A Bruce Lee biopic sounds like a dicey proposition. How could watching someone pretend to be the greatest fighter of all time (by all means, @ me) accomplish anything other than making the audience wish for the genuine article? But judging from the newly released trailer, Birth of the Dragon has a fair amount going for it. For one, it has the good sense to focus on a single period of Lee’s life, narrowing the film to his early years in San Francisco, when he was building his legendary reputation. It’s got George Nolfi for a director, whose previous effort The Adjustment Bureau was at the very least interesting. And in the lead role, it’s got Phillip Ng, an inveterate kicker of ass who can also pull off Lee’s signature bowl-cut.
The Wonder Woman sequel train has pulled out of the station, and even with Patty Jenkins’ crossover superhero hit still playing in theaters, it’s already begun to pick up steam. Star Gal Gadot will return for the second solo project for the indestructible Amazon, they’ve landed writer Geoff Johns (who co-produced the Green Lantern movie, so, yikes) to handle the script, and while Jenkins has yet to put her Jane Hancock on the dotted line for another film, details of plot are now solidifying. For Wonder Woman, Diana battled those no-good fascists in World War I, and the sequel will reportedly plop her down in another historical era to intervene in a real-life global crisis. This time, the Rooskies will be the ones shaking in their boots.
Ryan Gosling is about to play himself. (In the DJ Khaled sense, not the Being John Malkovich sense.) The actor’s been on something of a roll recently, scoring critical plaudits for The Nice Guys and La La Land last year — the latter of which ended up a surprise blockbuster and less-surprise Oscar hoarder — and continuing on into 2017 with this past spring’s Song to Song. He’s got Blade Runner 2049 on the docket for this fall, a likely smash that may earn him admiration among nerd circles, the last niche demographic he has not yet charmed. But with the world at his feet, Gosling’s now making moves to dash all the goodwill he’s recently built up.
Shia LaBeouf gets arrested a lot. And not “a lot” relative to law-abiding namby-pambies like you or me, I mean “a lot” relative to a street-level Adderall dealer. There was the incident in 2005, where he got an assault with a deadly weapon charge after threatening his neighbor by driving directly into his car, the 2007 arrest outside a Chicago Walgreens, the 2008 drunk driving accident and subsequent license suspension, the 2011 bar fight, the 2014 disorderly conduct charge outside Studio 54, a public intoxication arrest in 2015, and then a minor harassment violation back in this most recent January during an anti-Trump demonstration. That’s quite the rap sheet, but it’s like the old judicial system proverb goes: “Seven strikes and you’re out, unless you’re famous and wealthy, in which case just try to be more careful next time.”
The world approaches a great cataclysm in the latest trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s fantasy novel The Dark Tower, but the specific nature of that cosmic upheaval, I know not what. Not having read the source novel, I’ve decided to go into the film cold when it premieres on August 4, and so far, I’ve done a pretty solid job of keeping myself unsullied by plot revelations. The new international trailer does me a favor, too, by playing all of its details of plot close to the vest. There’s a whole lot of ominous talking, stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey appear to have some manner of beef that could decide the fate of the known universe, but beyond that, I’m in the dark (tower).
All of a sudden, everybody wants a piece of Luca Guadagnino. The Italian arthouse filmmaker found crossover success with his English-language drama A Bigger Splash (and gave Dakota Johnson the first role of her career actually worthy of her talents) and was crowned the informal king of Sundance for his reportedly outstanding romance Call Me By Your Name. Never one to rest on his laurels, Guadagnino’s currently hard at work on a remake of Italian horror classic Suspiria with Johnson, Tilda Swinton, and Chloe Grace-Moretz, but he won’t even rest on the laurels he’s yet to claim, either.
Are Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino rivals? The answer is “no,” and yet that’s still how I prefer to imagine them, and what’s more, it helps makes sense out of a recent news item. In 2015, Tarantino mounted his Hateful Eight “70mm road show” to great fanfare (much of it self-generated), offering audiences around the country an opportunity to see his Western thriller in all its splendor and glory. It was a massive undertaking: corralling the necessary equipment, shipping it to the participating theaters, installation costs, training multiplex projectionists unfamiliar with the 70mm format, the whole deal. And in what I can only assume is a diss aimed directly at Q.T., Nolan has now announced a 70mm engagement for Dunkirk dwarfing anything attempted in recent memory.
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
The Hollywood Reporter recently unearthed a vintage interview with comics giant Stan Lee from back in 1977, and on the occasion of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s release, they’ve decided to share some of its contents with the public. And if I may editorialize for a moment, it’s the single most relatable, humanizing media appearance the famously camera-friendly Lee has ever done. Because the unearthed truth of this Q&A is that Stan Lee did exactly what I would do — what any of us would do, really — if I was the head of Marvel Comics during the ‘70s: mess with DC all the time.
While you and I may know July 3rd as “Fasting in Anticipation of Tomorrow’s Onslaught of Grilled Meats Day,” a certain subset of conspiracy-monger recognizes it as World UFO Day. Apparently, one such believer resides at Sony, as the studio released a mysterious new video on the 3rd and included the hashtag #WorldUFODay in the caption on YouTube. In it, a glowing green air traffic controller’s matrix appears on screen with some slightly-garbled dialogue in the background about an enigmatic foreign craft entering their airspace. While some may find its significance confounding, Spielberg fans recognized the clip straightaway.
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