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FOX Announces New Girl Season 7 as the Series’ Last

The New Girl final season is headed to Fox later this year. The New Girl final season was approved.

New Girl season 7 will be the last for the hit FOX sitcom

There’s some bittersweet news for fans of FOX‘s hit sitcom New Girl. The series, which recently ended its sixth season with an episode that seemed to serve as a potential series finale, has been renewed at the network. New Girl season 7 will be the show’s last, however and will offer a proper goodbye to the show’s ensemble cast of characters.

RELATED: FOX Renews Gotham and The Last Man on Earth

Continuing to take a modern look at friendship and romance, New Girl season 7 will again star Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone. New Girl season 5 introduced the recurring Megan Fox as Reagan. While the plot of the series saw Deschanel’s Jess sequestered on jury duty and renting out her space in the loft to the new new girl, the move was actually done to cover Deschanel’s real life pregnancy. Although she did return for an arc in season 6, it has not yet been confirmed whether or not we’ll see Fox return as Reagan for New Girl season 7.

Additional guest stars in the current season include Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live), Nasim Pedrad (Scream Queens), Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street) and John Cho (Star Trek), as well as Julie Hagerty (Airplane) and Henry Winkler (Arrested Development).

New Girl is produced by Chernin Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series was created by Elizabeth Meriwether. Meriwether, Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Jake Kasdan, Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope are executive producers, with Meriwether, Baer and Finkel serving as co-showrunners/writers and Kasdan directing multiple episodes of the series.

Are you glad to hear that the series will be getting a proper sendoff with New Girl season 7? How do you think it’s going to end? Share your thoughts in the below!

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NBC Fall 2017 Schedule Announced

NBC Fall 2017 Schedule Announced

NBC fall 2017 schedule announced

NBC has announced its new lineup, which will add five first-year dramas and three new comedies over the course of the 2017-18 season and is anchored by a new powerhouse Thursday lineup that includes the return of one of the most successful comedies in TV history, Will & Grace, the highly-anticipated second season of This Is Us and Dick Wolf’s new true crime event series Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

Drama highlights of the newly-announced NBC fall 2017 schedule are The Brave (pictured above), where a Washington, D.C., team of highly trained analysts and Special Ops forces work together to execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world; and uberproducer Dick Wolf’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, which stars four-time Emmy Award winner Edie Falco as lead attorney Leslie Abramson, who represented the brothers who killed their wealthy parents in a Beverly Hills mansion.

New dramas that will launch in midseason are Rise, from Parenthood and Friday Night Lights producer Jason Katims, and “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller, starring Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Rosie Perez (Oscar nominee) and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), about a dedicated high school teacher who, when taking over the school’s lackluster theater department, galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town; Good Girls, from executive producer Jenna Bans (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), about three best friends who rob a local supermarket to help make ends meet and realize their perfect getaway is anything but; and Reverie, starring Sarah Shahi as a college professor trying to save ordinary people who have lost themselves in a highly advanced virtual-reality program in which you can literally live your dreams.

NBC’s growing comedy lineup this fall is highlighted by the return of the beloved Will & Grace, which was previously nominated for 83 Emmy Awards and won 16, including Outstanding Comedy Series. The fearsome foursome – Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally – return in all their glory, as do executive producers Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and legendary director James Burrows. NBC’s two other new comedy series premiering later this season are A.P. Bio from executive producers Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers, which stars Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as an Advanced Placement biology teacher who makes it perfectly clear he will not be teaching any biology and uses his students to his own benefit, and Champions, from Charlie Grandy (The Office) and Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), about a charismatic gym owner with no ambition who suddenly finds out he has a teenage son.

Rounding out the NBC fall 2017 schedule are alternative series that include The Awesome Show, from executive producers Chris Hardwick (The Wall), Mark Burnett (The Voice) and Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, that will showcase the groundbreaking scientific and technological advances that are shaping the future; Ellen’s Game of Games, starring the one and only Ellen DeGeneres and featuring super-sized versions of some of the most beloved games from her daytime talk show; Genius Junior, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, celebrates the smartest kids in America with mind-blowing tests of logic, math, memory, spelling and more; and The Handmade Project, from executive producers Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, a lighthearted competition celebrating the creativity and craftiness in all of us.

Returning shows for the 2017-18 schedule include The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Dateline NBC, The Good Place, Great News, Law & Order: SVU, Little Big Shots, Shades of Blue, Superstore, Taken, This Is Us, Timeless, The Voice and The Wall.

NBC FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE (New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)

MONDAY
8-10 P.M. – The Voice
10-11 P.M. – THE BRAVE

TUESDAY
8-9 P.M. – The Voice
9-9:30 P.M. – Superstore
9:30-10 P.M. – The Good Place
10-11 P.M. – Chicago Fire

WEDNESDAY
8-9 P.M. – The Blacklist
9-10 P.M. – Law & Order: SVU
10-11 P.M. – Chicago P.D.

THURSDAY
8-8:30 P.M. – WILL & GRACE
8:30-9 P.M. – Great News
9-10 P.M. – This Is Us
10-11 P.M. – LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS

FRIDAY
8-9 P.M. – Blindspot
9-10 P.M. – Taken
10-11 P.M – Dateline NBC

SATURDAY
8-10 P.M. – Dateline Saturday Night Mystery
10-11 P.M. – Saturday Night Live (encores)

SUNDAY
7-8:20 P.M. – Football Night in America
8:20-11 P.M. – NBC Sunday Night Football

NEW DRAMA SERIES

THE BRAVE

From Keshet Studios and Avi Nir (executive producer of “Homeland”) comes a fresh, heart-pounding journey into the complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes. While D.I.A. Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from Washington, D.C., Adam Dalton and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to freedom to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world. The cast includes Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills and Hadi Tabbal. Dean Georgaris will write and executive produce. Brad Anderson will direct and executive produce the pilot. Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan also executive produce. “The Brave” is produced by Universal Television and Keshet Studios.

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GOOD GIRLS

When three suburban moms get tired of trying to make ends meet, they decide it’s time to stick up for themselves by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. But when the manager catches a glimpse of one of them and the loot is far more than they expected, it doesn’t take long for the three best friends to realize the perfect getaway will be harder than they think. From executive producer Jenna Bans (“Scandal”) comes this comedy-infused drama that mixes a little “Thelma & Louise” with a bit of “Breaking Bad.” The cast includes Retta, Mae Whitman, Reno Wilson, Manny Montana, Lidya Jewett, Izzy Stannard and Matthew Lillard. Jenna Bans will write and executive produce. Dean Parisot directs and executive produces the pilot. Jeannine Renshaw also executive produces. “Good Girls” is produced by Universal Television.

LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS

Starring the incomparable Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Edie Falco (“The Sopranos,” “Nurse Jackie”), this new eight-episode true-crime installment of the powerhouse “Law & Order” franchise delivers a gripping in-depth dramatization of the notorious murder case that changed America forever. When the Menendez brothers were tried on national TV for brutally killing their parents in Beverly Hills, their story became a national obsession. Now, the first edition of this anthology series delves into the players, the crime and the media circus, detailing the day-to-day battles of the trial and unveiling the shocking truth of what really went down when the cameras stopped rolling. Rene Balcer will write and executive produce. Lesli Linka Glatter will direct and executive produce. Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski and Arthur W. Forney also executive produce. “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.

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REVERIE

From Mickey Fisher, the creator of “Extant,” this grounded new thriller follows Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi), a former hostage negotiator and expert on human behavior who became a college professor after facing an unimaginable personal tragedy. But when she’s brought in to save ordinary people who have lost themselves in a highly advanced virtual-reality program in which you can literally live your dreams, she finds that in saving others, she may actually have discovered a way to save herself. The cast includes Sarah Shahi, Dennis Haysbert, Jessica Lu, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Kathryn Morris. Mickey Fisher will write and executive produce. Jaume Collet-Serra will direct and executive produce the pilot. Brooklyn Weaver, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey also executive produce. Tom Szentgyorgyi is a consulting producer. “Reverie” is produced by Universal Television and Amblin Television.

RISE

From Jason Katims, writer and executive producer of “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood,” and “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller comes a heartening new drama about finding inspiration in unexpected places. When dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town. Inspired by a true story. The cast includes Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Marley Shelton, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk. Jason Katims will write and executive produce. Mike Cahill will direct and executive produce the pilot. Michelle Lee, Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez also executive produce. “Rise” is produced by Universal Television, True Jack Productions and Seller Suarez Productions.

NEW COMEDY SERIES

A.P. BIO

When a philosophy scholar loses out on his dream job and goes to work as a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher, he makes it clear he will not be teaching any biology. Realizing he has a room full of honor roll students at his disposal, he decides instead to use the kids to his own benefit. The cast includes Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, Aparna Brielle, Jacob McCarthy, Nick Peine and guest star Vanessa Bayer (pilot only). Mike O’Brien will write and executive produce. Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Andrew Singer and Mike Shoemaker also executive produce. Osmany Rodriguez will direct. “A.P. Bio” is produced by Universal Television, Broadway Video and Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions.

CHAMPIONS

Vince, a charismatic gym owner with no ambition, lives with his younger brother Michael, a gorgeous idiot. Their simple life of women and working out is put on hold when the teenage son of Vince is dropped off on their doorstep by Priya (Mindy Kaling), one of his old high school flings. The cast includes Anders Holm, Andy Favreau, J.J. Totah, Mouzam Makkar, Nina Wadia and guest star Mindy Kaling. Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling will write and executive produce. Michael Alan Spiller will direct and executive produce. Howard Klein also executive produces. “Champions” is produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment, Eyes Up Productions and Kaling International.

WILL & GRACE

That’s right, honey! A decade after their unforgettable eight-season run, comedy’s most fabulous foursome is back. Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally reprise their infamous roles as Will, Grace, Jack and Karen in this exclusive 12-episode event. The legendary James Burrows, director of every original “Will & Grace” episode, returns along with a slew of razor-sharp jabs and dirty martinis. Behold once again, from the minds of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, TV’s wittiest ensemble ever. The cast includes Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally. Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will write and executive produce. Alex Herschlag, Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally also executive produce. James Burrows will direct and executive produce. “Will & Grace” is produced by Universal Television.

NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES

THE AWESOME SHOW

From executive producer/host Chris Hardwick (“The Wall”), executive producer Mark Burnett (“The Voice”) and Silicon Valley’s Singularity University comes a new series that will showcase the groundbreaking scientific and technological advances that are shaping the future, as well as celebrate the pioneers and communities at the forefront of this golden age of unprecedented discovery, innovation and opportunity. Each episode of “The Awesome Show” will be a rollercoaster ride through the world of innovation as told by the people who are shaping it and whose lives are affected by it. The series will highlight stories of revolutionary scientific and technological advances and will marvel at mankind’s tremendous feats, both now and in the future. Mark Burnett, Chris Hardwick and Alex Murray executive produce. “The Awesome Show” is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Fish Ladder.

ELLEN’S GAME OF GAMES

The one and only Ellen DeGeneres returns to primetime to host an exciting new game show that’s one big party! Featuring super-sized versions of some of the most beloved games from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” as well as new ones, contestants will be pulled from the studio audience to maneuver massive obstacles while answering trivia questions, all under the pressure of Ellen’s mischievous and hilarious antics. With DeGeneres’ witty and comedic sensibility plus fun-filled games, each episode is sure to entertain the entire family and deliver lots of laughs. One lucky contestant will get the chance to win the grand prize, but everyone will have a blast! Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman and David A. Hurwitz executive produce. Russell Norman directs. “Ellen’s Game of Games” is produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted in association with A Very Good Production and Telepictures.

GENIUS JUNIOR

No stranger to young geniuses, Neil Patrick Harris hosts an exciting new game show that celebrates the smartest kids in America. These talented “genius juniors” will team up to take on mind-blowing tests of logic, math, memory, spelling and more. Through escalating rounds, they will be tested in each area of the brain, culminating in an ultimate challenge to be crowned the smartest and brightest. The winning team will take home a life-changing prize – setting the stage for a big, bright future ahead. Neil Patrick Harris, Pam Healey, John Hesling, Phil Parsons and Ed Egan executive produce. “Genius Junior” is produced by Shed Media in association with Prediction Productions.

THE HANDMADE PROJECT

From executive producer and host Amy Poehler and co-host Nick Offerman comes a lighthearted competition celebrating the creativity and craftiness in all of us. Each week, eight amateur makers will take on a series of projects they must complete in their own unique way. As the competition escalates, the amateurs will be challenged to master progressively difficult skills, culminating in a final craft-off between the most creative and tenacious contestants. Shot in a serene outdoor setting, this friendly competition will focus on the character and camaraderie of DIY culture – and through it all, Poehler and Offerman will provide encouragement, guidance and plenty of laughs. Amy Poehler, Brooke Posch, Nicolle Yaron, Nick Offerman, Dave Becky and Anthony Dominici executive produce. “The Handmade Project” is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Paper Kite Productions.

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Jennifer Lawrence Has Her Heart in Her Hands on the mother! Poster

Jennifer Lawrence rips out her own heart on the Mother! poster. Check out the Mother! poster here.

Darren Aronofsky’s latest, mother!, hit theaters October 13

Paramount Pictures mother!, the latest feature film from writer and director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For a Dream, Noah), has just debuted a stylish poster design with artwork by James Jean that offers our very first look at the upcoming film starring Academy Award winners Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings PlaybookAmerican Hustle) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Skyfall). You can check it out in full in the gallery viewer below!

RELATED: A Conversation with Black Swan Director Darren Aronofsky

Although no official plot synopsis has been revealed, mother! (which features both a lowercase “m” and an exclamation point as part of its official title) is said to center on a couple whose relationship is challenged with the arrival of some uninvited guests.

The impressive cast of mother! is also set to include Michelle Pfeiffer (What Lies Beneath, Dark Shadows), Ed Harris (Snowpiercer, A Beautiful Mind) and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and his brother, Brian Gleeson (Snow White and the HuntsmanAssassin’s Creed).

Paramount Pictures distributed Aronofsky’s last movie, Noah, which brought in more than $362 million at the global box office when it was released back in 2014. Aronofsky is writing, directing and producing mother! through his own Protozoa Pictures along with Scott Franklin and Ari Handel.

RELATED: Jennifer Lawrence Movies and TV Spotlight

The October 13 release has mother! opening opposite two big screen thrillers: Jaume Collet-Serra‘s The Commuter, starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, and Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

What do you think of the mother! poster design? Is this one on your radar to check out when it hits the big screen this fall? Let us know your thoughts in the below!

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Guardians 2 Hits $630 Million, Snatched Tops King Arthur

Guardians 2 Hits $630 Million, Snatched Tops King Arthur

Guardians 2 hits $630 million, Snatched tops King Arthur

Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel StudiosGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 posted another $117 million global weekend. Domestically, the sequel added $63 million in first place and internationally the film brought in $52.2 million. That means, the James Gunn film has earned $246.2 million in North America after two weeks and $384.4 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $630.6 million. Globally, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already passed the lifetime totals of The Incredible Hulk ($263M), Captain America: The First Avenger ($371M), Thor ($449M), Ant-Man ($519M), Iron Man ($585M) and Iron Man 2 ($624M). In 2014, the first Guardians of the Galaxy earned $333.2 million domestically and $440 million internationally, for a global total of $773.3 million.

Here are the international highlights so far: China $80.5M; UK $42.5M; Russia $23.1M; Germany $23.0M; Australia $20.1M; France $20.1M; Korea $18.6M; Brazil $17.8M; Mexico $17.1M; Spain $8.5M; Italy $7.4M; and Indonesia $7.2M.

Written and directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was made for $200 million and stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, and Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet.

20th Century Fox action comedy Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, debuted in second place domestically with an estimated $17.5 million from 3,501 theaters, an average of $4,999 per location. Internationally, the film grossed $3.2 million from nine markets this weekend. Receiving a B CinemaScore from audiences, the Jonathan Levine-directed film was made for $42 million.

Made for a hefty $175 million, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opened in the third spot with just $14.7 million from 3,702 theaters, an average of $3,971. Internationally, the film grossed $29.1 million from about 18,000 screens in 51 markets. Receiving a B+ CinemaScore, King Arthur stars Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana.

Universal’s The Fate of the Furious dropped two spots to fourth place its fifth weekend. Grossing $5.3 million this weekend, the eighth installment has earned $215 million domestically. The international total stands at $978.4 million, for a global sum of $1.193 billion. The F. Gary Gray-directed The Fate of the Furious, made for $250 million, stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren.

DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby rounded out the top five with $4.6 million its seventh weekend and has grossed $162.4 million. Internationally, The Boss Baby added $8.7 million and has earned $294.1 million, for a worldwide total of $456.5 million. Released by 20th Century Fox and directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), the comedy features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Miles Bakshi.

As of today, Beauty and the Beast is now estimated to stand globally at $1.207 billion, making it the #11 highest grossing movie of all-time.  Domestically, it still stands as the eighth-highest grossing movie of all-time. The live-action adaptation added $3.9 million domestically and $7.5 million internationally, for a global weekend of $11.4 million. Domestically, Beauty and the Beast has earned $493.2 million and internationally, it’s up to $713.3 million. Directed by Bill Condon, the $160 million film stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Hattie Morahan, Nathan Mack, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Before opening domestically on May 19, 20th Century Fox debuted Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant in 34 overseas markets, where the film grossed $42 million. The film is #1 in 19 markets, including South Korea ($7.2M), UK ($6.4M), France ($4.5M), Australia ($3.1M), Spain ($1.9M), and Hong Kong ($1.8M). Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, and Benjamin Rigby.

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Ben Blu-ray Review

Ben 1972

Ben: 1972 rat-tastic Willard sequel is now on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Scream Factory

Where Willard ended, Ben begins! Yesterday, we raved about Scream Factory’s release of director Daniel Mann’s 1971 adaptation of Stephen Gilbert’s novel “Ratman’s Notebooks,” on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, a legitimately noteworthy cause for celebration as Willard has never been legitimately available in either format before. Neither has Ben, the immediate 1972 sequel that takes the leader of the sentient rat colony and pairs him with a sick little boy who is also one helluva piano player and impromptu songwriter.

Taking the final frames of Willard, with Bruce Davison’s rat-master milquetoast hero getting torn to shreds at the command of his former “friend”, Ben begins with a police procedural and a pack of confused detectives trying to make sense of the situation. Luckily, it appears Willard had kept a journal of his adventures with the vermin and now the cops are keen to find the head honcho critter dubbed in said diary, “Ben”. The device is both lazy and interesting as I don’t recall Willard ever putting a pen to page in the first picture and yet it makes sense, seeing as the first film’s source novel was indeed about the character’s notebooks.

RELATED: Read our Willard Blu-ray review

Anyway, Ben – now without a human enabler – leads his “people” (in some ways the movie and the motives echo the spate of “revolutionary” genre films, like Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, released that same year) on a series of covert adventures to fine food, ripping apart any too-curious human who get in their way. All this rogue rat horror is juxtaposed with the tale (tail) of little Danny (Lee Montgomery from Dan Curtis’ Dead of Night and Burnt Offerings as well as eco-horror flick Mutant), a child who, after undergoing multiple heart surgeries, is coddled and protected by his mother and big sister (Meredith Baxter from Family Ties). Danny whiles away his day making music and creating a world of fantasy and puppet shows and escape and when Ben shows up on his windowsill, calmed and fascinated by the boy, the two begin a friendship. When bullies target Danny, Ben sends his army to but the bite on them and the pair cuddle up nightly, something that was constantly denied him by his previous human pal Willard. Meanwhile, the cops still bumble around town and Ben keeps leading his pals on nightly raids of supermarkets and, in one particularly amusing scene, a ladies only health spa.

Ben1972

Critics were even meaner to Ben than they were to Willard and one can sort of see why. Like it’s predecessor, the movie features acres of vermin running wild but unlike the first film, there’s no psychological component to ground and propel it. The big difference here is that Willard was indeed based on a literary source and you felt that. The first film  had a spine, finely etched characters and subtext. Ben is just a movie about rats doing stuff. While both films were PG (or GP) rated (and both have screenplays by Gilbert A. Ralston), Willard is not really for kids, filled as it is with icky moments, cruelty, psychodrama and dollops of gore. Ben however, with its child hero and sweeter tone and lack of blood, seems tailored for younger audience. But once you accept that, there’s plenty of weird, jittery thrills to be had here. Director Phil Karlson, a journeyman hack who excelled making action films like Walking Tall and Framed, had his roots in episodic television and indeed Ben often feels like a ’70s TV film with a fatter budget (that went to realizing the rat apocalypse no doubt), moving as it does from one melodramatic scene to the next. There are also surreal touches, like after a trucker crashes his rig after a rat attack and a supermarket gets trashed by the beasts, onlookers just stand like statues and stare, with Karlson’s camera staring back. It’s an off-note touch and whether accidental or not, it adds eeriness to the movie. Additionally, as many of you know, the breakout Michael Jackson hit song “Ben’s Song” was written for this movie (amusing as the legion of fans who thrilled to the tune hadn’t a clue it was a love song penned for a cinematic sewer chewer) and there’s a really goofy scene where Danny sits at a piano actually writing the song itself. Goofy but, like the rest of the movie, charming.

Scream Factory did the best they could with the source material for this High-def transfer (Willard is a 4K scan of the negative, Ben is obviously mastered from a print) but Ben is a different looking movie to begin with, taking place mostly at night, and the movie doesn’t have the comic-book, brightly colored texture of Willard. This is the best this muddy looking movie has ever or likely will ever look. Extras include a wonderful commentary with Montgomery (who is unrecognizable from his youth) and interview, where he talks about how much fun he had making the movie, how kind everyone was and his experiences dealing with the initially repellent rats themselves.

Not the masterpiece Willard is, Ben is still a curious and occasionally moving companion piece with the young Montgomery excelling in a fairly demanding role. Together these films (which were both financed by crooner Bing Crosby!) mark a time when genre movies aimed to offer more than just cheap shocks and franchise baiting imitation. A great double bill indeed.

Buy Ben on Blu-ray from Amazon

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Paul McCartney Gets a Pirates of the Caribbean Character Poster!

Paul McCartney Gets a Pirates of the Caribbean Character Poster!

Paul McCartney gets a Pirates of the Caribbean character poster!

Walt Disney Pictures has released yet another character poster for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, though it’s not for someone fans may have been expecting – Sir Paul McCartney! It’s unclear who the former Beatles frontman will play in the film, but he joins Keith Richards as being a a famous musician to take on a role in the franchise (Richards played Jack Sparrow’s father, Captain Teague, in the third and fourth films).

RELATED: Pirates of the Caribbean Characters Guide

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all new Pirates movie. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazer (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea – notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifull small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has never faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

RELATED: New Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Poster and Photo

Directed by Norwegian filmmakers Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will debut in theaters on May 26, 2017.

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Timeless Renewed for Season Two! NBC Reverses Cancellation Decision

Timeless Renewed for Season Two! NBC Reverses Cancellation Decision

Timeless renewed for Season Two! NBC reverses cancellation decision

Earlier this week, Timeless executive producer/co-creator Eric Kripke took to Twitter to reveal that NBC had cancelled the freshman series. Now, Kripke has announced NBC has reversed their decision and the show will return!

The #TimeTeam went back 3 days, and changed history. @nbc picked us up for 10 episodes. Seriously. Airs next summer. #TimelessRenewed pic.twitter.com/SDkeShlByL

— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) May 13, 2017

Kripke and co-creator Shawn Ryan (The Shield) further updated about the renewal, saying the time lot for the series’ return is up in the air, meaning it could return in spring or summer 2018.

Timeless is a thrilling action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: Rufus, a scientist; Wyatt, a soldier; and Lucy, a history professor, all of who must use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of Flynn, a dangerous fugitive. But can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it’s too late?

Timeless stars Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Višnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumi. The first season of Timeless was NBC’s no. 6-rated drama. The season finale of the freshman time travel story ended on a cliffhanger, with Lucy learning that her mother was part of the Rittenhouse organization.

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Okja Poster Teases Netflix’s Bizarre Original Film

Okja Poster Teases Netflix's Bizarre Original Film

Okja poster teases Netflix’s bizarre original film

Netflix has released the first poster for their upcoming film Okja, which is set to make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival next Friday, May 19. Check it out in the gallery below!

Directed by Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host), the Netflix original film stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Giancarlo Esposito, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins and newcomer An Seo Hyun. If you missed the teaser, you can still watch that by clicking here.

For 10 idyllic years, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja – a massive animal and an even bigger friend – at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when the family-owned multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where image obsessed and self-promoting CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend.

With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission, but her already daunting journey quickly becomes more complicated when she crosses paths with disparate groups of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling to control the fate of Okja…while all Mija wants to do is bring her friend home.

Deftly blending genres, humor, poignancy and drama, Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) begins with the gentlest of premises-the bond between man and animal-and ultimately creates a distinct and layered vision of the world that addresses the animal inside us all.

Okja will premiere exclusively on Netflix on June 28.

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