Trailer: Child 44

Child 44

Child 44 is a serial killer procedural set in 1950s post-war Soviet Union. The film stars two of the worlds most chameleon actors, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, oddly enough in their fourth appearance together on screen; the others are Lawless, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Dark Knight Rises. Here they both play Russian military officers involved in both an investigation and a cover-up, simultaneously. It all looks a tad laboured in execution (“Murder is strictly a CAPITALIST disease!”) But, perhaps it is merely the case of an uninspired trailer. The chilly period production design is quite handsome.

The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Snabba Cash) and has Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine, Noomi Rapace, Charles Dance, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Jason Clarke in the supporting cast.

Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s Silence finally happening.

It‘s been nearly a decade since I purchased a copy of Silence by Shusaku Endo in anticipation for a Hollywood adaptation by Martin Scorsese. It was supposed to be his follow up to 2006’s The Departed. At that point, Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro, and Gael Garcia Bernal were all attached to star as the Jesuit missionaries traveling to an unfamiliar and hostile Japan.

Yet, likely due to financing and scheduling conflicts, plans fells through. Scorsese went on to direct Shutter Island instead. With each passing announcement of his next film, I held onto hope that Silence would be his next project. Then came Hugo. The Wolf of Wall Street. Occasionally, a little news blurb would pop up saying Scorsese was still developing the project, but I was no longer holding my breath.

Well, it’s now January of 2015 and it seems the time has finally come. According to Deadline, Silence is finally a go – although with a different cast that now includes Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Tadanobu Asano.

Production begins in Taiwan on January 30th of this year and they’ll be aiming for a 2016 release date.

If you haven’t read this classic novel, be sure to swing by your local bookstore and order it.

Trailer: The Audition

Audition

OK, this looks like too much fun: A movie where Scorsese invites his two muses, DeNiro and DiCaprio, to the gambling city of Macau Manila and then pits them against each other for winning a part in an upcoming Scorsese movie. This high concept is something that Lars Von Trier would dream up, and then make it mean-spirited. Alas, it’s a piece of advertainment, a short film, and not a bonafide feature. Too bad. (Also: Note the Brad Pitt cameo in the trailer.)

Trailer: The Amina Profile

Amina

This Sundance selected documentary on Amina Arraf, a pretty Syrian-American revolutionary who’s having an online affair with Montrealer Sandra Bagaria, looks interesting. Arraf launched the provocatively named blog, “A Gay Girl in Damascus.” back in 2011, as the Syrian uprising gains was gaining momentum. Amina’s subsequent abduction that sparked an international outcry to free her. Playing out like a detective story, The Amina Profile involves American intelligence agencies, major global media outlets, and a host of activists and sympathizers. But what started as a love story becomes the tale of an unprecedented media and sociological hoax, infotainment, deceit and betrayal.

Carrying forward the ‘texting and social media’ on screen aesthetically is as much of interest to me here, as the socio-political aspects. Sundance has a way of picking their docs in a larger hit-to-miss ratio than their features. Even if there seems to be a fair number of talking heads here, I’ve got my eye on this feature from Sophie Deraspe.

The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22 to February 1, 2015. The Amina Profile has multiple screenings over the festival.

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Nobody Wants The Night

Isabel Coixet (Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, Elegy) has made one of the rarest of cinematic birds: an female driven nature survival epic. Set in the frozen northern wastes of Canada (Ellesmere Island), Nobody Wants The Night stars Juliette Binoche as a stubborn wife intent on finding her husband who was lost in the arctic wastes, Rinko Kikuchi as an Inuit woman whom she meets, and Gabriel Byrne as the tracker she’s hired on the journey. Lots of frostbite, hypothermia, and endless fields of white are contained herein.

Nobody Wants The Night was selected as the opening film of this years Berlinale, so expect a fair bit of press and reviews in early February.

Trailer: Chappie

Comfortably nestling in the nougat centre between Robocop and Short Circuit, is Neill Blomkamp’s A.I. action flick Chappie. Clearly as a filmmaker, Blomkamp has found his niche and is more than happy to stay in it.

In the meantime, you’ve got Hugh Jackman as the villain of the piece along with his boss played by Sigourney Weaver. Dev Patel (tired of Best Exotic Marigold sequels) as the inventor, and a mo-capped Sharlto Copley as the title character, humanities first A.I. robot.

The entire package looks handsome and well put together, even if it feels we’ve been over this ground many times before. Check out the full trailer below.

Ash vs. Evil Dead coming to Starz

brucecampbell

It’s not exactly new news (for some, the announcement came as an early Christmas present), but Starz has taken on a monumental nerd challenge: continue the story of Ash Williams and his fight against the Evil Dead and try not to piss people off who have been waiting patiently since 1992.

With the sort-of remake/reboot/whatever in 2013, fans of the series got a taste of the old slapstick horror, but for most, it lacked the soul and originality that made the other three in the series so enjoyable. Some liked it. Most, it seemed, complained or were indifferent.

Now, patient fans will have a proper continuation of the franchise with a 30-minute weekly series that will last ten episodes. It will air sometime later this year on Starz. Most importantly, Bruce Campbell is coming back. Sam Raimi is on board as a producer and potential director of the pilot. The plot, according to EW, is as follows:

Ash is living in a trailer park and working his latest thankless big-box store job when a return of the Deadites prompts him to take a road trip with two young co-workers (and, of course, his trusty boomstick).

For his part, Bruce seems confident that Starz will give them plenty of creative freedom, perhaps something that came as a roadblock over the years when it came to financing a Hollywood sequel. As Bruce put it:

35 years later, we don’t want a lot of people bugging us about stuff. We know this series. We know the character. We’re experienced producers, Sam is an experienced director, I’m an experienced actor. Let us do our thing. And Starz has been really supportive in that respect and as a result we’re very happy.

So, what are your thoughts on Evil Dead hitting the small screen? Should a good thing be left alone? Will TV be a better fit for the creative freedom these fellows need? Would you prefer a film sequel? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments!

Trailer #2: Blackhat

A few months ago we posted the first trailer for Michael Mann’s next cyber-espionage film, Blackhat. Commentary from the peanut gallery was basically, “bland.” And while the newest trailer has some of the same images and will not assuage the Mann-haters out there, the tone is much more Mannly. In fact, it feels a helluva lot like Miami Vice actually. This excites me, will excite others and still other will want to wretch… which is partly what makes me love it even more. *stick my tongue out emoji here*

Blackhat strikes wide on January 16th.

 

Sorry We Missed It [Terminator: Genisys trailer]

This was posted online over a week ago. Not sure why I’ve not heard of it. I didn’t even know it was being made. The Mother of Dragons is taking on The Terminator.

Terminator: Salvation (T4) was unfairly shat upon in my opinion. The Sarah Connor Chronicles were quite good (at least what I saw of them) and the originals are some great popcorn fare. This looks to be a nice, air-conditioned break from the July heat outside. Masterpiece? No. Worth five eight bucks at a matinee? Most likely.

Thoughts?