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‘Nope’s’ Deadly Chimp Attack, Explained: What It Means and How It Fits Into the Plot




Jordan Peele’s films are densely constructed, with plenty of symbolism and parallel storytelling built in. On one hand, “Nope” might be his most straightforward popcorn film, but early screenings left many fans connecting the dots between the story of OJ and Em Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) on the hunt for their “Oprah shot” of aliens and the tale of a young Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun, with Jacob Kim in flashbacks) avoiding certain death at the bloodied hands of a chimpanzee. While Peele rarely breaks down his works, Variety is here to analyze and contextualize these scenes.

Why is this chimp attack such a central focus in a movie about aliens?

Two key themes in “Nope” are:

1) You can’t tame a predator, and

2) Mankind will risk everything for spectacle.

To the first point, Jupe’s folly was looking at his survival from the “Gordy’s Home” massacre optimistically. When the alien seemingly presented itself as another showbiz opportunity, he mistook the first six months of feeding horses to Jean Jacket as a trainer/animal relationship — similar to the sitcom, but forgetting the consequences. Unfortunately, as OJ alluded to several times, predators can’t be tamed, so when Jean Jacket went rogue on Jupe, it was history repeating itself, and Jupe’s hubris was his downfall.

Furthermore, mankind’s obsession with spectacle was what killed both Jupe and Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott), the cameraman who first warned Em about the danger of chasing the perfect shot. In Jupe’s case, it was the pursuit of being the ultimate showman, despite the risk, and for Antlers it was risking it all to get the ultimate evidence of aliens. But the costs are too high when dealing with an alpha predator.

Ultimately, Jupe is earning a ton of money off of his childhood tragedy, stowing away feelings of grief in order to make thousands off of twisted tourists who want to see his macabre museum. If he can spin that tragedy into a moneymaking scheme, why not do it with Jean Jacket?

Also notable: Both animals meet their downfall because of balloons. During “Gordy’s Home,” the balloons floating from the birthday present pop due to hot stage lights, scaring Gordy and starting the violence, and leading to his own death. Later, Jean Jacket is fooled by the inflatable Jupe that Em releases, which makes it sick and ultimately fatal.

Finally, both animals show their true form right before their death, with the chimp wriggling out of parts of its costume and Jean Jacket converting from its UFO form to its natural state.

Why didn’t Gordy kill or maim Jupe?

Initially, it seems because the two rehearsed their fist bump from the show, that Gordy recognized Jupe and was less apt to tear him apart. But it also seems likely it was because Jupe was silent and didn’t make eye contact with the predator — just like the Haywoods did to avoid Jean Jacket’s pull. The tablecloth Jupe was looking through and the singular shoe he focused on saved him.

What’s up with the shoe?

Jupe’s eyeline was instead focused on the shoe of a massacred TV family member, which had fallen off and was inexplicably standing on its toe. It’s often said that people facing traumatic situations will fixate on one small element during the event, and because he stared at that rare, inexplicable happening (perhaps a bad miracle itself? an impossible shot?), he dodged eye contact. That’s ultimately why the shoe has such a place of honor in the Gordy museum, positioned in the same way he had fixated on it.

Was the chimp story based on anything in real life?

In 2009, there was a story that made national news when a TV actor chimpanzee named Travis attacked his owner’s friend when she mistakenly grabbed his Tickle Me Elmo doll. Police arrived and saved her life by shooting Travis down, much like in “Nope.” The victim was left disfigured, injuries which seemed to mirror those of Jupe’s co-star, who is abducted from Jupiter’s Claim with the rest of the tourists. You can read more about the sad story of Travis the chimpanzee here.

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Brett Goldstein Had Only Two Weeks to Train for Marvel Debut as Hercules: ‘I’m Doing 400 Push-Ups’ Day of Filming



Brett Goldstein got the call to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hercules just two weeks before he was going to need to film, the “Ted Lasso” Emmy winner revealed to The Playlist. Goldstein’s top-secret role as Hercules was never announced until the character popped up in the post-credits scene in “Thor: Love and Thunder.” The actor said the call to join Marvel came “literally out of the blue one night.”

“They turn around, and they reveal, ‘It’s Hercules; it’s you.’ And I went, ‘What?’ Just like, ‘Are you serious? Are you fucking with me? Is this a wind-up?’” Goldstein said. “So yeah, it was as surprising to me as I think it has been to other people.”

The actor continued, “When I spoke to Taika, I said, ‘You know I’m basically like a skinny comedian?’ I said, ‘When is this filming?’ It was like in two weeks, and I was like, ‘I mean, I’ll do my best, but two weeks feels …’ I said, ‘He doesn’t have to be as big as Thor, does he?’ And look, on the day, I mean, I’m doing 400 push-ups that day. I was fit to explode. I did the best I could on that day.”

Goldstein’s role was so top secret that he didn’t even tell his parents, who found out about his Hercules casting just like the rest of the world when they watched “Thor: Love and Thunder” on the big screen.

“I didn’t tell anyone because Marvel put a chip in my neck that said ‘If you talk about this you’re dead,’” Goldstein joked to Variety last month. “My mom and dad, I sent them a text and said, ‘I’ve just seen “Thor.”‘ I knew it’s not the kind of film they’d see. I said, ‘You should go see it. It’s funny.’”

“My mom is texting me all the way through the film giving me a running commentary,” Goldstein continued. “I’m like, ‘Just watch the film!’ It gets to the end bit, where it shows Russell Crowe… My mom texts me ‘Russell Crowe’s in it again, he’s very funny.’ I go, ‘Fucking look up at the screen!’”

Goldstein knows “nothing” about his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Thor: Love and Thunder” ends with Zeus (Russell Crowe) commanding his son, Hercules, to go out and hunt Thor down. Presumably, Goldstein and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth will face off in the future.

“I truly, honestly — this isn’t me lying or being coy — I know nothing,” Goldstein told Variety about his MCU future. “All I know is what I did that day and that’s it. That could be it. It was a fun three seconds.”

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Timothée Chalamet Is A Heartthrob Cannibal In Bones & All Trailer



The Bones & All teaser trailer reveals the first footage of Timothée Chalamet’s romantic cannibal in his reunion with director Luca Guadagnino. The two first collaborated on the 2017 LGBTQ+ romantic drama Call Me By Your Name, which resulted in Oscar nominations for both Chalamet and Guadagnino. Now, the actor and director have reunited for another coming-of-age romance based on an acclaimed novel. Bones & All was written by Camille DeAngelis and adapted for the screen by Guadagnino’s frequent screenwriter David Kajganich.


Chalamet and Escape Room‘s Taylor Russell lead the Bones & All cast as Lee and Maren, two young cannibals living on the margins of society who meet and set out together on a thousand-mile road trip. The film touts an impressive supporting cast that includes Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Jessica Harper, Chloë Sevigny, Francesca Scorsese, and Halloween director David Gordon Green. The first Bones & All images revealing Chalamet and Russell’s lovesick flesh eaters arrived late last month, but now audiences are finally getting a glimpse of some footage.

A month ahead of the film’s premiere, Chalamet shared the first Bones & All trailer on Twitter. The 30-second teaser reveals the first footage of Chalamet and Russell’s infatuated teenage cannibals as they embark on a perilous cross-country odyssey, featuring an original score by Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Watch the trailer below:

There are only two lines of dialogue spoken in the 30-second teaser, beginning with Lee asking his love interest, “You don’t think I’m a bad person?” and ending with Maren’s reply, “All I think is that I love you.” Still, the trailer’s short runtime is more than enough give audiences an idea of Bones & All‘s overall tone, which includes some prevalent horror vibes largely due to Rylance’s unsettling character. Romance and horror seem to be Guadagnino’s preferred genres, so an amalgam of the two would an appropriate next step for the director. His past two feature films were Suspiria, a supernatural horror, and Call Me By Your Name, a slow burn romantic drama.

In between Bones & All‘s tenderly romantic moments, it appears there will be plenty of thrills as Lee and Maren have to evade the many dangers lurking in the “back roads, hidden passages and trap doors of Ronald Reagan’s America,” as the official synopsis indicates. Based on this first footage, Bones & All is shaping up to be another must-see collaboration between Chalamet and Guadagnino. The film is set for a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival next month, after which it will be released in theaters on November 23.

Source: Timothée Chalamet/Twitter

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‘Mack & Rita’ Review: Diane Keaton is a Millennial Misfit Embracing Granny Chic in a Confused Body-Swap Comedy



“Mack & Rita,” the third film by Sundance darling Katie Aselton, is a bewildering generational culture-war comedy that sides with every j’accuse that baby boomers hurl at millennials. Mack (Elizabeth Lail), an awkward author turned reluctant influencer, describes herself as a “70-year-old in the body of a 30-year-old.” She tiptoes through life terrified to be out of step with her cohorts’ harsh judgments. Here, according to screenwriters Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh (both of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” who aren’t so much satirizing stereotypes about their own demographic as endorsing them), millennials recoil at reading, diners, scarves, carpeting, silence, sensible shoes, chain restaurants and non-conformity. In one scene, 50% of millennials don’t even understand the word “lothario.”

Exhausted from the pressure to sport thigh-high, spike-heeled snakeskin boots to a bottomless mimosa brunch, Mack stumbles across a shady huckster (“Red Rocket” star Simon Rex), collapses in his regression tank — and emerges in the body of Diane Keaton. The body-swapping contrivance is easier to believe than anything the film does with it. Introducing herself to the world as Mack’s Aunt Rita, the character unchains herself from youthful expectations and finds herself instantly embraced by the young as an elderly Instagram influencer: a “glamma,” in the words of her ferociously callow agent (Patti Harrison).

On its own, that twist isn’t so hard to believe in a summer where teens and twenty-somethings on TikTok have made trends of granny-chic classics like embroidered LL Bean tote bags and white linen trousers, as popularized by Keaton herself in her collaborations with Nancy Meyers. (A sequence where the newly transformed Aunt Rita picks up a kooky blazer and wide belt is presented with the anticipation of Bruce Wayne reaching for his cowl.) What’s mystifying is that the film has no grip on what it means to say about Aunt Rita’s overnight ascension into a millennial style icon. Were Mack’s hangups all in her head? (Not according to the opening scenes.) Is oddball fashion okay only when older people do it? (Not according to the ending scenes.) Should Mack/Rita embrace being an influencer after all? (No, but then yes, but then no, but wait — yes!)

Most audiences will give up sifting through these mixed messages by the time Aunt Rita squires her decades-younger neighbor Jack (Dustin Milligan) on a defiantly dorky date to a California Pizza Kitchen. The scene is about the two bonding over being uncool. But the film’s hummingbird attention span immediately discards its own setup for a throwaway joke where Rita gets jealous that their lunch is interrupted by a hipster babe in a midriff-baring top who also happens to be eating there.

“Mack & Rita” does as little with its ambition to turn Rita and Jack’s romance into an updated “Harold and Maude” as it does with its own grandstanding against agism. Agism is wrong, we’re told. Except when it comes to the shameful fact that Jack continues to skateboard as a man in his early thirties — a hobby that every character, including Rita, agrees is totally lame — in which case agism is totally correct. Momentarily, the film argues that getting old gives Rita the perspective to better stick up for herself — but this thesis, too, about-faces when Rita finds herself cowed into a situation that results in her literally being set on fire.

Keaton does her best with the material. Her own inner youth shines through the character even when the script lets her down, forcing her to wail in distress at the sight of her hair and breasts, or putting her through a punishingly long physical comedy scene where she struggles to use a pilates machine. The film does, at minimum, convince us that most people would want to transform into Keaton if given the opportunity.

Even more so, it convinces us that most actors are ecstatic to work alongside her: Keaton’s presence is the only reason one can imagine that talents like Taylour Paige, Loretta Devine, Wendi Malick, Lois Smith, and Nicole Byer signed on to this project to play the various friends and acquaintances in her orbit, each part more underwritten than the next. As for Rex, essentially cast as a human Voltar machine, he’s a funny blend of scuzzy smooth-talker and baffled inventor when his hand-painted tanning bed zaps the plot into motion. “Time is merely a construct!” he barks. That mantra may help the film go by faster.

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