Category Archives: Movies

Cute Video of the Day, 16 October 2017 — The Duchess and the Dancing Bear

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are Patrons of the more than over 30 charitable organisations that make up The Charities Forum.

On Monday, they stopped by Paddington Station to wish bon voyage to 130 children who have been helped by several of those charities. The children, and some of their parents, were off to spend a day in the country. Before their train departed, the Royals spent about 45 minutes meeting the group.

Paddington Station may be best known to children for its connection to the Paddington Bear, and, sure enough, he made an appearance. (He was probably in town for a film shoot, since the movie Paddington 2 will be released in the UK in early January 2018.) Hugh Bonneville and several other members of the cast were also in attendance.*


*It has always been my theory that, at any given time, there are only about 100 actors working in the UK, and that they’re all in everything.

The cast of Paddington 2  includes Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw (as the voice of the Bear), Michael Gambon, Hugh Grant, Richard Ayoade, Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley, Peter Capaldi, Imelda Staunton, and Tom Conti.

Case closed.

Advertisements

Stranger Things 2 — Final Trailer

But first, the teaser for the trailer:

It’s Halloween, 1984, and all is not well in Hawkins, Indiana. The kids are still in trouble, a big ugly monster with a lot of tentacles is creeping around, and Wynona Ryder is freaking out again. It’s almost time for Stranger Things 2.

The conventional wisdom is that the sequel is never as good as the original, but there are exceptions to the rule. There are arguments to be made, for instance, that The Godfather Part II, Aliens, and The Empire Strikes Back improve on their predecessors.

Stranger Things, Netflix’s homage to the Steven Spielberg/Stephen King version of the 1980s, was the big television hit of the summer of 2017, and one of the most talked-about media events of the year.

In two weeks, we’ll see if lightning can strike twice in the same place. (Hint: It can.)

On Friday, 27 October 2018, Netflix will make all the episodes of Stranger Things 2 available for streaming.


A Little Bonus

Lady Bird — First Trailer

Lady Bird, the writing and directorial début of Greta Gerwig, looks like great fun.

Saoirse Ronan, late of Brooklyn, plays “Lady Bird,” a character based on Gerwig’s own younger persona. Laurie Metcalf, coming off a Tony Award Best Actress win for A Doll’s House, Part 2. reportedly steals the show as her mother.

Supporting are Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, who’s certainly having A Year.

The film is scheduled for a 10 November 2017 release.

 

Annihilation — First Teaser

And the Trailer of the Day Award goes to…this teaser for Annihilation, an adaptation of the first book of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.

A biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor walk into a bar strange, isolated area known as Area X, where the laws of nature and of man seem not to apply. Eleven earlier exploration parties have entered Area X, but most the members of those teams ended up dead or deranged.

Much weirdness ensues.

The adaptation was written and directed by Alex Garland, writer and director of the excellent Ex Machina. Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny make up the exploratory team.

Stong cast, talented writer/director, interesting source material. This could be next year’s The Arrival.

We have another long wait for this one. It won’t be released until 23 February 2018.

Murder on the Orient Express — New Trailer

I posted an item about the new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express back in June, when the first trailer was released. Today we got a new one.

That earlier posting has a good deal of information about the 2017 version, and a video of the trailer for the 1974 film, as well, so I won’t repeat it here.

Instead, a personal note:

When I was a kid, I had three Dream Trips:  A cruise on the Nile, a ride on the Orient Express, and a visit to Schloss Neuschwanstein.

The inspiration for the first two is pretty obvious. At a certain age, Christie’s books were much more interesting than my earlier favourites, the works of the great Franklin W. Dixon. Her detectives had more depth than Frank and Joe Hardy, too, although, in retrospect, not all that much.

I know now that I’ll never cruise the Nile, because I’ll never go anywhere in the Middle East, for obvious reasons.

The ride on the Orient Express is out as well. The original Orient Express is long gone. Its successor, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train, tries to remind passengers of the glamour of international train travel in the early 20th century. Its London-Venice trip, leaving at 10:30 AM and arriving at 6:25 PM the next day, costs £2,365 ($3,205). I’m just not that nostalgic.

But one dream came true. I spent Thanksgiving Day 2005 at Neuschwanstein. You can walk up the winding road to the castle in about 30 minutes, or you can do as I did, and pay €5 to be carried up in a horse-drawn carriage.

It was off-season, with few visitors and no lines. Because of the sparse crowd, Neuschwanstein’s tour guides let us linger in the magnificent rooms as long as we wanted.

An unforgettable experience. It was one of the highpoints of my life.

The Disaster Artist — New Trailer

Last month I wrote an item about The Disaster Artist, James Franco’s new film about Tommy Wiseau and the making of Wiseau’s chef-d’œuvre, The Room, which is generally considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. You can read my comments and see highlights from both films here.

A new trailer was released today. It just gets better and better.


I also found this video of a conversation between the Franco brothers and the characters they play in The Disaster Artist. James Franco is, of course, Tommy Wiseau, and Dave Franco is Greg Sestero, who played “Mark” in The Room and wrote the book on which The Disaster Artist is based.

The film is scheduled for release on 1 December 2017.

A New Prequel to Blade Runner 2049

Nexus: 2036 is the first of three short prequels to be released in advance of the début of Blade Runner 2049. The shorts will focus on events that shape the world of 2049.

The original 1982 Blade Runner was set in the imagined, neo-noir Los Angeles of 2019. The new film jumps 30 years into the future. In this version, you could say that Ryan Gosling* plays the Harrison Ford part, except that Harrison Ford himself is in the movie, recreating his original role.

Blade Runner 2049 is scheduled to be released in the US and the UK on 6 October 2017.


*An aside: I do not get Ryan Gosling. I’ve never found him anything but bland, uninteresting, and forgettable. Jordan Catalano Jared Leto, on the other hand, is almost always fascinating, even when he’s working with negligible material.

And he apparently decided to stop aging right after the final episode of My So-Called Life.