We all got ourselves into a bit of a tizzy last fall when it looked like Daniel Craig might step down from playing James Bond, or that he was thinking about stepping down, or that he was maybe offered a lot of money to stay, or a number of other rumors that turned out to be unfounded. Many still speculated about who would take his place, which led to countless interviews where it seemed every British actor was getting the question. Recently, when asked whether he’d like to step into 007’s shoes, Tom Hardy had another suggestion.
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When that weird trailer premiered last week that looked like either a really cool futuristic sci-fi movie or a strange, oblique advertisement for touchscreens, we all wondered what exactly A24 was announcing. The long-awaited return of a director? The debut of someone new? A collaboration? An intern’s mistake? Now, after some sly detective work, we know what it is: the trailer was for a short film called Toru that’ll be premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Will Arnett’s Batman was by far the hilarious standout of The LEGO Movie, and we’re a little less than a month away from seeing his solo movie take off. But it seems another character might be stealing the show from Batman this time: Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, is featured in a new TV spot for The LEGO Batman Movie that shows the Dark Knight might have met his match.
Let’s be honest, 2016 was a garbage year, but 2017 and the years ahead don’t look all that bright either. The current state of American politics is part chaos, part circus, part something right out of a dystopian novel. Regardless of who you voted for last November, the truth is we’re about to enter a new era of American politics, one that’s already concerning for many, and especially terrifying for American minorities. But as film lovers and critics, we often look to the screen to help us through the struggles we’re faced with outside the movie theater. Beyond entertainment, art has the power to lend us strength, hope, and inspiration. It can educate us, give us a vessel for catharsis, and enable us to build empathy for those we identify with on screen, as well as those we may not. In many ways, art’s impact is vital now more than ever.
Good news: fans are finally getting their shot to lay claim to two highly sought-after pieces of comic book memorabilia, with George Reeves’ original Superman costume and the Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton during his stint as the Batman both up at auction until January 26. The bad news: you’re going to have to part with at least tens of thousands of dollars if you want to get your mitts on that spandex.
The most widely recognized iterations of Batman’s constant foe the Joker would probably have to be Heath Ledger as the unchained mad-dog of The Dark Knight, Jack Nicholson as an urbane creep in Tim Burton’s 1989 film, and to a lesser extent, Cesar Romero’s campy turn in the goofy TV series from the ’60s. But Mark Hamill logged more hours as the Clown Prince of Crime than the rest of them put together, voicing the Joker in the long-running animated series and its many spin-offs. The man with the greatest claim to the Joker persona dusted off his special crazy-voice this week for a more pointedly political purpose than the usual cocktail-party entertainment.
Like many American moviegoers, I caught the new film Hidden Figures over the weekend. And throughout the true-to-life account of three pioneering women of color that broke boundaries at NASA, one thought kept reoccurring to me (well, two, if you count my realization that I am deeply in love with Janelle Monae): that much like the Wu-Tang, Hidden Figures is for the children. The story’s prevailing message that gender or skin color shouldn’t hinder anyone from achieving excellence is precisely what the youth in this country need, arguably now more than ever. The one problem, of course, is the astronomical price of a movie ticket — not everybody wants to or is able to shell out $15 for a day at the movies.
When Meryl Streep took the stage at the Golden Globes ceremony and delivered an impassioned speech calling out President-Elect Donald Trump as an overbearing bully, everyone had their reaction. Many rose up in support of the esteemed actress, celebrating her fiery diatribe as a heroic display of speaking truth to power. Others took issue with her anti-Trump stance, painting the woman as another pampered Hollywood liberal trapped within her bubble of privilege. A third, smaller faction of mixed martial arts enthusiasts took grave offense to Streep’s fleeting diss leveled at MMA and NFL football, and invited the multiple Academy Award winner to settle the matter in the octagon.
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an international smash hit, it wasn’t devoid of criticism. Some people felt that the film veered a little close to the storyline of the original Star Wars film; others felt that the family friendly action didn’t quite line up with the darker tone they expected from movies like The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith. So to those fans, I offer you the above deleted scene (via i09) where Chewbacca rips out the arm of Unkar Plutt. It may be another throwback to the original movies, but at least it’s one with a little bit of bite.
After a neck-and-neck race last weekend, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has officially stepped aside to let Hidden Figures reign supreme. The crowd-pleasing drama about the black female mathematicians who assisted NASA in its early days topped the box office, leading a weekend that was otherwise all about films bursting out of limited release. The bulk of the new releases were not so fortunate.