I’m not sure why, but I’m really excited for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a supporting class that includes Eric Bana and Jude Law leveling up his Young Pope to a Young Evil Sorcerer. Maybe it’s because the last few trailers featured music by Led Zeppelin and I really enjoyed the synergy of folk-inspired rock with the film. Or maybe it’s just because there’s something endearing about Ritchie’s fight aesthetic, one that seems about ten years out of date (or whenever it was the last Matrix movie hit theaters).
You know how culture critics sometimes say you should stop being surprised when diverse films do well at the box office? They may be right, but even the most optimistic pundit probably couldn’t have seen this weekend coming
With Peyton Reed serving as a fine replacement for Edgar Wright on Ant-Man, fans are curious to see what the Marvel director can do with next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. Despite the smaller (get it?) stakes of the first film, it’s worth noting that the sequel will be the first Marvel move to have a female co-star named in the title. That’s both exciting and disappointing for fans, especially those who wonder why Scarlett Johansson still hasn’t been given her own le Carré-esque superhero spy story. Will Ant-Man and the Wasp live up to its promise, or will it be another supporting role for a female superhero?
Despite being supported by a blindingly charismatic cast and some of the best action directors in the business, Paramount’s Star Trek franchise has somewhat been an exercise in diminishing returns after 2009’s big screen reboot. Last year’s Star Trek Beyond may have captured some of the fun of a standalone episode of the series, but it was a surprising disappointment with audiences: the film’s $158 million gross was nearly $100 million less than the first entry in the series and failed to break even on the studios $185 million investment. Those are the kind of numbers that make a studio think long and hard about investing in a sequel.
It’s been nearly eight years since James Cameron’s Avatar took the global box office by storm, and while it’s become très chic for some corners of the internet to endlessly bash Avatar, I still maintain my stubborn affection for Cameron’s movie. Very few filmmakers can create action-driven science-fiction that operates at Cameron’s level; just look at how many times people have messed up Cameron’s Terminator franchise, a near-flawless formula for blockbuster movies that studios have nevertheless run directly into the ground. We may laugh at Cameron’s planned sequels, but they are both original (technically!) and creator-driven movies. Isn’t that what we claim to want from Hollywood?
Audiences don’t turn their back on family. That’s the lesson to be learned from this past weekend, anyways, when The Fate of the Furious proved that this is one franchise showing no signs of slowing down. It was never a question of whether The Fate of the Furious would take the top spot this weekend, but even the most optimistic of projections couldn’t have expected the global domination that this movie undertook. Here’s the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
Here’s a story you might’ve missed this past week. With the Fast and the Furious franchise under his belt, we’ve sorta learned to take Dwayne Johnson’s star power for granted. After all, Johnson was the highest grossing male box office star of 2016, suggesting that all you need is a half-decent fight choreographer and Johnson to gross $100 million at the box office. That being said, there was a time not so long ago when Johnson could still go after major Hollywood roles and lose out to more established actors. One such movie was Jack Reacher, which was a role the actor revealed he lost to Tom Cruise.
One of the most debated plots points of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been the lineage of Daisy Ridley’s Rey. Could she be the daughter of Luke Skywalker? The daughter of Obi-One Kenobi? The daughter of… actually, come to think of it, those are the only two human Force-users we’ve met since the original Star Wars movie, so it’s either a very familiar face or someone totally out of the blue. Regardless, fans have now spent two years not knowing something about their favorite character, and that’s a long, long time for knowledge to be withheld in 2017. They’re ready for answers.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi dominating today’s conversations on social media, you might’ve forgotten that there are actually other movies being released in 2017. There are many! In fact, some of them are even being released by the same studio! One such film — the little-known Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 — braved the onslaught of Star Wars talk to release a brand new clip last night, setting the stage for future films in the franchise (and turning one late night sidekick into a movie star in the process). While the attached video shows the full segment, I’ve queued it up the relevant part.
Here’s a little bit of free relationship advice for you: find someone who loves you like David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson love playing Mulder and Scully. It’s been more than two decades — two decades! — since both actors debuted their iconic characters on Fox’s The X-Files, and even after nine seasons, a movie, another movie, and a sorta-miniseries, neither one shows any signs of slowing down. In an era where audiences seem to demand that actors love their characters as much as we do, there’s something refreshing about two performers who come by such affection naturally. Anderson in particular is a powerhouse star of stage and screen, but get her talking about Dana Scully and she’s just as passionate as any of us.
It must be nice to be Luc Besson. The French filmmaker has been pretty successful by whipping together a half-baked story idea and giving someone else a little bit of money to turn it into a movie. Sometimes, these result in delightfully goofy pieces of pulp; lawsuit or no, I dare anyone to deny that Lockout is anything other than the perfect blend of camp and B-grade action. More often, though, Besson’s efforts are the cinematic equivalent of candy corn, something that always sounds good in theory but often makes you sick as you go along.
What came first, the raunchy beach comedy or the Baywatch movie adaptation? Hollywood seems to have discovered in recent years that it can take an existing license — typically one associated with a semi-popular television series — and give it new life as a profane comedy for adults. Sure, there are probably a handful of Baywatch purists out there who have watched the sophomoric humor in the trailers with horror, but for everyone else? A vague recollection of the Baywatch brand and an appetite for 21 Jump Street-esque humor is all they need to be enticed.
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