“I am Groot.” With the exception of one small variation, this is the only thing we hear from Vin Diesel’s Groot throughout Guardians of the Galaxy. What makes this such a funny running joke isn’t the fact that he only says the one phrase, though; it’s the fact that Rocket Raccoon understands him perfectly, unearthing complicated sentiments and emotions from three simple words. Translating Groot’s dialogue would be like un-bleeping the profanity in an episode of South Park: you pretty much already know what Groot is saying, and the jokes just work better this way.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: whenever you need to cast someone as a giant floating face planet, get Kurt Russell. Russell has long been one of our most self-deprecating movie stars, an immensely talented actor with movie star looks who, for some wonderful reason, always preferred to play the buffoon over the action hero. Movies like Big Trouble in Little China and even the more recent The Hateful Eight reveal that Russell is never happier than when making fun of his movie star persona.
This weekend, as he normally does, Dwayne Johnson went on Instagram to say goodbye to his most recent movie shoot and say hello to the next thing in his pipeline (seriously, the only time this guy sleeps must be when he is flying from one movie location to another). And while it’s worth noting that Johnson thanked many of the Fast 8 cast and crew excluding Vin Diesel — the feud lives on! — it was another small comment about his upcoming production of Jumanji that turned a few heads.
It’s a testament to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that Ant-Man was a critical and commercial success despite its highly publicized production issues. While many of the other films in the series deal with world domination or destruction, Ant-Man lowered the stakes a little bit and gave us an old-fashioned heist film about a group of lovable losers and an evil corporation. And none of these losers were quite so lovable as Michael Pena’s Luis, who stole an entire film from both Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd.
At this point in his career, there shouldn’t be much cause for behind-the-scenes drama when it comes to Tom Cruise movies. Cruise wants to star in another Jack Reacher movie? Pay the man. Cruise wants to play a special forces operative fighting a centuries-old mummy? Pay the man. Cruise wants to release a movie where all he does is run for two hours? By all that is holy and good in this world, pay the man!
Now that we have a little bit of distance from movies like Norbit and Meet Dave, it’s probably time to start thinking about an Eddie Murphy renaissance. In his day, Murphy has been an award-winning comedian, a movie star and a serious dramatic lead; a few bad decisions over the last decade should not be enough to unravel his talent as a perform
Sad news today for fans of the Star Wars films and Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits: Kenny Baker, the man who brought droid R2-D2 to life, has passed away at the age of 81. According to The Guardian, Baker’s passing comes after a long battle with an unspecified illness.
File this one under Least Surprising News of All Time: according to producer Simon Kinberg, the upcoming sequel to the surprise hit Deadpool will poke fun at superhero sequels. No word yet on whether the character of Deadpool will continue to make movie references, talk to the camera, and poke fun at the successes and failures of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise.
How’s this for awkward timing: just as an entire generation of moviegoers are rediscovering their love for Winona Ryder thanks to Stranger Things, her chances at reappearing in the role that made her famous may be dying on the vine. The last time we checked in on Beetlejuice 2, it was Ryder who thought the sequel might actually be happening. Now it is Michael Keaton, her costar from the original film, who seems determined to put the final nail in the coffin.
If you’re like me, even after all these years, you can still remember everything that happened in The Bourne Identity pretty clearly. It’s when you get to The Bourne Supremacy that things start to get a little fuzzy. I remember an early scene in the second film where Matt Damon’s Bourne and Franka Potente’s Marie are ambushed by Karl Urban’s Treadstone assassin, and then some sort of car chase in an Eastern European city, but that’s about the last major plot point I can keep straight in my head. Was Brian Cox in the second film? Didn’t the third film have some sort of investigative journalist? Did Bourne actually ever get his memory back in the three films? Does The Bourne Legacy even matter at all?
Here’s one small sneak peek into our madness: everyone has heard at least in passing about the method approach that Jared Leto brought to his role as the Joker, but the dynamic onset was apparently a little more complex than the soundbites might suggest. According to Suicide Squad star Viola Davis, the dedication that Jared Leto brought to the role had two effects: one, it made everyone — including his friend and costar Scott Eastwood — afraid to interact with him, and two, it made each of them want to be at the top of their game. In one case, Leto mailed a live rat to Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie, eliciting the scream that he wanted… but Robbie also had the last laugh by adopting the rat as her new pet.
If someone asked me to trace my personal development as a cinephile, I’m pretty sure that Mystery Science Theater 3000 would be one of the most important stops along the way. I grew up watching the show; it instilled in me an appreciation for pointless pop culture knowledge as well as an affection for so-called bad movies. Mike, Joel and the bots may have spent their time mocking ’70s and ’80s films, but there was always an undercurrent of good cheer and low-budget kinship that I admired.
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