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‘The Wheel’ Review: A Young Couple Give Themselves One Last Weekend to Save Their Relationship

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Scientific research tells us that nearly all of the cells in the human body are renewed every seven years. Personally, I like to think that explains the “seven-year itch,” the phenomenon by which so many of us change jobs, friends and such on a predictable cycle: because you’re literally not the same person anymore.

It’s been eight years since Albee (Amber Midthunder) and Walker (Taylor Gray) got married, and their relationship is running on fumes. A surprisingly serious-minded drama from “Hot Tub Time Machine” helmer Steve Pink (who co-wrote Gen X John Cusack romances “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “High Fidelity”), no-frills indie “The Wheel” follows this couple on a weekend retreat to a remote Airbnb, where the pair plan to hash things out once and for all.

Walker has brought along a self-help book, “Seven Questions to Save Your Marriage.” Albee says she’s game, but seldom looks away from her iPhone. Every time he makes an effort, she rolls her eyes and says something sarcastic or mean. The hostile young woman berates her husband for being too “nice,” unable to accept his affection as sincere (“How can you love this?” she asks at one point). Albee’s every comment is designed to push Walker away, as if provoking him to break up.

By the time the end credits roll, this seemingly doomed couple will either have parted ways or decided to double down and work on their issues. Neither ending is necessarily a happy one, but like “The Graduate,” this film — written by Trent Atkinson, whose insights reveal themselves in unpredictable yet true ways over the film’s short running time — believes that audiences are grown up enough to recognize that relationships take effort. As such, the last frame of the movie is no guarantee of how thing will play out in the long run (a word of advice: stay through the credits).

Testy conversations between Albee and Walker reveal that these two met as kids in the foster system and got hitched at 16, hoping it would protect them from the trauma. Albee was abused in some form, and Walker swore he’d save her. You can’t entirely blame her for being difficult, but boy is she a tough one to love.

“The Wheel” is perfectly suited for mumblecore fans, who will appreciate the following comparison: Think of Walker as a Mark Duplass type. He’s softer and more sensitive than most guys, in touch with his tears and unashamed of his emotions. Albee gives off strong Aubrey Plaza vibes, her body language projecting a kind of keep-away ambivalence. She can’t help being cruel, and the sweeter Walker behaves toward her, the more Albee seems determined to rile him up. Just once, she’d like to see him get as angry as she feels all the time.

Maybe this weekend trip will be the ticket. It’s certainly a convenient setup for a movie made during the pandemic. (“The Wheel” makes no mention of COVID, so one can watch without necessarily thinking the setup is any more unusual than cabin-in-the-woods indies “Your Sister’s Sister” or “Baghead.”) Once they reach the rental, their well-meaning host Carly (Bethany Anne Lind) picks up on the tension right away and ill-advisedly decides to play couple’s therapist.

Carly is about to get married to boyfriend Ben (Nelson Lee). These two sound more idealistic about love, though interacting with Albee and Walker will inevitably put strain on their relationship as well. It’s a good idea on Atkinson’s part to include a second couple, à la “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” lest audiences assume the central pair show are meant to represent the film’s views on all men and women. (This script is nowhere near as sharp as that landmark American play, but it’s hard to imagine naming the character “Albee” was a coincidence.)

Pink, a veteran TV director who takes a rather self-important “a film by” credit on what feels like a first feature (it’s his fifth), shows almost no intuition for how to block or shoot a scene, inserting songs where silence would have been more effective. His clumsiness leaves the actors looking slightly amateurish, despite the strong, vulnerable performances they deliver. It all builds to a gutsy (if contrived) 10-minute shot on a Ferris wheel, where Albee and Walker sit side by side, facing the camera, trying to decide the fate of their marriage. Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops nobody knows.



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Jamie Foxx Recalls Almost Spoiling No Way Home’s 3 Spider-Man Reveal

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Jamie Foxx opens up about almost spoiling Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s return for Marvel Studios and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Jamie Foxx opens up about almost spoiling Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s return in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Directed by Jon Watts, Tom Holland’s third standalone film as the web-slinger released in December 2022 and became a massive critical and commercial hit. Spider-Man: No Way Home has since been widely praised for its strong performances, as well as its surprising emotional ending, which saw Holland’s Peter Parker forgotten by everyone he loves.

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Aside from wrapping up Peter Parker’s first MCU trilogy, Spider-Man: No Way Home also functioned as the culmination of all Spider-Man movies. Despite vehement denials from people involved, the threequel ultimately featured the return of Maguire and Garfield as they reprised their respective versions of the wall-crawlers. Some of their movies’ notable villains were also brought in, including Foxx’s Electro. On the heels of reports about Maguire and Garfield’s returning Spider-Men breaking out, the actor took to his official social media and posted fan art that depicted his Marvel bad guy looming over the three live-action versions of Spider-Man. Many took this as Foxx confirming Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s surprise cameos ahead of time.


Almost eight months after Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s release, Foxx opens up about this snafu in a new interview with CinemaBlend. Calling the experience of filming the movie “a rock concert,” the actor went on to address nearly blowing the surprise. Not thinking that Maguire and Garfield’s returns were meant to be secret, Foxx also almost snapped a picture of the Spider-Man trio before being chastised by someone on set. Read Foxx’s story below:

It was crazy. It was like a- it was like a rock concert, when we did that film. And I thought Sony did a fantastic job of mystique. You know what I’m saying? Holding things, keeping things – you know, I kind of almost blew it. … As soon as I got on the set and there was all three Spider-Mans, I was like this (picks up cell phone). ’Oh, we up in here, baby, ‘bout to go live…’ And somebody just dove on me like I was a fire. I was like, ‘What the hell?’ ‘Shh! No one’s supposed to know.’ ‘Okay, my bad. Okay, we ain’t supposed to know that all three of them are here!’ But I think they did a great job in doing that, bringing some mystique. And I think that that’s what was needed to get people back in the theater.

Of course, Foxx’s actions would likely not have changed much, as Maguire and Garfield’s return in Spider-Man: No Way Home was an open secret in Hollywood for months. Once it was confirmed that the threequel would be tied to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and tackle a multiversal story, and feature Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, it was largely expected that other characters from previous Spider-Man films would be appearing. The casting report about Foxx’s reprisal of Electro further solidified this idea, so even if the actor didn’t post his near-spoiler image, most of the fanbase was already convinced that Maguire and Garfield would be joining Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home.


Despite the persistent rumors, Sony and Marvel Studios opted to save Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s biggest surprise for the film itself. Even amid trailer gaffes that implied Maguire and Garfield had been cut out with VFX, the secrecy was maintained. In fact, MCU architect Kevin Feige even warned the public that having preconceived assumptions based on rumors could ruin their movie-going experience. In the end, however, Foxx’s social media post would have been spot on, and all three Spider-Man joining forces proved a major nostalgic highlight for audiences. Clearly, even the villain actors themselves knew they were part of something special, and were very eager to share it.


Source: CinemaBlend

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Megan Mullally Gets Uncomfortably Real About Her Daughter in ‘Summering’ Sneak Peek (Exclusive)

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Megan Mullally isn’t afraid to get candid in the upcoming film, Summering.

Directed by James Ponsoldt, the movie takes place in the final days of summer and centers on four best friends — Daisy, Lola, Mari and Dina — who will soon be splitting up when they start middle school. When deciding how to spend their final summer weekend together, they come across a mystery that leads them on a life-changing adventure. The friends make a series of discoveries that are as much about solving the mystery as they are about learning the hard truths of growing up — all while their mothers desperately seek their safe return.

ET exclusively premieres a sneak peek from the film, which opens in theaters Friday, with the mothers — played by Mullally, Lake Bell, Ashley Madewke and Sarah Cooper — all huddled together in a living room as they try to find out what happened to their kids and what kind of shenanigans they may have gotten themselves into, especially after they discover they may have been last spotted at a bar.

While some are busy on the phone trying to get information, the others can’t help but reminisce about their rebellious youthful days. But Mullally’s Stacie is hard-pressed to believe that her daughter, Mari (Eden Grace Redfield), would ever cross that line.

“Mari’s kind of a prude. She gets mad at me when I swear. She walks out of the bathroom when I pee in front of her,” Stacie reveals to her stunned friends. When they ask her to repeat that again, Stacie tries to clarify, hoping to make it seem less of a thing. “Well, not every day…,” Stacie replies, her voice trailing off as she studies her friends’ bewildered expressions as they digest the information.

Written by Ponsoldt and Benjamin Percy, Summering also stars Lia Barnett, Madalen Mills and Sanai Victoria.

Summering opens in theaters Friday.

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‘Triangle of Sadness’ Trailer: Try and Stomach the Gross-Out Satire That Won Cannes and Shocked Viewers

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The first trailer for Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sadness” is now online to watch, if you can stomach it. The satirical dark comedy won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Östlund, who first broke out with his comedy “Force Majeur,” now has two Palme d’Or wins under his belt thanks to “Triangle of Sadness” and his 2017 satire “The Square.” The new film marks Östlund’s first English-language feature.

“Triangle of Sadness” stars “Beach Rats” and “The Kingsman” actor Harris Dickinson as an aspiring model who gets the chance to vacation aboard a luxury yacht after his influencer girlfriend wins them a free trip. Woody Harrelson plays the yacht’s alcoholic captain. The yacht is full of pretentious and snobby guests who make up the 1%, but they all get their comeuppance when the trip takes a dark turn.

At the Cannes Film Festival in May, “Triangle of Sadness” shocked audiences and caused some walkouts thanks to one 15-minute scene in which vomiting and defecation are displayed in all their graphic details. Neon, who picked up the film for distribution out of Cannes, is fully leaning into the film’s gross-out factor, as the movie’s poster features one of the character’s vomiting out gold puke.

Variety‘s Peter Debruge gave “Triangle of Sadness” a strong review out of Cannes, writing, “There’s a meticulous precision to the way he constructs, blocks and executes scenes — a kind of agonizing unease, amplified by awkward silences or an unwelcome fly buzzing between characters struggling to communicate.”

“Triangle of Sadness” joins “Titane” and Oscar winner “Parasite” in being the third consecutive Palme d’Or winner that Neon has released. The film will be making its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

Neon will release “Triangle of Sadness” in theaters this fall. Watch the trailer in the  video below.



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