Ahh, summer camp: any kid who was shipped off for six-to-eight weeks of rigidly scheduled fun holds the memories near and dear. There’s something sweetly all-American about the mess hall meals, late-night gabfests, the smooches stolen after s’more-and-singalong campfires. And who better to desecrate all that is wholesome than the one and only John Waters, that baron of bad taste?
Never lacking in ambition (at least when it comes to the expanding frontiers of branding and marketing), Marvel boldly announced back in 2015 that the third film in the Avengers series would be unlike those that came before it. At the time of the project’s initial reveal, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige clarified his plans to split Avengers: Infinity War into two parts that would be released independent of one another. This was cause for great excitement, as moviegoers love nothing more than to shell out for two separate tickets just for the privilege of waiting up to a year to see the conclusion of a self-contained story. Incredibly, however, Feige backpedaled on that can’t-fail proposition shortly thereafter, amending their plans to separate Avengers 3 1 and Avengers 3 2 into the simpler Avengers 3 and Avengers 4.
Much online e-ink has been e-spilled over the question of which actor will take up the mantle of international superspy James Bond for the 25th installment of the perennial franchise. Will incumbent star Daniel Craig return for another go-round as 007, or will he be replaced by the likes of new challengers Tom Hiddleston, Dan Stevens, Emily Blunt, or Idris Elba? Who knows (not us), but as the mission to secure a star has been playing out, another big change-up has unfolded largely in the background.
Once and future Robin actor Chris O’Donnell made an appearance on Conan O’Brien last night to promote his current TV home NCIS: Los Angeles. Among the friendly chatter, the fiery-haired talk show host grilled a visibly uncomfortable O’Donnell about one of his more surreal experiences on a film set during the ’90s. See, one of O’Donnell’s first major roles came on the well-respected drama Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino, where they had to deal with a unlikely prima donna guest star. Donald Trump’s acting career has taken him through the Home Alone franchise and beyond, but this credit in particular eluded him.
Ryan Reynolds’ action vehicle Deadpool was something of a game-changer, singlehandedly proving that superhero movies could work blue and make a metric buttload of money doing it, too. But of course the single greatest revelation of the film was character actress Leslie Uggams in her scene-stealing role as Deadpool’s foulmouthed, ill-tempered roommate Blind Al. Having first rose to prominence during the ’70s and ’80s with a clutch role on Roots and award-winning turns on Broadway, Uggams saw a little spike in her public profile when she popped up as the unsighted, eminently quotable Blind Al. (Around that same time, she scored a clutch supporting role on Empire as well.) And now, new developments indicate that there‘s more Uggams where that came from.
Last summer, a spat allegedly broke out between Fast and Furious franchise megastars Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson while shooting the latest installment The Fate of the Furious. There were rumors of unprofessionalism on set, Johnson threw around the term “candy-ass” pretty liberally, it was a hoot for all involved. But it did cast some doubt on Johnson’s future with the series; there was no telling whether the performer could be persuaded to return for another collaboration with a guy he seemingly couldn’t stand. But a new revelation today (well, new for all of you — Johnson and I are well-documented besties and have been Gchatting about this all week) clarifies the fate of this furious man.
The great American music festival is the new hot guerrilla filming site. First, Terrence Malick hit up Austin City Limits with Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, and Michael Fassbender for his dreamy music-centric romance Song to Song. Now, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have put the attendees of Coachella on notice: their dream of momentarily sharing the silver screen with the world-straddling pop star/career weirdo is finally coming true.
Audiences who stuck around after the end credits of newly released cinematic demolition derby The Fate of the Furious were disappointed to learn that there would be no bonus stinger scene, as has been customary in past installments of the franchise. (In addition to the pre-existing disappointment resulting from learning that Charlize Theron’s character is named Cipher.) It’s atypical for the series to refrain from teasing its next ride, and many fans are wondering what gives. Wonder no longer! Vin Diesel, as fate would have it, is reportedly to blame.
Everyone knows Salma Hayek as a celebrated performer, self-starting producer, one-time 30 Rock guest star, former model, and all-around sex symbol. But the upcoming cringe comedy Beatriz at Dinner will deal her the greatest acting challenge of her career, and possibly change all that in the process. She’s played glamour girls, Frida Kahlo, a physical manifestation of creative inspiration, and now she’ll go harder against type than ever by portraying a normal-looking person. As the title character, decked out with mom jeans and a dowdy haircut, she’ll have to convince audiences that Salma Hayek could be treated like some Plain Jane by people who don’t give her a second glance. It is what we in the business call a “hard sell.”
It’s pretty unilaterally agreed that Charles Manson was a bad egg. As the leader of the hippie cult known as The Family, he terrorized Southern California with a killing spree that claimed seven lives, including that of actress and Roman Polanski spouse Sharon Tate. He was sentenced to nine consecutive lifetime sentences in prison, where he continues to hang out today. Pop culture has made no bones about its continuing fascination with this charismatic, repulsive figure and a new project will soon provide a fresh perspective on the real-life villain — with another villain along for the ride.
Fambly. Chances are you just read that word in the gravel-voiced growl of babyfaced colossus Vin Diesel, the star of the Fast and Furious franchise that turned those two syllables into a catchphrase, and then into a way of life. In no small way, Diesel is the series, and not just because his name makes him sound like he’s already a character in one of these movies. As noble-hearted car jacker Dom Toretto, he helped shape the tone, themes, and overall outlook of all films fast and furious. But he was this close to missing it all, and going through life primarily identified as “the guy in the xXx movies I always tell my wife I was trying to Google.”
Dito Montiel needs a win right now. The noted indie writer/director was the object of some ridicule (from me) when it came out that his latest feature, the Shia LaBeouf-led war picture Man Down, attracted exactly three viewers in all of Britain. The movie didn’t fare so well stateside either, and Montiel’s previous effort Boulevard got lost in the shuffle when star Robin Williams abruptly died prior to release. Montiel’s coming returning in grand fashion this month with a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival for his latest film The Clapper, an adaptation of the novel he wrote in 2007 titled Eddie Krumble Is the Clapper. And with a new clip surfacing online today, we can make our own judgement on whether Montiel has cause for hope or if he should hedge some of those bets.
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