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Bong Joon-Ho's Mickey 17 Gets Release Date And A Quick Teaser Featuring Robert Pattinson

• Monday 23:17

Cue up your "Return of the King" title card memes, because Bong Joon-ho will be returning to our screens in 2024. Out of nowhere, Warner Bros. released the first look at the sci-fi drama "Mickey 17" to their social media channels, and admittedly, there's not a lot of footage to parse through and analyze. However, what we do see is a shirtless Robert Pattinson lying on some kind of futuristic medical table, as well as a tag that Warner Bros. will release the film on March 29, 2024.According to a press release from Warner Bros., "Mickey 17" is currently in production and will be an exclusive theatrical release. While we're still not entirely sure what it will be about just yet, we do know that it was adapted from the Edward Ashton novel, "Mickey7," so there are a few details we can gather about what could be in store for us. Mickey is an Expendable, a humanoid that is able to be cloned and restored after death. As the title suggests, Mickey has been cloned seven previous times while on the crew of an expedition onto the planet Niflheim. When presumed dead after a mission gone wrong, he is cloned once more as Mickey 8, but the titular version of the clone is still as alive, and he's determined to keep his successor a secret from his struggling crew. Pattinson is likely playing the ill-fated Mickey, but based on the title, there were likely several other iterations of the humanoid before the one we'll be following.A Much-Anticipated Return To Sci-FiThere is certainly no denying that "Parasite" is a modern masterpiece, and for that alone, Bong Joon-ho should be able to make whatever he wants. However, it is really nice that he's returning to science fiction — he previously proved himself to be a great director of the genre with 2006's "The Host," 2013's "Snowpiercer," and 2017's "Okja." It will also mark his third English-language project and will feature a familiar face from "Okja" in Steven Yeun.Who else will be joining Robert Pattinson and Yeun in this intergalactic drama? Naomi Ackie, Toni Collette, and Mark Ruffalo will also star in the film in undisclosed roles, and Warner Bros. will likely announce more names and other Bong collaborators as the film comes closer to release. Speaking of Bong collaborators, however, we've got four important crew members confirmed for the film that worked with him before on "Snowpiercer," "Okja," and "Parasite": Composer Jung Jae-il, director of photography Darius Khondji, editor Yan Jin-mo, and costume designer Catherine George."Mickey 17" blasts into theaters on March 29, 2024, and while I'm very excited, that is just too far away for my tastes. Why would you do this to me, Warner Bros?Read this next: Sci-Fi Movies That Accurately Predicted The FutureThe post Bong Joon-Ho's Mickey 17 Gets Release Date And A Quick Teaser Featuring Robert Pattinson appeared first on /Film.

Indie Horror Skinamarink Is Getting A Theatrical And Streaming Release – Here's Why That Matters

• Monday 23:00

If you've been keeping up with Film Twitter drama or HorrorTok trends of late, this news is for you, and it's some of the best we've gotten in the horror genre for some time. Microbudget horror sensation "Skinamarink" will receive a theatrical run through IFC Midnight beginning on January 13, 2023. It has also been acquired by horror streaming service Shudder and will debut on the platform later next year, with a date to be announced."I'm thrilled that after months of keeping it secret, I can finally tell everyone that my weird movie is going to be in theaters and on Shudder," writer-director and producer Kyle Edward Ball said in a statement to Variety on Monday, December 5, 2022.The film stars Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul, and Jaime Hill and was executive produced by Edmon Rotea, Ava Karvonen, Bonnie Lewis, Alan Lewis, Josh Doke, and Jonathan Barkan. Emily Gotto, Shudder's VP of global acquisitions and co-productions, and Jonathan Barkan of BayView Entertainment negotiated the acquisition deal on behalf of the filmmaker, we have independently confirmed.Here's the film's official synopsis, but reader beware:Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. To cope with the strange situation, the two bring pillows and blankets to the living room and settle into a quiet slumber party situation. They play well worn videotapes of cartoons to fill the silence of the house and distract from the frightening and inexplicable situation. All the while in the hopes that eventually some grown-ups will come to rescue them. However, after a while it becomes clear that something is watching over them.Tell Me About The Whole Skinamarink Controversy, Please"Skinamarink" has garnered a ton of interest through the festival circuit (including a smash debut at Fantasia International Film Festival) for being a deeply unsettling mix of found-footage kinder horror and dreamlike Lynchian experimental film. It's simple, atmospheric, and turns our minds against us in ways that even some of the very best horror films have struggled to do. Naturally, word-of-mouth has been tough to stomach for those who didn't have access to film festivals for various reasons.Over the last month or so, "Skinamarink" was reportedly stolen from one festival's screening platform during its virtual presentation and subsequently leaked online to the point where copies existed on both YouTube and websites that host pirated content for equitable viewing. Clips of the film's best scenes became sensations on TikTok and Reddit, while everyone who had eagerly lapped up the stolen copy of the movie rushed to update their Letterboxd accounts to rate the film (and collect their capital-c Clout). Some creators even went as far as to fully review the film via TikTok and YouTube after watching the pirated copy.This series of events started an uproar online, with a debate firmly planted in a two-sided argument. Some argued that pirating "Skinamarink" was for some kind of common good that entrenched the filmmaker and his work in the public consciousness, creating a hit. Others said the stolen copy's circulation only hurt the filmmaker and his prospects for making a living on a piece of work so deserving of the financial success it was destined to have. Thankfully, the film already had distribution when it was pirated, but the leak has had an immeasurably harmful impact on its future success. Why Does Any Of This Matter?This is the question to end all questions about piracy, and this small but mighty film is why it's being asked a lot as of late. Let's talk about independent film and how the system, so to speak, works.Accolades — reviews, awards, and the like — are good for a filmmaker, but when in conversation with a studio or distributor (big or small) about potential work, those execs are also looking at the success of the filmmaker's previous projects. Success has many metrics, but ultimately it means one major thing: dollars. This brings me to my next point. The overwhelming majority of folks who watch a movie are one-and-done folks, especially when it comes to independent cinema. They aren't like me, a critic who sometimes watches a film five times before filing a piece or who just loves some movies so much that they're frequently on repeat. If they watch a pirated copy, the studio has lost its chance of making any money from that experience. It's considered a loss, and it's a factor that weighs heavy on an independent filmmaker.The Price Filmmakers PayThis doesn't just apply to online rentals, purchases, or even theater ticket sales. This also applies to your standard streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, or wherever the film ends up in the on-demand landscape. They've already seen it, and again, most people don't rewatch movies several times over, so studios aren't making a return on the streaming numbers either. The online support for the film — which often comes from folks who have illegally watched the movie — ends up paling compared to what could've been done monetarily in the studio's eyes. The numbers simply do not support the filmmaker at that point.This sentiment potentially matters less for big-budget studio pictures like Marvel films and major blockbusters. But for an independent filmmaker trying to carve out a place for themselves, it often leads to their undoing. That filmmaker is going to have to deal with all the same hoops to jump through to make that next film while, most of the time, still owing money to the investors of the first film that got all that online support but no cash. Even if the money from their debut can't be recouped through distribution, the filmmaker still has to find a way to pay it back. What happens then? It's not hard to guess: most filmmakers in this position, those not backed by a trust fund or some kind of angel investment, simply have to stop making films.Dictating The Terms Of ReleaseNot all films are guaranteed to recoup their investment. Not every film is a tentpole franchise that's practically scientifically proven to skyrocket beyond its budget on return. The ones who don't have that in the bag deserve the best shot at it they can get, especially the ones that stand out from the crowd.Throughout the course of the discourse, I noticed how many people felt they had the right to watch the film at their whim, simply because they wanted to. I also noticed how many folks thought they were genuinely helping the filmmaker by getting his work out there and letting it be seen broadly as if many of them were falsely under the impression that "Skinamarink" was a piece of lost media that would never get a release. There is a sense of entitlement and even a level of ignorance at play in both of these perspectives, one that highlights a filmmaker's right to determine the terms of release of their film. They deserve to be able to craft their film's entry into the world and have it seen how they want it to be seen.Support Within The SystemThe release plan for a film is a well-oiled process executed with precision in collaboration with the filmmaker and reflects their vision for essentially birthing their firstborn. It's an experience they should have as much say in as possible, and distributing a stolen copy of their film puts that at great risk. In a way, it even taints the experience for the viewer because they're not getting what the filmmaker intended.Ultimately, it comes down to this. If you want more from directors like Kyle Edward Ball, or any independent filmmakers at even the smallest levels, you have to support those stories within the confines of the current system. Yes, that means waiting for an official release to do so. It would be incredible to live in a world where capital and art don't even live in the same neighborhood, and a beautiful medium like film — and, really, any and all art — could be enjoyed freely by all, but that's not the industry that has been built up around creative endeavors. Whether we like it or not, we live in a capitalist society, which isn't changing any time soon. Support these projects and artists through the right channels, so we can celebrate their successes in a way that will lift them to new heights.Read this next: The 95 Best Horror Movies EverThe post Indie Horror Skinamarink is Getting a Theatrical and Streaming Release – Here's Why That Matters appeared first on /Film.

Why Sesame Street's Bob McGrath Mattered To Generations Of Kids – And Especially Musicians

• Monday 22:00

A bright, benevolent light went out on December 4, 2022, when Bob McGrath passed away at the age of 90. For 47 years, he maintained a residence as Bob Johnson on "Sesame Street," where, at an amazing 130-episode-per-season clip (until 1998), he taught children the joy of music. Whenever Bob dropped by Gordon and Susan Robinson's apartment, or popped his head into Mr. Hooper's shop, you knew a sing-a-long was imminent. He had a load of songs in his arsenal, and not a bum one in the bunch. But as a loyal viewer in the late 1970s, I always perked up when Bob busted out a rendition of "One of These Things," "A Face" or "The People in Your Neighborhood."The vast majority of my earliest memories center on movies, television and music. I retain fragments of going to see "Star Wars" in 1977, rocking to and fro in front of my record player to Pete Seeger's "Froggy Went a Courtin'" and belting out "I've Got Two" as encouraged by Bob. These cultural experiences weren't just foundational for me. Though the movies and music will likely vary given your upbringing, I'd wager that most of us paid daily visits to the racially and ethnically inclusive confines of "Sesame Street." With this in mind, there might be few musicians who can claim a more profoundly elemental influence on multiple generations of singers and songwriters than Bob McGrath.A Neighborhood Where We All Sang Differently, But Always TogetherHaving grown up in a small, very white Ohio town, my early trips to "Sesame Street" were essential. I got to know the African-American Gordons, the Mexican-American Luis (Emilio Delgado) and Puerto Rican-born Maria (Sonia Manzano), and never once found it odd or, god forbid, objectionable that they possessed a different skin tone than me. I wasn't exposed to hate until I shared classrooms and playgrounds with the children of bigots.Like most kids, I adored the neighborhood's muppet denizens (who dominate the show today), but in the pre-internet age, when most houses lacked a video game console, the participatory nature of a sing-a-long was exhilarating. I was being asked by the people being beamed into my family's living room to be a part of their performance, and I obliged with relish. In a gesture that the very worst people among us would castigate as "woke" today, songs were occasionally performed in different languages, so that, for instance, Spanish-speaking children could join their English-speaking friends in the musical fun.For a white kid, it was vital for me to see Bob interacting with his friends in their language (including American Sign Language, which he learned so he could communicate with deaf cast member Linda Bove). And it left an especially deep impression on me that he connected with people through music. Yes, there will always be a selfish dimension to live performance (instant gratification is a helluva drug), but there's nothing quite like the high of eliciting a smile or a seemingly involuntary cheer from another person through your music.Bob Believed In The Everlasting Power Of SongThe American folk music revival of the mid-20th century was a testament to the power of song. It is impossible to conceive of the period's workers and Civil Rights protests without masses of people singing in unison, over and over again, to "We Shall Overcome." McGrath harnessed that transformative power as a means to a less confrontational end. When he sang to us from his stoop on "Sesame Street," he did so with a kind heart, offering nothing more complicated or controversial than friendship. He made us feel seen and special. Most importantly, he made us want to sing.I imagine many of our greatest Gen X musicians were planted in front of their television in the 1970s and as I was, belting out "One of These Things" with joyful abandon. The quality of your voice wasn't a concern. Heck, it didn't matter if you couldn't even carry a tune. We joined in the revelry to experience that stirring sense of belonging to a community that stretched far away from your front door. Bob connected us. So sing a song for your old friend from "Sesame Street" today. Sing it loud.Read this next: Actors Who Died In 2021The post Why Sesame Street's Bob McGrath Mattered to Generations of Kids – And Especially Musicians appeared first on /Film.

Tommy Lee Jones Wanted Men In Black's Script To Pick One: Comedy Or Science Fiction

• Monday 21:46

For decades, the mythology of the Men in Black has hovered over the UFO community. Legend says that investigating paranormal phenomena, spotting unidentified craft, or encountering alien beings often leads to a scary visit from pale men in black suits who threaten the witness to keep quiet about what they've seen. Many supposed eyewitnesses claim that these men are government agents or shape-shifting aliens tasked with keeping the existence of the paranormal a secret from humanity, while skeptics wrote them off as a silly fable created by a kooky, paranoid community. In 1997, a popular film offered a humorous take on the enigmatic Men in Black.Between 1990 and 1991, Lowell Cunningham wrote "Men in Black," a dark, violent comic book series that focuses on the daily grind of government agents who exterminate supernatural beings and human eyewitnesses to keep the public ignorant. According to a 2022 interview with Inverse, after writing six issues of the comic, Cunningham turned the concept into a script and sent it to Hollywood. Screenwriter Ed Solomon read it and enjoyed it, but didn't think the darkness and violence would work for the film as well as it did for the comics. Cunningham was offered the chance to write the first draft of the screenplay, but didn't feel that his experience as a comic writer had prepared him for such an undertaking, so the job landed in Solomon's lap.Solomon went with his instincts and wrote "Men in Black" as a comedy, which is a decision that caused some friction with Tommy Lee Jones.'Comedy Would Allow The Leaps Of Faith Needed For This To Work'Ed Solomon's initial pitch to put a comedic spin on the concept landed him the gig, and he ran with it, creating a humorous take on the concept of extraterrestrials and the government agency that has to keep them in line. Tommy Lee Jones, however, had a very different understanding of the script. Solomon told Inverse that Jones felt the film should either be science fiction or comedy, and that Solomon's attempt to blend the two wouldn't work. "I said it wasn't good enough science fiction to be dramatic," he told Inverse. "Comedy would allow the leaps of faith needed for this to work. So I was asked to do a draft that was more dramatic and which made him the lead. But I argued that that wasn't a good idea because it's a world-build notion and he already knows the world."Solomon's argument is a solid one. The goofiness of "Men in Black" differentiated it from popular '90s sci-fi hits like "The X-Files," "Independence Day," and "The Fifth Element." In the end, after being fired four times, Solomon's original idea stuck, and he produced one of the funniest and most popular sci-fi movies ever. He also gets to say he won an argument against Jones, and considering the actor's prickly personality, I doubt that happens very often.Jones' CutsKeeping the humorous tone of the film allowed Will Smith to lean into his natural comedic talent and ad-lib some of the film's funniest lines. "There were lines in 'Men in Black' that I couldn't have written that [Will] winged and [he] was right on," Solomon said at the 2015 Austin Film Festival. "There's a scene where he lands in the bus and I think he says, 'It's raining Black people in New York.' I wouldn't have had the confidence to write that." As a dramatic actor, Tommy Lee Jones couldn't compete with Smith's quick quips, but that didn't stop him from putting his own spin on Solomon's script as well. After discovering that aliens exist, Jay (Smith) and Kay (Jones) discuss the ignorance of humanity and the necessity for a secret organization like the Men in Black. According to Solomon at the Austin Film Festival, he filled the scene with a long analogy that Jones wanted to cut. "It was this long, eloquent [...] description of 'Yeah, you know you're trying to find a suitcase that you can fit this whole thing into, blah, blah, and get a handle on it." Jones made the executive decision to remove the long-winded metaphor from the script, which Solomon admits made the scene "way better.""Men in Black" was released July 2, 1997, and earned a staggering $51 million its opening weekend. It went on to gross over $250 million domestically, spawned an Emmy award-winning animated series, and three sequels. Despite Jones' concerns, his dramatic talents blended well with Smith's comedic abilities to create one of the most unpredictable, yet successful, on-screen comedy teams of the late '90s.Read this next: 20 Movies About Aliens That You Definitely Need To WatchThe post Tommy Lee Jones Wanted Men In Black's Script To Pick One: Comedy Or Science Fiction appeared first on /Film.

2016's Holiday Horror Film Better Watch Out Almost Ended Very Differently

• Monday 21:45

With the arrival of December comes embracing the Christmas horror subgenre. When it's good, it's good. When it's bad, you still can't turn away. There's just something about the holidays going absolutely wrong that serves as both nightmare fuel and brilliant catharsis depending on the execution. It's why holiday horror film classics like "Black Christmas" and "Gremlins" still reign supreme on many of the Best Christmas horror lists to this day.In the case of Chris Peckover's "Better Watch Out," the Australian Christmas horror film is more than good, with its horrific subtext concerning toxic masculinity aging better with time. The film follows 17-year-old Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) who has been hired to babysit the 12-year-old boy you'll absolutely despise by the film's end, Luke (Levi Miller). Luke has a crush on Ashley and ropes his best friend into a misguided faux home-invasion plan to attempt to seduce the teen.Of course, the plan fails because staging a home invasion scenario to try to win anyone is poorly advised. That's when Levi's homicidal, incel sensibilities start to bubble to the surface. Things get a lot worse for everyone around him when he doesn't get his way.While "Better Watch Out" is a solid entry to the Christmas horror subgenre, its ending is left open enough for interpretation and for the possibility of a sequel. However, rather than the hopeful ending we got, the film could have ended a lot differently if they had kept screenwriter Zack Kahn's original ending.Rejection Of NihilismBack in 2017, one of the ways Chris Peckover promoted "Better Watch Out" was by taking to Reddit for an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Throughout the course of the session, he answered the majority of questions thrown his way. Of course, one of the questions was about the film's open ending that, to this day, still keeps fans wondering what's next for characters Ashley and Luke. "Zack's original ending was SUPER nihilistic," Peckover responded when asked about whether or not the film had other possible endings. "Very powerful, but I didn't want to put audiences through that kind of a downer. Maybe I'm too nice a guy." The ending wasn't the only thing that changed once Peckover got involved with the project. He shared with Screen Anarchy that the script underwent a substantial shift once he and Kahn started tackling re-writes:"The twist was still the same, but it was about 60 pages after and I thought what came after the twist was way more interesting, so we kind of flipped things around. We also added the character Garrett, who wasn't in the film originally. That brought a wonderful dynamic that wasn't there before. But from the very beginning, I thought the twist was a million dollar twist."The changes to the ending open up the conversation for possible sequels, with some suggesting a storyline similar to "Halloween II." Unfortunately, a sequel seems more unlikely as the years pass by.Why No Sequel?The potential for a "Better Watch Out" sequel was literally spelled out for anyone willing to tackle it. However, we've yet to see any sort of progress on a sequel thus far. Part of the reason is Chris Peckover's project schedule. During the Reddit AMA, Peckover revealed that his next project would be in the vein of a supernatural horror film. In 2019, we finally got a title and a synopsis for his next project titled "Limbo," which dives headfirst into the possession horror subgenre. The last we heard about the project was in February of 2020 right before COVID-19 hit, with no further updates since. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the film isn't happening.Another possible explanation for the lack of a sequel is more conjecture than anything else. Holiday horror standalones generally land better than expanding into a franchise. Screen Rant explained it best with their breakdown of the "Silent Night, Deadly Night" holiday horror franchise: To live up to the success of the original film means creating something of equal or better value. That pressure alone would be enough to dissuade anyone from trying. If interest still remains for a "Better Watch Out" sequel, maybe someone will come and snatch up the opportunity. Until then, all we can do is envision our own scenarios while we re-watch this modern holiday horror classic.Read this next: The 27 Best Christmas Horror Movies RankedThe post 2016's Holiday Horror Film Better Watch Out Almost Ended Very Differently appeared first on /Film.

Jim Carrey's Riddler In Batman Forever Was Written In Robin Williams' 'Voice'

• Monday 21:42

A couple of long shadows cast themselves over Jim Carrey's performance as the Riddler in "Batman Forever." For one, there's the legacy of Jack Nicholson, who so memorably played the Joker in the first major "Batman" movie from 1989. Casting Carrey — an actor with the same maniacal energy as Nicholson — was a gambit to produce a villain of the same ilk.Then, there was Frank Gorshin's TV Riddler from the 1966 "Batman" series. Gorshin is often ranked as the most memorable of that series' special guest villains, elevating the Riddler to an A-list Batman rogue. "Batman Forever" director Joel Schumacher embraced the legacy of Adam West, unlike previous "Batman" director Tim Burton, who pushed the hero and his infamous rogues' gallery into a more gothic realm.Then, there was the shadow of the actor who was almost cast as the Riddler before Carrey stepped up: Robin Williams.A History Of Robin Williams Almost Being In BatmanRobin Williams had a few connections to the Batman franchise, even though he ultimately never starred in it. He was offered the part of the Joker in 1989's "Batman." Sort of. In actuality, it was more of a ploy, positioning Williams as bait to get Jack Nicholson to sign on. Williams dismissed this with good humor (and a flawless Jack impression) in a 1993 interview, acknowledging that this sort of industry tactic happens more than one would think, even to Nicholson himself.In that same interview, he expressed interest in playing the Riddler. He also told Entertainment Weekly, ''I loved Batman when I was growing up because we didn't have Barney then. I am just waiting to see the script, and if it's right, then I'll sign on.'' The same outlet reported Carrey's casting in 1994. Apparently, Williams passed on the role, out of concern he'd be overshadowed by Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of Two-Face.Lee Batchler, the film's screenwriter, told the Hollywood Reporter about Williams' lingering influence on the film:"With the Riddler, we wrote it with Robin's voice. He read our script and loved it, they just didn't make the deal. So when it came to Jim Carrey, he very much did our script. It was just a little less Robin Williams. It was a little more straight. It was very much the same character and the same lines."If Carrey's Riddler was the "straight" version, then Williams might've (literally) burst off the screen from the sheer energy of his performance.The Nolan ConnectionRobin Williams was always known as a theatrical performer, going back to his time as a stand-up comic. Even if he never abandoned comedy, he proved throughout his career that he could play dramatic parts well. He played not one but two inspirational teachers, first in "Dead Poets Society," and then in "Good Will Hunting," and no one has done the archetype better.One of his most against-type performances was "Insomnia," where he played Walter Finch, a murderer hounded by Detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino). Serial killer roles present an easy chance for actors to go hard, but Williams instead delivered one of his most subtle performances. Not many actors could mine empathy from such a cold-blooded character."Insomnia" was directed by future Batman director Christopher Nolan, but Williams, unfortunately, wasn't able to parley this connection into a part in Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy. There were rumors of Williams having a part in "The Dark Knight Rises" as Professor Hugo Strange. Like the Riddler, Strange is an intellectual adversary intent on solving the question mark that is Batman. However, Strange lacks an alternate persona or a costume like the Riddler's garish green get-up. Considering Williams' track record, he could have easily played either variety of villain.Of course, these rumors were only rumors. Before Nolan settled on using Bane, the Riddler was considered to appear in the film, but Warner Bros' wanted to cast Leonardo DiCaprio for the part. By 2012, it seems Williams' chance to menace Batman onscreen had passed him by. Thus, we're tragically left with only approximations of Williams as a Batman villain in "Batman Forever" and "Insomnia."Read this next: Every Christopher Nolan Film Ranked Worst To BestThe post Jim Carrey's Riddler In Batman Forever Was Written In Robin Williams' 'Voice' appeared first on /Film.

John Cleese Has 'No Idea' Why Monty Python Has Had Such A Lasting Impact

• Monday 21:40

Of all genres, comedy runs the risk of aging the fastest. In some cases, this can be due to the use of offensive jokes in old works that fly in the face of modern audiences' sensibilities. In others, it's simply because joke structures that were innovative and surprising to audiences at one point have become trite and overused. Because of comedy's inherently short shelf life, it's one of the most difficult genres to create a timeless classic within. That's why the few movies that have seemingly accomplished this, movies like "Airplane!" and "Blazing Saddles," are such impressive works of art, as they manage to hold up even against the ravages of time.In some cases, even the creators of these movies are surprised by how much staying power they have. This is the case for John Cleese, one of the co-founders of the legendary Monty Python sketch group. While Monty Python is responsible for many comedies that I believe hold up very well, by far their most persistently popular work is "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," their parody of the medieval stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.The film has been a massive success since its release, with impressive box office earnings, especially for a British film released in the United States. To this day, the film finds itself ranked highly by multiple outlets, with ABC declaring it the second-best comedy film ever in 2011, and Empire in 2016 ranking it as the 18th-best British film of all time. Despite all of the film's success, Cleese is still not sure why it's remembered so fondly. When asked by the Harvard Business Review what he viewed the movie's lasting impact as, he simply replied, "I have no idea. I think you'll have to ask people who watch it."Monty Python Is For The KidsBefore the Monty Python troupe made movies, they were best known for their BBC sketch series, "Monty Python's Flying Circus." The show, which is a cult classic in its own right, aired between 1969 and 1974. According to Terry Gilliam, another member of the group, it was frustrations with the limited television format that led to the making of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the group's first original feature film, in 1975.Back then, it's hard to imagine any of the group were aware of the impact the film would go on to have, and according to the Harvard Business Review interview, John Cleese is still quite surprised:"All I know is that, for reasons that none of us understand, it just seems to go on and on and on. In America, in particular, every new young generation seems to rediscover it, which is a mystery to us."As an American who definitely went through a Monty Python phase in middle school, much to the chagrin of my teachers, I can personally attest to this phenomenon. To imagine a group of middle schoolers enjoying any other piece of art from so long ago would seem ridiculous, but "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" truly has a timelessness to it that few films can claim.Accessibly AbsurdistAccording to John Cleese in the Harvard Business Review piece, he believes it's Monty Python's absurdist qualities that lead to its continuing popularity amongst young people:"I think it's because the Python attitude toward life is to suggest how absurd everything is, and when people are younger they often look around and think it's all a bit crazy. Humor is fundamentally a sense of perspective, and as I've grown older I've just gone back to the position I had when I was 15 or 16 when I thought most of what was going on was absolutely ridiculous. I've now re-reached that position at the age of 74."This theory definitely checks out, as young people have a tendency to embrace absurdist humor, especially Gen Z in recent years. It makes sense that a movie that relies on almost dadaistic comedy maintains its appeal through the generations.Regardless of how it has happened, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" has become the gold standard of timeless comedy. It left a huge footprint in the landscape of film, with even Steven Spielberg flinching at the idea of making a movie too similar to the farcical classic. Comedy doesn't always age gracefully, but "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" has proven, much like the Old Man, that this comedy is "not quite dead yet!"Read this next: The 20 Most Influential Comedy Stars In Movie HistoryThe post John Cleese Has 'No Idea' Why Monty Python Has Had Such A Lasting Impact appeared first on /Film.

The Last Of Us Trailer Breakdown: The Zombie Apocalypse Has Never Looked This Good

• Monday 21:40

We are in a golden age of video game adaptations. What used to be a much-maligned endeavor, an almost-cursed undertaking, is now a well of possibilities that can produce some stunning works of film and television. Whether it's "Werewolves Within" and "Sonic the Hedgehog," or the stunning, award-winning "Arcane" and the unabashed fun of "Players," never has there been as much reason to get excited for a video game adaptation as there is now — and things are just getting started.Arguably the most anticipated video game adaptation coming out in 2023 is "The Last of Us" TV series from Craig Mazin and the original game's creator, Neil Druckmann. The game is already rather cinematic and has great visuals, and one could wonder why exactly we needed a live-action adaptation. But Mazin's work with the near-apocalyptic drama "Chernobyl" and this show's stellar cast are enough to keep us intrigued -- and that is before we get to the trailers, which have managed to capture the essence of the game.Zombie shows and movies are dime a dozen, but "The Last of Us" promises to do something different, and the latest trailer is a good showcase of why, thanks to its visuals, unique designs, and memorable characters. With plenty of references to the game, some gorgeous visuals and plenty of little reveals, there's a lot going on in the latest trailer of "The Last of Us." Here's everything we learned about the upcoming adaptation before it premieres on January 15, 2023.Sweet, Sweet AntibodiesA big focus of the trailer is presenting the tone of "The Last of Us," and how it will translate the game's themes of hope versus despair. This is a world devastated by the Cordyceps brain infection, which has killed most of humanity and turned the rest into fungi-covered monsters. The trailer begins with young Ellie (Bella Ramsey) asking the grizzled Joel (Pedro Pascal) why he goes on if there is no hope, and we get shots of several characters talking about how hopeless it is out there.But there is one hope, and it is all because of Ellie. As she reveals in the trailer, Ellie is infected with the virus, but did not turn into a monster because she is immune. This is huge for the story, and hits at the heart of what makes "The Last of Us" different from other zombie shows and movies. There are no dead being brought back to life, no "The Walking Dead" situation where you fear the living but fight the dead. Instead, this is an aggressive virus that attacks the brain capacities of the infected through different stages and turns them into monsters. And as we see in the trailer, the longer a body lives with the infection, the more its body mutates.If Ellie carries the infection but does not turn, then she may be a key to turn the world back to normal, making her the most important teenager alive.'If She So Much As Twitches...'One of the big problems with adapting a video game to the screen is that no casting can ever live up to the original, simply because you spend far more time with the game's version of the characters (plus, you're the one actually controlling their movements and actions). Yet, the trailer for "The Last of Us" quickly shows why the upcoming TV series nailed its casting.In a short and sweet scene, we hear Pedro Pascal's Joel strongly suggest to Anna Torv's Tess that if Ellie twitches, Tess should just shoot her. Pascal's grim, annoyed face perfectly captures the world-weary survivor he is at that point in the story. In response, Ellie begins to playfully mimic a "clicker" until Tess tells her off. In a single scene, Bella Ramsey fully embodies Ellie and her teenage snark and her relationship with Joel, which starts out — as Joel himself says in the trailer — as that of cargo and smuggler, but becomes more akin to father and daughter.Welcome To Ish's HouseLike many games, "The Last of Us" is full of little secrets and notes scattered throughout its world, which serves to add to the game's length, but also allows for some fascinating environmental storytelling. Players find hideouts that tell stories about the people that lived there and the tragic circumstances of their deaths. Case in point: Ish's hideout. Ish never appears in the game, but we learn about him from a series of notes he left behind.The latest trailer for "The Last of Us" shows what clearly looks like the entrance to Ish's hideout. This is but one of many shots in the trailer that look as if they were lifted straight from the video game. But what makes this shot different is what it implies. Ish's role in the story is not big (you can finish the entire game and not really know who he is), but having his notes in there add to the overall world-building of "The Last of Us" and make it feel like a expansive place with real people who have lives outside of the main story.A Post-Apocalyptic NightmareWe've seen a lot of zombie apocalypses and a lot of post-apocalyptic worlds ravaged by viruses and zombies on screen, but not like this. The secret weapon to the world of "The Last of Us" is the Cordyceps fungus that both brings about the end of the world and severely impacts every aspect of life after it. The trailer shows off vistas of recognizable landmarks in ruins and nature taking over big cities, but "The Last of Us" is all about the dark spaces, where an infected person could jump out from the next corner at any second.Here's one of those locations. You can see Joel and Ellie walking up some stairs covered in corpses, which are covered in fungi. The fact that the fungi also release toxic spores that can turn you into a monster transforms the very environment into a threat, making it equally terrifying and exciting for viewers to watch these characters traverse these dangerous areas.When Ellie Meets EllieWe live in a time where adaptations rule pop culture, whether it's comic book adaptations, novel adaptations, or game adaptations. Sadly, while the source material is beloved by many, and so influential as to warrant a live-action adaptation, creators don't always get the credit they deserve. This is why it's so refreshing to see not only "The Last of Us" game creator, Neil Druckmann, work on the show, but the game's two main performers return for the show. Here we see Ashley Johnson, who originated the role of Ellie, as what looks like Ellie's mom in the show, which is a sweet tribute to her history as the originator of this character. Likewise, actor Troy Baker, who played Joel in the game, appears as a goon later in the trailer.Going Beyond The Main Game"The Last of Us" is not an incredibly lengthy game, and given how much of it is puzzle-solving and sneaking around (then dying and doing it again), it makes sense for the TV show to make some changes. Most excitedly, the trailer shows that we're going to see an adaptation of the first DLC, "The Last of Us: Left Behind." That DLC tells a standalone story about Ellie in her time before she met Joel, when she and her best friend Riley discovered an abandoned mall in Boston.Unsurprisingly for "The Last of Us," that DLC is quite sad and tragic, but it adds lot of character development to Ellie. The new trailer reveals we'll see some of this, with a shot of Ellie in what looks like the abandoned camp, and a shot of Ellie and Riley at a photo booth. "Euphoria" star Storm Reid is set to play Riley, and we are already prepared for the waterworks.That's A Big BoyThe newest trailer for "The Last of Us" gives us our best look at the infected that will make life hell for Joel and Ellie on the show. We see how the different stages of the infection make for very different creatures, like the clickers and their awful, well, clicks, or the less evolved and more common runners who merely try to overrun survivors.Then the trailer ends with the big reveal of the most complex and scariest type of infected monster — the bloater. A bloater is the last stage of infection, which takes years to develop. Infected are covered in thick fungi that acts as armor and they have no shred of humanity or consciousness left. What's most impressive is that the trailer appears to indicate that the bloater could be mostly practical, a guy in a rather grotesque suit and not a fully CGI creation. If our experiences with the game are any indication, get ready to scream and jump whenever a bloater shows up.Read this next: The 20 Best Dystopian Movies Of All TimeThe post The Last of Us Trailer Breakdown: The Zombie Apocalypse Has Never Looked This Good appeared first on /Film.

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