Jungle Cruise Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers: Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 127 Minutes
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise attraction has been thrilling visitors since it first opened in 1955. The beloved ride, which simulates a riverboat expedition through Asia, Africa, and South America, expanded to Walt Disney World in 1971, Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005. Now, following in the tracks of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and Tomorrowland, the popular, pun-fueled ride is getting a big-budget film adaptation.
As long as I could remember, my mother would put on her hilarious mock-British accent and call everyone “Mr. Allnut” whenever she wanted us to do anything around the house. I got a chance to take my mom to see Mr. Allnut on the big screen for the first time, as The African Queen was in theaters this weekend for its 70th Anniversary as part of TCM’s Big Screen Classics series through Fathom Events.
The 1951 classic stars Humphrey Bogart in his lone Oscar-winning role as steamboat captain Charlie Allnut in German East Africa helping missionary Rose Sayer, the 12-time Oscar nominee/4-time winner Katharine Hepburn down the Ulanga River. Directed by the great John Huston, the film is a part of the National Film Registry.
Harry Potter is one of the top intellectual properties in the world. J.K Rowling’s acclaimed book series about a young wizard has sold over 500 million copies, with 8 movies generating $1.2 billion. In early June 2021, Harry Potter landed in the Big Apple, at 935 Broadway right across the street from the Flatiron Building. The new store boasts the largest assembly of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise under one roof and now offers two incredible virtual reality experiences opening this week! I admit that I am a huge Potter geek, so this was extra special for me. Check out my report below, along with the video I shot in the Harry Potter New York store.
I can honestly say you have never seen a film like Sator before. More than that, you’ve never heard a story behind a film crazier than that of Sator as well. Sator represents a 7-year journey for Jordan Graham, who did literally everything on this film. He is credited as the writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer, and even did the music for the film. The long journey was mainly a result of the titular entity who has haunted Graham’s family since the 1960s. His real-life grandmother, the late June Peterson, randomly discussed her “automatic writing” in which the being Sator speaks through her, and this caused Graham to rewrite his film into a darker and more atmospheric horror. Available on VOD now on Prime, VUDU, and Apple TV, Sator is one of the most unique film-viewing experiences you will have and a damn effective horror film even without knowing any of the crazy backstory. I had a chance to speak with Graham about the film, his family’s history with Sator, and more.
By most metrics 2020 SUCKED. As someone who believes movie theaters are akin to religious institutions, 2020 was an especially rough year for me. Without blockbusters and theater crowds to keep us entertained, movie fans turned to streaming services and VOD. Perhaps the only silver lining was horror. Horror killed it in 2020 with some tremendous early hits I was actually able to see in theaters and then tons more from the comfort of my couch thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and above all Shudder. Shudder was a shining beacon in the dark of plague halted year for horror fans and for only $5 a month it is worth every penny.
In 2020 we saw the return of the horror anthology, typically great foreign horror and the rise of young promising writers/directors who can dominate this genre for years to come. So let’s take a look at my Top Horror Films of 2020!