The Criterion Collection has emerged as the gold standard of boutique home-video releasing outfits, both in terms of their eclecticism and access. It seems like they’re always unveiling some big new project, whether it’s a restoration of an aging classic, a spotlight on a more obscure curio (their House disc remains a top seller), or a handsome release for current pictures. And a tweet today announced what may be their most staggeringly ambitious project, a box set the like of which dwarf any the company has attempted before. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project has been suddenly supplanted as the must-have gift for the movie obsessive in your life.
There’s a whole lot to talk through in the newly released trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s psycho-horror fever dream mother!, but first things first: when will casting directors stop marring Jennifer Lawrence off to disproportionately older men? She was 17 years Christian Bale’s junior in American Hustle, 16 years younger than Silver Linings Playbook costar Bradley Cooper, and 14 years behind Joy’s Edgar Ramirez. Now, she trails newest romantic opposite Javier Bardem by a staggering 22 years. Is all of Hollywood under the impression that she’s Benjamin Buttoning, and secretly in her mid forties? We love to rag on Passengers (because it is not a good film, to be fair), but at least it gave Lawrence a boytoy slightly closer to her age range.
Just yesterday, we noted the release of a new trailer for the upcoming re-adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal killer-clown novel It. Things seemed pretty normal, at first brush: terrified kids, children’s entertainer straight out of your worst nightmares, eerie red balloon, the whole nine yards. But sharp-eyed viewers have now noted a little Easter egg squirreled away for a split-second in one shot near the end of the trailer. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, “it” referring in this instance to “IT.”
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).
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
Aside from the unceasing public scrutiny, being an A-list actor doesn’t seem so bad. You get paid obscene amounts of money, meet interesting people, and get to travel all across this green Earth in the name of work. And today, you can share in that last part with none other than professional shirtless runner Tom Cruise! Universal will unwrap The Mummy a week from this Friday, and to further stoke excitement for the launch of their new, hilariously-named Dark Universe, the studio has unveiled a video featurette in which star Cruise brings the viewer on a tour of the far-flung locations on which the film was shot.
To paraphrase baseball great and latter-day Confucius figure Yogi Berra: it ain’t over ’til David Lynch states in non-ambiguous language that it’s over, and even then, you can never be too sure. As if from on high, the esteemed filmmaker has handed down to we mere mortal a new season of his cult-beloved TV series Twin Peaks, but his fans know full well that the good Lynch giveth and the good Lynch taketh away. For even as he was givething us new TV, the fear persisted that he had takethed away any hope of another feature film in the future.
Those of you with an interest in the changing face of theatrical exhibition and film festival bylaws (there are dozens of us!) may have caught wind of some recent meshugas unfolding in France. This year’s main Competition slate at the Cannes Film Festival included two films from online-streaming giant Netflix, Bong Joon Ho’s creature feature Okja and Noah Baumbach’s singlehanded resurrection of Adam Sandler The Meyerowitz Stories. But there‘s been some consternation about opening the gates of Cannes to films that may never see release in France outside of the Internet. Is a movie that doesn’t play in a movie theater a movie at all?
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