This week’s movie releases

This week’s movie releases

FILM: CREED
CAST: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Anthony Bellew, Graham McTavish
DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler

From award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler comes ‘Creed’. The film reunites Coogler with his ‘Fruitvale Station’ star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, and explores a new chapter in the ‘Rocky’ story, starring Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role.
Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.
Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo – the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title…but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?
The challenge of re-envisioning the ultimate underdog story that began with ‘Rocky’ was one that writer/director Ryan Coogler considered even before he was out of film school. “I grew up watching ‘Rocky’ movies with my dad; it was our thing,” he states. “‘Rocky’ is a character that people just connect with – action fans, drama fans, hopeless romantics, even just movie fans – everyone likes ‘Rocky’ movies because they have something for everyone.”

Before Adonis could coax Rocky into coming back, Coogler had to receive Sylvester Stallone’s blessing to work with the character, and the actor’s commitment to put the gloves back on. Stallone, also a producer on the film, has played one of the most legendary and beloved characters in film history in six ‘Rocky’ films over nearly four decades. He says, “The impression Rocky has left on people is both confounding and extraordinary to me. I’ve always felt a relentless responsibility to keep the character intact because of that. So when Ryan came to me with the idea of Adonis Creed coming into the picture, I thought it was incredible, this filmmaker who is so young and yet so captivated by what we’d begun all those years ago. I admit, I was intrigued.”

Coogler smiles when recalling his first meeting with the icon. “I could tell he was a little apprehensive. I hadn’t even made a feature film yet, so he was probably thinking, ‘Who is this kid coming in talking about making a ‘Rocky’ movie?’ But I could tell he was also thinking about every different way it could work.”

The filmmaker also mentioned the idea to his ‘Fruitvale Station’ star, Michael B. Jordan, during production on that film. Jordan recalls, “Ryan is so talented, such a smart guy and so great to work with, so when he first mentioned the project to me I thought it sounded great, and that if it ever happened I’d definitely want to do it. Then over time, as it started to get real and I became more invested, I began looking at the situation like, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of responsibility; this is the 40-year legacy of Rocky.’”
Leaning into its legacy, Coogler wanted ‘Creed’ to evoke the gritty, old-school style of the earliest “Rocky” films while also forging its own modern-day identity. It was important to him to do justice to the characters, to create a film that could cross the divide between Baby Boomers and Millennials, knowing the property could appeal to an equal number of fans in both generations and everyone in between.

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A-scene-from-Snoopy-And-Charlie-Brown---The-Peanuts-MovieFILM: SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN – THE PEANUTS MOVIE
VOICE CAST: Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, AJ Tecce, Noah Johnston, Venus Omega Schultheis, Alex Garfin, Francesca Angelucci Capaldi, Marleik “Mar Mar” Walker, Mariel Sheets, Rebecca Bloom, William “Alex” Wunsch, Anastasia Bredikhina, Madisyn Shipman
DIRECTOR: Steve Martino

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved ‘Peanuts’ gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron.
From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the ‘Ice Age’ films, ‘Snoopy And Charlie Brown:The Peanuts Movie’ will prove that every underdog has his day.
On October 2, 1950, Charles M. Schulz introduced the characters of Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty in just seven newspapers, launching a 50-year journey for the cartoonist that forever changed the landscape of popular culture and humour. Schulz’s comic strip was hailed as one of the greatest of the twentieth century, and his characters launched a bona-fide industry, while providing a much-needed voice for the underdog, via Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown holds a unique position in pop culture. He has the distinction of being the only ‘Peanuts’ character to appear in both the first comic strip on October 2 1950, and in the last strip on February 13, 2000. (Snoopy did not make an appearance until October 4, 1950).
Through all of life’s trials and tribulations – including a kite-eating tree, a losing baseball streak or the blunt advice of Lucy Van Pelt – Charlie Brown persevered. His eternal optimism gave readers hope, which made him relatable to readers all over the world.

“Charlie Brown gets referred to as a loser all the time,” laments Craig Schulz, the son of Charles M. Schulz and one of ‘Snoopy And Charlie Brown:The Peanuts Movie’s’ writers and producers. “But in reality, Charlie Brown is a winner because he never gives up. We all lose a lot more than we win, and who better than Charlie Brown to teach us that?”
With a knack for social commentary, Charles M. Schulz created characters and storylines rich with wit, sarcasm, humour and heart. In the mid-1960s, he introduced the character of Peppermint Patty. A tomboy at heart, she excelled in sports. In the 21st century, that seems par for the course, but in the 1960s, the introduction of girls playing sports on the same team as boys was nearly a decade ahead of its time. A few years later, in 1968, Schulz introduced the first black character to the strip, Franklin, as a classmate and teammate of Peppermint Patty and Marcie.
Schulz put into just four panels the world he saw unfolding around him. “I always thought of my dad as the great observer,” recalls Craig Schulz. “No matter where he was or what he was doing, he would find a comic strip in the moment. He never missed an opportunity to tell a story.”

Without realizing it, Charles Schulz had the uncanny ability to seamlessly weave relevant topics into the panels of his strip as if they were self-evident. “Through it all my dad never took advantage of his position.
In 50 years, he never turned cynical about the world around him and that paid off. People genuinely care about these characters,” says Craig Schulz.
The universal appeal of all ‘Peanuts’ characters – encompassing Charlie Brown’s eternal underdog status, Linus’ heart, Franklin’s philosophy, Marcie’s introspection, Lucy’s crabbiness, Sally’s unrequited affection for her Sweet Babboo Linus, and Snoopy’s many personas – is the reason the strip and its characters have remained relevant as ‘Peanuts’ celebrates its 65th anniversary this year.
When PEANUTS completed its run in 2000, the strip had an estimated readership of over 350 million, and appeared in 2600 newspapers, representing 21 countries around the world.