glenn criddle | cynical celluloid | aug. 2016
Well, it's that time of year again where we take a woefully brief glance over the upcoming releases that are heading our way. This season features some major releases but to balance things up I'm going to look at one big picture and one smaller one for each month.
The Trend for reboots/remakes continues unabated and this has divided filmgoers like few others. With a new all-female crew and a lot to prove it's got an uphill struggle to win people over and it's a question of whether or not the new, younger audience will embrace it like we did the original. As a fan of the original I have my concerns not least with the choice of Melisa McCarthy and the motivations behind some of the choices made, but I'll be giving this its shot. Because I'm nice like that. Will it spawn a new franchise? That remains to be seen.
Truth or Dare on the internet. Because that always works out well. Riffing on the internet trends for doing stupid things is a potentially great idea for a film, but it could also be inane. Our heroine here becomes part of the game Nerve which starts out manageable enough but descends into some dark and dangerous places very quickly as 'the watchers' up the stakes. Whether or not this film will be good is dependent on if the film takes itself seriously enough. If it's simply a thrill ride then it'll be no more than okay, if it actually addresses the issues around this 'dare' mentality of the internet then it may have something to say. I say it's probably worth a watch though it's clearly aimed at a younger audience, but don't let that stop us older folks.
Every time I see a trailer for this I'm excited but then there are rumours of re-shoots and toying with the tone and things get sketchy. As a fierce critic of the other efforts in the DC expanded universe, I have to say this is the one I have high hopes for. Using the bad guys (and girl) in this way just seems rife with opportunities and I'll certainly be grabbing that big bag of popcorn and hoping for a good time. Come on DC, don't let me down this time. Please.
A “worm turns" horror film that finds some kids robbing the house of a blind man only to find out that he's not as helpless and rather more dangerous than they thought. This looks to be a film that is dripping with schadenfreude, which often makes for the most enjoyable horror. Playing on the fears of being hunted in a confined space in the dark I rather think this could be a very enjoyable fright fest.
The premise of a revenge flick being based on a boy trying to recover his stolen shoes from a gang sounds trite on the surface but the possibilities of this film, thematically speaking, actually look fascinating. Less about the shoes than it is a violent coming of age film I think this will be a fascinating film to watch.
The famous oilrig disaster gets a big-screen dramatisation. As with all movies based on historical events, I sincerely hope it's true to the facts even though of course it's focusing on the crew and their desperate plight. From what I see in the trailer it does look exciting and like it'll be worth a watch. I just hope it can be honest as well.
'The Birth of a Nation'
The remake of sorts of one of the most remarkable but most racist films in film history “The Birth of a Nation" seeks to reclaim the title. That confuses me somewhat but the film itself looks well made and well intentioned so why not? It's neigh on impossible for it to do for film what the original did, but it looks solid enough to stand as its own thing which is something I wish it had done rather than court comparisons to the original.
Dan Brown returns with another in the Da Vinci code series and this time it's Dante. Time for the tin foil hats as we tap into the conspiracy theorists mindset and as long as you don't take it too seriously, it'll probably be quite a ride though I do wander why it is these puzzles are set and made so seemingly hard when the world is always at stake. Like I say, don't think too hard on this one if you want to enjoy it.
I know nothing about Doctor Strange. Not being a comic book kid I have never heard of Doctor Strange but going on what I've seen of this, I'm really looking forward to seeing this. It's looking kind of like a mix of “The Matrix" and “Inception," so why the hell not? It looks adventurous and interesting. Marvel has a viewer for this already.
For a bit of horror then there is this offering from the Insidious stable. “Shut In" looks like it could be worth a watch though from the awful trailer it's hard to be sure. It isn't likely to be groundbreaking, but it looks solid enough to provide a few scares in the same vein as “Insidious."
With a difficult production having been made public and the reports of the tone being lightened I have to say I love the look of the trailer. I'm thinking the reaction to “Batman V Superman" has gotten to Disney and they're a bit panicked and I'd say this: It's okay to visit the darker areas of the story. Being serious is not being miserable and as long as we have a good story and good characters then we can cope. I for one can't wait to see this, I liked The Force Awakens, and I think this will be an interesting film so long as it's not ruined by panicking executives.
'The Space Between Us'
Mixing some real concerns about space travel with a romantic/coming of age story is an unusual way to go, and actually, I rather want to give it its chance. Of course, it's going to be syrupy and sentimental but it seems to have some heart (no pun intended) and some interesting things to consider.
He's British so forgive the extra U's and the use of the letter S instead of Z. If there's one thing that typifies Glenn's writing it's the 'Video Nasties,' a long list of movies that offended all and sunder during the 1980s in the UK. It's those seemingly offensive fringes of cinema that informed his writing on cinema and the more political area of censorship with a more sympathetic approach to those films that push the limits of taste. But don't worry, he does talk about normal stuff too and isn't likely to go off on a horror movie fuelled rampage.
For more of Glenn's work, visit cynicalcelluloid.com.