As the guy behind An American Werewolf in London, one of the most widely adored monster movies in the genre’s gloriously ignoble history, people care what John Landis has to say about the state of the American studio creature feature. The current talking point du jour is Universal’s connected franchise of Dark Universe monster movies, a planned network of seven interlocking films featuring their most famed ghouls. This past weekend, their flagship entry The Mummy gave a mixed performance at the box office, mustering up a paltry $32 million domestically, but giving star Tom Cruise his biggest global opening of all time. It’s an embarrassment at home but a smash abroad, and Landis has some thoughts on the matter.
Spider-Man’s a true New Yorker: he understands when to take the 6 train versus rolling the dice on the 2nd Avenue subway, he knows where to get the Bronx’s best chopped cheese, and when he needs a snack in a pinch, he hits up his friendly neighborhood bodega. In the latest promotional spot for the umpteenth reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming, the web-head is late to a big NBA Finals watching party at Tony Stark’s place. (The commercial was written to air specifically during the basketball playoffs this year.) But when he ducks into a nearby bodega — for those uninitiated, it’s really just a corner convenience store, but immeasurably better in every way — he has a chance encounter.
In a few short weeks, the general public will get to lay eyes on Edgar Wright’s latest film Baby Driver, which, as has been made clear multiple times elsewhere on this very web site, is absurdly good. Like, unaccountably good. How is the movie so good? Explain yourself, Wright! While he has not yet owned up to whatever dark sorcery made his new film such a blast, Wright has been discussing plenty of other matters as he’s made the rounds on the interview circuit in support of Baby Driver. And the folks at Movie Web wanted the answer to one question in specific: where’s the man stand on sequels?
There‘s a new gay icon in Hollywood currently enjoying a moment of enhanced visibility. If you find Ellen too squeaky-clean, Neil Patrick Harris too eager-to-please, or Lance Bass too Lance Bass, then you’re in luck, because a new LGBT champion has emerged from the shadows to capture the hearts of millions. He’s here, he’s queer, and he wants to eat the child that cracked open his cursed pop-up book: good citizens of the Internet, the Babadook has burst out of the closet, and he’s hungry.
As we gradually approach a Fahrenheit 451-type juncture in the real world, HBO Films has kindly taken the edge off by announcing their plans to mount a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel. It was surprising but enticing news when it broke a couple of months ago, boasting a flashy pair of headliners in Michael B. Jordan (portraying Guy Montag, an professional book-burner who comes to question the ethics of his work) and Michael Shannon (as Beatty, Guy’s boss and mentor who doesn’t take too kindly to his protege’s radical new thoughts). And today, in an all-too-timely casting notice, a third star has upped the profile of this big-ticket TV movie even further.
The Academy Awards may have run back in February, but the Golden Trailer Awards — nothing if not the Academy Awards for people without the patience to sit for a feature-length film — took place just last night...
Here’s how bubble economics works: when a specific commodity appears to be growing in value, investors funnel more money into it and that artificially inflates the value even further, which cycles back and attracts even more investor money. Eventually, however, the chickens must come home to roost and the actual value of that commodity must be recognized. If the return-on-investment potential fails to live up to the hype created around it, then a lot of people stand to lose a lot of money very quickly. Remember Kazaa, from way back when it looked like it was literally impossible to lose money by investing in online companies? Me neither!
Between its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 and its theatrical release last month, Laura Poitras’ WikiLeaks documentary Risk transformed into a different film. In that interim year, her subject Julian Assange nabbed quite a few headlines as he stuck his thumb in the 2016 Presidential election, and Poitras rightly believed she’d have to recut the film to account for all the new developments. And now, in a similar situation, another festival-feted nonfiction film has been made to rewrite its own story as real-world news breaks.
When the Cannes Film Festival descends on the French Rivieira, movie billboards and banners crop up all around the Croisette area to catch the attention of industry big shots in town. One such poster advertised a little film called Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, a new animated project out of Korea in which Chloe Grace Moretz voices the apple-eater of note Snow White. But the passersby at the festival were none too pleased with the advertisement, see if you can guess why: it displays two Snow Whites, one thin and tall, the other shorter and a bit plumper. The tagline? “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”
Is Pixar losing their touch? They’re no longer the coolest animation house, having ceded some of that street cred to the international curators of GKids and the stop-motion prestidigitators at Laika. They’re not the most profitable, either, as their box office receipts are regularly dwarfed by the money factories erected by parent company Disney or Illumination. (Last year’s mega-smash Finding Dory was sorely needed after the underperforming The Good Dinosaur.) Pixar’s rep as the industry’s most creativity-driven, unfailingly excellent studio has faded as they’ve leaned a little harder on moneymaking sequels — Cars 3, coming soon! — but today brings the news that they’ve taken a significant step into regaining supremacy over the industry.
Even as Marvel continues to crank out massively scaled spectacles, they’re always keeping one eye on the future. Ant-Man sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp won’t shrink down and infiltrate theaters until July 6, 2018, but the wheels of pre-production have begun turning on the sequel audiences apparently asked for.
Those fans curious about when they’d see a new Wonder Woman poster need no longer wonder. [douses self in gasoline, flings immolating body off of steep cliff into shark-infested waters] Now that the customary pun penance — punance, if you will — is all over and through with, we can present the new one-sheet for Warner Bros.’ upcoming big screen outing for Diana Prince without any further ado. And it just might be the most handsome poster yet, a swirl of warm primary colors with the focus on a radical juxtaposition.
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