Critics hail 'The Lion King' as a visual masterpiece - Silver Screen Beat
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The first reactions to Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Lion King’ hail it as ‘a visual masterpiece’

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The Lion King
DISNEY

Following the world premiere of Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King in Hollywood last night, critics immediately took to social media to share their glowing reactions to the film, which many of them hailed as “a visual masterpiece” and “absolutely breathtaking.”

The film’s premiere and rave reviews come on the heels of reports that the Jon Favreau-directed remake of the 1994 animated classic stands to make upwards of $150 million when it opens in theaters next week on July 19, though some analysts are predicting that it will likely open well above expectations.

For The Lion King, Favreau assembled an ensemble voice cast that includes the likes of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Keegan Michael Key as Kamari, Eric André as Azizi, John Oliver as Zazu, and Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa from the original.

“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” Favreau said when the cast of The Lion King, which is the third live-action remake to be released by Disney this year behind Tim Burton’s Dumbo and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, was first revealed in 2017.

You can read some of the first reactions to The Lion King below.

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Universal has two new projects from M. Night Shyamalan coming our way in 2021 and 2023

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M. Night Shyamalan
PABLO CUADRA/GETTY IMAGES

M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures seem to be getting along pretty nicely with each other as the studio announced yesterday that it will be continuing its relationship with the director and has dated his next two films from February 26, 2021 and February 17, 2023.

“M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” said Universal Pictures president Peter Cramer. “There is no one like him: he is a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, and we are honored that he has once again chosen Universal to be the home for his next two incredible projects.”

Shyamalan added, “There are wonderful studios out there, but Universal has made it a mandate to release original films. They are the best at finding an audience for new stories with unexpected tones. I believe original films are crucial to the longevity of the theatrical experience.”

While any and all details about these two films — with the exception of the release dates, of course — are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, we can’t help but think Shyamalan will be pulling another Split-type secret sequel stunt and has something pretty exciting in store for us, though that’s just pure speculation on our part.

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Matt Damon and Christian Bale attempt to pull off the impossible in this new ‘Ford v Ferrari’ trailer

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Ford v Ferrari
20TH CENTURY FOX

Fresh off its stops at festivals like Telluride and Toronto, 20th Century Fox has released a brand new trailer for James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari and it looks like this thing is shaping up to be one of hell a contender this awards season.

Ford v Ferrari tells “the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale),” who, believe it or not, does not seem to have undergone any drastic transformations for his role here.

Together, the duo “battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.”

At press time, Ford v Ferrari boasts an impressive 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews, and something tells me that percentage isn’t going to change too much over the next couple of months. I mean, even the “negative” reviews aren’t even that negative!

Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon also star in Ford v Ferrari, which hits theaters on November 15.

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Phoenix: Put on a happy face and come see Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’ early and for free

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Joker
WARNER BROS.

Warner Bros. will release Joker, Todd Phillips’ take on the iconic DC villain’s origin starring Joaquin Phoenix, on September 6 and they’re giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.

Our readers in the Phoenix area can click on this link to enter to win passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Joker happening Tuesday, October 1 at Harkins Arizona Mills IMAX at 7:00 p.m.

Winners of this contest will be selected and notified on Saturday, September 29 after 12:00 p.m. PT via email, so good luck! Below is the official trailer for Joker as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz

Opens: Friday, October 4

Rating: R for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material

Synopsis: Director Todd Phillips Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

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