Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 by Angie Han
Who knew that lonely kids befriending gigantic but surprisingly sweet monsters would turn out to be such a big theme of 2016? Earlier this month we got The BFG, Steven Spielberg’s take on the Roald Dahl classic, and next month we’ll get Pete’s Dragon, David Lowery’s updated version of the 1977 Disney film. Then this fall brings A Monster Calls, J.A. Bayona‘s adaptation of Patrick Ness‘ book.
Lewis MacDougall leads the film as Conor, a 12-year-old who’s having a tough time all around. At home, he’s struggling with his mother’s illness; at school, he’s targeted by bullies. He escapes into a fantasy world with the help of a giant tree monster voiced by Liam Neeson. It all sounds very silly when I put it that way, I know, but A Monster Calls looks like a visually sumptuous treat and a real tearjerker to boot. Watch the A Monster Calls trailer below. Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 by Angie Han
There are no shortage of monsters on the big screen this year, whether they be mutants or ghosts or dragons or other mythical creatures. But not all monsters are out to terrorize people. Some of them appear because they’ve been summoned by sad little boys desperately in need. In Juan Antonio Bayona‘s A Monster Calls, Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) struggles with bullies at school and his mother’s illness at home. At night he’s visited by a monster in the form of a towering tree (Liam Neeson).
Although A Monster Calls has elements of fantasy and adventure, the real core of the story is Conor’s attempts to cope with the kind of outsized emotions that even adults are ill-equipped to handle: love, loss, and grief. In other words, this beast of a tale looks more likely to break your heart than to make you scream. Watch the latest A Monster Calls teaser trailer below.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 by Angie Han
There’s so much about the process of putting together a “most anticipated” list that just isn’t fair. Films that have already put out trailers have a distinct advantage over those that haven’t. New installments of familiar franchises are easier to get hyped for than completely unknown quantities. And in any given year, some of the very best films are the ones that come out of seemingly nowhere, crafted by filmmakers and stars we haven’t even heard of yet.
So I’m not going to pretend there’s anything close to an even playing field here. This isn’t a merit-based competition, because by definition I don’t know what merits any of these films have yet. It’s simply an excited look ahead at the year to come. Here are the films that make me glad, even in the freezing doldrums of January, that we’ve finally arrived at 2016. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 by Angie Han
Liam Neeson can be pretty damn intimidating when he wants to be (see: his entire post-Taken career), so it’s a little ironic that when he finally gets the chance to play a straight-up monster, he… actually doesn’t seem scary at all. The monster of J.A. Bayona‘s A Monster Calls seems plenty big and creepy, sure. But he seems to be a gentler sort, more interested in rescuing lost little boys and making moviegoers cry, than he does unleashing terror upon screaming victims.
Based on the novel by Patrick Ness (who also penned the screenplay), A Monster Calls stars Lewis MacDougall as a young boy who escapes his unhappy reality by slipping into a dark fantasy world. Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell play his parents. Watch the A Monster Calls teaser trailer after the jump. Read More »
A Monster Calls, the children’s fantasy novel by Patrick Ness, have paved the way to the A Monster Calls movie, and the cast is shaping up to be excellent. This week has seen a parade of new names attached to the film, and the latest is Toby Kebbell.
You didn’t even see Kebbel, per se, in his most recent film, when he was spectacular as the antagonist Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But Kebbell has been reliably good in many other films prior to that, and we’re looking forward to seeing him as the father of a young boy — a boy who escapes his real-world problems by fleeing to a fantasy world. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Angie Han
Anyone who’s ever seen Taken knows that Liam Neeson can be pretty damn intimidating on the big screen when he wants to. Even so, it’s not often that he gets to play an out-and-out monster. But he’ll soon get his chance in Juan Antonio Bayona‘s A Monster Calls, based on the acclaimed novel by Patrick Ness. Hit the jump for more details on Neeson’s latest role.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by Angie Han
Last December, Juan Antonio Bayona booked his highest-profile gig yet: the sequel to World War Z. But before he gets around to directing zombies, he’ll first be reckoning with tree monsters.
The Spanish filmmaker has signed on to direct A Monster Calls, a Black List script written by Patrick Ness based on his own acclaimed novel. The premise suggests a potent combination of fantasy, horror, and drama a la Pan’s Labyrinth — and what do you know, Pan’s Labyrinth producer Belen Atienza is on board as well. Hit the jump for plot details and more.
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Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2013 by Angie Han
Most year-end best-of lists consist of things that have already been produced, released, and consumed. But the Black List stands apart in that it’s all about the films that haven’t come out yet. Created by Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic, the annual compilation shines a light on the “most liked” unproduced screenplays of each year, as voted on by hundreds of Hollywood executives.
Not all of these films will get made, let alone made well, but the Black List still serves as a good indication of what projects are being buzzed about. Last year’s list included Transcendence and Rodham; Django Unchained and Saving Mr. Banks were among the highlights the year before that. Three out of the last five Best Picture winners were Black List scripts, as were seven of the past twelve screenwriting Oscar winners. Hit the jump to read titles and descriptions for the 72 that made the cut this year.
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