Don Rickles’ talents were seemingly limitless: An outrageous insult comic, a gifted dramatic actor, a welcome sight on stages and screens (big and small), and a constant presence whose career endured for decades, often surpassing his contemporaries. And now he’s gone on to join them, as the legendary Rickles passed away today, April 6, at the age of 90.
To say that the first trailer for Beauty and the Beast was evocative of the 1991 animated classic would be an understatement; it was a live-action carbon copy, and if Disney’s remake of Cinderella was any indication, we were in for yet another tedious — if visually stunning, well-acted and beautifully-designed — exercise in nostalgia-based capitalism. But Bill Condon’s live-action update of Beauty and the Beast is more reimagining than remake, a lavish and lovely take on a familiar tale (as old as time, no doubt) that enriches its source material without betraying it, embellishing a cherished antique with modern ideas.
It took a few days, but the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has finally come to a decision: The two PricewaterhouseCooper accountants involved in this year’s Best Picture snafu, dubbed “Envelopegate,” will not be allowed to work at the Oscars again. In what instantly became the most memorable Oscar moment in recent memory (and perhaps all-time), La La Land was erroneously announced as Best Picture; it took two whole minutes (or more) for the PwC accountants to rectify the error and announce Moonlight as the correct winner.
Pop quiz — Is Dragged Across Concrete: A. The name of a ’90s post-grunge album, B. The way you feel every morning when you wake up and read that day’s onslaught of terrible news from Trump’s America, or C. The name of a new crime drama starring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn? If you read the headline, you know the answer is C, obviously (but the other two are pretty believable).
It looks like Universal and Amblin are finally gearing up to head into production on the Jurassic World sequel, as casting has officially begun for the follow-up to Colin Trevorrow’s hit blockbuster. In addition to returning stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (hopefully sans high heels this time), Toby Jones and Rafe Spall are being eyed for supporting roles, while the studio is reportedly looking to test actors for two “key roles” relatively soon.
Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi film is something of a cult classic, offering an early blueprint for Jurassic Park with its tale of scientists playing God and an ill-advised theme park run amok (seriously, what on earth happened during Crichton’s family vacations?). Similarly, Crichton’s campy romp through a futuristic resort serves as a blueprint for HBO’s Westworld, which takes a more thoughtful and unsettling approach in its inversion of the ’73 film, presenting the A.I. (or “hosts”) as the protagonists of the series.
If you’re a fan of internet-famous animals, then you’re probably quite familiar with the story of Freya, the British dog whose heartbreaking story made international headlines. Turns out that director Michael Bay is also a fan of the lonely canine, and in a surprising move that will undoubtedly melt the hearts of even his most critical naysayers, he gave Freya an acting job in the new Transformers movie — opposite none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins.
It seems pretty silly that anyone would bother with releasing a green band trailer for Bad Santa 2 — it’s not as if this movie is for people who aren’t aware of what they’re getting into. The whole selling point is Billy Bob Thornton as a booze-drenched, foul-mouthed and utterly despicable (that’s seriously an understatement) crook who dresses up as Santa. Any pretense of propriety has been dropped with the release of the second red band trailer which is, somehow, more crass than the first.
Over the summer, a report suggested that Warner Bros. had put Man of Steel 2 in “active development,” despite reports in 2015 that the sequel to Zack Snyder’s Superman film had been placed on permanent hold. Warner Bros. has yet to confirm plans for a new standalone Superman sequel, but it looks like someone else just did it for them: Henry Cavill’s manager.
Pre-production on Mission: Impossible 6 came to a halt last month when a contract dispute between Tom Cruise and Paramount threatened to stall the sixth installment in the blockbuster franchise. The sticking point? Cruise wanted the studio to match — or top — what Universal is paying him to star in The Mummy reboot, but Paramount was a little contentious…yeah right, as if they weren’t going to give Tom Cruise, the star of one of their biggest franchises, what he wants.
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