Movies

‘Mary Poppins Returns’, but the magic’s gone

To ask why Mary Poppins Returns exists would be to ask why Disney would want a license to print money. The studio has been on a tear remaking, remixing, and revisiting its old classics, to great box-office success; Mary Poppins Returns, with its nostalgia-inducing premise and family-friendly holiday release date, will surely be no different.

Now that Mary Poppins has returned, though, it seems worth asking: Did we really need her to?

The Banks family seems toReturns picks up in the 1930s, with the Banks children now grown. Jane (Emily Mortimer) is an activist like her suffragette mother, while Michael (Ben Whishaw) is a struggling artist with three little moppets of his own—John (Nathaneal Saleh), Annabel (Pixie Davies), and Georgie (Joel Dawson).  Read more…

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The 10 best movie comedy performances in 2018

Perhaps it’s ~the times~, but comedy films aren’t what they used to be. That isn’t to say that they aren’t as funny – but the current batch aren’t as salient, formative and quotable as they were, say, a decade ago. You may have cracked up watching Blockers on a flight after you missed it in theaters, but you won’t be quoting it like Anchorman in a few years.

Comedy in 2018 moves faster; it’s quick cuts and sharp edits, jokes piled one on top of the other so densely that you’re likely to miss one if you laugh too hard at the last. That’s true in TV and in movies, but luckily it still leaves us with some quality comedic performances – often from actors who we didn’t know had it in them. Read more…

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New study finds female-led films perform better at box office. Your move, Hollywood.

Movie audiences love women. 

According to a study by Creative Arts Agency and shift7, films with women in leading roles earn more than their male counterparts at the box office, a finding which should lead to a major paradigm shift in show business.

“The perception that it’s not good business to have female leads is not true,” CAA agent Christy Haubegger told The New York Times. “They’re a marketing asset.”

CAA and shift7 examined 350 top box office films from 2014 to 2017, defining “lead actor” as the first performer credited in official press materials (also of note: most of these films passed the Bechdel test). 105 of these were women. In every category broken down by budget, films with women in the lead outperformed those starring men.  Read more…

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Netflix’s year-end rankings reveal the most binged shows and movies

Whatever year-end content you’re devouring this December, let’s be real – you want to know about your year in Netflix. The streaming service is notoriously private about numbers, but did release a list of the top TV and film titles we binged this year.

Though Netflix released dozens of original films this year, the year-end press release doesn’t rank overall viewership; it only names the three that were rewatched with the highest frequency.

Of course, social media has to be a metric, so Netflix also investigated the Instagram audience growth of stars who appeared in a Netflix film or series during the year. Yup, we follow all of them. Read more…

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Titans battle for earth in epic ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ trailer

Godzilla alone is intimidating, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg in the new trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The latest promo shows our titular monster facing off against multiple, massive monsters who have risen from myth and obscurity to take back the earth.

Godzilla and Mothra – and various other “titans” – don’t really care about the casualties of their war, but of course the humans in this movie are fighting like hell to stay alive. Whoever the new titan alpha is, it doesn’t have to be humanity’s enemy – or does it?

The trailer offers glimpses of a sprawling and stacked cast, including Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, Zhang Ziyi, and more. Read more…

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Alibaba Group takes majority control of loss-making movie unit Alibaba Pictures with $160M share purchase

Why you should add ‘About Time’ to your holiday movie list

Each December, we bust out the holiday cheer, from obnoxious Christmas music to Love Actually on a loop. I’m all about this — I usually leave my tree up until my January birthday — but I start with a different movie: About Time.

From Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis, About Time is comparatively trimmed down, following the life of Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), the young son in a family where the men can travel through time. There are no other sci-fi frills (and probably some plot holes as a result, but who cares!), since as Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) notes, they can’t change anything outside their own lives.  Read more…

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