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WIRE Buzz: An American Pickle reviews; Dark Horse's Hellboy RPG; and Inception re-release
Is Seth Rogen's latest comedy flick, An American Pickle, a zesty deli appetizer or a bland cucumber? Should you check it out this weekend or simply stick with the "Pickle Rick" episode of Rick and Morty?
According to first reviews, the HBO Max release has a solid premise, but the execution is a little uneven. Helmed by Brandon Trost, the movie is about Herschel Greenbaum (Rogen), a European immigrant who gets preserved in a vinegar-y brine for 100 years. Waking up in 2020 Brooklyn, he seeks out his great-grandson Ben (also played by Rogen) and struggles to adapt to the 21st century.
Variety's Owen Glieberman compared the project to classic, '80s-era "fish-out-of-water" comedies like Back to the Future and Splash, but didn't feel like Pickle was another classic in the making.
"Of course, the essence of the fish-out-of-water comedy is that it’s never been a realistic genre — it’s pure Hollywood fantasy," he wrote. "Yet An American Pickle, in its ethnically satirical and scattered way, lacks the integrity of its own ridiculousness. It’s pungent but flavorless: an unkosher dill."
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised Rogen's dual performance, writing:
"The effects work allowing Rogen to play scenes opposite himself is first-rate. What's more surprising is the delicate beauty of the CG elements in the Schlupsk scenes and the fast-forward through 100 years in a storybook shot of the Brooklyn pickle factory with Manhattan in the background. A shift in aspect ratios is used to differentiate the old world from the new. An American Pickle is neither the most substantial nor the most sophisticated comedy, but its soulful sweetness outweighs its flaws."
IGN's Kristy Puchko described Herschel as "bold, thrilling, and a little bit bonkers," adding that while the film "meanders in the middle ... it's nonetheless an imaginative and fun romp that manages to stick the landing with a suitably sentimental gambit."
Based on Simon Rich's New Yorker series of the same name, An American Pickle (whose screenplay was also written by Rich) heads out of the barrel and onto HBO Max this Friday, August 7.
Our dream of joining the B.R.P.D. and fighting supernatural threats is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a new Hellboy RPG from Dark Horse Comics, Mantic Games, and Red Scar Publishing. Hellboy: The Roleplaying Game will reach the public through a Kickstarter campaign, whose launch date isn't fixed yet.
Powered by the Fifth Edition RPG ruleset, the game is being written by Eisner-winner Marc Langworthy (Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition Roleplaying Game, Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Roleplaying Game). Once the crowdfunding campaign goes live, you'll be able to try the product out for free, choosing from six pre-generated characters within a story inspired by the comics.
"We can’t wait to bring Hellboy back to Kickstarter,” Ronnie Renton, CEO of Mantic Games, said in a statement. “The roleplaying game is going to be a fantastic new way to experience Hellboy on the tabletop. The team at Red Scar has done an amazing job of capturing the feel of the Hellboy universe. Plus, your miniatures from Hellboy: The Board Game will be compatible with the RPG, which will bring a whole new lease of life to your awesome mini collection.”
It's time to revive a decade-old "yes or no" question: was Leonardo DiCaprio's spinning top about to fall over at the end of Inception? We can start debating that topic again because Christopher Nolan's mind-bending masterpiece is coming back to the theaters in honor of its 10-year anniversary.
Warner Bros. even dropped a re-release trailer that reminds us of just how excited we all were to see the film back in the summer of 2010. That said, the trailer was posted to the YouTube channel of WB Thailand, casting some doubt over whether or not we'll get to view the film again in the U.S., which has struggled to contain the spread of COVID-19. By the latest count, over 4 million Americans have tested positive for the virus. Theater chains are now planning to re-open later this month, although whether such a thing is even feasible remains to be seen.
America's handling of the global pandemic has caused Warner Bros. to pivot when it comes to the wide theatrical release of Nolan's latest endeavor: Tenet, which promises to be just as ambitious and complex as Inception. As of now, other countries will get to see the film first, starting in late August, before it comes stateside (even then, it'll only be coming select cities) in early September.
Tenet was originally scheduled to open July 17 before being pushed off several times.