Denis Villeneuve’s getting ready to tie a ribbon on Blade Runner 2049. The French filmmaker behind Arrival told Entertainment Weekly that “we are running towards the finishing line right now” on the production due for release October 6, and added that “we are elated. It feels like Christmas as we look at the completed shots.” But directors of generously budgeted studio projects have to say that, nonspecific positivity is pretty much written right into their contracts. Footage, however, cannot lie, and so it’s enticing news indeed that Villeneuve’s little exclusive with EW comes packaged with a new featurette including fresh frames from the hotly anticipated sequel.
A celebrity ritual no less time-honored than the public callout, the public apology is a vital part of being and remaining famous. Think of it like an annual physical, but for your public profile: say something wild enough to grab some headlines and ensure that your name’s sticking in the population’s heads, let it sit for a short while, and once the time is right, issue a dignified apology to show humility and self-awareness. It’s a rich Hollywood tradition, and Elizabeth Banks is the latest personality to run this gauntlet. But when you come at the king, and most especially when that king is literal King of Hollywood Steven Spielberg, you best not miss.
Here’s how thoroughly Batman’s influence has permeated the mainstream: he’s claimed tacit ownership of the very notion of shining a light into the sky. The Bat-Signal, introduced in the comics as Gotham City’s method of summoning the Dark Knight, has been endlessly parodied in the annals of pop-culture — just earlier this month, the poster for Captain Underpants paid homage to the iconic (a word I mean here literally, and not in the ‘a photo of the Kardashians’ sense) design of the skyward spotlight. And all too appropriately, the Bat-Signal will now be used to give one former Batman, the dearly departed Adam West, a proper send-off.
Do you wanna build a snowman... again? Disney sure hopes so, as they announced in a new press release today that their mega-successful Frozen would gain a sort of mini-sequel in an upcoming short to be bundled with Coco. But Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is no ordinary lead-in to the main event; it sounds like quite a bit has gone into the short that Disney repeatedly refers to as a “featurette,” running at 21 minutes and including four new songs, as well as returning cast members Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff. Parents, batten down the hatches, for a new ‘Let It Go’ is close at hand.
Beaming families, teary smiles, mortarboards in the air — it’s graduation season, which means that more importantly, it’s celebrity commencement address season. While some high-profile speakers have received a chillier reception than others, the A-lister speech has long been a reliably amusing diversion in between long-winded orations from dusty academic types. Maya Rudolph took plenty of artistic license with “The Star-Spangled Banner” at my graduation ceremony from Tulane a few years ago, an unforgettable experience that I was too drunk to currently remember. But today brings video of another movie star taking the stage before a mass of fresh-faced students blissfully unaware of how hard getting a job is. Ladies, gentlemen, Will Ferrell is in the house.
We owe a lot to scientists — they cured polio, got us on the moon, and they‘re doing their darnedest to stop us from methodically killing the planet. But man, what a bunch of nerds. It seems like every time biologists discover a new species of animal and need to give it a name, they take the opportunity to bust out a reference to their favorite bit of geek-approved pop culture. Lest we forget the velvet worm named after My Neighbor Totoro, and we’d be remiss to overlook the euglossa bazinga, a rare bee with a Big Bang Theory catchphrase as its namesake. And it appears that now the nerds are at it again.
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.
For a guy whose entire acting career has been overshadowed by one role he played decades ago, Mark Hamill’s got a pretty good attitude. He loves Star Wars, and what’s more, he loves how much the people who love Star Wars love Star Wars. A regular fixture at conventions and other fan events, Hamill regularly gets in on the fun and mingles with his adoring public. And in a new video from Lucasfilms’ charity arm Force for Change, he gives a handful of diehard devotees the surprise of their lives.
Black-and-white re-edits of crowd-pleasing action blockbusters — so hot right now. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road exploded heads across the globe upon release in 2015, and though the oversaturated coloration gave the film its distinctive post-apocalyptic look, rumors that Miller had planned a monochromatic cut of the film compelled fans to demand just that. The so-called ‘Black and Chrome’ edit drained all the color from the film, leaving something sparser and bleaker. And now Logan will be the latest to undergo a similar process, rendering a gritty and tough superhero picture as something even grittier and tougher. [Spits out mouthful of nails.]
If you ever bellowed those words in the mirror while holding a cardboard tube aloft like a sword shortly after giving yourself a DIY bowl-cut, you were probably a fan of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. That, or a kid with extremely weird hobbies. Either way, the series of comics, cartoons and collectibles remains a cherished part of ’80s nostalgia, and as we have learned time and again over the past few years, no corner of Generation X’s childhood is safe from the plunderers at the major movie studios.
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