A trailer for the 2015 film, Avengers: Age of Ultron "leaked" a little early this week.
It was supposed to hit at the beginning of next week - Tuesday, to be precise, during an episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but instead, somehow found its way to the Internet about six days early.
The folks at Marvel Entertainment took it all in stride, and blamed it all on Hydra.
Hydra's the terrorist organization for which many of the bad guys in the Marvelverse work - so why not?
Halloween is the time when studios used to release their best scary movies they had in the roster. Seems like that's not the case anymore or at the very least it hasn't happened in a while. The last movie that came out that I felt was truly terrifying was The Conjuring and that was a release in the middle of summer. That's why it was a relief to see that at least one horror film was coming out this month and it was Ouija. The first trailer was released and it didn't look very good but being the eternal horror optimist, I hoped for the best. I shouldn't have because it's pretty terrible.
Every kid has played with a ouija board at some point in their life. For me, it was at my best friend's house and, oddly, I played it with his mother after he went to sleep. We "contacted the spirit" of a dead friend of hers. It was pretty creepy for my 13-year-old brain but as an adult I look back at that and scoff because A: she was clearly the one moving it and B: it was weird to play that with my friend's mom. That evening was more creepy though than anything found in Ouija which relies heavily on startle scares which are the easiest and cheapest tricks in the horror movie playbook.
The film stars Olivia Cooke (A&E's Bates Motel, The Quiet Ones), who I interviewed and you can hear below. She leads a team of actors that are even less recognizable than her and it's obvious why when you see the film. All of them are one or two rungs up the talent ladder from performers on The Disney Channel and all of which look like recent college graduates and not 17-year-olds. The lack of quality in the performances from everyone besides Cooke is only part of the problem. The rest of the issues rest on the shoulders of writer/director Stiles White.
White is one of the worst filmmakers I've seen in a while and I'm saying that knowing this is his first attempt at directing. The man has an impressive background in the world of special effects and is punishing us all with his worse-than-film-school attempt at horror. Besides the fact that he creates no atmosphere or tension, he also has no consequences for anything happening in it. The film is about a group of friends who open the door to an evil spirit while playing with a ouija board trying to contact their dead friend. One-by-one they all start to die and not only does no one care that these kids are dying but no one is reacting to the deaths either.
The one and only thing that is creepy about Ouija is the finale of the film. Now the reason why I'm impressed with that is because that's usually where most horror movies go off the rails; they get bigger and bigger at the end and in doing so lose whatever creep-factor made them great to begin with (ie: Insidious). In Ouija, when we have the big showdown with the physically manifested spirit, it's very chilling to see. The make-up is very effective and the minute or so its on the screen is the one and only highlight of the film. Despite an impressive finale, Ouija is still bad enough that I feel that I should get a board and try to contact the dead career of Stiles White and ask it to go toward the light.
At least, that's what Starbucks would have you believe.
Get ready for Chestnut Praline Latte.
The perfect beverage to wash down those holiday meals, don't you think?
It's Starbucks first holiday drink in five years, and industry experts think it's the chain's answer to the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Dunkin' Donuts.
Starbucks told the folks at Fox News that their drink is "inspired by the time-honored holiday tradition of warm roasted chestnuts… with freshly steamed milk and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices." You can add whipped cream and praline sprinkles, if you wish.
If you're salivating, grab a napkin or a bib. The drink won't be available nationwide until November 21.