There’s really nothing like David Lowery’s new film. A Ghost Story isn’t the typical haunted house tale we’re used to. But Lowery’s transcendent, meditative film captures the haunting realization of how fleeting our time in this world is. The film was hailed as one of the best out of Sundance this year (you can read our review here), which makes today’s debut of the first trailer all the more exciting.
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The Americanized remake of anime classic Ghost in the Shell finally crashes into theaters this Friday, like a bodysuit-clad Scarlett Johansson bursting through a glass window, guns blazing. While Paramount has managed to delay advance reviews by cancelling many press screenings (which is, traditionally, a bad sign), that has done little to deter the fans’ many burning questions. What secrets are being hidden from Major Motoko Kusanagi, and by whom? What are the tactical advantages of clothes that appear to be made of shrink-wrap? Will the movie be racist, and if so, how racist is it going to be? Why is English trip-hop musician Tricky in the film? Truly, The Ghost in the Shell is rich with secrets.
Disney The smartest thing that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise ever did was introduce a revolving door of ghost pirate enemies. I don’t really care why Javier Bardem’s character hates Jack Sparrow, nor do I think for a moment that this is the film that will permanently kill Johnny Depp’s character off for good, but those plots points are secondary, the franchise’s equivalent of a ghost McGuffin (a McGhostin?). All I really care about is seeing charismatic actors like Bardem play campy villains.
If you read up on the life of explorer Gertrude Bell, it’s abundantly clear that this is a woman whose story should be told. In 2003, The Guardian devoted an entire article to the influence her cartography had on the modern Middle East, with Bell practically drawing the country border of Iraq by her lonesome. And now audiences will be able to explore her legacy with Queen of the Desert (via Deadline), a new film starring Nicole Kidman and both written and directed by the legendary Werner Herzog.
When we last left the caped crusader, things weren’t looking all that bright. Sure, he had a new super-friend in the form of Diana Prince, but Superman — the complete-stranger-turned-mortal-enemy-turned-best-friend in Batman’s life — has sacrificed his life to protect Earth (or something) and now the weight of protecting our planet rested heavily on the shoulders of Bruce Wayne. If Wayne could organize others like him, then maybe Earth could stand a fighting chance.
Writing about the latest developments in movie-centric news isn’t a bad job, by any means — I could be mining ore and plucking chickens like my Eastern European forefathers — but some days still make you wanna sharpen up your morning coffee with something a little stronger. The recent trend of movie studios airing brief mini-trailers to tease the release of upcoming slightly-longer trailers numbers among my least favorite developments in online buzz-cultivating, and leave it to Zack Snyder and the DC cinematic universe to take that to the next level. Running a trailer for the trailer is some weak-ass bull, the sort of thing those nerds at Marvel would do — this is DC, baby, where they run five trailers for the trailer.
One of last year’s finest films, and certainly the most challenging documentary, was Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine. The concept was ingenious: the film tracks actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to portray the late newswoman Christine Chubbuck and tease out what factors could have compelled a woman to shoot herself in the head on live television. It was a beguiling interrogation of authenticity and artifice, tracing the limits of performance as a means to locate truth, and now the world of documentary film has begun to follow Greene’s groundbreaking example. The new trailer for Casting JonBenet offers a glimpse at a film using Greene’s methods, and applying them to an equally disturbing footnote in history.
Mildred Hayes has had it. It’s been weeks since her daughter was brutally raped and murdered, and the local police force in Ebbing, Missouri don’t have a single perp to show for all their efforts. Feeling disrespected and unheard, Mildred does the only thing an ordinary citizen at the end of their rope can do: she clarifies which cursewords you can put on a billboard and puts a message right where area sheriff Willoughby will see it. Them’s fightin’ words on her billboards, reading “RAPED WHILE DYING. STILL NO ARRESTS. HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?” And in the newly released red-band trailer begins a long, farcical, spiteful conflict between one-woman army MIldred and the local cops.
It’s finally spring, or at least according to the calendars we’re three days into spring despite what the weather is telling us. And what do we all want to do when the seasons finally turn warm? Take a tip in the ocean, of course. That’s probably what’s on Aquaman’s mind in the new footage Warner Bros. dropped on TV this week to tease the upcoming Justice League trailer.
What would you do if you mysterious notebook fell into your hands and gave you the power to kill anyone? Maybe you’d write the name of a high school enemy or a crappy ex in the notebook just for giggles, then realizing its murderous magic is for real, quickly toss it out the window and run away. But for Light Turner, he decides to use that notebook for all the power it gives him.