Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cannes 2016 speculation Part Un, American films


I will be attending Cannes this year, which also means we will be speculating a little bit more this year on what might be premiering at la Croisette. This post will concentrate more on the American films that might be presented at the film festival. Just like every speculative year you have Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time being a possibility, as I've previously written, it is a "Documentary/ficition mix about the beginning of time, narrated by Brad Pitt no less. Its been rumored completed for the last 5 years now. Every year when the Cannes lineup gets revealed we cross our fingers it's there, maybe this year?"

Steven Spielberg's The BFG is now the latest rumored Hollywood film that might be slotted as the Opening Night film or, maybe even in competition? It's a CGI-based film that is adapted from a children's book - could be interesting, especially now that it stars recently Oscar heralded Mark Rylance, who seems to have turned into Spileberg's newest muse. Any complaints? I doubt it.

There's already been much rumored news of Warren Beatty finally unveiling his Untitled Howard Hughes passion project. Beatty is not a film festival kind of guy though, he actually is a genuinely shy man that doesn't like to watch his films in public, the whole pressure of being judged seems to be pretty frightening to him. He could, I guess, just not show up, but having this film at Cannes will be a long shot IMHO

Martin Scorsese's Silence is the film everybody really wants to be at Cannes. A passion project of over three decades, it stars Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson and is set in 18th century Japan where the Samurai are basically dying and jesuits are coming to convert them. Bad idea. Wouldnt it be something to have Scorsese  come to Cannes and have his film in Official competition?  The greeting he would get from the French, where auteur cinema is like the bible, would be IMMENSE! 

Woody Allen's Cafe Society is a romantic comedy that stars Jeannie Berlin, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Corey Stoll, and Ken Stott was acquired by Amazon earlier this year and has no details as of now about its plot. Woody Allen and France have a rich friendship together, and Im even counting his Oscar-nominated love-letter Midnight In Paris, this is a no-brainer. 

Damien Chazelle has really made a name for himself  with Whiplash and then this year's inventive screenplay 10 Cloverfield Lane. Thatr's why even though the idea of his latest, La-La Land might be risky and bound to fail, I'm betting it will actually be one of the key titles of the year for Awards contention. That's how much I trust the guy. As Jeffrey Wells puts it, "this is an homage to old-fashioned movie musicals, but shot in a modern-day mode". Th kicker to all of this? It stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who couldn't have had better chemistry in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special isn't even a day old in release time and we're already talking about his next movie Loving. This one steers away from the sci-fi of his last film and goes more towards historical conetent as a forbidden interracial relationship gets condemned in the 1958 bible belt as being an "illicit and politically provocative partnership". Yikes. Get ready for fireworks of highest political degree. This could finally be Nichols' ticket to Awards season. 

American Honey is Andrea Arnold's follow-up to Wuthering Heights, but really this is the woman that ghave us Fish Tank,. an incredible movie, and it looks like she's back in modern-day territory here in a film that has Shia LaBeouf leading a gang of tearaway teens who sell magazine subscriptions by day and party all through the night. 
Sean Penn's latest The Last Face is almost certainly making it according to Variety. Set in Africa this film was a little more known as the film set where Penn and co-star Charlize Theron feel in love in their doomed-to-fail romance ... Penn has proven himself to be a formidable director with The Pledge and Into The Wild, this could be a great movie.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Post- Super Tuesday notes

Now that the dust has settled, the Hilary vs, Trumo matchup seems more and more as a certainty. Only a fool would bet against Hilary, who took all five states last nights, and Trump seems to be the favorite, even though it seems like the Republicans will go all the way to the convention.

What does a Trump-Clinton matchup mean exactly ... It means that we are in for a bloodbath of epic proportions, dont think for a second that he will make it easy for Hilary, he has said he will attack her and he does have a ton of ammo ... She does as well on him! Its a battle for the presidency and having two candidates that would pretty much do ANYTHING to get it battling it out against each other is going to make for a hell of  contest.

Now, I know that Trump hasnt even garnered the nomination yet, hell even Hilary hasnt, but this is where we are heading folks and as much as Id love to see Bernie win, last nights colossal failure in the Sanders camp sealed the deal for Hilary, the problem is that many  Bernie voters said they wouldnt vote Hilary if he didnt make it ... whereas Republicans would probably support their candidate, whomever that may be. This will be a much closer race than many think it will be.

Zootopia and 10 CloverField Lane

This is not necessarily a review as much as a solid recommendation and acknowledgement that there are two genuinely great studio offerings out there at the moment, which is rare for this time of the year. Zootopia is fantastic animated film with great visuals and a well-told story with a genuinely great message about acceptance. The message actually hit me like a jolt by the end, it`s about the current plight of muslims in America! Whereas 10 Cloverfield Lane should not be talked about as the more you know the less you will get haunted by its incredible surprises. Producer JJ Abrams and writer Damien Chzelle have concoted something very unique here and its originality did not go unnoticed by this film enthusiast. These are films that actually matter in a spring of mostly muck.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Eye In The Sky

Eye in the sky is what happens when you take a pertinently relevant subject matter, one which hasn't really been depicted yet in a mass marketed movie, and you take advantage of the situation at hand by making an action movie out of it. Good movie? I'd say so.

Directed with visual flair by Gavin Hood, a seolid comeback for him might I add, the film is tighlty knit and takes place in the span of only a few hoursbin the day of British and American intelligence.
Drone warfare has been very much part of the Obama presidency, so much so that you'll find many anti people giving him such names as President Drone. What this system of warfare really does though is prevent mass casualties on the ground by instead focusing on a specific target from the sky down.

The characters in Eye In The Sky seem to have a moral-based set of values, at least most of them , which means they push forward the main conflict of the film: if you had the chance to hit a specific, important, target, but run the risk of killing innocent bystanders in the process, would you do it? In the film there is enough intelligence to know that a top dawg terrorist is hiding in a bunker, but playing around the bunker is an innocent child, one whom might not survive if a drone hits. Hood keeps the tension running, even when you feel like he's really just trying to stretch this thing out to feature length level.

 I first saw the film at TIFF last year where reviews seemed to be mostly positive from critics. It won't shatter records and it's not a ground breaker, but its artistry is fantastic, leaving you on the edge of your seat until the inevitable climax. I do look forward to the next few films that will tackle this subject, and they will come quickly and swiftly, because there's a lot to chew on here and Eye In The Sky is a good starting point.


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