Someday, someone smarter than me — or at least better than me in Photoshop — will create a visual scale of the various Justice League posters, trailers, and images released over the past two years. This scale would also include key moments in the evolution of the DC Cinematic Universe, including the triumphant release of Wonder Woman earlier this year and the announcement that Joss Whedon would be taking over for Zack Snyder in post-production on the film. My guess? This progression of photos will show a clear and marked lightening of the Justice League images, serving as a nice parallel to the shifting conversation around the property itself.
If you know one thing about Blumhouse Productions boss Jason Blum, it’s that the man knows how to finance excellent horror movies. From Hush to Split to Get Out, Blumhouse has built a reputation as a destination for talented low-budget genre filmmakers, and the success of this past year — and the studio’s upcoming Halloween sequel — should only vault the studio to new heights. Part of what makes this formula work is the studio’s dedication to artistic freedom: while Blum is notorious for his rigid approach to production costs, as long as you are able to deliver under-budget, you’ll be given a chance to make something with your stamp on it.
Quick, what’s the most important element to the enduring success of the Star Wars universe? Jedi? Good guess, but nope. Stormtroopers? Close, but still no. Give up? For my money, the success of the Star Wars universe is owed to the endless supply of talented and high-profile European actors who are willing to add gravitas to the cartoonish aims of the Empire and the First Order. To quote comedian Eddie Izzard, the Death Star is teeming with ‘British actors opening doors,’ and that’s part of what makes the entire thing seem way more substantial and lived-in than it really is.
One of the best things about living in a golden age of horror films is that incredible movies can come from the most unexpected of places. Any studio (large or small), any talented filmmaker or performer can suddenly drop one of the best horror movies of the year; that was certainly the case with Creep, Mark Duplass’ 2015 twist on the found footage subgenre of horror films. Duplass, known as a talented no-budget filmmaker in his own right, created a memorable horror icon for next to nothing, and fans have been anxiously awaiting the sequel since it was first announced.
If you think about it, it’s kind of surprising that Tom Hiddleston is still sticking around the Marvel universe. Marvel has rarely brought back a villain for multiple movies; with the exception of Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier, Loki is a unique character within the Marvel universe. Of course, that shouldn’t be read as a criticism; even before characters like Spider-Man and Ant-Man were being brought to the big screen, it was Hiddleston’s god of mischief who brought charm and humor to the MCU. Any self-respecting Marvel fan will be happy to have him back.
It feels like we’ve been watching the same six or seven movies shift places on the charts for weeks now, which makes what happened this weekend such a breath of fresh air. With four new releases all cracking the charts, we’ve at least got a little bit of variety in the titles we’ll be discussing, and no The Emoji Movie near the list. I’ll put that down as a win in my book any day of the week. Here’s the estimated box office grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
Every year, Hollywood releases a movie that sparks up so much pre-release controversy that I find myself discouraged from ever seeing it in theaters. For example, I still have yet to see La La Land, the 2016 Best Picture runner-up, owing mostly to the ugly back-and-forth I saw regarding the movie. This year’s contender for that slot? mother!, the brilliant or terrible or visionary or derivative thriller by brilliant or terrible or visionary or derivative filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (depending on who you ask). Like La La Land, I know I’ll see the movie eventually, I just need some of the shouting to die down a little before I give it a chance.
It’s hard to imagine Hollywood without Steven Spielberg. Spielberg’s career as a filmmaker serves as a perfect parallel for contemporary film history. From his humble beginnings outside the collection of University of Southern California wunderkinds to his commercial dominance at the multiplex, Spielberg did more than just make movies that wowed millions of people around the world: he also disrupted an entire industry, changing the way Hollywood approached filmmaking and establishing the format for blockbuster films that persists to this day.
It’s getting progressively more difficult to find anything of value to say when Ron Howard teases more behind-the-scenes photos from the Han Solo set. On the one hand, we get it, Opie, you’re deeply immersed in the Star Wars universe and doing all kinds of cool [expletive] and we’re not. On the other hand, though, we’ve reached a point where our collective interest in little tidbits is starting to wane. Let me put it to you like this: I love a good tapas restaurant as much as the next guy, right? But sometimes you just want the full three-course meal.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably gotten a little confused about the various Godzilla adaptations currently underway in Hollywood, so let’s take a moment to clear that up. First there’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film. You have Godzilla: Monster Planet, the animated series heading to Netflix later this year. You have the in-development sequel to Japanese franchise reboot Shin Godzilla, which technically cannot begin production until 2020. And you have Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which will bring the two major monster franchises together.
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