The corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street is a Los Angeles icon, once the heart of the city’s booming film production and now the nexus of the world-renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usually, the most frightening thing a person will experience at the intersection is an encounter with improv comics attempting to strong-arm you into attending their latest show, but a new horror will soon dawn in the area. Locals now have bigger things to worry about than spending the day sad after accidentally overhearing an actor speaking to their agent on the phone.
It’s a Minion world, and we’re all just living in it. The little pill-shaped yellow critters have left an indelible imprint on the cultural mainstream, for better (footage not found) or for worse (try googling “minions memes,” I dare you). Kids and adults alike have latched onto the phenomenon with an uncommon enthusiasm, and now the numbers reflect the totality with which the Despicable Me universe has permeated modern life. In the seven brief years since Illumination Entertainment loosed the original Despicable Me on an innocent populace, the franchise has grown into the largest of its kind — the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time.
Channing Tatum’s a delight — fleet-footed dancer, lovably lunkheaded actor, and crooner of the occasional showtune, he’s got more of a claim to the title of America’s sweetheart than just about anybody. But while I may love Channing Tatum, and you may love Channing Tatum, he’s got one critic he just can’t seem to win over: his four-year-old daughter Everly.
Lily James cannot fight the music. In the title role of 2015’s handsome Cinderella rework, her beautiful singing served as a plot point, attracting a suitor to her like a sailor drawn in by a siren’s song. She’s gotten another bump in visibility as the female lead of Baby Driver, another film fundamentally oriented around music. (The swooningly romantic scene in which she and her crush Baby share a pair of earbuds at a laundromat is already a fan-favorite.) Now she’s taken her next major role, and it’s sure to put her vocal cords through their paces.
Are Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino rivals? The answer is “no,” and yet that’s still how I prefer to imagine them, and what’s more, it helps makes sense out of a recent news item. In 2015, Tarantino mounted his Hateful Eight “70mm road show” to great fanfare (much of it self-generated), offering audiences around the country an opportunity to see his Western thriller in all its splendor and glory. It was a massive undertaking: corralling the necessary equipment, shipping it to the participating theaters, installation costs, training multiplex projectionists unfamiliar with the 70mm format, the whole deal. And in what I can only assume is a diss aimed directly at Q.T., Nolan has now announced a 70mm engagement for Dunkirk dwarfing anything attempted in recent memory.
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that in the film A Bad Moms Christmas, there will be moms, they will be bad, and it will be Christmas. The sequel to 2016’s sleeper hit has now gotten its first trailer, and if nothing else, I can confirm for you beyond any shadow of a doubt that A Bad Moms Christmas will star a collection of moms, all of whom will indulge in varying levels of badness. This year, the reason for the season is mom-ing, and doing it badly.
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
The news that Ron Howard would take the directorial reins on Han Solo from Chris Miller and Phil Lord was met with a mixed reception by the ardent Star Wars fanbase. Some remembered Howard as the director behind Apollo 13, a movie partially set in outer space (the same location as much of Han Solo, presumably!), and figured he’d be right for the job. Others had fresher recollections of Ron Howard’s Inferno, a.k.a. Bad Tom Hanks Hairpiece 3, and expressed some misgivings. But today, one ardent supporter of Howard‘s has made a statement from the shadows on why he’s a perfect fit for the franchise, though he may have some rubbery, alien skin in the game.
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