Spinning Headlines – Week 21: RIP Roger Moore, Weekend Box Office, Godzilla vs. Kong, Logan Lucky, David Lynch, Mission Impossible 6, Spider-Man, Valerian, Aquaman, Oats Studios, Thor: Ragnarok…
A-ha! Thought I had forgotten about the headlines, did you? Nope – just a bit of a scheduling issue, so we’re back on Wednesday again… But that’s enough of that, let’s look at the past week.
The most tragic of news of course happened almost immediately after I had published last week’s column; the family of Sir Roger Moore released a statement that Moore had passed away at the age of 89, after “a short battle with cancer“. For many in my generation, he was the James Bond we grew up with. But I do believe I saw him in “The Saint” and “The Persuaders” before I ever saw him in a Bond film; those two shows were constantly playing in reruns as I grew up.
Yesterday Pierce Brosnan, acting as guest columnist for Variety, wrote a long tribute to Moore. Read that whole article HERE. I’ll just highlight one quote from him that says a lot about Moore:
“He knew his comedy, he knew who he was and he played onstage and off with an easy grace and charm. He knew that we knew.”
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
|1||N||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales||BV||$78,476,767||–||4,276||–||$18,353||$78,476,767||$230||1|
|2||2||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||BV||$27,189,151||-21.5%||3,871||-476||$7,024||$340,505,078||$200||4|
|6||6||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul||Fox||$6,121,371||-14.1%||3,174||+17||$1,929||$15,303,332||$22||2|
|8||5||King Arthur: Legend of the Sword||WB||$4,302,088||-39.9%||2,503||-1,199||$1,719||$34,957,290||$175||3|
|9||8||The Boss Baby||Fox||$2,460,939||-13.6%||1,342||-729||$1,834||$169,718,129||–||9|
|10||9||Beauty and the Beast (2017)||BV||$2,013,748||-20.9%||1,076||-716||$1,872||$501,014,183||$160||11|
Well, well. The fifth part of the “Pirates of the Caribbean“-series managed to get the Memorial Day-weekends top spot after all. With the second lowest opening ($78,4 million from four days) of the franchise. On what is now called “the worst memorial day weekend in cinemas in nearly 20 years“. So yeah – not a big win. And it was not a big win for The Rock’s “Baywatch” movie either – getting beat by “Guardians 2“, which has been out for a month now. And getting absolutely mauled by the critics & audience alike. I guess it goes to show that The Rock might not have that Midas’ touch on EVERY property after all. And I think it’s safe to call “Alien: Covenant” a bomb in the US, as it had a massive 63% drop on it’s second week.
“GODZILLA VS. KONG” LANDS IT’S DIRECTOR
Legendary Pictures keeps on it’s set pattern of hiring young talent from the low budget-world as the directors of it’s…what should we call it? Kaiju-verse? Today the news came, that Adam Wingard (“You’re Next”, “The Guest”, “Blair Witch”) has been hired as the director of “Godzilla vs. Kong“ – the fourth installment in the series that began with Gareth Edwards‘ “Godzilla” in 2014, continued with this year’s “Kong: Skull Island” (by Jordan Vogt-Roberts) and the currently-in-the-works “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” by Michael Dougherty. The screenplay for the movie is being worked by a Writer’s room that Legendary set up in March and is led by Terry Rossio (“Pirates of the Caribbean”). Other writers included are T.S. Nowlin (“The Maze Runner”), J. Michael Straczynski (“Babylon 5″, “Sense8”), Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne (“Star Trek Beyond”), Jack Paglen (“Transcendence”), Lindsey Beer (“The Kingkiller Chronicle”) and Cat Vasko. The movie is scheduled to open May 22nd, 2020.
“LOGAN LUCKY” TRAILER
Steven Soderbergh‘s “retirement” didn’t last very long, did it? (after his 2013 TV-movie “Behind the Candelabra” – which was supposed to be his final film as director – he produced a few films, directed/produced/edited/photographed two seasons of “The Knick”, produced a couple other TV-shows; “Red Oaks”, “The Girlfriend Experience”, acted as producer/director of photography on “Magic Mike XXL” – doesn’t sound that much like a retirement to me) And he returns to the big screen with a crime-caper that looks a helluva lot like something that the Coen Brothers might make. And it looks – like some good damn fun to me.
SO WHAT THE HELL HAS NEILL BLOMKAMP BEEN UP TO LATELY?
Pretty much gone back to his roots. After his “Alien 5” (or whatever that was gonna be called) got thrown to trash by 20th Century Fox – or Ridley Scott – or both, he’s gone to the medium he kinda got his whole career started with: science fiction shortfilms. He’s set up a production company called Oats Studios, and the plan is to release a series of experimental genre shorts streamed via the gaming service Steam. The teaser trailer for the first part was just released and it looks…well, it looks like Blomkamp’s work for sure. I just hope there’s more effort put to writing this time around. He can definitely make good-looking pictures, but the storytelling in his last two features (“Elysium”, “Chappie”) was a little hamfisted, to put it mildly.
CANNES 2017 AWARD WINNERS
Palme d’Or: The Square, Ruben Östlund
Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here
Actress: Diane Kruger, In the Fade
Director: Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled
Special Prize: Nicole Kidman
Jury Prize: Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev
Screenplay: The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou; You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay
“THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD” FULL TRAILER
Now this one is looking more and more fun with each new piece of promos. And that’s one helluva cast they have there. I just hope it’s not the case of “all the best bits are shown in the trailer”-itis…
DAVID LYNCH & MOVIE TRAILERS
In an interview with Rolling Stone, David Lynch said out loud what I think we all have been feeling for a long time; the amount of story spoilers featured in movie trailers nowadays has really gotten out of hand. Here’s an excerpt from Lynch: “These days, movie trailers practically tell the whole story. I think it’s really harmful. For me, personally, I don’t want to know anything when I go into a theater. I like to discover it, get into that world, try to get as good of picture and sound as possible, no interruptions – so you can have an experience. And anything that putrefies that is not good.”
Amen to that. I’ll give an example: I haven’t seen “The Fate of the Furious” yet, but I would assume that those submarine-scenes that have been practically what the entire ad campaign was built on, were from the climax of the film – so they just took the giant money-shot and downright shoved it in your face rightaway. Pretty much the same thing they did with the plane-sequence in part 6. It sort of decreases the excitement-level when you’ve already seen in the trailers that the plane crashes down on the tarmac and at the last minute some car bursts out through it’s nose-cone.
I do think that the promos that were made for “Twin Peaks: The Return” were some of the best I’ve seen in recent years; all about setting the mood – not revealing any of the story.
Read the whole interview through that link though. It’s classic Lynch.
“DESPICABLE ME 3” FINAL TRAILER
Could go either way really, this one. Either it’s a good continuation of the story, or it’s overstuffed with– stuff. We’ll see. I really liked the first trailer – the one that featured more the Trey Parker-voiced bad guy who’s obsessed with the 80’s – but it seems that he’s not as prominently featured as the twin brother-story takes the center stage.
THE “DUH” OF THE WEEK
In case anyone was thinking otherwise, “Aquaman” – which opens after “Justice League” – is actually set post-“Justice League“. Wow. I would never have guessed. But this is what producer Charles Roven felt was important enough to point out:
“Aquaman will make reference [to Justice League]. There will be some reference to something that preceded Aquaman that will be in Aquaman. I believe that is the intention. James [Wan] definitely knows where he’s going with [Aquaman], and that movie takes place in a world where Justice League happened, and Man of Steel happened, and Wonder Woman obviously takes place before Man of Steel – except for the bookends we have. So that’s where we have the most ability to freeform.
We could do a movie that takes place after Justice League, we can do a movie that takes place after Batman v Superman… well not really. You can’t do a movie in between Batman v Superman and Justice League, but we can do movies that take place after Justice League and we can do movies that precede Justice League.”
“VALERIAN” FINAL TRAILER
It sure looks purdy. If nothing else, this movie will be one damn huge audiovisual ride.
“SPLIT” SEQUEL BEING WRITTEN PRETTY QUICKLY
Finished the 2nd draft of #Glass on Friday. Took 5 weeks. Started the 3rd pass today… gave myself a 3 week deadline for this pass.
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) May 28, 2017
That’s from M. Night Shyamalan‘s own mouth. Or – phone…? Tablet…? Well it is from him anyways. 5 weeks on the second draft, aiming to make a third draft in three? I guess the man doesn’t sleep much.
“SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING” FINAL TRAILER(S)
I dunno – there’s one thing that just instantly jumped at me from these: the whole aspect of the Spidey-suit being a kind of “Iron Man suit without the iron” – with the gadgets and the talking AI-interface and displays and all feels a bit hokey to me. Kinda diminishes the character, doesn’t it?
CHRISTOPHER MCQUARRIE TALKS “MISSION 6”
McQuarrie took a moment away from the production of the sixth “Mission; Impossible” to talk to the Scriptnotes podcast about the film, and his approach to doing a second sequel right after “Rogue Nation“. Just a few main points that got revealed here:
-McQuarrie wanted to spend less time hopping around the world, as “I think in Rogue Nation I think we might have been in six countries in the first ten minutes of the movie” and focus more on one location which this time is Paris, as seven weeks of the filming is being done there. Most of that is action though, with only three dialogue scenes.
-He’s very open about the fact that because of a lot of story changes during the filming of “Rogue Nation“, the filming of it’s last act in London turned out to become very chaotic, but “one of the things I learned from that movie, I developed a much more acute sense of what you were going to cut out of the movie. You start to feel a sense of this – I like this scene, but I can easily cut it out of the movie, so I probably should because I definitely will.”
-The tone of the movie is not as light as the previous ones, as “Brad Bird really changed the tone of the franchise and Rogue Nation embraced that tone completely. At the beginning of this I said to Tom, ‘I don’t think we can do that three in a row. I think now it’s going to become cute. I think we need to take it another direction still.’ And we did.” Instead, the film is going to a more “emotionally dramatic place”, or as he says “the problem with something like Mission, the action is dictating the narrative. And I was determined to change that on this movie. And I started with that. I started with more of an emotional story for this character and more of a character arc within it. It’s definitely more of an emotional journey for Ethan Hunt in that movie. But then the action comes in. And the ambitions of that action, so there’s a sequence at the end of the movie which is fabulous. It’s never been done. It’s all photo real. It’s going to be incredible. You then have to create the contrivances for that sequence to happen. And then there’s only a few locations in the world where you can shoot that sequence. So suddenly you find yourself going, well, I have this resource and that resource, and I have to put them in my movie. Why are they in my movie? And now I’ve got to explain that.”
-McQuarrie makes a good point, that he is the first director in the franchise to make two films in a row and because he did want to keep up with the differing styles that each film has had, he reacted to that by changing his cinematographer from Robert Elswit to “Ex Machina“-DOP Rob Hardy and adopting a completely different filming style, apparently relying more on “long takes and less editing”. That’s actually what I like to hear.
More tidbits in the podcast – take a listen. It’s really good stuff. McQuarrie has always been very open about his work.
-According to Bloody Disgusting, Halle Berry is now attached to “The Blob” remake, set to be directed by Simon West (“Con Air”,”Tomb Raider”). West has been earlier reported to say that the remake would “use CG to fully realise the potential of the gelatinous, carnivorous alien lifeform” aaaaaaaand that’s when I stopped caring.
-In response to being asked if the home video-release of “Wonder Woman” will have an extended cut – like both of last years DCEU-movies – director Patty Jenkins said that there are no deleted scenes to speak of, just “little trims” and that’s it.
-Apparently “Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion“-director Joseph Kosinski is the frontrunner to helm “Top Gun 2“.
–Roland Emmerich is switching from scifi to WW2, as he’s confirmed to be directing “Midway” next.
–Peter Jackson shared the first piece of “Mortal Engines” concept art. It’s looking…familar-like:
-Hulk has a pretty badass bed in “Thor: Ragnarok“. They don’t sell THOSE in Ikea, that’s for sure:
— Belinda Seeney (@BelindaSeeney) May 26, 2017
SPIT-TAKE OF THE WEEK
Oh, and despite the poor box office on the first weekend, according to producer Beau Flynn a sequel to “Baywatch” is in the planning already. Take it from The Rock himself: “Fans LOVE the movie. Critics HATE it. What a glaring disconnect. People just want to laugh & have fun. #Baywatch.”
That is all.