Twentieth Century Fox’s Logan is indicative of their problems managing their X-Men franchise.
Supposedly it’s going to be R-rated, not because Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a mutant who’s primarily features are a healing factor, Adamantium-coated claws and a bestial nature to match, but because Deadpool had an R- rating, and it gave Fox almost 800,00 reasons to do the same.
Money see, money do.
So it’s not as if the executives actually understand the character, because if they did they would have had him be PG-13 in the X-Men movies, and R in the context of his own features.
Which isn’t for a moment to imply that the character can’t work as PG-13, only that he’s better suited for a harder rating.
I’ve seen Nacho Vigalondo‘s Timecrimes and Open Windows, both very idiosyncratic movies, so let’s just say I find very little surprise when his latest–Colossal–features a kaiju that’s seemingly the personification of a stressed woman’s ego not all that surprising.
Though what concerns me is that hopefully the movie winds up being more than a clever conceit.
Netflix is hitting it out of the park as far as their work producing superhero-based action series is concerned (their pact wirh Marvel Television will soon introduce Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders–though as far as Frank Castle goes, perhaps ‘reintroduce’ would be a better choice of words since he played a prominent role in Season two of Daredevil) though their horror offerings?
Not too impressive. We got two seasons of Hemlock Grove, which started out promisingly, then jumped the shark relatively quickly.
Their latest entry has it’s tongue firmly in cheek as Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) play a couple that lets nothing–including Sheila being a zombie–get in the way of their love because the family that slays together, stays together.
The trailer is hilarious, though what’s particularly novel is that–as opposed to being something to be shunned–their children seem to have adapted amazingly well to their mom’s altered state (it helps that she looks pretty healthy, minus the whole ‘no heartbeat’ thing.
The title is also particularly clever in that it not only refers to the often goofy diet fads that tend to emanate from the West Coast, but Sheila’s somewhat unique dietary requirements.
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 teaser trailer for Pixar’s Cars 3 was pretty harrowing–it somehow managed to be more emotionally demanding than the entirety of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS Story–which is saying something.
In fact, the official trailer opens with the teaser, so you’ll see what I mean.
We also see that the whole talking cars thing is being underplayed (in the trailer, at any rate, helping to give things a Days of Thunder-type vibe).
And it might just be me, but we could be potentially witnessing The Empire Strikes Back chapter of the Cars trilogy (which is also a sentence that I never thought I’d find myself typing).
The first time I had seen the Cars 3 teaser trailer was during Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and someone seated nearby remarked:
“That’s pretty dark for a Pixar movie.”
Whoever this astute moviegoer was, he took the words right out of my mouth because not only is this trailer–tonally speaking–dark but it makes the movie that came afterward almost optimistic in retrospect.
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.