Aquaman has been one of my favorite DCEU incarnations, regardless of the quality of the films he’s thus far appeared in. December brings us DCEU Issue #6 and Aquaman’s solo film debut. James Wan will direct Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Randall Park and others in an underseas epic. The first trailer for Aquaman was the finale of WB’s San Diego Comic-Con film panel (which means I may now go eat a sandwich and stop hitting “refresh”). Of the two DCEU trailers WB brought to Comic-Con…Shazam looked better than I had hoped and Aquaman…was rough. Visually stunning in parts, but there is some wince-inducing stuff in this. It is the first look, but it’s also a film that’s basically done. We shall see. Aquaman swims into theaters on December 21, 2018.
From CBR’s notes on the panel:
Aquaman closed out the panel with an epic entrance by Jason Mamoa. The cast and director James Wan took the stage.
“One of the big things I wanted to do was create a superhero world we’d never seen before,” Wan said, “This might in some ways play more like a sci-fi/fantasy film than a traditional superhero movie which I think you’ll see in the trailer.”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II confessed that despite getting the role of Black Manta, he didn’t know how to swim. “I secretly went down to the hotel pool when we were filming with a kick board and taught myself how to swim in the mornings and evenings,” he laughed, “but then in the end I ended up not really having to do that much swimming.
It’s difficult to know how to review Murder on the Orient Express. Should it be judged against the 1970s film? Should it be held against the Agatha Christie novel it adapts? In the end, I decided to judge it on its on merits as a standalone film. To that standard, the picture is well-acted with a great ensemble. Kenneth Branagh does well as the lead, but in the direction and especially the screenplay the film is choppy and almost unbearably expository in its climax. It looks absolutely fantastic, but I doubt Murder is going to inspire a Christie renaissance or have a tremendous impact on the box office. It’s not awful, but it’s not anywhere near what it should be, and that won’t be enough to attract an audience not already in love with the source material.
I think the second trailer for Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Murder on the Orient Express is a lot more promising than the first trailer was. He certainly has a tremendously talented ensemble cast (it’s weird to see Daisy Ridley and not think of her as Rey since this is her first non-Star Wars movie). The first trailer sparked some lively debate on the site, and one of the things that came out of it was the feeling that-at least in the US-Agatha Christie has fallen out of cultural mainstream. I doubt many people under 30 have read her or may even know who she is. I’m hoping the movie will be good, but it would be tremendous if it sparked new interest in Christie’s huge body of work. She’s one of the seminal authors of mystery and crime fiction in modern history, and she should be mandatory reading in schools as much as Hemingway or Faulkner. Orient Express or 12 Little Indians should certainly be hit in college lit classes at the very least. We’ll see how Branagh has done when Murder on the Orient Express pulls into theaters on November 10, 2017.
What starts out as a lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into one of the most stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mysteries ever told. From the novel by best-selling author Agatha Christie, “Murder on the Orient Express” tells the tale of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
It doesn’t hurt that the movie has a star-studded cast that includes director Kenneth Branagh as Detective Hercule Poirot; Penelope Cruz plays Pilar Estravados; Willem Dafoe as Gerhard Hardman; Judi Dench portraying Princess Dragomiroff; Johnny Depp takes on the role of Ratchett; Josh Gad appears as Hector MacQueen; Derek Jacobi is Edward Masterman; Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. plays Dr. Arbuthnot; Michelle Pfeiffer portrays Mrs. Hubbard; and Daisy Ridley plays Mary Debenham.
Murder on the Orient Express is scheduled to be released in theaters on November 10th, 2017. Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think of its first impression.
One faces a dilemma in reviewing movies like John Wick ( and there are so many movies like John Wick that you could spend the rest of your remaining earthly days scrolling through Netflix’s Action/Adventure suggestion queue and never watch half). There’s the argument that every film deserves to be examined for artistic merit and even rancid pieces of boar offal like John Wick which critics are, for some inexplicable reason, lauding; thus warning the general public away – a sort of bio-hazard sticker for the Blu ray case. On the other hand, there’s the argument that the more attention we pay to films this bad may encourage “film makers” to make more. Sort of like why they don’t show fans who run on to the field at professional sporting events on the televised broadcast. Continue reading Movie Review: John Wick (2014)→