s chill-inducing score was a perfect complement for the tension and power of Ron Howard’s movie. This is a space movie that’s only partly set in space, and even though Tom Hanks is the face of the movie, it’s a true ensemble. Kind of like The Right Stuff more than First Man.

Stream Apollo 13 right now on Starz with a subscription, or by paying $4 to rent on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, etc.

Interstellar Matthew McConaughey Anne Hathaway

Interstellar

Like Ad Astra, Interstellar is one of those space movies tied to a threat to human life. Both movies also have a parent/child connection. Then again, I may have just described Armageddon too. It’s not the most unique set of circumstances. Some movies, like Apollo 13, are based on real events and others — like Sunshine, etc. — use a futuristic threat to the planet as the impetus. Interstellar rises above so many stories thanks to being directed by Christopher Nolan and co-written by the director and his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Their tag-team efforts have given us Memento, The Prestige, and two Dark Knight movies. Sometimes space movies can be cold and distant, but I found Interstellar very moving. (Not that I cried as much as Matthew McConaughey on screen or Timothée Chalamet off-screen.)

Stream Interstellar for $3 to rent on Amazon, YouTube, or Google Play. iTunes and Vudu also currently have it for $4. I wish Netflix had any of these movies. You should probably yell at them for that.

Moon Sam Rockwell

Moon

Director Duncan Jones made his feature film debut with Moon, which is a fantastic showcase for Sam Rockwell. Roger Ebert’s 2009 review of the movie makes several references to 2001 and even a nice one to Bruce Dern’s Silent Running, but I like this note in particular:

Moon is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science-fiction, which is often about the interface between humans and alien intelligence of one kind of or other, including digital. John W. Campbell Jr., the godmother of this genre, would have approved. The movie is really all about ideas. It only seems to be about emotions. How real are our emotions, anyway? How real are we? Someday I will die. This laptop I’m using is patient and can wait.

Stream Moon on Sony Crackle, or for $3 currently on Amazon or Vudu. Maybe by the time you look for it, it’ll be on Netflix, but as of September 2019 it’s not there.

Silent Running Bruce Dern robots

Silent Running

Going for a deep cut on this one, instead of something more current. This 1972 sci-fi classic is a showcase for Bruce Dern, and also follows a future where Earth is basically falling apart. (The sci-fi genre is pretty sure we’re doomed.) A movie focused on the environment, in a future where plants are becoming extinct, has a timely ring to it. Plus, the lead character is a botanist, which seems like a cool tie to Matt Damon’s botanist in The Martian. It didn’t help Silent Running to come out just four years after 2001, since few films benefit from a comparison to Kubrick’s space classic. But at the very least you should watch this retro classic for Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

Stream Silent Running for $4 to rent on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, etc.

Gravity Sandra Bullock

BONUS: Gravity, The Martian, And More

There are way too many space movies to list just five. Sandra Bullock’s 2013 award-winner Gravity was another great space showcase role, with a fantastic soundtrack. I cannot get enough of Matt Damon’s The Martian, even if I’m not sure I would see it as a “comedy,” as it was entered through the 2015-2016 awards circuit.

I also hope by now you’ve seen Sunshine, another We Have To Save Earth movie, but one of the better ones thanks to director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland. I’m still fond of Jodie Foster’s Contact, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming National Geographic TV series adapting The Right Stuff. Speaking of TV series, I hope you’re caught up on The Expanse, aka Game of Thrones in Space, as it’s often billed. I love those books and the Amazon series is launching Season 4 this December.

Some great space movies mix with other genres, like the sci-fi/horror of the Alien franchise. Other great space movies aren’t actually set in space — like Arrival, which was profound enough to take my breath away, and Hidden Figures. You can also have fun in space, with comedies like Spaceballs, not to mention some major franchises you might’ve heard of called Star Wars and Star Trek. I’m not as up on animation as I should be, but maybe some fans can also recommend some great space anime.

If you’re looking for more streaming recommendations, check out these past features:

There’s plenty of space to stream, so what out-of-this-world titles have you been streaming lately?

Blended From Around The Web

 

This Rotten Week: Predicting Abominable Reviews


Last week at the box office was a much busier affair, with three new movies in wide release, but overall it was a good week for the Rotten Watch with all three movies falling within 10% of my predictions. That being said, for the first two flicks, considering there were a bunch of reviews in already, I probably should have been within five percent on both. Ad Astra (Predicted: 78% Actual: 82%) got there, and was a critical win. The Brad Pitt-led space odyssey left critics generally pleased. They praised Pitt’s performance as the astronaut seeking cosmic answers, but also lauded the visuals and overall story. The only negatives centered mostly around a “boring” tag, but those were fewer and far between.

AIRPLANE MODE Official Trailer (2020) Logan Paul, Comedy Movie HD

AIRPLANE MODE Official Trailer (2020) Logan Paul, King Bach, Amanda Cerny, Chloe Bridges Comedy Movie HD
© 2019 – Gravitas Ventures

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THE RHYTHM SECTION Official Trailer (2019) Blake Lively, Jude Law, Action Movie HD

THE RHYTHM SECTION Official Trailer (2019) Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown, Thriller Action Movie HD
© 2019 – Paramount

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