Tom Hardy’s not taking it easy on himself these days. He’s currently appearing in Dunkirk, where he spends the entire film stuffed into a cramped cockpit while frantically evading instant death from above. And today brings the news of a new major project for the esteemed actor, one that will test his mettle with even more extreme conditions. If you thought one perilous beachside aerial attack was intense, then just you wait.
Friends and readers, it is with a heavy heart that I must report that our boy Jared Leto is at it again. Though, in another sense, a man who is never not at it cannot truly be at it again, and Leto never seems to let up from being at it. At what, you may ask? Take your pick: he’s gonna play Andy Warhol, he wants to return to the DC cinematic universe as the Joker, he’s allegedly prepping a new 30 Seconds to Mars album, he runs Fandor now for some reason, and he’ll soon make his debut as a feature director with a thriller about Patty Hearst. Indeed, Jared Leto is in a state of perpetual at-it-ness, the only changing factor being the nature of what it means to be “at it,” again or otherwise.
Today brings a new message from your friends at Monarch Sciences, a totally legit operation that’s completely on the up-and-up. No way they‘re irresponsibly experimenting with genetic mutation and irradiation, no siree, they‘re just another innocent chemical processing corporation trying to make an honest buck in a shrinking workplace. (The chemical processing industry has gotten rough ever since the recession, and mom-and-pop conglomerates are taking the hit especially hard.) The truth, as anyone who saw the Godzilla remake from 2014 already knows, is that Monarch Sciences was responsible for the creation of the thunder lizard, and now they’re back up to their usual business.
With the arrival of San Diego Comic-Con last week, the major announcements started flying fast and furious. After the avalanche of release date announcements, trailer releases, and other first-look headline-generators, the news broke that the gears of progress had begun turning for James Bond’s next cinematic outing. The official Twitter account posted that the still-untitled James Bond 25 would hit American theaters on November 8, 2019 after an earlier release in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and also presumably after shiploads of online pirates have gotten their mitts on it. Americans do not tend to take delayed release dates lying down.
The Internet has made many previously unthinkable wonders possible: I can watch movies without taxing the lower half of my body, aggressively explain to teenagers in the Philippines why they should really be getting into Riverdale, and get food delivered to my house without speaking to another human being. But apart from turning otherwise normal people into reclusive hermits, the great gift of the Internet is the sharing and popularizing of minutiae. When someone online notices something neat-o, they’re free to share it with the rest of the online world, who will in turn mutter, “Huh, that’s neat,” before moving on with their own lives.
Our children won’t believe us when we tell them that there used to be doubt over whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work at the box office. Even at present, the days of studio executive hand-wringing over whether audiences would deign to shell out their precious $11.75 to see a film in which a woman — who was not a man — did superhero things feel favorably remote. For director Patty Jenkins and her marble-carved star Gal Gadot have proven beyond all debate and rage-choked internet commenting that women are perfectly capable of making a whole mess of money during blockbuster season. And now it’s official.
Adam Wingard’s adaptation of popular anime series Death Note drew a lot of heat before the public even saw a single frame, as fans of the original were displeased to learn he’d set the film in the U.S. instead of the original Japan and make the Asian lead into a white guy, a move we shall henceforth refer to as “Ghost in the Shelling.” And while the question of whitewashing will most likely persist on through the film’s August 25 release, we still have yet to see whether it will be a competent horror film on non-politicized terms. Today, the public can start to get an impression of whether the film is garden-variety bad in addition to being #problematic.
For a movie directed by a well-regarded arthouse stalwart with mainstream appeal and starring an actress who was the biggest movie star on Earth as recently as three years ago, it’s weird that mother! has remained almost entirely shrouded by secrecy. We know that Darren Aronofsky’s new movie stars Jennifer Lawrence, it’s some manner of home-invasion psychothriller, and the cast includes Javier Bardem, Kristen Wiig, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. We saw the poster, which finds JLaw ripping her own heart out in a lush vernal scene like Mola Ram on vacation in Argentina. But apart from that, it’s a big, strange question mark. Word on the street says a trailer is on its way, and yet it’s still impressive that a project this high-profile has gotten so far while remaining almost totally incognito.
“James Franco doing a movie about the creation of legendary disasterpiece The Room” was a tantalizing prospect when first announced, either a brilliant turn for his career-spanning preoccupation with artifice in showbiz or another insufferable bout of navel-gazing. The first trailer for the comedy due December 1 (before going wide on December 8) isn’t really either, landing somewhere closer to Hail, Caesar! in its farcical send-up of filmmaking frustration. 2017 has gotten its “Would that it t’were so simple,” now say it with me: “I did not hit her, it’s not true, it’s bullsh*t, I did not hit her, I did not. Oh hi, Mark.”
When young Jews hit that magical age of 13, they go through the coming-of-age ceremony known as a bar mitzvah (for boys) or a bat mitzvah (for gals). There’s music, dancing, and food, you receive lots of money for bravely keeping a straight face while assorted relatives pinch your cheeks, and if you’re really lucky, a major late-night personality will bless your entry into the world of adulthood with his virtual presence.
It may be hard to believe now, but there was once a time when studios would wait until a release had proven itself at the box-office before investing in a massive franchise around it. But the likes of DC, Marvel, and the future firee at Universal who came up with the Dark Universe boondoggle have now set a standard of placing the cart before the horse, and other studios cannot help but follow suit. Fox is the latest showbiz entity to go all-in on an untested concept, banking that the respectable profits generated by that Goosebumps movie from 2015 that you’ve already forgotten about shall be a bellwether for future riches.
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