I don’t have any tattoos. I have trouble committing to a pair of shoes in the morning; committing to something that would stay on my body for the rest of my life would be impossible. Maybe that’s why I’m in awe of movie tattoos, and the lengths some folks go to to show their love of film. Forever! You’ve got to be a pretty big fan of a movie to plaster it across your chest for eternity. What if your tastes change? When I was 14, I was really into Police Academy. Can you imagine if 20 years later my wife woke up every morning to this etched into my back?
Netflix has come a long way from those little red envelopes full of DVDs. Today the movies-by-mail rental company is a full-fledged movie and television studio with an impressive slate of original films, documentaries, mini-series, and cartoons. And they keep adding new content constantly; a week after Season 3 of the acclaimed series House of Cards, they unveiled Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from Tina Fey; two weeks later they debuted Bloodline starring Friday Night Lights’s Kyle Chandler.
Robert Downey Jr., presenting a bionic Iron Man arm to an exceedingly well-dressed 7-year-old fan named Alex, who was born with a partially developed right arm. The arm wasn’t built by Tony Stark, but rather by a college student named Albert Manero who makes low-cost 3D-printed bionic limbs for children. But Downey received the honor and pleasure of presenting him with his new arm, and comparing it to one of his own Iron Man suits.
The name “Disney” brings to mind images of fair princesses, charming princes, magical fairy tales, and simple happily ever afters. In recent years, though, Disney has begun rethinking their classic properties, and releasing more thematically complex versions of their famous films. Sleeping Beauty became Maleficent, which turned a wicked witch into a sympathetic anti-hero; a whole mess of fairy tales turned into Into the Woods, where happily ever after preceded a whole bunch of death and tragedy. The ranks of Disney Princesses grew to include women like Merida, the bow-slinging heroine of Brave, and Anna and Else from Frozen, who rescued each other from an prince, rather than the other way around. Every value and concept that Disney had established and reinforced through decades of repetition was seemingly up for reconsideration and revision.
For most people, Valentine’s Day means flowers, chocolate, and romantic dinners. For cinephiles (or people too cheap or lazy to leave the house), Valentine’s Day means snuggling on the couch and watching a romantic movie. If you’re planning a Netflix night this weekend, picking the right film is key. There’s nothing worse than inviting that special someone over for a private screening, lighting a few candles, pouring a glass of wine, and then killing the mood by putting on In the Ream of the Senses.
Christian Grey is an unusual guy. He’s the world’s most eligible billionaire bachelor and an enormously powerful businessman. He’s an avid jogger, an exceptional piano player, and a licensed helicopter pilot. He also really like the color gray. He wears gray suits and ties, drives a gray car to his gray office building (which is called Grey House) under gray Seattle skies, where his assistant dresses in—you guessed it—gray. (For the record, his office chairs are white but the couches are gray too.) And, oh yeah, he’s into kinky sex, including bondage, spanking, and domination.
The first reviews of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ are out and most are pretty mixed on the film and whether or not it delivers on the white-hot sexuality of the original novel. But here is one film that absolutely brings the raw animal magnetism: ‘Fifty Shades of Buscemi,’ a mashup that inserts the great star of ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘Fargo,’ and so many more into new film opposite star Dakota Johnson.
This is sort of a surprising-not-surprising news item. Universal is readying a sequel to last year’s phenomenally successful comedy ‘Neighbors,’ which starred Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as married thirtysomethings whose suburban bliss with their newborn baby is spoiled by the arrival of a rowdy frat house next door. The first movie didn’t exactly leave a bunch of loose ends for Rogen, Byrne, and Efron to continue into another film, and comedy sequels don’t have a great track record. But the first movie did gross over $268 million worldwide against an $18 million budget. Hence the not-surprising part: Universal’s announcement that they’re working on a ‘Neighbors 2,’ which they hope to have in theaters by next summer.
It’s great when a movie understands exactly what it is. ‘Magic Mike’ was an intelligently made Steven Soderbergh movie about life in Great Recession America. But it became a huge surprise hit in the summer of 2012—grossing $167 million worldwide against a budget of just $7 million—because it had Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, and an assortment of the finest man-candy in Hollywood bumping and grinding with their shirts off. The marketing for ‘Magic Mike XXL’ seems to have an innate sense of this. The first poster is a picture of Tatum with his shirt off, pointing at his crotch where the word “Coming” is suggestively placed. And this teaser trailer is basically Channing Tatum (and the rest of his team of shredded male strippers) dancing, stripping, and then dancing with their shirts off. I smell box-office gold. Wait, no, that’s baby oil and Muscle Milk. But those things smell a lot like box-office gold when they’re in ‘Magic Mike XXL.’
Episode 415 of ‘Seinfeld’ was called “The Movie,” and it ended with Jerry delivering a monologue about the guy in every group of friends who can’t follow the plots of films and invariably spends them whispering confused questions to their seatmates (“Why did they kill that guy? I thought he was with them? Wasn't he with them? Why would they kill him if he was with them? Oh, he wasn't with them. It's a good thing they killed him!”) ‘Jupiter Ascending’ turned me into that guy. If you can explain the plot of this baffling movie in all of its intricacies, you are either a genius or one of the Wachowskis who wrote and directed it. It’s hard to believe that a movie that contains this much exposition could also be this confusing, but it does and it is. Something went horribly wrong here.
An afternoon update from our We Swear We’re Not Making This Up Desk: TheWrap reports that Kevin Spacey, Oscar-winner for ‘The Usual Suspects’ and ‘American Beauty,’ will next appear as the star of a comedy called ‘Nine Lives.’ The “high-concept comedy” is described thusly (and, again, we didn’t make this up):
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