Black Panther is so close, and yet so far. We got a banger of a trailer, complete with emover-sporting Michael and an unlikely yet perfect soundtrack cut from Run the Jewels. At San Diego Comic-Con later this month, Marvel will show out in full force, and there’s no doubt they’ll tantalize audiences in Hall H with some preview footage from the film. And to accompany that, Entertainment Weekly has run a new cover spread on Ryan Coogler’s upcoming film with new photos of the royal court ruling the Black Panther’s home nation of Wakanda. All this — for a movie that isn’t out until mid-February.
Will The Emoji Movie be horrible? We just don’t know. The premise of “Toy Story, but with the little pictorial icons that live inside your smartphone” sure sounds like something that an executive with an analytics page for a heart would come up with, but it’s the critic’s responsibility to reserve judgement until the film can be seen in full. At least today brings us a bite-sized sample of The Emoji Movie with a new trailer that contains both a painfully out-of-fashion “Bye, Felicia” reference and a sincerely humorous joke about forgotten phone passwords. So it’s really anyone’s guess, at this point.
With so many massive studio tentpoles springing up all over, you’d be forgiven for letting the gestating Jumanji remake slip your mind. The rework of the ’90s kid-friendly fantasy film, playing under the somewhat unwieldy title Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (yeah, tack the tagline right onto the title, why not!) will come to theaters December 20, but prying eyes have already ensnared some key details about the film. There was the whole brouhaha surrounding Karen Gillan’s hilariously impractical jungle outfit and her mealy-mouthed explanation as to why her character had to get all hotted up for a nature expedition, a controversy I have dubbed Midriffgate, and now today brings news of another curious detail of story.
As noted in a new item at Variety today, Sony has been on something of a roll when it comes to getting female talent behind the camera. They’ve put together a respectable slate of films directed by women: Catherine Hardwicke was tapped to translate narco thriller Miss Bala for American audiences, Broad City mastermind Lucia Aniello wrote-directed the upcoming bachelorette-shenanigans comedy Rough Night, Michelle MacLaren landed the Sam Claflin-led thriller Nightingale, and perhaps most intriguingly of all, Elizabeth Banks has taken her next directorial project with a reboot of Charlie’s Angels. And for the latter two, today brings concrete news of impending developments.
The latest addition to the pantheon of mega-flops has been christened. Just as street hooligan Arthur instantly ascended to royalty when he pulled Excalibur from its stone, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has descended to ignominy by pulling a turd out of the box-office. Perhaps not my best lede work, but it’s Monday. Cut a guy some slack.
This is a movies web site, so the focal point of this article will definitely be how Manchester by the Sea has benefitted the actual citizenry of Manchester-by-the-Sea, but let’s not bury the lede. Amazon gave everyone living there a free year of Prime membership, and we’ll get back to that in a moment, because the real story here is that they also gave everyone free popcorn. Because Amazon makes food now. Apparently, the internet super-retailer recently launched something called Wickedly Prime, a line of snacks, teas, and what their web site calls ‘sweet spreads.’ I’m not quite sure what, but an automated drone air-dropping a crate of Internet Food right at my doorstep feels like the first step towards something major.
The Overlook Film Festival just began its inaugural proceedings last night, inviting cinephiles and horror enthusiasts to take in some film with a singular location for a backdrop: the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon, better known to you as the Overlook Hotel and the setting of Stephen King adaptation The Shining. One could scarcely imagine a scene more apropos for the revelation that another big King remake is in the works, so Blumhouse (you know, the studio behind every horror blockbuster of the last few years) head Jason Blum and director-writer Akiva Goldsman took full advantage of their unique surroundings for a major announcement. And in the immortal words of Nelly, it’s getting hot in here.
My fellow millennials can join me in fond memories of the Saturday mornings spent rapt before new episodes of The Jackie Chan Adventures on Kids! WB. Revered martial arts movie star Jackie Chan played an Indiana Jones-esque fictionalized version of himself, a former archaeology professor who takes up the arguably more vital work of protecting the world from demons and monsters. He teamed up with his precocious niece Jade, his powerful but cranky Uncle, and their hulking foe-turned friend Tohru in pursuit of the mystical talismans, little octagonal stones that imbue their holder with fantastical superpowers. The show was just as fun as it sounds, full of Shaw Brothers-caliber kung fu action and slapsticky humor from the always-game Chan.
The sound of metal grinding against metal. The proud yelp of Mark Wahlberg’s serious-actor concerned voice. (“We’re not givin’ up on Prime, okay?!“) The rippling waves of incoherent computer-generated imagery glinting in the post-apocalyptic sun. It can all only mean one thing: there‘s a new trailer for the latest chapter in Michael Bay’s ongoing giant-fighting-alien-robot opera Transformers. Allow me to quickly assuage any concerns by confirming that yes, a whole bunch of crap blows up real big, yes, a huge CGI thing crashes into another CGI thing, and yes, Megan Fox is no longer with us. But let’s dig in anyway, shall we?
Almost exactly a year ago, tech entrepreneur Sean Parker (better known as the guy who correctly identified a billion dollars as cooler than a million dollars in The Social Network) fronted a proposed business venture called The Screening Room, a potentially game-changing set-top box through which Hollywood studios would offer their biggest new releases to stream at home the same day they premiered in brick-and-mortar theaters. (With an astronomical price tag, naturally.) Though it gained some traction and support from significant voices in the film community, it ultimately sputtered and spun out. But with the rebirth of spring, so comes a rebirth for this impractical, frightening, cineplex-annihilating idea. (Kinda.)
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