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Lessons from the success of "It"

"The marketing was smart...they did a good job of using a "less is more" approach" - Jakey

 "This is a rare case of a movie that was perfect to remake: has a strong nostalgic following but which also kind of sucks and has a lot of room for improvement. You get the pre-installed fan base but don't have the pressure of re-creating and improving on a legit classic." - MJS

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Entries in Adaptations (211)

Saturday
Dec242016

Review: Assassin's Creed 

by Eric Blume

A movie doesn’t necessarily have to make sense to succeed.  Many of us are still mystified by the red pill and the blue pill and The Matrix but that film has such force and style that subtleties of plot were insignificant.  Assassin’s Creed makes less than zero sense, and mere mortals could not possibly explain the plot  It has something to do with the Spanish Inquisition, a descendant of an elite group of assassins, evil scientists, and the acquisition of the Apple of Eden, since the Holy Grail and Ark of the Covenant have been claimed elsewhere in better movies.

The confusing mechanics of this potboiler wouldn’t matter much if the film delivered on action sequences, compelling characters, or overall tension.  Unfortunately director Justin Kerzel seems overwhelmed by the entire enterprise, and buckles under the seriousness of the effort. This is saying a lot, because last year Kerzel directed MacBeth, and his great lead actors from that film, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, are back on this picture...

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Friday
Dec162016

YNMS: "The Circle"

Chris here. We had expected to see The Circle among the Sundance lineup, but it looks like it will be director James Ponsoldt's first film away from the festival. No matter, because the film still will be one of the more intriguing of the coming spring. From David Eggers's novel, The Circle stars Emma Watson as a young professional given the chance to work for an all-consuming social media entity (think Facebook on steroids) that may be more sinister than meets the eye. The novel was a bit on the nose in its critique, but its anxieties grow all the more realized in our online hive mindset.

Let's take a look at the first trailer and break down the Yes No Maybe So after the jump...

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Wednesday
Dec142016

Christmas Classics: Little Women (1994)

A few members of Team Experience will be sharing posts on their favorite Christmas movies. Here's Lynn Lee 

You can have your Christmas Story or your It’s a Wonderful Life.  For me, my Christmas movie will always be Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women, which took its bow Christmas Day, 1994, and has kept a place in my heart ever since.  Even though it faithfully adapts a literary classic, the movie’s also a perfect encapsulation of the ’90s: besides Winona Ryder, for whom Little Women was something of a pet project, it also featured a very young Kirsten Dunst, fresh off her star-making turn in Interview With a Vampire, and Claire Danes, still in her Angela Chase days, making her big-screen debut, as well as a 20-year-old Christian Bale completing his transition from child to adult actor.

None of that, of course, meant anything to me when I first saw the film...

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Sunday
Nov272016

Doctor Strange and the Comic Book Movie Dilemma

by Deborah Lipp

I have a pet peeve about comic book movies, and Professor Spouse is sick of hearing it, so I’m imposing on you all. When Professor Spouse and I got back from seeing Dr. Strange, I said, “I have one* complaint—it’s an origin story.” She said, “I knew you would say that.” 

*Well, only one complaint that is the subject of this essay.

The fundamental problem in comic book movies is the shift into a different medium, though in many ways the mediums are a natural fit...

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Thursday
Nov032016

Sony is Finally Serious About a "Dragon Tattoo" Sequel

Chris here. Just when you think the Lisbeth Salander ship has sailed, Sony keeps dangling a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel potential in front of us even without original director David Fincher. Well now we have some concrete news: the studio is fast-tracking The Girl in the Spider's Web for a production start next year and they are courting Don't Breathe's Fede Alvarex to take the helm.

Curiously, this skips the two novels that follow Dragon Tattoo, which had at one point been discussed to be combined into a single film. Dropping those stories means we'll miss out on some of the series's most thrilling moments that are also heavy of Salander's background. Not written by original author Stieg Larsson, Spider's Web could be a more standalone piece to keep those reported high costs at bay. Either way, after Don't Breathe was a sharp and tidy thriller (and inching closer to a stunning $90 million gross) it's clear Alvarez is ready for a larger project.

So does this mean that Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig will be totting back to the Sweden's underbelly? Mara's interest is still piqued as of the last time she was asked (depsite rumors of an Alicia Vikander swap), but will the Brady Corbet-directed 70MM musical Vox Lux conflict? Craig can't seem to decide on whether or not to be Bond again, so I'm guessing no Mara would mean no Craig - he also has the miniseries adaptation Purity to keep him busy. Is the series worth exploring without the Fincher/Mara/Craig trifecta?

Tuesday
Oct252016

Viola Davis to Break Records if She Crashes the Best Supporting Actress Party

Over the weekend Viola Davis's camp confirmed they were officially aiming for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. This disappoints us since she won the Lead Tony on Broadway for the role and now it seems like we're going to remain ages and ages away from another WOC winning Best Actress. It's been a long time since Halle Berry. Viola will of course become the most nominated black actress at the Oscars ever if she's nominated for Fences (which will be her 3rd nomination) making her the immediate frontrunner. 

Can Viola & Denzel repeat their Tony winning dominance at the Oscars for Fences?

Updated Best Actress Chart
Updated Best Supporting Actress Chart 

But let's discuss a less cited but even more impressive (though frustrating) record Viola may break. If Viola is nominated for Fences she becomes not just the most nominated black actress but the most nominated black woman of all time in any category. Viola is currently tied with five other women with two nominations each: most famously Oprah Winfrey (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress... she also has the non-competitive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award), Whoopi Goldberg (both for acting), and Ruth E Carter (both times for costume design) who rose up in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the turn of the century three more black women have joined them: Viola, plus Sharen Davis (both times for Costume Design) and Siedah Garrett (both times for Original Song). The only way Viola doesn't keep this record for her own is if Sharen Davis joins her in a tie for most nominated in January. Sharen designed the costumes for Fences and could also be in the mix this year for a third time. Of those six women, only Whoopi has won a competitive Oscar. 

Costume Designer Sharen Davis (Fences) could break the record WITH Viola!

Updated: Removed commentary about a possible posthumous nomination for Wilson to do more research on the topic.

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