Most cinephiles have heard that old Gene Siskel chestnut about a movie needing to be more interesting than a dinner table conversation between its stars. I would like to add the following qualifier to that adage: any Tom Cruise movie should be more interesting than a behind-the-scenes interview on Cruise performing some of the film’s biggest stunts. Cruise’s attention to detail for action sequences is legendary, and while I may not have enjoyed The Mummy, I’ve honestly had a blast watching Cruise talk about the filmmaking process in every video that Universal Pictures has released.
Whether you are someone who loved or hated Jurassic World when it first hit theaters, there’s probably something we can all agree on: the movie needed itself some Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm — mathematician-turned-dinosaur-expert-turned-intellectual-action-hero — is one of the standouts of both the original Jurassic Park film and its sequel, and the news that Goldblum would be returning for Colin Trevorrow’s sequel was a welcome one. Goldblum may not have been enough to save Independence Day: Resurgence, but its a quantifiable fact that all movies are better with a little bit of his signature ‘ums’ and ‘ahs.’
For years now, America has been struggling with the allegations that Bill Cosby — once a beloved television father and comedian — may have used his position in Hollywood to commit a series of violent sexual assaults. For those unfamiliar with the timeline involved in the Cosby case, I would encourage you to check out ABC’s detailed recap of everything that led up to this past month’s trial, including the civil cases brought against the actor-comedian and the Hannibal Burgess joke that is widely regarded as the instigating event in bringing these accusations to the public. And today, as noted by Deadline, a Norristown, PA jury has forced the judge to declare a mistrial in Andrea Costand’s case against Cosby.
While most fans walked away from Universal’s Fate of the Furious impressed by the movie’s use of New York City, it was the film’s use of Cuba that really opened the eyes of American audiences. Back in April, Variety sat down with Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray and discussed what it was like to be one of the first major studio films to be shot on location in Cuba. Gray recalled several logistical challenges — hotel rooms, location shoots, and the like — while also complimenting the people they had met on their trip. By all accounts, Fate of the Furious was to be the film that opened up the Cuban film market to the broader Hollywood community.
If you only look at the surface numbers, this was a pretty predictable week at the box office. Wonder Woman did well, The Mummy did not, and everything else shook out accordingly. That being said, there’s some pretty interesting narratives emerging in the how and why of this weekend’s box office report. Let’s take a look at the rankings as of Sunday afternoon and dive into some of the specifics:
As excited as we are for this summer’s Atomic Blonde — you can read our own glowing review from this year’s SxSW if you still need a gentle nudge — you’d think we’d be all over every new piece of footage from the movie. But it seems a few clips managed to slip through our fingers this past week, so I’m taking this opportunity to bring you back up to speed. Two new Atomic Blonde clips, each themed to a piece of period-appropriate music? Plenty of Charlize Theron kicking [expletive] and taking names? Yeah, that’s definitely worth circling back a little bit for those of you who may have missed these clips.
Rejoice, parents: you’ll soon have a new Christmas movie to add to your family’s holiday rotation. If your family was anything like my own, you probably grew tired of placating screaming nieces and nephews with the same ratty DVD copies of A Christmas Story, Elf, or Home Alone. That makes any new holiday movie — regardless of quality — a welcome change of pace. Arthur Christmas? Fine. Rise of the Guardians? It’ll do in a pinch. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale? Maybe save that one for the time in the evening when the uncles break out the adults-only eggnog. But a Melissa McCarthy Christmas comedy? That could be quite a boon for tired family members everywhere.
Based on how this weekend’s box office numbers shaped up, odds are good that you either saw Wonder Woman this weekend or you avoided the theater altogether. It was a record-setting few days for everyone’s favorite warrior princess — sorry, Xena — but things were decidedly less rosy if your movie was… well, literally anything else. Here are the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
We’re less than a week away from Universal’s latest attempt to launch a Dark Universe, and fans are still uncertain as to what’s in store for their favorite iconic horror characters. With stars like Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe on board, will The Mummy be more action-packed than horrific? Does Cruise have another hit franchise on his hands — to go along with the Mission: Impossible and Jack Reacher films — or will fans wish that this particular mummy had remained dead?
Since 2003, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher has been a divisive source of comedy and political commentary. If you believe the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then the last few years have been particularly kind to the series; Maher has come under attack for his comments on an Ann Coulter protest at the University of California at Berkeley or his decision to give alt-right poster child Milo Yiannopoulos the chance to spread his message of intolerance to the masses. And while Maher has survived and even thrived at the center of controversy, his recent use of a racial slur on the show may be the final straw for even his most ardent supporters.
With Marvel, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros. each building out their respective superhero franchises over the past few years, we now expect every up-and-coming actor to eventually put on a pair of tights in a summer blockbuster. That’s led to plenty of arguments among fans and film critics about the superhero genre as a whole. Should we be worried that talented actors are locking themselves into a multi-movie contracts at the beginning of their careers? Are we losing out on original stories along the way? It’s an issue that everyone seems to have an opinion on, and certainly one that won’t go away anytime soon.
While fans might be a little cynical about a Transformers multi-verse, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about their planned Bumblebee prequel. For one, Christina Hodson’s script has widely been praised as a standout in the franchise thus far. For two, the film will serve as the live-action directorial debut of Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight, whose visuals in that film — and whose overall body of work with animation studio Lakia — make him a name to remember in future projects. Oh, and there’s this small little tidbit: the movie may now be adding a pretty talented star as its (human) lead.
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