A few days ago, I offered a rundown of some of the upcoming high-profile movies poised to hit the big screen in the coming weeks (May 26, 2013: Upcoming movie releases to look forward to! Or not!). Today, I’d like to alert you to some of the smaller upcoming releases that have captured my interest…
THE KINGS OF SUMMER
Release Date: May 31, 2013
What it’s about: A coming-of-age comedy about three boys who run away from home to live in a tree house in the woods.
What it’s got working for it: Has a Stand By Me vibe.
What it’s got working against it: I think it’s a mistake to market this movie as a comedy given that everything I’ve seen so far suggests some fairly subdued humor.
Release Date: May 31, 2013
What it’s about: An Irish mother is arrested and sent back to Belfast as an undercover operative. To save her family, she must betray it…
What it’s got working for it: One helluva a set up.
What it’s got working against it: It looks very dark. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
VIOLET & DAISY
Release Date: June 7, 2013
What it’s about: Two young female assassins get more than they bargained for on their latest hit.
What it’s got working for it: Potentially/delightfully weird and over-the-top.
What it’s got working against it: Potentially/ridiculously weird and over-the-top.
BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO
Release Date: June 14, 2013
What it’s about: The line between fact and fiction blurs when a British sound engineer travels to Rome to work on an Italian horror film.
What it’s got working for it: Looks like an awesome homage to cinema giallo.
What it’s got working against it: Alternately, could turn out to be plain weird and inaccessible.
Release Date: June 21, 2013
What it’s about: Somali pirates hijack a cargo ship and demand a ransom for the captive crew. The CEO of the shipping company engages the pirates in a battle of wills while the lives of his employees hangs in the balance.
What it’s got working for it: Looks gritty, smart, and suspenseful.
What it’s got working against it: Also looks kinds of bleak.
Release Date: June 28, 2013
What it’s about: Two female vampires arrive in a small coastal town
What it’s got working for it: Moody, atmospheric. A gorgeous-looking movie. Female vampires are a bonus!
What it’s got working against it: Style over substance?
Release Date: June 28, 2013
What it’s about: “Copperheads” = northerners who opposed the American Civil War.
What it’s got working for it: Directed by Ron Maxwell (Gettsyburg, Gods and Generals).
What it’s got working against it: Might be a little dry.
Magsol writes: “In this case, ownership becomes even more complicated. It was Aaron Sorkin who created the character, and Schiff who brought it to life, but Sorkin left after season 4 to pursue other interests and was in no way involved in the writing after that point. Hence, the new direction for the Ziegler character was entirely John Wells’ doing; Schiff was the only constant throughout.”
M Reed writes: “The two leads of Supernatural were recently discussing that it puzzles them that new writers come in and retcon history regarding the characters of Sam and Dean Winchester and that they don’t blame the audience for complaining about these sudden changes in the history of the characters.”
Answer: Ah, but these are very different situations. In this case, we’re not talking about the writer who created the characters and developed them over the course of those early seasons.
M Reed also writes: “In the case of SG1 yit gets even more complicated.”
Answer: True, given that Jack O’Neil(l) was a character who predated the series. Still, the Jack the fans came to know and love was created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, then brought to life and shaped by Richard Dean Anderson.
M Reed also writes: “Who really owns the characters of O’Neil(l) and Jackson?”
Answer: Oh, that one’s easy. MGM! :)
shinyhula writes: “I’d think studio interference would cause the most problems on set than divas.”
Answer: Well, interference, either by a studio, network, or anyone involved in the production, would be a bad thing. In a more general sense, studio/network notes can change the creative direction as well, but like cast input, it’s not really a big issue and can be addressed – so long as it’s not something that crops up at the 11th hour (or worse, some time after!).
Ryan “Stitch” Nixon writes: “Personally, the editing was the biggest downfall, they spent so much money I do not understand the cutting it down to LESS than 2-hours when most superhero films now are pushing 2.5 to 3 hours.”
Answer: Hmmm. While I’m sure a 2.5 – 3 hour version of the movie would have made it “better” in the sense that it would have done a better job of reflecting the original script, I think a longer run time would have hurt the the movie even more. As Cookie pointed out in his review, unlike Watchmen, Green Lantern was essentially a fun romp, a popcorn movie, not an epic.
HBMC writes: “And Joe, wouldn’t you say that your question – who owns a character – works very differently between television (where the writers often run the show) and movies (where writers are not to enter the actors’ eye-lines, ever, on pain of death)?”
Answer: Most definitely. In film, it’s the director who sees most of the frontline action.
HBMC also writes: “As to Joe’s actual post – who owns the character, the person who writes them or the actor that plays them, I don’t think it’s a black and white either/or answer. I remember in Uni they once brought in some actors to act out scenes from the scripts we were all writing. It was fascinating because when they went through the particular scene I had written they did things in a completely different way to what I imagined in my head, and in some cases the decisions they had made were better than what I have originally thought of.”
Answer: So true and this is something I’ve mentioned in previous entries. We, as writers, create the characters but it’s the actors that bring them to life and, consequently, influence their development. They take what’s on the page and interpret it onscreen. We see how they’ve interpreted and shape the character accordingly. It’s a constant collaborative back and forth.
Tam Dixon writes: “Did you try the cheesecake recipe yet?”
Answer: Yep. Full report tomorrow.
gforce writes: “I’ll go ahead an ask the obvious one – any word on the Dark Matter front, or the other projects?”
Answer: Apparently, June 6th is the date when all our questions will be answered.
gforce also writes: “Also, do you know if Cookie has and ideas for future reviewing projects after the superhero movies?”
Answer: Not so fast. A thorough audit of the superhero movie catalog by yours truly reveals a bunch of review candidates Cookie (mistakenly?) missed. Entries like the 1978 t.v. movie Dr. Strange and the equally horrendous Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. starring the Hoff warrant screenings as well. But there’s no reason why, in addition to these gems, Cookie couldn’t review a few non-supermovies as well.
gforce also writes: “Are you watching the S4 of “Arrested Development” on Netflix? I think it’s brilliant, but you have to watch several episodes to start to figure out what’s going on.”
Answer: I loved the first three seasons of the show and fully intend to check out the fourth – but, at present, my t.v. dance card is full.
baterista9 writes: “As I’ve learned more about the film industry, I’ve gotten the impression that individual divas are in the minority. Am I correct in thinking that most participants “play well with others”?”
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