navigation buttons

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Movie Report #1121 - May 28, 2021

The Movie Report

#1121 - May 28, 2021

  • Cruella ** 1/2
  • A Quiet Place Part II *** 1/2

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your film events and press junkets! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

CinemaCon 2021: officially the most monumental and important ever

Film Flam Flummox

After the tumultuous year of 2020 that saw not only the cancellation of its 10th anniverary edition but the very existence of the global motion picture exhibition industry threatened like never before, the 2021 edition of CinemaCon, the annual convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, was always going to hold even more weight than ever when held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on August 23 through 26, if only to hear what will be NATO President and CEO John Fithian's most important "State of the Industry" address. But the following announcement sent out this morning confirms that this be the most important convention ever, even including its many pre-CinemaCon years known as ShoWest:

Yes, for the first time since 2018, all of the current major studios--Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Universal (including subsidiary Focus Features), Disney, and Paramount--as well as longtime attendee/supporter Lionsgate and, in its first appearance in its current incarnation, United Artists Releasing/MGM, will be making presentations at the convention. This is a highly notable, and highly important, show of support for the exhibition industry, as the pandemic has hastened the shift to streaming by the legacy studios, who have almost all launched their own dedicated streaming platforms (Sony Pictures being the exception--and, ironically enough, the one major studio absentee at the last convention in 2019, and was also set to skip the ultimately cancelled 2020 edition). With the recent announcement that Amazon (a one-time regular at the convention, before Amazon Studios shifted its emphasis to streaming releases via its Prime Video subscription service) is in negotiations to buy MGM, that presentation will be of particular interest. More independent studios may yet sign on (Neon, which established a CinemaCon presence for the first time in 2019, is a strong possibility, as well as the reconfigured STXfilms/ErosSTX), but it is already shaping to be a full slate at the convention, and, hopefully, a surefooted sign of the studios' commitment to the big screen, communal cinema experience.

The Movie Report wants to attend all your film special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

F3PR: Republic Records & Warner Bros. Pictures announce Space Jam: A New Legacy official soundtrack

Film Flam Flummox



Unveil Frist Single Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin
"We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy),"
Produced by Just Blaze

Space Jam: A New Legacy in Theatres
and on HBO Max July 16

MAY 26 2021 -- Gearing up for the slam dunk movie event of the summer, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Republic Records/Warner Bros. Pictures proudly present the Space Jam: A New Legacy Official Soundtrack, arriving in stores and at all digital retailers on July 9, 2021. Meanwhile, the mega-anticipated animated/live-action film opens in theaters across the U.S. and on HBO Max on Friday July 16th. The film will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

To herald the arrival of the Soundtrack, the first single, “We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy)” by Lil Baby + Kirk Franklin just dropped today. Listen to “We Win”— BELOW.

The track unites red-hot multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated Atlanta rapper Lil Baby with 16x GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum gospel icon Kirk Franklin over a beat from Just Blaze [Eminem, JAY-Z].

Stay tuned for the soundtrack lineup and more news about Space Jam: A New Legacy Official Soundtrack.

Welcome to the Jam! Basketball champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny with the animated/live-action event Space Jam: A New Legacy, from director Malcolm D. Lee and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter. This transformational journey is a manic mashup of two worlds that reveals just how far some parents will go to connect with their kids. When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready-for-action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents and surprise even “King” James by playing the game their own way.

James stars alongside Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (the Avengers films, Hotel Rwanda), Khris Davis (Judas and the Black Messiah, TV’s Atlanta), Sonequa Martin-Green (TV’s The Walking Dead, Star Trek: Discovery), newcomer Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman (Looney Tunes Cartoons), Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons), and Zendaya (upcoming Dune, Malcolm & Marie).

Lee (Girls Trip, Night School) directs from a screenplay by Juel Taylor & Tony Rettenmaier & Keenan Coogler & Terence Nance and Jesse Gordon and Celeste Ballard, story by Juel Taylor & Tony Rettenmaier & Keenan Coogler & Terence Nance and Terence Nance. Based on Space Jam, written by Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick and Timothy Harris & Herschel Weingrod. The film’s producers are Ryan Coogler, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, and Duncan Henderson, and the executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Allison Abbate, Jesse Ehrman, Jamal Henderson, Spencer Beighley, Justin Lin, Terence Nance, and Ivan Reitman.

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Salvatore Totino (Spider-Man: Homecoming), animation producer Troy Nethercott (Wonder Park), production designers Kevin Ishioka (The Mule), Akin McKenzie (Netflix’s When They See Us) and Clint Wallace (upcoming Eternals), editor Bob Ducsay (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Star Wars Episode VIII--The Last Jedi) and costume designer Melissa Bruning (Rampage, War for the Planet of the Apes). The music is by Kris Bowers (Green Book, Netflix’s Bridgerton).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Proximity/The SpringHill Company Production, a Malcolm D. Lee Film, Space Jam: A New Legacy. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be released in theaters nationwide on July 16, 2021 and will be available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

For more information on the film, visit Space Jam @

The Movie Report wants to attend all your special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Monday, May 24, 2021

F3PR: HBO Sports and Uninterrupted present an all-new edition of The Shop: Uninterrupted, debuting May 28

Film Flam Flummox



Featuring LeBron James, Jay-Z, Bad Bunny,
Nneka Ogwumike, Maverick Carter & Paul Rivera

The Shop: Uninterrupted returns for its fourth season Friday, May 28 (9:30-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Joining LeBron James and Maverick Carter for the season premiere are iconic music mogul, 23-time Grammy winner and 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Jay-Z; rapper, singer and songwriter Bad Bunny; WNBA superstar Nneka Ogwumike; and marketing executive Paul Rivera.

On this episode, the star-studded group discuss confidence on the big stage, parenthood and WrestleMania.

The Shop: Uninterrupted, staged periodically throughout the year, offers conversation and debate between a unique ensemble of some of the biggest names in sport and entertainment. Past guests include Drake, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Jimmy Kimmel, Patrick Mahomes, Lil Nas X, Will Smith, Megan Rapinoe, Kevin Hart, Rob Gronkowski and most recently, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

The Shop: Uninterrupted is presented by HBO Sports and UNINTERRUPTED; executive producers, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Devin Johnson and Philip Byron; directed by Robert Alexander; produced by Kevin McGrail, Brandon Riley and Rob Roediger; co-executive producer, Camille Maratchi; created by Paul Rivera and Randy Mims.

The Movie Report wants to attend all your special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Movie Report #1120 - May 21, 2021

The Movie Report

#1120 - May 21, 2021

  • Dream Horse ***
  • The Dry ***
  • Final Account ***
  • Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai (Radhe: Your Most Wanted Brother) 1/2*
  • Sound of Violence ***

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your film events and press junkets! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Movie Report #1119 - May 14, 2021

The Movie Report

#1119 - May 14, 2021

  • Army of the Dead ** 1/2
  • RK/RKAY ** 1/2
  • The Killing of Two Lovers ***
  • Profile ***
  • Spiral: From the Book of Saw **
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead ***
  • The Woman in the Window **

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your film events and press junkets! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Movie Report #1118 - May 7, 2021

The Movie Report

#1118 - May 7, 2021


  • Here Today ** 1/2
  • Mainstream ** 1/2
  • The Water Man ***
  • Wrath of Man ***
  • Monster ***

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your film events and press junkets! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

F3PR: Disney+ to Debut Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts, executive produced by LeBron James, on July 30

Film Flam Flummox



Intimate Celebrity Conversations Include Debbie Allen,
Sofia Carson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenna Dewan, Sheila E.,
Melissa Etheridge, Mickey Guyton, Betsey Johnson,
Billie Jean King, Tig Notaro, Raven-Symoné, and Josie Totah

BURBANK, Calif. (May 6, 2020) – Disney+ announced today that Good Morning America and ABC News co-anchor Robin Roberts will host and executive produce Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts, a four-episode series featuring intimate round table conversations with female celebrities from all walks of life. LeBron James will serve as an executive producer on the series with his media conglomerate, The SpringHill Company. In addition to Roberts and James, the assembled team of executive producers is comprised of women, BIPOC and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts will premiere Friday, July 30, on Disney+.

In each episode, Roberts sits down with three famous women who share experiences that are both personal and moving. As the show's title suggests, the guests often "turn the tables" and interview Roberts and each other in heartfelt and often humorous conversations that showcase authenticity and vulnerability. Guests include Debbie Allen, Sofia Carson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenna Dewan, Sheila E., Melissa Etheridge, Mickey Guyton, Betsey Johnson, Billie Jean King, Tig Notaro, Raven-Symoné, and Josie Totah.

"This project is very personal to me, and I'm proud to bring it to Disney+," said Roberts. "The guests we've assembled are an amazing group of women who have all achieved great success in their various careers. Although they represent different age groups and backgrounds, they were all willing to open up and share their unique stories with honesty and humor. I welcome viewers to come along with me on this journey as we learn about the importance of expressing vulnerability and connecting with others."

These conversations delve deeper and are more candid than traditional interviews. In one episode, Roberts and her guests explore their identity, both personally and professionally, and the insecurities they've faced in their careers. Other segments feature topics such as overcoming both health and emotional issues and experiences that have led them toward the freedom to live their own truth.

During Roberts' tenure as co-anchor of Good Morning America, the broadcast has won four Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Morning Program and the 2017 People's Choice Award for Favorite Daytime TV Hosting Team. She has been honored with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, as well as the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and was named one of Glamour's Women of the Year. Roberts founded her own production company, Rock'n Robin Productions, which creates original broadcast and digital programming for ABC and other networks, ranging from informational shows and documentaries to live special events.

Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts is produced by Rock'n Robin Productions and The SpringHill Company. In addition to Roberts and James, executive producers are John R. Green and Reni Calister from Rock'n Robin Productions and Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson and Philip Byron from The SpringHill Company, with Kadine Anckle as showrunner.

The SpringHill Company
is a global consumer and entertainment brand created to empower greatness in every individual. The SpringHill Company unites three companies built by LeBron James and Maverick Carter: UNINTERRUPTED, the athlete empowerment media and consumer product company, SpringHill Entertainment, the premium scripted and unscripted film and television production company and The Robot Company, the brand and culture consultancy. With a dynamic and diverse team committed to creating the most culturally inspired content, entertainment and products, The SpringHill Company is built to be the defining brand for a new generation.

Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. As part of Disney's Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney's incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+. Visit to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.

The Movie Report wants to attend all your special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Monday, May 3, 2021

F3Stage Streaming Review: Virtual, site-specific The Last 5 Years is an Out of the Box triumph of both theater and cinema

Film Flam Flummox

A young woman and a young man take turns telling the touching, tearjerking tale of their five-year romance entirely in song--she, backward from bitter end to hopeful beginning; he, the opposite, with the two meeting in the middle for a single duet--for about 90 minutes. It's a simple tale, and, more often than not in the multitude of productions that Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years has enjoyed around the world in the 20 years since its premiere, simply told. But such simplicity can also unlock and galvanize the creative imagination in unexpected ways--as it does in most emotional and exhilarating fashion in Out of the Box Theatrics and Holmdel Theatre Company's truly one of a kind and rather game-changing streaming production.

To simply call The Last 5 Years (as it is stylized in the main and end titles) a virtual theater production, while definitely accurate, feels like a bit of a disservice to the visionary work done here by director (and music director) Jason Michael Webb. For one, unlike many streaming theater productions, the love story of ever-striving actress Cathy Hiatt (Nasia Thomas) and wunderkind writer Jamie Wellerstein (Nicholas Edwards) does not play out on a stage in neither a traditional proscenium auditorium nor a black box studio space. Not for nothing is Out of the Box Theatrics named as such; an Off-Broadway company that stages site-specific productions in non-traditional locations such as playgrounds and libraries, that ethos is taken to another, more brilliant level here.  All of the action takes place within the confines of a New York City apartment, and beyond proving to be a scene-appropriate setting for nearly all of the show's individual numbers, it's fitting in terms of subject matter in theme. After all, this the story of a life together (or, rather, a stretch of shared life between two individual ones), and witnessing the drama unfold in their living space(s), with many comfortably lived-in details in the rooms and halls from production designer Adam Honoré only adds to the intimacy. But Webb enthusiastically embraces the uniquely creative artifice that comes with live theater when either settings or situations call for it. Wall projections are occasionally but effectively used, not only to evoke other locations but also as organic enhancements, such as making more readily visible a page of a book. And when saying "all" of the action takes place in the apartment, that's no hyperbole: so does the superb work of the six-person orchestra, who appear on camera individually or in various other groupings at numerous points throughout the show. (This recalls one of my favorite live theater experiences ever: an immersive, "multisensory" production of this same show, mounted by After Hours Theatre Company in Los Angeles in 2019, where the orchestra members moved about the shared performance/audience space along with the actors.) Whether seen sitting on a nearby sofa in an opposite corner of a room, strutting right behind one of the actors in an upbeat number, or blending in with the furniture as another passes through a hallway, what sounds on paper like a possible distraction instead helps to replicate for the home audience the irreplaceable electricity of live performance, and the actors are clearly all the more energized by having live musicians also there in the moment instead of just an audio track.

But if Webb's overall staging and design is unapologetically theatrical, his capture of the production is thrillingly and--to be frank--most atypically cinematic. No one would have been surprised, much less offended, if he stuck with the tried-and-true, generally point-and-shoot "aesthetic" adopted by just about all of the pandemic era's streaming theater offerings, from smaller regional productions to even Disney+'s Hamilton. As entertaining and satisfying as a number of those are, they play more as video documents than full-blooded films. As suggested by the movie one-sheet-styled key art, Webb has taken extra care to make his The Last 5 Years also works, in every aspect, as a new adaptation of the material for the screen. While not as extensively as Richard LaGravanese did in his undervalued 2014 feature film adaptation, in some scenes aside from the midpoint duet, Webb has the pair interact, with the non-singing half being a silent observer or participant.  In addition to building and thus making more palpable the rapport between the two lovers, in a more practical sense, this choice helps to break Brown's book out of the static, stagey construction of being mostly a series of alternating monologues.   Webb and director of photography Brian Bon don't shy away from having the actors directly address the camera as they would an audience in a more traditional stage production of this piece. Early on, though, Webb ably adapts this convention into cinematic terms, in the third song, Cathy's "See I'm Smiling," where Bon's camera becomes Jamie's subjective perspective in the midst of a heated confrontation. That is just one example of the sterling collaboration between Webb and Bon, which also encompasses a nicely balanced juggling between naturalistic lighting and more overtly theatrical flourishes; the creative visual use of organically found aspects of the real apartment space, such as mirrors and other reflective surfaces, and literally built-in frames such as doorways; to the remarkably fluid camera work as Cathy and Jamie travel through the rooms and through the years. Further adding to that visual finesse is the equally elegant work of video editors W. Alan Waters, Rachel Langley, and Becca Nipper. The icing on the cinematic cake is the terrific sound mix; while designed expressly for at-home digital viewing, one can only imagine how Webb's lush arrangements and orchestrations of Brown's still-glorious score would play through an enveloping cinema sound system.

Of course, visual and sound design would only mean so much without the right actors inhabiting Cathy and Jamie, and Thomas and Edwards are more than just right, they're downright spectacular. It goes without saying that neither are conventional choices for the very Jewish writer and his "Shiksa Goddess." But the pair's incredible work here exemplify the powerful benefit in wide-net, inclusive casting (especially in theater, where literalism is generally a secondary concern), and most especially for oft-performed pieces such as this one--not only in how well they do play the roles and sing the songs as written, but in the fresher, unique dimensions they each bring to the characters with their individual performance styles and strengths. Thomas does not fall into the typically lighter, brighter sound of most Cathys, but literally from scene one, her Cathy hits different, with the wrenching opener "Still Hurting" that much more of a gut-punch when the wails of the climax are delivered with her richer, fuller voice. Richer and fuller also aptly describe her performance as a whole. While still vividly depicting the constant insecurities that cripple her and, ultimately, her relationship with Jamie, Thomas's Cathy is not the meek naïf that the character could easily become in less capable hands. Thomas also lends her a vivacious vitality that appropriately builds as the show progresses forward (and Cathy, in turn, progresses backward) and makes Jamie's electric initial attraction to her all the more convincing. Thomas is at her best in the cheeky ode to a stint in summer stock theater, "A Summer in Ohio," which is still the comic showcase/highlight it has always been, but where most lean into the silliness, she instead unearths a sassy sexiness heretofore not associated with the song.

Edwards has somewhat of an even harder job as Jamie, but he is also more than up to the task. Vocally, that's no surprise, for he more than fits the smooth Broadway-pop template of Jamies past. More daunting is the nature of the role itself. By Brown's own admission, this is a semi-autobiographical piece, and his writing can come off as a somewhat overcompensating apology for his relationship failures, with Jamie teetering on being unlikeable and smug by the end. Edwards in no way sugarcoats Jamie's progression from charming, cocksure confidence to outright, outsize cockiness, but never have I seen an actor convey Jamie's inner recognition of and turmoil over his (d)evolution as Edwards does here. His 11-o'clock-number, "Nobody Needs to Know," has always been one of the show's most emotional, but the rawness of Edwards's performance brings it to the level of epic tragedy, that moment where the hero is forced to face in the mirror (literally) the hubris that not only cements his downfall, but that of everyone he claims to love. (Webb's ingenious staging of this song is also the apex of his theatrical and cinematic instincts melding into a higher plane of artfulness.)

That song and scene stings all the more because of the palpable chemistry between Edwards and Thomas, which, as it should, reaches full, bounteous blossom in the only "official" meeting between Cathy and Jamie in the show, the centerpiece duet "The Next Ten Minutes." Marking the couple's engagement and wedding, the measure of this number's success lies not necessarily in evoking the ecstatic joy that should accompany such a blessed event (which, indeed, Webb, Thomas, and Edwards do), but in the foreboding sense of dread knowing that such bliss will eventually, inevitably collapse before long. When Jamie literally disappears as Cathy sings her closing lines of the song, the perfect note of bittersweetness has been achieved--thus ensuring that this groundbreaking production of The Last 5 Years will linger in audience's minds and hearts for far longer than the next ten minutes.

Nasia Thomas as Cathy, Nicholas Edwards as Jamie
(photo by Gerald Malaval)

Out of the Box Theatrics's virtual production of The Last 5 Years is now streaming through Sunday, May 9. Tickets are available at the official Out of the Box Theatrics site.

(Special thanks to The Press Room)

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your live stage productions! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

Instagram: @twotrey23

Twitter: @twotrey23