Awkwafina and Sandra Oh to Star in Sister Comedy for Netflix

Awkwafina and Sandra Oh will star in an untitled sister comedy for Netflix.

Golden Globe winners Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell) and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” Over the Moon) will star in the movie, which will deal with a lonely recluse whose life is upended when her trainwreck of a sister vows to mend their relationship by helping her fulfill her lifelong dream: to be a contestant on her favorite game show.

The writer is Jen D’Angelo, who wrote the upcoming sequel to Hocus Pocus for Disney+ and is a co-executive producer on the NBC series “The Young Rock” starring Dwayne Johnson. She was recently the on-set writer for Skydance’s sci-fi feature The Tomorrow War. Additional credits include “Solar Opposites” (Hulu), “Workaholics,” “The Millers” and “Cougar Town.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

HBO Max to Stream Comedy Central’s ‘The Other Two,’ ‘South Side’ and ‘Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens’

The upcoming seasons of the comedies “The Other Two” and “South Side” from Comedy Central Productions are joining HBO Max as new Max Original series, while the channel’s “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” will also find a home on the streaming service.

The first seasons of “The Other Two” and “South Side” will land on the platform in 2021 followed by new seasons to stream exclusively as Max Original series.

“The Other Two,” created by former “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers, follows two millennial siblings as they navigate their teenage brother’s rise to internet fame and “South Side,” shot on location in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, is a comedic look at two friends, ready to take one world, once they stop working at the local rent-to-own.

As part of the deal, HBO Max has become the exclusive streaming home to the semi-autobiographical comedy “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens,” from Awkwafina. Season one is available to stream now on HBO Max. Season two will premiere and air in its entirety on Comedy Central next summer before becoming available on HBO Max.

“These ground-breaking and hilarious programs are cultural touchstones and we are excited about the diverse group of comedic voices they will bring to HBO Max. We know our audiences will want to watch again and again,” Michael Quigley, EVP of content acquisitions at WarnerMedia, said in a statement. “We are strategically thinking of the fans first, and adding these exceptional series to our portfolio allows us to introduce these standout comedies to new viewers on HBO Max.”

“Comedy Central Productions’ deal with HBO Max is emblematic of our studio production strategy to maximize the value of our content by selectively working with third parties while prioritizing franchise IP for our own platforms,” Keyes Hill-Edgar, chief operating officer of ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Brands, said in a statement. “As we shift our strategy and double down on adult animation, topical shows and scripted movies — we are excited to supercharge our studio sales business and continue these great series with HBO Max.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“The Other Two” features Cary, an aspiring actor and his sister Brooke, a former professional dancer, who try to find their place in the world while wrestling with their feelings about their 13-year-old brother Chase’s sudden rise to internet fame. Created by former “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, the series stars Drew Tarver, Helene Yorke, Case Walker, Ken Marino and Molly Shannon. Executive producers are Lorne Michaels, Kelly, Schneider, Andrew Singer and Tony Hernandez. The series is produced by Comedy Central Productions, Jax Media and Broadway Video.

Follow us on Instagram

“South Side” follows two friends who just graduated from community college and are ready to take over the world. But until they do, they’re stuck working at Rent-T-Own. Shot on location in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, the show offers an authentic look into what life on the South Side is all about. Created by Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin and Sultan Salahuddin, the comedy stars Sultan Salahuddin, Kareme Young, Chandra Russell and Lil Rel Howery. Executive producers are Michael Blieden, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. The series is produced by Comedy Central Productions.

“Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” features Awkwafina (Nora Lum) as Nora Lin in a scripted series based on her real-life beginnings in Queens, N.Y. Raised alongside her cousin by her dad and grandma, Nora leans on her family as she navigates young adulthood in outer borough New York City. Created by Awkwafina and Teresa Hsiao, the series also stars Lori Tan Chinn and BD Wong.  The series is executive produced by Nora Lum, Karey Dornetto, Lucia Aniello, Teresa Hsiao, and Peter Principato and Itay Reiss of Artists First.

Jumanji: The Next Level

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Adventure Comedy;
Box Office $316.83 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Danny Glover, Danny DeVito, Colin Hanks, Rhys Darby, Rory McCann.

The creative team behind 2017’s surprise blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle returns to deliver a worthy sequel that is just as entertaining as its predecessor.

The new story provides a mostly familiar setting with enough new elements to freshen up the formula a bit without straying too far from what audiences came to love about the previous film.

In the new film, the teenagers who beat the game before have drifted apart a bit as they head off to college, where Spencer (AlexWolff) begins to feel out of place in the world. When he returns home for the holidays to find his grandfather (Danny DeVito) staying in his old room, he yearns to once again become the hero of the video game, which, it turns out, he salvaged from the garbage heap the group left it in at the end of the previous movie.

When his friends come looking for him and discover he re-entered the game, they follow him in to help bring him out, thinking it should be too hard considering they already beat the game and will know what to expect. This time, though, they inadvertently bring bystanders into the game, resulting in many of the players not having the same avatars they had the last time, giving the actors plenty of chances to play each other. As an added complication, the game’s story has changed, with the characters’ abilities shifting to match.

As a result, the audience knows just enough about the rules of the game to have fun anticipating what will come next, while the particulars are just different enough to keep viewers guessing. Like before, a huge part of the film’s charm is the way it spoofs both video games and Indiana Jones-type adventure serials, only this time around the audience’s pre-existing affection for the characters makes watching them take advantage of their experience of having played before all the more satisfying.

Follow us on Instagram!

The film also smartly takes the adventure out of the jungle for the most part, changing the scenery to deserts and frozen mountains, which at least gives the film a new visual flair to play with. And there’s also a nice little lesson about friendship and teamwork.

In pushing out two movies, though, the filmmakers have probably milked as much from the concept as they can, which is why the film sets up another sequel that promises to mix things up a bit and take the franchise back to the roots of the original 1995 film.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The home video editions of the film come with a ton of extras that play on the winning chemistry of the cast. Many of these come in the form of promotional videos, such as the minute-long “Grow Up,” in which Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart learn how to impersonate Dannys DeVito and Glover. “Trick or Treat” features Hart arriving at Johnson’s house at Halloween dressed in The Rock’s sweater and fanny pack from an infamous 1990s photo. Other videos put the cast in a telenovela and tease Awkwafina’s thieving skills. But the most intriguing might be the three-minute “NPC Confessions: Jurgen the Brutal,” an in-depth analysis with candid insights of the film’s new villain, played by Rory McCann of “Game of Thrones” fame.

These are accompanied by a five-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

In a throwback to the extras of the previous movie, “Rhys Darby Wants to Jingle” is a two-and-a-half-minute video in which Darby, who plays the game’s narrator and guide, wants to do his own music video to match the one the cast, sans him, did for the previous film.

Three behind-the-scenes featurettes total about 23 minutes and cover the basics from the story creation to the cast dynamics and the visual effects. The Blu-ray and digital editions also include lengthy breakdowns of the ostrich chase and monkey attack sequences, plus VFX pre-vis reels of the zeppelin battle and ostrich chase compared with the final versions of the scenes. These are about five minutes each.

The Blu-ray includes a fold-out map of Jumanji with an interactive AR game.

Digital versions on Vudu also include a “Get in the Game Mode,” which uses on-screen graphics that pop up as the movie plays to offer such information as trivia, statistics and character power levels during fights. This provides an added bit of fun to the video game spoof aspect of the film.

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Ready to Play on Digital March 3, Disc Including 4K March 17

The actioner Jumanji: The Next Level will come out on digital March 3 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD March 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

It has earned $768.5 million at the global box office.

Stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillanreturn for another game-based adventure, along with Jumanji newcomers Awkwafina, Rory McCann, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.

The story catches up with Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Bethany (Madison Iseman) three years after their first adventure in Jumanji’s mystical video game world. When Spencer goes missing inside the game ahead of the group’s planned reunion from college, his friends, along with his grandfather (DeVito) and his grandfather’s friend (Glover), once again inhabit the avatars of Dr. Bravestone (Johnson), “Mouse” Finbar (Hart), Professor Sheldon Oberon (Black) and Ruby Roundhouse (Gillan) to rescue him. As they return to Jumanji, the players have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Bonus materials include a gag reel, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, in-depth scene breakdowns and a new jingle. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD also include an interactive collectible map that employs augmented reality to bring Jumanji to life via smart phone. The experience provides up to 10 minutes of game play and allows users to create their own 8-bit avatar, navigate a series of mini games and more.

‘The Farewell’ Due on Digital Oct. 29, Disc Nov. 12

The drama The Farewell arrives on digital Oct. 29 from A24, and on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD from Lionsgate and on demand from A24 Nov. 12.

Written and directed by Lulu Wang (Posthumous), based on her real-life experiences, the film stars Awkwafina (Crazy Rich AsiansOcean’s Eight, “Tawk”), Tzi Ma ( “Silicon Valley,” “Veep,” Skyscraper), and Diana Lin (“The Family Law,” Australia Day).

After learning that her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi returns to Changchun to find that her family has decided to keep the news from Nai Nai. While the family gathers under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, Billi rediscovers the country she left as a child, and is forever changed by her grandmother’s spirit, in this story of how family can unite and strengthen us — often in spite of ourselves.

The film made $17.5 million in domestic theaters.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Extras include two featurettes, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary with writer-director Wang and cinematographer Anna Franquesa-Solano.

Ocean’s Eight

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Comedy;
Box Office $139.32 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for language, drug use, and some suggestive content.
Stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling, Richard Armitage. 

Ocean’s Eight is pretty much exactly the movie one might expect from the premise of making a female-centric version of an “Ocean’s” heist movie.

Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, sister of George Clooney’s character from the “Ocean’s” trilogy, who gets out of prison and gathers her former cohorts for a scheme to steal an expensive necklace during the Met Gala.

Their plan is to convince a famous actress (Anne Hathaway) to wear the jewels, and through the franchise’s usual series of complicated maneuvers find a way to swap it for a fake and sneak off with the goods. Debbie also might want some revenge against a former boyfriend who got her sent to prison in the first place.

So, naturally, the plan seems to get more out of control with every detail while the twists and turns become more far-fetched. It’s best not to think too much about the logic of all of it.

True to the franchise, the film is mostly just an excuse to spend some time with the quirky and likable personalities of the all-star assembly of talent involved. There are even a few cameos from some of the characters from the earlier trilogy (but, alas, Matt Damon’s rumored cameo is nowhere to be found, not even the deleted scenes).

The Blu-ray offers a couple of short deleted scenes totaling less than two minutes.

There are also three behind-the-scenes featurettes that run about 38 minutes in total. One focuses on the cast, one focuses on the caper, and one focuses on how the filmmakers re-created the Met Gala for the story.

‘Oceans 8’ Due on Digital Aug. 21, Disc Sept. 11 From Warner

The caper flick Ocean’s 8 will come out on digital Aug. 21 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD special edition Sept. 11 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter as a group of thieves targeting $150 million in diamonds to be worn at the Met Gala.

Ocean’s 8 earned $136.5 million at the box office.

The 4K UHD combo pack ($44.95) features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the film in 4K with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, a Blu-ray disc of the film and special features, and a digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray combo pack ($35.99) features a Blu-ray disc of the film and special features in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition, and a digital version of the movie. The DVD special edition ($28.98) features a DVD with the film in standard definition and a second DVD with special features in standard definition. The film will also be available on Movies Anywhere.

Special features include deleted scenes and the featurettes “A Heist in Heels,” “Ocean’s Team 3.0” and “Reimagining the Met Gala.”