ENJOY THE SHOW
The box office totals are in. The reviews have been read and audiences have spoken with a mouth as loud as a merc - Tim Miller's Deadpool is a huge success, and not just financially or even critically. It has been universally well received, which is a tremendous accomplishment for a third tier superhero character that (according to 20th Century Fox) had minimal mainstream appeal that languished in development hell for years. It was the vulgar, graphic and unadulterated version of Thomas the Tank Engine, the little irreverent train that could. However, with the success of Deadpool, major movie studios everywhere might not take the best lessons from the film's astronomical success – as James Gunn illustrated so brilliantly last weekend. So let's take a look at what Hollywood can glean from the outrageous success of the Merc with a Mouth.
Leave the real world behind. Even though it's barely a week into February, I'm impressed by the amount of high quality marketing material we've seen this year so far. While I must acknowledge that the marketing for Deadpool has been brilliant across the board, and this new poster for Allegiant is worth pointing out, the best poster art released this year so far is for Ben Wheatley's High-Rise. The film already premiered last year and played at a few festivals (read Jeremy's review or Amanda's review) but has yet to be given a US release date, even though it opens in the UK in a few months. These posters are promoting the UK release, which is perhaps the explanation behind why they're so unique. View both High-Rise posters in full below.
The complete list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (via oscar.go.com). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees this morning live via online/television broadcast. They've nominated many outstanding films, and most of the standout performances of 2015, though there are always more. There's no need to spend any more time introducing this, so let's get right down to it! This year, The Academy selected a total of eight Best Picture nominee films, including: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight. So without further ado, here is the full list of 2016 Oscar noms.
No way! Say it isn't true! This may just be a Golden Globes rumor, but it might also end up being true. Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller, who just received a nomination from the Directors Guild Awards, is apparently not planning to make any more Mad Max movies again. In one of their recaps of celebrity musings from the Golden Globes, they include quotes from George Miller where he apparently straight up says: "I won't make more Mad Max movies. Fury Road… was forever getting completed." Ouch. Apparently the extended production was rough enough that he's no longer interested in more. Which is understandable.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe…" Now playing in theaters nationwide is the action survival thriller The Revenant, the follow-up feature from Best Director winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (who also won Best Picture with Birdman last year). Based on a true story, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, a frontiersman left for dead after a vicious bear attack. He manages to stay alive and seek revenge on the man who betrayed him. Also starring Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Forrest Goodluck. So how is it? Too pretentious, or sublime? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your own thoughts on Iñárritu's The Revenant.
In cinemas around the world this past weekend, millions of people came out to experience the new Star Wars movie on the big screen. It wasn't just an event, it was much more than that. It's an experience that moviegoers have been anxiously awaiting for years (technically 32 years since last saw Han & Leia & Luke), with many challenging themselves to not watch any footage before release. And I'm not just talking about waiting to see our old friends again, but savoring a chance to go in and experience a movie without any of the major plot points or big reveals being ruined before. It's this kind of communal cinematic experience, and the ensuing discussions/arguments/enthusiasm that arise afterward, that I relish. And it's something I feel has been missing from Hollywood recently. Of course it was Star Wars that brought that feeling back.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in." It's here!! It's time!! Lucasfilm and Disney present Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, now playing in theaters worldwide. The return of Han and Luke and Leia and Chewie and all of our old friends. But it's also an introduction to a new set of characters - Finn, played by John Boyega, as well as Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, and Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac. On the bad side, there's Adam Driver as Kylo Ren + Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew all return. Star Wars is back! Does it live up to the hype? How does it compare to the Original Trilogy? Or is it a mess? Once you see this, leave a comment below with your thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
This Friday (and in some places, Thursday or even Wednesday night) moviegoers across the nation and even the world will be plopping down in their theater seats as they anxiously wait for the first frames of the first Star Wars movie in ten years, The Force Awakens, to unspool on their screens. The anticipation for this next chapter – directed by J.J. Abrams - in the Star Wars legacy is literally through the roof of the Millennium Falcon, with many lucky journalists and fans having seen the film at the extravagant World Premiere in Los Angeles on Monday. Early word of mouth has been generally positive so far, but let's take a look at why it will be okay if The Force Awakens doesn't meet your expectations.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "We were headed for the edge of sanity… like we were aberrations, phantoms." Now playing in theaters everywhere is Ron Howard's latest movie In the Heart of the Sea, a story inspired by the whaling adventure that turned into the story of "Moby Dick", written by Herman Melville (who appears in the film as played by Ben Whishaw). Chris Hemsworth plays Owen Chase, a man who wishes to be captain but is assigned first mate on a voyage to hunt whales, captained by George Pollard, played by Benjamin Walker. So how is this adventure? After being delayed, is it worth the wait? Once you see it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea.
The list of nominations for the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (of 2016), the yearly precursor to the Academy Awards, have just been announced today - you can find all the film nominees below. The infamous Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees this morning from The Beverly Hilton. The selection this year is solid, but as always full of some wacky picks, and a few snubs. The top nominees are Todd Haynes' Carol, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant, and Jay Roach's Trumbo, picking up a few surprise noms same as the SAG Awards. Another interesting year of picks but not surprising for the HFPA.
We're still a few weeks away from Star Wars opening, which means most of us can't make our Top 10 list until we see that movie. But in the meantime, some critics have no desire to worry about Star Wars and are putting out their Best of the Year lists right now anyway. One of the annual must-see lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year, including one excellent short (World of Tomorrow). It's a beautiful video that, along with trailer retrospectives, is a stellar reminder of why we loves movies - to discover the few that stick with you.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? You don't want to be on his list. Now playing in theaters everywhere is Krampus, the new horror comedy mashup from Mike Dougherty, the director of Trick 'r Treat. This time he introduces us to the Krampus myth, with a story about the big, nasty Christmas beast and his friends who come torment a small town. Think Gremlins meets Christmas Vacation. Starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, with Emjay Anthony as Max. So how is it? Will it become your new Christmas viewing tradition? The best horror comedy since Trick 'r Treat, or is it really awful? Once you've seen it, post a comment below with your thoughts on Mike Dougherty's Krampus.
It's time! With the end of the year approaching, everyone starts to reveal their own Top 10 best of the year lists. One of our favorite lists that kicks off this time is from filmmaker John Waters' - his Top 10 favorite films from this year. In 2015, Waters has chosen yet another eclectic mix of films, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Tangerine, Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (really!), and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, among some other oddball picks. A few years back his top film was Spring Breakers, and last year it was Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars. I always like hearing about Waters' favorites because he has such unique taste and his comments are fun to read. I'm glad he loved Mad Max as much as everyone else.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? The new Pixar movie is here! Now playing in theaters everywhere is the 16th feature film from Pixar Animation Studios (the second this year following Inside Out) titled The Good Dinosaur. Directed by Peter Sohn, the film is set in an alternate timeline where the dinosaurs evolved into intelligent species, and one of them named Arlo ends up on an adventure with a tiny human friend. Arlo is voiced by Raymond Ochoa. Along the way he meets a family of T-Rexes - voiced by A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott. So how is Pixar's latest? Did it pull at your heart strings? Make you laugh? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on Pixar's The Good Dinosaur.