Discover more from Pop Culture Brain Daily
Ryan Reynolds' favorite director to helm Deadpool 3
And two big streamers to combine into one platform
What to know
Shawn Levy in talks to direct Deadpool 3 at Marvel… Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy just love working together. They’re like a pop Scorsese and DiCaprio that Scorsese would absolutely despise. I’m glad Marvel is moving forward with another Deadpool, it will be interesting to see how they keep the irreverent edge now that the character is part of the world’s biggest franchise. 🎥
HBO Max and Discovery Plus to merge into one streaming platform… With Warner and Discovery combining, this platform merger was inevitable. No price changes have been announced yet, but expect people to be mad if they raise the cost for the combined service. As Alan Sepinwall pointed out on Twitter, a bundle content you didn’t ask for. It’s cable! 💰
Movie studio execs aren’t happy about AMC’s public price gouging… AMC CEO Adam Arons probably thought he was being savvy when boasting about his theater chain charging more for The Batman — but certain Hollywood execs aren’t on board with the very public brag. They’re particularly upset with how greedy surge pricing appears. Let’s be clear, they’re not mad about the surge pricing itself, they just want AMC to keep it on the DL. Sorry movie execs, but that doesn’t make you the good guys here. 🎟
Pop group AJR to compose Broadway-aimed Harold and the Purple Crayon musical… The twist? It’s a sequel and Harold is now grown up and can no longer rely on his purple crayon. Interesting! As for AJR, their musical style should lend itself well to a big Broadway sound. 🖍
Composer Michael Giacchino to direct Marvel’s Werewolf by Night… You see writers and actors jump to directing all the time, but seeing a composer jump to directing? That’s novel. Good for Mr. Giacchino! 🐺
Shazam 2 now has the misfortune of going up against Avatar 2… Shazam! is a wonderful and underrated comic book movie and it’s a shame that its sequel is going to get absolutely obliterated by James Cameron’s Na’vi. ⚡️
Dolly Parton turns down Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, saying she hasn’t earned it… Trust me Dolly, you have. 🎸
Pete Davidson is heading to space… Likely to get away from Kanye 🚀
Phoenix Rising — Mar 15 | HBO Max documentary | 🍅 90%
DMZ — Mar 17 | HBO Max sci-fi drama series | 🍅
Minx — Mar 17 | HBO Max dramedy series | 🍅
Life & Beth — Mar 18 | Hulu comedy series | 🍅 100%
Cheaper by the Dozen — Mar 18 | Disney+ family film | 🍅
WeCrashed — Mar 18 | Apple drama series | 🍅 73%
What to watch
From PEN15 to Big Mouth, there’s no shortage of fresh takes on the awkwardness of puberty. Yet how many of them are intended for people actively going through it? It’s about time someone made a reflection on middle school, you know, for middle schoolers. Pixar’s Turning Red is a bold, fun, and shockingly real exploration of our hormone monsters and (surprise!) generational trauma.
For a studio that’s used to pushing the envelope, it’s never taken a step forward quite like this. Pixar movies like Soul, Wall-E, and Inside Out portray complex issues in ways that still resonate with even the youngest audiences — but the studio always made sure that things never got too adult or challenging. That rule book goes out the window in Turning Red. Director Domee Shi isn’t afraid to tackle menstruation, crushes, and the harder parts of mother-daughter relationships. It must have taken a lot of courage to make this movie at Disney and be confident in those decisions. Things never get as crass as PEN15 or Big Mouth, but the way Shi handles themes of puberty are quite similar and just as raw.
The real surprise of the movie is how through calculated action and set pieces, you learn that this whole thing has really been about generational trauma and the baggage we pass to our children. Yes, we’re still talking about the Pixar movie where the girl turns into a giant red panda. It’s the classic deep emotion you expect from this studio, but it’s executed to near perfection this time around. The film stays heart-thumping and funny through this unlikely but well earned emotional climax.
There’s just so much to love here. All of the vocal performances (led by Sandra Oh) are excellent, as are the pastiche boy band songs written by Billie Eilish and FINNEAS. Throw in another world-music-meets-hip-hop score from Ludwig Göransson and it’s almost too much to handle. Did Disney not know what they had with Turning Red. How can you see this and then decide it should skip theaters? A lot of people are going to watch the movie on Disney+, but it and Pixar deserve better for such an achievement.