For franchise movie fans, nothing grates on the nerves quite like the lull between the day production wraps on a new movie and the day the first teaser drops. Production has been finished on Star Wars: The Last Jedi for a few months now, and since we’re not quite sure when Disney will be releasing the first trailer for the film, we’re latching onto any piece of information we can get about the new film or any new Star Wars content, period. In short, we’re in the business of reading too much into Mark Hamill’s Twitter account.
As a teenager in the ’90s, no actor better represented blockbuster movies than Bill Paxton. Although Paxton wasn’t typically a leading man in those movies — he would often play the brother, the second-in-command, or the comic relief — he served as a kind of talisman of quality. If you saw Paxton’s name in the opening credits of a movie, you knew that the film was going to be better for it.
The Razzies are a tough award show to love. Oh, I’m sure plenty of people probably read the headline to this article and — depending on their opinion of both Dinesh D’Souza and the DC Cinematic Universe — found great comfort in the public mockery of Hillary’s America and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But while awards shows in general might serve the noble purpose of raising awareness about powerful films, the annual Razzies Awards often feel like you’re kicking someone when they’re already down. They’ve already flopped with audiences and critics; throwing a Razzie award at them is the Hollywood equivalent of kicking them when they’re down.
Last month, it was revealed that Academy Award-nominated director Asghar Farhadi would probably not be able to attend this year’s ceremony due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. After careful consideration, Farhadi decided to skip the Oscars regardless of the circumstances, noting that any possible exception made for him would be accompanied by “ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable.” While people quickly arranged protest screenings of Farhadi’s The Salesman around the country, his circumstances served as a frightening preview of how even prominent artists from around the world could be treated until the new immigration guidelines.
It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I finally found time to catch Moonlight in theaters, so you’ll excuse me if the buzz around Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s film hasn’t quite worn off yet. Moonlight isn’t just a powerful story of one person’s struggle with his sexuality, it is also one of the most powerfully acted and beautifully shot films of the decade. In my professional opinion as a film critic, we should just throw awards at that movie until both filmmakers are forced to move into bigger houses just to store them all. That’s my professional opinion, mind you.
With everyone’s feeds full of horrible news stories these days, you’ve probably already forgotten about the video of alleged animal abuse on the set of A Dog’s Purpose. Back in January, TMZ shared leaked footage of animal handlers aggressively dragging their canine star into a tank of water. The clear signs of the dog’s panic caused an internet firestorm, with star Josh Gad distancing himself from the project and PETA calling for an immediate boycott of the film. A Dog’s Purpose still performed well enough in its opening weekend, but the scandal no doubt cost it ticket sales at the box office.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of CGI actors returned from the dead, you probably had to appreciate the ways that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards tried to bring the events of Star Wars: A New Hope more directly into his film. In several key sequences, Edwards was even able to feature unseen footage from the original 1977 film, causing fans to wonder where that new footage came from (and why they hadn’t seen it before). Are there entire archives of unseen footage that Lucasfilm has been hiding from fans for all these decades?
Al Gore is one of those people who gets me thinking about legacy. When Gore’s time on the earth comes to a close, how will he be remembered? As a solid vice president who lost one of the most hotly disputed elections of all time? Or as a champion of environmental conservationism? From the outside, it certainly appears that Gore is angling for the latter. Just this past weekend, it was announced by Paramount Pictures (via Variety) that Al Gore has been working on a sequel to his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth and that the film was set to be the opening night film at next year’s Sundance Film Festival.
File this one under ‘Least Surprising News Stories of the Day’: right on the heels of releasing the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony has announced the release date for Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, proving that no title is so awkward as to prevent Hollywood from slapping the number ‘2’ on it and calling it a day.
As times change, standards change, and we occasionally find ourselves bumping up against old traditions that need to retire. Even some of our most beloved childhood movies feature behavior and activities — smoking, strong language, casual misogyny — that went unnoticed and unappreciated by our older selves. Given the well-established health risks that smoking poses, one person recently took it upon himself to sue Hollywood in an attempt to get onscreen smoking banned. I’ll give a moment to guess who won.
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