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The Morning Watch: The Star-Studded 2019 Super Bowl Commercials

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Harrison Ford - Amazon 2019 Super Bowl Commercials

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, we take a look at the line-up of 2019 Super Bowl commercials that features some of our favorite stars from film and television. The Mountain from Game of Thrones takes down the Bud Light Knight, Christina Applegate threatens the M&Ms, Harrison Ford can’t get his dog to stop ordering food on Amazon, Michael C. Hall sings for Skittles, and more.

First up, Game of Thrones teamed up with Bud Light for a commercial featuring The Bud Light Knight getting his joust handed to him by The Mountain. It’s probably the most gruesome Bud Light commercial, and it has some distinct, official Game of Thrones touches to make it even better.

Next up, Doritos had Chance the Wrapper get together with the Backstreet Boys for an update of “I Want It That Way” in order to promote the new Flamin’ Hot Nacho Cheese Doritos that will burn worse than Adam Levine’s voice during the halftime show.

Speaking of the halftime show, Pepsi sponsored it, and they had the very timely appearance of Lil’ Jon in their commercial along with Steve Carell and Cardi B. The concept of the commercial was fine, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

Next up, Jason Bateman takes a job as an elevator bellhop who takes you to the worst things you’ll experience in everyday life. Jury duty, a root canal, car shopping and more get the spotlight on this elevator ride from hell. Oh, and it’s a commercial for Hyundai, so that’s neat.

Next up, Amazon’s ideas for Alexa integration don’t always work out the way they should. Watch as Alexa for dogs doesn’t work out too well for Harrison Ford, a jacuzzi with Alexa ejects Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and Forest Whitaker has trouble listening to a podcast while brushing his teeth.

It’s weird that people are still talking to the M&Ms that they know they’re going to eat. And this commercial finally confronts that a little bit by having Christina Applegate threatening to eat Red, Yellow and Crispy M&Ms, who are stuck in a chocolate bar.

Finally, Dexter star Michael C. Hall gets musical for Skittles, a production that actually unfolded on stage in front of 1,500 New Yorkers. You can read all about the Skittles musical that actually happened right here.

Finally, it doesn’t feature any celebrities endorsing products, but Microsoft released this touching commercial about their adaptive controllers that Xbox created to allow players with limited mobility to still enjoy video games to their full potential. These kind of Super Bowl commercials always warm my heart.

The post The Morning Watch: The Star-Studded 2019 Super Bowl Commercials appeared first on /Film.

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‘A Star Is Born’ Teaser Finally Features a New Song, Plus Expect ‘Shallow’ to Drop on Friday

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a star is born teaser

The buzz surrounding A Star Is Born is already through the roof, and the film hasn’t even come out yet. If you’ve yet to catch the film, you’ve only heard snippets of a few songs featured in the trailer. Now, a new A Star Is Born teaser provides us with (part of) a new song from the soundtrack – “Is That Alright?” You can hear it below. Plus, you can expect the full version of “Shallow”, the song prominently featured in the trailer, to drop this Friday.

A Star Is Born Teaser

Lady Gaga took to Twitter to share this excerpt from “Is That Alright?”, one of the original songs from the A Star Is Born soundtrack. It’s fantastic, and builds to a characteristically powerful, booming ending. Let me tell ‘ya, that Lady Gaga can sing, folks! And since no A Star Is Born footage would be complete without it, this teaser ends with the scene where Bradley Cooper tells Lady Gaga he just wants to take another look at her, and she flashes him a goofy smile.

I saw A Star Is Born at TIFF, and it won me over. Gaga’s performance – and her signing voice – are the main attractions here, and neither element disappoints. As I wrote in my review:

“Like a catchy cover of a classic tune, A Star Is Born manages to make the old seem new again. You know the story – and you should, because this is a remake of a remake of a remake. And yet, director Bradley Cooper keeps it fresh. He has a lot of help, primarily from Lady Gaga, who blows the fucking roof off this joint from the get-go, coming out strong and never once letting up. Despite what several publications have suggested, this is not Ms. Gaga’s acting debut. But it might as well be, because her performance here is a revelation. Fierce, fragile, funny and blessed with killer pipes, the singer-turned-actress is wholly believable. One could argue that she’s essentially playing a fictionalized version of herself, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is how captivating she is.”

If you’re jonesing for even more A Star I Born songs, you’re in luck. Word has it that “Shallow” – the song that pops up at the end of the main Star Is Born trailer (you know, the one where Lady Gaga leans into the mic and belts out one long note) – will be dropping online this Friday. So get your ear holes ready for that!

A Star Is Born, and its soundtrack, both arrive on October 5, 2018.

The post ‘A Star Is Born’ Teaser Finally Features a New Song, Plus Expect ‘Shallow’ to Drop on Friday appeared first on /Film.

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‘The Conjuring’ Honest Trailer: Ed & Lorraine Warren Are the Two Least Funny Ghostbusters

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The Conjuring Honest Trailer

The Conjuring franchise from director and producer James Wan has been the starting point for horror spin-offs like Annabelle and The Nun (in theaters this weekend). And while the movies undoubtedly paint a scary picture, The Conjuring Honest Trailer points out that it’s hard to feel sorry for the families at the center of these stories when they obviously didn’t do the legwork to make sure the new houses they moved into didn’t have any serious problems, like ghosts, demons, possessed items or strange deaths.

Watch The Conjuring Honest Trailer

The Conjuring Honest Trailer tackles both the original movie and the sequel in the franchise, which works since the two movies aren’t remarkably dissimilar from each other beyond the location setting. Ed & Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), the least funny members of the Ghostbusters, are called in to stop a family form being terrorized in their home. Each of the movies sparked a new spin-off in James Wan’s horror universe. The list goes on and on.

Even though The Conjuring movies have crafted some fantastic thrills and chills, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the ghosts at the center of these movies can be thwarted with some pretty silly actions. Plus, on top of all that, for all the chatter there is about Ed & Lorraine Warren being real life paranormal investigators, there’s just no way that their work is real. If this skepticism is what ends up getting me haunted and possessed tonight, just know that I went out in a blaze of glory.

The post ‘The Conjuring’ Honest Trailer: Ed & Lorraine Warren Are the Two Least Funny Ghostbusters appeared first on /Film.

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King(s) of the Monsters: Everything You Need to Know About Godzilla’s Greatest Allies and Adversaries

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It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for Godzilla fans. Though it got a bit lost in the shuffle thanks to all the news coming out of San Diego Comic-Con, the second installment in Netflix’s anime Godzilla trilogy is now available to stream. Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle continues the story — and the thread of Planet of the Apes homages — from Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, as protagonist Haruo Sakaki and the remnants of humanity encounter a tribe of telepathic, underground-dwelling humanoids, who worship a glowing egg instead of a nuclear bomb like the mutants in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The movie also features the King of the Monsters squaring off against the “autonomous smart metal” of Mechagodzilla City.

Then, of course, there is the epic trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which introduced Rodan, Mothra, and the three-headed King Ghidorah into Legendary Entertainment’s MonsterVerse. Casual fans and viewers who are new to the mythos may have some questions about all these new allies and adversaries entering Godzilla’s world. Let’s crack open the case files on Mechagodzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. Here’s everything you need to know.

Mechagodzilla

Mechagodzilla made his first appearance in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), a film that ranked high last year on Jacob Knight’s definitive ranking of all the Godzilla movies for /Film. Initially, Mechagodzilla took a page from the Transformers playbook of “robots in disguise,” concealing his shiny metallic form beneath a scaly reptilian hide nearly identical to that of the real Godzilla. This allowed him to pass himself off as a rampaging Godzilla before the true King of the Monsters showed up to give us some Godzilla-on-Godzilla action.

Controlled by aliens in silver ‘70s space costumes, it didn’t take long for Mechagodzilla to reveal his true form: that of a robot whose spinning hands could fire off finger rockets. Transitioning from the Showa era to the Heisei era and into the new millennium, the character would appear in several more Toho productions in various incarnations, with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) being the first to reimagine him as a manmade weapon.

The scene in that movie where a human-piloted, diamond-coated Mechagodzilla is deployed against Godzilla from an underground hangar is very reminiscent of Pacific Rim, though of course, it predates Guillermo del Toro’s ultimate mechs-versus-monsters film by two full decades. As goofy as the suitmation in Toho’s Godzilla films can look sometimes, this is one of those glorious scenes that manages to transcend the B-movie it’s trapped in and still inspire awe a quarter of a century later. It was the sight of cool Japanese mechs like Mechagodzilla that laid the very groundwork for Gipsy Danger and Del Toro’s other so-called “Jaegers.”

One of the words witnesses use to describe Mechagodzilla is “cyborg” and Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) leans hard into the true definition of that, making Mechagodzilla a bio-mechanical offshoot of the original 1954 Godzilla’s skeleton.

2018 actually saw Mechagodzilla re-emerge in two separate movies. One of those is Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, where Mechagodzilla toasts the Iron Giant with his fire-breath and swipes aside the gull-winged Back to the Future DeLorean with his tail before Gundam enters the field of battle to give the metal monster a run for his money. The other is the aforementioned Netflix anime, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, where Mechagodzilla is given the Galactus treatment.

Alas, while Planet of the Monsters delivered a post-credits teaser image of Mechagodzilla’s head, and while City on the Edge of Battle does include frequent mention of Mechagodzilla’s name, fans hoping to see an earth-shaking battle between Godzilla and his old robotic counterpart may have been disappointed (perhaps even infuriated) by the movie’s lack of actual Mechagodzilla. As it turns out, the anime version of Mechagodzilla has already failed before the movie starts and it’s only his “nanometal” remnants that are left behind to power the human stronghold of Mechagodzilla City. Godzilla, too, is curiously absent: it’s a 100-minute movie but he only shows up at the 67-minute mark.

Mothra wings

Rodan and Mothra

By now, the cat’s long since out of the bag that Godzilla and King Kong will be crossing over as part of the same cinematic MonsterVerse with 2020’s Godzilla vs Kong. Before that happens, however, we’ve still got one more movie to go where some of Godzilla’s other classic allies and adversaries will be making a grand entrance in their first American summer tentpole feature. The Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer (read our breakdown here) contains glimpses of two winged kaiju who will be joining the title character in his next movie. Those two monsters, Rodan and Mothra, were first teased along with King Ghidorah in cave paintings at the end of Kong: Skull Island.

Rodan is the first one we see on the cave wall; he’s the giant pteranodon. As her name implies, Mothra is the giant moth. Both Rodan and Mothra were introduced in their own self-titled movies back in 1956 and 1961, respectively. It was only after the original King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) that they, in turn, linked up with Godzilla, co-starring with him in a couple of crossover features. Mothra vs. Godzilla and Ghirodah, the Three-Headed Monster both hit theaters in 1964, the year of the first Tokyo Summer Olympics.

As you can probably gather from the titles of those two flicks, Rodan is not a marquee name. Though he’s often shown up to engage in kaiju wrestlemania with Godzilla and other monsters, the poor pteranodon has actually never been featured in the title of a Godzilla movie. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King of the Monsters director Michael Doughtery said:

“Rodan’s been kind of a sidekick character, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him. In a lot of ways he’s more powerful than Godzilla. He’s like this winged A-bomb.”

Doughtery also indicated that there will come a “key moment” in the movie when Godzilla will use his atomic breath as a “call to arms,” perhaps signaling Rodan and Mothra to come to his aid against King Ghidorah (more on that bad mamma jamma in a minute). What’s interesting about Rodan is that he apparently starts out King of the Monsters lying “in pyrostasis within the restless magma” of an active volcano. The viral description of the character notes:

“Rodan’s wings are wrapped around its body in stasis, but our cryptos estimate a wingspan big enough to create a sonic thunderclap capable of leveling entire cities as it flies overhead. RF-Capture scans reveal that Rodan’s skin is not made of rock, but does have an outer dermis of sharp volcanic sediment collected from centuries of dormancy.”

In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, there’s a scene where Rodan goes to town on Godzilla with his beak and we can hear and almost feel every squishy peck. If, as Skull Island tells us, “Kong is not the only king,” then Rodan is the King of the Skies and it appears he may lay waste to Washington, D.C. in King of the Monsters.

Godzilla 2 Mothra

In contrast to Rodan, Mothra has traditionally been more of a headlining act, sharing top billing, for instance, in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001). The character has appeared in over a dozen films and even after she was folded into the Godzilla franchise, she was still popular enough that she and her son starred in their own separate trilogy of films. Through the years, Mothra has served as a protector of her own island as well as the Japanese archipelago and Earth itself.

In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Mothra’s ability to spin cocoons proves instrumental in defeating Ghidorah and saving the world. Maybe that’s why Mothra has her own dedicated Temple of the Moth in the MonsterVerse, where reliefs of her are carved in stone walls.

The trailer for King of the Monsters indicates that Mothra will be appearing in multiple forms, both as a larva and as a creature who has undergone metamorphosis behind a waterfall to become a full-grown, angelic, bioluminescent kaiju with massive moth wings. Mothra’s particular species of kaiju is that of the “Divine Moth,” and if she can bring the same majesty to the movie that her wing-spreading moment brought to the trailer, then King of the Monsters should be both a dark spectacle and a thing of beauty.

King Ghidorah

King Ghidorah

The King of the Monsters trailer offered a brief glimpse of one other kaiju, a three-headed dragon encased in ice who could later be seen rearing his wings against a backdrop of smoke and lightning. King Ghidorah is one serious bruiser, a kaiju that strikes fear in the hearts of humans and monsters alike. In Destroy All Monsters (1968), it took the combined might of Godzilla and six other monsters to take down Ghidorah. Consider also this description of Ghidorah from the viral website of Monarch, the cryptozoological organization introduced at the end of Kong: Skull Island:

“Muscle tendons on the wings are so hyper-tensile that their massive aerodynamics could generate hurricane-force winds when in flight. Coupled with its body’s electro-receptor molecular biology capable of conducting electrical currents, water vapor in the air would be heated at extreme levels creating its own localized storm system as it travels. Simply put, if Monster Zero were to fly again, the stratosphere would be torn open by an otherworldly tempest of thunder and lightning our sky has never seen.”

Ghidorah has a long history of multi-monster encounters dating back to his first appearance in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, where Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan teamed up against him in a bout of three-on-one (or three-on-three, if you count Ghidorah’s heads individually). With all of these kaiju appearing in King of the Monsters, the stage could certainly be set for a reprisal of that first throwdown, allowing Ghidorah once again — to steal a phrase from video game parlance — to function as the “final boss.”

Even before the trailer for King of the Monsters hit, Vera Farmiga had teased that her character, Dr. Russell, might be able to control the kaiju “using their bioacoustics on a sonar level.” Trailers can be intentionally misleading, but the way this one was cut — with her calling humankind an infection, saying, “The earth unleashed a fever to fight this infection, its original and rightful rulers, the Titans” — almost made Dr. Russell seem poised to take on a mad scientist role. Farmiga already played Psycho mom Norma Bates on television, so that would be in her wheelhouse and it would also explain why her husband and daughter in the trailer seem to be telling her, “You are out of your god-damned mind,” and “You’re a monster.”

If Dr. Russell goes off the reservation and unleashes the Titans on humanity and its defender, Godzilla, then it’s a safe bet Ghidorah will be her ace in the hole. Maybe he’ll be on ice for the first part of the movie as Godzilla deals with other monsters like Rodan, and then he’ll be unthawed to provide a third-act mega-threat. Another possibility is that Dr. Russell’s intentions are genuinely good, albeit tragically misunderstood: she knows that Godzilla alone cannot stop Ghidorah and that’s why she insists, “Unless all the Titans are found, our planet will perish and so will we.” The fact that Ghidorah has “claw and scorch marks” on his body suggests he may have already tussled with the other monsters before being frozen.

Whatever the case, Ghidorah is officially designated as “Monster Zero” on the Monarch website. Over the years, he’s gone by a number of different nicknames and honorifics, my personal favorite being “Emperor of the Cosmos.” It wouldn’t be surprising if the line that Charles Dance utters in the trailer, “Long live the king,” comes after Ghidorah has defeated Godzilla in solo combat, precipitating the need for Godzilla to regroup and assemble a super-team of kaiju united against the common foe of Ghidorah. It would make for one hell of a visual to see Godzilla decapitate one of Ghidorah’s heads again like he did in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991).

There are a lot of monsters vying for the crown of King Kaiju now—let’s not forget King Kong, either, who will be facing off with Godzilla in 2020. After that, Toho will begin marshaling the forces of its own Japanese Godzilla shared universe. In the meantime, Ghidorah was also teased in City on the Edge of Battle, which could mean we’ll be seeing an anime version of the character in the final installment of Netflix’s trilogy (or at least a city made out of his bones, should they decide to give him the Galactus treatment, too). With all these high-profile Godzilla movies circling, there’s really no end in sight to the kaiju action. It’s a good time to be a Godzilla fan.

The post King(s) of the Monsters: Everything You Need to Know About Godzilla’s Greatest Allies and Adversaries appeared first on /Film.

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‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Cancelled After 3 Seasons

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Ash vs Evil Dead cancelled

Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up: not enough of you watched Ash vs Evil Dead, and now the show has been cancelled after three seasons. Perhaps this is the end of Bruce Campbell‘s chainsaw-wielding Ash Williams. Or maybe not…

Bruce Campbell reprising his iconic Evil Dead role for a gory TV series was, perhaps, a dream too beautiful to last. After being plagued with sagging ratings, Ash vs Evil Dead has officially been cancelled by Starz. The impending third season finale, set to air on April 29, will now serve as the series finale.

The show continued the storyline started by Sam Raimi‘s Evil Dead film in 1981. After Evil Dead became a cult hit, Raimi followed it up with the goofier, more tongue-in-cheek Evil Dead 2. After Evil Dead 2 came the even more silly Army of Darkness. All three films had Campbell in the lead as Ash Williams, a retail employee who becomes an unlikely hero, constantly battling demonic forces known as Deadites. During the course of the films, Ash lost his hand, which was replaced by a specially modified chainsaw appendage.

After Army of Darkness, the fate of the Evil Dead franchise remained in limbo. In 2015, the series was reborn with the Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead. Set roughly 30 years after the events of the Evil Dead films, Ash vs. Evil Dead found an older, grumpier Ash dealing with his legacy and also having to confront the Deadites once again. Along the way he picked up sidekicks Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Also thrown into the mix is the mysterious Ruby (Lucy Lawless).

Fans of the Evil Dead franchise rejoiced to have Ash back, but fan appeal wasn’t enough to keep the show afloat. Per Variety, “the show had seen a steep fall off in its ratings during Season 3, averaging just a 0.08 rating in adults 18-49 and 177,000 viewers per episode with two episodes remaining in the season.” Campbell and company appeared to see the writing on the wall, and had been talking about the potential cancellation of the show during promotion for season 3. “We won’t know [if we’re cancelled] till the middle of March,” he said to Entertainment Weekly. “We’re in the horrible television limbo right now.”

With this recent development, one would hope that season 3 doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, at least for the sake of the show’s fans. Campbell previously said that the season 3 end will deliver a “big payoff”:

“The big payoff. It’s everything we’ve built up to. Hopefully the audience will go, ‘Fuckin’ A-right, Ash. Fuckin’ A-right.’ You know? Ash is gonna prove his stuff, man. This is it. This is the final showdown.”

While Ash vs Evil Dead appears to be dead now, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the end of the Evil Dead franchise. Campbell has previously hinted that if Ash vs Evil Dead was cancelled, there’s always a chance the series could return to the big screen:

“We’re going to see what the TV gods have in store for us. We’re ready either way. If they take us off the air, we can think about another movie. And if they don’t, we can just keep plugging away.”

The post ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Cancelled After 3 Seasons appeared first on /Film.

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Marvel Studios’ 10-Year Legacy Featurette: “We’re Just Going to Continue to Surprise People”

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Marvel Studios Legacy Featurette

Sometimes you’ll see a trailer describe a movie’s director as a “visionary filmmaker.” That term is rarely applied to a producer, but that’s truly the best description of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the mega-producer who built a multi-billion cinematic empire out of his idea to make a series of blockbuster movies that feature interconnected characters and storylines.

As we continue our trip toward the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios has looked back on its 10 years of existence so far and appears to be feeling a little nostalgic. Today, they released a new behind-the-scenes featurette that includes interviews with the filmmakers and casts of many of the MCU’s biggest hits.

The video’s official description invites you to join Feige, the other filmmakers, and the cast of Infinity War to “chronicle the growth and success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from its auspicious beginning with Iron Man in 2008 to the upcoming tour de force Avengers: Infinity War.” Check it out below:

Marvel Studios Legacy Featurette

Yes, this video is primarily back-patting, self-mythologizing, studio-produced fluff. But it’s a very good version of all of that stuff, and even sweeping music and borderline-cheesy cuts can’t take away from the fact that Feige and his close collaborators totally transformed the film industry with their work over the past decade. We all watched in real time as the game was changed forever, and I can’t help but feel a small sense of wonder at Feige’s combination of audacity and ability to execute this vision. (We’ll have to wait until Infinity War comes out to find out if Thanos is able to execute his own Vision. Rimshot.)

We have to give some props to the editors of this video, too. Starting it out with an interview with Jon Favreau talking about Iron Man before the movie even came out is a great way to remind everyone that this entire gambit was not a guaranteed success from the start. And wrapping it up with a quick shot of Captain Marvel star Brie Larson, signaling that there’s much more to come after Infinity War wraps up, is a nice touch as well.

Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on April 27, 2018.

The post Marvel Studios’ 10-Year Legacy Featurette: “We’re Just Going to Continue to Surprise People” appeared first on /Film.

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