Joining the critically-acclaimed 'Thor' threequel is sequel 'A Bad Moms Christmas.' Larry David returns to host 'Saturday Night Live.'
Chris Hemsworth is back as the God of Thunder in the third Thor film with Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, plus fellow Avengers characters played by Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch. Taika Waititi directs the Marvel feature, which welcomes franchise newcomers Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum and Tessa Thompson. The threequel sees Thor racing against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization — that is, after surviving a lethal gladiatorial contest against his former ally, the Hulk.
The critically-acclaimed superhero movie boasts a 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, matching Iron Man to nab the best score of any film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. THR's review called the movie the franchise's "breeziest by far. With Taika Waititi at the helm, the clash-of-worlds CGI extravaganza blasts free of the previous installment's leaden Dark World. Giant fire monsters in stygian underworlds notwithstanding, even the story's central bad guys are silly fun. ... [It] gives Hemsworth a chance to find the comic groove beneath the title character's beefcake godliness. He does it expertly."
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn are back for the STXfilms holiday-themed sequel to the hit Bad Moms. Scott Moore and Jon Lucas are again directing the followup to the female-fronted R-rated comedy. This time, the trio struggles with their kids and their own visiting mothers, played by Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski and Cheryl Hines. Jay Hernandez, Peter Gallagher, Oona Laurence and Wanda Sykes are also among the cast.
"We get to be the rebellious moms and the rebellious teenagers at the same time," Hahn tells THR of acting in the followup. So far, it's getting mixed reviews, with THR calling it "louder, busier and more pandering than the original — an exhausting spectacle of skilled performers gamely mugging their way through a cash grab. You may be intermittently entertained; you’ll also likely leave feeling as pummeled and pooped as the burned-out mothers at the movie’s center."
Directed by Rob Reiner, the biopic stars Woody Harrelson as Lyndon B. Johnson, as he enters the White House — the country is still grieving the loss of its fallen leader, JFK, and the new president must navigate the pressures of the Vietnam War and the growing Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King Jr. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Jeffrey Donovan and Michael Stahl-David are also featured in the drama.
"He brings the humanity and the humor. Plus, he’s from Texas and I always wanted that," Reiner tells THR of casting Harrelson. "We screened it at the LBJ library [last year], and Luci Baines, Lyndon Johnson’s daughter, was sitting there in the front row. After the film was over, she said, 'The man I saw onscreen tonight was the man I knew.' That was it for me."
Greta Gerwig makes her directorial debut with the A24 comedy, which is set in Sacramento in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape. It stars Saoirse Ronan as a young woman who fights against, but is exactly like, her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after the family patriarch (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet are also featured in the cast.
THR's review calls the awards contender "snappy, spirited and shot through with the pangs and pleasures of leaving childhood behind. ... The film abounds with pinpoint insights into its mildly rebellious heroine's hunger to shed the restraints of home and Catholic school and bust into an independent life, and does so with a wealth of keenly observed detail. Modestly scaled but creatively ambitious, it succeeds on its own terms as a piquant audience pleaser."
The drama reunites three Vietnam War veterans — played by Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne — as they bury one of their sons who was killed in Iraq. Together, they take the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire, reminiscing and coming to terms with the shared impact of the war along the way. Richard Linklater directs the Amazon and Lionsgate adaptation of Darryl Ponicsan’s 2005 novel.
"This is my kind of war movie — I'm not into shooting combat, blood and guts or any of the heroism of typical war movies," LInklater tells THR. "I was interested in the characters. They echo a lot about Vietnam and Iraq and the long-term effects of war: how it bonds people for life, how it tears people apart and kills people."
Netflix releases its six-hour miniseries about convicted murderer Grace Marks, the next streaming Margaret Atwood TV adaptation after Hulu's Handmaid's Tale. The series, which was first broadcast on Canada's CBC, stars Sarah Gadon as Grace, a young Irish immigrant and servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan), was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer and his housekeeper and lover, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin), in 1843.
THR's review hailed the miniseries as a "twisty tale of murder and transgressive femininity" and explained why the period drama shouldn't be compared to Handmaid's. "The hook may be a murder, but it's more interestingly examined as a story about storytelling and for the contributions of writer Sarah Polley, director Mary Harron and star Gadon."
After a few weeks off and a Tom Hanks-voiced animated special pegged to Halloween, Saturday Night Live returns with host Larry David, along with musical guest Miley Cyrus. The Curb Your Enthusiasm creator and star, who is currently airing his HBO show's ninth season on Sundays, is a former writer for SNL and made his Bernie Sanders impression famous when stopping by the NBC series throughout the election.
While promoting his second hosting gig, David subjected Cyrus to a very Curb-like encounter and bluntly explained he doesn't get "pumped" for anything, even hosting the veteran sketch show. But Curb executive producer told THR that the Seinfeld creator has some surprises in store.