To put it diplomatically, American relations with Russia have gotten decidedly complicated over the past year or so. It’s almost something of a relief, then, that political satirist extraordinaire and Veep creator Armando Iannucci would take a step into the past for his harebrained take on the Kremlin. His hotly anticipated new feature The Death of Stalin (the writer-director’s first film project since 2009’s In the Loop, a specimen of nearly perfect comedy) takes us back to the ’50s heyday of the USSR, at a pivotal moment prior to the superpower’s downfall. And as a titan falls, Iannucci laughs his head off at the little people maneuvering to avoid getting crushed.
The corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street is a Los Angeles icon, once the heart of the city’s booming film production and now the nexus of the world-renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usually, the most frightening thing a person will experience at the intersection is an encounter with improv comics attempting to strong-arm you into attending their latest show, but a new horror will soon dawn in the area. Locals now have bigger things to worry about than spending the day sad after accidentally overhearing an actor speaking to their agent on the phone.
I know that this very web site has declared a personal fatwa against slowed-down pop songs in movie trailers, but I can’t help but feel like the spots advertising the upcoming remake of Joel Schumacher’s 1990 cult object Flatliners won’t be complete until they’ve tapped a creepy children’s choir to cover the Doors’ “Break On Through (To The Other Side).” It’s perfect! The song is about permeating the boundaries between life and death, the film deals with the same topic (only with what appear to be unsettling CGI zombies in the mix), it’s bananas that some enterprising ad executive hasn’t made the connection.
Today brings a new message from your friends at Monarch Sciences, a totally legit operation that’s completely on the up-and-up. No way they‘re irresponsibly experimenting with genetic mutation and irradiation, no siree, they‘re just another innocent chemical processing corporation trying to make an honest buck in a shrinking workplace. (The chemical processing industry has gotten rough ever since the recession, and mom-and-pop conglomerates are taking the hit especially hard.) The truth, as anyone who saw the Godzilla remake from 2014 already knows, is that Monarch Sciences was responsible for the creation of the thunder lizard, and now they’re back up to their usual business.
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