Hit and miss action-director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, King Arthur, Olympus Has Fallen) has gone and remade The Magnificent Seven.
The 1960 version was itself, of course, a remake of Kurosawa’s bonafide cinema classic Seven Samurai.
Sony Pictures has assembled a superb cast consisting of Denzel Washington (in full Yul Brenner black attire), Chris Pratt (doing his thing), Ethan Hawke (with a mighty beard), Vincent D’Onofrio (Onofrissance!), Byung-Hun Lee (no stranger to western remakes, with his villainous turn in Kim Ji-Woon’s The Good The Bad and The Weird), and Peter Sarsgaard (always welcome in anything, particularly as a bad guy) combined with a sizable budget have yielded a frothy, high octane unabashedly modern version of the story looking to capitalize on the star power and production values that this property, in all its incarnations, has always had. I could do without the crap cover of House of the Rising Sun, in the below trailer, but that is just personal taste, this looks like a solid popcorn western. Maybe this will be the one to break the curse of westerns at the box-office.
You know the story: A small frontier town of desperate townspeople employ the protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns who for a violent showdown that they know is coming.
I don’t see the resurgence of the sword and sandals film any time soon, so clearly the raison d’etre for remaking the Charleton Heston biblical epic, Ben Hur, is to update the iconic chariot race. And besides some impressive Roman naval warfare, it seems Paramount (a studio on a role lately with upscale entertainment including Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Little Prince) wants to up the bar in the hippodrome.
Plus, Morgan Freeman in white dreadlocks.
(I know that Ben Hur has name value, but Hollywood, please, make a Lord of the Rings Trilogy of Guy Gavriel Kay’s chariot race heavy novel, The Sarantine Mosaic)
My micro-obsession with French-Belgium thriller The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun continues with this handsome, high-contrast and big typeset poster. Emphasizing wardrobe and poise, and the titular sunglasses and firearm, the posters gives off a vaguely exploitation vibe (in some ways it is reminiscent of the I Spit On Your Grave poster, just from a classier angle. This is commensurate with the trailer released yesterday that showcases the sleazier elements of Hitchcock and De Palma (mmm, split screens). I’m always a fan with designers play around with the position of the credits block and ‘above the line’ names, and this does indeed feel aesthetically pleasing.
One minor gripe, is she in fact holding the gun, or is that just kind of photoshopped where her hand is. I’m not sure if it is the illusion of photography or simply weak photoshop.
Attention all trailer cutters. This is certainly one way to do it. The right song, the right rhythm, and beautiful cinematographic imagery to tease and delight anyone who like as a good noirish time at the movies. The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun is a French-Belgium co-production, and for a more English speaking audience, Magnolia, offers it dialogue free, which was usually a sign of being dishonest with the audience about the films spoken language, but here, the perfect and only line of dialogue in the trailer, owns it. Bravo, I say, Bravo.
Based on the novel by Sébastien Japrisot (who also wrote A Very Long Engagement which was adapted into a film Jean-Pierre Jeunet), the trailer reminds me of a recent Canadian film called 88 which despite my affinity for Katherine Isabelle and Christopher Lloyd, is unfortunately a sloppy, and rather uninspired, piece of crap. The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun looks like quality all around; just the kind of Hitchcock/DePalma sensual-sleazy gumbo I like.
Curiously, this is not the first time someone has adapted this novel into a film, and the 1970s version from Colombia Pictures stars Samantha Eggar and Oliver Reed. If you want a lesson in two eras of trailer cutting, and are not afraid of copious spoilers, you can find the original it is here. Fun Fact: Eggar and Reed would go on again to star together in David Cronenberg’s divorce cult classic The Brood
A beautiful secretary steals her boss’ sports car to go joyriding in this stylish psychological thriller. She goes to visit a seaside town she swears she’s never been to, but everyone knows her name. And when a body turns up in the truck of the car, she is suddenly the lead suspect in a murder she knows nothing about. Is she going crazy?
The 2015 film will be getting a day and date release in the US on December 18th.
Remember when the James Bond franchise started taking its cues from the Jason Bourne Franchise? It appears that the remake of Katheryn Bigelow’s 1991 high-testosterone cheese classic, Point Break, is taking its cues from the film franchise that started off as in imitator, The Fast and The Furious. This may not be a complete surprise, as the director, Eric Core, was the cinematographer for the original F&F film from 2001.
An ever increasing set of heists are featured in the trailer look incredibly expensive and excellently staged, and I must admit, Édgar Ramírez is 100% convincing as surf and extreme sports guru, Bodie (originally played at the height of fame Patrick Swayze), and relative unknown beefcake, Luke Bracey strikes a radically different tone that the “Whoa” of Keanu Reeves who originally played undercover FBI agent, Johnny Utah (which outside of Snake Plissken is probalby the best movie name ever). Supporting stalwarts Ray Winstone and Delroy Lindo are on hand to lend a little character actor gravitas to the proceedings. It looks less unhinged (perhaps from lacking Gary Busey) than the original, and seemingly in line with the expensive-and-glossy-but-safe movie world we find ourselves in.
Fan of the original? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
The space goes down, down baby, down, down the roller coaster. Sweet, sweet baby, sweet, sweet, don’t let me go. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. I met a girlfriend – a triscuit. She said, a triscuit – a biscuit. Ice cream, soda pop, vanilla on the top. Ooh, Shelly’s out, walking down the street, ten times a week. I read it. I said it. I stole my momma’s credit. I’m cool. I’m hot. Sock me in the stomach three more times.
You probably do not need to be sold any more on this project, you are either in or out at this point. If not, watch the latest Mad Max: Fury Road trailer in 1080p
It is not just Hollywood interested in rebooting franchises ever few years, Luc Besson’s production-house Europa is getting in on the action by retooling the Transporter trilogy with a new lead, Ed Skrein, now that, I suppose, Jason Statham has graduated to the Fast Franchise. With all the talk of technology in this traile, before of course getting to the testosterone and tits, comprising the three “T”s of these films, I am more than a tad surprised that they opted for just another Audi, when they could have gone with a Tesla.
Spy spoofs are a dime a dozen, as are Baby Boomer TV shows blown up into unnecessary feature films. After dumbing down Sherlock Holmes for two handsome (but inert) feature films, Guy Ritchie has a free-pass to go hog wild with 1960s production design in this expensive looking update of the era’s TV staple The Man From U.N.K.L.E. Stunts, sex and suave suits ensue as The Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill, takes the title role along with support from Armie Hammer and Hugh Grant.
At one point, Steven Soderbergh was going to make this film with a screenplay by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!). After seeing this tired mess, I will be watching in my imagination that never-to-be version. Or hell, there are 5 seasons of Archer re-runs on Netflix.
Based on the frenetic trailer, I’m about ready to write the Poltergeist remake off; if only for the way a studio horror movie is constructed and paced. A lot has changed 1982 to 2015 and much like the Carrie remake, it all comes down to whether the pace of editing and easy reliance on jump-scares can replace the sweet creepiness (and, admittedly on my part, nostalgia) of the Tobe Hooper original.
Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures is producing the do-over, which stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris and Jane Adams along with two really cute kids. City of Ember‘s Gil Kenan directs.
The remake apparently keeps the clown that traumatized the childhood of anyone born in the mid 1970s (and it foregrounds it mightily in the trailer here, knowing its audience). And yet the passing of 30 plus years begs the question of whether modern television sets can even ‘snow-out’ anymore. I thought they just drop to a blank blue screen with the words, “no signal.” An apt enough metaphor for how I feel with the whole reboot cycle we find ourselves in; one which seems to give a similar look and feel to everything going through the grinder and out the other side. ‘Now with more jump scares,’ as it were.
The trailer is below, and the International trailer (with additional footage, but still ADHD in execution) is tucked under the seat.