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Out on Screen

Out on Screen

Film and Television

Friday, March 18, 2016

Are the Monsters Inside or Out?

10 Cloverfield Lane leaves viewers in suspense

This review is spoiler-free for the enjoyment of your cinematic viewing experience. Don’t spoil the ending!

THERE, that’s out of the way. So what exactly is 10 Cloverfield Lane? What it isn’t is a sequel to the monster movie Cloverfield, rather a film that is part of a bigger idea under the “Cloverfield” banner. In actuality, the film wasn’t even a part of that universe when scripted or shot, with the original title being “The Cellar” and filmed for Paramount’s smaller Insurge studio, which was shut down, putting the movie into limbo. Paramount bought it back, some re-writes and re-shooting took place, with the piece retitled to introduce, possibly, a whole anthology of Cloverfield movies.

Way back in 2009, Ryan Reynolds was first introduced to the world as the comic book character Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Except, the filmmakers took the motor-mouthed anti-superhero and did the unforgivable by taking away the one thing that made him unique in the Marvel Comics universe – his mouth. The character’s nickname isn’t The Merc With the Mouth for nothing.

Friday, February 05, 2016

London Spy

BBC America, which is known for hit shows like “Absolutely Fabulous,” “Doctor Who,” the “Graham Norton Show,” and “Orphan Black,” is taking a short walk on the wild side with its new import miniseries “London Spy.” This isn’t a typical James Bondian type of spy show, that’s for sure.

The late Nigel Finch’s 1995 film Stonewall, based on Martin Duberman’s acclaimed book with a screenplay by Ricki Beadle Blair, might have been flawed, but it’s a far better movie than the new Stonewall (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions), directed by gay director Roland Emmerich, featuring a disappointing screenplay by gay playwright Jon Robin Baitz. Even before its release, the film was creating a stir because of the supposed lack of minority representation within the cast. In all honesty, that’s small potatoes in comparison to the way that the filmmaker doesn’t think that the subject of the Stonewall Inn is compelling enough on its own. Instead, it’s bogged down by the story of a gay kid escaping small-town Indiana to come to the big, bad city to be who he is. He’s cute, but he’s just not that interesting.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Revenant: Survival and Revenge

At a time in TV and movie entertainment when the landscape is ripe with zombies, there has been a subgenre of storytelling involving folks who have been dead for days or years who suddenly return to their daily lives, sans the whole flesh eating hunger. The French television show “Les Revenants” debuted in 2012 and garnered a cult following on U.S. television. That show begat ABC’s short-lived “Resurrection” (although the producers claimed there was no connection to the French version, except for the entire premise) and A&E’s even shorter-lived authorized U.S. adaptation “The Returned.”

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