New ‘Star Wars’ Trailer…Han Solo…Must Watch 20 Times

star wars teaser trailer 2 han solo chewbacca
"Chewie, we're home."

Today Lucasfilm released a second teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force AwakensI’m not going to dissect it for you. I’m not going to break it down shot for shot and try to explain what it all means. Because eventually the actual film will come out, and it will render meaningless all the time and energy and virtual ink spilled on such analyses and theories.

What I am going to do is tell you that the new teaser trailer is f*cking awesome. That it has lightsabers and tie fighters and x-wings and crashed star destoyers and good guys and bad guys and voiceover by Luke Skywalker and then, at the very end, Han Solo and Chewbacca. Like actual moving images of Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew in his Wookiee suit.

I’ll also just go ahead and admit that, yes, the eight-year-old version of myself that I thought was burried deep in my subconscious kind of lost his shit. Because HAN SOLO AND CHEWBACCA ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?

Anyway, I hope you’re already watching the thing now and not still reading this. It really is great.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18, 2015. ONLY 245 MORE SLEEPS!

‘Sopranos’ Creator Finally Explains Final Scene…Kind Of

Don't Stop Believin'

It’s been eight years since the final scene of The Sopranos caused fans around the world to scream at their televisions in unison as a shot of Tony suddenly cuts to black. Since then, critics and fans alike have been debating what happened, and what it all means.

Now, finally, series creator David Chase has explained that final scene which he himself directed. Sort of.

In a long interview with James Greenberg for Directors Guild of America Quarterly, Chase went over the final scene shot-by-shot, explaining how the deeper philosophical, existential meaning of the scene is all expressed perfectly by Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

The ceiling I was going for at that point, the biggest feeling I was going for, honestly, was don’t stop believing. It was very simple and much more on the nose than people think. That’s what I wanted people to believe. That life ends and death comes, but don’t stop believing. There are attachments we make in life, even though it’s all going to come to an end, that are worth so much, and we’re so lucky to have been able to experience them. Life is short. Either it ends here for Tony or some other time. But in spite of that, it’s really worth it. So don’t stop believing.

Wait wait wait wait wait. Forget Journey. Did Chase just say “life ends and death comes, but don’t stop believing?” Yes, he did. So then Tony does get killed!

But no, that can’t be right. Chase also says “either it ends here for Tony or some other time.” So I guess he doesn’t die?

Then again, in this very same interview, Chase says, “when it’s over, I think you’re probably always blindsided by it. That’s all I can say.” So I guess that means yes, Tony dies. Unless Chase is talking about the show being over, in which case it is dead, but not necessarily Tony. Unless Chase means both Tony’s life and the show are over.

Dammit! Now I’m more confused than ever. The only thing I really know is that Chase thinks we should all live our lives according to the Gospel of Journey. Which is weird.

Ugh.

Read the entire discussion of the final scene here. It’s pretty good, even if Chase won’t say that my theory is correct and Tony is in fact dead.

 

The Second ‘Ant-Man’ Trailer Is Here, and It Does Not Suck

ant-man trailer
Watch Video

The first trailer for Ant-Man sucked. It introduced you to Paul Rudd, and Michael Douglas, and the idea of a superhero who’s power is being able to shrink himself to the size of a bug and ride other bugs for transportation. But it didn’t give you any sense of conflict or adversity Hank Pym will face. And as we all know, a superhero is only as awesome as the evil-doers he or she is up against.

Fortunately, the second trailer for Ant-Man fixes all that. Not only does it introduce us to Hope Van Dyne, played by Evangeline Lilly. Not only does it introduce us to some evil business dude trying to make weapons. And not only does it give us our first look at Yellowjacket, Ant-Man’s mortal enemy. It also gives us glimpse at a fantastic fight scene with a pretty kickass punchline.

So well done, Marvel. Your movie no longer looks stupid. I  guess I will go see it.

Ant-Man hits theaters July 17, 2015.

First Image of Jared Leto’s Joker Tells Us a Lot More than You Might Think

Origin Story revealed?

Earlier this week, we got our first look at the cast of Suicide Squad all together in one place…except, of course, for Jared Leto, the person everyone wanted to see the most. For some reason, he wasn’t in the photo.

Fortunately, director David Ayers rectified this injustice late Thursday evening when he posted the first official image of Leto as The Joker on Twitter.

As you can see, Leto isn’t yet sporting the Joker’s iconic white makeup. However, he does have green hair. And, more importantly, the photo is an obvious homage to the cover Alan Moore‘s 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke. 

the killing joke cover

The Killing Joke is a “one-shot” issue in which the Joker tries to prove even the most upstanding citizen can be made insane, and it’s interspersed with flashbacks depicting his origin story.

Obviously, anyone who has seen The Dark Knight (which is everyone, right?) recognizes that basic plot. (Though, in Killing Joke, it’s Jim Gordon who gets kidnapped, not Harvey Dent.) But Christopher Nolan made no concrete reference to the Joker’s origin aside from the conflicting stories told by Heath Ledger. Meanwhile, Tim Burton borrowed the “falling into a vat of acid during a heist at a chemical plant” bit from Killing Joke, which came out three months before Batman. But everything else was changed.

Based on the suggestive photo released by Ayer, I think we’re supposed to assume that his Suicide Squad will show the Joker’s true origin on film for the first time. Which would be neat.

Let the ‘Key & Peele’ Valets Get You All Caught Up on ‘Game of Thrones’

key & peele game of thrones recap
Well, caught up on the deaths, anyway...

In case this crucial fact has somehow eluded you, Season 5 of Game of Thrones premiers this Sunday, April 12. However, if for some reason (coma?) you’re not all caught up on the goings on in Westeros, you don’t have to go to your local video store and rent the DVDs in order to get all caught up. (Which is good, because there are no more video stores. How long did you say you were in that coma?) You just need to watch this two and a half minute Key & Peele valets sketch.

If you’re not familiar with the valets, basically, they’re a couple of exuberant young African American gentlemen who have lively and enthusiastic conversations about movies in a comical vernacular. If you are familiar with the valets, then you know sketch in which they recap all the Game of Thrones deaths is going to be fantastic.

Either way, you’re going to enjoy it. Though, to be serious for a moment, you probably don’t want to watch the video if you haven’t watched seasons 1-4. It might spoil a few things.

 

17 New Episodes of ‘Arrested Development’ in the Works?

brian glazer arrested development interview
Executive Producer Brian Glazer says yes...

In case you forgot, the fourth season of Arrested Development, which hit Netflix back in 2013, ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. It wasn’t a Sopranos cliffhanger, or even a Breaking Bad cliffhanger. But it was a cliffhanger nonetheless, and it suggested the show’s brain trust had a plan for future episodes.

And yet, since then we’ve heard next to nothing about a fifth season…until now.

This week sports writer Bill Simmons released a new pod cast this week featuring an interview with producer Brian Glazer. And in this interview, when Simmons brings up Arrested Developement, Glazer just casually mentions that, oh yeah, we’re doing 17 new episodes of that.

Honestly, the announcement is so out of the blue that it’s hard to tell if Glazer is actually being serious…which is probably why Simmons doesn’t even react to the news. (The salient part of the interview begins at the 24-minute mark, in case the video above isn’t cued up properly.)

So is this thing for real? Netflix gave Variety a big fat “no comment,” while 20th Century Fox TV said they have “nothing firm” to report.

I guess that means we’ll have to wait and see.

No Post-Credits Scene for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Seriously, you can just leave

You know those post-credits scenes for which Marvel has become famous, and which everybody loves? Well there ain’t gonna be one for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sorry. There will be a mid-credits epilogue scene, but no post-credits scene.

The word comes straight from the mouth of director Joss Whedon. He told EW that they tried to come up with something, but the film “didn’t seem to lend itself in the same way.” And because the post-credits “Shawarma scene” from the first Avengers was so good, everyone involved agreed they didn’t want to follow that. “The first rule of making a sequel is take the best moments and do something else,” explains Whedon. “Don’t do the Indiana Jones gun trick again differently. Just go somewhere else. Don’t try to hit the same highs, because people will sense it.”

So no post-credits scene. But why the official announcement?

“We want people to know,” Whedon says, “so they don’t sit there for 10 minutes and then go: ‘Son of a bitch! I’ll kill them!’”

Fair enough.