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Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ spin-off wraps production, gets an official title and logo

By Jordan Peterson |

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After a historically troubled production (read about it here), Director Ron Howard took to Twitter today to official announce that the Han Solo Star Wars spin-off movie has wrapped production. Howard’s tweet also revealed that the official name for the aforementioned space adventure is Solo: A Star Wars Story. In addition, we also got a look at the film’s new logo.

Catch Ron Howard’s tweet below.

Hey #Twitterville we just wrapped production so here’s a special message #StarWars pic.twitter.com/8QJqN5BGxr

— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) October 17, 2017


What do you think of this new title and are you surprised at all? Let me know in the comments below. I want to hear your thoughts!

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‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ (2017)— Trailer #2 Reaction

Nobody asked for a sequel to Jumanji. Alas, we’ve got one on the horizon. In the meantime, I’ve got a trailer reaction for you all! Enjoy!

Are you excited for the Jumanji sequel? Did you even like the original? Let me know your take in the comments below!

Review: ‘Birth of the Dragon’ serves as an insane, quasi-biopic for Kung-Fu legend

Director: George Nolfi

Starring: Philip Ng, Xia Yu, Billy Magnussen, Terry Chen

Rating: PG-13

Year: 2017

The world may never know what truly transpired during the legendary San Francisco showdown between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man back in 1964. There were few witness and still today there are conflicting reports. The one fact everyone seems to agree on is that there was indeed a fight.

Through the years, the tale of Lee vs. Man has grown to mythic proportions. Birth of the Dragon occasionally embraces that epic status in an attempt to straddle the line between serious character drama and campy Kung-Fu kick-assery. Results vary but this quasi-biopic can definitely offer up some high-flying fun if indeed you can forgive a few glaring flaws.

Despite its title, marketing, and being based on a real life occurrence, Birth of the Dragon centers around a fictionalized friend and student of Bruce Lee’s, a Caucasian American named Steve McKee (Billy Magnussen). Steve meets and, as if on cue, falls in love with Xiulan (Qu Jingjing). She’s a Chinese woman who’s been forced into labor by the China Town mafia. That’s right, a romance not involving Bruce Lee is the heart and soul of a movie that is otherwise supposed to be about Bruce Lee.

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Not that surprisingly, the romance is never compelling, thanks largely to a lazy script that too feels uninterested in exploring this relationship. The awkward report between Magnussen and Jingjing stands out as the pair exchange the type of schmaltzy, uninspired dialogue that would make a scriptwriting professor turn away in embarrassment.

As dull as the central love story is, it does act as the catalyst that ultimately brings Lee and Man fist to fist. Prior to the final confrontation, however, a vast majority of the film consists of a tedious Ping-Pong-style alternation of scenes in which a macho Steve relays messages between the martial artists. Each time we learn a little bit more about these two legends but the general takeaway is always the same: Lee wants to fight. Man doesn’t.

The good news is that interspersed throughout are some genuinely exciting fight sequences. Director George Nolfi is no stranger to action, having written The Bourne Ultimatum and directed the underappreciated The Last Stand starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here he doesn’t often shoot from different angles or rely on rapid-fire editing to create tension. Instead, Nolfi trusts his actors with some brutal choreography, opting to simply set the camera down and hit record.

The further into the film we go, the more grandiose the grapples become. Once Lee and Man eventually face off, not even the laws of physics can interfere. They’re practically superheroes the way they leap from tremendous heights without so much as a scratch and preform killer back flips from laughably tall heights off cement pillars. This fight in particular features some unfortunate overuse of slow-motion and obvious wire work.

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The ultimate culmination is an insane, no-holds-barred brawl at mafia headquarters. No henchman or wooden piece of furniture is safe from the screeching Bruce Lee. However, once our hero kicks down the doors to the boss’s office, I couldn’t help but feel as if all this ridiculousness was undermining the more grounded story of why he was there in the first place– to save Steve’s girlfriend– which the film spends most of its time building up.

In terms of performances, Philip Ng is solid as an overly macho caricature of Bruce Lee who’s childishly obsessed with kicking Wong Jack Man’s ass in front of as many people as possible and wants to become the “CEO” of Kung-Fu badassery. Yu Xia is perfectly stoic as Wong Jack Man, a former master of Kung-Fu at the Shaolin Temple, who now seeks to humble himself by moving to San Francisco to work as a dishwasher.

Let’s quick talk about Man. He is without a doubt the most charming character in Birth of the Dragon. He’s always doing the morally upright thing and unfailingly seizes the opportunity to drop wisdom bombs on Bruce or Steve. It’s so easy to root for Man, in fact, that I couldn’t shake the impression that if his opponent’s name wasn’t Bruce Lee, then he’d surely be the hero of this story.

I’ll end my review by equating Birth of the Dragon to a fight. Some punches land while others don’t. Other times it’ll kick you where and when you’re least expecting it. You’ll be excited by some moves but also unable to recall why certain things happened. If you can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’, this film might just be for you.

Grade: C+

What did you all think of Birth of the Dragon? Do you think it works as a true Bruce Lee biopic? Or is this just another unfortunate case of Hollywood whitewashing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Atomic Blonde– Video Review

Charlize Theron + comic book movies= Atomic Blonde and we’ve got our review!

What did you all think of Atomic Blonde? Hit us up in the comments below and let us know!

Review: ‘The Dark Tower’ flimsily stands atop solid foundation

Hollywood has been looking to Stephen King for adaptable source material for decades now. Some projects have become classic works of cinema, such as The Shawshank Redemption or The Shining. Others have been cast aside and forgotten like many of the restless spirits in King’s works.

Despite widely varying results, there is an obvious hunger for seeing King’s nightmarish imagination play out on the silver screen. Still, many have opted out of adapting The Dark Tower series, which is largely considered King’s magnum opus.

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Fast forward to 2017. Not only do we have a live-action retelling of Stephen King’s iconic novel, but it features two of the biggest stars on the planet in Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. And while the collision of so much talent may seem like the cosmic workings of a greater power (a turtle, perhaps?), I’m afraid this iteration of The Dark Tower is doomed to the limbo of forgotten Stephen King movies.

That isn’t to say The Dark Tower is an outright mess. It isn’t. It’s actually pretty fun throughout thanks to occasional flashes of inspired world building and a strong outing by Elba as the heralded gunslinger, the last in a long line of badass cowboys who guard The Dark Tower from forces that would do it harm.

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Matthew McConaughey’s Man in Black is one of those forces. He’s a powerful sorcerer who causes people to stop breathing or hate their own mother (no, really) by simply waving his hand. However, the Man in Black does more damage to the actual movie he’s in than anything.

Whereas the gunslinger seeks revenge for the death of those closest to him, no such motivation is given to the Man in Black. He wants to raise The Dark Tower and destroy the universe because he’s evil and that’s the type of thing evil characters in these types of stories do. It comes off as if no attention was spared to his development. Not even the Academy Award winning  McConaughey sparks any excitement from the one note writing. He delivers each eye-rolling line with spectacular boredom.

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But the Man in Black is only one convention inside an overly conventional film. Oozing from the mind of Stephen King, The Dark Tower movie should at least feel like a singular experience. Nobody tells the types of stories he tells and his creative influences are felt even during the most lackluster of his adaptations.

I knew where this movie was headed the moment Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) had his doodling pad ripped from his hands by the school bully, right down to the laughable final showdown. And I was right. You don’t have to possess any Shine to be able to predict each next step in this fantastical journey.

Grade: C+

What did you all think about The Dark Tower? Did you have fun with it? And what did you think about Matthew McConaughey in this role? Let us know in the comments section below!

Port of Dorks Podcast Ep. 16: The Dark Tower & Atomic Blonde

The Port of Dorks Podcast is back! In episode 16, the dorks discuss the roller coaster movie that is The Dark Tower and the new Charlize Theron spy thriller Atomic Blonde!

What do ya’ll think about these films? Did you like or dislike one more than the other? And who is more brooding: Charlize or Idris? Let us know in the comments below!

False advertising & ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ review

War for the Planet of the Apes rounds out one of the greatest trilogies of the 21st century. It also featured a blatantly false marketing campaign. We talk about both in our video review!

 

What do you all think? Does the new ‘Apes’ franchise belong in the discussion of one of the all-time best trilogies and did you feel lied to by the marketing campaign at all? Let’s talk about it in the comments!