Listening to people talk about the new movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American literature classic, I feel like I may be the only person who has never read the book. I somehow managed to get through high school and college without ever once cracking open the pages of that novel. And on top of that, I’ve never seen the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, so I really am coming to the story cold. And perhaps for Baz Lurhmann’s new epic extravaganza, I’m all the better for it.
In the year 2077, humans have left earth and colonized Saturn’s moon Titan after a devastating alien attack in 2017 that left the planet uninhabitable. We won the war after using our nukes to take out the aliens, but we lost the planet in the process. Two humans are left to service patrolling drones and protect massive hydro collectors, which are sucking up the earth’s oceans to be used as a source of energy on Titan. The humans, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), are an “effective team,” as their mission control leader constantly refers to them, but Jack feels like something is missing.
Tim Burton has a long history of interpreting and transforming horror and science fiction through his own distorted, and usually, entertaining lens. Films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, and Sweeney Todd all bear the unmistakable mark of Burton. But his 2012 film Dark Shadows was such an ill-conceived and poorly executed fiasco that he needed to go back to the drawing board, or story board, for that matter.
It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve seen Sam Raimi’s original horror opus, The Evil Dead, and that could be a good thing when going in to the new Evil Dead remake/reboot/reimagining/sequel. Yes, it’s hard to decide where exactly this film fits in the canon of the Evil Dead franchise, because the production team, including Raimi and original star Bruce Campbell, want you to think this is a completely separate beast from the original. It’s certainly got a much slicker look (the demon racing through the woods POV is a little too smooth, for example) and higher production values, but is this a completely separate story or another chapter in the established timeline?
Directed by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank), Wuthering Heights (Oscilloscope) takes a daringly po-mo approach to the Bronte tale of Heathcliff and Catherine, out there on the wiley, windy moors. With its minimal dialogue and artily framed shots, in and out of focus, the film has a Terence Malick feel to it. Doing the Christian thing, Catherine’s father Mr. Earnshaw (Paul Hilton), brings young, feral orphan Heathcliff (Solomon Glave) home and offers him a place to stay at Wuthering Heights. Unfortunately, his children Catherine (Shannon Beer) and Hindley (Lee Shaw) aren’t as receptive. It doesn’t take Catherine long to warm up to Heathcliff and the young duo begins to spend time together. Catherine connects with Heathcliff’s non-conformist spirit.
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