Superhero movie fatigue is a real thing, and I’m afraid your correspondent has come down with a case of it. Sure, there have been dribs and drabs before, in the grim solemnity of Zack Snyder’s joyless Man of Steel or the endless recycling of the Spider-Man franchise. But amidst all the clutter, the Wolverines and Ghost Riders and Green Lanterns, the Marvel movies have been an oasis (y’know, Thor movies aside). Iron Man gave us a hero with real dimension, acted sharply by Robert Downey Jr. and directed with intelligence by Jon Favreau. Captain America: The First Avenger had a golden glow of nostalgia and a giant heart at its center. Joss Whedon injected the series with a shot of genuine wit in the first Avengers — he insisted that blockbusters could be (in fact, should be) funny, a notion taken up well by Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s back at the helm of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has several thrilling action sequences, a great many good jokes, and an unshakable sense that everybody is just going through the paces. … Read More
Robert Downey Jr.
Calling all Harry Potter fans: science is coming close innovating a real invisibility cloak — well, sort of, if you count merely not being able to see yourself as being “invisible.” Fortunately, science is also compensating for the underwhelming, not-quite-invisibility cloak with this equation that will tell you how many pizzas you should order when you go out. … Read More
Thanksgiving is over, the last of the leftovers have been consumed, Black Friday has come and gone, and it’s just about time to start cueing up the Christmas movies. And, y’know, there’s something to be said for spinning the annual favorites — your Christmas Vacations, your Christmas Storys, your Wonderful Lifes, your Die Hards. But if you’re in the mood for something a little off-the-beaten-path (and don’t mind streaming somewhere other than Netflix), here are a few less predictable Christmas flicks. … Read More
The Labor Day weekend doesn’t begin until end of day tomorrow, but c’mon, who’re we kidding — you’ve already checked out for the week, and it’s time to start making plans. And while we know some of you (shudder) sociable types will be heading out to lakes and barbeques and such destinations to enjoy the end of another summer, we’re catering (as usual) to the shut-ins, who’re taking the three day holiday weekend to catch up on some long-delayed nothing-doing. So here are a few of the recent(ish) additions to Netflix and Amazon Prime to add to your holiday weekend viewing lists; just click the title link to watch them right now. … Read More
Twenty years ago today, moviegoers had their first opportunity to take in Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone’s bloody, grim, and broadly satiric take on serial killers, celebrity culture, and tabloid media. But those who sought out the film on more obscure grounds were in for a disappointment. Quentin Tarantino was not yet a household name; he was still an acquired taste, thanks to the less-than-stellar box office of his 1992’s Reservoir Dogs (which he wrote and directed) and 1993’s True Romance (writer only). His small (yet rapidly expanding) cult following was thrilled at the prospect of a new Tarantino movie—but by the time Natural Born Killers reached the screen, it was no longer the movie Tarantino had penned. His screenplay had been so drastically rewritten, we were told, that he had elected only to take a “story by” credit. And that, presumably, was the last we’d hear about Mr. Tarantino’s Natural Born Killers. … Read More
In the current ultra-managed, publicist-controlled, sound-byte-driven media atmosphere, you don’t get to hear stars really speaking their minds anymore — at least, not about anything fun, like how they really feel about their fellow stars. But occasionally a little something sneaks through the PR wall, both now and back in Hollywood’s golden age, sometimes as whispers, sometimes as gossip, sometimes long after the fact. And thus, we present another, long-overdue installment of our ongoing series (following authors, filmmakers, and musicians) of really famous people really cutting each other… Read More
The Judge has got one of the most promising casts of the year: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Billy… Read More