Archive for May, 2021


Infinite movie

If you secretly wished the winner of the top spy contest in Kingsman: The Secret Service was Eggsy’s friend Roxy, you’ll get to see what that might have looked like in the new Mark Wahlberg supernatural thriller Infinite.  The Kingsman’s Sophie Cookson, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange, The Old Guard), Rupert Friend (Obi-Wan Kenobi), and the prolific Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Doctor Who, Snow White and The Huntsman, The Hunger Games) join the typically wise-cracking Bostonian Wahlberg in a different kind of search to uncover secrets.  Tapping into the supernatural time travel trope, with hints of Assassin’s Creed and the secret spy league of The Adjustment Bureau, Infinite finds Wahlberg as a man with hallucinations that are actually a window into his past lives (a la reincarnation–remember Albert Brooks’ “past lives pavilion”?).  Antoine Fuqua steps in to direct, hopefully conjuring some of that high-octane action he brought to the screen in his The Magnificent Seven remake, The Equalizer and The Equalizer 2, and Shooter.

Sophie Cookson

First previewed here at borg in 2019, here’s the trailer for Infinite: Continue reading

Leverage new show

The rich and powerful, they take what they want.  We steal it back for you.  Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.  We provide… Leverage.

Leverage original series executive producer and director Dean Devlin has credited a loyal fan base to bringing the team at Leverage Consulting & Associates back after its five-season run from 2008 to 2012.  The new series–call it a reboot, a continuation, a sequel, or just a new season–filmed as Leverage 2 and Leverage 2.0 and now titled Leverage: Redemption, will catch up with most of the original lead characters eight years after the series finale, “The Long Good-bye Job.”  We previewed the new series last year here at borg, as the series tried to get underway in the face of a pandemic.  The production made it, creating 13 episodes, and now we have the first trailer for the show.

Check it out:

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ARMY OF THE DEAD

Review by C.J. Bunce

Zack Snyder finally did it.  Despite taking on a heist movie and a zombie picture in a major action movie, he wrote a script and delivered the type of action blockbuster he has not yet been able to create.  Army of the Dead is his first movie to get it right, a load of tropes, a mash-up of genre ideas, a tightly written story with a great cast, and wall-to-wall fun.  Not a comedy like Shaun of the Dead or iZombie, Army of the Dead features the right amount of humor for this story, while incorporating all the expectations of any fan of the father of the genre, George A. Romero.  Rivaling the incredible action and effects in 6 Underground, it also rises to become one of Netflix’s most promising productions.

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Jungle-Cruise-Movie-Trailer-Dwayne-Johnson-Emily-Blunt

We’re finally connecting back with big movies first previewed in autumn 2019.  That includes Jungle Cruise (first previewed here), which looks like a take on Hepburn and Bogart’s African Queen, and a great set-up for a Disney franchise follow-up to its long-running Pirates of the Caribbean.  Eighteen months later and the second trailer is here.  The theme park ride turned big-screen adventure could hardly look more fun (except for some iffy CGI effects sequences).  Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, Mary Poppins Returns) seems to have walked right into a role written for Johnny Depp, as she teeters through a clever Rube Goldberg-inspired scene as Lily Houghton, a scientist embarking on a journey with her brother in the Amazon, via riverboat, where they meet an unusual ship captain.  It also feels a bit like the big adventure hit The Mummy, with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser.  With Hollywood’s #1 box office draw Dwayne Johnson still entertaining us with his Jumanji jungle series and international tours in the Fast & Furious movies, there’s hardly a better person to cast with Blunt in this kind of new team-up. Check out the new trailer (and updated poster) below for Jungle Cruise.

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Underexposed cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

Stanley Kubrick’s The Lord of the Rings starring The Beatles.  Peter Jackson’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.  George Miller’s Justice League.  Robert Rodriguez’s Barbarella.  Shane Black’s The Monster Squad.  Two John Carpenter movies you’ve never seen.  If you’re wondering what the best movie was in any given year, you have plenty of options.  You can look for the movie that had the biggest take at the box office.  You can look to critic reviews.  You can scroll through the Internet Movie Database.  You can review awards lists or Alternate Oscars.  Or you can just watch the movies and choose for yourself.  Underexposed! The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made, a new book arriving this month from Abrams, could have been called False Starts–it’s a book about movies that almost made it to the big screen.

Underexposed 6A

Peppered with movie poster mock-ups from art group PosterSpy, filmmaker and film enthusiast Joshua Hull tracked down interesting histories of some of the best and most quirky movies that almost got made, but were either abandoned, had legal rights issues, lack of funding, lack of interest, or simply were not made to save audiences from a bad idea.  They aren’t from obscure creators, either.  The list includes projects from Alfred Hitchcock to Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg–and some are ideas that sound like they could have been pretty great.  What were they thinking?  Find out in this book.  

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gunpowdermilkshake-lenaheadey-karengillan-guns

Gunpowder Milkshake is a title that reminds me of ice cream companies referring to their products as “concretes.”  If your product doesn’t sound appetizing, how do you expect to get anyone to try it?  If it’s a movie, maybe you need to hire a cast that includes Karen Gillan, Carla Gugino, Lena Headey, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, and Paul Giamatti.  For those that can get past the goofy title, the trailer for StudioCanal’s new in-your-face action romp looks like fun: a mix of John Wick, Kingsman, Kill Bill, and The Librarians, complete with an R rating for violence. 

So many badass women performers, we’re hoping it takes up several spots in our annual kick-ass heroines list.

Milkshakes

It’s not quite Tarantino style, but it has the lighting and over-the-top camera work that reminds us of Atomic Blonde, Hotel Artemis, and the silly/sweet vibe of Baby Driver–all good movies to be compared to.  And it features the young co-star of My Spy, Chloe Coleman.  

Check out the trailer below for the summer action flick, Gunpowder Milkshake.

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Eternals clip b

It looks like a cross between Jupiter’s Legacy and Inhumans.  The first trailer from Marvel Studios for the third movie of Phase IV of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (on the tail of both Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) doesn’t look like any other Marvel movie.  Eternals has an A-list cast, the central character fan-favorite actress Gemma Chan, who wowed us in Humans and Shetland, and created a great villain in Raya and the Last Dragon.  She also played a friend turned enemy in Captain Marvel, as the alien Minn-Erva.  So Marvel must be taking a leap of faith that audiences don’t assume this is the same character in disguise–Captain Marvel did have its share of shapeshifters.  (Maybe this is an indicator Marvel would be willing to bring back Chris Evans as Johnny Storm?)  The movie features Academy Award winners Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie and Oscar-nominated Kumail Nanjiani.  But the strange takeaway from the first trailer is it doesn’t look like any other Marvel movie–there’s no hook, no exciting or funny element to reel in viewers after such a successful Phase III.

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Blade Runner Storyboards cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s been four years since the arrival of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi cult classic, Blade Runner, itself based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  Since then we’ve seen two looks behind the scenes of the film: a worthy tribute to the artwork behind the production with Blade Runner 2049 Interlinked–The Art and The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049, a more general look at the entire production.   Fans of the Blade Runner franchise and anyone who has ever wanted to know how to storyboard an entire film are in for a treat with the next look at the production of the film, this time at the process of cinematography.  Storyboard artists Sam Hudecki and Darryl Henley’s Blade Runner 2049: The Storyboards is a rare glimpse at all the storyboards for the film, a director and camera tool rarely released for any production.  It’s out now and available here at Amazon from Titan Books.  

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Not-for-profit industry group The Toy Association, which was founded in 1916, announced the “Spring & Summer 2021 Influencer Choice List” this week, which highlights 30 of their predicted “hottest” toys and games.  The list features a broad array of subjects, targeted to kids of a variety of ages and interests, as well as price points.  Dolls, stuffed animals, familiar franchise characters, educational and even health tie-ins, craft toys, indoor and outdoor toys, exercise toys and quiet toys, and just plain good fun.  There’s even some new takes on classic toys, from toy trucks to an ICEE machine.

We’ve highlighted a few we’d like to try out–see the photos.  Take a look through the complete list and see what you think will be the most fun.  

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Kid detective

Adam Brody has been a high point of two recent fun genre flicks.  In Shazam! he was the grown-up superhero version of sidekick Freddie.  And in Ready or Not he was the brother-in-law that gave Samara Weaving’s bride a chance at survival in a crazy mansion of killers.  In his next movie, last year’s late pandemic year theatrical release The Kid Detective, the former Gilmore Girls and The O.C. actor plays Abe Applebaum, once a kid detective in the style of Encyclopedia Brown, he’s now a 32-year-old has-been, not cutting it as an adult detective.  Unfortunately, what could have been something clever, fresh, and new, ends up pitifully bad–a film that can’t decide what it wants to be, a humorless experimental film that might have made a good effort as a film school project.  It’s streaming now on Starz and other platforms.

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