Look, you can’t blame a studio for taking notice when something is working and wanting to replicate their own success. Sequels wouldn’t get greenlit unless someone, somewhere, wanted them. It makes perfect fiscal sense for upstart animation studio Illumination to follow up on their blockbusters Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing. But, god, did they have to announce them all at once like that?
By the late ’70s, Clint Eastwood had made a name for himself as the tough-guy star of cop-on-the-edge flicks and spaghetti Westerns, his permanent grimace a symbol of macho heroism. As the star of the Dirty Harry franchise, he fashioned himself as a protector with an edge, and in Sergio Leone’s epochal Dollars trilogy, he nearly ascended into the annals of cinematic legend. Having built up all this public goodwill, Eastwood decided the time was right to use that clout on the kind of project actors dream of their whole lives: a buddy comedy where he stars opposite an orangutan.
Hollywood’s gonna keep returning to the well of the tried-and-true in search of remake material until it runs dry, which could never happen, for all we know. To mix a metaphor, the ‘80s and ’90s have been thoroughly strip-mined for new #content, to the point where stars of beloved nostalgia objects have to specifically state that they’d prefer not to see a remake to pre-empt what feels like an inevitable greenlight. Geena Davis is the latest celebrity to come out against the recent remakeapalooza, specifically voicing her disapproval of any potential plans to rework her most timeless success of all, Cutthroat Island. (That‘s supposed to be a joke.)
We’ve got 11 long months to go before anyone will get a look at Star Wars: Episode VIII, so Lucasfilm has tried to pace itself with leaking details of the hotly anticipated upcoming release. Today, however, they dropped a big one: on the official Star Wars web site, a new announcement revealed the subtitle for the eighth installment in what the site refers to as “the Skywalker saga.” The post declared, “We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.”
Forcing audiences to watch a movie in which a dog lives, finds true happiness, and then dies over and over again would’ve been an act of sadism all on its own. But the crew of the upcoming family film A Dog’s Purpose have recently been outed as sadists of another, more stomach-churning sort. TMZ posted a shocking video from a second-unit shoot for the film in which an animal handler forces a reluctant German Shepard into rushing waters, the dog begins drowning, and handlers rush to retrieve the animal amid cries of “cut it! cut it!” PETA has already called for a boycott of the film, with the most shame heaped upon the industry supplier Birds & Animals Unlimited, and the rest of the fallout has been swift.
Emma Watson’s continuing media blitz in promotion of the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake found her on the cover of the latest issue of Total Film (h/t E! Online), where she spoke about the moral underpinnings of the movie and her character Belle. In one quote in particular Watson declared that the film’s heroine Belle makes for a better role model than fellow Disney princess Cinderella.
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.’
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