You know those rare moments when everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the same thing? Sports, politics, entertainment, whatever… those are the moments that make social media both a blessing and a curse. Take, for instance, a talented (if not slightly unknown) actress named Jodie Whittaker. If you were to go to Google Trends right now and look up her name, you’d see a sudden spike in searches, indicating that everyone everywhere is suddenly obsessed with learning more about her career. Why on earth could that be?
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!
Here’s a quick question for you, who is the most important actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We all know who the highest-paid actor is — that would be Robert Downey Jr. — but is he still the most important actor in the franchise as well? Has Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth surpassed him? How about one of the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy or a newcomer like Tom Holland? Is anyone in the MCU so irreplaceable that Marvel couldn’t introduce another version of their character? It’s a very interesting question, and one that the studio and actors are no-doubt struggling with internally.
Let me make this perfectly clear: I’m less of a Top Gun fan and more of a fan of putting Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in more blockbuster movies, but the end result is pretty much the same: I am ready for a little Top Gun 2 action. The long-rumored film — or perhaps just long-desired film — was finally confirmed by Cruise earlier this year, and now Paramount Pictures is cranking up the movie-making machine to deliver on the promise of more midair dogfights and subtle homoeroticism. With Cruise back, and Kilmer hopefully soon to follow, this could be the perfect throwback to the heydays of studio filmmaking of the late ’80s and early ’90s.
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.
If we’re lucky, a few times each year we’ll be treated to a $100 million blockbuster that manages to wow critics and audiences alike. This was the case with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which managed to pull in both a 90% on RottenTomatoes — normal caveats about RottenTomatoes aside — and grossed over $700 million at the global box office. When Hollywood finds just the right balance of magic and money, we catch a glimpse at the potential of the right filmmaker with a ton of money at his or her disposal. It’s what has so many fans excited for War for the Planet of the Apes. Can Matt Reeves and 20th Century Fox team up for a second incredible blockbuster movie?
It’s been a few years since Charlie Sheen has appeared in a feature film of any type, but to hear the actor say it, he’s already lined up his big comeback project. For a while now, Sheen has been talking up the possibility of a Major League sequel that brings back the cast and crew of the original film. And now it sounds like the actor has put in the work and might be closer than ever to getting that film made with a bunch of familiar faces.
There was a time not so long ago when Memorial Day weekend was a big deal for Hollywood, but this weekend felt more like a bunch of under-performers gathering together and learning very little about life. Call it the anti-Breakfast Club, if you will. This certainly isn’t what Hollywood had in mind for most of the franchises, and while Johnny Depp’s latest pirate movie did OK, OK seems to be the operative word of the summer if you’re not a movie about superheroes or literate villagers. Here’s the weekend gross through Sunday afternoon:
So this probably isn’t the way IFC Films wanted this conversation to go. Earlier this week, the studio released the above first trailer for Band Aid, a new comedy starring Adam Pally, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Fred Armisen about a struggling couple who start a band to work through some of their anger at each other. It’s a perfectly fine trailer; Pally and Lister-Jones seem to have a lot of chemistry, Armisen is sufficiently wacky, and the whole thing suggest a light indie for those tired of superheroes come June.
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.
It’s amazing how much difference a song makes. We’ve been treated to several teasers for Guy Ritchie’s upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie, and to this point, I would have described them all as just OK. Ritchie’s particular brand of historical fiction and modern action aesthetics — including his signature fast-slow-fast brand of fight choreography — is something I’ve gone back and forth on a little bit in the last few years. I’m not a big fan of Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies, but I did rather enjoy The Man From U.N.C.L.E., meaning King Arthur was kind of a net zero in my book.
Remember those few days last August where Tom Cruise’s salary negotiations had shut down production on Mission: Impossible 6? For a moment there, it looked as though one of the best action movie franchises on the planet had finally shut down. No more age-defying stunts from AARP member Cruise; no more innovative action sequences from unexpected movie directors. When things were finally smoothed over between star and studio in September, I’m not ashamed to admit I breathed an audible sigh of relie
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