A little less than a week ago, the internet got an eyeful of the trailer for the upcoming remake of seminal ’70s buddy cop program CHiPS. The response was, to put it diplomatically, varied — many groaned at the film’s decision to trot out hoary gay-panic gags, disappointed to learn that Hollywood has not left the whole “two heterosexual men frightened of each other’s bodies” schtick behind. Others, such as star Dax Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell (a skilled comedic actress in her own right, portraying Shepard’s wife in the film), presumably told him it looked real good and she couldn't wait to buy a ticket. One person has been surprisingly vocal in his distaste for the film, however.
Good news: fans are finally getting their shot to lay claim to two highly sought-after pieces of comic book memorabilia, with George Reeves’ original Superman costume and the Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton during his stint as the Batman both up at auction until January 26. The bad news: you’re going to have to part with at least tens of thousands of dollars if you want to get your mitts on that spandex.
Chances are, you’re currently reading these words on a phone, computer, or tablet manufactured by Apple. Maybe on your morning commute, you listen to music downloaded from the ITunes Music Store. If you are an on-the-go sort of person who’s not afraid to be made fun of, you may have an Apple Watch wrapped around your wrist right now. The tech giant’s influence has permeated so many facets of modern life, and as we patiently await Apple’s big foray into the burgeoning field of teledildonics, they’ve announced plans to plant their flag on one more heated battlefield.
Among the most difficult aspects of parenting is the matter of simply filling the hours in a day. Kids become bored after approximately twenty unstimulating minutes, so moms and dads have to constantly plan out diversions to keep their offspring occupied. Disney just did the parents of America a real solid, however. Animated movies have long been a go-to option for parents hoping to run out the clock, and they’ll be able to go back to Moana for seconds later this month, when the film re-enters theaters for a one-day sing-along engagement.
J.J. Abrams made his bed, stuffed it with money and gold bricks, but now he‘d rather not lie in it. The director has risen to the top of Hollywood’s most-wanted list in recent years as a serviceable conductor of franchise pictures; he did right by the Mission: Impossible series, then moved on to mount the massive Star Trek resurgence, and brought Star Wars back to the grateful people of Earth with Episode VII. But this whole money-in-the-bank reputation comes with its downsides. Speaking with People, Abrams indicated that he‘s had his fill of franchise pictures and would prefer to explore some original concepts in the years to come.
Now that falsehoods have become almost entirely indistinguishable from fact in the American news media, the staffers of satirical publication The Onion can sit back and relax, having effectively taken over the industry they set out to spoof. (Full disclosure: I contribute to the A.V. Club, a division of the Onion media empire.) But instead of resting on their laurels, the originators of ‘fake news’ have set out to conquer new frontiers, having already moved into publishing and the untamed wilds of television. A new exclusive from the Hollywood Reporter indicates that not even the movie theaters of this great nation will be safe from the increasingly plausible absurdities of America’s self-proclaimed ‘finest news source.’
Rough year for Ben Affleck, noted Jennifer Garner spouse and one-time star of Gigli. His big starring vehicle Batman v Superman made a whole lot of money but was critically reviled almost across the board, his latest directorial effort Live by Night got a quiet and unceremonious limited release that was buried in the holiday craziness, he was spotted sadly vaping in a car, and now a pall of uncertainty has been cast over his future. He’s confirmed for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League crossover, but Affleck’s relationship with the Dark Knight’s cowl and cape may be getting a bit strained. In a new interview, Affleck indicated that what was once presumed to be set in stone is, in fact, still up for debate.
Stocks in magic are down. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was less than fantastic (hey-o), the much-touted stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won’t come to Broadway for months, and we can assume that the constant onslaught that was 2016 sapped many children of their belief in the wonder of magic. The Harry Potter-industrial complex needs a shot in the arm, and head honchos over at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park may have just the thing to inspire a little excitement.
More streaming services than you can shake a virtual stick at have cropped up over the past year, which makes it all the more aggravating when that one movie you want to watch is nowhere to be found. You shell out every month for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Shudder, Filmstruck and a dozen more, and yet once that craving to rewatch The Lion King hits, you’re plum out of luck. What’s the point of having countless hours of programming at your fingertips for your immediate enjoyment if that doesn’t include The Little Mermaid?
Even if it feels like things are getting worse all the time, with Hollywood delivering an unholy crop of expensive flops amidst murmurs of cinema’s death in 2016, that may not be the case. At the very least, the American film industry isn’t in danger of collapsing any time soon — quite the opposite, in fact. If we’re to take the total sum of money generated by ticket sales in a given year as a barometer of the industry’s overall health, Tinseltown’s still as strong as an ox, Ben-hur remake or no.
It’s the Friday before Christmas. Those of us who aren’t currently concealing the fact that we’ve slumped over at our desks in a eggnog-hangover-induced nap have glued our eyes to the clock, counting down the minutes to a leisurely holiday break. Everyone just wants to get home, gather with family or other loved ones around a crackling fire, put on the musical stylings of Burl Ives or Bing Crosby, and have a nice mug of hot cocoa. Time slows to a crawl on the Friday before a long weekend, and we both know you’re not getting any work done today, so why not kick back with the soothing sounds of Chewbacca moaning out a classic Christmas standard?
Dick Van Dyke remains a beloved and esteemed entertainer at age 91, fondly remembered for his charismatic performances as a hapless songwriter in Bye Bye Birdie and a sooty-faced chimneysweep in Disney’s 1964 musical Mary Poppins. What he’s remembered decidedly less fondly for is the other role he played in the period-piece musical, elderly bank chairman Mr. Dawes, Senior. Clad in old-age makeup and credited as “Nackvid Keyd” (an anagram of Dick Van Dyke), the notorious D.V.D. busted out a frightfully bad Cockney accent in his scenes as the tight-fisted money man. Widely mocked at the time and voted the second-worst accent ever in a poll from Empire, it was not the high point of Van Dyke’s impressive career.
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