Writing about the latest developments in movie-centric news isn’t a bad job, by any means — I could be mining ore and plucking chickens like my Eastern European forefathers — but some days still make you wanna sharpen up your morning coffee with something a little stronger. The recent trend of movie studios airing brief mini-trailers to tease the release of upcoming slightly-longer trailers numbers among my least favorite developments in online buzz-cultivating, and leave it to Zack Snyder and the DC cinematic universe to take that to the next level. Running a trailer for the trailer is some weak-ass bull, the sort of thing those nerds at Marvel would do — this is DC, baby, where they run five trailers for the trailer.
One of last year’s finest films, and certainly the most challenging documentary, was Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine. The concept was ingenious: the film tracks actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to portray the late newswoman Christine Chubbuck and tease out what factors could have compelled a woman to shoot herself in the head on live television. It was a beguiling interrogation of authenticity and artifice, tracing the limits of performance as a means to locate truth, and now the world of documentary film has begun to follow Greene’s groundbreaking example. The new trailer for Casting JonBenet offers a glimpse at a film using Greene’s methods, and applying them to an equally disturbing footnote in history.
Have we all safely made it through the headline above? No, you’re not having a stroke, those words are all in the correct order. (Unless part of your face is sagging and your speech isn’t making sense, in which case please stop reading mildly amusing entertainment news posts and contact a medical emergency service immediately.) Depending on how closely you’ve been following this project, the most shocking/perplexing/frightening part could be that Bradley Cooper will make his first foray into feature directing with a remake of the classic showbiz saga A Star Is Born, or maybe the fact that professional weirdo Lady Gaga will presumably assume human form to take the starring role. But those up-to-date on the development of this production will express the most surprise and bafflement over the breaking news that none other than Andrew Dice Clay — the Diceman, the Diceman, twice-as-nice-man — has entered the mix.
Marvel’s breakout hit Guardians of the Galaxy is all about teamwork, and putting aside a group’s differences in order to achieve something great. It would appear that the cast has taken this same philosophy to heart when promoting the film, as the latest push for viral buzz has embodied the one-for-all, all-for-one camaraderie that made the original film such a likable presence at cineplexes. Much like the assorted aliens converging from far-flung planets to battle the force of evil, the assorted stars of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have converged from far-flung social media platforms to battle the forces of underexposure.
Mildred Hayes has had it. It’s been weeks since her daughter was brutally raped and murdered, and the local police force in Ebbing, Missouri don’t have a single perp to show for all their efforts. Feeling disrespected and unheard, Mildred does the only thing an ordinary citizen at the end of their rope can do: she clarifies which cursewords you can put on a billboard and puts a message right where area sheriff Willoughby will see it. Them’s fightin’ words on her billboards, reading “RAPED WHILE DYING. STILL NO ARRESTS. HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?” And in the newly released red-band trailer begins a long, farcical, spiteful conflict between one-woman army MIldred and the local cops.
Today, Hollywood continued its mission to take every thinkable approach to the superhero genre with the arrival of what has felt like an inevitability for some time now. We’ve moved into superhero comedy, superhero Westerns, and whatever Doctor Strange was — the final frontier for big studio tentpoles is... a genre that will make you see the phrase “big studio tentpoles” in an entirely new light.
Almost exactly a year ago, tech entrepreneur Sean Parker (better known as the guy who correctly identified a billion dollars as cooler than a million dollars in The Social Network) fronted a proposed business venture called The Screening Room, a potentially game-changing set-top box through which Hollywood studios would offer their biggest new releases to stream at home the same day they premiered in brick-and-mortar theaters. (With an astronomical price tag, naturally.) Though it gained some traction and support from significant voices in the film community, it ultimately sputtered and spun out. But with the rebirth of spring, so comes a rebirth for this impractical, frightening, cineplex-annihilating idea. (Kinda.)
It’s weird — with every new trailer, the upcoming big-screen reboot of beloved ‘90s TV series Baywatch appears to get a little bit better. The first trailer promised a lightly amusing clone of the smart-alecky 21 Jump Street reboot, the second trailer advertised a competently-produced action tentpole with a healthy sprinkling of meta humor, and now, the so-called “official” trailer (does that make the first two unofficial?) teases what appears to be a sincerely funny comedy. At the very least, whoever cut this thing made it abundantly clear that stars Zac Efron and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson have more chemistry than an eighth-grade science class.
There’s no arguing that superheroes currently own the cineplex, but in a slight change of pace, one of this upcoming summer’s cape-clad defenders won’t hail from the pages of Marvel or DC. Kids (and nostalgia fetishists in their mid-to-late twenties) will get a colorful crimefighter of a different stripe with Captain Underpants, the computer-animated adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s long-running line of sophomoric chapter books about a delusional elementary school principal’s adventures in doo-doo derring-do. The first trailer hit the internet today, and if you were wondering if it contains the same Steve Aoki club banger as the War Dogs trailer, then have I got some good news for you!
The hyper-competent likes of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot have their place, but when it comes to detectives, I prefer the bumblers — your Clouseaus, your Columbos, your Ace Venturas. Whether inadvertently stepping on clues or grilling perps in farcical interrogation sessions, sleuth stories come bursting wth potential for humor, and it looks like Jeff Garlin will be the latest actor to follow the zig-zagging footsteps of the goofy gumshoes that came before. Today brings the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming mystery movie Handsome, and with it, our first look at Garlin’s accident-prone (and well-named) LAPD homicide investigator Gene Handsome.
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