It’s weird — with every new trailer, the upcoming big-screen reboot of beloved ‘90s TV series Baywatch appears to get a little bit better. The first trailer promised a lightly amusing clone of the smart-alecky 21 Jump Street reboot, the second trailer advertised a competently-produced action tentpole with a healthy sprinkling of meta humor, and now, the so-called “official” trailer (does that make the first two unofficial?) teases what appears to be a sincerely funny comedy. At the very least, whoever cut this thing made it abundantly clear that stars Zac Efron and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson have more chemistry than an eighth-grade science class.
There’s no arguing that superheroes currently own the cineplex, but in a slight change of pace, one of this upcoming summer’s cape-clad defenders won’t hail from the pages of Marvel or DC. Kids (and nostalgia fetishists in their mid-to-late twenties) will get a colorful crimefighter of a different stripe with Captain Underpants, the computer-animated adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s long-running line of sophomoric chapter books about a delusional elementary school principal’s adventures in doo-doo derring-do. The first trailer hit the internet today, and if you were wondering if it contains the same Steve Aoki club banger as the War Dogs trailer, then have I got some good news for you!
Did you know that they apparently made another Terminator movie in 2015? Despite having seen it in theaters back during its original run, this still strikes me as new, hard-to-believe information. If there was really a new installment of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popular sci-fi/action franchise as recently as two years ago, wouldn’t someone remember that? Wikipedia claims that the film (subtitled Genisys, which sounds fake but okay) attempted to launch Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke’s big-screen phase of her career, included a clutch starring role from Ahnuld himself, and earned the second-most of any entry in the series. Call me crazy, but that seems like a pretty major occurrence to have entirely fled the public‘s collective pop-cultural memory. I’m skeptical — does this look like a real movie to you?
When the mind thinks of the densest, most sprawling narratives realized over the past couple of decades, the kaiju-influenced action show Power Rangers usually doesn’t pop up first. But a quick scan online would reveal that the series has run for a mind-boggling 837 episodes (and counting!) over the course of 24 seasons since 1993. The series has assumed many forms since then, rebooting itself as a show about ninjas (Power Rangers Ninja Storm), samurai (Power Rangers Super Samurai) and dinosaur-themed warriors (Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers Dino Charge, and Power Rangers Dino Super Charge — kids love their dinios). It is, by anybody’s measure, a lot of television.
Ever since the now-infamous photo of Pennywise the evil homicidal clown peeking out of a drainpipe surfaced online, fans of Stephen King’s seminal horror novel It have been concerned about Seth Graeme-Smith‘s upcoming film adaptation. There was fair cause for worry, too; it looked as if light was coming from several different sources, like a hasty photoshop job one might find on the box art for some direct-to-DVD cash grab. The only person who could really set the It devotees at ease would be Stephen King, who has seen dozens upon dozens of his works make the jump to the silver screen. And it would appear that he’s now done just that.
L. Frank Baum‘s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proven a malleable property over the years. Of course everybody knows and loves Victor Fleming’s 1939 film adaptation, then came the urban-set musical revision The Wiz, the villain’s-eye-view retelling Wicked, Sam Raimi’s limp-noodle Oz the Great and Powerful, NBC’s crazytown new gritty-reboot series Emerald City, not to mention the dozens of films that have paid homage to the timeless scenes of Fleming’s film. (The bit in O Brother, Where Art Thou? when our heroes sneak into a KKK meeting like it’s a Winkie stronghold is a particular standout.) And today brings the news that the merry old land of Oz will get yet another new spin, and this time, there will be blood.
Upstart stop-motion animation studio Laika hasn’t been doing so hot as of late. Though such early efforts as Coraline and Paranorman generated healthy grosses, the box-office receipts have been in a steady decline with The Boxtrolls and last summer’s Kubo and the Two Strings. Though their films have been marvels to behold across the board, their expenditures have increased as they’ve expanded and invested in new technologies, and Kubo ended up as their first flop when it needed to be their biggest hit. In what might seem like the most dire sign of all for the studio, Kubo director and Laika President/CEO Travis Knight has now taken high-profile work elsewhere.
I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of Get Out earlier this week, and hoo boy, that right there is one fine motion picture. Our beloved Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer made as much clear in his ringing endorsement from Sundance, but take it from me: very spooky, very funny, has something to say, insanely well-cast and even more well-acted. It’s an easy movie to love, and while the box-office receipts from this upcoming weekend will rule on whether audiences agree, the critics of America have already made their voices heard. And those voices are ringing out in perfect unison, a harmony sounding out as if from an angelic choir: “THIS MOVIE RULES.”
Netflix scooped up a lot of hot property back at the Sundance Film Festival, and after they’ve pulled back the curtain on the award-winning I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore come February 24, their next big unveiling will be The Discovery. The high-concept sci-fi drama will be fully available through the streaming service on March 31, and while the element of mystery has remained a major part of the film’s advertising campaign, a new trailer does offer some more clues on what the deal is. The most important reveal of all: Mary Steenburgen is in this film.
Like any job, writing about the latest news in the world of entertainment can wear on you after long enough, so you gotta appreciate the little pearls of amusement where you can get them. Personally, watching the latest solo Batman project fall apart in slow motion has been a perverse thrill over the past couple of months: star Ben Affleck was gonna direct (maybe) the film titled The Batman, then he was definitely gonna direct it, then he backpedaled a little bit, then he requested that people stop asking him about it, then he face-planted onto the sidewalk with the costly flop Live By Night, and then look at that, he wasn’t taking the director’s chair after all. The indignities kept coming, as Warner Bros. ordered sweeping rewrites to this floundering project before landing Planet of the Apes remake maestro Matt Reeves to fill the directorial vacuum.
Remember that part in The Dark Knight when the Batman knock-offs all pop up in the multi-level parking garage to help the Caped Crusader dispose of some European gangsters, but they just end up getting in the way? They tell the Batman that they were just trying to help, and Wayne chides them for facing men with guns while wearing hockey pants. This may ring some bells for you, but Stephen Lawrence, the subject of the curious new documentary short Being Batman, has evidently forgotten that brief bit. (I’d guess he’s also glossed over the part in The Killing Joke wherein writer Alan Moore suggests that a man would have to be insane to dress up as a bat and fight crime at night.)
Over the course of the eight Nightmare on Elm Street films, Robert Englund made dream stalker Freddy Krueger from a slasher-film specter into a major cultural icon. His sartorially questionable striped sweater/fedora combo, the pepperoni-like complexion, the razor-blade gloves — it’s all been enshrined in the horror hall of fame for years. He officially laid his signature character to rest with 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason, turning the role over to Jackie Earle Haley for the 2010 remake, but a new project indicates that Englund and Freddy can’t get rid of one another that easily.
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