I’m always of two minds when it comes to critics asking actors about superhero movies at film festivals. On the one hand, I understand the needs of our industry; if you don’t at ask at least one or two questions about Marvel and DC movies, another publication will, so there’s no point in pretending that any of us are above the fray. On the other hand, though, actors who have just put their all into a dramatic performance deserver better than questions about summer blockbusters that happen to be years away. Save your superhero questions for the very end and get off them as quickly as possible, that’s my motto.
As we head deeper into September, two things have become pretty clear about 2017 box office numbers: one, Hollywood desperately needs to bounce back a little bit from the doldrums of August, and two, whoever decided to hedge their studio’s bets with a September release date for a movie about a killer clown is looking like a [profanity] genius right about now. We’ll get to all of that in a moment, but first, here are the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
If the early buzz is to be believed, fans couldn’t get any more excited for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Not only does the film have one of the most-watched movie trailers of all time, and is also projected to make over $60 million in its opening weekend, it’s also coming into theaters riding a wave of impressive reviews. And somehow, the movie has done all of this without tipping its hand on some of the most impressive scares. All of this for an R-rated horror movie about children being jeopardized. We’ve come a long way since the original miniseries, America.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of The Dark Tower isn’t that it failed to live up to expectations decades in the making, or even that it mangled Stephen King’s source material in a way that die-hard fans found unforgivable. No, the most frustrating aspect of The Dark Tower is that it’s just… fine. Despite the plethora of negative reviews, it isn’t some disastrous flop a movie, nor is it an ambitious mess that reached for the stars and came crashing back to earth. It’s just sorta there, a Young Adult action-fantasy film that limps through its paces before ending with a thud. Really, how do you even make a King adaptation that doesn’t have a little bit of ambition?
I’d like to think I’m not prone to hyperbole, so believe me when I say I’m putting all my remaining Marvel eggs in the Thor: Ragnarok basket. Sure, I’ve more-or-less enjoyed most of the movies in the franchise — this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, for example, might be one of their best yet — but superhero movies are like anything else: the more you ingest, the less you enjoy it the next time around. If Marvel is going to continue making these movies until the sun explodes, then I’m ready for things to get a little bit weird, and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is the right person to deliver.
As long as there have been horror movies, there have been attempts to mix together horror movie characters in crossover films. Who can forget Freddy vs. Jason, the critically reviled — but financially successful — 2003 film that pitted the stars of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises against each other? Not to mention those years where it was rumored that Evil Dead’s Ash might get thrown into the mix for a sequel; no matter how many middling reboots these franchises go through, there will always be someone who pitches a project where Hollywood just slams ’em all up together.
Given the film’s box office success and surprising - albeit extremely preliminary - Oscar buzz, it’s probably fair to declare 2017 as the year of Wonder Woman. And all this Wonder Woman excitement has fans asking: after we see the character again in this fall’s Justice League, what’s next for the star of the DCEU? Will she jump forward to the modern world in Wonder Woman 2? Will we continue to see her adventures unfold throughout the 1900s? Or will Warner Bros. do something really wacky with her character, like, I dunno, make her the villain of another DCEU movie?
While Disney might be holding back some of its best stuff for Comic-Con this year, that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few Star Wars: The Last Jedi teasers that they could share at this past weekend’s D23. Just yesterday, we were treated to a new featurette that went behind the scenes of the production; right on the heels of that comes these new character posters, a beautiful new mix of familiar faces and bright colors. It’s not exactly the brand new trailer that some were hoping for, but it should keep us occupied until the next opportunity presents itself.
If you’re like me, you probably watched the first trailer for The Layover and thought, “Huh, they’re doing comedy?” The movie offers a strange mix of talent both behind and in front of the camera. William H. Macy isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of raunchy sex comedy directors, nor are Lance Krall and David Hornsby household names as writers, but when you look at their combined track records the past few years - a whole bunch of Shameless and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia - the pieces for humor are most definitely there.
According to census estimates, there are currently 325.3 million people in the United States, which means there has to be dozens — maybe even hundreds! — of people who remain blissfully unaware that a new Spider-Man movie is hitting theaters this summer. The rest of us, however, have lived through the past several months of production rumors, trailers, teasers, teaser trailers, toy reveals, interviews, commercials, specials, features, articles, social advertising, news items, and just about any other form of audio or visual media that Marvel could commercially or organically slap a Spider-Man: Homecoming logo on. In fact, we’ve reached that point in the hype cycle where most fans are completely exhausted with marketing. Can’t we just start talking about the movie itself?
For months now, we’ve assumed that any possible Spider-Man spinoffs would exist in a world separate from that of Spider-Man: Homecoming. With Sony and Marvel weaving a complicated web of licensed properties and revenue sharing, the safe bet was that Sony would choose to build up its own parallel world independent of Marvel’s, giving them complete ownership of those characters and their events without having to plug into a larger established canon. This seemed to be confirmed by Marvel boss Kevin Feige earlier this week, when Feige said in no uncertain terms that Venom would not be invited to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disappointing for some, curious to others, but on the surface, it did make sense.
Behold, the gag reel. Long a staple of the home video market, the gag reel was perhaps at its most popular in the 1990s, when Jackie Chan released a string of movies that included painful outtakes during the closing credits. When studios realized that they could package an entire DVD release around the special feature menu, the gag reel became a mainstay of any comedy releases over the last 15 years. And because Deadpool was one big improvised joke with enough physical humor to make Mel Brooks blush, it was a natural fit for the film’s Blu-ray release as well.
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