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Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 24

Watch Will Smith degrade himself with blue body paint in Disney's "Aladdin."

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week, Will Smith degrades himself with blue body paint for our amusement.

WIDE RELEASE:

Booksmart

BOOKSMART Trailer (2019) Lisa Kudrow, Olivia Wild, Teen Movie www.youtube.com

Directed by Olivia Wilde and produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, Booksmart looks like a Gen-Z version of Superbad. The movie follows two high school seniors, Amy and Molly, who decide that the eve of their graduation is the perfect time to make up for "wasting" their teenage years on studying and achieving good grades. Early reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and the movie looks raunchy, edgy, and representative. Booksmart is easily my pick of the week.

Aladdin

Disney's Aladdin Official Trailer - In Theaters May 24! www.youtube.com

Disney's latest live-action adaptation is here, and like all the live-action adaptations before it, Aladdin looks...okay, I guess. Honestly, it's hard for me to understand the appeal of all these live-action Disney adaptations. They're technically fine, but considering the fact that animation brought so much of the inherent charm and magic to the originals, these remakes seem doomed to always come up short. Take Genie, for example. Animated goofball Genie is fun and awesome. Partially-CGI-blue-body-paint-Will-Smith Genie is just unsettling.

Brightburn

BRIGHTBURN - Official Trailer #2 www.youtube.com

What if Superman...was evil? That's pretty much the premise behind Brightburn, a superhero horror movie produced by James Gunn and written by his brother and his cousin. I love the idea of a horror movie that subverts superhero archetypes, but at the same time, the trailer looks surprisingly dull considering the subject matter. Ultimately, this might be more of a generic spooky boy flick than anything truly groundbreaking.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Diamantino

Diamantino – Official Trailer www.youtube.com

A Portuguese-language, genre-bending political comedy that made waves at Cannes 2019 (ultimately taking home the Grand Prize during International Critics' Week), Diamantino looks absolutely absurd. The plot follows a disgraced soccer star who sets out on a journey to find a new purpose for his life. The movie seems to involve incredibly bizarre imagery, including futuristic technology, galactic landscapes, and puppy fever dreams. If you appreciate bizarre cinema and can find Diamantino playing near you, I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Isabelle

Isabelle | Official Trailer (HD) | Vertical Entertainment www.youtube.com

If you ever watched The OC and wondered what Adam Brody is doing now, here's your answer. Isabelle is one of those horror movies that seems designed solely to pad Netflix's Halloween offerings. We've seen the premise a bajillion times––a couple gets haunted by some generic ghost girl––and outside of Ringu, I don't think it's ever been done well. I don't know what audience this movie is geared towards, but if it happens to be you, just go watch Ringu again instead.

Film Lists

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of March 15

Featuring some sick teens who are just dying to stand "Five Feet Apart"

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week we get yet another entry into the "sexy dying teenagers" canon.

WIDE RELEASE:

Five Feet Apart

FIVE FEET APART - Trailer #2 - HD (Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse) www.youtube.com

Some things just go together – peanut butter and jelly, salt and vinegar, romantically-inclined teens and crippling disease. You cried during A Walk to Remember when that girl died from leukemia. You cried during The Fault in Our Stars when that guy died from cancer. You'll probably cry during this one too, because these teens both have cystic fibrosis, meaning they need to stay six feet apart at all times or else they'll die. But wait, this movie is called Five Feet Apart. Does that mean…? Yup. Life-threatening disease can't stand in the way of young love, so they're gonna smooch even if it kills one of them. Which it definitely will. And yes, the guy is half of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Trailer #1 (2019) | Movieclips Trailers www.youtube.com

Sophia Lillis (Beverly from It) stars as the legendary teen detective in the newest reboot of Nancy Drew. This iteration sees Nancy Drew as the new kid in town, bored with suburban mediocrity as she skateboards down way-too-safe residential streets. If only there were a spooky, scary mystery to solve! Great news, there is. It's the mystery of the hidden staircase, which happens to be located in an old mansion that Nancy has broken into. Where does this hidden staircase lead? To what ends was it built? Why doesn't she just climb the hidden staircase and find out? Find out this weekend.

Wonder Park

Wonder Park (2019) - New Trailer - Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com

Imagine if some dumb amusement park you made up as a kid turned out to be real. You had no idea how roller coasters operated. You probably still don't. Those rides you made up would be literal death traps. But Wonder Park is a children's movie, so it can't explore the logical ends of its inane premise. Instead, the fantastical park is now populated by a bunch of annoying, talking forest animals who communicate entirely through flat jokes. Also, the park is overrun by zombie monkeys for some reason. As Nickelodeon Movies' first animated feature since 2015, Wonder Park looks disappointing, at least based on the trailers. But trailers don't always do a movie justice, so if you're a fan of animation, it might be worth checking out for yourself.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Ash is Purest White

Ash is Purest White | Official US Trailer | Starts March 15 www.youtube.com

A Chinese crime drama currently holding a 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ash is Purest White follows the relationship between a young dancer and a mobster. While witnessing a fight between her boyfriend and a rival gang, the young dancer shoots one of the attackers and gets sentenced to five years in prison. The epic narrative spans fifteen years of the dancer's life and plays out more like a melodrama than a crime film. If you're a fan of powerful foreign language films with sweeping narratives, Ash is Purest White is definitely up your alley.

The Mustang

THE MUSTANG - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters March 2019 www.youtube.com

Matthias Schoenaerts plays a violent convict who participates in a prison rehabilitation program revolving around training wild stallions. The Mustang is one of those movies that takes its simple premise, does exactly what you expect with it, but you'll probably enjoy the film if you enjoy the concept. In other words, The Mustang is the same "bad man redeemed" story you've seen many times before, except this time he's redeemed through friendship with a wild horse instead of through sports or raising a baby or whatever.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com



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Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

There's only one wide release movie coming out this week, so I'm featuring a bunch of Indian movies. You're gonna love it.

WIDE RELEASE:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD | Official Trailer www.youtube.com

The final chapter in Dreamworks' critically acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, Hidden World will answer the burning question that's been on every viewer's mind: Will Toothless ever get a girlfriend? If you liked the previous two movies in the franchise, there's no reason to skip out on this one. It may not be quite as good as the original, but it looks like a fun entry with solid action, great animation, and Toothless's adorable face (now in black and white!).

LIMITED RELEASE:

Run the Race

RUN THE RACE Official Trailer (2019) Tim Tebow, College Football Movie HD www.youtube.com

Brace yourself, because this is a rare treat. Tim Tebow, the football guy, executive produced a faith-based football movie. Take a moment to let that sink in, and contemplate what Tim Tebow might think makes a good flick. Then watch the trailer where a bully tells the handsome, athletic high school protagonist, "you got that soft jaw." The trailer throws out every cliche in the book, from the dead mom and embattled step-dad to the "we gotta get out of this small town!" to the injured leg-hot nurse meet cute. It seems so generic it borders on parody. If you like so-bad-it's-awful movies, this is definitely one to watch.

Oru Adaar Love

Oru Adaar Love | Official Teaser ft Priya Prakash Varrier, Roshan Abdul | Shaan Rahman | Omar Lulu www.youtube.com

Oru Adaar Love (One Fantastic Love) is an Indian Malayalim-language musical rom-com about love and high school. One of the songs, "Manikya Malaraya Poovi," went viral in India before its release, but the real draw seems to be the romantic chemistry between the two leads. That finger gun game is off the charts, so if you want a fun high school musical and don't mind reading subtitles, this might be a good find for the weekend.

Mithai

Mithai Theatrical Trailer || Rahul Ramakrishna, Priyadarshi || Prashant Kumar || Vivek Sagar www.youtube.com

A Telugu-language black comedy from India, Mithai follows a nerdy slacker named Sai who's apartment gets robbed just before he's about to get married. One of the stolen items is a necklace Sai intends to give his betrothed, so he sets out on a journey with his best friend to track down the thief and get the jewelry back before his wedding. The movie plays like an Indian take on a Seth Rogan movie, so there's a lot of sex jokes, hijinks, and weed.

Total Dhamaal

Total Dhamaal | Official Trailer | Ajay | Anil | Madhuri | Indra Kumar | Feb. 22nd www.youtube.com

The third movie in the Hindi-language Indian action-adventure Dhamaal franchise, Total Dhamaal proceeds Dhamaal and Double Dhamaal. This Bollywood blockbuster follows various groups of scoundrels attempting to locate a large sum of money. Along the way they encounter quicksand and gorillas and lions and tigers. Also, there are musical numbers. The whole thing seems like an absurd, over-the top mess, and honestly, that usually makes for a hell of a good time.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com



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Culture News

Jessica Simpson Calls Out Natalie Portman

Jessica Simpson posts an Instagram firing back at Natalie Portman for her comments on a 1999 bikini photo.

toofabs

Jessica Simpson called out Natalie Portman Wednesday. The singer's post was in reaction to an interview Natalie Portman did for USA Today in which she said, "I remember being a teenager, and there was Jessica Simpson on the cover of a magazine saying 'I'm a virgin,' while wearing a bikini, and I was confused, like, I don't know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl."

In response, Jessica Simpson posted on Instagram:

Shortly after, Portman responded in the comments, saying, "Thank you for your words. I completely agree with you that a woman should be allowed to dress however she likes and behave however she likes and not be judged. I only meant to say I was confused — as a girl coming of age in the public eye around the same time — by the media's mixed messages about how girls and women were supposed to behave. I didn't mean to shame you and I'm sorry for any hurt my words may have caused. I have nothing but respect for your talent and your voice that you use to encourage and empower women all over the globe."

Many fans think Simpson missed the point of Portman's statement, claiming all she intended to do was point out the double standards that often inhibit women's expressions of sexuality. Others feel that Simpson was right in passively calling out Portman's statement, saying that women should strive to protect each other from the very scrutiny Portman was condemning. Regardless, it remains to be seen whether any tension persists between the two celebrities.


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.



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COLUMNS

Ready to Pop | Kim Petras & More Deliver Halloween Treats

Treat yourself this Halloween with these freakishly perfect songs.

Kim Petras

Happy Halloween 2018!

Ready to Pop is conjuring up a good time with freakishly perfect tunes. Whether you're going out for a night on the town or hosting a costume party, you won't want to miss these must-add essentials. Check out these featured artists, rated from "Super Chill" to "Shook" to "Obsession-worthy."

1. Kim Petras - "Tell Me It's a Nightmare"

Kim Petras

Kim Petras should be a superstar at this point. Her brand new Halloween-themed mixtape showcases her gift for memorable hooks and lyrics. "Tell Me It's a Nightmare" features a shower of rain and cracks of thunder, setting the stage for a night of sheer terror. "Tell me how we got here," she sings.

Slay Scale: Obsession-Worthy

Follow Kim Petras on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

2. Kyle Motsinger - "Dark Shadows"

Kyle Motsinger

New York City performer Kyle Motsinger pays tribute to the iconic late-60s vampire-centric soap opera, Dark Shadows. He imbues gothic imagery with modern desire. "Barnabas, I'm yours forever," he sings, vowing commitment to the mesmerizing vampire. "I'm the one who sets you free."

Slay Scale: Shook

Follow Kyle Motsinger on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

3. Wallows - "Drunk on Halloween"

Wallows

Less spooky and more emotional, Wallows weeps over a breakup with "Drunk on Halloween." They sing, "On that Halloween you told me / You weren't drinkin', I believed you / Now the only time I have's to / Sit and wonder if you're thinkin' / About the fun you've had with someone else / I know the truth is wasted on you." It's a soft-rock tearjerker and follows the band's debut EP, Spring, released earlier this year.

Slay Scale: Super Chill

Follow Wallows on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in B-Sides & Badlands, Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.


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Music Monday

MUSIC MONDAY | Trophy Kid Goes Solo

Trophy Kid evolves from frontman to a standalone star with his solo EP dropping this spring.

THE MIX | Highs, lows, and finding a middle ground

10.29.18 | "'My 'Songs about Life' playlist has a little something for everyone. Life is full of ups and downs, and some of these songs have made me laugh, cry, or just feel something when I've needed to. I hope everyone can enjoy" (Trophy Kid).

About Trophy Kid

Facebook

A Vancouver native, Trophy Kid was discovered by Rob Lanni from Coalition Music at the prestigious Fox Vancouver Seeds competition. He's toured across Canada with pop trio PRTY H3RO, even playing a show at The Vancouver Olympics. Their music has been featured on Much Dance Canada, TSN, Entertainment Tonight, and Degrassi: The Next Generation.

With two Billboard-charting hits, the band's frontman is now taking a stab at a solo career. With inspiring lyrics and hook-driven, catchy pop sounds, Trophy Kid is ready to go it alone, and his fans are by his side. His EP, The After PRTY, is due out in Spring 2019.

Check out "Shout" by Trophy Kid below:

Shout - Trophy Kid Diz (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) youtu.be

Follow Trophy Kid on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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