It’s pretty much impossible to make a good movie based on a video game, right? It might also be hard to follow up a successful start in film directing like Moon and Source Code with a hugely popular established property. Here’s the newest example of beating the odds: The Duncan Jones-directed Warcraft.
So the sixth (or eight, or ninth, depending on how you count) X-men film comes around, and we all know how this goes, right? Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his gang of mutant superheroes the X-men have to fight some scheme to kill all mutants, mostly manifested in a physical confrontation against Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and his “Brotherhood” of bad guys. Somewhere in between Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique also pops up.
Except it looks like this time director Bryan Singer has something different in mind. I guess he watched some different movies in the interim, for inspiration. X-men: Apocalypse feels much more like a disaster movie – a Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich-style world-scale drama which kicks off in Ancient Egypt, introducing the first mutant – Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) discovers and inadvertently awakens the incredibly powerful mutant when, as an indirect result of the time-travel meddling in Days of Future Past, she investigates cults that believe in mutant gods.
What can I say about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that hasn’t been said by the ten jillion trailers and lacerating critical reviews? Very little. But my will to rant has always been strong.
Warning: I spoiler in my sleep so watch out.
It’s a bit like going back home and seeing your kooky family again after several years. Except your family isn’t nearly as interesting as the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. And your family didn’t get a sequel after 14 years. There’s the seldom-discussed spin-off TV sitcom, My Big Fat Greek Life, but just like your black sheep step-sister Joanne, it didn’t really accomplish much in the end. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 isn’t bigger, better, fatter, or more Greek than the original 2002 sleeper hit, but it isn’t simply more of the same either.
If you’re really good at showing the honest, tangible fragility of human beings in the films that you write or direct, why would you make a stop-motion movie with puppets? Not only that, but the puppet characters in Charlie Kaufman‘s Anomalisa are obviously puppets. The seams on the puppets’ interchangeable faces are clearly visible, and some artifacts of the animation process aren’t concealed. Maybe it’s due to the fact that all the characters in protagonist Michael Stone’s (David Thewlis) life look and sound the same (portrayed by Tom Noonan). Just like in Kaufman’s directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, where Caden Cotard shows a lot of symptoms of Cotard’s syndrome, Stone experiences the Fregoli delusion – the belief that different people are all the same person.
Die Ontwaking is ‘n sielkundige misdaadriller, gegrond op Chris Karsten se roman Abel se Ontwaking (die eerste boek in ‘n trilogie). Dit gaan oor Ella Nesser (vertolk deur Juanita de Villiers), ‘n jong en relatief onervare speurder wat op die spoor is van die “Nagsluiper” – ‘n reeksmoordenaar. Terselfdetyd leer ons ook Abel Lotz (Gys de Villiers) ken. Bedags is hy ‘n ongemaklike, eienaardige eienaar van ‘n klein galery en kenner van Afrika-maskers en Kuns. Na-uurs sluip hy in die nag.
You’ve very probably seen Deadpool described as a “superhero movie with a twist”. It has the Marvel logo at the start, it features a guy in a colourful suit, and there’s an extra scene after the credits. But on the other hand, (just like the comic book) it’s more self-referential and meta than any other superhero movie you’ve seen. It has a lot of humour, and a lot of violence. From the first images of the opening credit sequence to the post-credit bonus scene, it pokes fun at itself and the superhero film genre in general. It was an unconventional situation: The movie was stuck in development hell for 11 years, and finally got greenlit when test footage leaked, and the fans on the internet went nuts. Its marketing campaign was a clever extension of the character’s sense of humour. Its opening weekend was an unexpected box office record breaker. It’ll probably inspire other R-rated superhero movies. Or out-of-the-box marketing campaigns. Or a ton of Ryan Reynolds movies.
This past weekend was the Super Bowl. I know that it’s a sports thing in America that gets about a third of the country in front of their TVs at the same time. But that’s basically the full extent of my knowledge. The only other thing I know is that Americans (specifically Hollywood) love using the opportunity to release a ton of new TV adverts. Which means new peeks at upcoming movies. Here’s the selection:
Samuel L. Jackson portrays the bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren in Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film, The Hateful Eight. “Let’s slow it down,” he says at one point, while aiming his revolver at other characters. “Let’s slow it way down.”
Remember Cloverfield? Well JJ Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, who also produced the 2008 found footage monster/disaster film directed by Matt Reeves, released a teaser for 10 Cloverfield Lane on Friday. The teaser was a big surprise, as the general public wasn’t aware of production on any Cloverfield sequel or spin-off. Instead, Bad Robot announced Valencia – a micro-budget horror movie set in a bunker, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman to be directed by relative newcomer Dan Trachtenberg. Trachtenberg has previously directed an impressive video game fanfilm called Portal: No Escape.