Pixar’s 2016 was something of a mixed bag, having landed a true-blue blockbuster with Finding Dory but then missing out on the coveted Oscar nomination. They’ll get back in the saddle in 2017 with Coco, a vibrant fantasy about the power of music, family, and remembrance of those lost to us. In the film, a lonely young boy finds a link to the past through an enchanted stringed instrument and sets off on an incredible journey with an animal companion, encountering all manner of dreamlike wonders (along with a monster or two) on the way. It bears mentioning at this point that this film is, in fact, not Kubo and the Two Strings.
What’s more exciting than a bold, accomplished feature debut from a director with vision and something to say? The non-rhetorical answer to that rhetorical question: the movie they make afterward. In 2014, Jennifer Kent wowed audiences with her fully-formed horror parable The Babadook, mining the frustrations of single motherhood for chills and creating a memorable monster along the way. (Whether the Babadook is indeed homosexual remains a topic of heated debate in some extremely specific online communities, however.) Now, her next challenge will be proving that her initial success wasn’t a fluke. And today brings the news that she’ll re-prove her filmmaking bona fides with a sophomore project titled The Nightingale.
Keeping the series of films featuring or tangentially related to the X-Men straight has become a task on par with reading Bleak House. The original three films from the 2000s were their own thing, at first independent of the rebooted X-Men: First Class set in the past. But they were then woven into the “present” with Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, which happen to be set in both timelines and physical dimensions. All this operates separately from Logan and Wolverine’s other solo films, and while Deadpool technically is set in the main universe, it can’t really bring in any of the major pre-existing characters due to intellectual property complications, so it might as well be an isolated entity as well. It’s a lot to keep track of, to put it mildly.
With the Oscars over and done with, awards season has officially reached its merciful end here in the States. Now, to rest for another three and a half weeks before feverish predictions for next year’s Academy Awards contenders can begin. But over in Germany, the festivities have not yet concluded — last week, the prestigious Goldene Kamera awards recognized the finest talents in film and television, from within the Deutschland and beyond. The ceremony was well-stocked with international celebrities, including Jane Fonda, Nicole Kidman, and a very special appearance from Ryan Gosling.
Peter Jackson’s been laying low as he’s prepared for his grand return to the director’s chair. Three years have passed since his final dalliance with the Hobbit series of films, and he’s been slowly building steam over the past few months for his next epic undertaking, Mortal Engines, an adaptation of the young adult novel series from Philip Reeve. It sounds like a typically ambitious project for Jackson, recreating the books’ colossal engine-powered mobile cities, but he’s raring and ready to go. And today brings him one step closer to an actual start of production as he ramps up his casting with three new additions — a “hey, that guy!” character actor, a musical sensation, and an unknown.
Hope you liked Get Out — and if the near-unanimous critical consensus, robust opening weekend box office receipts, and massive swell of support on social media are any indicator, you probably did — because there’s a whole lot more where that came from. We all rushed to anoint director Jordan Peele as a bold new voice in the horror landscape upon his debut feature’s release, and a new notice today suggests that he’s going to ride this wave as long as he can. In a new interview with Business Insider, Peele stated that in the grand tradition of John Carpenter and Wes Craven before him, he’s getting into the sequel business.
Armond White is something of a notorious name in the world of film criticism. While the caliber of his writing commands respect from many of his peers, his contrarian opinions and coarse manner often land him in the middle of mini-controversies within cinephile circles. This is a man who got himself expelled from the New York Film Critics Circle for heckling 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen at the organization’s annual awards dinner. This is a man who publishes an annual ‘Better Than’ list of favorite movies, so he can both name the films he loved and diss the ones that you did in one fell swoop. This is a man who could not give less of a damn what you, me, or anyone else thinks.
Summer movie season starts a little earlier every year, and in 2017, it has consumed May, April, and even our beloved March. Logan will kick off the big-budget bonanza in the first weekend of March, and then cede the floor to the gargantuan Kong: Skull Island the weekend after. Even so, these two releases in particular inspire hope rather than dread when reflecting upon the studio-fronted franchise releases encroaching beyond their summer stomping grounds. All the previews have suggested that these two films will have something original to bring to the table, and the latest clip for Kong: Skull Island confirms that if nothing else, we’ll have some delectable character acting to enjoy.
We‘ve still got months to go until Star Wars: The Last Jedi takes over cineplexes, but the people are hungry. By this time last year, we had already gotten our first teaser for Rogue One, and the barbarians are pounding on the gates demanding fresh material. Sure, Lucasfilm could placate their more rabid fans by pulling back the curtain on one of the new toy lines that will accompany the December release, but that’s thinking small, and Lucasfilm doesn’t do small. You want to see the new toys? Well tough tauntauns, because all you’re getting today is a look at the box they’re coming in. Here is that box:
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had its Big Bang in 2008, with Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr.’s debut as the incorrigible Tony Stark. In casting a charismatic leading man, feeding him some genuinely fresh one-liners, and stitching them together with a few impressive action setpieces, producer and MCU mastermind Kevin Feige had struck gold. He then went to work methodically stripping the mine clean, roping Chrises Evans and Hemsworth into multi-film contracts and watching as the billions rolled in. He devised a winning formula of easy screen-idol mass appeal and an eminently palatable house visual style to go along with it, a method still yielding massive success to this day. (Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3, and Spider-Man Who Even Knows What Number, coming to theaters in 2017!) And it all began with R.D.J. as an irresistible new breed of defender, the sort of guy you either want to be or be with. One year earlier, Marvel’s idea of a blockbuster superhero was Nicolas Cage as a flaming CGI skeleton clad in S&M biker gear.
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