Davis Ayer’s Bright is a fascinating movie for numerous reasons. The first being that it was directed by Ayer himself, off the box office success of Suicide Squad. Next is that it was written by Max Landis, son of John Landis and a in-demand writer.
Though what’s most interesting is that it’s being financed to the tune of $90 million by Netflix, and will be seen no where else (as far as I am aware) but there. And while I know that they get their money not from box office receipts, but subscribers $90 is a lot of moolah and as far as I know, their most expensive production to date.
I really, really like this recently released clip from Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant because it seems–with good reason–to assume that most viewers are already familiar with the xenomorphs and instead spends its time developing the human characters.
And there’s more character development in the just over four minute scene than in some entire movies, which is pleasing.
And the ‘shout-out’ to Scott’s original–which starts around 2:47–is a lot of fun and pretty cheeky.
Though what’s not so pleasant to me is the appearance of James Franco, that felt a little bit out of place for me.
And I readily admit that I have no particularly valid reason why I feel that way.
Alien: Covenant Red Band Trailer
I admit to being influenced by reviews a bit more than perhaps should in that if someome has a terrible time watching this or that, while it by no means guarantees that I won’t see it, though it does make it much more likely.
For instance. I was genuinely curious about The Bye Bye Man, till I watched the guys over at Half In The Bag review/mock it.
Now, not so interested (in my defense, it sounds really, really bad).
Seeing that there aren’t a ton of horror movies coming out, I was thinking that maybe beggars can’t be choosers till I learned Jordan Peele has written and directed Get Out for Blunhouse Pictures, and it’s getting some pretty decent press so far.
Though there are some huge caveats, the main one being that David Ehrlich’s review–while by no means negative–isn’t exactly what I’d call positive, in that it spends so much time dealing with the racial aspects of Poole’s movie that it doesn’t properly address the huge elephant in the room, which is namely if Get Out is effective as a horror movie.
After all, that’s what it supposedly is, and all the praise in other areas–while commendable–sort of miss the point.
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.