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Tag: Entertainment Geekly (21-30 of 70)

Entertainment Geekly: The Disney Myth in 'Saving Mr. Banks' and 'Escape from Tomorrow'

Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses! Click here for past columns.

“Disney” used to be a name, but for several generations of human beings spread out across our terrestrial sphere, it is more like a primal state of mind. However old you are, if you’re reading this, “Disney” probably conjures up memories for you, either because everyone was young once or because most people have kids eventually. I was born a couple decades after Walt Disney died, which meant that my parents could feed me an impossible amount of Disney-branded content: Animated features, Saturday morning cartoons, action figures, and videogames based on all of the above.

Family myth has it that the first movie I ever went to see/was taken to in the theaters was The Black Cauldron. That could be a trick of memory. But sometime in grade school, I pulled a page off my Disney Page-A-Day calendar, saw an image from The Black Cauldron, and experienced a deep and resonant feeling of buried memory. Maybe because I had happened upon The Black Cauldron on TV one day, or maybe it was playing in the background of somebody’s fourth birthday party. Maybe I just absorbed The Black Cauldron through osmosis when my parents took me to Disneyland. (I can’t ever remember watching Dumbo, but I bet a hypnotist could uncover some corner of my subconscious and make me draw it from memory.) READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: The Golden Globes' Comedy Snafu, and how to fix it (Hint: More awards)

Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses! Click here for past columns.

My favorite awards show is the Golden Globes, specifically because the Golden Globes are completely unbeholden by the intrinsic questions of Quality and Tradition and Making Basic Coherent Sense that so bedevils other awarding bodies. Nobody really thinks the Golden Globes mean anything, and so the mere fact of their continued existence — and increasing popularity — actually grade-inflates them into meaning something. They are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of people who could frankly be Norwegian lizard-men for all we know. But the lizard-men throw a great show. They feed people booze. The sheer inauthenticity of the event seems to loosen up celebrities, in a way that actually encourages authenticity.
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Entertainment Geekly: Now let's cast the rest of the Justice League

Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses! Click here for past columns.

Remember when Zack Snyder officially announced his intention to put a Batman movie inside a Superman movie? On Wednesday, he got even more ambitious: Warner Bros. officially announced that Gal Gadot was playing Wonder Woman. We’ve all had a day to work through our complicated feelings about that news. But now it’s time to move on to more important things. Snyder’s incipient Superman saga always carried the implicit promise of bigger things: A whole multimovie mega-franchise focusing on different DC superheroes, all leading up to a franchise-knitting superteam film.

It took Marvel four years, three successful mini-franchises, and one nonstarter Hulk franchise to get to Avengers. Warner Bros. is clearly hoping to accelerate that timeline. Batman Vs. Superman Plus Wonder Woman points directly to a Justice League movie by Q3 2017, if not earlier. It’s equally possible that the studio has a more ambitious architecture in place: They could be plotting to launch their other superheroes in team-up movies from 2015 onward, with Ben Affleck on retainer to play Batman for half an hour in each movie, essentially serving as franchise booster rockets. (DC Comics has been doing this for years. Launching a new comic book? Put Batman on the cover as an issue 1 guest star.)

Whatever: The point is, casting for the rest of the Justice League has moved from an ambient years-forward possibility to an immediate probability. Which means it’s never been more important for us to collectively tell Warner Bros. how to cast the rest of the Justice League. It’s a tricky gambit: They need people who will form a fun ensemble right away, but who can also suggest a possible movie waiting to be built around them. (They require Ruffalo-Hulks; they could settle for Johansson-Widows; they need something better than Renner-Hawkeyes.) Forthwith, the best possible casting choices, with careful consideration given to extra-film details like “How will Twitter react?” and “How will they look on a panel at Comic-Con 2015?”:
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Entertainment Geekly: What James Bond and 'Doctor Who' tell us about the future of pop culture

Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

James Bond and the Doctor don’t have very much in common. Bond is a violent British superspy. The Doctor is a pacifist alien traveler. Bond jets around to exotic locations and uses expensive gadgets; the Doctor spends a curious amount of time in Wales and uses semi-abstract technology that makes funny noises. Weirdly, if the two characters ever met, they would probably be enemies. Bond is the kind of guns-blazing loose cannon the Doctor hates; in turn, the Doctor is practically a Bond villain, a stateless entity with a sci-fi lair that houses several weapons of mass destruction.

Bond is a hedonist with rampant sex drive, a figure of pure id. The Doctor is a vaguely ascetic intellectual, a figure of pure superego. Except when he’s not, which brings up a more important difference: Whereas the Platonic Ideal of James Bond was chiseled in granite from the word go, the Doctor is less a character than a series of variables. James Bond has always kind of looked the same; the Doctor can look like a scary philosopher hobo or the internet’s dream of combining every member of a British boy band into one perfect human. Both characters are essentially immortal, although in different ways. The Doctor frequently mentions his age, although he could be lying, or just forgetful. James Bond is always a man just old enough to have the athletic prowess of a peak Olympian and the refined taste of a retiree millionaire. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: 'Dead Rising 3' and 'Ryse: Son of Rome' are the dumbest possible version of the future of videogames

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Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

It is incredibly difficult to create digital animation — time-consuming, soul-destroying carpal-tunnel work, ideally requiring an engineer with the soul of a poet — but it’s also incredibly easy for an overgrown idiot manchild with studio funding to hire lots of digital animators. The story of blockbuster cinema in the last decade is the story of mediocre directors working with whole armies of digital animators to create terrible movies made passable by incredible special effects. This is also, more or less, the story behind the new generation of videogame consoles, an epochal shift whose beginning ended today with the arrival of Xbox One in stores. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: How 'Harry Potter' ruined movie sequels

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Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

In decades past, the movie sequel was a frowned-upon concept, something that implied unoriginality or laziness. There were exceptions (The Godfather Part II), and if you were a genre head in the ’80s, then you witnessed the birth of the Sequel-As-Perfected-Original (Wrath of Khan and Road Warrior and Empire Strikes Back and maybe Aliens), although that in turn led to the birth of the Threequel-As-Bloated-Mess (Search for Spock and Beyond Thunderdome and Return of the Jedi and Alien 3). Sequels as a cultural idea belonged to beefcake action heroes and cut-rate horror franchises.

At this point, though, complaining about sequels feels a bit archaic — the equivalent of the parents in Bye Bye Birdie complaining about rock and roll. Sequels are essentially the business of the mainstream Hollywood studios. The five top-grossing movies of 2013 are sequels that outperformed their predecessors, and there’s every reason to think Thor: The Dark World and Catching Fire will join that list soon.
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Entertainment Geekly: 14 Ways of Looking at the Marvel-Disney-Netflix Deal

Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

1. The last few years have seen a rash of columns about the end of Golden Age of Television. It might at this point be more accurate to declare the end of the Television Age of Television. In the last nine months, the Netflix programming experiment produced a prestige drama with a powerful fanbase; a buzzy comedy which became a love-it-or-be-skeptical-about-it talking point; and a genuinely original (and aggressively uncommercial) series that earned accolades, whatever passes for high ratings in Netflix-land, and a Halloween costume controversy. It’s like Netflix relived the whole post-Sopranos history of cable television in less than a year. And now they’re rewriting the entire development playbook. Why greenlight a pilot when you can greenlight an entire show? And why greenlight just one show when you can greenlight a linked series of shows? Essentially, Netflix just greenlit a season of the CW, except people might actually watch more than one of these shows.
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Entertainment Geekly: How to fix 'Agents of SHIELD,' part 2: Your awesome ideas!

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Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

In last week’s column, I offered a few ideas for improving Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the just-okay non-superhero Marvel spinoff with tantalizingly limitless potential. Said ideas ran the gamut from reasonable (Solve the Coulson mystery) to outlandish (Make everyone evil) to the extremely unlikely (bring in the Black Knight)! In response, readers posted their own exciting SHIELD-reboot ideas. Let’s take a look at some of the best. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: How to fix 'Agents of SHIELD'

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a resolutely okay TV show. It’s neither great nor terrible, neither inspired nor boring. This in itself is an accomplishment. SHIELD — let’s just call it SHIELD, okay? — sits at an uneven borderland between a wide variety of corporate realities. It’s an unprecedented in-continuity TV spinoff-sequel to the equally unprecedented Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s produced by Marvel Studios and airs on ABC, which are in turn both owned by Disney. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: What has Robert Rodriguez done to movies?

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Robert Rodriguez is a paradox. He makes extremely violent action movies and he makes extremely saccharine kids’ movies. He doesn’t want to work in the studio system, but you could argue that his output is incredibly studio-friendly: Sequels, spin-offs, comic book adaptations. Over the last decade, Rodriguez has created an infrastructure around himself that would theoretically allow him to make any movie he wants — and in 2011, he really wanted to make Spy Kids 4.

Rodriguez was a pioneer in HD filmmaking and digital backlots and 3-D technology, which also makes him a pioneer in Things Film Lovers Despise. He is a hero of the independent-film movement, and he is sponsored by BlackBerry. He calls himself a “rebel,” but that might just be because he’s an excellent salesman. He is one of the most important Latino filmmakers ever, and the arrival of Machete in the midst of the anti-immigration wave vibed at the time like an outright political statement, but Machete KillsĀ sands down those political hard edges and makes you wonder if they were ever even there in the first place. (If you take Once Upon a Time in Mexico seriously, it appears to be arguing that the way to get rid of drug cartels is to fight them with cooler guns.)
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