As a die-hard Stephen King fan, I have a theory: we need one or two filmmakers who truly understand his work to adapt all of his films. Take Frank Darabont. The writer-director has worked on three of King’s most successful adaptations - The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist - and seems to understand the world in King’s head better than any five other filmmakers put together. Given the current wave of ‘80s nostalgia, we’re likely to see more King books be adapted to film, and finding a cinematic King Whisperer would go a long way to avoiding middling adaptations like The Dark Tower.
Well, that’s one way to promote your upcoming home video releases! A few months ago, fans who sat all the way through to the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were treated to more than a handful of bonus scenes: they were also treated to “Guardians Inferno” by The Sneepers, a fictitious disco band that also included a guest appearance by noted German pop star David Hasselhoff. No bonus footage could hold a candle to the infectious disco pop of the song, and plenty of people - myself included - immediately went home and listened to the track on repeat. It’s everything we want the delightfully weird Marvel universe to be.
Decades after the release of the original Star Wars films, it’s a testament to the power of the franchise that we’re still capable of discovering new things about some of our favorite characters. Take Leia Organa, for example. Fans who have rooted for her based on the events the original three films have found a whole new reason to root for her as the leader of a Star Wars anti-terrorism unit, but now we’ve learned something new about her character: she’s also one of the most learned characters in the entire Star Wars universe, and has been for a very, very long time.
With two new releases and a third movie switching from a limited to a wide release, this was a weekend of big changes at the box office. Gone are familiar stalwarts like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, and in its place are (with respect) the also-rans of summer, a few genre-driven films looking to carve out a name for themselves in a time of year devoid of major blockbuster releases. Here are the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
With Warner Bros. sharing updates for so many of its DCEU films at this past month’s Comic-Con, you’d be forgiven for overlooking the in-production films that were absent from the presentations. Films like Chris McKay‘s Nightwing. Earlier this year, McKay explained that his Nightwing movie would serve as a kind of counter to the traditional Batman films - exploring what it’s like to come from nothing instead of a life of privilege - and fans who loved The LEGO Batman Movie were cautiously optimistic about a standalone Dick Grayson film. So it came as a bit of a surprise, then, when the DCEU executives remained silent on their latest project.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a major movie market like New York or Los Angeles, you may have plans this weekend to see Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River, the latest entry in Sheridan’s ouevre of neo-westerns like Sicario and Hell or High Water. Our own review of Wind River called the film impressive-looking - if not a little familiar - and a project that bodes well for the future of Sheridan as a filmmaker. And while Sheridan may be the master at the contemporary western, it appears the writer-director also has a more traditional take in mind, working on a project with Wind River star Jeremy Renner about America’s most infamous gunslinger.
Given the film’s box office success and surprising - albeit extremely preliminary - Oscar buzz, it’s probably fair to declare 2017 as the year of Wonder Woman. And all this Wonder Woman excitement has fans asking: after we see the character again in this fall’s Justice League, what’s next for the star of the DCEU? Will she jump forward to the modern world in Wonder Woman 2? Will we continue to see her adventures unfold throughout the 1900s? Or will Warner Bros. do something really wacky with her character, like, I dunno, make her the villain of another DCEU movie?
They say the flame that burns brightest also burns quickest, which might explain America’s short-lived fascination with Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci was a singular political figure: from his methodical recreation of Donald Trump hand gestures to his, ah, poorly conceived late night phone calls, Scaramucci was immediately the most colorful character in an administration that already featured a surplus of memorable individuals. So when Scaramucci was fired from his official position as White House spokesperson, there was a half-ironic sense of loss, a feeling that we’d only begun to scratch the surface of Mooch madness.
I probably don’t need to tell you that Baby Driver is a good movie; odds are you’ve seen it in theaters - maybe more than once - and might even own have a copy of the soundtrack downloaded on your phone. As good as Baby Driver The Movie might be, Baby Driver The Soundtrack is even better, with a ton of really great songs from artists as diverse as Simon & Garfunkel, Blur, and Martha and the Vandellas. And until now, one of the better production stories has been all the hard work Edgar Wright and company put into securing the rights for each of these tracks.
If you’d told me back in 2004 that James Wan, then-director of Saw, would become the architect of horror’s more important cinematic universe a decade later, I would’ve thrown my hands up in the air and declared the the end of the genre. So I’m as happy as anyone to see that Wan’s The Conjuring universe continues to impressive (and improve!) with each subsequent entry. Coming off the heels of The Conjuring 2, one of the better haunted house movies of the last couple of decades, Annabelle: Creation shows that the franchise shows no signs of slowing down… at least not until we’ve explored every item in the Warren’s Raiders of the Lost Ark-esque trophy room.
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