A week after its release in theaters across America, director Ryan Coogler’s new Marvel comic-adaptation, Black Panther, is still setting box office records. The film is the 5th highest domestic debut of all time, and the highest grossing February release in history, with a staggering $202,003,951. It earned more in just 3-days in theaters than any other film featuring a black director and predominantly black cast with an impressive worldwide opening weekend gross of $350 million. The success of the film has not only shattered age-old myths surrounding the “unpopularity” of all-black ensemble movies in Hollywood. It is also changing the way Hollywood, and America at large, view films that deal primarily with black and African American culture. But why is Black Panther such a big deal for America and not simply just another superhero movie with a hero who happens to be black? Continue reading →
The nominations for the 90th Annual Academy Awards were released last week and met with mixed reactions. Some were ecstatic, others were disappointed, but how many were surprised? The Academy has been attempting to present itself in a new light in the years since a slew of all-white nominees was presented in the Best Actor category at the 2015 ceremony. Despite the #OscarsSoWhite movement that followed, the same thing happened the next year, sending organizers into a furor that found them completely revamping the membership list in the hopes of getting more diversified nominations. Although the 89th ceremony saw some changes in terms of the voting body, it seemed more like a desperate attempt to show change rather than a legitimate attempt to actually change. Now, in the age of #MeToo, this year’s nominees also fell shy of expectations. Continue reading →
Fans of director Ridley Scott‘s original sci-fi thriller Alien (1979) were less than disappointed by his 2012 prequel Prometheus. Not only did it lack suspense, but it seemed that most movie-goers failed to even realize that the film was related to the famous flick. But today Scott is making amends to appease fans of the series. Alien: Covenant not only brings back the series title, but reviews say movie-goers can expect a truly horrifying thriller that lives up to the original. Taking place 20 years before Alien, the film follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant as they embark on a mission to a supposedly uncharted planet. There they encounter David, the android survivor of the Prometheus expedition, who unleashes a terrifying threat upon the crew and forces them to attempt a daring escape from otherwise certain doom. Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years A Slave) reprises his role as David (now called Walter), along with an all-new cast that includes Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Steve Jobs) and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Big Fish). This is definitely one to see on the big screen, so if you’re planning on a movie this weekend, I’d keep this one in mind!
Today kicks off the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival in France. A number of anticipated entries are included in this year’s competition. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled with Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst is her first indie film since 2013’s The Bling Ring. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s new drama Loveless has high expectations after the director’s last film, Leviathan, earned he and his co-writer Oleg Negin the Best Screenplay award in 2014. Director Hong Sang-soo has two films premiering at this year’s festival, The Day After and Clair’s Camera, but both have been kept well under the radar until their upcoming debut.
Director Lynne Ramsay is also looking to impress with her latest project You Were Never Really Here, a drama about a veteran who attempts to help a young girl involved in a sex trafficking ring. Other anticipated projects being tossed around the web are Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Michael Haneke’s Happy End. The festival will open tonight with director Arnaud Desplechin’s Les fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael’s Ghosts). Another big event at this year’s festival will be a Virtual Reality (VR) film called Carne Y Arena from acclaimed writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant). The film runs a full hour and twenty minutes and is the first Virtual Reality film to ever appear at Cannes. The festival will run from the 17th to the 28th in Cannes, France. You can see a full list of this year’s entries below. Continue reading →
This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will not only be remembered for its impressive array of films, but also for a number of controversial firsts. An airline commercial was pulled from showing, reporters were infuriated to find James Franco and Shai LaBeouf absent from a red carpet premiere, and the new Immersive Storyscapes feature allowed audiences to experience virtual reality in an all new way. As if all that wasn’t enough, the 2017 celebration wrapped with special showings and cast reunions for two of the biggest films in history: Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. Continue reading →
Director Adam Smith’s family-crime drama Trespass Against Us received an Official Selection nod at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as well as top nods at the British Independent Film Awards and the Zurich Film Festival. Following a number of runs at various film festivals here in the United States, the film received a brief limited release back in January, but as of now we have yet to see it picked up for major distribution in theaters nationwide, but here’s hoping that changes! Written by documentary director Alastair Siddons (Turn it Loose, Inside Out), Trespass Against Us follows a man who comes into conflict with his outlaw father and family after he decides he must find a way out of his own criminal world in order to provide a better future for his own family. Michael Fassbender (Macbeth, The Light Between Oceans) and Brendan Gleeson (Cold Mountain, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) lead the cast as Chad and Colby Cutler, the father and son who come to arms with each other over the former’s desire to break free of his criminal past. Continue reading →
Sundance 2017 proved a huge success yet again. This year a number of impressive entries from a broad array of categories caught our attention, including Wind River, The Discovery, I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and the outlandish comedy Wilson with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Now that the celebration is over and everyone in Hollywood is looking forward to the Oscars at the end of the month, here are a few more mentionable entries you should look for in theaters in the coming months. Continue reading →
You can go anywhere in the world and still recognize those two golden arches silhouetted against a solid red background. McDonald‘s is not only a name, it’s a brand. It’s one of the most renowned brands in the history of America, and by extension, the world. Despite the fact that we live in a post-Supersize Me society, McDonald’s is still one of the most daily-visited restaurants globally. In fact, McDonald’s has been around for so long that its name and label are now simply embedded in the American conscious. This weekend, however, fans of the fast-food-fav can see how it all began. Director John Lee Hancock’s The Founder is now playing in theaters nationwide. Starring Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, Birdman), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, 22 Jump Street), John Carroll Lynch (Gran Torino, Crazy Stupid Love), Linda Cardellini (Grandma’s Boy, Avengers: Age of Ultron), BJ Novak (The Office, Inglorious Basterds), and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, The Master), The Founder tells the tale of Ray Kroc, the passionate salesman who took the McDonald brothers’ small burger shack and turned it into the internationally known conglomerate we know today. Continue reading →
Martin Scorsese agreed to serve as producer for an official Grateful Dead documentary back in October 2014. The Dead’s 50th anniversary was coming up the following year, and filmmakers wanted to have the project ready for the celebration. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and the landmark event was ultimately celebrated with a massive 3-day concert over the 4th of July weekend in Chicago’s Soldier Field. Original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Phil Lesh reunited on-stage for the event, which proved a huge success, despite the absence of Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995. Now, however, the 6-part documentary, appropriately titled Long Strange Trip from director Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, Happy Valley), is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released on Amazon Prime this May. Continue reading →
This year, writer, director, and producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) will see two of his most famous films back on big screens nationwide in the form of the new sequels Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049. The original films Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) are two of Scott’s most renowned films, and this year, movie-goers will get the chance to see modernized takes on both films, which have developed huge followings over the years.
Scott personally got back behind the camera to direct Alien: Covenant. Serving as both a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and a prequel to the original Alien, Alien: Covenant follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant as they discover a seemingly unknown paradise in deep space. As they begin to explore, however, they quickly uncover a dark and dangerous world, inhabited only by David, the synthetic survivor from the Prometheus expedition, who forces the crew to attempt a fast, and daring escape. Continue reading →