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02-03-17

RINGS (Horror)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in seven days.

WHO'S IN IT? Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Bonnie Morgan, Vincent D'Onofrio

 

TRIVIA:

  • This is the third film in the horror franchise.

  • The last film, The Ring Two, came out in 2005.
  • The budget was $33 million.

 

THE SPACE BETWEEN US (Romance)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes.

WHO'S IN IT? Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, Gary Oldman

 

TRIVIA:

  • The original release date was December 16th, 2016.
  • The original title was Out of This World.
  • The budget was $30 million.

01-20-17

THE FOUNDER (Bio-Pic)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The story of Ray Kroc and his acquisition of the McDonald's fast food chain.

WHO'S IN IT? Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman

 

TRIVIA:

  • Ray Kroc also owned the San Diego Padres from 1974 until his death in 1984.
  • The 2004 single "Boom, Like That" by Mark Knopfler was inspired by Kroc's autobiography.

 

SPLIT (Horror)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 personalities.

WHO'S IN IT? James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley

 

TRIVIA:

  • Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
  • Bruce Willis reprises his role of David Dunn from the 2000 Shyamalan movie Unbreakable.
  • The budget was $5 million.

xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE (Action)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.

WHO'S IN IT? Vin Diesel, Toni Collette, Tony Jaa, Samuel L. Jackson, Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen and Ice Cube

TRIVIA:

 

  • Jet Li dropped out of the project and was replaced by Donnie Yen as the main antagonist.
  • The movie is titled xXx: Reactivated in some countries.

 

01-13-17

 

MONSTER TRUCKS (Action / Adventure)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? A high school senior builds a literal monster truck.

WHO'S IN IT? Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Amy Ryan

TRIVIA:

Viacom has reportedly already taken a financial loss on the film.

  • The movie had its release date changed several times. It was originally set to come out on May 29th, 2015, then December 25th, 2015, and then March 18th, 2016.
  • The budget was $125 million.

 

THE BYE BYE MAN (Horror)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Three college students find themselves hunted by a supernatural entity called The Bye Bye Man.

WHO'S IN IT? Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas

TRIVIA:

Cressida Bonas dated Britain's Prince Harry.

Originally rated R. Now it's PG-13.

 

SLEEPLESS (Thriller)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? A cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scours a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son.

WHO'S IN IT? Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, T.I.

TRIVIA:

  • A remake of the 2011 French film Sleepless Night.
  • Filmed in Atlanta and Las Vegas.

 

 

12-16-16

COLLATERAL BEAUTY (Drama)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death.

WHO'S IN IT? Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Pena, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet

 

TRIVIA:

  • Hugh Jackman was set to star but dropped out because of "scheduling conflicts.

  • Directed by David Frankel, whose credits include The Devil Wears Prada and Marley and Me.

   

 

 

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (Space Opera)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

WHOS IN IT? Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna

 

TRIVIA:

  • Rogue One is the first theatrical, live-action Star Wars movie not be scored by John Williams.

  • The film is set before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and five years after Star Wars Rebels (2014).
  • Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara and Kate Mara were up for the lead role, which went to Felicity Jones.
  • The budget was $200 million.

12/09/16

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY (Comedy)

WHO'S IN IT? Jennifer AnistonJason Bateman, Rob Corddry, Kate McKinnon, TJ Miller, Olivia Munn

WHATS IT ABOUT? When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day.

 

TRIVIA:

  • This is the fifth movie to star both Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, following The Break-Up (2006), The Switch (2010), Horrible Bosses (2011) and Horrible Bosses 2 (2014).
  • The title of the movie was taken from an Saturday Night Live sketch also called "Office Christmas Party."
  • Two SNL cast members are in the movie: Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer.

 

11/23/16

MOANA (Animated Fantasy)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The legendary demi-god Maui accompanies a young woman as she uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island.

WHO'S IN IT? Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement, Auli’i Cravalho, Alan Tudyk, Nicole Scherzinger

TRIVIA:

  • There was some controversy over Maui being depicted as overweight. Critics said it was a stereotype of modern Polynesians. 
  • Moana is only the second Disney Princess whose story isn't based on a fairy tale or legend.
  • The Polynesian word "moana" means ocean or sea as well as blue.

 

 

BAD SANTA 2 (Comedy)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Willie teams up once again with his angry sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.

WHO'S IN IT? Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks

TRIVIA:

  • The first Bad Santa came out in 2003.
  • Battle of the exes. Two of this week's releases -- Allied and Bad Santa 2 -- star Angelina Jolie's ex-husbands.
  • Brett Kelly, who played the chubby Thurman, had to gain more than 40 pounds to reprise his role.        

ALLIED (War Drama)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Two assassins in World War II fall in love during a mission to kill a German official.

WHO'S IN IT? Marion Cotillard, Brad Pitt, Lizzy Caplan, Jared Harris, Matthew Goode

TRIVIA:

  • After Angelina Jolie filed for divorce, Brad and co-star Marion Cotillard were romantically linked.
  • This is Brad's fourth World War II movie, after Inglourious Basterds (2009), Beyond All Boundaries(2009) and Fury (2014).
  • This is the 18th movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

RULES DON'T APPLY (Comedy Drama)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver and the eccentric billionaire who they work for.

WHO'S IN IT? Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Warren Beatty, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Annette Bening

TRIVIA:

  • This is the first movie Warren Beatty has directed since Bulworth in 1998.
  • Rooney Mara and Felicity Jones both passed on the role that eventually went to Lily Collins.
  • This is the first time in in 22 years that Warren Beatty and his wife Annette Bening have appeared in a movie together. Their last was Love Affair in 1994.

 

11/17/16

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (Fantasy)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

WHO'S IN IT? Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Zoë Kravitz, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight

TRIVIA:

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a 2001 book by J. K. Rowling (under the pseudonym of the fictitious author Newt Scamander) about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. It's also the name of the textbooks mentioned in the series.
  • The movie marks Rowling's debut as a screenwriter.
  • The series is set to run at least five films.
  • Johnny Depp has a cameo and will have a starring role in the sequel.

 

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN (Comedy)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother.

WHO'S IN IT? Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick

TRIVIA:

  • It was originally titled Besties.
  • "Edge of Seventeen" is also the title of a Stevie Nicks song.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BLEED FOR THIS (Bio-Pic)
  •  
  • WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The story of boxer Vinny Pazienza, who, after a near fatal car crash, made one of sports most incredible comebacks.
  • WHO'S IN IT? Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Ciaran Hinds, Katey Sagal

    TRIVIA:

    • Vinny Paz held world titles in the lightweight, light middleweight and super middleweight divisions.
    • In 2001, Pazienza legally changed his last name to Paz.
    • Like the real-life Vinny, Miles was in a near-fatal car crash.
                 

 

11/11/16

ARRIVAL (Sci-Fi)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.

WHO'S IN IT? Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

TRIVIA:

  • Based on the novella "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang.
  • Right after director Denis Villeneuve finished the movie, he began work on Blade Runner 2049.
  • The movie was made on a budget of $50 million.

 

SHUT IN (Horror)

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Caught in a deadly winter storm, a widowed child psychologist must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

WHO'S IN IT? Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt

TRIVIA:

  • Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay will also star together in the 2017 movie The Book of Henry.
  • The movie's release date was changed three times. It was supposed to come out on February 19, then June 17th, and then September 9th. 

 

ALMOST CHRISTMAS (Comedy)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? A dysfunctional family gathers together for their first Thanksgiving since their mom died.

WHO'S IN IT? Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Nicole Ari Parker, Omar Epps, Mo'Nique

TRIVIA:

  • It was originally titled A Meyers Thanksgiving and then changed to A Meyer Christmas.
  • The budget was $17 million.

11/04/16

DOCTOR STRANGE (Fantasy)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

WHO'S IN IT? Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen

 

 

TRIVIA:

  • Joaquin Phoenix was in negotiations to replace Cumberbatch when the Sherlock star was forced to bail on the role due to a scheduling conflict. Phoenix eventually turned down the role and Cumberbatch returned after the release date was pushed back.
  • This is the 14th movie that Marvel Studios has released in its Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • The casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One has been criticized since the character was portrayed as a Tibetan man in the comics. One reason given for the change is that a movie with a Tibetan character would be banned in China.

 

 

HACKSAW RIDGE (War Drama)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The true story of medic Desmond T. Doss, who refused to kill while serving in WWII and became the first conscientious objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

WHO'S IN IT? Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn

 

TRIVIA:

  • This is the first film directed by Mel Gibson since Apocalypto in 2006, the same year he made anti-Semitic comments while being arrested on a DUI charge.
  • Mel's son Milo has a small role in the movie.
  • Desmond T. Doss is estimated to have saved 50 to 100 lives during WWII.

 

 

 

TROLLS (Animated)

 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? A troll princess and her companion try to rescue her friends from being eaten by their enemies.

WHO'S IN IT? Voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel

 

TRIVIA:

  • This is DreamWorks Animation's first musical film since The Prince of Egypt in 1998.
  • The movie is based on the troll dolls created, in 1959, by Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam.
  • The budget was $120 million.

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