The following post contains SPOILERS for Blair Witch, Jason Bourne, Spectre, Ghostbusters, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Oh my God, Phantom Menace spoilers! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
The X-Men villain Apocalypse is like something out of Darwin’s nightmares. A devout believer in the most twisted form of evolution, he repeatedly tests the mutants of the Marvel Universe. The weak are culled. Only the strong survive.
Centuries from now, when the world is covered with water and humanity is extinct and the end of A.I. Artificial Intelligence becomes a documentary, the future computers trying to understand our civilization from the pop culture we’ve left behind will scratch their robo-heads at Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Ancient records speak of the rise of some kind of symbiotic organism known as “Brangelina,” and then some years later its dissolution. The robots uncover an enormous amount of fascination in this creature. There are thousands of pictures of this two-headed being smiling, looking glamorous, in front of backdrops festooned with corporate logos. Separately, the individuals that comprised Brangelina made many movies, but they appeared together only twice: In 2015’s By the Sea and in 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Then and now, the film is one of the stranger works made in Hollywood in the 21st Century.
Going to the movies in 2016 can be a frustrating situation. People texting on their phones. Exorbitant ticket prices. People talking on their phones. Sound that’s either way too loud or way too soft. People taking pictures of the screen with their phones and then posting them to Facebook in the middle of the movie. For a lot of these problems, there’s no easy solution. An experience designed to take us away from our everyday troubles is now fraught with them.
Marvel prides itself on the deep interconnectedness of its cinematic universe. Events in one movie continue to the next, and plot threads from years earlier continue to resonates in the lives of the company’s characters. Captain America: Civil War incorporated elements of almost every single Marvel movie that preceded it. Even relatively forgotten MCU movies, like The Incredible Hulk, were rendered important in its massive comic-book tapestry. (Hulk nemesis General Ross, played by William Hurt, made his first Marvel appearance since Incredible Hulk in Civil War, as the current Secretary of State who tries to get the Avengers to agree to the U.S. government’s demands for more accountability.) In Marvel, everything counts and everything connects.
ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer and Erin Whitney are back from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. You can read all of their coverage so far here, but if you want the digest version, they compiled this list of some of the fest’s highlights: the best performances, the biggest surprises, and the worst disappointments. What are the movies people are going to be talking about this fall? These. (Except the ones they didn’t like, of course.)
Star Trek’s first appearance in The New York Times’ TV listings is inauspicious. “William Shatner as the captain of a space ship.”
Austin Powers in Goldmember is not a very good movie. Most of the jokes, when there are jokes at all, are callbacks to the previous two Austin Powers. Whole scenes consist entirely of co-writer/star Mike Myers riffing, usually with himself, about random subjects like moles or poop. The plot barely exists; its time-travel component makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Goldmember is the cinematic equivalent of a cubic zirconia. It bears all the superficial features of a movie. But something, something crucial yet invisible, is missing. There’s basically no reason to watch it — except one, and that’s the movie’s big plot twist which, 13 years later, became the big plot twist in Spectre.
Y’know those back to school ads for Staples? The ones that repurpose the Christmas standard “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to celebrate children going back class? I always hated those ads as a kid. Going back to school was not a time to celebrate. It was a time for grief and mourning.
What’s up with the Demogorgon’s egg? What’s that mysterious ash raining over Upside Down? How much worse could Barb’s death have been? All these questions and more get answers, as we talk to the concept artists behind Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ and debut exclusive photos.