Obviously Robert Downey Jr. Will Accept Gobs Of Money To Star In “Avengers” Sequels

For a brief period of time following the arrival of “Iron Man 3,” there was a small but persistent story that kept cropping up on various movie and/or nerd-centric sites, one that focused on how Robert Downey Jr. was no longer under contract with Marvel and so maybe now that he had made $50 million dollars for “The Avengers” it was not a sure thing that he would play Iron Man again. If you heard about this, you probably thought about it for all of three seconds before moving on with your life, which is the proper thing to do if you are a person with zero horses in this race, but it was this tiny lingering thing that was mentioned every so often and even Joss Whedon weighed in on the matter. You might think that after starring in four movies that earned a combined $3.9 billion dollars worldwide — movies he made for a studio that is now part of Disney, a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar company — that clearly this was just a case of a very wealthy person negotiating to get a huge sum of money from a mammoth corporation, and that even if he was negotiating in this case with a notoriously frugal movie studio, that obviously the parties involved would get it done and so obviously in the end the studio would fork over a stack of gold bullion the size of a small town and this would all be over and done with.

Anyway, I mention all of this to say that today Marvel announced that Downey had signed on to star in the second and third “Avengers” movies, because obviously. (There’s no mention of a fourth “Iron Man” movie, if you are curious.)

Trailer for “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Martin Scorsese’s next movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a very successful stockbroker in the 1990s. Yes, the entire trailer (expertly cut to the catchiest song on “Yeezus” [By far? By far]) basically screams “Goodfellas, But On Wall Street,” which is obviously a good thing because this looks pretty damn great? This looks pretty damn great.

This New Kanye Interview Is The Meaning Of Everything

Jon Caramanica interviewed Kanye West to discuss the forthcoming “Yeezus,” his history, his albums and just so many amazing and wonderful things:

It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.

You’re already gone, you already clicked, I recognize it and I completely understand.

Today in Totally Normal People Say Totally Normal Things, Will Smith and Jaden Smith Discuss Math

Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith star in “After Earth,” a sci-fi movie with a potentially promising premise (a post-apocalyptic father and son story) and a deadly flaw that should prevent anyone from ever seeing it (directed by M. Night Shyamalan).

But who cares! The important thing to know is that Will and Jaden are doing FINE, and they are definitely super normal people in every way a person could possibly be normal. Just check out these excerpts from New York interview with them:

I’ve read that you believe life can be understood through patterns.

Will: I’m a student of patterns. At heart, I’m a physicist. I look at everything in my life as trying to find the single equation, the theory of everything.

Do you think there is a single theory to everything?

Jaden: There’s definitely a theory to everything.

Well, I guess that solves any lingering uncertainty about if there is or is not a theory to everything. Jaden Smith says there’s DEFINITELY a theory to everything, so everyone else can just stand down.

Do you see patterns too, Jaden?
Jaden: I think that there is that special equation for everything, but I don’t think our mathematics have evolved enough for us to even—I think there’s, like, a whole new mathematics that we’d have to learn to get that equation.
 I agree with that.
 It’s beyond mathematical. It’s, like, multidimensional mathematical, if you can sort of understand what I’m saying.

Can you even understand what he means? It’s multidimensional mathematical, but you can probably only sort of understand what the star of “The Karate Kid” (no, the other one) is saying.

You and Jaden have acted in two movies together, including After Earth. Are you planning on a third?
 If you were a student of the pattern, you’d have to say we’re going to do another one.
 I definitely would do another one, absolutely. You know, how Johnny Depp and Tim Burton always do movies together, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio? We’ll have a relationship like that.

I personally refer to my relationship with my dad as more like Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson, but that’s just because I don’t get patterns.

In After Earth, the father is a general who is injured and has to watch his son fight for his life. Was this a metaphor for what it’s like sending your kid into Hollywood?
 Absolutely. That’s what I wanted the metaphor of this movie to be. A father having to watch as his son makes mistakes in the world, and in an extreme place of life or death.

The movie “After Earth” — which is based on a story conceived by Will Smith — is apparently meant to parallel the story of Will Smith and Jaden Smith in Hollywood. So normal and relatable! It’s nice to know that fathers and sons are the same everywhere.

Latest trailer for “Man of Steel” is a very, very good trailer

“Man of Steel” opens in just under a month. It’s funny to think about how some of us (me, specifically) were not sure how to feel about this movie because, you know, Superman as a character is kind of dull and Zack Snyder is Zack Snyder. We (and by “we” I mean “me,” because whatever, I already wrote it, let’s just move on and never mention it again) weren’t against this movie, because it had potential, but it wasn’t atop our summer must-see list, you know? (You know.)

Now I can’t wait to see this thing. The last few trailers really won me over. The last one was great, sure, and this latest (and last) one is even better. It focuses a lot on Michael Shannon’s General Zod, the villain of the movie, which is wise because you can’t go wrong focusing on Michael Shannon playing a crazy person. And the new ad spotlights the action, which — based just on the trailers so far — looks nifty but also doesn’t seem like it will be the sole focus of the movie. (Each trailer does a great job selling different aspects of the movie. I realize I’m just complimenting the marketing here, which is odd, but the marketing has been very good!)

The point here is that “Man of Steel” looks great and I’m very excited, just in case you were wondering:

An American Sitcom: The End of “The Office”

“The Office” has churned through essentially every imaginable station of sitcom-related public opinion. It has been the ill-advised adaptation of a British classic; the clear and tired rehashing of something we’ve already seen; the surprisingly solid, decent-but-not-great sitcom missing a few pieces; the very, very good sitcom built around a likable burgeoning movie star; the great sitcom of the moment; the show that is on the decline; the sad, former shadow of its former self; the beloved institution; and, finally, the show we’re going to miss, even if we stopped caring about it a few years back. Continue reading

Neil Degrasse Tyson, Person

Genuine knowledge gained through hard work and a keen intellect is not a MEME. We all have instant and constant access to the infinite range of human understanding, and it doesn’t mean anything because we wouldn’t even know what to do with it if we found it. But here comes a dude who actually does, and that, it turns out, is the neatest thing of all.

This Gabe Delahaye post at Videogum about the great Neil Degrasse Tyson, and about how Neil Degrasse Tyson isn’t just a great astrophysicist and a prominent museum director and a popular Internet guy but how he is also just a guy who knows lots of things, is really terrific.

(The post is vaguely tied to the news that Neil Degrasse Tyson will host Seth MacFarlane’s “Cosmos” reboot, which was first mentioned in 2011 and which was re-confirmed this week. If you were curious.)

Vin Diesel takes credit for Facebook’s success, compares himself to Elvis and Brando

Vin Diesel chatted with Entertainment Weekly about the “Fast and the Furious” movies and “Riddick” and other things, and because he’s Vin Diesel he said some amazingly modest stuff about how Facebook became FACEBOOk because Vin Diesel used the site to talk to his fans. (I’m going to excerpt this at length, but again, you can read more over at Entertainment Weekly.)

So! Vin Diesel is the star of the “Fast and Furious” movies. He also has a lot of Facebook fans. Let’s dive in:

You’ve developed a big following on Facebook. What do you attribute that to?
Did you ever see the movie Social Network? Do you remember what they said the reason was to make Facebook?

To meet girls?

Let’s pause and appreciate Vin Diesel shouting “YOU GOT IT!” at the interviewer while discussing “The Social Network.”  Continue reading