So I’m a little torn here. The 197-minute mini-series from the early 90s scared the bejeesus out of all us kids back in the day (and some adults too I’m sure). The cast wasn’t all that special except for one. Tim Curry. Curry pulled off the role of Pennywise the clown magnificently and hell, you can watch the original for just three bucks right now. Stephen King adaptations are very hit or miss. “IT”, that stretched two cold, November nights on ABC back in 1990, seemed like the perfect length for a fairly thick novel and is definitely considered a hit. So my initial instinct is to wonder why this big screen adaptation is even necessary.
Still, I’m curious what a more succinct version of the story will be like on the big screen. And I’m always looking for something that will genuinely scare me, not just startle me – and those movies are very few and far between. I want those little hairs on my arm and neck to reach for the stars. Alas, it almost never happens. And while there is something in me saying that this looks a little too polished and CGI (read as, generic and uninspired) for it to work, I do hope for the best.
IT is directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama) and stars Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise and whole list of other names I don’t recognize. Check out the trailer below and see what you think. They all float down here…
2015 had a lot of great content for all of us to consume. And normally, I’m a movie guy. But 2015 was the year I branched out a bit more from the usual HBO fare. And hands down, the best thing I watched (or read or listened to) was Fargo. I had some catch-up to do and watched season one and two that year. After season one, I thought, “that is just about the best TV show I’ve ever watched. There is no way in hell that season 2 will be as good as that was!” And then lo and behold they took season two and flipped backwards twenty years, added an equally awesome cast and blew our mind in that first episode; if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. Where all households tuned to F/X channel simultaneously exclaimed, “What the fuck!?”. And it only got better.
Now, what I kind of liked about season 2, was it’s use of all B-list actors. Seriously; who knew Jean Smart could be that badass. Or that Bokeem Woodbine is so cool. Or Jesse Plemons would light it up like that? You might not know the names, but you’d know the faces if you looked them up somewhere. And the list really does go on and on. If nothing else, the show knows how to cast. Which leads us to season 3:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
I mean Holy Bezeesus-Smith right? I still can’t imagine it possibly getting any better than season 2, but if it’s even half as good, I’ll be a darned happy camper. Check. It. Out.
The title of the film is a mouthful, but the poster is a master class in negative space. From the stately (if ominous) key art, reminiscent of both No Country For Old Men, and Paris Texas, you might never guess that director Martin McDonough’s latest film is a foul-mouthed, comic farce of slapstick violence and bad behavior (albeit this is perfectly in line with his previous filmography, including In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths).
For many shits and giggles, and the most screen chewing Frances McDormand performance since Fargo, I’ve dropped in the red-band trailer below.
After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon, an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.
After much acclaim for The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, Cartoon Saloon, Ireland’s increasingly high profile animation house founded by Paul Young and Tomm Moore, are working on their fourth feature film, Wolfwalkers. (The third one, The Breadwinner, will be released this year.)
With a signature 2D animation style, and a quite mature, epic sensibility, Cartoon Saloon, is aiming to be the next Laika (which in turn is aiming to be the next Pixar…)
Below is a proof-of-concept teaser which is, in a word, stunning.
In a time of superstition and magic, when wolves are seen as demonic and nature an evil to be tamed, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn, comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack. But when Robyn saves a wild native girl, Mebh, their friendship leads her to discover the world of the Wolfwalkers and transforms her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.
One of the great pieces of excess fantasy non-sense was 2015’s Telugu Fantasy Epic Baahubali. From S.S. Rajamouli, who made the zonkers reincarnation comedy Eega, which sees a man take vengeance on his murderer in the form of a common housefly. (It’s on Netflix as Makkhi, and it’s magnificent.)
Like an Indian Lord of the Rings, we only got part of a movie and had to wait a long time, 2 years in fact, for the conclusion to the film. The trailer, as bombastic as one might imagine, has popped up online, and while you may not have heard of it, over 10 Million people have already watched it in less than 24 hours. Baahubali: THe Beginning briefly cracked the top 10 at the box office in a minuscule number of theatres, and this for a movie sporting a near 3 hour runtime, based on an the Indian, Pakistani, Tamil and Sri Lankan’s in the USA and Canada that are hungry for blockbusters that stem from their own colourful culture.
I managed to catch part one in a packed and rowdy cinema on the outskirts of Toronto and it was one of my favourite blockbusters of 2015 for its nutbar gender politics alone.
When Sanga and her husband, part of a tribe living around the province of Mahismathi, save a drowning infant, little do they know the background of the infant or what the future holds for him. The kid grows up to as Shivudu, a free-spirit wanting to explore the mountains and in the process learns of his roots and then realizes the whole purpose of his life and ends up confronting the mighty Bhallala Deva!
When two opposite ends unite the rod breaks in between. When Shiva, the son of Bahubali realizes his past from Kattappa, he seeks to find consensus to his question : Why did Kattapa kill his father? This, Bahubali- the Conclusion showcases the answer and its consequences on the Mahishmati Kingdom when its roots are stirred.
Whoa! Perhaps Pixar is getting back on track. An original story with some magnificent visual appeal. With Gael Garcia Bernal and Benji Bratt, this could be great. Coco releases wide on November 22. See you there!
“Shop! Let’s talk it.” Rejoice. Edgar Wright is back, at long last, with a heist drama, Oscar winners Kevin Spacey, Jamie Fox and some younger, prettier faces. And while I’m not generally a big ‘car stunt’ guy, the vehicle work here looks like a lot of fun, and not as CGI as is typical these days.
Having just had its premiere screening at SXSW last night, the ‘one last job’ action picture gets a couple of trailers (above is the International flavour) to merely whet the palette, as Sony Pictures just pushed the film from March to August 2017.
A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
I have little doubt that this Charlize Theron action vehicle will be anything less than excellent. You can see it right there with the single-take, medium-wide shot quality in the first minute of this trailer.
But folks, we have to talk about trailer cutting. This one is a hot mess. First the cliche ‘slowed down pop song cover’ here New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle. Second the ensuing heavy-voice over montage is just a sloppy collage of scenes to a second song, this the original version of Queen’s Killer Queen. For a movie that is no doubt stylish, a lady version John Wick if you will: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. With high caliber talent – supporting Theron is John Goodman, Toby Jones, James McAvoy and Algeria’s Sophia Boutella – one would think they could have a little discipline and coherence in the marketing.
But fair enough to all this criticism of form, my butts in the seat when Atomic Blonde comes out.
An interesting companion piece to Antonio Campos’ Christine, insofar as if you are aware of the character at the heart of the matter, cannot help but be ‘waiting’ for the inevitable in I, Olga Hepnarová. Likewise, here, it is the lead performance makes the queasy journey worthwhile. Michalina Olszanska (The Lure) essays a portrait of the 22-year-old mass murderer Olga Hepnarová, who was the last person executed by the Czechoslovakian government in 1973 for driving her delivery truck through a crowded sidewalk in Prague.
Presented in stark monochrome, it is a very uncomfortable movie about the effects of bullying (by her peers, by her family, by the state) and particular state of mental health – two subjects that are as relevant today as they were in the 1970s. I quite liked the film when I caught it at Fantasia, as difficult as it was to watch (and less than a week after a similar incident occurred in Nice, no less).
Also, man, that still above is very reminiscent of Michael Haneke, which is kind of the head-space one can easily occupy while watching this trailer. The film is being theatrically released in a few US markets by indie outfit Strand on March 24, 2017.