When pals asked, “What was your favorite part of Rogue One?” and I responded, “The part at the end when they all died,” it sounded like a bitter joke. But it‘s true — the choice to take advantage of the film’s stand-alone nature by concluding with the cast’s noble, obliterating sacrifice was a bold and decisive storytelling choice that helped distinguish Gareth Evans’ film from the rest of the franchise. The characters meant more in death than they ever did while living, and the selflessness of their risky suicide mission attests to the power of the human spirit in wartime. But this was not always the game plan.
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.
It would appear that the likes of Deadpool and Logan, what with all their foul words and visible bloodletting and brief pegging interludes, have changed the game of superhero movies. It was once basic showbiz logic that a massively-budgeted capes-and-tights flick couldn‘t afford to go for the R rating and lose the portion of the audience that’d restrict. More minor one-off projects like Watchmen, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman could take that risk and repeatedly found that it paid off, but now mainstream heroes have adopted this more daring approach and met with attractive box-office receipts. And in keeping with their tried-and-true business strategy of doing everything Marvel does, but a year later, DC Films has no stated their intention to get into more mature material.
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.
The big headline from last night was Warren Beatty’s colossal goof during the Best Picture announcement, in which he erroneously named La La Land the winner of the coveted prize, only to be corrected not a minute later with the news that the award would actually go to Moonlight. It was a classic mix-up, a reminder of the high-wire instability of live television, and an instant entry for the Oscar history books. But there was a second, less glaring gaffe in the telecast, so subtle that it went by without most viewers noticing. But the Australian producer who watched herself declared dead in the In Memoriam segment certainly did.
I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of Get Out earlier this week, and hoo boy, that right there is one fine motion picture. Our beloved Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer made as much clear in his ringing endorsement from Sundance, but take it from me: very spooky, very funny, has something to say, insanely well-cast and even more well-acted. It’s an easy movie to love, and while the box-office receipts from this upcoming weekend will rule on whether audiences agree, the critics of America have already made their voices heard. And those voices are ringing out in perfect unison, a harmony sounding out as if from an angelic choir: “THIS MOVIE RULES.”
It is usually to humankind‘s advantage that the flame of hope is not easily extinguished. When the pursuit of a lofty ideal grows difficult, the unshakable bedrock of hope has provided the righteous with strength and fortitude. But hope can also be a heartbreaker, constantly teasing us with the faint chance of achieving an impossible dream. Up until today, fans were able to cling to the possibility of a third installment of Guillermo Del Toro‘s Hellboy franchise, however remote. But the director took to Twitter earlier today to deliver the sad news that we may now finally abandon hope — it ain’t happening.
[Taylor Swift voice] John Carpenter never goes out of style. The master filmmaker influenced a generation of movie nerds with his hyper-competent, crowd-pleasing genre pictures such as Halloween, The Thing, and They Live. His fingerprints are all over the modern horror canon, with his synths-and-neon aesthetic informing everything from Stranger Things to the widely under-appreciated The Guest. The latest film to kowtow to the Carpenter’s far-reaching legacy is The Void, a new chiller than many readily compared to The Thing when it debuted at Texas’ Fantastic Fest last fall. And with a new trailer available today, viewers can start to judge that for themselves.
While critics and fans alike roundly rejected the Star Wars trilogy of prequels, they agreed that at least one aspect of it was worthwhile: breakout crowd-pleaser Jar Jar Binks. The universally beloved Gungan earned a wide fanbase with his charming dialect made up of screeching and some sort of alien ebonics, and his constant cartoonish bumbling was a welcome reprieve from the series’ usual heroism and valor. Fans cried foul when Phantom Menace’s major supporting character was downgraded to tertiary status in Attack of the Clones and barely present for Revenge of the Sith, but today brings the welcome news that our sweet Jar Jar will get some much-deserved closure in an upcoming Star Wars novelization.
We‘ve still got months to go until Star Wars: The Last Jedi takes over cineplexes, but the people are hungry. By this time last year, we had already gotten our first teaser for Rogue One, and the barbarians are pounding on the gates demanding fresh material. Sure, Lucasfilm could placate their more rabid fans by pulling back the curtain on one of the new toy lines that will accompany the December release, but that’s thinking small, and Lucasfilm doesn’t do small. You want to see the new toys? Well tough tauntauns, because all you’re getting today is a look at the box they’re coming in. Here is that box:
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had its Big Bang in 2008, with Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr.’s debut as the incorrigible Tony Stark. In casting a charismatic leading man, feeding him some genuinely fresh one-liners, and stitching them together with a few impressive action setpieces, producer and MCU mastermind Kevin Feige had struck gold. He then went to work methodically stripping the mine clean, roping Chrises Evans and Hemsworth into multi-film contracts and watching as the billions rolled in. He devised a winning formula of easy screen-idol mass appeal and an eminently palatable house visual style to go along with it, a method still yielding massive success to this day. (Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3, and Spider-Man Who Even Knows What Number, coming to theaters in 2017!) And it all began with R.D.J. as an irresistible new breed of defender, the sort of guy you either want to be or be with. One year earlier, Marvel’s idea of a blockbuster superhero was Nicolas Cage as a flaming CGI skeleton clad in S&M biker gear.
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