I've expressed dismay many times here at TFE that what the internet mostly wants is rumors and future film nonsense rather than discussion of actual films that exist and that people can see. (Bet you ANYTHING that the word count on Star Wars "stand-alone" films that don't exist and won't for years is higher than the word count on Ex Machina which does exist and is amazingly worth discussing.) The Daily Beast has a current piece about rumors that seem to have erupted from actual facts (Marvel cancelling some series, toys, and retconning some characters including The Scarlet Witch -- all things that have always happened before billion dollar movies were involved and also within series where no billion dollar movies are involved). The piece suggests that Marvel is sabotaging Fox's efforts on X-Men and Fantastic Four. It's frankly a bizarre claim, even though it is more than obviously true that Marvel would want the rights back to these properties.
Entries in X-Men (66)
1979 is our "Year of the Month" and this post was way way too much fun to research. Before the main course of the Supporting Actress Smackdown (pushed to June 7th), let's marinate a little in the year that was.
BEST MOVIES ACCORDING TO...
Oscar: Kramer vs Kramer*, All That Jazz, Apocalypse Now, Breaking Away, and Norma Rae were the best pictures nominees but they also loved La Cage Aux Folles, The China Syndrome, Manhattan, Being There and The Black Stallion
Golden Globe: (drama) Kramer vs Kramer*, Apocalypse Now, The China Syndrome, Manhattan and Norma Rae (comedy) Breaking Away*, Being There, Hair, The Rose, and 10
Cannes: Apocalypse Now AND All That Jazz (Glenn discussed this odd consecutive Oscar-adjacent business)
Box Office: 1) Kramer vs. Kramer 2) The Amityville Horror 3) Rocky II 4) Apocalypse Now 5) Star Trek: The Motion Picture 6) Alien 7) "10" 8) The Jerk 9) Moonraker 10) The Muppet Movie
Gene Siskel: 1) Hair 2) Kramer vs Kramer 3) The Deer Hunter 4) Breaking Away 5) Manhattan 6) The Marriage of Maria Braun 7) Nosferatu 8) The Onion Field 9) Time After Time 10) The China Syndrome
Roger Ebert: 1) Apocalypse Now 2) Breaking Away 3) The Deer Hunter 4) The Marriage of Maria Braun 5) Hair 6) Saint Jack 7) Kramer vs Kramer 8) The China Syndrome 9) Nosferatu 10) "10"
List-Mania continues with music hits, debut characters, new toys, and adorable "born in '79" people & things after the jump...
Animals The Film this addiction romantic drama opens today in 8 cities. Go see it!
...David Dastmalchian, who so kindly guest-blogged for us, stars (and wrote it). He'll be doing a Q&A at tonight's screening at Village East 7:45 PM for those of you in NYC.
AV Club Anne Hathaway to star in a sci-fi monster movie called Colossal wherein she'll be psychically linked to the big monster
The Screenblog Interview with the costume designer on Kate Winslet's The Dressmaker
Weekend Must Read
I know you shouldn't feed the trolls but this article from the MRA blog "Return of Kings" about why you should boycott Mad Max Fury Road because it's feminist is great great comedy. Unintentionally but that hardly matters when there are so many laughs to be had. My favorite part is the whining about ruining this great "piece of American culture" [slaps forehead] D'Oh. It's an Australian franchise, dumbass!
MNPP in a 'Ways Not To Die' post celebrating Mad Max, Jason sneaks in a little 'George Miller always cared about women' message
Hollywood's Ongoing Diversity Issues
Moviefone More embarrassing news for Hollywood's anti-woman issues. Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, supporting players on Grace and Frankie, are making the same thing as Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, the star attractions. What the F***?!?
Heat Vision Fox developing The New Mutants, which was an X-Men spinoff back in the day. I wouldn't expect them to stick with its extremely diverse original lineup, because Lord knows when the X-Men was adapted it got a lot less diverse and way more narrowly obssessed with three alpha (white) males: Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto
Women in Hollywood The DGA is part of the problem when it comes to underemployment of women
The Guardian Ava DuVernay might direct Marvel's Black Panther. since Marvel is looking for something more "diverse" and that word is apparently an actual quote? She seems like a weird fit since she excels at performance and humanistic drama and surely she has better things to do. Still, just when you hoped you could stop caring about superhero news this comes along. Obviously we'd watch it despite waning interest from the superhero glut.
Mad Men List Mania
Arts.Mic has a "definitive" listing of best characters with Peggy Olson, Don Draper, and Joan Holloway right where they belong in the top 3.
Rolling Stone same concept but with a different order and much love for Roger Sterling and the long departed Sal Romano in the top ten!
Esquire 100 Ways Mad Men might end. It says a lot about the show that with only 1 episode left it still retains its mysteries
Salon the 10 best Mad Men episodes from 'The Other Woman' (Joan showcase) to 'Babylon' (Peggy showcase)
Showtune Hot Song To Go
Matthew Eng reminded me of this. God I love this. Wouldn't it be great to see Maya Rudolph's PRINCE(ss) live?
Manuel here fanboying over the increasingly diverse Marvel COMICS universe which recently outed original X-Man Iceman in the newest issue of All-New X-Men. If we must succumb to a superhero-filled world, we might as well celebrate these types of storylines:
That’s Jean Grey sort of breaking the news to gorgeous Bobby Drake (played in the films by Shawn Ashmore) who seems taken aback by this realization. Marvel has always been at the cutting edge of progressive diverse representation, especially the X-Man whose central conceit has lent itself to so many subtextual storylines about discrimination and persecution. Indeed, when I first heard the news of Bobby’s “coming out” I couldn’t help but remember the following scene from X2 (arguably the best of the X-Men films precisely because it so skillfully mines the mutant-as-gay metaphor while offering great action set pieces that feel generous towards all its characters and not just the franchise’s golden boy Wolverine):
The question now becomes: will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever catch up? With Black Panther and Captain Marvel (now with writers attached!) coming soon, Michael B. Jordan’s Johnny Storm coming our way this summer and a number of non-white members of the X-Men cast in the upcoming Apocalypse storyline (here’s hoping Bingbing Fan’s Blink gets a chance to shine!) we may be slowly moving towards a superhero slate that isn’t entirely lily-white (I’ve yet to catch up on Daredevil past the pilot but I couldn’t shake off the whole “white guy vs foreigners/immigrants” storyline it seemed to be painting) though it seems it’ll remain straight for the foreseeable future.
How long until we get a prominent LGBT character in the MCU? With total media domination (Netflix shows! ABC* spinoffs! Movies scheduled until 2098!) it's a matter of time, yes?
*Is this the part where I'm informed that there's such a character already in either Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and/or Agent Carter, two shows I started watching but grew tired of midway through? And if so, does this just add further credence to the idea that television continues to be more open to representing diversity than the box-office beholden franchise world of cinema?
Write Out of LA on underappreciated directors of 2014's awards season
Playbill Into the Woods cast members sang to Rob Marshall at the Artios Awards
xkcd The Star Wars tipping point
Script Notes talks about the "default male" problem in screenwriting
Empire Warner Bros still wants to make a feature adaptation of The Jetsons
Jason Robert Brown, the great composer of The Last Five Years shares a new live concert online with Tony winner and movie Dreamgirl Anika Noni Rose. It's $5
Vulture cable programmings explosion over the past 15 years. This is why no one can keep up.
Awards Daily the Oscar bump is helping the indies. Even the long since faded Whiplash was up 114% this past weekend
Dissolve Martin Scorsese finally approaching production of the long-gestatingSilence about Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Japan
Comics Alliance casting young versions of the X-Men for X-Men: Apocalypse. Tye Sheridan is a fine young actor so no qualms there but I didn't enjoy Sophie Turner's work on Game of Thrones (I only watched the first season - did she improve?) so I worry about her Jean Grey
Carpetbagger The Witch still hasn't technically premiered at Sundance (just press screenings) but reviews are so good it's not helping the attempt at a mysterious low profile
I'm typing up my final predictions article so while I'm doing that why not peruse my final predictions in the Screenplay categories (my big risk is Ida there) and something completely different: the Visual Effects Society nominations.
They looked at CG heavy 2014 on the big screen and small and declared that these were the things they most liked looking at! I do suggest hitting the jump to see the whole list because they have a lot of interesting and highly specific categories like "Outstanding effects simulations in a photoreal/live action feature motion picture" which pits that funny scene from X-Men Days of Future Past when Quicksilver runs around the kitchen in slo-mo with that looped destructive beach sequence in Edge of Tomorrow that goes on forever until Tom Cruise gets the hang of it.
The "supporting visual effects" is always an interesting category. I'm hoping Birdman wins but I can't for the life of me figure out what effects work went into The Imitation Game (???) which is also nominated! That damn movie, showing up everywhere! I liked it at first well enough but it's one of those films that can't bear the weight of all these honors and thus you begin to turn on it.
My favorite VES category might be "Outstanding created environment in an animated feature motion picture" because three of them are places you'd definitely want to visit for hours if you could exploring every pixel: The Boxtrolls Cavern, The Land of the Remembered from Book of Life, and Oasis (which I believe is Cate Blanchett's dragon sanctuary) in How To Train Your Dragon 2. The fourth, though, is my pick for runt of the litter "Into the Portal" from Big Hero 6 which is the weakest segment in their movie, narratively and though your eyes may disagree, I didn't care for that segment visually either.