Director Alexandre Aja Immediately Connected To Gator Driven ‘Crawl’

Executive produced by Sam Raimi and directed by Alexandre Aja (Horns), Crawl centers on a woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who ignores evacuation orders to search for her missing dad (Barry Pepper). The pair thankfully reunite, but unfortunately gators are also on the hunt for some food in these Florida floodwaters!

This horror thriller is a rare release these days in a theater dominated by superhero driven and family friendly animated flicks, and Crawl has received its share of first rate reviews. The 87-minute feature, budgeted at $13.5 million, should turn a profit for Paramount if word of mouth keeps it in theaters for several weeks.

Click on the media bar to hear Alexandre Aja elaborate on why he immediately connected to Crawl:

Aja’s other directing credits include Mirrors and Piranha 3D.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Filming ‘Spider-Man,’ Jake Gyllenhaal Felt Right At Home With Samuel L. Jackson

In his role as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jake Gyllenhaal got to spend some quality time on the set with Nick Fury — aka Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson, of course, has played an integral role in the Marvel Universe since appearing in “Iron Man” 11 years ago. Gyllenhaal told us that watching Jackson work was like watching a master class, and he enjoyed every minute of it. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jake Gyllenhaal)

Spider-Man: Far From Home is playing in theaters now.

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Kenan Thompson Dreamed The Impossible Dream (And Made It Come True)

Kenan Thompson has been a fixture in show business ever since his movie debut in D2: The Mighty Ducks 25 years ago. From his time on Nickelodeon’s wildly popular shows Kenan & Kel and All That in the late ’90s to his 16-year (and counting) stint on Saturday Night Live, it’s hard to remember a time when Thompson wasn’t in the public eye. And even though Thompson was just 16 when he hit the big time, he told us it was something he’d been dreaming about since he was much, much younger, and to have it happen was beyond his wildest expectations. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kenan Thompson)

Along with his SNL gig, Thompson is currently a judge on Bring the Funny, which airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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Donald Glover Trusted Jon Favreau To Do ‘Lion King’ With Pride

The new version of The Lion King is a faithful reimagining of the beloved 1994 Disney animated classic, as seen through the directorial eyes of Jon Favreau, who was also behind the camera for Disney’s update of The Jungle Book a few years ago. Donald Glover provides the voice of the grown-up Simba in the new film, and he told us he was confident that Favreau would do an equally good job bringing “The Lion King” to life in a way that would respect the original, yet add something new. (Click on the media bar below to hear Donald Glover)

 

The Lion King opens in theaters nationwide next Friday.

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Lady Antebellum Never Gets Over Seeing Its Name In Lights

Lady Antebellum is out on the road these days, in the midst of a tour that will last until the end of August. The hitmaking country trio spent plenty of time as a supporting act, opening up for country megastars like Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and Carrie Underwood. So when Dave Haywood sees his group’s name in big letters on a theater’s marquee as a headliner, he says it’s still a really amazing feeling for him. (Click on the media bar below to hear Dave Haywood)

 

What If I Never Get Over You, the lead single from the band’s upcoming seventh album, is currently climbing the country charts.

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Kumail Nanjiani Turned To ‘Stuber’ Co-Star For Action Acting Advice

Kumail Nanjiani has done a lot of TV work, most of it in the comedy realm. And there’s certainly a comedy element to his new movie, Stuber. But it’s an action movie at heart. That being the case, Nanjiani said he leaned pretty hard on his co-star for help. After all, Dave Bautista’s been in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Avengers movies, so he knows a thing or two about doing action. Nanjiani told us he was eager to learn as much as he could from Bautista. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kumail Nanjiani)

Stuber is now playing in theaters.

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‘Holey Moley’s’ Rob Riggle: Stay Loose Or Lose

If you ask a professional golfer, there’s nothing more nerve-wracking than trying to make a putt with big money on the line. The pressure is enormous! So just imagine how bad it must be for the contestants on Holey Moley, since miniature golf is nothing but putts. Commentator Rob Riggle has watched how the contestants operate, and he’s got some advice for those who want to succeed on the show. (Click on the media bar below to hear Rob Riggle)

Holey Moley airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.

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As Trilogy Ends, Oscar Isaac Reflects On ‘Star Wars’

The Star Wars saga will wrap up (at least for now) later this year with The Rise of Skywalker. Playing pilot Poe Dameron, Oscar Isaac has been part of all three movies in the sequel trilogy, and it’s been a real honor for him to be part of the franchise — especially, as he told us, since he only expected to be in one of the movies. (Click on the media bar below to hear Oscar Isaac)

 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20.

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Jane Lynch Is A Natural On ‘Hollywood Game Night’

Happy birthday, Hollywood Game Night! The show premiered on NBC exactly six years ago tonight, and it’s been a consistent summer performer for the network. Although the show’s got a solid concept, its secret weapon is host Jane Lynch. She’s got a solid background in improv comedy, and she says that makes hosting the show feel like a natural extension of her own personality. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jane Lynch)

Hollywood Game Night airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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‘Sea of Shadows’ Review: Riveting Documentary Spotlights Endangered Vaquita Porpoise

Directed by Richard Ladkani (The Ivory Game), Sea of Shadows is a riveting documentary that, while providing much needed information about an endangered species, is also an immersive storytelling experience.

There are only 15 vaquita porpoises that survive on this world, and they reside near the Sea of Cortez. Fisherman have cast their nets into the surrounding ocean to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladders are valuable in the Chinese market. These nets end up catching other marine life in the area, including the vaquita. Every person in this totoaba chain are grabbing a profit, and it is imperative to put an end to this criminal operation.

Journalist Carlos Loret De Mola and Earth League International head Andrea Crosta are just two of the individuals who are determined to expose these traffickers. The documentary also spotlights the efforts of Dr. Cynthia Smith’s efforts to create a Laquita program that will ensure their safety and gradually increase their numbers. A non-profit organization called Sea Shepherd also add to these efforts, as they patrol the oceans to grab these illegal fishermen’s nets, placing their own lives in harm’s way.

These are just a few elements that are part of Sea of Shadows, and Ladkani could have easily made this a talking head documentary and still make it a worthwhile and informative viewing experience. Instead, he places his camera and crew right in the thick of the action, as we witness the efforts to save a vaquita as well as follow Crosta’s undercover mission to gain valuable intel from one of the traffickers. During the documentary’s final chapter we have a bird’s eye look at a riot that seemingly turned dangerous at a moment’s notice, and Ladkani was there to capture the moment.

It’s difficult to blend propulsive, arrestingly shot narratives while also providing audience members with intriguing information, but Sea of Shadows excels in both aspects. It’s a must see documentary from National Geographic, and one of the best films of this year.

Sea of Shadows, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, opens nationwide July 12.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi