The Nun is about to jump out of the darkness and scream right into your ear-holes. And audiences are really excited – so much so that they’re going to help turn the latest Conjuring universe entry into a big hit. Early The Nun box office tracking indicates the fright film is headed to a strong opening weekend.
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If you’re looking for Western-produced movies with solely-Asian casts, your pickings are slim, which is why there’s been a lot of talk surrounding Crazy Rich Asians‘ status as the first of its kind in a quarter-century. But there also aren’t many Western-made movies where the cast is half-Asian. Or even where there’s more than one Asian character. I’m not sure whether that makes Crazy Rich Asians more impressive or if it simply signals the relative, representational failures of the Hollywood system.
Why not both, right?
Based on the bestselling book, Crazy Rich Asians sends Rachel (Constance Wu) into the lion’s den of meeting her boyfriend Nick’s (Henry Golding) family at a wedding in Singapore. Nick never told her that his family is insanely wealthy, Rachel has to win over Nick’s formidable mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), and rom-com goodness ensues.
Our own Karen Han says it’s “chock-full of little details that may well fly over the heads of some viewers, but will vault the film into another stratosphere for others. The cultural specificity is more charming than the delirious displays of wealth by leaps and bounds, and ultimately what makes it impossible to say that Crazy Rich Asians is just a carbon copy of other meeting-the-in-laws comedies that have come before it.”
Let’s see what to double feature with this history-maker.
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Update: HBO has officially picked up Damon Lindelof’s new take on Watchmen, which isn’t an adaptation or a sequel as much as a remix of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic comic book series.
Our original story about actor Jeremy Irons joining the show’s cast can be read below.
The Watchmen TV series just added a surprising new cast member: Jeremy Irons. Damon Lindelof‘s HBO series inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic graphic novel is set 30 years after the events of the comic, and has been called more of a “remix” than a straight adaptation. In other words, don’t count on Irons playing a character straight from the comic.
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Director Peter Berg is not one for wasting time. He says as much, but it’s also evident when you’re on the set of one of his movies, speaking with an actor he’s worked with, or talking to the man himself. Look no further than his filmography the last few years to see the borderline light-speed pace at which he works. He’s made four movies in the last two years, including his latest pic, Mile 22. Nobody could ever call Peter Berg lazy, that’s for certain.
His newest and fourth collaboration with Mark Wahlberg is a significantly lighter film than their past work. It’s Berg, who made a remarkable directorial debut with The Rundown, returning to straight-up action movies. The Kingdom director brings his eye for fast-paced, practical, and point-of-view-driven action to his new lean and mean action movie. Recently, Berg told us about filming Mile 22‘s action, his respect for Wahlberg’s work ethic, when we’ll see his Rihanna documentary, and more.
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(Welcome to Comic Book Drive-In, a series where comic and movie fans Jazmine Joyner and Rosie Knight recommend brand new, ongoing, and completed comic book series that tie into classic films and new releases.)
This issue of Comic Book Drive-In is all about The Matrix. Arguably the Wachowski sisters’ masterpiece, The Matrix is a groundbreaking science-fiction flick which was a cinematic representation of the siblings’ love for Japanese film, Hong Kong cinema, anime, and western comics.
We decided this would be a prime pick for Comic Book Drive-In as comics are literally in the DNA of the film – comic book artists were integral to the film’s vision, with Geof Darrow designing the real world of “Zion” and Steve Skroce storyboarding the original Matrix pitch – and we couldn’t wait to suggest some of our favorite books that complement this science fiction classic.
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Mark Wahlberg is unleashed by director Peter Berg in Mile 22. Playing the unabashedly unsavory hero Jimmy Silva, Wahlberg gives a high-wired performance that never runs out of gas. If you like your Wahlberg fast and loud, Mile 22 has the performance for you.
Wahlberg’s work is reminiscent of some of his great supporting turns where he gets to play a character a little off-center and let loose. He makes Jimmy Silva feel like a supporting character that happens to be the star of the movie. The role is not too far off from the idea of a hothead character like Tommy from I Heart Huckabees (one of Wahlberg’s greatest achievement in my book) becoming an action hero for the U.S. government. The actor recently spoke to us about his fourth collaboration with Peter Berg, his very impressive work ethic, box office, and more.
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When American-born Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) meets her boyfriend Nick’s mother Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) for the first time at their lush Singaporean mansion in Crazy Rich Asians, she enthusiastically lists off her accomplishments: lauded economics professor at NYU, talented, brilliant, probably played piano since elementary school. It’s a check list that any Asian-American parent would beam at, but to which Eleanor only coolly responds, “Pursuing one’s passion…how American.”
This fleeting confrontation toward the beginning of the film perfectly illustrates the divide between Asians and Asian-Americans that both communities still try to navigate today. And surprisingly, Crazy Rich Asians’ conflict between filial piety and passion gets to the heart of the muddled, ill-defined Asian-American identity.
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If you’ve ever scrolled through multiple streaming services looking for an old favorite movie and came up empty, screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Go) feels your pain. August, one of the co-hosts of the popular Scriptnotes podcast, recently tried to track down 1984’s The Flamingo Kid only to find that it’s joined the sad membership of older movies not available online to rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or any other service in the United States.
This is not a new observation – ever since the dawn of streaming services, hundreds of movies have been left by the wayside. But August took his frustrations and is attempting to channel them into a campaign to get some of these older films released digitally, and you can find out how to help below. Read More »
The first Star Wars Resistance trailer has arrived, giving us a first look at the anime-inspired animated series coming to The Disney Channel this fall and providing us with a whole new roster of Resistance heroes to root for. Check it out below. Read More »
Romantic comedies have been a storytelling staple ever since Shakespeare introduced the world to Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but the genre really found its footing in film with It Happened One Night in 1934. Frank Capra’s simple tale of a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and an ambitious reporter (Clark Gable) was the first of only three features in history to sweep the Academy Awards in all major categories.
Clearly, a humorous spin on a romantic story resonated with audiences and the genre continued to thrive through the days of Hepburn and Monroe. However, the modern rom-com we know and love today really found its stride in 1989 with Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally. Nora Ephron, the godmother of rom-com writing, asked one simple question in her script, “Can a man and a woman just be friends?” and an entire era was born.
From ’89 to ’09, the cinemas were booming with clumsy, career-obsessed women who found a love they weren’t even looking for by simply bumping into an unsuspecting man with an alarmingly handsome face. For two whole decades, we were blessed with Hanks and Ryan, Julia Roberts and whoever, Nancy Meyers vehicles, and the firm affirmation that Christmas was the most romantic time of year.
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