Tag Archives: Film

“Wonder Woman and the Importance of the Female Hero Moment”

WHEN J.J. ABRAMS was wrapping up Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he showed a rough cut to Ava DuVernay, the Selma director he’d recently befriended. It needed something, she told him. Daisy Ridley’s Rey needed to have one more powerful moment, one more show of strength in her final battle with Kylo Ren. Abrams took her advice, shot some new footage, and added a close-up of Rey’s face as she strikes a massive lightsaber blow. If you watch it now, it’s very clear which one it is. Just ask any 15-year-old female Star Wars fan—even now, she can probably recall it from memory. When you don’t expect to see yourself as the hero, you don’t easily forget what it looks like.

Wonder Woman has more than 20 hero moments like this. It even ends on one. They’re not all close-ups like the one Abrams added to Force Awakens, but they do show a hero in action. Filmed in slow motion, almost always in battle, they feature Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), as well as other women. It’s trite to say, but I’ll say it anyway: This is revolutionary.

The hero shot is a staple of superhero movies, and action movies in general. If you had to think of one right now, though, your mind would probably light on Thor hoisting a hammer or Superman floating above Metropolis with his cape billowing in the wind, not of a woman saving the world. Katniss Everdeen got some of them in theHunger Games films, the female mutants have had their share in the X-Men movies, Joss Whedon gave a couple to Black Widow and Scarlet Witch in the Avengers flicks – but rarely, if ever, has one film been dedicated to them in the way Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is…”

https://www.wired.com/2017/06/wonder-woman-hero-moment/

“Black Panther’s First Teaser Trailer Brings the Fight to Wakanda”

 

“Like Spider-Man, Black Panther made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War. It was in Civil War that Marvel introduced the world of Wakanda — and its leader, King T’Chaka. T’Chaka was the father of T’Challa, and it was his death — at the hands of the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes — that led to T’Challa donning the Black Panther suit in Civil War. By the end of the film, however, he was providing a safe hiding spot for a couple of heroes, including Captain America and Barnes.

Marvel hasn’t released a synopsis of the movie, but during San Diego Comic-Con last year, cast member Lupita Nyong’o gave a brief, but detailed description, of what the movie will focus on.

“Black Panther’s leadership [of Wakanda] is being threatened by two foes that come together, and so Black Panther gets the help of the CIA and the Dora Milaje to try to defeat the enemy,” Nyong’o said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Black Panther will also have strong ties to the next Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity War,according to Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios. Black Panther is the last movie to come out before Avengers: Infinity War, giving it the important duty of setting up the events of that film.

Black Panther will be released on Feb. 16, 2018.

http://www.essence.com/entertainment/black-panther-movie-things-know-marvel

“The Dark Tower: What You Need To Know”

“It would be tempting to say Hollywood is once again in the Stephen King business but for the fact that it has never left it. In the four decades since the release of “Carrie,” there have been dozens of movie and television adaptations of his novels and short stories. This year alone, we will see the evil clown-centric movie “It,” the bondage-gone-wrong Netflix film “Gerald’s Game,” a Spike TV series based on the monster-insect novella “The Mist” and “The Dark Tower.”

Oh, “The Dark Tower.” What many loyal readers of Mr. King see as the magnum opus of his career has had a tortuous road to the big screen. The film, due Aug. 4 after several delays, stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey and is directed by Nikolaj Arcel, whose last film was the 18th-century Danish drama “A Royal Affair.”

Sony Pictures hopes that this is but the first entry in a franchise that can span both movies and television. The story of how “The Dark Tower” was made covers many years. The story of “The Dark Tower” is even more complex. Here are the basics:

What is ‘The Dark Tower’?

It’s a sprawling series of seven novels written between 1982 and 2004. (An eighth interstitial novel was released in 2012.) The first four books were published every four to six years. But after Mr. King was hit by a minivan in 1999 and almost died, he decided to finish the saga lest another accident finish the job. The final three books were published in 2003 and 2004.

Characters from the “Dark Tower” books have frequently appeared in other stories by Mr. King (one of the series villains is also the main antagonist of “The Stand”), and vice versa, effectively making the series the backbone of the author’s oeuvre. Mr. King himself also makes an appearance in the novels, which still comes as a surprise even if you know about it beforehand…”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/movies/what-you-need-to-know-dark-tower-series-stephen-king.html

“15 Weaknesses You Didn’t Know Wonder Woman Had”

“The new Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot as the title character, is in theaters soon. We were first introduced to Gadot’s Wonder Woman in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, where she was one of the few bright spots the film had. Many want to see a Wonder Woman movie done well, as her television show and comics are cultural touchstones.

Wonder Woman’s live-action feature film debut could not come soon enough, as her legacy is amazing and they have decades of stories they could redo or simply tell word for word in a script. This will be the first major superhero movie with a female hero as the protagonist. Wonder Woman is a feminist icon, but she did not get there easily. She honestly wasn’t one to begin with. Her story is great, but she has some weaknesses that few of male characters would ever be given by their creators– some are understandable while others were downright sexist to say the least.

We at Screen Rant wanted to do the kind of digging normally reserved for construction workers, to bring you 15 Weaknesses You Didn’t Know Wonder Woman Had.

15. A POKE TO THE EYES

You may be wondering, why in the world would this even be a weakness anyone would bring up? People need to know something obvious about Wonder Woman. Similar to Hercules, she is a Demigod. This makes her basically human, yet blessed with amazing abilities due to her God-like half. However, the human element of Wonder Woman was played up a lot in the comics and one of the most glaring things we learned is that Diana can be a victim to the same weaknesses the every day human might have – one of which is a poke to the eyes…”

http://screenrant.com/wonder-woman-biggest-weakness-didnt-know-trivia/

“The Year Disney Started to Take Diversity Seriously”

“Mira Nair didn’t know it, but for years, she lived just 15 minutes away from the subject of her next film—chess champion Phiona Mutesi, a prodigy from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. It took the attention of one particularly dedicated Disney executive, Tendo Nagenda, to introduce Mutesi and Nair, then shepherd through the studio a film: Queen of Katwe, a movie that looked almost nothing like anything else from the company that brings you Avengers, jedis, and pirates.

“I’ve never had a guardian angel in any film in a studio,” Nair tellsVanity Fair. “[Tendo] is truly one because he made it happen.”

Katwe is a film about a young African girl, with essentially no speaking roles for white characters, directed by an Indian woman. It’s an anomaly even in an industry that prides itself on having an imagination. But it’s also one of many examples of how Disney is diversifying its array of upcoming films, presenting more inclusive visions of everything from classic musicals to a galaxy far, far away.

In the near future, we’ll have a Christmas movie starring Kevin Hart as Santa Claus, an adaptation of The Nutcracker starring Misty Copeland and Morgan Freeman, and a surprising reimagining of The Rocketeer starring a young black girl. Ice Cube is working on a hip-hop version of Oliver Twist. Moana, Disney’s first Polynesian princess movie, is set for a Thanksgiving-week release. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s latest go-to music man, who also penned songs for Moana) will co-star in a Mary Poppins sequel.

The upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story presents an intergalactic rebellion from the likes ofForest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, and Donnie Yen—and all led by a woman, Felicity Jones. Between 2016 and 2018, about 24 percent of the studio’s live-action releases will feature ethnic minority leads, Disney says…”

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/11/disney-films-inclusive

“Tilda Swinton: ‘Doctor Strange’ Whitewashing Controversy Is Bigger Than Just One Movie”

““Doctor Strange,” the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, follows eponymous hero Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he navigates his way through an unlikely origin story that heavily involves the teachings of an enlightened elder – known as The Ancient One – who sets him on the path to both righteousness and cape-clad ass-kicking. In the original comics, The Ancient One is portrayed as an older gentleman of Tibetan descent. In director Scott Derrickson’s film, the character is played by Tilda Swinton.

Unsurprisingly, the project has faced continued criticism for its casting of Swinton as the character, though Marvel brass and the film’s creative team have long maintained that their casting choice came after the character was already changed with the express purpose to avoid racist undertones. As Swinton explained to IndieWire in a recent interview, the “Doctor Strange” team aimed to circumvent the original character by radically changing many of his trademark attributes.

“Scott [Derrickson] will tell you that he made this very clear decision with Kevin Feige and the whole team to change The Ancient One from the rather, what they considered, offensive racial stereotype in the comic books,” Swinton explained. “This kind of Fu Manchu, ancient man sitting on top of a mountain called The Ancient One. They made this decision to not perpetuate those racial stereotypes.”

Those changes made it possible to cast someone like Swinton – a white woman – ostensibly in hopes that by radically changing the character, it would not be perceived as racist. That’s not what happened, though Swinton’s recollection of the controversy is different.

“As far as I understand it, and I wasn’t completely up to speed on it, but I’m told that when my casting was announced, everyone was pretty stoked about it and there wasn’t an outcry at all,” Swinton said. “And then there was the first trailer, which people were also supportive of.”

When Swinton’s casting as the Ancient One was announced back in May of 2015, fans were mostly excited about yet another talented performer joining the MCU fray, though there was some initial confusion about how she would play a role originally imagined as a male Tibetan mystic…”

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/11/tilda-swinton-doctor-strange-whitewashing-controversy-ghost-in-the-shell-1201742228/

“Riz Ahmed Talks His ‘Rogue One’ Character, Says ‘Star Wars’ Is ‘Leading the Way’ for Hollywood Diversity”

 

Riz Ahmed, whose breakout role was in this year’s HBO drama The Night Of, stars in December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The new movie has the most diverse cast of any Star Wars film to date, also starring Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster, to name just a few. Ahmed spoke about this diversity in a recent interview, and also provided some insight into his cargo pilot-turned-rebel character Bodhi.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about The Night Of and Rogue One, Ahmed talked a bit about how he approached his character for the new Star Wars movie and gave him a pretty fantastic background story.

Bodhi is someone who’s been running away his whole life. His planet gets occupied, so he goes, ‘How do I get out of here?’ And the way was by becoming a long-distance cargo pilot. But, of course, that comes with guilt. If you look down and you’re wearing the same Imperial uniform with the same insignia that the people occupying your planet are wearing, it’s guilt and a lot of running away. I had the idea that this character is jittery. He’s jumpy. There’s a restlessness to him. This comes from the trauma and guilt.

THR then asked him how he felt about the fact that this is the most diverse cast of any Star Wars movie ever, to which he replied that he feels extremely positive.

I feel like Star Wars is leading the way. I like to think we are all heading in this direction. Some people are kicking and screaming or dragging their feet. Some people are sprinting. It’s really a credit to [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy and the team there that they want to embrace the future and the reality of a global film market. It feels contemporary, it feels global. Culture is a space for us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, so why don’t we just have as many different kinds of shoes as possible..?”

http://screencrush.com/riz-ahmed-rogue-one-diversity/