More About Beauty and the Beast (Spoiler Alert!)

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Have you seen “Beauty and the Beast” already? Then enjoy this look at the Easter eggs, movie homages, and hidden details.

And I really enjoyed this discussion of plot holes/omissions in the original that are solved in the live-action remake.

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SPOILER ALERT: Rogue One Secrets

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rogue-one-cast

For hard-core “Star Wars” fans only! SPOILER ALERT!

From Slashfilm: What the differences between the trailer and the finished film show us about the reshoots. Particularly interesting is the decision to soften Jyn’s character.

Most of this dialogue compiled from various trailers is very different. Jyn’s troublemaker backstory is mostly removed from the finished film. Her responses are more antagonistic and somewhat snarky. We had heard that the reshoots reworked the Jyn character to make her less arrogant and abrasive and more empathetic, and it appears this is true.

And, as you might imagine, there are a couple of very detailed lists of the Easter eggs and references to other “Star Wars” stories, including The Verge, Den of Geek, and Screen Rant.

And CinemaBlend has an intriguing theory on how “Rogue One” relates to the flashback sequence in “Force Awakens.”

These are the fan sites you are looking for.

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Spoiler Alert: What Really Doesn’t Work in “Trainwreck” — and the Surprising Moments that Do

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Copyright 2015 Universal
Copyright 2015 Universal

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I had a few more thoughts about Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” that didn’t fit into my review because they are too spoilery.

First, our concerns over Schumer’s party girl character, also called Amy, are supposed to be about her drinking, pot-smoking, and one-night-stands. But can we take a moment to talk about how completely irresponsible she is at her job? It is a massive violation of journalistic ethics and instant firing offense, even for a skanky rag like the magazine she works for in this film, to sleep with the subject of your story. We are supposed to respect Amy’s professional accomplishments, especially at the end when her story, rejected as “too boring” by her employer, then somehow appears in Vanity Fair.

This is just one element that makes it difficult to make the leap of faith necessary to believe that Mr. Wonderful — or, I should say, Dr. Wonderful — played by Bill Hader, would actually fall for her. Yes, she’s pretty and funny and she sleeps with him right away, but can he have any respect for her whatsoever? No gauzey montage, even with air quotes around it, even with the genuine chemistry between the actors, is enough to prevent us from wondering whether the doctor can’t do better.

There are too many distractions. That dog walker movie? We could have one without it entirely, and there was certainly no reason for a reprise. And what was that “intervention” all about?

What I did like a lot: Amy’s affecting eulogy for her father gives some emotional heft to her character. And the scene after she takes a phone call during his speech is really well done, as Amy learns for the first time that people in relationships resolve conflict; they don’t run away from it.

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Summer Summer-y: The Summer Movies of 2014

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fault-in-our-stars-poster-largeA few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014:

A good summer for food movies: “The Chef,” “The 100-Foot Journey,” and “The Trip to Italy” had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention of the delicious French comedy “Le Chef,” starring Jean Reno, and “The Lunchbox” as well.

A bad summer for comedies: “22 Jump Street” was uneven, but at least it had some laughs. Can’t say the same for “Neighbors,” “Blended,” “Tammy,” “The Other Woman,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” or “Let’s Be Cops,” excruciating and un-funny wastes of time and talent.

A good summer for super-heroes: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” were all we hoped for in summer comic book blockbusters. “Spider-Man 2” was pretty good, primarily due to the sizzling chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

A good summer for Scarlett Johansson: She followed up last year’s prestige hit, “Her,” with brilliant work in an astonishing range of films, from the spooky “Under the Skin” to her witty performance in “Captain America.” She was even good in Luc Besson’s second-rate “Lucy.”Guardians of the Galaxy

A good summer for YA adaptations: “The Fault in Our Stars” was skillfully brought to screen, with “If I Stay” and “The Giver” solid runners-up.

A good summer for CGI: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was a new leap forward in the realism of the motion capture and special effects, especially the expressiveness of the characters. “Guardians of the Galaxy” had terrific CGI, especially Groot.

A bad summer for CGI: “Godzilla” was a disappointment.

I loved: “Boyhood” and “Life Itself”

I wanted to but did not love: “Jersey Boys,” “Magic in the Moonlight,” “Wish I Was Here”

I cried: “The Fault in Our Stars” and — yes — “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Deserved better box office: “Edge of Tomorrow”

Got better box office than they deserved: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Transformers”

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We’ve had quite a string of what I call Pogo bad guys. Remember when the comic strip character Pogo looked sadly at a polluted river and said, “We have met the enemy and he is us?” I’m not sure whether it is a lack of imagination in screenwriters or a reflection of the zeitgeist mistrust of institutions, but in films like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The November Man,” and even “Let’s Be Cops,” the bad guys turned out to be inside the U.S. Government.

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Explaining “Edge of Tomorrow’s” End

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edgeoftomorrow posterA lot of people complained about the ending of “Edge of Tomorrow,” but I liked it.  And I really liked this explanation of what it all meant from my friend Hamilton Whitney at FilmHamster.    Here’s the highlight, but you should read the whole thing:

In the process of destroying the Omega, Cage was exposed to high concentrations of the creature’s blood.  This time it was different than when he essentially took the place of the Alpha.  He didn’t jump back either 24 hours or to the previous checkpoint.  Rather, he jumps back all the way to what I am assuming is the beginning of the “backup period.”  The earliest time in which the Omega was currently existing.  Having absorbed the Omega’s blood, he also absorbed the elements that were in temporal flux – we’ll call them tachyon particles. As the Omega ceased to exist, in all times, the tachyon particles snapped back to their last starting state – the earliest point at which they stopped existing, pulling the consciousness of their new host with them.  Cage wakes up with all the memories of the future timelines what will not happen intact, despite being at the earlier start time.  The Omega and the tachyon particles have all ceased to exist at this point, leaving him “normal” and ready to continue on with the rest of his life.

 

 

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Spoiler Alert Understanding Media and Pop Culture
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