Film News

"Heartbreaking": Why Is George Miller Replacing Charlize Theron for "Furiosa"?

The acclaimed director seems to not even be considering Theron for Furiosa, which the star describes as "a tough one to swallow."

Mad Max: Fury Road

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Charlize Theron recently expressed her sadness that director George Miller is casting a younger actress to play the titular character in Furiosa.

In one of the most memorable roles of the decade, Theron embodied a fierce survivor's energy as Furiosa in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, teaming up with Max to lead a dramatic escape of women from Immortan Joe's Citadel. But Furiosa, the prequel currently in pre-production, is set to cover the character's early life, and Theron, 44, is reportedly going to be replaced by an actress in her 20s.

Theron, who says she "really love[s] that character," described the decision as "a little heartbreaking, for sure," and "a tough one to swallow," adding, "I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making Fury Road with him. He's a master … if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him."

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Satire

What Movies Will God Quiz You on When You Get to Heaven?

Apparently God is a major movie buff.

Icon Productions

Chances are pretty good that if you...*checks news*...live literally anywhere in the world, you're probably quarantined and maybe dying from COVID-19 right now.

I probably am right now. Sure, some psychologists are saying, "Don't let coronavirus tip society into panic," but panic is a natural response to unseen threats that make us question our survival and why we even exist. So if you're going to be stuck in your bedroom during what very well might be your last two weeks on earth, you might as well catch up on all the movies that God quizzes you on when you get into heaven.

Wait, what? That's right, dear reader, God is a major movie buff, according to a prophetic vision I had last night while quarantined, and let me assure you that I immediately and accurately jotted His favorite titles down so you can ace the test and not be cast into the fiery pits of Eternal Damnation. Remember, if you don't die as a seasoned movie buff, God will not let you in. Look it up in The Bible.

Noah

www.youtube.com

According to God, high-budget Hollywood retellings of biblical stories are His favorite form of worship. So it almost goes without saying that Darren Aronofsky's Noah epic, starring Russell Crowe, made the list. While many of the other Hollywood bible epics take too many liberties for God's liking, God assured me that Noah is a spot-on interpretation, and that Noah's real adopted daughter actually did look a little bit like Emma Watson. God also mentioned that flooding the world was one of the coolest things He ever did, so it was pretty fun to watch on the big screen.

The Passion of the Christ

www.youtube.com

Mel Gibson's poorly received Jesus Christ biopic may be a slog to get through, but honestly, we should have seen this coming. After all, when a guy who vocally hates Jews decides to direct a movie about God's son, you better believe God's going to take notice. The funny part is that God didn't like it either. God made it crystal clear that Mel Gibson failed to capture Jesus' mannerisms and that the main point in having us watch is so we can all make fun of it together from an informed perspective.

God's Not Dead

www.youtube.com

With a paltry budget of only two million dollars, and a very silly cameo appearance from Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, God informed me that even though He hates to use the term, He couldn't help feeling like God's Not Dead took His name in vain. The movie's premise that God actually cares whether or not some dumb college students believe in Him was deeply offensive, especially when the only thing He actually cares about is whether or not we can pass his cinematic litmus test. He hopes that we can use take this movie as a lesson in what not to do.

Gods of Egypt

www.youtube.com

Straight up, God would not stop praising Gods of Egypt. This is a direct quote from God during my quarantined vision: "Dude, Gods of Egypt is so underrated. Realizing there wasn't going to be a sequel was the exact thing that made me start coronavirus." God clarified that while it's technically a good-bad movie, it's so good-bad that it might actually just be amazing. He's really into good-bad movies, so that's probably a useful thing to keep in mind when you kick the bucket. Also, if you happen to be Tommy Wiseau, he's going to talk your ear off. Like, he loves you, man.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

www.youtube.com

Okay, this was a surprise. It turns out that God's favorite movie, in the history of the medium, is Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He doesn't even like it ironically; he actually thinks it's good. I asked him if he had ever seen the comparisons between Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Neon Genesis Evangelion and, I kid you not, God says, "Who do you think came up with that first?" Admittedly, when God first said that Paul Blart: Mall Cop was his favorite movie, I doubted his taste in film for the briefest moment, but oh God, did God prove me wrong. The dude is absorbing cinema at a whole different level. I mean, this is the same guy who came up with mountains and diamonds and fish, of course He knows what He's talking about. I should never have doubted God, and now I know that when I die from COVID-19, God will be gaining another little film bro in heaven.

Culture Feature

Why Does Chrissy Teigen Keep Dragging John Legend?

We're not saying Chrissy Teigen bullies John Legend... But if she does, he probably likes it.

John Legend has received a distinction no man has ever earned.

Sure, he's achieved a full EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), he stars in an Emmy Award-winning TV show, and he's only the fourth person of color to be named People's "Sexiest Man Alive," but his most impressive credential by far is having Chrissy Teigen as his wife.

"My secret is out," she tweeted in 2019. "I have fulfilled my dream of having boned @people's sexiest man alive!! an honor!!!!"

Legend is arguably a trailblazer in this new avenue; as a baby-faced 40-year-old, his new "sexy" honor tips the balance in the eternal battle between being "cute" or "hot" but never a hybrid of both. Legend commented right away on the vacuous nature of the "Sexiest Man" title, "Everyone's going to be picking me apart to see if I'm sexy enough to hold this title," he told People. I'm [also] following Idris Elba, which is not fair and is not nice to me!"

No, it's not nice. But with Chrissy Teigen as his wife, Legend knows better than to expect niceties; because it's clear that no one, absolutely no one, is better at dragging John Legend than his wife.

Twitter

John Legend: The Icon, the Meme, the Aardvark

The Internet's love of the "John Legend looks like Arthur" meme doesn't compare to Chrissy Teigen's. She's returned the public's attention to it when it simply wasn't being appreciated enough, especially in reference to their daughter. Once upon a time, it seems Legend could appreciate the joke, even dressing up as the children's cartoon for a commercial once. But marriage is long and arduous, and not even eternal vows can't prepare you for having the Queen of Twitter as a spouse. Really, John Legend's exasperation in his wife's Instagram comments is the delicious coda to every little dig.


Chrissy Teigen: John Legend's Worst Fear

Shortly after being crowned the most symmetrical face in mainstream media, Legend guest-hosted the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Inevitably, during one of the interludes, Chrissy Teigen popped out of the fake piece of furniture that's always lying around Ellen's set so nearly every celebrity guest can be caught on camera having a moment of pure, animalistic fear. This is John Legend's fear face:

Chrissy Teigen Scares Guest Host John Legend www.youtube.com


Even scared, he looks so carefree. How? I don't trust it.



After bantering about the uncomfortable logistics of sitting in a box so you can yell "boo" at your husband, whom you probably live with and could do a better job of scaring the next time he's emerging from the shower, Teigen seemed to believe that her husband genuinely had no idea she was in the studio. Teigen asked him, "You didn't hear me banging around the box?" "No, I did not," Legend answered. Teigen lamented to the audience, "This helps because he's very unaware of anything around him. Like we get in fights on the airplane and stuff. He'll hit people with his bag. And I'm like apologize!"

Chrissy Teigen Isn't a Huge John Legend Fan

What makes that Ellen scare even better is that Chrissy Teigen seems to alternate between flippantly sharing intimate details about her and John's love life and also not knowing pretty basic, very public information about her own husband. Why? Because she's busy. No, she never saw Selma, despite her husband taking home his first Oscar for writing the moving score. Why? Because she didn't feel like it, mind your business!

Chrissy Teigen Doesn't Know Jack About John Legend www.youtube.com


Chrissy Teigen: Not Afraid to Challenge Idris Elba

In order to clearly communicate his deep feelings of inferiority compared to Idris Elba, John Legend took to Twitter to compare a picture of himself at 17 to the aesthetic pleasure that is the one and only Idrissa Akuna Elba, OBE. To her credit, Teigen wrote an encouraging response that magnanimously pointed to the fact that we all have old photos of ourselves in which we look like a half-transformed Animorph beast...except Idris Elba. "Yeah but let's see an @idriselba pic from 1995 (prob still very hot)," she wrote.

And indeed, Elba accepted her challenge and posted a photo of himself as a smoking hot twenty-something year old in 1995, which at a certain point is honestly tantamount to an attack on society, because who needs to look like this?




Yes, Chrissy Teigen tried, but must you, Idris Elba?! One day I'm going to start a movement to dismantle beauty biases in Hollywood and all of American culture just so I can shame people for being so hot. Oh, what? That's already a toxic take that's historically targeted women who vote and write and have senses of humor while daring to look better than an unwashed bridge troll? Much like former Sports Illustrated model-turned-author-turned-beloved-TV-personality Chrissy Teigen? who has the honor of being the target of Trump's Twitter rampages??? Nevermind, then. Clearly, Chrissy Teigen bullies John Legend, the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2019, as an ironic commentary on beauty biases and shame that pervades American media. I get it now.

CULTURE

John Legend's "Sexiest Man Alive" Title is a Victory for Baby Faces

It's a big day for those of us with a youthful essence.

Bartenders and bouncers often take their sweet, sweet time when looking at my ID.

I can't blame them. I no longer live in the state where my ID was issued, so the discrepancy automatically raises some eyebrows. I've drastically changed my hairstyle since my photo was taken, I now wear glasses, and I look a little more like I've been through some stuff, to put it lightly. But the overarching reason my ID causes concern is probably that, for nearly all of my post-pubescent life, I've been mistaken for at least a couple of years younger than I actually am.

Besides the fact that only one of us is an EGOT winner, John Legend and I have a lot in common. His internet humor-fluent wife, Chrissy Teigen, often points out the physical similarities between Legend and their kids; of course, it's natural to bear a resemblance to your dad, but the thing is John Legend still looks like a baby. Which is why I, forever a child in the eyes of strangers, breathed a sigh of relief when I found out John Legend was named People's Sexiest Man Alive 2019.

John Legend's "Sexiest Man Alive!" cover for People.

There are definitely more important reasons to be glad Legend received this very silly and arbitrary honor, like the fact that he's only the fourth person of color to ever receive the title. But this is a moment for Legend's fellow babyface bearers to celebrate. We, too, could be so lucky as to have definitive evidence of our perceived sexiness. Legend has also fallen victim to a running joke comparing his looks to Arthur. How beautiful is it that we live in a world that tells someone they look like a cartoon aardvark but also splays magazine covers with photos of them smizing in a half-unbuttoned shirt?

However, I guess it's worth noting that Legend isn't just a pretty (baby) face. He has a very toned body and godly singing pipes; he did once portray Jesus Christ, after all. Still, I would assume the general population finds him much more "cute" than "sexy," and it seems Legend himself might feel the same: "Everyone's going to be picking me apart to see if I'm sexy enough to hold this title," he told People. You bet we are! But I'm not one to objectively say whether or not John Legend is sexy. I'm just saying I'm happy that being "cute" is enough to get by these days.

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week we have Jordan Peele's highly anticipated movie, Us.

WIDE RELEASE:

Us

Us - Official Trailer [HD] www.youtube.com

Director Jordan Peele's follow up to his 2017 hit, Get Out, Us, features a family of four who find themselves targeted by an evil group of strangers who look exactly like them. The trailer suggests a movie chock full of terrifying, borderline-surreal imagery alongside the genuinely hilarious comedic notes that made Get Out such a success. The movie currently boasts a 98% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so if you can stomach the horror, this is my main recommendation for the weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Ramen Shop

Ramen Shop Trailer #1 (2019) | Movieclips Indie www.youtube.com

A Singaporean film, Ramen Teh or Ramen Shop, tells the story of a Japanese ramen chef who travels to Singapore after discovering his Singaporean mother's notebook amongst his recently deceased father's belongings. He travels with the purpose of learning more about his family history, ultimately finding romance and a greater connection to food. The trailer features some gorgeous shots of ramen, so if you're into stories about the power of great food, Ramen Shop may be worth your while.

Dragged Across Concrete

Dragged Across Concrete (2019 Movie) Official Trailer – Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter www.youtube.com

Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson star as two cops gone bad in director S. Craig Zahler's newest crime thriller. After Gibson's act of police brutality leads to his and his partner's suspension from the force, the disgraced cops use their underworld connections to secure financial support while they're off-duty. Zahler has a knack for depicting violence, as evidenced by his previous feature Bone Tomahawk, so it stands to reason Dragged Across Concrete will have a similar flair.

Hotel Mumbai

HOTEL MUMBAI Official Trailer (2019) Dev Patel, Armie Hammer Movie www.youtube.com

A thriller based on the real 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India, Hotel Mumbai stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) as a hotel employee working his shift when the terrorists strike. Now, Dev, his fellow staff members, and a number of guests, including Armie Hammer, must band together to survive and escape the bloodshed. If you're a fan of thrillers and dramatizations of true events, Hotel Mumbai should be right up your alley.

Out of Blue

OUT OF BLUE Official Trailer (2019) Patricia Clarkson, Toby Jones Mystery Movie HD www.youtube.com

In mystery/suspense drama Out of Blue, Academy Award-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson plays Mike Hoolihan, a cop investigating the murder of a renowned astrophysicist. The trailer is baffling. The dialogue seems really bad, so bad it might be a joke, although it's honestly hard to tell. For instance, when a man utters, "Jesus Christ," Clarkson responds, "I don't think Jesus had much to do with this." Could that line have possibly been written seriously? If you're brave enough, watch the movie and find out.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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Film Lists

10 Dos and Don'ts to Surviving Reboots in 2019

Remember the offensively bad 2015 remake of Fantastic Four? The worst has yet to come.

Sometimes a remake is a gift of nostalgia, and sometimes it's a scourge against fans who deserve better.

Among 2019's onslaught of comic book movies, documentaries, and movies for nerds sans superheroes in tights, many studios are standing firm in their boycott of original ideas. Disney is launching a blitz attack on the American public with live action remakes of Aladdin and The Lion King (albeit the later is forgivable as long as it's precious), while MGM is animating a fan favorite, The Addams Family (which is forgivable as long as it's creepy).

Here are 10 Do's and Don'ts to survive this year's storm of reboots:

DON'T: What Men Want (February 8, 2019)

IMDB

Nobody asked for a remake of this 2000 Mel Gibson film except the devil. Taraji P. Henson stars as the female version of Gibson's character, a sports agent who's overlooked for her male coworkers. Controversial singer Erykah Badu plays a fortune teller for some reason, and she gives Henson's character the ability to hear what men think. With an early 2.9/10 rating on IMDB, people want to watch this movie even less than they want to hear men's thoughts.

DO: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31)

HorrorNews

Bring on the CGI circle jerk of gratuitous violence and melodramatic monster tropes! Millie Bobby Brown and Vera Farmiga star in this gladiatorial face off between Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and all three heads of King Ghidorah. A "crypto-zoological agency" (totally a real thing) called Monarch has to save humanity when all these monsters rise.

DON'T: Aladdin (May 24)

Gamespot

Disney recruited Guy Ritchie to recreate the 1992 classic. With Egyptian-born actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Power Rangers' Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith boggling minds as the Genie, it looks just as strange as the live action Dumbo and Lion King remakes being released this year. Except it seems more wrong.

DO: Shaft (June 14)

Little White Lies

What's more appropriate for the third Shaft film than to include not one, but three Shafts?! Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson return as John Shaft and John Shaft II, but the new addition is Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence) as the very unique John Shaft Jr.. Described as "a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT," Junior enlists his father's (Jackson) help "to uncover the truth behind his best friend's untimely death." Yes, with three separate Shafts, this movie promises to be confusing, but it looks super fun.

DON'T: Men in Black: International (June 14)

YouTube

With the Men in Black franchise already stretched thin, this could go terribly wrong. But the quirky chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Thor: Ragnarok restored our faith in the Thor franchise, so there's a chance they're worthwhile as Agent M and Agent H. Both agents "tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization," and hopefully Hemsworth and Thompson will bring some of the irreverence and offbeat humor they managed in Ragnarok.

DO: Child's Play (June 21)

Dread Central

The worst birthday gift a mother could give her son is being brought back by the producers of It. Aubrey Plaza will play against type as the unwitting mother who commits child abuse by giving her son a Chucky doll. Plaza seems the type who would do that because it's funny.

DON'T: Grudge (June 21)

Variety

It's a 2019 remake of the 2004 remake of the 2004 Japanese original, Ju-On. While this version will include John Cho, who's an eternal delight, the film will also feature an attractive American woman (Andrea Riseborough) entering a haunted house before an entity tries to kill her. Again.

MAYBE: The Lion King (July 19)

IMDB

Reasons to not outright pan this film as a bastardization of your childhood include: Jon Favreau directs, Hans Zimmer scores, Donald Glover is the voice of Simba, Seth Rogan is Pumbaa, James Earl Jones is Mufasa, and Beyoncé is Nala. Not to mention, John Oliver is the perfect voice of Zuzu, while Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor voices Scar.

DO: The Addams Family (October 18)

Den of Geek

After this animated feature premieres in time for Halloween, the Addams will be the creepiest family since the Lohans. While the live action cast remains iconic, this remake features Burton-esque artwork and an all-star cast of Charlize Theron as Morticia, Chloë Grace Moretz as Wednesday, and Oscar Isaac as Gomez.

DON'T: Charlie's Angels (November 1, 2019)

Marie Clare

At first, this seems promising, with Charlie played by Elizabeth Banks, who also directs; but who are the newest, coolest angels? Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott. and Ella Balinska, for some reason. Remember the offensively bad 2015 remake of Fantastic Four? Me either. Hopefully, we'll forget this reboot just as quickly.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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