5 items from 2017
MaryAnn’s quick take… Save us from male artists who think they are dangerously, uniquely innovative. This stew of toxic masculinity and CGI-cartoon violence is nothing but tediously mundane. I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast, mostly
I’m “biast” (con): hated the first film
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Here’s a phrase I do not recall from Kingsman: The Secret Service: “independent intelligence agency.” This is uttered in Kingsman: The Golden Circle in connection with the American counterpart to Kingsman: Statesman, to which we are introduced here. But what does that mean, precisely? It means they’re mercenary spies, doesn’t it? I have a vague recollection of Secret Service mentioning something about Kingsman being funded by the crown heads of Europe, which at least offers a veneer of governmental authority and fealty to law and order — though of course there »
- MaryAnn Johanson
There’s nothing worse than watching people you admire show up in movies you immediately regret watching: Ben Kingsley in “The Love Guru,” Julianne Moore in “Seventh Son,” Viola Davis in “Suicide Squad.” Disasters like these make you wonder if their directors had something on their actors — a scandalous bargaining chip used to undeservingly leverage their skills for nefarious moviemaking ends.
- Andrew Crump
“Kong: Skull Island” will try to prove it’s king of the box office jungle this weekend, but the giant ape faces fierce competition from Wolverine. Fresh off its blockbuster opening, Fox’s “Logan” shows no sign of slowing down. The superhero movie is on pace to pull in $45 million in its sophomore weekend. It has already racked up nearly $105 million domestically.
“Kong: Skull Island” should benefit from strong reviews. The film currently enjoys an impressive 80% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics hailing the picture’s creature effects and eye for spectacle. Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote that the film was 10 times better than “Jurassic World” and hailed it as “…a rousing and smartly crafted primordial-beastie spectacular.”
Film Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’
- Brent Lang
To date, Alicia Vikander‘s excursions into mainstream roles haven’t fared so well. “The Seventh Son” was a disaster, I already forgot she was in “Jason Bourne,” and no one went to see “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” But the actress is still trying to crack that nut, and she’ll give the mainstream another chance by leading “Tomb Raider,” and the first set photos (via Collider) provide a peek at Vikander in action.
- Kevin Jagernauth
Former Fox Film chief Jim Gianopulos is in preliminary talks with China’s Dalian Wanda Group to run and expand its Legendary Pictures, according to two sources close to the executive.
The discussions with Wanda honcho Jack Gao, whom Gianopulos has known for years, are in the very early stages, the sources said. Many key issues have not even been discussed at this point, including Gianopulos’ compensation, an actual business plan, and how much Wanda is willing to invest in building Legendary into a full-fledged studio. Wanda has said in the past that it plans to invest billions of dollars into Hollywood assets.
Legendary is in search of a new leader to succeed Thomas Tull, who two days ago announced his departure as chairman and CEO from the company he founded in 2005, then sold it to Wanda last year for $3.5 billion. Legendary disclosed in a regulatory filing last May that »
- Dave McNary
5 items from 2017
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