Mel Brooks Calls Political Correctness the ‘Death of Comedy’
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a middle-aged white comedian sits down for an interview and starts complaining about the things he can’t say onstage. This isn’t exactly a new complaint in the stand-up industry. For years, the old guard of legendary comedians have argued that modern audiences are too sensitive these days to the detriment of comedy; and sure, while there are certainly those who look for offense in any commentary — no matter how benign — it’s more than a little frustrating to hear some comedians claim that their decades-old material isn’t funny anymore.
Weekend Box Office Report: Weirdest. Labor Day Weekend. Ever.
In a weekend where no new releases cracked the Top 10 and six movies maintained their exact spot in the rankings, you’d think there would be less news worth sharing. That isn’t quite the case. Sure, as sites like Box Office Mojo have noted, this is a historically bad Labor Day Weekend for movies in theaters, but it’s also a uniquely static weekend for releases, one that even required me to create a second chart just to capture all the data points. Let’s start as we always do, with the box office grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
Watch This Super-Sized Behind-the-Scenes ‘It’ Featurette
If the early buzz is to be believed, fans couldn’t get any more excited for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Not only does the film have one of the most-watched movie trailers of all time, and is also projected to make over $60 million in its opening weekend, it’s also coming into theaters riding a wave of impressive reviews. And somehow, the movie has done all of this without tipping its hand on some of the most impressive scares. All of this for an R-rated horror movie about children being jeopardized. We’ve come a long way since the original miniseries, America.
Watch Hulk Smash in This New ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Clip
I’d like to think I’m not prone to hyperbole, so believe me when I say I’m putting all my remaining Marvel eggs in the Thor: Ragnarok basket. Sure, I’ve more-or-less enjoyed most of the movies in the franchise — this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, for example, might be one of their best yet — but superhero movies are like anything else: the more you ingest, the less you enjoy it the next time around. If Marvel is going to continue making these movies until the sun explodes, then I’m ready for things to get a little bit weird, and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is the right person to deliver.
Legendary Comedian Jerry Lewis Dies at 91
Today the world of comedy lost one of its brightest stars. Jerry Lewis was no stranger to controversy during his decades-long career, but his impact on both Hollywood and comedy in general cannot be denied. From his early days as Dean Martin’s partner-in-crime to his career-capping turn in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy — and countless box office success in the interim — Lewis’s impact on Hollywood will be a source of much discussion for years to come.
Watch a Special Father’s Day Teaser for ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’
This has been a good weekend for Planet of the Apes fans. Not only did we get our first look at some of the early buzz for the final film in the trilogy — buzz that suggest that War for the Planet of the Apes might just be the best and bleakest movie in the series yet — we’ve also been treated to a special Father’s Day trailer that explores the universal truths of fathers, sons, and legacy. Sentient apes or human, we’re all just trying to leave behind a better world for our children.
Weekend Box Office Report: All Hail The Truly Wondrous ‘Wonder Woman’
Based on how this weekend’s box office numbers shaped up, odds are good that you either saw Wonder Woman this weekend or you avoided the theater altogether. It was a record-setting few days for everyone’s favorite warrior princess — sorry, Xena — but things were decidedly less rosy if your movie was… well, literally anything else. Here are the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
See Our Horrifying Future Through Dan Stevens’ Eyes in the New ‘Kill Switch’ Trailer
To a certain extent, first-person cinema has always been Hollywood at its most uninspired. “What do kids like? Video games. What do video games have? First-person camera angles. Therefore, if we create first-person movies, then all that sweet, sweet video game money is ours for the taking!” The truth, of course, is a little trickier than that. The format can work when a filmmaker finds a way to give its perspective narrative importance — Unfriended is a strong example of this — but too often, the first-person perspective is a neat trick that quickly tired audiences out (sorry, Hardcore Henry).
Anthony Hopkins Is Pretty Chill in This New ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Clip
With the recent announcement that Transformers: The Last Knight would be hitting theaters two days earlier — moving from Friday, June 23 to Wednesday, June 21 — fans are closer than ever to seeing their favorite Autobots (and humans) throw down against a reluctantly evil Optimus Prime. This is the summer of heel turns by beloved franchise characters; first we saw Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto betray his family in The Fate of the Furious, and now we’re counting down the days until Optimus Prime stabs Bumblebee in the face. Rough summer for heroes, it would seem.
James Cameron Announces the Release Dates for the Four ‘Avatar’ Sequels
It’s been nearly eight years since James Cameron’s Avatar took the global box office by storm, and while it’s become très chic for some corners of the internet to endlessly bash Avatar, I still maintain my stubborn affection for Cameron’s movie. Very few filmmakers can create action-driven science-fiction that operates at Cameron’s level; just look at how many times people have messed up Cameron’s Terminator franchise, a near-flawless formula for blockbuster movies that studios have nevertheless run directly into the ground. We may laugh at Cameron’s planned sequels, but they are both original (technically!) and creator-driven movies. Isn’t that what we claim to want from Hollywood?