From the ranks of the Sons of Anarchy cast, Taylor Sheridan has emerged as one of the buzziest screenwriters working today. He took Cannes by storm and scored an intelligent sleeper hit with Sicario, his south-of-the-border drug war drama. He made it to the Oscars with another yarn of crime and the solemn-faced folks working to stop it, the timely Western standoff Hell or High Water. And now, the accomplished writer has delivered another potboiler set on the grand expanses of the American plains, with a sweetened deal: he’ll get the chance to prove himself as a filmmaker, too, taking his debut directorial credit on Wind River.
For those who engage in it, speculating on the significance of obscure clues in the Star Wars universe has gone beyond a hobby and grown into a way of life. Even something as simple as a three-word phrase — one word of which is “the” — can spark months of obsessive investigation. And while George Lucas’ disciples will have to wait until December to finally learn the identity of The Last Jedi’s title figure, that has not stopped the dogged gumshoes of Vanity Fair from pumping key figures for information.
The prevailing message of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming has been that of novelty. This will be a fresh take on the Peter Parker mythos, making him younger than ever, sticking him in the treacherous social minefield of high school, and assigning him a lovably bratty irreverence more in-step with the comic-book original. Plus, Aunt May is young and hot now! But while Marvel and Sony’s advertising has gone to great lengths to assure audiences that this will not be their father’s Spider-Man (and it definitely won’t be the Andrew Garfield one we’re all psychologically working to repress), there is one respect in which this production is business as usual.
It’s not a Cannes Film Festival without a little bit of controversy. This year, Netflix has the hot potato, as the festival has practically torn itself in twain on the matter of the online streaming platform — to purists, they’re the barbarians at the multiplex gates, but to those in support, they’re deep-pocketed benefactors for such directors as Korea’s Bong Joon Ho. And after his new film Okja got nearly pulled from competition, allowed back in, unofficially rejected by Jury President Pedro Almodovar, and then booed following technical difficulties at the screening, Bong wanted to clear the air around Netflix.
We owe a lot to scientists — they cured polio, got us on the moon, and they‘re doing their darnedest to stop us from methodically killing the planet. But man, what a bunch of nerds. It seems like every time biologists discover a new species of animal and need to give it a name, they take the opportunity to bust out a reference to their favorite bit of geek-approved pop culture. Lest we forget the velvet worm named after My Neighbor Totoro, and we’d be remiss to overlook the euglossa bazinga, a rare bee with a Big Bang Theory catchphrase as its namesake. And it appears that now the nerds are at it again.
For every superhero, there is a season — turn, turn, turn. As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters today following months of anticipation, America now turns our gnat-like attention spans to the next big super-release. In about a month, we’ll have another cape-free caper, with Wonder Woman scheduled for June 2. And while we’ve all had time to gape at the trailers and posters and Instagram posts from those on set, we still have yet to actually glimpse any in-context footage. Until now, that is!
For my money, Rose Mary Walls is the worst mother in the whole of literature, and that includes Sophie Portnoy. A million-dollar heiress who refused her wealth because she believed it’d be good for her children to grow up in abject poverty with a profligate alcoholic, she put her daughter Jeannette through hell. Jeannette would later translate her tragic upbringing into the best-selling memoir The Glass Castle, which director Destin Daniel Cretton will soon translate once more onto the silver screen. And in addition to the first official still above, that film has inched closer to being by laying claim to a release date.
The game of extremely handsome musical chairs that is staffing up for the next James Bond film continued apace today. The two biggest question marks — who will star as the secret agent extraordinaire, and who will direct him in the new picture — remain unresolved, but a new development may hold a clue as to the future of the franchise. A great ruckus was raised over the fact that the Bond property has entered the marketplace for a new studio overseer, and while the new management has not yet been decided, it’s starting to look like Warner Bros. has the upper hand. And it all has to do with Christopher Nolan.
Pronouns — terrifying, right? At least when they don’t have antecedents, that is. There’s suspense baked right into the title of It Comes At Night, the upcoming feature from Trey Edward Shults, director of last year’s self-assured debut Krisha. So what is the ‘it,’ and why is it coming at night? The attendees of the Overlook Film Festival are keeping mum, having gotten the first glimpse at the film this past weekend when it popped up as the festival’s secret surprise screening. They offered rapturous but spoiler-free praise, but luckily for the rest of us, a new trailer and poster have surfaced to shed a little light on what’s going on while simultaneously compounding the mystery.
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