Category Archives: Movies

Movie Review: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is a giant middle finger to the right and an exploration of the spiral into insanity the United States has fallen into since the previous movie. Continuing the same gonzo style filming, the movie puts Borat on a mission to deliver a gift to Donald Trump so that the leader of Kazakhstan can become his friend. That gift? Borat’s daughter. Yes, Borat has a partner in crime, his daughter Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev.

Borat is the creation of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who has perfected the use of characters to skewer his topics. This film is no exception. With the first film being such a success, the character has been ruined in a way. Cohen comes up with the brilliant alternative of having Borat play other characters as he makes his way around on his mission. Of course, things don’t go right and each character allows him to explore and create commentary about each of his targets. They range from QAnon conspiracists to the Christian Right, to Mike Pence and Rudy Guiliani. The film has a target and it’s the regressive, racist, and backward aspects of America.

The inclusion of the daughter adds new few layers to Cohen and Borat’s usual schtick. Played by “Irina Novak,” (really Maria Bakalova) Tutar, aka Sarah Jessica Parker, gives as good as she gets in the film. She also forces Borat to be more than a one-note character while also exploring and skewering aspects of society that he wouldn’t be able to touch. Abortion, misogyny, masturbation, and more are explored through the character. She also creates a new layer of jokes that are amazing.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is an amazing exploration of America. Of course, what Borat and Sarah Jessica Parker say is shocking but it’s the lack of response and shock from those around them that’s the point. They expose the underbelly of rot that exists throughout the nation. Racism, antisemitism, misogyny, are in their crosshairs. Through their, and especially Sarah Jessica Parker’s journey, they expose the lies not of Kazakhstan but of America. They spotlight the ugly underneath and the acceptance of it by so many in so many different positions.

Through the offensiveness, there’s a lot of heart. We see the character grow as he interacts with his daughter and the film spotlights reason and sanity. A segment in a Jewish Temple and another with an African American women deliver the voices of reason. Though there’s many jokes made out of each segment, they give a break from the hate and ignorance spewed by so many others. Their focus in this film is clearly the white right, especially the privileged.

What’s more interesting in the film is that many more of the moments feel like pre-planned segments. There’s either complete random luck in the subjects, a lot of throwing darts to see what works, or it’s pre-planned sketches. No matter the method, the results are amazing and create a narrative that’s perfectly timed for the election. There’s also something that makes you appreciate what is pulled off, even more, when you attempt to figure out the logistics of it all. There are also such amazing lapses in security… it’s just baffling.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the movie we need for the November election. Not only does it skewer the right, but it also shows the left’s heart. It weaves together topics like COVID and politics with a clear goal and points to make. It does so with humor and a no-fear attitude. It’s gonzo journalism wrapped up as sketch comedy. It’s not the same schtick as the original, it pulls off its brilliance and takes it to another level by adding in more of a plot and story.

There’s no way that Borat can go on as a character after these two films. He’s too well known. The film almost feels like it wanted to take everything so many found offensive about the character and show that he’s what America has let fully loose. The conspiracies, the misogyny, the antisemitism. And then take Borat and show he can grow. That you don’t need to be that way. There’s such a subversive flip in the film compared to the first. The original film had Borat highlighting horrid beliefs and actions while this film has that but growth and uncomfortableness on full display in its two main characters. The United States and its citizens are who we should be offended by is the point of the film.

It’s the rare sequel that might surpass the original. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes its weaknesses, a known schtick, and makes it its strength. It also shows that Cohen can make his characters more than simple jokes and he, and they, have so much room for growth and hopefully so much more to say.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm will be released through Amazon Studios on Amazon Prime on October 23.

Honest Thief Takes First Place at the Box Office

Honest Thief

It was a new film at the top of the weekend box office as Honest Thief took first place. The film earned an estimated $3.7 million during the weekend. The film has earned $4.2 million since its debut in total domestically.

Internationally, the film brought in an additional $1.3 million to bring its worldwide total to $5.5 million.

The War with Grandpa dropped to second place after coming in first the previous week. The film added $2.5 million to its total over the weekend and has brought in $7.3 million domestically after two weeks. Internationally, the film has earned $3.5 million for a worldwide total of $10.8 million.

Tenet dropped to third place with an estimated $1.6 million added to its domestic total. The film has earned $50.6 million domestically after seven weeks. The film also added $8.3 million internationally to bring that total to $283.3 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $333.9 million.

The Nightmare Before Christmas has gotten a re-release and came in fourth place. The film earned $1.3 million over the weekend.

Another release, Hocus Pocus, came in fifth and added $756,000 to its domestic total. It now has earned $3.8 million after five weeks. Internationally, the film has earned $26,733 so far for a worldwide total of $3.9 million.

The New Mutants dropped out of the top five in its eighth week coming in at #7 for the weekend. The film added $465,000 to its domestic total to bring that to $22.7 million. The film continues to hold steady at $21 million internationally, indicating its run is over. Worldwide, the film has brought in $43.7 million.

Over the weekend, a little under $12.4 million at 19,917 theaters. That’s an increase of about $3.1 million and about 4,800 more theaters. Last week theaters averaged $615 with this weekend seeing a slight increase to just under $621.

AfroComicCon Features a Virtual Short Film Festival

AfroComicCon 2020 International Virtual Film Festival

AfroComicCon has announced the AfroComicCon 2020 International Virtual Film Festival. A showcase of contemporary and interactive works of visual art showcasing films that reflect a number of genres including horror, science-fiction, comic book, animation, superhero and fantasy.

Nsenga Burton, Ph.D, Emory University Professor of Film and Media and founder of The Burton Wire heads up the festival and handpicked the jury of filmmakers, scholars, curators, and archivists. Judges include Emmy and NAACP Award-nominated director Christine Swanson, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of SloMo Magazine Carlton Hargro, film critic and author Ronda Rocha Penrice, filmmaker Booker T. Mattison, and writer, producer and director Phill Branch.

The topic related films and their filmmakers are focused on bringing about diversity and inclusion, with a special focus on women and POC. Please note only films that fell into the broad category of Afrofuturism and in the genre categories of science-fiction, speculative Black fiction, Horror, fantasy, Anime, superheroes, and comic books were considered for inclusion in the festival. 

Judging began on September 15th; and films that were finalists for the competition will be screened on AfroComicCon’s YouTube Channel, October 24, 2020, in addition to interviews and other programming. (Stay tuned for info about a Film Screening Watch Party as well!)

AfroComicCon​‘s 1st virtual convention will be held on October 24, 2020. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the annual event started in 2017 by the ​Oakland Technology & Education Center (OTEC), ​will be held virtually and free through a portal on the organization’s website. Sponsored by the NNPA, the ​Oakland A’s, and Pixar Entertainment, AfroComicCon promises to be a day full of exciting panels, screenings, entertainment, gaming, cosplay and special guests. The 12-hour event is currently slated to be live-streamed across multiple platforms including YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. You can register now.

Michael B. Jordan Joins Static Shock as Producer

Static #1

DC announced during their FanDome event that Static Shock was getting the movie treatment. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Michael B. Jordan and Outlier Society will produce the film.

Jordin joins Reginald Hudlin on the project. Outlier Society is Jordan’s Warner-based banner.

In a statement, Jordan said:

I’m proud to be a part of building a new universe centered around black superheroes; our community deserves that. Outlier Society is committed to bringing to life diverse comic book content across all platforms and we are excited to partner with Reggie and Warner Bros on this initial step.

Static is 15-year-old Virgil Hawkins who gains electromagnetic powers and becomes a costumed crusader.

Static first appeared in Static #1 in 1993 as part of the Milestone Comics imprint. Milestone was a comics imprint founded in response to the underrepresentation of minorities in comics. The comic imprinted the Dakota Verse, filled with minority superheroes and characters. Static was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. When Milestone folded, Static eventually joined the regular DC Universe.

Milestone is currently being revived by DC. Hudlin will be writing a new Static Shock digital comic series that launches in February 2021 as well as a graphic novel with art by Kyle Baker.

Static has also appeared in other media including his own animated series which ran for four seasons and 52 episodes.

Charlie McDowell will Direct Daniel Clowes’ Patience

Charlie McDowell will direct Patience, a film based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. The script is being written by McDowell and Justin Lader. Innisfree Pictures’ Jim Burke and Steven Snyder are producing.

Clowes’ Ghost World, Art School Confidential, and Wilson have both been adapted into film.

Focus Features has been working on the adaptation of Clowes’ graphic novel. The comic was originally released in 2016 by Fantagraphics Books and is a “science-fiction love story about time travel. It describes the misadventures of a man, Jack, after he finds his pregnant wife, Patience, murdered in their apartment.”

Charlie McDowell’s directing credits include The One I Love, The Discovery, episodes of Silicon Valley, Legion, Tales from the Loop, and more.

McDowell confirmed the news in a Tweet:

(via Deadline)

Xochitl Gomez Joins Doctor Strange 2 in an Unknown Role

Xochitl Gomez

Deadline is reporting that Xochitl Gomez is joining the cast of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch returns in the title role with Sam Raimi taking over as director. Marvel Studios has not commented on the casting.

It is expected that Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor will also return to their roles for the sequel. New to the film will be Elizabeth Olsen who will reprise her role as Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff. That character will get the spotlight in the upcoming television series WandaVision which will tie into the Doctor Strange sequel.

Due to Gomez’s ethnicity, age, and the fact that the film has to do with the multiverse, speculation is Gomez will play America Chavez. Speculation is fueled further by Chavez being a member of the Young Avengers, a team that Scarlet Witch’s kids are a part of as well. Those characters are expected to debut on WandaVision. Chavez is an extra-dimensional character who can hop through dimensions, has super strength, and flight as part of her powers.

Xochitl Gomez most recently starred as Dawn Schafer in The Baby-Sitters Club television series. She’s appeared in numerous shorts and on television shows with 19 credits so far.

The Empty Man Gets Its First Trailer

The Empty Man is almost here! The first trailer is out for the film coming to theaters October 23.

The Empty Man is a supernatural horror film based on the comic series first published in 2014 from writer Cullen Bunn, artists Vanesa R. Del Rey and Jesús Hervás, colorists Michael Garland and Niko Guardia, letterer Ed Dukeshire, and published by BOOM! Studios.

After a group of teens from a small Midwestern town begin to mysteriously disappear, the locals believe it is the work of an urban legend known as The Empty Man. As a retired cop investigates and struggles to make sense of the stories, he discovers a secretive group and their attempts to summon a horrific, mystical entity, and soon his life—and the lives of those close to him—are in grave danger.

Directed by David Prior from a screen story and screenplay by David Prior the film stars James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Stephen Root, Ron Canada, Robert Aramayo, Joel Courtney, and Sasha Frolova. The film is produced by Ross Richie, p.g.a. and Stephen Christy, p.g.a.

The Empty Man movie poster

Jiu Jitsu Gets it First Trailer

Based on the comic by Dimitri Logothetis, Jim McGrath, and McCrary Greg, Jiu Jitsu gets it first trailer.

In it, an ancient order of Jiu Jitsu fighters faces a vicious race of alien invaders in an epic battle for the survival of Earth.

The film stars Nicolas Cage and a cast that includes Alain Moussi, Frank Grillo, Rick Yune, Marie Avgeropoulos, Juju Chan, and Tony Jaa.

Co-written and directed by Kickboxer: Retaliation‘s Dimitri Logothetis, Jiu Jitsu debuts in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on November 20, 2020.

Batman: Death in the Family is Out Now. Check Out this New Clip

Batman: Death in the Family is now available everywhere from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment — on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital starting TODAY — Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Check out an all-new clip that finds Jason Todd – as Red Robin – coming face to face to face with Two-Face in one of the branches of this interactive animated short. Vincent Martella (Phineas & Ferb) voices Jason Todd, and Gary Cole (Veep) voices Two-Face.

Batman: Death in the Family, WBHE’s first-ever venture into interactive storytelling, allows fans to choose where the story goes through an innovative navigation guided by the viewer’s remote control. Batman: A Death in the Family is the centerpiece of this anthology of five animated shorts inspired by characters and stories from DC’s robust portfolio. The 2019-2020 series of shorts – which have been individually included on DC Universe Movies releases since Summer 2019 – include:

  • Sgt. Rock- Adam Strange
  • Death
  • The Phantom Stranger

The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with all of the shorts in hi-definition, including the fully-interactive, extended-length Batman: Death in the Family, plus a digital version of the four other 2019-2020 DC Showcase shorts. The Digital distribution features the Batman: Death in the Family extended-length short in a non-interactive format (pre-assembled version of the story, entitled “Under the Red Hood: Reloaded”), along with the other four 2019-2020 DC Showcase shorts, and three other non-interactive versions of the Batman: Death in the Family (entitled “Jason Todd’s Rebellion,” “Robin’s Revenge” and “Red Hood’s Reckoning”) as bonus features (Note: not all Digital retailers offer bonus features with purchase). The Blu-ray also offers approximately five minutes of additional content within the Batman: Death in the Family story that is not included in the Digital version.

The War with Grandpa Bumps Tenet from First

The New Mutants

After an impressive five-week run in first place, Tenet has dropped to second place at the weekend box office. The War with Grandpa took first place with an estimated $3.6 million. Internationally, the film also earned a little under $1.7 million to bring its worldwide total to $5.3 million.

Tenet dropped 22.2% from the previous week and earned $2.1 million. That brings its domestic earnings to $48.3 million. Internationally, the film earned about $13 million over the week to bring that total to $275 million. That makes the worldwide total $323.3 million.

The Hocus Pocus re-release was in third place earning a little under $1.2 million, a drop of 39.7% from the previous week. The film has earned a little under $3.1 million so far from its re-release.

The New Mutants dropped 34.3% from the previous week and brought in $685,000. The film has earned $22 million domestically after 7 weeks. Internationally, the film has held steady at $21 million signaling its run might be over. Worldwide the film has earned just shy of $43 million.

Rounding out the top five was Unhinged with $660,000. That brings the film’s domestic earning sup to $19.4 million after 9 weeks.

The 19 films tracked brought in a total of $9.3 million from 15,115 theaters. That’s about $1 million more from about 630 fewer theaters. That’s an improvement from the previous weekend. This past weekend, theaters averaged just under $615, up from the previous weekend’s $527.

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