It’s that time again — time to mark your calendars for the start of a new month and a new streaming season! Today brings great news for Amazon Prime subscribers, as July’s slate of new additions has some really, really good ones in the mix.
Oscar-winning director John G. Avildsen, whose 1976 Rocky shot Sylvester Stallone to instant acclaim and became an ageless classic, has died at the age of 81. His oldest son Anthony informed the L.A. Times that Avildsen died from pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
With all the excitement over Mary Poppins Returns brewing lately, a lot of fans have been wondering if the O.G. Poppins, Julie Andrews, will be making a cameo appearance. As it turns out, Andrews is in full support of the sequel, but she won’t be in it, and she has a very good reason why.
To say that Steve McQueen’s heist thriller Widows should be on your radar would be an understatement. The film, adapted from a BBC miniseries of the same name, already boasts an incredibly talented cast list — and has just added veteran actor and Oscar winner Robert Duvall.
For more than three months, The Fate of the Furious held the top spot of the movie trailer X-Games, accruing 139 million views in 24 hours, promptly dethroning Beauty and the Beast. But now a new player has entered the game, and he comes bearing a red balloon and a mouthful of shiny, sharp teeth. Beep beep, Vinnie.
So get ready for the best news you’ll hear probably all week. (Yes, I know it’s Friday, but I’m very excited and am losing the ability to process linear time.) Not only is Donald Glover voicing Simba in Jon Favreau’s live-action The Lion King, but none other than James Earl Jones will be lending his vocal talents to Simba’s father Mufasa.
Although it’s been a while since we’ve seen him behind the camera, Cary Fukunaga’s got a long string of projects in the works, including a Netflix series and an Alexandre Dumas biopic. As of today, he’s also attached to direct a movie based on a non-fiction account of the days leading up to the atomic bomb strike on Hiroshima.
There’s been a lot of talk about whitewashing in the news lately, what with two big blockbusters, The Great Wall and the live-action Ghost in the Shell, poised to hit theaters soon. Disney has plans for both a live-action Mulan and Aladdin in the works, and the production of both will be scrutinized for how they handle casting. But not to worry, because the producer of Aladdin says the cast will be fittingly diverse for a movie set in the Middle East.
The self-aware superhero thing seems to be becoming a trend. Last year, Deadpool charmed audiences with his irreverent, R-rated take on the origin story, cursing up a storm and breaking the fourth wall every five minutes. LEGO Batman, possibly the best part of The LEGO Movie, was similar, throwing in jabs now and again to his dark, broody characterization in The Dark Knight Trilogy. The LEGO Batman Movie promises more of the same in this new “Gotham Cribs” clip, which shows LEGO Batman trying really hard not to let everyone know he and LEGO Bruce Wayne are the same person. If he were any more aware of himself, he’d ascend to nirvana.
When it comes to online movie polls, which ones do you think the public is usually most excited for: little indie pictures or huge superhero/sci-fi/fantasy blockbusters? Spoiler alert— it’s the blockbusters. Shocking, I know. In Fandango’s year-end poll of the most anticipated movies of 2017, Star Wars: Episode VIII, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the live-action Beauty and the Beast took the top spots.
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