Archive for June, 2019

Movie Mayhem – Annabelle Comes Home and Child’s Play (2019)

Annabelle Comes Home — 2019; Directed by Gary Dauberman; Starring Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Simno, Vera Farmiga, and Patrick Wilson; Child’s Play — 2019; Directed by Lars Klevberg; Starring Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson and Mark Hamill

Toys have taken over the cineplex. You’d think all of the colorful (and emotionally impactful) toys from Toy Story returning for some new adventures last week would be enough, but apparently, the studios didn’t think so. Taking their lead from miss Gabby Gabby, producers found a way to subvert the fact that it isn’t Halloween and return not one but two killer dolls back to big screens for another round of violent, scary mayhem to begin our long, hot summer — Chucky is back in a revamped Child’s Play, and Annabelle Comes Home to her cushy glass case. So, which one takes the crown as the most evil? Let’s find out.

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Movie Mayhem – Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 — 2019; Directed by Josh Cooley; Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Keanu Reeves

Whoa.

Not only is this expression oft-referenced by Keanu Reeves, who continues his “Keanussance” by joining the cast of Toy Story 4 as Duke Caboom, an Evil Knievel-style motorcycle stuntman who was tossed away because his real abilities didn’t match the magic of a commercial, perfectly utilized within the film, but it also beautifully sums up the prolific way Pixar has managed to once again match the fun, cleverness and emotional depth of its own groundbreaking, original computer-animated feature.

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Movie Mayhem – Men In Black: International

Men in Black: International — 2019; Directed by F. Gary Gray; Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, and Emma Thompson

It’s been seven years since Will Smith last put on the signature shades that made him look good; 19 years since Tommy Lee Jones dawned the last suit he’d ever wear; and 22 years since Barry Sonnenfeld first brought us into the world of intergalactic protection. Now, director F. Gary Gray takes us across the pond for Men In Black: International, a fun but ultimately wasted showcase for its new crop of agents as they try to protect the most dangerous weapon in the universe from getting into the hands of an evil alien race known as The Hive.

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Movie Mayhem – Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters — 2019; Directed by Michael Dougherty; Starring Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins Bradley Whitford, Ziyi Zhang and Millie Bobby Brown

Shared universes aren’t a new thing (Universal had one back in the 30s and 40s when they teamed up their monsters in several films), but they have recently become a much more accepted and desired route for every major studio. After Kevin Feige put his Midas touch on the Marvel superhero franchise, other studios hastily attempted to build their own shared universes. Jason Blum has found relative success in what’s now known as The Conjuring universe, and DC failed early in their attempt at creating a similar superhero universe, but the tide may be turning with recent critical and box-office hits like Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam!

Even Universal tried its hand at resurrecting their monster universe, but after two failed attempts (Dracula Untold and The Mummy), cracking the Marvel formula has been much harder than expected. And it’s not because of the monsters. If it wasn’t already apparent after watching the post-credit sequence on Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King of the Monsters makes it absolutely clear that Warner Bros. has slowly and quietly set in motion its own monster franchise.

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