If this year’s Academy Awards taught us anything at all, it’s that Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig should host next. I’m concerned that if we have another hostless year, some goofball producer is going to look at the Eminem filler performance and try to top it with a surprise appearance from Smash Mouth or Vanilla Ice. Anyway, we now live in a world where Joker is an Oscar winning movie and Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t want anymore milk on his cereal, thank you very much. The good news is that we also live in a world where Parasite won both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Picture. So, basically, it’s been crowned the best movie in the entire world. Does that balance things out? No, because Joker still has an Oscar.
But let’s move on, shall we?
It’s supposed to be charming.
It’s been really rainy and gloomy all week here in D.C. I think we deserve a treat! How about a trailer for Wes Anderson’s new movie, The French Dispatch? The film seems to be a series of vignettes that dramatize the stories in the titular publication’s final issue. It features Bill Murray as the editor, Owen Wilson as the hilariously named “Herbsaint Sazerac,” and about a million other famous people (including Fisher Stevens, hell yes). Any time we get to spend in Wes Anderson’s world is a privilege. So, until we get the full movie, here are three minutes to tide you over:
Son of a bitch will fly!
In 1991, somebody screwed up. Big time. I don’t know if it was some Disney exec who couldn’t tell gold bricks from mouse turds. I don’t know if it was a marketing team that got psyched out when it was handed a perfect product to sell. And I don’t know if it was the general public, which might have had a some sort of catastrophic lapse in collective judgement. So, to make things easy, I just blame everybody for the grave injustice of The Rocketeer only making $46 million.
Sometimes the universe, embodied by Bob Iger, has a way of making things right. Because ladies and gents, we’re finally getting a sequel!
The original movie — which, nostalgia aside, holds up incredibly well — had all of the makings of a blockbuster franchise: a charismatic lead in Billy Campbell, a bombshell love interest in Jennifer Connelly, a dastardly villain in Timothy Dalton, mob bosses, henchmen, G-Men, Nazis, spectacular effects, massive action sequences (like a gun fight on top of a zeppelin inferno at Griffith Observatory), Alan Arkin as a wise old sidekick. It even featured Howard Hughes as the man who invents the jetpack! And the rousing score is one of which John Williams is surely jealous.
The sequel will supposedly take place during the Cold War and directly follow the first, albeit with a new lead character and Russian baddies this time. Oh shit, where have we heard that before? Okay, calm down, let’s just pretend we didn’t make that connection. Obviously, they’ll have to get Billy Campbell and Jennifer Connelly back in the mix, too, if they want to make sure I don’t burn down Hollywood. I’m so excited. The countdown to launch has begun!
It’s finally time for The Hunt
Last year, Damon Lindelof’s new movie, The Hunt, was abruptly pulled from schedules when thousands of outraged Twitter users (who hadn’t seen the movie) made it clear that they’ve never heard of satire. One of those people has a spray tan and an office on Pennsylvania Avenue. Anyway, the movie — in which cartoonish liberal elites hunt red state voters — is finally getting a new release date on Friday, March 13, and the next wave of marketing is taking advantage of the controversy. As Watchmen proved, Lindelof has a special skill for creatively interrogating cultural divisions. He’s also one of the most talented writers working today. Or maybe he and his co-writer, Nick Cuse, are really “the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!” Who can say for sure!
I’m going to try something different here, and that’s to split the random news into two categories — awesome and terrible. Because, let’s be honest, I basically don’t a middle ground.
- The rumors were true: Rick Moranis is officially coming back for the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel. The fact that he’s coming out of quasi-retirement now gives me serious hope that he might have secretly filmed a cameo in the new Ghostbusters. Yes, have some!
- What sorcery is this? A24 just released a trailer for The Green Knight — a new take on the Arthurian legend of Gawain and the Green Knight. This version looks like it draws heavy influence from both the horror of Ari Aster and the surrealism of Alejandro Jodorwosky. Dev Patel stars as Gawain and the most excellent Sean Harris as a character billed only as “King.” Please be Arthur! Thanks.
- With the introduction of Skrulls in Captain Marvel and then that huge twist in the Spider-Man: Far from Home stinger (spoiler), it’s clear that Marvel is laying the groundwork for…something. The obvious assumption would be that a Secret Wars movie is on the way — where Skrulls steal the identities of various superheroes and create chaos. A new rumor suggests that there might instead be a Disney+ series, which would be awesome! Much more real estate for such a sprawling story.
- Michael Bay is producing a movie about a post-apocalyptic America where a veteran Army Ranger, played by Sylvester Stallone, has to rescue a billionaire’s daughter. The story is said to be “reminiscent” of Escape from New York. Or, to put it another way, it “steals” the premise and they’re going to get sued, big time! (Just wanted to write “big time” again.)
- Also on the Marvel-front, but in the lame Sony corner that has nothing to do with Kevin Feige’s wonderful world, Alicia Vikander is rumored to be playing Spider-Woman. She’s a great actor and if this movie is half as good as Sony’s Venom, then it will putrid.
- Oh, hay! The movie industry is trying to see if we’d like to be treated like horses with blinders by filming the first vertical blockbuster. I’m not saying that this is the worst idea of all time, but I’m only not saying that because we live in a cursed reality where the Pontiac Aztec exists.
- Also, Joker sucked.