It’s not a good day, it’s a great day, because Disney+ has confirmed that 20th Century Studios’ epic adventure comedy “Free Guy” will be available to stream from September 29, 2021 on Disney+ in Australia, under the Star banner.
In “Free Guy,” a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way…before it is too late.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Taika Waititi, “Free Guy” is directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn and a story by Lieberman. The film is produced by Ryan Reynolds, p.g.a., Shawn Levy, p.g.a., Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti and Adam Kolbrenner with Mary McLaglen, Josh McLaglen, George Dewey, Dan Levine and Michael Riley McGrath serving as executive producers.
Summary: The Croods better the Betterman family but is their way of living really as good as what they believe it is.
Cinema Release Dates: 16th December 2020 (Australia), 26th November (Thailand), 25th November (USA), 5th February 2021 (UK)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: Joel Crawford
Screenwriter: Paul Fisher, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Bob Logan
Cast: Nicolas Cage (Grug), Kailey Crawford (Sandy (voice)), Peter Dinklage (Phil Betterman (voice)), Clark Duke (Thunk (voice)), Gabriel Jack (Young Guy (voice)), Catherine Keener (Ugga (voice)), Cloris Leechman (Gran (voice)), Leslie Mann (Hope Betterman (voice)), Ryan Reynolds (Guy (voice)), James Ryan (Sash (voice)), Chris Sanders (Belt (voice)), Emma Stone (Eep (voice)), Kelly Marie Tran (Dawn Betterman (voice))
Running Time: 95 mins
Classification: PG (Australia), G (Thailand), PG (USA)
OUR THE CROODS: A NEW AGE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ The Croods: A New Age Review:
The Croods! Easily the best family to come out of prehistoric times since The Flintstones and they are back in the new animated family film The Croods: A New Age. It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since the first film in the franchise was released – but then as a film itself The Croods did some pretty unbelievable things in its time.
Remember back to 2013 – The Croods was never expected to become the Oscar-nominated hit that it was. Realistically it was supposed to be an alternative to the all conquering animated series of the day – films like Toy Story and Ice Age. Those films were filled with star power, The Croods was not. This cave-dwelling family was being voiced by star on the rise Emma Stone, the man who had become a B-Grade-straight-to-video guy – Nicolas Cage – and Ryan Reynolds who was licking his wounds after the flop that was Green Lantern.
Somehow though The Croods not only became a successful film but it gained a legion of fans, received a Best Animated Film Oscar nomination and managed to make a tidy $187 million at the Box Office. A sequel was always going to arrive it was just a matter of when the three leads would find time to find work on it.
Well now the sequel has landed in cinemas and picks up pretty much straight after the events of the first film. Grug (Cage – Gone In Sixty Seconds) is still protecting his family from all matter of creatures while disapproving of the relationship that he can see developing between his teenage daughter Eep (Stone – La, La Land) and the new comer to their ‘family’ the adventurous Guy (Reynolds – Deadpool).
But the entire family’s lives changes forever when on Guy’s search for tomorrow they suddenly come across a farm being run by the more sophisticated Bettermans. And while the father, Phil (Peter Dinklage – Game Of Thrones) is eager to learn more about The Croods and his daughter, Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran – Stars Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker), quickly becomes friends with Eep, the mother, Hope (Leslie Mann – Knocked Up) wants all of The Croods, bar Guy, gone as fast as possible.
Yes, the plot of The Croods: A New Age is pretty thin. It is a story that has been done so many times on screen that most audience members will see where it is heading pretty early on. A family from the wrong side of the tracks meets a family who believes they have it all figured out – if you’ve watched shows like Keeping Up Appearances or Married With Children you will have seen this play out a million times before.
What keeps the film interesting though is the work of the screenwriting team that is led by Kevin and Dan Hageman (the guys behind the highly successful The Lego Movie franchise) who have delivered an absolutely hilarious script that keeps the audience laughing throughout. To their credit they don’t just deliver one or two funny lines every now and then they keep the humour coming at a fast pace and that helps the audience forget that the storyline is very, very predictable.
Likewise director Joel Crawford (Trolls Holiday) appears to have learnt from his time spent in the Trolls universe as he brings bright and flashy colours to this film – a stark difference to the first film which used a much duller palate as it strove to capture the greys and browns of prehistoric times. Crawfords take on The Croods sees a lot of musical numbers and quick moving montages that move the story along nicely without ever over-staying there welcome. In a year where cinema has been all over the place it is quite refreshing to be able to once again visit the world of The Croods. While The Croods: A New Age does take the original story in a whole new direction it also reminds us all just how fun this family is and is the perfect film for people of all ages this holiday season.
The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to watching their daughter get heart eyes over a new boyfriend. But now they face something that will shake their pack to its core and make them reconsider everything they hold true: another family.
The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.
The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions reach a breaking point.
Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together.
The Croods: A New Age features the voice talent of returning stars Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, Emma Stone as their daughter, Eep; Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s boyfriend, Guy; Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. They’re joined by new stars Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann (Blockers) as Hope Betterman, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi) as their daughter, Dawn.
The film is directed by Joel Crawford, who has worked on multiple DreamWorks Animation films, including Trolls and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and is produced by Mark Swift (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted).
Few trailers have had people talking as much this year as the trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard – let’s face it if you’re an action junkie then this is going to be one of the best films of the year. The film sees Ryan Reynolds team up with action star Samuel L. Jackson.
Directed by Australian director Patrick Hughes, who showed enough with his debut film Red Hill to find himself in charge of The Expendables 3, The Hitman’s Bodyguard sees the legend himself Samuel L. Jackson play a character that needs to be protected by Reynolds, an actor who has shown in recent years that he is no slouch when it comes to action either – think Deadpool and Safe House for some of his best action work.
“I play a guy called Michael Bryce who suffers from extraordinary hubris,” says Reynolds with a huge grin on his face. “He is an executive protection agent, he is a self-proclaimed Triple A rated executive protection agent. Early on in the movie he loses a client and that sends him down a kind of shame spiral – his life then sort of unravels and this superficial existence that he had is all kind of lost. When we find him at the beginning of the film he is still actually believing that he is a much lower-rent protection agent, but he is still the best in the business he’s just taken a little bit of a fall from grace. He is then asked by a former flame of his, somebody that he used to be really in love with or perhaps still is, named Amelia from Interpol for help, she needs his services immediately. She’s not really asking him for his services she is telling him. So he complies, shows up and finds that his charge is a hitman who he has had a number of encounters with in the past so in a nut-shell my job is to protect a man who has spent the better part of a decade trying to kill me. These guys couldn’t be more polarised when we meet them but as we move through the film they both seem to get a begrudged love and respect for each other, and it is a love story. To me that is the story of the film – it is a love story wrapped in this whole crazy, zany action set-piece.”
Reynolds says when he first read the script he knew exactly who he wanted to have starring alongside him in the film. “Early on when I read the script the first thing I said to my agents was can we get Sam Jackson because I’d done an animated film with him years ago called Turbo and they paired us together for the junkets and we had great chemistry and I remember making a mental book note at the moment and thinking ‘oh if I ever find a kind of two-hander movie this would be a good guy to do it with and it proves in my opinion that we were right. We have a good thing going – and I think that is nice.”
Early critics screening of The Hitman’s Bodyguard has seen critics talking about the fact that this isn’t just your average action film and that is something that Reynolds agrees completely with “There is a certain heightened tone to this film and I think the audience are going to be excited to see that we embrace that tone in a wonderful way,” he explains. “You can have these amazing action sequences but they aren’t really ladened down with these depressing emotional spirals they are all kind of uplifting and fun, and you know every set-piece is very unique, it has its own beginning, middle and end and I think audiences are going to find it is one of those movies that just zips past so much that when you get to the end you’re like ‘what… I want thirty minutes more. I want to see these guys together more.’ At the end though we take them on a real adventure.”
Teaming up with Reynolds and Jackson in the film is Salma Hayek who moves away from some of the comedies that she has been doing recently – Sausage Party, Grown-Ups etc – and one again returns to the action genre. Here she plays Sonia – the wife of Samuel L. Jackson’s hit-man character, Darius.
“Sonia is a fantastic character,” says Hayek when she is asked to explain her character. “She is a married woman but her marriage is a little bit unusual because she is married to a hitman and she is not an outlaw but she is really, really tough. If anybody can handle by husband who is insane and very, very dangerous it is definitely Sonia. Everything that happens happens because Darius is in love with me, and he is so in love with me that everything he does is to prove his love for her. So it is really a love story and they have this amazing, wonderful, passionate, crazy relationship and even in the few moments where you get to see it it’s insane and romantic and full of fire in every way. You definitely get a glimpse of the fact that this woman is his match.”
For Hayek she says one of the highlights of working on The Hitman’s Bodyguard was certainly getting to work with Samuel L. Jackson. “I love Sam,” she says laughing. “I had been a fan for many, many years. He’s a legend and I was so excited that I got a chance to work with him and it ended up being so easy and it’s been fabulous to be his wife – his crazy, crazy wife – and she is very unpredictable and in a way very volatile, but he is still very solid, he is still a very stable character but with her you never know what she is going to say – you never know what is going to come out of her mouth. I think that is what makes her special. One very special trait of my character is that she has the dirtiest mouth of any character that I have ever played, and I have played characters with dirty mouths before. I say so many dirty things, bad words and I repeat them one after another and I have to say I love her. She is cuckoo but I love her.”
This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘Crushed,’ ‘Zoolander 2,’ ‘Brooklyn,’ ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Scare Campaign’. This episode also contains interviews with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Saorise Ronin, Domnhall Gleeson, Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ian Medows, Josh Quong Tart, Colin Cairnes, Cameron Cairnes, Megan Riakos,Chris Earl (Scots Day Out) and Martin Lych (The Commitments Screening).
Also listen for your chance to win tickets to a special premiere screening of Triple 9 thanks to our good friends at Roadshow. Listen for the question that Dave G asks and then private message us the answer on either our Facebook or Twitter pages.
Triple 9 will be released on March 3 and stars Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejifor, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer and Anthony Mackie.