The suit makes the man, and that’s seldom more true than for the superhero set. Batman would be another joe-schmo billionaire industrialist without the arsenal of weaponry built into his armor, Iron Man would literally die without his hardware, and now we can add Peter Parker to the list of superheroes whose own clothes act as unofficial sidekick. In the latest trailer for upcoming threeboot Spider-Man: Homecoming, we get a glimpse of some nifty new modifications (courtesy of Stark Industries) to Spidey’s trademark red-and-blue spandex. A new generation’s Spider-Man needs some modern upgrades, and the latest iteration of the suit includes a detachable mini-drone and what I can only describe as “skintight suction technology.”
Almost exactly a year ago, tech entrepreneur Sean Parker (better known as the guy who correctly identified a billion dollars as cooler than a million dollars in The Social Network) fronted a proposed business venture called The Screening Room, a potentially game-changing set-top box through which Hollywood studios would offer their biggest new releases to stream at home the same day they premiered in brick-and-mortar theaters. (With an astronomical price tag, naturally.) Though it gained some traction and support from significant voices in the film community, it ultimately sputtered and spun out. But with the rebirth of spring, so comes a rebirth for this impractical, frightening, cineplex-annihilating idea. (Kinda.)
Did you know that they apparently made another Terminator movie in 2015? Despite having seen it in theaters back during its original run, this still strikes me as new, hard-to-believe information. If there was really a new installment of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popular sci-fi/action franchise as recently as two years ago, wouldn’t someone remember that? Wikipedia claims that the film (subtitled Genisys, which sounds fake but okay) attempted to launch Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke’s big-screen phase of her career, included a clutch starring role from Ahnuld himself, and earned the second-most of any entry in the series. Call me crazy, but that seems like a pretty major occurrence to have entirely fled the public‘s collective pop-cultural memory. I’m skeptical — does this look like a real movie to you?
Did you see Moonlight, the Oscar-anointed Best Picture which also happens to be the actual best picture of the year? No? Why not? The common answers include “looked super sad” (accurate, but shouldn’t be a deterrent), “looked boring” (empirically incorrect), “couldn’t relate to it” (probably a little racist, a little homophobic, or both), “been busy lately” (get your priorities in order), and moreso than any other, “wasn’t playing near me.” That last one is hard to argue with, as A24’s October release did leave a lot of communities bereft of access to Moonlight. But as this film’s mass-marketability has become evident with high-profile Oscar wins and a $26 million gross on a budget of $1.5 million, A24 has smartly moved to spread the love.
Humor me for a moment — is Damien Chazelle‘s old-school romantic musical La La Land really all that far removed from the cinema of David Lynch? Like the avant-melodrama triumph Mulholland Dr., Chazelle’s film is obsessed with the artifice that defines both Los Angeles and the entertainment industry around which it was built. Both films revolve around a pair of people inexorably drawn to one another, linked even as they drift apart due to the vicissitudes of circumstance. Both Lynch and Chazelle are fond of stylistic breaks from reality, exploring a dreamlike or otherwise surreal plane beyond this dimension. Hell, “here’s to the ones who dream” might as well be the mission statement of Lynch’s entire filmography.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s got quite a bit of experience when it comes to portraying characters on either side of the law. He was a dooly appointed federal mahshal in Shuttah Island, played the Boston mob against itself for Martin Scorsese in The Departed, and took on more dastardly roles in such films as Django Unchained and The Wolf of Wall Street. With an Oscar now under his belt, DiCaprio is on the hunt for new roles, and today brings the news that Paramount has given him one squarely in his wheelhouse.
About a month and a half separate the viewing public from the much-hyped live-action remake of Disney’s essential fairytale Beauty and the Beast. While regular TV viewers and net-surfers can look forward to an uninterrupted stream of commercials and ads until then, Disney has given one last push of publicity today with the final trailer promoting their handsomely-appointed new film. And as if to sweeten the deal, they included a snippet of the previously announced re-recording of the majestic theme tune, as sung by La La Land jazz-diluter John Legend and travel-size pop starlet Ariana Grande.
We’ve got 11 long months to go before anyone will get a look at Star Wars: Episode VIII, so Lucasfilm has tried to pace itself with leaking details of the hotly anticipated upcoming release. Today, however, they dropped a big one: on the official Star Wars web site, a new announcement revealed the subtitle for the eighth installment in what the site refers to as “the Skywalker saga.” The post declared, “We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.”
The people have been making some pretty questionable choices for themselves as of late. Some big politics thing is happening tomorrow, there’s that, and last night marked the 43rd Annual People‘s Choice Awards, the populist awards program that does away with the snooty prestige of the Oscars. The evening delivered some rather eyebrow-raising results in its recognition of the most widely beloved entertainers of the year, and though none quite confounded on a Trumpian level, the night was full of what we’ll diplomatically call “surprises.”
Superheroes don’t have to come from the brightly-colored pages of American comic books; the Power Rangers series that captivated youngsters during the ‘90s and early 2000s had roots in Japan, stemming from their tradition of kaiju films. It’s a powerful bridge between cultures, the universal desire to watch a team of teenagers with extraordinary abilities team up to beat the stuffing out of gigantic monsters, And now it’ll connect generations, too, as the official trailer arrives today with the promise of the same spirit of teamwork and towering-menace-fighting that made them an unlikely cross-Pacific sensation two decades ago.
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