It’s the inevitable question money-minded executives must ask when an original movie musical starts to gain traction with the general public: “So,” he asks, bitten-down cigar chomped between his teeth, “we taking this thing to Broadway or what?”
At the Golden Globes on Sunday night, both Jenna Bush and Michael Keaton made the embarrassing faux pas of conflating new releases Hidden Figures and Fences into the single title Hidden Fences. It’s an easy enough mistake to make — when there are a whopping two movies featuring black ensembles in theaters at the same time, who can expect anyone to keep them straight, least of all people whose one job revolves around the ability to keep them straight? It was a real foot-in-mouth moment for both celebrities, reflective of the minimal attention that white audiences pay to film championing black performers and creators.
Among the many problems of Revenge of the Sith — Hayden Christensen’s hair, overly tidy plot resolution, a marked lack of Darth Maul — was the wooden dialogue. One fan, however, has found a workaround to the stilted conversations that the boy who would be Vader has with everyone in his orbit; Youtube user GratefulDeadpool re-dubbed the entirety of Episode III using an automated translation from the Mandarin bootleg, creating a word-salad edit of the film that makes even the most tedious moments into something surreal, entertaining, and occasionally hilarious.
The first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s hotly anticipated Blade Runner 2049 materialized earlier this week, giving sci-fi diehards an eyeful of one of next year’s biggest-name tentpoles. There were appetizing visuals aplenty, a foreboding showdown between stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, reprising his role as Rick Deckard, and yet still so much remains unknown. What will this film’s rating be? How dreamy will Ryan Gosling’s eyes look, on a scale from 9 to 10? Will the blades get runned? Those last two will remain up in the air until the film’s release on October 6 of next year, but we do have a definitive answer for that first one.
A bruise-black crime comedy about a pair of tough-guy partners working in a dark-grey moral area to unravel a larger crime syndicate, executed with a '70s flair. It sure looks like 2017 will find its The Nice Guys in John Michael McDonagh's upcoming feature War on Everyone, the trailer for which debuted today in advance of its February 3 debut. The new Gosling/Crowe power couple is none other than Michael Peña (poised to rebound from the career cyanide of Collateral Beauty) and Alexander Skarsgård (also in need of a rebound, from this summer's dud Tarzan), as a pair of police officers who make typical cop-on-the-edge types look like they're not even on the edge, like they're a safe distance from the cliff.
It must be tough being Roland Emmerich. Your passion project about the Stonewall riots gets savaged by critics and then left to die on the vine when it finally hits theaters. Next year, your big comeback — a long-awaited sequel to Independence Day, the film that remains your greatest success — goes down like the Hindenburg, mustering a faint fraction of the original’s box-office might and getting outclassed by a cartoon about a lost fish. You need a win, and luckily, you’ve got a sure thing coming down the pike: A remake of your first major blockbuster, 1994’s sci-fi adventure Stargate.
You gotta respect Robert Redford’s style. He’s not one of those interminable wafflers like Quentin Tarantino or Michael Jordan, constantly announcing and then un-announcing retirement every few years to shore up relevancy when necessary. Robert Redford says he’s gonna do a job, he does the job. He says he’s gonna finish up the two acting gigs he’s already taken and then shift to full-time direction, you can be sure he’s not gonna pop up in a couple years with a “gotcha!” and news of a new role.
The closest corollary to Notorious B.I.G.’s dictum advising “never let no one know how much dough you hold” is Hollywood’s absolute commandment to “never let ’em know how old you really are.” Over time, an actor’s real age becomes a jealously guarded secret with the power to instantly push a casting profile from “love interest” to “love interest’s comic-relief parent.” The Internet Movie Database has posed a threat to this lie agreed upon in Tinseltown by adding exact birth dates to actors’ profiles, and the industry has pushed back. Today brings a pushback to that pushback, with the web giant defending their right to let everyone know who’s no longer passing for under 40.
Last Thursday night, Paramount gathered press in New York for a special presentation on the studio’s upcoming projects. Nestled between the sizzle reels for Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited Silence and Denzel Washington’s buzzy Fences adaptation was an extended look at their upcoming rework of seminal anime Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson in a range-stretching performance as an Asian robot. (Both Asian cultural watchdog groups and more principled robots have expressed objections to this, but that’s neither here nor there.) Paramount’s stoking the fires of anticipation for their prospective early-spring blockbuster before its March 31 release next year, and a new piece from Collider should only raise the temperature higher.
Back around Christmastime, the well-regarded genre-defiers Radiohead revealed that they had recorded their own theme for the latest James Bond picture, Spectre. It was baffling, not just because their composition was swooningly beautiful, but because the Spectre team ultimately ended up going with Sam Smith, instantly agreed upon as one of the lesser Bond theme singers. But that’s all peanuts compared to the latest gross injustice from the world of film soundtracking, with greater effrontery dealt to an even more esteemed statesman of rock.
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