The Criterion Collection has emerged as the gold standard of boutique home-video releasing outfits, both in terms of their eclecticism and access. It seems like they’re always unveiling some big new project, whether it’s a restoration of an aging classic, a spotlight on a more obscure curio (their House disc remains a top seller), or a handsome release for current pictures. And a tweet today announced what may be their most staggeringly ambitious project, a box set the like of which dwarf any the company has attempted before. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project has been suddenly supplanted as the must-have gift for the movie obsessive in your life.
It’s a Minion world, and we’re all just living in it. The little pill-shaped yellow critters have left an indelible imprint on the cultural mainstream, for better (footage not found) or for worse (try googling “minions memes,” I dare you). Kids and adults alike have latched onto the phenomenon with an uncommon enthusiasm, and now the numbers reflect the totality with which the Despicable Me universe has permeated modern life. In the seven brief years since Illumination Entertainment loosed the original Despicable Me on an innocent populace, the franchise has grown into the largest of its kind — the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time.
We won’t know if the upcoming live-action Lion King remake is a ‘good movie,’ however you might define the term, until its release on July 19, 2019. But with two years to go until the big unveiling, director Jon Favreau is already off to a strong start. There‘s been a clever little edge to his casting thus far, as he’s tapped black actors for the lion roles in the film (Donald Glover will voice Simba, and James Earl Jones will lend his velvety baritone to sage father Mufasa) and white actors as the other members of the animal kingdom (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will voice Timon and Pumbaa; John Oliver has signed on as toucan Zazu), reinforcing the allegory of discord among the royal family and fully transposing it to its African setting.
As Guillermo Del Toro prepares for the unveiling of his latest film The Shape of Water at the Toronto International Film Festival, his orphaned triumph Pacific Rim has taken on a life all its own. The esteemed filmmaker has long since parted ways with the fledgling kaiju franchise, ceding the directorial reins to TV’s Steven DeKnight, who will work with a new handful of cast members as well. (John Boyega and Scott Eastwood represent the two highest-profile additions to the cast.) With set photos steadily trickling in and a trailer release all but imminent, it would appear all systems are go for Pacific Rim: Uprising. But a new report today has alerted the public to a small hiccup in the film‘s release.
Channing Tatum’s a delight — fleet-footed dancer, lovably lunkheaded actor, and crooner of the occasional showtune, he’s got more of a claim to the title of America’s sweetheart than just about anybody. But while I may love Channing Tatum, and you may love Channing Tatum, he’s got one critic he just can’t seem to win over: his four-year-old daughter Everly.
While my Twitter mentions and my inbox’s spam folder have made it abundantly clear that video game enthusiasts do not like movie critics, by and large, they do like movies. The video gaming site Machinima (itself a property of Warner Bros., which is worth knowing) recently conducted a survey that indicates as much, polling gamers about their moviegoing habits and preferences. And while the gaming community remains on constant watch for the twin scourges of studio-sponsored bribery and bias among critics, they have not allowed them to dampen their enjoyment of a night out at the cineplex.
Ahh, post-production, that magical time when a director can use computers and good old-fashioned ingenuity to fix the hundred little things that went wrong while shooting. Flubbed lines can be re-recorded and spliced in, flawed shots can be surgically removed, and inconsistencies in continuity can be digitally erased from the frame. That last one has become something of a major concern for the Justice League production as it winds down, because the process of reshooting has dealt director Joss Whedon one hairy, noticeable continuity error.
Our children won’t believe us when we tell them that there used to be doubt over whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work at the box office. Even at present, the days of studio executive hand-wringing over whether audiences would deign to shell out their precious $11.75 to see a film in which a woman — who was not a man — did superhero things feel favorably remote. For director Patty Jenkins and her marble-carved star Gal Gadot have proven beyond all debate and rage-choked internet commenting that women are perfectly capable of making a whole mess of money during blockbuster season. And now it’s official.
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