We’re so close, guys. So close to the end of summer movie season and the start of the fall, when the weather cools down and the movies start to get interesting again. I don’t know that The Girl on the Train is going to be an awards contender, but it certainly looks like a juicy thriller.
Last month, my home city of Washington, D.C. got a couple feet of snow and I spent three days holed up in my apartment. That brief 72-hour span alone nearly drove me to the brink of insanity, and so I suppose I get where the characters in the J.G. Ballard adaptation High-Rise are coming from. Their luxury apartment complex has sufficient amenities to make entering the outside world unnecessary, and so of course they all devolve into warlike tribes and turn on one another in an orgy of bourgeois social angling gone violent. A few days of snow nearly had me talking to cantaloupes with faces painted on them; life in a high-rise, even a fabulously posh one, would be more than enough to get me to eat my landlord‘s dog.
By now you’ve heard the buzz surrounding High-Rise, the new film from director Ben Wheatley, the deranged and brilliant mind behind films like Kill List, A Field in England and Sightseers. That buzz is well-earned for Wheatley’s latest, which is based on the novel by J.G. Ballard (Drive) and features an incredible lineup, including Tom Hiddleston, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Evans and more. A new trailer has arrived, offering a tantalizing and slightly unnerving glimpse inside the titular high-rise, and teasing the evolving (or devolving) psyche of the residents within.
Director Ben Wheatley and his screenwriting partner Amy Jump are known for their specific, darkly humorous sensibilities, from the horror thriller Kill List to the black and white psychedelic intensity of A Field in England, and the bleak hilarity of Sightseers. The duo return this year with High-Rise, based on J.G. Ballard’s sophisticated dystopian tale of class warfare in an elegant apartment block. It may be his most inaccessible and tonally ambitious film to date, but it also might be his best.
It’s an undisputed scientific fact that Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston is the greatest villain in the Disney animated canon. After all, we’re talking about a guy whose theme song is all about how many eggs he eats and how every last inch of him is covered in hair. Sorry Maleficent, you have nothing on this guy. So, the news that Luke Evans has been cast as Gaston in Disney’s upcoming live action take on Beauty and the Beast has us feeling awfully judgmental. Sure, Evans is a good actor, but is he Gaston good?
It wasn’t that long ago that we heard about the possibility of Luke Evans departing the long-gestating reboot of ‘The Crow,’ which seemed like odd timing, given that the project had just attracted a new (and Edgar Wright-approved!) director. But this weekend makes the news more official, as the ‘Dracula Untold’ star has decided to move on from the project, leaving the iconic role open once again.
Given the franchise’s tragic history (including original star Brandon Lee’s on-set death during the film of the original film), you have to wonder if ‘The Crow’ is cursed. Just hours after the reboot of the franchise lost yet another director (J. Javier Gutierrez, following in the footsteps of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo) and gained another (Corin Hardy) comes word that the new star of the franchise, Luke Evans might be taking his leave of the supernatural, super goth-y superhero franchise as well.
The reboot of ‘The Crow’ has been in development for years, with two different directors attached, and several actors—including Bradley Cooper and Tom Hiddleston—connected to the project at various times. And now the film has once again lost a director, as J. Javier Gutierrez has left the long-gestating project, and gained a new one in Corin Hardy. But don’t worry: Hardy comes with a pretty impressive reference from fellow director Edgar Wright, which means that this remake might actually be in solid hands … for the time being.
Luke Evans looks good in a cape. And I get the impression that Luke Evans knows that he looks good in a cape, though, the trick is, as he says, a good wind machine. This is now life for Evans, an admittedly private actor who is starring in what seems to be just about everything these days. I asked Evans if he can walk down the street without being mobbed, to which he responded that, outside of a stray fan every few blocks or so, he can still walk around in general obscurity. Soon after this interview, I left Evans’ hotel and was greeted by an almost block-wide spread depicting Evans as Dracula ... you know, those mobs might be coming sooner rather than later.
During Universal's horror golden age of the '30s and '40s, the studio's beloved monsters all existed in aesthetically similar movies. When they starting going into decline, they even started showing up in each other's films to team up and/or battle to the death. So it makes perfect sense for the Universal of 2014 to see potential in a shared cinematic universe of their iconic monsters and it looks like the upcoming 'Dracula Untold' will kick it all off.