Hard to believe that eight years have already passed since Michael Jackson’s death, but time’s a goon like that. And as the King of Pop settles in the ground, the question of what shape his legacy will take must be answered. While we’d be remiss to gloss over the ethical lapses and general trainwreckishness of the man’s final years (and doubly remiss not to point out the cruel, exacting factors in his life that drove him to that mental state), the time has come for a bit of enshrinement. Next month, the Michael we prefer to remember — the virtuosic performer, the boundary-pushing titan of black art — will return for a glorious new tribute.
Ahh, post-production, that magical time when a director can use computers and good old-fashioned ingenuity to fix the hundred little things that went wrong while shooting. Flubbed lines can be re-recorded and spliced in, flawed shots can be surgically removed, and inconsistencies in continuity can be digitally erased from the frame. That last one has become something of a major concern for the Justice League production as it winds down, because the process of reshooting has dealt director Joss Whedon one hairy, noticeable continuity error.
Just yesterday, we noted the release of a new trailer for the upcoming re-adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal killer-clown novel It. Things seemed pretty normal, at first brush: terrified kids, children’s entertainer straight out of your worst nightmares, eerie red balloon, the whole nine yards. But sharp-eyed viewers have now noted a little Easter egg squirreled away for a split-second in one shot near the end of the trailer. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, “it” referring in this instance to “IT.”
With the arrival of San Diego Comic-Con last week, the major announcements started flying fast and furious. After the avalanche of release date announcements, trailer releases, and other first-look headline-generators, the news broke that the gears of progress had begun turning for James Bond’s next cinematic outing. The official Twitter account posted that the still-untitled James Bond 25 would hit American theaters on November 8, 2019 after an earlier release in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and also presumably after shiploads of online pirates have gotten their mitts on it. Americans do not tend to take delayed release dates lying down.
Our children won’t believe us when we tell them that there used to be doubt over whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work at the box office. Even at present, the days of studio executive hand-wringing over whether audiences would deign to shell out their precious $11.75 to see a film in which a woman — who was not a man — did superhero things feel favorably remote. For director Patty Jenkins and her marble-carved star Gal Gadot have proven beyond all debate and rage-choked internet commenting that women are perfectly capable of making a whole mess of money during blockbuster season. And now it’s official.
October hardly qualifies as blockbuster season, but Denis Villeneuve will most likely change that when he unveils the long-murmured-about Blade Runner 2049 on the 6th of that month. He’s bringing all the buzz and gossip-mongering of the summer tentpole frenzy a few months later into the year, and the hype machine has gladly risen to meet him. Empire Magazine, that hallowed bastion of fan-boy and -girl culture, has stoked the flame with a glossy new cover story for Villeneuve’s latest this month, and the denizens of the internet will be pleased to know that they’ve publicized some of their exclusive new photos ahead of time.
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
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