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You Can Only Save One TV Show For Every Letter Of The Alphabet, And Sorry, But It’s Unbelievably Hard

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Max Winslow and the House of Secrets review – lightweight Wonka-esque movie puzzle | Film

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Targeting the demographic intersection between geeky YA fiction readers, folks interested in psychology that doesn’t go much deeper than an internet quiz, and supermarket puzzle magazine fans, this sci-fi-inflected thriller is moderately satisfying as long as you don’t think about it too much.

In a bland Arkansas suburb that happens to have been the home town of tech billionaire inventor Atticus Virtue (Chad Michael Murray), five very different high-school kids are invited to take part in an exclusive competition at his secluded mansion. The prize is a lifetime supply of chocolate … oh, sorry, no … the prize is the mansion itself – but the Willy Wonka parallels are about as blatant as the nominative determinism of the mysterious benefactor’s surname. Only this time, given Mr Virtue has been detained, the role of maybe-malevolent host-guide is taken by the disembodied voice of the house’s sentient computer, Haven (voiced by Star Trek alumna Marina Sirtis), who sets the kids a series of problems to solve that may be more dangerous than just counting jelly beans.

The title character Max (Sydne Mikelle) is a shy-but-pretty-under-her-flannel-shirts coding champ with daddy issues; she pals up with Connor (Tanner Buchanan), the school star lacrosse player, who turns out to be a more sensitive soul than his jock reputation would suggest. A popular girl obsessed with her online image (Jade Chynoweth), a bully (Emery Kelly) and a gaming addict (Jason Genao) fill out the quintet. Before the night is over, all of them must confront their darkest fears, generated with simple effects and the magic wand that is a screenwriter’s “because tech” justification.

This is hardly profound stuff, although the most creepy and resonant aspect is arguably the plotline revolving around the popular girl who gets stuck in a bathroom staring into a mirror version of herself that’s much nastier than the real thing, a simple cinematic sleight-of-hand that depends entirely on Chynoweth’s skill in projecting bitchy malevolence. A darker, hipper version of this movie might have made her the protagonist and proved more amusing to watch than the simpering leads we have here.


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The Climb review – hilarious true-to-life bromance | Film

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I laughed hysterically during the first scene of The Climb, Michael Angelo Covino’s brilliantly original indie bromance. The setting is France, where two Americans – best friends since childhood – are on a cycling holiday. Mike (played by Covino) is head-to-toe in Lycra, obnoxiously spouting cycling terminology. His out-of-shape friend Kyle (co-writer Kyle Marvin), is trailing behind, puffing and panting. Mike waits for the start of a particularly tough climb to confess he’s been sleeping with Kyle’s fiancee. Kyle: “You’re like a real-life Judas!” Mike: “On the plus side, that makes you Jesus.” At one point, Kyle gets off his bike and carries it, running up the hill in pursuit of Mike. Tragedy and slapstick run through the film and it is very funny.

The Climb charts the ups and downs of Kyle and Mike’s toxic friendship over a dozen years or so – and I can’t think of a film about male friends told with such microscopic attention to detail.

It’s structured in seven chapters. Chapter two takes place at a funeral a few years later – the first time the men have clapped eyes on each other since the bike ride. The tables have turned. Mike is going to seed, drinking too much, disappointed by life – and it becomes apparent that he is a rampant narcissist. Meanwhile, nice-guy Kyle has lost weight and achieved minor success writing advert jingles. If he feels a flush of schadenfreude at seeing how ropey Mike looks, he’s disguising it. The chapter ends with a hilarious graveside altercation involving a shovel.

Co-writers Covino and Rankin are friends and observe their characters beautifully. They don’t ignore the female roles, either. Gayle Rankin is just as memorable as Kyle’s partner, Marissa – like everyone here, she feels like someone you might know. My only disappointment was that I had to watch it at home: I wanted to be in a cinema laughing at the inappropriately funny bits with other people.

The Climb is in cinemas from 23 October.


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Legally Blonde 3 Now Has A Release Date

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In these quarantined times, one delightful thing that’s emerged is movie and TV casts doing Zoom reunions. Legally Blonde is the latest one to get in on that action.

Tonight, Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Jennifer Coolidge, Ali Larter, Holland Taylor and more all got together to talk about the history and magic of Legally Blonde.

“Of all the movies that I’ve made, there is one that comes up more than any other and that is Legally Blonde,” Reese said. “And I think that’s because of Elle Woods. I think she just inspired people to believe in themselves. She just has a true sense of herself and she always wants to see the best in others.”

The film’s star went on to share that the iconic “Bend and Snap” scene was almost a “musical sequence,” but, in that version, it felt kind of “odd” so it ended up becoming what we know and love now.

“People always, always ask me to do the ‘Bend and Snap,'” Reese revealed. “That was a full musical sequence that we ended up cutting out of the movie. It was just so fun, but it felt so odd because it was only one sequence.”

For Reese, making Legally Blonde was her college experience. “This is where I went to college,” she said. “I didn’t finish college but I finished Legally Blonde and we all got together and made this movie together that has inspired so many young people and it’s just such a gift… Every time people come up to me and tell me they love this movie, I give it all to you. I share it all with you all.”

Thankfully, Reese and co. will be giving us all more Legally Blonde in the future. After the cast’s reunion, MGM Studios finally shared the Legally Blonde 3 release date. If only we could now fast forward to May 2022.

Elle Woods is back! Legally Blonde 3 coming May 2022. We rest our case.
#LegallyBlonde3
#ElleWoods
@ReeseW

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