Monster Kid Theater Presents Kong: Skull Island

Monster Kid Theater Presents Kong: Skull Island’s horror editor takes his three kids to see Kong: Skull Island and lives to tell about it

Monster Kid Theater is an ongoing column in which my three sons and I (just call me Fred MacMurray) get together to watch classic and contemporary monster movies. My trio of tots are young. Jack is 9. Elliot is 8. Ben is 6. I have not really pushed a cinematic agenda on them. They have just liked hanging out with me. And I watch plenty of movies. And many of them are… odd. I have ensured that when we do sit down to watch movies and when we go to the cinema, that I try to spin everything into education. I break down shots, discuss film history, talk about special effects, acting, metaphor and allegory. Some of it they get, some they will eventually get.

But they are my joy. We are a team.

So with that, we made plans earlier today to see the biggest (in every sense) movie of the season, Kong: Skull Island. The kids love the 1933 original Kong. They find the 1976 Kong too nihilistic and mean (they certainly have a point). They find the Peter Jackson King Kong kind of dull and, when watching it recently, compared it to Jurassic World, which Jack and Elliot cite as a far superior example of dino-centric action. I don’t argue this. I’ve never really been a fan…

So for our matinee screening of Kong: Skull Island, I opt to go all the way. Well, almost all the way. Having three kids and taking them to the cinema means goodbye cash in a big, ugly way. So now, when we hit the movies, us three unapologetically break the law and stop off at the local “Bulk Barn” and buy cheap candy which we then smuggle under our shirts, unconvincingly I might add. We’re all fairly slender gents and the odd crinkling lumps don’t fool anyone. But no one ever calls us on it, so whatever.

Anyway, outside of the cheapskate contraband concession, I ponied up for the kids to get the full King Kong experience: 3D, “D-Box”, Dolby Atmos, whatever other nonsense they throw in to bring one adult and three children’s ticket prices to a princely 95 dollars. But it was imperative to have the “D-Box” thing, which is a Canadian company (I’m Canadian) that creates shaking seats inside the theater whose vibrations and herky-jerky movements coincide with the action on screen. I presume you American readers have the same thing at select theaters, or at least the equivalent.

“Your daddy is getting you the best seats we have!” the chirpy girl with oddly narrow shoulders at the box office tells them as she takes my cash. They smile and nod while visibly sweating, paranoid that this honey bunny will find out that they’re packing Sour Kids like a bunch of sugary suicide bombers.

So we grab our 3D glasses, get to our seats and buckle in for this, the very first King Kong movie these three princes have seen theatrically. Which really, is a wonderful thing. I’m sharing this moment. The magic of King Kong, which has defined fantasy cinema for nearly a century is alive again and ready to dazzle a new generation of young dreamers. Life is good and endlessly surprising.

After a glut of commercials and trailers, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer comes on and the D-Box chairs spring to life, tossing us all over the joint while the 3D images dazzle. But the kids are more excited to hear Fleetwood Mac’s classic track “The Chain” blasting over the soundtrack. My influence is strong…

Then comes Kong and my God does this movie not f**k around. Minutes in and there are air battles, plane crashes, beach gun battles and tropical swordfights and then BOOM Kong himself appears, the seats jerk around and the sound roars from the speakers. It’s hilarious watching three kids with glasses — all looking like pint-sized Truman Capotes — flailing around while a massive monkey smashes stuff on screen. I’m excited just watching them watch this.

Kong: Skull Island deftly sets its plot in motion and introduces its characters without an ounce of flab. It’s easy for the kids to understand that a mission of gravitas and controversy is launching and that the stakes are high. The actors are familiar – Richard Jenkins and especially John Goodman, who they know from Roseanne reruns and who Jack has “gotten skinny.” Sam Jackson shows up and naturally the lads know him from the Marvel movies. But once the movie drags its protagonists – military, scientific and civilian – to Skull Island and Kong just shows up and starts killing everyone, they are in a kind of paralysis, seat shaking be damned.

This is strong stuff. Pure carnage. But my kids know things. They go on movie sets. They make their own little movies. So none of this has an adverse effect. They’re marveling at the spectacle, at the flawless special effects. Though little Ben keeps leaning over to me and asking me, “So, did that guy die? And did he die? And him? And him? But who’s left?!”

Yes, the culling of the human herd is high, but enough of the players make it to get the movie on the ground and pit these shell-shocked humans against an array of monsters, including a giant spider that blew their minds and grossed them out. It’s all truly spectacular and messy stuff.

But again, my kids know pop culture. They know classic rock and arcane references. And the Kong: Skull Island soundtrack is jammed with amazing rock chestnuts. By the time “Ziggy Stardust” comes blaring off the speakers, Elliot turns to me and yells loudly, ” DADDY! DAVID BOWIE! DAVID BOWIE!” The theater erupts in laughter. I’m proud.

The rest of the film plays out like a pulp version of Apocalypse Now with monsters, injecting Vietnam/anti-war commentary and soaking the screen with sun-kissed visuals and a slow, weird trip down river. We talk about this later, how one character acts how he does not because he’s “bad” but because he’s battered by a war he couldn’t win and has become kind of broken. In fact, we discuss that there are NO villains in this film at all. None. And that’s amazing, really. Kong is not bad. He’s protecting his land. The subterranean reptile dragon monsters aren’t bad. They’re just trying to survive. The spider is just a spider. The humans are just flawed humans trying to do what they think is right. Rare is the carnage filled action fantasy that doesn’t paint in clear cut shades of black and white.

When the movie ended the kids were in awe. This wasn’t a movie, really. This was an experience, the kind of film that was designed for the biggest screen, with all the bells and whistles and worth every penny and moment spent on it. It’s fun. It’s intense. It’s deadly serious but often blackly hilarious. It’s bright (almost all of it takes place in the daytime) and violent but never, ever cruel. And most importantly it LOVES its monsters. Adores them.

We four talked about this movie endlessly tonight, tripping over our words as we compared notes on favorite scenes and characters that we wished had lived. Ben came home and immediately began drawing giant monsters, inventing creatures that he thought might give Kong a run for his money. I’m firmly convinced this was a definitive movie moment for them. The measure by which all other movies must now be judged.

They’ll take this one with them on their life journeys. And I’ll take it on mine. Pure magic.

If your own kids understand the difference between fantasy and reality and if they get that special effects are just that and when people die in movies the actors playing them actually go on to live long happy lives, then I urge you to take your own brood to this beautiful beast of a monster mash.

PostScript: I realized tonight that I forgot about “that” post credit scene. We left while the credits were crawling. When I told the kids this over dinner they just looked at me like I had murdered Santa Claus. I guess we’re going back to see it again.

Monster Kid Theater will return…


New Costume for The Tick Series Revealed by Amazon

New Costume for The Tick Series Revealed by Amazon

New costume for The Tick series revealed by Amazon

The Tick series, which is coming to Amazon Prime Video, has a new costume for its titular superhero. The new duds were revealed on the official Twitter page for the show with a picture of star Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the GalaxyShaun of the Dead). The pilot, which is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime, has Serafinowicz wearing an earlier version of the costume. This post marks Serafinowicz’s first week on the set of the show.

Behold good world, @serafinowicz is finally suited up for the first week on set. #TheTick

— The Tick (@TheTickTV) March 10, 2017

The Tick was originally created by producer Ben Edlund in 1986 as a mascot for New England Comics. Edlund then brought the nigh-invulnerable justice seeker to life in The Tick’s own book two years later. In 1994, the first The Tick series came to television as an animated half-hour show which ran for two seasons and 36 episodes. All but two of those episodes have been released on DVD. However, citing “creative considerations,” “The Tick vs. The Mole Men” and “Alone Together” were omitted from their respective DVD sets.

In 2001, FOX debuted the live-action The Tick series with a pilot episode directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Despite being cancelled after only nine episodes, The Tick has remained a cult hit. The Tick will premiere later this year on Amazon’s streaming service and stars Serafinowicz as The Tick, Griffin Newman as Arthur Everest, Valorie Curry as Dot Everest, Brendan Hines as Superian, Jackie Earle Haley as The Terror and Yara Martinez as Ms. Lint.

Are you excited for The Tick series on Amazon? What do you think of the shiny new costume? Let us know in the or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.


CBS Moves Training Day to Saturday Nights

CBS moves Training Day to Saturday night

CBS moves Training Day to Saturday nights

The CBS series Training Day is moving to Saturday nights, according to Variety. This move comes after the February 25, 2017 passing of star Bill Paxton at 61 from complications during surgery. The show’s official Twitter page posted a tribute to Paxton that you can see below. The show, which had been airing on Thursday nights at 10 p.m., will be replaced by the new season of The Amazing Race, which will premiere on March 30. It was originally scheduled to return on Fridays beginning April 21.

RELATED: We chat with Training Day’s Katrina Law

Training Day had wrapped production on its first season back in December and the network has yet to announce if it will return for another. Other TV shows have survived the death of their star, including News Radio (Phil Hartman), 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (John Ritter), and The West Wing (John Spencer).

In loving memory of Bill Paxton.

— Training Day (@TrainingDayCBS) February 26, 2017

In a recent interview before his death, co-star Katrina Law spoke to about working with Paxton. She said, “Bill is one of the best team leaders you could ask for. He comes to work every single day with a smile on his face, and he says, “Good morning breakfast lovers!” He just starts the day off right. He’s got a positive attitude. He’s got so much work to do, as you can tell from the three episodes that you’ve watched, all he does is talk the entire time. So he has a lot on his plate that he has to handle and he gets it done everyday, and at the end of the day, he walks away with a smile and makes sure that everybody stays in line. He’s so positive and so professional. And funny! So funny!”

Training Day is a crime thriller starring the late Paxton and Justin Cornwell (Empire) that began 15 years after the events of the feature film, about a young, idealistic police officer who is tapped to go undercover in an elite squad of the LAPD where he partners with a morally ambiguous veteran detective. Law (Spartacus), Drew Van Acker (Pretty Little Liars), Lex Scott Davis (Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart), Julie Benz (Dexter), Christina Vidal (Welcome to the Dollhouse) and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace) also star.

Have you guys been watching the show? How do you feel about the move? Let us know in the or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.


Tell Ghost in the Shell Who You Are at

Tell Ghost In the Shell Who You Are at

Tell Ghost in the Shell who you are at

Ghost In the Sheil‘s official Twitter just tweeted out a new video for fans, along with a viral website. The video shows footage from the film, with the lines, “I am hunted. I am the hunter. I am fearless. I am coming for them. I am Major.” You can go to a new website,, and upload who you are along with your picture to post on your social media accounts. You can also scroll down here to watch three new videos posted by Paramount Pictures, including one where Scarlett Johansson talks about who Major is.

As those of you familiar with the anime, the manga and the rest of the vast mythology of the series know, the main character is usually known as Major Motoko Kusanagi. In the film, however, the character is simply known as Major. Check out the tweet below.

She is hunted. She is the hunter. She is Major. Who are you? Go to and tell us.

— Ghost In The Shell (@GhostInShell) March 11, 2017

The official Facebook page for the film also posted a video with more footage with the lines, “I am coming for you. I am strong. I am fearless. I am Major.”

The film is based on the manga by Masamune Shirow (first published in 1989) and the resulting 1995 anime (with some elements from the 2004 sort-of sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence). If you’re not familiar, it’s the story of the cyber terrorism unit set in the future known as Section 9. In this future, most people have some sort of cybernetic enhancements, but Major has a fully cyborg body. Section 9 fights a new enemy as Major tries to come to terms with her humanity.

Here is the official synopsis: “Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.”

Ghost in the Shell will hit theaters on March 31, 2017. The film stars Johansson, Michael Pitt, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Pilou Asbæk, Kaori Momoi, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Yutaka Izumihara, Tuwanda Manyimo and Rila Fukushima. Are you guys going to check out Let us know in the or tweet us @comingsoonnet.

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Game of Thrones’ New Season to be ‘Much Bigger in Scale,’ According to Kit Harington

Game of Thrones' new season to be 'much bigger in scale' according to Kit Harington

Game of Thrones’ new season to be ‘much bigger in scale’ according to Kit Harington

The new Game of Thrones season will be “much bigger in scale,” according to star Kit Harington (Pompeii). Harington told The Huffington Post, “They spent an increasing amount of money on less episodes, so it’s gonna be much bigger in scale, the CGI. We’re trying new things, experimenting with new camera techniques. I think we’re trying to break boundaries and push past boundaries in these final two seasons.” Season 7 of the hit HBO show will return to the cable network on July 16, 2017. The date was revealed on Thursday, during a long Facebook Live video showing a giant block of ice. Fans were asked to type “fire” into the to melt the ice and reveal the date.

RELATED: Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere Date Revealed!

Harington told the site that the new Game of Thrones season was more intense than earlier ones, saying, “I think every actor did more action, had more action, had more scenes. They really focused it [on the main cast] because less [new] characters are coming in; they’re focusing in on the existing ones.” He also teased some meet ups that fans have been speculating on. “And there are lots of people who cross paths. And that’s something I think the audience has been waiting for for a long time.”

At the end of last season, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) dragons and her immense army were finally on the way to Westeros, where Cersei (Lena Headey) is now Queen after the death of her children. The Night King’s (Vladimir Furdik in season 6) army is heading south, and a battle appears to be imminent.

Though we don’t know exactly what’s coming in season 7, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, tweeted this late last year: “Just finished reading season 7, s**t gets REAL. I’d start preparing yourselves now… scratch that, nothing will prepare you for this… Holy BALLS.”

What meet ups are you looking forward to most? Are you excited for what’s coming besides Winter? Let us know in the or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.


Mr. Robot Season 3: Bobby Cannavale Joins the Cast, Premiere Date Set

Mr. Robot Season 3: Bobby Cannavale Cast and Premiere Set for October

Mr. Robot Season 3: Bobby Cannavale joins the cast, premiere date set

Boardwalk Empire‘s Bobby Cannavale has been cast in the USA Network‘s Mr. Robot Season 3 as a series regular. Cannavale, who is also known for his work in the TV show Vinyl and the Marvel film Ant-Man, will play Irving, “a laconic, no-nonsense used car salesman.” Recurring guest star BD Wong (Law & Order: Special Victims UnitJurassic World) will now be a regular as well. He plays Whiterose, the leader of the Dark Army, a Chinese-based hacking organization.

Though the show usually premieres in the summer, Mr. Robot Season 3 will return to USA in October of 2017. Executive producer and writer Sam Esmail will return to direct all 10 episodes. Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment said, “Sam Esmail is a true creative visionary who continues to deliver a series that boldly tackles timely issues and leans into the major headlines of the day. We’re eager to share the next phase of Elliot’s journey with fans this fall.”

“Season 3 of Mr. Robot will engage viewers in a whole new way, with Sam and team continuing to find ways to surprise, challenge and delight the audience. And adding Bobby Cannavale and BD Wong to our cast makes one of the tightest acting ensembles even stronger,” said Jeff Wachtel, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment in the same statement.

Mr. Robot follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cyber-security engineer who becomes involved in the underground hacker group fsociety, after being recruited by their leader (Christian Slater). Following the events of fsociety’s five/nine hack on multi-national company Evil Corp, the second season explores the consequences of that attack as well as the illusion of control.

The series also stars Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallstrom, Grace Gummer, Michael Cristofer and Stephanie Corneliussen.


FEUD: Bette and Joan is Biggest FX Premiere Since People v. O.J. Simpson

FEUD: Bette and Joan is Biggest FX Premiere Since People v. O.J. Simpson

FEUD: Bette and Joan is biggest FX premiere since People v. O.J. Simpson

FEUD: Bette and Joan debuted as FX’s most-watched new program premiere since The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the network revealed today.

On a Live+3 basis, the premiere telecast of FEUD: Bette and Joan (Sunday, March 5) and two encore telecasts delivered 5.17 million Total Viewers, the highest since the premiere of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story on February 2, 2016 (12 million Total Viewers for premiere telecast and two encores).

The premiere telecast of FEUD: Bette and Joan (10 PM-11:12 PM, 3/5/17) exceeded the premiere telecasts of the new FX series Legion by 16% (3.8 million vs. 3.27 million) and Taboo by 11% (3.8 million vs. 3.43 million) in Total Viewers on a Live+3 basis.

FEUD: Bette and Joan returns Sunday, March 12 at 10 PM ET/PT on FX with Episode 2, “The Other Woman,” described as follows: With production on Baby Jane underway, Bette and Joan form an alliance, but outside forces conspire against them. Teleplay by Tim Minear; directed by Ryan Murphy.

RELATED: FEUD: Charles and Diana Gets 10-Episode Order from FX

FEUD: Bette and Joan tells the story of the legendary rivalry between Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) during their collaboration on the Academy Award®-nominated thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and well after the cameras stopped rolling. The series explores how the two women endured ageism, sexism, and misogyny while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers.

In addition to Academy Award winners Lange and Sarandon, the cast includes Alfred Molina as the film’s director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as studio titan Jack Warner, Judy Davis as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Jackie Hoffman as Crawford’s housekeeper Mamacita, and Alison Wright as Aldrich’s assistant Pauline. Notable guest stars include Dominic Burgess as Crawford and Davis’ co-star Victor Buono, Catherine Zeta-Jones as film star Olivia de Havilland, Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page, Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell and Kiernan Shipka as B.D., Bette Davis’ daughter.

FEUD: Bette and Joan is created by Ryan Murphy and Jaffe Cohen & Michael Zam. Ryan Murphy serves as Executive Producer along with Executive Producers Dede Gardner and Plan B Entertainment, Tim Minear and Alexis Martin Woodall. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.

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Wonder Woman Preview: Watch a Segment from Tomorrow’s Trailer

Check out a brief Wonder Woman preview that offers a glimpse at a scene from the upcoming new trailer. Enjoy the Wonder Woman preview!

Check out a new Wonder Woman preview, teasing tomorrow’s new trailer

Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment have just brought online a Wonder Woman preview that offers a look a scene from tomorrow’s new trailer! Check it out in the player below and come back tomorrow for a look at the full trailer.

UPDATE: A second trailer tease is now also online. You can watch both below!

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Robin Wright (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Netflix’s House of Cards), Danny Huston (Clash of the Titans, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Ewen Bremner (Exodus: Gods and Kings, Snowpiercer), Saïd Taghmaoui (American Hustle), Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In), Connie Nielsen (GladiatorNymphomaniac: Vol. I) and Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead).

The film is being produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder, with Richard Suckle, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and Rebecca Roven serving as executive producers.

RELATED: Wonder Woman Will Change How Fans See the Character in Batman v Superman

Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017. It will be the fourth film in the newly-launched DC Cinematic Universe, following 2013’s Man of Steel and last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. It will be followed in 2017 on November 17 with the highly-anticipated Justice League movie.

What do you think of this new Wonder Woman preview? Are you sold on the film? Let us know your thoughts in the below!

All is fair in war and wonder. New trailer for #WonderWoman arrives TOMORROW.

— #WonderWoman (@WonderWomanFilm) March 10, 2017

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