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.
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.
It’s August now, and horrifying as the information that 2017 is more than half over may be, it’s still a good time to take a step back and take stock of how the year has been going so far. For Earth, and to a greater extent, America — not good. For the movies — pretty great! The first half of the year has seen a generous number of strong releases at the arthouse and multiplex, and review aggregation site Metacritic has done us a service in our effort to keep track of it all.
Just yesterday, we noted the release of a new trailer for the upcoming re-adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal killer-clown novel It. Things seemed pretty normal, at first brush: terrified kids, children’s entertainer straight out of your worst nightmares, eerie red balloon, the whole nine yards. But sharp-eyed viewers have now noted a little Easter egg squirreled away for a split-second in one shot near the end of the trailer. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, “it” referring in this instance to “IT.”
With the arrival of San Diego Comic-Con last week, the major announcements started flying fast and furious. After the avalanche of release date announcements, trailer releases, and other first-look headline-generators, the news broke that the gears of progress had begun turning for James Bond’s next cinematic outing. The official Twitter account posted that the still-untitled James Bond 25 would hit American theaters on November 8, 2019 after an earlier release in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and also presumably after shiploads of online pirates have gotten their mitts on it. Americans do not tend to take delayed release dates lying down.
Our children won’t believe us when we tell them that there used to be doubt over whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work at the box office. Even at present, the days of studio executive hand-wringing over whether audiences would deign to shell out their precious $11.75 to see a film in which a woman — who was not a man — did superhero things feel favorably remote. For director Patty Jenkins and her marble-carved star Gal Gadot have proven beyond all debate and rage-choked internet commenting that women are perfectly capable of making a whole mess of money during blockbuster season. And now it’s official.
For a movie directed by a well-regarded arthouse stalwart with mainstream appeal and starring an actress who was the biggest movie star on Earth as recently as three years ago, it’s weird that mother! has remained almost entirely shrouded by secrecy. We know that Darren Aronofsky’s new movie stars Jennifer Lawrence, it’s some manner of home-invasion psychothriller, and the cast includes Javier Bardem, Kristen Wiig, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. We saw the poster, which finds JLaw ripping her own heart out in a lush vernal scene like Mola Ram on vacation in Argentina. But apart from that, it’s a big, strange question mark. Word on the street says a trailer is on its way, and yet it’s still impressive that a project this high-profile has gotten so far while remaining almost totally incognito.
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