Hello everyone! Yeah, no one’s ready for fall, but here it is regardless, with its grey skies and miserable rain. But there’s good stuff to look forward to, and most of all, my favorite holiday! I hope it’s yours too. As a precursor to this wonderful day, here’s Tim Burton with his host of CGI-born freaks…
MS. PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Calling all Tim Burton fans! How about a mashup of X-Men and Groundhog Day, woven upon the tapestry of a teen YA fantasy (literally 🙂 There’s the delicious Ms. Green waiting for ya!)? The rest of you may still be entertained by the creatures our beautiful caretaker watches over. As for me, I am a tad bored with stories pushing the idea of mutants hiding from society. In this day and age, finding your tribe—no matter how weird or rare—is just a few clicks away, I’m sure you’ll all agree?
Anyhow, Jake (Asa Butterfield) is a (sadly one-dimensional) teenager determined to find what his recently deceased grandpa was muttering on about… hollowgasts? Was the old man crazy? Or are these things real, and will they eat your eyeballs? Jake goes to Wales, dad (Chris O’Dowd) in tow, and finds the mansion his grandpa was yapping about. It’s in ruins. But within the time loop is an entirely different world… and there she is, the delightfully camp, pipe-smoking, Goth-Victorian outfit-wearing Ms. Alma LeFay Peregrine (Eva Green)! Every night, she saves her wards—orphaned children with odd powers—from certain death by securing them forever in 1943. But, as it turns out, Grandpa wasn’t nuts, and the Nazis are just small fry.
All things considered, it’s a nice little Burtonesque dream, also starring Samuel Jackson. The inherent lesson for screenwriters everywhere is that having a peculiarity doesn’t automatically make a character interesting. And, the self-actualization story of the lovelorn teenage boy has gotten stale, as has the superhero trope. Still, the weird menagerie born of Burton’s unique mind does make for a sweet distraction from real life for an hour or so. Here’s the trailer:
Peter Berg of BATTLESHIP is back with a flick based on the 2010 Gulf of Mexico catastrophe—an (avoidable) explosion aboard an oil rig due to the accumulation of methane. The production value is excellent, the tension nail-biting, and the acting competent (Gina Rodriguez, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Mark Wahlberg), but here’s its biggest problem: this flick is supposed to be about “the true story of real heroes.” Is it really? Because it seems HORIZON is more about the spectacle than anything else. Now remember, this is not about something that cannot be controlled, like Mother Nature. This is about BP’s greed. So it’s quite fascinating how Berg and his screenwriters have somehow managed to paint the oil industry in a good light even while showing us who was responsible for the explosion. Now that’s talent! I wonder if BP’s lurking about somewhere among the film’s investors? Here’s the trailer:
For a comedic movie, MASTERMINDS is remarkably unfunny. In this flick based on the 1997 Loomis-Fargo heist, Zach Galifianakis stars as David, an underachieving armored truck driver. Inspired to break out of his sad loser ways by hot (if scheming) ex-coworker Kelly (Kristin Wiig), he agrees to go along with her idea of robbing the bank. Brilliant! … not. Every conceivable joke is packed in there, and the cast is loaded with comedic actors (including Jason Sudeikis, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and Leslie Jones), but somehow, the flick comes off as not funny—maybe because most of those jokes come at the expense of the gullibility of the main character. Plus, making fun of someone because they’re poor just isn’t funny. Yeah, comedy’s hard! Here’s the trailer:
And that’s it for me. See you at the movies!