Deep in the marshland of North Carolina, a solitary young girl is accused of murdering a town's heartthrob. The so-called Marsh Girl (portrayed by Normal People's Daisy Edgar-Jones) has to stand trial in Where the Crawdads Sing – an off-center hybrid of courtroom drama, sunny romance, and Southern gothic adapted from Delia Owens' debut novel.
Owens' drama might feel biographic occasionally. Yet, in a more profound sense, it tells more about the place than the characters. The murder mystery is a shell for the Marsh Girl's story; but, here's the main take: the protagonist is the marshland manifested in person.
Kya Clark a.k.a. The Marsh Girl grows up in a dysfunctional family. Her alcoholic father, torn by the war and poverty, abuses the whole family, while her mother (and eventua...
We've finally come to a time when a live-action adaptation of Disney's classic icon – helmed by Robert Zemeckis and spearheaded by Tom Hanks – gets a straight-to-streaming release. The year is 2022 and the classic work in question is Pinocchio.
With a long-standing feud that has lasted for nearly 80 years, the infamous Thomas Cat and Jerry Mouse return for another showdown in what's become their second feature film (after Tom and Jerry: The Movie in 1992). In aftermath of the slow-moving development hell, Tom & Jerry finally arrive under WarnerMedia's cahoot with HBO for a hundred-minute slapstick bonanza between a couple of love-to-hate felines and rodents. This time, their story comes as a live-action and animation hybrid a la Roger Rabbit with Tim Story directing and Chloë Grace Moretz starring alongside the animated duo.
Anthony and Joe Russo pick up where they left in the aftermath of blockbuster classic (in the making), Avengers: Endgame with a provoking adaptation of Nico Walker's semi-autobiographical novel, Cherry. Written in a US prison, the 2018 novel follows a 'cherry' (slang for a fresh soldier in the battle) with his frail love story, his visceral tour in Iraq Wars along with the PTSD, his descend into illegal drugs, and his eventual notoriety as a bank robber. The cherry is Tom Holland in another attempt to shed the school-boy style out of his repertoire.
Into a world where any Charles Dickens' adaptation is considered an old-school artefact, Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin) brings a fresh and distinctive rendition of the author's semi-autobiographical work, David Copperfield as originally titled 'The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account).' The director, co-writing the screenplay with Simon Blackwell, retains the author's sense of adventure and exotic characters in the presentation. Additionally, Iannucci's version is gifted with merry-making ensemble of casts and playful narrative that makes his take —shortened into The Personal History of David Copperfield— a jolly British Victorian experience.
Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman, portrayed as eloquently as ever by Gal Gadot, makes a sweet come back in Wonder Woman 1984, set in the titular year at least 66 years after she's last seen in the Armistice of 11 November. The heroine is currently living a serene routine as Smithsonian Institution expert in Washington while cautiously and secretly helping people and fighting crimes. When an ambitious con-artist, Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), comes up with a foul plot that might cause ridiculously mythical cataclysms around the world and turn an innocent gemologist and Diana's colleague, Barbara Minerva (Kirsten Wiig), into an apex predator like never before, she must take her super-heroine mantle once more even when she's faced to the ultimate vulnerability she doesn't know she has.
Disney's live-action adaptation of Mulan is probably the boldest move the studio has taken in the recent years. Putting forward representation in the production by casting actors of Chinese descent (a mix of those familiar faces to mainstream American viewers and some fresh faces from the Mainland) with Chinese-born Liu Yifei portraying the titular character suggests the Mouse House' commitment for diversity (in the brink of fight against whitewashing in Hollywood). While seeking after an Asian director to no avail, New Zealander Niki Caro (Whale Rider and McFarland, USA) lands the job making her the second female director to helm a Disney movie (after Ava DuVernay with A Wrinkle of Time). In a critical and controversial move, Disney released it as an on-demand perk in their streaming ser...
Stephen Hillenburg's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) was supposed to be the series finale for its third season (and possibly for the whole show for good). The commercial and critical success of it, however, has rekindled interests towards the franchise before finally sparking tons of additional contents (commonly described as land-sliding seasons in terms of quality). Nobody from the 2004 production might have predicted that the story continues and sparks many seasons plus two movies, including Paul Tibbitt's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) and, the latest, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
Richard Stanley is no strange figure for mind-bending B-movies inspired by classic sci-fi literature. His last tenure, the beleaguered The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)—in which troubled productions got him fired by New Line Cinema—is an adaptation of H.G. Wells' early classic sci-fi horror of the same title. It took him at least 20 years for him to bounce back from that disastrous experience before he began conceiving another classic sci-fi horror, The Color Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft. With panache reminiscing his early works in Hardware and Dust Devil as well as Nicolas Cage's newly-found B-movie charisma, Color Out of Space gives Stanley the well-deserved come-back.
To step onto the path that Alfred Hitchcock had once walked into—in a hard fought creative battle against David Selznick—is indeed a dire move for British director, Ben Wheatley. Hitchcock's Rebecca is an exemplary, classic thriller to portray an invisible threat at its finest. Wheatley, adept in making horror out of people (as in Sightseers, A Field in England, and High Rise), keeps assuring that his Rebecca isn't going to follow Hitchcock's path, but to rather faithfully follow Daphne du Maurier's novel. He's got the point to avoid direct comparison to the classic; but, even so, his rendition of this psychological thriller ends up being bland, at best.
Sarita Choudhury (from the arthouse hit, Mississippi Masala) and Sunita Mani (supporting star in the recently cancelled GLOW) star in a hybrid of South Asian and Hollywood horror, Evil Eye. Based on Madhuri Shekar's Audible original of the same title, the story chronicles the harsh conflict between a first generation Indian immigrant in America and the American-born second generation within a horror frame. In between superstition, cultural clash, and past trauma, the intercontinental horror has just enough odds to be heavily misguiding for unfamiliar audiences.
Related Post: Review: The Lie (2020)
We've seen it before and we've seen it again; the problem with American-born immigrants from Eastern culture has always been with the cultural clash. The older generation, however liberal,...
On paper, Waiting for the Barbarians seems like a noble cause. Adapted from the novel of the same title by Nobel Prize recipient, J.M. Coetzee, this anti-colonialism story is point-blank endearing thematically. With Colombian director, Ciro Guerra whose anti-colonialism work, Embrace the Serpent, got nominated in the 88th Academy Awards and Hollywood A-listers, including Oscar winner, Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), in the leading role, it's almost safe to say the formula should have worked. And yet, the end-product staggers between the blockbuster ambition and its contemplative nature.
Vin Diesel single-handedly bears the burdens of spectacles in Bloodshot, a live-action adaptation of a Valiant Comics property. With narrative reminiscing the story of RoboCop, the super-human story is meant to a throwback to retro-action movies involving conspiracies, tech-wars, and cold action sequences. A while ago, Bloodshot was intended to open a certain kind of shared universe (involving another Valiant property, Harbinger); but, the idea was now scraped, even when the projects still develop, and that's possibly a correct decision.
Diesel is an ex-military man who was kidnapped and assassinated with his wife (Talulah Riley). He's then brought back to life by a group of scientists led by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) with literal bloodshot transfused into his dead body in the enti...
Sonic, the blue flashy hedgehog, might be a speedster; but, the road it takes to finally land a live-action adaptation is never an easy one. Against all the video-game adaptation curse, this adaptation of SEGA property hits the wall when the first trailer was released. The internet immediately stormed the filmmakers booing the grounded-to-reality design of the titular character (with smaller eyes, shorter legs, and teeth that looks like a real hedgehog). Director Jeff Fowler had to take the spotlight and announced that the release would be delayed by 3 months to finally get the look. One thing for sure, the effort of VFX artists behind Sonic the Hedgehog is fruitful.
The VFX is not utterly revolutionary; however, they have succeeded in giving the blue devil an actual shot to show some ...
Blumhouse is keen to give Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) another directorial gig after his small Truth or Dare scored a massive USD 95.3 million (against the production budget of only USD 3.5 million). And then, he's granted the new project, Fantasy Island, an adaptation of a 70s television show about an island that has the capability to grant people's fantasies. So, here comes Wadlow playing out with the missing link between the original show (which was last aired in 1984) and the modern viewers to craft some pseudo-intriguing hyper narrative.
The premise follows the series almost religiously. Mysterious Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) is the host of the titular tropical island that makes the secret dreams of lucky guests come true. But, as he always explains, fantasies are not always what you th...
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