A lot of people are going to act like they didn’t see the enormous success of ‘American Sniper’ coming, but the signs were all there. On top of the promising limited release numbers, there was the awards buzz. On top of that, there were the names of director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper. On top of that, the subject matter of the film is inherently attractive to the same category of moviegoer that makes Christian-themed films into massive hits. ‘American Sniper’ had one doozy of a weekend, but it’s not that surprising.
After the jam-packed month of December, with its huge family-friendly blockbusters and awards season Oscar bait, we have arrived in the month of January. Formerly a dumping ground for mediocre films, the month has taken on a new identity in the past few years as a testing ground for unique genre films (think ‘Cloverfield’) and a solid place to release a horror movie, which seems to do quite well right around New Year’s for whatever reason. This year, we have ‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death,’ which had a fairly solid opening. Not solid enough to topple the Christmas Week champions, but no one is complaining too much.
As major movie productions keep on getting more secretive, even the best laid plans keep on getting foiled by one thing: merchandising. Yes, hide you costumes and characters and plot points all you want, because when the toys arrive, all bets are off! The latest casualty in this very silly war is Iron Man’s new armor (the Mark XLIII), which was supposedly going to make its debut at some point in ‘Avengers 2’ but can now be clearly seen, examined, and salivated over in toy form.
Appropriately, the Thanksgiving holiday box office was all about the leftovers. While two high profile new releases struggled to open, films from the past few weeks continued to do solid business. In fact, this was one of the most varied weekends at the box office in quite some time, with YA adaptations, animated family movies, epic blockbusters, and small independent films all performing better than expected.
Every generation has their Batman. Depending on the age of the person you ask, you’ll discover Adam West fans, Michael Keaton fans, Kevin Conroy fans and, if you stare into the darkness long enough, a George Clooney fan. For a certain group of fans, Christian Bale’s take on the Dark Knight always be the definitive interpretation, with his gravelly growl and trademark intensity instantly beating out whatever Ben Affleck brings to the character in ‘Batman vs. Superman.’ Some of these people are going to resent Affleck no matter what. And, in a surprising turn of events, it looks like they can all rally around Bale himself.
When Woody Harrelson was revealed to be hosting ‘SNL’ just a few days before the new ‘Hunger Games’ movie was set to open in theaters, it was obvious that the massively popular franchise would, somehow, figure into at least one sketch. Surprisingly, that ended up being the opening monologue, which featured Harrelson performing his own version of Taylor Swift's ‘1989.’ With a little help from some friends.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’ arrives two decades after the first film was one of the bigger hits of 1994 and no one knew what to make of it ... until it topped the box office this weekend and made it look easy. Now, the idea of two middle-aged actors returning to two of the most idiotic characters in modern movie history doesn't seem so desperate and crazy. It seems canny.
The showdown between 'Interstellar' and 'Big Hero 6' has got to be one of the most interesting things to happen to the box office in 2014. After all, it would be tough to find two movies that are simultaneously so different and so alike. Both are pro-science adventures that are all about using your intelligence to save your friends and family. However, one is an animated, family friendly release from Disney and the other is a three-hour epic from the ever-serious Christopher Nolan. In other words, they represent opposite ends of the blockbuster spectrum.
Comic book fans surely remember the '90s. It was a strange time to be a superhero fan. A dark time. A time when Joel Schumacher was directing Batman movies and baffling the entire world. A decade before Christopher Nolan made 'Batman Begins,' Schumacher made 'Batman Forever,' which featured Jim Carrey as The Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. No one remembers either performance fondly, but it turns out that there's some pretty interesting stories regarding their casting. It turns out that Jones did not like Carrey. Like, at all.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is 67 years old, which makes the idea of him playing an ageless, robotic killing machine in the upcoming 'Terminator: Genisys' seem oh-so-very silly [Ed. note: as silly as that title?]. However, it turns out that there's some fairly level-headed science fiction going on the explains Arnie's senior citizen appearance in the new film and it came courtesy of the franchise's original creator, James Cameron.
There's a reason why people have been pretty tight-lipped with 'Batman vs. Superman' details. It seems that everyone, even the extras, face a $5 million lawsuit if they divulge anything at all. But that hasn't stopped one member of the film's background talent, who went to local Detroit news station with some new story details, including the identity of Batman's sidekick, Robin.
We really don't know much about how Wonder Woman will fit into the plot of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.' We do know that she's being played by Gal Gadot and that she will, somehow, get some screen time alongside Henry Cavill's Superman, Ben Affleck's Batman and Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor. But that's about it ... until now! Thanks to a tiny snippet (caught on Vine, no less) we now know that DC's Amazon warrior will forego her classic origin story in favor of her modern beginning.
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