It’s the hype train! All aboooooooard, the hype train is leaving the station!
Yes indeed, Disney are reportedly so pleased with Rian Johnson—writer-director of this year’s Star Wars instalment, The Last Jedi—that they have reportedly granted him leave to create his own trilogy within that vast universe.
Here’s the thing: Personally I am quite ambivalent about the new Star Wars movies. Especially what with the whole annualised release schedule thing that Disney have got going on. I’m gonna go ahead and quote myself here:
I’m sick of it already. Once they were mythical monoliths. Still products of a money-oriented business, sure, but there is something about the assembly-line Disney-ification of the Star Wars franchise that fills me with dread. Like any remaining magic is being slowly and methodically drained out. There was good in The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but it seemed like it was in spite of the controlling hand of the puppet master, rather than because of it. Call me a cynic, sure, but the recent Han Solo movie news about the firing of Lord & Miller looks too much like the stifling hand of corporate control hovering heavily over the restless spirit of invention. I don’t care if this time it’s Larry Kasdan, long-time Star Wars auteur. You’re gonna end up grinding this series into the dust if you’re not careful.
The potential ray of light on the horizon is The Last Jedi, and that is for one main reason: Rian Johnson. Johnson is a wonderfully gifted filmmaker—if you haven’t seen Brick, for the love of god do so now—but Disney being so happy with his work could mean one of two things:
1) He has delivered an original, exciting Star Wars movie that will inject into the series some much-needed magic and that bodes well for the rejuvenation going forward.
2) He has kept his head down, he hasn’t rocked the boat, and in the process he has created a safe, Disney-approved product that will be entertaining enough without inspiring any great passion.
As writer-director of The Last Jedi, Johnson conceived and realized a powerful film of which Lucasfilm and Disney are immensely proud. In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.
«We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,» said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. «He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.»
On an additional note, Mark Hamill recently said of Johnson:
Rian, what a blessing that guy is. He is unassuming and amiable. I’ve never seen him raise his voice. I’ve never heard him curse. I have never heard him humiliate anybody else in front of the entire crew.
Considering how much the industry is being forced to reckon with its endemic culture of toxic masculinity at the moment, wow—what a breath of fresh air that sounds like eh?
Like covers of “Imagine,” that “Melrose Place” reboot and fanny packs, sometimes it’s best to just let the original speak for itself…and never try to revive it. So when word got out that the same production team behind Jersey Shorewere heading to the Florida Panhandle to revive it in the form of Floribama Shore, some people thought that might not work. Especially the original Jersey Shore wrecks cast.
Buzzfeed reports that fans were a little outraged that GTL might get replaced with G&T, and the Jersey Shore cast, who could barely unite on what L detergent to buy, suddenly were in unison shitting on the new show. The Situation tweeted out a message saying any revival should come with the original cast. The Situation is certainly worried about the show’s new quality and is definitely not just looking for a way to pay back taxes,
It got retweeted by everyone except Ronnie, who Buzzfeed says is not very active on Twitter, which I read between the lines to mean he doesn’t know how to work Twitter. The Situation also fired off on how the cast had NOT been consulted, which is a shame since that group kind of invented beachside bar barfing followed by more shots of Patron. It’s criminal that all reality shows don’t hire as the McKinsey & Co. of projectile vomiting to show their cast members how to hurl up fifteen vodka sodas without messing up their Bump-It. Speaking of Bump-Its, Snooki mouthed off to someone who said they were too old to head back to the Shore:
I’m 29, 2 kids, Married & can still funnel wine and do cartwheels on the dance floor. We aren’t dead Bundy https://t.co/uTmrJGJIjm
Snooki’s not a regular mom, y’all. She’s a cool mom who totally sends her kids off to college with four big bottles of Arbor Mist Apricot she doesn’t want. The cast has continued to like articles shitting on the Southern spinoff, and JWoww posted an article on her website that also says Floribama Shore is a grotsky wannabe. MTV, don’t you know you have a legacy to uphold?! How dare you sully the irreplaceable good name of airbrushed T-shirt shops, Jägerbombs, and binge drinking with a show about… airbrushed T-shirt shops, Jägerbombs, and binge drinking?
Jay Cutler on Sunday Night Football may sound like a disaster for most fans, but there’s one person in attendance who’s hyped to see Smokin’ Jay shut down the haters — Kristin Cavallari. Mrs. Cutler made sure to hit IG and drop a #FinsUp before opening kickoff:
Now will Kristin actually see Jay lead the Phins to an upset victory over the Raiders? Sure, anything is possible and the Raiders aren’t exactly bulletproof. But even if that doesn’t come to fruition Kristin got to see Jay’s bum on the big screen:
On Friday, the epic cast of the upcoming Justice League movie posed for a few selfies during a photocall for the film out in London. Jason Momoa, who plays Aquaman, held out a phone while his castmates Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) made silly faces in the background. The adorable cast looked like one big happy family wearing matching red flower pins. Scroll through to see more photos from the fun event.
True story: I spent a significant portion of my honeymoon sitting in a hotel bathrobe, eating room service and watching the old Fox X-Men kids cartoon with my husband. I was making up for lost time. You see, growing up, I didn’t really get to watch it — our antenna didn’t pick up Fox clearly, so I’d sit around on Saturday mornings, squinting through the static to try and make out what was happening in the episodes. That theme song, though? That always came through crystal clear.
The point is, today marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of X-Men, which debuted October 31st, 1992. It’s easy to view X-Men as just another cog in the massive Marvel entertainment machine, but back then Marvel only had one television hit to its name: the campy late 70s The Incredible Hulk show. And this show was a tough sell: a Saturday morning cartoon aimed at kids that was more concerned with respecting the challenging source material than with selling merchandise. The Hollywood Reporter has released an in-depth look at the classic cartoon to commemorate its birthday, loaded with interviews from the creators and voice actors. And it turns out there is a lot to learn about a quarter-century old kids cartoon! Like, did you know it was the gateway to The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers hitting the U.S. airwaves? It was! But I didn’t watch that show, so whatever.
Here are some behind-the-scenes tidbits that actually ARE interesting, though! Like did you know that the voice actors who portrayed Charles Xavier and Jean Grey had a kid together in real life?
Catherine Disher (Jean Grey): My son, who is 24, was born during the X-Men years. His father voiced Charles Xavier, so it was great for him in grade school. He’d tell everyone that his Mom and Dad where Jean Grey and Professor X. They made these beautiful jackets for the cast based on our characters. I was pregnant at the time and we didn’t know the gender, so they made one for my child entitled, «Baby X.»
And the guy who played Gambit maybe took his role a little too seriously:
Chris Potter (Gambit): I was delivering dialogue in very extreme circumstances that the X-Men would encounter. I was often asking myself, «How would a Cajun sound when he’s hit in the chest with a laser beam and slams into a parked car?»
On the ways the Batman cartoon totally had it easy compared to X-Men:
Sidney Iwanter, former Fox Kids executive: [Fellow Fox Kids show] Batman absolutely had more financial resources to draw from. Whereas X-Men had to abide by the Fox license deal for each episode, Batman could go well above that and really not worry too much. It had the deep pockets of Warners to cover any production cost over runs. This enabled the Batman series much more time in both animation production and post production. X-Men was basically as ragtag and hurried as any normal Saturday morning boys action adventure production. A single hiccup down the line could cost thousands and send the broadcast schedule over the cliff. X-Men did not have a cushion for too many mishaps. Maybe that attests to its rawness.
Part of what makes this kids cartoon so re-watchable for adults isn’t the nostalgia factor — it’s the easter eggs. And they were absolutely intentional:
Larry Houston, director: Some of my favorite easter eggs [in the show] were the unexpected ones that I added for the fans, like Doctor Strange, Deadpool, the Black Panther, all of whom are now superstars in their own feature films. I never added cameos if it distracted from the main story. … The powers that be did stop me from adding a Spider-Man cameo though, so I had to sneak him into another episode, but it was just an arm, shooting webbing to save someone off-camera from falling debris. I never asked for official permission again and I never stopped adding cameos. … That first season, we were operating way below the radar of everyone’s concern, unproven, not a hit yet, which was the best place to be, for all of us involved.
On the cartoon’s revolutionary serialized storytelling:
Iwanter: Serialized storytelling had never been attempted before on Saturday morning or if it had, certainly not on this level. A story arc that extends over weeks adds all sorts of new wrinkles to the mix. Will the shows be able to run in sequence? What happens if there is a production problem and show five is ready before show two? How would our young demographic deal with an episode that doesn’t clearly end but leaves the viewer in suspense for a week? How does one bring in a viewer who might have missed the first several episodes into the show’s storyline? Hence the now quite ubiquitous invention of the X-Men’s «Previously on…» recap.
Julia Lewald, writer: The unsung hero behind those precious 20 seconds that were at the beginning of those episodes was Sharon Janice, the editor who took on it herself with no direction to cut together those «Previously on X-Men…» bits.
Cal Dodd (Wolverine): What other animated series had, ‘Previously on X-Men?’ You didn’t get that with Popeye or Bugs Bunny. The storytelling was very adult, it was brilliant.
And of course, Hollywood is still Hollywood, even when it comes to Saturday morning kids cartoons:
Will Meugniot, artist/producer: Our show demonstrated that the Marvel universe, as a whole, had commercial value far beyond what anybody estimated. X-Men was getting primetime numbers on Saturday morning. In our time slot, we were doing business nobody had done since the ’70s. Fox had this 1, 2, 3 in ratings. Batman as a daily show lit the fuse for them. They hadn’t been doing very well as a network until they got Batman and Animaniacs and those shows. Then X-Men kind of kicked it to the next level, by giving them a big, solid weekend show.
Eric Lewald, showrunner: The Hollywood normalcy is you provide a number one hit and the money starts flowing. What happened with us was we had a number one hit, but it was four or five companies working on this. One of them was Saban. What he did after the first season was cut $ 500 off the script fee for the writers.
Julia Lewald: Me being one of the writers.
Eric Lewald: His rationale was, «it’s a hit. They want to be part of it, so they’ll take less money.»
Julia Lewald: «And if not, there’s a line out the door of people who will.»
Seriously, the whole THR piece is delightful — full of stories about the voice actors hanging out and getting cast in the X-Men movies, or the push for more Wolverine curtains, and even the struggle to nail down the title sequence. And if it just makes you want to go and re-watch the show (pssst it’s on Hulu)… is that a bad thing, really?
TMZ says that on Saturday at 9pm, 62-year-old actor Christopher McDonald was arrested in the Lake Arrowhead, CA area. An eyewitness says Christopher drove his silver Porsche off the highway, crashed into a gas meter at a Stater Bros. supermarket, and ended up in an embankment. When police arrived, the witness claims Christopher McDonald informed them he was in Happy Gilmore. Probably a safer bet that, let’s say, Thelma’s shitty husband from Thelma & Louise.
The witness tells TMZ that police weren’t impressed that Christopher McDonald name-dropped Happy Gilmore. Yeah, of course not. After all, Shooter McGavin has been rumored to eat pieces of shit for breakfast. Police took him to a nearby jail, where he slept it off and was released without bail.
Christopher was arrested for DUI in 2013 in North Carolina after blowing almost double the legal limit.
Since Christopher didn’t pay bail, maybe that line about Happy Gilmore did get him out of trouble. It sounds like Christopher McDonald has a system that works. But what if next time he’s too drunk to remember? Well, that’s easy; he should keep a DVD copy of Happy Gilmore tucked into the visor. That way, when he crashes his Porsche, it will fall into his lap and remind him. Maybe he could also tape a little note to it that says, “Hey Shooter, next time use a driver. Get it? Driver? No, but seriously, stop driving drunk, asshole.”
The Battle of the Hot Hollywood Chrises has absolutely NOT been won, despite what some (wrong) people may believe. And maybe it never will be won, so long as hot guys named Chris still regularly put out movies featuring their multitude of charms. But while Pine may rise or Pratt may fall, Chris Evans will continue to be victor in my heart of hearts. Because ultimately, the Battle of the Chrises isn’t an objective conflict at all. It exists purely inside of all of us — like a bunch of buff Santas we can all argue about.
But when did Chris Evans become… so Chris Evansy? Until he landed his role as Captain America in the MCU, he mostly flew under the radar. Sure, he was always good looking — he’s an actor, after all — but it was his humor that seemed to land him parts more than his appearance. He certainly didn’t always make women lose their trains of thought or inspire grown-ass men sign up for gym memberships.
So let’s take a look back through the career of Chris Evans and try to pinpoint when he became the fucking BEST. Is this just an excuse to stage an elaborate mid-week thirst trap gif-storm, masquerading as an «investigation»? Only you can decide.
Evans had appeared in a few things before this, mostly on television, but the first time most of us will remember seeing him was in this genre parody flick. His character was mash-up of Freddie Prinze Jr. in She’s All That and James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues. And he fucking WENT FOR IT. Not only did he completely sell the script-flipped whipped cream sexualization scene, but he managed to make a real, believable character out of a series of film clichés. And while he had the looks to headline his own for-real teen movie, it speaks to his underlying talents that he managed to nail a comedy one right out of the gate. Also? Let’s just say it. He out-Prinze Jr.ed Freddie Prinze Jr.
Evans continued to build his career, turning in solid performances in films like Cellular and The Perfect Score, but it wasn’t until he donned his first full spandex hero suit as Johnny Storm that people really seemed to take notice of him. And sure — a dude with fiery superpowers is gonna spend some time undressed. But even here, where Evans is undeniably playing the hot (pun intended!) playboy superhero, it’s his comedic timing more than his physique that made him so much fun to watch. He was shallow and kinda dumb but also expressed such visceral joy in his new powers that you couldn’t help but be invested in him. Let’s face it — the Fantastic Four movies weren’t very good, but Chris Evans was absolutely great in them.
In this stunning sci-fi film from director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, Evans steps into what might be one of the greatest cast ensembles ever assembled (suck it, Avengers!). It a film not that many people talk about anymore — or if they do, it’s to reference how visually gorgeous it is while bemoaning its Event Horizon-esque slide into horror during the climax. For what it’s worth, Sunshine happens to be one of my favorite movies, precisely for the way it grounds the plot in the «science» of sci-fi while complicating it with the specter of everything we still don’t understand. And while Evans goes from angry/bearded to angry/clean-shaven through the course of the film, his looks are entirely beside the point (or as beside the point as they can be when anyone looks as good as Chris Evans). Hell, they’re actively undercut! Have you ever seen a dude wearing sandals in space? It’s… unsettling. But his character ends up being the unlikeable hero of the entire film — the hardass who happens to be 100% correct the whole time. The only one with his mind fully on the mission. He’s not funny here, or at least not intentionally so (seeing him ugly-fight Cillian Murphy is worth a few chuckles), but the film is proof that Evans has the talent to stand out amongst a group of actors’ actors without relying on his looks or his comedic timing.
Which still makes him pretty hot, to be honest.
Oh, the franchise that could have been! This movie has been so forgotten that I could barely find any .gifs, and certainly none that could do Chris Evans justice. Still, he was undeniably the lead in the movie and I loved it so fuck it — it’s going on this list. Evans played a guy with very little control over his telekinetic powers. Push also starred a teenaged Dakota Fanning as a girl who could see the future and draw it… poorly. It was basically a full-cloth reimagining of the X-Men, only without the spandex or mentors or teamwork. Just a bunch of hot people with superpowers they can’t control, trying to avoid a shadowy government agency. It was fun.
Look, Evans is gonna Evans. Give him nerd glasses and bad facial hair and he’s still gonna be swoon-worthy. But in this fun-yet-forgettable comic book adaptation, he’s surrounded by plenty of competition in the «hot» arena. Idris Elba and Zoe Saldana are enough to turn heads, not to mention Jeffrey Dean Morgan. So Evans isn’t the resident beefcake on this black ops team. Instead, he does what he does so well: plays the goofy, awkward comic relief.
This reminds me, I should probably rewatch The Losers…
Apparently Evans was having a bad facial hair phase in 2010 because wowwwww — I have never been so turned on by a chinstrap. This puffed-up cameo, where Evans plays one of the seven evil exes (a skateboarding actor, natch) that Scott has to defeat, is one of the best parts of the whole film. He’s just so game, you know?
THIS IS WHERE IT HAPPENED. This is where Chris Evans went from Chris Evans to «Chris Evans, of the Hollywood Chrises.» His Cap still finds room for humor (mostly in how behind the times he is), but he’s also just a total fucking hero. He stands up for what’s right. He’s self-sacrificing. And he’s so very, very pretty. When I first heard that he was cast, I thought it would be a waste of his talent. He’d be pidgeon-holed as the wholesome guy, and we’d miss his comedic chops. But now that we’ve seen him in multiple MCU films, he has made me love a character I was absolutely bored by in the comics. Evans MADE Captain America. And in turn, the role has kinda made him. And it made the rest of us want to do literally all the push-ups because DAMN DUDE I DIDN’T KNOW THERE WERE THAT MANY MUSCLES.
Proof that the Cap training regimen could pay off in other ways, Evans also appeared alongside another Chris’ wife in a romantic comedy where he, um, isn’t wholesome? Whatever, it proved he’s still funny and gave me an excuse to share the best Evans .gifs.
Ok, I should end with more Cap film appearances because he’s hot in all of them, all the time. But Evans did more than just play Captain America. He’s directed! He’s raised a child prodigy! And he… knows that babies taste best. I wanted to end with this film because in some ways it’s the best example of how he’s purposefully undercut his heroic screen persona. Is future dystopian cannibalism the new hotness? No. But if it’s with Evans? Maybe.
And this has been your diversion for the day. You’re welcome.
Jimmy Kimmel’s adorable son Billy turned 6 months old on Saturday, Oct. 21, and the proud father took to Instagram to update fans on the status of Billy’s health. «He is healthy and happy,» Jimmy shared. «[A]nd we are all very grateful for your prayers, good wishes, thoughts and support of @ChildrensLA and children’s hospitals in your area.»
Back in May, Jimmy opened up about his son’s serious heart condition during a tearful monologue on his late-night show, revealing that Billy would likely have to undergo two more open-heart surgeries in the future. «It’s a terrifying thing,» he said at the time. In August, Kimmel told The Hollywood Reporter that Billy was «doing great» and is «really an amazing kid.» We’re so happy to hear Billy is doing better!
While walking into the theater to watch the new slasher, which comes from Blumhouse Productions and the minds behind the Paranormal Activity franchise, I definitely wasn’t expecting to be blown away. To be fair, I wasn’t. But Happy Death Day, despite its mind-numbingly bad title (couldn’t they just have left it at Death Day?), is a solidly entertaining entry into the horror-thriller genre. If you’re looking for something scary to watch this October (especially with Friday the 13th weekend andHalloween happening), this movie is worth the $ 15 ticket. Here’s why:
The Premise Is Not as Annoying as It Sounds
Like I mentioned above, Happy Death Day ripped off the «person relives the same day over and over» premise from the 1993 Bill Murray comedy, but it manages to keep things fresh until the very end of the movie. Mean girl Theresa «Tree» Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up severely hungover on the morning of her birthday in the dorm room of hipster classmate Carter (Israel Broussard) and navigates her way through basically the same major events: stumbling across the quad to her sorority house, running into an ex-flame, having a chat with the hilariously nasty sorority president (Rachel Matthews), getting a cupcake from her roommate (Ruby Modine), going to class, and, finally, heading to a frat party.
The days vary in certain ways (sometimes she talks to the professor she’s hooking up with, other times she spends more time with Carter), but the day always ends the same: Tree ends up murdered in some gruesome way by a hooded figure wearing a mask featuring the college mascot (a cherubic baby-faced monster with one tooth). What keeps the story from getting repetitive is how the movie wisely turns the plot into a mystery, more so than a horror film.
In fact, there’s very, very little gore. Instead, the focus is Tree uncovering the identity of her killer. This results in a hilarious sequence of her strutting naked through the quad, dying her blond hair neon pink, donning military face paint and tactical gear to spy on a potential suspect, and getting taken out in increasingly brutal, splatter-free ways (including taking a jagged piece of a bong to the neck).
Jessica Rothe Nails It
Before starring as Tree, Rothe popped up as one of Emma Stone‘s roommates in La La Land and played pot-dealing Paige in the MTV comedy series Mary + Jane. Although she begins the movie as a one-note sorority girl stereotype, she’s a completely new character by the time the last butcher knife stabs her way. As in every movie that centers on a character reliving one day over again, there’s the requisite «This experience has taught me so much, I’m going to change my ways» monologue, but it doesn’t sound as hokey coming from Rothe. She’s genuinely hilarious, and during the sequence when Tree gets to act out once she realizes none of her wild actions truly matter, Rothe really shines.
Remember what I said about the plot not dragging? The introduction of a few twists definitely keeps the audience on the edge of their seat, although one could argue that the biggest twist is a bridge too far. Regardless of how you feel, the unexpected avenues Tree careens down as the movie picks up will have you fully engrossed in the mystery.
The Ending Leaves a Few Things Up For Interpretation
Without giving too much away, there’s a major part of the plot that isn’t explained or wrapped up in a nice little bow by the time the credits roll. For some, this might be annoying (*raises hand*), but for others (*my boyfriend raises hand*), going into detail about how the mythology of what’s happening to Tree might have bogged down the movie (which moves at a pretty breakneck pace). Clearly the move was intentional, since director Christopher B. Landon told Insider that he already has plans to continue Tree’s story.
«The whole idea for my sequel is actually already in this movie. It’s hiding in plain sight,» he said. «The answer to why she’s literally stuck in a time loop — it’s something I have the answer to. It’s in my back pocket, because, knock on wood, you never know how things are going to go, and we’re not counting our chickens, but if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to make a sequel, the answer to that question is the premise of my sequel.»
Could Happy Deathiversary be next? Perhaps Happy Death-intine’s Day or Happy Fourth of Death-ly? Whichever poor day on the calendar is chosen, I can confidently say I’m looking forward to it.
Despite an annoying barrage of trailers that made me loathe the word «bye,» Happy Death Day ended up being an unexpectedly smart, entertaining thriller. The film chooses to leave the reason the heroine, Tree (Jessica Rothe), is forced to repeat her birthday over and over again after being murdered each night shrouded in mystery, which is potentially frustrating for some audience members (spoiler alert: the writer of this article). As it turns out, director Christopher B. Landon specifically chose to leave the mystery open-ended in that way to leave the door open for a sequel.
«The whole idea for my sequel is actually already in this movie. It’s hiding in plain sight,» he revealed to Insider. «The answer to why she’s literally stuck in a time loop — it’s something I have the answer to. It’s in my back pocket because, knock on wood, you never know how things are going to go, and we’re not counting our chickens, but if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to make a sequel, the answer to that question is the premise of my sequel.»
Since Landon is the mastermind behind the Paranormal Activity series, he’s clearly no stranger to steering a horror franchise to success. Then again, can the premise of Happy Death Day really sustain another film? Landon does make the Groundhog Day-esque concept feel fresh, no matter how many times Tree does the same exact thing, scene after scene, but a sequel with a similar format could get a little tiresome. That being said, if they promise to tell me the secret behind Tree’s birthday from hell, I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket.