When Atomic Blonde premiered at SXSW back in March, one of the recurring complaints, even from those who enjoyed the film, was that Charlize Theron’s cool Cold War spy thriller could’ve benefited from a female director. It looks like we won’t have to wait very long to see that theory put to the test, as Blake Lively has signed on to headline a female-led spy franchise from the producers behind the James Bond series and the director of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Don Rickles’ talents were seemingly limitless: An outrageous insult comic, a gifted dramatic actor, a welcome sight on stages and screens (big and small), and a constant presence whose career endured for decades, often surpassing his contemporaries. And now he’s gone on to join them, as the legendary Rickles passed away today, April 6, at the age of 90.
In 2010, an orca named Tilikum made headlines when he killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in Orlando, Florida — Brancheau wasn’t the first person killed by the park’s troubled resident; then again, Tilikum wasn’t the first (or the last) captive orca to attack a human being. Three years later, he became newsworthy again as the subject of Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s eye-opening documentary which used the story of Tilikum to shine a light on the horrors lurking within sea parks (spoiler: it’s the humans you need to worry about). Four years later, Tilikum is making headlines again, as the now-infamous orca has passed away at the estimated age of 36.
Today we mourn the loss of Carrie Fisher: Iconic actor, talented author, brilliant script doctor and, most of all, an incomparable force to be reckoned with. There are so many great adjectives you could use to describe Fisher: Uncompromising, unapologetic, fierce, witty, relatable, real, honest. She took all of those qualities and put them to work in her books — from memoirs to novels, Fisher had a knack for telling poignant and painful stories with wit and wisdom. Writing a worthy obituary for one of the best and boldest women on this planet or any other is surely an impossible task…so it’s a good thing that the perfect obit basically already exists, and unsurprisingly, Fisher came up with it herself.
According to most people (on the internet, which is where most people live now), 2016 was horrific. It was a year in which we lost some of our best and brightest artists, a year in which we elected a president who will, according to Kate McKinnon’s Hilary Clinton, “kill us all,” and it was a year in which many blockbusters fulfilled the “bust” end of that promise. Despite all of this, 2016 delivered some truly remarkable films; because of all of this, we needed them.
Despite mixed reviews, The Angry Birds Movie was pretty successful at the box office, thanks to an early summer release date, a solid voice cast and an established franchise with a strong fan base. As you might have guessed, the animated adaptation of the hit video game series was successful enough to warrant a sequel, and if you’re rolling your eyes at the prospect, just remember that we’ve gotten sequels to movies that were far worse than this one, based on much less success.
The first Divergent movie did OK in theaters, owing much of its success to the YA post-apocalyptic craze and the popularity of stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. But the subsequent installments saw diminishing returns, with the third film, Allegiant, taking a major hit at the box office — possibly because audiences had YA fatigue, or maybe because the story just wasn’t that compelling. Whatever the case may be, the final Divergent film will skip past theaters and head direct-to-television, with plans to launch a spinoff series.
Warner Bros. has done a little release date-shuffling, moving a few of their upcoming films around — most notably (and perhaps disappointingly) with The LEGO Movie 2, which was originally set to hit theaters in 2018 and will now arrive nine months later in 2019. The good news is that we still have two new LEGO Movie spinoffs coming in 2017, and Ben Affleck’s Live By Night will now hit theaters a bit earlier than expected.
The summer movie season continues next month with new Ghostbusters, a big friendly giant, another Purge night and Star Trek Beyond, and that’s not even half of it. Those of you interested in something a little less blockbuster-y should definitely add Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice to your must-see list, along with the James Wan-produced horror flick Lights Out. For details on all of these movies and more, read on for our complete guide to July’s new movie releases.
Faith-based films have been riding a wildly successful wave for several years now, only recently stumbling a bit with the underwhelming box office returns for God’s Not Dead 2. And while that seemed to indicate that faithful audiences might not be too keen on sequels, Mel Gibson may very well prove that theory wrong as the actor and director is apparently plotting a sequel to The Passion of the Christ.
“Daddy’s gotta go to work” was the moment of Furious 7, with Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs Hulking-out of his cast and picking up the biggest machine gun you’ve ever seen — matched only by the size of his insane biceps. According to Johnson, we can expect a very different side of Hobbs when he returns for Fast 8, and you can get your first look at the Furious favorite courtesy of the actor himself (obviously).
Way back in 2012 (or at least it feels way back), Netflix and Disney struck a deal for all of Disney’s movies — including Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm — to stream exclusively on Netflix Instant. According to the terms of their agreement, the deal wouldn’t kick in until 2016, which just so happens to be the year in which we are currently living. As announced today, Netflix will officially begin streaming Disney films in September, but that doesn’t mean the studio’s entire library will magically appear in your Instant browser.
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