This week on the Cinemaholics Podcast, we review Top Gun: Maverick, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, and Happening.
Pixar’s newest animated film, ‘Turning Red,’ is a beast when it comes to comedy. But will audiences appreciate its big, bold style?
Somehow, Boba Fett returned.
Disney’s latest animated film sparks a big discussion for such a comparatively small movie.
Some people say this isn’t a “bolder” movie. But it does star the Rock. It’s hard to follow the dialogue. But at least it’s Blunt. No listener, you haven’t stumbled upon some pun-infested hell. No, you’ve found yourself on the Cinemaholics cruise with Jon and Will, as they review Jungle Cruise, the long-awaited adaptation of the Disney theme park ride starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Delayed twice since its original intended release in 2019, the movie is now available to watch in theaters and on Disney+ through Premiere Access.
Special guest Emily Tannenbaum joins us to review Black Widow, the long-awaited Marvel action spy film starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz. We open the show with early buzz for the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, then some quick catchup on other movies and shows we saw this week. Will briefly shares his thoughts on I Think You Should Leave Season 2 on Netflix, Emily teases the first several episodes of the Gossip Girl reboot on HBO Max, and Jon covers Fear Street Part 2: 1978 on Netflix, Till Death starring Megan Fox, and Monsters at Work on Disney+.
The second episode of “Loki” has been out for some time now, and I’ve got to tell you, this is the hardest time I’ve had writing about one of these shows. Not because there isn’t anything to write about. Quite the contrary. After only two episodes, “Loki” has a lot of tricky, deep themes up its sleeve.
Okay guys, I know it. You’re tired of hearing about how good Marvel is. After thirteen years of existence, the MCU has produced hit after hit, with only the occasional Thor: The Dark World to leave a mark.
Relax, darling, we’re working overtime this holiday weekend to bring you our in-depth thoughts of Cruella, the latest Disney live-action reimagining, this time focusing on the delirious origins of Cruella de Vil, portrayed here by Emma Stone in a sprawling crime comedy directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara. We also discuss Amazon’s acquisition of MGM and what that might mean for the future of the movie industry, plus some extra thoughts on the other films we saw this past week.
In the original animated movie (and, by extension, the 1996 live-action remake), Cruella is a dashing, fittingly devilish fashion obsessive who craves to skin the coats of Dalmatians because, well, she’s cruel and narcissistic. Cruella, from director Craig Gillespie, mostly buries this aspect of the villain’s psyche by giving more time to explaining her ascent (or descent?) to becoming a fashion superstar from extraordinarily humble beginnings.
So, we’re finally here. Last week was the finale of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” a Marvel/Disney limited series that for the last six weeks has been absolutely dominating my television screen as much as it has my mind. Being a fan of Marvel’s live-action superhero ventures since I was a kid in 2008, it wasn’t hard for TFATWS to catch my eye. But while I came for the heroics, action, and quippy one-liners, what really compelled me (and many viewers) to stay were the mostly poignant and deep conversations about race, status, and the humanity of our favorite, godlike heroes. Key word: “mostly.”
The fifth and penultimate episode of TFATWS is called “Truth,” and that’s certainly no accident. After leaving us for an entire week with the final image of Cap’s blood-soaked shield stuck in our minds, TFATWS replaces it with even more memorable scenes and heavy imagery. Each of them are arguably just as hard to swallow as John Walker’s closing scene from the week prior.
A few years ago, I did a frequent column called “Snarcasm,” where I would break down a ridiculous piece of film writing using both snark and sarcasm (I’ve never been a creative person). Well, lately, I’ve been meaning to bring the format back again, because let’s face it, the internet seems to just be getting worse.
The third episode of TFATWS ushers us into the halfway point of the series. With just three episodes left after it, Episode 3 strives to reveal as much as it can about the secrets of the Super Soldier serum, which has oft been alluded to since the beginning of the show. “Power Broker” delivers on this goal using seedy locales, lurking threats, and an unlikely alliance between Sam, Bucky, and Helmut Zemo (the villain from Captain America: Civil War, portrayed once again by Daniel Brühl).
There’s nothing quite like Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a film that feels more like a big-budget HBO mini-series in terms of format, but with all the whiz bang pop of a billion dollar summer blockbuster. It’s certainly bloated, though it’s coming out at a time when audiences are more starved than ever when it comes to cinematic spectacle. It’s about as ambitious in its labrynth of costumed subplots as something like Captain America: Civil War, but it’s a far more coherent and narratively rewarding picture than a lot of what Snyder has produced before, particularly compared to the mess of misery that was Dawn of Justice.
We’re going on an adventure this week in our review of Raya and the Last Dragon, a new action-adventure film from Walt Disney Animation featuring the voice talents of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, and Daniel Dae Kim. Later in the show, we also review Coming 2 America, Sophie Jones, and Moxie. And we open the episode with a quick tribute to our cohost Abby Olcese, who will be departing Cinemaholics starting next week.
Hey all, welcome back to your favorite weekly recap of your favorite Marvel streaming series. I’m not sure if either of those statements is true, but if you’re reading this then you probably have some emotional investment in “WandaVision” and my long-winded rambling related to it.
We’re only a third of the way through “WandaVision,” but if this recent episode is any indication, we can expect an avalanche of strange occurrences and sudden twists to occur every single week. Episode 3 of “WandaVision,” aptly titled “Now in Color,” comes to Disney+ with another 40 minutes of laughs, love, and absolute madness. The show starts off how the second episode ended, in brand spanking new technicolor!
Cinemaholics is now doing a live stream! It’s called The Big Stream, and it’s our new destination for all things movie industry news and extra off-topics we don’t have time to cover on the main show. Yesterday, I kicked off a conversation about Disney Investor Day, and how these massive show/movie announcements for Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Animation signal a new streaming strategy for Disney+, Hulu, and…Star?
Cinemaholics is what you Mank of it. Which is why we’re reviewing David Fincher’s latest film, Mank, now streaming on Netflix and starring Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Charles Dance. Manks in advance for listening. We also review Sound of Metal starring Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke, Black Bear starring Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbot, and Godmothered starring Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, and June Squibb.
This week on Extra Milestone, I’m joined once more by my good friend Guy Simons Jr. to dissect a pair of (relatively) recent classics that have garnered acclaim over the years, and which have almost nothing whatsoever to do with each other! First up is Pixar’s groundbreaking debut feature Toy Story, the first-ever wholly computer animated movie that has gained a reputation as an indispensable landmark in special effects and storytelling. After that, we jump ahead to M. Night Shyamalan’s unconventional superhero story Unbreakable, a grounded deconstruction of the genre that arrived before cinema as a whole had become swept up in comic book storytelling, and which has amassed a sizable (and well-earned) cult following.
In our first official episode with new Cinemaholics co-host Abby Olcese, we discuss the honor and honor that is to be found honorable in Mulan, the latest live-action Disney remake, which stars Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Gong Li, and Jet Li. Plus, we review Charlie Kaufman’s new mind-bending film I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which is now on Netflix and stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis.
As a business model, Disney’s years-long effort to re-capitalize its most iconic animated films of yesteryear into big-budget, live-action (or live-action-esque in the case of last year’s The Lion King) reimaginings has been nothing short of a financial masterstroke, not too far below the juggernaut success of their Marvel and Star Wars acquisitions just a decade ago. In some ways, Mulan represents both the highs and lows of Disney’s trip down memory lane, from family favorites like The Jungle Book to more critically shrugged replicants like Beauty and the Beast. Either way, Mulan is sure to leave some audiences clamoring for more, while others might end up feeling somewhat cheated by what could’ve been.
Special guest Charlie Ridgely joins the show for our long-awaited review of The New Mutants, the final X-Men comic-book movie made by Fox…which was shot three years ago. We also discuss Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the beloved franchise starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. And last we tackle The Personal History of David Copperfield, a new adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel, and this one stars Dev Patel and was directed by Armando Iannucci.
When you wish upon a Pod, doesn’t matter which host you are. When you wish upon a Pod, your streams come true. That’s right. We’re celebrating the 80th anniversary of Pinocchio this month on Extra Milestone. But first, a quick word from our good friend, Willt—I mean Walt Disney. Also, be sure to stick around toward the end of the show for a major announcement concerning the Extra Milestone podcast!
The cinema may be closed, but not Cinemaholics! We’re covering some of the most notable new streaming releases hitting your WiFi router, which include a Sundance indie on Hulu starring Pete Davidson, a would-be Oscar contender on Apple TV+ starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson, a Disney+ original music drama starring Grace VanderWaal, and a crime drama on Netflix starring Amy Ryan.
The time has come yet again for you, our most loyal and dedicated of listeners, to do the hardest part of our job for us by deciding which film to delve into on the next Extra Milestone! February yielded a fascinating and varied selection, and it was hard enough to narrow it down to a measly seven. But now is the time to select the ultimate winner. You may choose from the following:
Ready to be emancipated from January movie season? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) just flew into theaters, and the Cinemaholics are ready to discuss. Stay tuned for reviews of the new Netflix film Horse Girl starring Alison Brie, our quick Season 6 discussion of BoJack Horseman, and the surprisingly good new Disney+ original movie Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.
We’re taking our latest film takes to court this week with Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson. We review the other big releases of the week, plus a second opinion on A Hidden Life and a catch-up discussion on Varda by Agnès.
Special guest Charlie Ridgely (ComicBook.com) joins us for some playtime with Woody and the gang in Toy Story 4, the latest Toy Story film from Pixar. We discuss our thoughts and feelings on the overall series, plus we kick off the episode with some discussion about our favorite films of the year so far.
19 years of X-Men films have led to one very awkward moment. A patchwork of sagas ranging from transcendent to bottom-dweller couldn’t have a picked a flatter vehicle for punctuating a complex legacy now in the hands of Disney upon the Disney-Fox merger. And to make matters more confused, we still have another one of these ancillary films, New Mutants, delayed to next spring for an unrelated and likely inconsequential misadventure. For now, Dark Phoenix effectively closes the book on a story that already has two, maybe three endings as it is.
The set up and payoff structure of the Marvel films beginning with Iron Man in 2008 may never be fully realized. These stories will continue on for as long as audiences continue to be fans of the material, so any definitive ending for a saga of episodic films requires a conclusion to at least one prominent idea, not necessarily an entire world of characters and their respective potential as branched franchises. This is why Avengers: Endgame is a film deftly committed to playing out the first and last revelation of such a film series. Tony Stark is Iron Man. And the Avengers are the Earth’s mightiest heroes. Everything else in Endgame is secondary, including its villain.
The inmates are running the asylum this week as Jon is absent for mysterious reasons and Will takes over the show to ramble about Danny DeVito, Sad Clowns, and his enemy list with special guest Cory Woodroof! Later in the show, Will is high on his own supply — i.e. the sound of his own voice — as he spews more nonsense about Harmony Korine in a prolonged, in-depth conversation about The Beach Bum, starring a far-out Matthew McConaughey. All this and more as fans begin to get worried about Jon’s sudden disappearance.
If there’s one adjective I typically abhor when it comes to describing films, it’s “cute.” Cute, to my disgruntled ears, comes off as cheap, lazy, and non-descriptive. It’s a broad word that doesn’t really get to the meat of one’s feelings beyond the surface level. It’s a deflection term, often used to describe the exterior of a film while avoiding anything specific, intellectual, or meaningful. It’s an inoffensive word, certainly; there’s really no sense in getting mad about its overuse beyond my (admittedly) overbearingly high literary standards. But I still find it ceaselessly grating. What exactly does it mean to be “cute” anyway? It looks nice? A squeaky-clean disposition? Positive vibes? Good morals? It’s a placeholder word when others fail you.