Category Archives: Books

Crazy Rich Asians Trailer

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Crazy Rich Asians is a frothy, late-summer comedy based on the first book of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Trilogy. From the author’s website:

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

“Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.”

The book was published in 2013 and became an international bestseller, translated into 12 languages.

If the movie is a hit, which seems likely, expect sequels based on the other two volumes of the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

The release date is 17 August 2018.

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The Little Stranger — First Trailer

Charlotte Rampling and British People Who Dress For Dinner and an Old Dark House?

I am so in for this!

Even lines like “There’s something evil in this house” can’t keep me away.

The Little Stranger is based on Sarah Waters’ well-received 2009 gothic novel of the same name. The film version is directed by Lenny Abrahamson, whose last movie was the equally well-received Room.

In addition to the always superb Charlotte Rampling, the film stars Domhnall Gleeson, best known for playing Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, as Dr Faraday, a country doctor called to a attend a patient at the fading estate where his mother once worked as a housemaid. Also on board is Ruth Wilson, who won a “Best Actress” Golden Globe for her performance in the Showtime’s The Affair.

The release date is 31 August 2018. Can’t wait for it to arrive so I can tell the ticket-taker that “There’s something evil in this theatre.”

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the One Night Only Screening

The National Theatre in London captures some of its finest offerings and makes them available for very limited runs—usually just one night, with possible encore performances months or years later—at selected theatres around the world. I’ve seen perhaps a dozen of the shows.

The one that impressed me most was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the National Theatre’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel of the same name. The play won seven Olivier and five Tony Awards, and even by the monumentally high standards of the Theatre, it was dazzling. I saw it when it was first screened, in 2014, and called it one of the high points of the year.

The play follows Christopher, a boy on the autism spectrum, as he tries to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbour’s dog. The staging at times puts us inside Christopher’s head, as he navigates a sometimes overwhelmingly perplexing reality.

And now it’s coming back: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is returning to selected international cinemas this month. But you have to act fast. Most of the shows are scheduled to run on Tuesday, 12 June 2018.

Sorry for the short notice.

To see if it’s playing near you, check the listing on the National Theatre’s website.

American Animals Online Trailer

American Animals is being marketed as a “True Story”, and for once, the pitch may be accurate. The movie is about four young men and their plan to steal several million dollars worth of rare books from the Special Collections Library at Transylvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Evan Peters (American Horror Story) and Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) play two of the plotters. You can judge how well they capture the essence of the story’s real-life subjects, because those four young men—now somewhat older, if not wiser—.appear in the film, commenting on the action and the accuracy of the film’s dramatization. Also on hand: Betty Jean Gooch, the librarian who was the guardian of the Special Collections Library that was the target of the scheme. In the movie, she’s played by Ann Dowd, the monstrous “Aunt Lydia” on The Handmaid’s Tale.

American Animals got raves at Sundance. It opens on 1 June 2018.


No Spoilers

(But Got Spoilers if You Want Them)

In 2007, four years after the event, John Falk wrote an article about the plot called Majoring In Crime for Vanity Fair. It was subtitled “The untold story of the ‘Transy Book Heist’ is one part Ocean’s 11, one part Harold & Kumar: four Kentucky college kids who had millions to gain and nothing to lose.” Since the entire article is effectively one long spoiler, you don’t want to read it until after you’ve seen the film.

Ready Player One – “The Final Trailer”

Ready Player One opens at the end of this month, and this video was posted as “The Final Trailer”. It seems to be a fusion of two trailers, and it doesn’t appear to be an official Warner Brothers release, but it has some exciting content.

Maybe it’s just because I’m giddy about the return of the Thin White Duke these days, but doesn’t the Parzival avatar look Bowie-esque?

Here’s what I wrote after the first trailer was screened at Comic-Con last summer.

And here’s yet another trailer, this one titled “Official Trailer #5”, aka “The Clark Kent Trailer”:

Annihilation — New Trailer

Annihilation is now less than a month away, and if this new trailer is any indication, it’s looking very good. You can read my earlier film notes at the link.

The film is based on the first book of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, not a word of which I’ve read. The trilogy is not for everyone, but it does have its passionate admirers.

Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny, so it should easily pass the Bechdel test.* Alex Garland, writer and director of Ex Machina wrote and directed this one, too.

It opens on 23 February 2018.


*The Bechdel test, in its most basic form, goes like this:

  1. The movie has to have at least two women in it,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man.