Hollywood tends to operate with a little bit of a delay. A few years ago, it became public knowledge that the American government uses drone strikes to carry out attacks on enemy combatants from halfway around the world. As such, we’re now seeing a handful of movies that use those headlines to make a statement about the dangers of modern warfare. In 2014, IFC Films released Good Kill, a drama starring Ethan Hawke about a family man who begins to question the morality of killing people from halfway around the world. The latest film to tackle this issue is Drone, the new film starring Sean Bean with a similar premise but a decidedly more lurid execution.
When is a video game more than just a video game? When the story it tells is woven into the legends and events of one of the biggest blockbuster movie franchises of all time. This weekend, Electronic Arts debuted the first footage from its upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2, the sequel to the bestselling 2015 Star Wars video game, with the promise that this game would tell canonical stories not previously seen in the Star Wars universe. It’s all part of an ambitious effort by Lucasfilm to weave these Star Wars stories across a variety of media, including the films, television shows, video games, and books.
One of the most debated plots points of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been the lineage of Daisy Ridley’s Rey. Could she be the daughter of Luke Skywalker? The daughter of Obi-One Kenobi? The daughter of… actually, come to think of it, those are the only two human Force-users we’ve met since the original Star Wars movie, so it’s either a very familiar face or someone totally out of the blue. Regardless, fans have now spent two years not knowing something about their favorite character, and that’s a long, long time for knowledge to be withheld in 2017. They’re ready for answers.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi dominating today’s conversations on social media, you might’ve forgotten that there are actually other movies being released in 2017. There are many! In fact, some of them are even being released by the same studio! One such film — the little-known Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 — braved the onslaught of Star Wars talk to release a brand new clip last night, setting the stage for future films in the franchise (and turning one late night sidekick into a movie star in the process). While the attached video shows the full segment, I’ve queued it up the relevant part.
Alright, a gold friggin’ star to the person who thought of this one. With the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 hitting Netflix today, most of the conversation has been dominated by lifelong fans of the show — fans like myself — who are some combination of excited and apprehensive about the return of their favorite television series. But what about the next generation of MST3K fans? How does Netflix introduce them to their service? Why, by riffing on another Netflix property that everyone already knows and loves, of course!
Here’s a little bit of free relationship advice for you: find someone who loves you like David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson love playing Mulder and Scully. It’s been more than two decades — two decades! — since both actors debuted their iconic characters on Fox’s The X-Files, and even after nine seasons, a movie, another movie, and a sorta-miniseries, neither one shows any signs of slowing down. In an era where audiences seem to demand that actors love their characters as much as we do, there’s something refreshing about two performers who come by such affection naturally. Anderson in particular is a powerhouse star of stage and screen, but get her talking about Dana Scully and she’s just as passionate as any of us.
What came first, the raunchy beach comedy or the Baywatch movie adaptation? Hollywood seems to have discovered in recent years that it can take an existing license — typically one associated with a semi-popular television series — and give it new life as a profane comedy for adults. Sure, there are probably a handful of Baywatch purists out there who have watched the sophomoric humor in the trailers with horror, but for everyone else? A vague recollection of the Baywatch brand and an appetite for 21 Jump Street-esque humor is all they need to be enticed.
Sometimes a movie and a release date just make sense. While blockbuster Hollywood releases can often feel like a game of musical chairs — where every studio scrambles to find a summer release date that isn’t already occupied by a superhero movie or major franchise — occasionally, a movie hits theaters at just the right to really leverage a holiday. Take Amy Schumer’s Snatched. With the film set for an April 12 release date, it is perfectly situated to take advantage of Mother’s Day weekend. For once, you can take your mom out to a movie that you might both actually enjoy.
F8Gate. The ‘Candy Ass’ Heard ’Round the World. Call it what you will, but last year’s unexpected beef between Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel on the set of The Fate of the Furious has resulted in a Hollywood blind item almost as interesting and epic as the movie franchise that spawned it. Forget about turning your back on family; watching Dwayne Johnson lose his legendary cool over one of his costars was like watching a couple you really admired go through a messy divorce. Were things really that out-of-control behind the scenes or was this all an elaborate ruse involving two men who understand the showmanship involved in a proper heel turn?
It isn’t always easy for Marvel actors to work on other projects after they’ve committed themselves to several years of blockbuster movies and marketing appearances. That’s why it’s so nice to see Chadwick Boseman in a movie where he doesn’t just play another superhero. After having its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, Boseman’s neo-noir Message From the King finally has a trailer (via /Film) to go with its intriguing premise. It’s nice to get a reminder of Boseman’s acting chops and why Marvel wanted him so badly in the first place.
To understand why I’m more excited than most for The Mummy, it’s important to make a list of all the things that I’m a sucker for. Tom Cruise movies? Check. Trailers or commercials that use the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black’ as a musical cue? Check-check. Movies where soldiers fight monsters? Check-check-check. In fact, if you do the math, the only thing on my Hollywood wishlist that the second The Mummy trailer doesn’t deliver is a John Wick-style gunfight, and there’s still time. One of those might still find its way into the final movie.
Would the horror genre work as the basis for a cinematic universe? It’s an interesting question. While horror films are certainly no strangers to sequels and prequels — there are eleven Friday the 13th movies, after all, and most of them are pretty much unrelated outside of their central villains — they are fairly reliant on individual characters to support the weight of new movies. There’s not enough depth to the Friday the 13th franchise to make a movie thatdoesn’t feature Jason Voorhees; for a horror film to truly inspire its own cinematic universe, you’d need a B-roll of characters who could each terrify audiences in their own right.
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