Top Movie News for July 3, 2022

For certain kinds of actors, it mostly feels like a matter of when — not if — they'll end up joining a franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Consider those odds even higher when it comes to someone that viewers have long dreamt of signing on to one of the most major superhero roles around.

Read with caution: There are major spoilers for "Stranger Things" season 4, volume 2 below!Hopefully, you remembered to break out the Kleenex before settling in for your four-hour binge of "Stranger Things" season 4, volume 2.

When it comes to Pixar — and indeed most any animated feature — human characters are not par the course. Many of the animation studio's iconic shorts and feature-length films relegate people to periphery roles. From "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo" to "A Bugs Life" and "Cars," all are brought to life to imbue new magic to the previously mundane. So while robots with feelings might not have been the most revolutionary idea to pop up in 2008 that didn't stop "Wall-E" from melting hearts.

A Marvel movie is never truly finished until audiences file into the multiplex on opening night, the 20+ minutes of coming attractions finally come to a close, and the lights begin to dim (to steal a memorable line from Nicole Kidman) as the familiar Marvel logo projects onto the big screen. To those who pay close attention to such matters, it's probably no surprise that many of these big-budget projects remain relatively in flux until the last minute.

"Avatar" was a groundbreaking film when it came out in 2009. Director James Cameron didn't just create the landscape of Pandora and a new group of aliens called the Na'vi — he crafted a whole new world, using advances in CGI and 3D to bring that world to life.

Antoine Fuqua is one of the voices behind Prime Video's new action-thriller series, "The Terminal List." The filmmaker produced the Chris Pratt-led series and directed the first episode. Fuqua sets the tone for the show, which casts Pratt in a more dramatic light than audiences may be used to seeing the "Guardians of the Galaxy" star.

Whenever a new movie or TV show is based on a beloved pre-existing story, the creative minds behind the project will often take creative liberties with various aspects of the original work. More times than not, fans will complain about the changes and lament the "loss" of their childhood or declare that the property as a whole is ruined (despite the fact that the initial work still exists independent of the adaptation).However, if these changes make sense narratively and still capture the spirit of the original, it works out just as well.

‘The Princess’ Delivers a Fairy Tale with Kick Simple isn't a bad thing when it's paired with fun, entertaining action beats.

Of all the filmmakers to ever have a hand in bringing the various Marvel television shows to life, director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy might have the most fascinating story of them all. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Obaid-Chinoy once explained how she took the anger she felt towards the injustice all around her and channeled it into writing. She officially entered the field of journalism at the age of 14, eventually leading her into undercover work as an investigative journalist only three years later.

Ryan Gosling versus Chris Evans in an international battle involving assassin shenanigans? Yes please.

In season three’s “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” Rory and Lorelai get in over their heads at a 24-hour dance marathon.

Mix tapes are a delicate science. Nick Hornby declared as much in his 1995 novel "High Fidelity," wherein he pontificated on the proper placement of songs, the flow of one song into another, and his intense concerns as to what kind of messages a properly thought-out playlist would communicate to the intended recipient. To quote:"To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do."As Sarah Vowell once said on "This American Life," a homemade tape is a work of friendship.

Zack Snyder's "Justice League" arrived on HBO Max last year, marking the end of a long, messy journey to see the director's vision for the film realized. No need to rehash history here, but the theatrical version of the movie did not represent what Snyder had in mind. Joss Whedon's pricey reshoots altered the DC Comics adaptation greatly. But now, the world has seen Snyder's version, all four hours of it, conveniently available on a major streaming service, as well as being released on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.At the time, Warner Bros.

Many rapidly aging folks, like yours truly, will fondly remember the glorious era of the late '70s and early '80s for more than just shoulder pads, synth music, and big hair. It was also the heyday of folks like Columbo and Jessica Fletcher, who built whole empires on the weekly whodunnit. "Murder, She Wrote" was a cornerstone of my childhood.

THE REEF: STALKED Official Trailer and Key Art Released In an effort to heal after witnessing her sister’s horrific murder, Nic travels to a tropical resort with her friends for a kayaking and diving adventure. Only hours into their expedition, the women are stalked and then attacked by a great white shark. To survive they will need to band together and Nic will have to overcome her post-traumatic stress, face her fears and slay the monster.   Nom nom nom. Chomp chomp chomp.

"We live in the shadows, and today we come into the light… Your justice belongs to privileged elite, but we're going to change that." Great speech to kick off this intense thriller. Netflix has revealed a trailer for Justice Served, an intense South African series about a hi-jacking at a court house intended as a form of activism against the wealthy elite.

Natalie Holt has now created a new sound for two major franchise characters. The composer previously scored Marvel's "Loki" series and most recently lent her talents to "Obi-Wan Kenobi." No pressure, of course -- there's only 40 years of history, fan expectations, and Lucasfilm involved. But with director Deborah Chow, Holt helped tell the story of characters leaving the dark and seeing the light. It was a very different experience for Holt compared to her time on "Loki," which she composed during lockdown and never met anyone involved in person.

Remember those chaotic days when the pandemic was still in its earliest stages and film studios hadn't yet grasped the full extent of how shutdowns would impact the entire industry? Movie theaters were closed, Tom Cruise was unhappy, and every day seemed to bring a fresh barrage of release date changes. We're not quite back at square one or anything (although that's not to say we're through the woods just yet!), but this latest batch of news will likely conjure up some negative memories.Today, Warner Bros. announced delays for two of its most highly-anticipated upcoming movies.

The "Mad Max" series is one of the few film franchises that feels completely plucked from the mind of its creator. From the world building to the construction of car chases, filmmaker George Miller has figured out not just how to make perfect action films but how to expand and build upon the ones that came before.

There are only two minutes without music in "Elvis." Baz Luhrmann's epic is wall-to-wall jams that bridge the past and the present. The biopic uses Elvis' classics not as wallpaper, but as storytelling. Right from the beginning, a new spin on "Suspicious Minds" blasts a sound of doom. The nearly three-hour drama is such an audibly immersive experience. One of the key figures behind the film's sprawling, rocking sound is the composer and music executive producer, Elliot Wheeler. "Elvis" isn't Wheeler's first time collaborating with Luhrmann.

The art form of acting is pretending to be someone you aren't. For Christian Bale, that process goes far beyond mental preparation. Bale punishes his own body to literally transform into the characters he portrays on screen.There are a lot of ways actors prepare for roles.

Are you really a shared universe if you don't have a streaming series? That appears to be the prevailing logic in Hollywood right now. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe, and "Star Wars" all have one or several streaming shows at this point, with many more on their way. Joining them is the MonsterVerse, which is currently four movies deep after "Godzilla" (2014), "Kong: Skull Island," "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," and "Godzilla vs. Kong" (with the sequel to the latter scheduled for 2024).

Set in 2144 against the  backdrop of a frozen wasteland, Sumi, a human child raised by Mama Polar Bear, narrowly escapes capture from a brutal Morad hunting party and sets out across the vast winter landscape. When Sumi stumbles across Frozen Girl, an unlikely friendship is forged and together they race ahead of the vindictive hunters towards the only guiding light Sumi knows, the Ploaris star.   Well, howdy.

Though Indiana Jones has a fifth movie on the way in 2023, his original '80s trilogy ended with "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," which meant the climax of that film was also intended to be the series climax ... at least until a certain Crystal Skull reared its ugly head (and no, we're not talking about Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka).Director Steven Spielberg was not happy with how the second installment in the franchise, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," had turned out.

We chat with the 'E.T.' and 'Midnight Mass' actor about achieving a cinematic fantasy in the new action-thriller 'Crawlspace.'

For as often as he directs vanilla Oscar bait and "hooey" Robert Langdon movies, Ron Howard sometimes pulls out a film like "Rush" and reminds us he's capable of making genuinely exciting pictures. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl bring a fiery energy to their on-screen rivalry in the 2013 film as Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two alpha male types (one a swaggering hedonist, the other disciplined and focused) who butt heads in the 1970s. As is often the case with biopics, the movie take liberties with the facts, portraying the duo as frenemies.

Any time a supporting character comes out of nowhere and ends up stealing scenes in a Marvel movie, reactions always tend to follow the same train of thought: "Give them a spin-off movie!" But sometimes, you can just tell when a particularly new superhero hits harder than usual. Ever since Tessa Thompson first arrived on the scene as Valkyrie in "Thor: Ragnarok," fans have clamored to see much more of the self-exiled Asgardian.

Warning! Major spoilers ahead for "Stranger Things" season 4 (volumes 1 and 2 ahead).There's a lot to unpack with regard to the rollercoaster of a season finale of "Stranger Things" volume 2. This season's final episode, "The Piggyback," which is longer than a feature-length film, and the episode preceding it, "Papa," sets up some hefty exposition and developments to set up the stage for a grand finish.

(Superhero Bits is a collection of stories, updates, and videos about anything and everything inspired by the comics of Marvel, DC, and more.

The release of Jordan Peele's mysterious new horror movie "Nope" is only a few weeks away, and it looks like the filmmaker might be dropping some coded clues. The movie's trailers have introduced viewers to plenty of intriguing elements, from a horse ranch with a classic Hollywood connection to what appears to be some freaky extraterrestrial activity.

(Welcome to Tales from the Box Office, our column that examines box office miracles, disasters, and everything in between, as well as what we can learn from them.)There are movies that are hits and nothing more. They arrive in theaters, make their money, and sort of disappear into the wind. Everyone is happy, but the world largely moves on. A great example is Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland," which somehow made $1 billion long before that was a thing that movies were regularly doing.

Given the enormous $7.1 billion-plus worldwide haul collected by its various features, it can be easy to forget that Illumination Entertainment didn't exist until 2010. Arriving later than even the likes of Blue Sky Studios or Sony Pictures Animation, Illumination has managed to quickly become a titan in the world of feature-length animated films aimed at families. Much of this comes from the tremendous box office grosses of the various "Despicable Me" movies.

Box Office

  • 1. Alien: Covenant
    Gross: $36,000,000
    Total: $36,000,000
  • 2. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
    Gross: $35,062,000
    Total: $301,799,474
  • 3. Everything, Everything
    Gross: $12,000,000
    Total: $12,000,000
  • 4. Snatched
    Gross: $7,600,000
    Total: $32,782,600
  • 5. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
    Gross: $7,200,000
    Total: $7,200,000

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