As a die-hard Stephen King fan, I have a theory: we need one or two filmmakers who truly understand his work to adapt all of his films. Take Frank Darabont. The writer-director has worked on three of King’s most successful adaptations - The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist - and seems to understand the world in King’s head better than any five other filmmakers put together. Given the current wave of ‘80s nostalgia, we’re likely to see more King books be adapted to film, and finding a cinematic King Whisperer would go a long way to avoiding middling adaptations like The Dark Tower.
Say what you will about Warner Bros., but they’ve always saved some of their best Justice League footage for Comic-Con. Last year we were treated to our first extended look at the DCEU entry; this year the studio has raised the stakes, giving us some actual footage of the Justice League villain in action. Oh, and this trailer also seems to emphasize the heck out of the world of Wonder Woman - including a scene set entirely in Themyscira - indicating that they know exactly who their most popular superhero is going forward. It’s probably not a coincidence that there’s more Gal Gadot in this trailer than anyone else.
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.
For years now, America has been struggling with the allegations that Bill Cosby — once a beloved television father and comedian — may have used his position in Hollywood to commit a series of violent sexual assaults. For those unfamiliar with the timeline involved in the Cosby case, I would encourage you to check out ABC’s detailed recap of everything that led up to this past month’s trial, including the civil cases brought against the actor-comedian and the Hannibal Burgess joke that is widely regarded as the instigating event in bringing these accusations to the public. And today, as noted by Deadline, a Norristown, PA jury has forced the judge to declare a mistrial in Andrea Costand’s case against Cosby.
Every major historical movie comes with a choice. Do you go seek the true story behind the film’s events in an attempt to be well-read prior to its release? Or do you embrace your ignorance — albeit temporarily — in order to ensure the sanctity of the cinematic experience? It isn’t difficult to find in-depth literature about the film; Wayne State University Press recently re-released The Detroit Riot of 1967, a first-hand account by the former aide to the Detroit police commissioner who now serves as the Dean of Public Affairs at the University of Michigan. In many ways, Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit seems to be setting a historical precedent for the abuse of power stories we see in every city across America.
Since 2003, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher has been a divisive source of comedy and political commentary. If you believe the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then the last few years have been particularly kind to the series; Maher has come under attack for his comments on an Ann Coulter protest at the University of California at Berkeley or his decision to give alt-right poster child Milo Yiannopoulos the chance to spread his message of intolerance to the masses. And while Maher has survived and even thrived at the center of controversy, his recent use of a racial slur on the show may be the final straw for even his most ardent supporters.
One of the hot rumors leading up to this past year’s Star Wars Celebration was that Lucasfilm would announce a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi film. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story surpassing even the most optimistic expectations — and the casting of Han Solo dominating the news cycle for months on end — the continuing adventures of Obi-Wan seemed like a no-brainer for the studio. So fans were a little bummed when neither the announcement nor Ewan McGregor were present that weekend. Had something change since the last time McGregor said he’d be interested in the role?
With the recent announcement that Transformers: The Last Knight would be hitting theaters two days earlier — moving from Friday, June 23 to Wednesday, June 21 — fans are closer than ever to seeing their favorite Autobots (and humans) throw down against a reluctantly evil Optimus Prime. This is the summer of heel turns by beloved franchise characters; first we saw Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto betray his family in The Fate of the Furious, and now we’re counting down the days until Optimus Prime stabs Bumblebee in the face. Rough summer for heroes, it would seem.
I’m not sure why, but I’m really excited for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a supporting class that includes Eric Bana and Jude Law leveling up his Young Pope to a Young Evil Sorcerer. Maybe it’s because the last few trailers featured music by Led Zeppelin and I really enjoyed the synergy of folk-inspired rock with the film. Or maybe it’s just because there’s something endearing about Ritchie’s fight aesthetic, one that seems about ten years out of date (or whenever it was the last Matrix movie hit theaters).
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.
Listen. I love Batman as much as the next guy. Like many high school nerds with a chip on their shoulder, I argued passionately that the darkest Batman stories were his true self, not the goofy camp of the 1960s Adam West series. That being said, is anyone in worse need of a little levity than the Dark Knight? Batman’s gloomy personality finally reached a tipping point with Zack Snyder’s gun-happy take on the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As Jack Nicholson’s Joker said in the 1989 film, this town needs an enema.
Sometimes a movie comes along and gives you something you didn’t even know you wanted. Take The Belko Experiment. I’ve seen movies like Battle Royale and even the fun-in-theory, bad-in-execution Operation: Endgame, but it wasn’t until I first saw the first red band trailer for James Gunn’s upcoming film that I realized exactly what I’d been missing. Those movies delivered on fun fight sequences and gratuitous violence, but they lacked the return of a creeper, sleazy, Ghost-era Tony Goldwyn. Not any more.
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