Close Encounters of the Third Kind will forever be one of sci-fi cinema’s most lasting cultural touchstones. One of Spielberg’s best, it’s a beautiful tale of wonder, obsession, and humanity’s relationship with the rest of the cosmos. It’s the kind of movie that posits that, rather than conquer us, all aliens really want to do is be our friends, and it’s coming back to theaters this September in a gorgeous 4K re-release.
The toy controversies just never stop, do they? With #WheresRey and the Black Widow and Gamora controversies only just behind us, it seems like toy companies would have gotten the hint by now. But Hasbro’s Star Wars Monopoly game unveiled after The Force Awakens opened still hasn’t fixed their Rey problem. Well, they’ve fixed it overseas, but apparently Americans just aren’t interested enough.
Universal’s Scarface reboot is still struggling as it’s just lost yet another in a long string of possible directors. The studio has just parted ways with David Ayer, just two months after it was first reported that he’d been in talks to join the project.
Even though the story was more or less wrapped up at the end of The Purge: Election Year, we should probably get used to these movies, much like the Purge itself, happening about once a year. James DeMonaco, creator of the franchise and director of all three, will be back writing the screenplay and working closely with Universal to find a director for the fourth.
Split marked quite a comeback for a director whose name has lately been synonymous with huge disappointments. But by contrast, Split is a slick, thrilling superhero movie, and one of Shyamalan’s best in years. It’s still making waves at the box office and, riding off its success, the director already has a sequel planned that’s actually more like the third in a trilogy. If you haven’s seen Split yet, be aware that there are pretty major SPOILERS for the end of the movie from here on out.
Doctor Strange is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature the kind of mind-bending magic absent from most other films in the Avengers series. The Thor movies tend to demur and call their magic science, but Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, and as such has powers so great they allow him to bend time and space. The bad news is his enemies can do the same, not to mention summon demons from other dimensions that require blood sacrifices.
Found-footage horror has always been pretty hit-or-miss: for every Blair Witch Project there’s a Last Exorcism. Most of the time, it’s the low-budget efforts that succeed in utilizing the style’s greatest strengths, so it’s not surprising that Paranormal Activity, made on a budget of $15,000, became a global phenomenon. The sequels are what they are, but the first movie is still chilling to this day, in part because of its two leads, who act in such a way that it’s easy to believe it’s all real.
Michael Giacchino recently inherited scoring duties for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story after Alexandre Desplat had to bow out over scheduling conflicts — so recently, in fact, that he only had a month to compose the soundtrack for the whole movie. He’s been on a pretty successful tear though a bunch of franchises: he provided the music for Doctor Strange, the Star Trek revivals, and the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, so he sounded like a good fit for the Star Wars universe too when we heard he’d been hired on. Today, we got our first listen at some of the new pieces, and they’re perfect.
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