‘Mortal Kombat’ Reboot Finds a Director

I can still remember coming out of the theater buzzing after seeing Mortal Kombat in 1995. Liu Kang was my favorite character in the game and eight-year-old me thought they did his character justice in the film adaptation of the video game. The film also gave us perfect live-action realizations of characters like Reptile, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero. But after the failure that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation — one of the worst sequels of all time — the franchise stalled out and the fighting game has never been as popular as it was in the mid-nineties. But just a few years ago a web-short emerged online that gained enough popularity to be taken to series by Warner Bros. Digital as Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

Considering the risk-adverse nature of Hollywood has executives mining the depths for any salvageable franchise that guarantees a built-in audience, it’s only a matter of time before the Mortal Kombat franchise returns to the silver screen. Especially since Hollywood is trying very hard to legitimize video game adaptations with features such as Warcraft and the upcoming Assasins Creed starring Michael Fassbender.

Variety reports Australian commercial director Simon McQuiod is in talks to direct the reboot for New Line Cinema. McQuiod is best known for his commercials for PlayStation, Halo, Range Rover, and Beats by Dre. Considering he has experience helming video game commercials, McQuoid just might be the right person to take on the reboot of Mortal Kombat.

James Wan will produce the film with a script penned by Greg Russo under the banner of Broken Road Productions. As of now the film does not have a release date.

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SOURCE: VARIETY

Greg Grunberg Lands Recurring Role on ‘The Flash’

Greg Grunberg is known to many nerds around the world, most notably as the mind-reading Detective Matt Parker on NBC’s Heroes. He grew up best friends with JJ Abrams and starred in all of the films Abrams made as a child. Grunberg came to be known as Abrams’ luck charm — making appearances in almost everything Abrams has produced and directed including AliasLostSuper 8, and most recently Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Mashable reports Grunberg has landed a recurring role in the current season airing of The Flash as Detective Tom Patterson. Mashable describes the character as a gruff, stalwart figure at the Central City Police Department, who is unwavering in his commitment to protecting Central City from the dangerous metahumans that threaten it.

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Grunberg will make his debut next week on The Flash in the episode titled “Killer Frost” which will feature Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) taking forensic scientist Julian Albert (Tom Felton) hostage as she accepts her fate and embarks down the evil path towards becoming the villainous Killer Frost. The episode is directed by Grunberg’s pal and co-host of AMC’s Geeking Out, Kevin Smith.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

KEVIN SMITH DIRECTS; KILLER FROST EMERGES — Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) uses her powers to save Barry (Grant Gustin) but as her mother predicted, the effort unleashes her inner Killer Frost. Killer Frost goes on a rampage looking for Dr. Alchemy, kidnapping Julian (Tom Felton) and battling both The Flash and Vibe (Carlos Valdes). Meanwhile, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) have a heart to heart talk.

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SOURCE: MASHABLE

‘Kong: Skull Island’ Trailer Debuts on Jimmy Kimmel

A new trailer for the upcoming Kong: Skull Island made it’s debut tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts takes us back to the 1970’s when a team of explorers are stranded on Skull Island. The film takes influence from the original 1933 classic, featuring a much more monstrous take on King Kong than recent versions.

The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie LarsonSamuel L. Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Toby Kebbell, Tom Wilkinson, Terry Notary, John Goodman and John C. Reilly with a script penned by Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, directed by Jordan-Vogt Roberts.

Kong: Skull Island hits theaters March 10, 2017

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Kong: Skull Island” reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

‘Arrow’: “Vigilante” Spoiler Review

Another serial killer is on the loose in Star City this week but this time it’s a more righteous one as the series gives way to the rising of Adrian Chase in his new superhero persona, “Vigilante”. The introduction of the episode which features Vigilante taking out several low-level criminals who are part of a human trafficking ring was serviceable, to say the least. More and more the series is starting to feel a lot like Supernatural as we witness opening scenes that feature the death of no name characters to serve as a plot device.

Team Arrow 2.0 is starting to improve, most notably Wild Dog and Ragman although I still can’t understand a word Ragman says when his mask is on. Wild Dog still has to work on his attitude but he’s come a long way since his beginning as a reckless punk. Curtis needs to start taking things seriously. While I still find him to be somewhat funny, his comedy is slowly beginning to teeter into Felicity territory. Considering the end of the episode, I’ll save Artemis for later.

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David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Joe Dinicol as Rory Regan, and Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez in Arrow. (The CW)

Dolph Lundgren makes his second appearance in the flashbacks as the big bad, Konstanin Kovar. The flashbacks were a bit better thanks to his inclusion along with the reveal that Taiana’s mother is actually working for Kovar. The twist that Kovar has made a truce with the Bratva seemed to fatten things up a bit as well. We don’t usually get this much to chew on in the consistently half-baked flashbacks but this episode went against that grain. The end duel was a treat to see Oliver Queen basically taking on Ivan Drago but Oliver is still an extremely sloppy fighter. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense considering it’s now less than a year before he makes his grand return to Star(ling) City and rises up as The Hood against the criminal element plaguing his hometown. He’s going to have to undergo some serious training if the writers are planning not to completely botch the flashbacks altogether.

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Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Dolph Lundgren as Konstatin Kovar in Arrow (The CW.)

Thea and Lance shared a few touching scenes this episode that showed how close the two have grown since working together at City Hall. Thea was able to give Lance the support and the push he needs to stop drinking and get clean. Last week the series tried to trick us into believing that Prometheus is actually Lance but this episode seemed to point away from that. I don’t buy for a second that Lance is getting black out drunk and taking down squads of police and crime lords in a theatrical fashion.

Oliver is beginning to move forward in his personal life. While this plot is the least interesting of the episode it wasn’t bad at all. It’s good to see Oliver putting Felicity behind him even though I don’t think the relationship is going anywhere nor are he and Felicity finished with each other. The show is making it a point to capitalize on the awkward tension between Oliver and Felicity since they began seeing other people and it’s most definitely intentional. Even though Felicity distracts herself with Billy, she can’t hide the way she still looks at him in the Arrow cave.

After a group of serial bank robbers hit several banks, almost being wiped out by Vigilante, the team comes up with a clever plan to stage another robbery in order to draw Vigilante out. What threw me off was that the moment Diggle takes down the security guard both he and Felicity pulled their masks off. I’m assuming Felicity shut down the surveillance system off screen but it was still distracting. Regardless, Mr. Terrific’s blood is most certainly on the bank’s floor after Vigilante beat him bloody and took him hostage before Vigilante took on the Green Arrow in a duel. The fight itself was pretty good but a bit overshadowed by Green Arrow when he bested him before by pulling a cable arrow to zip line kick combo in the alley. Josh Segarra’s performance as Vigilante wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t great either. The problem is the voice he put on to disguise his normal voice. It was like an awful impersonation of Christian Bale’s guttural voice as Batman.

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Stephen Amell as Green Arrow, Josh Segarra as Vigilante, and Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific in Arrow. (The CW)

Overall the episode was a step up compared to some of the episodes this season but that isn’t saying much. The show is going a bit back and forth between Prometheus’ true identity as Lance. After the seemingly major reveal last week, this episode attempted to shut that down only for Lance to go off to rehab, leaving his location in question shortly before Prometheus appeared at the closing of the episode which then delivered a big twist as Evelyn Sharp was revealed to be ally of Prometheus, working Team Arrow from the inside. The twist itself comes completely out of nowhere. Based on Evelyn’s past, it seems for likely that her motivations would pit her against a Prometheus type. Regardless, I’m just glad the twist wasn’t revealed through the show’s marketing campaign which loves to use spoilers as a desperate ploy to generate more interest in the show in order to boost ratings.

7.5 – OKAY

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‘Kong: Skull Island’ Final Trailer Teaser; Posters Revealed

Monsters exist. The upcoming reimagination of King Kong in Kong: Skull Island by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is said to be taking things back to its roots as the film will feature a much more monster like Gorilla than more recent versions.

With the film only five months away from its theatrical debut in the United State, the marketing campaign is beginning to ramp up. Last week we got our first clear image of the super-sized Gorilla per Entertainment Weekly and today we have a short teaser for the upcoming final trailer for the film set to debut tonight on Jimmy Kimmel.

Warner Bros. has also released two new posters that offer a look at the monstrous scale of King Kong himself.

The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie LarsonSamuel L. Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Toby Kebbell, Tom Wilkinson, Terry Notary, John Goodman and John C. Reilly with a script penned by Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, directed by Jordan-Vogt Roberts.

Kong: Skull Island hits theaters March 10, 2017

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Kong: Skull Island” reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

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‘Arrow’: “Vigilante” Scene; Producers Preview

Last week on Arrow, Oliver finally came face to face Konstantine Kovar (Dolph Lundgren), his target in the flashbacks set in Russia. While in the present day the mysterious villain Prometheus went on a killing spree in order to send a message to Oliver and Team Arrow. Tonight, more bodies are turning up on the streets of Star City but this time the killings weren’t made by Prometheus, but instead at the hands of a new vigilante in town. The episode will see the rise of a new crime fighter as district attorney Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra), fed up with the crime and corruption in the city, takes to the streets battling against the criminal element in his newly created persona “Vigilante”.

Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

DOLPH LUNDGREN “ROCKY” GUEST STARS – When the bodies of two criminals are dropped at SCPD, Oliver (Stephen Amell) realizes there is a new Vigilante in Star City. The team is split about whether they should stop someone who is helping keep the city safe. Diggle (David Ramsey) is frustrated with his new situation and Thea (Willa Holland) fights for Lance (Paul Blackthorne) who confesses a shocking secret. Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, Oliver finally sits down with Konstantin Kovar (guest star Dolph Lundgren).

‘The Flash’: “Killer Frost” Extended Preview

Next week on The Flash, Dr. Caitlin Snow is going to go dark side as she embraces her destiny as the villainous Killer Frost. This will be the second episode Kevin Smith has directed of the series.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/ PT on The CW.

KEVIN SMITH DIRECTS; KILLER FROST EMERGES — Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) uses her powers to save Barry (Grant Gustin) but as her mother predicted, the effort unleashes her inner Killer Frost. Killer Frost goes on a rampage looking for Dr. Alchemy, kidnapping Julian (Tom Felton) and battling both The Flash and Vibe (Carlos Valdes). Meanwhile, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) have a heart to heart talk.

‘The Flash’: “Shade” Spoiler Review

“Shade” opens with Wally having dreams of his life in Flashpoint as Kid Flash thanks to Dr. Alchemy. Since The Rival made his debut on Earth One, we knew it would only be a matter of time before Wally’s alternate life caught up with him and the rest of Team Flash. It’s a good introduction to the episode but the narrative quickly starts to bounce all over the place.

The problem with this episode was that the writers tried to pack too much into it. While it was great to when Caitlin revealed her powers to Cisco—giving us the treat of Cisco vibing Caitlin in the future to see the two of them having a full on Vibe vs. Killer Frost battle—only for Cisco to out Caitlin’s powers to the rest of the team, too many other, weaker storylines took away from the importance and the impact of this major turning point for Caitlin Snow.

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Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Catilin Snow in The Flash (The CW)

From HR and his silly light refracting device to Joe and Cecil’s cute but ultimately flat romance smashed underneath the main plot of Dr. Alchemy putting the visions of Flashpoint into Wally’s head, along with the arrival Savitar in the closing moments. Shade made for an uneven and overstuffed episode that didn’t manage to serve up the weight of the events that were transpiring.

The monster of the week, Shade, was overall a pointless distraction. Wally and Caitlin’s conflicts were enough to keep this episode chugging along just fine but unfortunately we were forced to endure a metahuman whose powers were realized with very poor visual effects. From his serviceable, Supernatural-esque introduction, to his underwhelming defeat, his inclusion to the storyline was nothing more than a pointless distraction from the real issues at hand. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if the visual effects for a character are going to be so poor, don’t even bother doing it at all.

Unfortunately, Caitlin nor Wally can fight what is coming. They are both destined for powers whether that results in them doing good or evil. It’s heartbreaking to watch Caitlin who is such a caring and tender person begin her demise into the villainous Killer Frost. Wally is a little more frustrating to watch. His lack of respect for the power of speed along with his immaturity and over eagerness to become a superhero makes him seem undeserving of the ability. Sometimes adult characters on The CW behave like teenagers and that’s exactly what is happening when they say Wally is jealous because he doesn’t have powers but he wants nothing more than to help people. If Wally truly wanted to help the people of Central City, he would find a way to do so. Or at least make his contribution to Team Flash more valuable.

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Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West and Dr. Alchemy in The Flash. (The CW)

HR is growing more and more ridiculous every week. I’m wondering if Tom Cavanaugh signed a deal to return to the series as long as he could act and dress like himself in real life. But his sense of humor is becoming a bit over saturated. Much like most of what was happening in this episode, HR’s eccentric personality feels like a distraction to keep our minds off of the possibility that he is up to something nefarious. I still don’t buy that he is studying the team to write his novel and now that we were introduced to his light refracting device and his ability to make retinal adjustments to those around him, it has me wondering just what else he could make Team Flash see, or not see? The audio sync on the alternate face he was using was also a bit weird.

The end of the episode finally shifted Dr. Alchemy into the spotlight just after it was mentioned rather quickly that Julian Albert’s character was nowhere to be found. If they are going for a Julian Albert is the Albert Desmond version of Dr. Alchemy, I’ll be disappointed because it will be a lazy, on the nose writing move. Once in Dr. Alchemy’s lair, we saw him surrounded by several of his followers. Just who are those followers exactly and why do they follow him? Dr. Alchemy isn’t as bad as Prometheus on Arrow, but it still feels like the writers want us to care about or be interested in things without actually giving us a reason to invest. The final battle was fine, and it was awesome when Wally was crystalized, seemingly beginning his metamorphosis into Kid Flash, but the impact was quickly botched by the arrival of Savitar, a major villain from the comics who deserved an introduction that should have been longer and more focused.

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Dr. Alchemy in The Flash. (The CW)

Overall this episode was okay but if the writers had focused on Caitlin and Wally’s struggle with the inevitable evolution into their alter-egos it could have been great. Ultimately there were just too many flavors in this dish that caused the story of the episode to get lost in itself, becoming the weakest entry of the season yet.

6.9 – OKAY

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‘The Flash’: “Shade” Scene; Producers Preview

Further consequences of the alternate timeline of “Flashpoint” are about to catch up to Barry and the rest of the team on tonight’s episode of The Flash when Dr. Alechemy begins to push visions of Kid Flash into Wally’s head.

The Flash airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

WALLY HAS VISIONS OF BEING KID FLASH — When Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) starts having dreams about being Kid Flash, Barry (Grant Gustin) realizes he has to tell Wally, Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) about what happened to Wally in Flashpoint in order to keep him safe.

Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey Spinoff Finds Screenwriter

Whether you loved or hated it the third outing in the DCEU Suicide Squad, there’s no denying that actress Margot Robbie was indisputably the best part of the film with her fantastic realization of the fourth most popular character in DC comics history, Harley Quinn.

Coming off the heels of the film, it came as no great surprise when Robbie struck a first-look deal to develop and produce three feature films at Warner Bros. through her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment.

According to The Wrap, Warner Bros. has tapped screenwriter Christina Hodson to pen the script for a Harley Quinn/Bird of Prey spinoff. While Hodson isn’t well known to audiences now, she will be a name to look out for in the coming years as she has already turned in a Bumblebee spinoff script for the Transformers franchise over at Paramount Pictures as well as reboot for The Fugitive over at Warner Bros. She first made a name for herself when her spec script “The Eden Project” made the blacklist and was bought up by Sony and Material Pictures. Her first effort to hit the silver screen, Shut In, released in theaters yesterday.

Whether the Harley Quinn/Bird of Prey spinoff is good or bad, tt will be interesting to see it come to fruition. Considering the shift in course Warner Bros. is making after the negative critical reception to Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s probably a good thing none of the members of the Birds of Prey lineup have been introduced into the DCEU as of yet, giving them a fresh slate to move forward into development with.

Birds of Prey currently features Barbra Gordon, The Huntress, and the Black Canary. Just a few years ago The CW’s Arrow experimented with The Huntress and Sara Lance’s Canary going head to head in an episode titled “Birds of Prey”, but the female team never came to be. While the producers of Arrow weren’t thrilled with their interpretation of Helena Bertinelli’s Huntress, fans did respond to her character and the Birds of Prey episode positively. Considering it was revealed recently that Arrow was a testing ground for the squad lineup in Suicide Squad, I wouldn’t be surprised if Warner Bros. went with the current Birds of Prey team.

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SOURCE: THE WRAP