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STUNG (2015) Reviews of giant killer wasps movie – MOVIES and MANIA

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STUNG (2015) Reviews of giant killer wasps movie – MOVIES and MANIA

  

‘Get inside. Get away. Just don’t get…’
Stung is a 2015 comedy horror film about killer wasps that mutate into seven-foot-tall predators and attack an upper-class garden party.

Directed by Benni Diez (Galaxy of Horrors: “Kingz” segment). Produced by Benjamin Munz at Rat Pack Filmproduktion based on an initial concept by screenwriter Adam Aresty, who won RatPack’s 2012 horror-writing contest.

The American-German XYZ Films production stars Matt O´Leary (Santa Clarita Diet; FrailtyMom’s Got a Date with a Vampire), Jessica Cook, Peter Stormare and Lance Henriksen (Needlestick; Daylight’s EndAliens; et al).

Plot:
An upper-class garden party goes terribly wrong after a local species of wasps mutate into giant predators. It’s up to Paul and Julia, two catering staffers at the high-society event, to stop the killer creatures – an effort that kickstarts a budding romance between the two…

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Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

Reviews:
Stung suffers from some pretty poor CGI to begin with, but thankfully it doesn’t last too long. Once the wasp begin to bite people, leading to giant wasps ripping out of the bodies of the bitten, the practical effects swing into high gear and they all look really awesome. The scene with the first swarm attacking is really well done. Kudos to the makeup team led by Meike Gfrörer.” Bloody Disgusting

Stung-Photo

Stung would have done itself a favor by leaning further in one direction over the other instead of tiptoeing on a tightrope between not tongue-in-cheek enough to be campy fun and not dramatic enough to be taken seriously.  Needing more animation in its action and more charisma in its cast, Stung is only slick enough to be a standard killer bug movie with too slight of a humorous edge.” Culture Crypt

“Perhaps a spot more unpredictability would have helped too: it’s hugely obvious from the beginning who’s going to survive, and you can almost predict the order in which they will bite the big one. This doesn’t make it a bad time, and it is clearly better than the SyFy Original movie level of production I was expecting [I’m looking at you, Dragonwasps].” Film Blitz

“This creature feature from director Benni Diez (who did the visuals for Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia) is enormous fun, boasting a super cast playing some downright kooky characters, some gleeful gore and super SFX (both practical and digital), plus some laugh out loud in-jokes that all serve to pay homage to the big bug monster genre. Love it!” Kultguy’s Keep

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“Some “animal attack” movies are worth seeing solely for the scary bits, but Stung tries pretty hard to provide us with some engaging characters and a few funny moments before it unleashes its swarm of giant, furious wasps. That effort alone is worthy of note, and doubly so when it results in a comedy/horror/romance that actually delivers in all three departments.” Nerdist

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“It follows a very predictable path with familiar beats, even ending on a note that you’ll more than likely see coming. It’s an unfortunate misstep in an otherwise fantastic creature feature with awesome special effects and a lightning-quick story. Diez is an exciting new talent in the world of film and I can’t wait to see what he does next, especially with a wonderful debut like Stung leaving behind a particularly bloody mark.” Rhino’s Horror

” …aimed squarely at genre fans, who should enjoy its slick energy on a modest budget. The more original ideas and sensibility that might’ve made it something beyond a decent formulaic time-filler are lacking here — although with the narrative door left wide open for a sequel, such creative risks could be taken next time.” Variety

Stung-Entertainment-One-UK-DVD

Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

Release:
Stung premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 17, 2015. On October 26, 2015, Entertainment One released Stung on DVD in the UK.

For YouTube reviews, Stung trailer and clips plus more info visit page 2

MOVIES and MANIA is a genuinely independent website and we rely solely on the minor income generated by internet ads to stay online and expand. Please support us by not blocking ads. Thank you. As an Amazon Associate, the owner occasionally earns a very tiny amount from qualifying linked purchases.
 
 

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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