After the disappointing performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the Terminator franchise and the dismal turnout for Adam Sandler’s Pixels, a lot of people have been bringing up the perennial question of whether the age of the marquee-name movie star is over. Tom Cruise has answered that question. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the fifth entry in the series that Cruise himself engendered as producer and star in the mid-’90s, pulled in $56 million for its opening weekend. Cruise essentially murdered the critically-maligned Vacation, which came in a distant second place with $14.8 million, despite Chris Hemsworth's huge appendage. Cruise is also a throwback to a bygone era of mega-wattage stars: The man strapped himself to a flying plane – eight times – just to get a shot right. And he's already working on another Mission: Impossible, because he's immortal.
At the top of her game in the UK, Cilla Black, who died today at the age of 72, was the highest-paid woman on television. During her 50-year career, Black, born Priscilla White, had 11 songs in the UK top 10, two consecutive number one hits (“Anyone Who Had a Heart” and “You’re My World,” both 1964) and 19 consecutive hits in the UK top 40. She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and honored with a special BAFTA last year for her lifelong dedication to the arts and entertainment.
"If God exists, then why did he make ugly people?" Hopefully Zoolander 2 will have an answer for that question.
Dr. Dre, the iconic hip-hop producer, has a new album coming out. Really. He’s been teasing an album called Detox, the follow-up to 2001 and his seminal The Chronic, for years. Now we finally have confirmation, via Billboard, that a separate new Dre album will come out this week. It’s called Compton: A Soundtrack, released in tandem with the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Dre didn’t join the recent N.W.A. reunion, leading some to wonder what was up (he had introduced the film’s initial trailer back in February). Turns out he’s just been busy prepping the album. Dre said that the album, which drops on August 7, will be his “grand finale.”
“There are those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behaviour and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity.” - Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
When Ash vs Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell and creator Sam Raimi showed up for yesterday's Starz TV Critics Press Tour session, Campbell was quick to explain how the reason he had to do this show was because fans wouldn't have it any other way, especially considering how he keeps getting asked to appear at conventions some 35 years after the original Evil Dead movie. He also insisted that those fans won't be disappointed with the show, particularly when it comes to the series' requisite gore. Said Campbell, "People ask how much blood there will be. I went blind shooting a scene the other day. That's how much blood there is."
AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is one of the year's most anticipated new shows, and its showrunners and cast hit the stage at the Summer TV Press Tour to field questions following their first Comic-Con fan frenzy last month. The cast already loves the attention that comes from being related to “the mothership” — as The Walking Dead was repeatedly referred to — and not surprisingly, the cast members are all Andrew Lincoln fanboys and girls. Here’s what we found out.
Speaking with MTV, Simon Pegg (looking super trendy with his thick-frame glasses and rolled-up shirt sleeves) was given one minute to rank the six Star Wars films. Though he has only ten seconds to justify each film (he speaks really quickly), Pegg expounds on his decision to rank Revenge as the best of the hated prequels: "It had at least some connection to the first three films, which saved it for me, even though it was another … uh … mess."
Coincidentally, two films currently in theaters are about journalists writing magazine profiles. In one of them, the writer and subject have stimulating and sometimes antagonistic philosophical discussions about the nature of art, fame, and human identity. In the other, the writer and subject have sex, break off their affair for professional reasons, but then (spoiler!) end up falling in love anyway. One of these writers is a man and the other is a woman. Knowing what you do about how Hollywood movies work, I’ll let you take a wild guess which is which.
The second episode of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp (or WHAS: FDOC for short) opens not at Camp Firewood, but in … New York City? Specifically, we’re taken to the offices of Rock & Roll World magazine. They’ve hit a slump, and stories about some random DJ named Grandmaster Flash aren’t gonna cut it. They need to shake things up.
So, who steps up to the plate? Lindsey (Elizabeth Banks), who was conspicuously absent from WHAS’s first episode, and up until now was supposedly a 16-year-old counselor. It turns out she’s a Columbia-educated, 24-year-old journalist in the big city, and she’s got an idea: She’s heard about this camp up in Maine …
Ian McShane, best known for his terrifying turn as the foul-mouthed anti-hero of Deadwood, will be returning to HBO, by way of Westeros. According to Entertainment Weekly, McShane and his unsettling eyes have been cast in an undisclosed role for season six of Game of Thrones. McShane, who once had a career as a sexy crooner before trying his hand at playing sociopaths, will have “a relatively small amount of screen-time during the season, yet his character is of key importance.” The 72-year-old actor plays scary men of authority, and homicidal Santa Clauses, better than anyone else. We can't wait to see what he does and whom he kills.
Bill Nye the Science Guy may be beloved by millennials and bow-tie aficionados, but, believe it or not, there are people out there who do not like him. (Mostly people who don't like science.) To promote his movie, a documentary called, aptly, The Bill Nye Film, which is currently accruing funds on Kickstarter, Nye read #MeanTweets about himself. Riffing on Jimmy Kimmel’s popular segment, Nye sifted through the Twitterverse, finding the sharpest barbs.
Nearly an hour into John Carpenter’s They Live (1988), the gum-chewing, ass-kicking Roddy Piper engages Keith David in one of the most ridiculous bouts of fisticuffs in movie history. The fight lasts for six minutes and purportedly serves no purpose; its incomprehensible duration is the joke, and in lieu of a punch line, Carpenter gives us punches. Lots of punches. It is, as philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek puts it, totally irrational, and totally brilliant.
You might see a film about William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal’s ten televised debates during the 1968 presidential conventions as an opportunity to bask in eloquent, pointed repartee. You might also enjoy the spectacle of two of the foremost intellectuals of their time coming very close to physically beating the crap out of each other. You might not expect, however, to find yourself weeping — for the state of the republic and the poisoned media landscape, for the decay of the American social contract. Yet here we are. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s masterful Best of Enemies leaves you with an overwhelming sense of despair. It’s not just a great documentary, it’s a vital one.
After being detained in Sweden for allegedly looking like he was high last weekend, Snoop Dogg has now had a run-in with Italian customs, according to the Associated Press. The rapper with an affinity for ganja was stopped by Italian authorities at the Lamezia Terme airport in Calabria Saturday after they found him carrying $422,000 in cash. The authorities then took half of his money under anti-money-laundering regulations, which require you to declare if you’re transporting more than $11,000 in cash across EU borders. They will reportedly keep that money until they determine how much of a fine to levy against him. This leaves Snoop with a little more than $200,000, which can buy you approximately 50,000 booklets of Zig Zag rolling papers or around 53 pounds of pot. If things continue in this fashion, Snoop will be hanging out with British authorities this Sunday.
Meek Mill is officially having a worse week than you. He irreparably ruined his cred following his ongoing beef with Drake, which resulted in a bevy of responses in heavy favor of Drake. Now the Daily Beast reports that Meek Mill has been dumped by Nicki Minaj, via tabloid site MediaTakeOut. Talk about getting kicked while you're down.
Pro wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper has died of natural causes at the age of 61, TMZ reports. Piper was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2006, but he told a newspaper last year he was cancer-free. He reportedly died in his sleep on Friday of cardiac arrest. Born Roderick Toombs, Piper grew up on an Indian reservation in Saskatchewan and got into wrestling at a young age, taking his nickname and entrance gimmick from his other hobby, bagpiping. One of the most famous villains in pro-wrestling history — though, like many wrestlers, he spent time on both sides of the heel-face divide — he spent two decades working for World Wrestling Entertainment. The most famous match of his career in the squared circle was undoubtedly the first Wrestlemania, where he squared off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T for a tag-team fight in Madison Square Garden.
Piper last wrestled professionally in 2008 and spent his retirement getting into improv. He also had a memorable side career as an actor; his role in 1988's They Live featured not only one of the most brutal fight scenes in film history, but also the iconic line, "I've come to chew bubblegum and kick ass ... and I'm all out of bubblegum," which in turn inspired Piper's soda line, Rowdy Roddy Piper's Bubble Gum Soda.
Now that we know summer’s darling UnREAL is coming back for a second season, we’ve gotten our thrill of imagining what other reality shows UnREAL could satirize: Real Housewives of New York? Top Shot? The show itself has floated out the possibility of a spinoff show like Royal Renovations, but the showrunners Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro have also considered doing a Bachelorette version. “Part of me just wants to flip the formula and have a female suitor with a bunch of guys,” Noxon told us on the red carpet at the PaleyLive finale event in Beverly Hills Thursday night. “Sarah’s told me, having worked on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, that the dynamic is totally different. It’s very hard to get drama out of the bros. They tend to default a lot more; it’s much harder to coach the bear. Part of me is interested in staying within the conventions that people know, but then we’ve talked about taking it to the tropics or having them naked and afraid.”
At the beginning of (and throughout) every month, Hulu adds new movies and TV shows to its library. Here is a quick list of several that you might be interested in. Some of these may also have previously been on Netflix, only to have been removed and then added back. Feel free to note anything we've left out in the comments below.
- Culture Editor
- Lane Brown
- Editorial Director
- Neil Janowitz
- West Coast Editor
- Josef Adalian
- Senior Editor
- Kyle Buchanan
- Senior Editor
- Jesse David Fox
- Senior Editor
- Gazelle Emami
- TV Columnist
- Margaret Lyons
- Associate Editor
- Lauretta Charlton
- Associate Editor
- Nate Jones
- Associate Editor
- Dee Lockett
- Associate Editor
- E. Alex Jung