Quick, without thinking: greatest American film of the ’90s? Martin Scorsese’s decade-spanning gangster epic Goodfellas is probably the answer that pops into most heads, and rightfully so. It was a success under every criterion, amassing a tidy profit that‘s only grown through infinite televised syndication and home-video releases, earning Joe Pesci an Academy Award for his turn as the short-fused Tommy DeVito, and leaving a titanic influence on pop-culture in the years to follow. It has earned the distinction of “masterpiece,” right in the thick of any conversation on Scorsese’s finest accomplishment. But man, at first, people hated it.
Sound the alarm emojis — last night brought a new update on the slow gestation of Martin Scorsese’s next feature film project, the mob drama The Irishman. It’s already a hot property, boasting a cast including Marty favorites Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci along with newcomer Al Pacino, who already spent the last two decades acting as if he was in the third act of Goodfellas anyhow. “Martin Scorsese doing another crime epic with some of today‘s greatest living actors” turned out to be quite the tantalizing prospect, too, because last night brought the news that Netflix has purchased the rights to the film right out from under Paramount.
It is usually to humankind‘s advantage that the flame of hope is not easily extinguished. When the pursuit of a lofty ideal grows difficult, the unshakable bedrock of hope has provided the righteous with strength and fortitude. But hope can also be a heartbreaker, constantly teasing us with the faint chance of achieving an impossible dream. Up until today, fans were able to cling to the possibility of a third installment of Guillermo Del Toro‘s Hellboy franchise, however remote. But the director took to Twitter earlier today to deliver the sad news that we may now finally abandon hope — it ain’t happening.
So long as you’re not bothered by the ruthless capitalistic spirit of six-dollar bottled water and don’t stumble into the clandestine torture facility concealed within the giant EPCOT globe, everyone loves Disney’s amusement parks. They earned the title of Happiest Place on Earth through a militant doctrine of mandated cheer, and with a new amusement park based on James Cameron’s unkillable sci-fi series Avatar opening soon, they’ll add the distinction of Trippiest Place on Earth to their pedigree. Today brings two brief sneak peeks at the facility set to open this summer, and it’s like you can already hear the hallucinating 20-year-olds begging to be let off the ride.
While critics and fans alike roundly rejected the Star Wars trilogy of prequels, they agreed that at least one aspect of it was worthwhile: breakout crowd-pleaser Jar Jar Binks. The universally beloved Gungan earned a wide fanbase with his charming dialect made up of screeching and some sort of alien ebonics, and his constant cartoonish bumbling was a welcome reprieve from the series’ usual heroism and valor. Fans cried foul when Phantom Menace’s major supporting character was downgraded to tertiary status in Attack of the Clones and barely present for Revenge of the Sith, but today brings the welcome news that our sweet Jar Jar will get some much-deserved closure in an upcoming Star Wars novelization.
Summer movie season starts a little earlier every year, and in 2017, it has consumed May, April, and even our beloved March. Logan will kick off the big-budget bonanza in the first weekend of March, and then cede the floor to the gargantuan Kong: Skull Island the weekend after. Even so, these two releases in particular inspire hope rather than dread when reflecting upon the studio-fronted franchise releases encroaching beyond their summer stomping grounds. All the previews have suggested that these two films will have something original to bring to the table, and the latest clip for Kong: Skull Island confirms that if nothing else, we’ll have some delectable character acting to enjoy.
If you grabbed some random schmo of the street and demanded they name a composer of film scores, they’d probably name John Williams if they could come up with any answer at all. (Unless you ended up with some smart-aleck in the know who busted out Alexandre Desplat or Mica Levi or something.) Williams is responsible for pretty much every movie theme hummed by general populace over the last four decades: as you read these words, I know you’ll hear the triumphant fanfare of the Star Wars score, or the ominous duh-dum of the Jaws theme. And today, Hans Zimmer can go right ahead and eat his heart out, because Williams’ most famed compositions will soon be immortalized in one essential compilation.
We‘ve still got months to go until Star Wars: The Last Jedi takes over cineplexes, but the people are hungry. By this time last year, we had already gotten our first teaser for Rogue One, and the barbarians are pounding on the gates demanding fresh material. Sure, Lucasfilm could placate their more rabid fans by pulling back the curtain on one of the new toy lines that will accompany the December release, but that’s thinking small, and Lucasfilm doesn’t do small. You want to see the new toys? Well tough tauntauns, because all you’re getting today is a look at the box they’re coming in. Here is that box:
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had its Big Bang in 2008, with Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr.’s debut as the incorrigible Tony Stark. In casting a charismatic leading man, feeding him some genuinely fresh one-liners, and stitching them together with a few impressive action setpieces, producer and MCU mastermind Kevin Feige had struck gold. He then went to work methodically stripping the mine clean, roping Chrises Evans and Hemsworth into multi-film contracts and watching as the billions rolled in. He devised a winning formula of easy screen-idol mass appeal and an eminently palatable house visual style to go along with it, a method still yielding massive success to this day. (Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3, and Spider-Man Who Even Knows What Number, coming to theaters in 2017!) And it all began with R.D.J. as an irresistible new breed of defender, the sort of guy you either want to be or be with. One year earlier, Marvel’s idea of a blockbuster superhero was Nicolas Cage as a flaming CGI skeleton clad in S&M biker gear.
With the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory earlier this month, team captain and Gisele Bündchen spouse Tom Brady earned his fifth ring and hit a new professional high. He’s now won more Super Bowls than any quarterback in NFL history, having earned MVP status in four of the five to boot. While he’s begun to earn the ire of the sporting community for essentially turning the current-day Pats into the late-’90s Yankees (and for the business with the ball deflating and the Trump chumminess and the wearing Ugg boots in public and whatnot), Brady’s still an immensely popular athlete with an inspiring narrative behind his career. And that can mean only one thing: it’s time for a wicked pissah of a biopic.
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