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Four Stories Lukewarm from the Presses That I Didn't Write About At First Because Reasons

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Brangelina II: The Sequel
FINALLY. The world's most famous movie couple Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt will reunite onscreen 10 long years after Mr & Mrs Smith (2005). Jolie wrote the script which is rumored to be about a troubled couple on vacation attempting to save their marriage. She's obviously been working hard at becoming a force behind the camera (I'm guessing she's announcing retirement from acting by 2018 or so... a hunch) so it's possible she'll direct it, too. It's a complete mystery as to why it's taken this mega-star couple this long to co-star again when a) they're still highly bankable and b) by all sane non-gossipy accounts they're still enormously fond of each other ten long years after their affair on Mr & Mrs Smith caused such a ruckus in Hollywood.

We so rarely get viable recurring screen couples anymore outside of franchises with infinite parts and iron clad contractual obligations. Occasionally accidents will happen and we'll get 3ish pairings of a couple that really works together onscreen (Turner & Douglas in the 80s, Ryan & Hanks in the 90s) but for the most part, Hollywood doesn't even attempt to capitalize on the proven success of onscreen chemistry. That's tremendously weird if you think about it for more than 2 seconds since Hollywood attempts to capitalize on EVERYTHING ELSE that's proven successful in the past. 

Speaking Of...

Spring Breakers 2. But Why?
You've undoubtedly heard by now that the divisive Spring Breakers (which was loathed and loathed in equal measure)  is getting a sequel. That sequel is apparently without the original cast and the original director so it begs the question of "why". It's not like Spring Break, that boozy young ritual, is not a marketable topic in and of itself. People have been making movies about that since at least the 1960s. So why connect it to a film that wasn't loved by  general audiences. Sure it opened well but it plummeted soon thereafter and at least in my screening there were many walkouts from the crowd that was not suspecting a subversive auteurist movie with a major male actor fellating firearms but just, you know, tits and ass. I heard a few "that's the worst movie I've ever seen" as I exited the theater.

Jonas Åkerlund (mostly known for smash music videos like "Ray of Light," "Smack My Bitch Up," "Telephone," "Paparazzi" and more)  is on board as the director. Maybe they want to sell it like a mainstream franchise that's also a rotating auteurist franchise -- like, I don't know "Aliens"? In which case awesome/ good luck! 

Baz ♥ Elvis
The news floating around that Baz Luhrmann is considering an Elvis Presley biopic came so quickly on the heels of the news that he was considering a bigscreen adaptation of TV's Kung Fu (which we did write about) that I didn't have it in me to go into speculation again about what he might do next. Largely because I don't trust him to make anything until at least 2017. He's notoriously non-prolific after all despite the web's interest in suggesting that he's about to do something every few months. Which is why I've illustrated this paragraph with a graphic I made in 2011 instead of with a photo of The King. Word and Film has casting suggestions and especially likes the idea of Zac Efron in the role. 

YNMS: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Sometimes the Yes No or Maybe So series is defeated/delayed by sheer Yesness. Such is the case with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I was a fan of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). It's not that it gave reboots a good name (in the end nothing can do that since they're still, at their core, cash grabbing regurgitation) but it did show that if you're going to riff on franchises with plentiful cultural history that doesn't need to be replaced in the first place, you can do it with contemporary thought, artistic conviction and something like passion instead of doing it absent-mindedly or ineffectually while cashing your checks (*cough* The Amazing Hobbit-Man of Steel Pt. 2).

But the new trailer but for argument's sake...


Yes - Jason Clarke (so excellent in Zero Dark Thirty) replacing James Franco as the human lead? Upgrade! It still looks classy and artfully mounted despite the rich cheese potential and dated B-movie pull of the premise.
No - Some CGI fakery with those baby apes. That halting voice talking might get old when stretched to 120 minutes and beyond.
Maybe So - Environmental and sociopolitical themes can be tough to deliver with anythink like subtlety or grace so we'll see. Will it be too grim/heavy-handed? And might it fare better in the long run with a little humor or cheese?

If you have thoughts on these stories you've kept bottled up, now is the time to spew them!

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Reader Comments (10)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith was released in 2005. You made me think for a second that I was 10 years older than I really am.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris Yang

obviously i knew this since i wrote "ten years ago" LOL. but thanks for the catch.

May 12, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Does the joke in this article mean that you've actually see The Hobbit now? If not, I don't think it's fair to attack a film that has a 75% on RT unless you've actually seen it.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJestifer

I'm glad you did this little "media stories re-cap" Nat, because I love to know your opinions on showbiz issues, even if (of especially because) you don't blog about them instantly.

Maybe "four stories lukewarm from the presses" should be a weekly/bi-montly series? :)

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Jack

"loathed and loathed in equal measure." Hee. Was this a conscious slip? I like that the week of Efron continues (seriously see 17 Again! It's a sexy good time if nothing else. Plus Leslie Mann). I hate hate hated Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in part because I was about to attend a college that didn't allow movie watching (true story...) and wanted to see Batman Begins for a sixth time instead. (I was one of THOSE kids...) I like what I've seen of Jason Clarke (I'll second your Zero Dark Thirty performance praise) but this Planet of the Apes trailer reads as self-serious (unintentional) cornball to me. We'll see.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Baz can get it. ALL of it. Mmmm.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKylie

Being a vigorous childhood fan of the original series of Apes films, and a hardened hater of Burton's blasphemous retread, I could not allow myself to see Rise. But this trailer weakens my resolve, so I might just give this one a go. But they better not f this one up.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Never saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith and I much prefer Pitt to Jolie, so I can't get excited about their reunion until I see a trailer. I liked Spring Breakers but I don't know how well the concept will work without a James Franco-level performance, so we'll see on that one. I've tried to like Baz Lurhman's films but I just can't get into his style. In saying that, there hasn't been a big Elvis movie in my lifetime and this could be a awards contender, so I'm sure I'll see it. As for the new Apes films, I though Rise was slightly overrated - it's good but certainly not great - but Dawn looks like it could be a winner, so I'll definitely be there.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

That trailer is excellent - gave me shivers and I didn't even love the first one. What did work in the first one was Cesar and the apes (much moreso than the humans).

This looks to focus more on the apes (good) and, as you mention, upgrade the human cast (i like franco alot but he sucked in this role).

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

ohh, Zac Efron as Elvis! I can totally see it.

May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIvonne

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