SXSW 2017 has officially found its closing night film, and with the addition of the upcoming sci-fi thriller Life, this year’s Film program has a proper beginning, middle and end. The new film, starring Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson, will debut in Austin next month to formally conclude the fest (which actually keeps going for a few more days, if you have enough energy to stick around), with all three stars present for the big premiere.
I totally understand why some people may be a little skeptical about Life. Despite the excellent cast, the basic premise is enough to make folks wonder if the film is nothing more than a cheap knock-off of some of its high-profile predecessors. Part of that is the challenge of working within an established genre, I guess. If you’re going to tell a story about dangerous confinement and uneasy alliances, you’re bound to bump up against at least a few movie cliches. That’s not to say that Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence won’t do a good job in the movie, only to suggest that both men are…
No matter how bad 2017 gets with each passing day, there’s the gift of a singing Jake Gyllenhaal to make it all feel a little better.
Here’s something I’ve never been able to fully understand about myself: I find haunted house movies terribly boring and haunted space station movies absolutely terrifying. Take your typical spooky movie — with old buildings, dark hallways, and moving shadows — and I could fall asleep right there in the theater. But kick that spooky movie up into space and give the characters some space suits? As far as I’m concerned, that makes anything an instant classic — and I’ve got the Event Horizon ticket stubs to prove it.
Looks like Warner Bros. and DC are serious about this Green Lantern Corps movie, as the film now has a shortlist of potential Hal Jordan contenders. The movie is being billed as a kind of sci-fi buddy cop flick, with Jordan and his fellow human Lantern John Stewart (no, not that one) palling around the cosmos and fighting crime. Now that the movie has found is writers, the next task is to cast it, and today we know who might be playing one of the main characters.
2016 saw one of South Korea’s finest filmmakers resurface with a stone-cold masterpiece, as Oldboy and Stoker director Park Chan-wook demolished audiences at Cannes with his beguiling erotic drama The Handmaiden. In 2017, another one of South Korea’s proudest filmmaking sons will make a grand return, as Bong Joon-ho prepares to unveil his latest feature Okja. A master of blackly humorous genre work (the guy never met a B-movie he couldn’t make into high art), Bong last appeared on American shores in 2014 with Snowpiercer, his first foray into English-language filmmaking. To employ a critical parlance, it ruled, and with the first photos from Okja now trickling out in advance of its debut next year, we have every reason to believe Bong’s latest will rule just as hard.
Donnie Darko, perhaps the cult-iest of cult movies, made barely a ripple when it premiered in theaters in 2001, but since then has become a cult classic phenomenon, an essential film for disenfranchised teens and time travel aficionados alike. And, like, many cult classics these days, it’s getting a theatrical re-release, this time in glorious 4K resolution.
When you hear that Tom Ford is directing a movie, you know for sure that it’s going to be stylish. Nocturnal Animals is his first feature since 2009’s A Single Man, and, for one, thing it’s actually gorgeous to look at. But what lies beneath the surface is a sexy, nasty tale of two former lovers in a battle for supremacy and revenge. While Nocturnal Animals has the elements of a thriller a la Gone Girl, like classic noirs that came before it, it’s much more a love story with thrilling aspects.
In the annals of pop culture, encounters between humankind and our intergalactic neighbors have not gone well. Either the extraterrestrials arrive armed to the teeth and immediately get to work vaporizing everyone in sight — your War of the Worlds model — or homo sapiens play the aggressor and fly into a violent frenzy of premature retribution, only to discover too late that the aliens have come in peace — think The Day the Earth Stood Still. Today brings a first look at yet another film about what life forms await curious space explorers, and true to form, even the single-cell organisms know enough to try to exterminate humanity.
After premiering at the Venice Film Festival and receiving its second prize, and screening at this year’s TIFF, Nocturnal Animals is finally heading to theaters. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams as two dangerously stylish divorcees who reconnect after he publishes a violent and upsetting book that is, for some reason, dedicated to her.