When it comes to the DC film adaptations, there are two truths we hold to be self-evident. On the one hand, the live-action movies have — at least to this point — been fairly underwhelming, whiffing on the elements of Batman and Superman we find endearing in favor of a gloomy music video vibe that leaves a bad taste in our mouth. That being said, there’s no denying that Warner Bros. Animation has something special going on with its superhero movies. Most of those films run the gamut from solid to great; we ranked them all last summer and weren’t shy that their animation department has given their live-action counterparts a run for their money.
When word got out that Emily Blunt had been cast as the title character in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, the overwhelming response from most people was, “Well, sure.” Blunt has proven herself to be genre agnostic over the years, as likely to wow audiences in a science-fiction or action film as she is in a light-hearted comedy. That alone would make her an ideal candidate for Mary Poppins — as the rare actress capable of convincing audiences that she’d do justice to an iconic character — but she also bears a physical resemblance to Julie Andrews to boot. You couldn’t ask for better casting.
Whether you choose to overlook the accusations of whitewashing levied against Paramount’s upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie is entirely up to you, but there are certainly some who are rooting for the film to open doors for other anime projects. Studios aren’t exactly hot-spots for innovative thinking; if Ghost in the Shell bombs next weekend, there will no-doubt be executives at Paramount who claim the only real lesson is that American audiences don’t like Anime. That would be a real blow to fans of the long-gestating adaptation of Akira, the seminal 1988 animated movie by Katsuhiro Otomo that has been an inspiration to countless science fiction movies and television shows that follow.
As someone who loves Kurt Russell more than I love my own wife (don’t tell her), nothing could have made me more excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 than the addition of Russell. Not only is Russell’s love of dim-witted characters a perfect match for the universe that director James Gunn has created, the film will also hopefully — and I cannot believe I’m saying this — introduce the actor to a generation of movie fans who have never seen iconic films like Escape From New York and, more importantly, Big Trouble in Little China.
When we last left the caped crusader, things weren’t looking all that bright. Sure, he had a new super-friend in the form of Diana Prince, but Superman — the complete-stranger-turned-mortal-enemy-turned-best-friend in Batman’s life — has sacrificed his life to protect Earth (or something) and now the weight of protecting our planet rested heavily on the shoulders of Bruce Wayne. If Wayne could organize others like him, then maybe Earth could stand a fighting chance.
It might be a tale as old as time, but audiences have proven there’s still a few petals left on that old flower. Despite being projected to open at somewhere between $214–245 million worldwide, Beauty and the Beast knocked the pants off those projections, eclipsing $350 million at the international box office and setting a March record for domestic releases along the way. Let’s take a look at how things shook out this past weekend with some of the expected grosses.
For franchise movie fans, nothing grates on the nerves quite like the lull between the day production wraps on a new movie and the day the first teaser drops. Production has been finished on Star Wars: The Last Jedi for a few months now, and since we’re not quite sure when Disney will be releasing the first trailer for the film, we’re latching onto any piece of information we can get about the new film or any new Star Wars content, period. In short, we’re in the business of reading too much into Mark Hamill’s Twitter account.
As ScreenCrush managing editor Matt Singer recently noted, March is now the beginning of the summer movie season. That means saying goodbye to all the middling horror movies, low-concept boutique pictures, and genre films we used to see in March and cutting straight to the $100 million dollar blockbusters that are looking for any competitive edge. Last year, the big release at the end of March was the gloomy Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; this year we’re going to get the gentler kid’s version of that movie in Power Rangers, a film about people in bulky suits and flying machines fighting CGI monsters. It’s kind of a nice parallel.
With Hugh Jackman’s Logan opening in theaters this weekend, the top spot of this list was never in doubt. The questions were always whether audiences would respond well to the first major R-rated superhero movie. Was the big opening of Deadpool an abberation or a sign of things to come? If today’s numbers are any indication, the answer is, maybe a little bit of both.
As people weigh in on the popularity of Marvel and DC movies, they sometimes neglect to mention the opportunities these films create for non-superhero comic books. For every Logan, there’s a handful of smaller titles — movies like American Splendor, Ghost World, and Scott Pilgrim — that benefit from the overall popularity of the medium. Ryan Gosling, for example, recently signed on to produce a film adaptation of independent graphic novel The Underwater Welder, a melancholy story of fatherhood and mortality. Any filmmaker or actor seeking out their next comic book movie need only spend a few hours at their local library branch to see the full scope of the medium.
For a lot of casual moviegoers, the Independent Spirit Awards are just the weird little awards show that takes place in a big tent the night before the Academy Awards. Maybe, as you’ll see in the opening monologue above, the comedy is a little raunchier and more NSFW than we expected. Maybe the audience seems a bit more drunk than we’re used to. But for those of us who only catch snippets or highlights of acceptance speeches on social media, it can be hard to understand its place in the overall award scene.
As a teenager in the ’90s, no actor better represented blockbuster movies than Bill Paxton. Although Paxton wasn’t typically a leading man in those movies — he would often play the brother, the second-in-command, or the comic relief — he served as a kind of talisman of quality. If you saw Paxton’s name in the opening credits of a movie, you knew that the film was going to be better for it.
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