Last year, we published a video essay on Arnold Schwarzenegger that suggested that Arnold is much an auteur as the directors he has worked with. While most people still think of movies like Terminator and True Lies as the work of James Cameron, our own Matt Singer argued — and rather persuasively, I might add — that Arnold’s status as a cinematic auteur should be just as important a factor in how we evaluate his films. No matter who is behind the camera of an Arnold movie, you know the types of characters and narratives you are going to get.
I’d be hard-pressed to name a Disney villain I like as much as Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston. In addition to being a Sondheim-esque twist on the traditional idea of a fairy tale prince — vain, violent, and eager to confuse chivalry with misogyny — the character of Gaston has also become something of a method actor’s dream for Disney theme park employees. Remember the time that Gaston challenged a kid to a push-up contest? Or how about the time that Gaston got shouted down by a young girl? It turns out that no one goes viral like Gaston, either.
It seems to me that Moana brought in two very different audiences this holiday weekend. For some, Moana was the newest entry in a long line of Disney princess movies and a step in the right direction for the studio in terms of inclusiveness and empowering young women. For others, it was a chance to cure their Lin-Manuel Miranda withdrawals after the turnover of the Hamilton cast and the end of the regular Ham4Ham sidewalk performances. That probably explains the odd mix of millennials and children at the recent matinee you attended.
If there’s one thing that Joe Carnahan excels at, it’s overshooting our expectations. I promise that isn’t just faint praise: Carnahan has rebooted The A-Team as a summer movie; shot a feature-length film where Liam Neeson punches wolves; released an ensemble action film about the mob trying to kill a magician. Each of these films could have been a disaster in the wrong hands, but Carnahan has consistently delivered fun and thoughtful action movies where audiences least expect it. For my money, that makes him one of the most underrated writer-directors working in the action genre today.
Ah, the Pokémon franchise. It seems like only yesterday that millions of people were wandering the streets of their hometowns, eyes locked to their smartphone screens as they flung Pokeballs at imaginary creatures hovering over local businesses. The Pokémon Go craze, with its innovative use of technology and beloved cartoon characters, brought the popular animated series back into the public spotlight. And with news that Legendary Pictures would shoot a new live-action Pokémon movie in 2017, it was only a matter of time before some of the original films found their way back into theaters.
Talking to Marvel actors about their upcoming projects is always a game of inches. Each actor is unlikely to break a brand new story off the cuff, so instead, you try and firm up rumors that have leaked from the production. For Tom Holland, this means a few simple questions about the production experience on Spider-Man: Homecoming and one big one: will Spider-Man be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
About this time last year, rumors were flying that Marvel was trying to get some version of Blade off the ground. There were reports that Marvel had met with actor Wesley Snipes to discuss the possibility of a Blade 4; there were also reports that Marvel wanted to move forward with a Blade movie focusing on the vampire hunter’s daughter. Whatever the final product might be, Marvel clearly had some vague notion that Blade would be a factor in the future of the franchises.
For a while there, it seemed like the only sure things in life were death, taxes, and Ron Perlman talking up the possibility of a Hellboy 3. Even just scrolling back through our own archives, you can find multiple attempts by Perlman to either talk up the chances of a sequel or get fans to pitch in on the project. Even after Guillermo Del Toro went dark on the subject, Perlman continued to hold out hope that another film would get made.
After months of radio silence on final Wolverine movie, the past few weeks have been a flurry of activity. Not only did star Hugh Jackman confirm the film’s title (Logan) and producer Bryan Singer confirm the film’s villain (Mr. Sinister), the marketing team has twisted open the faucet a little and begun the slow drip of teaser photos leading up to the first trailers.
After years of waiting, Wonder Woman fans are finally going to get their due. Not only will the Amazonian princess appear in two films in 2017 — her standalone Wonder Woman next June and the Justice League crossover in November — she will also be the subject of an upcoming biopic of comic book creator William Moulton Marston and the two women who played a pivotal role in the creation of the character.
These days it seems like every recognizable actor above the age of 50 is getting their own spin on the Taken franchise. As a result, not a lot of people batted an eye when it was announced that Keanu Reeves would be playing a retired contract killer in some mid-range action movie called John Wick. Imagine our collective surprise, then, when John Wick was not only not another Taken clone, but one of the best action movies of the decade. Fans were quick to clamor for another glimpse at the violent action and posh criminal underworld of the first film.
This weekend, New York City Comic-Con has come bearing gifts for Power Rangers fans. As if the brand new character posters released on Friday weren’t enough, LionsGate has also given us our first theatrical trailer for the movie, giving us some background on the assembly of the current Power Rangers team — and one quick look at Elizabeth Banks’ Rita Repulsa as well.
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