When a Hollywood studio decides to make a sequel to a much-beloved classic decades after its initial release, the overwhelming response is usually skepticism. It’s a testament to the incredible cast that Disney has assembled for Mary Poppins Returns, then, that most of the buzz around the film has been overwhelming excitement. From Emily Blunt’s Julie Andrews doppelgänger to Lin Manuel-Miranda’s chimney sweep - pretty much the part he was born to play, right? - Mary Poppins Returns is the exception that proves the rule, an unnecessary sequel that nevertheless melts away all skepticism.
Sometimes I feel like we don’t appreciate Mark Hamill enough. Oh, sure, we trot him out for any Star Wars or Batman events and allow him to shoot off bemused one-liners about his place in nerd culture, but that’s only part of what makes his celebrity so fascinating. Hamill has spent the past 40+ years hearing about a series of movies he made at the beginning of his career, and somehow, he has avoided becoming either jaded or entitled about his celebrity. When you ask Hamill to talk about Luke Skywalker, he comes across as both blunt and self-effacing without ever doing a discredit to the character or his importance to many. Something tells me that isn’t as easy as he makes it look.
What happens when Disney throws a party for itself and everyone is invited? The answer is D23, this weekend’s trade show-slash-Disney party with new teasers, news, and footage from the company’s expanding lineup of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar properties. We’ve already seen a few updates on Wreck-It Ralph 2 and The Incredibles 2, but for the sequel-phobic among you, there was also a pretty high-profile announcement of Pixar’s upcoming original feature.
With one of the most-viewed trailers of all time, it appears that Andres Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It is set to be the rare crossover hit in the horror genre. Fans who haven’t even read one of King’s books are excited to see a group of lovable losers take on Derry’s most infamous - and inhuman - killer. Those familiar with the original novel and television miniseries are also curious: how will Muschietti’s film work without the dual storytelling between past and present? What does It look like when filtered through a modern sensibility?
If we’re lucky, every few years we’re treated to a will-they-or-won’t-they love story that sparks our imagination and warms our hearts. Ross and Rachel from Friends. Jim and Pam from The Office. Daniel and Barbara from Bond 25. Yes, these are classic, iconic love stories, where two people who are destined to be together must nevertheless fight through a series of unfortunate events before going public with their mutual love and affection. Which is all a complicated and jokey way of saying, c’mon, Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli, we know y’all are going to make Bond 25 happen, so just do it already!
Did any new releases come out this weekend? I honestly can’t remember. Someone mentioned that there was a new Marvel movie in theaters - one featuring some sort of Spider-Person - but that can’t be right. I feel like I would’ve seen that, perhaps promoted on an unprecedented level for any superhero movie? Hmm. Well, anyways, here’s the weekend box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
One of my favorite things about the Fast and the Furious franchise is how it seems to have supplanted the James Bond series as the premiere summer destination for globe-trotting adventures. High-tech gadgets, mysterious government agencies, and gratuitous explosions abound; just around the time that Daniel Craig’s Bond franchise was becoming unbearably grim, Vin Diesel’s Fast and the Furious franchise leaned into its retro Bond vibe, undoubtedly aided by a cohesion at the production level. With Diesel serving as series architect, Chris Morgan writing each movie, and Justin Lin the steady hand behind the camera, the movies promised and delivered some high-caliber action.
While we still don’t know much about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - the newly rechristened sequel to Colin Trevorrow’s runaway success Jurassic World - there are a few things we can say for sure. For one, Jeff Goldblum is back in the franchise and will definitely be reprising his Ian Malcolm character from the original movie. For two, the movie will have an ‘epic’ submarine sequence that is intended to rival anything in The Fate of the Furious. For three, the film will also bring back ‘Rexy,’ the giant T-Rex that proves that she, not the Indominus Rex, is the true alpha of the Jurassic World kingdom.
While the unholy war between DC and Marvel movies continues unabated on the internet, fans of the former certainly seem to have a leg up when it comes to animated movies. DC Animation, the animated branch of their comic book empire, has confidently been churning out high-quality animated movies while the movie franchise is discussed ad naseum, leading some fans to suggest that DC Animation, not DC Films, is the true powerhouse of the comic book company’s film market. DC Animation is so prolific - and often so much fun - that we even tackled a comprehensive ranking of all the movies released through 2016. Spoiler alert: Batman: Year One is still the best.
The next time you scroll through the Netflix menu and skip over an Adam Sandler comedy, just know that you’re not exactly in the majority there. You’ll probably remember Netflix’s numbers from earlier this year suggesting that their viewers have spent more than 500 million hours watching Sandler comedies, meaning that the average user has watched 2.86 of his movies on Netflix alone. We can argue about the merits of Sandler as a filmmaker or Netflix as a distribution model, but when it comes the marriage of Sandler and Netflix, the results are hard to deny. There’s oil in them-there sophomoric jokes.
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