After the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga debuted to a critical shellacking, many believed the film would be a franchise-killer for the swashbruckling adventure series. (“Swashbruckling” is an industry term for Jerry Bruckheimer-produced films that include swordplay.) But because On Stranger Tides also raked in a cool billion dollars worldwide, yet another sequel was inevitable. Between the dire notices for the most recent film, the six-year gap between entries, Johnny Depp’s declining public profile, and the motivator of a financial imperative, fans braced to greet No. 5, Dead Men Tell No Tales, as more studio-mandated pap. What this article presupposes is... it might not be?
What is a David Gordon Green film? The answer to this question has perplexed film scholars for years now: he began his career with the dreamy lyricism of tone poems George Washington and All the Real Girls, took a detour into stoner comedy with Your Highness and Pineapple Express, returned to difficult character studies for Prince Avalanche and Joe (or as I like to call it, Irrefutable Evidence That Nicolas Cage Is Still a Good Actor), then whipped up a studio-sized flop in haywire political satire Our Brand Is Crisis. Predicting his next move is all but impossible, so what luck that today brings the official news of what he’ll do next — and prepare yourself, because it just as incongruous with the rest of his scattered filmography as you’d expect.
Though he looks like he eats cement and can crack dudes in half like Bane snapping Batman across his knee, John Cena’s just a big ol’ softie on the inside. The professional fighter has always been warm and cordial to his many fans, he loves posting dumb jokes online (the ultimate Celebrities! They‘re Just Like Us move), and he proved himself a game comic performer in 2015’s Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. In this respect, he’s the perfect choice to voice Ferdinand, a mighty bull with a kind and gentle heart. If the role was any more squarely in Cena’s wheelhouse, he’d be romancing an esteemed comedic actress.
Writing about the latest developments in movie-centric news isn’t a bad job, by any means — I could be mining ore and plucking chickens like my Eastern European forefathers — but some days still make you wanna sharpen up your morning coffee with something a little stronger. The recent trend of movie studios airing brief mini-trailers to tease the release of upcoming slightly-longer trailers numbers among my least favorite developments in online buzz-cultivating, and leave it to Zack Snyder and the DC cinematic universe to take that to the next level. Running a trailer for the trailer is some weak-ass bull, the sort of thing those nerds at Marvel would do — this is DC, baby, where they run five trailers for the trailer.
Have we all safely made it through the headline above? No, you’re not having a stroke, those words are all in the correct order. (Unless part of your face is sagging and your speech isn’t making sense, in which case please stop reading mildly amusing entertainment news posts and contact a medical emergency service immediately.) Depending on how closely you’ve been following this project, the most shocking/perplexing/frightening part could be that Bradley Cooper will make his first foray into feature directing with a remake of the classic showbiz saga A Star Is Born, or maybe the fact that professional weirdo Lady Gaga will presumably assume human form to take the starring role. But those up-to-date on the development of this production will express the most surprise and bafflement over the breaking news that none other than Andrew Dice Clay — the Diceman, the Diceman, twice-as-nice-man — has entered the mix.
There’s no arguing that superheroes currently own the cineplex, but in a slight change of pace, one of this upcoming summer’s cape-clad defenders won’t hail from the pages of Marvel or DC. Kids (and nostalgia fetishists in their mid-to-late twenties) will get a colorful crimefighter of a different stripe with Captain Underpants, the computer-animated adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s long-running line of sophomoric chapter books about a delusional elementary school principal’s adventures in doo-doo derring-do. The first trailer hit the internet today, and if you were wondering if it contains the same Steve Aoki club banger as the War Dogs trailer, then have I got some good news for you!
This past week, Beauty and the Beast raised quite a few public eyebrows (mostly in Malaysia) with its so-called ‘exclusively gay moment,’ in which Josh Gad’s LeFou fleetingly reveals that he like-likes Gaston. While this was not breaking news to any gaydar-equipped viewers of the 1991 original, it still made quite a splash online, with conservative voices objecting to the homosexual agenda imposing on innocent kids' entertainment and progressives leaning the other way, calling for a more meaningful expression of queer identity than a three-second glimpse of two men waltzing.
The latest trailer for the upcoming DreamWorks film The Boss Baby — an animated comedy featuring Alec Baldwin voicing a baby who is, bear with me here, a boss — was specially cut together to be paired with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake, which premiered this past Friday. The video, jocularly titled “A Tale NOT As Old As Time” in reference to the line from the 1991 film’s theme music, features the Baldwin-voiced infant making Cogsworth and Lumiere play with one another as playthings before he directly accosts the audience. For a movie that would appear to be marketed to children, it sure does contain a joke about sticking a candlestick in there somewhere.
When pals asked, “What was your favorite part of Rogue One?” and I responded, “The part at the end when they all died,” it sounded like a bitter joke. But it‘s true — the choice to take advantage of the film’s stand-alone nature by concluding with the cast’s noble, obliterating sacrifice was a bold and decisive storytelling choice that helped distinguish Gareth Evans’ film from the rest of the franchise. The characters meant more in death than they ever did while living, and the selflessness of their risky suicide mission attests to the power of the human spirit in wartime. But this was not always the game plan.
Did you know that they apparently made another Terminator movie in 2015? Despite having seen it in theaters back during its original run, this still strikes me as new, hard-to-believe information. If there was really a new installment of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popular sci-fi/action franchise as recently as two years ago, wouldn’t someone remember that? Wikipedia claims that the film (subtitled Genisys, which sounds fake but okay) attempted to launch Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke’s big-screen phase of her career, included a clutch starring role from Ahnuld himself, and earned the second-most of any entry in the series. Call me crazy, but that seems like a pretty major occurrence to have entirely fled the public‘s collective pop-cultural memory. I’m skeptical — does this look like a real movie to you?
2015’s remake of old-school espionage show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a rollicking good time, but more than that, it was an audition reel for its stars Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill. Hammer brought his marksmanship and high-speed combat skills to Ben Wheatley’s upcoming shoot-‘em-up Free Fire, and now part-time Superman Cavill has also landed a new role befitting his ultra-smooth fighting prowess. He’ll have to run, jump, most likely get shirtless, and appear alongside Tom Cruise in what just might be his most dangerous assignment yet.
Pixar’s 2016 was something of a mixed bag, having landed a true-blue blockbuster with Finding Dory but then missing out on the coveted Oscar nomination. They’ll get back in the saddle in 2017 with Coco, a vibrant fantasy about the power of music, family, and remembrance of those lost to us. In the film, a lonely young boy finds a link to the past through an enchanted stringed instrument and sets off on an incredible journey with an animal companion, encountering all manner of dreamlike wonders (along with a monster or two) on the way. It bears mentioning at this point that this film is, in fact, not Kubo and the Two Strings.
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