Five for the Fifth: OCTOBER 2016 Edition


Welcome to FlixChatter’s primary blog series! As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

1. Well, it’s October and a lot of bloggers are dedicating their sites to horror films for the entire month. If you’ve been on this blog often enough you’ll know that isn’t going to happen here on FlixChatter. I have such feeble nerves that I almost always avoid horror films, even though I have appreciated some horror films in the past, i.e. The Sixth Sense, Silence of the Lambs, Devil’s Advocate, etc.

A scene from Byzantium

I actually quite like vampire films, i.e. Interviews With the Vampire, Byzantium, Daybreakers, etc. But seeing The Exorcist back in college still terrified me to this day so I generally avoid anything dealing with people being possessed. But I might be persuaded to see something once in a while if it isn’t overly gory or extremely disturbing.

So my first question to you is… what horror/scary thriller would you recommend to someone like me who aren’t into the genre? 

2. As for the trailers I’m highlighting in this edition, let’s start with the Kristen Stewart‘s movie that was booed at Cannes: Personal Shopper. Interesting because just the year before, she became the first American actress to win a Cesar [for Best Supporting Performance] for Clouds of Sils Maria which was also directed by Olivier Assayas. It’s been five months since Cannes and now we finally got the trailer:

I have to admit I wasn’t Kirsten’s biggest fan, but I thought she’s terrific in Clouds of Sils Maria, so I might check this one out. I know I just said I’m not into horror films, but this one felt more like a mysterious ghost story involving her dead twin brother than a bloody/gory horror flick.

Woo hoo!! Clive Owen is back as The Driver in BMW short film The Escape trailer!

The short film is presented as an homage to the 15th anniversary of the original BMW Film series, and it also stars Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal, and Vera Farmiga. It’s directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium). I’ve highlighted some of my fave BMW films here. The Escape will premiere on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. EST on

Thoughts about either one of these trailers?

3. It’s gotta be good to be Christopher Nolan. Per THR, the British auteur is said to be getting $20 million upfront and 20 percent of the gross for his upcoming World War II epic Dunkirk. Considering that the average director salary for a studio film is in the $750,000 to $1.5 million range, depending on the number of past credits, the $20 mil payday is astounding.


But hey, I think Nolan deserved it, though he’s already one of the wealthiest filmmakers working today thanks to the over $1 billion gross of his Batman trilogy alone.

I’ve posted the Dunkirk teaser trailer here and it looks epic! I guess we’ll find out on July 2017 just how epic it will be.

Thoughts on Christopher Nolan huge payday?

4. This edition’s casting news feature a double from Emma Thompson and having just finished my review of Bridget Jones’ Baby this weekend (it’s still in my draft folder), we definitely need more of her in movies!


Let’s start with the first project which will have Emma teaming up with Mindy Kaling. What a duo it’ll be! Though I actually haven’t seen her show The Mindy Project, I really like her and I’m glad she’s making her foray into films!

The story follows a venerated late-night talk show host, played by Thompson, who’s in danger of losing her long-running show right when she hires her first female writer, played by Kaling. Sources describe the film as The Devil Wears Prada meets Broadcast News. I’m so there!

Source: Variety

The second project is an adaptation of author Ian McEwan’s novel.

Thompson plays Fiona Maye, an eminent judge in London presiding with wisdom and compassion over ethically complex cases of family law. But she has paid a heavy personal price for her workload, and her marriage to American professor Jack (Stanley Tucci) is at breaking point.

Filming will take place on location in London from mid-October. Also starring is newcomer Fionn Whitehead, who appears in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Dunkirk. I love Stanley Tucci too, he’s a terrific character actor, so this is another screen match up I look forward to seeing.

Source: Variety

Thoughts on these possible new projects for Emma Thompson?

5. This month Five for the Fifth‘s guest is Jay from the awesome blog Assholes Watching Movies!


I saw Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children this weekend and wasn’t overly impressed. It pairs well enough with Tim Burton’s visual style of story-telling, big on surrealism and whimsy but a little lacking in actual story. Overshadowing the film, however, are Burton’s recent comments about diversity in film, and in his films in particular. As wildly inventive as some of Burton’s creations are, his films remain peopled by white characters. Casting non-whites is where his imagination draws a line in the sand, apparently. Dude with scissors for hands? Sure. Talking caterpillar? Demon barber? Obsessive candy man? All okay. Black guy playing any of those? Don’t be crazy. Or as Burton put it himself “Things either call for things, or they don’t” – meaning, if a script says “African American”, he’ll cast an African American. But if a script says “person”, Burton reads it as “white person.” And that’s exactly the kind of inherent bias we most especially have to watch for. There’s no reason why all the peculiar children were white, no reason at all. Perhaps the script did not demand it, but society does. Audiences are as diverse as they come and deserve to see themselves represented on screen. Lazy racism like Burton’s is no excuse; it’s 2016 and it’s time to stop casting like movies are segregated. Samuel L. Jackson has a sizable role in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Jackson being the first person of colour to take on a lead role in any of Burton’s films. I’d celebrate that more if he wasn’t playing a villain.

As if Burton’s all-white IMDB listing isn’t damning enough, he’s nailed himself into his own coffin with these words:

I remember back when I was a child watching “The Brady Bunch” and they started to get all politically correct, like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black — I used to get more offended by that than just — I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.

Never mind that Blaxploitation movies were born in response to systemic racism and preached empowerment. Let’s just take his statement for what it is: white privilege, white ignorance, and an embarrassing amount of #alllivesmatter racist thinking. Tim Burton needs to pull his white head out of his white ass, and we all need to hold him accountable.

Have you seen ‘Miss Peregrine’? What do you think about Tim Burton’s racist remarks?


Well, that’s it for the OCTOBER edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Take part by picking a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 

44 thoughts on “Five for the Fifth: OCTOBER 2016 Edition

  1. 1. Let’s see…. House, The Thing, The Phantom Carriage, Audition (never want to see that one again, it scared the fuck out of me), Santa Sangre, Psycho, the Evil Dead trilogy, Suspiria, Possession. There’s so many classics in that genre, it’s hard to choose.

    2. Personal Shopper I definitely want to see as I’m a fan of the films I’ve seen from Olivier Assayas so far while I’m so eager for the return of The Hire series.

    3. Christopher Nolan has earned it. Just as long as he keeps making quality films, I don’t care how much he’s getting paid.

    4. Emma Thompson is a cinematic treasure. I’m glad she’s getting to be in some movies.

    5. I have no interest in Tim Burton’s films. Plus, I think he’s just lazy when it comes to casting as he often uses the same people and hasn’t really done anything to make them interesting regardless of what color their skin is. I should note that in his version of the Superman movie that he never got to make with Nicolas Cage. Chris Rock was going to play Jimmy Olsen.

    1. Hi Steven! Thanks for the recommendations, but aside from Psycho I think they’re all too scary for me. I’ve seen Evil Dead (the first one) and that’s definitely the kind of bloody horror stuff I don’t care for.

      Glad to hear you’re a fan of The Hire series! Man, I’d watch an entire movie w/ Clive as The Driver!

      Yep I think Chris Nolan’s definitely one of the best filmmakers working today whose work are critically AND commercially acclaimed.

      Amen about Emma!

      Yeah I think it’s lazy-ness and out of touch, as many filmmakers/casting managers seem to be these days even despite the outcry of lack of diversity in films.

    2. jackdeth72

      Hi, ninvoid:

      Can’t disagree with you on Audition. A definite “One and Done” for me…. Great catch on Suspiria . Which is rumored to be in the re-male mill. Could also add Argento’s Cat o’ Nine Tails for its unique visuals.

      1. Hi Kevin, yeah I just read about the remake of Suspiria. I’ll see the trailer of the original and see if I’m up for it [that is, if it’s too scary for me or not] 🙂

  2. 1. Any of the five Dan Simpson recommended today will do.

    2. I liked both.

    3. I’m all for Nolan taking the studio for all its worth, if they want to pay it.

    4. Anything Emma wants to do is fine by me. We need more of her today.

    5. Shocking to read Burton’s thoughts. Deeply disappointed to hear from a director whose style and celebration of the oddball and bullied, surely, have been uplifting in his storylines. It knocks me for a loop, for sure, and I’m very conflicted. Can’t be ignored and should be discussed openly.

    1. Hi Michael!

      For some reason the link to Dan’s post isn’t working. What’s the name of his blog?

      I think Nolan is the kind of filmmakers who cares for his craft and more about the work than the fame of the biz, so I respect him for that.

      Yes, Emma is fantabulous, let’s hope she still has a long career ahead of her, both in front or behind the camera as a writer.

      It’s shocking and disappointing. I just think some filmmakers don’t even want to even look at the problem [diversity, sexism, etc.], let alone do something about it :\

  3. Wow it’s time of the month already? I’ve been so busy with work that I forgot it’s already a few days into October!

    1. You should see David Fincher’s Panic Room if you haven’t yet, it’s a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for sure. Definitely Fincher’s very underrated film. Since you said you like vampire films, you should check out Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark. Since it’s very low budget, the film didn’t have a lot gore or elaborate effects, just a really creepy tone to it.

    2. I’ve always wanted to see those shorts with Clive Owens turned into a feature film but when The Transporter came out, they figure no one would see Clive’s version. I can’t to watch the new short even I’m not a fan of Blomkamp but it’s short film so I don’t think he can mess it up.

    3. I’m a little surprised that this was big news to people, most famous filmmakers gets the big dough all the time and yes Nolan’s $20mil is huge, yet I always assume most people who follows the film business knows that directors get big paychecks if their movies are hits. Look at Michael Bay, he’s filthy rich from all those crappy films he made, especially those awful Transformers movies.

    4. A comedy with Emma Thompson? I’ll see it, I still remember her guest star on Cheers and she’s hilarious in that episode.

    5. The last movie I saw from Tim Burton was Sweeney Todd almost ten years ago! He hasn’t done anything that interest me. As for his comment, I don’t think he’s being racist, just honest. I mean I can see from his point of view, if the script didn’t specify a race of the character then he’s going to cast white actor for that role because he’s white. Unless he’s being told by the studio to make his movie more diverse, he’s not going to change his habit of how he cast actors for his movies.

    1. Hi Ted! I know, I feel like I just did a FFTF post not that long ago!

      Oh right, that’s one I still need to see, I was just talking about that w/ someone about Kirsten Stewart’s early role in that. Oh yes, Near Dark too, been wanting to see it, esp given it’s by Kathryn Bigelow!

      Ahah, that’s the same reaction I had about Blomkamp but since it’s a short film it might be ok. I like Vera Farmiga too, I’d love to see her and Clive work together on a feature.

      Well, it seems it’s still not that common that a director get paid so highly unless your name is Spielberg. I think w/ Bay he’s also producing the flick right? In any case, glad Nolan is being compensated well as he’s freakin’ talented.

      My goodness, I might’ve missed that episode w/ Emma on Cheers! I have to find that on youtube!

      I think ‘tone deaf’ and ‘out of touch’ is a more appropriate term than honesty when it comes to Burton, but yeah, I don’t know if he’s blatantly racist. The funny thing is, given that the kids are supposed to be outcasts, it’d make a whole lot more sense to cast kids of various races in those roles.

      1. Oh yeah I thought Kristen Stewart was a boy when I first saw Panic Room, she’s so tiny and well very boyish looking back then. It’s a very good home invasion thriller that somehow been forgotten by many people, it’s never mention that much when it comes to Fincher’s films.

        I should clarify about my comment on directors earning big bucks, I always assume that people know that if directors made a film that became box a office hit, those directors would be filthy rich too. One other director who’s well off is Brett Rattner, he earned a lot of money from the Rush Hour films and his one X-Men film made him even richer. Yeah Bay also produces those transformers movies and he also produces a bunch other projects, so of course he made tons of cash from those too.

        In that episode, Emma played a clown who tried to get Frashier to be with her. It’s hilarious.

        Yup, Burton has established himself as a powerful director in that town for years so he’s not going to listen to anyone about who he should cast in his movies.

        1. PrairieGirl

          I was trying to figure out when Emma would have been on Cheers since I’ve seen every episode more than a dozen times! So when you mentioned Frasier, now I remember her in Frasier and in that episode. She played Frasier’s ex-girlfriend who’s a pop star for kids.Very funny 😉

          1. Oh ok so it’s a Frasier episode then, not Cheers? I’ll definitely look that up, somehow I’ve missed that one. I LOVE Frasier and I could see Emma being hilarious in that show.

        2. Ahah, well Kristen is now dating a girl so I guess she might’ve doubted her sexuality even then?

          Did those directors actually make $20mil + 20% gross (which I think is a lot) without a producing credit? Now I don’t know if Nolan is also co-producing Dunkirk or not and whether he’ll earn additional payment for producing. In any case, I do think he’s worth it.

          1. I don’t know how much those guys received but most of the time, directors would either lower their salary fees and up their take on the movie’s earnings percentage. A good example would James Cameron payday for Titanic, his salary was around $7mil but he gave up his all of his salary when the film went well over budget. He only asked for percentage of the film’s earning if the film’s a hit, he ended up with well over $100mil since the film was a huge success. Now had the film failed, he would’ve worked for free.

            My guess is both Rattner and Bay negotiated a sweet deal for them received as much money from the films’ earnings as much as possible.

            1. WOW, Cameron’s payday for Titanic was ONLY $7mil? But I suppose he’s smart that he opted for gross instead, but then again at the time who knew a movie about a sunken ship would be a Billion dollar hit?? Ugh, I hate when hack directors like Rattner can be so darn rich, but hey, who says life is fair in Hollywood (or anywhere else for that matter).

              1. Actually that’s pretty hefty salary for a director, even at Cameron’s status. But this was back in the 90s when salaries for stars & directors were pretty “low” and movie’s budget hasn’t gone over $150-200mil mark too often. Cameron ended up with so much money that he didn’t need to make another movie until he released Avatar 12 years after Titanic.

  4. Let’s see. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Either the 1950s original or I like the 1978 version starring Donald Sutherland. It’s creepy but won’t disturb you like films such as The Exorcist. I simply cannot watch it. I look forward to Dunkirk and I’m not surprised by Nolan’s paycheck. Emma is awesome whether in a drama or comedy. I’d like to see more of her. In fact, I’d like to see her with older actresses. Scripts that cater to the baby-boomers. There’s many of us out there!

    1. Hey there Cindy! Hope you’ve had some time for writing lately.

      I heard the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers isn’t very good? I like Donald Sutherland so I might give that a shot. Oh so you haven’t seen The Exorcist? That’s wise as it’s gross and extremely disturbing.

      Emma definitely needs to be in more movies and also write more films! Yes, even better if she writes for films for actresses her age or older. I’d love to see her do a film w/ the likes of Helen Mirren or Judi Dench!

      1. PrairieGirl

        If you like Donald Sutherland you must see Eye of the Needle ( It’s an alternative ending to WWII and is totally gripping with love interests thrown in. It’s not horror, rather a thriller. In fact now that I’m thinking about it I think I should see it again.

      2. I have seen The Exorcist, twice. Once as a,13 year old and another time in my 20s. It is way too scary for me.
        Too busy to wtite. I don’t know what to do other than stop blogging all together and lock myself away from all whom I love. Yes, to a film made up of great women!

        1. Ah I see. Wow, you saw it twice!! I saw it in college and it terrified me so much I asked Ivan to sleep on the couch so I don’t have to be alone in the apt! He knows I’m still petrified even seeing Regan’s face.

          And yes, always welcome stories of great women. Did you see my review of Queen of Katwe? Bummed that so few people saw it or interested in it, as Lupita Nyong’o is an admirable woman who refuses to take shortcuts to an easy life. It’s so much more than about chess.

            1. To this day I still can’t look at Regan’s face without flinching! There’s a funny story about one of Ivan’s relatives who’s a flight attendant. One day Linda Blair was on board and Ivan’s aunt couldn’t remember where she had seen the actress. She just gave her THAT grin w/ her eyes just so. Her aunt immediately knew who she was, ahah!

              Queen of Katwe is a joy, glad to see Disney doing a film like that w/ an all African cast!

  5. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Great looking “Five for The Fifth”:

    #1: Give the low budget, B&W Lawrence, Kansas classic, ‘Carnival of Souls’. Not a lot of scares, but tons of mood, atmosphere and brilliant use of shadows!

    #2: Not that much impressed with the clip of ‘Personal Shopper’… Give an eerie little gem from 1980 with George C. Scott titled ‘The Changeling’ a shot…. An intricate tale that generates more goosebumps through what doesn’t happen than most “Haunted House” films.

    #3: In Hollywood and “Big Cinema”, you are only as good as your last film. And Christopher Nolan’s track record has very little competition. It’s going to be an interesting “Bang For The Buck” competition in telling the tale that was Dunkirk within a prescribed budget. But if a director can pull it off. Nolan can.

    #4: Emma Thompson has been a noticeable talent consistently plugging away without fanfare since he days at Cambridge University where she hung out with a lot of the cast of Monty Python. A talent capable of handling any character or situation.

    May not be a perfect fit for ‘Miss Peregrine’…. But Ms.Thompson’s subtle comedic take on ‘Nanny McPhee’ from 2005 more than makes up for it.

    #5: Tim Burton should just Shut The Hell Up and direct!

    Securing My Soapbox.

    1. Hi Kevin!

      Oh I’d give ‘Carnival of Souls’ a try. Boy even the title sounds creepy, but sounds like it’s visually stunning.

      I didn’t know there’s a film called The Changeling w/ George C. Scott. I immediately thought of Angelina Jolie’s film Changeling.

      Yep, I think everyone’s curious how Nolan’d pull off a WWII epic, but I believe he’d do a good job!

      Emma’s got such a fantastic comic timing so not surprised she could hang out w/ the Monty Python cast w/ ease.

      Ahah, agreed on your comment about Burton!

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth:

        The visuals during the opening credits of ‘Carnival of Souls” were enough to set the hook deep for what was to come during the film. I’m sure you’ll have a fun time!

      2. I don’t know if you would enjoy The Changeling Ruth if you were scared by The Exorcist. 🙂 I do think it’s one of the most underrated horror films, James Wan actually used the template from that film for his horror hit The Conjuring.

  6. I don’t think anyone is “worth” $20 million. I think movie stars and sports players have crazily inflated salaries and it’s way past ridiculous. No one needs that kind of money, and making movies isn’t saving lives. It doesn’t hold that much value. I think he’s very talented and I think he’s among the best, but I really find that kind of excess to be disgusting.

    1. I hear ya. I think Hollywood is full of excess as it is, it’s even more incredulous how much ACTORS get paid, even more so than directors who I think have a much more difficult job.

  7. Dan Heaton

    I’ll play on some of these.

    1. I’d suggest The Others if you haven’t seen it. It’s creepy and scary but isn’t gory at all.

    3. I’d compare Christopher Nolan to a sports star who makes a crazy salary due to past performance. He may not earn his money every time, but the history is there. It’s so hard to quantify value from directors and actors, but this doesn’t bother me too much.

    5. Burton’s comments didn’t surprise me that much, though they’re still awful. His films seem like they come from another dimension (and haven’t been very good lately), so it’s not a huge stretch to think he isn’t a forward-thinking guy.

    1. Hello Dan!

      I think I remember seeing the trailer for The Others. I might give it a shot.

      Interesting comparison of Nolan to a sports star. I think ultimately it’s all about the profit they can bring to the organization, in this case the studios.

      Yep, clearly not a forward-thinking guy at all.

  8. Woohoo, I made it!

    Too much? Anyhoo…

    1) For someone who isn’t really into the genre and doesn’t like gore I’d recommend the movies I started this October with: Poltergeist (the original), Hush, The Boy, and The Final Girls. I’d also throw in It Follows and The Babadook.

    Since you can appreciate vampire flicks, I hope you’ve seen Let the Right One In or it’s American remake, Let Me In. I like both equally, though the American version is the bloodier of the two. There’s also A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and the hilarious What We Do in the Shadows.

    2) Personal Shopper looks interesting, but nothing I’m going to rush out and see. The Escape looks likes fun.

    3) That’s great for Nolan and other directors who will now be able to command a little more themselves because of his windfall. Can’t help but think if I were a studio head, I’d hate it for precisely the same reason.

    4) I like Emma Thompson and look forward to seeing her in anything.

    5) I had no idea about Burton’s remarks. I like Burton as a film-maker, but yeah, I agree wholeheartedly with Jay on this one. Haven’t seen Miss Peregrine, yet.

    1. Woo hoo!! Glad to have ya Dell.

      The Babadook is one I’ve been curious to see as the mother/son relationship intrigues me. Oooh yes, Let The Right One In sounds good as well, and I do have the Bluray of What We Do in the Shadows, loooove that movie! Not scary at all but hilarious!

      Glad you love Thompson too, but really who doesn’t, she’s lovely, witty and fun!

      I didn’t know much about Burton and not really a huge fan of his apart from a couple of movies, but yeah his comment is so tone-deaf that shows how out-of-touch he is.

      1. The mother/son relationship is really what The Babadook is all about. It’s one of my fave horror flicks of the last few years. Let the Right One In is amazing. Glad to see the love for What We Do in the Shadows.

        1. Ok Dell I will muster up the courage to see either one of those films this month. But yeah WWDITS is one of the funniest things I saw in a long while.

  9. I know you don’t like horror films Ruth but I’m sure there’s a few dark thrillers that could work for you over the Halloween period. How about The Sixth Sense, I’m sure you’ve seen that one. I watched The Call with Halle Berry recently and that was really taut and claustrophobic – more thriller than horror but it has those horror film conventions that make it so exciting (and scary). Try some classics as they aren’t gory – Rosemary’s Baby is a terrific horror film, for instance. The Wicker Man is another classic – weird rather than “horrific” apart from the ending (which I’m sure you’ll know all about).

    1. Yeah I have seen The Sixth Sense, that’s the kind of horror films I like! Boy that twist is still something else!

      So you’re recommending the original Wicker Man right? As I thought the remake w/ Nic Cage is awful? Thanks Dan!

  10. 1. Huh, interesting question…The Others is quite mild in terms of gore.

    2. I like Kristen so I’ll see this one and same goes for Vera. The original shorts with Owen were really good.

    3. Well he has insane and dedicated fanbase so he deserves it. DC should double that sum and BEG him to come back because the entire DC reputation is in crapper nowadays thanks to Snyder who should get a kick in the ass as a payment

    4. Mindy is quite annoying but the second project sounds very interesting

    5. Burton makes bad movies these days and he is saying stupid stuff. Next he probably dates a 20 year old and falls off a wagon into a dumpster, like Johnny 9 Digits.

    1. I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Others, but I’ve also learned about the twist.

      I’ve started liking Kirsten since Clouds of Stills Maria, so since it’s by the same director I’m intrigued about Personal Shopper. Vera needs to be in more movies!

      Yep, Nolan has a huge fan base but the nice thing is he seems to be more about the work than hype and popularity, unlike Snyder.

      I haven’t seen enough of Mindy’s work to make an opinion on her, but it’s still so rare to see a woman of color succeeds in Hollywood so I tend to be supportive of them.

      Amen about Burton, I think his comments reflect more ineptitude and ignorance than blatant racism.

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