FIRST LOOK: Fantasy Island (2020)

The trailer has dropped for the Tattoo-less movie version of Fantasy Island from Blumhouse (see bottom of this post) and yes, it is a horror film due to open on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2020:

Ok, so here are my rapid fire trailer takeaways, and bear in mind these are intended to be stream of consciousness:

  • Not digging Michael Pena’s Mr Roarke accent. Not enough emphasis on the iconic line, “Smiles everyone! Smiles!”
  • Pena looks good in the all white suit, however
  • Why does the island party look like every other horror movie the night before everybody gets hacked and slashed?
  • Good looking young adults, ready to live out “only” one fantasy per person each
  • What’s with the host/employee that has a bloody nose at the end? Please don’t bring me back to Firestarter mental abilities.
  • ‘The plane is here’ lady pales in comparison to Tattoo’s iconic “Da plane, da plane!”
  • Hope they go horror all the way — try to scare us –and not the Zombieland horror-comedy route.
Fantasy Island (2020) opens in theater February 14, 2020

I remember the original TV show used to come on after The Love Boat, later in the evening. Viewers could expect the unexpected fantasies, that would somehow be connected by the end of the hour. Hoping this maintains that feeling.

What Others Are Saying About Fantasy Island (2020)

Others are commenting on the trailer and reboot and, from my research, it seems like the general consensus is lukewarm to somewhat curious anticipation. Here are links to a few others commenting on the trailer:

  • Nathaniel Muir: “There is still an island on which guests can live out their fantasies, but the same silliness of the show is not seen. Instead, Blumhouse’s adaptation looks to be another addition to their horror movie library.”
  • The Urban Daily: “And if you’re looking for a little person to replace the late Hervé Villechaize aka Tattoo from the OG series as Mr. Roarke’s assistant, you’ll have to settle for Parisa Fitz-Henley, who you may remember from Jessica Jones.”
  • The Outerhaven: “I’ve got to question the decision to make the island evil. It would be one thing to have, say, one of the guests have a dark fantasy that ends up sucking the other guests in or maybe the guests think they are there for their own fantasies but just a part of someone else’s.”
  • John Spry / Spryfilm: “Dubbed a blending of “Westworld” and “The Cabin in the Woods,” the story follows a group of contest winners who arrive at the island.”
  • Popgeek: “This new version from Blumhouse and Sony Pictures takes the “dream gone wrong” concept to extremes the ABC censors wouldn’t have appreciated.”
  • MovieKaiser: “I’d be willing to guess this reimagining has lovelorn singles taking out their heartbreaks and romantic revenge plots out on the people who hurt them the most, with Mr. Roarke assisting to make it happen.”
  • See what everybody is saying about #FantasyIsland on Twitter

How excited are you about seeing Fantasy Island (2020)? See it in the theater, on streaming or unsure if you want to see it at all?

B Movie Challenge: The Nuclear Wanderer From The Dark Worlds

The challenge, though, is to then write a blog post selling your movie.

B Movie Blogging Challenge ‹ Fractured Faith Blog ‹ Reader

SYNOPSIS: After World War III, a tortured man wanders though destroyed city and landscapes searching for the reason he was spared death. A creature is pursuing him that is not of this world, feeding on death and despair. The two go to war amidst the rubble and ruins on the Las Vegas strip.

20+ Charlie’s Angels Reviews – Elizabeth Banks Says Action Films Are ‘my realm’

Charlie’s Angels (2019)⭐️½

…is off to a lackluster reception on its opening weekend.

Will say it again: I really like Elizabeth Banks. Her vigor spunk, energy and creative talent — she’s got the goods.

She is out there doing what she wants to do, making the film she wants to make with Charlie’s Angels and god bless her.

But it appears she has swung and missed with Charlie’s Angels and that’s not the fault of internet trolls.

Of course, those trolls are horrifying, but you know, I challenge them to get up and make a fucking action movie. I welcome any of them into my realm.”

Elizabeth Banks: New ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Is Anti-Superhero Action Movie | IndieWire

LOL on “horrifying” trolls! It is all too easy to make excuses for why people aren’t flocking to see your movie, but maybe the truth is that it just isn’t that good.

And the early sentiment seems to be mixed to negative. It tried to attract 13-39 females and seeks to alienate the original fans of the TV series and men. That strategy seemed to fail. Logically, the world’s population is about 50/50 men and women. By targeting any one demographic, you’re effectively slicing your potential audience in half. And if you are going really niche, looking for an age range within a demographic? That’s going to severely limit your anticipated audience.

At least some of those 13-39 women are going to want to bring their male friends with them to watch, yes/no?

Curiously, Jaclyn Smith who played in the original TV series said despite all the bikinis on set, she “never felt exploited.” Perhaps a feminist version wasn’t necessary in 2019?

There allegedly was an attempt to attract more well-known actresses:

However, I hear that the script for Charlie’s Angels didn’t really attract top talent, i.e. Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Margot Robbie (a trio that would have potentially jazzed up business), hence why the production opted to go with largely a fresh face cast outside of Kristen Stewart. While we overwrite that stars mean nothing at the box office, they do sometimes when it comes to propping IP, and unfortunately and arguably no one in Middle America knows who British actress Ella Balinska is and they’ve only became recently acquainted with Naomi Scott from Disney’s Aladdin and Lionsgate’s Power Rangers.

How ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Fell From Grace At The Box Office With An $8M+ Opening – Deadline.com

Here are the numbers so far based on the early reviewers, as of this writing:

Rotten Tomatoes: 59% Rotten (critics, 118 reviews), 82% Fresh (audience, 552 reviews)
IMDB: 4.4 / 10 with 4,211 reviews

Reviews by Others

Let’s see, so far, what other moviegoers think of Charlie’s Angels. Keep in mind that some/many of these reviews contain spoilers. I tried to grab a balanced list of reviews and pull quotes.

Recommended

  • Irish Film Critic (3.5 /5): “While I was totally confused by the new myriad of Bosley’s in this high stakes game of crime-solving, I was also impressed by the one female version played by Elizabeth Banks, who starred in as well as directed the film.”
  • Irfan Nordin (7/10): “Earnest and energetic, if a bit uneven, Elizabeth Banks’s pulpy Charlie’s Angels add new flair to the franchise with fun performances from its three leads”
  • Jason Bleau / Cinema Spotlight (4/5): “Elizabeth Banks does a fine job adapting this legendary property for a new generation and the three actresses that play the main Angels are all-in to make this a fun time. It’s funny, exciting, and much less cheesy than its predecessors which makes for an action comedy that feels more mature.”
  • M.U.S.E (3/5): “Much to my surprise, I enjoyed this reboot!”
  • Megan Danielle: “For it’s faults, Charlie’s Angels is a great modern take on the 1970’s franchise. For what it lacks in action, or score, it makes up in having a great new trio of Angel’s who work incredibly well together.”
  • Mia Vincino: “Whereas the original eponymous 1970s television show and respective 2000 and 2003 movie adaptations appear to be the products of male fantasy disguised as empowerment, Charlie’s Angels (2019) is finally free from the confines of that suffocating gaze. Sapphic women have since reclaimed the previous installments, choosing to pretend like the blatant objectification of the Angels isn’t damaging. And we’ll be reclaiming this one, too.”
  • Indiewire (Grade: B): “Nobody really asked for another “Charlie’s Angels” reboot, but this one will leave you eager for more. It seems these women might still have the element of surprise on their side, after all.”
  • Brittany Witherspoon (3/5): ” I’d be lying if I were to say that this wasn’t a crowd pleaser because there are so many moments that rendered frequent chuckles and smiles out of me. Interestingly enough, Director Elizabeth Banks managed to do this without relying on the cheesiness that such a feature, at times, requires. But I guess that’s the magic of women in film. Against all odds, it simply worked.”
  • TheFlemishScott (3 stars): ” These three women have some serious chemistry going on, and it’s contagious. Hell, even Patrick Stewart seems to be having the time of his life as Bosley, with some great one liners to prove it.”
  • Candid Cinema: “There are a few moments that made me feel empowered and it’s because she showed women across the world, of different ethnicities, doing different tasks and showing that they are all powerful in their own way. It really was a beautiful sentiment and it was a great feeling leaving the theatre.”
  • Amused in the Dark: “I really enjoyed the hell out of this adorable picture. This will likely make my top list this year.  Yes, I am serious … I am all for the pro feminism aspect of the movie. It does not even remotely shy away from it and a few times beats you over the head with it. You know what? GOOD. Let girls who come see this see themselves as bad ass action stars. Let them see they can wear pretty dresses, kick ass and save the world – and have fun doing it.”
  • The Avro Post (7/10): “….a movie with three great leading ladies and a director who is far from green makes for an entertaining time at the movies if you’re not looking for anything too deep.”

Not Recommended (or undecided):

  • Society Reviews (1/5): “These women don’t take orders from no man because even Charlie is a woman now too. Charlie’s Angels is just as dull and woke as it was advertised to be, and its films like this that are causing audiences to stay home and save money,,,and you should do the same.”
  • North Shore Reviews / Daniel M. Kimmel (1/5): ” It would be all too easy to dismiss “Charlie’s Angels” as having the depth of a video game, but that would be unfair… to video games. Perhaps it’s time to lay this ‘70s relic to rest and look elsewhere for a vehicle for female action heroes?”
  • Funk’s House of Geekery (1/10): “Now we have another new version, and this one isn’t stupidly bad. It’s embarrassingly bad. It’s completely incompetent on almost every level.”
  • JeddTheJedi (2.5/5): “…brings several interesting ideas to the table, but this revival of Charlie’s Angels comes up short on thrills and spectacle, resulting in something that’s resoundingly underwhelming.”
  • Cole Garner / Geek Center (Grade: C-): “Honestly, compared to the awful trailers, this reboot/sequel/spin-off isn’t what I expected. I couldn’t help but to expect a really bad movie, but thankfully the movie is at least watchable.”
  • Jmuney’s Blog (2.5/5): “Globetrotting in 2019: who needs it? I, for one, cannot say I find it particularly necessary after watching the 2019 edition of Charlie’s Angels. As three gadget-toting, butt-kicking, espionage-deploying young women chase a McGuffin around multiple continents, what do they, or any person of any age for that matter, have to offer us that we haven’t been offered before?”
  • CJ at the Movies (1 star): “This is made for millennials, and I, for one, got sick of it.”
  • Movie Nation (2/4): “But damn, this thing is pretty much joyless — no fun at all. Reports of Stewart’s gifts as a budding comedienne have been wildly-exaggerated, the one-liners don’t land and the story’s a non-starter and a bit of a downer, to boot.”
  • Rock at the Movies (6.5/10): “The film doesn’t really blow you away or really breath a great deal of hope into this franchise but it was an interesting film to watch, especially if you feel nostalgic of what you’ve seen come before.”
  • Screen Zealots / Louisa (2 / 5 stars): “…the type of movie that’s best suited for watching on an airplane or anywhere else where you’re trapped and in dire need of entertainment. It’s sadly not as good as it could be (or that I hoped it to be), and that’s a real bummer “
  • Critical Hit (6.5/10): “…an overall energetic tone and a solid showing from its cast – led by a scene-stealing Kristen Stewart – help to keep this a moderately fun but flawed watch.”
  • David Palmer (6/10): “Elizabeth Banks’ script (and she also produced, so all flaws on this project truly fall on her shoulders) feels lazy at times, many of the jokes are obvious or dialogue full of exposition (at one point a character explains a plot point we just learned to another, just to ensure the audience caught it) “
  • Jessi Crunk / Sinfully Cinematic: “…a 4 out of 10. If you’re looking for an action movie with very cliché elements, then this would be a good movie to rent when it comes out of theater. Other than the action, the film simply failed to deliver on its emotional value, humor, or story line. It also fell short of delivering the scenes of female-empowerment that many were looking forward to.”

Did you see Charlie’s Angels (2019)? If so, what are your thoughts? Use the comments section below and tell us whether or not you recommend seeing.

FIRST LOOK: One Continuous Shot for 1917 Movie Not A Gimmick

Am hoping the film 1917 is available in ScreenX. I think the 270-degree, screens on the walls in some scenes, will be an additional immersive experience to watching.

Have been intrigued by all this “one continuous shot” previews that director Sam Mendes has been talking about promoting his new movie 1917, due out December 25, 2019.

The front page of 1917 was this imagined to be one continuous shot and you [say] ‘Really?’ I was concerned it was a gimmick but it’s not a gimmick, it’s a way to get sucked into the story. Every film has a different way to tell a story and this was a particular challenge.”

[WATCH] ‘1917’ Team Says One-Shot Shoot Was Not A “Gimmick” – Deadline

Roger Deakins, the cinematographer for 1917 won an Oscar for Blade Runner 2047 and has had 14 other nominations:

His 14 nominations to date were for “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994), “Fargo” (1996), “Kundun” (1997), “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000), “The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001), “No Country for Old Men” (2007), “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007), “The Reader” (2008), “True Grit” (2010), “Skyfall” (2012), “Prisoners” (2013), “Unbroken” (2014), “Sicario” (2015) and the aforementioned “Blade Runner 2049.”

Can Roger Deakins (‘1917’) win Best Cinematography Oscar again so soon after his long overdue 1st victory?

In addition to the way the movie was shot, the technical adviser worked to make everything as realistic as possible:

Paul Biddiss, the military technical adviser on the upcoming World War I movie “1917,” taught the actors everything they needed to know, from proper foot care to how to hold a weapon, “which allows the actor to concentrate on his primary task. Acting!” Biddis told Insider.

How a former British paratrooper prepared actors in ‘1917’ to fight WWI’s devastating battles – BusinessInsider.com

1917 opens in theaters December 25, 2017.

TV REVIEW: Black Mirror Season 2 – All 3 Episodes Rated and Reviewed

Black Mirror Season 2 has three episodes

Season 2 of Black Mirror, a science fiction anthology show available for streaming on Netflix, all three episodes, rated and reviewed in this post.

“Be Right Back” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Episode #4 – Original Airdate: February 11, 2013

A man dies in a car accident and his pregnant girlfriend, Martha, becomes attached to his persona embedded in a phone OS and including his virtual voice. This predated the movies, Her⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (October 2013) and Jexi⭐️⭐️⭐️ (2019). Good length, I think this idea works best as a short, not a full length movie.

“White Bear” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Episode #5 – Original Airdate: February 18, 2013

Woman awakes with amnesia and runs into strange acting gawking people taking pictures of her with their cell phones. Nice twist on this one turned it into something very different than where I expected it would lead.

“The Waldo Moment” ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Episode #6 – Original Airdate: February 25, 2013

Comedian Jamie Salter is the voice for a blue, brash, foul-mouthed bear named Waldo. His producer gets him into politics, despite his reluctance where the lines between reality and comedy become blurred. Waldo engages in conversations on the street through at cartoon image controlled inside a truck by Jamie in a VR-like setup. The realness of virtual reality and a comic character are prodded, poked and explored. This is a lighter fare episode of Black Mirror. Not quite as enjoyable as the other episodes, but still pretty good.

Season 2 Overall Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

An increased attention to technology in season two over the first. The episode lengths in this one are better, hence a bump in a half star overall rating for the season over the first. I think this season showed increased maturity over the episodes in the first and was a little better overall.

Job Posting from Centurylink: $1,000 to watch Hallmark Christmas movies

If Christmas is your favorite time of year (it’s my favorite holiday anyway), and you enjoy Hallmark Christmas movies, this offer from Centurylink might be of interest.

CenturyLink is paying the ultimate Hallmark Christmas movie lover $1,000 to watch 24 movies in 12 days all while documenting the experience on social media.

Get paid $1,000 to watch Hallmark Christmas movies

Reading through the details, it doesn’t sound like you are compromised for your opinion of the various Hallmark movies you watch every day, but it’s a chance at a semi-professional critic gig for those interested. You can apply for this positions here.

Speaking of holiday films, this is a good time to provide an update to the …

2019 Holiday Movie Viewing Challenge – progress update

Goal is to watch 25+ holiday movies from November 1 – December 25, 2019.

  1. Klaus ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. A Country Christmas Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  3. Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Let It Snow ⭐️⭐️½
  5. Christmas Inheritance ⭐️⭐️½
  6. A Holiday Engagement ⭐️⭐️
  7. A Christmas Kiss ⭐️⭐️
  8. Christmas Break-In ⭐️½

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Ford v Ferrari, The Good Liar, Charlie’s Angels

Want to know what we recommend seeing that opened this 11-15-2019 weekend #46 at the movies? All wide releases were seen, rated and reviewed with links on the movie titles below.

This week our favorite is …

Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ScreenX

With the roar of the engine and accelerating around turns at breakneck speeds, this film kept us locked in — especially enjoyed in ScreenX. The conflict is over who will win the 24 hour Lemans, between Ford and Ferrari and Matt Damon and Christian Bale provide outstanding performances. Definitely recommended.

The Good Liar ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Turning, twisting plot that keeps the viewers guessing what is going to happen to the characters. Expertly acted by Ian McKellan and Helen Mirren. Nothing about the story or the characters is ever quite what it seems.

I really enjoy watching movies like this one. It’s billed as a thriller, and it’s more dramatic mystery than anything. It will play tricks on the viewer and tells a really good story. Recommended.

Charlie’s Angels (2019) ⭐️½

Save yourself from this ho-hum, bland second reboot featuring a slew of Bosleys (there are angels everywhere in this movie) and a new trio of mostly underwhelming angels (Kristin Stewert is the best of the worst). This turkey is mostly style without substance. Not recommended.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater that are recommended. Any movie we rate at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good. 4-star movies are highly recommended and films we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. Harriet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  3. The Lighthouse ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Motherless Brooklyn ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Parasite ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Black and Blue ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Zombieland: Double Tap ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Motherless Brooklyn has dropped screenings, but it’s worth seeking out for Edward Norton’s performance and a good screenplay. The Lighthouse harder to find, due to limited screenings, but recommended for horror fans.

Haven’t seen Jo Jo Rabbit as of this writing. Jo Jo Rabbit is finally playing nearby, so will get that viewed soon. It was previously limited screening. All other films now playing in theaters are not recommended to see in the theater. You can see all our movie reviews on Letterboxd, including those on streaming channels.