This weekend, Peter Parker swings back into theatres, but it’s not Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield behind the familiar red-and-black-webbed mask. Instead, for the third time in 15 years the web-slinging role has been recast. This time around, 21-year-old English actor and dancer Tom Holland wears the suit as the star of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Holland’s extended Captain America: Civil War cameo in 2016 almost stole the show, displaying the character’s bright-eyed, boyish spark but this is his first outing as the title star. So far he’s getting rave reviews. After a recent critics screening the twitterverse lit up.
“Tom Holland is perfect,” wrote one poster, “He’s having the time of his life and it shows.” “I don’t want to spoil it,” wrote another, “but they found a way to make Spider-Man relatable like never before on screen, that’s where @TomHolland1996 shines.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming is poised to hit big at the theatres, breathing new life into a character we all know but it is also a shining example of the old adage, “The only constant is change.” Hollywood loves to reboot movies — we’ll soon see new versions of It, Flatliners and Blade Runner — but while the titles stay the same, the faces change.
Not everyone embraces the changes. When Garfield took over for Maguire in 2012 1234zoomer commented on The Amazing Spider-Man: “IS NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME WITHOUT TOBBY!!!,” (her uppercase and spelling, not mine), but Maguire was gracious, saying, “I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story.”
Whether Holland acknowledges Maguire or Garfield is yet to be seen, but at least one replacement had the manners to recognize his precursor.
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 007 No. 2 George Lazenby paid a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the original Bond, Sean Connery. After a wild battle to rescue Contessa Teresa (played by Diana Rigg) the new James Bond didn’t get the girl. “This never happened to the other fellow,” he says, looking dejectedly into the camera.
Connery went on to co-star in The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan, a character later portrayed by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.
In 2014 Chris Pine (who also took over the part of Captain Kirk in Star Trek from William Shatner) played the super spy in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. He admits, “We didn’t totally get that right,” but still has hopes for the series. “It’s a great franchise, and if it’s not me, then I hope it gets a fifth life at this point. I hope it’s done again and with a great story.”
The Batman franchise also has had a revolving cast. Since 1943 eight actors have played the Caped Crusader, including Lewis G. Wilson, who at 23 remains the youngest actor to play the character, and George Clooney who admits he was “really bad” in Batman & Robin.
Most recently Ben Affleck, dubbed Bat-Fleck by fans, has played the Dark Knight but probably the most loved Bat-actor of all time is the late Adam West. West, who passed away last month at age 88, admits playing Batman typecast him but says, “I made up my mind a long time ago to enjoy it. Not many actors get the chance to create a signature character.”
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Ghost in the Shell,” “The Boss Basby” and “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the reimagined sci fi classic “Ghost in the Shell,” Alec Baldwin as a bossy tot in “The Boss Baby” and Jessica Chastain in “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the reimagined sci fi classic “Ghost in the Shell,” Alec Baldwin as a bossy tot in “The Boss Baby” and Jessica Chastain in “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
In the movies anything is possible. Superheroes routinely save the earth, regular folks can afford to live in fancy New York apartments and infants can talk.
This weekend Alec Baldwin lends his distinctive, raspy voice to the title character of The Boss Baby. Based on a 36-page book by Marla Frazee, it’s a feature length riff on Look Who’s Talking as imagined by Family Guy’s Stewie Griffin.
“I may look like a baby but I was born all grown up,” Boss Baby boasts as he drops into the Templeton family, upsetting only child Tim’s carefree life. Wearing a suit onesie, BB carries a briefcase and speaks the language of the boardroom.
Seems he’s from a purveyor of fine babies, a company that supplies tots via a chute. Those who giggle when tickled are placed with families, those who don’t, like Boss Baby, are sentenced to a Kafka-esque, humourless life in BabyCorp management, kept infant-sized by special formula.
With lines like, “You know who else wears a diaper? Astronauts.” Boss Baby has the movies’s best lines, expertly delivered by Baldwin but he’s not the first talking baby to grace the big screen.
Leone LeDoux was an actor who, when she wasn’t voicing Minnie Mouse in cartoons of the 1930s and 1940s, made a career out of supplying baby vocals for movies. Some, like her work in the short Water Babies, involved creating childlike sounds for on screen infants while others were more involved. In The Reluctant Dragon she gives voice to child genius Baby Weems.
“You’re a quiet little fellow, aren’t you?” coos the nurse.
“Well, there really isn’t much to talk about,” replies Weems.
Other movie babies have had more to say.
Amy Heckerling came up with the idea for the Citizen Kane of talking toddler movies, Look Who’s Talking, when she and screenwriter husband Neal Israel were playing with their new baby. “My husband and I started to put words in her mouth,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “what she might be thinking based on her expressions.” The playful game blossomed into a film starring Kristie Alley, John Travolta and Bruce Willis as the voice of talking newborn Mikey. Heckerling notes that Willis frequently went off script, improvising X-rated lines that couldn’t be used in the film.
The movie gave Travolta’s career a shot in the arm—he hadn’t acted in five years—and started a talking baby trend in pop culture. The next year the sitcom Baby Talk starred the vocal stylings of Tony Danza as Baby Mickey, son of single mom Maggie.
More recently the baritone voiced E-Trade baby, frequently voiced by comedian Pete Holmes, looked to Heckerling’s movie for inspiration. From 2008 to 2014 Elayne Rapping, professor of American Studies at SUNY/Buffalo says the spokesbaby “humanized the whole business of trading. While other babies are just pictures, this one has a personality that is pure pop culture.”
Finally, back on the big screen Baby Geniuses sees Kathleen Turner and Christopher Lloyd as scientists who think that babies are born knowing the secrets of the universe. To learn those secrets they try to decode goo-goo-ga-ga baby talk. Roger Ebert put this movie on his “Most Hated” list and the Stinkers bad Movie Awards nominated Leo, Gerry and Myles Fitzgerald, the triplets who played Sly, the baby genius, as Worst Child Performer.
Based on a 36-page book by Marla Frazee, “The Boss Baby” is a feature length riff on “Look Who’s Talking” as imagined by “Family Guy’s” Stewie.
Tim Templeton (voice of Miles Bakshi, grandson of animation hero Ralph) is an imaginative seven-year-old only child of parents Ted and Janis voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow. “It was just the three of us,” he says. “The Templetons. Three is the perfect number. Interesting fact, did you know the triangle is the strongest shape alive?” He’s content to be the centre of attention but his carefully constructed life is turned upside down when Mom and Dad come home with his little brother (Alec Baldwin).
The baby is… different. “I may look like a baby but I was born all grown up,” he boasts. Wearing a suit onesie he carries a briefcase and speaks the language of the boardroom. “He’s like a little man!” says Mom. Seems he’s from a purveyor of fine babies, a company that supplies tots who arrive via a chute. Those who giggle when tickled are placed with families, those who don’t, like Boss Baby, are sentenced to a Kafka-esque, humourless life in BabyCorp management, kept infant-sized by special formula. “If people knew where babies really came from they’d never have one,” says Boss Baby. “Same goes for hotdogs.”
In his quest for a promotion and a corner office with his own private potty the ambitious Boss Baby lands with Tim and family. He’s placed himself with Ted and Janice to get closer to their boss, Francis E. Francis (Steve Buscemi), CEO of PuppyCorp. Francis is developing a forever puppy, a new designer models of Frankendog, each more adorable than the last. They’re so cute they threaten to soak up all the love usually reserved for babies. It’s a threat to BabyCorp’s giant-sized baby business and if Boss Baby doesn’t get to the bottom of the puppy problem his special formula will be taken away and he will turn into a regular baby. With Tim’s reluctant help he takes on PuppyCorp.
Echoes of the lamentable “Storks” and its baby making company reverberate throughout the “The Boss Baby’s” infant delivery sequence but the comparisons between the two movies ends there.
At the mushy heart of “The Boss Baby” are messages about the importance of family and unconditional love and other kid flick platitudes, but at the forefront is Boss Baby as a more devious version of Beck Bennett, “Saturday Night Live’s” CEO with the body of a baby. Baldwin brings his distinctive rasp to the character, dropping riffs from his “Glengarry Glen Ross” super-salesman character. “Put that cookie down,” he scolds. “Cookies are for closers,” and “You know who else wears a diaper? Astronauts.” With an aplomb that makes the whole silly story worth a look.
Director Tom “Madagascar” McGrath uses various kinds of animation to paint the screen with vibrant colours and images. His ninja spy sequence is striking, drawing from kung fu movies and horror movies to create the film’s most interesting few minutes. Most characters resemble Margaret Keane’s big-eyed children but McGrath finds interesting ways to jazz them up. Baby Boss’s James Brown strut up walkway to the house is more than choreography, it tells you all you need to know about the character before you even see his face. A scene with incomprehensible Elvis impersonators is hilarious and strange for adults and kids alike. In those sequences and small character moments McGrath and company shine.
Despite those character and animated flourishes “The Boss Baby” doesn’t go out of its way to truly distinguish itself. It’s a pleasant diversion for big and small but the story and its lessons feel like things we’ve seen done before and done better.
If you think they don’t make ‘em like they used to, well, you’d be wrong. Director Steven Soderbergh and his muse, George Clooney have produced a film that uses the 1942 Michael Curtiz film Casablanca as the standard.
The Good German isn’t a remake, it’s a tribute to the films of the late 1940s that uses exactly the same technology (or lack thereof) as the golden age of Hollywood—the same lenses, the same atmospheric lighting, the same rat-a-tat-tat style of dialogue, the same everything.
Soderbergh nails the look of the period, but the film’s frankness and subject matter would never have been green lit back in the day. Based upon the novel of the same name by Joseph Kanon The Good German is about an American military journalist (Clooney) covering the Potsdam Conference in post-war Berlin. He is drawn into a murder investigation involving his former mistress (Cate Blanchett) and his driver (Tobey McGuire). That could be the plot of any number of film noirs, but Soderbergh adds in elements that would have made studio boss Harry Warner blush.
His idea was to make a retro film with the increased creative freedom that filmmakers enjoy today. That means nudity, bad language and more overt violence. It’s a more realistic take on the story, but the modern sensibility inserted into this authentic looking black and white noir is jarring. Clooney and Blanchett look like golden age movie stars—she seems to be channeling Dietrich—but behave more like Brat Packers than Rat Packers.
The movie as a whole comes off more as an experiment to please film geeks than mainstream entertainment, but in an age where cookie-cutter movies rule I’ll take one of Soderbergh’s strange (and not entirely successful) experiments any day.
Play it again, Sam. Hollywood has long been a fan of movie reboots. Spider-Man is the latest flick to get a an actor makeover.
The adage, “The only constant is change,” is only partially true in Hollywood. The list of recent movie reboots is as long as Lindsay Lohan’s arrest record, and there’s more on the way — we’ll soon see new versions of Death Wish, Fletch and Highlander — but while the titles stay the same, the faces change.
This weekend, Peter Parker swings back into theatres, but instead of Tobey Maguire behind the familiar red-and-black-webbed mask it’s Social Network star Andrew Garfield.
Not everyone is happy about the change. 1234zoomer commented on the new movie: “IS NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME WITHOUT TOBBY!!!,” (her uppercase and spelling, not mine), but Maguire has been gracious, saying, “I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story.”
Whether the new Spidey acknowledges Maguire is yet to be seen, but at least one replacement had the manners to recognize their precursor on screen.
George Lazenby paid a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Sean Connery in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. After a wild battle to rescue Contessa Teresa (played by Diana Rigg) the new James Bond didn’t get the girl. “This never happened to the other fellow,” he says, looking dejectedly into the camera.
Former Bond Connery went on to co-star in The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan, a character later played by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.
It’s rumoured that Chris Pine (who took over the part of Captain Kirk in Star Trek from William Shatner) will soon reprise the role.
The Batman franchise has also had a revolving cast. Since 1943 seven actors have played the Caped Crusader, including Lewis G. Wilson, who at 23 remains the youngest actor to play the character, and George Clooney who admits he was “really bad” in Batman & Robin.
It’s not only the Caped Crusader who changes from time to time. Harvey Dent, the handsome district attorney who turns into villain Two Face has been played by Billy Dee Williams, Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart and The Dark Knight’s Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role of Rachel Dawes from Batman Begins star Katie Holmes.
Finally, Jodie Foster’s take on FBI agent Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs was ranked the sixth greatest protagonist in film history on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains list, but when she declined to reprise the role in Hannibal, Julianne Moore stepped in.
In the movies often the only thing brothers have in common is a last name. Creating conflict between siblings makes good dramatic sense and it’s a practice that harkens back to the very first set of brothers. Would the story of Cain and Able have as much biblical oomph if the boys got along? I don’t think so.
So it is with Tommy and Sam Cahill, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire, in this weekend’s Brothers. In the great tradition of movie siblings they’re polar opposites; Tommy is an ex-con, Sam is a Marine Captain and former football star. You get the idea. But will Tommy go all Cain on Sam? You’ll have to buy a ticket to find out, but in the meantime here are some other movie brothers who turned out differently than mom and dad may have hoped.
Ricky & Doughboy Baker (Morris Chestnut and Ice Cube) from Boyz N the Hood are opposites, but when Doughboy takes revenge on the people who killed his brother it proves that blood, and blood shed, is thicker than water.
In The Darjeeling Limited Jack (Jason Schwartzman) asks his brothers Francis (Owen Wilson) and Peter (Adrien Brody), “I wonder if the three of us would’ve been friends in real life? Not as brothers, but as people.” Good question. You couldn’t find a more diverse trio: Francis is a compulsive sad sack, Peter a bundle of manic energy and Jack a collection of jangled nerves. They may never be friends, but by the end of a road trip in India they can at least tolerate one another.
“When brothers agree,” the old saying goes, “no fortress is so strong as their common life.” But when they disagree, look out. Just ask Fredo Corleone. The Corleone boys each brought something different to the Godfather trilogy, but it is the “kiss of death” scene in part two between the kindhearted Fredo (John Cazale) and the ruthless Michael (Al Pacino) that gives new meaning to the term sibling rivalry. “I know it was you Fredo,” Michael says. “You broke my heart.” Siblings may not get along but it takes a real grim brother to order a hit on his younger brother.
In Go West Chico Marx summed up the relationship most of these on- screen brothers share.