About a month and a half separate the viewing public from the much-hyped live-action remake of Disney’s essential fairytale Beauty and the Beast. While regular TV viewers and net-surfers can look forward to an uninterrupted stream of commercials and ads until then, Disney has given one last push of publicity today with the final trailer promoting their handsomely-appointed new film. And as if to sweeten the deal, they included a snippet of the previously announced re-recording of the majestic theme tune, as sung by La La Land jazz-diluter John Legend and travel-size pop starlet Ariana Grande.
For the past few Januarys, the good folks at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin have thrown a celebration of cinema’s greatest living actor called C4GED, in which they screen a surprise selection of five films starring Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage back to back. Whether you fall into the so-bad-he’s-good camp or rightly recognize the Cage as a genuinely masterful and widely misunderstood thespian, it’s a roaring good time for all, with an open invitation extended to Cage so that he may come and receive happy birthday wishes. (The festival was specifically scheduled to fall in Cage’s birth month.) He’s never taken them up on the offer before, but this year was a little special.
Hollywood’s gonna keep returning to the well of the tried-and-true in search of remake material until it runs dry, which could never happen, for all we know. To mix a metaphor, the ‘80s and ’90s have been thoroughly strip-mined for new #content, to the point where stars of beloved nostalgia objects have to specifically state that they’d prefer not to see a remake to pre-empt what feels like an inevitable greenlight. Geena Davis is the latest celebrity to come out against the recent remakeapalooza, specifically voicing her disapproval of any potential plans to rework her most timeless success of all, Cutthroat Island. (That‘s supposed to be a joke.)
When we last checked in with the evolving lawsuit that Paramount and CBS filed against the creators of Star Trek fan film Axanar, things weren’t looking so hot for DIY producer Alec Peters. In a ruling chockablock with Trek puns, the judge declared that a jury of Peters’ peers would be responsible for determining whether his film infringed upon Paramount’s legal copyrights in terms of actual people, places, and things (“objective substantial similarity”) as well as overall spirit and feel of the Star Trek franchise (“subjective substantial similarity”). I’m no legal professional, but even this layman could see pretty plainly that Peters’ ass was legal grass, and Paramount was preparing to mow it.
The people have been making some pretty questionable choices for themselves as of late. Some big politics thing is happening tomorrow, there’s that, and last night marked the 43rd Annual People‘s Choice Awards, the populist awards program that does away with the snooty prestige of the Oscars. The evening delivered some rather eyebrow-raising results in its recognition of the most widely beloved entertainers of the year, and though none quite confounded on a Trumpian level, the night was full of what we’ll diplomatically call “surprises.”
Forcing audiences to watch a movie in which a dog lives, finds true happiness, and then dies over and over again would’ve been an act of sadism all on its own. But the crew of the upcoming family film A Dog’s Purpose have recently been outed as sadists of another, more stomach-churning sort. TMZ posted a shocking video from a second-unit shoot for the film in which an animal handler forces a reluctant German Shepard into rushing waters, the dog begins drowning, and handlers rush to retrieve the animal amid cries of “cut it! cut it!” PETA has already called for a boycott of the film, with the most shame heaped upon the industry supplier Birds & Animals Unlimited, and the rest of the fallout has been swift.
Superheroes don’t have to come from the brightly-colored pages of American comic books; the Power Rangers series that captivated youngsters during the ‘90s and early 2000s had roots in Japan, stemming from their tradition of kaiju films. It’s a powerful bridge between cultures, the universal desire to watch a team of teenagers with extraordinary abilities team up to beat the stuffing out of gigantic monsters, And now it’ll connect generations, too, as the official trailer arrives today with the promise of the same spirit of teamwork and towering-menace-fighting that made them an unlikely cross-Pacific sensation two decades ago.
Emma Watson’s continuing media blitz in promotion of the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake found her on the cover of the latest issue of Total Film (h/t E! Online), where she spoke about the moral underpinnings of the movie and her character Belle. In one quote in particular Watson declared that the film’s heroine Belle makes for a better role model than fellow Disney princess Cinderella.
Christmas day, 2007: millions of happy families file out of opening-day screenings for kid-friendly fantasy film The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. As moms and dads dab at the corners of their eyes to clean up the last of their tears, youngsters breathlessly effuse over the film’s combination of treacly sentimentality and off-putting, underdeveloped CGI. “I love the water horse!” they’d cry. “I can’t wait for another movie pairing a precocious, lonely boy with a mythical, weirdly-rendered beast in which they teach one another a valuable lesson about what it means to love!”
A little less than a week ago, the internet got an eyeful of the trailer for the upcoming remake of seminal ’70s buddy cop program CHiPS. The response was, to put it diplomatically, varied — many groaned at the film’s decision to trot out hoary gay-panic gags, disappointed to learn that Hollywood has not left the whole “two heterosexual men frightened of each other’s bodies” schtick behind. Others, such as star Dax Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell (a skilled comedic actress in her own right, portraying Shepard’s wife in the film), presumably told him it looked real good and she couldn't wait to buy a ticket. One person has been surprisingly vocal in his distaste for the film, however.
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