At Toy Fair 2020, Hasbro revealed some cool new Ghostbusters toys that are launching this year. Arriving this Spring, they’ll be releasing the Kenner Classics line which is inspired by the figures by Kenner that were based on the 80s cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters. Each figure will cost $14.99 and will be exclusive to Wal-Mart. You’ll be able to collect Egon, Peter, Slimer, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Ray, and Winston.
The Ecto-1 Playset announced is inspired by the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife film and will be available this Summer for $29.99. Any of the 5” Fright Feature figures is compatible with this awesome car perfect for hunting those ghosts.
Hasbro also unveiled the new Plasma Series figures which will launch this Summer with Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston, Dana, and Gozer and Terror Dog. These figures are designed to be photorealistic and “collector grade.” Each one will run you $19.99. Of course, in this new Plasma Series, fans will also find cool non-character collectibles like Spengler’s Neutrona Wand from Ghostbusters: Afterlife which will launch this Fall for $99.99.
If you prefer pretending to be a Ghostbuster yourself, this Summer, a new line of roleplay toys will be available. The Proton Blaster M.O.D. will run $29.99 while the PKE, Ghost Whistle, Proton Blaster, and Proton Pack will be $14.99 each. Search for and capture ghosts with these new electronic toys.
Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass
Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Adrian Griffin
Aldis Hodge as James Lanier
Storm Reid as Sydney Lanier
Harriet Dyer as Alice Kass
Michael Dorman as Tom Griffin
Written and directed by Leigh Whannell
A gorgeous sprawling modern home, private seaside views, an endless bank account– on the surface, life might seem perfect for Cecilia Kass. Her reality is far from it though. Living under the thumb of her abusive significant other, Adrian Griffin, she’s had enough and planned her escape from the prison they call home. Aided by her sister, Emily, Cecilia slips away in the dead of night, leaving her oppressor silhouetted by the red glare of Emily’s car tail lights. Physically apart, Cecilia is still haunted by the pain and trauma imparted onto her by Adrian. Finding refuge in the home of family friend and police officer, Cecilia still finds herself afraid to go outside. Somehow, she is sure Adrian will find her and drag her back into the life she dreads.
The news comes quickly though– just two weeks after Cecilia’s liberation, Adrian has killed himself. In his death, he left a chunk of his fortune to Cecilia. With things finally starting to return to normal in her life, Cecilia begins to experience some strange occurances. More and more, the feeling she is haunted by Adrian becomes ever so apparent as each day passes. Soon, Cecilia begins to unravel completely as her family and friends become more worried about her state of being. Is she losing her mind? Or is there someone or something torturing Cecilia at every turn she takes?
The opening of The Invisible Man is some of the best 20 minutes to jump-start a film in a long time. Clearly, something is wrong. While you can easily deduce you’re watching a woman who is finally fleeing a troubled relationship, the aura of a dark mystery still wafts its way across every inch of the screen as Cecilia tiptoes her way out of her mansion-esque cage. You can see the physical obstacles in front of her and hear every faint breath that might be loud enough to wake her sleeping warden. It’s tense and enthralling and pulls you right into Cecilia’s world, dragging you to the edge of your seat; even though you know she is going to get away, for now. There are jarring sounds to knock you off-center, and you know they are coming, but the balance is so well-formed and planned. In many ways, the opening was so good, that there was no way the rest of the film could live up to it.
Even more brilliant was the choice of using both very wide shots and locations that contain largely open areas. I’d find myself scanning each shot, looking intently at each void between characters and objects, trying to catch a glimpse of a silhouette or object moving on its own in the background. The Invisible Man lays its framing out to play an imaginary game of Where’s Waldo? with the audience. Oddly enough, it actually started to feel like a distraction. Constantly searching every single detail of every single blank space of every shot, only to end up questioning if I missed something can be a little frustrating. It’s a cleverly brilliant ploy on the part of the filmmakers and only deserves praise, even though I found myself shaking my fist at the screen in acceptance of my defeat. On a technical level (apart from a few specific shots), The Invisible Man is a real triumph, always finding ways to keep the tensions high.
Elisabeth Moss, on the other hand, is what truly keeps The Invisible Man at a high level. Her fear, her pain, her sense of distraught worry is front and center. In a two hour film that encompasses a lifetime of terror and ranging emotions, it often can feel unbelievable or wonky when watching an actor run the gamut of feelings every other minute. Moss takes control of this task though, and brings you along for the journey with just a subtle change of her demeanor. There have been so many adaptations of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, and while there have been the twisted freaks who use their power for nefarious gains, we don’t really get an Invisible Man story where the protagonist is not the Invisible Man, himself. Let alone, one that uses the character to explore the pain and trauma of an abusive relationship…
What Doesn’t Work:
…But there are a myriad of films that do explore these types of relationships, all too well. From the 1944 classic, Gaslight, to the more recent, Unsane, watching the downfall of someone whose true horror’s are brushed off by others as paranoia and mental instability are sadly all too common. Adding The Invisible Man into the equation still doesn’t change the fact that each of these stories all follow the same plot points. They all do a great job stringing an audience along, giving us the feeling that maybe these characters are all crazy, and then, of course, they are not. In ways, the brilliant stroke would have been to end the film with the realization that Cecilia actually was losing her mind, and there was no ominous force torturing her and ruining her life. It makes for a more poignant and powerful look at the never ending cycle of damage that victims of abuse can end up living with.
With a running time of just over two hours, The Invisible Man doesn’t drag much, but too many details seem rushed and incomplete. An unfortunate casualty of almost all horror/thrillers, there are just too many instances of head scratching scenarios that are unresolved and silly. How does that Lyft ride show up after two seconds Cecilia somehow inputs her destination info while frantically running in the dark? How in this world of Big Brother surveillance is there not a camera in that restaurant where things really go off the rails? How can her sister really believe Cecilia sent that one randomly disparaging email? These are just a few examples that I can go into here, as a lot of other ones revolve around a specific plot point that I don’t want to spoil in regards to what makes this Invisible Man, invisible.
There also seemed to be a gap in the backstory of how everyone relates to each other in this story. Cecilia stays with police officer James and his daughter Sydney when she escapes Adrian’s grip. Though, it is unclear just how they know each other. It is obvious Emily and James are friends but did Cecilia know James before this? James gives her plenty of support for someone she may barely know. Maybe Emily and James work together, and she is the only one she trusts, but what does Emily even do for a living? I don’t think the occupation and lifestyle of the main character’s sister is a necessity for the story, but for the way this script was mapped out it certainly is information that needed more clarity. It obviously doesn’t tank the film, but it all felt very awkward and weird.
The Bottom Line:
The Invisible Man does not revolutionize the classic Wells tale or the storied history of films that explore the toxic properties of abuse and the monsters that prey on people they claim to love. It does, however, present itself in a well-paced, nerve-wracking blanket that, along with the stellar lifting of Elizabeth Moss, does enough to wash away the nasty taste left behind from The Mummy.
The Invisible Man hits theaters this Friday!
BREAKING: Steven Spielberg departs Indiana Jones 5; James Mangold in talks to helm
After years of time in development hell and Harrison Ford (The Call of the Wild) revealing a potential production start date in two months, Indiana Jones 5 has seen a surprise development as longtime franchise helmer Steven Spielberg (Ready Player One) has exited the project, with Lucasfilm currently in negotiations with James Mangold (Ford v. Ferrari) to take over, according to Variety.
The 73-year-old Oscar-winning director is still set to remain on the project as a hands-on producer and source are reporting that the decision to leave came from Spielberg, who wanted to pass along the titular hero’s story to a new generation of storytellers with a fresh perspective on the classic adventurer.
The film was originally announced in 2016 with Spielberg and Ford returning in their respective roles and an original theatrical release date set for July 19, 2019, but was constantly pushed back after multiple rewrites came from Jonathan Kasdan, son of Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence after original writer David Koepp exited the project.
Mangold is no stranger to big-budget action, having helmed the Tom Cruise-starring Knight and Day, as well as the final two installments in the solo Wolverine series The Wolverine and Logan, the latter of which grossed over $619 million at the global box office and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. He recently directed the racing biopic Ford v. Ferrari starring Christian Bale (Vice) and Matt Damon (The Departed), which was nominated for four Oscars.
Famed archaeologist and explorer Indiana Jones was introduced in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark – one of AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time – and later thrilled audiences in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The four films have brought in nearly $2 billion at the global box office.
(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)
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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #48 dropped today and it was fantastic! We’re drawing close to the end of the “Necessary Evil” storyline and it’s been one heck of a ride. If you haven’t read the issue yet, you can pick it up wherever you get your comics including comiXology.
After what we read in the preview, we see the wreckage caused by Cavotus’ blast and Aisha and Rocky learn that they can basically fly with their powers. This is a cool moment, but they don’t get to revel in it as Cavotus is coming at them real fast. The group of Rangers (Adam, Aisha, Rocky, Trini, and Zack) and Xi are in some trouble. Cavotus is making their lives hard as he starts destroying the asteroids that they’re hiding behind. Eventually, Ranger Slayer shows up and actually kills Cavotus with the Gravezord. Man, that is such a cool Megazord! The Rangers and Xi jump on board the Gravezord and we find out that Ranger Slayer (not sure what to call her since she doesn’t like that name…) has been helping patrol the galaxy for Grace and Prometheus. She also mentions she knows of a device that can absorb Morphin energy and Xi immediately goes, “we gotta get to Safehaven.” I’m not sure that’s a great plan. Especially considering the massive army Kiya seems to be amassing in the final page.
We also have a great moment there at the end where Adam is doubting himself and Zack comes to help him figure things out. Adam doesn’t think he’s up to snuff, but Zack gives him a pep talk and I think everything’s going to be okay.
Now, let’s go back and talk about the other Rangers. Jason is training in a Pocket Dimension when Tommy shows up and the two start sparring. There’s a lot of tension as Tommy’s pissed that Jason lied to everyone and Jason is sitting there like “what was I supposed to do?” It’s a pretty sucky situation. After knocking Tommy back, Jason goes in and is all business. He tells everyone he’s got to go to Safehaven to protect the people there. It’s actually an incredible moment where he talks about finally understanding when Zordon talked about having a responsibility to protect the planet. He’s ready to go back even if it costs him his life because that’s what he signed up for. He has to help at least try to defeat Kiya.
I think that we’re now going to see all the Rangers headed back to Safehaven where things are going to be nuts. Kiya is amassing an army and also has Dayne on her side who is crazy good at kicking butt. Then, some people are going to go through the Master Arch to an alternate dimension, but the others are going to have to hold back all of these Empowered and it’s going to be hard. Is Ranger Slayer talking about the Dragon Cannons, or was there something else?
Billions season 5 adds Rick Hoffman in recurring role
With a couple months left until the premiere of the fifth season of Showtime’s hit corporate drama Billions, the cast has grown with the addition of Suits vet Rick Hoffman in a recurring role, according to Deadline.
In Billions Season 5, Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) see their vicious rivalry reignited, while new enemies rise and take aim. Social impact pioneer Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) poses a true threat to Axe’s dominance, and Chuck feuds with a formidable district attorney. Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) is forced back to Axe Capital, where they must fight to protect their employees and their assets. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) reevaluates her loyalties and forges surprising new alliances that put her at odds with both Chuck and Axe. This season, the struggle for power becomes a struggle for survival, and all characters must adapt or risk extinction.
Hoffman has signed on to star in the recurring role of Dr. Swerdlow, who is described as “a medical man with unorthodox methods.” Production on the fifth season is still currently underway in New York.
Last season, Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades, former enemies, and Wendy Rhoades, the chief counselor to each, came together to form an uneasy but highly effective alliance, aimed at the eradication of all their rivals, including Grigor Andolov (guest star John Malkovich), Taylor Mason, Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) and Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat (guest star Clancy Brown).
The series stars Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti (Sideways) and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis (Homeland). Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy), Asia Kate Dillon (Orange Is the New Black), David Costabile (Breaking Bad), Toby Leonard Moore (Daredevil), Condola Rashad (Smash), Emmy nominee Jeffrey DeMunn (The Green Mile), and Kelly AuCoin (The Americans) also star.
Billions is created and executive produced by showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The series was also created by Andrew Ross Sorkin, and the fifth season is set to premiere on May 3!
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Rebecca Breeds to Play Clarice Starling in CBS Sequel Series
Rebecca Breeds (Home and Away, Pretty Little Liars, The Originals) has been cast as FBI Agent Clarice Starling in the CBS Silence of the Lambs sequel series Clarice, Variety has confirmed.
Set in 1993, a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, Clarice is a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.
Breeds’ Starling is described as brilliant and vulnerable. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UVA with a double major in Psych and Criminology. Her bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. Her complex psychological makeup comes from a challenging childhood, and her drive comes from her need to escape the burden of family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.
The character has previously been played by Jodie Foster, who won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Silence of the Lambs, and Oscar winner Julianne Moore in 2001’s Hannibal.
Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs film was directed by Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married) from a screenplay adapted by Ted Tally. Its starred Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in their iconic roles as Clarice Starling and Dr. Hannibal Lecter. On top of its critical and commercial success with over $270 million gross worldwide, the film swept the top 5 major categories at the 64th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor and Actress for Foster and Hopkins’ incredible performances. The role of Clarice Starling was taken over by Julianne Moore in Ridley Scott’s 2001 sequel Hannibal, and should the Hannibal tv series have continued producer Bryan Fuller wanted to cast Ellen Page as Starling.
The series will be written and executive produced by frequent collaborators Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Discovery) and Jenny Lumet, who are both also currently working together on CBS All Access’ upcoming series The Man Who Fell to Earth.
“After more than 20 years of silence, we’re privileged to give voice to one of America’s most enduring heroes – Clarice Starling,” Kurtzman and Lumet said in a joint statement. “Clarice’s bravery and complexity have always lit the way, even as her personal story remained in the dark. But hers is the very story we need today: her struggle, her resilience, her victory. Her time is now, and always.”
The project is co-production between MGM and CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout. Heather Kadin of Secret Hideout will also executive produce with Aaron Baiers co-executive producing.
(Photo by Mark Schafer/CBS via Getty Images)
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Steven Spielberg has been developing Indiana Jones 5 for years and was attached to direct it during that time. Well, he is no longer going to direct the film and is looking to hand the directing job off to another filmmaker! This comes as a huge surprise and it will be the first time in the franchise’s movie history that another director other than Spielberg will helm an Indiana Jones movie.
My first thought to this news was that there’s no point in making an Indiana Jones movie without Spielberg. But, then I saw the director who is in talks to replace him. That director is James Mangold, who is best known for helming Logan and the Acadamy Award-nominated film Ford v Ferrari.
I love Mangold’s film work and while I am sad that Spielberg won’t direct the movie, I think that Mangold could bring something very cool and fresh to the franchise if he decides to actually take on the job.
Spielberg will remain as a hands-on producer and according to Variety, “the decision to leave the director’s chair was entirely Spielberg’s, in a desire to pass along Indy’s whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story.”
I can respect that, and I get it… but still. I was really pumped up to see Spielberg and Harrison Ford team up again for one more film. Yes, Ford is still attached to the project. He previously talked about it saying that there are “scheduling issues and a few script things” and that “we’re determined to get it right before we get it made.”
Maybe bringing on Mangold to take over the directing duties is what the project needs to make sure everything is in line before they proceed. The most recent script for the film was written by Jonathan Kasdan, son of Raiders of the Lost Ark scribe Lawrence Kasdan, and it is currently scheduled to be released on July 9th. 2021.
What do you think about Spielberg stepping down as director? Would you like to see Mangold direct it?
Mulan featurette offers behind-the-scenes look at stunt work
Disney has debuted a new featurette for the upcoming live-action remake of the 1998 classic Mulan highlighting the detailed choreography and extensive stunt work that went in to bringing the martial arts epic to life. The featurette can be viewed in the player below!
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
Mulan features a celebrated international cast led by Liu Yifei (The Forbidden Kingdom, Once Upon a Time) was cast as Hua Mulan following a year-long global casting search. Joining her are Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny) as Böri Khan; Yoson An (The Meg) as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Raise the Red Lantern) as Xianniang and Jet Li (Shaolin Temple, Lethal Weapon 4) as the Emperor.
The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”
Mulan lands in theaters on March 27, 2020.
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