While I wouldn’t by any means call 2014-2015 a banner year for horror movies, I am glad to see that there are some coming down the pike that approach the genre with the sort of vision that more often than not elevates the material, such as The Babadook (on the strength of which director Jennifer Kent was rumored to be in the running to direct the upcoming Warner Bros. upcoming Wonder Woman movie) and David Robert Mitchell‘s It Follows, a movie that takes some familiar tropes (sexual awakening in a young woman) and takes it to new and frightening places.
Though what I find most interesting is that, while there’s plenty of crappy horror films out there–and probably always will be–there are filmmakers that don’t take the fact that they’re working on a horror film as an excuse to do weak work.
Let’s be clear: William Malone’s (who also directed the very entertaining reboot of The House On Haunted Hill, among an extensive filmography) 1985 movie Creature is essentially a low-budget knock-off of Alien, down to the monster itself (when you could see it in its entirely that is, which wasn’t often).
It’s also not a very good movie, though by no means irredeemably so.
The premise involves two companies, the West German Richter Industries and the American NTI, which were working to profit from space exploration and exploiting whatever they happened to find for financial gain while doing so.
The movie, despite taking place in the future, didn’t take into account the possibility of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which divided East from West Germany, five years later.
What it also doesn’t seem too cognizant of is the nature of corporations, which when they get large enough become almost stateless, borderless entities.
At first glance, I could easily understand why someone might think that Steve Pink‘s original Hot Tub Time Machine didn’t do well enough to warrant a sequel, having earned almost $65 million (on a $36 million budget).
But that would be ignoring a very significant point, namely that the movie was rated R, which means that its audience was limited to adults and couldn’t be attended by anyone under 17 without a parent or guardian.
So, when you look at it from that perspective, $65 million is a pretty decent outing.
The sequel looks to be as preposterous as the original, as Jacob, Nick and Lou have to once again use their hot tub time machine to save the day.
Legendary Pictures can certainly use a hit, after the dismal performance of Black Hat and Seventh Son. That being said, I hope that Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is the movie that does it for them.
That being said, there are a few things riding against it.
First off, it’s rated R, which means that no one under 17 can see it without a parent or guardian, though that hasn’t stopped American Sniper from pulling in the bucks (though the only thing that the two movies are their rating and that they both have actors in them).
The movie looks gorgeous–it’s from del Toro, after all–though unlike his prior productions there appears to be overt sexuality, something only hinted at, if that, in his prior productions.
While growing up, while I was aware of Napoleon Solo (otherwise known as The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and Illya Kuryakin (originally played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum in the television series), though I didn’t watch it, being instead a huge fan of The Avengers and Department S.
There’s already been a remake of The Avengers, and while the original series was so awesome I hope it’s revisited once again, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
The Avengers – Original series
I would post the trailer for the reboot of the British television series, except that it’s surprisingly difficult to find. I mean, it was a pretty mediocre movie, but I didn’t think that it was so bad that the Internet would reject it.
As far as I know, no one has rebooted Department S, which is a pity because Johnny Depp, with his penchant for odd mustaches and the like, would be perfect as Jason King (Peter Wyngarde, who’s life is interesting enough to warrant a movie of its own).
That being said, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is being rebooted via Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows) and it looks interesting despite the fact that the initial car chase brought back somewhat unwelcome memories of Speed Racer.
I haven’t seen any of The Fast and the Furious movies in their entirety (though I recall catching a snippet of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift when I was visiting my parents awhile ago) and had no intent of doing so.
I am also surprised to learn that there have only been three, excluding the latest movie. And speaking of Furious 7, I have just seen the trailer and I might have to see at least one because it looks insane.
On top of that, it was directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, etc), who’s always had an eye for interesting visuals.
And did I mention that on top of the regular cast, it stars Jason Statham as well as Kurt Russell?
And after all, it’s not as if I am not expecting Downton Abbey (thanks for that!) or anything.
A few hours ago I wrote a piece for MoviePilot about Spider-Man’s return to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and overall I am pretty happy about the way things have turned out. Technically speaking, it’s not quite Spider-Man returning to where he belongs, but under the circumstances it’s probably as good as it’s going to get.
That being said, there are caveats. The most significant in my eyes being that Avi Arad is still going to be involved with the franchise, though in an Executive Producer capacity–prior he was a producer. The problem is that Arad supposedly forced Sam Raimi to shoehorn in another villain to Spider-Man 3 (a move that pissed off Sam Raimi so much that he hired Topher Grace to play Eddie Brock/Venom for no other reason than Arad DIDN’T want him in the role) resulting in the the weakest of Raimi’s three Spider-Man movies, critically speaking–though in Arad’s defense, it was the highest grossing Spider-Man movie.
Another is that Kevin Feige is producing with Amy Pascal, the former Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), who also produced Marc Webb’s tone deaf The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Despite TASM2 Webb is a pretty talented director, though perhaps not the right person for the franchise) and let Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and their mediocre magic-blood filled writing virtually ruin the franchise.
Though hopefully Feige will be able to keep things under control, after all he has done exceedingly well guiding the course of the MCU (that being said, part of the deal is for the next Spider-Man to be produced by Sony–Feige and Pascal remaining as producers–with Spidey meeting with his compatriots from the Marvel’s end of the street, which begs the question: With the contracts for many of the heavy-hitters in the MCU expiring (such as Robert Downey, Jr./Iron Man and Chris Evans/Captain America) then who is Sony expecting to turn up in their movie?
Though the best news of all is that this pretty much puts the kibosh on any Aunt May spy dramas that were under consideration by Sony.