DISNEY rebrands latest acquisitions to remove FOX name

Walt Disney Pictures

DISNEY rebrands latest acquisitions to remove FOX name

In case you missed it: the end oblast week brought some shocking but not unsurprising news about Disney’s newly acquired 20th Century Fox. It’s been confirmed that Disney is rebranding the 20th Century and Searchlight studios to remove the FOX name altogether.

Variety has confirmed that moving forward, the two studios will simply be called  “20th Century Studios” and “Searchlight Pictures.” Visually, the logos for the two studios won’t be changed too much, but they’ll also remove the word Fox. 

It remains to be seen, but is likely, whether these changes will affect the TV branch of the name which was also acquired by Disney. Fox spunoff the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Television Stations Group into the Fox Corporation shortly before the merger so these remain untouched under their own new ownerships.

Variety says it best… “the mouse has officially killed the fox.”


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First poster and trailer released for Ryan Reynolds’ FREE GUY

20th Century Fox has today released the first trailer and poster for upcoming Ryan Reynolds film Free Guy. The film tells the story of a lonely bank teller who discovers he is actually a background character in the open-world videogame Free City.  It hits cinemas in July 2020.

Check out the trailer in the player below.

Here’s a look at the first poster also released today:

Free Guy is directed by Shawn Levy and stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, Pokemon Detective Pikachu), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Taika Waititi (Avengers: Endgame, What We Do In The Shadows), Joe Keery (Stranger Things), and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Mulan).


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Spies in Disguise (20th Century Fox)

20th Century Fox releases third trailer for SPIES IN DISGUISE

This holiday season, 20th Century Fox is hoping to have an animated hit on its hands with Spies In Disguise. The studio has now released the third trailer for the Will Smith and Tom Holland starring film.

This latest trailer shows off a whole lot more of the films characters and gives us a better idea of what to expect when the film hits cinemas in December.

Of course there’s also plenty of comedy spy action to show off as Smith and Holland navigate the spy world. Check it out in the player below.

Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is… not. But what Walter lacks in social skills he makes up for in smarts and invention, creating the awesome gadgets Lance uses on his epic missions. But when events take an unexpected turn, Walter and Lance suddenly have to rely on each other in a whole new way. And if this odd couple can’t learn to work as a team, the whole world is in peril. SPIES IN DISGUISE is an animated comedy set in the high-octane globe-trotting world of international espionage. 

Spies in Disguise stars Will Smith, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones and DJ Khaled. The movie hits cinemas in December 2019.


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Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

AD ASTRA opens to $45m worldwide

Ad Astra landed at the global box office this past weekend, but the the Brad Pitt film had to settle for second best behind a mammoth box office haul from Downton Abbey.

Ad Astra grossed an estimated $19.2m at the North American box office. Just a shade ahead of the $19m estimated for Rambo: Last Blood but a fair distance behind the $31m taken by Downton Abbey.

Whilst the reported production budget for Ad Astra sits at around $80-100+ million, this opening weekend performance is not the start the studio was hoping for. Opening weekend audiences were 54% male and 73% aged 25 or older and gave the film a middling “B-” CinemaScore.

According to BoxOfficeMojo the international box office clocked in around $26m with $2.8m openings in both Korea and the UK, followed by France ($2.7m), Spain ($2.2m), Japan ($2.2m), Mexico ($1.4m) and Australia ($1.3m). The film will debut in Italy, Russia and Brazil next weekend.

Heading in to its first full week in cinemas Ad Astra is currently sitting at approximately $45m globally.

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Have we piqued your interest? Well here’s our full YouTube playlist of content for the film.

The film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.


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Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

AD ASTRA hits UK cinemas from today!

Today marks the release of 20th Century Fox’s epic space film Ad Astra. Starring Brad Pitt the film aims to take a look at our deepest human connections and how they can be tested in the confines of space travel.

You can read our review of the film here.

In case you’ve been living under a rock here’s a look at one of the film’s trailers:

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Have we piqued your interest? Well here’s our full YouTube playlist of content for the film.

The film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.


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Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

New AD ASTRA clips tease intense action

Ad Astra hits cinemas tomorrow across the UK and today we’ve got two new clips to show off for you. The film, starring Brad Pitt, is an intense space epic which is unlike anything else we’ve seen at the cinema so far this year.

Check out what we thought with our review of the movie, here.

Beware of spoilers in both these clips!

In this first clip, Bill (Brad Pitt) is brought in by his commanding officers to be drafted in for a special mission to find the Lima project and in the process finds out that his father may still be alive.

Then in this second clip we travel to Mars and find Bill attempting to board the shuttle which is going after the Lima project.

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

The film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.


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Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

AD ASTRA (2019) review

Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.

Synopsis

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Review

There’s a moment late in the 124min runtime where Tommy Lee Jones’ Clifford finally explains to his son Roy (Brad Pitt) exactly why he’s been sitting on the fringes of our galaxy, alone for decades.

In this exact moments it becomes clear that writer/director James Gray has crafted a visual masterpiece. But a masterpiece which ultimately suffers from a weak final message for its audience to takeaway from the story.

I found that after the credits rolled I consistently argued with myself – commenting on my own sanity – for some time about how exactly I felt about what I had seen on screen.

Ad Astra without doubt features the most captivating cinematography I have witnessed, so far, in 2019. Needless to say the scenes set in space are sparse, sprawling and deeply engaging but so too are the landscapes.

Given its “near future” setting there’s enough augmentation to Earth to make it look beyond what we would expect, whilst settlements on the Moon and our base on Mars are equally as bewitching.

There’s a fine level of detail to scene and set design which could easily be overlooked at first viewing. The way in which Gray subtlety enhances environments is creatively brilliant and shows that this is a director who really takes his craft seriously.

The psychological testing of astronauts on a daily basis provided a great insight into Roy’s mind whilst also showing off some of humanities technological advances and therefore amped up the science-fiction.

But in stark contrast moments like Roy’s journey to space were underpinned by real world developments. Seeing his moon journey on a Virgin Galactic ship really grounded the visuals, at least during the first act, in a reality which the audience can understand and identify with.

Very aspect of the details seen on screen is given some context by which it relates to the story. This approach to the aesthetic of the film elevates it beyond standard films in this genre.

Just as elevating is the stand-out performance by Brad Pitt. With Roy appearing in what is essentially every scene of the movie, Pitt is hugely relied upon to help deliver the story. Whilst the ultimate message of Ad Astra is somewhat lost in translation that is by no fault of Pitt’s.

Much of the story is told through Roy’s mission logs and daily psychiatric evaluations (see what I mean about using the technology in the context of the story?). These moments offer more of Roy’s emotional side than his interactions with other characters.

As a focal point in the film, Roy is an excellent protagonist. He’s flawed, emotionally scarred and has enough baggage to entice even the most sceptical viewer in to following his story.

There’s a fatalistic nature to how Roy approaches his mission. As details about his father’s potential motivations and history come to light, Roy becomes increasingly desperate to complete the mission.

There’s an well crafted parallel between father and son. Though there time together on screen is brief the impact is much more far reaching across the entire narrative of the piece.

But herein lies the problem with Ad Astra’s ending: once Clifford explains to his son he was simply desperate to find extraterrestrial life, there is nothing more for the film to explore.

Underpinning the entire narrative is the danger that all life on Earth will be wiped out by the pulses radiating from Clifford’s Lima project shuttle. It’s an interesting aspect which is entirely underdeveloped until the film has to fall back on it.

With no emotional tale left to tell Ad Astra reverts to a save the world drama and whilst it ultimately resolves the dangling plot threads of the story it does so without being wholly satisfying.

Hoyt’s Van Hoytema’s Oscar worthy cinematography is punctuated by the brilliant soundscape of composer Max Richter and a brilliant sound department.

The score is very isolated and sparse but still creates a unique aesthetic for the film. Given the number of these existential, intelligent space movies it’s no mean feat to create a soundscape which doesn’t feel like a copycat of Moon or Interstellar for example.

Set doesn’t and special effects are also top notch. Many of the space mechanics of Ad Astra feel grounded in real science which also felt very endearing.

Verdict

Ad Astra shoots for the stars in every aspect of its production. Luscious cinematography, a haunting soundscape and an affectingly emotional performance from Brad Pitt are all components to make this one of the best films of 2019.

But a weak ending means Ad Astra fails to fully land its unabashedly existential journey to the edges of our galaxy.

7/10


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Watch highlights of the AD ASTRA press conference from Venice Film Festival

The cast and crew of Ad Astra recently stopped by the Venice Film Festival to premiere the movie. With critics hailing the film a masterpiece in the vein of Interstellar and Moon we’re pretty hyped for the film to finally arrive in cinemas later this month.

We’ve got a highlights reel from the Venice Festival press conference featuring stars Brad Pitt and Liv Tyler, plus the film’s director James Gray for you to check out in the player below.

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

The film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.


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Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

Journey to the moon with Brad Pitt in new AD ASTRA clip

20th Century Fox has released the first clip from upcoming space epic Ad Astra.

In the clip, Roy (Brad Pitt) attempts to travel the surface of the moon before running in to some serious trouble. It’s undoubtedly an intense look at the movie and shows just how incredible the visuals will be when the film hits cinemas in September.

Check it out in the player below.

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

The film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.


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Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

Get an extended look at AD ASTRA with Venice Film Festival preview

Tomorrow Ad Astra will get its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. To celebrate the premiere Empire Magazine has released a new, extended look at the space epic.

If there was one word to describe this new look at the film it would be… intense.

Watch as Brad Pitt heads deep in to space in search of his character’s father and the action which ensues as he attempts to save humanity. We don’t know about you but we absolutely cannot wait for this film to finally be in cinemas.

Directed by James Gray Ad Astra centres on Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and to unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

The film stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland with a screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. It arrives in UK cinemas on September 18, 2019.


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