If you’re like me, you’ve probably gotten a little confused about the various Godzilla adaptations currently underway in Hollywood, so let’s take a moment to clear that up. First there’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film. You have Godzilla: Monster Planet, the animated series heading to Netflix later this year. You have the in-development sequel to Japanese franchise reboot Shin Godzilla, which technically cannot begin production until 2020. And you have Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which will bring the two major monster franchises together.
Given the fact that the first Kingsman movie was a spot-on homage to James Bond movies, you’d think we’d all be excited for more of the same. More debonair spy sequences, more dangerous undercover double-speak, and more gunfights in famous locations. Instead, 20th Century Fox has flipped the script, giving us a sequel that promises a delightful sendup of American action movies as well. What would happen if James Bond and John Rambo were forced to join forces to solve an international mystery? If the early trailers and credits are any indication, we’re about to find out.
One of the fun parts of film criticism is trying to identify which blockbuster movies that open to middling reviews will undergo a critical re-appreciation in the years to come. For example, while audiences were generally disappointed with Ridley Scott’s Prometheus on its release, the movie has slowly gained steam with critics, becoming something of an under-the-wire classic in the last few years. And now, just a few months after the release of Kong: Skull Island, there are already those who have argued that its unique aesthetic makes it one of the better action movies of the year.
If you’ve been reading the site for any length of time, then you know that movie-themed amusement park rides are a bit of a passion for Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer. Matt has previously written about the end of the Great Movie Ride and run pieces on the upcoming Avatar amusement park as well; that, combined with his love of all things Terminator 2, means that he should probably be the one to write up this news item. But since he’s not here and I am, I guess I’ll deliver the bad news: the Terminator 2 3D ride is being shut down.
If the early buzz is to be believed, fans couldn’t get any more excited for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Not only does the film have one of the most-watched movie trailers of all time, and is also projected to make over $60 million in its opening weekend, it’s also coming into theaters riding a wave of impressive reviews. And somehow, the movie has done all of this without tipping its hand on some of the most impressive scares. All of this for an R-rated horror movie about children being jeopardized. We’ve come a long way since the original miniseries, America.
You know who’s having quite the August? Josh Brolin is having quite the August. The past few weeks have brought us no fewer than three decent-sized stories featuring Brolin’s work, including our first look at his character in Deadpool 2, the news that he had been cut from George Clooney’s upcoming Suburbicon, and, perhaps my most favorite, the fact that James Cameron cussed him out for turning down a role in Avatar 2. Some actors are lucky if they have a single movie make news headlines in a month; Brolin has made the rounds with three fun stories from three entirely separate franchises.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of The Dark Tower isn’t that it failed to live up to expectations decades in the making, or even that it mangled Stephen King’s source material in a way that die-hard fans found unforgivable. No, the most frustrating aspect of The Dark Tower is that it’s just… fine. Despite the plethora of negative reviews, it isn’t some disastrous flop a movie, nor is it an ambitious mess that reached for the stars and came crashing back to earth. It’s just sorta there, a Young Adult action-fantasy film that limps through its paces before ending with a thud. Really, how do you even make a King adaptation that doesn’t have a little bit of ambition?
Here’s a question for you: is it time to add Vin Diesel to the list of actors whose career is defined entirely by a single film franchise? Sure, Diesel has shown up in other successful movies throughout his careers — Saving Private Ryan, The Iron Giant, and Guardians of the Galaxy have all been critical and commercial successes, not to mention his more niche productions like Find Me Guilty and his Riddick movies — but none of this holds a candle to his work on the Fast and Furious franchise. He’s been producer, screenwriter, and star of those movies for over 16 years now… I mean, nobody goes up to William Shatner and praises him for his work in Judgment at Nuremberg, right?
While plenty of fans are undoubtedly excited to see Terminator 2 back in theaters next weekend, you’d be forgiven for wondering if it would come with completely reworked new segments. There was always a chance that James Cameron would pull a George Lucas and tinker like mad with his theatrical re-release. Well, good news: that doesn’t seem to be the case. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight (via iO9), Cameron explained that he was content to let his past work speak for itself, noting that he’s “changed as an artist” and didn’t want want to “second guess” himself on the creative decisions he made back in the early ’90s.
While any self-respecting comedy fan undoubtedly knows the Naked Gun movies by heart, I hope those same fans are also aware of Police Squad!, the short-lived 1982 ABC comedy series that set the stage for Leslie Nielsen’s Frank Drebin character. Created by the Zucker Brothers and serving as a hilarious sendup of police procedurals, Police Squad! was a slightly drier version of the movie characters we would all come to know and love. The show was infamously cancelled after only six episodes, with ABC executives claiming that the rapid-fire comedy and plethora of visual gags were too complex for television audiences. Thus, Police Squad! remains a television show impossibly ahead of its time.
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