As an avowed walker and train-taker, I’m not much of a car guy, personally. But I know a thing or two — I can change a flat tire, correctly identify where jumper cables should be clamped, and I know enough that anyone who offers to sell you a ‘flux capacitor’ is having a laugh at your expense. The auto part was imagineered (a make-believe word for ‘invented’ that the folks at Disney originally imagineered) for Back to the Future, the all-important component that gives Marty McFly‘s Delorean the power to traverse time. And now, you too can attempt to flaunt the laws of metaphysics by souping out your ride of choice (imagine how a silent, time-traveling Prius would freak out people in the ’50s) with your very own flux capacitor.
Hey, are you between the ages of 18 and 25? Are you of Middle Eastern descent? Are you free from April of this year right on through to January 2018? Have you ever been described as ‘telegenic,’ and most importantly, can you hit a high C? Then good news, you have a solid shot at landing one of the starring roles in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming live-action Aladdin remake for Disney!
Samuel L. Jackson’s a man of many hats: actor, philanthropist, and on occasion, opinionated public intellectual. (He’s also a man of many hats in a more literal sense, owning what I estimate must be upwards of 800 Kangols.) He‘s currently working the press circuit in promotion of his latest picture, the big-budget monster mash Kong: Skull Island, and no Samuel L. Jackson press tour is complete without one or two headline-grabbing soundbites. We thought we had hit the jackpot when Jackson happily admitted to a familiarity with the anime pornography known as ‘hentai,’ but the actor’s buzz-baiting statements were far from over.
It’s odd — as our planet rapidly hurdles towards any number of very real oblivions, disaster-porn movies have started to play a little more fancifully. ‘Malfunctioning weather-controlling spacecraft triggers climate cataclysms’ sounds like a kinda quaint way for the world to end, as opposed to nuclear holocausts or World War III or a total breakdown of humanity’s societal order. It’s been a minute since the Earth last swallowed up its inhabitants with the earthquake-sploitation picture San Andreas, and frankly, it’s just a relief to see a fictitious vision of the apocalypse that’s not entirely our fault.
Ever since the now-infamous photo of Pennywise the evil homicidal clown peeking out of a drainpipe surfaced online, fans of Stephen King’s seminal horror novel It have been concerned about Seth Graeme-Smith‘s upcoming film adaptation. There was fair cause for worry, too; it looked as if light was coming from several different sources, like a hasty photoshop job one might find on the box art for some direct-to-DVD cash grab. The only person who could really set the It devotees at ease would be Stephen King, who has seen dozens upon dozens of his works make the jump to the silver screen. And it would appear that he’s now done just that.
In a refreshing change of pace, international tensions with Russia have increased due to something other than statements issued from the executive branch of the federal government. The latest subject of global controversy is none other than Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s new live-action remounting of the classic animated fantasy-romance. And rest assured, it’s not the sacrilege of revising the high-water mark of Disney’s ‘90s run that the Russkies are ticked off about. Not since the James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy vehicle The Interview nearly set off World War III with North Korea has Hollywood come this close to igniting a powder keg, and all because LeFou has come out of the closet.
L. Frank Baum‘s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proven a malleable property over the years. Of course everybody knows and loves Victor Fleming’s 1939 film adaptation, then came the urban-set musical revision The Wiz, the villain’s-eye-view retelling Wicked, Sam Raimi’s limp-noodle Oz the Great and Powerful, NBC’s crazytown new gritty-reboot series Emerald City, not to mention the dozens of films that have paid homage to the timeless scenes of Fleming’s film. (The bit in O Brother, Where Art Thou? when our heroes sneak into a KKK meeting like it’s a Winkie stronghold is a particular standout.) And today brings the news that the merry old land of Oz will get yet another new spin, and this time, there will be blood.
Disney’s concept for Christopher Robin — a live-action reimagining of the happy tales of Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood gang — was kind of weird from the start. The idea was that the film would rejoin Pooh’s young pal Christopher Robin as a family man swept up in his professional life, with Pooh returning to remind the jaded grown-up of the wonderment of childhood. Perhaps Disney recognized what a tricky sell that might be, and accordingly decided to throw all the talented people they could at this. They brought in acerbic indie-circuit favorite Alex Ross Perry to draw up a script, and then hired eclectic director Marc Forster (responsible for everything from World War Z to Stranger Than Fiction to Finding Neverland to Quantum of Solace) to head up the operation.
Hope you liked Get Out — and if the near-unanimous critical consensus, robust opening weekend box office receipts, and massive swell of support on social media are any indicator, you probably did — because there’s a whole lot more where that came from. We all rushed to anoint director Jordan Peele as a bold new voice in the horror landscape upon his debut feature’s release, and a new notice today suggests that he’s going to ride this wave as long as he can. In a new interview with Business Insider, Peele stated that in the grand tradition of John Carpenter and Wes Craven before him, he’s getting into the sequel business.
We‘re now a couple days out from the incident itself, and everyone’s still trying to figure out just what in the Sam Hill happened at the Oscars on Sunday night. When Faye Dunaway wrongly named La La Land instead of Moonlight as the recipient of the Best Picture Academy Award, she created a buzzy moment and sparked a full-blown investigation as to how things could have gotten mixed up. Fingers have been pointed every which way, with the show’s producers and vote-tabulating accountants both scrambling to cover their respective hindquarters in the wake of the embarrassing gaffe. Today, however, Dunaway‘s co-presenter Warren Beatty – the man with his hand on the envelope — has offered his official response to the hubbub, and he’s decided to shift blame elsewhere.
Did you see Moonlight, the Oscar-anointed Best Picture which also happens to be the actual best picture of the year? No? Why not? The common answers include “looked super sad” (accurate, but shouldn’t be a deterrent), “looked boring” (empirically incorrect), “couldn’t relate to it” (probably a little racist, a little homophobic, or both), “been busy lately” (get your priorities in order), and moreso than any other, “wasn’t playing near me.” That last one is hard to argue with, as A24’s October release did leave a lot of communities bereft of access to Moonlight. But as this film’s mass-marketability has become evident with high-profile Oscar wins and a $26 million gross on a budget of $1.5 million, A24 has smartly moved to spread the love.
Armond White is something of a notorious name in the world of film criticism. While the caliber of his writing commands respect from many of his peers, his contrarian opinions and coarse manner often land him in the middle of mini-controversies within cinephile circles. This is a man who got himself expelled from the New York Film Critics Circle for heckling 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen at the organization’s annual awards dinner. This is a man who publishes an annual ‘Better Than’ list of favorite movies, so he can both name the films he loved and diss the ones that you did in one fell swoop. This is a man who could not give less of a damn what you, me, or anyone else thinks.
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