Author - Gillian Puma

Review: ‘Vice’

American film director Adam McKay debuts his second biographical comedy-drama feature known as Vice. Starring big names such as Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, and Jesse Plemons, the film tells the story of Dick Cheney and his rise in political power.

Told through the narration of a fictitious veteran by the name of Kurt (Plemons), we are introduced to a young Cheney (Christian Bale) in 1963, as he works as a lineman and struggles with alcoholism after he drops out of Yale University. His wife Lynne (Amy Adams) convinces Cheney to get his life together. Fast forward to 1969 and Cheney becomes an intern at the White House under Nixon’s economic advisor, Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell). The story then unfolds as we see Cheney progress from an intern to a successful politician in the later years.

While the film tries to add comedy, the comedy at times seems inappropriate and edgy considering this is a film that’s supposed to be a biopic about Dick Cheney. 75 percent of the film is narration from Kurt, and considering he’s a fictional character it takes away from the biographical element the film is supposed to have. There’s a lot of random visuals added in between segments that don’t seem to have anything to do with whatever subject is being discussed between characters and are just added for metaphors that are confusing to understand. The film is also very messy and all over the place from talking about Cheney’s family life and his political life. It is also extremely biased and portrays Cheney as well as other Republican figures as drunken idiots with cartoonish personalities. We all have our own opinions on how certain politicians act, but when creating a biopic it’s important to portray them in a way that’s appropriate for audiences to understand why there’s a division among people when it comes to politicians.

The film was nominated for 6 Golden Globes, and Christian Bale took home the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Review: ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

Columbia Pictures along with Sony Pictures Animation and Marvel bring back the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to the big screen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. However, this story of Spider-Man is told in beautiful animation along with comic book panels and page turning effects in order to give viewers the feeling that they’re walking into a comic book story.

While most Spider-Man films introduce us to Peter Parker being bit by a radioactive spider, the film’s protagonist is an Afro-Latino boy named Miles Morales. Miles struggles to fit in at his new elite boarding school and has dreams of pursuing in street art. However, while doing graffiti in an empty subway station, Miles is suddenly bit by a radioactive spider and develops spider-like abilities overnight. Miles investigates the subway station to find the spider that bit him. This investigation opens a whole new world for Miles, as he learns he is not the only spider person in his world.

The film takes an interesting approach on the classic Spider-Man story that many audiences grew up watching on the big screen. Other Spider-Verse characters introduced include Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, Peni Parker and SP//dr, and of course the classic Spider-Man himself. Despite being animated, the film did a very good job at adding diversity in the characters as well as each character having their own story as to how they became involved in the Spider-Verse.

The film has gained praise on its unique animation style. It recently won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film among other titles including Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, and Ralph Breaks The Internet.

Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

David Yates and J.K. Rowling bring the magic back to the big screen in the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Taking place in the Harry Potter universe during the 1920s, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels to Paris to find Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), a boy with the power of the dark magic parasite known as the Obscurus. Along with the help of his American friends witch Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), muggle Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), and witch Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), the crew discovers secrets along the way including dark family pasts and the involvement of dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald.

Despite the film being called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, you don’t really see much of these crimes. As a matter of fact you don’t see much Grindelwald either. Yes, Johnny Depp makes his official character debut as the dark wizard and sworn enemy of Albus Dumbledore. However, any appearance he makes in this film is just small subplots.

A big problem with this film is that it tries to tell four different stories at once, essentially seeming more like a bunch of subplots smashed together to make one movie. The film at times is very hard to follow, with too many unexciting plot twists thrown in just to keep the time limit of the film going. The film is visually stunning and introduces new magical creatures, however it lacks any of the heart or charm that the original Harry Potter series gave audiences.

The film is top box office in North America with $62.3 million, however this is a 16% drop from its predecessor film. It also marks the lowest opening for a film in the Wizarding World franchise.

‘Todos La Saben (Everybody Knows)’ To Be Released February 8th, 2019

Two time Academy Award Winning director Asghar Farhadi has finalized his Spanish-language psychological thriller, Todos La Saben (Everybody Knows). The film stars fellow Academy Award winners Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, as well as Ricardo Darin.

Todos La Saben follows Laura (Cruz) on her travels from Argentina to her small hometown in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing along her two children. However amongst all the celebration, the eldest daughter is abducted. In the days that follow, family members and community tensions surface and deeply hidden secrets are revealed.

Todos La Saben will be released by Focus Features under limited engagement on February 8th, 2019.

Teaser Trailer: ‘Five Feet Apart’

From the director of the popular Netflix series Jane The Virgin comes a different kind of teenage love story. Stella Grant is like every average teenager; however she spends most of her time living in a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. Then she meets another CF patient named Will Newman. The film shows them flirt and connect with each other, even though restrictions dictate that they must maintain a safe distance between them.

Starring: Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Paraminder Nagra, Claire Forlani.

In theaters everywhere March 22, 2019.

Kate Mara and Simon Pegg To Star in Vaughn Stein’s Film ‘Inheritance’

Highland Film Group has announced that actress Kate Mara and actor Simon Pegg are in negotiations to star in Vaughn Stein’s high-stakes thriller, Inheritance. This marks HFG’s second collaboration with Stein, previously partnering on his debut film Terminal that was released earlier this year.

Inheritance tells the story of what happens when the patriarch of a wealthy family passes away, leaving his wife and daughter with a shocking secret inheritance that threatens to unravel and destroy their lives.

Kate Mara has a career spanning not only in film, but in television as well. Since her breakout performance in Brokeback Mountain, she has starred in numerous critically acclaimed productions. Most recently, she has starred in The Martian, Meagan Leavey, and Chappaquidick. She also starred in the Netflix political drama House of Cards, in which she earned herself an Emmy nomination.

Simon Pegg recently reprised his role as Benji Dunn alongside Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Fallout. He also starred in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One earlier this year. He will next be seen in the horror action comedy, Slaughterhouse Rulez, which he will also be executive producer alongside Nick Frost under the pair’s Stolen Picture Banner.

 

Storyboard Media Joins Film ‘Line of Descent’ To Push Sales

Storyboard Media is set to handle the worldwide sales on Rohit Karn Batra’s crime thriller Line of Descent. The film is currently in its post-production phase.

Starring Brendan Fraser, Abhay Deol, Ronit Roy, Neeraj Kabi, and Max Beesley, Line of Descent tells the story of an Indian mafia family after the death of their patriarch. Things brew to a boiling point when his three sons go to war in order to save their criminal enterprise. Meanwhile an accomplished cop (Abhay Deol) conducts an undercover operation amidst their infighting. On the sidelines, a manipulative arms dealer (Brendan Fraser) sees an opportunity and conspires with the brothers, fusing all the stories into one.

Rohit Karn Batra commented on the Storyboard Media’s team, saying “Elisabeth and her team at Storyboard Media bring tremendous credibility, experience and passion to the table and we’re absolutely thrilled to have her representation on this very special piece of cinema. We look forward to bringing Line of Descent to world-wide audiences soon.”

Jonas Åkerlund’s ‘Lords of Chaos’

 

‘;,.Swedish director and drummer Jonas Akerlund is set to release his new film Lords of Chaos. The film made its World Premiere at Sundance last year and continues to gain rave reviews as it continues to go through the festival circuit.

Released under global studio Gunpowder & Sky, the film based on the book of the same name follows a young teenager on his quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980’s. However, the outcome becomes very violent as what starts off as a simple launch begins to turn into church burnings and murder.

The film stars Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Sky Ferreira, Jack Kilmer, and Valter Skarsgard. It is set to release in the US in Q1 of next year.

Saban Films acquires StudioCanal’s ‘King of Thieves’

Saban Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Studiocanal’s upcoming film, King Of Thieves.

Directed by James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) and produced by Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, King Of Thieves tells the story of the April 2015 burglary of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company. The robbers stole over £14 million worth of loot. To this day, it is known as the biggest heist in U.K. history. Joe Penhall, the writer of the screenplay, based the film’s source material from Mark Seal’s Vanity Fair article and The Guardian’s veteran crime reporter Duncan Campbell.

The film will star Sir Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Sir Tom Courtenay, Sir Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone, and Charlie Cox.

King of Thieves is led by a stellar British ensemble cast,” said the president of Saban Films, Bill Bromiley. “The pedigree of Michael, Jim, Tom, as well as Working Title make a very attractive package. We absolutely love this film!”

Saban plans on releasing the film in the first quarter of 2019.