Writing about the latest developments in movie-centric news isn’t a bad job, by any means — I could be mining ore and plucking chickens like my Eastern European forefathers — but some days still make you wanna sharpen up your morning coffee with something a little stronger. The recent trend of movie studios airing brief mini-trailers to tease the release of upcoming slightly-longer trailers numbers among my least favorite developments in online buzz-cultivating, and leave it to Zack Snyder and the DC cinematic universe to take that to the next level. Running a trailer for the trailer is some weak-ass bull, the sort of thing those nerds at Marvel would do — this is DC, baby, where they run five trailers for the trailer.
Almost exactly a year ago, tech entrepreneur Sean Parker (better known as the guy who correctly identified a billion dollars as cooler than a million dollars in The Social Network) fronted a proposed business venture called The Screening Room, a potentially game-changing set-top box through which Hollywood studios would offer their biggest new releases to stream at home the same day they premiered in brick-and-mortar theaters. (With an astronomical price tag, naturally.) Though it gained some traction and support from significant voices in the film community, it ultimately sputtered and spun out. But with the rebirth of spring, so comes a rebirth for this impractical, frightening, cineplex-annihilating idea. (Kinda.)
When pals asked, “What was your favorite part of Rogue One?” and I responded, “The part at the end when they all died,” it sounded like a bitter joke. But it‘s true — the choice to take advantage of the film’s stand-alone nature by concluding with the cast’s noble, obliterating sacrifice was a bold and decisive storytelling choice that helped distinguish Gareth Evans’ film from the rest of the franchise. The characters meant more in death than they ever did while living, and the selflessness of their risky suicide mission attests to the power of the human spirit in wartime. But this was not always the game plan.
As an avowed walker and train-taker, I’m not much of a car guy, personally. But I know a thing or two — I can change a flat tire, correctly identify where jumper cables should be clamped, and I know enough that anyone who offers to sell you a ‘flux capacitor’ is having a laugh at your expense. The auto part was imagineered (a make-believe word for ‘invented’ that the folks at Disney originally imagineered) for Back to the Future, the all-important component that gives Marty McFly‘s Delorean the power to traverse time. And now, you too can attempt to flaunt the laws of metaphysics by souping out your ride of choice (imagine how a silent, time-traveling Prius would freak out people in the ’50s) with your very own flux capacitor.
It would appear that the likes of Deadpool and Logan, what with all their foul words and visible bloodletting and brief pegging interludes, have changed the game of superhero movies. It was once basic showbiz logic that a massively-budgeted capes-and-tights flick couldn‘t afford to go for the R rating and lose the portion of the audience that’d restrict. More minor one-off projects like Watchmen, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman could take that risk and repeatedly found that it paid off, but now mainstream heroes have adopted this more daring approach and met with attractive box-office receipts. And in keeping with their tried-and-true business strategy of doing everything Marvel does, but a year later, DC Films has no stated their intention to get into more mature material.
Ever since the now-infamous photo of Pennywise the evil homicidal clown peeking out of a drainpipe surfaced online, fans of Stephen King’s seminal horror novel It have been concerned about Seth Graeme-Smith‘s upcoming film adaptation. There was fair cause for worry, too; it looked as if light was coming from several different sources, like a hasty photoshop job one might find on the box art for some direct-to-DVD cash grab. The only person who could really set the It devotees at ease would be Stephen King, who has seen dozens upon dozens of his works make the jump to the silver screen. And it would appear that he’s now done just that.
A new Batman vehicle demands, in a more literal sense, a new Batman vehicle. As Ben Affleck prepares to don the cape and cowl once more to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League movie, modifications have also been made to his singular whip, the teched-out Batmobile. Snyder applied his bigger-is-better filmmaking ethic to the Batmobile in last year‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, diverging from Christopher Nolan’s utilitarian, industrial look towards something a little more tanklike. And today, Snyder’s taken to his favored social media channel of Vero to offer fans an advance look at what the latest edition of the Batmobile has to offer.
L. Frank Baum‘s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proven a malleable property over the years. Of course everybody knows and loves Victor Fleming’s 1939 film adaptation, then came the urban-set musical revision The Wiz, the villain’s-eye-view retelling Wicked, Sam Raimi’s limp-noodle Oz the Great and Powerful, NBC’s crazytown new gritty-reboot series Emerald City, not to mention the dozens of films that have paid homage to the timeless scenes of Fleming’s film. (The bit in O Brother, Where Art Thou? when our heroes sneak into a KKK meeting like it’s a Winkie stronghold is a particular standout.) And today brings the news that the merry old land of Oz will get yet another new spin, and this time, there will be blood.
We‘re now a couple days out from the incident itself, and everyone’s still trying to figure out just what in the Sam Hill happened at the Oscars on Sunday night. When Faye Dunaway wrongly named La La Land instead of Moonlight as the recipient of the Best Picture Academy Award, she created a buzzy moment and sparked a full-blown investigation as to how things could have gotten mixed up. Fingers have been pointed every which way, with the show’s producers and vote-tabulating accountants both scrambling to cover their respective hindquarters in the wake of the embarrassing gaffe. Today, however, Dunaway‘s co-presenter Warren Beatty – the man with his hand on the envelope — has offered his official response to the hubbub, and he’s decided to shift blame elsewhere.
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