Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Trailer Teases The Wizarding World Augmented Reality Game

The world of mobile gaming is about to get a lot more magical, with Niantic and WB Games announcing the upcoming launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with a new teaser trailer.

The first trailer for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite went live today, giving viewers an idea of the theme for the upcoming augmented reality mobile game. In the trailer, we see a Snitch zipping about before getting caught by a young woman who apparates out of nowhere and hits the flitting gold trinket with an immobulus spell. She then points her wand at a wall and creates a poster that warns “The Wizarding World is at risk of Exposure. We need your help.” The entire trailer is made to look like the events are being recorded by a security camera.

Obviously, that doesn’t tell us a heck of a lot about the gameplay, but it does a good job of setting the tone for the highly-anticipated mobile game. Players will be working in secret, trying to blend into normal society while working to keep the muggles from learning about the world of wizards.

A press release from Niantic and WB Games gives us a few more details, including the fact that the game is set to launch sometime in 2019. It’s a bummer folks won’t be able to sling spells at their friends through the holidays, but it’s also preferable that the game have a smooth launch.

This is not the first Harry Potter mobile game, as Hogwarts Mystery arrived earlier this year. In that particular adventure, players take on the role of a student attending the school for witchcraft and wizardry, working their way through classes, homework and various other activities while working to unravel the game’s narrative.

Wizards Unite, though, will be an augmented reality game, with the now highly experienced Niantic at the helm. That’s the team behind Pokemon Go and the recently launched Ingress Prime, the original version of which actually provided the skeleton for the hugely popular Pokemon AR game. They’ve made something of a name for themselves by developing games that let players interact with the real world in interesting ways, so we hope to see Wizards Unite evolve into something special. We figure they’ve had to learn a hell of a lot just from evolving Pokemon Go in recent years, so the new Harry Potter game should benefit from those lessons.

The announcement notes that players will once again explore the real world with Wizards Unite, where they will work together to solve a global mystery and cast spells. Players will also run into popular characters from the Wizarding World from time to time, as well as plenty of fantastic beasts. Given Niantic’s past experience, we wouldn’t be surprised if capturing these magical creatures before they can run amok in muggle society will be a big component of the gameplay.

To stay in the loop and pick apart any and all details for the game so far, be sure to keep an eye on the official website.

Netflix May Introduce Cheaper Subscription Plans For Certain Customers

Netflix is one of the biggest entertainment giants on the planet, and ascended to that rank in a relatively speedy timeframe, thanks to constant adaptations to how people take in their programming. Another somewhat unique innovation may be on the way. The company is testing a new mobile-only subscription option that could help save Netflix customers a few dollars in the process.

This week, Netflix unveiled its new mobile-specific plan with Malaysia as the first country to reap the benefits. The new plan, which is limited to just phones and tablets, will cost subscribers around RM17, which comes out to around $4 USD. Compare that to what Malaysians are paying for Netflix’s Basic plan, which is RM33, roughly $7.90 USD. While not a complete halving of the cost, the new plan will clearly save customers some money on an annual basis.

Beyond prohibiting the use of any TVs or computers, Netflix’s new pricing tier also lacks other frills. According to The Star, Subscribers will only be able to watch content on one device at a time, so it’s not a plan meant to be used between multiple heavy Netflix bingers. As well, the mobile plan will not allow for any HD programming, and all content will be seen in standard definition. That won’t be as much of an issue for some as it will be for others.

Netflix’s CEO recently talked about the new pricing plan ahead of its launch, with the goal of expanding its reach even further into countries around the world. Granted, Netflix’s global reach is already dwarfing that of many TV networks and studios, with a programming library full of internationally produced content. However, there are many countries where citizens can’t afford to pay the full monthly fees.

With its endless amounts of data to sort through, Netflix’s powers that be presumably compared TV and computer streaming traffic to that of mobile traffic in order to come to this decision. Which, by all means, is a pretty radical choice for the company, which has been known only to raise its prices to continue paying for part of its exceedingly pricy productions. Even with the limitations therein, a price drop is a pretty interesting move for Netflix.

At this time, Netflix isn’t currently going public with any plans to bring this new pricing tier to the U.S. According to TechCrunch, a Netflix spokes person did say that trials of a similar nature of happening in “a few countries” beyond Malaysia, although no specifics were offered up.

Here in the U.S., the last time we got a price change was when its Ultra option was introduced. That one gives customers a chance to stream higher-definition content on 4K screens, which is pretty much the opposite of what the cheapest plan is doing.

I, for one, wouldn’t likely ever switch to the mobile-only plan, since I spend the majority of my Netflix viewing with a TV or laptop. It’s a changing world, though, so I know there are plenty of people who would easily choose to only watch on tablets and phones if it means saving a few bucks.

Would You Choose A Mobile-Only Netflix Plan If It Was Cheaper?

Tessa Thompson Thinks They Found A Great Reason To Reboot Men In Black

The first question that anybody asks when a movie reboot is announced is “Why?” Regarding the upcoming Men in Black reboot, Tessa Thompson has an answer. The actress is the first to agree that rebooting a franchise should only happen for a good reason, and she feels that putting a woman front and center, specifically a woman of color, in the franchise is a plenty good reason. Thompson spoke to CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes recently while promoting her role in the upcoming Creed II and she told him…

The name of the franchise, and the comic book that inspired it is, Men in Black and that was certainly the case in the original trilogy. Pretty much all of the characters of any real importance were dudes. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (and his younger iteration from Men in Black III played by Josh Brolin) were the main characters and we rarely saw agents that weren’t men.

There were a few exceptions of course. At the end of the original Men in Black Linda Fiorentino becomes an agent, but we never see her again. In Men in Black III Emma Thompson (and Alice Eve thanks to the film’s time travel storyline) played Agent O, who will reportedly be back for this new movie. However, neither of them were lead agent characters and while both were women, Tessa Thompson is still the first woman of color to take a major role in the franchise.

While diversity is important for its own sake, the fact is that it also does have a significant impact on any story. Actors bring their own perspectives to any role they play, so making a woman of color a lead in a movie changes a great deal more than simply the way a movie looks. We can expect a significantly different Men in Black movie with the new entry and that makes the film worth making.

Alongside her will be her Thor: Ragnarok co-star Chris Hemsworth as her partner along with an all-star cast that includes Liam Neeson among others. While the new film is being called a reboot, it’s more of a spinoff, as it appears the film will take place within the same universe as the previous three films, it will simply focus on someplace else. Instead of being all about the New York City division of MIB, Thompson and Hemsworth will work out of the London office.

The as yet officially untitled Men in Black movie will be here next summer, so we can expect to get our first look via a trailer any time now.

ReelBlend Podcast #44: Honoring Stan Lee And Fantastic Beasts 2 Reviews

ReelBlend tends to be a celebration of all things cinematic. This week, it was a bit of an Irish wake. Yes, we celebrated. But we also mourned the passing of a titan. Stan “The Man” Lee left us, at the ripe old age of 95, and the ReelBlend guys talk at length about what he meant to us, and to our lives and careers, in this week’s episode. Give it a listen!

ReelBlend is slowly transitioning back into AwardsBlend (shout out to our earliest listeners) as the Oscar season ramps up into full swing. To that end, the guys spend some time playing Rising/Falling, talking about how some Oscar contenders are climbing in the sphere of influence, and others are losing momentum.

On the screening front, Sean and Kevin went to NYC for a screening of Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, and Kevin has an amazing story about sneaking into an elevator car to ask Cuaron about the ping-pong ball scene in Children of Men.

Jake and Kevin, meanwhile, caught screenings of The Favourite and Creed II, and the guys discuss whether or not an awards campaign will mount for the latter (as Sylvester Stallone was pushed, hard, for the original Creed but ultimately fell short).

The conversation then fell to Stan Lee, whose impact will be felt for generations. Jake met him, and tells a great story. Kevin and Sean talk about how important Stan’s contributions were to their lives.

The guys move on to reviews, discussing (in spoiler-free fashion) Widows and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. One is highly recommended, while the other is not. Can you guess?

And then they play this week’s #Blend game, which was perfectly timed to the release of the Toy Story 4 teaser. The guys play #PixarBlend this week, and have very emotional picks.

ReelBlend is a LIVE podcast that we do on CinemaBlend’s Facebook page. As soon as we are done on Facebook, you can download the latest episode (and all of our past episodes) for FREE on our iTunes page! Visit. Subscribe. Like and comment. Review! Apple loves when you have star ratings and reviews, so if you listened, and you liked it (or even if you didn’t), let us know. We also are on Spotify. And Google Play. And basically everywhere that you download podcasts. So download us!

Meanwhile, follow the guys on Social Media! We have an official Twitter feed for the show, so follow @ReelBlend. In addition, follow the guys at @Sean_OConnell, @JakesTakesand @KevinMcCarthyTV. We will be back at it next week, LIVE on CinemaBlend’s Facebook page. See you then!

Why Michael B. Jordan Kind Of Wanted To Get Beat Up During Creed II

Part of the beauty of being an actor is that you can look like a badass onscreen without ever really having to take the kinds of hits real fighters do. That’s probably some of the reason why you see boxers and mixed martial artists transitioning to the silver screen when they decide they’re tired of getting hit in the face. But for Creed II, actor Michael B. Jordan wasn’t interested in remaining untouched. In fact, he kind of wanted to get beat up, as he explained:

Michael B. Jordan’s competitive spirit is such that even when he’s acting opposite an actual boxer who is considerably bigger than him, he still kind of wants to mix it up and take a few real lumps. Adding to this desire, as he told CBS News, was the presence of the real Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago, Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren.

Michael B. Jordan heard the two actors recounting their war stories from Rocky IV, when they would blur the line between acting and actual fighting, throwing punches and taking real hits, and he understandably wanted to have something like that be a part of his own experience. Of course, Dolph Lundgren almost killed Sylvester Stallone on Rocky IV, so probably being a little less rough would be prudent.

He wanted to get beat up a bit, and fortunately, Michael B. Jordan had a willing dance partner to oblige him in Florian Munteanu, who plays Viktor Drago in Creed II. Florian is also competitive and also took inspiration from Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone, and he wanted some real bruises as well.

It’s cool that Michael B. Jordan wanted to go through the kind of bonding experience that comes with training together, throwing punches and getting punched back just like Sly and Dolph before him. So maybe one day it will be he and Florian reminiscing about their own good ol’ days slugging it out on the set of Creed II.

The other thing about Michael B. Jordan actually wanting to get beat up is it probably gave him just a very small taste of what being a boxer is like, and that could have helped inform his performance in the film.

It sounds like Michael B. Jordan took a few licks while filming, but they’re probably nothing compared to what it looks like Adonis Creed has to deal with in the film itself when he faces off with the terrifying Viktor Drago.

You can find out who has their hand raised at the end of the bout when Creed II opens on November 21. Check out our Holiday Movie Guide for this and all the other sequels, blockbusters and awards contenders hitting theaters in the coming months.

Ezra Miller Basically Dressed As Hedwig For The Crimes Of Grindelwald Premiere, And It Was Magical

J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World gets bigger every year, as the acclaimed writer continues to work on new projects set within Harry Potter’s magical universe. The Fantastic Beasts franchise is arguably the biggest undertaking, as a planned five film franchise will serve as a prequel to the world we know and love, and flesh out iconic characters like Dumbledore.

One character who has been teased to have a major impact on the Wizarding World is Ezra Miller’s Credence Barebone. Miller’s role in the new sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald has been largely a mystery, but that doesn’t mean the actor is fading into the background. In fact, he appeared at the movie’s premiere dressed up like Harry’s owl Hedwig. Check it out.

And that’s how you steal the show on a red carpet (or blue carpet, as the case may be). While Credence is arguably a supporting role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise thus far, Ezra Miller takes center stage in his Hedwig inspired outfit, showing what a hardcore fan of the franchise the actor likely is. After all, who isn’t a Potterhead at this point?

With just one movie, J.K. Rowling made the Fantastic Beasts franchise just as exciting and highly anticipated as the main Harry Potter movies. And while that franchise had the original novels to bring in an audience, the prequel series had to do so with exciting storylines and new and dynamic characters. Ezra Miller’s Credence Barebone was definitely just that, as he went from abused young boy to a powerful and dark magical force.

Credence made his debut in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as the adopted son of a muggle named Mary Lou Barebone. Mary Lou hated the magical world, and physically abused Credence. This caused him to suppress his magical abilities and become an Obscurus while being manipulated by Grindelwald in disguise. His abilities helped him survive being destroyed, but Credence’s alliance in the magical war to come is unclear.

Credence was only briefly shown in the first few Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailers. He somehow has gotten himself involved in a magical freak show, Circus Arcanus. This will help bring Nagini to the story, who will eventually become Voldemort’s murdering snake and horocrux. Ezra Miller’s character is now supposed to have full control over his Obscurus, which should translate to some serious magical abilities.

Ezra Miller’s appearance at the Crimes of Grindelwald premiere should be no great surprise, as the 26-year-old actor has always had a colorful personality that he wasn’t afraid to hold back. And since he’s been given more notoriety and fame with his role as DC’s Flash and Fantastic Beasts, more fans are looking toward Miller’s perspective on life. This includes his fashion choices.

You can catch Credence Barebone when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald arrives in theaters on November 16th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Vampire Diaries Alum Just Wants Alaric To Find Love On Legacies

Alaric Saltzman started as the history teacher on The CW’s The Vampire Diaries and he’s now headmaster on Legacies. But no one should be taking any love life lessons from this dude. It’s not always his fault, but Ric’s history on that front is a mess. So far, actor Matthew Davis is the only actor to start on all three shows in this universe — TVD, The Originals, and the joint spinoff Legacies. He’s hoping Legacies will finally take pity on his character and give him a lasting romance. Here’s what Davis answered when asked if Alaric can have a love life that actually turns out in his favor:

Legacies just started its first season, but now we know more “vulnerable” moments are to come for Alaric. In terms of dating, it sounds like Matt Davis was just suggesting some preferred scenes to Collider, as opposed to previewing moments this season where Dorian Williams or his twin daughters Lizzie and Josie Saltzman push him to get back out there. Will there even be time to date, between the monsters-of-the-week and whatever Caroline Forbes is really doing out there to help save their twins?

A random Thursday night crossover idea just occurred to me — Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy is looking for a guy who doesn’t mind a single woman with three kids. Mer wouldn’t even be fazed by the supernatural. Mer + Ric = Win-Win? Think about it, ABC and The CW!

At least Meredith Grey got to spend many years with Derek Shepherd before he died. Alaric wasn’t so lucky with his greatest love, Jenna Sommers.

Even before Aunt Jenna was killed by Klaus, her relationship with Ric was strained by the reappearance of Ric’s wife Isobel. Alaric also had an ill-fated relationship with Jo, who was killed on their wedding day by her twin brother, Kai, whom we’re expecting to hear from again. Jo is the biological mother of twins Josie and Lizzie, with Caroline as their surrogate mother.

Caroline is also an ex-fiancée of Alaric’s, and he dumped her because it was pretty obvious she still loved Stefan Salvatore. Caroline and Alaric went on to run the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted together, which is why so many fans are wondering why Caroline has not been seen in Legacies at all at this point.

The Vampire Diaries fans will recall that Alaric also already dated a doctor named Meredith. That relationship went kaput when he died — such a bummer. No one ever stays dead on this show, but apparently no one told Meredith. Seasons later, when Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) wanted to set Alaric up with another doctor-type, Alaric mentioned that Meredith had moved on and married a pediatrician in Alaska.

I’m not saying Legacies has to pair Alaric with Meredith Grey. The fact that he’s in Mystic Falls, VA, and she’s in Seattle could complicate things. But more than that, the supernatural element would complicate things. At least she’s human! That’s a good start. She’s also a survivor, like him. Just an idea.

I agree that Alaric deserves lasting love with someone, though. Maybe Karen David’s witch guidance counselor Emma Tig will end up that love. It does seem like Legacies is hinting in that direction. But that might mean they’re just planning to kill her off. Ric can be a bad-luck-charm for the ladies.

Dwayne Johnson Brings Back The Rock In Fighting With My Family Trailer

Before Dwayne Johnson was a massive movie star he was wrestling in WWE as The Rock. Now, The Rock is going to the movies. Dwayne Johnson will play himself in the new film Fighting with My Family and the first trailer for the film has him dusting off all his greatest catchphrases. He’s still got it. Check it out.

The trailer follows a young brother-sister combo who have aspirations of becoming superstars in the WWE. It shows a great deal of the story already, as we see that Paige will make it, while her brother won’t, but the most entertaining parts of the trailer are the appearances by The Rock. Fans of Dwayne Johnson’s WWE days will recognize a couple of his greatest lines appearing here, as he cuts a promo on the two main characters that starts with “It doesn’t matter” and even gives us his best “If you smell what the Rock is cookin’.”

Fighting with my Family follows the story of Saraya-Jade Bevis, the woman who would become WWE superstar Paige. She grew up in a family of wrestlers and her story was part of the documentary film, The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family, which has now been turned into a big screen comedy. Dwayne Johnson’s primary role in the production is actually that of producer, he likely won’t be in much more of the movie beyond the scenes that we see in the trailer, but the folks in charge of marketing realize that putting Dwayne Johnson in your trailer is a good move when promoting your movie.

I have to say, Fighting with My Family looks pretty entertaining based on this trailer. Nick Frost as the patriarch of the family looks to be a pretty inspired choice and young Florence Pugh looks great as Paige.

Clearly, the movie will focus on the realities of professional wrestling, rather than trying to make it look “real” as many early films that dealt with it tried to do. Obviously, that’s the right call. Even the WWE doesn’t pretend that wrestling is real except during the hours the actual show is on. The movie is also produced by WWE’s film division, which is great because it will allow the movie to use all the names of the shows, and often, as with The Rock, the real people, making the true story feel that much more like you’re watching Paige’s career actually unfold.

It will be interesting to see just how many people who don’t follow the entertainment form will be interested in such a film, but in the end, it’s an “underdog makes good” story and there’s always an audience for that when it’s done well.

Paige’s actual story is bittersweet. In April of this year, she officially retired from the ring due to an impact injury to her neck. She still appears weekly on WWE TV but is unlikely to wrestle again. Still, she lived the dream, and we’ll all get to follow along when Fighting with My Family hits theaters in February.

Instant Family Review

There’s definitely a playbook to family comedies, and the industry isn’t afraid to use it. Cute shenanigans occur, the jokes stay squarely in a non-offensive mode, and even the characters are safer than most fictional standards. While Instant Family doesn’t totally break the conventions of the family comedy, it uses them to its advantage. As the film tells a story we’ve heard before, it switches up the formula with a bit more edge to its humor, without forgetting to add the heart.

Instant Family centers its story around Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne), a married couple that pretty much stumbles into the world of adoption on a dare. While not initially having an instinct to become parents, they eventually become the parents to three siblings (Isabelle Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, and Julianna Gamiz) who are in need of a new foster family. As everyone tries to get used to their new surroundings, awkward chaos ensues, and the patience of all involved is severely, but comedically, tested.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to balance multiple genres, even if it’s one as well traveled as the dramatic comedy. So it’s certainly a surprise that Instant Family works so well, as the film’s twin columns of both laugh-out-loud and heartwarming moments are equally impressive.

With the film’s story being based off of Sean Anders’ own experiences with adoption, Instant Family is obviously a personal project for the man who brought us the Daddy’s Home series. That personal experience seems to be the magic ingredient, as Instant Family is a vast improvement over those films, especially when it comes to its balancing act of tone.

Square at the center of this film are the twin camps of the parents, Pete and Ellie, and the trio of children they adopt into their house. On the parental side, Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne share a chemistry that’s undeniable. Their timing and rhythm together works so well that they can sell both the outrageous gags and the smaller moments of emotional strife and victory with great results.

Not to mention, this is the most sensitive, and most balanced, performance we’ve seen Wahlberg deliver in quite some time. You believe it when his heart is broken on screen, and it in turn breaks your heart.

Even more impressive is the fact that the children, played by Isabelle Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, and Julianna Gamiz feel like actual siblings when they’re together on screen. All three actors find their lanes quickly in Instant Family, and together they bring a lot of laughs in place of the traditional saccharine. That’s not to say that they aren’t sweet, but rather that they have more range than films of this ilk would allow them to engage in.

While it does feel like Instant Family breaks its fair share of new ground when it comes to family comedies, it does follow a basic chain of events. To be honest, the film kind of has to in order to work as a family comedy that everyone can enjoy, so it’s not a terrible negative. There’s room for improvement, as the story could surely be tighter. However, those small moments don’t get in the way of Instant Family’s ultimate execution of story, leaving the film to be vastly enjoyable.

It’s about time the genre of the live-action family comedy got an update, and it’s also the right time to start talking about adoption in a more realistic manner than most films in the past have done. Instant Family accomplishes both feats, with a respectful, yet entertaining, approach to a difficult subject.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
4.0/5

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Armie Hammer Criticized Stan Lee Tribute Posts And Jeffrey Dean Morgan Wasn’t Happy

Since Stan Lee was very vocal and enthusiastic about his fanbase, there is no shortage of people expressing their mournful feelings about the late empire-building man. And this includes the actors who have portrayed Marvel’s finest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Because Lee was often connecting with his fans and colleagues directly, through comic book conventions and other public events, it is a given that many people are sharing photos they’ve taken with the departed celebrity, remembering their time — however brief — with the famous public personality. But there is one person who isn’t digging everyone sharing photos of themselves with Stan Lee, and that’s actor Armie Hammer.

On social media, Armie Hammer ushered his bitter feelings by saying the following retort in a since-deleted tweet, as it was recorded by People.

It was an arguably snarky tweet that earned a lot of snark in response. It was also criticized by a number of different people, including fellow actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan. In a tweet that was also since-deleted, he took Armie Hammer to task to criticizing people for how they chose to mourn Stan Lee’s death.

While Armie Hammer was trying to respect the legacy of Stan Lee by remembering what he created and what he accomplished, his comments came across as inconsiderate and more than a little rude. Since the tweet has been deleted, it seems like Hammer learned the hard way what happens when you go against public conscious regarding how they choose to mourn after the death of a popular pop culture fixture.

While Armie Hammer seemed intent on trying to get people to stop focusing on themselves and spend more time remembering the late Stan Lee, it seems to have backfired. And Hammer’s comments ultimately distracted further from the recent passing of Stan Lee, rather than contributing toward a solution.

When it comes to the latest news in film, television, video games, pop culture and a whole lot more, you can be sure to check back in with CinemaBlend.