It’s not even Inauguration Day yet and white dudes are already ruining everything. On Monday, Rob Schneider, you know, the guy from all the Adam Sandler movies, decided he would be the ideal person to explain Martin Luther King Jr.’s Civil Rights achievements to a legendary Civil Rights hero. Oh, and to make it even worse, this happened on MLK day.
Weather Underground’s current forecast for Park City, Utah calls for snow on five out of the first six days of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, including a possible (gulp) five to eight inches on Monday. ScreenCrush’s current forecast for Park City, Utah, snow be damned, calls for as many movies as we can cram into those six days while we’re on the ground covering Sundance 2017. Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer and Senior Editor Erin Whitney will be there, doing their best to honor the mailman’s creed: Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat (okay maybe we won’t have to worry about that one), nor gloom of night will keep them from their appointed rounds. (It’s possible a party or two might; it’s probably too early to tell right now.)
This Friday, Paramount Pictures is releasing what will arguably be the finest family film of the year (to date): Monster Trucks, which has had a famously messy production up to its release in the doldrums of the first month of the year. (Shocking that a movie thought up by a 4-year old wouldn’t have smooth sailing!) Leaving its behind-the-scenes rockiness aside, Monster Trucks ostensibly has the ingredients to be a kids’ movie: it’s a mix of computer animation and live action; it’s directed by Chris Wedge of the Ice Age franchise; and it’s about big trucks. But all accounts suggest that the oddity of the concept’s genesis is borne out by the finished film, making for a truly odd film intended for the whole family. In (dubious) honor of Monster Trucks, thus, here’s our list of 10 of the truly weird, oddball children’s movies.
The first weekend of 2017 will also give us the first Nicolas Cage movie of 2017 (but by no means the last; according to IMDb, Cage will appear in at least five more films this year). It’s called Arsenal, and in most respects it is a fairly standard DTV crime thriller; Adrian Grenier and Johnathon Schaech play brothers who get entangled in the criminal underworld and have to fight their way out.
Of all the celebrity deaths in 2016, Carrie Fisher’s might hurt the worst. At 60 years old, she was still a young woman; she should have had many great performances, books, and scripts ahead of her. And with her recent work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it seemed like she was finally getting her due as an actor, after years spent in the spotlight as an author and activist.
2016 is almost over! Hallelujah! With everything that’s happened in the last 12 months, we can’t wait to rip the last page of our 2016 Spider-Man wall calendar and hang up our 2017 Spider-Man wall calendar.
Too much time and effort in Cinemaland is wasted turning film into a game of winners and losers; Movie X made Y dollars so it matters more than Movie Z. But a film is way more than its box-office total. Some of the best movies released in 2016 failed to meet their financial expectations.
According to most people (on the internet, which is where most people live now), 2016 was horrific. It was a year in which we lost some of our best and brightest artists, a year in which we elected a president who will, according to Kate McKinnon’s Hilary Clinton, “kill us all,” and it was a year in which many blockbusters fulfilled the “bust” end of that promise. Despite all of this, 2016 delivered some truly remarkable films; because of all of this, we needed them.
It’s always exciting to see the latest work from a beloved director, or to watch a great actor return to a classic role. But one of the most underrated pleasures of going to the movies is discovery; watching an actor you’d never heard of before surprise you with their incredible range or charisma, or realizing, in real time, that you’re witnessing the work of a major new artist. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
How you define the “best” of something varies from one person to the next. The “best” movies can be the ones crafted with the most artistry, the ones that feel particularly culturally significant, the ones you can’t shake hours, days, or months after seeing them. Or perhaps the best films are the ones you simply love the most and are eager returning to again and again.