Lukewarm off the presses! Herewith a collection of very brief thoughts on this, that, and the other things that we haven't had time to comment on but definitely wanted to note. Please to discuss in the comments.
• By now you've seen Entertainment Weekly's gallery of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. The film arrives in 311 days which means most movie blogs have about 622 more articles left to write about it in "anticipation" BLARAARGGGH! How to reverse the equation and get people to write the bulk of their thoughts on movies AFTER seeing them? Even Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme probably can't cast a spell that powerful. I have three things to say about these photos. 1) I still find Cumberbatch's casting weird because his face is so non angular / eyeberowless both of which are complete opposites of traditional depictions of the sorcerer 2) can't anyone ever find a way to represent magic that isn't shapeless CGI color beams. I beg filmmakers to try something new since this is literally the only way it's been done since CGI took over the cinema. 3) Marvel superheroes are always trying to make wing-tip hairdos happen --- see also Wolverine -- but it never translates into the real world trends.
• Tired of movie awards yet? Too bad. You've still got two months of it to go. The latest critics orgs to throw their hat in the ring is the Austin Film Critics. They chose Mad Max for top hours but Room won the most prizes (3) taking Actress (Brie Larson), Breakthrough (Jacob Tremblay) and Adapted Screenplay (Emma Donoghue)
• Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been seen by 25% of the Earth's population already (we're guessing) we're getting the usual raft of what might be in the next film articles (including the silly/wonderful Poe & Finn are gay for each other fanfic wishful thinking) and a flood of info on what could have been... the post-movie release equivalent of the what-might-be speculation articles the internet is a hardcore junkie for. (ANYTHING TO NOT TALK ABOUT ACTUAL AS-THEY-EXIST MOVIES!) But I will say this: according to /Film our heroine Rey's original name in the script was "Kira" and we should all breathe a huge sigh of relief that they changed it. It's already unfortunate enough that Daisy Ridley stole Keira Knightley's face, clenched jaw stress, and speaking voice (do you think she trapped it in a seashell necklace Ursula style?). If she also had a homophonic name it'd be even more disastrous. Is it silly that I'm really worried about what the Daisy Ridley explosion will due to Keira's Knightley's career? We've grown so fond of Keira over the years and really admire how much she's pushed herself to grow as an actress taking on challenging roles and stage work and so on.
• The internet is having a field day suggesting that Chris Nolan just can't handle his lack of Oscar nominations at this point and will embark on a World War II film next. Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy are the first announced cast members.
• November and December are punishing insatiable mistresses. There are SO MANY new trailers we haven't even managed to do a DIY Yes No Maybe So on including but not limited to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Star Trek Beyond, Midnight Special, The Legend of Tarzan, The Nice Guys, Mojave, Storks, Gods of Egypt, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Terminus. Which have you watched and wanted to discuss? I don't even think I said anything about Captain America: Civil War in November and you know how I feel about the good captain. (Hint: pretty much how he feels about Bucky Barnes.)
• FINALLY... we're really proud of our web friend Angelica Jade Bastién who's getting a lot of attention for her Atlantic Essay "The Case Against Colorblind Casting" which is a really fascinating read about acceptance versus erasure. It kicks off with the of the moment example of Oscar Isaac, riding high at the moment (and working constantly) on his considerable talent.
It would be nice to believe that someone as talented as Isaac could have done as well without colorblind casting or an ability to be seen as “ethnically flexible.” Isaac has steadily increased his profile in recent years by bringing intensity and intelligence to vastly different roles...
But his success hasn’t come without compromises. Isaac is open about the choices he’s made in his career including dropping his last name, Hernández. “Starting out as an actor, you immediately worry about being pigeonholed or typecast,” he said to the magazine In. “I don’t want to just go up for the dead body, the gangster, the bandolero, whatever. I don’t want to be defined by someone else’s idea of what an Oscar Hernández should be playing.” His tendency to play characters of different backgrounds extends to his new Star Wars character, whom Isaac has described as “non-ethnic.” Notably, he didn’t say “white” or “racially ambiguous,” instead referring to his character’s absence of ethnicity.