Marc Webb's unasked-for Spider-Man reboot (Sony has to keep cranking these things out, lest the movie rights to the character revert to Marvel) was a surprising thing: On one hand, it felt rushed and mercenary, but on the other—thanks to across-the-board great casting and a Spider-Man who was actually funny—it was a big improvement over Sam Raimi's Spider-films. More or less everything was great about Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man except for the script. And scripts are... kind of important? If you're telling a story?
Hopefully they put together a screenplay that does't suck for the whoa-that-was-fast sequel (*sound of Sony frantically cranking*), which features new writers (Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who're behind everything from Star Trek to Transformers to Sleepy Hollow) and about five billion bad guys: in a bid for long-term franchise viability, it looks like Spider-Man 2 is setting up something like the Sinister Six, an association of bad guys who HATE Spider-Man and like hanging out together. So far there's Jamie Foxx as Electro, Paul Giamatti as Rhino, Dane DeHaan as some kind of Goblin, and, in the trailer, a glimpse of Doctor Octopus' arms and the Vulture's wings. That leaves one spot open. I'm hoping it's filled by a bitter Tobey Maguire.
Wow, that's possibly the worst headline I've ever written!
MOVING ON: As has been rumored for a while, Wonder Woman will be in the sequel to Man of Steel—and as Warner Bros. announced today, she'll be played by Fast & Furious star Gal Gadot, who'll join Ben Affleck as Batman and that guy who plays Superman now, good ol' what's his name, in the 2015 movie. I've got no issue with Gal Gadot—one has issues with a former Miss Israel at their own peril—even if Warner Bros. totally picked the wrong Fast & Furious star to play Wonder Woman. I will try to keep my whining about this to a minimum.
A couple of things: First, this basically turns Man of Steel 2, or Batman vs. Superman, or Batman vs. Superman vs. Wonder Woman, or Warner Bros. Wants Some of that Avengers Money, or whatever it ends up being called, into a straight-up Justice League movie; once you've got Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, you've pretty much got all the members of the Justice League that the average person knows and/or gives a shit about. (Sorry, Aquaman.)
Second, director Zac Snyder isn't that awesome with female characters, so we'll see how this works out. (That said, I did like Amy Adams' Lois Lane quite a bit in Man of Steel, so that's... something?)
Regardless, it feels like Warner Bros. is actually trying to step up to the plate here; while there are now 149 Marvel blockbusters, Warner Bros. has been running... behind, is a nice way to put it, when it comes to figuring out how to put the DC characters they own onto the big screen. (Sorry, Green Lantern.) As someone who ended up being pleasantly surprised by the first Man of Steel, I'm curious to see how this next one works out.
Let's celebrate something that isn't terrible, shall we? Given how women are—or, more accurately, are not—represented in film, here's something kind of promising that I realized over the weekend:
Two of this year's most-talked about movies had female leads (Gravity and The Hunger Games). Some of this year's best movies were directed by women (Enough Said and Stories We Tell). A few more of the year's best movies both starred and were co-written by women (Sightseers and Frances Ha). Even when it came to 2013's pop movies, female characters got a better shake than usual; while it's easy to think of blockbusters focusing on men (because, for the most part, they do), it seemed to me* like women finally got to do things in these sorts of movies. Man of Steel, Oz the Great and Powerful, Iron Man 3, The Heat, and even Fast & Furious 6** were some of 2013's biggest hits; they also felt like they spent some serious time giving their women characters actual arcs and personalities.
It seems almost like the start of a long-overdue trend. Hopefully, it's one that will continue. Taking a look at last weekend's box office, Badass Digest's Devin Faraci thinks it will:
This weekend's Thanksgiving box office broke all sorts of records, with Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire making crazy, crazy money. Catching Fire had the fourth best second weekend in history. It had the best Thanksgiving five-day weekend ever, besting Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. It has made almost $300 million domestic in ten days. Frozen was the biggest movie to ever open in second place, and it was the biggest Thanksgiving opening ever, beating Toy Story 2. The two films, combined, took in over $200 million this weekend.
They are both, of course, movies with female leads. Great female leads, I should add. Female leads who are not secondary to the male characters, and who in fact completely overshadow the men in their films. Hell, Frozen's main story isn't even a romance, it's about the relationship between two sisters.
There's a conventional wisdom that female-led movies don't open or play well. That's dead. And then there's a conventional wisdom that there's only so much of an audience for female-led movies. That was killed good this weekend; there's $200 million worth of an audience. (Via.)
The fact that this is even a topic of conversation in film circles is a bummer—but if 2013's movies show us anything, it might be that people are at least having conversations about women in film more. And that seems, at least to me, like a pretty good thing.
* Admittedly, a MAN—so take all this with a grain of salt, or a bunch of grains of salt arranged into the shape of an entitled penis.
** A series that continues to make the rest of Hollywood look backwards and conservative when it comes to casting actors of different genders and races, I might add.
This kind of stuff always seems a little bullshitty to me—you can fit just about anything inside a golden spiral if you size the spiral right, and, in this case, the "rule of thirds" seems to be code for "Paul Thomas Anderson likes to center his shots"—but Ali Shirazi's video dissecting parts of There Will Be Blood is still fairly interesting. If nothing else, by overlaying shapes over Anderson's shots, Shirazi draws more attention to how they were framed; whether or not you think it all fits into a grand (or subconscious) design probably depends on how much you enjoy taking something that works on a visceral level and cramming it into an intellectual framework.
Hollywood knows you're going to be miserable tomorrow. There's no way to get out of Thanksgiving's familial and societal pressures—and while some, faced with the grimness of reality, might even do their best to convince themselves they "like," "enjoy," or even "love" Thanksgiving, Hollywood knows. Hollywood knows.
There's a reason Thanksgiving and Xmas are two of the busiest days at movie theaters: Through the magic of cinema, you can feel like you're spending time with your family when actually you're all just sitting in the dark and not saying a goddamn word to each other. And so, with no more ado, the Mercury proudly presents our reviews of all the ways that Hollywood's going to try to cash on your miserable family dysfunction.
NEBRASKA Alexander Payne's latest is supposed to be great. Ned says:
Like any family's story, the Grants' is complicated and messy, and Payne tells it with economy, elegance, and an absolutely necessary sense of humor.
As family moviegoing goes, Nebraska might hit a little too close-to-home, but it's still a better choice than...
THE BOOK THIEF There isn't a mother in America who isn't going to be pushing for everyone to go see this one. OVERRULE HER. Elinor says:
I get that The Book Thief wants to say that there can be beauty and joy during the darkest of times, but it lays it on way too thick.
OLDBOY Spike Lee's unasked-for remake of Park Chan-wook's revenge classic is, from a certain point of view, a family film. Vince says:
Mediocre movies are a dime a dozen. They're easy to make, forgettable, and they teach us nothing. Making one as transcendently terrible, as breathtakingly tone deaf and ill advised as Lee's Oldboy, on the other hand, is an achievement.
PHILOMENA Hey, this one might actually be a pretty good choice! Unless your family's Catholic. In that case... maybe not. Alison says:
Philomena is a surprisingly complex little film that pulls off some impressive balancing acts; chief among them is that it permits two very different worldviews and personality types to co-exist without condemning either one. Dench and Coogan should franchise an odd-couple buddy comedy series
HOMEFRONT There'll be ads for this one during tomorrow's football games. Guaranteed. Shhh, ads, shhhh. You had me at "Jason Statham vs. James Franco in a film written by Sylvester Stallone." Paul says:
Homefront is surprisingly watchable, especially when compared with the generic action-movie product Statham's been pumping out lately.
That's praise! Technically!
There's more, as ever, in Film Shorts, including Denis' review of Disney's Frozen, which he liked quite a bit, and some other stuff happening this weekend—like a Lady Snowblood and Kill Bill Vol. 1 double feature! Here are your Movie Times; use them responsibly.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Everything about Catching Fire is better than the lame first Hunger Games movie. EVERYTHING. It's great.
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR Alison joined every other critic on the planet and really liked this three-hour-long movie about French lesbians! Hope you like subtitles and scissoring!
SEVEN SAMURAI and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN The NW Film Center's screening both of these films this weekend, and Ned tells you why you should see both of them. (But if you can only see one, c'mon—Kurosawa all the way.)
DELIVERY MAN Here's a fun game: try to remember the last time Vince Vaughn was in a good movie! Anyway, this movie has Vince Vaughn in it, so I made Zac see it.
DEAR MR. WATTERSON Alison also saw this lightweight doc about the creator of Calvin and Hobbes—or, more accurately, a documentary about how people really, really like Calvin and Hobbes. (I will consider this film incomplete unless it has an interview with the guy who invented the truck decal of Calvin peeing and/or praying.)
I love you, Chatum. Even more than I love JCVD.
I saw Catching Fire yesterday and it was an order of magnitude better than the first Hunger Games movie, so hooray! (Our review will be online tomorrow.) For those who can't wait until Catching Fire comes out, or for those who have the brainpower of very small children, Sesame Street is on it. Watching Cookie Monster play Katniss is charming; watching a piece of pita bread play Peeta is something that should probably be in the actual films.
Hey, three guesses as to which movie looks un-fucking-bearable:
Believe will be pop pap, but holy shit, can you imagine how amazing an actual documentary about Bieber would be? "Right, so then I peed in a bucket, and then I was all 'Fuck Bill Clinton!' but then I met Bill Clinton—weird—and then I called a DJ a bitch and spat in his face, and then I spat in some fans' faces, but then I was all, 'Here, let me point a flashlight at women I want to bang, and then start a fight and call someone else a bitch,' and then I took a girl to McDonald's and banged her, and then, after my bodyguards had tackled this guy and he was on the ground, I kicked him, and then I was hella bored so I went to a brothel in Panama City, and then I went to a brothel in Rio, and then I was all 'Oh shit! What if I get banging prostitutes in a brothel?' So then I thought I would be able to sneak out of the brothel so long as I dressed up like a tiny little ghost, obviously, and just remember: Believe in yourself. Believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it."
That movie? That movie I would watch the fuck out of.
Darren Aronofsky has had, let us say, bad luck with big budgets: dude seems to do just fine if you give him a Pi or a The Wrestler or a Requiem for a Dream or even a Black Swan, but hand him a big check and things have a tendency to implode. And guess what? Noah has a huge budget! And after a few test screenings, the studio and religious groups (yay) are fighting over who likes it least! Things are going great!
Meanwhile, Disney continues to frantically dig through their vault, trying to find anything they've already done that they can rehash and convince some rubes is something new. What they've come up with this time is Maleficent, who, as all six-year-old-girls in 1959 would have known, is the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty. Stealing a cue from Wicked, Maleficoefficient focuses on the witch, who's now played by Angelina Jolie, and it looks... I do not know what to say about it? It looks like another color-by-numbers entry in the vein of Alice in Wonderland (zzz) and Oz the Great and Powerful (ZZZZZZZ). It will technically be a movie!
I love Nick Frost and I love Rashida Jones and I love Al Swearengen! I went salsa dancing a few years ago and did not grievously injure the girl I was dancing with! Far as I'm concerned, everything's coming up aces for Cuban Fury!
LET US VOTE.
PG-13 has become an essentially meaningless rating:
...a new study indicates these films have only become more and more violent since the PG-13 rating was first introduced in the ’80s — to the extent that PG-13 films actually have more gun violence these days than R-rated movies do.
This is because PG-13 is generally accepted as the four-quadrant rating, the one rating that's not too babyish or too gory. But because a lot of industry money relies on the fact that blockbuster movies get PG-13 ratings, it's essentially become meaningless. PG-13 isn't so much a single digit on a spectrum as a seal of assurance from a sex-obsessed organization that there's no sexy content in the movie. Because kids should see as much gunplay as possible—as long as there's no blood, or consequences to the gun battles, mind you—but heaven forbid a too-passionate makeout session fouls their pwecious eyes.
No, not the awesome-looking Wolf of Wall Street—which is still coming out later this year, if Scorsese can finish it in time—but an actual ad for Dolce & Gabbana starring Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, and New York. Typing those last three things made me wish that it was an Avengers sequel with Johansson in character as "Black Widow" and McConaughey in character as "Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike." Alas, such a glorious team-up shall never happen; I shall settle for watching those two actors in a two-minute-long "Martin Scorsese picture." Even if it's an ad.
In the Weinstein Company's latest publicity stunt regarding one of their movies getting rated R, they've gotten Judi Dench to reprise her role as M (RIP) to protest Philomena's rating. Philomena is, insanely, rated R because the word "fuck" is said twice instead of once. (Previously, Weinstein has protested the R-rating for the documentary Bully and for The King's Speech—though it's worth remembering that the notoriously domineering Harvey Weinstein is a hypocrite, having edited the language in The King's Speech, once the publicity died down, so that it could be seen by people with delicate little ears.)
Meanwhile, an io9 commenter noticed that Ron Howard's Rush was rated R here in the States—but rated G in Quebec! So they called the Quebec ratings board to ask why. And the ratings board answered! And their answers were 100 percent sensible and reasonable, and prove, in yet another way, that Canada is depressingly superior to America.
And meanwhile AGAIN, a study has found something that will shock exactly no one who's seen a PG-13 film lately: PG-13-rated movies are, in fact, more violent than R-rated movies:
A study set for publication in the December issue of Pediatrics confirms what some of Hollywood’s sharpest critics have suspected: The level of gun violence in the top-selling PG-13 movies has been rising, and it now exceeds that in the most popular R-rated films. (Via.)
Naturally, "A spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees the domestic film ratings system in partnership with theater owners, declined to discuss the study."
The weirdly secretive, completely unreliable MPAA has been broken for a long time, and shows no signs of ever becoming even slightly more sensible about their rules—which somehow seem both arbitrary and iron-clad. At this point, I can't imagine film ratings being of interest to anyone besides overprotective parents or terrified prudes—but if you're one of those overprotective parents (and/or a terrified prude), it might be a good idea to do your own research about a film, rather than letting the MPAA's useless ratings affect your decisions.
In this week's paper, I wrote about Computer Chess, one of the oddest and most interesting movies I've seen in ages. It's only playing in town until Thursday, and it's definitely worth catching while you can.
Filmmaker Andrew Bujalski is best known for Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation, earnest and well-observed indie films about awkward young people. Computer Chess falls into that category too, kinda, but it's first and foremost an exceptional period piece, set among programming's proto-nerds in the 1980s.
Computer Chess takes place at hotel where a group of programmers have gathered for a computer chess competition. Teams of programmers lug around giant computers, pitting machine against machine to determine the ultimate champion, which will go up against (gasp) an actual human chess master. The aesthetic is so dead-on I had to double check to make sure I wasn't watching a documentary—anyone who grew up in the '80s with a computer-nerd dad will recognize the clunky glasses, goofy hair, and questionable social skills—and as the programmers cross paths with a couples retreat that's also being hosted at the hotel, things get increasingly silly and surreal.
The film is brainy, original, and charming, and while the ending is not entirely satisfying—I think this movie is probably best experienced while pretty high—the verisimilitude of its aesthetic is remarkable, even down to the old videocameras on which it was filmed.
When deciding what movie to go see, moviegoers are used to a rating system providing them with a few basic facts. The level of violence in the film, for example, and whether there’s sex or cursing. Now theaters in Swedish cinemas have added something new to their ratings system: Whether the film passes the Bechdel Test.
Films that pass the Bechdel Test will be given an A rating by four Swedish cinemas, including Stockholm’s Bio Rio arthouse theater. Ellen Tejle, Bio Rio’s director, notes that “For some people [the ratings system] has been a real eye-opener.”
With the exception of Iron Man 3, most summer blockbusters this year did not pass the Bechdel test. I don't necessarily agree with people using the Bechdel Test as an up-or-down system to determine the goodness of a movie, but it does often work as a guidepost as to whether a movie is well-written or not. A screenwriter who acknowledges that women are independent human beings, shockingly, is often a better screenwriter than one who believes women are there solely to reflect the actions and thoughts of men.
I'm not entirely for a Bechdel ratings system just because I'm generally against the idea of hard and fast entertainment ratings. (I don't think that smoking in movies should automatically warrant an R-rating, for example, because it could keep kids from seeing some important movies, and it could prevent parents from having a very important conversation with their children about why, say, everyone is smoking in a historical drama.) But I think some sort of an advisory label, as they're doing in Sweden, might be a good idea, just to further educate moviegoers that this is a real problem with movies in the 21st century. I'd at the very least like to see movies that pass the Bechdel Test openly brag about the fact that they pass the Bechdel Test in their promotional materials. Because right now, it's unbelievable that so many films don't come anywhere near presenting two decent female characters.
If you're in any way inclined toward action movies—even in the slightest—and you haven't seen The Raid, fix that. Here's the short version of what I wrote last year:
The Raid: Redemption has a character or two, I'm sure; it has some plot, I think. But none of that matters, because in The Raid: Redemption, those things are mere interludes in a nearly nonstop parade of stunning action sequences. The Raid: Redemption is an action movie; it is about nothing more than action. And good action. The sort that used to be dealt by John Woo, before America ruined him. Or Tony Jaa, when he teased us with Ong Bak before going insane. Or Jackie Chan, by which I mean Drunken Master II Jackie Chan. That sort of action.
Here's the trailer for The Raid 2. I am very excited, as is just about everyone who saw The Raid.
I've heard it said that boxing is the purest sport, simply because to its pared-down brutality—it's the very essence of competition, stripped of as many rules and as as much pretense as possible. If we take that as being true, The Raid felt like, I don't know, the boxing match version of cinema: brutal and mean and simple and remarkably, exhilaratingly effective at what it tried to do. Seeing if director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais can replicate such a feat is something I more or less can't wait to see.
(Thanks to Grant for the heads up.)
Here at the Mercury HQ, we love Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead movies as much as anybody—even My Name Is Bruce! Even the Evil Dead remake! And, should Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell ever decide to make another once, we'll be there, dressed up as Ash, or that nice girl from the basement, or whatever (Dirk has an impressively tactile tree costume he wears to editorial meetings sometimes? I don't know why). But holy shit, nerds, STOP IT. You can't keep melting the internet every time Bruce Campell says something about Army of Darkness 2, a film that, for all intents and purposes, will likely never happen.
A bit of backstory: A few weeks ago, Campbell—while gamely answering yet another nerd's question about something he did decades ago—said, obviously sarcastically, that he and Raimi would make another Army of Darkness:
"Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath. Maybe we could do that, I guess. That would be exciting. Fight in a walker. That would be alright. Hit them with my cane. Fake them out, have a fake heart attack, distract a zombie. I like it.” (Via.)
For some reason everybody decided Bruce Campbell must not be joking—even though he was clearly joking—and decided hooray, Army of Darkness 2 was happening! And everybody started talking about it so much that now Campbell's having to tell everyone to just chill the fuck out.
"There's no reality whatsoever. These random comments slip out of my mouth or Sam Raimi’s mouth, next thing you know, we're making a sequel. So unless it’s announced from Renaissance Pictures, it’s not real. Or unless you have a start date or a release date. We do appreciate people’s enthusiasm for another Army Of Darkness, but they should just wait until it’s real." (Via, via.)
Bruce Campbell is 55 and hitting the convention circuit, while Sam Raimi is making massive Hollywood blockbusters—the chance of them getting back together to make a sequel to a 23-year-old cult film is... unlikely. Would it be great if it happened? Yes! But stop hanging on every word Campbell says at a comic book convention. Chances are pretty good he's just fucking with you.
A new piece of Wes Anderson ephemera has popped up at Cinephilia and Beyond: it's a 1999 note from Anderson to his pal James L. Brooks, and even for those of us who live in Portland, where painfully twee shit is un-fucking-avoidable, you might want to brace yourselves. Here's my favorite part, but click on it to read the whole precious thing:
Thanks to FilmDrunk for drawing my attention to this (and for pointing out that Anderson's note "shows that he may have a legitimate sickness"). Here's the thing I like about the note: It's so carefully wrought that it seems like it should be terrible, but it also feels so legitimately earnest that it can't help but be charming. In other words, it's like Anderson's movies.
12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueen's follow-up to Shame and Hunger sounds even less enjoyable than both Shame and Hunger, which makes me terrified for whatever he's going to come up with next. Alison joins the long list of critics who're calling it an extraordinary film.
ENDER'S GAME The 1985 classic science fiction novel finally hits the big screen, and the results are... totally adequate! (Keep in mind that I've loved the book since I was like 12 or 13, so I might be a bit too whiny about the changes they made. But still.)
ABOUT TIME Elinor could not fucking wait to see this movie—she believes that Love Actually, from the same director, is a "perfect film"—and then it was a total letdown. Way to destroy dreams, guy who made Love Actually.
LAST VEGAS Ha, this movie looked terrible! So I made Zac go see it! Guess what! It was terrible! In related news, make sure to check out Movie Masochist, Zac's new Blogtown column about the terrible movies I send him to!
THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI Boxing enthusiast Marjorie checked out this documentary about the Muhammad Ali that few people knew. She wrote a really beautiful review about it, and I'm not just saying that because she is a boxing enthusiast.
The trailers for Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street could basically be movies in and of themselves. Really good movies. Here's the second trailer for the film (which, thanks to a delay, is now coming out on Xmas day), and while there's a distinct lack of Kanye, it's still pretty goddamn impressive.
In conclusion, and in news that will shock no one, The Wolf of Wall Street looks like it might be pretty good.
Here's a new informative trailer for the upcoming Veronica Mars movie (SQUEEEEEEE!!) that has a lot of behind-the-scenes chitty-chat from some of your old faves—and they're all debating one thing: Are you "Team Logan" or "Team Piz"? For the record, I'm on "Team Deputy Leo"... but if forced to choose? Team Piz all the way. Watch.
It's a dude-centric Film section this week, featuring the return of a jackass, the majesty of Redford, and a disappointment from Cormac McCarthy and Ridley Scott.
THE COUNSELOR This is a tricky one—it's a fool's game to underestimate writer Cormac McCarthy, and this thing has a top-notch cast, and Ridley Scott seems slightly less bewildered than he did with Prometheus. But man... I suspect The Counselor is not a very good movie. I am not sure yet? I might need to see it again? Sorry. This is a tricky one. (But I'm pretty sure it isn't very good. And I'm 100 percent sure that even if McCarthy and Scott didn't misfire—even if this thing did have a chance of being good—Cameron Diaz would've ruined it.)
BAD GRANDPA Alison insists this movie is "tired," but all I know is that whenever she described a scene to me, I thought it sounded hilarious. This probably doesn't reflect well on Bad Grandpa so much as it reflects poorly on me.
ALL IS LOST Robert Redford teams up with the director of Margin Call for a fantastic, brutal, thrilling story about an old man and the sea. Seeing one thing this week? See this.
There's more, as ever, in Film Shorts—including a lineup of all the horror films screening for Halloween, a review of The Patience Stone, and a look at the Romero documentary Birth of the Living Dead—in Film Shorts. And here are your Movie Times.
Blackfish came out in theaters a little while ago, but tonight you can watch it for free if you have CNN.
With terrifying, nerve-wracking intensity—Blackfish might be a documentary, but it plays like a horror flick—director Gabriela Cowperthwaite examines the role of killer whales in marine parks. She focuses on one killer whale in particular: Tilikum, a bull orca who lives at SeaWorld Orlando. Graceful and majestic, Tilikum is 32 years old, 23 feet long, and weighs 12,000 pounds. He's killed three people.
Like The Cove—a similarly brutal documentary from 2009, about Japan's relentless dolphin slaughter—Blackfish will change the way you think. It isn't perfect, thanks to a sappy score and a forced ending, but in lining up testimony from researchers, activists, and passionate but disillusioned former SeaWorld employees, Cowperthwaite makes a case that's impossible to reasonably ignore. (Via.)
The Film Stage has an interview with Cowperthwaite, in which the director says, "If you are someone who is entertaining the idea of taking your kids to SeaWorld, I think it's important that you know what you would be seeing while you’re there." Blackfish will give you that info—and it's info that you won't get anywhere else. It's also info that will keep you from ever going to SeaWorld ever again.
Blackfish airs tonight on CNN at 6 and 9 pm; between those screenings is Anderson Cooper doing something called "Inside Blackfish," in which the Silver Fox "investigates questions" that are raised in Blackfish, apparently with special guest investigator Jack Hanna? Okay.
Weird headline, right? But the formerly relevant musician is getting a new biopic, and guess who's playing him:
Ugh, fuck it. It's Tom Hardy, who is completely awesome (see above: the mumbly The Dark Knight Rises, the phenomenal Bronson, the deeply forgotten Star Trek: Nemesis) and who is also the very last person I'd have ever guessed would be playing Elton John. AND THERE'S MORE:
Scripted by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, the project has been described as a biographical musical fantasy that will weave together John’s life and his music. Directed by commercial [director] Michael Gracey, the story is also said to be told in a non-linear and hyper-visual manner that will transport people through the many intense experiences, some wonderful, some not, that helped define Elton as an artist, musician and man. (Via.)
Okay! This sounds insane and I want to watch it. I still feel like they should just make an animated movie out of the album art for Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, but I suppose I'll settle for Tom Hardy in a non-linear, hyper-visual Elton John extravaganza.
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