Zombies have captivated audiences for decades, starting with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. Nowadays they’re perhaps most associated with popular TV empiresThe Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, Ruben Fleischer’s horror/comedy Zombieland actually pre-dated both shows. The Venom director brought levity to the zombie apocalypse, with Zombieland quickly becoming a cult favorite.
Fans have been calling for a Zombieland sequel for years, and now it’s finally happening. Zombieland: Double Tapwill arrive a decade after the original film hit theaters, so it’s been a long time coming. The full cast is returning, including Jesse Eisenberg as the protagonist/narrator Columbus. The Social Network actor recently spoke to the long development and multiple scripts, saying:
It looks like quite a few scripts were brought to the table for Zombieland: Double Tap. But those involved in the franchise wanted to make sure it was the right one, which is why it took so many years for the sequel to finally get green-lit. But Zombieland is finally getting its follow-up, so we should expect big things from the movie’s script.
Sequels are a tricky game, as there are tons of expectations associated with follow-up movies. And more often than not, they fail to capture the same magic as the original film. This is no doubt a concern for Zombieland: Double Tap, especially now that zombies have become such an integral part of the pop culture zeitgeist. The first film had a tone wholly unique, and the project defied genre in a many ways. So can Ruben Fleischer and the cast strike gold twice?
In his same conversation with The Toronto Sun, Jesse Eisenberg spoke to this pressure, and how those involved with Zombieland didn’t want to put out a sequel to simply grab at more money. Instead, they want to produce another film that is just as great. As Eisenberg tells it:
You have to respect this craftsmanship and professionalism in this statement. When sequels fail, it’s usually because not enough attention was paid to the story. Instead, blockbuster are rushed out in order to make the most money at the box office. That’s not the case with the Zombieland franchise. In fact, director Ruben Fleischer passed on directing the Venom sequel in order to pay full attention to Zombieland: Double Tap. Given how successful the comic book movie was, that’s saying something.
Zombieland: Double Tap will arrive in theaters on October 11, 2019, just in time for Halloween. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Noah Centineo, shirtless wonder and current Netflix heartthrob is killing it in terms of new projects right now. You can catch him all over streaming right now thanks to Netflix catching on early that the 22-year-old star was something special.
Noah Centineo is expanding out in the next year, too, in various big screen projects. His future looks bright, as he’s expected to appear in the Charlie’s Angels reboot that has already filmed. This morning, it was also mentioned he’s in talks to play He-Man lead Prince Adam in a new movie project that is just getting off the ground. Plus, he has yet another Netflix rom-com, The Perfect Date, set to hit Netflix in April of 2019. That one will even take him out of high school and into college!
While the He-Man role is unconfirmed for now, if it happens it would be a big deal for Noah Centineo, as it would mark the actor branching out even further from his TV and streaming roots. While we wait to find out more about the actor’s growing career, there are plenty of projects out there if you can’t get enough of Centineo right now. Take a look at what you can watch the actor in below.
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser is one of Netflix’s many entries into the high school rom-com genre. This one is actually kind of also about catfishing and sisterhead, as its biggest plotline is arguably more about the relationship between Shannon Purser’s Sierra and Kristine Froseth’s Veronica than it is about boys.
Caught in the middle is Noah Centineo’s Jamey, who plays football and thinks he’s into Veronica when he’s really into Sierra. Or some hybrid of them both. I’ll leave you to figure out where the rest of that story goes.
Jumping into the world of TV, Noah Centineo actually joined [email protected] in Season 2, appearing as Hawk Carter. The show has been a bit of a change of pace for the actor, as it’s a psychological thriller rather than a typical rom-com.
[email protected] has had an interesting history. Originally, it appeared as a web series on go90, but the platform is now-defunct. Season 3 actually moved to Hulu, which means you can catch Noah Centineo on multiple streaming platforms these days.
While Noah Centineo has actually been acting since he was a kid, his actual big break was in The Fosters, a Freeform TV series that ran for five seasons before ultimately getting cancelled back in 2018 after a three-episode finale aired. On the show, Centineo played major character Jesus Adams Foster, but don’t fret if you start watching streaming the drama on Netflix and don’t see hide nor hair of the actor.
That’s because Noah Centineo actually joined The Fosters in Season 3, taking over for Jake T. Austin. The latter actor eventually revealed he left the Freeform drama due to how much screentime he was getting. Centineo didn’t have the same probably and ended up playing the character until the show’s conclusion. If you’ve been a fan of Centineo since his Freeform days, bravo, you were probably on to the actor’s charm well ahead of most people reading this list.
There’s even better news, because The Fosters has a new spinoff called Good Trouble focusing on foster siblings Callie Adams Foster and Mariana Adams Foster after they relocate to Los Angeles. How does Noah Centineo factor in? Thanks to his film and Netflix work, he’s not a lead in the Freeform spinoff. However, he is in Season 1 of the new 2019 series, and yes, he’s shirtless once more in his Good Trouble debut, which happened back in February. If you’ve wanted to know what Jesus has been up to since The Fosters wrapped, you should definitely check the new series out.
Good Trouble has already been renewed for Season 2, so hopefully we’ll get the chance to catch up with Jesus some more–especially given Centineo is only credited for two Season 1 guest starring eps. Although, it should be noted that since Season 1 is still currently airing, it could be some time before we get the chance to see more from the actor on the cable channel series. Catch up on those episodes with Hulu.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
If you are well aware of the Noah Centineo heartthrob, there’s a good chance you caught him first in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This was the actor’s breakthrough role on Netflix and the one that has made Noah Centineo a household name–at least in some households. Plus, back in December the subscription streaming service announced the film will be getting a sequel, so this isn’t the last we’ve heard from these characters.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before already used some of the story from Jenny Han’s popular book sequel P.S. I Still Love You. However, that’s not a half-cooked title and we’re hoping the sequel sticks with the name, and Noah Centineo as Peter, of course. All of Jenny Han’s books in this particular series focus on Lara Jean and Peter’s complex relationship as they keep pushing forward toward adulthood, so I would assume Centineo will be back for round 2.
Thanks to finding firm footing in the acting biz on streaming services, it’s likely we’ll be seeing much more of Noah Centineo whether or not his big screen ventures work out. Either way, you should have plenty of projects to indulge in for now and we’ll keep you updated regarding any other projects the actor ultimately signs on for.
In addition, we’ll be sure to let you know when To All The Boys I’ve Love Before sequel gets an official streaming date. For now, you can check out what Netflix and Hulu have coming up with our 2019 schedules or just head to those sites now to peruse what’s available. You never know when those services may debut the next big actor!
Warning: Spoilers forUsare in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you’re going to want to bookmark this piece and come back after you’ve seen the film.
Everyone expected writer/director Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out to be just as twisted, and just as deep, as his Academy Award-winning opus. But I don’t think anyone would have expected just how hard Us decided to go when it comes to its end product. Like any good puzzle maker, Peele leaves a lot of clues and easter eggs throughout this film for the audience to put together. And the picture it reveals is something truly Biblical in scope.
Needless to say, if you haven’t seen Us, you totally have to. Not only because it’s a fantastic film that’ll have you talking for days, but because what we’re about to go into isn’t going to make a lot of sense without that knowledge. So if you’re planning on seeing the film, go do that now or whenever it’s possible. Then come back, and dive into the deeper waters of the film’s symbolism, as we’re about to do now.
What Happens At The End Of Us
By time Us is ready to wrap up its narrative, we see Lupita Nyong’o’s Adelaide, as well as her doppleganger Red (also Nyong’o), squaring off in an underground bunker. This confrontation comes after Red kidnaps Adelaide’s son, Jason, and takes him into the bunker through an entrance in the maze that the two met at in 1986. Finding her way back underground, Adelaide is eventually given the entire story behind Red and the Tethered’s existence.
As it turns out, the Tethered were an experiment in creating replicas of every human being in the surface world. An experiment that succeeded in physical copies, but as Red explains, fails in recapturing the souls of those copied. The project was eventually ditched, with the Tethered left to languish underground in their society of half-formed clones.
Eventually, this makes way for a sentiment of insurrection, with the Tethered world planning to surface and take their place in the sun. And leading the way is Red, the only clone with actual speech who’s “different” from the rest. After this exposition is delivered, the two parties get into a fight, with Adelaide being the winner. Killing Red, she rescues Jason, and brings him back to the surface.
But as it turns out, Adelaide wasn’t actually who she said she was. As it turns out, she was a Tethered who escaped, switching places with the real Adelaide back in 1986. So in actuality, Red was living Adelaide’s life from that point forward, and vice versa. The only person that knows this besides her is Jason, who looks at his mother in horror before putting his mask back on. The film ends with a wide shot of the Tethered holding hands across America, with the news media covering the event through helicopter coverage. This is all pretty deep, but what does it mean exactly?
What It Means
Us feels like it’s a film tackling that old socio-political saw best known as “the Haves, and the Have Nots.” In this case, everyone on the surface is a Have, while the Tethered are most definitely Have Nots. After decades of being confined underground, and being forced to live their lives unattended, uncared for, and impoverished, the Tethered are ready to mount an offensive and overthrow their surface-dwelling counterparts.
Now while we see a lot of the Tethered killing their surface-world counterparts, that doesn’t look like it was their initial intent. We see beds made, with fresh jumpsuits and shoes in the underground bunker, so it feels like the initial plan would have been to simply supplant the surface world with their own numbers. But of course, there was resistance, it didn’t work, and then the murders started.
Putting all of this together, Us is a story of revolt between the Haves and Have Nots, with the Have Nots trying to seize what they feel is rightfully there’s. After being denied proper lives for so long, they hatch a plan to get into the mainstream and take over, all thanks to Adelaide being “special,” thus offering them a leader that could get the job done. If Red and Adelaide never switched, this may have never happened.
But looking deeper, Us also feels like a story of the political approaches and policies of the 1980s gone wrong; and their repercussions coming home to roost in the modern day. The entire story is one, big loop that spans from 1986 to the present day, with those created to be lesser than eventually taking over in one, apocalyptic gesture of dominance.
At the heart of it all though is a sentiment that any one of us is just a thin line away from being a Have or a Have Not. While we’re all unique, it’s the circumstances we’re raised in that make us one or the other. Red was tired of being a person of the underground, so she switched places with Adelaide, and it wasn’t too hard for her to fit in. As the film says through rather pointed, but understated dialogue, they’re Americans. Looking through the hints scattered throughout Us, it’s not hard to see this point being expertly sewn together throughout this slow burn narrative.
Sifting through all the details that Jordan Peele slipped into Us, it’s clear to see what’s at work during the unfolding of the story. Even the detail that this film takes place between 1986 and 2019 is vital, as it’s a 33 year story. Palindromes are a big symbol in the story that Peele is trying to tell, and there’s a pretty huge one that recurs throughout: 11:11. In particular, there’s a Bible verse that’s attached to this numerical coincidence, Jeremiah 11:11, which says the following:
Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.
Now if that doesn’t sound like a biblical reckoning, I don’t know what does. The Tethered are that great evil, and judging by the gigantic red wall that’s crossing the country, there is definitely no escape from them. But that’s only the beginning, as the symbolism gets really political when you run back to the film’s opening. A sequence where we’re shown a TV spot for the “Hands Across America” initiative.
Meant to be a fundraiser to combat homelessness and hunger, the massive human chain of people holding hands raised money and awareness for those two causes that took up a lot of political real estate in the 80’s. So much so that, as shown in another easter egg at the beginning of the film, they had already spawned a movie that spoke to the subject, with even more of a sci-fi/horror flavor.
Stashed right in frame, next to a copy of The Goonies, is a VHS of the cult classic C.H.U.D., a film that involved toxic waste storage mutating New York City’s homeless population into cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers. While the Tethered resurfacing in Us is more of a political statement, the creatures in C.H.U.D. were surfacing to feed on the surface world; but either way, the statement was that if we ignored the homeless problem long enough, it would come home to roost eventually.
Combining these clues gives you a story that, basically, tells us that if we keep ignoring our problems and disregarding our differences, they’re going to come back to haunt us. And if we’re not careful, that visitation will result in a reversal most foul. We can either be our greatest friends, or our worst enemies; and in the end, the decision is left to Us.
What other clues to the ultimate message did you spot in Us? Head to the comments section and clue us in! Get it?
This week the merger between 21st Century Fox and Disney became official. This makes Disney an even more powerful force in Hollywood than it was before, largely due to the catalog of characters and franchises it just took ownership of. One of those characters is Deadpool and now that he’s joined the rest of his Marvel brethren, it seems they’re all quite happy to have him on board. Chris Hemsworth seems especially happy, based on the way the Thor actor welcomed both the character and the actor behind him.
Chris Hemsworth shared a piece of fan art on Instagram which shows, what Hemsworth calls, the love child of Thor and Deadpool. It’s really just the Merc with a Mouth wearing a funny piece of headgear and carrying a tiny little hammer, because one assumes he couldn’t actually lift the full sized one. Also, it appears Deadpool has joined the Avengers, which, considering the trouble DP had with the X-Men, I’m going to guess is not going to go very well.
Looming behind Deadpool are those three little circles that symbolize his new lord and master. The film rights to the character are now back in the hands of Marvel, making him and the rest of Marvel’s mutants all characters that could now potentially make their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While this is certainly expected to happen at some point, it’s anybody’s guess how it will all shake out. Unless somebody had been planning for this eventuality in advance, a movie that actually inserts Deadpool into a story with the Avengers is at least a couple of years away.
It’s probably even further off because, while we have no idea what Marvel has in store for the next phase of the MCU, the studio has clearly been working on things and probably isn’t looking to throw out all their work in order to start over and add in the X-Men. We could see an entire phase of the MCU, including several films over the next several years, come to pass before anything significant happens to bring these characters together on screen.
That doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing Deadpool sooner. His movies have been largely standalone stories anyway and they’ve also been incredibly successful. While the future of Deadpool and the status of the X-Force movie and/or Deadpool 3hasn’t been exactly clear, I would fully expect to see some sort of Ryan Reynolds Deadpool project move forward sooner rather than later. Why would you have this guys sit on the sidelines when there is clearly money to be made?
While Disney is already making a lot of changes on the business side of things following the merger, we probably won’t hear a lot about plans on the content side until after the house is order behind the scenes. Though if we can get Taika Waititi to direct a Thor sequel co-starring Ryan Reynolds on the release schedule, I’m in.
Teen movies are a very unique genre, and can vary greatly in quality from movie to movie. While some are over the top comedies and rom-coms, others take on decidedly more adult content. Just take 1999’s Cruel Intentions, which saw its young cast manipulating and seducing each other. That movie became an instant classic, with dialogue still quotable today, fantastic cast, and a killer soundtrack to boot.
The Cruel Intentions cast and crew are currently celebrating the whopping 20th anniversary of the beloved cult classic. As such, some new information is coming out about the teen drama, and the behind-the-scenes scoops that moviegoers haven’t been privy to. Just take the role of Annette Hargrove, played masterfully by Reese Witherspoon. As it turns out, she helped to craft the character, and even re-write the dialogue. As director/writer Roger Kumble recently revealed:
Well, this is impressive. Reese Witherspoon may have only been 22 years old at the time of filming, but that didn’t stop the young actress from contributing greatly to the Cruel Intentions. This includes adjusting Annette’s dialogue to ensure both the audience and Witherspoon herself identified with the character.
Roger Kumble’s comment to EW show what a talent Reese Witherspoon has always been, and seems to tease her eventual role as a producer. The Oscar winner knows storytelling, and her point of view has been brought to the forefront with the various project she’s produced– in addition to her work on camera. She was a producer on movies like Gone Girl and Hot Pursuit, although her influence is perhaps best seen through the highly successful HBO series Big Little Lies.
Playing the movie’s ingenue isn’t always easy. It’s easy for an innocent and virtuous character to fade into the background, or be overshadowed by the bigger characters. Reese Witherspoon combatted this by working on the script, and giving Annette Hargrove her own agency in Cruel Intentions. Annette is sharp, funny, and empathetic. And she wasn’t going to take any of Sebastian’s typical crap.
Ultimately Annette changes arguably as much as Sebastian throughout the course of the movie. Her naivety is destroyed by Sebastian’s sudden death, and she honors her late lover’s memory by exposing Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Kathryn for who she really was. Cue “Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve. Also cue my tears as a teenager watching Cruel Intentions for the first time.
Cruel Intentions is celebrating its 20th anniversary. You can join the festivities yourself, and stream Cruel Intentions when it arrives on Netflix April 1st. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
While Avengers: Endgame is barely over a month away, we still have no idea what’s going to happen to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after it’s over. Yes, we’re going to get a Spider-Man movie, but how will the events of Endgame change the characters and stories we’re going to get in Phase Four of the MCU? We don’t really know the answer yet, but one of Avengers: Endgame‘s writers wants us all to know those changes are going to be real and they’re going to be big. According to Christopher Markus…
We have some expectations of what some of the big changes that are coming will be. Certain actors are set to leave the MCU and as such those characters may die or be written off in some other way. Maybe the hero and the costume will live on being worn by another, maybe not. However, if you were expecting things to largely go back to something resembling “normal” once these few changes happen, Christopher Markus‘ statement would seem to discount that idea.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was an attempt to take the long term continuity and crossover aspects of the comic book world into the cinema. In the comics, while each character is largely left to their own devices most of the time, things do happen in one part of the world that can have repercussions on others. The MCU, because there are far fewer movies than there are issues of comic books, feels these changes in a much greater way.
However, Markus’ comments to Empire would seem to spotlight one major place where the MCU and comics differ. It’s an area I had wondered about myself previously. In the comics, while things do go through major upheaval from time to time, the world always returns to the status quo eventually. Steve Rogers has died and lost his powers at different points and others have taken up the shield, but eventually Steve Rogers is Captain America once again. That’s not going to happen in the MCU.
Whatever changes we see at the end of Phase Three, as Christopher Markus says, will be real. If Steve Rogers dies in Avengers: Endgame, he’s almost certainly going to stay dead. If Robert Downey Jr. is too expensive to keep in the MCU now, that’s not going to change in the future. And at some point these actors will simply not want to return to these roles, even if they’re offered all the money in the world. Eventually, these characters will change for good and there will be no return to the status quo.
While this is, on the one hand, going to be frustrating for those that lose their favorite heroes, it’s also incredibly exciting. Major, real change in a persistent universe is something that Marvel has never really tried in the comics. How well will it all work? What new exciting characters or major changes to existing ones could happen that will take stories in entirely new directions? We’ll begin to find out very soon.
Spoiler Warning: I ruin key plot points in the book, 1989 movie, and probably the new movie, so proceed with caution!
Before IT Chapter 2 arrives in theaters later this year, another highly anticipated Stephen King adaptation is hitting screens. Pet Sematary is set to retell the tale of the Creed family, a family which moves to a rural town in Maine and discovers a mystical (and cursed) pet cemetery on their property. It’s one of King’s most popular books, but I had never read it. Nor had I watched the original film. With the early word on the street that the new film from co-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer absolutely rules, I figured now was a great time to read the book and watch the original 1989 movie.
After watching the film last weekend, I decided that, yes, this thing was due for a remake.
The original Pet Sematary movie was directed by Mary Lambert and written by Stephen King himself. I had always heard positive things about the movie, and I was excited to watch it in preparation for the new film. Why did I do this? Probably so I could say “that’s not how they did it in the book,” and annoy all the people around me. Regardless, I loved the book, and Hulu made it easy for watch the original movie; however, it was not what I was expecting.
A few things I should point out before diving in: While the movie was pretty faithful to the book, watching for the first time, it falls short in some key areas like acting and pacing. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by too many good horror films these past couple of years, but I had a hard time getting onboard this movie.
However, it’s totally true that I am coming from a different experience than those who grew up watching the movie and I can see this being pretty scary if you were a kid in 1989 when the movie originally hit theaters. There is legitimately one scary scene involving a character named Zelda that unnerved me deeply. What scares audiences changes over time as well, and that could be one of the reasons watching for the first time now made me happy Pet Sematary is being remade. For me, most of the film ended up having a strong cheesy vibe that makes it more fun to watch than scary, but I obviously don’t think that was the intention of the filmmakers.
Regardless of how dear some might hold the film, I think we can agree that the acting is not so great in this movie. It stars Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed, and Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall. Gwyne is the best of the bunch and although his Maine accent makes it difficult to decipher what he’s saying, he’s still the strongest actor in the film. Unfortunately, Midkiff really bogs the movie down.
He reads almost every line with this monotone that makes it impossible to decipher what his character is actually feeling. There’s a point in this movie where Louis is supposed to go insane, but Midkoff delivers dialogue the same way as before. You’d think having brought your dead son back from the dead only for him to murder your best friend and wife would have some impact on you.
Another issue I personally had sort of relates to having read the book. The pace is obviously faster, because when adapting a book to a movie, changes have to be made to streamline the plot. The problem I had with how Pet Sematary does it is that it drains the film of character and it’s harder to discern why anyone is doing anything.
The perfect example is how the movie handles Jud Crandall, the Creed’s elderly next door neighbor. In the book, Jud becomes Louis’ best friend. They hang out on a regular basis, just kicking back and drinking beer. Jud also has a wife named Norma, whose life Louis saves after she has a nasty spill on Halloween. Because Louis saved his wife, Jud decides to pay him back by showing him the Micmac burial ground when Louis’ family cat Church dies.
In the movie, Jud and Louis have a small handful of scenes together before Church has his inevitable meeting with a speeding truck and Jud shows the burial ground… just because? He pays some lip service later that he didn’t want Louis’ daughter to be sad, but it rings hollow — especially because the movie’s burial ground produces more violent animals than the book’s did.
Norma was understandably cut from the movie (likely to keep the runtime and budget down), but without that extra motivation Jud doesn’t really have much of an excuse to teach someone how to make zombies. In the book, Jud’s decision isn’t entirely his own because he’s being influenced by the burial ground, but you still need that motivation to further justify the moment.
As an adaptation goes, Pet Sematary is generally pretty loyal to the book. It cuts back on certain supernatural elements, but otherwise it follows the book to a tee. However, that’s not always a great thing and one thing should have absolutely been changed: Gage.
In Pet Sematary, Gage is Louis’ toddler son who is tragically run over by a truck. He is eventually brought back to life by a desperate and grieving Louis to disastrous results. The movie keeps all this, but here’s the thing about a two year old killer: it’s adorable.
The resurrected Gage is not scary AT ALL. They weren’t able to tone down any of the cuteness. Gage has the exact same voice and is still only saying age appropriate dialogue, so even when he’s saying stuff like “I’ll kill you,” it’s super cute. They try to make him frown and look angry but that just makes him even cuter! I mean look at this picture. What’s even happening!?
It’s supposed to be the most intense scene in the movie, but even when he’s slicing calfs and chomping on necks, it was just too silly for me to overcome. In the book, Gage has an entirely different voice and talks like an adult, so it makes him much more menacing. He says some vile things to people right before he kills them.
Thankfully, it sounds like the new Pet Sematary avoided some of these pitfalls. We already know the upcoming release has changed this major plotline to feature Louis’s older daughter, someone who can act and change their face and body language to actually be scary (which she reportedly is). It also should help that VFX, ratings, and pacing in movies has changed over time to accommodate modern audiences.
To be clear, all of this has not been to say that Pet Sematary didn’t have its charms or that it wasn’t good in 1989, but in 2019, I’m ready for something new. Hopefully the new movie will find a balance between today’s modern sensibilities and being faithful to Stephen King’s original work. It would be even nicer if it could in some ways pay homage to the 1989 film that came before it, because there would be less nostalgia and excitement related to the new Pet Sematary if it hadn’t been for the 1989 film. Still, I think it’s fair to say this thing was ready for a really scary, modern remake, and we’ll know for sure if that’s what we got on April 5.
In the wake of tragedies like the one that took place at the Taj Hotel in 2008, people start to ask questions surrounding the aftermath of such an event. The same is true for when people see those incidents depicted on film, much as Hotel Mumbai takes that very terrorist attack and commits it to the silver screen. The one question that tends to unite the two subjects is, of course, what can be learned through such atrocities, be it through their direct examination or their cinematic dissection. In that same spirit, I asked co-writer/director Anthony Maras what he wanted audiences to take away from his film, and he explained to CinemaBlend:
The one thing I think that’s important to try and get across to audiences is this idea that even in the darkest of times, we can find a common humanity that can get us through. Again, when you have people from all these different backgrounds coming together to survive, and find a common humanity, I think is important.
This question was among others CinemaBlend had asked him during the recent press day for Hotel Mumbai’s theatrical release. In the case of Maras, the film’s ultimate purpose is to show that even in the darkest of times, the recurring theme of common humanity mustn’t be forgotten. While there were those who perpetrated such heinous acts on that fateful day in November 2008, there was also a heroic compliment of staff members at the Taj Hotel, as well as a number of guests, who banded together and worked to survive the unthinkable together.
Naturally, no matter how much a person can understand the survival instinct of the victims depicted in Hotel Mumbai, there’s also another key component of the equation to understand: The actions of those who committed said acts. This is what one of the film’s stars, Dev Patel, discussed with us. When asked to provide what he felt the film’s big takeaway, he offered this:
I feel we’re in a society now where everything is so temporary, so fleeting. You know, you can read something or watch something on the news that is so horrific, and then maybe you might go to the extent of texting a friend about it. Then you’ll go, ‘alright, back to my breakfast then.’ To create a movie like this, and to make people actually simmer in a situation, actually force them to really be in it, and understand it, the nuts and bolts of the situation. To understand the sheer suffering that people went through, to see the blank look in those young teenagers’ eyes, wielding those AK-47s. It’s really important, I think, at the pace things are going at today.
What Patel describes above is certainly one of the reasons why Hotel Mumbai works as well as it does. Rather than just focusing on one particular side or facet of participants, the film takes a more robust look at both sides of the action. While we obviously see the hostages trying to survive throughout various parts of the hotel, we do also see those who carry out the acts of terrorism coming into Mumbai.
The film shows their ultimate motivation, as these young men take their actions as holy charges set upon them by their overseer; a man who encourages them to keep him on the phone so he can hear the screams and carnage take place. Digging into that portion of the subject a little deeper, Dev Patel, who also serves as an executive producer on Hotel Mumbai, had the following remarks to offer:
To put a microscope to those sorts of situations, because they once probably were a rarity, and now they’re not. It’s sad to say, but it feels like it’s a trend. And solving it is not gonna be getting more guns, it’s by understanding that the root of the cancer. We need education and things like that. I really hope that films like this can do that by shaking people from their core, electrifying them into action and discussion.
At its best, films can help educate the world and instill a sense of empathy for victims of historical events such as the attack on the Taj Hotel. It was with that intent that Anthony Maras and Dev Patel set off to make Hotel Mumbai the admirable film that it is, and it testifies to the power of understanding both sides of history when discussing such events. By feeling and processing this infamous series of events, people can begin to truly work through their recurrence, in hopes that one day it won’t ever have to happen again.
While superhero and Star Wars movies may be the biggest releases in the film world, there’s a franchise that was there before it all: James Bond. The 007 movies began back with 1962’s Dr. No, and the spy property is still going strong today. Daniel Craig will take his final bow as James with the mysterious Bond 25 movie, although the project has had a few noticeable setbacks. Most famously, the departure of Danny Boyle as director.
Danny Boyle left the director’s chair of Bond 25 in August of 2018, giving the generations of fans some panic. He was ultimately replaced by Cary Joji Fukunaga, but Boyle has kept largely quiet about the details surrounding his exit. Now he’s opened up about the decision, saying:
Is anyone else’s FOMO going through the roof? Danny Boyle was happy with his work in the development of Bond 25, but we’ll unfortunately never get to see it. It looks like he was doing in a direction that the Eon Productions wasn’t comfortable with. As such, he departed the still unnamed project.
Danny Boyle’s comments to Variety show the thought process that went behind his departure from the James Bond franchise. Given how iconic and beloved the property is, most directors would jump at the chance to get behind the camera. But when his creative vision was stifled by the larger company and franchise heads, he decided it would be better to walk away.
In his same comments, Danny Boyle also references his replacement, Cary Fukunaga. Boyle doesn’t seem to bare any ill-will, and has spoken with Fukunaga about his new gig. The show must go on, and the James Bond franchise certainly isn’t going to slow down too much due to Boyle’s departure. That being said, it’s unclear when production will finally start up, and Bond 25 will become more of a reality.
The pressure is certainly on for Bond 25, as it will be Daniel Craig’s swan song as the iconic spy. Craig brought a hulking physical presence to the role, as well as a more realistic and flawed version of the character. Fans are eager to see how he’ll be sent off, and how the current slate of films ends. It was originally unclear if the actor would return to the role, as he said he’d rather slash his wrists than do so after the long hours of Spectre.
Bond 25 is currently set to hit theaters on April 8th, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla but the character has been in so many different movies over the years, how do you explain how this particular Godzilla movie, and franchise, are different? Well, you put it in terms of another movie franchise that people will understand. Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty recently did just that when he explained that the upcoming sequel is a lot like Aliens, if you look at Gareth Edwards previous film as Alien. According to Dougherty…
Comparing your movie to a science fiction classic before it has come out it a bold statement, and Michael Dougherty clearly understands that when making these comments to Collider, but he’s not going so far as to say his sequel will meet Aliens in quality (though one assumes he hopes so), simply that the structure works in a similar way.
The original Alien dealt with a small group of people, and mostly just a single one of them, who were placed in an unusual and dangerous situation and had to figure out how to deal with it. Aliens sort of pulled the lens back to reveal a larger world. More people were aware of the creatures and interested in learning about them. The team sent back was more of a real team with multiple characters we were meant to care about, not just the one hero and a lot of fodder.
Of course, there was another significantly major change between Alien and Aliens which was the sequel was a lot more action heavy that the more horror-focused original. Both movies are generally viewed by fans as being excellent, but which one is seen as the better film by those fans frequently comes down to which genre the fan tends to prefer.
Whether we’ll see a similar shift in Godzilla: King of the Monsters we’ll have to wait and see. If there was a major complaint about the previous Godzilla it’s that there wasn’t quite enough “giant monsters destroying things” action, and the trailers have certainly given us the impression that won’t be a problem this time around.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters in May.