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
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an international smash hit, it wasn’t devoid of criticism. Some people felt that the film veered a little close to the storyline of the original Star Wars film; others felt that the family friendly action didn’t quite line up with the darker tone they expected from movies like The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith. So to those fans, I offer you the above deleted scene (via i09) where Chewbacca rips out the arm of Unkar Plutt. It may be another throwback to the original movies, but at least it’s one with a little bit of bite.
Raise your hand if you get bored and try out different accents. This is a habit I picked up as a kid that continues to this day. After watching the first season of Justified, for example, the rural Kentucky accent wormed its way so deeply into my brain that I had a hard time turning it off. As a result, one of my favorite videos of 2016 was this Wired piece where a dialogue coach weighed in on 32 different performances. It really highlights the amount of detail that goes into every single sentence an actor delivers.
Over the past few years, there has been a small but noticeable attempt to rehabilitate the image of the Star Wars prequels in popular culture. Last November, for example, the A.V. Club published an article on why the Star Wars prequels don’t deserve our hatred. Similar pieces have been published in The Mary Sue, USA Today, and many other websites and online publications. It just goes to show that there is a lid for every pot, no matter how misshapen that pot may be.
Between the epic run of Game of Thrones and the impressive first season of Westworld, odds are good that you’re currently rocking an annual subscription to HBO or HBOGo. Few networks are still in the business of appointment television, but with social media sites like Twitter exploding into a flurry of spoilers after each new episode of both shows, fans are finding that their only real options are to watch on time or to not watch at all. In fact, we can sometimes get so caught up in the flurry of long-form television that we forget that HBO has some pretty darn good movies, too.
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