The trailers for the new Godzilla movie have been amazing, but the marketing campaign isn’t the clearest. What’s there to know besides the fact that awesome-looking monsters are going to destroy things for our entertainment?
For the true movie lover? Plenty. Here are the connections they aren’t advertising.
There’s a Monster Universe.
Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers created what they are calling the Monsterverse. Godzilla, King Kong, and some recognizable others are part of this universe.
Godzilla – King of the Monsters is a sequel to Kong – Skull Island. Sort of.
For unknown reasons, Warner Brothers is not advertising the new movie as a sequel to Godzilla (2014), the first movie in the Monsterverse. Kong – Skull Island is the second movie in the Monsterverse. It features a cut-scene at the end of the credits where the main characters are told Kong is not the only monster, and then shown archival footage of ancient cave drawings of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and a battle between King Ghidorah and Godzilla.
The ultimate Godzilla movie is coming next year.
A fourth Monsterverse movie, Godzilla vs. Kong, has been announced for 2020. I know. I can’t wait either.
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Read for more about Godzilla by Golden Man, on his blog Etched in Gold:
It’s no surprise that Captain Marvel and Shazam! both had movies released within weeks of each other this year. Despite being from separate comic universes, the two superheroes have always been inextricably linked by a connection with their name.
Shazam was the original Captain Marvel?!
The DC Comics character Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel. He started out as a Fawcett Comics character in 1940 and was the most popular superhero at the time. In 1953, DC filed a lawsuit against Fawcett claiming Captain Marvel was basically just a version of Superman. In 1972, Fawcett sold the character rights to Captain Marvel to DC.
Shazam’s search for a name
However, Marvel Comics was already using the copyrighted name Captain Marvel by then for their own original character. (Note: At this point, Captain Marvel was still male and not the Carol Danvers of the later era.) So DC began marketing the character using the copyrighted phrase “Shazam!”, which is what protagonist Billy Batson says to change into a superhero and vice versa. Many consumers assumed this was the name of the character.
When DC relaunched the title in 2011, they officially named the character Shazam! There is a running gag in the new movie Shazam! about what to call the main character, which is a sly reference to his history of name changes. Plus the title Captain Sparkle Fingers probably didn’t test well with audiences.
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I was born in 1978. I have never known a world without Peter Mayhew. Until now. I have never met the man. I know very little about him personally. What I do know is the joy he brought me throughout my life via his portrayal of the beloved Star Wars character Chewbacca.
I read an essay once about a writer taking her young daughter to an art exhibit and the little girl asking, “Who made this? I have to talk to her.” The author was pleased her daughter had made the connection between magic in the art and magic in the artist. And so one must assume that Mayhew had a spark of magic, playfulness, joy, and creativity to be able to embody Han Solo’s furry buddy.
Some actors try to distance themselves from their most popular role (*ahem* Shatner), but from all the pictures I’ve seen on social media in the past day or so, Peter Mayhew truly enjoyed and embraced his association with/as the world’s most famous wookie. As Luke reminds us in the trailer for episode IX, “No one’s ever really gone.” We will always have Mayhew’s iconic performances to remember him by.
Yet it’s hard not to feel like the universe is a little less magic now.
I remember seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater at a very young age and falling in love with ewoks. For most of my life, there were only three Star Wars films (and a brilliant Mel Brooks parody of them). And the vague promise that maybe someday George Lucas would make episodes I-III.
In middle school, I walked out of the bathroom at a local movie theater to see a poster for something called Revenge of the Jedi and got super excited. I didn’t realize it was the original title for Return of the Jedi.
It’s mind-blowing to me that soon there will not only be nine Star Wars films (featuring the main storyline) but there will be a conclusion to Anakin, Luke, Leia, and presumably Rey’s stories. After months of speculation and anticipation, the trailer and title for Star Wars Episode IX was finally revealed at Star Wars Celebration.
Here’s a blow by blow of what’s in the trailer:
–The first thing we see is Rey with Luke’s light saber (good catch by Cinemablend) on a desert planet. The last film in a trilogy can sometimes be about returning to where you started. So this may be Jakku or Tatooine.
–We hear Luke in voiceover: “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.” Great dialogue. So inspiring!
–A title card says: “Every generation has a legend.” Presumably, this is Rey as she is on-screen at the moment and the main protagonist of this trilogy. I love this. Rey is not only a legend in the world of the film, but a legend for a generation of moviegoers.
–Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer races towards Rey as she draws her lightsaber. Rey runs and does a flip, her lightsaber seemingly about to do some major damage to that TIE fighter.
–A title card says: “This Christmas” (The movie comes out December 20.)
–A ship flies over a city near a mountainous location. This is most likely a place we haven’t visited before.
–Kylo Ren takes someone down hard with his lightsaber. I don’t care what anyone says. I think Adam Driver’s a badass.
–A shot of Kylo’s mask being repaired.
–A shot of Finn and Poe on a desert planet, presumably the same one Rey is on. I can’t wait to see these two together again.
–BB-8 with new droid friend D-0.
–Lando Calrissian is back at the controls of the Millennium Falcon and looking as happy to be there as we are to have him there again.
–A title card reads: “The saga comes to an end.” Both a promise and an ominous warning. They are wrapping up this storyline. It will not drag on forever needlessly. But everyone may not make it out of this adventure alive.
–I give up. Take away my nerd card. I don’t know what those vehicles and/or weapons are. Basically, more desert action.
–Poe, Finn, and C-3PO are sailing some kind of ship through the desert and being fired on.
–A ship goes down in flames.
–Someone (Leia?) rubs a rebel alliance medal.
–Leia hugs Rey in the trailer’s most emotional moment.
–Luke (in voiceover) says: “We’ll always be with you.”
–Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, C-3PO, BB-8, and D-0 gaze at the remains of a Death Star. We don’t know if this is the Death Star from episodes IV-VI or a new Death Star.
–In voiceover, Luke says: “No one’s ever really gone.” A comforting sentiment.
–The screen goes black. We hear the wicked laugh of the Emperor/Palpatine. Apparently no one is ever really gone.
–And finally, that beauty of a title: The Rise of Skywalker. Doesn’t it give you chills? There are several theories as to what the title means. Some think a new order of Jedis will be dubbed Skywalkers. I’m with those who are hoping Rey’s heritage will be retconned and she’ll be revealed to be a true Skywalker.
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However, we must take issue with your statement that there won’t be time to pee during Endgame. While we expect that Endgame will be action-packed, emotional, and perhaps our favorite movie of the year, there is ALWAYS time to pee. Since we established the RunPee app in 2009, we have offered Peetimes for over 1500 movies — and all of the MCU movies. We offered Peetimes for roughly 169 movies last year alone, including three Peetimes for Avengers: Infinity War. No offense.
You might want to recall Captain America: Winter Soldier had one of the best Peetimes ever in RunPee history. Not that it was an unnecessary scene, but it was very easy to summarize what happened. You do challenge us to find a scene we can sum up, but we’re up to it. Every time.
You’ve chosen not to give Endgame an intermission, and thus not put it in the same league with masterpieces such as Lawrence of Arabia and 2001: A Space Odyssey. And why would you? It’s only a movie about THE FATE OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.
However, just because you’re not giving people an opportunity to pee doesn’t mean we can’t. We never failed to find a Peetime before and we will not fail now. We will do #WhateverItTakes.
(Don’t worry – we summarize what people will be missing during their few minutes away.)
We will guarantee at least three pee breaks, although two of them may be “emergency-only” Peetimes. But we promise you won’t have to make anyone squirm in their seats during your assuredly excellent movie. We’re superheroes at RunPee too. 🙂
One last thing.
By the way. I am severely disappointed you have not released any footage of Howard the Duck and Spider-Ham helping to save the day, but I trust you are saving that as a surprise for the theatrical release.
We here at RunPee wish you the best and we look forward to watching–and peeing during–Avengers: Endgame.
Hellboy opens on April 12, 2019. It will be the titular character’s third major theatrical adventure. Not sure who Hellboy is? Never heard of the B.P.R.D.? Wondering what’s up with his forehead? No worries. We’ve got you covered.
Here’s what the deal is for the new Hellboy movie:
— Hellboy is a popular comic book character. However, the movie will not be like your typical superhero or comic book movie.
— Hellboy is a half-demon, summoned from hell as a baby by Nazi occultists. His actual Latin name means “And upon his brow is set a crown of flame.” Which brings context to one of the movie posters and an image from the trailer.
— One of Hellboy’s main weapons is his right hand, which is made of stone.
— Hellboy has horns, but he files them off. This is why he has two large round stubs on his forehead.
— Hellboy is destined to bring about the apocalypse, but he rejects that destiny.
— Hellboy was raised by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm like a normal boy.
— Professor Bruttenholm founded the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). Hellboy works for the B.P.R.D.
— Guillermo del Toro made two films featuring the character Hellboy: Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Del Toro chose not to finish what was originally planned to be a trilogy.
— Ron Perlman was the first actor to play Hellboy in the original films. He is famous for playing Vincent in the Beauty and the Beast TV series and Clay on Sons of Anarchy. Perlman said he feels remorse for not completing the trilogy, and that he feels like he let the fans down.
— Doug Jones played fan-favorite character Abe Sapien (an amphibious man) in the original films. The character will not appear in the new movie. Jones was invited to do a cameo but had to decline. He had a scheduling conflict with the shooting schedule for Star Trek: Discovery. He also had an injury which prevented him from taking on the physically demanding role. (Side note: If you ever get the chance, it’s totally worth waiting in line to meet Doug Jones and get an autograph. He’s one of the kindest, most gracious people I’ve met at any of the cons. And why wouldn’t you want to support one of our greatest living character actors?)
— The new movie is a reboot, not a sequel. It stars David Harbour (Sheriff Hopper from Stranger Things) as Hellboy.
— It will be more of a horror film than the original, which was more of a fantasy film.
— The new movie will be more faithful to the comic books. Creator Mike Mignola was a concept artist on the original Hellboy movie. He’s been more involved with the script for the reboot.
— The movie will be bloodier and more adult. In an interview with Empire, Harbour said, “There’s really a sense that you’re actually killing things, even if they are giants or monsters. You’re chopping their heads off, you’re bathing in their blood, and you’re feeling the complex feelings of actually cutting the heart out of another thing. We’re taking the time to deal with the fact that Hellboy is a killer. He’s a weapon.”
— The movie is not an origin story and begins in the middle of the action.
— David Harbour says the stunts made it the hardest shoot he’s ever done.
— The main villain is Blood Witch Nimue, who wants to join the monster world and the human world. The character is played by Milla Jovovich, who’s no stranger to monster movies as the star of the Resident Evil series.
–The main inspiration for the movie is The Wild Hunt storyline from the comics, but there are also elements from Darkness Calls and The Storm and The Fury.
–When the producers were accused of whitewashing, by hiring a white actor to play a Japanese character from the comics, actor Ed Skrein resigned so they could recast the role. Daniel Dae Kim was then cast in the part of Major Ben Daimio.
— The original Hellboy had a girlfriend played by Selma Blair. David Harbour says his version of Hellboy is more isolated and is unable to have sex with humans.
This presumably makes the apocalypse more appealing.
— David Harbour told Empire, “In our movie Hellboy’s younger. He’s rougher. He’s much more of a teenager. He’s really struggling with the idea of whether or not he’s a good person.”
— In an interview with Independent, Harbour compared Hellboy to Hamlet. “On a surface level, he’s an adopted kid from Hell. He was meant to bring about the apocalypse. Yet, he just wants to be a good guy and fight evil. But he has this destiny. That struggle is very Hamlet-esque, even having tones of Coriolanus, where you have this guy who cannot understand his own true nature. Those levels of complexity, if we can bring that to this movie, which we’re trying to do, I think will be really rich.”
— The producers already have loose ideas for sequels.
Be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes and a review for Hellboy, and to find out if there’s anything after the credits. Follow us on Twitter @RunPee to stay up to date on the latest movie news.
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Jordan Peele made a splash with the satiric horror film Get Out and even won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. His new movie Us proves he’s not just a one-hit wonder, but a visionary filmmaker who will keep surprising, delighting, and frightening us for years to come. (He’s already in talks to do a new Candyman film.)
One of the joys of Us is that it lends itself well to multiple viewings. I enjoyed it even more my second time around. There are things you won’t see your first time because you don’t know to look for them. Us is one of the rare films like The Sixth Sense or Memento that practically demands you watch it again immediately. I watched this movie a second time two days after my first watch.
Us — What I Noticed on My Second Viewing
— The movies on the shelf in the opening shot are Goonies, C.H.U.D., A Nightmare on Elm Street (which I thought was The Man With Two Brains because I can’t see well apparently), and some VHS tape I’m not sure anyone has been able to read the title of. A lot of the action in Goonies takes place underground. The monsters in C.H.U.D. live underneath the city. Both of these are Easter eggs foreshadowing the Tethered.
— Adelaide’s father wins her a Thriller t-shirt. Thriller is the video in which Michael Jackson reveals to his girlfriend he secretly has a monster inside him. Just like adult Adelaide secretly has a monster inside her. Or viewed another way, we all have a Tethered self.
— Everything in the movie has a double:
The Vision Quest fun house is later Merlin’s Quest fun house.
The twins are literally doubles of each other and even speak the same. (“Jinx! Double jinx! Triple jinx!”)
The bleeding man on the beach is the double/Tethered of the sign man. (This is confirmed by one of the last shots of the film when we see him holding the Jeremiah 11:11 sign in flashback.)
The families are doubles of each other. One black family, one white family, each with two kids.
— One of the coolest bits of foreshadowing is an overhead shot of the family walking across the beach with their shadows walking beside them.
— The words above both versions of the funhouse door (“Find yourself”) are both foreshadowing and a subtle joke.
— On a second viewing, the rabbits in the cages are even more unsettling because now you know the context.
— When the family first get to the beach house and have dinner, Adelaide is very quiet. She’s reliving her memory of what happened after the fun house incident at Santa Cruz beach. Her parents are talking to a therapist about why Adelaide hasn’t spoken since getting lost at the boardwalk. “I just want my little girl back,” the mother says. Hmmm. That’s the first clue that this isn’t her little girl.
— Adelaide tries to talk Gabe out of going to the beach. He guilts her into going. She finally reaches a compromise: “We leave by dark.” (Um, “Because I don’t want the self whose place I took to try to take it back!”)
— As they drive to the beach, they see paramedics putting a patient into an ambulance. It’s the sign guy (Jeremiah 11:11). This creeps Adelaide out.
— Jason, the son, is making a tunnel out of sand on the beach.
— The frisbee lands on a dot on the beach towel, perfectly covering it up, a visual symbol/metaphor for humans and the Tethered selves that live in the darkness beneath them.
–Jason sees a man on the beach who has blood dripping from his fingers. This is the Tethered of the sign guy and presumably the reason for the sign guy’s injuries. He’s also the only Tethered whose face we get a close up of later when everyone is joining hands. He has a sort of maniacal smile. I believe he’s meant to be a Christ figure. Jeremiah 11:11 (NIV) says, “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.’” When the Tethered sign man is bleeding on the beach, that is him crucified. When he is holding hands with others in the morning light with a rapturous look on his face as humanity is destroyed, that is his resurrection. And he is definitely forsaking mankind, reveling in its destruction. As GameSpot pointed out, he is also the first link in the chain, standing in wait to join hands with the rest of the Tethered.
— Adelaide doesn’t just freak out because Jason is missing. She freaks out because she thinks he went in Merlin’s Forest. She knows that it’s the gateway to the Tethereds’ world.
— The 11:11 on the clock at bedtime disturbs Adelaide because it reminds her of the sign guy and his fate.
— When Adelaide says, “I don’t feel like myself,” Gabe says, “I think you look like yourself.” This line takes on new meaning on a second watch. Because technically she’s not herself.
— When the Tethered family appears in the driveway, Adelaide calls 911 immediately. Not out of irrational fear, but because she knows what they are: their Tethered selves. (There’s a separate theory that Adelaide has repressed the memory of dragging Red/the real Adelaide to the underworld until the end of the movie when it starts to come back to her. And she really only has the memory of seeing a second self in the mirror as a child. I don’t subscribe to that theory.)
— I swear on my second viewing I heard Red say “the girl hated the shadow so much for so long until she realized she was being tested by God.” But I seem to be the only one. Call it the Mandela effect.
–When Red tells Adelaide to tether herself to the table, it’s revenge for Adelaide leaving Red chained to the bed as a child.
— I love the small moments of the Tethered enjoying what they’ve been deprived of. Abraham trying on Gabe’s glasses. Elisabeth Moss’s Dahlia playing with lipstick and trying out different facial expressions in the mirror.
— Umbrae who was born laughing also dies laughing.
— Adelaide follows Red and Jason into Merlin’s Forest. She seems to know the path a little too well and to not be surprised by anything she encounters.
— Red’s creepy, hoarse voice is most likely due to her throat being injured from Adelaide choking her so hard when they were children.
— I’m still confused as to the significance of the ballet recital other than it just looking cool as hell and poetic. I also don’t understand why the dance is what convinced the Tethered to make Red their leader rather than her rare ability to speak.
— Adelaide has a sinister grin on her face after she kills Red. The type of remorselessness we don’t usually associate with our heroes.
— In the ambulance, when Jason looks at his mother, he pulls his mask down. They are both wearing masks now.
I walked into my second viewing wanting to answer one question: Does Jordan Peele play fair?
Initially, I wanted to see if Red’s final monologue made sense once one knew the twist. “We were born special. God brought us together that that night. I never stopped thinking about you, how you could have taken me with you.”
That part still makes sense after the twist. Adelaide could have grabbed Red (the real Adelaide) and walked out of the fun-house with her instead of chaining her to the bed. Presumably. “If it weren’t for you, I never would have danced at all.” This is literally true as it is Adelaide that starts taking dance lessons as part of her parents’ attempt to get her to talk by encouraging her creativity. When Adelaide dances, Red has to dance. In a deeper sense, like Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” Red may not have done much with her surface life if she’d never entered the fun-house. But instead she’s started a revolution that is going to change the world. Something that would never have happened if Adelaide hadn’t switched places with her.
But does Peele play fair with the rest of the film?
Can one reasonably guess at the twist ending from the clues provided? I believe so. I’ve mentioned several clues in this post that all point to the twist. Red’s voice, the mother’s line about wanting her little girl back, Adelaide’s extreme reluctance to return to the beach, her overprotectiveness of Jason at the beach, her immediately calling 911, and Adelaide knowing the entrance to the tunnel system a little too well. I’ve read one reviewer who made the assumption that the girls switched places from the edit the first time he saw the movie. Just like I assumed in The Sixth Sense (SPOILER) Bruce Willis had died from getting shot in the first scene. But soon abandoned that thought as the movie went on.
I definitely recommend seeing Us more than once.
It has earned a place among my favorite horror movie endings of all time. If you really want to jump down the rabbit hole, you can spend hours reading about fan theories, Easter eggs, and symbolism in Us online.
And if you’re a horror fan, be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for Pet Semetary, and upcoming films like The Curse of La Llorona, the Child’s Play remake, and Annabelle Comes Home. You can also find reviews for lots of great horror movies on our blog. Follow us on Twitter@RunPee for the latest movie news.
While Marvel isn’t confirming which films will be filling which dates in Phase 4 until after Avengers: Endgame hits theaters, there are some things we do know. Black Widow’s stand-alone film will be one of them. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will also be one, but it will be a few years away. The newly rehired James Gunn is already committed to writing and directing the Suicide Squad reboot for DC. The Eternals and Dr Strange 2 are both in development. So is a film focusing on the character Shang-Chi. That leaves four mystery films in the nine slots between May 2020 and July 29, 2022.
Here are some things that may happen during Phase 4:
— Black Panther gets a sequel.
This one is a no-brainer. How do you not make a follow-up to one of the most celebrated and successful films of 2018?
— Captain Marvel gets a sequel.
A recent quote from Kevin Feige confirms Carol Danvers has an important role to play in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). “When we found out that Brie Larson might be interested in joining our world, we had a number of meetings. She was a huge fan of the character in the comics. One of the highlights of my career at Marvel was introducing her at Comic-Con and having her come out on stage and stand there with literally almost everybody else from our movies. There she was at the forefront, and it was a great foreshadowing – not just for how audiences are going to embrace Brie as this character, but also for how Captain Marvel is about to take the lead and be at the forefront of the entire Cinematic Universe.”
— Monica Rambeau becomes superhero Photon.
In the movie Captain Marvel, we meet a young Monica Rambeau and her mother Maria. It is worth noting that Maria’s call sign is Photon, the name of the superhero her daughter grows up to be in the comics. This is a possible Easter egg/foreshadowing. Monica may take up the name as a tribute to her mother in a Captain Marvel sequel.
— Ms. Marvel may appear in a movie.
A Captain Marvel sequel set in the present day may also introduce the teenage hero Ms. Marvel, who is inspired by Captain Marvel.
— We may see more of Goose and find out exactly what a flerken is.
Fans are clamoring for more of a certain orange “cat” — and there may be rioting if he doesn’t appear in another Marvel film.
— The Skrull-centered Secret Wars storyline may still happen.
Fans were initially disappointed by the surprise plot twist that happens about halfway through Captain Marvel, because it seemed to dash any hopes of a movie based on the popular Secret Wars story from the comics. However, Kevin Feige has gone on record saying not all Skrulls are good, just as not all humans are necessarily good. Alternatively, some characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may turn out to be Skrulls in disguise. One way or another, we probably haven’t heard the last of the Skrulls.
— A new version of the Avengers is formed.
We will probably be saying goodbye to many of the original Avengers in one form or another in Endgame. In the comics, the Avengers team appeared as many different combinations of heroes. Phase 4 will almost surely usher in a team of new and familiar faces.
— There has to be at least one more Avengers film.
Right? In three years? Right? Right?
— Thor gets a new form.
While Chris Hemsworth’s contract is up after Endgame, Thor has taken many different forms in the comics. He has been a frog and has even been female. As Cinemablend pointed out, different characters have taken on the mantle of Thor by proving their strength by wielding the Mjölnir. The only problem is…the hammer was destroyed. But nothing is ever permanent in the comics, right? (I sure hope not. My girlfriend is gonna be pissed if Gamora doesn’t come back to life.)
— Howard the Duck and Peter Porker the Incredible Spider-Ham star in a buddy comedy.
He’s a duck. He’s a spider-pig. Together, they solve crimes. Hey, a nerd can dream. And until Marvel coughs up the goods, I’m sticking to this story.
— Okay, fine, fine. What’s more likely is…Marvel finally makes their X-Men movie.
Years ago, when Marvel was not doing well financially (hard to imagine now), they sold the film rights to Spider-Man to Sony, and they sold the film rights to X-Men to Fox. Now that Disney acquired Fox, the X-Men could become part of the MCU. The new Dark Phoenix trailers look like this might be a fitting conclusion to the Fox series of X-Men films. The stage is set for Marvel to finally make their own X-Men movie, something that may be unlike anything we’ve seen so far.
But honestly, do you really want another X-Men movie, or do you want to see Howard and Spider-Ham in the feel-good hit of the summer?
To stay up to date on all the latest Marvel news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @RunPee. Be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and all the Phase 4 movies.
Even before Captain Marvel began battling the Skrulls in theaters on March 7, she was facing another foe online: internet trolls. On Rotten Tomatoes, the comment section for the Marvel film was filled with negative reviews before it opened.
Some were most likely in response to comments star Brie Larson had made about diversity and inclusivity among film critics, wanting to see more than just the opinions than middle-aged white men represented. Some were probably the usual gang of misogynists who show up with torches and pitchforks whenever a female is the lead in a genre picture. (See: Ghostbusters 2016, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the new season of Doctor Who, etc.)
Rotten Tomatoes recently instituted a new policy that no longer allows the general public to review a movie before its official release date. (Rotten Tomatoes insists this was not done on behalf of Captain Marvel specifically.) Within hours of Captain Marvel‘s premiere, it had tens of thousands of reviews and an audience rating of 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Compared to a rating of 81% by the critics.) The internet trolls had sandbagged it.
As The Hollywood Reporter noted, Captain Marvel had already amassed more audience reviews than Avengers: Infinity War did in its entire run.
Rotten Tomatoes is now saying thousands of those numbers were reviews submitted before the movie opened, and a bug in their system accidentally let them through. They have now been deleted. But the audience score for the film still hovered around 55% throughout opening weekend. (As of this writing, it is up to 62%.)
Fandango also appears to still be attracting trolls with vague but hateful reviews like the following:
ABSOLUTE GARBAGE FOR THE BRAIN
Femimism destroys brain cells. Don’t subject yourself to this POS movie.
WASTE OF MONEY
Sick of SJW’s taking over every single darn escape from reality entertainment avenue
HATED IT WORSE THAN MY CAT DYING OF KITTY AIDS
IT WAS TRASH
It was 100% sjw trash. wish i could give less than 1 star
Captain Marvel won this round, as the movie made $153 million on opening weekend. It won the top box office slot two weekends in a row. And it made over $760 million worldwide at this point. Furthermore, Rotten Tomatoes is now planning to create a way to have users verify they’ve seen a movie before being allowed to leave a review.
Carol Danvers isn’t the only Marvel hero to face backlash. The whole world seemed to be excited for Black Panther‘s release last February, but not everyone was. Facebook banned a group called “Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys.” The group planned to bring down the audience score for the movie on Rotten Tomatoes because of concerns about minorities and “social justice warrior” messages. The Facebook ban didn’t stop thousands of trolls from going to the Internet Movie Database to give Black Panther a 1 out of 10, the lowest rating possible — before it even opened. Not that anyone noticed, most likely with the flood of positive reviews coming in for this record-breaking film.
The popular Star Wars franchise is not immune from trolls either. The hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII was started by a few internet trolls who opposed a woman and a black man starring in a Star Wars film.
Daisy Ridley left social media after an Instagram post was deemed by fans to be too political, and she was attacked for it. Kelly Marie Tran left Instagram after trolls repeatedly left hateful, racist, and sexist comments on her page because they didn’t like her character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The 2016 all-female reboot of Ghostbusters faced some of the worst trolling. IMDb users down-voted it to a 3.7 out of 10 before it opened. Leslie Jones eventually left Twitter for a period of time, because she was receiving death threats and unspeakably racist messages and images.
So far, Tessa Thompson (from Thor: Ragnarok) doesn’t seem to be receiving the same treatment for Men In Black International. Perhaps because she’s “only” the co-star, and not the sole lead. Most YouTube comments on the trailer bemoan the absence of Will Smith. Only a very few complain that a woman shouldn’t star in a movie called MEN in Black, or that the movie is pushing a social justice warrior message. (Seriously? Have you seen how goofy the trailer is?)
Marvel is looking to cast their first openly gay male lead for The Eternals, and unfortunately he’ll probably have to deal with the trolls too.
I’m excited to live in a time when there is so much diversity and representation on-screen. This past year, there were an amazing amount of films written by, directed by, and starring people of color. There was a record number of Oscar wins by both women and black people this year. How is that not exciting to people? I don’t understand people who see a political agenda in a well-made movie, just because it features a woman or someone who’s not Caucasian. I hate that anyone tries to put a damper on the enthusiasm of fans who are passionate about something.
I’ll give the last word on this to Clark Gregg (MCU’s Agent Coulson) who described haters as “butthurt” and “dinosaurs heading towards the tar pits.”
Follow RunPee on Twitter (@RunPee) to stay up to date on all the news about Captain Marvel and other superheroes. Be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for Captain Marvel and upcoming movies like Dumbo and Shazam.
This year’s Sundance Film Festival recently concluded. [pullquote]The celebration of independent cinema has been going strong for 41 years[/pullquote]. Even though the Oscars for 2019 haven’t been handed out yet, the Oscar race for 2020 has officially begun. Past Oscar nominees and winners Little Miss Sunshine, Manchester By the Sea, and The Big Sick, among others, have premiered at Sundance. This year, 121 films were screened over ten days in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Sundance Film Festival:
The festival opened with After the Wedding, director Bart Freundlich’s adaptation of the 2006 foreign film of the same name. The drama starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Moore got disappointing reviews.
Chinonye Chukwu became the first black woman to win the Grand Jury Prize for her film Clemency. In the movie, Alfre Woodard plays a prison warden haunted by all the death row executions she’s carried out.
The Souvenir won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize. The movie is about a film student finding her voice, while dealing with a complicated relationship that threatens her future. Written and directed by Joanna Hogg, the movie stars Tilda Swinton and her daughter Honor Swinton Byrne. A sequel is already planned that will add Twilight star Robert Pattinson.
One Child Nation, directed by Zhang Lynn and Nanfu Wang, won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. The movie focuses on China’s one-child policy and the effect it had on generations of families.
Honeyland (not to be confused with the drama Honey Boy) won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. It focuses on the last female bee hunter in Europe who must save the bees and restore natural balance when something goes wrong. The movie was directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov.
Brittany Runs a Marathon won the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film. The inspirational comedy, written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo, stars Jillian Bell as a woman trying to take control of her life by running.
Queen of Hearts, directed by May el-Toukhy, won the Audience Award for World Cinema Dramatic film. The movie is a tragedy about a woman who seduces her stepson.
Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears, won the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary. The movie follows four young women, most notably Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who dare to challenge incumbent candidates for their seats in Congress. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was not able to attend the screening of Knock Down the House due to complications with the government reopening. However, she surprised the audience by joining a Q & A after the film, via web conference. The movie provoked an emotional response from the audience and received a standing ovation.
Sea of Shadows, directed by Richard Ladkani, won the Audience Award for World Documentary. The film is about efforts to save the vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, and end criminal practices that are damaging its habitat.
The most anticipated film going into the festival was Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, a biopic of serial killer Ted Bundy starring Zac Efron and told from the POV of Bundy’s girlfriend. Although the movie received mixed reviews, Netflix purchased it for $9 million dollars after the festival.
Blinded by the Light was this year’s most expensive acquisition. It was sold to New Line for $15 million and set a new festival record for the most money spent on a film. The movie is about a teenage Pakistani boy in England in the ‘80s who’s obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. The film was directed by Gurinder Chadha, who directed the feel-good hit Bend It Like Beckham.
Amazon spent the most money, setting a record with $46 million dollars total. Amazon bought one of the movies with the most buzz going into the festival, The Report, for $14 million. The Report is about an investigation into the CIA’s torture practices following 9/11. It stars Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, and Annette Bening, and was written and directed by Scott Z. Burns.
Amazon also bought two of the biggest comedies at the fest: Brittany Runs a Marathon, acquired for $14 million, and Late Night, acquired for $13 million. Late Night, directed by Nisha Ganatra, stars Emma Thompson as a TV talk show host who clashes with a new writer, played by actual writer-producer of the film, Mindy Kaling.
In addition, Amazon paid around $5 million for the Shia LaBeouf film Honey Boy, directed by Alma Ha’rel. LaBeouf wrote the autobiographical film, in which he plays his own father, as a way of exorcising his demons. The movie got a standing ovation at its premiere.
The most controversial film at the festival was the documentary Leaving Neverland, a four-hour two-part documentary about two men who claim to have been sexually abused by the late pop star Michael Jackson, as children. After death threats and talks of protest, extra security and police presence were added to the screening. There were also counselors available at the screening. The premiere only attracted two protesters. A premiere in Salt Lake City the next day attracted eight. In early January, Jackson’s family decried the film as “just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.” After the screenings, they released an official statement speaking out against the film. Leaving Neverland, directed by Dan Reed, will air on HBO this spring.
The dramedy The Farewell, written and directed by Lulu Wang, was one of the most popular films at the festival. It was acquired by A24 for an amount rumored to be around six or seven million dollars. The movie stars Awkwafina from Crazy Rich Asians. It’s about a family that decides to keep a matriarch’s cancer diagnosis from her, to lessen the sting of death. The movie will probably get a theatrical release this summer.
Documentaries did well at the festival, too.
Ava DuVernay’s company ARRAY acquired the documentary MERATA, about the Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, who was the first indigenous woman to direct her own movie. Hulu acquired The Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary from director Ben Berman. The film focuses on the stand-up comic/magician of the title.
Sony Pictures Classics acquired the documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” A.J. Eaton is the director. Cameron Crowe, director of Almost Famous and Singles, known for his love of rock and roll, is a producer. Crosby is best known for his work with the band Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
Hail Satan? was acquired by Magnolia Pictures in November and is planning a spring release in the U.S. The humorous documentary follows The Satanic Temple as they try to uphold religious pluralism.
Magnolia Pictures is also the distributor for the documentary Ask Dr. Ruth. Ask Dr. Ruth may not have made as big a splash as expected. I could not find much reporting on it from the festival. We will have to wait and see if it becomes as popular as RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Liza Mandelup won a special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker for Jawline, a documentary about social media fame.
Mads Brügger won the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary for Cold Case Hammarskjöld. The twisty documentary focuses on the investigation of the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Warning: This trailer is a little bit graphic.
Jacqueline Olive was presented with a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency for her film Always in Season. The film deals with the subject of lynching.
Warning: disturbing content.
Luke Lorentzen received a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography for Midnight Family. The documentary follows a Mexican family who run a private ambulance service, as they struggle to make ends meet in a competitive market.
Netflix acquired American Factory for $3 million dollars. The documentary is about a Chinese company that opens a factory in a shuttered General Motors plant. The movie follows the culture clash of Chinese and American workers working together, as well as the American workers trying to adapt to newer technology.
Ursula Macfarlane’s documentary Untouchable, which chronicles Harvey Weinstein’s years of alleged sexual abuse of women, also debuted at Sundance. The festival is where Weinstein picked up many of Miramax’s hits including Clerks, Reservoir Dogs, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. However, he is now no longer welcome there.
Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary Apollo 11 got a Special Jury Award for Editing. The film recreates the space mission, including audio and video the public has never experienced before.
Alexandre O. Phillipe screened his film Memory: The Origin of Alien which examined Ridley Scott’s horror classic. I couldn’t find any information on whether this film has a distributor or not. However, Phillipe is an established director who made 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene about Psycho a few years ago. I predict this movie will be playing on the big or small screen by the end of the year.
Showtime acquired the four-part documentary Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men ahead of the festival.
Directed by Sacha Jenkins, the docu-series tells the history of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan. The first two parts of the series premiered at the fest. The living members of the group were in attendance.
Warning: adult language.
Netflix premiered The Great Hack as a work-in-progress. The documentary from directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer focuses on the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data breach.
Sony Picture Classics acquired the documentary Where Is My Roy Cohn? about the lawyer whose clients included Joseph McCarthy and even Donald Trump. The movie was directed by Matt Tyrnauer.
Halston, a documentary about the American fashion designer, and sold to the company formerly known as The Orchard Film Group, has yet to be renamed. The film will get a theatrical release this spring, be broadcast on CNN in the third quarter of the year, and later stream on Amazon. The movie was directed by Frédéric Tcheng.
Other notable Sundance films include:
Patrick Brice premiered the horror movie Corporate Animals, starring Demi Moore and Ed Helms. Polygon described it as “The Office, but gory.” It does not appear to have a distributor yet.
Neon and Topic Films went in together to acquire the film Luce. Luce was directed by Julius Onah and adapted from JC Lee’s play. The psychological thriller stars Naomi Watts and Tim Roth, as parents whose adopted child’s identity is called into question.
Netflix premiered the new Dan Gilroy film Velvet Buzzsaw. Like his critically acclaimed movie Nightcrawler, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s a horror movie set in the art world. It got mixed reviews at the festival, but now that it’s available on Netflix, Twitter is having fun with it.
Warning: graphic images and disturbing content.
Apple bought its first film, writer-director Minhal Baig’s Hala. It is unclear whether the movie is going straight to iTunes or will have a theatrical release. The film is a coming of age story about a teenage girl trying to reconcile her Muslim faith with her love of skateboarding, and her crush on the boy next door.
Harmony Korine’s latest film, the much-anticipated Beach Bum starring Matthew McConaughey as a Florida poet who seems too busy drinking and doing drugs to write, screened at the festival. It has a cool lineup of a supporting cast, including Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Buffett. I could not find any reviews of the film, however. It entered the festival with a distributor already (Neon), and will hit theaters in March. That’s when we’ll find out if the McConaissance continues.
Warning: contains language, drug use, and naked McConaughey butt.
Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live fame got rave reviews for his performance in Big Time Adolescence, written and directed by Jason Orley. Unfortunately, the film has not been picked up for distribution.
HBO bought the movie Native Son ahead of its premiere at Sundance. The movie was directed by visual artist Rashid Johnson, and adapted from Richard Wright’s classic novel by playwright Susan Lori-Parks (best known for her Broadway play Topdog/Underdog). It updates the tragic story of Bigger Thomas to a modern setting. Native Son will play on HBO sometime later this year.
A24 premiered Joe Talbot’s film The Last Black Man in San Francisco. The movie stars Talbot’s friend Jimmie Fails. The two of them wrote the film together, loosely basing it on Fails’ attempt to move back into and restore his childhood home. The movie deals with the theme of gentrification. It received a standing ovation at its premiere and won the Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic film.
Neon acquired the horror film The Lodge for around $2 million. It is the English language debut for directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. The pair previously made the movie Goodnight Mommy (which is creepy as hell and one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen). The movie stars Riley Keough from American Honey and will be released later this year. The movie is about two children trapped in a cabin with their future stepmother, the survivor of a religious cult.
Neon and Hulu acquired Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters in a mid-seven-figure deal. The horror comedy stars Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergarten teacher defending her class against zombies.
Neon also acquired the U.S. rights for Monos, a thriller about a group of Latin American rebels and their American hostage. The movie was directed by Alejandro Landes and stars Julianne Nicholson. It received a World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award.
HBO acquired Share, for seven figures. It was written and directed by Pippa Bianco, who received the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. The film is about a cellphone video that appears to show a sexual assault, which gets widely shared. The movie was also honored with a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting.
IFC Films bought the drama Official Secrets, directed by Gavin Hood. The movie stars Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, and is based on British secret service officer/whistle blower Katherine Gunn, who tried to stop the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Babak Anvari premiered his new horror film Wounds, starring Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson. It’s about a bartender who starts to suffer from supernatural phenomena once he picks up a stranger’s cellphone. Some reviewers hate it. Some hate the ending, but like the mood of it. All agree it is deeply weird. So was Hammer’s way of promoting the film: dropping fake dead cockroaches on the floor at parties around the festival.
Amazon premiered crowd-pleaser Troop Zero starring Viola Davis, Allison Janney, and Jim Gaffigan. Directed by Bert & Bertie, the movie is an underdog story about a girl who wants to win a national competition to get her voice on NASA’s golden record, and rallies her scout troop to help her.
Paradise Hills might be the most surreal movie to come out of the festival. It sounds like pure eye candy. Vulture called it this year’s “most bonkers” Sundance movie. It stars Emma Roberts, and features Awkwafina in a dystopian world.
Which of these films will make it to next year’s Oscars ceremony?