This animated version of Patton Oswalt's Star Wars filibuster speech is worth a look, if only for the tiny baby Padawans floating in an anti-gravity classroom. Depending on your mood, you may also want to become involved in the predictably crazy comments section ("So then why not Photon who has power over energy would be more powerful than Moonknight also how is Moonknight any more powerful than Hawkeye or Blackwidow?" "Wolverine has a daughter so who is the mother?" "Patton Oswalt thinks that MoonKnight and Hercules are top tier? Hawk Eye and Black Widow might be 2nd string heroes but fucking MoonKnight... really? He is D list, down there with FireStar and ShatterStar"); at least a handful of the viewers seem to genuinely want an Actual Movie based on Oswalt's improvised Parks and Rec monologue. Didn't we just get a real movie for free? I mean, moving mouths would be nice, but aren't you people ever satisfied?
Spare a thought today for the horribly marginalized gluten-free children who suffer in our midst. "There were tears in my daughter's eyes, and my son's fist was clenched," says one mother, who compared her children's celiac disease diagnosis to death. There is no question that dietary restrictions suck but you guuuuuys.
1706: Benjamin Franklin is born. 1885: James Whitcomb Riley writes the poem "Little Orphant Annie." 1914: Benjamin Franklin's face makes first appearance on $100 bill. 1924: The New York Daily News begins running Harold Gray's comic strip "Little Orphan Annie." 1930: The comic strip is adapted into a popular radio show. 1932: The first film adaptation, Little Orphan Annie, is released and panned. 1938: The second film adaptation, Little Orphan Annie, is released and panned. 1969: Shawn Carter, younger brother of Andrea "Annie" Carter (frequent dresser and shampooer), is born. 1977: The Broadway phenomenon Annie opens, includes song "It's the Hard-Knock Life." 1982: The first film adaptation of Annie is released, nominated for an Oscar for "Best Adaptation Score." 1994: Jamie Foxx releases debut album, Peep This, which peaks at no. 78 on the Billboard 200. 1995: Will Smith lands his first executive producer credit, for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Season 6, Episode 1. 1997: Puff Daddy releases "It's All About the Benjamins." 1997: Jay-Z hears DJ Kid Capri play the instrumental to "It's the Hard-Knock Life" on the Puff Daddy and the Family World Tour, is reminded of childhood. 1998: Jay-Z releases "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)." 2000: Willow Smith is born to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. 2000: Jay-Z releases "Anything," heavily reliant on a sample from Oliver! 2002: All About the Benjamins is released in theaters, starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. 2003: "Caddy more trucks, it's Daddy Warbucks. And you orphan Annie" — Cam'ron, "I Really Mean It" (Roc-A-Fella Records). 2003: Quvenzhané Wallis is born. 2003: "From O's to opposite of Orphan Annie" — Jay-Z, "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" (Roc-A-Fella Records). 2007: André Benjamin refers to himself as "Three Stacks" three times in UGK's "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)." 2009: Jay-Z joins Will Smith to executive produce Fela! on Broadway, proving his love for Broadway shows with exclamation points in their titles. 2013: A$AP Rocky makes reference to "Benjamin 3 Stack" in song "Wild for the Night."
Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the '80s. Every so often, we'll e-mail 25-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn't seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he's watching the video, then we'll post those thoughts here. This week's installment was spotted on a blog post on Missinfo.tv: Will Smith rapping on Tim Westwood's N Sign Radio Night Network in 1989. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the '80s, send snail mail to Rikers or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This will be our last Trailers of the Week of 2012. We thank you for tuning in for more than 50 trailer roundups with us this year, and can't wait to get back to overanalyzing (Dan) and always being afraid of everything (Rembert) in 2013. — Dan and Rem
Pacific Rim (July 12)
Silver: If I ever had to be placed into a medically induced coma because my cine-geek meter went into overdrive, I truly believe that Pacific Rim would be what I’d dream about. And this got me thinking, Rem: We’ve been buddies for a while now, but how well do you really know me? Let’s find out.
I’m most excited about this movie because
A. It contains giant fracking monsters fighting giant fracking robots
B. It’s the first Guillermo del Toro move since 2008
C. By casting Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, and Charlie Day, it's clear that Guillermo and I like and watch the same TV shows
D. All of the above
My favorite part of this trailer
A. Glimpses at all of the original del Toro creature/robot designs
B. Giant frackin' robot-rocket-propelled punch
C. Idris Elba’s reboot of Bill Pullman’s “Today is our Independence Day” speech
D. All of the above
Upon release of this trailer my wife
A. Was annoyed with me because I couldn’t stop exuding random guttural pleasure sounds or screaming “Yes!” and “Oh, hell yeah!”
B. Was annoyed with me because I watched the trailer eight times in 30 minuntes — on my iPhone, my iPad, my MacBook, and in ginormous and glorious HD via my Apple TV
C. Told me I was nuts for looking to see if tickets were already available for pre-sale
D. None of the above. She was doing all of the above right alongside me because she’s as big of a geek as I am.
Will Smith has spent the last few years, it seems, not being particularly interested in his "Only Real Movie Star Left" title belt. After 2008's critically bashed weepy Seven Pounds, he laid low, choosing instead to mastermind the careers of his children Willow and Jaden (a move that, considering their young ages and endless reservoirs of blank-eyed professional entertainment wherewithal, will certainly reverberate up to and throughout the end days). When Will did launch a comeback, earlier this year, it was with Men in Black III, a safe bet that paid off to the tune of over $600 million in international box office.
We told you aboutHomeland's Comic-Con panel this morning — but oh, dear friends, there's so much more popping off at San Diego's annual collection of nerds and movie stars. To the breakdown!
M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith Are Giving You Literature
Guess what's coming to a bookstore near you? Why, prequel novels based on the mythology surrounding M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith's new movie, of course. The flick is called After Earth, and it's got a pretty solid sci-fi premise: One thousand years after Earth has been destroyed by some unknown apocalypse or another, humans live on a planet called Nova Prime. Big Willie plays a guy named Cypher Raige who, no, is not a shitty battle rapper, but rather a soldier coming home to his child the Karate Kid — no, not Hilary Swank, but Jaden Smith. Blazay blah blazay blah, and the two have crash-landed back on Earth, which is all messed up and scary and abandoned now. Mr. Raige is injured and dying because of the aforementioned crash, and the young boy has to save them both. Wait, so this now sounds like it mostly stars Jaden Smith? OK, so there are going to be prequel novels based on a Jaden Smith movie? Alert the Man Booker committee!
On Friday, Memorial Day weekend will begin, Diddy and his family will commence another long summer of wearing nothing but white, and Men in Black III will arrive in theaters, marking the true beginning of Hollywood’s blockbuster season. After the catastrophic gambles, mild misfires, and historically overwhelming successes of, respectively, John Carter, Battleship, and The Avengers, we’ve finally made it to the months where nearly every movie has franchise aspirations and a genuine movie star (it’s not your fault, Taylor Kitsch!) in a lead role. It’s the moment when studios stop giving us what they think we want and start giving us what they hope we’ll tolerate.
Sandra Bullock and Brett Ratner: "Sad for so long," Bullock was "miserable" after her marriage to Jesse James fell apart with a cheating scandal and Ryan Reynolds rebuked her advances in favor of the younger and blonder Blake Lively. But "cuddling with a new male companion at an after-hours party on Oscar night, Sandra Bullock looked happier than she's been in nearly two years." Friends were stoked until they "realized who her mystery man was: Hollywood's sleaziest bad boy, Brett Ratner." Sandra's rep issued an immediate denial, but eyewitnesses say she was "hanging out a lot" with 42-year-old Ratner, "who has crudely bragged about sleeping with a slew of starlets and resigned from his latest job producing the Academy Awards after using an anti-gay slur." Maybe Sandy likes bad boys, but "Brett is a real player. He always talks about meeting girls and partying." Could be he's all talk and shrimp juice, if you listened to what Olivia Munn had to say about their brief casting couch encounter. "She wanted somebody her age or older — a tough guy who could handle her lifestyle, but with enough dating experience that he wouldn't want to cheat on her like Jesse did." She spent Oscar week flirting with Ratner and fellow "notorious player Gerard Butler." She's serious about settling down, and "her need to be in a relationship has trumped" her good judgment, although "she isn't looking for a fling. She is looking for a man to grow old with, who can help her raise Louis — a nice, decent guy."
And when you think nice and decent, you think Ratner, who "recently bragged on The Howard Stern Show that he wraps it up because, "If I breathe on a girl she can get pregnant."
Will Smith hasn’t made a movie since 2008’s Seven Pounds, a thoroughly excoriated weepie (that still managed $170 million worldwide), focusing instead on crafting his children’s manifold talents into their own self-propagating entertainment empire. He’s finally back next year with a third installment of Men In Black, which seems like a safe enough choice until you read up on its byzantine creation process. Apparently, the movie went into production with a script by Etan Cohen, one that Will wasn’t really feeling, with the plan to pause for a hiatus during which the script would be modified on the fly to meet Smith’s demands. That’d be strange enough if wasn’t for the fact while Cohen, along with other vets like David Koepp and Jeff Nathanson, did the script doctoring, Smith had his own private writer, Mike Soccio, hammering away at this thing as well without anyone else knowing about it.
Obviously blockbusters routinely have guided-tour-sized screenwriting pools, but this is a bit different: This is three writers punching away, mid-production, with yet a fourth tweaking in secret. Do you know what this means? Men in Black III could be the weirdest movie of all time! Imagine it: characters appearing in one scene to whisper ominous predictions that never manifest into plot points, scenes abruptly breaking into second, unrelated locations, whole third act reveals based on a throwaway snatch of dialogue buried under the credit sequence (Basically, David Lynch would be psyched). The trailer, sadly, doesn’t tip off any bold disjunction: from the looks of things, it’s mostly another straightforward alien action-comedy, this time with a time-travel twist (Representative dialogue: “Jump!” “Jump? “Time jump.”) Let’s keep on hoping for the worst, though.
Oh hiiiiiii! It's your weekly frenemy, the tabloids, back to humblebrag about how hard it is to have the perfect husband, children, and job. You've been looking kind of tired lately! Maybe you ought to take it easy on the cocktails during holiday parties this month, especially since you're trying to meet someone. Oh, you're seeing somebody? Huh, that guy. Yeah I don't know about that. Anyway, I'm sooooo busy making tiny coral wreaths for my daughter Gingerbeer's fish-tank nativity and poaching a brie-stuffed boar sous-vide for dinner. I better go. Luv yaaaaaaa!
Earlier today, Vulture reported that Fox is now planning two sequels to Independence Day. Original director and screenwriter Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin are wrapping up the scripts as we speak and, while there are no specific details, it is known that the movies will tell one story split into two neat, self-contained parts. (Also: aliens). Oh, and one more thing: Will Smith wants $50 million to do the movies, so Fox might just make them without him. What what what?
Paul Walker will star in Hours, a post–Hurricane Katrina thriller that will be the directorial debut of horror screenwriter Eric Heisserer (The Thing, the most recent Final Destination). Walker will play a man trying to keep his newborn daughter alive in an abandoned New Orleans hospital. Just some top-notch casting here: When you think of an actor with the expressive abilities to translate the fear and confusion that gripped the city after Katrina, of course you think Paul Walker. Grade: D [HR]