This past weekend, Samuel L. Jackson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dubai International Film Festival and opened up a bit about award season and the types of films that so often receive awards. While Jackson is no stranger to working in Academy Award-nominated movies — his frequent collaborations with Quentin Tarantino have often led to Oscar consideration, and Jackson himself was nominated for Pulp Fiction — the actor was not shy about sharing his thoughts (via The Wrap) on the increasing politicization of award season and the films we are seeing as a result.
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.
Ever since the Wonder Woman trailer blew the doors off of Comic-Con International, fans have been ready for another round of footage or trailers. Everything about the character lends hope to the idea that Wonder Woman will be the movie to right the sinking ship of the DC Cinematic Universe. And while it isn’t exactly the new trailer or huge photo spread we were hoping for, we do have a pair of new leaked photos to tide us over until the next official thing.
I don’t think it’s a particularly bold statement to say that Justin Timberlake is one of the great all-around talents currently working today. Everyone knows his music and his hilarious appearances on Saturday Night Live, but with a filmography that includes everything from Inside Llewyn Davis to The Social Network, Timberlake has also proven himself several times over as an actor. Whatever Timberlake decides to do, odds are he will do it very, very well.
The relationship between Broadway and and Hollywood has always struck me as a bit unfair. Hollywood basically gets its pick of pre-packaged products: wonderful lyrics, showstopping dance numbers, and beloved songs. Broadway, meanwhile, has to do most of the heavy lifting when adapting a movie for the stage. Oh, you want to make Waitress into a Broadway musical? That’s great! You’ll just need to write a whole new suite of songs. And figure out all the choreography. And rewrite the book to make those first two things fit. Because the movie has none of that.
Even months before the movie was released, it was pretty obvious that Thor had no real place in Captain America: Civil War. That film was rooted in political intrigue and manipulation of trust; Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is really more of the Mary Poppins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not really worrying so much about the day-to-day and just popping in whenever he’s needed the most. To remain true to the character, there was no scenario in which Thor did not just roll his eyes and head back to Asgard until the whole thing had blown over.
While fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series may always secretly resent the Olympic Games for not recognizing Quidditch as an official sport, that doesn’t mean the Olympics have nothing to offer them. This past week, the newest trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered during the international events, offering us perhaps our best look yet at the upcoming expansion of the Harry Potter universe.
We make fun of James Franco an awful lot on the internet — remember his short-lived flirtation with a Blood Meridian adaptation before it turned out he never had the rights to the movie? — but credit where it is due: Franco isn’t afraid to lend his celebrity to some pretty challenging subject matter. And after checking out the first trailer for Goat, I think it’s safe to say that Franco’s work as both actor and producer were well-placed on this one.
How do you become a fan favorite as an actor? Easy. Just love the character as much as the fans do. For as much as we enjoy pitting the various comic book franchises against each other, the secret weapon of the films released by Marvel Studios has always been that we honestly and truly believe that the people involved are having as much fun making the movies as we are watching them. And near the top of that list has to be Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.
Nothing like a fresh, piping hot superhero rumor on a long weekend, am I right? Earlier this week, Net-A-Porter (via /Film) took the opportunity to ask Anna Kendrick which superhero she could see herself playing. She admitted that her brother had sent her a Squirrel Girl comic and that Kendrick could see herself playing the character. So if we’re being honest here, a more accurate headline would probably, ‘Anna Kendrick’s Brother Interested in Anna Kendrick Being Interested in a Squirrel Girl Movie’, but my goodness, that’s practically illegible, isn’t it?
Remember those days in high school where your regular history teacher would call in sick and some anonymous substitute would just put on a VHS of Glory or Gettysburg and call it a day? It turns out that practice is still alive and well at universities across the country, with one small difference: instead of some random recent college graduate as a substitute teacher, these students will be visited by Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey.
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