It’s a Minion world, and we’re all just living in it. The little pill-shaped yellow critters have left an indelible imprint on the cultural mainstream, for better (footage not found) or for worse (try googling “minions memes,” I dare you). Kids and adults alike have latched onto the phenomenon with an uncommon enthusiasm, and now the numbers reflect the totality with which the Despicable Me universe has permeated modern life. In the seven brief years since Illumination Entertainment loosed the original Despicable Me on an innocent populace, the franchise has grown into the largest of its kind — the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time.
Christopher Nolan does things his own way. That’s led to some of his greatest technical coups to date; when he wanted to defy gravity for Inception, he built a giant rotating box the size of a hallway. Armed wth the biggest budgets studios can afford, he employs new technologies and puts them fully through their paces, all to bring his massively ambitious visions to life. And for his latest epic Dunkirk, Nolan wanted to blaze his own path yet again. But this time, his plans didn’t involve fancy equipment or elaborate sets.
Channing Tatum’s a delight — fleet-footed dancer, lovably lunkheaded actor, and crooner of the occasional showtune, he’s got more of a claim to the title of America’s sweetheart than just about anybody. But while I may love Channing Tatum, and you may love Channing Tatum, he’s got one critic he just can’t seem to win over: his four-year-old daughter Everly.
Production has gotten up and running on Ron Howard’s much-talked-about Han Solo spinoff film, a fact we know because he personally told the whole Internet last night. Unstoppable Instagram power user Howard posted the public’s first peek into his heavily-guarded Han Solo set to the photo-sharing platform, and while it doesn’t reveal all that much, we do get a glimpse of one likely fan-favorite character. He’s been more elusive in recent months, but Donald Glover has been spotted, and while our new impression of Lando Calrissian may be small and seen through a display monitor, he’s still unmistakably fly.
When someone says someone else fights like a girl, it’s intended as a diss with a nice dollop of misogyny on top. But the next time some jerk comes at you wth that nonsense, you can turn it into a compliment by yelling, “Oh yeah, well Charlize Theron does all her own stunts and could snap your spine in half like a pretzel rod, so there!” and run away weeping. In the light of a new behind-the-scenes video from the Atomic Blonde production, it is the ultimate comeback. For Charlize Theron does indeed fight like the girl (er, woman) she is, and that’s one hell of a way to fight.
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
Will The Emoji Movie be horrible? We just don’t know. The premise of “Toy Story, but with the little pictorial icons that live inside your smartphone” sure sounds like something that an executive with an analytics page for a heart would come up with, but it’s the critic’s responsibility to reserve judgement until the film can be seen in full. At least today brings us a bite-sized sample of The Emoji Movie with a new trailer that contains both a painfully out-of-fashion “Bye, Felicia” reference and a sincerely humorous joke about forgotten phone passwords. So it’s really anyone’s guess, at this point.
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
Spend long enough interviewing actors for a living, you start to pick little things up. For instance, whenever a performer’s discussing their most recent production and utters any variant on the phrase “it really felt like the cast and crew was one big family,” that’s a major red flag that they’re full of crap. Costars are coworkers, and usually for about six months, and that’s on the longer side. But the ladies of Pitch Perfect 3 seem to be pretty earnest when they gush about the spirit of sisterhood and camaraderie that dominated the atmosphere on set. And for those as skeptical of myself, they proved it with video evidence.
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