It’s hard to imagine Hollywood without Steven Spielberg. Spielberg’s career as a filmmaker serves as a perfect parallel for contemporary film history. From his humble beginnings outside the collection of University of Southern California wunderkinds to his commercial dominance at the multiplex, Spielberg did more than just make movies that wowed millions of people around the world: he also disrupted an entire industry, changing the way Hollywood approached filmmaking and establishing the format for blockbuster films that persists to this day.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably gotten a little confused about the various Godzilla adaptations currently underway in Hollywood, so let’s take a moment to clear that up. First there’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film. You have Godzilla: Monster Planet, the animated series heading to Netflix later this year. You have the in-development sequel to Japanese franchise reboot Shin Godzilla, which technically cannot begin production until 2020. And you have Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which will bring the two major monster franchises together.
As long as there have been horror movies, there have been attempts to mix together horror movie characters in crossover films. Who can forget Freddy vs. Jason, the critically reviled — but financially successful — 2003 film that pitted the stars of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises against each other? Not to mention those years where it was rumored that Evil Dead’s Ash might get thrown into the mix for a sequel; no matter how many middling reboots these franchises go through, there will always be someone who pitches a project where Hollywood just slams ’em all up together.
Audiences don’t turn their back on family. That’s the lesson to be learned from this past weekend, anyways, when The Fate of the Furious proved that this is one franchise showing no signs of slowing down. It was never a question of whether The Fate of the Furious would take the top spot this weekend, but even the most optimistic of projections couldn’t have expected the global domination that this movie undertook. Here’s the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
It may seem strange to describe the eighth film in a blockbuster franchise as a transitional moment in the series, but then again, few franchises have had to deal with the death of an actor as essential as Paul Walker. The Fate of the Furious was always going to be a bittersweet affair for those involved; while the movie promised to push new characters and new relationships to the forefront, fans wondered how exactly they would choose to address the loss of Walker’s beloved Brian. The solution screenwriter Chris Morgan came up with should leave diehards and newcomers alike very pleased.
Here’s a story you might’ve missed this past week. With the Fast and the Furious franchise under his belt, we’ve sorta learned to take Dwayne Johnson’s star power for granted. After all, Johnson was the highest grossing male box office star of 2016, suggesting that all you need is a half-decent fight choreographer and Johnson to gross $100 million at the box office. That being said, there was a time not so long ago when Johnson could still go after major Hollywood roles and lose out to more established actors. One such movie was Jack Reacher, which was a role the actor revealed he lost to Tom Cruise.
What came first, the raunchy beach comedy or the Baywatch movie adaptation? Hollywood seems to have discovered in recent years that it can take an existing license — typically one associated with a semi-popular television series — and give it new life as a profane comedy for adults. Sure, there are probably a handful of Baywatch purists out there who have watched the sophomoric humor in the trailers with horror, but for everyone else? A vague recollection of the Baywatch brand and an appetite for 21 Jump Street-esque humor is all they need to be enticed.
How are your plans for Halloween shaping up? For me, the hardest part of throwing a Halloween party is choosing a soundtrack. We can probably all agree that those sound effect CDs — the ones with creaking doors and thunder and maniacal laughter — have no business outside of an elementary school haunted house, but then what? Do you put together a playlist of all the obvious soundtrack selections? Do you choose pop songs that have some vague tie-in to the season? Who really wants to hear Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” on Halloween for the umpteenth time, anyways?
To say that Robert De Niro needs a hit movie isn’t exactly true. De Niro has been responsible for so many iconic films and characters over his 50 years of acting that he has pretty much earned the right to do whatever he pleases. If he wants to make sex comedies with Zac Efron, he can make sex comedies with Zac Ephron. If wants to only pop in for guest appearances in David O. Russell films, well, hey, he can do that to.
Where were you when you first found out that Seth Rogen was making an animated movie about sex-crazed foodstuffs? I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that this will be the kind of moment that defines a generation. Grizzled old men will sit around campfires and tell bright-eyed children wondrous stories about the Before Time, a time when animated movies were for children and food was just a thing you ate. The world is much different now.
With four highly praised seasons of Inside Amy Schumer and one successful feature film under her belt, Amy Schumer has reached the point where she can pretty much write her own ticket. We’ve known for a while now that Schumer had targeted a mother-daughter adventure movie as her next project, but with Schumer juggling the careers of three or four different performers, we had also resigned ourselves to a bit of a wait.
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