dakotafanningpleasestandby1

Please Stand By, an overlooked drama headlined by Dakota Fanning, hits Blu-ray and DVD May 1. If you’re a fan of Star Trek and also appreciate Fanning as an actress, this picture should be up your alley.

The story centers on Wendy (Fanning), a woman with autism who lives in a group home and works at a local Cinnabon. Life is very regimented for her, and by sticking to a daily plan, she is able to live a productive life.

Her life gets thrown a curve ball when she enters a 500-page Star Trek script into a screenplay competition but realizes that she will not be able to meet the mailing deadline. With her script in tow, Wendy travels to Los Angeles on a trek that has its share of bumps and minor victories. Alice Eve plays Wendy’s understandably concerned sister Audrey, with Toni Collette serving as the protagonist’s nurtured (yet harried) therapist. Patton Oswalt also chimes in, delivering some of the movie’s best scenes as a cop who bonds with Wendy’s Star Trek passions.

The Blu-ray and DVD versions come with cast and crew interviews, a making-of featurette, and deleted scenes. My favorite sections of Please Stand By deal with Wendy’s relationship with the Star Trek universe (her script is actually pretty good!), and hopefully one of these sequences will be one of the deleted scenes.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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ANNIHILATION

Oscar Isaac’s first collaboration with Alex Garland was the sublime futuristic thriller Ex Machina, a project which turned Alicia Vikander into a star. Now he’s back with Garland with Annihilation, and he says that “95%” of his scenes are with fellow Star Wars vet Natalie Portman.

The picture, based on the James VanderMeer novel, centers on a biologist and ex soldier (Portman) who joins an expedition team to figure out what happened to her husband (Isaac).

Click on the media bar to hear Isaac discuss the “freeing” experience of working with Portman sans a ton of exposition.

Garland, who penned Annihilation’s script, previously wrote the scripts for Sunshine, 28 Days Later and Dredd. Co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson, Annihilation opens nationwide February 23.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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GAME NIGHTJason Bateman’s new movie is the comedic murder mystery Game Night. The premise of the movie (not surprisingly) revolves around a group of friends who regularly get together for — what else? — game nights. We asked Bateman if he’s ever been a game night regular himself. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jason Bateman)

Game Night, which also stars Rachel McAdams and Jesse Plemons, is now playing in theaters.

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Posted by AC


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145621_0339cNo need for the Academy to reboot the Oscars ceremony this year — they’re bringing Jimmy Kimmel back for a sequel! After winning praise for his hosting duties on last year’s Academy Awards telecast, the ABC late-night host returns to once again host Hollywood’s biggest night. And it’s a big responsibility — with so many nominees and so many categories, Kimmel says he definitely needs to do his homework in order to do it properly. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jimmy Kimmel)

90th Academy Awards airs Sunday, March 4 on ABC.

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blackpanther11

It was a resounding success for Black Panther, as this Marvel Studios feature earned over $192 million at the box office. The figure was astronomical for the film (in comparison, The Avengers’ three day opening weekend was $207.4 million domestically). Coming in a distant second was Peter Rabbit with $17.2 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:

1. Black Panther - $192 million

2. Peter Rabbit - $17.2 million

3. Fifty Shades Freed - The flick had made over  $266 million worldwide. This weekend, it takes in $16.9 million stateside.

4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - $7.9 million

5. The 15:17 to Paris - Clint Eastwood directed feature takes in $7.68 million

6. The Greatest Showman - $5.1 million this weekend and to date it’s made over $154 million domestically.

7. Early Man - Animated flick disappoints with $3.1 million

8. Maze Runner: The Death Cure - $2.25 million

9. Winchester - $2.2 million

10. Samson - $1.97 million

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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RED SPARROW

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the action thriller Red Sparrow, playing Dominika, a former ballerina at the Bolshoi whose career ends after a debilitating injury. Recruited by the Russian government (specifically by her manipulative uncle, played by Mathias Schoenaerts) to become part of their intelligent service, Dominika needs to succeed in her latest venture to ensure her ailing mother (Joely Richardson) continues to receive medical care. Joel Edgerton co-stars as the CIA agent that Dominika is tasked with seducing in order to obtain the identity of a dangerous mole. The project reunites Lawrence with Francis Lawrence, the director behind the three Hunger Games films.

Click on the media bar to hear Lawrence talk about the “twists and turns” that populate Red Sparrow:


Red Sparrow, co-starring Jeremy Irons (Damage) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) opens nationwide March 2.


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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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Meryl StreepWhile there are plenty of techniques that can be taught, every successful actor brings their own personal style and motivation to the craft. For Meryl Streep, the most-honored actress of our generation, a lot of that motivation comes from stepping outside of her comfort zone, and not being afraid to be afraid! (Click on the media bar below to hear Meryl Streep)

Meryl Streep earned an astonishing 21st Oscar nomination for her role in The Post, which is still playing in theaters everywhere.

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Posted by AC


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NUP_180362_1423.jpgThe Voice is a different show than when it started, and a lot of that stems from one simple reason: Contestants can do their research! They can go back to previous seasons and find out what certain judges liked or didn’t like, then work on optimizing their performances to (hopefully) get the best results. Coach Blake Shelton understands that, but he also says that doing your homework will only get you so far on the show. (Click on the media bar below to hear Blake Shelton)

The new season of The Voice premieres Monday, February 26 on NBC.

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Posted by AC


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James Corden voices the character of Peter Rabbit in the new animated movie of the same name. But in an industry where some stars will go to great lengths to claim credit for their characters’ success, Corden says he’s actually tried to distance himself from Peter Rabbit — at least where his kids are concerned.

Peter Rabbit is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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Posted by AC


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10by10

If you’re in the mood for a gripping trailer that will leave you wanting for more, check out 10×10, a flick that has already a few things going for it.

The number one reason I’m checking out this flick is that a two-hander thriller, running at just 88 minutes, with Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) and Kelly Reilly (Calvary) should be one for the books. The story centers on Cathy (Reilly), a businesswoman whose life takes a drastic turn for the worse after being abducted by a mysterious man (Evans). His reasons, however, are not simply rooted in pure violence, as the trailer suggests his past may have been intertwined with Cathy’s.

The picture, which marks the featuring directing debut of Suzi Ewing, hits theaters and On Demand April 13. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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