Hard to believe that eight years have already passed since Michael Jackson’s death, but time’s a goon like that. And as the King of Pop settles in the ground, the question of what shape his legacy will take must be answered. While we’d be remiss to gloss over the ethical lapses and general trainwreckishness of the man’s final years (and doubly remiss not to point out the cruel, exacting factors in his life that drove him to that mental state), the time has come for a bit of enshrinement. Next month, the Michael we prefer to remember — the virtuosic performer, the boundary-pushing titan of black art — will return for a glorious new tribute.
Though Michael B. Jordan was the breakout star of Creed as Apollo Creed’s rip-snorting fighter son Adonis, Sylvester Stallone got the best material (and the Oscar nomination). His arc saw aging boxer Rocky Balboa coping with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mourning the loss of his friends and loved ones, and ultimately confronting his own mortality. It was meaty stuff, ending on a note of hope and rehabilitation as Rocky scaled the famed Philly steps once again, a bit worse for wear but still tough as nails. Stallone recently spoke out about his plans for the character in the impending Creed sequel, and with Rocky’s health back on the upswing, it looks like the Italian Stallion may have some fight left in him.
Christopher Nolan does things his own way. That’s led to some of his greatest technical coups to date; when he wanted to defy gravity for Inception, he built a giant rotating box the size of a hallway. Armed wth the biggest budgets studios can afford, he employs new technologies and puts them fully through their paces, all to bring his massively ambitious visions to life. And for his latest epic Dunkirk, Nolan wanted to blaze his own path yet again. But this time, his plans didn’t involve fancy equipment or elaborate sets.
Today marks the one-year mark until we get the sequel to the 2015 box-office-crusher Jurassic World, and Universal wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion. Now look down at that glass of water you've got close at hand. Tiny ripples in the center, a distant thunderous thudding in the distance. New information is close at hand.
Rick Moranis: the guy Woody Allen calls a nebbish, a nervously tittering lead of family films (he lit up millennial living rooms with his Honey, I... trilogy) and bluer comedic works (Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs) alike. He was everywhere in the ’80s, but took an eminently understandable hiatus from acting beginning in the ’90s after his wife Ann succumbed to breast cancer. He did a noble and difficult thing by focusing all his energies on dutifully raising his motherless children, turning his back on fame and his public. Though he’s still taken the occasional job — he gave his kids something to love by contributing voice work to Brother Bear — he’s shied away from highly visible gigs. Until now!
We‘ve only just entered May, but in the first few months of 2017, the year has yielded a surprisingly eclectic array of blockbusters. Survey the biggest earners to date, and you’ll see a socially critical horror flick from a first-time director, a spin-off based on a cross-property licensing deal within a corporate brand expansion, and a tough-as-nails superhero side project with post-apocalyptic Western overtones. The latest Fast and Furious installment looks most at home in the top five so far, but more unexpected still is that it’s been handily defeated by the year’s top earner, Disney’s handsomely mounted revival of Beauty and the Beast. And now, the unlikely box-office behemoth has claimed another record.
This past weekend saw the Coachella Music Festival descend on the deserts of Indio, California for a multi-day celebration of artistic expression, obscenely expensive designer drugs, and that thing where white women dress up in traditional Native American garb. Among such Top 40 stalwarts and tastemaker-blog darlings as Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead and Lady Gaga, an unexpected name claimed the mainstage: German composer of film scores Hans Zimmer, bringing his touring act to new highs for the festival attendees. Above, you’ll find the most complete, cleanly-recorded account of Zimmer’s massive live show to date, in which the multiple Academy Award-winner shreds with the best of them.
Even if it feels like things are getting worse all the time, with Hollywood delivering an unholy crop of expensive flops amidst murmurs of cinema’s death in 2016, that may not be the case. At the very least, the American film industry isn’t in danger of collapsing any time soon — quite the opposite, in fact. If we’re to take the total sum of money generated by ticket sales in a given year as a barometer of the industry’s overall health, Tinseltown’s still as strong as an ox, Ben-hur remake or no.
It has become increasingly apparent that the best thing a revival of a tired ‘80s pop-culture artifact can be is the neo-21 Jump Street, judging by the new trailer for the Dwayne Johnson-fronted Baywatch. The parallels are striking: we’ve got the central odd couple in the Rock’s bombastic beach hero and Zac Efron’s hard-partying young gun, light meta touches about “reviving the brand,” some playful winks to the core goofiness of the source material (the “why does she always look like she’s running in slow motion?” line may be the best of the clip), even a scene where our heroes are dressed down by a furious black cop. You may call it derivative, but I call it a good start.
Denis Villeneuve’s outstanding Arrival has wowed audiences and earned critical plaudits with its philosophical approach to sci-fi, its unusually deft look at linguistics, and its fundamental Amy Adams-ness. But plenty of attention has also been paid to the unusual design of the aliens that land on Earth and set off the events of the film, dubbed ‘heptapods’ by Adams’ character due to their seven-legged squid-like physiology, and to a lesser extent, because Adams is one hep cat. The heptapods, all silent and faceless and ash-colored, must be the most memorable aspect of this marvelous film, and yet they did not always look this way.
Big things are a-happenin’ over at Fox, per The Hollywood Reporter. The studio made a slew of scheduling changes on the night before Thanksgiving as a sort of special edition of a Friday dump. (That term refers to the PR practice of burying bad or otherwise uninteresting news on a Friday afternoon, when coverage will be minimal.) Big-name projects have all been shuffled around, and that’s all fully detailed below, but the most eye-catching item on Fox’s docket happens to be an unnamed project from James Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment.
The late actor Peter Cushing, mainstay of Hammer’s horror films and erstwhile Star Wars cast member, cut a distinctive figure: cheekbones that could slice diamond, perfectly coiffed shock of grey hair, mouth permanently pursed into a single flat line. As the ruthless Empire commander Grand Moff Tarkin, Cushing left a lasting impression on generations of viewers, austerity coded directly into the lines on his face. He makes for an instantly recognizable silhouette — so is that really him, out of focus and in the foreground for a split second in the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story TV spot?
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