As a lover of entertainment, I'm not ashamed to admit that instead of lolling myself to sleep by counting sheep or Catwomen, as Sheldon Cooper famously does, I do so by casting movies. Recently, I sent myself to land of dreams by imagining Supernatural star Jensen Ackles playing Batman in the newly written Batman film, replacing the ho-hum Ben Affleck.
It was only in morning light that I realized that Ackles is actually a provocative choice that could actually revitalize the Batman franchise. Here's why...
During a pivotal scene in Bradley Cooper's directorial debut A Star Is Born, there is particular striking bit of dialogue: "Music is essentially 12 notes between any octave. Twelve notes and the octave repeats...All the artist can offer the world is how they see those twelve notes."
The same can be said for a love story: there are only two options--person wins love or person loses love--and the power and variety comes from how its interpreted. Through Cooper's directorial gaze, the fourth A Star Is Born remake is a textured, haunting, albeit dragging film that examines a relationship with a sprawling luxury. Jackson Maine, bourbon-and-leather voiced rock star, uses the dying the light of his star to ignite that of an up-and-coming musician.
Ocean's 8, the spin-off of the 2001 Ocean's 11 movie, is a decent way to spend a drizzly, foggy Saturday afternoon. It's lowkey escapist fun in a slickly directed package, and sometimes, that's all a moviegoer needs to make a film worth the price of admission (especially when we're three tweet away from going to war with CANADA). However, Ocean's 8, even with its trophy-hogging cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sara Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna and Awkwafina, exemplifies exactly how stifling with Hollywood's obsession with remakes and reboots can be.
With Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War's releases in the rearview mirror, there's really only one 2018 superhero movie that I'm looking geeked about. In it, none of the characters wear capes, are from fictional universes, or have cool weapons--a few of the players brandish Oscars. It's the new film, Widows, directed and written by Academy Award winner Steve McQueen and co-written by Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn.
Attending a screening of Black Panther is nothing short of a celebration. I went to two separate screenings and it was pure superhero pandemonium. The largely black audience was decked out in vibrant African dashikis, headwraps, Black Panther shirts, and even full-fledged costumes of the characters themselves. The theater had even hired African drummers to entertain the crowds as they waited in line for food and flooded into one of six theaters playing the film.
When I was growing up, I worked at that very theater which is situated in an small, affluent white suburb. It took a black Oscar-winning actor moving within driving distance before they began to regularly screen black movies. So to witness it imbued with the spirit of Wakanda—for capitalistic gain or not—is just one of the reasons why Marvel’s Black Panther is so revolutionary.
However, the most important question remains: does film itself hold up to the bombastic hype from fans who have waited more than a decade for Marvel to finally make a movie about a black superhero?
I would bet that work productivity ground to a halt around 8am Wednesday morning, because that's when Marvel Studios dropped the much-anticipated trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. I hope you stretched because watching, even this professional and veteran blerd sprained her fangirl. I am shook!
Avengers: Infinity War stars a boatload of celebrities, pulling in fan favorite characters from all their franchises. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland and more all join forces to defeat the supremely evil Thanos.
According to Marvel, Thanos, a intergalactic warmonger, is closer to reaching his goal of collecting all six infinity stones (a running theme throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe), which threatens the universe's very existence.
Such high stakes requires a bleaker tone and plenty of facial hair, and the Russo brothers did not disappoint. "There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people...so we could fight the battles," Nick Fury and Tony Stark begin, citing the beginning of the Avengers themselves with a marked and pearl-clutching finality. The trailer (below) is mind-blowingly fantastic, and as usual, I have questions.
It would be an understatement to say that Marvel’s Thor franchise has struggled to find its identity more than any other. The original movie, Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, was a solid and Shakespearian start to the franchise, despite grossly miscasting Natalie Portman as Thor’s love interest. Thor: The Dark World was a tonally muddled sophomore slump of a movie that relegated Portman’s Jane to the cliché of a swooning damsel and even left little mischief from breakout star Tom Hiddleton’s Loki, God of Mischief.
Thor: Ragnarok is the dazzling recalibration the franchise not only needed but deserved. With a fantastic cast, stunning special effects, a delicate mix of absurd humor and unrelenting action, and a sprawling plot that finds Thor stripped of his precious Mjolnir and held prisoner as a gladiator on a savage planet as Asgard falls under the reign of Hela, Goddess of Death, Thor Ragnarok is not only one of the best movies Marvel has ever made, it just may be one of the top 10 best movies in the superhero genre. It’s also well on its way to becoming one of the biggest openings this year, taking in an estimated $121 million in its opening weekend, BoxOfficeMojo.com reports.
Ragnarok solidifies some important things more than a clap of thunder...
I may have sprained my fangirl muscles this week, and Comic-Con hasn't even begun yet.
One of the major reasons for my flailing is Entertainment Weekly's exclusive first look and Saturday's release of the phenomenal teaser trailer for A Wrinkle In Time at the D23 Expo, directed by the Oscar and now Emmy-nominated Ava DuVernay (Note: The 13th director and Queen Sugar director is always courting greatness, and by helming this film, she became the first black woman to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million).
A Wrinkle In Time, Disney's theatrical adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's award-winning science-fiction novel, follows a young girl though space and time on a journey to rescue her father from the enigmatic darkness.
Even though I was largely and loudly opposed to the third re-boot of a Peter Parker-led Spider-Man franchise in 15 years, (especially after falling in love with Andrew Garfield's version despite being saddled with a spectacularly cluttered script in The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Tom Holland won me over enough that I was willing to shell out the funds for a VIP ticket to a Thursday night screening.
No, it wasn't his heavily CGI'd appearance in Captain America: Civil War as a pinch-hitter for Team Stark, but rather his killer performance on Lip Synch Battle, where he and co-star (and girlfriend!?!) Zendaya both turned in gender-bending showstoppers. With Holland's spectacular and sure-footed mash-up of Gene Kelly's "Singing In The Rain" and Rihanna's "Umbrella" gave the me life.
So I went into the movie with no expectations—except to be annoyed by Tony Stark's intricate facial hair—and was thoroughly flabbergasted. Not only is Spider-man: Homecoming another box office grand slam for Marvel and Sony, it is a lovingly written, realistically-cast and well-acted superhero movie for the Gen Z and millennial set—something that was missing from both Marvel and DC Entertainment’s current and upcoming rosters.
If you had Saturday morning plans that were abruptly canceled, it might be because DC just dropped the first full-length trailer for Justice League. Let the analysis and hunting for Easter Eggs begin!
I fully admit that this Small Screen Girl is a ride-or-die Marvel girl who believes DC’s strength lies in its television shows as long as Zack Snyder is at the helm of the films. Yet I was riveted by the trailer, particularly by all things Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).
Like most of DC’s contributions to the superhero cinematic world, I have questions...