Everyone knows how Beauty and the Beast starts off — a haughty prince refuses to give shelter to an old lady who turns out to be a fairy, who then curses him and his whole castle, turning him into a monster and his staff into inanimate objects. Well, the inanimate objects are still pretty animate, able to talk and dance and sing at poor Belle, who should be checking her food for hallucinogens rather than singing along, but who cares, this is a Disney movie. For those of you dying to see the rest of the castle’s inhabitants in their more flesh-and-blood forms, they’re human again in a new poster standee for the movie.
Back in May, Disney released the first teaser trailer for their live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and although it was a rather lovely homage to the teaser for the classic animated version, it’s the only real preview we’ve had for the upcoming film. While we anxiously await the full official trailer, new concept art has debuted online that offers our first look at Lumiere and Cogsworth, along with a behind-the-scenes image of Gaston’s famous musical sequence.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts may have announced sweeping changes to their membership and governing board that will take effect next year, but that hasn’t changed much about the state of this year’s Oscar race, or the conversation around its lack of diversity. Ian McKellen is the latest actor to weigh in on the controversy surrounding 2016’s nominees and their total and all-consuming whiteness. He had some very powerful things to say.
Thanks to his roles in the X-Men and Lord of the Rings franchises, Ian McKellen has become an iconic part of mainstream pop culture, earning him notoriety with geeky fans he may never have had if he’d stuck to theatre and more serious, prestige roles. And if Tom Cruise had his way, McKellen might not have taken those roles and become the pop culture icon he is today.
At this point, prequels are pretty well played out. They’re frustrating to begin with, since by their very nature they tell backstories instead of stories, and after being inundated with Hollywood prequels for several years in the late 2000s and early ’10s, whatever appetite audiences had for them is long gone. So maybe the future is in postquels; movies set long after the adventures of heroes we know. If so, Mr. Holmes could be the start of a whole new trend.
This live-action Beauty and the Beast movie is assembling a rather impressive cast so far: Emma Watson is playing Belle opposite Dan Stevens’ hunky Beast, which is exciting enough before you even get to the supporting cast. Joining our two leads now is Sir Ian McKellen — your favorite Magneto and mine — as Cogsworth, the castle’s butler who is transformed into a talking clock.
Here’s what we know about ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Bryan Singer’s follow-up to ‘Days of Future Past’ will focus more on the ‘First Class’ cast facing off with Oscar Isaac’s titular comic book villain Apocalypse (perhaps the most formidable villain in X-Men history), and Singer is looking to cast younger versions of Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey. Given that the film focuses more on the younger versions of the characters, it’s not entirely shocking to learn that two of the most beloved, older cast members won’t be returning.
There seem to be two paths for monumentally popular pieces of art and entertainment once the initial excitement around them begins to wear off. Either they become a cultural touchstone, and become a part of the fabric of everyday communication, or they become a footnote, a piece of trivia relevant only as nostalgia and an occasional answer at bar trivia. I revisit Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy every few years, because I desperately want it to be the former and not the latter.
Having gone on an unexpected journey and endured the desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson’s bloated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ finally comes to ‘The Battle of the Five Armies,’ which is less of a climax to this trilogy than a distended epilogue. After spending two movies and 330 minutes building up the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) as the ultimate antagonist, he’s eliminated from the story completely in the first ten minutes. He’s literally gone before the title appears onscreen.
The final 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' trailer has arrived and, well, it looks like another 'Hobbit' movie. If your faith in director Peter Jackson's vision of Middle-Earth remains unshaken, prepare to get excited. If the previous two films have muted your excitement for the series, prepare to see...more of the same.