I don’t have any tattoos. I have trouble committing to a pair of shoes in the morning; committing to something that would stay on my body for the rest of my life would be impossible. Maybe that’s why I’m in awe of movie tattoos, and the lengths some folks go to to show their love of film. Forever! You’ve got to be a pretty big fan of a movie to plaster it across your chest for eternity. What if your tastes change? When I was 14, I was really into Police Academy. Can you imagine if 20 years later my wife woke up every morning to this etched into my back?
Netflix has come a long way from those little red envelopes full of DVDs. Today the movies-by-mail rental company is a full-fledged movie and television studio with an impressive slate of original films, documentaries, mini-series, and cartoons. And they keep adding new content constantly; a week after Season 3 of the acclaimed series House of Cards, they unveiled Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from Tina Fey; two weeks later they debuted Bloodline starring Friday Night Lights’s Kyle Chandler.
As one of the biggest Arnold Schwarzenegger nerds on the planet, I might be biased about this (okay I am definitely biased about this) but I think Maggie looks like one of the most interesting movies of the year. It’s a horror drama about a father trying to protect his daughter after she’s infected with some kind of zombie virus. The daughter is Abigail Breslin; the father is Schwarzenegger. Admittedly I don’t see (or hear) much of a family resemblance, but the themes this story touches on — parental responsibilities, broken families, an aging hero fighting against an increasing sense of irrelevance — jive perfectly with the stuff Schwarzenegger continues to explore throughout the latter half of his career.
The news out of Disney’s shareholder meeting keeps on coming. This one isn’t much of a surprise: Disney is making Frozen 2. In a related story, the sky is blue and water is wet (until a princess with freezing powers comes along and turns it into ice).
Here’s something strange in the neighborhood: Deadline reports that Sony isn’t waiting for Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot (with its cast of comedy all-stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon) to debut before planning additional Ghostbuster sequels or spinoffs. They’re already getting to work on what the trade describes as a “guy-themed” offshoot with an all-male cast.
Before he made the Oscar-winning film Whiplash, writer/director Damien Chazelle made a short film called “Whiplash,” an excerpt from the feature script with the same characters, one of the same lead actors, and much the same story. J.K. Simmons, who won an Academy Award last week for his performance as the brutally abusive music teacher Mr. Fletcher, first played the role here. Miles Teller, who played ambitious drummer Andrew Neiman is MIA though; his part is played by Johnny Simmons from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
The first reviews of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ are out and most are pretty mixed on the film and whether or not it delivers on the white-hot sexuality of the original novel. But here is one film that absolutely brings the raw animal magnetism: ‘Fifty Shades of Buscemi,’ a mashup that inserts the great star of ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘Fargo,’ and so many more into new film opposite star Dakota Johnson.
This is sort of a surprising-not-surprising news item. Universal is readying a sequel to last year’s phenomenally successful comedy ‘Neighbors,’ which starred Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as married thirtysomethings whose suburban bliss with their newborn baby is spoiled by the arrival of a rowdy frat house next door. The first movie didn’t exactly leave a bunch of loose ends for Rogen, Byrne, and Efron to continue into another film, and comedy sequels don’t have a great track record. But the first movie did gross over $268 million worldwide against an $18 million budget. Hence the not-surprising part: Universal’s announcement that they’re working on a ‘Neighbors 2,’ which they hope to have in theaters by next summer.
Episode 415 of ‘Seinfeld’ was called “The Movie,” and it ended with Jerry delivering a monologue about the guy in every group of friends who can’t follow the plots of films and invariably spends them whispering confused questions to their seatmates (“Why did they kill that guy? I thought he was with them? Wasn't he with them? Why would they kill him if he was with them? Oh, he wasn't with them. It's a good thing they killed him!”) ‘Jupiter Ascending’ turned me into that guy. If you can explain the plot of this baffling movie in all of its intricacies, you are either a genius or one of the Wachowskis who wrote and directed it. It’s hard to believe that a movie that contains this much exposition could also be this confusing, but it does and it is. Something went horribly wrong here.
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