Here’s something I’ve never been able to fully understand about myself: I find haunted house movies terribly boring and haunted space station movies absolutely terrifying. Take your typical spooky movie — with old buildings, dark hallways, and moving shadows — and I could fall asleep right there in the theater. But kick that spooky movie up into space and give the characters some space suits? As far as I’m concerned, that makes anything an instant classic — and I’ve got the Event Horizon ticket stubs to prove it.
While the Academy Awards may leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who think artists shouldn’t be forced to compete, there’s no denying that an Oscar nomination is still a powerful piece of validation for a lot of filmmakers, especially those from other countries. Filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi — whose 2016 film The Salesman will be seen by many Americans due to its Best Foreign Language Film nomination — should be able to take this time to engage with audiences about the importance of this work. Instead, Farhadi will have to watch the Academy Awards on television like the rest of us.
Listen. I know that the DC Cinematic Universe gets a lot of criticism for its dour visuals and themes, but let’s give credit where credit is due: Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is really shaping up like the sleeper hit of the whole endeavor. With a visual aesthetic stolen directly from an episode of Sons of Anarchy — and perhaps the most talented director of the Warner Bros. slate behind the camera — this is shaping up to be the best movie about people who talk to fish since Disney’s animated adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
A December release can be a tricky thing for a horror film. On the one hand, with the holidays just around the corner and award season in full swing, the overall demand for blood and monsters will never be lower. On the other hand, however, the right horror movie can serve as a smart piece of counter-programming for those tired of reruns of A Christmas Story on TBS or another politically charged conversation with the in-laws. Sometimes, even the best of us just want to slip away to the theater and watch a weird, messed up movie.
For a movie that hasn’t been written yet and is still four years away from its release, we sure seem to know a lot about the upcoming Indiana Jones movie. We know that both Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford will return, John Williams will write the score, George Lucas isn’t writing the story, and Indiana Jones will not get killed at the end of the movie. We also know that Disney is tinkering with giving the Indiana Jones franchise the Star Wars treatment, possibly exploring a combination of prequels, sequels, and standalone films all taking place in the Indiana Jones universe.
I’ve always wondered why more horror films aren’t set in corporate environments. While the office remains a popular setting for comedies and the ubiquitous faux-documentary television programs, anything darker — such as the 2006 horror film Severance which centers on a group of coworkers in the midst of an office wilderness retreat — remains the exception rather than the rule. For how much hidden animosity and frustration your typical office building contains, you’d think this would be an area ripe for exploration by the right twisted storyteller.
Even as an aging action star, Sylvester Stallone has kept up a steady pace. The actor has spent the past few years alternating between action vehicles and voice over work on children’s movies, always outpacing Hollywood obsolescence with his incredible work ethic and his willingness to not deviate from the ’80s action formula that helped make him a star. And while plenty of Stallone fans were pleased to see the actor pull in a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Creed, with Stallone’s latest production troubles, one cannot help but wonder if this will have an effect on the types of movies he makes going forward.
It seems to me that Moana brought in two very different audiences this holiday weekend. For some, Moana was the newest entry in a long line of Disney princess movies and a step in the right direction for the studio in terms of inclusiveness and empowering young women. For others, it was a chance to cure their Lin-Manuel Miranda withdrawals after the turnover of the Hamilton cast and the end of the regular Ham4Ham sidewalk performances. That probably explains the odd mix of millennials and children at the recent matinee you attended.
If there is any silver lining to the quagmire of sadness and disappointment that was 2016, it might just be the overdue recognition of Jared Harris as one of the better talents of the last two decades. Like many incredibly talented actors who don’t fit neatly into the Hollywood mold of the leading man, Harris has spent his career bouncing around as supporting characters and weirdos before finally finding his niche as a middle-aged heavyweight. Call it the Michael Caine career path if you want, but either way, it ends with us finally giving an extremely talented actor his full measure.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of Star Wars movies, with all the trailer announcements we’ve seen in the last few days, odds are good you might still find something to enjoy during Rogue One. A few days ago, we shared a fun little rumor that the first teaser for Spider-Man: Homecoming would be appearing before the highly anticipated Star Wars standalone when it hits theaters this December. Not to be outdone, Michael Bay took to social media to share that his first trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight would also be included with the film.
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