A few days from now, January 10 will mark the one-year anniversary of David Bowie’s surprising death and the beginning of the unending parade of horrors that was 2016. The tributes poured out in the wake of the announcement with commemorative parades and parties taking place in cities across the globe. But while the flow of memorials to the musical pioneer may have ebbed, it hasn’t stopped completely. A new report from Variety indicates that later this year, Bowie’s spirit will continue to live on at cineplexes across Europe with what is now the closest a person can get to attending an actual David Bowie concert.
Any mystery is only as good as its suspects, and Kenneth Branagh’s percolating adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express — perhaps the greatest whodunit ever to have dun it —has rounded up a murderer’s row of potential murderers. He’s rounded up a cast that fits all the essential literary thriller archetypes: Branagh himself will assay detective of note Hercule Poirot, along with Johnny Depp (the oddball), Judi Dench (the princess), Lucy Boynton (the countess), Michelle Pfeiffer (the actress), Daisy Ridley (the governess), Josh Gad (the bumbler), and Leslie Odom Jr. (the military man). The scene is set, but what’s that? A newcomer appears, bringing a little fresh blood to this unfolding mystery.
It’s every woman’s fantasy: not the perfect man, but the man who is perfect in all ways except one, which can only be changed with the gentle touch of a lover. Anastasia Steele, the Dakota Johnson-played protagonist of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, shares this widespread fixer-upper fetish, and she makes as much clear in the new trailer for Fifty Shades Darker. In the film disappointingly not titled Fifty-One Shades of Grey, Ana accepts Christian back into her life under the condition that he cut it out with all the brooding angst that originally attracted her to him and got old pretty quickly. They let one another back into their lives (and beds, and red-lit sexual torture chambers), but tragedy may cut the honeymoon phase short.
It’s not uncommon for movie studios to recycle their sets between productions, or for different crews to make use of the same locations. For sharp-eyed viewers, this can create the surreal effect of fictional universes overlapping and coexisting with one another. Take Hogan’s Heroes, for instance: the company behind the popular POW camp-set sitcom put the compound on which they shot most of their episodes up for sale after they had wrapped. It was later used for numerous other shoots, most notably in the pornographic Nazi-exploitation film Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S.
More streaming services than you can shake a virtual stick at have cropped up over the past year, which makes it all the more aggravating when that one movie you want to watch is nowhere to be found. You shell out every month for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Shudder, Filmstruck and a dozen more, and yet once that craving to rewatch The Lion King hits, you’re plum out of luck. What’s the point of having countless hours of programming at your fingertips for your immediate enjoyment if that doesn’t include The Little Mermaid?
Disney’s currently riding a wave of buzz for their latest release Moana, a delightful Polynesian adventure that ticks all the most essential boxes for the Mouse House: precocious princess, lovable animal sidekick, well-placed showtunes, the whole nine yards. With Disney fever at a relative high, there’s no better time for the happiest PR department on Earth to start drumming up enthusiasm for their next original project, a Pixar Animation production that sounds like it’ll be catnip for anyone charmed by the return to form of Moana. And what’s more, this feature will continue its predecessor’s mission to introduce even more diversity to the Disney/Pixar racial palette.
One of the greatest advantages of living in or around a major metropolitan area, at least for cinephiles, is the abundance of repertory screening options. Independently run theaters will run older, foreign or rare movies to impassioned audiences who may not have had access to the material otherwise, balancing their filmic diet with a healthy balance of new releases and classics. Sure, pert near everything can be found online if you’re willing to investigate some shadier torrenting sites. But the experience of seeing a movie in a dark theater on the big screen, especially a nicely lived-in celluloid print and all its endearing pops and scratches — that makes a difference.
It must be tough being Roland Emmerich. Your passion project about the Stonewall riots gets savaged by critics and then left to die on the vine when it finally hits theaters. Next year, your big comeback — a long-awaited sequel to Independence Day, the film that remains your greatest success — goes down like the Hindenburg, mustering a faint fraction of the original’s box-office might and getting outclassed by a cartoon about a lost fish. You need a win, and luckily, you’ve got a sure thing coming down the pike: A remake of your first major blockbuster, 1994’s sci-fi adventure Stargate.
In a brash assumption from The Hollywood Reporter that the planet Earth, the United States of America, and its film industry as we know it will still be intact two years from now, Warner Bros. has announced a release date of September 28, 2018 for their remake of musical romance A Star Is Born. Operating under the premise that motion pictures will still be made, distributed, and exhibited in some form by the time President Donald Trump — a three-word phrase we all now must get used to — has served half of his term, the Lady Gaga-fronted directorial debut from Bradley Cooper will see an awards-friendly early fall run.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to hold tight for a couple years and then faithfully head back out to see another Mission: Impossible movie. Variety notes that Paramount Pictures has officially announced a release date for the sixth installment in the perennially popular espionage franchise, and that audiences can expect Ethan Hunt to suspension-rope down into theaters once again on July 27, 2018. A fun fact about 2018 is that in that year, eternal ass-kicker and franchise star Tom Cruise (who agreed to headline the sixth film last year while promoting Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation) will be 56 years of age.
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