Set Video From The Matrix 4 Shows High-Flying Stunt

High-Flying Matrix 4 Set Video
(YouTube/Is It Worth It?)

Over the past few months, since the announcement was made, most of the news we’ve gotten has revolved around the cast. We know that Keanu and Carrie-Anne Moss are returning. We know that Lawrence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving are not. We know that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, fresh off Watchmen, will be involved, as will Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff (my money is on the Mindhunter star playing an evil agent). Jada Pinkett Smith will also star, deciding not to pass on a role in The Matrix, like her hubby Will did.

We also know that The Matrix 4 is set to be released on the same day as John Wick 4, which should be quite the bonanza for both Keanu Reeves and Keanu Reeves fans.

But we have no idea what the movie is about, aside from the titular Matrix itself, how it connects to the previous films (hopefully it barely connects to Reloaded and Revolutions at all), or what’s up with Zion and the Architect and the Merovingian. (I apologize if those issues have been resolved, I have almost no recollection of the last two films in the series.)

We do, however, know there will be some crazy action because this is a Matrix movie. And because some footage of the filming has recently landed on the interwebs.

The footage doesn’t off all that much aside from the high-flying stunts that we’ve come to expect from the franchise. In the footage, which was taken during filming in San Francisco, we can see two black-clad individuals, presumably, Neo and Trinity (and more presumably Keanu Reeces’ and Carrie-Anne Moss’s stunt doubles), running and then jumping off of a roof.

Take a look:

Why they’re running, where they’re jumping to, who’s chasing them, we have no idea. (One theory is that Neo is somehow reborn into the Matrix and has to relearn the ropes.) How the stunt will actually translate to film is also a mystery. But I’m pretty sure it will look cool, and it’s nice to see that the fashions haven’t changed.

Next year, on May 21, 2021, we’ll find out what else hasn’t – or has – changed in the world of the Matrix. Stay tuned!

Harrison Ford Says Indiana Jones 5 Starts Shooting in Two Months

Indiana Jones Starts Filming in Two Months
(Walt Disney)

Sometimes I wish this were all a dream. I wish I could wake up and live in a world where things are mostly the same but there are some small differences that would just make life a little more pleasant.

In this fantasy world, George Lucas got the prequel trilogy right. There was no Phantom Menace, no talk about taxes and blockades, Attack of the Clones was just… better, and Revenge of the Sith was split into two movies to make Anakin’s turn more a slow burn, to give more time to the systematic elimination of the Jedi, and to get rid of the ham-handed Frankenstein walk and jazz hands in the final scene. And then Lucas and Spielberg decided to never make Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and just let the series end with the fun-as-hell Last Crusade.

But no, we don’t live in a dream, we live in a nightmare, which is why the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still exists, and they’re also making ANOTHER Indiana Jones movie.

Another sequel has been rumored for a while, but Harrison Ford recently said it would begin filming soon, and while doing press for his new movie Call of the Wild, he divulged a little bit about it.

“Well, I’m not going to share the story with you because that doesn’t seem like a good idea,” the 77-year-old (!) Ford said. “But we’ll see new developments in his life, his relationship. We’ll see part of his history resolved.”

The script is being written by Jonathan Kasdan, writer of Solo, (gulp) and son of Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote Raiders and several other big deal movies, and Ford seems pleased with it. “It’s a very good script. I’m looking forward to it.”

Shia LaBeouf is hopefully not looking forward to it, because no one ever needs to see his character “Mutt” again. As to whether we’ll see Karen Allen as Marion, whom Indy married in the last movie, we don’t yet know, nor do we know what it will be about.

Nor do we really care. Right? The last thing was an abomination. Let sleeping characters named after their family dogs lie!

Former NFLer Wins Oscar for Short About Dads, Daughters, and Hair

Hair Love
(Twitter/MatthewACherry)

Former NFL receiver Matthew Cherry scored a huge honor for his second career when his animated short, “Hair Love”, won an Oscar. Cherry, a journeyman receiver who went undrafted out of Akron and bounced around several NFL rosters before retiring a decade ago, started his project with a robust Kickstarter campaign. And it ended with him holding an Academy Award.

“Hair Love” is a touching short film about an African American dad trying to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. A little over six minutes, the animated short has been viewed almost 20 million times. And it’s very much worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

Cherry is not the first professional athlete to find success in film, as NBA legend Kobe Bryant won one in 2018 in the same category (for his short “Dear Basketball”). Cherry called this out during his acceptance speech and dedicated his win to the late basketball great.

Cherry was confident in the idea from the start, as he put out a call for help on Twitter several years back, in which he confidently declared the idea worthy of an Oscar. And history bore out his prediction, so huge props to him for that.

The short has since been translated into other languages and even features a book component.

Cherry said his motivation was to bring some positivity and representation into the animated short realm and to channel the joy that dads had in helping do their daughter’s hair.

“Black fathers get one of the worst raps in terms of stereotypes—we’re deadbeats, we’re not around,” he told the NYTimes. “The people I know are extremely involved in their kids’ lives.”

The NFL player turned filmmaker is just getting started, and he’s always been confident in his vision.

Rick Moranis Left Acting Behind to Be a Single Dad, Has No Regrets

Rick Moranis Returns
(Getty/Theo Wargo)

Hollywood is a fickle beast. One-time stars often fade into obscurity through no fault, and no choice, of their own. Sometimes those stars get lucky and get another shot at the spotlight – often thanks to Quentin Tarantino – but sometimes they don’t. Once you’re gone, you can be easily forgotten.

Rick Moranis was never forgotten. The beloved comic actor, who appeared in both Ghostbusters movies and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids franchise, disappeared from our screens 24 years ago, and many fans wondered if and when he’d be back. It turns out he’ll be back this year, having just announced his return to acting, reprising his role as the mistake-prone inventor in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids legacyquel. It’s impressive to see someone bounce back after more than two decades out of the business.

Even more impressive is why he left in the first place.

Moranis wasn’t a victim of Hollywood’s conveyor belt or fans’ shifting tastes. His departure from the limelight was a personal choice, and the actor has no regrets.

In 1991, Moranis’s wife, costume designer Ann Belsky, died from cancer, and the actor left his career, which was still on the ascent, to stay home and raise his two children. Now 66, the actor is on the verge of a comeback, and he’s explaining where he went.

“I took a break, which turned into a longer break,” he told the Hollywood Reporter . “But I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest.”

He left to be a single dad, and he stands by it. “I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. My life is wonderful.”

He says he never retired from the industry, he was just picky. And he remains picky, as he explained about opting not to participate in 2016’s female Ghostbusters movies.

“I wish them well,” he said. “I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?”

Presumably, that holds true for the next Ghostbusters movie as well, in which he does not have a part. He seems perfectly at peace with leaving his career to focus on family.

“I was working with really interesting people, wonderful people,” he said. “I went from that to being at home with a couple of little kids, which is a very different lifestyle. But it was important to me.”

Good for him. But we’re glad to have him back. For 80s kids, he was important to us too.

Chief Hopper Is Alive (But not Well) in Stranger Things Teaser

Hopper Lives
(Twitter/Netflix)

Surprise! Although your mileage may vary on this one.

If you’re a pop culture cynic like me, you never believed the hype in the first place. If you’re not, if you’re a pure-hearted romantic, then this should make your heart skip a few beats. Either way, it’s still a fun Valentine’s Day treat.

Netflix released a new teaser for season 4, and there’s one heck of a spoiler in it. Unless you already sort of figured this would be the deal, in which case, it’s a little ho-hum.

That’s right, in a reveal that I suppose probably shocked some people but seemed like a foregone conclusion to the rest of us, it turns out that the beloved Chief Hopper didn’t actually die at the end of season 3 after all!

The teaser is wordless aside from some foreboding Russian music and showcases a snow-drenched prison situation, wherein prisoners are working outside in the cold, building railroad tracks? The camera shows us the guards, the guard dogs, and a bunch of faceless prisoners until it closes in on one prisoner who turns to the camera and takes off his cap to reveal… Jim Hopper! With a shaved head! But otherwise no worse for the wear.

Yes, it seems that skeptical viewers who posited that Hopper was the American referenced in the season 3 finale’s post-credits scene were right all along. He didn’t martyr himself to save Hawkins and Joyce and Eleven and the rest of the gang, he instead survived and somehow ended up in Siberia or its equivalent.

The show has already teased locations outside of Indiana and the United States, with some speculation centering on the U.K., but we now have confirmation that at least some of season 4 will take place in Russia. And will feature David Harbour as his fan-favorite character.

This definitely takes some of the oomph from the heartrending scene at the end of last season when Eleven read Hopper’s note to her, but Netflix is clearly banking on the fact that viewers will be so happy to have Hopper back they won’t care that the dramatic stakes have been lowered.

He’s certainly a welcome sight. Hopefully, he won’t spend the entire season isolated from the rest of the cast.

What do you think of this reveal?

Aladdin Is Getting a Live-Action Sequel Based on Brand New Story

Aladdin Live Action Sequel
(Disney)

We’ve been going on and on about the flood of remakes, reboots, reimaginings, sequels, prequels, even the cursed legacyquel. Disney has been cornering the market on these kinds of projects, not only relaunching old projects for Disney+ and movie theaters alike, and slowly but steadily rolling out live-action versions of their beloved animated classics.

Not even slowly, tbh. Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo and Cinderella and The Jungle Book and Lion King have already happened. Mulan is coming soon, The Little Mermaid is in the works, even Snow White is getting the live-action treatment. And now, Disney has found a new way to milk the cow by pioneering a new kind of movie: the live-action sequel!

That’s right, this summer’s live-action Aladdin movie is getting a live-action sequel! And instead of being treated like redheaded stepchildren by getting pushed straight to VHS – the way Disney handled sequels to their animated flicks – this one is actually going to hit theaters. Even better? According to Variety, it won’t be based on the lesser Aladdin sequels like The Return of Jafar that actually did get pushed straight to VHS when it was released.

The Hollywood Reporter reported that this new movie will be an original story and that writers have already been brainstorming for it, “looking at other tales from One Thousand and One Nights,” including something like the Seven Voyages of Sinbad or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Not the comedian. That’s already been done. (OR HAS IT?!)

Apparently, the people behind the first (live-action) Aladdin have had an inkling for a sequel for a while.

“When we first made the movie wanted to just make the best movie we could and let audiences tell us if they wanted to see more,” Lin said. “And I would say resoundingly audiences want to see more. They’ve watched this movie multiple times. We have lots of fan letters about people who really go back and they bring their friends and bring their family. And so we feel like there’s more story to tell. We are going to treat it the same way we treat the original Aladdin movie and not going to do a shot by shot remake of anything that’s been done before. We’re really looking at what’s been done before in the past and the home video, and there’s just more story to tell with the underlying materials. So without giving away too much, we are certainly exploring where we can go with this franchise.”

Right now it seems that director Guy Ritchie and the original stars will return, including Will Smith, but there’s a long way to go before anything is official. But once this gets made, except another 50 live-action sequels. Can’t wait for Bambi: First Blood Part 2!

The Joker Joins Mortal Kombat, Has Some Tricks up His Sleeve

The Joker Joins Mortal Kombat
(Twitter/MortalKombat)

Over the weekend, Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying the Joker in Todd Phillips’ superhero-adjacent drama about the mentally-deranged supervillain’s origin story. Phoenix joins the late Heath Ledger in winning the industry’s highest award for playing Batman’s greatest foe, and the Joker character joins Vito Corleone as the only movie characters to yield Oscars for two different actors (Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro).

If you, like moviegoers and Academy voters, can’t get enough of the psychotic clown, I have some good news for you. Especially if you’re a gamer.

The Joker is now a playable character in Mortal Kombat 11, and you can buy it now.

This version of the Joker comes complete with his creepy laugh, a variety of different outfits – including one with the beret Jack Nicholson wore in Tim Burton’s Batman – combining looks from his various incarnations.

He even has some lame jokes, and a gag gun.

Collider did a deep dive into the Mortal Kombat incarnation of the character, discussing his look, his accessories, and even the unique gameplay characteristics he brings to your console. Apparently this Joker has a few tricks up his sleeve!

From their breakdown: His moveset revolves around a jack-in-the-box that he can launch high or low, a handgun hidden in a Batman puppet, a bound-and-gagged hostage who hops across the battlefield until you choose to detonate them, a gasoline can that can set the ground on fire, and the aforementioned cane.

To get a closer look at him, including all of his character intros and brutal finishing moves (keep an eye out for Batman-related easter eggs) take a look at the video Collider put together to highlight the character here.

Fury Road Sequel Gets Green Light, Begins Filming in Fall

Mad Max Sequel in the Works
(Warner Bros Pictures)

Five years ago, decades after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome hit theaters, visionary Australian director George Miller finally brought his franchise back with the action masterpiece Fury Road. The shoot, which took place in the dusty African desert, was legendarily challenging, but the final result was a universally acclaimed hit.

Now the 75-year-old director is getting ready to go back to war and film another installment of his groundbreaking series. A sequel to Fury Road was rumored when the film came out, but legal issues prevented it from moving forward. But those issues have since been resolved, and Miller is apparently ready to start shooting Mad Max: The Wasteland later this year.

Fury Road starred Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, and the stars weren’t shy about discussing how difficult the filming was. It was shot in the Namib Desert in southern Africa, took 120 days, required reshoots, and featured friction between the two stars. One look at the finished film and it’s clear why it took so long; the movie is essentially one long chase scene with dangerous, elaborately staged stunts in the middle of the desert. It could not have been much fun!

But the movie was a huge success, and Miller was vocal about having enough material for additional movies. A dispute with Warner Bros. held things up, but now that it’s been resolved, Mad Max: The Wasteland, one of the director’s two ideas (the other is reportedly a spin-off focused Theron’s character Furiosa) appears to be moving forward as quickly as this fall.

There are no plot details yet, nor any casting confirmations for Hardy or Theron, but the news is exciting nonetheless. Miller has to wrap up his next movie, the decidedly less post-apocalyptic Three Thousand Years of Longing, before getting back to Max, but as of now, things appear to be moving ahead.

Hopefully, this shoot goes more smoothly!

Adam Sandler Re-Ups With Netflix, Wins Award, Gives Hilarious Speech

Sandler Wins Award for Uncut Gems
(YouTube/Film Independent)

While campaigning for his latest movie, the decidedly non-Happy Madison production Uncut Gems, in which he plays a gambling addict trying to land a life-changing score before his reckless schemes come crashing down, Adam Sandler made it clear he would love to win an Oscar.

He went on Howard Stern and told the host that if he didn’t, he was going to intentionally make a terrible movie. Well, the Oscars are here, and the Sandman got snubbed, not even scoring a nomination for his incredible performance. As luck would have it, Netflix re-upped their relationship with Sandler, signing him to a new 4-picture deal, after the success of previous collaborations like Murder Mystery.

So Sandler will have a few more opportunities to deliver on his promise to cook up a real turkey. But if the speech he gave at the Independent Spirit Awards, upon receiving the trophy for Best Actor that the Oscars refused to give him, was any indication, he’s taking it all in stride.

The mega-successful comedian and actor went on stage to accept his award and made it clear he wasn’t talking the Oscar situation too seriously, or anything too seriously, reciting his speech using one of his patented ridiculous voices and mocking the idea that he was ‘quote-unquote snubbed’ by the Academy.

In the speech, Sandler thanked his family and the Safdie brothers (who wrote and directed Uncut Gems), ribbed his fellow nominees who will now “forever be known as the guys who lost to Adam fucking Sandler,” and spent the rest of the time gently mocking his own movies. Then he referred to the Oscars as the awards equivalent to the “best looking” superlative in high school, whereas the Independent Spirit Awards are the “best personality” superlative, which he himself won, unlike that “jean-jacket-wearing, feather-haired douchebag” Skipper Jenkins.

Sorry, that’s not gonna make a lot of sense until you watch the fun, funny, speech:

If you can’t get enough of the Sandman, you might need more dudes who look like Adam Sandler in your life.

Teen Brothers Painstakingly Recreate Toy Story 3 Over 8 Years

Brothers Recreate Toy Story 3
(YouTube/Toy Story 3 IRL)

The Oscars are Sunday night. Every year, the Oscars come and go, and whether you care or not, odds are at a certain point, a movie you thought should win doesn’t (Pulp Fiction, anyone?), or a movie you don’t think should win does, like, say, Crash.

In the long run, the movies that matter endure, whether they’ve won an Oscar or not, but there will never stop being examples of injustice about which to argue and complain. This year may offer the biggest example yet, especially since this movie wasn’t even nominated!

8 years ago, brothers Morgan and Mason McGrew set out to recreate one of their favorite movies, shot-by-shot. A hefty undertaking to say the least, and that’s before you discover that the movie they chose to recreate is an animated one. It’s Toy Story 3, and it took them nearly a decade of painstaking work – including recreating the trailer a few years back – but they finally delivered the finished product. And it deserves every award in the book. Give these guys the damn Nobel Prize!

The video opens with a simple title card stating: “8 years ago, two brothers set out to explore filmmaking by recreating their favorite film. The following is the product of that endeavor.”

And the ensuing hour and 39 minutes are an incredibly staged and shot live-action recreation of Toy Story 3, complete with the tears you probably shed the first time you watched Woody and Buzz escape near death at the dump, and say goodbye to Andy as he leaves for college.

The McGrew brothers followed through on their project, and it’s a shame they won’t get any credit for it during the Academy Awards Sunday night. Although, to be honest, the Oscars already run way too long.

Take a look at this thing, and then feel bad about whatever you have been doing for the past 8 years of your life:

Stranger Things Season 4 To Have Extra Episode, Feature Origin Story

Stranger Things Teaser Trailer
(YouTube/Stranger Things)

Disney+ delivered a successful first season of The Mandalorian and Marvel is finally showing us some footage from their upcoming shows. There’s also chatter around HBO Max’s Friends reunion and all the constant news breaking about other streaming platforms and what they’ll be bringing to the table.

But let’s not forget about the OG.

Netflix is still churning out binge-worthy shows, and one of its biggest hits is priming for a big return this fall. The fourth season of Stranger Things is on its way, and it has some explaining to do.

If you recall the way the exciting third season ended, after the kids defeated Billy and the bigger-than-ever Demogorgon, thanks in no small part to Chief Hopper’s sacrifice, the kids split up. Eleven left town with the Byers family, and then we were treated to a glimpse of a Russian prison, where new Demogorgon monsters were being… trained? And an ‘American’ prisoner was hinted at.

The fourth season is already rumored to feature some action overseas – perhaps England? Maybe even Russia itself? – and now word comes that the show may add an extra episode with which to spill its secrets.

TV writer Michael Ausiello took part in a chat in which he fielded questions from fans, and during the chat, he let loose with some news about the length of the next season of Stranger Things, and what that extra episode might make room for.

“There’s chatter that Season 4 may actually consist of nine episodes, one more than initially planned. That would make Stranger Things 4 one the Netflix drama’s meatiest seasons ever (tied with its sophomore run). I’m also hearing that a fan-favorite character may have his/her origin story told in one (or more) of those nine episodes,” Ausiello said.

My money is on Hopper getting some backstory on the way to a reveal that e’s still alive because come on, there’s no way he’s dead. But who knows. The last time the show had 9 episodes was season 2, and that was the one that featured the infamous “Eleven goes to Chicago” episode that divided fans.

Here’s hoping this season has better results, especially since the show won’t get too many more shots. Season 5 is rumored to be the last one – and it hasn’t even been confirmed yet!

Here’s the season 4 teaser trailer, should you need some theme music to tide you over.

A Transformers and My Little Pony Crossover Comic is Coming

My Little Pony / Transformers Crossover
(IDW)

Mint and chocolate. Aerosmith and Run DMC. Transformers and… My Little Pony???

Sometimes the unlikeliest couplings bring about the best results, and we can only hope that brave tradition continues with the upcoming crossover between these two beloved, massively lucrative media franchises.

The iconic robots and ponies will team up for a series of comic books this May. This inconceivable twosome is the brainchild of IDW Publishing, which currently publishes comics based on both media properties.

The IDW Publishing website gives us some insight into the story:

“In My Little Pony/Transformers, the scheming Queen Chrysalis casts a spell in search of changeling allies, but accidentally interferes with a distant Cybertronian Spacebridge… and brings the Autobots and Decepticons to Equestria! As the dust settles, it’s up to Twilight Sparkle, Optimus Prime, and others to overcome the menace of malevolent magic and machinery!”

We know, we know. This all sounds far too crazy to work. But please bear in mind how skillful Transformers are at adapting to their environment.

We hope the comic books are a success, as this will most certainly pave the way for more wildly implausible ’80s cartoon crossovers we’d love to see.

PLEASE.

All Six Friends Are Coming Back For a Reunion Special on HBO Max

Friends Reunion Special
(Warner Bros)

If any old show has benefited from this golden age of streaming (besides The Office) it has to be Friends.

The 20-year-old sitcom has enjoyed a renaissance both with fans who watched it when it aired and with new generations who relate to the relationships between the six, um, friends on the show. Netflix has been the primary beneficiary of this revival, having housed the show on the platform for easy binge-ing. But that’s about to change as Friends shifts over to HBO’s new streaming service, HBO Max. So not only will you have to subscribe to that to see “The One Where [enter your favorite episode hijinx here]”, you’ll also need it to see the reunion special.

That’s right, the long-rumored Friends reunion is going to happen, exclusively on HBO Max, and all six of the original stars are set to return. No word yet on Gunther or Marcel (please don’t @ me if the monkey died. Or if Gunther died, for that matter. I haven’t been paying attention!).

Look, I know you already have too many subscriptions to streaming services. Netflix and Hulu and Disney+ and Amazon Prime and Apple TV, and you may even have NBC’s forthcoming Peacock service on your radar. But you might want to make room for one more because something tells me you’re going to want to see this.

The reunion has been percolating for a while, but it’s not worth doing without everyone coming back, and negotiations were tricky. According to Deadline, a deal has finally been agreed to, and it turns out the cast was right to play hardball, seeing as they’re each going to land a reported $3-4 million for this one-shot event. Insane.

Jennifer Aniston and other cast members had previously said they weren’t interested in any kind of scripted reunion special or new episode of the show, so it’s yet to be seen what form this will take. But I don’t think HBO much cares.

The classic 90s sitcom still has quite a following, especially on social media, where Matthew Perry recently joined Instagram and immediately racked up 1.8 billion followers without even posting a picture! If even a fraction of those people sign up for HBO Max, they’re all set.

No word yet on when the special will air.

In the meantime, five out of six Friends have been getting nostalgic on Instagram.

 

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Finally!!! Yay!! Can’t believe my eyes MY EYES Welcome to Instagram @mattyperry4 #friendsforlife

A post shared by Lisa Kudrow (@lisakudrow) on

 

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“The Last Supper” before taping “The Last One” on Jan 23, 2004. #tbt #friends

A post shared by Courteney Cox (@courteneycoxofficial) on

 

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Hi Jen! x

A post shared by David Schwimmer (@_schwim_) on

 

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And now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM 👋🏻

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston) on

Matthew Perry was the only Instagram holdout – but he recently joined and instantly got 2 million followers without even posting. Seems like he’s more of a Twitter kinda guy.