XX, not to be confused with XXX: The Return of Zander Cage, is likely named after the female sex chromosome, an indicator this anthology (in this instance a movie composed of a series of shorts) will be directed by entirely by women.
Though what I am most concerned about is if the movie will be consistently scary because anthologies are notoriously difficult to do well due to they’re only as strong as their weakest entry (one reason Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone is one of the best of the breed is that it originally aired on network television, an episode at a time. This meant that strong stories weren’t shown directly before or after weaker ones, enabling viewers to judge them each on their own merits, as opposed to being directly compared against what aired only minutes before).
And having the whole project based around the fact that the directors are women? Not too sure that that’s a great idea because I would think that it’s only relevant if their sex informs what we’re seeing on screen in identifiable ways (who we are as individuals informs everything that we do, but in this particular instance the choice of female directors need to bring some sort of additional insight–for instance, I suspect Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook would be an entirely different movie in terms of its narrative thrust as well as its priorities, if it were directed by a man) that enhance what we’re seeing on screen.
Though if nothing about the vignettes that make up XX brings the distinctiveness I spoke to earlier, then I am unsure that there’s a point.
The idea that James Gunn (Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy) is particularly fond of Moon Knight is really great news because I can think of nothing better than seeing the Fist of Khonshu on the big screen.
But the hurdles for that happening are two-fold. First Gunn is occupied working on Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, so he doesn’t have time to direct.
The second issue is that Marvel Studios’ production slate is booked so far in advance that even if Gunn were ready to go tomorrow there’s no guarantee that they could fit it into their schedule (according to Screenrant their production slate is filled all the way to 2028).
And that’s working on the assumption that Kevin Feige even thought it was a good idea.
But there’s a way to make it happen. Instead of directing, what if Gunn wrote a treatment that could be ready for shooting but more than likely would form the basis of the movie that others could build on.
Then Marvel Studios would create a new imprint, in the vein of Marvel Knights, that would handle more adult-orientated characters that might warrant an R-rating (and Kevin Feige has said that he didn’t want to create R-rated movies. This way he technically wouldn’t have to though more importantly the characters would remain faithful to the versions that their fans have come to expect).
An important aspect of this strategy would be production budgets falling somewhere in the ballpark of $50-80 million because, while no one wants a movie to fail, if it weren’t able to meet expectations losing somewhere in the ballpark of $80 million is small change compared to the production budgets of most superhero movies today.
Having watched The OA on Netflix a few weeks ago–check it out, it’s really intriguing and pretty clever at times–I’ve come to notice that Jason Issacs in the latter part of his career seems to be specializing in criminally-inclined medical professionals.
And I think it was his turn as a trauma surgeon in 1997’s Event Horizon that sent him over the edge.
So, in The OA he’s a doctor who’s seeking the secrets only those that have had near death experiences can reveal, while in the upcoming A Cure For Wellness he apparently has not only continued experimenting with people against their will, but is potentially connected to a much larger conspiracy.
Some people have mentioned that the trailer plays a lot like Shutter Island, and while there are similarities, it seems so much more similar to John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness–with a dash of The Wicker Man–that another lawsuit might be in order though if I recall, Madness was written by Michael De Luca, not John Carpenter.
I published a video earlier this week on YouTube reviewing Netflix’s The OA, which I thought was a pretty remarkable bit of television.
I figure that I’d expand on what I said in the video, without spoiling the experience for people who haven’t seen it yet (besides, spoilers suck).
Brit Marling wrote most of eight episodes with Zal Batmanglij, (the latter having directed them all as well) and also played ‘OA,’ a woman who when she apparently dropped off the face of the Earth seven or so years ago was blind, yet could now somehow see.
How she regained her vision is one of the lesser mysteries in a series filled with them as OA accounts for the missing time.
We also come to learn that OA’s given name was Prairie (given by whom and why being another one of those minor mysteries central to her story).
What’s perhaps most interesting is OA/Prarie’s status as a narrator, which is to say that as the series goes on what she believes and the truth are not always the same things.
It’s this tension between whether or not OA/Prairie’s version of events is an accurate one is at the heart of the story.
Of the five original Planet Of The Apes movies, three–Planet Of The Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) made a profound impression upon my then adolescent mind.
Which is interesting because I can barely can recall either Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) or Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) with any specificity.
On reason I was so profoundly effected was that each of the sequels expanded upon the premise and worlds introduced in the first films, without feeling repetitive or redundant and also managed to broaden the themes of the original as well.
Tim Burton’s 2001 reboot, Planet Of The Apes didn’t exactly set the world or box office on fire, which I always thought was due to Burton doing away with the racial subplot–though I am unsure if it was present in the original novel or something Rod Serling introduced as one of the screenwriters (though it underpinned the entire movie and is as relevant today as it was when Pierre Boulle wrote La planète des singes in 1968).
Which brings us to 2017’s War For The Planet Of The Apes, which–if the trailer is the least bit accurate–reminds me of quite a bit of Conquest.
I hate to say this about any movie, but Transformers: The Last Knight needs to fail (or at the very least, do not so quite so well) at the box office.
And I want that to be the case for the best possible reasons, namely the movies have so far been terrible, and apparently nothing else will change that beyond one of them belly-flopping at the box office.
As long as they’re successful, Michael Bay will direct. As long as they’re successful we’ll be “treated” to multi-million dollar movies less involving–from a story standpoint–than the cartoons and toys that inspired them.
And I don’t necessarily blame Bay because while the success or failure of a movie rides on the director’s shoulders, in the end it’s the viewers–people like you and me–who really make that determination.
And I intend to do my part: I promise that I will not pay to see Transformers: The Last Knight–nor will I pirate it, because that’s doesn’t help the situation–even out of curiosity, to see if it’s as bad as I expect and the rest of the movies in the series has been.
So do your part to stop Hollywood from burying us in CGI-fests that are less interested in telling any sort of cohesive story than they are to get us to buy some piece of junk our children will abandon for the box it came in, and instead support movies that at least pretend to have some sort of narrative thrust.
Since joining Lego Ideas five years ago, the user known as King_Arthur has created other projects, but none has attracted as much attention as his most recent, which is a Lego-ized version of the Eagle Transporter from Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999.
Here is his version below, and I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty faithful reproduction.
I have written this project the past, and I am glad to note that it has reached the 1000 follower benchmark–currently sitting at a very apt 1998- and has earned another 6 months (or 182 days) to reach the next milestone, which is 5000 followers.
Of that 182 days 135 remain, so if you were considering showing your support for this awesome project this is the perfect time to do so.
When it reaches 5000 supporters Lego will produce a kit based on King_Arthur’s design, which will be available in stores.
And in case–for some strange reason–you’re still on the fence, check out his Flickr page for even more pictures of his fantastic Modular Eagle project.