Tom & Jerry

STREAMING REVIEW:

Warner/HBO Max;
Comedy;
Rated ‘PG’
for cartoon violence, rude humor and brief language.
Stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Colin Jost, Rob Delaney, Ken Jeong, Pallavi Sharda, Jordan Bolger, Patsy Ferran.

The new movie version of the classic “Tom & Jerry” cartoons is a departure of sorts for live-action adaptations of iconic animated animal franchises.

Instead of trying to render a CGI version of the characters that is more or less supposed to represent how they would look in the “real world,” often with awkward and unsatisfactory results, Tom & Jerry borrows a page from the Who Framed Roger Rabbit school and puts the characters in in their traditional 2D animated glory interacting with a live-action environment.

The end result is a bit goofy but a lot of lighthearted fun, as the famed cat and mouse bring their violent rivalry to a fancy Manhattan hotel looking to host a high-profile wedding.

Caught in the middle is Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young drifter whose job delivering laundry is hampered when the duo crash into her fighting in Central Park while performing for loose change. Tom (the cat) wants to be a concert pianist, while Jerry (the mouse) just wants to find a place to live.

They all stumble upon the hotel, where Kayla smooth talks them into hiring her for the temp staff brought on to help with the fancy wedding of a couple of social influencers (Colin Jost and Pallavi Sharda). With management not wanting Jerry’s mayhem to give people the impression the hotel is infested with mice, Kayla volunteers to catch him, and brings in Tom to help, much to the chagrin of her stern supervisor (Michael Peña).

Of course, chaos ensues in the form of some typical Tom and Jerry battles.

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To ease in the consistency of its worldbuilding, the film presents every animal as a 2D animated character, from pigeons flying through central park, to other cats harassing Tom, to Spike the bulldog (voiced by Bobby Cannavale), and even a pair of elephants brought in for the wedding.

About the only drawback is that Tom and Jerry are almost side characters in their own movie, serving more as plot devices to the story of Kayla trying to stay out of trouble and pulling off the wedding as her supervisor schemes to undermine her. Still, the film should keep younger family members entertained while remaining just whimsical enough for the older crowd to stay with it.

Archenemy

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

RLJ;
Thriller;
Box Office $0.12 million;
$27.97 DVD, $28.96 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Joe Manganiello, Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, Paul Scheer, Amy Seimetz, Glenn Howerton.

The trippy Archenemy tackles the superhero genre with an approach that would definitely not be considered traditional.

Joe Manganiello plays Max Fist, a homeless drunk who trades fantastical stories of his heroic adventures for booze. Max claims to be an enforcer from a city called Chromium that exists in a parallel dimension where he had superpowers. During battle with his arch-nemesis, he used his powers to punch a hole through space-time that took him to Earth, where his powers don’t work. Now he spends most of his time drinking and punching walls hoping to go home.

He is discovered by Hamster (Skylan Brooks), a wannabe social media influencer who starts posting videos of Max hoping to get more hits.

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Flashbacks to Max’s adventures are presented through brightly colored animated segments, which don’t confirm to the audience whether what he’s saying is supposed to be true or not, but they certainly inform on his state of mind.

Hamster’s sister, Indigo (Zolee Griggs) works as a gopher for a local drug kingpin, and finds herself in his crosshairs when a job to collect money from a junkie goes wrong. When she and Hamster are threatened by the drug lord’s goons, Max leaps back into action. However, this attracts the attention of his archenemy, who also is trapped on Earth, but believes the two of them coming together may be the key to unlocking their powers.

The film plays a bit like a low-budget version of Hancock, and works mostly due to Manganiello’s energetic performance. The opening credits offer a definite 1980s vibe with their colorful yet low-key visual effects.

The Blu-ray includes pretty standard a seven-minute behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews from the filmmakers.

Netflix Content Dominates 2021 Golden Globes in Banner Year for Streamers

Netflix TV shows and movies won 10 trophies at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony held Feb. 28 and broadcast on NBC. In a sign of the times, content that debuted on streaming services won 20 of the 25 categories presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The big gun for Netflix came on the TV side, with the fourth season of “The Crown” winning in all four categories it was nominated (it had two nominees in two of the acting categories), including Best Drama Series. Emma Corrin won Best Actress in a Drama series for her role as Princess Diana, beating out co-star Olivia Colman, who played Queen Elizabeth. Josh O’Connor won for Best Actor in a Drama series for playing Prince Charles, while Gillian Anderson won Best Supporting Actress for playing Margaret Thatcher.

Netflix won two more statuettes for The Queens’ Gambit, which won Best Miniseries or Television Film, and Best Actress for Anya Taylor-Joy.

Among other TV categories, The Apple TV+ original series “Ted Lasso” won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series for Jason Sudeikis, while Amazon Prime’s “Small Axe” won Best Supporting Actor for John Boyega, and HBO’s I Know This Much Is True won Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for Mark Ruffalo.

“Schitt$ Creek,” the complete series of which is streaming on several services including Netflix, and available on DVD from Lionsgate, won Best Musical or Comedy Series and Best Actress for Catherine O’Hara.

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On the movie side, because of theatrical shutdowns due to the the coronavirus pandemic, the HFPA opened eligibility to movies otherwise intended for theaters that had to be rescheduled and ultimately ended up at a streaming platform. Also, the eligibility period covering 2020 films was extended to include early 2021 releases.

Subsequently, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which debuted on Amazon Prime Video in October and never played in theaters, won for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won Best Actor for reprising his role as the title character in the politically charged sequel.

Best Motion Picture — Drama went to Nomadland, which was released concurrently in theaters and on Hulu Feb. 19 (though it did screen at some film festivals and limited engagements last year). Chloé Zhao won Best Director for the film.

Another Hulu movie, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, won Best Actress in a drama for Andra Day in the title role.

Judas and the Black Messiah, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on Feb. 1, and was released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures Feb. 12 simultaneously in theaters and for streaming on HBO Max, won Best Supporting Actor for Daniel Kaluuya.

Netflix’s movie haul included the late Chadwick Boseman winning Best Actor in a drama for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Aaron Sorkin winning Best Screenplay for The Trial of the Chicago 7; Rosamund Pike winning Best Actress in a musical or comedy for I Care a Lot; and “Lo Si (Seen)” winning Best Song for Italian film The Life Ahead.

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Pixar’s Soul, which saw its theatrical release scrapped in lieu of a Christmas Day debut on Disney+ domestically (it played in theaters internationally), won two trophies, for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.

STX Films’ The Mauritanian, which will debut on Amazon Prime April 1, won Best Supporting Actress for Jodi Foster.

Finally, A24’s Minari, an American production in Korean, won Best Foreign-Language Film.

 

Nielsen: Top Weekly Streamed Content Dips Below 1 Billion Minutes

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.
Licensed TV Shows:

 

Streamed Movies:

Warner Bros.’ ‘Tom & Jerry’ Tops $13.6 Million Domestic Weekend Box Office — Second-Highest Debut in Pandemic Era

Following a $4 million Feb. 26 domestic box office debut, Warner Bros. Pictures saw its live-action animated feature Tom & Jerry, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, generate a projected $13.6 million across more than 2,400 screens through Feb. 28. The tally , which surpassed the studio’s $12.5 million projection, is the second-highest theatrical weekend debut since the studio’s opening $16.4 million Christmas weekend for Wonder Woman 1984. Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age held the original pandemic box office record with $9.7 million over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The animated sequel generated $1.2 million in a distant No. 2 position — the only other theatrical release to break a million in domestic revenue. Croods 2 has now generated $52.4 million in 14 weeks of box office. The movie is also available on digital and packaged media retail.

Rounding out the Top 5, included Warner’s The Little Things with $925,000 in ticket sales ($12.9 million since launching Jan. 29); WW84 at $710,000 ($43.6 million since Christmas Day);  and The Marksman,” generating $680,000 in ticket sales ($12.3 million since mid-January debut).

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Tom & Jerry, like WW84, The Little Things and last weekend’s Judas and the Black Messiah, had a concurrent debut on subscription streaming platform HBO Max. With 50% of domestic screens still closed due to government restrictions, Warner is releasing its entire 2021 theatrical slate simultaneously on Max.

No. 2 theatrical chain Regal, which has been closed since last year, is expected to open select screens next weekend as coronavirus infections decrease nationwide and potential vaccinated moviegoers increase.

 

 

‘Super 8’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD May 25

Super 8, from writer/director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg, will debut on 4K Ultra HD May 25 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally released on June 10, 2011, the film celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Newly remastered for the 4K Ultra HD release, Super 8 stars Joel Courtney (The Kissing Booth), Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) and Elle Fanning (“The Great”). It tells the story of six friends who witness a train wreck while making a Super 8 movie, only to discover that something unimaginable escaped during the crash. They soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is what it wants.

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The 4K Ultra HD release includes access to a digital copy of the film and more than two hours of previously released bonus content, commentary by Abrams, Bryan Burk and Larry Fong; “The Dream Behind Super 8”(HD); “The Search for New Faces” (HD); “Meet Joel Courtney (HD); “Rediscovering Steel Town (HD); “The Visitor Lives (HD); “Scoring Super 8 (HD); “Do You Believe in Magic?” (HD); “The 8mm Revolution (HD); Easter eggs (HD); “Deconstructing the Train Crash” (HD); and deleted scenes (HD).

Classic Musical ‘My Fair Lady’ Heading to 4K Ultra HD May 25

The classic musical My Fair Lady will debut on 4K Ultra HD combo pack May 25 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, My Fair Lady also won the Best Picture Golden Globe and was selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

Adapted from the Broadway stage hit, the film stars Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, a role that earned him the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, a sassy, working-class London street vendor. The elitist Higgins attempts to turn Eliza into a sophisticated lady through proper tutoring. But when the humble flower girl blossoms into the toast of London society, her teacher has a lesson or two to learn himself.

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The 4K Ultra HD release features a recent 8K film transfer, as well as English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD. The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack also includes access to a digital copy of the film and more than two hours of previously released bonus content.

Halle Barry to Star in ‘The Mothership’ for Netflix

Halle Barry will star in the feature The Mothership for Netflix and MRC Film.

Matt Charman
(Photo by Rosie Hallam)

Writer Matthew Charman (Bridge of Spies, Operation Finale) will make his directorial debut with the picture. Charman was nominated for an Academy Award for his Bridge of Spies screenplay with Joel and Ethan Cohen.

The sci-fi adventure follows Sara Morse (Berry) one year since her husband mysteriously vanished from their rural farm. When she discovers a strange, extraterrestrial object underneath their home, Sara and her kids embark on a race to find their husband, father and most importantly — the truth.

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Academy Award winning actress Berry will next star in the Netflix original film Bruised, her feature directorial debut.

MRC Film most recently released the Oscar nominated film Knives Out from writer/director Rian Johnson and The Lovebirds starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae with Netflix.

Warner Bros. Ups Kristy Chan to SVP, Marketing and Publicity, Unscripted Television

WarnerMedia has promoted former Netflix executive Kristy Chan to SVP, marketing and publicity, unscripted television for Warner Bros. Television. In her new role, Chan will lead marketing and communications initiatives for reality programs, supporting Mike Darnell, president, Warner Bros. unscripted and alternative television, and WarnerMedia Studios and networks corporate communications across all companies (Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Telepictures and Shed Media) in broadcast, streaming, cable, digital and first-run syndication.

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Kristy Chan

Chan most recently served as VP, publicity, at WarnerMedia’s TBS, TNT, truTV properties. At Netflix, Chan  worked in original series publicity heading up the streamer’s PR efforts for young adults and family, along with all publicity efforts on Shondaland series. Her purview also included content and corporate communications, awards and marketing.

Chan is not new to working at a Burbank, Calif. studio. She previously spent nearly 15 years at Universal Television, most recently as VP of publicity and awards strategy, overseeing the publicity team and awards campaigns on major titles, including “Will & Grace,” “30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “House,” “Heroes,” “The Mindy Project” and “Smash,” among many others.  Chan also held roles at MGM Home Entertainment, Porter Novelli and Bender / Helper Impact.

Sony Pictures, Lionsgate Partner on Multiyear Physical Home Entertainment Distribution Agreement

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lionsgate Feb. 26 announced a multi-year agreement in which Sony will handle distribution of Lionsgate’s DVD/Blu-ray Disc releases in the U.S. and Canada beginning in July. Lionsgate’s North American packaged media distribution has been handled by the former 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which was acquired in 2019 by Disney.

Lionsgate will continue to maintain its own independent sales and marketing teams, while leveraging SPHE’s supply chain and distribution services. The agreement was jointly announced by Jason Spivak, EVP, Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Ron Schwartz, President, Worldwide Distribution, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“By working together, we can identify and leverage efficiencies in the supply chain that will benefit not only our respective studios, but also retailers, and ultimately, the millions of consumers who enjoy Sony Pictures and Lionsgate feature films and TV programs in the 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD formats,” Spivak said.

Schwartz said the collaboration makes both studio’s home entertainment businesses stronger and more competitive.

“Our new agreement enhances our ability to serve the retail community and consumers with innovation, adaptability and strong content slates in the years to come,” he said.