As a teenager in the ’90s, no actor better represented blockbuster movies than Bill Paxton. Although Paxton wasn’t typically a leading man in those movies — he would often play the brother, the second-in-command, or the comic relief — he served as a kind of talisman of quality. If you saw Paxton’s name in the opening credits of a movie, you knew that the film was going to be better for it.
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While Marvel has a reputation for valuing continuity on both sides of the camera, it’s easy to forget that the first two phases of Marvel movies were essentially put together by hired guns. The early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were populated by directors like Alan Taylor, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, and Shane Black, one-and-done filmmakers who were either not invited or not inclined to go a second round with the studio.
The Razzies are a tough award show to love. Oh, I’m sure plenty of people probably read the headline to this article and — depending on their opinion of both Dinesh D’Souza and the DC Cinematic Universe — found great comfort in the public mockery of Hillary’s America and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But while awards shows in general might serve the noble purpose of raising awareness about powerful films, the annual Razzies Awards often feel like you’re kicking someone when they’re already down. They’ve already flopped with audiences and critics; throwing a Razzie award at them is the Hollywood equivalent of kicking them when they’re down.
Canon can be such a headache. I can remember being a Star Wars fan growing up and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stories out there that were technically interconnected. Novels, comic books, video games, television specials, and card games; everything with an official Lucasfilm license was plugged into the same growing and evolving storyline, and no matter how hard I tried to stay on top of things, I could always count on one of my more dedicated friends to “Well, actually…” my understanding of the Star Wars universe.
Casting rumors come in two major flavors. On the one hand, you have concrete news about actors meeting with executives and filmmakers to discuss their participation in upcoming productions. On the other hand, you have the echo chamber of social media, where casting rumors can materialize out of thin air and then be given credibility during an interview or social media exchange with an actor. Not all fan rumors end up at the first stage, but it is true that some social media rumors have actually ended up with the actor being offered the role.
Last month, it was revealed that Academy Award-nominated director Asghar Farhadi would probably not be able to attend this year’s ceremony due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. After careful consideration, Farhadi decided to skip the Oscars regardless of the circumstances, noting that any possible exception made for him would be accompanied by “ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable.” While people quickly arranged protest screenings of Farhadi’s The Salesman around the country, his circumstances served as a frightening preview of how even prominent artists from around the world could be treated until the new immigration guidelines.
Meryl Streep is getting another opportunity to spit some political fire all over the Dolby Theatre on Sunday. Today the Academy revealed that yes, of course Streep would be among the presenters at this year’s ceremony, probably hoping for another rousing speech from the actress who’s made it known that she won’t take any nonsense from anyone, not even from the highest office in the land.
While #OscarsSoWhite doesn’t look like it’s happening this year, the Academy Awards have still been mired in their usual amount of controversy. What with our new President’s attempted travel ban that would have restricted people from primarily Muslim countries from entering the US, and the overall xenophobic malaise that’s been settling over the regime since Election Day, relations between our country and the rest of the world have been pretty awkward.
Hugh Jackman isn’t the only one saying goodbye to the X-Men. Sir Patrick Stewart has decided that Logan will be his last appearance as Professor Charles Xavier as well, after appearing as the character in six other X-Men movies.
It’s no secret that Barack Obama is a total cinephile — last year he and Michelle named their favorite films of 2015 (The Martian and Inside Out, respectively), and a few months ago he even listed his favorite sci-fi movies (mostly the agreed-upon classics). Being the President comes with its fair share of perks, including first access to any new releases he wants to watch. Now we know what was on the list he requested for his swanky White House screening room.