Sorry for missing last week. What did you miss? A Gerald Butler macho-fest – Hunter Killer, a Pureflix film I know nothing about, and the second sequel to Johnny English. I know what you’re thinking – yes there was a sequel.
We all just went to see Halloween again.
So let’s look at November 2nd week. Oh boy, this is loaded weekend.
There is a bigger flick with wider appeal, but I’m going to start with the one we’re more excited to see. Well, Kim already saw it! It’s still limited release, with 300 screens but 5 of those are in Seattle. So good for us!
Suspiria, horror narrative, Directed by Luca Guadagnino, written by David Kajganich based on the film by Dario Argento. 152 minutes.
I’ll fully admit to when I first heard of this remake, I sighed. (pun intended, those who know either version will get it). The original is a bona-fide classic and weird in such away it doesn’t feel like anyone by Argento could make it. But TIlda Swinton signed on, and no matter what I was in. Tilda is an instant-in for me. As images and the trailers starting rolling out, it sold me more and more. This new take presents the story of an American ballet dancer (Dakota Johnson, taking over from original Suzy – Jessica Harper; who returns in some form) who uncovers a coven of witches within the prestigious ballet academy. The original is twisted, colorful, sublimely odd, and features one of the greatest kill sequences of all time. Guadagnino apparently takes this in a bigger, odder, more perverse, and dreamlike manner.
Suspiria has a 65 on Metacritic form 46 criticial reviews. The audience sits at 8.0, which is surprising as I expected a bunch of 0s and 1st from the “fuck remakes” crowd.
It’s also worth noting Thom Yorke’s score has a 85 average. Solid reviews for a follow up to one of the best scores of all time (from Goblin originally; Bob and Cody saw Goblin perform it last year in Seattle!)
Bohemian Rhapsody, biopic/music narrative, dir Bryan Singer, written by Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan. 134 minutes
I’m gonna skip all the song title puns and leave them to the review once I see it. Remi Malek stars at Freddie Mercury in this long-gestating Queen biopic following the rise of the band up to the 1985 Live Aid concert. The stopping at Live Aid has been a troubling mark for many, feeling the movie may leave out Mercury’s bisexuality and AIDS. Although we all know all about this part of Mercury’s life, it was noted during pre-production that Sacha Baron-Cohen was ousted from the lead role for the rest of the band wanted to gloss past that end of things to instead focus on the big crowd pleasing numbers. There are notes in the trailer that we may get both of these plot lines, but the focus does seem to be on the “you know this song!” nature. None of us have seen the film, so we can’t state where it goes. Malek does seem like a clone of Freddy, so if anything that looks great. Let’s hope the narrative portions are great but at least we’ll get them numbers we all know between them! and Roger is played by Tim from Perfect Film Jurassic Park!
The reviews at Metacritic average to 48; with the chosen snippets stating essentially what I was worried for above – great performances with playing it safe on the narrative.
Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, family fantasy narrative. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnson. written by Ashleigh Powell. “Suggested by” (that sounds promimsing) by the short story by ETA Hoffmann and ballet by Marious Petipa. 109 minutes.
Oh, Bowie this looks like a over-produced green-screen mess. At least we get Helen Mirren to chew the CGI scenery as the villain. Of course I’m gonna see this. I want to revel in the awful. Maybe I’m not being fair to the film before seeing it. But we’ve seen this before – anything Tim Burton has done in years essentially, mainly Alice in Wonderland. That made butt-tons of money. So here we are. Plotwise, it’s a bit different than the famous ballet. MacKenzie Foy stars as Clara; her mother was an inventor who “discovered” the toy filled four realms (Keira Knightly, playing Kristen Chenoweth, seems to say this as if they were already there… so in the same way Columbus ‘discovered’ America?); and through her uncle Morgan Freeman enters the world in trouble. I’m actually reminded more of Babes in Toyland than Nutcracker. From the trailers, she looks confused and lifeless; part of a likely incoherent feature. It’s often telling when the director won’t return for re-shoots, with Hallstrom being replaced by Johnson for the fixes Disney requested.
The reviews haven’t been kind, averaging at 38; calling it a pretty but soulless mess. That’s better than the 2010 version, which has an 18. I HAVE seen that one and it’s godawful.
In Limited Release:
Boy Erased, biopic/drama narrative, written & dir by Joel Edgerton from the memoir by Garrad Conley
From the director of the Gift this drama about converstion therapy starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges looks brilliant and tough as hell. Hedges has been on an incredible rising career, but this could launch him into even higher platitudes.
The reviews are at a 70, which is solid but not as big as one would expect for this prestige.
Bodied, comedy/drama narrative, written by Alex Larson, dir by Joseph Kahn, 120 minutes.
A white graduate student causes trouble when he takes on rap battles as his thesis. Produced by Eninem and YouTube, the trailer leans a lot on the humor of a very white dude rapping, but also seems to be both making fun of SJWs and commenting on cultural appropriation. Working for a few different audiences? Time will tell, but reviews are at a very solid 79!