To paraphrase baseball great and latter-day Confucius figure Yogi Berra: it ain’t over ’til David Lynch states in non-ambiguous language that it’s over, and even then, you can never be too sure. As if from on high, the esteemed filmmaker has handed down to we mere mortal a new season of his cult-beloved TV series Twin Peaks, but his fans know full well that the good Lynch giveth and the good Lynch taketh away. For even as he was givething us new TV, the fear persisted that he had takethed away any hope of another feature film in the future.
Is Johnny Depp somehow Johnny Depp-proof? With the early receipts for the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now promising another blockbuster in the bag, it would appear that the actor’s somehow invulnerable to his own noxious public profile. Though the revelation that he had physically abused longtime partner Amber Heard came to light last year, it apparently hasn’t diminished his earning potential, and frustrating as that may be, it means we’re in for a whole lot more Depp. And if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has anything to say about, more Jack Sparrow in specific.
It’s not an exact science, making movies. Plenty of projects get stuck in the suspended animation of development, and even those that move forward do so at a gradual pace. But sometimes, everything works out just perfectly: two years ago, I reported on a picture called Felt, a biopic of Watergate informant Mark ‘Deep Throat’ Felt starring Liam Neeson in the title role. I forgot about the item soon afterward, but production has been chugging along for the past couple of years, and director Peter Landesman is preparing to unveil this new film at the most perfect time imaginable. You can plan for a lot, but it takes a stroke of divine generosity for a full-scale Presidential treason investigation to break out around the time you release your Watergate movie.
The prevailing message of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming has been that of novelty. This will be a fresh take on the Peter Parker mythos, making him younger than ever, sticking him in the treacherous social minefield of high school, and assigning him a lovably bratty irreverence more in-step with the comic-book original. Plus, Aunt May is young and hot now! But while Marvel and Sony’s advertising has gone to great lengths to assure audiences that this will not be their father’s Spider-Man (and it definitely won’t be the Andrew Garfield one we’re all psychologically working to repress), there is one respect in which this production is business as usual.
Aside from behaving like a normal, un-intimidating human being, there’s nothing Michael Shannon can’t do. When stuck in waiting rooms or the like, a fun way to pass the time is imagining Shannon taking over the lead role in any movie. It’s a can’t-fail formula for success: Jaws, but the shark is Michael Shannon? I’m there. Mulholland Dr., but Michael Shannon takes over both of Naomi Watts’ parts? Two tickets, please. A Transformers movie where Shannon appears in place or the giant alien robot? That would actually somehow make more sense. So when you see a headline that says “Michael Shannon bigfoot dramedy,” you can pretty much stop reading.
Those fans curious about when they’d see a new Wonder Woman poster need no longer wonder. [douses self in gasoline, flings immolating body off of steep cliff into shark-infested waters] Now that the customary pun penance — punance, if you will — is all over and through with, we can present the new one-sheet for Warner Bros.’ upcoming big screen outing for Diana Prince without any further ado. And it just might be the most handsome poster yet, a swirl of warm primary colors with the focus on a radical juxtaposition.
Jessica Chastain’s had a busy week at the Cannes Film Festival, sitting in as one of the Competition jurors under this year’s El Presidente, filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. She’s been kept plenty occupied, flitting back and forth between screenings and photo ops, taking interviews, and skillfully changing the subject whenever co-juror Will Smith asks her what she thought of Collateral Beauty. (That last one’s in my imagination, but still.) But even as she puts a comfortingly symmetrical face on international cinephilia, the beloved and award-festooned star has found time to ink a deal on a new project. And my fellow Chastainiacs have ample cause to rejoice — it may be her most swoonworthy turn yet.
Those viewers of the opinion that the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise numbers among the more successful revivals in the recent deluge (and if you disagree, feel free to kindly see yourself to the e-door) tend to credit Caesar as the film’s secret weapon. The intelligent chimpanzee provided the films with a human center, ironically enough, conveying his maturation and radicalization through unprecedented motion-capture technology and acting from Andy Serkis. The upcoming War For the Planet of the Apes will form the final chapter of this trilogy, and according to the film’s producer, may hold bad news for Caesar superfans.
The latest addition to the pantheon of mega-flops has been christened. Just as street hooligan Arthur instantly ascended to royalty when he pulled Excalibur from its stone, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has descended to ignominy by pulling a turd out of the box-office. Perhaps not my best lede work, but it’s Monday. Cut a guy some slack.
Serious question: does any single entertainer have such complete dominion over their chosen field as Weird Al Yankovic wields over the song parody? Skeptics may scoff that musical spoofery is a stupid thing to become really, really, virtuosically good at, but the point stands that Yankovic has completely and totally mastered his preferred art form. So when the producers behind the upcoming film adaptation of the Captain Underpants chapter book series needed to find a talent for their theme music, of course their choice was obvious. In no insignificant way, Weird Al Yankovic was born to write a peppy pop tune about tightened-whiteys.
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