There were a lot of raise-your-eyebrow commercials at this year’s Super Bowl, and sadly they were much more memorable than any of the traditional, so-called “hilarious” Super Bowl entries. The most controversial entries was the lengthy 84 Lumber commercial where mother and daughter encounter a giant concrete wall on the US border, and the American Petroleum Institutes praise-spot for Big Oil. In addition to the barrage of propagandized TV spots and beer commercials were a number of upcoming blockbuster movie trailers. Among them were those for The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, John Wick: Chapter 2, and Transformers: The Last Knight. The most impressive movie trailer, however, came from up-and-coming director Daniel Espinosa‘s Life with Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners, Nightcrawler), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Girl on the Train), and Ryan Reynolds (Waiting, Safe House). Continue reading →
James Baldwin‘s (1924-1987) life and legacy can now speak to modern audiences in a new documentary called I Am Not Your Negro. The film is finally getting a long overdue theatrical release from Magnolia Pictures this February 3rd after wowing audiences at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. I Am Not Your Negro is a film from Haitian director Raoul Peck that envisions Baldwin’s final, albeit incomplete novel Remember This House as an uncompromising and complete narrative of race in America. The unfinished memoir focuses on the authors personal memories and relationships with three enduring Civil Rights leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X. Peck was allowed access to the entire Baldwin archives and composed the film over a period of 10 years, drawing from the incomplete manuscript and Baldwin’s own personal notes. It won the People’s Choice Documentary Award and, like Baldwin himself, is sure to stand as a vital testament to race in America today. Continue reading →
Javier Bardem seems to be gaining a reputation in Hollywood as the go-to movie villain. His portrayal of bounty hunter Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2008, and he also brought the most originality to a James Bond villain in Skyfall (2012) than audiences have seen since perhaps Robert Davi portrayed drug-lord Franz Sanchez in License To Kill (1989) opposite Timothy Dalton. But now there is word from The Wrap that Bardem may be taking the villain role in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will once again star Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Keith Richards as Jack’s father Captain Teague. Actors Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom are also rumored to be returning to the franchise as Captain Barbosa and Will Turner, although this has not been officially confirmed. Bardem would be playing the ghost pirate Captain Brand, who is seeking a supernatural object that will aid him in his quest to get revenge on Sparrow for killing his brother. The new movie will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and is expected to begin filming this coming February in Australia (apparently after some reported incentives from the Australian government) and has received a new release date from Disney for July 7, 2017. That is still a very long way away, and even now Pirates of the Caribbean seems like a distant memory of the early 2000s, but maybe Disney will actually pull something decent out of their ever-growing well. I guess we’ll find out in a few years’ time.
Although it has been confirmed that Johnny Depp will be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow for a fifth (and hopefully final) installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and that Keith Richards will also return as Jack’s father Captain Teague, we haven’t really had anymore solid news on the project in terms of supporting cast members, at least until now! Recent reports indicate that original Pirates trilogy actor Orlando Bloom may reunite with Depp for the new project, which is being titled Dead Men Tell No Tales. The film will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and is currently set to hit theaters in July 2017. Bloom, who recently returned to his other famous role of Legolas in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, has been seen in a number of films outside of the Pirates and Lord of the Rings franchises, including Black Hawk Down (2001), Troy (2004), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and The Three Musketeers (2011), the actor has never really struck a chord with critics and audiences outside of his two famous roles, so maybe stepping back into familiar territory is not such a bad idea. The film is still early in production at this point, with a recent bid from Australia for the filmmakers to shoot the project there, but nothing is set in stone yet, and with more than two years still to go until the release date, I can’t imagine anything being rushed this early on, so we’ll just do what we do and keep our ears open for now.