Film News – Harry Shum Jr On Crazy Rich Asians Sequel

Crazy Rich Asians was a film released in 2018 that was highly celebrated by both film critics and general audiences. Due to its success from a critical and financial perspective, a sequel to this movie being given the green-light was never in doubt. Harry Shum Jr. was one of the stars of Crazy Rich Asians and, in an interview with Collider, he had the opportunity to speak about the Crazy Rich Asians 2.

Crazy Rich Asians 2

Here is what Harry Shum Jr. had to say on what he personally knows about Crazy Rich Asians 2:

Yeah, we’ve had small conversations on the idea of it. We had conversations, even before I did the movie. That character was designed to be a cameo, in the first film, because he didn’t want to muddy the waters with so much to explore.”

It was important to see Rachel and Nick’s story, and let that be the center of it. It was a gamble. He said, ‘Look, there’s a cameo. I can’t promise anything. If it does well, the idea is that we’ll explore that.’ So, from me being friends with him for a long time, I was like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ It’s such an incredible thing that the movie has done so well and has made a cultural stamp, even with just romantic comedy status.”

It’s a really meaningful film, and I know that they are looking to tell that story, as well, but there’s still some time before that happens. I know the character in the books, and that’s what excited me. The stuff that happens in the books can hopefully be carried over or adapted, so we’ll see.”

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Film News – Kevin Feige Discusses Eternals

In the next two months, we will have the pleasure of watching both Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame in cinemas. These Marvel superhero films will close out Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and lay the foundation for Phase 4 of this comic book movie franchise.

One of the many MCU movies that will come out in Phase 4 is Eternals and, in an interview with Collider at a press day for Captain Marvel, Kevin Feige had the chance to talk about Eternals.


Here is what Kevin Feige had to say on what the plan is for introducing a film like Eternals into the MCU and how the movie will heavily lean into the source material by Jack Kirby:

Everything after Endgame, and after Spider-Man: Far From Home, will be different and be unique, as we try to make every film. But seeing returning characters is certainly something we’re gonna do and want to do.”

But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians, much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them.”

Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people.”

You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”

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Film News – Javier Bardem On Everybody Knows + Dune

Recently, Stellan Skarsgard had the opportunity to speak about Dune, a remake of the 1980s film that will be directed by Denis Villeneuve. Now, fellow cast member Javier Bardem has given an interview to Collider and he spoke about Dune as well as a new movie he is starring in alongside his wife Penelope Cruz titled Everybody Knows.

Everybody Knows

Javier Bardem said this on what director Asghar Farhadi said to him when he was approached to star in Everybody Knows:

If you are religious and a believer, you light a candle and thank all of the virtues that you know the name of, for creating that miracle.”

If not, I just close my eyes and say out loud, ‘Fuck, am I lucky or what?!’ Many months ago, before I met him for the first time in Los Angeles, funny enough, because he was promoting A Separation and I was promoting something else, I saw A Separation at a movie theater and I couldn’t believe the quality of that movie, in every aspect.”

And I thought, ‘Jesus, if only I could learn Persian. If I knew Persian, I’d go to Iran and beg him for a job.’ Months later, he comes and says, ‘I wanna make a movie in Spanish. Are you interested?’ I was like, ‘What?!’ I couldn’t believe it. What a stroke of luck.”

So, the first thing is that you’re really grateful for the amazing luck you have and you think about what you did to earn it. And then, you ask, ‘If he gives me this chance, what can I give back? What does he need from me? I’ll give it all.’ And that’s what we did.”

We gave all of the time, focus, and help that he wanted and needed from us, in terms of language, preparation, and everything. And it was nothing more than one of the greatest personal acting experiences that I’ve ever had. It was excellent.”


This is what Javier Bardem had to say on the influence Denis Villeneuve had in his decision to be a part of Dune:

I saw the Dune from David Lynch. I’ve read the first two books. I saw Prisoners. I saw Sicario. I saw Arrival. I love Blade Runner [2049].”

And then, I met him and he asked me, if I’d ever be interested in being in Dune. It was like, ‘What?! Yes! Of course! Are you kidding?!’ Again, what a luxury. What a grace. What a blessing to have a job that you like, and not only that, but to be near people that you admire and that have inspired you, and that you really follow because you love what they do, and they ask you to be a part of that.”

It’s a luxury, in this life, that I can have. The only thing that I can give back is all of my will and all of my skills, if I have any.”

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Film/TV News – Stellan Skarsgard Discusses Dune + Chernobyl

Denis Villeneuve is stacking the cast for his remake of Dune with phenomenal talent. Timothée Chalamet, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa and Stellan Skarsgard are just some of the names who are cast members in Dune. In an interview with Collider, Stellan Skarsgard had the chance to discuss Dune.


Here are Stellan Skarsgard’s brief comments on Dune:

It’s like The Avengers. It’s a delicious cast. I’ve just got the book and am going to read it now. I’m playing a small but important role. Most of all I wanted to work with Denis Villeneuve.”

I enjoy doing the work and it’s the same with my independent films. It’s not really my problem what happens afterwards. I of course hope it’s going to turn into a good film, but it’s a lottery.”


Stellan Skarsgard also spoke about the role he will play in the HBO mini-series Chernobyl:

I play the Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina who had the responsibility to take care of the 1986 Chernobyl accident and the clean up. Jared [Harris] plays a Soviet scientist who Shcherbina brings in because he knows about nuclear reactors and Shcherbina doesn’t. What’s interesting about it is not the catastrophe itself but what makes or creates a catastrophe like that.”

It’s because it’s a system, an infallible system. The Soviet system was infallible, that was the ideology. It’s like any religion. It could be nationalism that goes too far. You think your nation is infallible–we’ve seen examples of that. What happens then is that you have to adjust reality to fit this image of infallibility.”

So there were flaws in those reactors that were hidden even from the people running them because it couldn’t be that they had bad reactors in the Soviet Union. Why don’t we immediately say we have a catastrophe and we need all the help we can get? No they said nothing happened; they said it’s all fine. Then of course that wasn’t correct.”

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Film News – Dean DeBlois On How To Train Your Dragon 3

Dean DeBlois has poured his heart and soul into the How To Train Your Dragon film franchise and I can only imagine how delighted he has been with the positive critical reception for his trilogy. How To Train Your Dragon 3 was recently released in cinemas worldwide and Dean DeBlois spoke to Collider about the third and final instalment in this animated movie series.

How To Train Your Dragon 3

Here is what Dean DeBlois had to say on working with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins as a visual consultant on How To Train Your Dragon 3:

It was so great. He’s such a soft-spoken and mild-mannered guy but so full of wisdom, it’s like a Masterclass every time he spends time with us. He’s been working remotely, but when he is in town he’ll spend an entire day and meet with every department.”

Once again, he was involved with every department, creating these mood boards of photo references; everything from a sense of mist or atmosphere to pallets.”

Then working with the camera department in setting up shots and talking about combining some, different perspectives…then all the way through to the end, working with our production designer and visual effects designer to fine-tune the lighting and make sure every sequence has a strong identity.”

Dean DeBlois also discussed how aware he is about the rabid fandom for these films:

I am aware of it, and most of the people here working on the film are aware of it because it’s a very passionate and very outspoken group and they hold us to a certain standard because of their love of the characters and the world.”

I think we want to do right by them. A lot of decisions we question amongst ourselves, just to make sure we are not going to hopefully disappoint or enrage our fans by doing something that feels out of character.”

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Vice, Can You Ever Forgive Me? + Green Book (Film/Movie Reviews)

Vice and Green Book were the last two films nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars that I had yet to see. I had heard mixed things about both movies but I was excited to see them, especially Vice given how much I loved the work of director Adam McKay with The Big Short.

I also had the chance to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? which has been lauded when it comes to the performances given by Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. I was not expecting any of these three movies to be bad and, thankfully, they were not and you can see my short reviews for all of them below.


While I do not think that Vice is on the same level of quality as The Big Short, it is a good, entertaining satire. Christian Bale is absolutely phenomenal as Dick Cheney and he continues to show that he is one of the best actors working today. He transforms into this role, especially as an older Dick Cheney pulling all the strings in the Bush Administration.

Still, even though I liked the film, it is not Best Picture worthy. In terms of acting, it is stellar and it has some great moments from a comedic and dramatic perspective. Yet, it is not as clinical in its execution as The Big Short was.

The movie took more of a shotgun approach in its storytelling structure and it means that Vice is hit and miss but the approach Adam McKay took did work overall. However, the execution of what this movie was trying to achieve could have been a bit better.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a film with an okay story that is elevated by great acting. I thought this was a decent movie. The story is a bit boring but Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant keep you engaged through their great individual acting as well as the chemistry they have together.

The film has its funny moments as well as some great poignant moments in the third act. But, in the end, I did find Can You Ever Forgive Me? to be a bit unremarkable and it is not a film I will revisit any time soon.

Green Book

Green Book has been quite a polarising film and not without controversy with the way it deals with its subject matter but I personally thought it was a really good movie. Once Tony (Viggo Mortensen) and Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) are together, the film really hits its stride.

The chemistry between Viggo and Mahershala is fantastic and they really elevate the material they were given to work with. The film has great humour as well as serious moments and it all blends together quite well.

I was really invested in the relationship between Don and Tony and their relationship developed to a point where the friendship and connection they made was really genuine to me. The way this film ends is very uplifting even if it is a bit cliché.

I do understand why the film has not worked for everyone though. Moreover, while it can be argued that a nomination for Best Picture is just about deserved, it should not be in the running to win this award. Still, my experience with Green Book was a positive one.

VIce Can You Ever Forgive Me Green Book Film Movie Reviews

TV News – Robert Sheehan + Ellen Page On The Umbrella Academy

When it comes to the most anticipated Netflix Originals coming out in 2019, Stranger Things is probably top of the list for a lot of people. Still, there are always new Netflix Originals that come out of nowhere and are a real surprise in a good way. American Vandal springs to mind in this regard.

The Umbrella Academy looks as though it is one of these surprise TV shows that drop on Netflix and capture the cultural zeitgeist for a short period of time. Two stars of this television show are Ellen Page and Robert Sheehan who both spoke to Collider about The Umbrella Academy.

The Umbrella Academy

Ellen Page and Robert Sheehan said this on their initial reaction to reading The Umbrella Academy pilot script:

SHEEHAN: “I had a similar experience as Ellen, being very intrigued by the pilot script, and then having a good, thorough conversation with (showrunner) Steve Blackman and the writing team about where the journey goes and what sort of deviations it takes.”

That was the thing that really got my creative juices flowing. The journey that Klaus goes on is totally bonkers, in a very, very wonderful way. All of that promise, and all of that meat and potatoes, across the 10 hours, was the stuff that I was dying to get stuck into.”

PAGE: “My initial response to Vanya was that I just really related to her and the experience that she’s having, at that time, in the world. I had the feeling, the moment I finished the pilot, of wanting to read the next one mixed with just such a lovely conversation with Steve Blackman, who’s so wonderful and has an incredible track record.”

He explained the tone, the journey of the characters, and how he wanted to look. It really did sound like something that I had never seen before, and it sounded like something where you could have some fun mixed with some real depth. As an actor, there was a lot to grab onto. It just felt like a really nice combo.”

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Film News – Christopher Landon Discusses Happy Death Day 2U

The success of horror sequels from a critical and financial perspective is far from guaranteed. Still, from what I can see, Happy Death Day 2U has done reasonably well. This film has already garnered $26.5 million at the box office on a $9 million budget and it has received generally positive reviews even if the consensus is that it is not as good as the original movie.

The director for both films in the Happy Death Day franchise is Christopher Landon and, in an interview with Collider, he spoke about Happy Death Day 2U.

Happy Death Day 2U

Here is what Christopher Landon had to say on how the creative processes for both Happy Death Day movies differed:

Yeah, the first one was such a long journey only because when I came onto the first movie I was just hired to rewrite it and there was another director attached at the time. Then that movie, you know, it just didn’t happen. It kind of fell apart and then the script sat around for a really long time.

We kept trying to find different ways to try and jump start it and get it going again. Everything kind of just started failing. Until I was able to bring it to Jason Blum which obviously sort of was the big sort of win for us. It just kind of felt like a long road even though once Jason had it everything moved fairly quickly.

But this time it was so fast but we all wanted this to happen quickly because there was a sense of urgency around it, because these movies are so interconnected, and so it was essential that we get this one out as quickly as possible so that the first movie was still relatively fresh in people’s minds because I think that it really enhances their experience in watching the second one.

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Star Wars Resistance: Season 1 Episodes 14 – 15 (TV/Television Review) – A Good Focus On The First Order

After the mixed return to Season 1 of Star Wars Resistance, I was hoping for the First Order storyline to take centre stage in ‘The Doza Dilemma’ and ‘The First Order Occupation’. Clearly, if an episode has “First Order” in its title as the latter did, it is a bit of a giveaway to what this episode will focus on.

With each passing episode, we get closer to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This will make anyone watching this animated Star Wars TV show believe that the First Order will have a larger presence in Resistance going forward.

My Thoughts On Season 1 Episodes 14 – 15 Of Star Wars Resistance

Overall, both ‘The Doza Dillema’ and ‘The First Order Occupation’ continued the First Order storyline in a good way without being particularly spectacular. With ‘The Doza Dillema’, we witnessed just how cunning the First Order are when it comes to achieving their goals. In this episode of Resistance, the First Order commands the pirates to kidnap Torra and, in turn, force Doza to allow First Order presence on the Colossus.

The pirates are able to infiltrate the Colossus with the help of Synara whose loyalty to the pirates is absolutely waning given both her reluctance to help them from the beginning and to then inform Kaz what the pirates had done when she found out it was Torra they were after.

What Synara did not realise throughout her actions in this episode was the fact that Kaz saw her interact with the pirates prior to Torra’s kidnapping. By the end of ‘The Doza Dilemma’, Kaz realises Synara’s true identity but he does not know that Synara is essentially loyal to him from this point on.

Still, the most significant event of ‘The Doza Dilemma’ was Torra’s capture. In the end, it was actually the First Order who ended up rescuing her from the pirates. It was all a ruse to gain Doza’s trust, come across as the good guys and gain a foothold on the Colossus. As we see in ‘The First Order Occupation’, First Order presence on the Colossus is indeed established after the events of ‘The Doza Dilemma’.

A Generational Divide

From the beginning of ‘The First Order Occupation’, we can clearly see the First Order’s authoritarian ways being implemented to limit freedom under the guise of order and security. Obviously, Kaz is angry at all of this given his New Republic background. He is someone who would have been educated about the war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance from an early age and he knows what Stormtroopers truly symbolise; oppression and war.

Still, what was interesting to see in this episode of Resistance was the mixed response to the First Order presence. I already spoke about Kaz’s displeasure and Doza clearly saw the downsides seeing as he was alive during the rule of the Empire and was an Imperial before he left the Empire for reasons still unknown. They provided the negative reaction to the First Order presence on the Colossus and the positive reaction came from Tam.

Tam believes that it is not a bad thing that the First Order are here to protect them from the pirates. Putting aside the fact that Tam does not know the First Order collaborated with the pirates to cause the chaos that allowed them to be on the Colossus, it is easy to see why Tam would have this relatively positive opinion about the First Order.

This is because she was not alive during the Empire’s rule of tyranny. A generational divide shaped by experiences and/or awareness of the past exists and I am interested to see how this plays out in future episodes of Resistance.

Synara’s Escape

With the First Order now on the Colossus, one of their first objectives was to root out any remaining pirates which meant they were after Synara. A major part of ‘The First Order Occupation’ was watching Kaz help Synara escape the Colossus. Before her escape, he lets her know that he knows who she really is and I severely doubt that this will be the last time they see each other.

A small detail during Synara’s escape that I liked was the reference to Takodana. Kaz mentions Takodana as a safe place where Synara can go and hide out at. We know that Maz Kanata’s castle is on Takodana and hence clear why Kaz believed this would be a safe place to hide out seeing as those who frequent that establishment are not always the antithesis of scum and villainy.

Moreover, because of the importance of that location to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it would be cool to see Synara there during The Force Awakens and the destruction of the Hosnian system. It would be a nice connection between the TV shows and the films.

My Final Thoughts On Season 1 Episodes 14 – 15 Of Star Wars Resistance

As the mid-season trailer for Season 1 showed us, Star Wars Resistance will overlap with The Force Awakens and the opportunities to establish various connections between the two are ripe. From the perspective of canon as well as a dramatic one, I cannot wait to see when this overlap happens and I am also looking forward to seeing how the continuous First Order presence impacts the Colossus and its citizens.

The upward curve in the second half of Season 1 was continued with ‘The Doza Dilemma’ and ‘The First Order Occupation’. While they do not rank amongst the best episodes of Resistance, they progressed the story nicely and aided my efforts to forget just how atrocious ‘Bibo’ was as an episode that kicked-off the remaining episodes in Season 1 of Resistance.

Star Wars Resistance Season 1 Episodes 14 - 15 The Doza Dilemma The First Order Occupation Review


TV News – Anson Mount On Star Trek: Discovery Season 2

A vocal group of Star Trek fans exists who are displeased with Star Trek: Discovery and the overall state of Star Trek as a franchise. Still, from what I can see, it looks as though Season 2 of this sci-fi TV show has been better received than Season 1.

One element of the second season of this television series that has garnered a lot of praise is the portrayal of Captain Pike by Anson Mount. In an interview with Collider, Anson Mount had the chance to discuss Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2

Anson Mount had this to say on what his reaction was to being cast in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery as well as being involved with something as influential and iconic as Star Trek:

It was surreal. It was totally surreal. My mother introduced me to Star Trek. When I was seven or eight, she was like, ‘You have to watch this show.’ I was at that age where I was like, ‘I don’t wanna do anything that the adults are doing,’ but it hooked me.”

And it was my make-believe game, when I was a kid. My friends would pull chairs up to my parents’ fireplace and we would use that as our bridge, and take turns playing Kirk and Spock. We never had an Uhura, ‘cause girls wouldn’t play with us.”

It was really wild, and honestly, it was surreal, every day. You look around and go, ‘I’m on Star Trek.’ It’s a different kind of thing. It’s not just any other job or TV show. It’s a cultural touchstone for a large part of the world.”

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