The Roar Heard Around The World

Screenshot 2018-02-15 02.43.15Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is a bit of an anomaly less because it was written by two African-Americans, Ryan Coogler and Joe Ryan Cole, with a primarily African-American cast than taking those things into account the movie has been gifted a relatively large budget–for a Marvel Studios feature–of $200 million.

And that’s pretty convincing sign of Kevin Feige’s faith in the production, which has been borne out by the box office.

Domestically the movie has (so far) earned $235 million, while pulling in $169 million in international receipts, for a total or $404 million.

It should go without saying that’s pretty amazing opening, increasing the likelihood that this movie joins the Billion Dollar Club before its run is complete.

Next Black Panther will be released in Russia, Trinidad, Peru, Venezuela, Japan and China.

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Unsane – Official Trailer

Screenshot 2018-01-29 14.09.45Unsane is a thriller from Steven Soderbergh that was apparently shot entirely on an iPhone.

Looking at the trailer, you can tell (it doesn’t look particularly cinematic, especially in wide shots, where you can see some lens distortion) it wasn’t shot on video cameras at any rate.

The lighting is a bit atypical as well, though I think that that is due to the iPhone light sensor, and it’s inability to deal with variations in light and shadow in a nuanced fashion.

Story-wise, I don’t buy it.  If someone commits themselves, as far as I am aware, it’s not the same as when the state commits them, in that they have the right to come and go as they please.

Then again, I only know that from movies, so who knows it it’s actually true or not.

Pacific Rim: Uprising – Official Trailer #2

It might just be me, but the latest trailer for Steven DeKnight’s Pacific Rim: Uprising feels very…YA-ish.

And in and of itself that’s not necessarily a bad thing (and God forbid it appeared exactly the same as the first movie.  I’d likely be whinging about that).

But it definitely feels different, anyway.

And one other thing…there’s a reason many of the Jaeger vs Kaiju battles in the first movie played out either at night or in the rain (and sometimes both!).  It’s easier to make CGI and green screen seem more realistic if it’s not quite so clearly delineated (which is kinder way of saying that the scenes set in a city in Uprising set during the day look particularly videogamey in a way the first movie did not).

The Midnight Man – Trailer

I want to trust this trailer.  After all, The Midnight Man stars Lin Shaye and Robert England (likely in supporting roles, but still) in a story about teens doing what it is that teens do, which typically (in horror movies, at any rate) is meddle with things that they shouldn’t.

My uncertainty about The Midnight Man is due the title and story being thematically similar to The Bye Bye Man, which is supposed to be a piece of crap according to Half in the Bag, though Variety was infinitely more charitable, essentially calling the movie disposable, but by no means unwatchable.

 

Gerald’s Game – Review

Screenshot 2017-11-27 00.46.08Gerald’s Game, currently on Netflix is a remarkable bit of television because it understands that horror is more than things that go ‘bump’ in the night, but is also a way of working through the most evil of demons, namely those that haunt us in our everyday, waking lives.

And imagine to my surprise to learn that it’s directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil) who understands that the best horror is like a satisfying meal in that it sticks to your ribs.

So when you combine Mike Flanagan’s minimalistic direction (with not a jump scare in literally the entire movie) with a story written by Stephen King, the likelihood is that both auteurs will brew a potent, horrible (in the best possible way) stew.

Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood star as Jessie and Gerald Burlingame, who we meet when they’re preparing for a holiday (though when Gerald packs two pairs of handcuffs we know that whatever is going to go on will be at the very least, very, very interesting).  As the story progresses we learn that much of what we learned about the couple earlier is a facade, revealed by nothing less than a Shakesperean narrative device.

While having more in common with a psychological thriller than outright horror, Gerald’s Game isn’t afraid to scale that fence when it comes to it.

So if you haven’t see Gerald’s Game, consider giving it a spin but keep in mind that some games–once you start playing–are Hell to stop.

‘Flatliners’ Likely to Die at the Box Office

The reboot of Joel Schumacher’s 1990 thriller Flatliners (directed by Niels Arden Oplev) premieres later this month, and is likely to have an uneventful–and short–run in theaters.

Reason being, IT has shown remarkable strength for an R-rated horror movie (and so far is making all the monies) but when you figure in Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) being released two weeks later, it will take more than a shot of adrenaline to save the thriller.

And looking at the second trailer, you’ll likely get an idea why.

It’s not only hard to tell what’s going on and why it’s happening though worse of all there doesn’t seem a particularly–based on the trailer–compelling reason to see it.

The Water Seems Fine

I have to admit that when I learned a bit more about Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water I was somewhat underwhelmed (partially because the color palette of the trailer seemed too evocative of earlier Del Toro films and partially because it also seemed like a stealth Hellboy prequel, which sucks because we never ended up with a third movie in the series; though that’s no longer the case, it will be an entirely different animal than the Del Toro movies).

So reviews have begun to filter in, and they so far seem rather effusive with their praise (though keep in mind that there have been relatively few reviews thus far; no more than eight to ten.  So expect The Shape of Water‘s perfect score to fall when more are posted) with lots of comparisons to Pan’s Labyrinth–though for my money The Devil’s Backbone is a more interesting movie.