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Weekend Preview -These Are The Movies You Release The Week After THE DARK KNIGHT

Steven Panzarella takes a look at the big releases of this weekend.

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This weekend’s list of new movies makes perfect sense. A week after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES hits theaters you have to totally stay away from the genre that will attract DARK KNIGHT fans to theaters. A list that contains an R-rated alien invasion comedy, another in the series of dancing flicks, and a rom-com about a book writer whose perfect character comes to life.

THE WATCH – Written By Seth Rogan and Directed by SNL writer Akiva Schaffer (the other guy in the digital shorts with Andy Samberg), The Watch follows four suburban men who begin a neighborhood watch to get away from their boring suburban lives. The men discover an alien invasion taking place in there town. The Watch trailers looked hilarious, and the cast is a solid group of very funny actors including Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayodade(Submarine). The Watch adds a new R rated comedy to the mix but according to critics may not be a very welcome addition. It is funny at times, but not all together and not for its whole run time. I intend on seeing The Watch eventually, but the question is, is it worth your $10.50?

STEP UP REVOLUTION-The 4th in the series of popular dancing films. Starring Kathryn McCormick(So You Think You Can Dance), Newcomer Ryan Guzman, and Peter Gallagher(The O.C, Covert Affairs). Step Up Revolution takes place in Miami, Emily(McCormick) arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean(Guzman), the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily’s father’s development plans. Step Up 4  is directed by Scott Speer, who has directed nothing of note besides dancing videos which makes him aptly qualified to work on such a film. I am not a very big fan of the Step Up films and have never seen all of them in full which makes me unqualified to judge the film as a sequel. The reviews say the dancing and theatrics are impressive but the story is flimsy at best. I don’t expect much of story from these films and neither do the fans, if you are a fan of the films then of course you are going to see it, if not then do not waste your time.

RUBY SPARKS- Written and Starring the talented Zoe Kazan(Happythankyoumoreplease) along with her real life boyfriend Paul Dano(There Will Be Blood), and directed by Little Miss Sunshine helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Ruby Sparks follows Calvin(Dano) a writer who is dealing with writers block among other personal issues. His writers block gets cured when he falls in love with his newest creation Ruby Sparks(Kazan). Days after writing her, Sparks appears in real life and turns Calvin’s world upside down. I have not had a chance to see Ruby Sparks yet but I am excited. A quality cast that includes Chris Messina, Annette Bening, and Steve Coogan .A great cast and the people behind Little Miss Sunshine(fan and oscar favorite in 2006) its hard to resist. Critics love Kazan’s charming screenplay, and Dayton and Faris’s great direction, Ruby Sparks is a perfect change of pace for the summer. Ruby Sparks hit theaters on Wednesday in a limited release.

Next week the remake for Total Recall hits theaters along with the romantic-drama starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg Celeste and Jesse Forever, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

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‘Pitch Perfect’ Barden Bellas Virtually Reunite To Perform Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’ And Of Course It’s Aca-Amazing!

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A little aca-quarantine can’t stop these bad belters.

A lot of casts have been virtually reuniting during this quarantine with some distant gatherings more memorable than others. Of course, anytime the ladies of Pitch Perfect get together it’s a singing spectacular that goes viral almost instantly and this time is no different.

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins reprised their roles as the hostile hosts of the a cappella singing competitions, Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberg and John Smith respectively, as they introduced the Barden Bellas. The powerhouse singers including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Chrissie Fit, and Hannah Mae Lee then crush their rendition of Beyoncé’s “Love On Top.” And you know if you’re going to cover Queen Bey it better be good. Oh and streaming the song will not only sound good but it will some good too because proceeds from downloads of the cover will benefit UNICEF’s efforts to support children in Lebanon and around the world who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aca-amazing!

To donate to UNICEF directly click here.

To stream/download the song click here.

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Disney Reveals Early Unseen Sketches Of Buzz Lightyear Who Was Almost Called ‘Lunar Larry’

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The space ranger could have looked a lot stranger.

It has been 25 years since Toy Story hit theaters…god we’re getting old…which means we have loved Buzz Lightyear for decades now. The beloved space ranger has become a staple in pop culture with his zest for adventure and signature catchphrase but what if Buzz was never “Buzz?”

To celebrate the milestone anniversary Disney has shared sketches of the early concepts for Buzz Lightyear who was actually going to be named “Lunar Larry.” Points for alliteration but sounds more like a cheesy superhero parody than a cool, futuristic action figure that every kid would have on their Christmas list. The pencil drawings vary in style but most of them feature an “LL” on the rangers chest. As time went on, the renderings began to look more and more like the Buzz we all know and love.

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Along with the sketches, Disney also announced the launch of their virtual film festival “Pixar Fest.” The family-friendly fest will premiere on August 9th in the UK with an epic stream of Pixar movies on Disney+ along with other exciting content such as watchalongs, animator masterclasses, quizzes, arts and crafts for kids, and product releases. 

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Disney Just Released A ‘Hocus Pocus’ Board Game And It Looks Wickedly Fun

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*Souls of innocent children not included.

Grab your broomsticks, stir up the cauldron and light your magic candles because game night just took a wicked twist!

Partnering with Ravensburger, Disney just released a Hocus Pocus board game and it will make for a magically good game night. This board game is unique in that game players are not competing with one another, rather they must all work together to stop the Sanderson sisters from completing their potion before sunrise. With the help of Thackery Binx the cat, you will have to dodge Winifred, Sarah and Mary as they cast spells and use potions to thwart your valiant efforts.

“The Black Flame Candle has been lit. Now the Sanderson witches you must outwit; Or with a wretched evil potion, a foul spell they’ll set in motion. Stun the witches and ruin the brew before the sun can rise anew! Work together to stop the Sanderson sisters from draining the lives of Salem’s children by ruining their potion before the sun rises!” It’s like being in the movie!

Credit: Ravensburger

The Hocus Pocus board game is available for $19.99 on Amazon and includes one cauldron board, 50 Ingredient cards, a Witch board, 13 Spell cards, a Sun token, 4 trick tokens, a rulebook, and one black cat Binx meeple. It’s perfect for ages 8 and up and 2-6 people can play at a time. The game takes about 30 minutes to complete which is perfect for a game night with friends and family…don’t want another never ending Monopoly situation here.

To purchase your own Hocus Pocus board game click here!

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