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

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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Film News – Lashana Lynch On Captain Marvel

Before we witness the end of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Avengers: Endgame, we have Captain Marvel to look forward to. Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and one of her co-stars is Lashana Lynch who will play Maria Rambeau in this Marvel superhero film. In a roundtable interview, Lashana Lynch was given a platform to discuss Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel

Here is what Lashana Lynch had to say on what Marvel has allowed her to say about Captain Marvel and her involvement in this comic book movie:

That I’m a part of Marvel now. [Laughs] That’s it! Thanks guys. It’s been great! [Laughs] That she is Maria Rambeau, the mother of Monica, who I know you all know and love like myself. She is a fighter pilot, very strong, very bold, very in control of herself.”

I’d say, in high demand with the industry that she’s in. Her and Brie’s character Carol Danvers are very close friends. They’re best friends, in fact. She had to go through a lot of grief when Carol disappeared and then suddenly she’s back, and she has to kind of reverse that grief and make it work for this picking up of a friendship, which is kind of strange but ends up really beautifully.”

And she’s just an incredible character to play. It’s nice to see someone on the page who doesn’t yet have a fully fleshed personality who you can then inject wherever you want to, and that’s quite a treat for a Marvel character, you know?”

Carol Danvers

Lashana Lynch also talked about what the relationship is like between her character and Carol Danvers:

They have a very dry humor together. You know when you love someone and you pretend like you hate them? They have that. A little bit of a slightly unlikely boisterous, yet very loving, deeply loving, caring sister love. They have a sisterhood about them that is really nice to see in a Marvel movie.”

Carol Danvers is someone who is an aunt to my child, like she is family and that’s why her death takes such a big effect on her life because she actually is her life. They’re in a male-orientated environment and industry. All they have is each other as female fighter pilots. So yeah, they’re extremely close, extremely.”

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Film News – Jason Clarke Discusses Pet Sematary

Recently, John Lithgow had the chance to discuss the remake of Pet Sematary, a film based on a Stephen King novel. Now, in an interview at a set visit, Jason Clarke was given the opportunity to speak about Pet Sematary in which he will play a leading role as Louis Creed.

Pet Sematary

Here is what Jason Clarke said on what stuff from the book he was hoping would be in this version of Pet Sematary:

Yeah, of course. There are some wonderful scenes I’d love to have done, but it’s impossible — Another scene I love in the book… Just got be careful.”

Remember the scene where, the scene at the funeral parlor. There’s an open casket, no, it was a closed casket because it was a massive crash, but Louis’ father and his backstory there, with Rachel’s father. And the animosity that exists within the relationship.”

And the fact that you know the animosity exists and that Louis is carrying on and that nobody’s ever told Rachel, makes you kind of closer to their relationship and understanding, and it doesn’t make them all such a nicey lovey couple. They’ve got problems. They have great sex. They’ve got issues and differences. But they’re making it. They’re a real family, they seem to be a real couple.”

You know, there’s a few things. There’s a phone call, where the old man apologizes. And he’s got this other dichotomy running through it. He’s apologizing, at the same time Louis is realizing it’s too late. That car is Rachel’s. He’s piecing it together over the phone call. It’s just this psychological mess of what he’s become. You know?

There’s a couple. There’s a lot. [Laughs] I’ve read it eight times. I really enjoy the book. You can just pick up a little piece, and just refresh that piece with it before you go and shoot a scene.”

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Film News – Seven Bucks Productions President Hiram Garcia On Hobbs and Shaw

Hiram Garcia and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson have a personal and working relationship that goes back decades. The trust that Johnson has in Garcia is extremely evident in the fact that he made Garcia the President of Seven Bucks Productions.

Rampage, Skyscraper and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle are just a few of the movies that they have worked on together and a Dwayne Johnson film that is set to be a huge hit at the box office this year is the Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw. In an interview with Collider, Hiram Garcia had the opportunity to discuss Hobbs and Shaw.

Hobbs and Shaw

Here is what Hiram Garcia had to say on how the production for Hobbs and Shaw went and what details he could give to inform people about this action movie:

Hobbs & Shaw just wrapped shooting in Hawaii and man was this a huge production! Obviously when you are making a movie that lives within the Fast & Furious universe you need to go big and deliver on the spectacle, which I’m happy to say we have in spades.”

But what we’re really excited about is the character and humor that shines through in this film. Dave Leitch did an amazing job with, writer and fellow producer, Chris Morgan’s script by building out a new world while taking fans deeper into the mythos of our iconic leads Hobbs and Shaw.”

Throw in one of the greatest villains the Fast & Furious universe has ever seen in Idris Elba, then sprinkle some huge surprises along the way, and we’d like to think we have the makings for an unforgettable experience at the theater this summer.”

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Beautiful Boy, The Favourite + How To Train Your Dragon 3 (Film/Movie Reviews)

In the United Kingdom, January and February is the best time of the year when it comes to films. This is because a lot of the movies that are in contention for awards such as the Oscars are released in the UK at this time.

The Favourite is one of the movies expected to do well at the 2019 Oscars and Timothée Chalamet has been getting nominations for his supporting role in Beautiful Boy. I had the chance to see both of these films recently as well as How To Train Your Dragon 3, an animated movie which might be nominated for Best Animated Film at the Oscars next year. You can see my short reviews for all of these movies below.

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy is a film with great subject matter that never reaches its full potential. There is some great acting from Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet and the latter is the standout in this film. Moments of brilliance are littered throughout whenever he is involved with a café scene between his character and Carell’s being a particular highlight.

There is no doubt that the father/son relationship and the impact that drug addiction has on it is the heart and soul of Beautiful Boy. I also liked the nice variety of music. However, something was missing from this film that would have delivered the knockout emotional moments. From a storytelling perspective, Beautiful Boy felt quite passive in my opinion.

Everything was there to make this movie great but, for whatever reason, it never did enough to get to that level. It is a good film and, in terms of acting, I can see why it has received award nominations. Still, the overall movie is not at a high enough level of quality to get more award recognition.

The Favourite

I despised The Lobster which was the first and only Yorgos Lanthimos film I had seen prior to The Favourite. Because of my disdain for his previous work, I was not going into The Favourite with abundant excitement. Gratefully, I had a much better time with this movie than I did with The Lobster.

While I did not love it and I questioned what the whole point of it was by the end, I found some enjoyment in the comedic aspects of the film. A big reason why I thought The Favourite was a decent movie was because it was much more restrained and less quirky with its storytelling.

This made the film more palatable and I could appreciate the comedy and the performances because of this. I am not of the opinion that this film deserves all of the Oscar nominations it has received and I would be shocked if it won Best Picture. Nonetheless, it was much better than I expected it to be.

How To Train Your Dragon 3

Upon a re-watch of How To Train Your Dragon 1 and How To Train Your Dragon 2, those films did not hold up that well for me. I still enjoyed watching them but, in a score out of 10, they both went down from an 8.5 to a 6.5. I could not really separate the two in terms of which one I preferred over the other. After watching How To Train Your Dragon 3, I still cannot give you a confident ranking of all three films.

I enjoy all of these movies and the consistency of their quality is somewhat of an achievement. It is a decent trilogy. However, I do not connect with these films nor the characters within them on an emotional level as others do and the moments between Hiccup and Toothless in How To Train Your Dragon 3 where I was meant to get the feels kind of fell flat for me.

From an animation standpoint, this is the most impressive of the trilogy and there are some funny moments. Yet, I also feel that these films are more animated movies for kids than they are for adults. I would rank the Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar trilogies above the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy and I do not have a huge desire to watch this trilogy again.

Beautiful Boy How To Train Your Dragon 3 The Favourite Film Movie Reviews


Film News – John Lithgow Discusses Pet Sematary

Stephen King must be pleased with the success of the recent film and TV adaptations of his material. The success of these adaptations like It and Castle Rock looks as though it will continue with a remake of a film based on one of Stephen King’s most celebrated novels; Pet Sematary. John Lithgow is part of the cast for this movie and, in a roundtable interview, he spoke in great detail about Pet Sematary.

Pet Sematary

John Lithgow said this on what convinced him to join Pet Sematary:

Well, I was captivated by the story. I hadn’t read the book when it came to me, nor had I seen the movie. The closest I came to knowing about this was being an old friend of Fred Gwynn’s. He’s the only actor I’ve ever worked with on stage who was taller than me.”

I read it and it scared the hell out of me. The first shocks on the page were the first shocks in the film, and they really shocked me. I thought it would be really fun to be in this. I knew Jason was in it, who I thought was terrific and terrific for it.”

I love horror that is played for a completely authentic, human emotion and to me, because it’s a family story and everybody has a family, everybody connects with either a parent or child. It just seemed to have this emotional foundation to it that could really take people to a cathartic place.”

The other thing is, I talked over the phone with these delightful guys and, they persuaded me […] We all talked for 40 minutes and there were a couple of things that troubled me about the script, and I ran through them and in every case, they had already spotted the same problem and had done something about it.”

They said, ‘Oh, this is great. I can’t wait.’ […] They couldn’t wait or me to hear how they had addressed my questions, because they felt they had and I saw the script, and they had.”

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Film/TV News – Damon Herriman On Double Charles Manson Casting

For anyone to play the same character in two different projects is a huge rarity in the entertainment industry. Still, this is what Damon Herriman has done. Indeed, he has played/will play the role of Charles Manson in the TV show Mindhunter and the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

In an interview with Collider, Damon Herriman had the opportunity to discuss his double casting as Charles Manson.

Damon Herriman

Damon Herriman said this on how his double casting all came about:

Mindhunter came about first. That was something that came about at the end of 2017, actually, which is a very long lead up for TV, for a TV guest role […] And then the Quentin Tarantino thing was kind of coincidental, but not totally.”

Someone on his film had heard I was playing it in Mindhunter and knew it wasn’t cast in Tarantino’s film yet, so suggested to him that he audition me […] I didn’t mention I was already playing the role in David Fincher’s show, which I think was a good thing; he probably wouldn’t have wanted to see that guy. Then I auditioned and ended up getting both and shooting two different things within two weeks of each other.”

The day I landed in America to do the makeup test for Mindhunter, the day after that I got the call saying I got the role in the Tarantino movie, which was immediately the best and worst news I ever got in my life because I thought I’m definitely now not going to get this because we have to tell him now that I’m already doing it.”

The reason I auditioned was because I thought I might get something else in it, possibly. I thought I can’t not audition, but there’s no way he’s going to cast the same guy […] And then when I met him was like, ‘Yeah, it’s like a cool little bookend thing because one is 1969 and one is 1980,’ and he kind of dug it.”

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