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Mark Wahlberg is Coming to Hasbro’s HASCON

Hasbro has announced that Transformers: The Last Knight star Mark Wahlberg will be joining the exciting HASCON line-up on Saturday, September 9th! Mark will be participating in the Transformers: The Last Knight panel, and he’ll also celebrate the Transformers legacy at the 10 Years of Transformers VIP Dinner on Saturday evening. You can find full details below.

HASCON is taking place September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Mark Wahlberg @ HASCON (Saturday, September 9th):

3:00 – 3:45pm – PANEL: TRANSFORMERS “THE LAST KNIGHT” in the Making

Discuss the making of Transformers: “The Last Knight” with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Wahlberg, and special guests.

 

6:30pm – 10:30pm – TRANSFORMERS: Special Dinner Event

*VIP or Add-On Ticket Purchase Required

*Location: The Dunkin’ Donuts Center Overlook Lounge

Celebrate 10 years of Transformers film magic at this special VIP event!  Join celebrities and producers, including Mark Wahlberg, Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis, from Transformers: The Last Knight as we look back at the magic moments from the franchise’s cinematic legacy.  Peter Cullen and Frank Welker will give a special introduction to the first ever HASCON Transformers Hall of Fame ceremony, with a special appearance from past inductee Yoke-san, famed toy designer from TakaraTomy, along with a special guest.  The Transformers design and brand teams will offer a sneak preview of select 2018 toys and this special evening will be capped off by an exclusive live performance from Stan Bush.  Dinner will be served.  Plus, participate in a raffle for special prizes including signed posters from Mark Wahlberg, Transformers merchandise, and more. Each VIP attendee will receive a special Transformers Super Fan gift bag including a pre-signed autograph from Peter and Frank, Special Comic reprints for HASCON, and a VIP HASCON-exclusive pin set.

Movie Review: Transformers: The Last Knight

Before I dive into things, I want to say, I’ve really enjoyed Michael Bay‘s first Transformers film with the subsequent three each being a bit worse for wear. None of it is high brow action but each film has its own charm in their own way. So, going into Transformers: The Last Knight I expected much of the same, a film that I could turn my brain off and enjoy and maybe be a little surprised with a tease of the Hasbro extended universe. Almost 2.5 hours later I was angry and wanted my money back. I saw the movie for free at a press screening. I still wanted my money back.

The gist of the story is confusing and all over the place smashing together numerous conceps we’ve seen in the comics and animated series, all of which were done better there. The story basically has Optimus floating in space where he comes across Cybertron and learns it is a dead planet. It can survive but to do so it must suck the energy from Earth. On Earth, Transformers are landing more and more each day seeking refuge from the destroyed Cybertron. We’re never fully explained what happened or why they’re fleeing but everyone is getting the hell out of dodge. And, the people of Earth aren’t fans of that. They’ve formed a new defense force to stop the Transformer threat, hunting them and their collaborators down. Throw in some weird history involving the Knights of the Round Table and you’ve got a story that has too many ideas and not enough focus.

What’s clear early on in the film that I’m not their target audience. Transformers: The Last Knight is aimed for the kids and that’s quite evident from the young kids who kick off the movie to the various character recruited including baby Transformers (what now!?) and new ones that make the stereotypes of the last few films look outright progressive. Everything about this film screams poorly thought out and focused on one goal, to sell shit.

Part of that “poorly thought out” is the lack of focus. The comedy that has existed in previous films is more front and center with a greater spin on purile humor. Instead of Bumblebee urinating on someone, we instead have Grimlock eating a car being scolded and slobber flying all over (and when did green liquid become such a thing!?).

But the biggest shame of it all, I didn’t care about any of it. Megatron’s henchmen are so bad and I was so annoyed by their existence that I thought their being dispatched was a mercy killing for the audience. Plot lines are started and stopped with details dropped all the time. Grimlock and the Dinobots begin a battle then the scene shifts and we don’t hear about them for the rest of the film. Megatron heads to England but we don’t see him until the last segment of the film, his travels ignored. The big reveal about Earth is brought up getting fans excited but is then dropped until the end teasing us Transformers 6. A medalion searches for the right wearer and a Transformer has it but it’s never explained why that Transformer has it or where it came from. Character randomly change outfits in between scenes. The ending that just leaves things in a way that makes what’s to come baffling. I could go on and on about the failures of the film.

Bay’s entire film is one “gag” scene setting up the next with a plot loosley added to create a narrative that makes absolutely no sense. It also has no real vision either. There’s ample opportunity to tease G.I. Joe, ROM, and even M.A.S.K. to create some excitement and set things up to come in the anticipated Hasbro connected movie universe. At least that would have been something. Instead, every opportunity is squandered.

The actors too seem to phone it in. Mark Wahlberg seems both annoyed at what he’s doing and in to it all. Anthony Hopkins… I have no idea what Bay has on the actor to do what he did. Josh Duhamel returns… Laura Haddock plays a British Megan Fox. The 16 year old Isabela Moner is sexed up to creepy levels that left me the viewer uncomfortable. About the only entertainment is Jerrod Carmichael who pops in and out of it all as to serve as a prop for the next “gag” or to deliver some humorous line. The actors who got to provide their voices were the lucky ones as they don’t have to have their faces associated with this film, just sullying their voices instead.

I feel like the entire film can be summed up by a line delivered by the talented Tony Hale whose character is “JPL Engineer.” He seriously states, “I believe in science.” That’s quality writing there.

The movie is bad in almost every way. The writing. The action. The humor. The length. I struggle to find any redeeming quality other than the fact it exists to be made fun of.

With so many other quality films in the theater right now, there’s little reason to see this one. This is one of the worst films I’ve seen in my life. That’s not an exageration. I was angry when I left the theater. If this is a sign of things to come, please don’t! I can’t recommend the movie at all. Spend your money and time elsewhere.

Overall Rating: 1.0

 

Grimlock Reviews Transformers: The Last Knight

Three years ago, unable to cope with the awfulness that was the last Transformers movie, I outsourced my review to Grimlock, King of the Dinobots. Feeling similarly stricken and unable to comment on what I’ve just seen, I again phoned my old pal and asked him to help me review this one.

Me Grimlock, angry about new Transformers movie.

Michael Bay take hundreds of millions of dollars and blow them up and still make it look boring! Why can you no make Transformers fun?

Grimlock fun. Dinobots fun. Grimlock only in movie for five minutes. Decepticons attack Autobots in abandoned junkyard in Badlands, North Dakota. Dinobots there! Dinobots can fight! But no– Michael Bay move action to abandoned small town. Somehow ghost town in North Dakota have two giant art deco skyscrapers. Why? What small town is this? And why heroes going there? And why they go up into building to flee Decepticons? So Marky Mark Wahlberg can fall out of giant elevator? Even Grimlock with small brain understand that dumb.

This movie have more plotholes than explosions. And it have lots of explosions! They just not fun.

And no think Grimlock just sour grapes he not in movie. You know who else not in movie much? Optimus Prime. Why?!?! Me King Grimlock, but me know fan favorite and franchise leader! Why no Prime? When Prime fight in finale, it good movie. But stupid movie decide that it better for Prime to be on Cybertron most of movie, and then somehow he tricked into being bad guy when he come back? Grimlock small dinobot brain, but even Grimlock know that super dumb.

Everyone in movie dumb. No one smart. Even smart English people like Anthony Hopkins not smart. He what stupid person think smart person is. And me Grimlock know what stupid people think. He also have Transformer butler, played by Jim Carter— he also butler on Downton Abbey. He and Anthony Hopkins best part of movie, and they try to have fun, but it just not enough. Michael Bay make Grimlock hate Downton Abbey. Grimlock will murder Michael Bay for this.

Hopkins tells everyone Merlin and King Arthur work with Transformers, make secret society that protect secret of Transformers on Earth. That dumb. Everyone look for Merlin staff because it actually Transformer powerful object that can restore Cybertron, but would kill Earth. Who care?!? It big space macguffin. So is “important” talisman Marky Mark find. It not important. Just stupid. Movie need actual plot.

In other Transformer movie, at least there some big action scene that fun. Nothing fun here. Only stupid. Only explosion. It not offensive same way Stepin Fetchit robots were in Revenge of the Fallen, or ruin childhood like Leonard Nimoy in Dark of the Moon. Those movies aggressively bad. But this also not have anything good in it. Boring. Need more Dinobots. Needs more Optimus Prime.

Grimlock want his two and a half hours back.

1 star out of 5

Vault Comics to Publish Alien Bounty Hunter from Producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson

Vault Comics will publish the new comic series, Alien Bounty Hunter, produced by Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson, and created by Levinson. Alien Bounty Hunter will debut with a show-exclusive cover at Comic Con International in July 2017, followed by a monthly series to be available through Diamond Comics Distributors.

In Alien Bounty Hunter, Ben Madsen is tasked with apprehending a wanted fugitive…but quickly learns that his target is not of this world. Madsen must track his mark through an alien enclave populated by the galaxy’s most dangerous aliens—right here on Earth.

With Alien Bounty Hunter, Wahlberg and longtime producing partner Stephen Levinson —known for Boardwalk Empire, Ballers, and most recently Shooter—will expand into science fiction. They hope to translate the property to a wide range of media. Leverage Executive, Spencer Strasmore, oversees development of the project.

On the comic end, award-winning writer Adrian F. Wassel and David M. Booher have penned scripts from a story by Levinson and F.J. DeSanto. Nick Robles will provide art, with letters by Deron Bennet.

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Transformers 5, 6, and 7 Get Theatrical Release Dates

At Hasbro’s Analyst Presentation this morning during Toy Fair, Hasbro Chairman, President and CEO Brian Goldner announced new details about the next three films in the multi-billion dollar global franchise.

In partnership with Paramount, the writers’ room assembled by Hasbro’s Allspark pictures has their stories down and are beginning development on the next three theatrical films.

  • In 2017, Michael Bay will direct the next chapter of the Transformers films, with Mark Wahlberg returning to star. That film is slated for release on June 23.
  • On June 8, 2018, a new film is being developed which will tell the never before heard story of Bumblebee.
  • A third new film will continue the story of Hasbro’s iconic franchise which is scheduled for release on June 28, 2019.

Who’s ready for some more Transformers?

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Movie Review: Ted 2

ted2_promo_posterPOSTER-1“Bigger, Better, Tedder.”

That’s what I was clamoring for since the moment the credits rolled on the first one. Now being a native New Englander myself, I really wanted to like Ted 2. No, correction I wanted to love it. Unfortunately only 20 minutes into it, I absolutely hated it. I almost walked out. However 20 more minutes in I started to like it. Like, really like it despite the plot  (Ted, upset due to the fact that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts defines him as property and not a person goes on a quest for his civil rights.) being shoe string thin. While I think it was bad choice for Seth MacFarlane to start out the movie with an excruciatingly long dance number, hey that’s Seth. What makes the first minutes so hard to watch is a boring wedding reception and the crudeness level being turned up to 11. (A scene of Ted wearing a wife beater going through bills at the dinner table is classic). Fair warning in advance, starting out it is slow going.

The first half hour of the movie is just an absolute onslaught of foul language (too much to be quite honest and I’m from the region this movie takes place) and ridiculous toilet humor peppered in with some entertaining cameos. (See the Liam Neeson cameo and you just might pee yourself it was so good.) Despite his part being ruined by the barrage of commercials, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady does a serviceable performance. (Don’t quit your day job Tom. Stick to championships) Where the movie really shines however is through heart of the core cast. John Bennett (Mark Wahlburg) Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), Samantha L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) and of course the star Ted (Seth MacFarlane) just take this totally preposterous scenario and breathe true blue life into it. They do so well they make you forget that Ted is not a real actor. Kudos to them, it’s not easy.

Of course there is tons of potty humor and 80’s references galore. Hell there’s even a scene which takes place at NY Comic Con (Which was amazing!) This movie is surprisingly Bi-Polar. (Like our New England Weather) You will go back and forth on it several times. One refreshing change is they veered away from using too many “Family Guy” style cut scenes and the movie moves along in a briskly linear fashion. However the reusing of Giovanni Ribisi’s creepy character Donny from the first movie was just groan inducing. They even used the same gag again. Same with Sam Jones reprising his role as the retired (and quite tired) Flash Gordon as John and Ted’s new buddy, was just unnecessary and felt forced. Suprisingly I did not miss Mila Kunis’ character (Lori Collins) at all as Amanda Seyfried outshined her completely. I was shocked due to the fact there was not a much more overly dramatic explanation of her absence. Nope, she divorced John. That was it.

MacFarlane and Co. do a great job of fan service to everyone who grew up in the 80’s. They even finally mention the store where John’s parents purchased Ted for him. (Child World, I used to shop there so I absolutely marked out for the reference.) Although the fact they obviously put more money, time and effort into making this sequel, it tries way too hard and falls just a bit short. This might even be history for being the first movie that has starred Morgan Freeman and not been absolutely incredible. Never thought I’d see the day.

Overall: If you like crude language, so much weed smoking, anthropomorphized talking stuffed bears, and plot holes the size of the Wells Report, this is the movie for you. If not? Well turn your brains off and (like Neil Diamond says) turn on your heartlights and give it a view anyway. You might just hate, love, then like it like I did.

Score: 7.3

2 Guns Comes Out Blazing at #1

2 guns movie2 Guns came out shooting, taking the number one spot this weekend and bumping last weekend’s top film, The Wolverine, to second. The movie put out by Universal Pictures and based on the Steven Grant written comic by BOOM! Studios took in an estimated $27.4 million for the weekend. The action movie starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg cost about $61 million to make.

2 Guns was heavily marketed to African-American and Hispanic audiences and it looks like it helped. African-Americans made up 28% of the audience with Hispanics making up 14%. The studio crafted specific advertisements for those two audiences, making sure actors appeared on networks associated with and on popular shows watched by those two audiences. Women made up a shocking 49% of the opening weekend crowd. In my viewing there were many couples watching, so this isn’t too surprising really. It is a good date movie. The rated “R” movie had an older audience, with 77% over the age of 25.

With its two stars and decent reviews, the movie should do well in August which is generally a quieter month for releases. The movie is steady at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes and has an audience rating of a B+ CinemaScore.

The Wolverine dropped to second bringing in $21.7 million for a two-week domestic total of $95 million. That’s a 59% drop in its second week. Comparatively, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, brought in $122.1 million at the dame point in its run. The movie is doing well overseas where it has brought in $160.2 million bringing its current global total to $255.2 million.

As good as 2 Guns has done for Universal, another of their films based on a comic, R.I.P.D., continues to tank. In its third week it dropped out of the top 10 with a domestic total of $30.4 million so far. That film cost $130 million.

Movie Review: 2 Guns

2 guns movieThe premise of 2 Guns is simple. A DEA agent and a naval intelligence officer find themselves on the run after a botched attempt to do their mark in the War in Drugs. Based on the comic series by Steven Grant and published by BOOM! Studios, the movie is an entertaining crime caper filled with double crosses and lots of action.

The plot is pretty straightforward and the movie version actually improves on the comic by streamlining the comic’s plot, which at times was a bit muddled as to what was going on. The plot is straightforward, the two main characters, played by Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, must go on the run when the money they thought they were stealing from drug dealers actually is someone else’s who wants it back. So the two, must attempt to resolve their issue while figuring out who set them up. It’s pretty simple overall, and the story itself is fine. There’s nothing crazy here or new that makes it all stand out. What does make the movie stand out as my favorite “comic” movie so far this summer is the interaction between Washington and Wahlberg.

Going in to see the film, I was convinced it’d sink or swim based on the interaction between these two stars. And the pull it off in an entertaining way, taking an average plot and making it all fun with their back and forth. Washington is the cool character he seems to have embraced in the latter part of his acting career. Wahlberg is the smart-ass who throws out insults and lines with an ease and comedy chops that not only had me, but the entire theater, howling.

And that’s what I really liked about the film. It wasn’t deep, but it was fun. A lot of fun. Every time Washington and Wahlberg weren’t on screen together I wish they were, they’re the draw and enjoyment of the film. To hear the things that come out of Wahlberg’s mouth alone is worth the time watching the film.

The rest of the cast is ok. Bill Paxton plays a character who builds off the slimy character type he shined in with True Lies. Edward James Olmos is a drug dealer who is reserved, almost a bit too much. James Marsden is fine as a crooked Navy officer. No one here is bad at all. They all play their roles and do it well.

The action is as over the top as you’d expect with chases and gun fights that are absurd but entertaining. Scenes don’t necessarily make sense when you dissect them, but they’re fun and that’s the point. This is a movie I wanted a few things from. Some gun fights. Some car chases. And lots of smart ass remarks. And the film delivers as I expected. What really stands out to me is the lack of some of the devices we’ve seen abused and used way too much in modern movies. Shaky cams, slow mo, bullet time, that’s thankfully not used a hell of a lot, if at all.

Overall the film isn’t rocket science, we’re not talking Oscar contender. However, the film was fun not just for me, but clearly the rest of the theater who were laughing throughout the film and left smiling and laughing. They enjoyed it. The banter from the film is so good, I wish there was more of it. This is an action film that doesn’t break the mold, it does what it’s supposed to, entertain us for a few hours.

Direction: 7.25 Acting: 8 Plot: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

2 Guns: Second Shot Deluxe Edition With New Cover By Albuquerque

BOOM! Studios is proud to bring a classic action comedy back in print with 2 Guns: Second Shot Deluxe Edition. The new comic-sized collection includes the complete original series written by comics legend Steven Grant and drawn by rising star Mateus Santolouco along with a host of new bonus features. The book, featuring a brand new cover by original series cover artist Rafael Albuquerque hits stores in early May, just months before the major motion picture hits theatres!

Trench is a deep-cover DEA agent. Steadman is an undercover Naval Intelligence officer. Both think the other is a simple gun-for- hire, the perfect accomplice to help steal a bank vault full of mob money for the good guys. And neither realizes that their caper is a gigantic double-cross from the mob, who’s just tricked both men into stealing $50 million from the CIA! Now Trench and Steadman race headlong across the Southwest, guns blazing, desperately outrunning Feds and mobsters alike while scrambling madly to find some way of clearing both their names before they’re carved on tombstones!

August 2 sees the release of the movie by Universal Pictures starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg! Directed by director Baltasar Kormakur and also starring Paula Patton, James Marsden, Bill Paxton, and Edward James Olmos.

The collection retails for $19.99 and has 144 pages.

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