The corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street is a Los Angeles icon, once the heart of the city’s booming film production and now the nexus of the world-renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usually, the most frightening thing a person will experience at the intersection is an encounter with improv comics attempting to strong-arm you into attending their latest show, but a new horror will soon dawn in the area. Locals now have bigger things to worry about than spending the day sad after accidentally overhearing an actor speaking to their agent on the phone.
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.
Tom Hardy’s not taking it easy on himself these days. He’s currently appearing in Dunkirk, where he spends the entire film stuffed into a cramped cockpit while frantically evading instant death from above. And today brings the news of a new major project for the esteemed actor, one that will test his mettle with even more extreme conditions. If you thought one perilous beachside aerial attack was intense, then just you wait.
A Bruce Lee biopic sounds like a dicey proposition. How could watching someone pretend to be the greatest fighter of all time (by all means, @ me) accomplish anything other than making the audience wish for the genuine article? But judging from the newly released trailer, Birth of the Dragon has a fair amount going for it. For one, it has the good sense to focus on a single period of Lee’s life, narrowing the film to his early years in San Francisco, when he was building his legendary reputation. It’s got George Nolfi for a director, whose previous effort The Adjustment Bureau was at the very least interesting. And in the lead role, it’s got Phillip Ng, an inveterate kicker of ass who can also pull off Lee’s signature bowl-cut.
When young Jews hit that magical age of 13, they go through the coming-of-age ceremony known as a bar mitzvah (for boys) or a bat mitzvah (for gals). There’s music, dancing, and food, you receive lots of money for bravely keeping a straight face while assorted relatives pinch your cheeks, and if you’re really lucky, a major late-night personality will bless your entry into the world of adulthood with his virtual presence.
The Wonder Woman sequel train has pulled out of the station, and even with Patty Jenkins’ crossover superhero hit still playing in theaters, it’s already begun to pick up steam. Star Gal Gadot will return for the second solo project for the indestructible Amazon, they’ve landed writer Geoff Johns (who co-produced the Green Lantern movie, so, yikes) to handle the script, and while Jenkins has yet to put her Jane Hancock on the dotted line for another film, details of plot are now solidifying. For Wonder Woman, Diana battled those no-good fascists in World War I, and the sequel will reportedly plop her down in another historical era to intervene in a real-life global crisis. This time, the Rooskies will be the ones shaking in their boots.
Ryan Gosling is about to play himself. (In the DJ Khaled sense, not the Being John Malkovich sense.) The actor’s been on something of a roll recently, scoring critical plaudits for The Nice Guys and La La Land last year — the latter of which ended up a surprise blockbuster and less-surprise Oscar hoarder — and continuing on into 2017 with this past spring’s Song to Song. He’s got Blade Runner 2049 on the docket for this fall, a likely smash that may earn him admiration among nerd circles, the last niche demographic he has not yet charmed. But with the world at his feet, Gosling’s now making moves to dash all the goodwill he’s recently built up.
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