Star Wars is great, everyone’s pretty much on the same page about that one, but the problem is that it’s just so dang long. Eight movies, with more on the way? And they’re all two-plus hours? And there are TV shows?! It would take a viewer days if not weeks to wade through all of that action, and so the minds at Lucasfilm and Disney have done us all the service of condensing Star Wars into segments a little closer to bite-size. In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes; likewise, in the future, new Star Wars content will be between two and three minutes long.
It’s pretty unilaterally agreed that Charles Manson was a bad egg. As the leader of the hippie cult known as The Family, he terrorized Southern California with a killing spree that claimed seven lives, including that of actress and Roman Polanski spouse Sharon Tate. He was sentenced to nine consecutive lifetime sentences in prison, where he continues to hang out today. Pop culture has made no bones about its continuing fascination with this charismatic, repulsive figure and a new project will soon provide a fresh perspective on the real-life villain — with another villain along for the ride.
The sound of metal grinding against metal. The proud yelp of Mark Wahlberg’s serious-actor concerned voice. (“We’re not givin’ up on Prime, okay?!“) The rippling waves of incoherent computer-generated imagery glinting in the post-apocalyptic sun. It can all only mean one thing: there‘s a new trailer for the latest chapter in Michael Bay’s ongoing giant-fighting-alien-robot opera Transformers. Allow me to quickly assuage any concerns by confirming that yes, a whole bunch of crap blows up real big, yes, a huge CGI thing crashes into another CGI thing, and yes, Megan Fox is no longer with us. But let’s dig in anyway, shall we?
A few years ago, I wrote up a brief item about an incident taking place at Los Angeles’ AFI Film Festival wherein an irate woman maced a man in the face for having the gall to ask her to turn off her cell phone during a screening of Mike Leigh’s J.M.W. Turner biopic Mr. Turner. “Wow, being at the movies sure makes people do crazy things!” I thought to myself. “I wonder how long it’ll be until the next time I get to write about a violent movie theater conflict over petty nonsense.” That day has come at last, and this time [beat to let the moment breathe] the stakes are even higher.
Valued readers of ScreenCrush: I had the good fortune of catching an early screening of Edgar Wright’s new picture Baby Driver just last night, and while I have been sworn to semi-secrecy, I can safely and gladly echo the sentiments of my esteemed colleague Britt and affirm that holy biscuits is it good. It is a damn fine moving picture. I won’t say much more than that, and luckily, I don‘t have to because today brings the arrival of a new trailer for the high-octane crime thriller. Comin’ in hot, wheels skidding in a perfectly narrow drift, the trailer arrives with the hyperkinetic editing and blazing soundtrack cuts that make this movie such an unfettered joy.
It’s been a long week — for you, me, ScreenCrush, America, and Earth. It’s nice to be able to take a moment on Friday to enjoy some more uplifting news, and today has happily obliged us with the announcement that Joe Manganiello went right ahead and wrote a Dungeons & Dragons screenplay. The man I assume must be the most ripped D&D nerd on the planet recently made a guest appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, where he informed host Josh Horowitz that he had co-authored a script based on the popular table-top roleplaying game with a “playwright friend from Carnegie Mellon” last year. Somewhere in the great dork beyond, Gary Gygax is looking down on Manganiello and smiling.
Kyle Davies, the President of Domestic Distribution for Paramount Pictures, is not having a great week. The early eruption of a backlash to his studio’s newest release (the generously-budgeted Ghost in the Shell remake) and its whitewashed casting was cause for concern. But up until recently, he could assuage his shareholders’ worries by clinging to the notion that hackle-raising on the Internet would not have any tangible effects on the box-office receipts. That changed after this past weekend, when the Scarlett Johansson vehicle mustered a piteous $19 million in wide release. Left to answer for the film’s commercial failure, Davies has placed the blame on the controversy over tapping confirmed white woman Johansson to portray an Asian role, to which the whole of the Internet will now respond with a hearty “DA-DOY.”
While he‘s made more headlines recently as an avant-garde political performance artist — and even more headlines as a guy who gets arrested at political performance art installations — it falls to Shia LaBeouf to intermittently remind the people of America that he is an actor, first and foremost. He’ll win our love (tennis pun!) later this year as John McEnroe in the double biopic Borg vs. McEnroe, but presently, his war drama Man Down has tromped into theaters after its 2015 festival debut. The bad news for The Beef is that not a whole lot of people saw the critically derided, low-profile indie. And in Britain, they’re prepared to put a number on just how hard Man Down flopped. And that number is three.
In the years since Shrek Forever After, our most recent check-in with the friendly Mike Myers-voiced ogre, DreamWorks’ animated franchise has matured from a massively successful creative property into something vaster and stranger. Gradually but undeniably, the Shrek films have turned into a Whole Big Weird Internet Thing, with various denizens of the World Wide Web creating disturbing fan-art and cracking absurdist jokes about the smart-alecky series of animated films. In certain online circles, even uttering the words “Some-BODY once told me” is enough to prompt a barrage of surreal humor and warped image macros. And now that Shrek lives on as a sense-stymieing parody of its former self, what better time to revive the franchise?
Sure, maybe April is early to declare a movie that hasn‘t even been screened for the public yet to be the best of the year. (It’s only the third of the month, so who knows, it might be early to declare anything the best of April.) And yet, watching the latest trailer for the upcoming Katherine Heigl/Rosario Dawson erotic thriller Unforgettable, I feel secure in my convictions. The first trailer was a whirlwind of psycho ex-girlfriend-sploitation, replete with darkly surreal home invasions, laptop-assisted masturbation, and Heigl’s super-serious killer-face. The final trailer has surfaced today, and if you weren’t convinced that this film will be an unassailable masterpiece — for people obsessed with low-rent suspense pieces about sexual obsession, such as myself — then Heigl’s got six words for you:
You may remember pop star Beyoncé Knowles from her stint in the late-’90s/early-’00s R&B girl group Destiny‘s Child with “Pretty Girl Rock” singer Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (not the one from Manchester by the Sea). But did you know that the celebrated performer has cultivated an active solo career in the years since the group that made her famous broke up? Believe it or not, Knowles released a string of successful studio records over the past decade, starred in the music-video-compilation film Lemonade last year, and wed rapping man Jayson Z in 2008. And with that, I have completed my impression of someone who only heard of Beyoncé when scanning her Wikipedia page just now. We all know who Beyoncé is. She‘s Beyoncé.
Cheerio and cor blimey! Today brings a right proper new poster for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and it’s lookin’ a bit cheeky, innit? Makes you wanna round up the lads, and head down to the pub for a bit of tea and crumpe— I’m sorry, I can’t keep this up. I’ve never been to Britain. I don’t even know what any of that means, I just know they said it on Skins.
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