Disney

Disney Is Poised to Dominate the Summer Movie Season

Lisa Richwine

The final chapter in a decade-long superhero saga and the remake of a big-screen classic could topple box-office records during a summer movie season expected to be dominated by Walt Disney Co. Avengers: Endgame from Disney’s Marvel Studios kicks off Hollywood’s parade of potential blockbusters on Wednesday, and it is expected to start with a bang. Industry experts say Endgame will likely deliver the biggest opening weekend ever in the United States and Canada.

Family, Legacy Celebrated in Mexican Animated Film 'Coco'

Piya Sinha-Roy

“There’s a lot of divisive rhetoric that aims to make us (Latino people) less than,” said Benjamin Bratt, who voices Miguel’s musical idol and late great-great-grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz. “It’s unintended but by demonstrating what really exists, (this film) goes a long way to showing that we’re all in fact in this together and are more alike than we are different,” Bratt added.

‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “Whiplash,” J.K. Simmons plays Terrence Fletcher, a college music professor so brutal and intense that he is literally capable of making students ill. It’s a role Simmons inhabits completely, and it has, quite correctly, become one of the most celebrated performances of the movie awards season. Fletcher is, in the simplest sense, a monster. But he is also capable of inspiring his students to greatness.

Maleficent,’ ‘Hercules’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In truth, “Maleficent” is a winner no matter how one feels about “Sleeping Beauty.” A viewer could conceivably enjoy the film without even watching the original, but it’s definitely more fun for the acquainted. Familiarity with the cartoon allows viewers to contrast pre-existing impressions of Maleficent against those generated by the new picture, and that makes things interesting from an academic standpoint. 

How Fourth-Wave Feminism is Changing Disney’s Princesses

Kaitlin Ebersol

But the significance of Disney princesses extends far beyond their entertainment value. As stories created for children, and often intended to teach a lesson or impart specific morals, these films serve as mirrors that reflect our culture’s shifting values. Specifically, they demonstrate women’s perceived importance and purpose in society at specific periods in time. When analyzed parallel to the feminist movements of the 20th and early 21st centuries, they highlight intriguing – and sometimes disturbing – truths about the world in which we live. 

‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Frozen’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “The Wolf of Wall Street,” director Martin Scorsese presents a picture of Jordan Belfort that is so over the top and unapologetically vulgar that it’s easy to write the film off as exaggeration… until one realizes that Belfort says everything is true. Belfort is a former Wall Street swindler whose fraudulent actions cost investors approximately $200 million. By his own admission, he was also a sexually promiscuous drug addict at the time of his crimes. ​

‘Monsters University,’ ‘R.I.P.D.’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

With the exception of “Cars 2,” each of Pixar’s sequels has been strong, and “Monsters University” is a winner as well. The movie is presented as a prequel to “Monsters, Inc.” and it avoids the simple repetition that mars many movie franchises. It succeeds by taking already familiar characters and moving them in new and exciting directions. The picture is set years before the events in “Monsters, Inc.” and it explains how Sully and Mike became the extraordinary team that viewers meet in the original film. 

The Good, Bad, and Ugly Marketing of ‘The Lone Ranger’

Aura Bogado

“The Lone Ranger” debuted in theaters in time for the July 4 holiday, and while Johnny Depp’s decision to play Tonto—a fictional Native sidekick to the white cowboy—has drawn attention and criticism, the film’s release means that all things Native are unusually relevant—and marketable. And that can be a good, bad, and very ugly thing, all at once. Tonto action figures are already being sold as “Native American warrior spirit” caricatures. The Lego Corporation is pushing its “Comanche Camp” toys. And Subway is hawking plastic soft drink containers with Tonto snapshots.

Oscar-Winning ‘Django Unchained’ Arrives on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

“Django Unchained” is a perfect example of the phenomenon. On its surface, the movie is a basic spaghetti western built on unlikely plotting and characters. Tarantino even uses old-school title sequences, like those from the “Grindhouse” project that he and Robert Rodriguez produced. These obvious nods to B cinema are exactly the things that make the movie so enjoyable because Tarantino is a master at walking the line between satire and drama.

 

Mindy Kaling to Aziz Ansari: The Rise of Indian-American TV Stars

Lisa Tsering

 Writer-actress-producer Mindy Kaling, best known until now as Kelly on the Emmy-winning comedy “The Office” and the author of a New York Times best-selling memoir, will navigate the singles scene as the star of “The Mindy Project,” which premiered Sept. 25 on FOX. Kaling joins other Indian-American actors and writers making a mark on American TV this season — with stars such as Aziz Ansari and Kunal Nayyar continuing their successful runs on hit shows and rising child actor Karan Brar in Disney’s tween series “Jessie.”

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