14 items from 2016
Elvis & Nixon review: Not a sequel to Frost/Nixon, but the bizarre ‘true’ tale of when two icons met. Elvis & Nixon review
Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley were quite the characters. Both over-the-top but highly respected in their own way they have become quite the staple of mockery and imitation over the years. It wouldn’t be too far out there to suggest that most people these days are exposed to a recreation of the individual before they learn about the historical figure. Whether it be Nixon’s floating severed head in Futurama or Jack White’s bizarrely hilarious turn in Walk Hard: A Dewey Cox Story. They’ve been conscripted into bizarre timelines where Elvis has fought an evil Egyptian mummy, and where Nixon has overseen a country filled with people with mutant powers, and masked vigilantes being outlawed. So the fact these two figures actually met behind »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Earlier this week, Dwayne Johnson revealed on social media that he just had a meeting with Jumanji director Jake Kasdan and producer Matt Tolmach to discuss the remake, confirming his role in the movie. Now we have word that another actor has joined the cast, with comedian Jack Black signing on as an unspecified character. The actor will join Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, and there are still two major roles left to be cast.
The Wrap broke the news on Jack Black's casting, but no details have been given in regards to whom he'll be playing. Dwayne Johnson chimed in on the casting himself through his Instagram page, teasing that fans will "understand" who his character is when it's revealed. Take a look at the actor's statement that he posted just an hour ago.
Last month, Dwayne Johnson revealed that production will begin this fall on Sony Pictures' Jumanji remake, which he is set to both star in and produce. The actor is possibly reuniting with his Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart, and while no other cast members have been announced quite yet, that will change soon. The Rock took to his Instagram page once again today, revealing a new photo of the actor reading the original Jumanji book by Chris Van Allsburg. He goes onto reveal new details about this project, and how he plans to honor original Jumanji star, the late Robin Williams.
In a lengthy post on his Instagram page, Dwayne Johnson explains that he recently met with director Jake Kasdan and producer Matt Tolmach to work on the Jumanji remake. We still don't know anything about who Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are playing yet, but the story follows a »
Last week, we reported that Central Intelligence stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are in talks to reunite for Sony's long-awaited remake of Jumanji, which has already been set for release on July 28, 2017. Earlier today, The Rock made his part in the movie official, revealing through his Instagram page that he has signed on to star in and produce this fantasy adventure, while confirming that production will begin this fall. There is no word on whether or not Kevin Hart has signed on. Take a look at what the action icon had to say on his Instagram page below.
"It's Official: Love this script! Big movie news that me and my canine gal Shang are excited to share;) To produce, create and deliver original properties to fans like HBO's #ballers to this summer's #CentralIntelligence is one of the best parts of my job. But to take great properties that are »
Looks like Sony's remake of the Robin Williams classic Jumanji is closer than ever to becoming a reality. According to Variety, actors Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are in early talks to join the project, who have most recently worked together on the upcoming action/comedy flick, Central Intelligence.
The details are still being worked out, and the studios will have a heck of a time working out the schedules between the two, as they both appear to be popping up in every film property under the sun. In addition to the upcoming Baywatch comedy, the Rock is attached to Rampage, Fast & Furious 8, and the HBO series, Ballers. Kevin Hart, on the other hand, has The Untouchables and his own stand-up work to squeeze in between films.
Jumanji is a film that's been ripe for a remake for quite some time now. For those unfamiliar, the original film followed a »
- Joseph Medina
I played jazz trumpet growing up in Oklahoma, so Chet Baker’s somber swing always brought our ensemble back to earth when Dizzy Gillespie’s flying fingers sent us noodling in quick cacophony. We thought Baker was the romantic trumpeter, the kind you’d play when you wanted to impress a date — and whose pretty-boy face on the album cover inspired many of us to play in front of mirrors — and only later learned that his muse was heroin. Robert Budreau‘s Born To Be Blue turns Baker’s darkest professional and personal period into a sepia weepy. Though Ethan Hawke aches pathetically as Baker, containing the overwhelming ego any musician cultivates beneath his whispery smirk, he’s let down by this film’s monotony.
Born To Be Blue summarizes the career of a cyclical drug addict as a comeback story. Baker, bailed from prison, was all set for a Hollywood biopic, »
- Jacob Oller
Have you ever seen Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story? Well, Marc Abraham’s I Saw The Light is the Exact type of biopic that John C. Reilly’s Dewey Cox character pokes fun at. Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan cleverly roast formulaic true-story recounts in their highly underrated comedy, yet here we are, some eight years later, and Abraham manages to recreate the dramatic equivalent to Dewey Cox’s fabricated life.
Maybe Hank Williams’ story was a major influence on Walk Hard, because entire scenes are recreated with uncanny likenesses – I’m talkin’ about being double married and stuff, not even the obvious genre notes. Tom Hiddleston is a knockout Williams impersonator, but unfortunately for Abraham, his leading man’s charisma only goes so far.
Strapping on his Americana stirrups, Hiddleston plays musical legend Hank Williams, who stunned honky-tonk listeners in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He lived a short, »
- Matt Donato
I feel like it’s been a long time since a decent spoof movie has come out. Check out this list of crap that’s come out in the last decade: Disaster Movie, Superhero Movie and Meet The Spartans for starters. And before that it was Epic Movie, Date Movie, My Big Fat Independent Movie, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and The Comebacks. Personally I miss the spoof movie. When it’s done right it’s a thing of beauty. You take one situation a bit too far. You embellish a character just enough that it’s funny to laugh at. But one thing
15 Spoof Movies That Were Quite Hilarious »
- Nat Berman
The Lonely Island is returning to theaters this summer with their first movie since 2007's Hot Rod, and the trailer for the comedy trio’s new feature promises a no-holds-barred music mockumentary that does for Justin Bieber what Walk Hard did for Johnny Cash. Starring Andy Samberg as a pop sensation called "Conner 4 Real," Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping will detail — and mercilessly lampoon — the insane number of people required to power a 21st-century superstar. In Conner's words: "It takes a village to make me look dope."
In addition to »
We asked Variety’s top critics and awards aficionados to discuss how 2015 shaped up cinematically. Here they answer the following questions:
1. How do you rate 2015 against previous years cinematically?
2. What is the scandal/most talked about or not talked about issue of the year?
3. What aspect of the year in film made you stand up and cheer?
Justin Chang, chief film critic
1. A good year, not a great one. If I were forced to redo my year-end list for 2015, I would probably call first place a tie between “The Assassin” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (1) — both long-gestating action movies, directed by auteurs working at the height of their powers — followed by about 20 or 30 unranked honorable mentions.
2. The ongoing challenges of diversity and representation have shaken the industry to the core, and not a moment too soon. With the recent outcry on behalf of women and people of color — and the »
- Tim Gray, Jenelle Riley, Andrew Barker, Peter Debruge, Justin Chang and Kristopher Tapley
Bad Teacher franchise director Jake Kasdan has been tapped to direct the upcoming reboot of Jumanji. Sony has set the release date for Christmas Day, Dec. 25, which means it will open dangerously close to Disney’s Star Wars: Rogue One.
Kasdan’s forthcoming film is a remake of the classic 1995 film directed by Joe Johnston and starring Robin William, Kirsten Dunst and David Alan Grier among others. Variety states the project, which will be written by Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity) and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), will be a “a new take on Chris Van Allsburg’s original 1981 adventure book.” Community, American Dad! Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers wrote the previouss draft, on which Rosenberg and Pinkner’s script will be based.
Kasdan has built quite a reputation as a comedic director over the years. He directed episodes of both of Judd Apatow’s cult classic TV »
- William Fanelli
Just a few months after Sony Pictures set their Jumanji remake for a Christmas 2016 release, the studio has finally found its director. Deadline reports that Jake Kasdan (Sex Tape) has signed on to direct, although it isn't known when production will get under way. With the studio still sticking with its December 25, 2016 release, date, filming will most likely have to begin fairly soon.
The project has been in development for several years, with Zach Helm coming aboard to write the script back in 2012. The most current version of the script was written by Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) and Jeff Pinkner. Our report from October revealed that Jeff Pinkner, who co-created CBS' summer TV series Zoo with Scott Rosenberg, was coming on board to consult with the script, alongside André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
The remake is said to be a high priority for the studio, »
If you're still processing your feelings about the Jumanji remake, here's something to consider: Deadline reports Jake Kasdan has signed on as helmer. His résumé doesn't have a ton of board-game experience, but it does tout credits tied to such enjoyable titles as The Grinder, Fresh Off the Boat, New Girl, Sex Tape, Walk Hard, Bad Teacher, and Orange County, among others. Using a script from Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers, he will now do his best to either reinvigorate or raze childhoods new and old. Also, original illustrator-scribe Chris Van Allsburg is executive-producing because this is all really, truly happening, no matter what you say. Okay, fine, you might be thinking. But how will this version's story differ from that of the 1995 original? Will it still offer up timeless exhibits for social reform? Will it have Google Maps and other recent technological advancements? Happy holidays in advance, »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
The film is a new take on Chris Van Allsburg’s original 1981 adventure book, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Van Allsburg will also executive produce.
The studio is moving aggressively on the project, given that it plans to release the film in less than a year. The reboot is the first title set for a Christmas release — which means that it opens nine days after the launch of Disney’s “Star Wars: Rogue One” origins movie.
- Dave McNary
14 items from 2016
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