With this past week’s news that Michelle Monaghan has joined the cast of Mission: Impossible 6, we’re now looking at a pretty awesome group of leading ladies for next year’s installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. The Monaghan casting was both exciting and not particularly surprising; when writer-director Christopher McQuarrie announced a few unexpected returns to the cast for this film, Monaghan’s character seemed the most obvious piece of unfinished business in the film. This franchise has always attempted to build out continuity between films — loose though it may be — and bringing back Ethan Hunt’s ex-wife was the perfect way to add emotional gravitas to the spectacle.
If we’re lucky, a few times each year we’ll be treated to a $100 million blockbuster that manages to wow critics and audiences alike. This was the case with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which managed to pull in both a 90% on RottenTomatoes — normal caveats about RottenTomatoes aside — and grossed over $700 million at the global box office. When Hollywood finds just the right balance of magic and money, we catch a glimpse at the potential of the right filmmaker with a ton of money at his or her disposal. It’s what has so many fans excited for War for the Planet of the Apes. Can Matt Reeves and 20th Century Fox team up for a second incredible blockbuster movie?
Behold, the gag reel. Long a staple of the home video market, the gag reel was perhaps at its most popular in the 1990s, when Jackie Chan released a string of movies that included painful outtakes during the closing credits. When studios realized that they could package an entire DVD release around the special feature menu, the gag reel became a mainstay of any comedy releases over the last 15 years. And because Deadpool was one big improvised joke with enough physical humor to make Mel Brooks blush, it was a natural fit for the film’s Blu-ray release as well.
Hold onto your (well-toned) butts, ladies and gentlemen, because Zac Efron’s career is about to kick into high gear. After a few years spent as a teenage heartthrob — and a few more years spent revamping his image in movies like Neighbors and Baywatch as everyone’s favorite ‘sex idiot’ — it looks like Efron is gearing up to pivot yet-again into the dramatic stage of his career. What type of dramatic turn, you ask? A troubled artist? A struggling musician? You’re close! How about infamous serial killer Ted Bundy?
After breaking the record for the most trailer views in a single day, expectations couldn’t be higher for Andres Muschietti’s remake of It. It wasn’t long ago that this seemed like a project destined for trouble; the film’s original director — and still credited screenwriter — Cary Fukunaga dropped out of the production after the studio wouldn’t budge on letting him make an ‘unconventional’ horror film, causing fans to worry we were in for another bland adaptation of a Stephen King novel. All was forgiven, of course, when New Lined delivered that amazing first It teaser trailer, but could they keep it up?
Since Dennis Miller hosted the very first MTV Movie Awards back in 1992, the music channel’s annual award ceremony has been something of a fun dalliance into a world where the artistic merit of a movie is less important than its popular clout. This year marks a couple of big changes for the format: not only did the award show change its official name — it is now known as the MTV Movie & TV Awards — it also has become arguably the most inclusive award show to date, honoring titles like Moonlight, Get Out, and Jane the Virgin alongside its stalwart categories like Best Kiss and Best Villain.
Turn off your proton packs and fire up your Fleetwood Mac, it’s time for the latest edition of the ScreenCrush Weekend Box Office Report! There were few surprises to be found at the top of the list this weekend, but with a few big films nearing the end of their theatrical run, it’s a good time to take stock and see how things shook out. Here’s the projected grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
It’s been nearly eight years since James Cameron’s Avatar took the global box office by storm, and while it’s become très chic for some corners of the internet to endlessly bash Avatar, I still maintain my stubborn affection for Cameron’s movie. Very few filmmakers can create action-driven science-fiction that operates at Cameron’s level; just look at how many times people have messed up Cameron’s Terminator franchise, a near-flawless formula for blockbuster movies that studios have nevertheless run directly into the ground. We may laugh at Cameron’s planned sequels, but they are both original (technically!) and creator-driven movies. Isn’t that what we claim to want from Hollywood?
When word got out that Emily Blunt had been cast as the title character in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, the overwhelming response from most people was, “Well, sure.” Blunt has proven herself to be genre agnostic over the years, as likely to wow audiences in a science-fiction or action film as she is in a light-hearted comedy. That alone would make her an ideal candidate for Mary Poppins — as the rare actress capable of convincing audiences that she’d do justice to an iconic character — but she also bears a physical resemblance to Julie Andrews to boot. You couldn’t ask for better casting.
In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit.
Every year, it seems like someone makes an argument that horror films are better than they’ve ever been in the past. And while the incredible success of Get Out means that 2017 is off to a great start for horror movies, the truth is, horror movies have been pretty darn great for a while now. The last decade has seen innovative filmmakers — even filmmakers not known for horror movies — use the genre to make inexpensive films with a few buckets of blood and something smart to say. Why waste time trying to figure out which individual year was the best when we could just watch some movies?
Popular culture travels in waves. A decade or so ago, when every studio was trying to copy The Matrix and start their own action franchises dripping with self-serious stylization and slow-motion fights, I would’ve killed for a summer movie that took a grounded approach to heroes and villains. Now, after several years of Marvel movies and grimdark blockbusters, the pendulum has swung back the other way. It’s not that Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword looks like a good movie, per se. It’s just that I’m in a place where I can really appreciate its goofiness.
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