The ennui of suburban life can drive a middle-aged man to do crazy things. Usually, it’s something like having an affair or purchasing a flashy compensatory car. For Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, it meant a return to his teenage habits of blazin’ it and kickin’ out the Guess Who jams. And in E.L. Doctorow’s 2008 short story Wakefield, a family man breaks free from the shackles of everyday drudgery by abandoning his family and then watching them react to his disappearance from the attic of the house next door. But, like, in a poetic way.
Much in the same way that I have always wondered who delivers mail to mailmen (if they live in their own district, are they allowed to deliver mail to themselves? is that a conflict of interest?), the writers of the new action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard ponder who a career killer goes to when he finds himself a mark. Even professional assassins need a little muscle from time to time, and when one especially ill-tempered sunuvagun hires a body guard with a short fuse, violent egos clash with nose-crushing results.
Dito Montiel needs a win right now. The noted indie writer/director was the object of some ridicule (from me) when it came out that his latest feature, the Shia LaBeouf-led war picture Man Down, attracted exactly three viewers in all of Britain. The movie didn’t fare so well stateside either, and Montiel’s previous effort Boulevard got lost in the shuffle when star Robin Williams abruptly died prior to release. Montiel’s coming returning in grand fashion this month with a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival for his latest film The Clapper, an adaptation of the novel he wrote in 2007 titled Eddie Krumble Is the Clapper. And with a new clip surfacing online today, we can make our own judgement on whether Montiel has cause for hope or if he should hedge some of those bets.
The sound of metal grinding against metal. The proud yelp of Mark Wahlberg’s serious-actor concerned voice. (“We’re not givin’ up on Prime, okay?!“) The rippling waves of incoherent computer-generated imagery glinting in the post-apocalyptic sun. It can all only mean one thing: there‘s a new trailer for the latest chapter in Michael Bay’s ongoing giant-fighting-alien-robot opera Transformers. Allow me to quickly assuage any concerns by confirming that yes, a whole bunch of crap blows up real big, yes, a huge CGI thing crashes into another CGI thing, and yes, Megan Fox is no longer with us. But let’s dig in anyway, shall we?
Valued readers of ScreenCrush: I had the good fortune of catching an early screening of Edgar Wright’s new picture Baby Driver just last night, and while I have been sworn to semi-secrecy, I can safely and gladly echo the sentiments of my esteemed colleague Britt and affirm that holy biscuits is it good. It is a damn fine moving picture. I won’t say much more than that, and luckily, I don‘t have to because today brings the arrival of a new trailer for the high-octane crime thriller. Comin’ in hot, wheels skidding in a perfectly narrow drift, the trailer arrives with the hyperkinetic editing and blazing soundtrack cuts that make this movie such an unfettered joy.
In appearances at film festivals or the occasional blockbuster exhibit at the Whitney Museum, documentarian Laura Poitras gives the impression of a pretty collected, cool-headed woman. Which comes as a surprise, seeing as few people on Earth would have more justification for turning into a raving paranoid lunatic. Poitras wowed the world in 2014 with her Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, wherein she risked life and limb to gain access to the classified intelligence whistleblower and ran afoul of the United States’ far-reaching surveillance programs in the process. A few years later, and she’s prepared to unveil her latest stunning exposé on the shady business of federal watching, the lightning rod Risk. If you weren‘t feeling uneasy about the virtual eyeballs monitoring your every move, now would be a fine time to get started.
Sex with movies — until now, it’s been an impossible dream. But Netflix is a company of innovation, and they’re not going to stop at reshaping the home-entertainment industry top to bottom. Much ruckus was raised recently when Netflix announced that they would do away with their widely reviled star ratings and switch to a thumbs-up/thumbs-down system for recommendations, but a new video from the streaming giant released today clarifies the nature of this new recommendations engine. At long last, we can decide which movies we want to do it with, as if the film industry was one big textual Tinder. And that’s not my comparison, either — Netflix wants you to think of this like a dating app!
In space… no one can hear your crackly John Denver records. The timeless country standard “Take Me Home, Country Road” provides an eerie soundtrack for the latest peek at Ridley Scott’s long-time-coming Alien prequel Covenant. Over some rather breathtaking shots of a hostile, foreign world (no offense, New Zealand), we hear the familiar ode to the beauty of the American South, contrasting the harsh new climate with mental pictures of the gentle, rolling hills of West Virginia. Things get progressively creepier as the Xenomorph descends on our motley crew of intergalactic colonists, scaling their spacecraft and trying to get at the humans inside like they’re the filling of a delicious meaty empanada.
Sure, maybe April is early to declare a movie that hasn‘t even been screened for the public yet to be the best of the year. (It’s only the third of the month, so who knows, it might be early to declare anything the best of April.) And yet, watching the latest trailer for the upcoming Katherine Heigl/Rosario Dawson erotic thriller Unforgettable, I feel secure in my convictions. The first trailer was a whirlwind of psycho ex-girlfriend-sploitation, replete with darkly surreal home invasions, laptop-assisted masturbation, and Heigl’s super-serious killer-face. The final trailer has surfaced today, and if you weren’t convinced that this film will be an unassailable masterpiece — for people obsessed with low-rent suspense pieces about sexual obsession, such as myself — then Heigl’s got six words for you:
In 2006, environmental conservation advocate and former Presidential candidate Al Gore unveiled his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a call to action regarding the urgent dangers of global warming. And that was that — viewers recognized the importance of preserving the planet, green technology completely supplanted carbon-emitting fossil fuels, and Earth got back on track towards a clean bill of health. Ha! No, the opposite is true, and we’re all going to get swallowed up by a great deluge sent by Mother Gaia. As our recently inducted Commander-in-Chief prepares to gut the EPA like a trout (and enjoy that analogy, because at this rate, our grandchildren will not know what a trout is), things are getting worse than ever, and it falls to Gore once again to remind us that we are literally killing ourselves.
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