When someone says someone else fights like a girl, it’s intended as a diss with a nice dollop of misogyny on top. But the next time some jerk comes at you wth that nonsense, you can turn it into a compliment by yelling, “Oh yeah, well Charlize Theron does all her own stunts and could snap your spine in half like a pretzel rod, so there!” and run away weeping. In the light of a new behind-the-scenes video from the Atomic Blonde production, it is the ultimate comeback. For Charlize Theron does indeed fight like the girl (er, woman) she is, and that’s one hell of a way to fight.
October hardly qualifies as blockbuster season, but Denis Villeneuve will most likely change that when he unveils the long-murmured-about Blade Runner 2049 on the 6th of that month. He’s bringing all the buzz and gossip-mongering of the summer tentpole frenzy a few months later into the year, and the hype machine has gladly risen to meet him. Empire Magazine, that hallowed bastion of fan-boy and -girl culture, has stoked the flame with a glossy new cover story for Villeneuve’s latest this month, and the denizens of the internet will be pleased to know that they’ve publicized some of their exclusive new photos ahead of time.
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
Boys, girls, people of all ages, the Serkis has come to town! Andy Serkis, that is. The motion-capture professional will take the lead of the neo-Planet of the Apes franchise once more on July 14 for War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter in the trilogy. At this point, audiences pretty much know what to expect: the great clash between hostile humanity and peaceable simiankind rages onward and approaches a final reckoning, as the Serkis-played chimp Caesar wrestles with the terrible responsibilities of leadership in wartime. But before audiences can revisit Apeworld for one last battle, 20th Century Fox wants to be sure we all appreciate just how much went into this film.
With so many massive studio tentpoles springing up all over, you’d be forgiven for letting the gestating Jumanji remake slip your mind. The rework of the ’90s kid-friendly fantasy film, playing under the somewhat unwieldy title Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (yeah, tack the tagline right onto the title, why not!) will come to theaters December 20, but prying eyes have already ensnared some key details about the film. There was the whole brouhaha surrounding Karen Gillan’s hilariously impractical jungle outfit and her mealy-mouthed explanation as to why her character had to get all hotted up for a nature expedition, a controversy I have dubbed Midriffgate, and now today brings news of another curious detail of story.
Decades before Taken got tooken, Charles Bronson went on a revenge rampage. Liam Neeson had his very particular set of skills, but in 1974’s Death Wish, Bronson had a well-kempt mustache, a dead wife, a hospitalized daughter, and a white-hot grudge. The middle-aged man cut a violent swath of retribution through the criminal underground in search of justice for the female members of his family, and in doing so, spawned a genre of brutal, occasionally sadistic action films rooted in mature masculinity. Bruce Willis was one of the many beneficiaries of Bronson’s legacy, and now he’ll repay the favor with a remake of the classic action flick.
Is Johnny Depp somehow Johnny Depp-proof? With the early receipts for the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now promising another blockbuster in the bag, it would appear that the actor’s somehow invulnerable to his own noxious public profile. Though the revelation that he had physically abused longtime partner Amber Heard came to light last year, it apparently hasn’t diminished his earning potential, and frustrating as that may be, it means we’re in for a whole lot more Depp. And if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has anything to say about, more Jack Sparrow in specific.
Truth is in perilously short supply these days, and whether in the spheres of politics or entertainment, reporters have had to adapt. It’s no longer enough to ferret out the actual reality of a situation and relay that to readers; writers must get out in front of and directly interface with the flurries of half-facts and hearsay that swirl around any major story. So the read on a new cache of purportedly leaked information regarding the upcoming Star Wars film is not so much “We may now know what happens in The Last Jedi” as much as it is “A Reddit user wants us to believe he knows what happens in The Last Jedi.”
Ahh, summer camp: any kid who was shipped off for six-to-eight weeks of rigidly scheduled fun holds the memories near and dear. There’s something sweetly all-American about the mess hall meals, late-night gabfests, the smooches stolen after s’more-and-singalong campfires. And who better to desecrate all that is wholesome than the one and only John Waters, that baron of bad taste?
For a franchise about slightly sketchy space crooks and intergalactic military types, the Star Wars films are almost conspicuously free of profanity. It makes sense from a business perspective — keeping the series PG-13 ensures that it’ll be open to a wider array of viewers — and yet the absence of cussing feels especially noticeable in a movie starring the famously coarse-tongued Carrie Fisher. The closest the series came to a four-letter word was Han Solo getting dissed as a “scruffy nerf-herder,” but a recently discovered cache of lost footage from the original 1977 Star Wars is going to change all that in short order.
While the post-credits scene was once a surprise specially afforded to those superfans with the dedication to sit through the final frames of a film, it’s now become par for the course, a de facto advertisement for whatever a franchise might have up its sleeve next. Marvel Studios has turned this into standard operating procedure, to the point where viewers expect nothing less than another tasty morsel of footage, the cinematic equivalent of the delicious fries waiting for you at the bottom of your McDonald’s bag. How to continue taking audiences off-guard, then? Marvel could do no post-credit scene at all, that’d certainly throw people for a loop. Or... they could do five.
Star Wars is great, everyone’s pretty much on the same page about that one, but the problem is that it’s just so dang long. Eight movies, with more on the way? And they’re all two-plus hours? And there are TV shows?! It would take a viewer days if not weeks to wade through all of that action, and so the minds at Lucasfilm and Disney have done us all the service of condensing Star Wars into segments a little closer to bite-size. In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes; likewise, in the future, new Star Wars content will be between two and three minutes long.
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