murder on the orient express featurette

Kenneth Branagh‘s glorious mustache is not the only thing that the actor-director is doing old-school in his feature film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.

The director and star of the 2017 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic novel is taking painstaking means to give audiences as authentic and immersive experience as possible. That means a return to the days of yore, when filmmakers used film cameras and not digital. A new Murder on the Orient Express featurette dives into Branagh’s process, and the joy it gives actors to perform without a green screen.

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the shape of water red band trailer

Another Toronto International Film Festival has been resigned to the dust, and it is time for us to look back on it and remember all the great (and not so great) films we witnessed there.

Truth be told, this year’s fest was slightly less exciting than last – the films were good, and some were even fantastic, but overall they did not pack as much of a punch as I’d been hoping. Still, it’s hard to deny the thrill one gets from attending TIFF; day after day, you spend hours upon hours watching films with audiences who are genuinely excited to be there, unlike seeing a film at your local multiplex, where the crowd could care less. If you’re covering TIFF as press, you rise at dawn, make your way down to the Scotiabank Theatre and spend almost the entire day there. It can be exhausting and draining, but it’s also wonderful.

For the sake of completion, I’ve compiled links to all the /Film reviews (written by me and Marshall Shaffer) out of this year’s TIFF, as well as a blurb or two for films that did not receive a full review. Here is every movie we saw at TIFF 2017.

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The Florida Project Review

The Magic Kingdom colors almost every scene of The Florida Project. Sean Baker’s achingly beautiful and heartbreaking new film is set in Florida (obviously), very close to Disney, and nearly everything in the background advertises the The Most Magical Place On Earth. Tourist trap stores with huge painted signs advertising Disney merch constantly lurk in the periphery.

But the characters in The Florida Project occupy their own kingdom, one comprised of rundown motels and abandoned buildings. These might seem like squalid conditions, but Baker finds a way to make them seem warm and welcoming without ever trying to glamorize them. The sunsets are fierce and gorgeous, lush pinks and reds and golds, vast and seeming to stretch on for infinity. They feel like home.
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Death Note Clip

This weekend brings another Netflix original movie to the streaming service, and it might be their most controversial yet. Death Note is an American adaptation of the famous manga of the same name, and while there has been some backlash about the whitewashing of the cast, it sounds like the most offensive thing about the movie is the fact that it doesn’t do anything fresh with the material to justify it. There’s nothing explicitly American about this new take on Death Note from director Adam Wingard other than focusing on a mostly white cast in a condensed adaptation that lacks any of the substance of the original.

Check out what some of the early Death Note reviews have to say below. Read More »

What Happened to Monday trailer

Netflix has unveiled a new trailer for a dystopian thriller called What Happened to Monday that features Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) playing seven identical twin sisters whose very existence is a crime: they’ve secretly grown to adulthood in a world in which every family is only allowed to have one child. This looks like a ridiculously fun B-movie, and I can’t wait to check it out. Watch the trailer below.
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Death Note Clip

A new film from the director of The Guest and You’re Next should be cause for anticipation and celebration. Adam Wingard has a great, dark sense of fun as a filmmaker. His characters, especially David (Dan Stevens) in The Guest, are generally as well-defined as his style. He’s described his latest film, Death Note, as having an attitude not dissimilar from The Guest – a movie that gets better every time you watch it.

While a new film from the director of that thrilling B-movie, who’s been tapped to direct Godzilla vs. Kong, sounds enticing, Americanizing the manga series and the casting choices have drawn controversy online. A month away from Death Note‘s debut, when fans and critics can judge the movie, Netflix has released a new look at the film at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

Below, watch the new Death Note clip.

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death note trailer

Adam Wingard‘s adaptation of the popular anime and manga Death Note has been wracked by controversy, but you got to give them props for trying. I think.

While the movie has not proven to be loyal to the ethnicity of the characters, the setting, and the cultural context, the new Death Note trailer at least proves that the Netflix movie is at least loyal to the dark, mid-2000s emo aesthetic of the original series. And hey, at least Willem Dafoe‘s Death God Ryuk looks better than the Japanese live-action’s attempt at CGI. So, yay?

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Seven Sisters trailer

Noomi Rapace plays Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Seven Sisters. In the future, siblings are outlawed, but Willem Dafoe decides to stick it to the system and keep his granddaughters – seven twins – a secret. They don’t stay a secret forever in the Netflix movie, though.

Below, watch the Seven Sisters trailer.

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Murder on the Orient Express Trailer

20th Century Fox has debuted the first trailer and poster for Kenneth Branagh’s new film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit mystery, Murder on the Orient Express. And while this train car is packed with a tremendously high-profile cast, the biggest star of them all may be the absurd mustache on Branagh’s face as he portrays one of the most famous detectives in all of literature, Hercule Poirot. Climb aboard and watch the new Murder on the Orient Express trailer below.
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Murder on the Orient Express

Crime stories have been all the rage lately, ranging from the documentary series Making a Murderer to the podcast Serial and the dramatization of one of the most publicized trials ever in The People vs O.J. Simpson. This fall we’ll get another one, but it’ll be a classic that millions have either read or seen before.

Murder on the Orient Express is a new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic novel or a remake of Sidney Lumet’s 1974 film adaptation, however you want to look at it. The whodunit won’t hit theaters until November, but some first look photos have just arrived showing off the star-studded cast that includes Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Olivia Colman, Leslie Odom Jr, Willem Dafoe, Tom Bateman, Derek Jacobi and the film’s director, Kenneth Branagh, with one of the most impressive mustaches the big screen as ever seen.

Our own Peter Sciretta saw some footage at CinemaCon and said it looks promising, complete with some stellar costume and production design. Now you can see what he was talking about in the first Murder on the Orient Express remake photos below. Read More »