Netflix has come a long way from those little red envelopes full of DVDs. Today the movies-by-mail rental company is a full-fledged movie and television studio with an impressive slate of original films, documentaries, mini-series, and cartoons. And they keep adding new content constantly; a week after Season 3 of the acclaimed series House of Cards, they unveiled Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from Tina Fey; two weeks later they debuted Bloodline starring Friday Night Lights’s Kyle Chandler.
It’s fitting that Deadpool’s main super-power is his accelerated healing factor; you just can’t kill this guy. For years, they talked about making a Deadpool movie featuring Ryan Reynolds (who played a largely unrecognizable version of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine). For years, Deadpool languished in development; long enough to kill most projects. But that damn healing factor kept Deadpool alive.
Most people who saw 2012’s Dredd, a dark reboot of the classic British comic book anti-hero Judge Dredd, dug it. Almost 20 years after Sylvester Stallone made a thoroughly campy mess of the property in Judge Dredd, director Pete Travis, screenwriter Alex Garland and star Karl Urban produced a far more faithful version of Dredd with a bleak tone, gritty action, and a hero who never takes off his signature helmet.
The name “Disney” brings to mind images of fair princesses, charming princes, magical fairy tales, and simple happily ever afters. In recent years, though, Disney has begun rethinking their classic properties, and releasing more thematically complex versions of their famous films. Sleeping Beauty became Maleficent, which turned a wicked witch into a sympathetic anti-hero; a whole mess of fairy tales turned into Into the Woods, where happily ever after preceded a whole bunch of death and tragedy. The ranks of Disney Princesses grew to include women like Merida, the bow-slinging heroine of Brave, and Anna and Else from Frozen, who rescued each other from an prince, rather than the other way around. Every value and concept that Disney had established and reinforced through decades of repetition was seemingly up for reconsideration and revision.
With their new Cinderella just days away, Disney is continuing its streak of turning its animated classics into live-action features with the news, via the Wall Street Journal, that Dumbo is ready to make the transition from animated elephant to ... well, still-animated elephant surrounded by live-action actors. If that idea doesn’t get your ears flapping, maybe this will: the Journal says Tim Burton will be the man who’ll direct the new Dumbo.
Here’s something strange in the neighborhood: Deadline reports that Sony isn’t waiting for Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot (with its cast of comedy all-stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon) to debut before planning additional Ghostbuster sequels or spinoffs. They’re already getting to work on what the trade describes as a “guy-themed” offshoot with an all-male cast.
After years of complaining from people who didn’t have or couldn’t afford cable (or whose parents refused to give them their HBO Go password), HBO is finally delivering a standalone streaming service, HBO Now. Today, the company announced some of its availability details, including pricing and when and where it will be available.
According to some reports (but not others), Sony has found the filmmaker to restart the Spider-Man franchise one more time, with The Sinister Six writer/director Drew Goddard swinging off of that project and onto a new Spider-Man franchise. But that still leaves the issue of who will play the new Peter Parker. Latino Review’s report on the Goddard rumor claimed they wanted a “new actor, probably an unknown” who’d start off in high school and grow with the part “a la Harry Potter.”
Last year, back when it still seemed possible that Sony may try to continue their Amazing Spider-Man reboot and before they teamed with Marvel to relaunch Spidey in a new film series that will connect with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ScreenCrush Editor-in-Chief Mike Sampson and I put together a list of ten directors we thought could save the Spider-Man franchise. One name we both immediately thought belonged on the list was Drew Goddard, the man who directed The Cabin in the Woods and was then slated to direct the Amazing 2 spinoff The Sinister Six.
Before he made the Oscar-winning film Whiplash, writer/director Damien Chazelle made a short film called “Whiplash,” an excerpt from the feature script with the same characters, one of the same lead actors, and much the same story. J.K. Simmons, who won an Academy Award last week for his performance as the brutally abusive music teacher Mr. Fletcher, first played the role here. Miles Teller, who played ambitious drummer Andrew Neiman is MIA though; his part is played by Johnny Simmons from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
If you’ve always wanted to go indoor sky diving, have breakfast at Randy’s Donuts, and take a helicopter tour around L.A. with Robert Downey Jr. then you have pretty eclectic taste in activities. Nonetheless that is exactly what you could do with RDJr. if you win his new charity contest through Omaze. As detailed in the video above, the grand-prize winner gets a trip to Hollywood to attend the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron and walk the red carpet with Downey (and, y’know, the rest of the Avengers cast). Plus Downey will put you up in a fancy hotel and do all those other swanky activities.
This Sunday’s Oscars will be the 87th annual Academy Awards. In nearly a century of honoring Hollywood’s best, the Academy has sometimes has made some bold choices, and some dumb choices. This gallery has them all; the complete history of nine decades of Best Picture winners in pictures. Some are classics, still watched to this day. A few are almost totally forgotten to history. (Cavalcade, anyone?) But they all won. Even Crash, somehow.
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