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Film

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a New Mickey Mouse-Themed Attraction, Officially Coming to Disneyland

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway concept art

During the 2017 D23 Expo, we learned that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the first-ever Mickey Mouse-themed ride-through theme park attraction, was coming to Walt Disney World. The ride was supposed to be ready by this fall to help with crowd management from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but it’s been delayed six months and won’t open in Florida until spring of 2020.

In a bit of damage control, Disney today announced that the attraction will also be coming to Disneyland in California in 2022. Read on for more details.

According to the official Disney Parks Blog, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will open in the Mickey’s Toontown area of Disneyland in three years.

This first major Mickey-themed ride-through attraction at Disneyland park will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon short where anything can happen! Once you step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer. Then, one magical moment after the next leads you to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.

With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multi-dimensional experience.

This news about the ride possibly coming to Disneyland was initially rumored in October of last year, but now that we have this confirmation, it seems as if the company is looking to revitalize Mickey’s Toontown, one of the most stagnant and least interesting areas in the park. Adding such a high-profile attraction there indicates that A) Disney is looking to create enticing alternatives for guests who can’t make it into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and B) they’re not going to re-theme that section of the park any time soon. Mickey’s Toontown, which was inspired by the 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, essentially looks like a cartoon set was dropped into the real world, and this new ride continues that theme by blending those two different “worlds” over the course of the attraction.

The Disney Parks Blog teases that they’ll eventually reveal “special details that promise to make this amazing attraction unique for Disneyland park guests,” so it sounds like it won’t just be a beat-by-beat recreation of the version that’s coming to Walt Disney World. But frankly, it sounds like they might have a bit of trouble in store until they can get this ride up and running at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park – that park doesn’t have enough rides right now as it is, and delaying the opening of this attraction for months doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence. On a recent episode of The Disney Dish podcast, host and theme park reporter Jim Hill spoke about how this ride is extremely complex and technical, and it’s proving to be something of a nightmare behind the scenes to get everything to run smoothly. Sounds like they needed more time to iron out the kinks, but that extra time could translate into a lot of miserable guests during the early months of Galaxy’s Edge in Florida.

Personally, I’m shocked that it took this long for Mickey and Minnie to get their own ride. Considering how important branding is to Disney as a company, you’d think they’d have half a park devoted to those characters by now.

The post Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a New Mickey Mouse-Themed Attraction, Officially Coming to Disneyland appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/mickey-and-minnies-runaway-railway-coming-to-disneyland/

Film

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a New Mickey Mouse-Themed Attraction, Officially Coming to Disneyland

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway concept art

During the 2017 D23 Expo, we learned that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the first-ever Mickey Mouse-themed ride-through theme park attraction, was coming to Walt Disney World. The ride was supposed to be ready by this fall to help with crowd management from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but it’s been delayed six months and won’t open in Florida until spring of 2020.

In a bit of damage control, Disney today announced that the attraction will also be coming to Disneyland in California in 2022. Read on for more details.

According to the official Disney Parks Blog, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will open in the Mickey’s Toontown area of Disneyland in three years.

This first major Mickey-themed ride-through attraction at Disneyland park will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon short where anything can happen! Once you step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer. Then, one magical moment after the next leads you to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.

With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multi-dimensional experience.

This news about the ride possibly coming to Disneyland was initially rumored in October of last year, but now that we have this confirmation, it seems as if the company is looking to revitalize Mickey’s Toontown, one of the most stagnant and least interesting areas in the park. Adding such a high-profile attraction there indicates that A) Disney is looking to create enticing alternatives for guests who can’t make it into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and B) they’re not going to re-theme that section of the park any time soon. Mickey’s Toontown, which was inspired by the 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, essentially looks like a cartoon set was dropped into the real world, and this new ride continues that theme by blending those two different “worlds” over the course of the attraction.

The Disney Parks Blog teases that they’ll eventually reveal “special details that promise to make this amazing attraction unique for Disneyland park guests,” so it sounds like it won’t just be a beat-by-beat recreation of the version that’s coming to Walt Disney World. But frankly, it sounds like they might have a bit of trouble in store until they can get this ride up and running at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park – that park doesn’t have enough rides right now as it is, and delaying the opening of this attraction for months doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence. On a recent episode of The Disney Dish podcast, host and theme park reporter Jim Hill spoke about how this ride is extremely complex and technical, and it’s proving to be something of a nightmare behind the scenes to get everything to run smoothly. Sounds like they needed more time to iron out the kinks, but that extra time could translate into a lot of miserable guests during the early months of Galaxy’s Edge in Florida.

Personally, I’m shocked that it took this long for Mickey and Minnie to get their own ride. Considering how important branding is to Disney as a company, you’d think they’d have half a park devoted to those characters by now.

The post Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a New Mickey Mouse-Themed Attraction, Officially Coming to Disneyland appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/mickey-and-minnies-runaway-railway-coming-to-disneyland/

Film

Even More Creatures Unveiled for Wizarding World’s Hagrid’s Motorbike Ride Including Blast-Ended Screwts, Centaurs, and More

hagrid ride creatures

Hagrid’s motorbike is getting increasingly crowded with every week. Fulfilling their promise of unveiling new creatures for the upcoming Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure ride at The Wizarding World in Universal Orlando, the resort released even more images of magical creatures that include a regal centaur, mischevious Cornish pixies, and the never before seen onscreen Blast-Ended Skrewt. See the first look at the new Hagrid ride creatures below

Hagrid Ride Creatures First Looks




The Universal Orlando blog debuted new looks at the Blast-Ended Skrewt, a centaur, a Cornish Pixie, and the Devil’s Snare, the latter of which isn’t exactly a creature but may as well be from its dangerous suffocating properties.

Harry Potter book readers may be familiar with the Blast-Ended Skrewt, which was frequently mentioned as being a minor nuisance to Hagrid but an outright danger to students when he brought them into his Care of Magical Creatures classes. But we never knew what they looked like outside of our imagination until now. I’ve got to say, it’s not at all what I was expecting (for some reason I was imagining something that looked like a Paras Pokemon because of the fond way that Hagrid described them), but this Blast-Ended Skrewt as it appears on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride, looks outright grotesque. Bottom heavy, measuring 8 feet long and wielding a 10-foot tail that has a massive stinger, the Blast-Ended Skrewt is not the cute creature that Hagrid describes (though then again, none are), but a dangerous monster that can blast you with fire from its rear end during the ride. And apparently it has a “powerful” signature odor too! What a joy.

The other three “creatures” you’ll probably recognize from the movies: a centaur wielding a bow and arrow, a Cornish pixie wreaking havoc on the Weasley’s car, and the Devil’s Snare lying in wait to choke the living lights out of you. It’s impressive how much detail Universal is putting into this ride, which looks to be one of the most immersive Wizarding World experiences thanks to its use of practical effects.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Ride opens June 13, 2019 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

The post Even More Creatures Unveiled for Wizarding World’s Hagrid’s Motorbike Ride Including Blast-Ended Screwts, Centaurs, and More appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/the-wizarding-world-hagrid-ride-creatures-blast-ended-skrewts/

Film

‘Shazam!’ Editor Michel Aller on Striking the Balance Between Horror and Comedy

shazam editor

Just like director David F. Sandberg, editor Michel Aller came into Shazam! from the horror genre. But as odd a transition as that may seem, going from editing films like The Nun and Annabelle: Creation to editing this year’s most joyful superhero movie was pretty seamless for Aller.

“The approach doesn’t differ that much, it’s mainly the content,” Aller told /Film in a phone interview. “I’m working on a comedy so you’re trying to make the laughs land just like how scares land.”

Aller first worked with Sandberg on his breakout hit Lights Out and developed a rapport with the director that continued through their collaboration on Annabelle: Creation. So when Sandberg got the job to direct Shazam!, Aller was the first person he called to edit the film. “He’s very loyal and he wanted to work together again,” Aller said. And Aller jumped at the chance to work with Sandberg again too, not realizing that taking the job would make her the first female film editor with a solo editing credit for any DC or Marvel movie.

“It didn’t click for me that, that was a goal that I hit and had paved until the end of the project,” Aller said. “We’re obviously at this point in the industry where women are finally stepping forward and getting these opportunities and maybe that’s part of it.”

But Aller’s rapport with Sandberg was essential to the success of Shazam! A heartwarming family comedy first and a delightful romp of a superhero movie second, Shazam! had a host of differing tones that could have clashed in the hands of any other director and editor team. And with Sandberg frequently using the opportunity to flex his horror chops, with one particular scene in which Mark Strong’s villainous Dr. Sivana attacks a conference room of people taking a turn for the gruesome, Aller had to strike a balance between all of those tones.

“It was definitely a balance that we had to work with we wanted it to be a fun superhero film but then David always comes up with these cool scare ideas and nods to past horror,” Aller said. “So it was just a matter of cutting and shaping the film as we went along, and pulling back when you had to pull back — you didn’t want to go too far.”

However, Aller didn’t find that thin line between comedy and horror difficult to walk. The two genres are close cousins, with both the essential elements of horror and comedy — scares and laughs — relying heavily on timing. Which is why Aller found that she most enjoyed cutting scenes of the actors simply riffing, as in the first sequence in which Freddie and Shazam first meet and test out his powers.

“That through the mugging scene at the park through the liquor store scene, it just came together,” Aller said, citing this sequence as her favorite one to edit. “It seemed easy, [though] it was a lot of material and it wasn’t necessarily easy, but I just enjoyed doing it. It’s still one of those things, everything from the cutting, to the look of it, to the acting, I thoroughly enjoy watching it.”

As for the most challenging scene for her to edit? It was that (spoiler!) final battle in the third act of the film, in which the Shazam family makes its first appearance. Many superhero films struggle with their third act, but Shazam! manages to make that huge battle sequence zip by while introducing — or rather, reintroducing — a new group of characters while Shazam battles Dr. Sivana in a fight that is both bombastic and boisterous. “[Reintroducing] the characters in a way that you have to give them enough screentime to make it satisfying, yet you have this end battle between Shazam and the villain going on,” Aller described, “that took a lot of finessing probably through the whole post-process.”

With a Shazam! sequel already greenlit after the film proved to be a critical success and a box office champ, Aller will likely have to go even bigger if she gets called to work on the follow-up. But after getting to fly high with Shazam! she doesn’t want to be “pigeon-holed” as that horror editor anymore. “I’ve been lucky,” she said.

The post ‘Shazam!’ Editor Michel Aller on Striking the Balance Between Horror and Comedy appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/shazam-editor-michel-aller-interview/

Film

Apple’s ‘Foundation’ TV Series Loses Co-Showrunner Josh Friedman

foundation tv series

Apple’s Foundation TV series has lost one of its showrunners. Co-showrunner Josh Friedman has exited the upcoming series adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s groundbreaking sci-fi novels, leaving co-writer David S. Goyer as the sole showrunner of this ambitious, long-awaited project.

The Wrap reports that Friedman has stepped down from the day-to-day responsibility of acting as a Foundation TV series showrunner, but will remain attached as an executive producer. That leaves David S. Goyer, who was co-writing the series with Friedman, as the sole showrunner on the Skydance Television-produced project.

The is the second time that Friedman has left a project as showrunner — he was previously replaced as the showrunner on TNT’s adaptation Snowpiercer by Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson. However, the War of the Worlds writer still retains his executive producer credit for Foundation, so it seems he’ll stay involved in some capacity.

Foundation has proven to be a difficult story to crack. Over the years, countless attempts to adapt Asimov’s dense, sprawling series have been made, including an expensive feature adaptation from New Line, a version helmed by Roland Emmerich under Columbia Pictures and Sony, and a TV series adaptation from HBO by Jonathan Nolan. None of these came to fruition, and instead the rights passed over to Skydance, which struck a deal with the Asimov estate and hired Goyer and Friedman in 2017. Apple soon picked up the series for its highly anticipated streaming service, Apple TV+.

The complex saga is as difficult to summarize as it has been to adapt, so here is the Wikipedia summary:

The premise of the series is that the mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second great empire arises. Seldon’s calculations also show there is a way to limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To ensure the more favorable outcome and reduce human misery during the intervening period, Seldon creates the Foundation – a group of talented artisans and engineers positioned at the twinned extreme ends of the galaxy – to preserve and expand on humanity’s collective knowledge, and thus become the foundation for the accelerated resurgence of this new galactic empire.

The Apple TV series has the benefit of receiving the blessing of the Asimov estate, with Robyn Asimov — Isaac’s daughter — serving as executive producers alongside David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross and now Friedman.

No release date has yet been set for Foundation.

The post Apple’s ‘Foundation’ TV Series Loses Co-Showrunner Josh Friedman appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/foundation-tv-series-showrunner-josh-friedman-exits/

Film

Apple’s ‘Foundation’ TV Series Loses Co-Showrunner Josh Friedman

foundation tv series

Apple’s Foundation TV series has lost one of its showrunners. Co-showrunner Josh Friedman has exited the upcoming series adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s groundbreaking sci-fi novels, leaving co-writer David S. Goyer as the sole showrunner of this ambitious, long-awaited project.

The Wrap reports that Friedman has stepped down from the day-to-day responsibility of acting as a Foundation TV series showrunner, but will remain attached as an executive producer. That leaves David S. Goyer, who was co-writing the series with Friedman, as the sole showrunner on the Skydance Television-produced project.

The is the second time that Friedman has left a project as showrunner — he was previously replaced as the showrunner on TNT’s adaptation Snowpiercer by Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson. However, the War of the Worlds writer still retains his executive producer credit for Foundation, so it seems he’ll stay involved in some capacity.

Foundation has proven to be a difficult story to crack. Over the years, countless attempts to adapt Asimov’s dense, sprawling series have been made, including an expensive feature adaptation from New Line, a version helmed by Roland Emmerich under Columbia Pictures and Sony, and a TV series adaptation from HBO by Jonathan Nolan. None of these came to fruition, and instead the rights passed over to Skydance, which struck a deal with the Asimov estate and hired Goyer and Friedman in 2017. Apple soon picked up the series for its highly anticipated streaming service, Apple TV+.

The complex saga is as difficult to summarize as it has been to adapt, so here is the Wikipedia summary:

The premise of the series is that the mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second great empire arises. Seldon’s calculations also show there is a way to limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To ensure the more favorable outcome and reduce human misery during the intervening period, Seldon creates the Foundation – a group of talented artisans and engineers positioned at the twinned extreme ends of the galaxy – to preserve and expand on humanity’s collective knowledge, and thus become the foundation for the accelerated resurgence of this new galactic empire.

The Apple TV series has the benefit of receiving the blessing of the Asimov estate, with Robyn Asimov — Isaac’s daughter — serving as executive producers alongside David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross and now Friedman.

No release date has yet been set for Foundation.

The post Apple’s ‘Foundation’ TV Series Loses Co-Showrunner Josh Friedman appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/foundation-tv-series-showrunner-josh-friedman-exits/

Film

We Saw a Scene From the ‘Child’s Play’ Remake That’s Reminiscent of ‘Terminator 2’

Child's Play remake

This week, I had the chance to get an early look at a scene from the upcoming Child’s Play remake, which just released a brand new trailer. I also spoke with director Lars Klevberg and producers Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg about why they wanted to modernize a popular horror character, their approach to the new story, and more.

Check out our description of the scene and their quotes below, including some brief updates about Grahame-Smith’s rumored Fantastic Four script and the feature-length Kung Fury film.

The Reason for Remaking Child’s Play

The producers are well aware that many fans of this franchise bristled at the initial news of their remake. “Believe me, we get hate mail all the time from people. ‘Why remake this? Why reboot this?’ There has to be a reason other than, ‘It’s been twenty years,’ Katzenberg told me. “It was important to us that there be a ‘why’ to creating a new version of a beloved horror character,” Grahame-Smith explained to the group of gathered journalists. As you can see in the trailers, the filmmakers found their “why” in the form of technology.

“Right away, we were like, ‘We have to do something about technology,’” Katzenberg revealed. “In this day and age too, who’s going to buy a doll for a kid that’s just, like, a doll? That felt kind of outdated, especially when kids are walking around with iPhones. I have a little girl and we have a Nest camera, and we keep hearing about those cameras getting hacked into. Those fears that seem to be universal, actually having that play a part in this film was meaningful to us.”

And while the Chucky in the original film is imbued with the soul of a twisted serial killer, that plot is nowhere to be found this time around. “The first one is Charles Ray, aka Chucky, getting shot, the master of voodoo getting trapped inside this doll,” Klevberg told me. “There’s nothing of that [in this film]. This is a different take. That was one of the biggest things for me, why I wanted to jump on this, because it meant that I could create Chucky as a character looking at the world for the first time.”

He also says they made the movie “as practical as possible, which meant we were going to use animatronics as much as possible.” That might make some fans breathe a bit easier about this remake, and though that approach ended up being challenging, Klevberg feels like the tactile nature helped the actors get into the spirit of things during filming.

Child's Play Chucky Knife

Chucky Learns a Lesson (Or Does He?)

After we got an early look at the trailer yesterday, the filmmakers showed us a quick scene from the new film. Here’s what we saw.

A young boy named Andy (Gabriel Bateman) sits in his room, playing a board game with his toy pal Chucky. They’re laughing and goofing around, and I was pleased to hear the score not taking the Stranger Things approach with stylish nods to 1980s pop culture, but instead wrapping around the scene like a warm blanket…and then the horror creeps in.

A board game piece falls onto the floor. When Andy reaches down to grab it, his cat bites his hand, causing him to wince and pull back. “What’s that?” Chucky asks, as blood drips down Andy’s hand. The doll is genuinely concerned, and Andy admits that he’s hurt, grumbling about being sick of the cat as he goes into the other room to get a bandage. As soon as Andy walks away, Chucky looks at the cat and his eyes turn red. Uh oh. The camera stays with Andy in the other room as he cleans himself up, but we start to hear cat noises coming from the bedroom, and when Andy returns, Chucky is angrily choking the cat. Andy intervenes and the cat is set free, but the boy has to explain that Chucky shouldn’t hurt people (or cats). Then a man (possibly his step-dad?) appears at the bedroom door, telling Andy that the cat is going nuts and before he walks away, he demands that Andy clean up his room. Andy sort of rolls his eyes, looks back at Chucky, and says something along the lines of “Well, maybe except for that guy.” It’s a sarcastic remark, but Andy may have just signed the man’s death warrant.

Terminator 2

The Influence of Terminator 2

If that description sounds like this scene from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it doesn’t seem like that was by accident. Klevberg, who is from Norway, told me that T2 is his favorite movie of all time, and while he didn’t purposefully shout-out to James Cameron’s classic sci-fi sequel in the framing of his scene, he admits that he may have subconsciously referenced it. Katzenberg says they all talked about classic Amblin-era movies for inspiration, and admits that T2 conversations did come up along the way. But Grahame-Smith was the biggest proponent of the T2 comparison:

“I always think about Terminator 2 in almost any project I work on, just because I feel like that’s one of the most perfectly structured scripts of all time. There’s so many lessons to be learned from it. But yeah, the two things I can’t help but think of when I watch that scene are Eddie Furlong saying to Arnold, ‘You can’t just kill people!’ [Does Arnold impression] ‘Why?’ It has that same sort of vibe to me – not that I’m comparing our movie to T2, that’s not at all what I’m trying to do. And then you think of E.T., because of the way that scene looks. And let’s not forget the fact that he’s wearing a red hoodie in that scene. The reason we showed you guys that scene was really to underscore where Chucky is coming from at the beginning of the movie, what the relationship is: it’s a true friendship that then becomes corrupted and turns into a life or death situation…If we ever get to do a sequel, maybe we’ll go full T2.”

Kung Fury movie

Updates On Other Assorted Projects

A couple of years ago, a report came out suggesting that Seth Grahame-Smith was writing a kid-friendly take on the Fantastic Four. I asked for an update on that, and he wasn’t about its potential in the wake of Disney’s acquisition of Fox:

“There is a project that I actually don’t know if I’m really able to talk about or not, but we did develop it at Fox, it was Fantastic Four-related, and I could not for the life of me tell you what the fate of it is going to be.”

And finally, I asked about the progress on the feature-length version of Kung Fury, the gloriously ludicrous, ‘80s-inspired action short film from a few years ago. Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg are producing the feature version, which is set to co-star Michael Fassbender and might even include Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Grahame-Smith says that one should be coming soon:

“We’re hopefully close to starting that movie. We’re just locking in some actor dates, but for us, that’s the next real production that we’re jumping into. That’s a big priority. Again, we’re trying to assemble a surprisingly great cast. You, knowing that short, will know that movie will be…I won’t even know how to pitch it or describe it. David [Sandberg], our director, is really trying to [step it up]. He plays Kung Fury, he’s one of the writers of this feature, he’s obviously the director of the feature. He’s trying to take what he did in half an hour and explode it into true insanity. I think he’s going to do it. That hopefully will start in the next couple of months.”

Child’s Play hits theaters on June 21, 2019, and we’ll have to wait until then to see where it lands in our ranking of the entire franchise.

The post We Saw a Scene From the ‘Child’s Play’ Remake That’s Reminiscent of ‘Terminator 2’ appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/childs-play-remake-scene/

Film

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Turns Nick Fury into a Mean New Step-Dad

Spider-Man Far From Home Details

Peter Parker is dead. After Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (Tom Holland) went up in dust in the arms of Tony Stark. But somehow, the webslinger returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, coming to theaters this summer. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean Peter Parker is back from the dead, especially since Marvel Studios has gone to great lengths to ensure that no one know when in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline the sequel takes place. But thanks to some new Spider-Man Far From Home details, what we do know is Spidey has a little growing up to do, and Nick Fury is going to make sure of that.

USA Today recently did a quick profile on Spider-Man: Far From Home as part of their summer movie preview. Unfortunately, Jon Watts played coy on how Avengers: Endgame impacts or sets up the wallcrawler’s return. The director only offered up the fact that Peter Parker “will have been through a lot” by the time this European vacation comes around. That seems to imply what we’re already thinking, but we’ll just have to wait and see how Avengers: Endgame plays out.

Thankfully, Watts wasn’t so quiet when it came to discussing other elements of the Spider-Man sequel. Since Spider-Man: Homecoming saw Peter Parker making the decision to stay a little closer to the ground instead of flying high as a member of The Avengers, this time he’s going to be balancing the desire to keep his teenage life intact for a little longer and dealing with superhero responsibilities when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his former SHIELD cohort Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) recruit him for a little espionage. Watts explained:

“I have this memory of being a kid and wanting so desperately to be treated like an adult. And then there’s one day, suddenly, where everyone does treat you like an adult and you start to think, ‘Oh, I liked it better when I was being treated like a kid. Could I go back?’ But by the time that happened, you’re never allowed to go back.”

Nick Fury Becomes Peter Parker’s Mean Step-Dad

Spider-Man may be a superhero, but as Nick Fury has proven time and time again, that doesn’t mean you get any special treatment. In fact, it just means Fury can use you for his own means. That’s more than a little manipulative since the whole idea of The Avengers was based on a wonderful friendship and partnership he sparked with Captain Marvel back in 1995, but Fury has undoubtedly seen some shit that has hardened his heart since then. So when it comes time to business, he means business.

Here’s how Watts described Nick Fury’s relationship with Peter Parker:

“If Tony is like the supportive cool uncle, Fury’s more like the mean new stepdad. Fury doesn’t see himself in Peter Parker. Fury sees Peter Parker as an asset that he needs who is too preoccupied with a bunch of high school problems.”

In fact, the director revealed that part of his original pitch when he was only in the running to direct this new Spider-Man franchise was turning into Nick Fury into a mean substitute teacher. It’s cool to see how ideas from earlier pitches get reworked for sequels.

The Surprising Influence of Richard Greco

For fans wondering exactly what to expect from Spider-Man: Far From Home this summer, Watts offers up a surprising influence all the way back when Richard Greco was the next big thing. The director compared the Spider-Man sequel to the action comedy If Looks Could Kill from 1991:

“You get to have this teenage James Bond character. Total world-weary Nick Fury and enthusiastic New York teenager Peter Parker gallivanting across Europe – what’s more fun than that? You put them together and you have some good stuff.”

Well, hopefully Tom Holland doesn’t follow in the same footsteps as Richard Greco. But maybe he’ll get to drive around in a 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS at some point. After all, he did get a crash course in driving during the climax of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on the recently bumped up release date of July 2, 2019.

The post ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Turns Nick Fury into a Mean New Step-Dad appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/spider-man-far-from-home-details-nick-fury/

Film

Universal’s ‘Dark Arts at Hogwarts’ Show is Huge and Impressive – See a Patronus Spell Created With Drones

Dark Arts at Hogwarts
Universal Studios Hollywood keeps upgrading The Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘s offerings. A couple of years back, they began doing a projection mapping show on Hogwarts Castle that was called the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. This year they are taking a turn to the Dark Arts and presenting a new nighttime light show based on the evil side of the Wizarding World.

Over the weekend, I got to attend the premiere event for the new show, Dark Arts at Hogwarts. In addition to my thoughts on the new show, I took some video of this stunning event. Watch it below.

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Show

Dark Arts at Hogwarts is billed as a “mesmerizing pageantry of light, music and special effects will unleash the darkest creatures and villains from the Wizarding World, including the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort.” Through the use of magical projection mapping, Death Eaters and other spooky creatures, from Aragog and Mountain Trolls to Thestrals, come alive on the castle’s exterior, giving us a look at the dark side of the Wizarding World. The whole thing is accompanied by an exclusive musical arrangement conducted by William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London, based on John Williams’ original music composed for the film series.

My favorite part is the production’s incorporation of drones to produce a Patronus spell in the night’s sky to close out the show. It looks unreal. Also, they have added some fog and fire effects to the mix that make this production feel even more significant. I recorded the experience, which can be watched above. Still, nothing beats experiencing it in person; you just miss so much of the atmosphere and the surrounding fog just outside the frame of the video.

I feel like Universal keeps upping the ante every year with this projection show, and I can’t even imagine what it will look like five or 10 years down the road. I imagine we’ll get more drones, and while the Dark Arts-focused show is cool, I think I’d love something that incorporates all of the Wizarding World. I remember the initial Nighttime Lights presentation was rather short, and I imagine it will only get longer and meatier over time. I wish that Universal would add some practical characters to the mix, but there’s not much room in front of the viewing area. But how cool would it be to see Dementors and dark art wizards as part of the show in the foreground?

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle will continue through Sunday, April 28, 2019, at Universal Studios Hollywood then return from May 25 through May 27.

The post Universal’s ‘Dark Arts at Hogwarts’ Show is Huge and Impressive – See a Patronus Spell Created With Drones appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/dark-arts-at-hogwarts/

Film

‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ Clip: Taxi Drivers Are Much Cooler Than You Think

John Wick Chapter 3 Clip

Millions of moviegoers are impatiently awaiting the arrival of Avengers: Endgame in theaters next week, but let’s not forget that John Wick is heading back to the big screen with a promising sequel of his own.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum continues the franchise following the game-changing events of the previous sequel. John Wick is on the run after being labeled excommunicado for breaking one of The Continental’s most sacred rules. A $14 million contract has been put out for his head, and now he’s got anyone and everyone on his tail. However, as a new John Wick Chapter 3 clip shows, the taxi drivers in this world are not only significantly more chill, but they know all about this underground assassin ring.

John Wick Chapter 3 Clip

John Wick catches a taxi with his loyal doggo, and it looks like he might have just gotten out of a scuffle since there’s a scrape on his cheek. Then again, that could just be leftover from his last confrontation in John Wick: Chapter 2, especially since this movie seems to pick up immediately after the events of the previous sequel.

Not only is there an adorable dog moment here, but this John Wick Chapter 3 clip reveals that taxi drivers are infinitely cooler than we think they are, at least in New York City. Wick gives one of The Continental’s trademark currency coins to the driver and asks him to take his four-legged friend there to be housed. Without batting an eye and needing no further explanation, he merely says, “Yes, sir, Mr. Wick.” So taxi drivers just know the ins and outs of this secret assassin underworld? That’s fantastic.

Plus, I love that John Wick Chapter 3 is going out of its way to keep our main character’s new dog out of harm’s way. After all, he’s been through enough as it is, and if Wick lost another dog, then we’d all be fucked.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins and Marc Abrams, also stars Ian McShane, Halle Berry, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos and Jason Mantzoukas.

In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum blasts into theaters May 17, 2019.

The post ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ Clip: Taxi Drivers Are Much Cooler Than You Think appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/john-wick-chapter-3-clip/

Film

Road to Endgame: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Puts Everything Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Stand For at Stake

Fan Watches Infinity War 100 Times

(Welcome to Road to Endgame, where we revisit the first 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask, “How did we get here?” In part two of our look at Avengers: Infinity War: confused action, and a cliffhanger that asks, “Who are the Avengers?”)

[Read part one of our giant look at Avengers: Infinity War here]

The first big action scene in Avengers: Infinity War unfolds when Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) rendezvous in Manhattan. It’s a fun excursion filled with setups about Infinity Stones, character decisions and the plot at large. Though by swiftly ensuring all civilians are out of the picture (unlike The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, where they were a constant presence), the scene is robbed of immediate stakes beyond the Stones themselves. Our heroes simply battle on empty streets.

The Avengers, in theory, fight to protect innocent people. But by failing in to dramatize this — both on Earth and elsewhere — the film misses a vital opportunity to contrast the Avengers’ actions with those of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his henchmen (the nefarious Black Order), whose collective mission is genocide.

infinity war clips

The Battle On Titan

In New York, Tony Stark flies out the gate with his most advanced technology yet. His fluid nanotech suit conjures an entire arsenal of weapons, indecipherable from magic. It’s a treat to discover, and since Stark plays all his cards within the film’s first hour, it sets up his desperation while battling Thanos on Titan.  

This battle, wherein Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Stark, Doctor Strange and the Guardians fight an uber-powered Thanos has moments of dazzling spectacle. However, the Avengers’ plan prior to Thanos’ arrival isn’t made clear in the narrative. The result is characters haphazardly attacking the villain and trying to pull off a Gauntlet heist that we, the audience, aren’t made privy to beyond the vagaries of “defeat Thanos.” That is, until Doctor Strange instructs his cape to prevent Thanos from closing his fist, several minutes into the scene (Though, the other characters’ goals remain uncertain until Thanos is apprehended).

In contrast, the climactic battles of both prior Avengers films featured clearly defined objectives and physical geographies. This imbued each action beat its own weight and momentum. The consequences of even minor failures were clear in the moment; in The Avengers, the aliens had to be contained to a defined perimeter, lest the invasion go global before the portal could be closed. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, stopping Ultron’s drones from reaching the city’s center was imperative, to prevent them from blowing up Sokovia before its citizens were rescued. Whereas in Avengers: Infinity War, in which Thanos can’t enact his plan until he has all six Infinity Stones, the moment-to-moment stakes and goals are only clarified after each action beat has passed (owed, in part, to the abilities of each Stone being ill-defined).

The Titan scene begins with our foreknowledge that the characters are hiding. There’s little doubt that Thanos isn’t the protagonist or point-of-view character, so we ought not to be surprised by the assault. But each Avengers’ physical relationship to Thanos isn’t framed until they attack him, after which they zip off-screen, not to be seen again until they attack him once more. Assemble these action beats in any order, and the result is nearly identical.

This revolving-door problem rears its head in Wakanda too.

new infinity war clip

The Battle In Wakanda

There are only eight minutes between the Wakanda battle kicking off and the Avengers reaching their low-point (with other scenes in between), necessitating Thor’s arrival during what feels like a climactic escalation. As soon as Thor shows up, he decimates the surrounding aliens with his newly acquired powers, and yells “Bring me Thanos!” A few seconds later, the film cuts to a closeup of Thanos arriving through one of his portals. However, it then pulls back to reveal he’s on Titan, rather than Earth. A minor oddity in the grand scheme of things, though one with a confused correlation, causality and spatial awareness, and a decision emblematic of the film’s slapdash scene-to-scene editing — especially since visual effects company Weta Digital had worked more visual information for this scene, the use of which would’ve offered greater narrative clarity:

This moment of Thanos arriving seemingly offers more exciting, more immediate drama, before the deflating realization that Thor and Thanos have not, in fact, crossed paths. And while it isn’t as disorienting upon re-watch, the timing still feels awkward, especially since Thor’s arrival on Earth is one of the film’s most (and only) rousing moments. It’s even marked by the Avengers’ signature musical theme.

Instead of any payoff to Thor’s tragic arc while the iron is still hot (he’s just nearly killed himself forging a new axe), or even any subversion of what feels like Thor’s moment of victory, the film continues to wheel-spin. It delays its drama by having Thor — after his incredible power-up and initial strike — unmemorably plough through floating alien ships, shot with little sense of scale. In the meantime, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the other Avengers punch and shoot at alien hordes.

avengers 4 title

Orienting Action

The battle on Titan feels inventive for a handful of moments. Doctor Strange conjures butterflies and mirror dimensions, while Thanos attacks with bats and black holes. It’s a fitting visual contrast between two characters willing to sacrifice people for Infinity Stones, each for opposing reasons. But the scene soon resumes the standard kicking and punching, divorced from character. This issue manifests tenfold in the Wakanda battle, which has little sense of geography, even though the Avengers’ purpose is protecting The Vision (Paul Bettany) and his Mind Stone at the city’s center.

The Avengers either fight in sweeping landscape shots of indecipherable CGI blobs, or in closeups of punching, both of which fail to orient them in time and place. Even as they punch in tight shots, neither the characters immediately around them, nor the geography in the background, conveys the simple information of where they are, or how far the aliens have progressed.

The heroes and villains’ proximity to the city, and thus their proximity to The Vision, is vital, since he holds the last piece of the Infinity Gauntlet. Instead, the scene is robbed of the tension it ought to have. The action beats never stray from interchangeable shooting and fisticuffs; a far cry from the story-centric extensions of character in The Avengers’ climactic battle.

There’s little causality between moments in the Wakanda fight. It’s mayhemic, but not in a way that builds tension. Once The Vision enters the battlefield, and once Thanos arrives soon after, there’s no indication of where any of the other Avengers are in relation to these characters, or where the fight even takes place.

You’d be forgiven for assuming this climax occurs in the forest outside Wakanda’s dome. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll notice it unfolding at the foot of Wakanda’s palace, where The Vision was being guarded (he subsequently tumbled from its window). This is tough to follow at first, and it isn’t a minor detail either; one forest is where the aliens began advancing from, while the other was their end goal. The scene, therefore, isn’t even able to convey the degree to which the Avengers have lost or won, something that ought to be readily apparent just by glancing at a battle scene.

The Avengers enter this climactic sequence one by one, whether to protect The Vision from Corvus Glaive, or to fight an arriving Thanos. But like the battle on Titan, these moments are self-contained. They’re action beats in isolation; the tension is limited to who’s standing in front of Thanos in a given moment, rather than heroes having to beat a ticking clock and make their way into this battle from a distance.

The film brings together dozens of characters, but they cease to exist the minute they aren’t on screen. This problem often extends to how they’re characterized; some depend on assumptions based on prior films, while newer additions are barely introduced at all.  

Continue Reading Road to Endgame >>

The post Road to Endgame: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Puts Everything Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Stand For at Stake appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/avengers-infinity-war-revisited-part-2-road-to-endgame/

Film

Road to Endgame: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Puts Everything Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Stand For at Stake

Fan Watches Infinity War 100 Times

(Welcome to Road to Endgame, where we revisit the first 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask, “How did we get here?” In part two of our look at Avengers: Infinity War: confused action, and a cliffhanger that asks, “Who are the Avengers?”)

[Read part one of our giant look at Avengers: Infinity War here]

The first big action scene in Avengers: Infinity War unfolds when Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) rendezvous in Manhattan. It’s a fun excursion filled with setups about Infinity Stones, character decisions and the plot at large. Though by swiftly ensuring all civilians are out of the picture (unlike The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, where they were a constant presence), the scene is robbed of immediate stakes beyond the Stones themselves. Our heroes simply battle on empty streets.

The Avengers, in theory, fight to protect innocent people. But by failing in to dramatize this — both on Earth and elsewhere — the film misses a vital opportunity to contrast the Avengers’ actions with those of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his henchmen (the nefarious Black Order), whose collective mission is genocide.

infinity war clips

The Battle On Titan

In New York, Tony Stark flies out the gate with his most advanced technology yet. His fluid nanotech suit conjures an entire arsenal of weapons, indecipherable from magic. It’s a treat to discover, and since Stark plays all his cards within the film’s first hour, it sets up his desperation while battling Thanos on Titan.  

This battle, wherein Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Stark, Doctor Strange and the Guardians fight an uber-powered Thanos has moments of dazzling spectacle. However, the Avengers’ plan prior to Thanos’ arrival isn’t made clear in the narrative. The result is characters haphazardly attacking the villain and trying to pull off a Gauntlet heist that we, the audience, aren’t made privy to beyond the vagaries of “defeat Thanos.” That is, until Doctor Strange instructs his cape to prevent Thanos from closing his fist, several minutes into the scene (Though, the other characters’ goals remain uncertain until Thanos is apprehended).

In contrast, the climactic battles of both prior Avengers films featured clearly defined objectives and physical geographies. This imbued each action beat its own weight and momentum. The consequences of even minor failures were clear in the moment; in The Avengers, the aliens had to be contained to a defined perimeter, lest the invasion go global before the portal could be closed. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, stopping Ultron’s drones from reaching the city’s center was imperative, to prevent them from blowing up Sokovia before its citizens were rescued. Whereas in Avengers: Infinity War, in which Thanos can’t enact his plan until he has all six Infinity Stones, the moment-to-moment stakes and goals are only clarified after each action beat has passed (owed, in part, to the abilities of each Stone being ill-defined).

The Titan scene begins with our foreknowledge that the characters are hiding. There’s little doubt that Thanos isn’t the protagonist or point-of-view character, so we ought not to be surprised by the assault. But each Avengers’ physical relationship to Thanos isn’t framed until they attack him, after which they zip off-screen, not to be seen again until they attack him once more. Assemble these action beats in any order, and the result is nearly identical.

This revolving-door problem rears its head in Wakanda too.

new infinity war clip

The Battle In Wakanda

There are only eight minutes between the Wakanda battle kicking off and the Avengers reaching their low-point (with other scenes in between), necessitating Thor’s arrival during what feels like a climactic escalation. As soon as Thor shows up, he decimates the surrounding aliens with his newly acquired powers, and yells “Bring me Thanos!” A few seconds later, the film cuts to a closeup of Thanos arriving through one of his portals. However, it then pulls back to reveal he’s on Titan, rather than Earth. A minor oddity in the grand scheme of things, though one with a confused correlation, causality and spatial awareness, and a decision emblematic of the film’s slapdash scene-to-scene editing — especially since visual effects company Weta Digital had worked more visual information for this scene, the use of which would’ve offered greater narrative clarity:

This moment of Thanos arriving seemingly offers more exciting, more immediate drama, before the deflating realization that Thor and Thanos have not, in fact, crossed paths. And while it isn’t as disorienting upon re-watch, the timing still feels awkward, especially since Thor’s arrival on Earth is one of the film’s most (and only) rousing moments. It’s even marked by the Avengers’ signature musical theme.

Instead of any payoff to Thor’s tragic arc while the iron is still hot (he’s just nearly killed himself forging a new axe), or even any subversion of what feels like Thor’s moment of victory, the film continues to wheel-spin. It delays its drama by having Thor — after his incredible power-up and initial strike — unmemorably plough through floating alien ships, shot with little sense of scale. In the meantime, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the other Avengers punch and shoot at alien hordes.

avengers 4 title

Orienting Action

The battle on Titan feels inventive for a handful of moments. Doctor Strange conjures butterflies and mirror dimensions, while Thanos attacks with bats and black holes. It’s a fitting visual contrast between two characters willing to sacrifice people for Infinity Stones, each for opposing reasons. But the scene soon resumes the standard kicking and punching, divorced from character. This issue manifests tenfold in the Wakanda battle, which has little sense of geography, even though the Avengers’ purpose is protecting The Vision (Paul Bettany) and his Mind Stone at the city’s center.

The Avengers either fight in sweeping landscape shots of indecipherable CGI blobs, or in closeups of punching, both of which fail to orient them in time and place. Even as they punch in tight shots, neither the characters immediately around them, nor the geography in the background, conveys the simple information of where they are, or how far the aliens have progressed.

The heroes and villains’ proximity to the city, and thus their proximity to The Vision, is vital, since he holds the last piece of the Infinity Gauntlet. Instead, the scene is robbed of the tension it ought to have. The action beats never stray from interchangeable shooting and fisticuffs; a far cry from the story-centric extensions of character in The Avengers’ climactic battle.

There’s little causality between moments in the Wakanda fight. It’s mayhemic, but not in a way that builds tension. Once The Vision enters the battlefield, and once Thanos arrives soon after, there’s no indication of where any of the other Avengers are in relation to these characters, or where the fight even takes place.

You’d be forgiven for assuming this climax occurs in the forest outside Wakanda’s dome. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll notice it unfolding at the foot of Wakanda’s palace, where The Vision was being guarded (he subsequently tumbled from its window). This is tough to follow at first, and it isn’t a minor detail either; one forest is where the aliens began advancing from, while the other was their end goal. The scene, therefore, isn’t even able to convey the degree to which the Avengers have lost or won, something that ought to be readily apparent just by glancing at a battle scene.

The Avengers enter this climactic sequence one by one, whether to protect The Vision from Corvus Glaive, or to fight an arriving Thanos. But like the battle on Titan, these moments are self-contained. They’re action beats in isolation; the tension is limited to who’s standing in front of Thanos in a given moment, rather than heroes having to beat a ticking clock and make their way into this battle from a distance.

The film brings together dozens of characters, but they cease to exist the minute they aren’t on screen. This problem often extends to how they’re characterized; some depend on assumptions based on prior films, while newer additions are barely introduced at all.  

Continue Reading Road to Endgame >>

The post Road to Endgame: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Puts Everything Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Stand For at Stake appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/avengers-infinity-war-revisited-part-2-road-to-endgame/

Film

Spider-Ham Comic Will be Co-Written by ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Scribe Phil Lord

spider-ham comic

Maybe we’re getting one step closer to that Spider-Ham movie after all. The Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-writer and co-producer Phil Lord is crossing over to the comic book world, with a co-writing credit for the upcoming Spider-Man Annual – Featuring Spider-Ham #1. That’s right, Spider-Ham as we have come to know and love him in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is getting his own Spider-Ham comic issue.

Bleeding Cool reports that Lord will be teaming up with Spider-Gwen co-creator Jason Latour to pen the new Spider-Man Annual, which is focused solely on the fan-favorite character Spider-Ham.

This is exciting news, not just for Spider-Ham fans, but because it lends credence to Sony’s Amy Pascal hints that a Spider-Ham spin-off film could be in the works: “Of course! You can imagine how much the kids love that character.” Voice actor John Mulaney is also on board should that movie actually happen, quipping, “I could see a Watergate-like story at the Beagle where he’s both a reporter and Spider-Ham by night…this would be more like The Post or All The President’s Men or Spotlight, but we’d make it family friendly.”

Could Marvel be testing out a potential audience for a Spider-Ham movie with the upcoming comic issue? It’s possible. Or it’s possible that Marvel Comics could simply be giving the spotlight to a character who has skyrocketed to fan-favorite status following the release of the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Either way, we’re floating on the delicious smell of pie right now.

Here is the info about the new Spider-Man Annual, out in shops June 26, 2019.

SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1

(W) Jason Latour, Phil Lord (A) Jason Latour (A/CA) David Lafuente

  • When Spider-Gwen’s dimension-hopping web-watch falls into the wrong hands, it’s up to everyone’s favorite wisecracking web-slinger, the wily waddler known as SPIDER-HAM, to save the day!
  • From the same creative minds that brought you INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and Spider-Gwen creator JASON LATOUR, you won’t want to miss this interdimensional epic!
    Rated T In Shops: Jun 26, 2019 SRP: $4.99

The post Spider-Ham Comic Will be Co-Written by ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Scribe Phil Lord appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/spider-ham-comic-phil-lord/

Film

Pop Culture Imports: 5 Essential Foreign Movies to Watch on the Criterion Channel

best foreign movies and tv streaming criterion

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

The Criterion Channel launched earlier this month to the joy of cinephiles everywhere. Following the demise of FilmStruck, the Criterion Collection teamed up with Janus Films to launch a new streaming service that contains a vast library of more than 1,000 feature films, 350 shorts, and thousands of supplementary features. Impeccably curated and frequently refreshed, The Criterion Channel promises to fulfill current streaming services’ severe deficiency of films released before the 1980s.

But still, with Criterion’s expanding prestigious catalogue, it can be a little daunting to dive into the classics — not to mention the foreign film classics. So, barring a few films that I’ve featured on this column before during the memoriam to FilmStruck (which you can also check out on Criterion), here are a few essential foreign movies and TV streaming on Criterion Channel to get you started.

The Best Foreign Movies and TV Streaming on Criterion Channel

Breathless

Country: France

Genre: French new wave/crime drama

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg.

At risk of starting this column off with a choice that’s too “Film Class 101,” Breathless is nevertheless a must-see. Jean-Luc Godard‘s 1960 crime drama, alongside Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, helped launch the widely influential French New Wave, a movement marked by cinematic experimentation and the rejection of classic narrative structures. But whereas The 400 Blows is more a rejection of rigid social norms, Breathless rejects everything that a movie should be. Breathless follows a petty criminal Michel, (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who fashions himself after Humphrey Bogart, as he wanders the streets of Paris with his doting American girlfriend (Jean Seberg). The film is nearly without a narrative structure, and is shot almost like an amateur film, rife with jump cuts and nonsensical asides. But its brilliance is in how it deconstructs the very genres it pays homage to, with the film playing into Michel’s fantasies that he is a suave antihero, only to thwart the kind of cathartic narrative payoff that noir films usually get. It’s infuriating, it’s bewildering, but most importantly, it’s a game-changing approach to filmmaking that would leave reverberations throughout the industry for years to come.

Watch This If You Like: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, basically all of Quentin Tarantino’s blatant rip-offs of it in his movies.

Tokyo Story

Country: Japan

Genre: Drama

Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Cast: Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara.

The first thing you notice about Tokyo Story is how still it is. Yasujiro Ozu‘s steady camera lingers on every subtle glance, every micro-expression in his rich tapestry of life centered around an elderly couple who take a train trip from their sleepy seaside town to visit their children living in bustling post-war Tokyo. However, they find that life, and their frequently preoccupied children, have started to leave them behind. Though western cinephiles aren’t as familiar with Ozu as they are with Akira Kurosawa, it becomes immediately apparent why Tokyo Story is held in such high esteem in Japan — and in the world cinema arena. Honest, real, and occasionally pretty funny, Tokyo Story is an ode to the beauty in the moments in-between. Despite Ozu’s spare, almost austere filmmaking style, Tokyo Story manages to be a stirring, deeply felt testament to the human experience.

Watch This If You LikeRoma, Shoplifters, the vast landscape of human experience.

M

Country: Germany

Genre: Drama thriller

Director: Fritz Lang

Cast: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Gründgens.

M is another classic Film Class 101 movie, but one that feels refreshingly modern. That’s because of Fritz Lang‘s frantic experimentation with bold angles, complex sounds, and heavy-handed social commentary all pay off in German thriller that the director rightly considers to be his magnum opus. It’s astonishing to learn that 1931 film was Lang’s first sound film, so assured is he with his direction, and so memorable is that creepy leitmotif whistled by Peter Lorre‘s child serial killer. M‘s long stretches of silence, only punctuated by sudden sound effects and Lorre’s eerie whistling, help heighten the tension in this taut thriller about the city-wide manhunt for a child serial killer who taunts the police and antagonizes the criminal underworld of Berlin. Lorre gives an electrifying and unforgettable performance as the killer, whose unspeakable crimes bring out the most grotesque, base emotions of all the denizens of the city. But Berlin is more than just a backdrop, Lang makes the city positively hum with life, infusing it and the film with a grimy, seedy character.

Watch This If You LikeZodiac, Seven, Memories of Murder, The Alienist, leitmotifs!

The Apu Trilogy (Panther Panchali, Aparajito, Apur Sansar)

Country: West Bengal

Genre: Coming-of-age bildungsroman

Director: Satyajit Ray

Cast:Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee.

The Criterion Collection has frequently been criticized for skewing too Eurocentric, but Janus Films comes in with the save with its compilation of The Apu Trilogy, composed of 1955’s Pather Panchali, 1956’s Aparajito, and 1959’s The World of Apu. All three Bengali films directed by legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray are considered to be three of the most important films of all time and milestones in Indian cinema. Filmed on a shoestring budget, this coming-of-age story was borne of an array of influences — from French New Wave, to Italian neorealism, to the semi-autobiographical Bengali novels written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay upon which they’re based — but is transformed into something infinitely more pure and poetic than the sum of its parts. And here is your chance to see all three in high quality too: The original negatives for The Apu Trilogy were burned in an infamous 1994 fire in the Henderson’s film lab in South London, but Criterion finally reconstructed the films and released them in their 4K restoratinos in 2015.

Watch This If You Like: The 400 Blows, Boyhood, Persepolis, learning about more of Indian cinema than just Bollywood.

The Seventh Seal

Country: Sweden

Genre: Historical fantasy

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Gunnar Bjornstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe, Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Inga Landgré, Ake Fridell.

The iconography of The Seventh Seal is so strong that you don’t even have to know of the movie to recognize its indelible imagery: the knight playing chess with Death, the group of helpless humans being led on a merry Danse Macabre across a hillside. Yes, that imagery stems from religious and medieval art, but their lofty place in pop culture is wholly because of Ingmar Bergman‘s bewitching 1957 masterpiece. The Seventh Seal follows a disillusioned knight (Max von Sydow) as he returns from the Crusades to find Sweden ravaged by the plague. Upon his return, he encounters Death (Bengt Ekerot), whom he challenges to a chess match to forestall his own demise. The match continues throughout the story, interwoven with segments in which the knight Antonius and his cynical squire (Gunnar Bjornstrand) run into a string of colorful characters who all have their brushes with tragedy. Light on plot and heavy on symbolism, The Seventh Seal is an incredibly philosophical and challenging film that transcends the countless homages and parodies that have followed it.

Watch This If You Like: Another Earth, Melancholia, The Fountain, understanding The Seventh Seal reference in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.

The post Pop Culture Imports: 5 Essential Foreign Movies to Watch on the Criterion Channel appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/best-foreign-movies-and-tv-streaming-criterion/

Film

MoviePass Lost More than 90% of its Subscribers, Although We Can’t Imagine Why

moviepass subscription dropped

For some strange reason, MoviePass has dropped 90% of its subscribers in less than a year. Weird, right? What mysterious explanation could there be for this massive decrease in subscriptions? I’m joking, of course. We all know the answer: the movie-ticket-subscription service imploded after leaking money like a siv. This resulted in a sudden change of rules and pricing, which in turn resulted in MoviePass friends to become MoviePass foes. And now here we are, with the company somehow still hanging on, but just barely.

Business Insider has revealed that in less than a year, MoviePass “dropped from over 3 million subscribers to about 225,000.” While these numbers are shocking, I can’t say they’re totally surprising. By now, we’re all familiar with the sad, strange tale of MoviePass. While it had been around longer, it was in 2017 when the movie-ticket-subscription service became a phenomenon. The company dropped their price down to $9.95 a month, which seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. As a result, subscriptions surged to over 3 million.

And then it all came crashing down. MoviePass ended up losing hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, and started changing things – including plans and pricing. This didn’t go over so well, and many of us assumed the company would be out of business before 2018 ended. But MoviePass lingered, albeit on life support.

Last month, MoviePass unveiled a new Uncapped plan that wouldn’t restrict the number of 2D movies subscribers could see. But MoviePass also reserved the right to block access if they so decided. Needless to say, this hasn’t helped them out. MoviePass still has a few tricks up its sleeve, though. There’s MoviePass Films – original movies that MoviePass is producing, and will then offer via their subscription service. The hope is that these originals will be enticing enough to bring in more subscribers.

While the future looks bleak for MoviePass, Business Insider adds that other movie-ticket-subscription services are doing just fine. Services offered by AMC Theatres and Cinemark are working well, as is a service offered by Sinemia. And Alamo Drafthouse is set to unleash their own subscription service before 2019 is over. If these services are doing well, can MoviePass stage a comeback? That remains to be seen. In my humble opinion, the Icarus that is MoviePass flew far too close to the sun, and we’re all just waiting for it to finally crash into the sea, wax wings aflame.

The post MoviePass Lost More than 90% of its Subscribers, Although We Can’t Imagine Why appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/moviepass-subscription-dropped/

Film

MoviePass Lost More than 90% of its Subscribers, Although We Can’t Imagine Why

moviepass subscription dropped

For some strange reason, MoviePass has dropped 90% of its subscribers in less than a year. Weird, right? What mysterious explanation could there be for this massive decrease in subscriptions? I’m joking, of course. We all know the answer: the movie-ticket-subscription service imploded after leaking money like a siv. This resulted in a sudden change of rules and pricing, which in turn resulted in MoviePass friends to become MoviePass foes. And now here we are, with the company somehow still hanging on, but just barely.

Business Insider has revealed that in less than a year, MoviePass “dropped from over 3 million subscribers to about 225,000.” While these numbers are shocking, I can’t say they’re totally surprising. By now, we’re all familiar with the sad, strange tale of MoviePass. While it had been around longer, it was in 2017 when the movie-ticket-subscription service became a phenomenon. The company dropped their price down to $9.95 a month, which seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. As a result, subscriptions surged to over 3 million.

And then it all came crashing down. MoviePass ended up losing hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, and started changing things – including plans and pricing. This didn’t go over so well, and many of us assumed the company would be out of business before 2018 ended. But MoviePass lingered, albeit on life support.

Last month, MoviePass unveiled a new Uncapped plan that wouldn’t restrict the number of 2D movies subscribers could see. But MoviePass also reserved the right to block access if they so decided. Needless to say, this hasn’t helped them out. MoviePass still has a few tricks up its sleeve, though. There’s MoviePass Films – original movies that MoviePass is producing, and will then offer via their subscription service. The hope is that these originals will be enticing enough to bring in more subscribers.

While the future looks bleak for MoviePass, Business Insider adds that other movie-ticket-subscription services are doing just fine. Services offered by AMC Theatres and Cinemark are working well, as is a service offered by Sinemia. And Alamo Drafthouse is set to unleash their own subscription service before 2019 is over. If these services are doing well, can MoviePass stage a comeback? That remains to be seen. In my humble opinion, the Icarus that is MoviePass flew far too close to the sun, and we’re all just waiting for it to finally crash into the sea, wax wings aflame.

The post MoviePass Lost More than 90% of its Subscribers, Although We Can’t Imagine Why appeared first on /Film.

from /Film https://www.slashfilm.com/moviepass-subscription-dropped/