For the past week, fans have been doing their best lawyer impressions and trying to figure out how movies like Venom and Spider-Man: Homecoming will connect in the broader Marvel universe. It wasn’t that long ago that Sony producer Amy Pascal hinted that Venom would be somewhat connected to the Spider-Man of the MCU, which confused the heck out of all of us and started the rumor mill working overtime on how Sony and Marvel’s properties might work together. Of course, as is always the case with the particularly juicy rumors, there was always the chance that someone misspoke.
Another weekend, another Weekend Box Office Report! While it won’t surprise you to find out that Michael Bay’s latest episode of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots won the weekend, the specifics of that win come with enough asterisks to make even Barry Bonds blush. It was a terrible weekend for Transformers: The Last Knight one on continent and a record-breaking opening on another, which just goes to show how confusing this whole box office thing can be at times. Here’s the projected numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
When you create a series of films as magical as the Pixar universe, you’re going to get your share of fans trying to puzzle your history out. That’s always been the case with movies like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. Since each movie often features easter eggs that hint at the interconnected nature of each film, people have gone to great lengths to try and understand the elements of the movies not explicitly stated onscreen. Take, for instance, this past week’s video about the tragic story of Andy’s father in Toy Story. According to the host , Woody actually belonged to Andy’s father, who sadly passed away from complications due to polio before the first film. The video caught the internet by storm and was widely circulated over the weekend by most major entertainment sites.
Does anyone else think that Dwayne Johnson’s blockbuster movies are starting to blur together a little bit? Given that Johnson tends to play variations of the same character — the tough-as-nails and compassionate ex-military whatever — while things blow up around him, what matters most is the type of thing that’s blowing up. Sometimes they’re cars (The Fate of the Furious), sometimes parts of California (San Andreas), and sometimes monsters (Rampage). Don’t worry, though, because Johnson will really show off his range with his next film: this time, it’s a building that blows up. Oscar, please!
Look, I’m no stranger to college acapella groups. When I was an undergraduate, a ragtag group of choir kids — myself most definitely included — organized the first men’s acapella group in the modern history of the university, and a quick Google search shows that the group is still alive and well to this day (no, I won’t tell you the name of the university or the name of the ensemble, so don’t bother asking). So am I pretty much as cool and influential as the Bellas in the Pitch Perfect movie series? Why, yes. I’d like to think so, yes.
Gather ’round, children, and let me tell you of the time before post-credits sequences. You see, in those days, we didn’t even know that a movie could continue after the words ‘The End’ flashed on the screen. Once a film was done, it was done, no more movie, and we’d have to have to find ways to entertain ourselves. We’d turn to the person next to us and strike up a con-ver-sation about the movie we just finished, or we’d quietly gather our belongings and head to the exit. But you know what we didn’t do? Watch more movie. Yessiree, we made our own fun back in those days. You kids have it soft.
When it comes to Hollywood pitches that practically greenlight themselves, “Apocalypse Now in space” has to be pretty high on the list. That’s the premise of Ad Astra, the next film by acclaimed writer-director James Gray (The Immigrant, The Lost City of Z). In February, news broke that Brad Pitt — who had served as a producer on Gray’s previous film — was looking to join the filmmaker for his science-fiction epic about a man who heads into space to pursue his missing father. And now it seems that Gray has found his film’s father figure (put your tiny haaaaand in mine), with Tommy Lee Jones recently signing on to play the vanished astrona
This is kind of a necessary evil of the film criticism industry: now that Edgar Wright has a new movie in theaters — Baby Driver is really fun! You should go see it! — it was only a matter of time before someone asked the director for clarification on his decision to leave Marvel’s Ant-Man. In hindsight, Wright was always something of an odd choice for a Marvel movie. A visionary and idiosyncratic filmmaker, Wright was probably always a bad meeting away from the fabled “creative differences” dissolution, and when he left the project in 2014, fans were upset but not exactly surprised. Therefore, someone was always going to ask Wright during a Baby Driver interview to explain his decision to leave the film.
Alright, I’m going to be completely honest: when I saw that Power Rangers director Dean Isrealite had commented on his film’s PG-13 rating, I thought we were in for another round of confusing comments about the need for R-rated summer movies. Given the worldwide success of Deadpool, we’ve seen plenty of studios succumb to the siren song of mature adaptations. Warner Bros. has openly pledged to make more R-rated DC animated movies. 20th Century Fox will reportedly push for an R-rating with its upcoming Venom cinematic universe. Even Marvel, the current lead dog of superhero films, has felt compelled to weigh in on the issue (spoiler alert: it’s not going to happen). So sure, why not add Power Rangers to the mix?
According to census estimates, there are currently 325.3 million people in the United States, which means there has to be dozens — maybe even hundreds! — of people who remain blissfully unaware that a new Spider-Man movie is hitting theaters this summer. The rest of us, however, have lived through the past several months of production rumors, trailers, teasers, teaser trailers, toy reveals, interviews, commercials, specials, features, articles, social advertising, news items, and just about any other form of audio or visual media that Marvel could commercially or organically slap a Spider-Man: Homecoming logo on. In fact, we’ve reached that point in the hype cycle where most fans are completely exhausted with marketing. Can’t we just start talking about the movie itself?
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