Graham and Friends Become Hilariously Empowered in “Half Magic” Trailer

Heather Graham is setting the stage to make her directorial debut in the upcoming comedy Half Magic and the first trailer has dropped.

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Aside from writing and directing, Graham takes the lead role along with Angela Kinsey and Stephanie Beatriz as three women who use their newly formed sisterhood to fight against sexism, bad relationships and low self-esteem. Through embracing their wild adventures, they learn the secret to ultimate fulfillment.

Jason Lewis, Thomas Lennon, Chris D’Elia, Molly Shannon and Johnny Knoxville
co-star in the film.

Momentum Pictures is gearing up to release the film in select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on February 23, 2018.

H/T: Katrina Wan PR

 

 

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Check Out This Hilarious Clip from Upcoming Comedy “Driving While Black”

On February 1, the award winning indie comedy Driving While Black is coming to theaters from Artist Rights Distribution.

This hilarious exclusive clip features a tour guide giving newbies to town a look at L.A. and how to greet the drivers who decide to stir up trouble.

“Dmitri is a pizza guy who would rather smoke weed and suffer for his art, but his mom and his girl won’t stop nagging him to get a real job. When he’s offered a gig mouthing off to tourists behind the wheel of a Hollywood “star tour” bus, it looks like everyone might get what they want. Trouble is, our man can’t seem to step out the door to get to the interview without endless complications: busted radiators, simple weed scores gone sideways and LAPD cruisers seemingly everywhere. Dmitri’s skill at going unnoticed by cops is honed by painful experiences growing up Black in L.A., but even his keen survival instincts won’t save him from the week from hell.”

The film stars Dominique Purdy, who co-wrote the film based on his real-life experiences, with director Paul Sapiano.

Check out the film in select theaters on February 1, 2018.

H/T: October Coast

Check Out the Poster for Upcoming Documentary “Demon House”

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As mentioned on WFG, Ghost Adventures creator and host Zak Bagans will be in an upcoming documentary entitled Demon House. Now, the distributor Freestyle Digital Media has unleashed the key art poster for the film.

Bagans and and his crew are overwhelmed by a demon possession case some have called the next Amityville, the most authenticated case of possession in American history. After buying the haunted home in Indiana over the phone, sight unseen, Bagans and his crew are unprepared for the demonic forces that await them at the location referred to as the “portal to Hell.”

The film is scheduled for release on March 16, 2018.

H/T: Katrina Wan PR

There Will Be a “Krrish 4”, But Not Until 2020

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Bollywood’s first costumed superhero will return for a third/fourth installment, but you will have to wait over two years.

Rakesh Roshan, the director of the first installment Koi…Mil Gaya and its superpowered sequel Krrish, which was a hit and resulted in the the successful Krrish 3 has recently announced that his son, Hrithik Roshan, will don the black mask and costume again, but fans will have to wait until Christmas 2020 for Krrish 4.

In Koi…Mil Gaya, released in 2003, an alien gives a mentally challenged man super powers. It is this character’s son who in 2006, becomes the protagonist of Krrish with Hrithik taking on both father and son roles in the film. This led to Krrish 3, released in 2013 and was a hit at the Bollywood box office.

The film was originally slated to be released on Christmas 2018 against Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan. However, the Roshans opted to let SRK have his day and with Salman Khan‘s Kick 2 set for Christmas 2019, they have opted to release Krrish 4 in 2020.

In the meantime, while this has delayed production on the film, Hrithik will have time to work on other projects.

Krrish 4 is scheduled to come out on Christmas 2020. While waiting, check out this clip of Hrithik Roshan’s first scene as the costumed warrior in Krrish

H/T: AVS TV

Gintama (2017)

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The hit manga by Hideaki Sorachi has a live action adaptation and it caters to both fans of the source material as well as newcomers to the title, thanks in part to some over the top antics that work quite well.

Twenty years ago, Edo was invaded by aliens and the government, calling them Amanto, ended up in war with the aliens. However, when the war was over, the Sword Prohibition Act was passed, forbidden all samurai to unleash their swords. As a result, the aliens and humans are now living in peace. One known as the White Demon, former samurai Gintoki Sakata has resorted to being more a lazy bum who does odd jobs with Shinpachi, a one-time budding samurai and heir to a martial arts dojo; and Kagura, an alien girl who has both a strong will and appetite.

Gintoki’s now peaceful life is soon shattered with childhood friend Katsura is killed by a mysterious stranger Nizou Okada, who has possession of a mysterious sword known as the Benizakura. To make matters worse, he learns that Okada is working with Shinsuke Takasugi, who had fought alongside Gintoki and Katsura in the Joui War that led to the Sword Prohibition Act. Now deemed a traitor, Takasugi intends to make his intentions known by unleashing his sword and destroying Edo. With help from the siblings whose dad created the deadly blade, Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura must stop Takasugi, Okada, and their allies to save Edo and make it peaceful again.

Having only recently begun watching the anime based on the hit Shonen Jump manga, this reviewer kind of knows what to expect. Yuichi Fukuda wrote and directed this live-action adaptation that may or may not make fans of the original source material, depending on their taste, but will surely be a delight for newcomers who are curious about Sorachi’s story of a lazy samurai and his friends in an alternate Edo where aliens and humans are apparently living in peace despite the normalcy of crime and everyday life.

The cast of the film are great to watch. Shun Oguri brings the character of Gintoki Sakata to life and does so with some hilarious antics. This especially is prevalent in a hilarious “opening credit” sequence where only his name appears and it appears he is singing from a karaoke song only to be interrupted by a cartoon version of Shinpachi and Kagura. While Oguri handles the action quite well, he proves with his role here that he has a flair for comedy and brings it full speed ahead in the role.

When it comes to live-action manga and anime, no one has recently done it like Masaki Suda. The former one-half of Kamen Rider W had been known for his role as Karma Akabane in the Assassination Classroom series but goes a full 180 with his role of the very timid yet determined Shinpachi. Suda has that comical flair necessary to make a role such as Shinpachi work. From his surprised expressions to getting knocked in the face in super slow motion by ally Kagura and with an emotional range, Suda is truly stands out in the film while his Assassination Classroom cohort Kanna Hashimoto, who played the automated Ritsu in the two films, here plays the alien Kagura and from what was seen so far in the anime, pretty well and faithful.

While the trio of Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura make up the driving force of the film, the supporting cast is quite fun to watch. Notably the introduction of the bumbling police Chief Isao Kondo, played hilariously by Kankuro Nakamura, who appears in just his underwear covered in honey. Kondo has a major crush on Shinpachi’s sister and gets his comeuppances on a few occasions when she shows no interest in him. This includes hitting him with a baseball bat and it becomes a home run. The duo of Ryo Yoshizawa and Yuya Yagira play Okita and Hijikata, members of the Shinseigumi, a police force, who seem to dislike Gintoki but when they are faced with the common enemy, find themselves teaming up with him. And yet, these two are not exactly the smartest duo either. They are almost but not quote on Kondo’s level. Ken Yasuda also brings some comic relief with his overpowering performance (and that’s voice-wise) as Tetsuya Murata, whose father created the Benizakura blade with Akari Hayami complementing Tetsuya’s shouting as the more reserved Tetsuko Murata.

Hirofumi Arai brings the character of Nizo Okada as a deadly warrior who is fused with the very deadly blade that Gintoki must track down. Arai emulates a sort of Zatoichi-like performance with assistance from Jiro Sato’s self-proclaimed “feminist” Henpeita Takeuchi and Nanao’s gun-slinging Matako Kijima. However, the real villain is that of Takasuki Shinsuke, played by Tsuyoshi Domoto, which brings the sometimes clichéd “best friend turned enemy” portion of the action genre but Domoto gives such a harrowing performance that it stands out quite well here.

There are plenty of comic gags, from slow motion hits to the “kabuto beetle chase” scene and even references to other popular anime and manga that stand out in the film and for some reason, it works. The swordfighting action is quite fun to watch as well as Oguri’s opening scene where he resorts to using unarmed martial arts against two annoying cat-human hybrid aliens who purposely harass Shinpachi in a “prologue” sequence. For the most part, the CGI is quite good, that is until when we see Okada in true fusion form as this is where the CGI looks a bit sub-par. It does reach borderline ridiculous, but the fact that this is an action-comedy of this element, it can be somewhat forgiven.

With room left for a sequel, apparently due this coming summer, whether or not you’ve seen the anime or read the manga, if you want a good fun Japanese action-comedy, then Gintama is recommended. The cast is great, taking elements from two arcs, and some mostly good CGI and some good action in the mix of the comic elements.

WFG RATING: A-

Warner Bros. Japan presents a Plus D production. Director: Yuichi Fukuda. Producers: Shinzo Matsuhashi and Susumu Hida. Writer: Yuichi Fukuda; based on the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Hideaki Sorachi. Cinematography: Tetsuya Kudo and Yasuyuki Suzuki. Editing: Jun Kuriyagawa.

Cast: Shun Oguri, Masaki Suda, Kanna Hashimoto, Masaki Okada, Yuya Yagira, Ryo Yoshizawa, Ken Yasuda, Akari Hayami, Masami Nagasawa, Hirofumi Arai, Jiro Sato, Nanao, Tsuyoshi Muro, Kankuro Nakamura, Tsuyoshi Domoto, Seika Furuhata, Seiji Rokkaku.

Radcliffe is a “Burden” in New Trailer

Daniel Radcliffe is in a serious bind in the trailer for his latest film Beast of Burden.

Pilot Sean Haggerty must deliver cocaine across the US-Mexico border for his final run as a drug smuggler. Alone in a small plane, he is faced with the burden of choosing between his allegiance to the Cartel, his deal with the Drug Enforcement Administration and saving his increasingly tense relationship with his wife, eagerly awaiting his return.

The film co-stars Pablo Schreiber and Grace Gummer. Jesper Ganslandt directed the film from a script by Adam Hoelzel.

Momentum Pictures will release Beast of Burden to theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on February 23.

Borg McEnroe (2017)

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Tennis’ biggest rivalry is brought to the big screen with excellent performances by lead actors Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LeBeouf in the titular roles.

It is 1980 and the Wimbledon championship tournament has begun. The heavy favorite to win is Swedish player Bjorn Borg, who has already won four titles in the tournament and is looking for his fifth title. However, he has some heavy competition in American player John McEnroe, whose hot-tempered antics on the courts have made him the “bad boy” of tennis. However, McEnroe is determined to win the tournament in London.

As Borg and McEnroe begin to win their matches, the pressure begins to mount on both players. For Borg, it has always been about perfection and not letting his coach and family down. For McEnroe, being second best isn’t enough. Both raised into having to be perfect with winning being everything, the pressure on both are at an all-time high. When the duo makes it to the finals of the tournament, only one can be champion. However, both soon learn that to win will be just the tip of the iceberg.

This Swedish-Danish-Finnish co-production is quite interesting in its depiction of the famous tennis rivalry between Sweden’s Bjorn Borg and the “bad boy” that was John McEnroe. In sports films based in other countries, one figure would be more glorified and when it came to a rivalry of sorts, it is usually one figure or team that would be the focus of the film. However, Ronnie Sandahl’s screenplay offers a look from both perspectives of the titular players as while they were known rivals on the court, it is their upbringings that made them more similar that what we are to have believed.

Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason has an uncanny resemblance to the tennis legend Borg and complements that resemblance with an emotional performance as someone who feels the pressure of being the best. While as a kid, Borg seemed to enjoy the game, it is when he becomes the student of Lennart Bergelin that it becomes about being a winner and facing the wrath of his coach when he doesn’t live up to Bergelin’s expectations. Stellan Skarsgård churns out a brilliant performance as Borg’s mentor with Tuva Novotny giving a sense of grounded nature for Borg as Mariana Simionescu.

Shia LeBeouf could not be a better fit to play John McEnroe. McEnroe, forever known for his tantrums and outbursts on the courts during his heyday, is similar to Borg with his upbringing of being perfected. This is notable in a flashback scene where as a child, he tells his mother he scored a 96 on a test and his mother doesn’t find it acceptable asking what happened to the other 4 percent. In addition, LeBeouf’s recent real-life issues would aid in his nabbing the role and this could just be the comeback the former child star is dying for as he is perfect in the role.

The tennis sequences are exciting to watch as we see both Borg and McEnroe face their opponents, with McEnroe going postal on Jimmy Connors during the semi-finals and berating the officials. That is until the brilliant finale pitting the tennis juggernauts as we see McEnroe more collected, taking his frustrations out on himself rather than anyone in his path. Borg seems collected for the most part but also faces that pressure of getting his fifth title but shows that not all is bad when he even gives words of encouragement for his rival in between sets. This would eventually lead to the real-life rivalry turned friendship between the two.

One would think Borg McEnroe would focus more on one considering the nature of the production. However, the film wisely looks at the viewpoints of feeling perfection and pressure both Borg and McEnroe that would make history in the sport of tennis. Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LeBeouf truly personify the titular duo in an emotional story that would result in one of the greatest matches in tennis history.

WFG RATING: A

SF Pictures presents a SF Studios production. Director: Janus Metz Pedersen. Producers: Jon Nohrstedt and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro. Writer: Ronnie Sandahl. Cinematography: Niels Thastum. Editing: Per K. Kirkegaard and Per Sandholt.

Cast: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LeBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny, Leo Borg, Marcus Mossberg, Jackson Gann, Scott Arthur, Ian Blackman, Robert Emms, David Bamber, Mats Blomgren, Julia Marko-Nord, Jane Perry.

Goldstein and Daley To Take on the “Flash”

It looks like The Flash may have finally found its director…or should we say directors?

Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the duo behind Horrible Bosses and the recent reboot of Vacation, will be directing Flashpoint, the DC solo entry for the speedy superhero, to be once again played by Ezra Miller, who broke out in the ensemble Justice League with his fun performance.

The film had gone through its season of developmental hell. Originally, Seth Grahame-Smith was slated to direct but then left. Then, Dope director Rick Famuyiwa was ready to tackle the film, only to leave himself. The good news is that it left time for a new script, in which Joby Harold recently turned in a page one rewrite and with the duo now scheduled to direct, expect an action-comedy in the works.

As for Miller, he will be reprising his role as Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald before returning as Barry Allen/The Flash in Flashpoint.

More as this develops.

H/T: Variety

Kwok and Crew Are Back in Well Go USA’s “Monkey King 3” Trailer

Aaron Kwok is back as Sun Wukong in the U.S. trailer to the long awaited sequel The Monkey King 3.

Along with Wukong, Monk Tang Xuanzuan (William Feng), Zhu Bajie (Xuanshanzeng), and Sha Wujing (Him Law) find themselves taken captive on the Womanized Land of Western Liang, where the monk finds himself slowly falling for the land’s Queen (Zanilla Zhao). When the group plan to escape, they have angered the River God, who plans to unleash her wrath on the land as foretold by an ancient prophecy. It is up to Wukong and team to stop the River God before it’s too late.

Soi Cheang returns to helm the film, which will be released in U.S. theaters on February 16 by Well Go USA, in time for the Chinese New Year.

IndieGoGo Campaign for “The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback” is a Go!

It’s time to Go Go Go! With the success of 2015’s family film The Martial Arts Kid, it’s time for the sequel to finally come ahead.

But the filmmakers need your help! Traditionz Entertainment has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for the sequel The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback, in which Frank Whitlaw (Chuck Zito), reeling from the events of the first film, seeks retribution against Uncle Glen (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) and Aunt Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock).

Returning for the sequel are Brandon Tyler Russell as Lenny, the best friend of the original Martial Arts Kid, Robbie; and Matthew Ziff as town bully Bo Whitlaw, the son of the villain Frank. T.J. Storm returns as Coach Laurent Kaine. Newcomers for the sequel will include Anita Clay and Sasha Mitchell, who played David Sloane in three installments of the original Kickboxer saga in the 1990’s.

To help make this a bigger sequel to the 2015 original, go to http://martialartskid2payback.com/ and donate to make this sequel come to life!