Godzilla has been storming through big screens for 65 years now, and wow do they grow up fast! The legendary movie monster has always been portrayed as a menacing presence, but he towers much higher today then he did in his first appearance. Artist Noger Chen has shared a size chart of Godzilla over more than 20 film appearances. Take a look:
Starting from the left of the chart on this image shared on Twitter, the kaiju made his movie debut in 1954 at 50 meters (164 feet) and stayed at that relative height until 1975. He grew to 80 meters (262 feet) for 1984’s The Return of Godzilla after the franchise had been dormant for almost a decade. The monster also saw a growth spurt to 100 meters (328 feet) for much of the ‘90s.
When the first American iteration of Godzilla was made in 1998, the beast stood at 70 meters (229 feet) before 2014’s reboot brought him to a record-breaking height of 108 meters (354 feet). 2016’s Shin Godzilla took back the title to Japan when the monster’s final form was 118.5 meters (389 feet). But it looks like the upcoming version in Godzilla: King of Monsters will be the tallest of them all with a height of 119.8 meters (393 feet). In all, he has more than doubled his size since his first appearance, growing over 200 feet since the ‘50s.
It’s interesting to see how the iconic creature has changed over the years per this chart by the Taiwan-based illustrator. Filmmakers have continually tried to raise the stakes by making Godzilla taller and more frightening. As cities have grown since then, it only makes sense for the kaiju to also adapt, so they can terrify among the buildings, not hide behind them.
In the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he will be going head-to-head with three famous threats from the franchise: Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah to become the “king of monsters.” The movie is a sequel to the 2014 film with Ken Wantanabe and Sally Hawkins reprising their roles and an exciting lineup of brand new characters, including Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown joining, along with Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Charles Dance.
The size of Godzilla has recently concerned audiences when it comes to the installment coming after King of Monsters, Godzilla Vs. Kong, which wrapped filming last month. Since the MonsterVerse’s King Kong stands at a little over 100 feet tall, how will it be a fair fight against Godzilla’s almost 400 feet? The filmmakers have recently assured that the film will address this in the film. Maybe because Skull Island took place in the ‘70s, Kong since grown just as Godzilla has over the years?
You can see the kaiju next in Godzilla: King of Monsters on May 30, and then he’ll be returning on March 13, 2020 to face off against Kong.
2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming was inspired by John Hughes films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and with Peter Parker taking a much-needed vacation to Europe in this year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, you can’t help but be reminded of the 2004 R-rated comedy EuroTrip. But it is another film from the early 2000s providing inspiration here. Take a look below to see Tom Holland, with hope and agenda, going full Love Actually ahead of Far From Home’s release.
I’m not sure what Love Actually has in common with Spider-Man: Far From Home beyond having scenes set in London, but unlike Andrew Lincoln’s unrequited love for Keira Knightley in the former film, Tom Holland’s grand gesture is one you’ll want to take him up on. That’s because this video from the actor’s Instagram brings awareness to a Spider-Man: Far From Home contest with a far better prize than a weird pity kiss from your best friend’s wife.
The contest offers one lucky winner and a guest a trip to the Los Angeles premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home. The prize includes round-trip airfare from anywhere in the world, a swanky hotel stay, $1,000 in spending money and the chance to walk the red carpet at the premiere and take a photo with Tom Holland. The winner and their guest also get attend the premiere afterparty as Tom Holland’s guests.
What’s perhaps most exciting of all, besides getting to see Spider-Man: Far From Home of course, is the opportunity to meet acclaimed actor Jake Jillenhal or is it Gylnhal? That spelling bit was easily the funniest part of this video, and as someone who has to write Jake Gyllenhaal’s name on occasion (and double check it every time), I sympathize completely. It’s the double ‘L’ and the double ‘A’ that makes it tricky.
Anyone who wants to enter this contest and have Tom Holland say ‘To me, you are perfect…ly the winner of this contest’ has to click on the link in his Instagram bio or head over to Crowdrise. That might have been too much work for the guy in the video, but once you do that, tickets to enter are only $10.
The contest will raise funds for The Brothers Trust charity that Tom Holland runs with his family. The Brothers Trust uses Tom Holland’s celebrity and influence to help raise funds for various charities, with an eye towards those charities that get drowned out in the non-profit sector and those that most effectively use donations and funding. In other words, charities where the bulk of the money goes to those who need it and not towards administration of the charity itself.
Using the contest to raise money for charity is certainly in keeping with the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man’s efforts to do good, and at only $10 a ticket, it’s a great opportunity for MCU fans to get a chance to attend the premiere of the last Phase 3 movie and the concluding chapter of The Infinity Saga.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the big movies headed your way this summer season.
Last weekend, action fans flooded movie theaters to check out John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, the latest adventure of Keanu Reeve’s increasingly iconic, deadpan, dog-loving assassin. The John Wick films are known for incredibly slick choreography and memorable action sequences, but one thing that never gets much attention is the surprisingly complex mythology. John Wick may go around tallying up head shots left and right, but even he has a strict set of rules that he needs to follow.
Obviously the main draw for a John Wick movie is action over the story, but the films place such emphasis on the hitman’s world that it’s tough to ignore. There’s a unique mythology at play here, as John Wick’s word is populated by secret clubs, assassin hotels and a whole network of goods and services purely for people of the underworld.
Each film expands the lore, but it doesn’t give any real explanation. It lets the audience try to figure it out before moving right into the next action scene.
It can be kind of confusing, but that’s where we come in! John Wick likes to throw a lot of seemingly random rules at you, but when you piece them all together, it starts to make some sense. Here are some of the most important aspects of John Wick’s underworld and how it works.
The Baba Yaga
It makes sense to start right at the beginning with the man himself. John Wick’s backstory is never really brought up in detail, though Parabellum tries to shed some light on the subject.
While the movie doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining, it’s implied that John Wick was raised by Angelica Houston’s The Director, the leader of the Ruska Roma. In addition to teaching ballet, she apparently trains orphans to become assassins, and John Wick (whose real name is Jardani Jovonovich) eventually became her most successful student.
Basically, John was one of the greatest assassins who ever lived. He was so deadly that he earned the nickname Baba Yaga, which means The Boogeyman. John Wick spends an unknown amount of years racking up the kill count, building his reputation, and meeting a ton people.
The movies make it seem like basically every assassin knows who John Wick is. However, one day he falls in love with a woman named Helen and decides to get out of the life, something that is implied to be very hard to do and no one has ever done.
Apparently, you can’t just leave the underworld, so John had to undergo an “impossible task” to earn his freedom. We don’t know what he did, but it involved killing a lot of people. He succeeded and left his old life behind to start a new one with Helen. It didn’t last long however, and that’s where the first John Wick begins.
Assassins Have Unbreakable Vows
In John Wick: Chapter 2, we learn that John didn’t complete his impossible task on his own. He needed help from an Italian crime lord named Santino D’Antonio. In order to secure this help, John offered his marker, which is the underworld’s version of an unbreakable vow from Harry Potter.
The marker is essentially an amulet with a bloody fingerprint inside. If someone gives their amulet away for a favor, it means that they are making a blood oath to do any task the person asks of them in the future. If someone like John Wick gives away his marker, then that means you basically have the world’s greatest assassin in your pocket for one favor.
If you give away your marker, then the debt must be honored. You have to do whatever it is that the person asks. The assassin world takes this very seriously, and it’s one of the only two unbreakable rules. John Wick tried to break it and his house was burned to the ground as a result.
One of the major locations of the John Wick films is the Continental, and it’s more than just a fancy New York City hotel. The building caters exclusively to assassins and all its amenities are geared toward their specific purposes. For example, instead of recommending a nice restaurant, the concierge will point you to the secret backdoor of your target’s safe house.
The Continental is a branch of worldwide hotels, and each one is run by a manager. Ian McShane’s Winston runs the New York location, Halle Berry’s Sophia is in charge of the Casablanca Continental and Julius looks after the Rome Continental. It’s implied that each Continental offers the same services and follows the same guidelines, but the day-to-day stuff depends on the manager.
The most important thing about the Continental is that absolutely no business can be conducted on hotel grounds. In other words, no assassin is allowed to kill another assassin inside the hotel. It’s the No. 1 rule of the underworld, and if broken, it’s punishable by death or being labeled as “excommunicado.”
That means that the assassin loses all access and privileges to the Continental’s underworld resources. That’s a major setback for any professional hitman, but it becomes a real headache if they have an open contract on their head. John Wick dealt with that exact scenario after he killed Santino in the Continental, as the High Table doubled the contract that was already out on him.
The Goods And Services
The life of a professional killer is dangerous and there are a number of resources scattered around the world to help assassins. For instance, a seemingly ordinary doctor’s office can be a late night emergency room for a quick patch up if a mission goes wrong. Or you can visit a historian and get old blueprints or maps to find secret pathways to a seemingly impenetrable fortress. Even taxi drivers are in on it.
Assassins can also find the best guns and ammunition to fit their specific needs. There are also tailors who will custom make bullet proof suits to help protect the killers who still want to look damn good. All of these services are pretty much hidden right in the open, but a well-connected assassin knows the best spots.
All of these services don’t come free. The underworld has its own special form of currency in the form of gold coins. If an assassin kills their mark, they get rewarded with coins, which can then be spent at the Continental or any other underworld establishment. A skilled assassin like John Wick will tally up enough coins to save for emergencies and keep secret stashes in convenient places.
The High Table
All these rules had to come from somewhere, and in the underworld, the High Table is the highest authority. Not much is known about the group, but they are a council of crime lords who oversee all the wheeling and dealings. They set the rules and if anyone breaks them, then they decide the punishment through an agent called The Adjudicator.
Basically everyone in the underworld works for the High Table in some form or they are at least expected to serve when called. For example, the Continentals all answer to the Table.
The only person that we know of who is ahead of the High Table is the Elder, who lives out in the middle of dessert and does… something. His job is pretty unclear, but he’s the only one who can reverse a decision made by the Table. Only a few people know who he is or how to find him.
We don’t know the identity of anyone currently on the High Table, how many members there are or what their origins are. However, they seem to be fairly disliked by the people who have to answer to them, and John Wick is especially not a fan by this point. The High Table essentially marked him for death, and he’s been a frequent source of trouble.
It’s not every day that an action franchise comes along that tries to build its own unique world. The star of John Wick is unquestionably the action, but part of the reason that these movies are so popular is that it’s a cool world. Nothing is every really explained and literally everyone seems to know who John Wick is, but that does help to make the world feel lived in.
At the end of the day, you don’t want your action movie to spend five minutes explaining the bureaucracy of the hitman’s job when you could be watching a sword fight on motorcycles. However, it’s still fun to piece it all together once the gunfire dies down.
The John Wick franchise will continue with the release of Chapter 4 on May 21, 2021.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here: sometimes life is a bit too much for even the hardest of souls. No matter the circumstances, there are just those moments where you want to hole up for a day, drink plenty of fluids, and just take some time to practice the important art of self care. Part of a good afternoon of recovering from whatever life has thrown at you is a good movie or two.
Or, in the case of the list below, several good movies that you can throw on to lighten the mood and help lift your spirits through the healing powers of laughter. Your sampler pack below ranges through the decades, and includes some off-beat selections as well as some fan-favorite titles, because we all could use some unexpected laughter in our lives.
Absurdity is a word you’ll probably read a lot reading through this list, and that’s a good thing. Some of the best comedy movies embody that very quality, and last 2018’s Game Night is certainly no exception. The movie’s as absurd as it is laugh-filled, as a simple night of indoor gaming turns into a crime-solving comedy rampant with serious errors.
With an ensemble that includes Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, as well as a couple of surprise appearances, Game Night takes a crime mystery and infuses it with both action and laughter. Also, Jesse Plemons steals the entire damned movie, as a security guard who’s a little friendlier than he should be, and has a big grudge against the Frito-Lay chip company.
Teen comedies are pretty good at cheering people up as well, as most of the time there’s a positive message of loving oneself and trying to accept others. Though since they’re also comedy movies, there’s also a lot of antics like the ones in Mean Girls involved as well. Based off of a self-help book involving the behavior of cliques, writer/co-star Tina Fey takes a very serious subject, and not only does she give it a teen movie makeover, but she also uses a lot of her own comedic flare to make it a movie only she could have created.
Insanely quotable, and also featuring Rachel McAdams, Mean Girls is the story of Lindsay Lohan’s fish-out-of-water Cady, and her first experience with the school system in the U.S. With McAdams as her mean girl adversary, and Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert as the backup friends, it’s not easy for Cady to win their trust. But the process is extremely funny.
It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
We’re now approaching a classic entry in the comedy movie pantheon: It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The flick is certainly a treasure to behold for anyone who has or hasn’t seen it. The movie centers its story around a bunch of cash buried in a California park, and the group of strangers who are racing against time, and each other, to get to it first. A literal who’s who of comedic legends take part in this film, with Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, and Buddy Hackett all taking part in the festivities. So if star power is your thing, look no further.
Perhaps the strongest card this movie plays is the fact that it breaks the cardinal rule of comedy and does it in style, as this almost three-hour film is not a short and simple joke. The cast grows as large as the stunts and jokes do, and by the end of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the finale is something so amazingly funny, you’ll see why it’s still known as one of the best comedy movies to date.
Monty Python And The Holy Grail
Absurdity. There’s that word again. It’s something that most definitely applies to the legendary comedy troupe of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and doubly so when discussing the group’s most well-known film, Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Spinning Arthurian legend into a semi-musical, semi-animated, and very meta quest for the Holy Grail, this comedy movie is a landmark event that helped cement the group’s reputation worldwide.
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin all-star as various members of this classic quest, and what begins as a straight medieval adventure almost instantly turns into one gigantic farce. Camelot has never been this silly, and you’ll be better for watching Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
John Hughes always had a special gift when it came to his unique brand of comedy movies. He knew when to be sweet, he knew when to be bitter, and he always knew how people worked. Yet, perhaps one of his most upbeat products in his entire repertoire was the classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, starring none other than Matthew Broderick.
Chronicling the hijinks of a teenager who skips school one too many times during a calendar year, Matthew Broderick’s Ferris ropes his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) into a whirlwind tour of Chicago–one that includes outrunning his vengeful principal (Jeffrey Jones), and outsmarting his equally angry sister (Jennifer Grey). If you’re looking for a guy who’s part spiritual guru and part Bugs Bunny, Ferris Bueller is your righteous dude.
A Night At The Opera
It’s hard to beat The Marx Brothers in the game of comedy, as even in our modern world their antics and shenanigans are still so classic that they hold up among the greats. A Night At The Opera certainly stands out among their collected works, with memorable songs and gags that keep the audience smiling long after the movie has finished. The basic plot sees one of the usual Marx Brothers staples put to good use yet again, as Groucho Marx’s lead prankster tries to win frequent collaborator Margaret Dumont’s money by investing in an opera.
That’s basically all you need to know, as your standard Marx Brothers movies will tend to use a simple plot to hang a string of jokes on. With scenes that see a very crowded stateroom ordering an obscene amount of food, and a gag that suggests that Groucho Marx really was able to bend space and time to his will, A Night At The Opera is a sure fire ticket to excitement.
The Producers (1967)
Comedy legends rarely earn their place on the first go-around, and Mel Brooks is one of those stories of fame and fortune that took a little time to get going. When The Producers was released in 1967, Brooks’ first film was seen as the sick joke to end all sick jokes. Then again, a musical supporting Hitler will always likely be an odd flex. But once the joke behind the musical became apparent to the audience-at-large, the film became one of the most classic comedy movies of all time.
With Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder putting on said musical to defraud almost all the little old ladies in New York, and Hitler being played by Dick Shawn’s hippie beatnik Lorenzo St. DuBois, The Producers was actually a comedic masterpiece that poked fun at outrage culture, cashing in on tragedy, and the insane chemistry between Mostel and Wilder. It doesn’t take long for this one to get going, so make sure you’re ready once you hit play.
Back To The Future
Most people remember Back To The Future as a sci-fi movie, what with its plot revolving around time travel and making sure Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly still exists at the end of the day. What’s also important to remember is this Robert Zemeckis-directed film is still amazingly funny. While Marty does have to make sure he and his siblings make it out of the other end alive, he has to deal with his awkward parents too.
The biggest gag at the center of this comedy movie classic is that history may be written by the generation before us, but that doesn’t mean what they’re telling us is the truth. Michael J. Fox’s charm as Marty and Christopher Lloyd’s eccentric Doc Brown are a pairing for the ages, and the humor plays like a teen movie crossed with a sci-fi epic. If you’re willing to go down this road, go ahead and clear out a whole afternoon and watch the entire trilogy.
Deadpan comedy is an artform that’s just as valuable as flat out funny comedy. If you can land a joke without a smile or a laugh, it can really knock a room dead. Just ask The Zucker Brothers, as that’s what their comedy classic Airplane! did when it took the genre of doomed flight movies like Airport and turned them into comedy gold. It also helped that casting skilled performers like Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays and pitting them against seasoned drama vets Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen was a big part of that old Airplane! charm.
The heart of this comedy movie’s ability to make a crowd erupt with laughter is the fact that its core plot revolving around food poisoning on a late night flight and the traumatized pilot who serves as its only hope of landing safely, is pretty solid as a drama. It’s just all of the comedy that surrounds that drama, disguising itself as more serious material, that makes the film work.
One of the best comedy movies to hit theaters in our modern times is, no question, Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. His first film after the success of Billy Madison, the film’s story is a tale as old as time, as his titular hockey player loses his temper and gets kicked out of the league, only to become a golf sensation for a very personal cause. Also, a fist fight with Bob Barker occurs, which you may or may not have known about.
Speaking of familiar faces, if you’re a Modern Family fan, you’ll be surprised to see Julie Bowen as Sandler’s comedy partner on the side of good. In fact, an amusing chunk of the movie is the pair trying to keep themselves in the game long enough to pay off Happy’s grandmother’s tax debt. If you’re a comedy fan, then appearances by Christopher McDonald, Joe Flaherty, and Ben Stiller will definitely make you smile, as all three present rather interesting challenges for Adam Sandler to move past on his road to fame and security.
Dumb and Dumber
Vintage Jim Carrey is like comedic wine: always good at parties, and never gets old. Dumb and Dumber is quite possibly one of the best comedy movies of the ‘90s, as it’s aged so well it still gets the laughs it did upon its initial launch. Again, simple but agile comedy, and a basic plot, help win the day, no matter its faults.
Pairing Jim Carrey with Jeff Daniels, the film sees the two play complete idiots making their way across the continental United States in the name of love, lost luggage, and a kidnapping. Dumb and Dumber introduced the film world to the comedy stylings of The Farrelly Brothers for the very first time. It was a first impression that would last forever, and it’s waiting for you to pull its finger and watch the madness that ensues.
It’s hard to have a list of comedy favorites and not include at least one Will Ferrell movie on that list. And no other Ferrell film has made the world laugh more than his collaboration with John C. Reilly in director Adam McKay’s Step Brothers. It’s a comedy movie that’s become a cultural touchstone, reigning as one of the films from the last decade or so of filmmaking that’ll probably see itself become a classic.
While the gags definitely hit some dark notes, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly come at them from an angle of such misguided glee that every joke causes a hearty, mood brightening laugh. It also helps that the supporting cast of heavy hitters like Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, Kathryn Hahn, and Adam Scott all add to the madness stew that is Step Brothers, with everyone’s unique acts shining through to create a complete puzzle of laughter.
If you’re not feeling any better after watching this list of comedy movies designated to cheer you up, then you may need to call a doctor, or switch to some stronger acting comedies on the market. That being said, the films on this list might cause you to hunt through streaming platforms or rental services to find them. But they are very much worth the time and energy, as each one brings its own brand of comedy movie mayhem in a strong fashion. So take a day off, and let yourself laugh into another world. You’ll feel better if you do.
The following contains spoilers forJohn Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
The newest installment of the John Wick franchise once again puts the title character through hell. He’s set upon by another army of assassins trying to kill him and he must fight them off almost entirely alone, and while Wick has proven resilient, he hasn’t made it this far without some scars. However, the biggest injury John Wick has yet sustained comes in John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and it’s an injury that caused problems not just for the character, but also the production of the movie itself.
Without diving too deep into spoiler territory, John Wick sustains a serious injury to his left hand, one that required the use of CGI in order to recreate the damage any time you saw Keanu Reeves left hand throughout the rest of the movie.
The problem is that Keanu Reeves is left-handed, which meant that a not insignificant amount of money was going to need to be spent on CGI for the new movie because you were going to be seeing that hand a lot. According to director Chad Stahelski…
It seems that Lionsgate, the studio behind the John Wick franchise, had to at least ask the director if this decision was really a necessary one. While it was understood from a story perspective, movies are a commercial venture after all, and so cost is always going to be a concern. According to THR, The director apparently had to make concessions in the budget in other places in order to make sure the money was there to handle the CGI costs.
For whatever it’s worth, odds are that the studio probably doesn’t mind the additional CGI costs as much right now. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum had the biggest opening in the franchise history this past weekend, and a fourth film has already been green lit. Of course, most of John Wick: Chapter 4 is going to be that much more expensive because the injury in question won’t be healing in the next movie, so the next film will need to use CGI for the entire run.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is in theaters now.
It’s no secret that comic book movies are everywhere. The superhero genre has been dominating the filmmaking world for years, with a variety of studios working on their own cinematic universes. But the X-Men franchise was there before any of it, dating back to the original film’s release in 2000. The long-running property looks like it’s coming to an end with Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix, the whopping 12th film in the series.
Dark Phoenix is the X-Men franchise’s second go at the titular comic book plot, putting Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner in the spotlight as Jean Grey. Jean’s terrifying cosmic power will divide the mutants after they take over her body and mind, and a new clip teased that coming conflict. Check it out.
Does anyone else have chills? Despite the X-Men‘s long tenure in theaters, it looks like new ground is being broken with Dark Phoenix. And Jean Grey’s struggle with the Phoenix Force will also cause new alliances to be formed
This new Dark Phoenixclip shows the mutants in Central Park. It looks like Jean has traveled to New York City during her conflict with the Phoenix Force, and both the X-Men and Brotherhood are attempting to find her. Professor X and Magneto share some choice words with each other, debating what Jean had done, and the implications that come with the two groups doing battle with each other.
Obviously what the character are referencing is Jean’s (accidental?) murder of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. Mystique’s death was spoiled during the full Dark Phoenix trailer, and looks like that action will have a grave affect on the rest of the characters, as well as the blockbuster as a whole. And from this new clip, it looks like X-Men have already begun defecting to Magneto’s cause.
Most notably, it looks like Nicholas Hoult’s Beast is going to be joining the villain side of the argument when Dark Phoenix arrives in theaters. This plot twist certainly tracks, as Beast and Mystique shared a romantic connection, most notably in First Class. It looks like her death will hit the big blue guy hard, and he’s on a mission for justice regarding Sophie Turner’s character.
Dark Phoenix was reportedly always planned to be the final installment in the long-running X-Men franchise, so it should be interesting to see what narrative choices Simon Kinberg and his team settle on. If its truly poised to be the grand finale, Kinberg should be able to kill off as many characters as he wants, with no real consequences. So perhaps Mystique isn’t the only mutant to meet the wrath of Jean’s new abilities.
Luckily, answers are coming shorty. Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters on June 7, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Aladdin is one of Disney’s most popular animated features, so anticipation and curiosity were at a high when the first looks at the new live-action adaptation began to arrive. However, the first responses to Will Smith’s Genie weren’t all that excited. There was a general feeling that he actually looked pretty terrible.
Guy Ritchie, the director of the new Aladdin, appears to have been mostly surprised by the reaction, simply because the sort of instant feedback that the internet provides wasn’t something he was used to. According to Ritchie…
There was a Sonic The Hedgehog / Genie frog. Everything is under such critical scrutiny. I came up in an era where there was no internet. It’s a new thing that I’m trying to get a handle on.
I feel like the comparison between the Genie and the recent Sonic the Hedgehog trailer is a bit rough. The Genie may have had some issues, but he was no Sonic. People may have not loved Genie, but the Sega mascot’s look in the new movie got such backlash the producers are now promising to make changes.
Guy Ritchie is no stranger to making movies in the age of the internet but he’s never made a movie quite like Aladdin. It’s a movie with a built in fan base that’s very invested and is going to be very vocal about its opinions. It’s a far cry from the stylized English gangster movies that Ritchie is still best known for.
And the audience was far from kind. “Nightmare fuel” and other such phrases were used to describe what the big blue Genie version of Will Smith looked like. Big movies like this rely on the buzz that the marketing creates but that plan only works if the buzz is positive, and in this case it wasn’t.
However, as the new Aladdin continued it’s promotion. Attitudes seemed to soften a bit. While the big blue Genie still isn’t looked at in the best light, we know that the Genie won’t have that look the entire time and other aspects of the movie were looking good enough that the questionable CGI might be easy to overlook.
In addition, as is frequently the case. Not all the CGI was even finished when the first trailer hit, which meant that as those effects were finished up, the Genie himself began to look better. Guy Ritchie tells Empire than now even some of those who were the harshest critics of the Genie are walking back their comments…
It even came with apologies from the cynics who were so adamant initially. I’ve never seen apologies in that world. I thought, ‘Oh well, great, we’re back to where I’d hoped we’d be’.
The History Of The Color Changing Genie
It does seem like the new Aladdin can’t catch a break in the Genie department. The first look we ever got of Will Smith in costume he wasn’t blue at all. He was just Will Smith in a Genie costume, and that set people off because of the way it seemed to be changing the source material. Then, when we finally got Will Smith in action in his first trailer, he was blue, and everybody freaked out again.
It seems that the plan for the film is that the Genie will spend a significant amount of time looking human in the new film rather than blue. This way the character can blend in with the rest of the players and interact with them rather than spending the entire movie locked in the lamp. It also helps the budget for the movie stay down.
If you haven’t had a good look at what the Genie, and the movie as a whole, looks like now, check out the trailer below.
It makes a lot of sense to include a lot of Will Smith, blue or not. Robin Williams worked for scale when he recorded his voice for the original Aladdin and I’m guessing Will Smith did not. If you’re paying him millions of dollars, you’ll want to get everything out hf him that you can.
The earliest reactions from the few who have seen the new Aladdin have actually been pretty positive, and while the blue Genie might not work, it seems like the rest of the movie works well enough to make up for that.
The Aladdin Remake Was Always Going To Have Problems
The deck was always stacked against the Genie. The casting of Will Smith seemed designed to attempt to prevent any Robin Williams comparisons before they started, and yet, such a thing is ultimately impossible. Williams’ Genie is one of the most iconic characters in the history of animation. His casting in the role played a huge part in the fact that most animated films are now cast with big Hollywood stars.
It’s a difficult balancing act. As with any remake, there are elements that fans love from the original that they’ll want to see translated into live-action, or re-done with modern effects or whatever new thing the remake is trying to bring to the table. Some will be disappointed if they don’t get a new and improved version of whatever their favorite bit was.
Unfortunately, it has to be said that, so far, the movie looks very much like a “shot-for-shot” remake of the animated version. In fact, only Will Smith’s Genie looks to be a significant change from the original animated classic. While bringing back all the old songs and adding a couple new ones certainly makes sense, I’m certainly hopeful that there’s more hiding in this movie that is different compared to what we’ve seen so far.
At the same time, if all you’re really doing is making the same movie over again, then why bother. The original is a classic because everybody has already seen it, and they can watch it again on DVD anytime they want.
I’ll be entering the new Aladdin the way I do most movies these days, with cautious optimism. I want every movie I see to be good and Aladdin is one of those movies that I loved as a kid, and I want any remake to be good as well. If the new movie brings something actually new to the story that can make it worthwhile in its own right, that would fantastic.
Despite his other work and serious roles in indie films from auteurs like David Cronenberg, actor Robert Pattinson is still best known for playing sparkly vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise. That perception is likely part of the backlash to the reports that he is in talks to play the Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves’ Batman film. That aversion to his casting is not shared by fellow Twilight alum Dakota Fanning, who supports Robert Pattinson in the role, as she explained:
While speaking with Variety at the Cannes Film Festival where her new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is premiering, Dakota Fanning expressed real confidence in the talents of Robert Pattinson to be great in whatever role he takes on. That includes Batman, and Dakota Fanning seemed to be genuinely excited and happy for her fellow Twilight alum.
Although I wouldn’t expect Dakota Fanning to boo the casting of her former co-star or advocate people sign a silly petition (those always work) to have him removed from the role, it is nice to hear that she has positive feelings about him and what he can do. And she would know. The actress starred in three Twilight movies as Jane, a member of the villainous Volturi coven set against Robert Pattinson’s Edward and Kristen Stewart’s Bella.
So she has gotten to know him and seen his acting in person on set, giving her greater insight into his abilities. It’s also possible that she’s actually seen him in more than just the Twilight movies and has a better knowledge of his work and range as an actor and that informs her faith in him playing Batman.
Robert Pattinson has Dakota Fanning in his corner, but as is seemingly the case with every big time superhero casting, he’ll have to prove himself to many fans. Rightly or wrong, he is still known mainly for Twilight— even though he has proven to be much more than that in plenty of other films. But even if fans acknowledge he is a good actor, they may still not see him as Batman.
That’s understandable and like Ben Affleck before him in the role or Heath Ledger as Joker or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, it will take time if that acceptance is to happen at all. Now may be the right time for him to take on the role though, with DC trying new things and the details about Matt Reeves’ exact vision for his movie The Batman still under wraps.
It’s also important to note that we also still don’t know with 100% certainty that Robert Pattinson will be Bruce Wayne in The Batman. That seems to be the way things are trending but until the deal is final it’s not final and other reports say that Nicholas Hoult is still in the running for the part. Whoever gets it, he’ll be possibly be facing off with Penguin and Catwoman, two of the film’s reported villains.
The Batman is scheduled for release on June 25, 2021. While we await that, there are plenty of other movies hitting theaters this summer, check them out in our 2019 Release Schedule.
It’s taken five years since we first heard it was a possibility, but the feature film adaptation of Disney’s classic 1989-1990 television series Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers has finally landed a director in The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer. The live-action/CG hybrid from the Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping co-director could be bound for theater screens or Disney’s upcoming Disney+ streaming service.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Disney and Mandeville Films’ Rescue Rangers movie, but according to THR, it will not be an origin story or a detective agency story like the cartoon. It is instead described as something meta and self-referential. While we’ll have to wait and see what that means and how well the Rescue Rangers movie appeals to fans of the cartoon, its very existence shows that Disney’s classic cartoons are on the table for adaptation.
Disney will eventually run out of animated classics to remake and its classic animated series are another option to fill out its theatrical and future streaming calendars. Series like Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers also carry with them major nostalgic sentiment for millennial audiences, a valuable trait in today’s marketplace.
With all of that in mind, here are 6 classic Disney cartoons that should get the live-action treatment after Rescue Rangers.
Disney’s Adventures Of The Gummi Bears
The very first animated production by Walt Disney Animation Television, Adventures of the Gummi Bears is one of the most obvious candidates for a live-action/CG hybrid akin to what Rescue Rangers is getting. Adventures of the Gummi Bears tells the story of a group of humanoid bears belonging to an ancient, magical and technologically advanced race. In the medieval kingdom of Dunwyn, the bears, along with a small group of friendly humans, go on adventures to discover their history while battling the evil Duke Igthorn and his ogres.
Gummi Bears has deeper mythology than you might expect for a cartoon. Given the magical elements and the medieval fantasy setting, a live-action feature film adaptation would have greater potential in terms of scale than some of the other titles on this list. And as Detective Pikachurecently showed, there is no need to force realism. If done well, the Gummi Bears can be just as cartoony and fantastical as their animated counterparts and still look right alongside human actors. They are magical bears after all.
Photo-realistic CGI talking animals were one of those gambles that could have really turned people off, but based on the success of Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book and what we’ve seen of The Lion King, audiences will buy in. So why not take another risk and throw some clothes on Bill Murray’s Baloo and turn him into a 1930s Pacific Islands bush pilot for a live-action adaptation of Talespin? Talespin ran for 65 episodes in the early ’90s. In it, Baloo is an air-delivery pilot who, along with business owner Rebecca and orphan navigator Kit, must keep the business flying while evading nefarious air pirates.
The show had a classic action-adventure feel, reminiscent of movies like The Rocketeer, Indiana Jones and with a touch of Casablanca. The period-piece aspect is part of what would make a Talespin movie feel super unique in today’s landscape and I have no doubt such a film would be a blast. Admittedly, this one seems less likely given the cost rendering such a film would require, especially for a property without the name recognition of The Jungle Book.
Anecdotally, Darkwing Duck, which aired in the early ’90s as part of The Disney Afternoon slate, seems to be one of Disney’s more beloved classic cartoons (in no small part thanks to a great theme song). The tale of mild-mannered duck Drake Mallard and his superhero alter ego Darkwing Duck was a goofy and action-packed series that also had plenty of heart with Drake’s adopted daughter Gosalyn. The series acted as something of a parody of superheroes like Batman and The Shadow with the bumbling Darkwing Duck mirroring those grim and serious crimefighters.
Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles series already plays with some of the superhero tropes, but a DarkwingDuck movie could really lean into that while also making fun of spy movies and noir films. Such a film could be the detective story the Rescue Rangers movie supposedly isn’t, and more than that property, Darkwing Duck seems ripe with meta, self-referential potential. I’m not sure how exactly how well it would translate to “live-action,” but I’m interested to see it happen. Come on, let’s get dangerous.
Of all the classic Disney cartoons that have live-action feature film potential, Gargoyles is the most obvious. It’s so ripe for adaptation it’s kind of baffling a Gargoyles movie hasn’t happened yet, especially considering that Jordan Peele supposedly wanted to make one. Gargoyles ran in the mid-nineties and told the story of a clan of creatures of the night who turned to stone by day and protected New York City once the sun goes down.
Gargoyles was notable for being much darker than many of its contemporaries, with complex stories and rich characters that made the show ahead of its time and an eventual cult classic. Modern CGI could finally do Gargoyles justice in live-action on the big screen and I think such an adaptation, that really took the property seriously, would have real blockbuster franchise potential. It’s got action, magic, mythology and a modern setting. It would also be completely different from both Disney’s other offerings and those from other studios and that sort of unique quality makes it worth pursuing.
A spinoff of the earlier Raw Toonage TV series, Bonkers bears a lot of similarities to the classic live-action/animated hybrid comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Bonkers, an anthropomorphic bobcat, is a former cartoon star who has seen his fortunes fade a la BoJack Horseman and now works as a cop in Hollywood. Like Roger Rabbit, cartoons in the world of the TV show live, work and interact with human beings, including Bonkers’ partner Lucky Piquel, who hates toons, a hatred only exacerbated by Bonkers’ antics.
A Bonkers feature could be live-action with very cartoony cartoon characters populating the world and interacting with the human actors. Such a Roger Rabbit-esque approach wouldn’t require realism and would play in to the slapstick-y nature of the TV show. I don’t necessarily see this as a theatrical tentpole for Disney in the way the Gargoyles could be, but it would be ideal as a younger-skewing movie released on Disney+.
As evidenced by movies like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Stand By Me and Goonies, the childhood adventure story is a recipe for cinematic magic. Disney’s Recess may not have the supernatural elements of something like Stranger Things, but it delivers the great characters and relationships that are essential to making these stories work. The jock Vince, the leader T.J., the tomboy Spinelli, the genius Gretchen, the gentle giant Mikey and shy new kid Gus navigate the political battlefield of elementary school recess, while learning important lessons and forming meaningful friendships along the way.
Recess was wildly original and clever and seems like it would be an easy thing to adapt into live-action for a feature film for Disney+. Such a film could really have the childhood adventure quality of something like Goonies, while doing something unique with the mythology inherent to the Recess series. Recess already received a theatrical animated film in 2001 with Recess: School’s Out, which grossed $44.4 million worldwide on a $23 million budget. There is nostalgia and love for this property and it would really whomp if it never came back in some form.
Okay, so where is Ducktales? Well, Ducktales is currently back on the air with a new animated series starring the voice of David Tennant, so a live-action movie seems unnecessary at this point. And Goof Troop? I think Goofy is best served by staying in the fully animated realm as a jump to live-action of any sort could result in the kind of nightmare fuel that would give Pennywise bad dreams.
Disney has classic, beloved cartoons, with name recognition and strong nostalgia capital in its stable that could be brought back to life in wonderful fashion with live-action adaptations. Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers may be the first, but it is hopefully not the last.
Check out our 2019 release schedule to see all the biggest movies heading to theaters this year and let us know in the poll below which classic Disney cartoon you think should get the live-action treatment.
Which Classic Disney Cartoon Do You Want To See Get The Live-Action Treatment Next?
Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for weeks, and the public is still making revelations about the behemoth blockbuster. The Russo Brothers threw everything and the kitchen sink into the movie, including countless cameos, time travel, and some gutting character deaths. And every major MCU character appeared in the film’s final battle sequence, thanks to some magical portals and the dusted characters’ resurrection.
Moviegoers were delighted to see so many characters in one place, and the Endgame‘s last battle was a visual masterpiece with more action than one set of eyes could truly take in. A video from the set revealed that actor Sean Gunn played Guardians side character Kraglin in the movie, although the fandom has had trouble tracking him down in the theatrical cut. But a new photo may have revealed where Kraglin was during the final war against Thanos. Check it out.
So THAT’S why we didn’t spot Kraglin in those insanely epic Avengers: Endgame battle shots. Because he wasn’t on the ground with the majority of heroes, and was instead piloting one of the Ravager vehicles that were shown above the rubble.
This new image comes to us from Instagram, and shows actor Sean Gunn recording his quick cameo as Kraglin in Avengers: Endgame. We see the actor surrounded by green screens, with Kraglin piloting some sort of intergalactic motorcycle. What’s more, he’s got a fancy new finn atop his head, as he’s still wielding Yondu’s arrow as his primary weapon.
Kraglin piloting a Ravager vehicle certainly explains why he wasn’t given any super epic moments during the galaxy’s last stand against the Mad Titan. From the set image, it looks like Sean Gunn recorded a brief feature for his signature Guardians of the Galaxy character, although it ended up on the cutting room floor. Although even if his shot was cut, Kraglin could have been featured in a more subtle way.
As previously stated, the Avengers: Endgame conclusion featured countless characters, all involved in a complicated action sequence that is a visual masterpiece. But The Russo Brothers and their team(s) of visual affects artists may have missed a subtle opportunity to include Kraglin in the battle. Because even if his solo shot was cut, the battlefield could have seen Thanos’ forces being killed by Yondu’s arrow. The iconic weapon leaves a red trail behind it, so the hardcore fans would have figured it out, and likely lost their minds.
While Kraglin wasn’t shown in Avengers: Endgame, Sean Gunn did a ton of work for the acclaimed blockbuster. Gunn is Rocket’s stand-in during scenes, acting opposite his scene partners, including the Guardians and Avengers. Eventually the visual affects bring Rocket to life, and Bradley Cooper’s voice is edited into the final cut.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.