Saturday, 30 April 2016

King Kong runs into legal trouble

It would seem that the upcoming Kong: Skull  Island has run into some legal trouble according to The Hollywood Reporter. Legendary/Warner Bros. are being sued by Joe DeVito, a man who claims that he created the entire Skull Island universe years ago and had in fact pitched the idea to the studios themselves. He is alleging that his ideas have been stolen without credit or compensation and are being used as the basis for the upcoming 2017 blockbuster origin story.

With shooting well underway and a $190 million budget invested, you can bet Mr DeVito is going to receive a hefty settlement, but what does this mean for the reputation of Legendary and their planned LCU?(Legendary Cinematic Universe)

What do you think of these claims? Do you think Skull Island was stolen?

Thursday, 28 April 2016

"Newt" returning for Alien 5

Neil Blomkamp's Alien 5 has finally revealed a much rumoured casting choice in announcing that Carrie Henn will be reprising her role as Newt from Aliens (1986). She will be joining Michael Biehn as Corporal Hicks despite both characters having died between the events of Aliens and Alien 3 (1992). Many seem happy to ignore the main canon in favour of reviving these characters but we'll have to wait for Ridley Scott to release his own "Alien: Covenant" before getting a chance to see the grown up Newt and Hicks in action.

What do you think of the decision? Is the Alien universe becoming too complicated?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Midnight Special (2016): Review

Midnight Special is a 2016 science fiction film. Directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) and starring Michael Shannon (Bug), Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom), Adam Driver (The Force Awakens) and newcomer Jaeden Lieberher (St Vincent) . This is Nichols fourth feature film and the fourth to feature Michael Shannon.

The film revolves around “special” child Alton (Lieberher) as he flees a Texas cult with his father Roy (Shannon) and family friend Lucas (Edgerton). After an FBI operation storms the cult, led by Sevier (Driver), we learn that Alton has unique powers including being able to predict the end of the world from government satellite data. Along with Alton’s mother Sarah (Kirstin Dunst) the group are chased across the state by FBI and cult members alike as Alton’s health begins to deteriorate rapidly. With a little help from Sevier, Sarah and Alton are able make it to a set of co-ordinates and we finally find out what happens on the 6th March.

Nichols himself has stated the vastly underrated Starman (1983) as a major influence on this film and the presence of John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg is felt throughout. However, unlike Starman, Nichols chooses to start the film with Alton already on the run and maintains this tense, nostalgic chase feel throughout the film. The film also feels a lot like A.I (2001), another underrated piece, and the talented young Lieberher provides the central performance that really draws you in (much like the young Haley Joel Osment).

The supporting cast are also excellent in the form of the always reliable Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton and Adam Driver turns in a very timely subtle performance to counter balance his recent turn as pantomime villain in Star Wars. Nichols direction is impeccable and the cinematography and use of light easily puts this film up with the best of Spielberg and Carpenter, visually speaking. That being said, the script is no slouch either and manages to create a genuine, sentimental tone (but not sugary) to a film that is essentially about a boy that can shoot lasers out of his eyes and bring satellites crashing to earth with an emotion.

A rare example of a thoughtful and original sci fi film that weaves mystery around a solid emotional core. Midnight special captures the mood of Carpenter and Amlin films without becoming a pastiche and is able to tell a fresh and intriguing story through rose tinted glasses (much like JJ Abrams' Super 8). Nichols continues to prove he is an indy filmmaker with an ambitious vision and Midnight Special may just prove to be one of the best sci fi films of the year.

**** 4 Stars

What did you think of the film? Does it borrow too much from older films?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Eccentric cast revealed for Twin Peaks revival

Although David Lynch is well known for his outlandish and surreal movies, he generally tends to work with the same actors such as Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Nance and Everett McGill. However, details have now emerged of the enormous cast that Lynch has assembled for the upcoming revival of his cult TV show Twin Peaks set to air next year.

The majority of the original cast will be returning, but will be joined by somewhat of a who’s who of 90s actors/musicians including:

  •          Matthew Lillard
  •          Trent Reznor
  •          Jennifer Jason Leigh
  •          Eddie Vedder
  •          Monica Belucci
  •          Laura Dern
  •          Tim Roth
  •          Tom Sizemore
  •          Ethan Suplee
  •          Naomi Watts
  •          Jim Belushi

And many more.

And if you’re wondering how David Lynch is going to integrate all these characters into the Twin Peaks universe in a way that makes sense, the answer is always the same, Twin Peaks doesn’t have to make any sense!

Are you excited for the new series? What do you think of this cast?

Monday, 25 April 2016

More details on Killer Klowns TV show

New details have emerged on the Killer Klowns from Outer Space TV series in development. One half of the directing team behind the cult 1988 movie, Stephen Chiodo (not sure where the other Chiodo bro has gotten to), has revealed the plans. "We wondered, should we do a sequel to the first one or do we do a remake? We came up with a 'requel' - It's a trilogy in four parts, and it really follows the continuing adventures of new people who are experiencing this phenomenon of a Klown invasion". 

This is all still hypothetical at the moment as there is no deal in place with a television network but Chiodo will certainly drum up interest with big ideas like this and a cult following patiently waiting.

What do you think of the idea? Are you fan of the movie?

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sadako vs Kayako gets a new japanese trailer

Japanese audiences have been treated to a new trailer for upcoming monster mash Sadako vs Kayoko, combining the Ring and Grudge franchises. Whether this will breathe new life into the flagging franchises or end up as a Freddy vs Jason (2003) spectacle, remains to be seen. Japanese audiences will find out on 18th June, with an international release to be announced.

 Are you excited for the crossover?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Boy (2016): Review

The Boy is a 2016 horror film. Directed by William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) and starring Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) and Rupert Evans (The Man in the High Castle). The film was previously titled “The Inhabitant”.

The film follows American nanny Greta (Cohan) as she relocates to England to find work. She finds a position with the Heelshire family but is surprised to learn that their child is actually a lifelike doll in memoriam of their actual child Brahms, who died many years earlier. After the parents leave for a holiday (a rather permanent one), Greta is left alone in the house with Brahms and discovers that the strange ceramic boy is more animated than he first appeared. Local delivery man Malcolm (Evans) also becomes involved and they find themselves trapped in the large country house with Brahms, who turns out to be surprisingly grown up.

I can only assume that the Brahms prop was the first thing designed for this movie and the writing followed afterwards, because the plot and characters are the afterthought here. Yes it is a very effective and creepy design for the antagonist but, as the central characters treat it as a joke, I found myself unable to take the character seriously as the film wore on. I laughed heartily when I saw the trailer for this movie and assumed it was a horror comedy, unfortunately it’s not. The supporting characters are irritating caricatures of eccentric English country folk and, despite a thrown together back story, the placement of Greta into this setting seems wholly arbitrary.

Everything about this movie is predictable and clich├ęd. The spooky mansion, the creepy kid, the haunted doll have all been done in recent years and done better (The Woman in Black and Insidious to name a few) and even the 3rd act twist (if you can call it a twist) is identical to last year’s vastly superior “Housebound”. I feel bad for Cohan, she does her best with a dull and lifeless script and is by far the most likeable character but this is not the best way to capitalise on her success in The Walking Dead. Evans, on the other hand, embarrasses himself after an excellent turn in the Man in the High Castle and it’s clear that both these actors are better suited to TV work.

The Boy is every creepy kid/possessed doll movie that you’ve ever seen and is as generic as it’s title and marketing suggest. It’s also pretty remarkable that anyone has handed Bell a budget of this size again after the disastrous Devil Inside (2012). Suffering the same symptoms as Annabelle (2014), creepy doll movies just don’t seem to work in this day and age and become instantly forgettable. Not overly terrible but a long way from being enjoyable, this movie is a waste of everyone’s time and will leave you feeling as lifeless and glazed over as our young friend Brahms.

** 2 stars

What did you think of the film? Did Brahms scare you?