zondag 22 maart 2015

Today's News: slow week

Getting back on track by offering all the news of last week up at once. Wasn't much of it anyway.

Eerste poster nieuwe 007 Spectre

My, doesn't Daniel Craig look like a manly man on the first one-sheet for the 24th 007 film? His eyes never seemed more blue. That alone should win over the womenfolk en masse. Plot details are few, but that matters little when it comes to a huge beloved franchise like this. It's James Bond, people know what ingredients to expect. This poster guarantees they'll get some of it, namely a tough protagonist and plenty of (gun) action. And likely the usual obnoxious product placement ads interspersed throughout the film, as his gun and watch seem ready for that. The general image suffices for the marketing campaign up to this point. The most important thing is the name getting the chance to nestle itself into the collective consciousness, building awareness for the impending movie well in advance. It's hard to miss on this poster. Even though for those more strongly interested than the general audience, it's still unclear whether it's 'Spectre' or 'SPECTRE'. But details on that and the actual story can wait until the promotional campaign kicks into higher gear, when trailers start pouring in. For now, suffice to know that, as always, James Bond will return. And so will Craig.

Nieuwe casting Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Even though we may be, Disney sure isn't done remaking its entire library of animated features into live-action films. We've only just had Cinderella, but at least three more projects are in the works, including this one, Beauty and the Beast. After all, it's a tale as old as time, so who cares there have been dozens of versions of this story already? The expensive and visually lavish French film was released just over a year ago, but casting on the next iteration is already in full swing. And some of the casting is certainly spot-on. Luke Evans as the arrogant hunter Gaston is a golden choice. Kevin Kline and Emma Thompson are always good reliably British choices. I'm more on the fence over the titular characters, as played by Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, respectively. Also very British, perhaps too much so to play supposedly French characters. Watson undeniably is a beauty, but I've got a hard time picturing the dashing, gentlemanly Stevens in any beastly form. It's gonna require a lot of make-up to hide those positive features of his. And how about the chemistry between both? So far, Watson has never played one on one with another actor for a whole movie, she's always done threesomes or group jobs (no, not of that kind!). She did well enough playing off multiple characters, but didn't often convince me on a smaller, more personal scale. Guess it's up to Beauty and the Beast to show me otherwise.

Pilot Let the Right One In in de maak

Another movie up for a television series, and what an odd choice it is. Apparently Let the Right One In has some staying power and enough of a franchise potential in the mids of execs in the TV industry. Despite being limited to one original Swedish film and its lacklusterly received American remake. I haven't seen the Scandinavian original. but I did see the US take on it and found it to be surprisingly strong for an American remake. Either they simply just got it right for a change, or the Swedish film must be exceptionally good. But a TV show based on this premise? I can't imagine it running longer than a single season. Boy befriends ancient vampire who looks like little girl. She helps him defend himself against bullies, he aids her in acquiring blood. Plus a little murder mystery on the side, but that's all there is to it. If they want to make a show out of it, even a short series of like six episodes, they still need to add a lot of details and new story elements to stretch it out. And apparently, considering the high praise for the original film, the story doesn't really need it. That combination of facts doesn't bode well for this project. But hey, I've heard of worse recently announced TV shows based on films, both good and bad ones. And since we're living in the Golden Age of Television, we can afford a badly adapted series or two. Enough good stuff to pick from. It just kinda sucks for the Swedes if their hit movie was among the poorly conceived shows out there.

Eerste trailer The Transporter Refueled

A change of main actor notwithstanding, the Transporter just continues raging on the big screen as ever. It never got to be a major franchise despite spawning two sequels, but it seems the Luc Besson studios are endeavouring to change that, having learned from surprise boxoffice successes like the Taken series and Lucy how the game works. Wouldn't be the first time an action packed movie series featuring fast cars and hot dames which everybody considered burned out after the third installment, suddenly picked up speed with its fourth entry. Remember Fast and Furious? However, that series benefited from the return of its hottest stars against the odds, and Transported Refueled does not. Jason Statham just departed after three films and left the steering wheel to Ed Skrein. What do we know him from? Playing bit parts in a bunch of action movies, but he's most notably known as the creepy Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones, before the hot Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) took over our collective notion as to what Daario Naharis should look, sound and be played like. So the appeal of the new Transporter flick isn't likely to come from the main star. Hopefully the fast-packed action, cool vehicles and scantily clad girls prove enough to entice audiences and ensure the F&F like future the producers no doubt envision. Fat chance.

Gainsbourg in Independence Day 2

Yes, ID4 2 is still a go and the cast is getting bigger by the week, whether we care to see a second film or not (most of us don't). Big European name Charlotte Gainsbourg - from those creepy sexually charged Lars von Trier movies like Nymphomaniac and Antichrist, that freak out American audiences so nicely - has joined the fight against the next invasion of evil alien grasshoppers. We have no idea what character she'll play as of yet. My hope is she'll play the French president who leads the heroic main assault against the sinister extraterrestrials in a fighter jet by herself. Not gonna happen. If she performs duty as a government leader at all, it's probably one desperately needing American assistance to combat the legions of evil, as these things go in Hollywood blockbusters. Maybe she won't play someone in office at all though, that might just be my imagination running wild. Face it, if the script calls for a strong female European political leader, anyone in their right mind would immediately cast Sidse Babett Knudsen, who would personally kick some serious alien butt. Given her recent repertoire, it's not inconceivable Gainsbourg will play the stripper girlfriend of the black pilot instead. Though maybe she's too old for that, and the black pilot they cast too young. Did Jeff Goldblum's character finally found a wife then? So many options, and not all of them as flattering to Gainsbourg's considerable talents, as you can see. It doesn't matter really. If not by Gainsbourg, alien ass will be kicked by someone else for sure. Because that's what ID4 2 will definitely be about.

Downton Abbey stopt

And some sad news to conclude this week. All good things must come to an end, including this one. I have yet to catch up with the previous two seasons of this delightful show, though I've heard they're not as good as what came before. I'm still sorry to see the Crawley family leave the air, regardless. Downton Abbey proved about as high class a show as British telly can deliver. Fabulous tale of sweeping change in both the higher and lower echelons of society in the first half of the 20th Century, proving both sides are utterly compelling and relatable in their dealings to stay afloat. Not to mention the strong assembled talent, always good for terrific performances. Usually quality English shows prove to last only a season or two, so we should consider ourselves fortunate it lasted as long as it did. At least Downton Abbey gets a chance to be wrapped up properly. A fine series like this deserved a fate better than cancellation, even those who ended up disliking it shouldn't deny as much. Oh well, as I stated before and we all know, the whole 'Golden Age of Television' thing. Plenty to watch. Let's merrily move on.

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