[Bonnie and Clyde trailer voice]: They’re old, they kind of hate each other, and they read envelopes.
Since Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Picture on Sunday night, everyone‘s been looking for an answer as to how such a massive goof could come to pass. Blame has been passed around like a hot potato, with fault assigned to Beatty, Dunaway, some tweeting nitwit from the accounting firm that tabulates the votes, the person who lays down the envelopes, and just for good measure, a cold and uncaring god. But now the trenchant, Spotlightesque journalists at TMZ claim to have the full story behind just what went down.
It was back in July that the news of an impending return from everyone’s favorite B-movie mockery program Mystery Science Theater 3000 first broke. Fans of Manos: the Hands of Fate and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians were atwitter with excitement for a revival of the long-running program last seen in 1999, breathlessly speculating on which schlock gems would get roasted this time around. And while the fodder for the upcoming eleventh season has yet to be named, Netflix has finally announced a release date and included a new press photo of the whole wisecracking robotic gang.
It doesn’t matter if you’re some regular schmo or the Asgardian God of Thunder, living by yourself can get a little lonely. Thank Odin for Darryl, then, the milquetoast desk-jockey roommate of the Avengers’ resident hammer-thrower Thor. We first met the mild-mannered pencil-pusher in a short called “Team Thor,” directed by upcoming Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi and bundled as an extra with the Captain America: Civil War home media release. That amusing glimpse into the tensions between the two cohabitants was a fan favorite, not to mention a brief preview of the comic sensibility that What We Do in the Shadows (another film about roommates sniping at one another) director Waititi would bring to the Marvel universe.
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.
Harmony Korine’s been laying fairly low since his last feature, 2013’s neon-hued crime rave Spring Breakers. Word on the street is that his next feature should be ready for the public’s eyeballs sometime this year, with the announced title of The Trap and a tantalizing cast including Al Pacino, Benicio del Toro, Robert Pattinson, and previous muse Gucci Mane. But even as he prepares to once again loose the mayhem that is a new Korine movie on the world, the director has begun to shore up plans for his next next feature. And today brings the news that he’s landed an all-too-appropriate star for the gestating project.
By the late ’70s, Clint Eastwood had made a name for himself as the tough-guy star of cop-on-the-edge flicks and spaghetti Westerns, his permanent grimace a symbol of macho heroism. As the star of the Dirty Harry franchise, he fashioned himself as a protector with an edge, and in Sergio Leone’s epochal Dollars trilogy, he nearly ascended into the annals of cinematic legend. Having built up all this public goodwill, Eastwood decided the time was right to use that clout on the kind of project actors dream of their whole lives: a buddy comedy where he stars opposite an orangutan.
As is tradition, the night before the Oscar ceremony takes place, the 37th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards will descend on Los Angeles to commemorate the worst that Hollywood had to offer in 2016. A mean-spirited diss-fest in the estimation of some, a good-natured ribbing to others, the so-called Razzies are twice as unpredictable and ten times as frank as the usual awards program. The expected categories of Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Actor/Actress share space with the distinctions of Worst Screen Combo and Worst Prequel, Remake, Ripoff, or Sequel at the ignominious ceremony. Some celebrities take the jokes in stride (Sandra Bullock famously showed up to receive her Worst Actress Razzie for All About Steve the day before she dropped by the Oscars to pick up her Best Actress prize for The Blind Side), but the program goes widely ignored by the industry overall.
The 1988 caper comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a cracking good time, pairing Steve Martin and Michael Caine as a pair of no-good con men fleecing rich old ladies on the shores of the French Riviera. The mismatched duo — Caine’s the image of suave refinement, Martin’s an inveterate ham — team for one big score, but a mysterious rival con artist known as “The Jackal” complicates matters. Also a good time: the Broadway musical based on the film, the 1964 Marlon Brando picture Bedtime Story that inspired Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and now we can add to that list Nasty Women.
Forcing audiences to watch a movie in which a dog lives, finds true happiness, and then dies over and over again would’ve been an act of sadism all on its own. But the crew of the upcoming family film A Dog’s Purpose have recently been outed as sadists of another, more stomach-churning sort. TMZ posted a shocking video from a second-unit shoot for the film in which an animal handler forces a reluctant German Shepard into rushing waters, the dog begins drowning, and handlers rush to retrieve the animal amid cries of “cut it! cut it!” PETA has already called for a boycott of the film, with the most shame heaped upon the industry supplier Birds & Animals Unlimited, and the rest of the fallout has been swift.
Good news: fans are finally getting their shot to lay claim to two highly sought-after pieces of comic book memorabilia, with George Reeves’ original Superman costume and the Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton during his stint as the Batman both up at auction until January 26. The bad news: you’re going to have to part with at least tens of thousands of dollars if you want to get your mitts on that spandex.
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