Michael Stuhlberg Has A “Singular” Experience With ‘The Shape of Water’

THE SHAPE OF WATER

Michael Stuhlbarg is getting his share of critical acclaim in director Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name as a loving father, and he also delivers fine work as a dedicated scientist in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

Set during the Cold War era in Baltimore, the tale centers on Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute janitor who works at the Occam Aerospace Research Center along with her lifelong friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer). Her life is forever changed when a creature (Doug Jones, whose character is simply named the “amphibian man) is transported to the building for a bit of research. Though this creature finds a loving bond with Elisa and a bit of concerned sympathy from Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Stuhlbarg), the amphibian man is abused by his malevolent handler (Michael Shannon).

Click on the media bar to hear Stuhlbarg explain why working with Guillermo del Toro was a “singular” experience:

The Shape of Water opens in select theaters Friday, December 1.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Blu-Ray Spotlight: Steven Soderbergh Recaptures Cinematic Passion With ‘Logan Lucky’

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Director Steven Soderbergh’s self-imposed retirement from making movies lasted all of four years, and thankfully his return to cinema was a successful one with Logan Lucky. Although it’s been rightfully compared as a kissing cousin to his Ocean’s Eleven movies, Logan Lucky has an entire energy of its own.

The narrative centers on Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), a recently out of work construction worker who hatches a plan to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Helping him on his quest is his one-armed brother Clyde (Adam Driver), an Iraq War veteran who believes their family is cursed, and their hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough), a lady who loves driving fast cars.

Keeping this criminal plan in the family isn’t enough, as they enlist explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to help their cause. Joe, however, is in prison, and Jimmy must engineer a way to infiltrate the jail and pull off the operation. Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson co-star as Joe’s dimwitted brothers, with Hilary Swank thrown in for good measure as a determined FBI agent ready to take them down.

On a superficial level, the picture can be seen and enjoyed as an engaging heist caper that’s filled with a likable, all-star ensemble. Soderbergh also infuses a surprising level of sentiment in the film, as Jimmy’s love for West Virginia and his loving daughter (Farrah Mackenzie) is felt throughout the narrative. With Soderbergh’s own frustration with the politics of show business, it’s easy to see why a story about a group of outsiders taken down a corporate entity would be appealing (the heist is set to take place during the Coca-Cola 600).

The Blu-ray is definitely a worthy purchase if you’re a fan of Soderbergh’s previous work, and it’s an always engaging watch. Though no audio commentary or making of featurette is not featured in the disc, it does come with two deleted scenes. One sequences features a monologue from Joe Bang, and seeing Daniel Craig chew the scenery (in a good way) is an absolute pleasure.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Beauty And The Beast’ Receives Exclusive One Week Engagement

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

With awards season in full bloom, Disney is making sure critics don’t forget Beauty and the Beast. The feature, headlined by Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, will have a one week exclusive engagement in Los Angeles (AMC Century City) and New York (AMC Empire 25) starting Friday, December 1.

The feature, directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated classic, was this year’s top grossing movie with a domestic gross of over $504 million (it’s made over $1 billion worldwide).The score was composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (with additional songs by Menken and Tim Rice).

Click on the media bar below to hear Emma Watson talk about what makes Belle a special individual:

Were you a fan of the live action version of Beauty and the Beast? Feel free to comment below!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Dwayne Johnson Brings The Pain To Kevin Hart With ‘Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle’

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Thanks to their successful collaboration in the 2016 flick Central Intelligence, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart were more than happy to reunite with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Johnson plays adventurer Dr. Smolder Bravestone in the flick, and Hart’s role also has a memorable moniker (he plays zoologist Moose Finbar).

When asked about his favorite moment in the film, Johnson joked about one of his many sequences with Hart. “There’s a scene where Kevin and I have a little bit of a disagreement and I have to put him in his place,” said Johnson. “I put him in his place physically and I give him a little push and because it’s Smolder Bravestone he has super powers and Kevin goes 30 feet crashing into a wall. That’s my favorite. Any time I can see pain on Kevin’s face, I’m happy.”

Click on the media bar to hear Johnson talk about the anchoring aspect of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s narrative:

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opens nationwide December 20.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Sterling K. Brown: ‘This Is Us’ Is About All Of Us

Reliability is the life blood of NBC’s hit drama This Is Us. The life events experienced by the Pearson family — especially its kids, Kate, Kevin, and Randall — are the types of things we’ve all experienced in one way or another. The fact that the show’s stories resonate so personally with viewers is why Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown thinks people love the show so much. (Click on the media bar below to hear Sterling K. Brown)

This Is Us returns with new episodes Tuesday, January 9 at 9/8c on NBC.

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Posted by AC