Under normal conditions, PaleyFest LA 2020 would have gone off without a hitch this past week at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, featuring screenings and panel discussions with the stars and creators of some of your favorite television shows. Of course, the event was postponed due to the coronavirus, but the folks who run PaleyFest want to help spread a little joy during these isolated times.
The company is putting full, official videos of previous PaleyFest panel discussions on its YouTube channel for free every day this week, so everyone can watch the casts of The Office, Parks and Recreation, This Is Us, The Walking Dead, Blue Bloods, Supernatural, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah take the stage and share behind-the-scenes stories from the productions. But be sure to watch them quickly: each video will only be online for 24 hours. Read More »
Disney’s new version of Mulan features plenty of familiar beats from the 1998 animated film, but unlike the myriad of practically shot-for-shot remakes the studio has produced over the past few years, this one feels like it has an identity of its own. Eddie Murphy’s cute dragon Mushu is nowhere to be found this time, the movie is basically a full-on wuxia film, and the villain works with a witch who begins to find herself ideologically aligned with Mulan as the adventure unfolds. More than any of that, though, the biggest difference between the two versions is that in this iteration, Mulan’s journey is not about finding herself. Instead, it’s about shedding her disguise to embrace her power and become the warrior she’s always been.
This past Saturday, I attended a screening of the film at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, and afterward, Mulan director Niki Caro and star Liu Yifei participated in a Q&A, talking about how the film came to life, their biggest challenges with the project, and much more.
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It’s not controversial to suggest that Kevin Feige‘s run at Marvel Studios is the most impressive aspect of mainstream pop culture storytelling of the past ten years. But Feige doesn’t want fans to look at Marvel’s successful track record and just blindly accept everything that the studio releases. In a new Q&A, the acclaimed producer talks about continuing to work hard to make the best movies possible, and offers updates on Eternals, Shang-Chi, future Disney+ shows, and more.
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Director/co-writer J.J. Abrams and the cast of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker participated in an official Q&A last night at Disneyland in front of the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, but if you were hoping for any insight into the movie itself, prepare to be disappointed. Instead, the talent spent their time talking about things like whether they prefer turkey legs or corn dogs, whether they ride Pirates of the Caribbean or The Haunted Mansion, and choosing between Fantasyland or Tomorrowland.
Oh, and Oscar Isaac reveals his favorite Star Wars droid. So that’s something, I guess! Check out the full video below.
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On Saturday afternoon, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood writer/director Quentin Tarantino and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie participated in a moderated Q&A session at Tarantino’s New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles. The event was ostensibly to help promote next month’s home video release of the movie, but it also doubled as a potential stop on the way to the Oscars for each member of the panel. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
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Acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho will be appearing in Los Angeles later this month for an event called “A Genre of One: The Cinema of Bong Joon-ho,” a complete feature retrospective which will see all of his movies playing on the big screen and Bong himself participating in moderated discussions and Q&As about them afterwards. This is a rare opportunity to see his earlier films on the big screen if you missed them the first time around, so if you’re in L.A., read on to get the details on how you can see all of these Bong Joon-ho movies in theaters.
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Mike Flanagan, the director of Oculus, Hush, Gerald’s Game, and The Haunting of Hill House, has crafted plenty of cinematic moments that have left audiences with their hearts pounding. But his upcoming film Doctor Sleep, which is both an adaptation of Stephen King‘s sequel to The Shining and a continuation of the story told in Stanley Kubrick‘s 1980 horror classic, gave Flanagan “the two most nerve-wracking moments of [his] entire career” – getting approval from both King himself and Kubrick’s estate.
That’s no small feat, considering King’s opinion about Kubrick’s movie, and in a Q&A in West Hollywood yesterday afternoon, Flanagan and his producer Trevor Macy talked about striking that balance, recreating some of Kubrick’s iconic visuals, and much more.
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Despite going into Guy Ritchie‘s Aladdin with almost no hope whatsoever, I ended up being won over by the movie. Fans of the original Aladdin won’t be disappointed, and while I’ve grown to be somewhat cynical about Disney remaking its animated classics, this one justifies its existence by making some interesting updates while staying true to its characters.
This past weekend, I attended the Aladdin press conference in Beverly Hills, and amid all of the expected answers about singing and dancing, collaborating on set, and the importance of maintaining cultural authenticity, we learned a few things about the movie and the people who made it. Example: director Guy Ritchie was given the nickname “Cry Ritchie” by stars Will Smith and Naomi Scott on the set because he apparently cried when he saw good takes. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 by Ben Pearson
It’s a great year to be a Spider-Man fan. This past summer, we saw Tom Holland reprise his role as the best live-action Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War, the PS4 Spider-Man video game is the best video game centered on the web-slinger, and next month, a new Spider-Man will be introduced to audiences in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is one of the best Spider-Man stories ever put on film.
Earlier this year, I visited the Sony Pictures lot to attend a Q&A about the movie featuring star Shameik Moore (Dope), who provides the voice of Miles Morales, the first half black, half Hispanic Spidey. Writer/producer Phil Lord and producer Chris Miller were also in attendance, and the three of them spoke about how this film will feel different because it’s told through Miles’s perspective, how Peter Parker factors in to this adventure, taking risks with the storytelling, and more. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 by Ben Pearson
Yesterday, Sony invited us to their studio lot to see some early footage from The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the newest entry in the Dragon Tattoo franchise. Afterward, co-writer/director Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe) and star Claire Foy (who won an Emmy the night before for her work on The Crown) joined us for a Q&A to talk about the look of the movie, the intensity of the film’s hacker protagonist Lisbeth Salander, a sex scene that was removed from the film, Foy’s feelings about playing the role in the midst of the #MeToo movement, and much more. Read More »