1952 was an incredible year for world cinema. John Ford directed The Quiet Man, Akira Kurosawa made Ikiru, Vittorio De Sica released Umberto D., and Orson Welles premiered his version of Shakespeare’s Othello at the Cannes Film Festival. Hollywood produced the great Western High Noon, the brilliant Hollywood melodrama The Bad and the Beautiful, and the classic musical Singin’ in the Rain.
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Before he officially commences their affair, Christian Gray tells Anastasia Steele she must agree to two things. First, she must sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure she will never discuss any of the things she says or does with him. “And the second thing?” Anastasia asks. “Come,” Christian replies, as he extends his hand and leads her through his apartment to the “playroom” where he keeps all his sexual toys.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and systematically eradicated most of the ‘Star Wars’ Expanded Universe, the most hardcore fans of the most popular genre franchise on the planet made their displeasure known, but to no avail. To paraphrase one of the greatest Jedi Knights, millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. Disney didn’t buy ‘Star Wars’ so it could navigate a labyrinth of pre-existing novels, comics, and video games. More specifically, Disney didn’t buy ‘Star Wars’ so it could appease the niche group of fans who have kept up with the increasingly complicated Expanded Universe; it bought ‘Star Wars’ to please the much larger audience of everyone else.
ScreenCrush editor, comic-book lover, and undiagnosed masochist Matt Singer is systematically watching every single (American) comic-book movie ever made in the order in which they were released. This week in The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies: Welcome to the prehistoric Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I cannot tell you the year and I cannot tell you the location, but I can recall just about everything else. I'm young and I'm in a store and I'm looking at a rack of VHS tapes for sale. Wedged between the other titles is a cover that has caught my attention, chiefly because I feel like I caught it’s attention. It’s a movie called ‘Monkey Shines’ and the cover depicts a cartoonish monkey wielding a bloody knife, it’s eyes large and murderous and staring deep into my young, innocent, unblemished soul.
I’m about to say something that I never thought I would say in my entire life. It makes me sick to my stomach to even type such heresy, but here goes: Bill Murray is wrong. I’m getting out ahead of all the impending ‘Ghostbusters II’ hate right now. ‘Ghostbusters II’ is not a bad sequel. It’s not a great sequel either, but it’s a totally satisfying follow-up. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel the way the first film did by blending of horror, science-fiction, and comedy into a unique and irresistible genre hybrid. But it keeps things rolling in a frothy, entertaining, and occasionally profound way. (You heard me.)
ScreenCrush editor, comic-book lover, and undiagnosed masochist Matt Singer is systematically watching every single (American) comic-book movie ever made in the order in which they were released. This week in The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies: The Dark Knight makes his first appearance on the big screen):
Like most things these days, it all comes back to Clint Eastwood. ‘American Sniper’ reigns supreme at the box office, and the only movie that would seem to have a fighting chance of dislodging it from the top spot this weekend—the Jennifer Lopez thriller ‘The Boy Next Door’—owes its very existence to the movie that Eastwood was finishing up when he got cast as “Dirty” Harry Callahan. That’d be ‘Play Misty for Me,’ which has earned its place in cinema history as the answer to a trivia question—What was two-time Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood’s first movie as a director?—but is also one of the most influential American movies of the 1970s; the primal scene of an endlessly replenishing sub-genre of sexy stalker movies.
Last year, Marvel Comics announced the ‘Secret Wars’ event and yesterday, they explained exactly what this series is. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty in a moment, but it seems to involve the destruction and rebirth of the Marvel comic book universe as we know it. Yep, the Marvel superheroes are getting their own ‘Crisis’ and like that famous DC event, there’s probably an ulterior motive. You don’t break something unless you have big plans for how you want to fix it. If you’ll allow us to turn on our little speculation machine, we’ve got some ideas on what the new Marvel universe is going to look like.
ScreenCrush editor, comic-book lover, and undiagnosed masochist Matt Singer is systematically watching every single (American) comic-book movie ever made in the order in which they were released. This week in The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies: A look back at the forgotten hero who starred in the genre’s first-ever masterpiece: