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RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming in hot for season 12 with an all-star roster of guest judges who are ready to sashay and slay the Emmy-award winning reality competition which is set to premiere on February 28 on VH1.
As seen in the trailer for the 12th season, this season’s queens will be pledging allegiance “to the drag” of the “United Queens of Ru-America”. Because it is such a patriotic season, it only makes sense that they have trailblazing politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the judges’ panel this season. Others joining previously announced judge Nicki Minaj include Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones, actor Jeff Goldblum, Academy Award-winning actress and View co-host Whoopi Goldberg, music icon Chaka Khan and Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley. Other guest judges include Robyn, Normani, Thandie Newton, Olivia Munn, Rachel Bloom, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett and Winnie Harlow. The “ru-volution” will be televised with the premiere airing over two consecutive Friday nights.
The 13 queens competing for the coveted title of “America's Next Drag Superstar” and $100,000. will be Aiden Zhane Acworth, GA, Brita New York, NY, Crystal Methyd Springfield, MO, Dahlia Sin Los Angeles, CA, Gigi Goode Los Angeles, CA, Heidi N Closet Ramseur, NC, Jackie Cox New York, NY, Jaida Essence Hall Milwaukee, WI, Jan New York, NY, Nicky Doll New York, NY, Rock M. Sakura San Francisco, CA, Sherry Pie New York, NY, and Widow Von'Du Kansas City, MO.
RuPaul's Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked are produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe, Mandy Salangsang and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers. Tim Palazzola serves as Executive Producer for VH1 and Jen Passovoy serves as Producer. Last year, RuPaul's Drag Race won second consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program and Charles picked up his fourth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program to tie Jeff Probst for most wins in the category. The franchise has also expanded to become a live stage show in Las Vegas and has made its way across the pond with RuPaul's Drag Race UK.
Check out a sneak peek below of the guest judges and the queens in this “Ru-volutionary” season!
There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
“Fighting for your life makes every other thing you ever did before seem extremely dull.”
This line is spoken by Wendy Byrde Laura Linney in the penultimate episode of Ozark’s third season, which hit Netflix on Friday. It’s a line that cuts to the core of what makes Wendy, her husband Marty Jason Bateman, and the show around them tick. In its first season, Ozark plunged viewers into the world of the Byrdes and their Missouri money-laundering operation. From the moment a Mexican drug lord knelt Marty down and put a gun to his head in the pilot episode, we’ve been watching him talk and scheme his way out of certain death.
Subsequent episodes and seasons have seen Wendy take on an increasingly prominent role within the criminal enterprise that is keeping her and Marty and their two kids alive for now. Ozark lost some momentum in its second season as its pace slowed, but the show is back with a vengeance now, doing what it does best: namely, putting the Byrdes at the center of a volatile situation where things keep spiraling further out of control. This season, the dark drama pops with bigger emotional fireworks, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Wendy’s bipolar brother, Ben Tom Pelphrey, who adds an unexpectedly moving human element to a show where characters regularly display an inhuman lack of empathy. Ben is the Fredo Corleone in this equation, ready to break his sibling’s heart and that of the viewer.
If you’re all caught up with your weekend Ozark binge, then let’s dive into the Lake of the Ozarks with spoilers.Casino Boat on the River Styx
In the age of antihero TV, Ozark originally started out as something of a white-collar Breaking Bad, built around a financial advisor instead of a chemistry teacher. Like Walter White’s meth business, Marty’s money-laundering operation was born out of desperation. As he began navigating his life of crime, he even picked up his own young, gender-swapped, Jessie Pinkman-like accomplice in the form of Ruth Langmore Julia Garner in an Emmy-winning role. Likewise, the show was hardly unique in its approach to federal agents—with the dysfunctional dead Roy and his occasionally extraneous subplot calling to mind that of Michael Shannon’s character in Boardwalk Empire. Marty and Wendy’s nascent status as a Machiavellian power couple also had a precedent on Netflix in House of Cards.
Three seasons in, Ozark has managed to outstay these comparisons to other prestige dramas and establish its own identity as a show about two people achieving a twisted kind of selfhood by continuously fighting for their lives, just as Wendy says. The third season finds Marty and Wendy at cross purposes, with Wendy acting unilaterally and Marty deliberately undermining her plan to expand the business into a...
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.' 'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...