Hollywood seems to be stuck in an age of remakes and sequels. Though original films do exist, they are never as popular or successful as the large-scale blockbusters, which are the only sure moneymakers for studios. Coming from this standpoint, it’s no surprise that Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven exists.
Like much of writer/director Taika Waititi’s other work, Hunt for the Wilderpeople finds humor in asking us to laugh at its characters. They all have some ridiculous traits, and we’re free to have fun at their expense. Some of them are delusional, some of them are myopic, and some of them totally lack self-consciousness.
Kubo and the Two Strings is a genuine masterpiece. The word “masterpiece” might be used carelessly and far too often these days when discussing contemporary movies. At the least, Kubo has fulfilled the conventional definition of “masterpiece” no matter how semantically satiated the word has become, if not entirely forging a new meaning altogether.
Ben-Hur actually opens with the horses getting ready to bolt from the gates for the chariot race. That will seem heretical to audiences familiar with the Academy Award winning 1959 version of the story. Younger moviegoers may not even realize this is a remake, and may not even realize that the phrase “chariot race” used to refer to a big movie’s big action climax.
We have all watched a globetrotter movie at some point and thought “man, I want to do that!” Regardless of if you’re an avid adventurer or a couch potato, film can ignite that urge for discovery and make audiences want to grab life by the horns. Whilst most wanderlust movies satisfy a craving for exploration, I have realised that only a select few have the power to truly motivate viewers, making them want to escape their lives of comfort and luxury and replace it with blisters and exhaustion.
2016 has become the year where audiences are openly questioning the onslaught of mainstream movies coming out, especially when it comes to unnecessary sequels. Some of the films this year that have made us think ‘did this really need a sequel?’ include Now You See Me 2, The Hunstman, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Independence Day 2, Zoolander 2 and even an Ice Age film set in space.
Bakemono no Ko, translated as Monster’s Child, is making its English run under the name The Boy and the Beast. It is a gorgeous-looking film, but what separates it from the rest of the disposable moving images we’ve been subjected to this year is the grace with which it tells its story. I have been to the theaters a lot this year, but I have only been brought to tears a few times.
Film is the art of light. Paradoxically, light is that is the ultimate source required for life to exist, and is the greatest substance to cause horrific calamities. Fire was both a blessing and a curse for ancient civilizations to understand and attempt to harness, but it was quite often their undoing.