Sometimes I feel like we don’t appreciate Mark Hamill enough. Oh, sure, we trot him out for any Star Wars or Batman events and allow him to shoot off bemused one-liners about his place in nerd culture, but that’s only part of what makes his celebrity so fascinating. Hamill has spent the past 40+ years hearing about a series of movies he made at the beginning of his career, and somehow, he has avoided becoming either jaded or entitled about his celebrity. When you ask Hamill to talk about Luke Skywalker, he comes across as both blunt and self-effacing without ever doing a discredit to the character or his importance to many. Something tells me that isn’t as easy as he makes it look.
What happens when Disney throws a party for itself and everyone is invited? The answer is D23, this weekend’s trade show-slash-Disney party with new teasers, news, and footage from the company’s expanding lineup of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar properties. We’ve already seen a few updates on Wreck-It Ralph 2 and The Incredibles 2, but for the sequel-phobic among you, there was also a pretty high-profile announcement of Pixar’s upcoming original feature.
If we’re lucky, every few years we’re treated to a will-they-or-won’t-they love story that sparks our imagination and warms our hearts. Ross and Rachel from Friends. Jim and Pam from The Office. Daniel and Barbara from Bond 25. Yes, these are classic, iconic love stories, where two people who are destined to be together must nevertheless fight through a series of unfortunate events before going public with their mutual love and affection. Which is all a complicated and jokey way of saying, c’mon, Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli, we know y’all are going to make Bond 25 happen, so just do it already!
Did any new releases come out this weekend? I honestly can’t remember. Someone mentioned that there was a new Marvel movie in theaters - one featuring some sort of Spider-Person - but that can’t be right. I feel like I would’ve seen that, perhaps promoted on an unprecedented level for any superhero movie? Hmm. Well, anyways, here’s the weekend box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
While plenty of fans hold Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man film close to their hearts, it’s probably fair to say that the costume for Willem Dafoe‘s Green Goblin hasn’t aged particularly well. Given the dynamic costumes for the current generation of Marvel villains - including Frank Grillo‘s Crossbones, Cate Blanchett‘s Hera, and plenty more - Dafoe’s Green Goblin seems a little bulky and a lot campy, not unlike a Power Rangers villain that wandered out of his franchise and somehow ended up in the Marvel universe. It certainly gets the job done by the standards of the day, but rewatching scenes from that film suggest that the studio had a missed opportunity to do something a little more memorable with the character.
With a handful of major Hollywood stars choosing to speak out on behalf of gender pay equality in Hollywood, we’ve been treated to an unprecedented amount of transparency over these past few years. Major stars like Jessica Chastain, Keira Knightley, and Jessica Lawrence have all spoken out publicly about their own negative experiences on Hollywood franchises, and each passing week, more stars are encouraged to share their own experiences. Through it all, one important theme has emerged: in many of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, female actors are not being paid as much as men.
This has been a good weekend for Planet of the Apes fans. Not only did we get our first look at some of the early buzz for the final film in the trilogy — buzz that suggest that War for the Planet of the Apes might just be the best and bleakest movie in the series yet — we’ve also been treated to a special Father’s Day trailer that explores the universal truths of fathers, sons, and legacy. Sentient apes or human, we’re all just trying to leave behind a better world for our children.
Rejoice, parents: you’ll soon have a new Christmas movie to add to your family’s holiday rotation. If your family was anything like my own, you probably grew tired of placating screaming nieces and nephews with the same ratty DVD copies of A Christmas Story, Elf, or Home Alone. That makes any new holiday movie — regardless of quality — a welcome change of pace. Arthur Christmas? Fine. Rise of the Guardians? It’ll do in a pinch. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale? Maybe save that one for the time in the evening when the uncles break out the adults-only eggnog. But a Melissa McCarthy Christmas comedy? That could be quite a boon for tired family members everywhere.
Audiences have grown accustomed to seeing a slew of screenwriter credits on summer blockbusters. A few studios, like Universal and Paramount, have put together writers’ rooms for their biggest franchises; some films also have a host of different writers who either worked to develop the story or hammered out the final screenplay itself. Therefore, fans probably won’t bat an eye when they see three different writers’ names pop up in the Wonder Woman opening credits, but to hear one of the film’s producers tell it, that’s only part of the story. The road to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen involved a whole host of writers who didn’t end up mentioned in the final product.
Cesar Millan, better known as the Dog Whisperer in most pet circles, has built himself quite a little entertainment empire. Not only have his books and television shows taught countless people how to set boundaries with their pets, he’s also caused a million fights when one person in a couple thinks it’s funny to hiss “tsst!” at their partner during a discussion they find annoying. In other words, he’s been a boon to human-animal relationships and something else entirely to human-human relationships.
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