Five for the Fifth: JULY 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. Happy Tuesday everyone! To my American friends, how was your Fourth? Hope you had an awesome three-day weekend! For some of us, Fourth of July weekend means family time, whether it’s at a state park, beach, lake, or at the movies!

FindingDory

So apparently Pixar’s latest Finding Dory threepeats this weekend, as Box Office Mojo called it, landing at #1 again at the box office for its third weekend. The Legend of Tarzan brought in about $45 million, followed by The Purge: Election Year at around $34 million and The BFG ends in fourth place with $22 million. Hmmm, I think we all know the major winner is The Purge 3 as its budget is merely $10 million, wow!

Did you see any new release movie on the big screen this weekend? 

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2. Now, in relation to this weekend’s box office. Well, The BFG turns out to be a bust, earning a paltry $22 mil in its first weekend when the budget is $140 mil!

I haven’t got a chance to review it yet as I was out and about all weekend, but I wasn’t that impressed with it. I barely remember any of it when I saw it over a week ago, but I found it a bit tedious as it took forever to get going. Variety wrote this piece wondering if Steven Spielberg has lost his blockbuster touch.

Spielberg_RubyBarnhill_BFG

Spielberg w/ BFG star Ruby Barnhill – image courtesy of Vox.com

I did like Spielberg’s last film Bridge of Spies, though I haven’t seen Lincoln yet. War Horse was overly sentimental despite a few moment of greatness, and I enjoyed The Adventures of Tintin mostly because I adore the Belgian comics. All the way to 2000s, Spielberg’s films were still relatively successful,from A.I. (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Minority Report (2002), and War of the Worlds (2005), and of course the abominable Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) still raked up over $300mil! As he gets older though, his films seem to make less money. Bridge of Spies only made $72mil (on a $40mil budget).

What are your thoughts on Spielberg? Is his box office mojo behind him now?

3. Ok, time for a few new trailers that caught my eye. I always like to mix things up so these two couldn’t be more different from each other.

Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich’s third in command after Hitler and Himmler.

I always love a good WWII thrillers, and Cillian Murphy is always solid in everything he’s in. Not really a fan of pretty boy Jamie Dornan but glad to see him doing something serious instead that Fifty Shades crap.
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A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.

I hadn’t even heard of this movie before, but when I saw the trailer it made me laugh! It’s obviously inspired by Mr & Mrs Smith, with two absolutely beautiful couple Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm (who’d make the perfect match for a Wonder Woman + Superman flick!). Zach Galifianakis & Isla Fisher look pretty funny here, it looks like it’ll be a hoot like Melissa McCarthy’s SPY.

I was hoping Ben Wheatley’s upcoming movie Free Fire (starring a great ensemble cast including my beloved Sam Riley) will have its trailer out by now (it’s shown with A24’s Swiss Army Man, so I’ll add it here once it hits.

What do you think of these trailers?
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4. I’ve talked about my excitement for Idris Elba’s casting as the Gunslinger on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower adaptation. Well, I just saw some pics on Just Jared from the NYC set and I just had to share!

Idris_Gunslinger1


Oh my, he certainly looks the part doesn’t he? I certainly wouldn’t mind roaming the Old West with THIS Roland Deschain😉 I guess it’ll be a while before we’ll see a trailer, as the film won’t be released until February 17th next year. But for sure I look forward to seeing Idris in the role and Matthew McConaughey as Roland’s adversary Man in Black.

What’s your initial thoughts on ‘The Dark Tower’? 

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Zoë from Sporadic Chronicle of a Beginner’s Blogger! I LOVE that her question is in keeping what I’ve been obsessing lately, that is historical series (as I’m still nuts over The White Queen and finally finished BBC’s War & Peace this weekend).

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Here’s Zoë in her own words:

I’ve been watching a lot of Downton Abbey and Vikings lately and I’ve been loving both shows (as always). There are many shows under this genre, whether fictitious or factual, or a blend of both.

Which historical/period series are you currently watching and loving? 


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

Musings on Brexit … thoughts from a cinephile

Brexit

We’re living in such volatile times. I checked Twitter just before I went to bed last night as the votes were pouring in for the EU referendum, not certain whether Britain will remain with European Union or leave. I woke up to this…

BrexitVote

per BBCnews


So the United Kingdom isn’t all that united after all, and clearly there’s not much unity in European Union. I’m not a UK citizen, but I am a citizen of the world who love European cinema including British cinema, and before today I don’t really separate the two. I find it impossible not to care about the result of Brexit vote. Obviously there’s significant economic impact to the world as a result, but given this a film blog and I’m not well-versed in economic nor politics, this is just my two cents as a cinephile.

I think this Deleted Scene from 500 Days of Summer kind of sums up how those who favor Britain (including a ton of British celebrities) to remain feels today…

Some of you might’ve read about the open letter from some British celebrities to urge voters to remain. An excerpt from the letter says “From the Bard to Bowie, British creativity inspires and influences the rest of the world…We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage.” (per Guardian)

I’ve been reading a ton about what Brexit means to the film and tv industry, and so far they confirm my dread:

Brexit: Seven Likely Consequences for the British Film and TV Industry

Why Brexit is bad news for ‘Game of Thrones’ 

Brexit is ‘likely to be devastating’ for UK film and TV industry

Brexit: 5 Ways It Could Impact Hollywood

Reactions from industry insiders about Brexit:

“Uncertainty is the biggest problem… Getting an independent film financed is risky enough at the best of times, this will mean spending even more on lawyers and accountants to get deals done…In 5-6 years, I’m sure we’ll be alright, until then, we’re screwed.” – Michael Ryan, chairman, Independent Film & Television Alliance and partner at GFM Films

“I think there will be discrimination now against some of the product and what it means to be European product. A lot of TV stations in Europe are under quotas. When you do War And Peace, that was accepted as European. It could be very costly in the movie and TV industry in terms of content branding. European branding is very important. It’s a big deal for these young British filmmakers.” – Harvey Weinstein

This Guardian article lists some of the potential negative impacts to British film industry specifically:

Less cash, fewer movies, meltdown: how Brexit may affect British film

I didn’t know that the EU contributes a giant wad of cash directly to British film-makers, though co-productions amongst European countries are pretty common. As a fan of British cinema, point #5 that ‘we could witness a 70s-style British film meltdown’ is quite worrisome.

PennyDreadfulcast

Penny Dreadful

Per LA Times, the London-based producer of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful Pippa Harris said this:

“Our show was shot in Ireland; our first director, David Bayona, is a Spaniard; our actress, Eva Green, is French; the costume designer, Gabriella Pesucci, is Italian… It was a brilliant collaboration across all those European nationalities. It was the very best of working in the EU.”

Does Brexit mean there’s a likely demise of multinational collaborations of European series?

What will Brexit mean for the UK TV industry?

Based on the above article from Radio Times, most TV producers found the majority of them wanting to remain with the EU because it would mean a significant drop of the export of British shows. It’d also make immigration rules more difficult for European filmmakers and talents to collaborate with British productions. There’s also the issue of funding, filming locations, etc. which will likely be impacted by this Leave vote. The Radio Times article said that much of HBO’s Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland, partly supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

battleofbastards

Battle of Bastards – Game of Thrones

How ‘Game of Thrones’ will be affected by Brexit

This is what Peter Chase, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US’ Brussels office, said:

“It might be up in the air for US studios who want to film in the UK… There are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the UK is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away.”

Now, I have to say John Oliver made a compelling argument why the Leave vote is worrisome. Following a rant from a lady in favor of Brexit, he quipped “It’s now official, not everything sounds smarter in a British accent.” Ha!

This shocking vote is no laughing matter of course.

Stocks plunges more than 500 pts and who knows what the market will behave in the coming days. There are so many questions following this major breakup… does this mean more countries will leave the EU? Will Scotland (whose majority voted to remain) leave the UK soon as well? Will the United States also in for a huge voting upset come November? [yikes!!]

Whichever side you’re on, I think this revelation following the Brexit announcement could be the scariest of all…


Oh dear. Whilst some of us are worried about the implications of this historic vote, some are completely oblivious!

In any case, you know that old saying ‘May we live in interesting times,’ Well that phrase doesn’t seem more apt than right now isn’t it? Well, I suppose time will tell what this all really means, I certainly will keep watch and hope that the recession in British filmmaking the media’s been saying doesn’t actually happen.


So, what are YOUR thoughts about Brexit?

Everybody’s Chattin + Best casting news in ages: John Boyega in Pacific Rim 2!

EverybodysChattin

Heh, why is it only Wednesday:\ It’s a pretty busy week at work and June is looking to be a hectic one, which is unusual for Summer. In any case, I’m also gonna be blogging a bit less as I’m REALLY trying to get my script done but the race the the finish is usually the toughest and I’m finding that w/ mine, especially the dialog of the final scene.

But hey, there’s always time for community links… so here we go!

I’ve missed a few of Dan Stephens‘ awesome top 10 lists… LOVE this one on Vengeful Vigilantes.

Nostra reviewed Midnight Special which I can’t wait to see once the blu-ray is out in a couple of weeks!

On the other hand, I think I’m gonna skip The Brothers Grimsby even though Dan O. didn’t hate it.

Brittani reviewed the French film Mustang. Given how much I LOVE the female-led Girlhood that’s also directed by a woman, I can’t wait to see this one!

Steven reviewed The Martian which made me want to see it again pronto!

Now, given her baby is due soon, we may not get to see many more of Film Fridays from Abbi, so check out her latest post that include reviews of Sing Street & Florence Foster Jenkins.

Now, we’ve got a cinematography and scene spotlight on two of my favorites. Keith posted great images from Inception, and Zoë posted the awesome club shootout scene from John Wick. Can’t wait for the sequel!


Now, speaking of a sequel I can’t wait to see…

It’s been a while since I’m actually excited for any sequel, but I’m a huge fan of Pacific Rim and I was so bummed that it’s been stuck in development hell for some time. For a while it seems it might not even get made at all for one reason or another. But looks like it will happen after all, wahoo!!! And what could be better than an awesome casting bit to go with it…

JohnBoyegaPacRim2

John Boyega, one of today’s rising stars out of Star Wars: Force Awakens has been cast as the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost! What an absolutely brilliant casting!! I was literally in glee when I heard it and it just couldn’t be more perfect. Boyega and Elba are born & bred in London and they’re both super charismatic! I’d love to see him use his natural accent in Pacific Rim 2, as he used an American accent as Fin in the Force Awakens.

I have to say I’m even more excited to see Pacific Rim: Maelstrom than the Star Wars sequel. I have to say I’m still going to miss Idris in THIS getup [yowza!]…

Idris_PacRim

… but I’m hoping he’d have a small part maybe in Flashback scenes? Man it’d be cool to see him & Boyega on screen together. But for sure I’m excited to see Boyega as a Jaeger pilot and keep on cancelin’ the apocalypse!

Guillermo del Toro isn’t directing this one though he’d still serve as producer. Steven S. DeKnight (who directed an episode of Netflix’s Daredevil as well as executive-produced the series) is helming this one. Per EW, del Toro said this:

“I am very proud and happy to welcome John into a fantastic sandbox. The Pacific Rim universe will be reinforced with him as a leading man as it continues to be a multicultural, multi-layered world.”

I love how diverse the cast of the first movie and so if Rinko Kikuchi is back again with Charlie Hunnam, I’ll be a happy camper!


What do you think of this casting news? Are you excited for Pacific Rim 2? 

Five for the Fifth: JUNE 2016 Edition

FiveForFifth2016_Spring

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. Summer blockbuster is officially here folks! Some of the June screenings I’m going to be seeing are Finding Dory, Legend of Tarzan, Now You See Me 2, etc.

To be honest with you, I’m not super excited about any of the June releases. So I’m setting my sights on a movie that won’t even be here until March 2017, that is the live-action version of Beauty & The Beast!

Apparently the teaser trailer broke the viewing record, and beats even the latest Star Wars (91.8 million times in its first 24 hours compared to 88 million times for The Force Awakens). I have to admit I was rather meh when it was first announced, but since I’m quite looking forward to it. But man, the main cast was spot on! Emma Watson looks perfect as Belle, as well as Dan Stevens with his baby blues as the Beast/Prince and Luke Evans as Gaston. Heck, Evans looked like the splitting image the animated version of Gaston it’s uncanny! I wish Jean Dujardin had been cast as the French Casanova candelabra Lumière instead of Ewan McGregor though.

Are you excited about this live-action remake of ‘Beauty & The Beast’? 

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2. Last week the rumor mill went into overdrive with this report that Daniel Craig reportedly turned down nearly $100mil to play Bond in two more films. No, I’m not going to ask who you’d want to replace Craig as until there is an actual formal announcement from Barbara Broccoli herself that he’s no longer playing Bond, every actor mentioned is just speculation and wishful thinking. I posted on Twitter who I’d love to see as Bond as I think the Yorkshireman all the requirements for a definitive cinema super spy in my book😉

DanielCraig

One thing for sure, Craig will follow up his Bond role with a TV series called Purity, a dramatic thriller based on Jonathan Franzen’s novel of the same name. Per THRthe story centers on a young woman named Purity (who is known by the name of Pip) who, in search of answers about herself and her family, winds up interning in South America at the Sunlight Project, a group which deals with all the secrets of the world. It’s described as a story about youthful idealism, fidelity and murder. Like Bond movies, the story is also set in multiple locations, Berlin, Bolivia, New York, California, etc. Craig is to play Andreas, a German provocateur who crosses paths with Pip who sounds a lot like Julian Assange.

Premium Cable TV Showtime has ordered 20 episodes of it and production will begin next year. This project sounds pretty intriguing actually. I’m curious to see who else will join the cast, especially in the role of Pip.

What do you think of the premise of ‘Purity’ series?

3. For some reason I missed this news from a while ago that Sandra Bullock will be leading an all female cast of Ocean’s Eleven movie. According to The Playlist, director Gary Ross (The Hunger GamesSeabiscuit) came up with the idea and brought the idea to the original ‘Ocean’s’ franchise director Steven Soderbergh. I certainly welcome the idea, and it certainly could be fun. We’ll see if this might spurn all kinds of controversy the way the all-female Ghostbuster movie had been (frankly I think all those haters have no life nor an iota of imagination), but heck, I’ll so watch it! Well, there’s now reports that another Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett, might join the cast. Wahoo!!!!

OceansOchoCasting

Who else would you like to see join the cast of this movie?
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4. Speaking of on-screen pairings, this question is inspired by the latest buddy cop action comedy The Nice Guys in which we see the unlikely pairing of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. I haven’t seen it yet but lots of people praise the two actors’ on-screen chemistry. I guess it shouldn’t surprise us the fact that director Shane Black’s classic Lethal Weapon had one of the best on-screen pairings ever with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. I also like the pairing of Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Val Kilmer & Robert Downey Jr.

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There have been other great buddy cop duos, comedic or otherwise. Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes, Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges, and even the small screen pairing of Matthew McConnaughey & Woody Harrelson in True Detectives season 1 was an audience favorite.

I had asked this question six years ago and posted my dream picks of MALE on-screen duos. My absolute dream would be to see Timothy Dalton & Alan Rickman pairing, alas that’s never gonna happen now. In any case, right at the top of my head, I’d love to see the pairing of:

  • Sam Riley & Daniel Brühl (he’s actually played opposite Sam’s wife Alexandra Maria Lara in Rush)
  • Idris Elba & Christian Bale
  • Viggo Mortensen & Daniel Day Lewis

I could go on and on… boy it must be REALLY fun being a casting director!

So just for fun, which male on-screen duo would you like to see on either films or tv? 

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Eddie from Sidekick Reviews Blog & Jaccendo.com!

Movie reshoots are a standard practice. Recent examples are Star Wars: Rogue One and Suicide Squad which haven’t been released yet.

RogueOneReshoots

Some reshoots mostly add extra footage like Lord of the Rings, some make significant changes to endings or even characters like turning Shredder in TMNT back into an Asian character. A lot of classic films like Blade Runner, Jaws, Back To The Future, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Apocalypse Now, etc. have undergone reshoots.

So which movie(s) do you think was made better or worse by major reshoots?


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

Springtime in Québec – pics from my Montréal/Québec City holiday

QuebecCity

Hello everyone! I’m back from my Québec trip… well actually I’ve been back since Friday night but I’m just too tired to blog. I actually didn’t even visit my blog or anyone else’s during my week-long vacation, though I did fit in some time to work on my script here and there. Monday is Memorial Day so my hubby and I get an extra vacation day, wahoo!

We’re very blessed to have had a very smooth trip to the French-Canadian region, no immigration/flight hassles of any kind, thank God. In fact, we’re upgraded to economy comfort on both our flights which is always a treat.

Well, we both LOVE Montréal and Québec City! We’ve been to Montréal once before about a decade ago, but it’s our first time in Québec City and I absolutely fell in love. The atmosphere, the architecture, all those cobblestone streets lined with cute shops and cafés, and of course all the French-speaking… it was more than a little taste of Europe. Plus our airbnb’s Victorian-style flat is like a 4-star hotel in a very strategic location on Rue St Jean that’s close to Quebec Old Town. I definitely will be staying at Sébastien’s place again when we return to Quebec City!

So here are some pics from both cities…

MONTRÉAL

Click to view a larger image

QUÉBEC CITY


As for movies, well I didn’t really have time to see anything all week. We were thinking of renting Netflix as our host in Montreal has it, but we’re too tired to do anything when we get back late every night. One thing I notice is that they have way more Netflix selections of new releases in Canada, way more than my streaming selections here. What gives?

I did watch parts of Antman on the plane but didn’t get a chance to finish it by the time we landed. I still enjoyed it and might even rent it again at some point. I’ve got a screening of the tearjerker drama Me Before You on Tuesday night, but depending on whether my friend can make it or not, I might skip that one.


Well, hope you enjoy my travel recap. So what movies did you see this past week, anything good? 

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Everybody’s Chattin + Question of the Week: What’s your favorite Canadian film(s)?

EverybodysChattinMontreal

Happy Friday everybody!! Well I’m psyched for my Montréal trip. Bags are packed, airport shuttle booked, etc. and looking at the forecast, it’s going to be in mid 70s F & mostly sunny for most of the days we’ll be in Montréal AND Québec City! We can’t believe our luck, as Canada & Minnesota pretty much share a similar climate in that it tends to still be cold even in May.

Well, I’ve been needing a break for some time so for sure I won’t be blogging whilst I’m on vacation, so if you don’t see a comment from moi in the next week or so, you’ll know why. But before time, there’s always time for community links, so here we go…

Cindy just did a wonderful tribute to one of my fave actors Edward Norton

Jordan reviewed a French film The Blue Room by Mathieu Amalric

Speaking of French cinema, Vinnie reviewed the classic 90s crime thriller Léon, which is my fave Luc Besson movie

Now THIS post of dapper guys in suits is a total feast for the eyes… thank you Zoë for not forgetting my dahling Sam Riley!

To commemorate this year’s Cannes, Steven‘s been doing Cannes review marathon. I really need to see this Russian film Leviathan (2014)

Dell‘s post on terrible movie summaries made me laugh, esp. the one for Batman V Superman

I’ve been curious to check out Yorgos Lanthimos’ previous films after seeing The Lobster, but after reading Vern‘s review of Dogtooth, I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea.

The Flick Chicks ladies Jenna & Allie have a differing views about Testament of Youth, but I’m still curious to rent it, alas it’s not available to stream anywhere:\

Mark & Tom’s Decades’ Blogathon is going on right now, check out Michael‘s review of The Outlaw Josey Wales starring Clint Eastwood.

Last but not least, always nice to see Andrew still blogging from time to time. Check out his 2015 Fisti Awards, yay on Phoenix!


MadeInCanada

As I have done previously on my blog when I take a trip, I like to commemorate it with a film-related post. Well, it so happens that I’ve been watching quite a few Canadian films during MSPIFF, in fact three of them I like quite a bit: Bollywood/Hollywood (set in Toronto), Beeba Boys (set in Vancouver) and My Internship in Canada (set in rural Quebec). The year before I also LOVE The Grand Seduction, which is set in Newfoundland, the most easterly province of Canada.


Now, I’m going to make the distinction of Canadian films and films set in Canada, as there are certainly a ton of American films set in our northern neighbor, such as the X-Men movies in British Columbia as well as many others that take a Canadian city like Toronto to sub for American ones like NYC. Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive list of Canadian films, and apparently according to this site, April 29 is declared National Canadian Film Day!

WaterMovieA few notable Canadian films (made by Canadian filmmakers) I’ve seen over the years are Water (by Deepa Mehta), The Fly (by David Cronenberg) Enemy (by Denis Villeneuve), The Red Violin (by François Girard), just to name a few. I also have to mentioned Remember, which was a compelling WWII-themed drama by Atom Egoyan (an Egyptian-decent who was raised in British Columbia).

When I was making this post though, I realize there are so many essential Canadian films I still need to see… Away from Her (as well as Sarah Polley’s acclaimed documentary Stories We Tell), Incendies, Monsieur Lazhar,, and the one that’s been on my Netflix queue for ages Cairo Time, etc. I also remember reading Ryan’s review of Jesus of Montreal, which I should check out soon.

So I thought I’d take the time to broaden my Canadian cinema horizon.


In the spirit of recommendations, what’s YOUR favorite Canadian film(s)?

Five for the Fifth: MAY 2016 Edition

FiveForFifth2014

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. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Well, per tradition on the Fifth of May, I always feature a Mexican actor/actress (or actors of Mexican descent). I’ve been a fan of Michael Peña for some time and I think he’s a terrific actor. I can’t tell you where I first saw him, it might have been Crash, as his scene is no doubt one of the most memorable out of that overrated film.

MichaelPena

He’s the kind of actors who’s memorable even in small supporting roles. He was such a hoot in American Hustle and recently, Antman and The Martian. My friend Nostra made this awesome ‘many faces’ post on the actor, which you should check out here. I look forward to seeing him in CHiPs which I think will be a hoot because he’s in it!

So what’s your favorite role of Michael Peña?

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2. I was going to post this trio of trailers last week but I had to change it to a tribute to Prince instead😦 Well these three movies couldn’t be more different from each other and that’s kind of the point.

TrioOfTrailers

The Girl on the Train

The first two trailers here feature an actress I haven’t heard before, Haley Bennett. Boy she seems to have come out of nowhere and getting some really high-profile roles. But the main draw for me here is Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson, and the premise sounds intriguing as well. The fact that it’s based on a mystery/thriller novel by a woman (Paula Hawkins) with female-driven characters automatically made me think of Gone Girl, but director Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up) ain’t no David Fincher so we’ll see how this one fares.

The Magnificent Seven

I totally forgot this film was even in development. I’m not a big Western fan but with THIS cast, it certainly piqued my interest. The story still centers on seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves. The new remake stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, and Peter Sarsgaard. Well it’s certainly a pretty diverse cast! Heck, if Brit Sam Riley can play a German-speaking American cowboy in The Dark Valley, who’s to say you can’t cast a Korean actor as a cowboy? Confession: I haven’t seen the original yet. Yes I probably should get on that before this one comes out.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Now I didn’t watch the British tv show regularly, but of the episodes I saw they were hilarious!! Jennifer Saunders & Joanna Lumley as BFFs Edina (Eddy) & Patsy respectively are a pair of hard-drinking socialites and this time they’re thrown into a media firestorm when they accidentally kill Kate Moss. The trailer looks like a hoot and it’s got a great supporting cast too, not to mention a slew of celeb cameos. I adore The Vicar of Dibley and Dawn French, so I’m excited to see her in a cameo as well.

Any of these trailers strike your fancy?

3.  One of the movies I re-watched this past weekend was The Mummy. I still enjoyed it immensely as it was one of my fave movies from the late 90s. But man, I couldn’t help but think about Brendan Fraser’s career trajectory. You might’ve read articles why Hollywood won’t cast him anymore and it’s just sad. I mean, I’m not a huge fan of his or anything but he was likable and some of his earlier movies were pretty fun.

BrendanFraser_TheMummy

In any case, The Mummy reboot is well underway with the still-as-hot-as-he-was-in-the-80s Tom Cruise as the star. As with anything with Cruise in it, projects always get made… and fast! The new release date is June 9, 2017 and as of today, there’s reports per Variety that Russell Crowe is joining the cast! WOW!

Thoughts about Brendan Fraser and/or’The Mummy’ reboot? 
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4. This question is inspired by my recent viewings of films with open-ended endings. I’ve watched quite a few of ’em in the past surely, but I haven’t really brought up this topic before on this blog. I mentioned in my review of A Copy of My Mind, which happens to be from my home country Indonesia, how the ending frustrated me even though overall it was a good film. Then a week later I saw The Lobster which also had an ending that’s very open to interpretation.

I don’t expect (or want) every film to be wrapped neatly with a pretty red bow, but I often wonder if certain films have open endings because the filmmakers simply don’t know how to end it. Of course that’s not always the case, and some open-ended films can be really thought-provoking and more profound the more you think about it. There are also seemingly ambiguous ones perhaps aren’t that ambiguous after all, but that’s for another discussion.

So what do you think of films with an open-ended ending & what are some of your favorites?

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Jordan from Epileptic Moondancer blog! Well, as we both have been watching quite a few indie foreign films (that is films set in a language other than English), we’re curious what some of your faves are.

In Jordan’s own words:

My favourite foreign film of this year was Son of Saul, which was an incredibly confronting holocaust drama from Hungary, a first-time effort from Laszlo Nemes.

SonOfSaul

The un-subtitled German orders and unique camera-work makes it an immersive and almost horrifying experience about a group of men in Auschwitz who had a particularly horrifying duty.

What’s YOUR favorite foreign film(s) from the past few years?


Well, that’s it for the MAY edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all!😀

Question of the week – Which movie/tv genre(s) have you decided to stop watching?

Image courtesy of forum.kodi.tv

Happy weekend all! I haven’t done this question-of-the-week post in a looong time. Well, my pal Ted sent me an email about this topic and I thought it’d be a good one to pose to all you fine movie lovers out there. I’m hoping this would be an interesting discussion point as we’d all have different answers to this question.

So let’s start w/ Ted’s thoughts on the matter…

I constantly hear or read people complaining about certain movie genre that they’re tired of seeing and promise they would stop watching that certain genre from now on. Of course the genre I’m referring is superhero and there are some people who said they’re sick of seeing these larger than life characters hitting the big screens every other months or so. Personally I love this genre and will keep watching it until it dies out, but I hope/wish studios would churn out more quality products in the upcoming months/years.

The genre that I actually quit watching is horror. I used to love this genre, when I was younger I would watch all of the Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and tons of other horror films during Halloween month and would always go see any new horror film opening each weekend. But as I got older and the introduction of torture porn in the late 90s and 2000s, I was turned off by the countless gore and torture scenes. I don’t see any entertaining value in watching someone gets their hands or legs cut off or just torture in the most painful way possible. Now I do love The Walking Dead TV show but the show is more about human dramas dealing with post apocalyptic world than just zombies tearing into people’s fresh.

TWD

Another genre I quit watching, well it’s not really a genre but I hardly pay attention to independent films anymore. When I was a young inspiring filmmaker, I would attend indie film festivals all over the country, been to Sundance a couple of times. But as the years gone by, I found that many of these so-called “indie” films to be more pretentious and just plain bad. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great indie films that were made within the last several years but I don’t want to waste my time sitting through crappy low budget films just to find one or two good ones.

And here’s two cents…

Well, in response to Ted’s comments, I’ve never been a fan of horror films. Of course there are exceptions, in fact I’m still curious about The Babadook as I heard it’s more of a psycho horror than a violent, bloody genre film. I completely agree w/ Ted that I have no stomach for gore and torture and I really think that far more often than not, it is absolutely gratuitous.

But in terms of indie films, given that I’ve been on an indie kick this past month thanks to MSPIFF and other press screenings, that’s one genre I’ll never get tired of. In fact, just this week alone I saw a couple of indie gems on the big screen!

I think just like big budget films, there are as many bad apples as there are good ones. But with indie films, even if it wasn’t successful, they seem to be more character and story driven than big-budget ones. Even if they’re not perfect, I’d still get something out of most indie films I watch, whilst that’s not the case on bad big-budget movies.

I’d say that the genre I’m not as keen on watching anymore is the one a lot of people might share… and that is comic-book movies! Now, I used to LOVE comic-book movies, I mean one of the first Hollywood movies I saw as a kid was Superman: The Movie, and there have been countless of them since that I enjoyed. But lately I’m just tired of ’em that I can’t even watch the trailers anymore. As with anything, an excessive amount of anything is never a good thing. Alas, this is one genre that seems to be impervious to critics and box office numbers. Yes, I’m still excited for Captain America: Civil War next week because I LOVE the first two films. But I’m not really that excited to see X-Men: Apocalypse or Suicide Squad later this year.

CivilWar

I don’t even know if I’ll see those on the big screen to be honest, the press screening for Apocalypse has been scheduled but I’ve passed on it. I don’t even pay attention to Marvel Phase 3 movies and whatever schedule DC’s got cooking to counter that (apart from Wonder Woman that is, for obvious reasons). I’m also sick of those endless cash-grabs that gargantuan studios *cough* Disney *cough* keep churning out, i.e. Maleficent 2 (???!??!) I sincerely hope my darling Sam Riley would say no to playing Diaval again in this pointless sequel, as much as I enjoy watching him in all the hilarious promo interviews!


So what about you folks? Is there a movie genre(s) that you’ve decided to quit watching?

Five for the Fifth: APRIL 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. Ok let’s start off with some on-set photos from Doctor Strange that have been bombarding my Twitter feeds this weekend…

Honestly I don’t know much about this character at all, but given the cast I’m intrigued. No I’m not one of the Cumberbitches, though I think Benedict Cumberbatch is a good actor. But I do love Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen so their involvement made me more excited about this project. The Jedi-inspired costumes are, well, interesting… they looks so bright and colorful in these pics but I’m sure they’ll darken it in post-production.

So are you excited for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ and do you think Cumberbatch is a good casting choice?
….

2. A couple of intriguing new trailers that caught my eye…

The Lost City of Z

Based on the 2009 nonfiction by David Grann, the story centers on early 20th century explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who disappeared while searching of the lost city in the Amazon in 1925, and Grann’s attempts to find out what happened to Fawcett, by visiting the Amazon himself (per Screenrant).

The pairing of Hunnam and Robert Pattinson as Grann is intriguing, both are good looking Brits who’s not afraid to take riskier roles.

LostCityZ_HunnamLostCityZ_Pattinson

Pattinson especially is keen in hiding his looks, this time under hideous facial hair. Sienna Miller plays his wife and Spider-man du jour Tom Holland also stars. Not too familiar w/ director James Gray‘s work however, as I’ve only seen The Immigrant which was pretty good but a little on the slow side.

Elvis & Nixon

Now this one I’ve blogged about back in February when the first still was released. Apparently the Nixon & Elvis photo was the most-requested photo from the US Archive. Now we’ve got a trailer! I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of movie to see just for this duo alone.

Elvis_Nixon

Ok so neither Kevin Spacey nor Michael Shannon really resemble the real people they’re portraying, esp. Shannon as Elvis, but like Michael Fassbender with Steve Jobs, the most important thing is he captured the essence of the character. It’s also directed by a woman, Liza Johnson, which is always a big plus in my book.

So what are your thoughts about either one of these trailers?

3. Ok I already mentioned this on my March recap post, but right now I’m about halfway done with the Len Deighton spy novel SS-GB that’s similar to Amazon’s Man in the High Castle but set in London. It’s an alternative history novel and the novel’s title refers to the branch of the Nazi SS that controls Britain. It’s a real page-turner and I absolutely can’t wait to watch the BBC’s 5-part miniseries with Sam Riley as the protagonist Douglas Archer, a British homicide detective assigned to Scotland Yard.

SSGB_BBCminiseries

The spy-pedigree is a strong one given that the miniseries is written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who’ve written a bunch of Bond movies. I do hope it’s more Casino Royale than Spectre though. It’s got a largely European cast, but Kate Bosworth has joined the cast as an American journalist who’s also Archer’s love interest. I’ll be sure to blog more about this once the trailer’s been released.

Of course there are a plethora of other projects out there based on a novel.

So which book adaptation currently in development are you looking forward to the most?
….

4. It seems there are a lot of music biopics released around the same time. Last night I finally saw the Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue. The internet connection at home was terrible so the online screener kept stalling but I stuck it out and my patience was rewarded. It’s an affecting and beautifully-acted biopic, featuring stellar performances from Ethan Hawke and Carmen Ejogo. Interestingly enough, his rival Miles Davis’ is getting a cinematic treatment as well with Don Cheadle as Miles. Both Born to Be Blue and Miles Ahead are unconventional biopics that don’t try to cram the entire span of their lives but focused on a certain timeframe.


There are female music icon biopics as well. We’ve got the documentary AMY last year and the Nina Simone movie NINA which controversial casting has been all over the media recently. Not sure what’s behind the biopic boom but I think music biopics have always been marketable.

So which musical artist do you wish would get their own biopic?

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Table9Mutant from Cinema Parrot Disco blog! Well, as The Walking Dead finale just aired this weekend, and a lot of you are likely to be anticipating the latest season of Game of Thrones, it’s most appropriate to have a TV-related question this month.

WalkingDead_Negan

Now, as those two shows are known for killing off its characters, we’d like to know…

Which character would you most like to see killed off in any current TV show?


Well, that’s it for the April edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all!😀

Everybody’s Chattin + Trailer Spotlight: Love & Friendship w/ Kate Beckinsale + Chloë Sevigny

EverybodysChattin_Movies

Happy Midweek everyone! Can you believe it, when we thought Spring is finally here, it’s snowing outside! Not just snow flurries or just a coating, this is a pretty big one that it’s like a Winter Wonderland all over again outside.

I’m actually not feeling well today and I pulled a muscle on my left hand so I decided to work from home. I’m sure glad I did as it’d be pretty challenging, not to mention dangerous, driving with just one hand in snowy conditions!

… about those links…

Margaret did a fantastic hit-me-with-your-best-shot post on Daredevil season 2.

Jordan reviewed the Best Foreign Language Oscar winner Son of Saul

I’ve been meaning to see Perfect Sense, so thanks Vinnie for reminding me w/ his great review

Eddie‘s been busy with his new site Jaccendo, check it out if you haven’t already. I especially love his post on Captain America: Civil War 

Steven reviewed Terrence Malick’s latest, Knight of Cups

I haven’t seen any short film in a while, but Nostra reviewed one I’m curious to see called Ellis, starring Robert De Niro

Abbi‘s Film Friday post is always one I look forward to. Read her thoughts on Spotlight, Clouds of Sils Maria and more.

Last but certainly not least, check out Cindy‘s upcoming Lucky 13 edition which will center on the Jeff Bridges!


Trailer Spotlight

LoveFriendship

 

Set in the opulent drawing rooms of eighteenth-century English society, ‘Love & Friendship’ focuses on the machinations of a beautiful widow, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who, while waiting for social chatter about a personal indiscretion to pass, takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate. While there, the intelligent, flirtatious, and amusingly egotistical Lady Vernon is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica—and herself too, naturally. She enlists the assistance of her old friend Alicia (Chloë Sevigny), but two particularly handsome suitors (Xavier Samuel and Tom Bennett) complicate her orchestrations.

Check out the brand new trailer:

This was one of the films I highlighted the week of Sundance last January. As you know I LOVE anything Jane Austen, but this was based on her earlier work called “Lady Susan” that was published posthumously in 1871. This isn’t the first time Kate Beckinsale played an Austen heroine however, she played Emma in a TV movie back in 1996.

Interesting to see Chloë Sevigny here, which I never seen in a period drama before. Both are such underrated actresses so that’s another reason to see this. I do think it’s lacking a real um, Austen hero eye-candy. I have no idea who Xavier Samuel is but he doesn’t exactly set my heart aflutter the way um, Sam Riley’s Colonel Darcy did in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies😉 I’ve never seen director Whit Stillman‘s work before this, but the trailer looks like fun so I definitely will be watching this! 


What do you think of the ‘Love & Friendship’ trailer?