Category: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

The Dune trailer has just been released and we have some special news for fans.

The Dune Ticket Lottery – launching at midnight tonight!

Universal Pictures on behalf of Warner Bros. have launched The Dune Ticket Lottery – an online hub for fans to enter the ultimate game of chance, registering for their opportunity to be the first in the country to witness DUNE at pre-release screening events as well as winning custom merchandise to keep.

Website: (live from midnight tonight): http://www.dunelottery.com.au/ 

Summary:  Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 8th July 2021 (Australia), 29th July 2021 (Thailand), 7th July 2021 (UK), 9th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Cate Shortland

Screenwriter: Ned Benson, Eric Pearson, Jac Shaeffer

Cast: Ever Anderson (Young Natasha), Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Young Antonia), Nanna Blondell (Ingrid), Jordyn Curet (Young Ingrid), O-T Fagbenie (Mason), David Harbour (Alexei), William Hurt (Secretary Ross), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff), Olga Kurylenko (Antonia/Taskmaster), Michelle Lee (Oksana), Violet McGraw (Young Yelena), Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), Olivier Richters (Ursa), Liani Samuel (Lerato), Rachel Weisz (Melina), Ray Winstone (Dreykov)

Running Time: 134 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR BLACK WIDOW REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Black Widow Review:

Despite the fact she has many people’s favourite Avenger it was easy to start to think that Black Widow was the forgotten Avenger. Hardcore Marvel fans were furious when Captain Marvel became the first female led Avengers movie, they saw it as disrespectful to Black Widow who had basically been there since Day One.

Well now Black Widow gets her chance and finally actress Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation) gets her chance to step up in a film that not only tells the origins story of Black Widow but also fills in the gaps of what happened to her in between Civil War and Infinity Wars.

Directed by award winning Australian director Cate Shortland (Somersault), who was hand-selected by Johansson for the job, Black Widow reveals Natasha Romanoff’s (aka Black Widow) Russian spy ‘family’ including her ‘mother’ Melina (Rachel Weisz – The Constant Gardener), ‘father’ Alexei (David Harbour – Suicide Squad) and ‘sister’ Yelena Belova (Forence Pugh – Lady Macbeth).

While Natasha is on the run from Secretary Ross (William Hurt – Lost In Space) she reunites with Yelena and despite a testy relationship they decide to find Melina and Alexei and get them to help hunt down the man who created them and now wants them dead – the evil Dreykov (Ray Winstone – The Departed).

The early stages of this film have Shortland’s DNA all over them. When it comes to directing Shortland normally prefers gritty dramas and early on it feels like Black Widow is going to be more like an episode of Alias or La Femme Nikita then anything we have ever seen in the Marvel universe previously. To be honest that look and feel suited what kind of film Black Widow should be and it was almost disappointing when the film seemed to capitulate about halfway through and become yet another all action and very little plot clog in the Marvel machine.

That is not to say that Black Widow is not an enjoyable film – it is to a certain extent. But you would have to stay that the clichéd ending to the film makes it an average film rather than the brilliant film that could have changed Marvel forever if it had continued with the Shortland hard-edge that the film had during the open scenes. Most of the disappointing aspects of Black Widow lay with the screenplay – the finale is derivative of the end action sequences of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and introduces us to a villain that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the lamer James Bond films.

On the plus side though are the acting performances. Johansson shows that she deserved her own Avenger film a lot sooner with a performance that shows both heart and pure action skills no matter what she has to do during a fight sequence. David Harbour steals the show with his comedic timing while Florence Pugh puts in a brilliant performance and it is exciting to know that we get to look forward to her character returning in Hawkeye later this year. Eager fans will notice that the post-credit scene with Black Widow strongly shows how she will enter into the Hawkeye series.

While some people feared that Shortland’s style of filmmaking would not fit the Marvel universe the truth is that her style almost pulled off one of the best Marvel films to date… it’s just sad that it was pulled back by her overly Marvelised ending. The film does hold up due to the acting performances of its leads but it could have been so much better.Black Widow is currently available on Disney+ and will be released in Phuket cinemas on July 29th.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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You can read our review of Black Widow in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/black-widow-return-of-a-true-marvel-80707.php

Trailer:

In last year’s Season 2 finale of “Star Wars: The Mandalorian,” the appearance of a young Luke Skywalker was one of the biggest reveals and best-kept secrets of the acclaimed show thus far. Reaction to the episode was emotionally-charged for many, deeply resonating with generations of fans who were elated to see the Jedi Master in his post-Return of the Jedi prime. The story of the cutting-edge technology used to bring Luke back is the subject of a special extra episode of “Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian,” debuting August 25 on Disney+.

“Making of the Season 2 Finale” is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this celebrated “chapter” of “The Mandalorian,” with a focus on the technology used for recreating Luke Skywalker. It delves into the collaborative process, including working with Mark Hamill, to create an authentic and fitting recreation, and explores the immense pressure and responsibility the filmmakers had in bringing back one of the most important characters in film history. 

The Television Academy recognised the second season of “The Mandalorian” earlier today with 24 Emmy award nominations, including Best Drama Series.

“Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian – Making of the Season 2 Finale” will premiere on August 25 exclusively on Disney+. 

Summary:  The mercurial villain Loki resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: N/A

VOD Release Dates: Out now in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Kate Herron

Screenwriter: Michael Waldron

Cast: Sophia Di Martino (Sylvie), Tom Hiddelston (Loki), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Ravonna Renslayer), Wunmi Mosaku (Hunter B-15), Owen Wilson (Mobius)

Running Time: N/A

Classification: TBC

OUR LOI REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Loki Review:

One of the biggest complaints that some film lovers have levelled at Marvel films over the years is that the films have been the same. Epic battle sequences and cities crumbling to dust while muscle-bound heroes yell lines at the top of their voice. With the arrival of Wanda Vision on Disney+ it felt like Marvel had listened and created something vastly different. Something so different that the haters then decided it was ‘too different.’

Perhaps though the perfect middle-ground is the latest Marvel show to be released on Disney+ Loki. Set after the events of The Avengers: Endgame the show sees Loki (Tom Hiddleston – Kong: Skull Island) brought before the mysterious Time Variance Authority whose job it is to monitor the timelines through space and time.

Charged with breaking a timeline Loki is sentenced to being erased from time and space by Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Beauty And The Beast) but her colleague Mobius (Owen Wilson – Wedding Crashers) begs for Loki’s life to be spared and instead his punishment should be working for the TVA and helping them with their investigations. Mobius’ ultimate plan is to not only have Loki for them but to also study him so that they can track down the various Loki variants that are causing havoc across timelines, including the female Loki (Sophia Di Martino – Yesterday) named Sylvie.

Created by Michael Waldron (Ricky & Morty) Loki is unlike anything that Marvel has previously created. It is epic in a completely different to anything that Marvel done before. While other Marvel productions have gone with an epic scale of crashing spaceships and battle sequences here Loki goes into epic fantasy worlds that H.P. Lovecraft would be proud of.

That different feel sees the creators take Loki into a steam-punk world while the scenes set in the halls and offices of the Time Variance Authority seem to have taken inspiration from The Ministry Of Magic in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. The similarities to the Potterverse also don’t end there with Wilson’s Mobius often dressing like Arthur Weasley.

The story that weaves through Loki is complex but compelling. While often kids can watch a Marvel movie and completely understand the plot that certainly isn’t the case with Loki. As the characters time-travel and jump through time-lines the plot itself does require its audience to totally evolve themselves with it and not even look away for a moment. Even hardened fans of the show have admitted that if they have become distracted by something while watching it they have had to rewind the show in order to work out what happened while they were distracted.

Also coming to the fore with this series has been the acting capabilities of Tom Hiddleston. Often in the movies the character of Loki has been restricted to being the ‘villain’ or the comic relief, so it has been quite refreshing to see his character grow throughout the Loki series. This has shown just how talented Hiddleston is as an actor especially during sequences when Loki has been shown the repercussions of his actions throughout history and some of the more touching scenes he shares with Sylvie.

Owen Wilson has also adapted well to a more serious role than we would normally expect from him but the star of this show to date has been Sophia Di Martino. Sylvie is an interesting character – she is capable of great evil but also at other times shows that she cares for people who are close to her. Di Martino has really relished the role and it is obvious that this will give her a spring-board to bigger roles in Hollywood very soon.

Loki is very much a must see for fans of the Marvel universe and while some of the Marvel shows available on Disney+ are more like mini-series Loki has just been given the green-light to film a second season so it seems that longevity is on its side. There are currently five episodes of Loki on Disney+ in Phuket.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

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Trailer:

At Anime Expo Lite, Disney+ announced the names of the seven Japanese anime studios bringing their unique talent and perspective to “Star Wars: Visions” – a collection of animated short films from Lucasfilm that will stream exclusively on Disney+ – and offered fans an exciting special look.

The anime studios revealed were Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production IG. Each studio will use their signature animation and storytelling styles to realise their own visions of the galaxy far, far away. 

Lucasfilm’s Jacqui Lopez (Executive Producer), James Waugh (Executive Producer), Josh Rimes (Executive Producer), and Qubic Pictures’ Justin Leach (Co-Executive Producer) and Kanako Shirasaki (Producer) were on hand at the event to reveal each studio and give fans a special look at the environment and concept art as they debuted the title and first details of each short.

Kamikaze Douga – The Duel 
Geno Studio (Twin Engine) – Lop and Ochō
Studio Colorido (Twin Engine) – Tatooine Rhapsody
Trigger – The Twins
Trigger – The Elder
Kinema Citrus – The Village Bride
Science Saru – Akakiri
Science Saru – T0-B1
Production IG – The Ninth Jedi

As a first formal venture into anime, each “Star Wars: Visions” short bears a unique Japanese sensibility, which in many ways aligns with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling. From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore that cultural heritage through the unique animation style and perspective of each anime studio. 

All episodes of “Star Wars: Visions” will be released on Disney+ September 22, 2021. 

Today, Disney+ announced “The Good, The Bart, and The Loki,” a new Marvel-themed short from “The Simpsons” premiering Wednesday, July 7. In the new short coming exclusively to Disney+, Loki is banished from Asgard once again and must face his toughest opponents yet: the Simpsons and Springfield’s mightiest heroes. The God of Mischief teams up with Bart Simpson in the ultimate crossover event paying tribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe of Super Heroes and villains.
 
Tom Hiddleston returns as the voice of Loki in the new animated short. The God of Mischief will be seen alongside many fan-favourite characters from “The Simpsons.”
 
Key art for “The Good, The Bart, and The Loki,” inspired by the poster for Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame,” is now available.
 
“The Good, The Bart, and The Loki” is the second in a series of Disney+ shorts from “The Simpsons” that highlight the service’s marquee brands and titles. The previously released Star Wars-themed short “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Force Awakens from Its Nap’” is now streaming on Disney+.
 
New episodes of Marvel Studios’ original series “Loki” stream Wednesdays on Disney+.

Watch the brand-new, exciting, mid-season sneak peek of Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” streaming now exclusively on Disney+.  

“Loki,” Marvel Studios’ newest original series, launched on Disney+ Wednesday, June 9, with new episodes streaming every Wednesday through to the finale on July 14.

Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Tom Hiddleston returns as the title character, joined by Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs “Loki,” and Michael Waldron is head writer. 

Today, Disney+ debuted “Meet Sylvie,” a new featurette for Marvel Studios’ “Loki” featuring Sylvie, the extremely capable and dangerous variant who just happens to be another version of Loki. Watch the new “Loki” featurette to find out more about her and Sophia Di Martino, the talented actress who brings her to life.
 

“Loki,” Marvel Studios’ newest original series, launched on Disney+ Wednesday, June 9, with new episodes streaming every Wednesday through July 14.
 

Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Tom Hiddleston returns as the title character, joined by Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs “Loki,” and Michael Waldron is head writer. 

Directed by Jeffrey Walker and starring Christoph Waltz, Sam Neill, Patrick Gibson, Miranda Otto, Chris Pang, Jessica DeGouw, Rachel House, Arka Das, Damon Herriman and Sophie Wilde, the Stan Original Film The Portable Door is a magical fantasy adventure and is currently in production in Queensland.

 Stan, Australia’s unrivalled home of original productions, today announced a brand new Stan Original Film, The Portable Door, a magical fantasy adventure which is currently in production in Queensland.

The film will see two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, No Time to Die) and multi-Golden Globe nominee Sam Neill (Peter Rabbit, Jurassic Park franchise) star alongside Patrick Gibson (The OA, Tolkien) and an all-star Australian cast, including Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings franchise), Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians), Jessica DeGouw (Gretel & HanselPennyworth), New Zealand’s Rachel House (Soul, Thor: Ragnarok), Arka Das (MulanLion), Damon Herriman (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Stan Original Series The Commons) and Sophie Wilde (Stan Original Series Eden, You Don’t Know Me).

Adapted from Tom Holt’s eponymous seven-book fantasy series, award-winning Australian director Jeffrey Walker (Ali’s Wedding, Stan Original Series The Commons) is directing the film from a screenplay adapted by Australian writer Leon Ford (Griff the Invisible).

Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films production, The Portable Door is produced by Blanca Lista from The Jim Henson Company (Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and Todd Fellman from Story Bridge Films (DaybreakersBait 3D). The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson and Chris Lytton are executive producing as well as Arclight Films’ Gary Hamilton, Brian Beckmann, and Ying Ye, alongside Julia Stuart and Laura Grange from Sky, and Stan’s Cailah Scobie and Shana Levine. Madman Entertainment will handle theatrical distribution, ahead of the film’s premiere on Stan.

In The Portable Door, Paul Carpenter (Patrick Gibson) and Sophie Pettingel (Sophie Wilde) are the lowly, put-upon interns who begin working at the mysterious London firm J.W. Wells & Co. and become steadily aware that their employers are anything but conventional. Charismatic villains Humphrey Wells (Christoph Waltz), the CEO of the company, and middle manager Dennis Tanner (Sam Neill) are disrupting the world of magic by bringing modern corporate strategy to ancient magical practices, and Paul and Sophie discover the true agenda of the vast corporation where they work.

Stan Chief Content Officer Cailah Scobie said: “Stan continues its strong investment and focus on premium local programs and feature films like The Portable Door as part of our strategy to create more Australian produced content. Helmed by one of Australia’s most accomplished directors in Jeffrey Walker and featuring award winning actors Christoph Waltz, Sam Neill and Patrick Gibson, alongside a stellar Australian cast, we look forward to seeing this magical film cast a spell on Stan subscribers.”

Madman Entertainment CEO and Founder Paul Wiegard said: “The film promises a joyful cinematic experience; a big screen visual feast of imagination, fantasy and humour.  Audiences will recapture, uninterrupted, that feeling from their youth of watching a truly creative work.”

Executive producer Lisa Henson said: “Director Jeffrey Walker is leading an amazing cast and creative team to bring to life the high-fantasy setting and unique humour of The Portable Door. An unexpected adventure filled with deeply funny moments; The Portable Door is poised to be the next Henson fan favourite.”

Producer Todd Fellman said: “It has been exciting to watch the diverse comedic talents of our incredible cast take this gem of a script by Leon Ford to a whole new level. We are truly creating a very special film that will be lots of fun for audiences of all ages.”

Financing and distribution partners include Sky Studios, Stan, Madman Entertainment, MEP Capital, Fulcrum Media Finance and Arclight Films International. Development and production support provided by Screen Queensland.

The Stan Original Film The Portable Door is currently in production, with further announcements to come.

Summary: An intelligent 15-year-old high school student is unexpectedly transferred to a boarding school where he opens a portal of monsters from another dimension.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 24th June 2021 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 12th April 2021 (UK)

Country: Mexico, UK, Canada

Director: Leopoldo Aguilar

Screenwriter: Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker

Cast: Jamie Bell (Danny (voice)), Dimsy Dohanji (John-Turd (voice)), Ruby Rose (Liz (voice))

Running Time: 85 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR CRANSTON ACADEMY: MONSTER ZONE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Cranston Academy: Monster Zone Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Monster Zone (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Cranston Academy: Monster Zone Reviews:

Nil.

Trailer: