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The “Quiet Place” sequel is a fantastic, visceral nail-biter – resonating with our pandemic paranoia

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The “Quiet Place” sequel, merely labeled “Part II,” was shot before the COVID-19 era, but I can’t think of a better movie to see in theaters as we attempt to move past the pandemic than this one.

Written and directed by “The Office” alum John Krasinski and starring real-life wife Emily Blunt, who plays his widow in the film, Cillian Murphy (“28 Days Later”) and Djimon Hounsou, “Part II” picks up where its predecessor left off. The four surviving members of an American family must find a way to survive in a post-apocalyptic world after bloodthirsty aliens land on our planet to hunt us. Because these aliens have hypersensitive hearing and are otherwise blind, the key to surviving is to remain as quiet as possible. Now that the main characters have learned how to severely weaken the aliens so that it is easier to kill them, however, they must join an old family friend to stay alive while trying to spread their knowledge to the rest of humanity.

The plot may be simple, but the film is packed with visceral moments that stick to your ribs. A standout sequence is when two characters are trapped in a small enclosure with dwindling oxygen while one of the monsters lurks outside. If they open the door, they will be immediately detected and devoured, but if they stay inside for much longer they will suffocate. On another occasion, characters brutally beat each other for resources — but in a world, mind you, where even the slightest sound can get you eaten. The result is an action scene with some rather cleverly abrupt and disjointed fight choreography.

As far as the moviegoing experience itself, the appeal of watching “A Quiet Place Part II” is that it’s an exercise in cinematic craftsmanship: The director must tell an engaging story with minimal dialogue, the cast must act primarily through their faces and body language, and so on. Part of the original’s appeal was that it demonstrated how filmmakers don’t need constant explosions, explicit gore and piles of exposition to reach audiences. A tense atmosphere, strong writing and interesting idea can be just as effective, if indeed not more so. The sequel doesn’t find any new twists on the original’s strengths in that regard, but it retains them, and that is enough.

A special shout-out belongs to actress Millicent Simmonds, who plays the family’s deaf teenage daughter in the movie and is also deaf in real life. In a lesser flick, the character’s deafness would have been used to relegated her to being mere sympathy bait and highlight the movie’s “no sound” gimmick. Here she is a three-dimensional character, strong but still flawed, and her disability winds up giving her meaningful insights (“deaf gain”) into the world’s predicament that feel logical instead of contrived. In the first movie, Krasinski’s performance stole the show; here it is Simmonds’ turn in the spotlight.

In addition to being a great scary movie, however, “A Quiet Place Part II” also works for reasons that Krasinski and company could have never imagined. This is where the COVID-19 era enters the picture, and I feel compelled to add a personal story: “A Quiet Place Part II” was the last movie I was supposed to review in theaters as a Salon film critic before the virus outbreak prompted nationwide shutdowns. My screening was canceled mere hours before I was supposed to attend. All of this happened only 14 months ago, but it feels like a lifetime has passed. Fortunately I managed to wind up in the same theater (and reserved the same seat) that I would have occupied the first time around. (“A Quiet Place Part II” has without question required the single longest waiting period between purchasing a ticket and actually putting my butt in the chair of my entire writing career.)

This is not to say that the film is perfect. There are times when it tests an audience member’s ability to suspend disbelief, particularly when you expect a squalling baby to never be noticed by the extraterrestrials. The movie also hinges on a plot point that, while I won’t spoil it, I will note appears ripped off from one of the dumbest twists in M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography. Finally there were moments that felt padded, as if Krasinski was straining to meet a running time requirement.

When I got to the theater, I asked several of the employees what it was like to work again after the pandemic. One of them was extremely outspoken: He was outraged that people would go into the theater without masks, did not believe they should even be opened while the pandemic still rages and was convinced he and his coworkers were being put in unnecessary danger. It was obvious that he was scared, and none of his colleagues seemed to blame him. Our conversation stuck with me as I sat in the auditorium, where I was joined by my partner and a handful of fellow moviegoers in the way back.

While public health experts continue to debate whether and how we should reopen our society, the employee’s underlying point is reflected in the themes of the movie. Like the characters in “A Quiet Place Part II,” we have been forced to inhabit a universe very different from the one we’ve known most of our lives. A deadly menace surrounds us, one we don’t fully understand and struggle even to detect, and to stay safe we have to quickly learn a whole new system of “rules” — public health guidelines in our world, stealth tactics in Krasinski’s fictional one. We have also had to watch as the ugliest sides of human nature have been brought to the fore, be it the feral humans who have survived in the “Quiet Place” universe or the people here who refuse to wear masks and get vaccinated.

Obviously the filmmakers could not have known how much their narrative would resonate with audiences in 2021, given that the movie was made before the outbreak. Yet because “A Quiet Place Part II” happens to share these powerful parallels, and because it is made by such talented people, it winds up being an unintentional allegory for this moment in our collective history. I’d recommend it to horror fans even if the COVID-19 pandemic had never happened, but I can’t think of a more fitting way to return to movie theaters in our frightening new world than with this particular tall tale.

“A Quiet Place Part II” opens in theaters Friday, May 28.

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Kill The Orange-Faced Bear Release Date, Cast And Plot

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The plot of “Kill the Orange-Faced Bear” is just your run-of-the-mill love story: boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy proposes, and girl gets eaten by a bear while on a camping trip. That’s when things get weird. The “charming,” “funny,” and “grieving” Hank vows to exact revenge on the bear, Silverman’s Brenda, who consumes his true love (via Deadline).

The series explores the story from both Hank’s and Brenda’s perspectives, and the latter is “just trying to move on from the incident and navigate the other idiot bears in her life.” Presumably, that’s where Richardson’s Steve, a “charmingly idiotic grizzly bear with a dangerous habit of breaking into cars to steal snacks and beer,” and Byer’s Pauline, “a bear with perfect fur and perfect nails who uses her feminine wiles to seduce Brenda’s husband,” enter the picture.

Karpovsky’s Ronnie is “an oddball park ranger who has a score to settle with Hank,” and Torrence’s Murray “is just trying to keep everyone together.” All we can say is it all sounds deliciously funny.

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Release Date, Cast, Trailer, and News

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Calling all fans of HGTV and Netflix’s Selling Sunset: OWN’s upcoming reality show, Ladies Who List, is not to be missed. Premiering in January 2022 on OWN, the brand-new series follows six successful Black women working in roles across Atlanta’s real estate market who decide to unite forces.

They may have different jobs—from attorneys to real estate agents—but they share the same drive. Using that common value, the cast will band together to build something spectacular. “What if we create the biggest, baddest brokerage that Atlanta has ever seen?” cast member Robin Andrade, a real estate attorney, asks in the trailer.

Their intention? To break up the ‘old boys club’ of Atlanta’s real estate game—and to inspire viewers. “Through a sophisticated portrayal of successful businesswomen,” the network says, “these real estate pros will help buyers find their dream homes, teach clients the importance of establishing generational wealth, and prove that homeownership is attainable for all.

Here’s what to know about the show.

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The eight-episode series launches in January.

Catch the premiere episode of Ladies Who List: Atlanta on January 7, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. Future episodes will air on subsequent Fridays.

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You can also stream Ladies Who List: Atlanta on demand.

Ladies Who List: Atlanta will air on the OWN channel on Friday evenings. Or you can watch on-demand through Watch OWN. Download the Watch OWN mobile app on Apple and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, or Chromecast or stream on WatchOWN.tv by logging in through your TV provider.

The cast will take you behind closed doors in their own homes.

In addition to showing their day jobs as power brokers, Ladies Who List will delve into the cast members’ personal lives. The series will follow their experiences with motherhood, including fertility concerns; marriage; going to therapy; and finding new love. Below, we’ve listed the show’s six cast members, so you can get to know them ahead of the premiere.

Quiana Watson

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DREA NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY/OWN

Who is she? Quiana Watson is a real estate broker. According to OWN, she’s one of Atlanta’s most visible and top-producing real estate professionals. Her words to live by? “You live every single day, but you only have one life to live. You better make it count.”

Follow her on Instagram: @quianawatson_

Robin Andrade

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DREA NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY/OWN

Who is she? Robin Andrade is a real estate broker who finds a sense of calm and grounding through her yoga practice. She’s also a single mother to two sons.

Follow her on Instagram: @robinsellsatlanta

Cristyl Kimbrough

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Who is she? Cristyl Kimbrough is a closing attorney who finalizes real estate transactions. She’s a self-described “spontaneous traveler” and has visited locales all over the world.

Follow her on Instagram: @closingattorney_cris

Tiffani Hawes

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Who is she? Tiffani Hawes is also a closing attorney, and is a mom of three. Speaking to Voyage ATL, Hawes opened up about having how having child at a young age impacted her trajectory: “Having a child so young is life-altering and really could have caused me to never go to law school. Although my dream was delayed, I managed to stay focused and move forward.”

Follow her on Instagram: @tiffanyhawes_closingattorney

Tiana Harrison

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DREA NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY/OWN

Who is she? Tiana Harrison is a luxury real estate agent. She shares two children with her husband, Arnold Harrison II, a former NFL pro.

Follow her on Instagram: @tianaharrison_luxpartners

Kira Oliver

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DREA NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY/OWN

Who is she? Kira Oliver is a real estate agent whose goal is to “teach people, millennials especially, to learn the value of investing their money into real estate.”

Follow her on Instagram: @kiratherealtor

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Ant-Man 3 release date, trailer, cast and more about Quantumania

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What is the Ant-Man 3 release date? When Scott Lang first stumbled onto Hank Pym’s old Ant-Man suit, he probably didn’t think he’d wind up fighting deranged CEOs, molecularly unstable superspies, and alien armies led by Thanos himself. But Scott and Hope van Dyne are heading into their biggest (or smallest) adventure yet in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is jumping headfirst into alternate timelines, different worlds, as well as the multiverse itself – and clearly, the next Ant-Man movie is going to do the same. The previous films briefly explored the idea of the Quantum Realm – a smaller world existing in front of our very eyes. And although Hank Pym has already saved his long-lost love, Janet Van Dyne, from this strange new reality, it looks like Scott and Hope will explore it further in the upcoming sequel.

But what is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania about? Who’s in it? Is there a trailer? Who’s the villain? Don’t worry. We’ve shrunk ourselves down to the Quantum Realm to bring you all the answers about the next adventure for the Lang-Van Dyne family.

Ant-Man 3 Release Date: When is Ant-Man 3 out?

This is the bad news about Quantumania; it’s going to be quite some time before we see the small adventure on the big screen. It’s the penultimate chapter of Phase 4, and (at the time of writing) it’s set to arrive on July 28, 2023.

The sequel has already jumped around a few dates already, as it was initially slated for a 2022 release until it was pushed back to February 2023, before it then jumped back to its July date. This isn’t exactly surprising since Hollywood has had a massive shake-up due to the (ongoing) pandemic.

Marvel’s smallest hero: Best action movies

But remember, there’s going to be plenty of other Marvel movies and TV shows on Disney Plus to tide us all over until then. Remember, Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels and James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 both arrive in 2023 before Quantumania. So it’s not like fans are going to be starved for Marvel content in the run-up to the sequel.

Ant-Man 3 release date: Hope and Scott

Ant-Man 3 Plot: What’s the plot of Ant-Man 3?

Marvel is still keeping the plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania under wraps, but thanks to one piece of intriguing casting information, we already know who Scott and Hope will be up against… Kang the Conqueror. Yes, the time-travelling despot is making his way to the Quantum Realm for some reason. In September 2020, Deadline broke the news that Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors had joined Quantumania as Kang.

The star briefly appeared at the end of Loki as He Who Remains, an alternate version of Kang who created the Time Variance Authority as a way of preventing another multiverse war with other Kang variants. But when Majors shows up in Quantumania, he’ll be playing a completely different version of the iconic villain. He previously told GamesRadar, “The character is different, so you move a different way; my psychology has shifted because of the character. He’s just a different guy.”

Anyplace, anywhere, anywhen! Best time travel movies

The star went on to say, “He Who Remains is not in Ant-Man. It’s Kang. But the people surrounding us – the cast, my leading man Paul Rudd – that’s different.” Also adding, “Because Paul’s not Tom [Hiddleston]. This is a movie, not a TV show. I’ve been here since the beginning and I came in at the end on Loki.”

It’s not quite clear whether Quantumania will be the first time this version of Kang arrives in the MCU, or if he comes out of the Quantum Realm similar to how the Avengers time-traveled during Avengers: Endgame. One thing’s for certain, Ant-Man and the Wasp will have one hell of a fight on their hands. Kang is a sadistic genius, and has taken up many different names and titles over the years like Rama-Tut, Immortus, and even the hero Iron Lad. Comics!

Ant-Man 3 release date: Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains

Ant-Man 3 Trailer: Does Ant-Man 3 have a trailer?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania just yet, but that isn’t so surprising since there’s still over a year and a half to go until its release date. But director Peyton Reed recently confirmed that production has wrapped on the film, and he took to Twitter to share the news.

The director wrote, “Principal photography on Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is now complete! Can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been up to…”

Now that filming has finished, Marvel Studios will be hard at work adding in all the visual effects during post-production — so we should expect a trailer to arrive at some point in the second half of 2022.

It’s not the first time Reed has taken to Twitter to discuss work on Quantumania. He previously posted a behind-the-scenes photo of the Stagecraft technology when preparing to start production. The revolutionary stage uses screens to create an immersive 3D environment for actors to work in. We’d put good money on Reed using Stagecraft to shoot scenes inside the Quantum Realm.

Ant-Man 3 releease date: Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)

Ant-Man 3 Cast: Who’s in Ant-Man 3?

In case it wasn’t obvious, both Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are returning to play Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. They’ll also be joined by Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne. It’ll be interesting to see what that family dynamic is like after all the years where Janet was stuck in the Quantum Realm while Hank was getting bitter and alone. And as already mentioned, Jonathan Majors will go up against them as Kang the Conqueror.

Another MCU newcomer is Detective Pikachu star Kathryn Newton, who will play an older version of Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter. In the comics, she becomes the giant hero Stature, so it’s possible she’ll also get to suit up in the sequel next to Ant-Man and the Wasp.

The incredible shrinking man: Best science fiction movies 

But there’s another surprising star who’s joining the MCU for the first time in Quantumania: Bill Murray. He accidentally gave the scoop to the German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, saying, “You know, I made a Marvel movie recently, I’m probably not allowed to tell you, but whatever.”

He confirmed that it was Quantumania by saying he really liked working with Peyton Reed on Bring It On and decided to work with him again. “Some people were pretty surprised why I decided on a project like this, of all things. But for me, the situation was completely clear: I got to know the director, and really liked him.” The star then added, “He was witty, humble, everything you want from a director. And with the cheerleader movie Bring It On, he had already made a film years ago, which I think is damn good.” Paul Rudd and Bill Murray sharing the screen again? We’re sold.

And that’s everything we know about the Ant-Man 3 release date. If you want to know more about the MCU’s upcoming adventure movies check out our guides on Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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