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Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit

There is a man squatting at the lowest point of his personal and professional life. He’s a classic film-noir detective living from job to job in Hollywood in the late 1940s, the dark hero of an ’80s neo-noir. The man used to be on the LAPD, but now he’s just a hacky private investigator who’s drowned his former glory by guzzling scotch day and night. But the job he’s on now is tough, the toughest one he’s had yet: it started small, with him taking sleazy pictures of a gorgeous woman fooling around on her husband, but it’s turned into a case full of greed, murder, and a city-wide conspiracy.

The worst cut of all: to save his reputation and his life, this gumshoe has to go to the one place he’s feared for years, the place where his cop brother was killed. As he stares into the abyss of a tunnel where doom waits on the other side, the camera zooms in on his sweaty, terrified face. He bucks up the last shreds of courage he has, gets back into his car, drives through the tunnel, and is confronted with…

Bright colors, hand-drawn animation, literal songbirds, and half of the most beloved animated characters of all time. The man is Eddie Valiant, the place is Toontown, and the film is Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which turns 30 today.

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the terror season 2

AMC has given the go-ahead to The Terror season 2. Season 1 was adapted from Dan Simmons‘ novel of the same name, but AMC will now turn the series into an anthology show. Each season will focus on a new terrifying (and apparently historic) scenario. The Terror season 2 will be set in America during World War II.

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Arachnophobia Revisited

In the annals of genre cinema, Arachnophobia is a slightly strange case. The feature directorial debut of Frank Marshall – co-founder of Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy – it arrived in theaters on July 18th, 1990, as the first title released beneath Disney’s Hollywood Pictures banner, which was founded so the studio could unveil more adult-oriented fare. Arachnophobia received solid reviews, was a modest box office hit – placing #3 behind Ghost and Die Harder before raking in $55 million total on a budget of $22 mil – and became a VHS staple for an entire generation of ‘90s kids. Ask most folks in their mid-30s these days, and they can cite whole scenes involving the picture’s practically rendered poisonous arachnids that scared the bejeezus out of them, doing for popcorn bowls what Psycho did for showers.

Still – thanks to format changeovers and market demand – Arachnophobia has also become something of home video relic. There’s an OOP bargain bin Blu-ray you can snag for a few bucks on Amazon, and a decent HD stream available at the same mega retailer. Nevertheless, its omnipresence somehow seemed to skip a generation, remaining in those Gen Xers’ nightmares, while the other scary classics Marshall produced with Spielberg (namely: Poltergeist and Gremlins) endured and solidified themselves in the Millennial pop culture vernacular. Perhaps it was simply due to iconography, as ghostly girls and green demons were burned into memory much easier than simple spiders. Or maybe the title of the film itself became an odd bit of self-fulfilling prophecy, as legions of potential movie-watchers steered clear since spiders creep people out on the regular during their everyday existences.

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the conners

The Roseanne spin-off will be moving forward at ABC — without original star Roseanne Barr. ABC has picked up a spin-off tentatively titled The Conners, after the hit sitcom revival was embroiled in controversy following star and executive producer Barr’s racist tweets.

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Wachowskis Movies Revisited

Lana and Lilly Wachowski have always been bold, innovative, and constantly surprising. They’re best known for their Matrix blockbusters, of course, while their audacious box office flops Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending confounded expectations and helped create a profoundly idiosyncratic body of work that many struggled to pigeonhole. But the last few years have reframed their filmography in exciting ways.

Sense8, now complete on Netflix, brings together themes that have permeated the Wachowskis’ work for decades, and their coming-out as trans women puts their entire oeuvre into a new context. Suddenly, all these big-budget effects spectacles click into thematic sync. It all stems from the relationship between the body, the mind, and the soul – the self the world sees, versus the self inside.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Movies Leaving Netflix July 2018

Netflix giveth, Netflix taketh away. Just as in life, the old must make way for the new, which means that as Netflix adds new titles for July, they get rid of some old ones as well. Below, we’ve rounded up the movies and TV shows leaving Netflix in July. If you’ve had some of these titles sitting in your queue for the last year, now would be a good time to binge them. These are the TV shows and movies leaving Netflix in July 2018.

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Taika Waititi Funko POP Figure

Just yesterday, Aquaman and The Conjuring director James Wan was added to the small but growing line-up of filmmakers who have been lucky enough to be immortalized as Funko POP! vinyl figures. The figure had James Wan’s signature pink streaked hair, but now he’s no longer the coolest Funko POP on the block.

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, who has also brought us the phenomenal films Eagle vs Shark, Boy, What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, is the latest to get his own Funko POP! as an exclusive at San Diego Comic-Con. And as you can see, he’s dress in his signature, godlike pineapple short and shirt set. Read More »

jojo rabbit cast

The cast of Taika Waititi‘s World War II comedy Jojo Rabbit is multiplying like…well, rabbits. British writer/director/actor Stephen Merchant is the latest quirky talent to join the cast. Best known Stateside for his role in last year’s Logan and the short-lived HBO series Hello Ladies, Merchant will be playing a Gestapo agent in the Nazi satire.

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit Retrospective

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take look back at the animated live-action hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary. Plus, a featurette for the upcoming action comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me goes behind the scenes of the globe-trotting production, and get a look at the upcoming first season of the NBC show Making It hosted by Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. Read More »

Wonder Woman Concept Art - Ares

Which video game version of Batman was spotted in Ready Player One? When are Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning returning to The CW? Which mutant is joining the future Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Comics? What does Taika Waititi have to say about Thor: Ragnarok being declared the gayest Marvel movie? Do you want to see MODOK in the MCU? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »