I have really mixed feelings about the new Uncharted Movie, based on the trailer. I don’t doubt that it can be fun ride, but having finished all of the games save for the last one, I’m not completely sold on it. Still, Hollywood looks for longevity, and having a younger cast makes for more sequels. Tom Holland’s in a perfect place for this, as filing Nathan Drake’s shoes are no easy task. Mark Wahlberg isn’t the Sully I envisioned, but he should be good with the major action sequences.
Again, it’s just a trailer. The movie overall should make for a great popcorn film. I hope to cheer along.
The DC Fandome is currently underway! DC and Warner Bros. are showcasing the lineup for some of their new movies, shows and video games. One of the first offerings was a peek into Black Adam, starring Dwayne Johnson. Black Adam was a long term project, as Johnson is an executive producer for Shazam!
With Black Adam playing as an adversary to Shazam!, that should make for an interesting battle. We’ll see when the movie releases next year.
From the directors of Ready or Not comes yet another chapter in Wes Craven’s Scream series. I’ll admit I’m liking the cast in this one. We have Melissa Barerra (In the Heights), Jenna Ortega (Yes Day), Dylan Minnette (30 Reasons Why), Jack Quaid (The Boys), Marley Shelton (Planet Terror), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body), and Mikey Madison (Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood)
Then you have the returning cast, which includes Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Most importantly, it appears that Roger L. Jackson is voicing the Ghostface again! On a side note, Jackson was also responsible for Mojo Jojo’s voice in The Powerpuff Girls. (“Curses!”)
January movies don’t always do very well, but we’ll see what happens with this one.
It looks like Sony released a trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, starring Kaya Scodelario (Crawl) as Claire Redfield, Avan Jogia (Starz’ Now Apocalypse) as Leon Kennedy, Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Jill Valentine, Robbie Amell (The Babysitter) as Chris Redfield, Tom Hooper (The Umbrella Society) as Albert Wesker and Lily Gao as Ada Wong (Kin).
Director Johannes Roberts (The Strangers) looks like he’s bringing in elements from Capcom’s Resident Evil remake (originating back in 2002 on the Nintendo Gamecube), as well as Resident Evil 2. We have Lisa Trevor from the original and William Birkin (played by Band of Brothers & Ravenous‘ Neal McDonough), though it seems to be more of a mashup.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City premieres in Theatres on November 24th.
I like to think a person’s love of film reflects who they are. Please bear with me on this one.
The movies that move us, make us smile or laugh or cry tend to paint a picture. In some ways, this works out well. When your friend sits you down, shows you The Shawshank Redemption, watches you ball your eyes out and then laugh by the end, you get that slow nod that says..”This fellow, they understand.” The movie love spreads like that tape in The Ring. I’ve had this happen on separate occasions my Live Tweet experiences. The Manitou was an an absolute blast that had me laughing and asking myself just what the hell I was watching. A Field in England was a weird, wild trip that made me flinch at times. They may be stranger films, but they were were also great experiences. Without them, I wouldn’t have my eyes opened to what’s out there in terms of cinema.
I also believe the idea of loving anyone unconditionally is possible under the right conditions, but is a difficult concept. I’ve found that people are usually ready to “ride or die” with you as long as you are both moving along the same path, sharing the same mindset. However, there will always be something that puts a relationship (family/friends/lovers) to the test and maybe a line is drawn that can’t be crossed. It takes a lot for someone to bear all of their flaws before another person, just as it does to see them and say, “You’re cool with me.” It’s no different from having a family that loves you right up until that moment where your political or religious views diverge and you suddenly find yourself disowned because of it. That’s just my opinion.
I caught Julia’s Ducournau’s Titane last Thursday Night in a near empty theatre in Midtown Manhattan. I’ve been thinking about it in some form or another ever since. I went to catch it because I needed to get out and about for a little while, and I enjoyed Raw immensely. Just like Malignant, I went in blind, only really knowing it was a Ducournau film and seeing an image of a girl laying across a car. Maybe it was because by the end, I applauded like a seal and caught some strange looks from people on the way out of the theatre, but I kind of feel weird for enjoying this film as much as I did. I didn’t know what the hell I just watched, but it made me feel something, and that was enough. I’m not entirely sure of what that says about me as a person.
Alexia (Agathe Rousselle, in her first full length film) is a live wire. Introduced to the audience as a child, we can see she works off of pure instinct. She also has a love for cars. When she sustains major injuries from a car accident, Alexia has to have a titanium plate (hence the movie’s title in one form) put into her skull that leaves a wild pattern on her skin. Alexia’s instincts carry with her into adulthood, but I saw her as being very feral. Whether it’s food or drink, or darker desires, she throws herself fully into it. Vincent (Vincent Lindon), is a leader and a rescue specialist coping with the loss of his son, who went missing some time ago. When their lives intersect, the plot for Titane seemed to change and for me, became a story about unconditional love. There is horror throughout Titane, suffer no illusions. Blood, broken limbs and all kids of fluids, but there’s also a sense of acceptance and forgiveness despite how dark things really get. Much like the automobile Alexia dances alongside, the plot felt like it shifted gears to the point I wasn’t sure what I really watching. Mind you, I didn’t really see a trailer or anything, so I didn’t have recognizable snippets to reference and say “Ah, I remember that from the trailer.” It may make the film a little hard for some audiences to follow. What I enjoyed, though I list it as a possible con, is that the film never bothers to tell you any of the how’s or why’s for anything you’re seeing. No explanations on why Alexia is who she is or how certain elements are possible. There’s no clear cut answer, like in Malignant.
It just is what it is.
Both actors carry their roles very well. Rousselle’s Alexia moves between passion, violence and vulnerability in the blink of an eye and I hope that Titane serves as a launchpad for her in future roles. Lindon also goes through the same process, though his character is more nurturing (though just as broken). It’s really hard to imagine other actors doing all of this. Garance Marillier (Raw) reunites with Ducournau as Justine, one of the other dancers Alexia knows. This also brings up something I found interesting. With the exception of Vincent, the names of all of the principal characters are the same character names from Raw. I have to wonder if that’s just coincidence or maybe Ducournau just has a fondness for those names.
During the New York Film Festival, Ducournau said in the post movie Q&A that the film was based on a nightmare she had. She doesn’t play around at all here, and puts it all on view. Titane could easy sit on a shelf among Antonia Bird’s Ravenous, Mary Harron’s American Psycho, and Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge. The blood flow is vicious and mostly brutal. There was at least once sequence that made me flinch in my seat and say..”Oh damn!” while instinctively reaching for a body part. While the movie does contain some sexual scenes and nudity, they’re not terribly explicit. The sound quality in my theatre was loud and rich, so the squishes and breaks were pretty impacting. Ruben Impens returns to work with Ducournau as the Director of Photography and for the most part, the visuals were solid. Colors were vibrant and there weren’t any scenes that seemed like they didn’t work.
So, overall, I truly enjoyed Titane. Did I fully get it? I don’t know. A lot of it is up to interpretation, but I guess that can be said of any film. I give Ducournau and the actors credit for making something that felt strange. When I get a physical copy, I’ll probably sit it next to Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend, easily one of the most confusing films I’ve seen (that I love).
Still, I have to wonder what that all says about me.
On a side note, I was about to publish this when I realized that Titane is also the winner of this year’s Palme D’or, which is the highest recognition given to a film at the Cannes Film Festival. While I haven’t enough personal knowledge to fully explain how good or bad that may be, Cannes has been in existence since the the mid 1940s. The Shattered Lens has followed Cannes for some time now. Titane shares the win with other films over the years such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz and as recently as Jong Boon Ho’s Parasite. Ducournau’s only the second woman to have won the prize, along with Jane Campion for The Piano.
Hawkeye finds Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) back in the spotlight when a vigilante similar to the Ronin appears in NYC. This leads him to Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld, Bumblebee), an archer who’s just as good as our Avenger. What she’s into, we don’t know, but it makes for an excellent team up. The show bridges the character we know with the 2005 comic counterpart (with some changes to tie things into the current Marvel Cinematic Universe). With a Christmas setting, part of me hoped that Shane Black had a hand in it some where. Not to worry, as Mad Men and Bridgerton writer/producer Jonathan Igla is the showrunner here.
Hawkeye also stars Brian d’Arcy James (Spotlight), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Zahn McClarnon (Doctor Sleep), Ava Russo (Avengers: Endgame), and Florence Pugh (Black Widow).
Hawkeye premieres on Disney Plus on November 24th.
James Wan’s newest horror film, Malignant is something that really needs to be seen without any prior input on it. If there’s any way you can watch it – whether you see it in theatres or on HBO Max up until October 10th – It’s definitely worth it. Right after watching it, I contacted my cousin and begged her to watch it without moviepooping it. She never watches a movie without already knowing the outcome – who lives, who dies. If she doesn’t, the anxiety that hits her is great. She twitches in her chair, covers her face, screams and gives every reaction you to hope to experience in a movie theatre. She agreed to do so, and I can’t wait to hear her thoughts on this. I’m almost compelled to head out to a theatre, sit in the back and watch the audience.
You’re better off not reading this and just coming back later, after you’ve seen it. I’ll try not to give too much away.
When I think of popular couples in horror, the first one that comes to mind is Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel. James Wan & his wife, Ingrid Bisu may be joining that group. Along with screenwriter Akela Cooper (The 100), the three writers provide Malignant with enough jumps and mouth covers for me to enjoy the ride. Is it perfect? No. It might actually be offensive and/or triggering to a few people, depending on what they’re going through in life, but every movie has the capacity to do that without realizing it.
When mother to be Madison (Annabelle Wallis, Annabelle) suffers an injury, she begins to have visions of a figure causing murders. Much like Neil Jordan’s In Dreams, Madison visions give her a tie to the killer, who may be someone from her past. With the police involved in the form of Agent Kekoa Shaw (George Young, Containment) and his partner, Regina Moss (Michole Briana White, She Hate Me), they work with Annabelle to pursue the killer.
Malignant has it’s share of great shots. There’s one wonderful overhead sequence that takes place which reminded me a little of Minority Report, along with Wan’s usual work with lights and shadow. Smoky alleyways and barely lit hallways just add to Malignant’s creepiness. All of this is anchored by both Wallis’ performance, a mix of quiet tension and wide eyed horror, and by Maddie Hasson (Underdogs), who plays her sister Sidney. Sidney is the source of Malignant‘s more comedic quips, along with Ingrid Bisu, who plays the Forensic Investigator. The movie strikes a good balance there, I felt.
From a writing standpoint, there’s enough misdirection to keep the audience guessing, but it doesn’t do in a way that lies to them. On my 2nd viewing (I’m on my 3rd while writing this), the elements that seemed strange really do make sense. There’s also tidbits of humor placed throughout the movie. It doesn’t make it a comedy by any means, but it’s nice to be to chuckle once in a while. It does make one huge mistake (for me, anyway) that almost completely lost me early on, a conversation between sisters that made me wonder why such information wasn’t already known between them over all the time they knew each other. You’ll probably be able to recognize it when it occurs.
Malignant is a tight 1 hour and 51 minutes, but it’s paced so well that the film feels like it’s almost over before you know it. As much as I enjoyed it, that was one of the other problems I had with the film. Not a terrible thing in any way. It hooks you from the start, gives you some great jumps and reveals through the middle. The 2nd half of the movie kind of pushes the pedal to the floor and guns it. I can think of at least two films that Malignant references, but I’ll maybe write about them some other time.
Overall, Malignant is a great Halloween treat, with James Wan & Co. showing everyone how it’s done. It gets strange, but when all’s said and done, you’ll be thankful for the ride. Just go in blind, turn off all the lights, take it for what it is and enjoy.
It’s been more than 20 years since the original Matrix dazzled audiences. It looks like both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, alongside some fresh faces in Candyman‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Underwater‘s Jessica Henwick (sporting a fresh blue hairdo). Once again, Thomas Anderson is realizing the world around him isn’t quite what it seems. Just like before, others will show up to hopefully help him find his way, all to the tune of a sweet remix of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit.
So, it looks like we might be in another cycle of the One here? Anyone who saw the Matrix Reloaded should recall that there were at least 6 previous Ones before Thomas Anderson, a.k.a. “Neo” came along. What I’m curious about is how this is going to be with all the background changes. The Wachowski’s have usually made their films as a pair, from Bound to Speed Racer to Cloud Atlas. This time around, Lana’s on her own in the directing duties, though we also have Sense8 writers Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell on board. That should bring some familiarity to fill in the space where Lilly Wachowski would be. My first thought is that it might be like a Christopher Nolan film without his brother Jonathan on board, but we’ll see how it goes. Musically, there’s also a change. Instead of Don Davis, we have Cloud Atlas‘ Tom Tykwer & Johnny Klimek on board.
The Matrix Resurrections also stars Jonathan Groff (Frozen), Christina Ricci (The Addams Family), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Baywatch), Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl), Daniel Bernardt (Nobody, The Matrix Reloaded), Lambert Wilson (The Matrix Reloaded), Erindira Ibarra (Sense8), and Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix Reloaded)
The film will release in theatres and HBO Max this Christmas.
As someone who’s inhaled every season of Netflix’s The Crown, I’m on the fence with Spencer. On the one hand, I’m really excited to see how Kristen Stewart handles playing Diana Spencer. On the other, Emma Corwin really set the bar high with her Emmy Nominated Performance. According to Neon, the film is a reimagining of a Christmas Dinner weekend where Diana’s affair with Dodi Fayed (Exec. Producer of F/X & Chariots of Fire), and Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Bowles possibly come to light. Makes for an interesting holiday get together.
Spencer also starts Jack Farthing(Love Wedding Repeat), Timothy Spall (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Sean Harris (The Green Knight)