Showing posts with label Columbia Pictures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Columbia Pictures. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Review: "THE EQUALIZER 2" is Brutal and Personal

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 40 of 2023 (No. 1929) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Equalizer 2 (2018)
Running time:  121 minutes (2 hours, 1 minute)
MPAA – R for brutal violence throughout, language, and some drug content
DIRECTOR:  Antoine Fuqua
WRITER:  Richard Wenk (based on the television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim)
PRODUCERS:  Antoine Fuqua, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Tony Eldridge, Mace Neufeld, Alex Siskin, Michael Sloan, Steve Tisch, and Denzel Washington
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Oliver Wood (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Conrad Buff IV
COMPOSER:  Harry Gregson-Williams

ACTION/CRIME/THRILLER

Starring:  Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, Jonathan Scarfe, Kazy Tauginas, Garrett A. Golden, and Sakina Jaffrey

The Equalizer 2 is a 2018 action movie and crime thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington.  It is a sequel to the 2014 film, The Equalizer.”  Both films are based on the television series, “The Equalizer,” which was created by  Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim and was originally broadcast on CBS from 1985 to 1989.  The Equalizer 2 finds Robert McCall out to make the people who murdered someone he loves pay for their crimes with their lives.

The Equalizer 2 opens on a train headed to Istanbul, Turkey.  Robert “Bob” McCall (Denzel Washington) is about to serve his unflinching brand of justice on man who kidnapped his daughter in order to punish his ex-wife.  McCall still lives quietly in Boston, where he works as a Lyft driver and assists the less fortunate, the exploited, and the oppressed.  Among the people he is currently helping include Samuel “Sam” Rubinstein (Orson Bean), a Holocaust survivor trying to recover a painting of his sister, Magda, who died in a Nazi death camp.  Lately, he has taken an interest in Miles (Ashton Sanders), a troubled African-American teen who lives in the same apartment building.  Miles has tremendous artistic talent, but he is also being recruited by a violent, drug-dealing street gang.

However, the big action is in Brussels, Belgium.  There, Robert's friend and former DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) colleague, Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo), is investigating the apparent murder-suicide of DIA “agency affiliate” and his wife.  That investigation costs Susan her life.  McCall begins investigating Susan's murder with the assistance of her colleague and his former DIA teammate, Dave York (Pedro Pascal).  Determined to avenge Susan's murder, McCall will have to go deep into his past and risk endangering people very close to him.

With his Oscar-winning turn in 2001's Training Day, Denzel Washington proved to be a convincing bad guy.  With 2010's The Book of Eli, Washington showed that he could be a bad-ass, kick-ass, action hero with fancy martial arts-styled moves.  The first take on The Equalizer allowed Washington to blend hero and anti-hero in a visceral mix.  So in anticipation of The Equalizer 3, I decided to see The Equalizer 2, of which I have seen bits and pieces on television over the past few years.

In the original film, the screenplay by Richard Wenk had McCall constantly in peril or made it seem as if he were in danger even when he was not.  Wenk returns for the sequel and delivers a script that adds compassion to the standard revenge thriller.  McCall can be a gentle soul helping a teen go through growing pains that are filled with danger, and he can lend a kind ear to an old man whose current quest could be the real thing or the result of a failing memory crashing from the accumulation of data over a long life.  On the other hand, McCall will also break a mutha down to the blood and bone if he deserves such a reckoning, even if it means killing him.

The Equalizer would be a standard revenge thriller if its avenger were portrayed by just any other movie star, but Denzel Washington is a consummate professional and charismatic actor.  That means he can deliver the meat and potatoes and the art to every performance – whether it is Shakespeare on stage or Hollywood entertainment product destined for the multiplex.  In this second film, Washington super-charges his performance in order to make the personal so personal that it is murderous. 

Director Antoine Fuqua plays Washington's skills for everything he can get out of this brilliant actor.  Fuqua is an impressive director in his own right, especially when it comes to dark, violent, dramatic thrillers, such as Shooter (2007).  Together, Fuqua and Washington deliver in The Equalizer 2 a film that slightly surpasses the original.  I find myself endlessly fascinated by it because The Equalizer 2 is a really good thriller.

7 of 10
A-
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Wednesday, August 30, 2023


The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Review: "65" is Lean, Mean, and Much Better Than I Expected

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 30 of 2023 (No. 1919) by Leroy Douresseaux

65 (2023)
Running time:  93 minutes (1 hour, 33 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for intense sci-fi action and peril, and brief bloody images
WRITERS/DIRECTORS:  Scott Beck and Bryan Woods
PRODUCERS:  Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, Sam Raimi, Zainab Azizi, Deborah Liebling,
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Salvatore Totino
EDITORS:  Josh Schaeffer and Jane Tones
COMPOSER:  Chris Bacon with Danny Elfman

SCI-FI, ACTION, THRILLER

Starring:  Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman, and Nika King

65 is a science fiction action-thriller film from writer-directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods.  The film focuses on a pilot and a young girl who fight for survival after their starship crashes on a mysterious planet.

65 opens on Planet Somaris.  There, a spaceship pilot, Mills (Adam Driver), convinces his wife, Alya (Nika King), that he should take on a two-year space expedition to earn the money needed to treat their daughter, Nevine (Chloe Coleman), who is suffering from a deadly illness.

Later, Zoic Exploratory Charter 3703 is deep into its journey when it is hit by a mass of asteroids and crash-lands on an alien planet.  The Zoic is damaged beyond repair, and Mills discovers that all the ship's passengers, except one, have been killed.  The other survivor is a young girl named Koa (Arianna Greenblatt), and she does not speak the same language as Mills.  Meanwhile, Mills has sent a distress beacon, and he has also discovered that the spaceship's escape shuttle is still functioning.  However, it is 15 kilometers away (a little over nine miles), resting on the side of a mountain.

Now, Mills and Koa must track across an unknown landscape that they discover is home to dangerous and aggressive creatures.  What the duo doesn't know is that this planet is actually Earth 65 million years ago, and the animals are dinosaurs.  Plus, another danger has followed Mills and Koa from space.

Once upon a time, 65 would have been referred to as a “high concept film,” which is a movie with a premise that can be easily pitched or summarized.  65 is written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the duo who wrote the initial story and screenplay that became the 2018 hit film, A Quiet Place, a high concept film.

65 turned out not to be the hit that A Quiet Place was, but I found it to be a hugely entertaining film.  Yes, it shares elements with another film about humans from another planet, crash landing on Earth, After Earth (2013), and also, Pitch Black (2000), which finds humans stranded on a mysterious planet and facing monsters.  Still, Beck and Woods have so tightly written and directed 65 that I found myself enjoying it even when I was questioning its plot and narrative choices.  For instance, the human characters seem surprisingly unsophisticated considering they come from a race that possesses the technology to span the stars.  Also, Mills uses tech that can track objects in space, but it doesn't have a simple translation app?

The intense dinosaur attacks really don't start until after the 38-minute mark of the film, and I think that serves the story well.  First, this gives the directors and the cast the opportunity to gradually depict the growing bond between Mills and Koa.  Secondly, making the audience wait for the baddest and the biggest dinosaurs can create a sense of anticipation that is satisfied when the most awesome “thunder lizards” finally arrive.

Some of 65's plot and action stretches credulity past the breaking point, but this movie is a pop corn thriller that would be a great choice for a movie night.  For families with children, this film is appropriate for teens, but it is a little too dark and violent and has adult subject matter that is a bit much for elementary school age and maybe even middle school age children.  I love it and give it an unqualified recommendation.  I plan on watching it again, and truthfully, I'm curious about the world/universe in which this film is set.  65 is not a 10, but as far as dinosaur movies go, I found it more fun and entertaining than Jurassic Park III (2001) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018).

7 of 10
B+
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Wednesday, July 5, 2023


The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site or blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Saturday, November 5, 2022

Review: Spielberg's "1941" - Raiders of the Lost Invasion (Countdown to "The Fabelmans")

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 67 of 2022 (No. 1879) by Leroy Douresseaux

1941 (1979)
Running time:  118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – PG
DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg
WRITERS:  Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale; from a story by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and John Milius
PRODUCER:  Buzz Feitshans
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  William A. Fraker (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Michael Kahn
COMPOSER:  John Williams
Academy Award nominee

COMEDY/HISTORICAL/WAR

Starring:  John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Christopher Lee, Nancy Allen, Ned Beatty, John Candy, Elisha Cook, Jr., Bobby Di Cicco, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Dianne Kay, John Landis, Michael McKean, Tim Matheson, Toshiro Mifune, Dick Miller, Warren Oates, Slim Pickens, Mickey Rourke, Lionel Stander, Robert Stack, Dub Taylor, Treat Williams, and Frank McRae

1941 is a 1979 comedy, war movie, and period film directed by Steven Spielberg.  Although not as popular or critically acclaimed as Spielberg's earlier films, 1941 began to gain in popularity after an expanded version of the film aired on television.  1941 is set almost a week after the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor and finds various California residents in a state of panic about an alleged inevitable Japanese attack on the state.

1941 opens on Saturday, December 13, 1941, at 7:01 a.m. (six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor).  Surfacing off the Northern California coast is a submarine of the Imperial Japanese Fleet, commanded by Akiro Mitamura (Toshiro Mifune).  Also aboard, as an annoying advisor, is Nazi Kriegsmarine officer, Wolfgang von Kleinschmidt (Christopher Lee).  Because he did not participate in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Commander Mitamura wants to destroy something in Los Angeles, in an act or honor.  He has decided to target “Hollywood,” although he and his crew are having trouble finding the place.

Meanwhile, in Santa Monica, servicemen from the U.S. Army and Navy have overrun the town.  Wayward youth, Wally Stephens (Bobby Di Cicco), is trying to hold on to his girlfriend, Betty Douglas (Dianne Kay).  She is the target of the unwanted attentions of Corporal Chuck Sitarski (Treat Williams), a member of a 10th Armored Division tank crew.  The crew, which also consists of Sergeant Frank Tree (Dan Aykroyd) and Private First Class Foley (John Candy), is suddenly dealing with its newest member, Private Ogden Johnson Jones (Frank McRae), a Black serviceman!

In Death Valley, the cigar-chomping Captain Wild Bill Kelso (John Belushi) of the United States Army Air Forces aims his fighter plane towards L.A. where he believes he will help fight off a Japanese attack.  Everything is going crazy around everyone, and there seems to be a hundred melodramas and subplots.  Can Americans stop fighting Americans long enough prevent a real Japanese attack on Los Angeles and the surrounding area?

I recently saw 1941 for the first time in preparation for this review.  Although I am a huge fan of Steven Spielberg, 1941 was one of his films that I was not really interested in seeing.  I found a DVD copy containing a “restored version” of the film that is almost half an hour longer than the original theatrical release.  When I was a kid, 1941 was considered a “box office bomb,” which is apparently not true.  The film reportedly did make a profit, but it was not as financially or as critically well received as Spielberg's previous films, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Jaws (1975).

For what it is, 1941 is way too long, even at its original length (1 hour, 58 minutes).  Still, it is funny in many spots, and, in spite of a really large cast, all the individual subplots and comic melodramas do come together so that the film does not feel disjointed.  I like that 1941 gives me a chance to see some of my favorite actors:  Toshiro Mifune, Christopher Lee, Warren Oates, Ned Beatty, and character actors:  Dick Miller, Dub Taylor and Elisha Cook, Jr., all of whom are now deceased.  Another favorite, Robert Stack, practically steals the film as Major General Joseph W. Stillwell, a character that seems to center the film.  And I'm always happy to see Dan Aykroyd.

One thing that really stuck out to me is that much of 1941 seems like a dry run for the action sequences in my favorite Spielberg film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which would be his next film after 1941.  The action in 1941 is conveyed in a humorous mood, and Raiders, more of an adventure film than an action film, features action scenes that are breath-taking, but are delivered with something like a wink and a nod.

Regardless of where it is positioned in Steven Spielberg's filmography, 1941 shows that, as the guy at the helm, Spielberg's most impressive talent may be his ability to gather a large cast and crew and very talented collaborators in order to make really spectacular films that are epic in scope, even in their quite and funny moments.  1941 is not a great film, but there are moments during this movie when it is obvious that one of the greatest filmmakers of all time is the guiding force and the main man behind it.

5 of 10
B-
★★½ out of 4 stars

Saturday, November 5, 2022


NOTES:
1980 Academy Awards:  3 nominations: “Best Cinematography” (William A. Fraker), “Best Sound” (Robert Knudson, Robert Glass, Don MacDougall, and Gene S. Cantamessa), and “Best Effects, Visual Effects” (William A. Fraker, A.D. Flowers, and Gregory Jein)


The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site or blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Review: Wild, Uneven "BULLET TRAIN" Has a Killer Last Act

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 66 of 2022 (No. 1878) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bullet Train (2022)
Running time: 127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
MPA – R for strong and bloody violence, pervasive language, and brief sexuality
DIRECTOR:  David Leitch
WRITER:  Zak Olkewicz (based on the novel by Kotaro Isaka)
PRODUCERS:  Antoine Fuqua, David Leitch, and Kelly McCormick
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Jonathan Sela (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Elisabet Ronaldsdottir
COMPOSER:  Dominic Lewis

ACTION

Starring:  Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Benito A Martinez Ocasio (Bad Bunny), Logan Lerman, Zazie Beetz, Masi Oka, Kevin Akiyoshi Ching, Johanna White, and Karen Fukuhara with Channing Tatum and Ryan Reynolds

Bullet Train is a 2022 action movie from director David Leitch.  The film is based on the 2010 novel from author Kōtarō Isaka, Maria Beetle (which was titled Bullet Train for its U.S. and U.K. Editions).  Bullet Train the movie takes place aboard a swiftly-moving bullet train where five assassins gradually discover that they have several things in common.

Bullet Train opens in Japan and introduces “Ladybug” (Brad Pitt), an assassin turned “snatch-and-grab man.”  In Tokyo, he enters a bullet train bound for Kyoto.  He is initially wary of accepting this job from his handler, Maria (Sandra Bullock), which involves him retrieving a briefcase that contains ten million dollars.  Also on the train is a young woman known as “Prince” (Joey King); the assassin brothers, “Lemon” (Brian Tyree Henry) and “Tangerine” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson); and the revenge-seeking Yuichi Kimura (Andrew Koji).

They are all passengers on this particular bullet train, directly and indirectly, because of “The Son” (Logan Lerman), the kidnapped son of the Russian-born Yakuza boss known as the “White Death” (Michael Shannon).  Ladybug, who is begrudgingly working this job, believes that it is bringing out the worst of the bad luck that he believes plagues him.  Gradually, he finds himself fighting off an ever-growing gathering of killers and miscreants.  And waiting for everyone at their final stop in Kyoto – at least for those that survive – is an ultimate showdown with the White Death and his hired killers.

Directly or indirectly, Bullet Train is a movie influenced by the films of Oscar-winning filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino.  The dialogue – full of chatter, threats, and banter – is supposed to come across as cool, but it is merely blather from a third or fourth or fifth generation take on a Tarantino screenplay.  The characters are also Tarantino retreads, and so are their actions and inaction.  Still, I must admit that I like some of them, especially Brad Pitt's Ladybug.

So is Bullet Train any good, you might ask?

Well, two-thirds of it is uneven and moves in fits and starts of violence and murder.  I was mostly uninterested, but there are some surprising cameos that captured my interest.  For instance, Zazie Beetz is the assassin, “The Hornet,” and recording artist, Bad Bunny, is the Mexican assassin, “The Wolf.”  Both, however, are barely in the film.  I think they would have improved Bullet Train a good bit had their roles been enlarged.

However, the first 80 or so mediocre minutes of this movie are worth it for the last 40 minutes.  It is as if Bullet Train suddenly explodes in its last act to reveal a much better movie that had been hiding inside the fairly awful movie.  Everything is better, even Brad Pitt, who keeps this movie from being an absolute disaster.  Sometimes, it is worth having a genuine movie star, like a Brad Pitt, star in a genre movie.  The first two-thirds of this movie deserves a grade of “C-” at best, but the last third deserves an “A.”  So I'll average that out to a “B,” and I will recommend Bullet Train because of its last act.  It really is spectacular, and it is a pay off for your patience.

6 out of 10
B
★★★ out of 4 stars


Saturday, October 29, 2022


The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Thursday, October 27, 2022

Review: Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (Countdown to "The Fabelmans")

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 64 of 2022 (No. 1876) by Leroy Douresseaux

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Running time:  135 minutes (2 hour, 15 minutes)
MPAA – PG
WRITER/DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg
PRODUCERS:  Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Vilmos Zsigmond (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Michael Kahn
COMPOSER:  John Williams
Academy Award winner

SCI-FI/ADVENTURE/MYSTERY/DRAMA

Starring:  Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Terri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg.  The film follows an everyday blue-collar worker from Indiana who has a life-changing encounter with a UFO and then, embarks on a cross-country journey to the place where a momentous event is to occur.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind opens in the Sonoran Desert.  There, French scientist Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut), his American interpreter, David Laughlin (Bob Balaban), and a group of other researchers make a shocking discovery regarding a three-decade-old mystery.

Then, the film introduces Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), an rural electrical lineman living in Muncie, Indiana with his wife, Ronnie (Terri Garr), and their three children.  One night, while working on a power outage, Roy has a “close encounter” with a UFO (unidentified flying object).  The encounter is so intense that the right side of Roy's face is lightly burned, and it also becomes a kind of metaphysical experience for Roy.  He becomes fascinated with the UFO and obsessed with some kind of mountain-like image that won't leave his mind.

Roy isn't the only one who has had a close encounter.  Single mother Jillian Guiler (Melinda Dillon) watches in horror as her three-year-old son, Barry Guiler (Cary Guffey), is abducted, apparently by a UFO.  Now, Roy and Jillian are headed to a place they have never been, Devils Tower in Moorcroft, Wyoming, where they will hopefully find answers to the questions plaguing their minds.

As I await the release of Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical film, The Fabelmans, I have been re-watching and, in some cases, watching for the first time, Spielberg's early films.  Thus far, I have watched Duel (the TV film that first got Spielberg noticed), The Sugarland Express (his debut theatrical film), and Jaws (which I have seen countless times).  I did not see Close Encounters of the Third Kind when it first arrived in movie theaters, but I finally got to watch it when it debuted on television.  I recently watched a DVD release of what is known as Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition, a shortened (132 minutes long compared to the original's 135 minutes) and altered version of the film that Columbia Pictures released in August 1980.

The truth is that I have never been as crazy about Close Encounters of the Third Kind the way I have been about such Spielberg's films as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park.  I liked Close Encounters the first time I saw it (a few years after its theatrical release), but I had expected a lot from it after hearing such wonderful things about the film from acquaintances who had seen it in a theater.  I was a bit underwhelmed,.  I liked Close Encounters, but was not “wowed” by it, and was less so the second time I saw it a few years after the first time.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a combination of science fiction, adventure, drama, and mystery.  The drama works, especially when Spielberg depicts the trouble that Roy Neary's obsession causes his family and also the terror of the “attack” on Jillian Guiler and her son, Barry.  Roy's adventure and journey are quite captivating and result in the events of the film's final half hour, which is the part of the film that many consider to be marvelous.  Close Encounters' last act certainly offers an impressive display of special effects and a dazzling light show.

I am attracted to the sense of wonder and discovery that infuses much of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  I think my problem is that it seems like three movies in one:  Claude Lacombe and Davie Laughlin's story, Roy's story, and the the big “close encounter” at Devils Tower.  None of them really gets the time to develop properly, so the film's overall narrative and also the character development are somewhat shallow.  There is a lot to like about Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and it is an impressive display of Spielberg's filmmaking skills.  However, I am done with it.  I don't need to see it again, although I am a huge fan of UFO-related media.  I simply cannot warm to Close Encounters of the Third Kind the way I have with other Spielberg films.

7 of 10
B+
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Thursday, October 27, 2022


NOTES:
1978 Academy Awards, USA:  2 wins: “Best Cinematography” (Vilmos Zsigmond) and a “Special Achievement Award” (Frank E. Warner for sound effects editing); 7 nominations: “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Melinda Dillon), “Best Director” (Steven Spielberg), “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration” (Joe Alves, Daniel A. Lomino, and Phil Abramson), “Best Sound” (Robert Knudson, Robert Glass, Don MacDougall, and Gene S. Cantamessa), “Best Film Editing” (Michael Kahn), “Best Effects, Visual Effects” (Roy Arbogast, Douglas Trumbull, Matthew Yuricich, Gregory Jein, and Richard Yuricich), and “Best Music, Original Score” (John Williams)

1979 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: Best Production Design/Art Direction (Joe Alves); 8 nominations: “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (John Williams); “BAFTA Film Award     Best Cinematography” (Vilmos Zsigmond), “Best Direction” (Steven Spielberg), “Best Film,” “Best Film Editing” (Michael Kahn), “Best Screenplay” (Steven Spielberg), “Best Sound” (Gene S. Cantamessa, Robert Knudson, Don MacDougall, Robert Glass, Stephen Katz, Frank E. Warner, Richard Oswald, David M. Horton, Sam Gemette, Gary S. Gerlich, Chester Slomka, and Neil Burrow), and “Best Supporting Actor? (François Truffaut)

1978 Golden Globes, USA:  4 nominations: “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Steven Spielberg), “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Steven Spielberg), and “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (John Williams)

2007 National Film Preservation Board, USA:  1 win: “National Film Registry”


The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site or blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Friday, November 19, 2021

Review: Young Stars Bring "GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife" to Life

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 66 of 2021 (No. 1804) by Leroy Douresseaux

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
Running time:  124 minutes (2 hours, 4 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references
DIRECTOR:  Jason Reitman
WRITERS:  Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman (based on the film, Ghost Busters, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis)
PRODUCER:  Ivan Reitman
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Eric Steelberg
EDITORS:  Dana E. Glauberman and Nathan Orloff
COMPOSER:  Rob Simonsen

FANTASY/MYSTERY/ACTION/COMEDY

Starring:  Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O'Connor, and Bokeem Woodbine with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a 2021 supernatural comedy, action and mystery film from director Jason Reitman.  It is the fourth entry in the Ghostbusters film franchise and is a kind of sequel to the original film, 1984's Ghost Busters (now known as “Ghostbusters”), which was directed by Jason's father, Ivan Reitman.  In Afterlife, a single mother and her two children arrive in small town Oklahoma, and the children discover their grandfather's amazing and secret legacy.

Thirty-two years after the events of Ghostbusters II (1989), Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) and her two children, son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), arrive in Summerville, Oklahoma.  Currently homeless, they will try to make a new home in the rundown farmhouse owned by Callie's late father, Egon Spengler.  While rooting through some of Egon's belongings, Phoebe discovers a P.K.G. Meter (a ghost-tracking device).  While digging around, Trevor finds a beat-up old car that sports the “Ghostbusters” logo.

Phoebe, who does not believe in the supernatural, makes a friend, a boy named “Podcast” (Logan Kim), who believes in the strange and unusual and discusses it in his podcast.  Trevor makes a friend in a local, a teen girl named Lucky Domingo (Celeste O'Connor).  Eventually, the children discover that Phoebe's summer school teacher, Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), is quite familiar with their grandfather, Egon's legacy as a scientist, an inventor, and a member of “Ghostbusters,” the ghost-catching organization that was famous for its activities in 1980s New York City.  Now, the four youngsters and Callie and Gary must face the same great evil that once confronted the original Ghostbusters.

I was a huge fan of the original Ghostbusters films.  When I first saw Ghost Busters in a movie theater in 1984, I laughed so much that the other people in the theater were giving me the side eye.  I enjoyed the sequel, Ghostbusters II (1989), although many people I knew at the time did not like it all that much.  Still, I was happy, but over the years, Ghostbusters became a fond memory that I sometimes relived via my cable TV package.  In the years that followed Ghostbusters II, there was always talk of a third Ghostbusters film, but I was only mildly interested.

For some people, however, the Ghostbuster films and the related merchandise became a lifestyle choice, something to which they dedicated themselves as if it were hobby, a second career, and maybe even a quasi-religion.  Those were the people who claimed to have been traumatized by the 2016 franchise reboot, Ghostbusters, which featured an all-female cast as the Ghostbusters (and which may have since been re-titled “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call”).  I was only mildly interested in that film, and have seen most of it via cable TV.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is supposed to remedy the trauma of Ghostbusters 2016.  Afterlife director Jason Reitman once said that his film was giving Ghostbusters “back to the fans.”  I never felt like something had been taken from me.  After all, as I've said, I can see the original films at least a few times a week on television.  That said, I do like Afterlife.

Reitman offers an exciting film that is as much a mystery film as it is a comedy, and the secrets of the town of Summerville and its surroundings are quite intriguing and provide a nice setting for the story.  I do wish that the film had given us more on the town and its inhabitants.  However, there is much focus on the darkness at the edge of town – the big bad supernatural being.  Reitman and his co-writer, Gil Kenan, work overtime to make sure everyone understands that the villain is connected to the events of the original film.  I didn't find that connection necessary, but I understand why Reitman and Sony Pictures felt that it was very important to make a hard connection between the events of 1984 and the events of 2021.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife's shining light isn't the desperation to connect to a 37-year-old movie.  Afterlife's true treasures are its young stars:  Mckenna Grace as Phoebe, Finn Wolfhard as Trevor, Celeste O'Connor as Lucky, and Logan Kim as Podcast.  As Phoebe, Grace is totally capable of carrying this film's emotional center and of stabilizing its subplots and narrative threads until they come together.  When Jason Reitman focuses on his young cast, turning them into young supernatural investigators and Ghostbusters, Afterlife explodes with life and has all the magic of an old-fashioned summer blockbuster movie in spite of its November release date.

Yes, it was good to see the original cast members.  No, Paul Rudd is not the star of Afterlife, as the film's trailers and commercials suggest, but he is important to the development of the story.  Yes, Carrie Coon is good as the kid's mother, Callie.  However, it is time for this franchise to move on from nostalgia and fanservice if it is going to have a future.  These four young actors and four new characters are why Ghostbusters: Afterlife can be a true resurrection story.

7 out of 10
B+

Friday, November 19, 2021


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

"The Craft: Legacy" Hits PVOD Tonight at Midnight

Blumhouse’s and Columbia Pictures’ The Craft: Legacy from Writer/Director Zoe Lister-Jones, to Hit PVOD and EST in North America for Halloween, Starting Midnight October 28, 2020

Culver City, CA – Blumhouse Productions and Columbia Pictures announced today that The Craft: Legacy will be available widely on PVOD this Halloween with leading digital retailers for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99, and for premium digital purchase at a suggested retail price of $24.99. An international theatrical release is anticipated in several territories, with details to be solidified in the weeks ahead.

Zoe Lister-Jones’ film, from Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment for Columbia Pictures, is a continuation of the cult hit The Craft (1996), in which an eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers. Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, the film stars Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex), Gideon Adlon (The Society, Blockers, The Mustang), Lovie Simone (Selah & the Spades, Greenleaf), Zoey Luna (Pose, Boundless), Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella), with Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny.

“I'm thrilled to be able to share The Craft: Legacy with audiences all over the world this Halloween," said the film’s writer and director, Zoe Lister-Jones. "It's been a true privilege to take on such an iconic title. I can't wait for the world to meet the incredible young women who make up our new coven.”

“Zoe Lister-Jones has put a bewitching twist on continuing The Craft franchise, and October is the perfect season for it,” said producer Jason Blum. “We’re thrilled that our partners at Sony Pictures are looking at the landscape opportunistically this Halloween, for audiences to watch at home in the U.S.”

Zoe Lister-Jones is writing, directing, and executive producing. Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse. Academy Award®-winning producer Douglas Wick (who also produced the original film) and Lucy Fisher are producing for Red Wagon Entertainment. Executive producing are Andrew Fleming, who directed and co-wrote the original film; Lucas Wiesendanger, from Red Wagon Entertainment; Daniel Bekerman; Beatriz Sequeira, Jeanette Volturno, and Couper Samuelson for Blumhouse; and Natalia Anderson.
 

About Sony Pictures Entertainment:
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.

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Friday, October 2, 2020

Columbia Pictures Announces "The Craft: Legacy" for Premium Video on Demand

Blumhouse’s and Columbia Pictures’ The Craft: Legacy from Writer/Director Zoe Lister-Jones, to Hit PVOD and EST in North America for Halloween, Starting Midnight October 28, 2020

Culver City, CA – Blumhouse Productions and Columbia Pictures announced that The Craft: Legacy will be available widely on PVOD this Halloween with leading digital retailers for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99, and for premium digital purchase at a suggested retail price of $24.99. An international theatrical release is anticipated in several territories, with details to be solidified in the weeks ahead.

Zoe Lister-Jones’ film, from Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment for Columbia Pictures, is a continuation of the cult hit, The Craft (1996), in which an eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers. Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, the film stars Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex), Gideon Adlon (The Society, Blockers, The Mustang), Lovie Simone (Selah & the Spades, Greenleaf), Zoey Luna (Pose, Boundless), Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella), with Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny.

“I'm thrilled to be able to share The Craft: Legacy with audiences all over the world this Halloween," said the film’s writer and director, Zoe Lister-Jones. "It's been a true privilege to take on such an iconic title. I can't wait for the world to meet the incredible young women who make up our new coven.”

“Zoe Lister-Jones has put a bewitching twist on continuing The Craft franchise, and October is the perfect season for it,” said producer Jason Blum. “We’re thrilled that our partners at Sony Pictures are looking at the landscape opportunistically this Halloween, for audiences to watch at home in the U.S.”

Zoe Lister-Jones is writing, directing, and executive producing. Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse. Academy Award®-winning producer Douglas Wick (who also produced the original film) and Lucy Fisher are producing for Red Wagon Entertainment. Executive producing are Andrew Fleming, who directed and co-wrote the original film; Lucas Wiesendanger, from Red Wagon Entertainment; Daniel Bekerman; Beatriz Sequeira, Jeanette Volturno, and Couper Samuelson for Blumhouse; and Natalia Anderson.


About Sony Pictures Entertainment:
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Recent Release, "Bloodshot," Now Available on Digital

Columbia Pictures’ Bloodshot To Be Available For Digital Purchase Starting March 24

CULVER CITY, CA — Given unprecedented theater closures nationwide, Columbia Pictures has set the sale date of Bloodshot on EST (electronic sell through) for March 24, 2020. The Valiant comic-book property will be available for digital purchase for a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. with all leading digital retailers. International digital sale dates will be solidified in the days ahead with territory-specific COVID-19 impact considerations.

“Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. “This is a unique and exceedingly rare circumstance where theaters have been required to close nationwide for the greater good and Bloodshot is abruptly unavailable in any medium. Audiences will now have the chance to own Bloodshot right away and see it at home, where we are all spending more time. We are confident that -- like other businesses hit hard by the virus -- movie theaters will bounce back strongly, and we will be there to support them.”

Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.

Bloodshot is presented by Columbia Pictures in association with Bona Film Group Co., Ltd. and Annabell Pictures & The Hideaway Entertainment. Directed by David S. F. Wilson. Screenplay by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. Story by Jeff Wadlow. Based on The Valiant Comic Book. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe, Dinesh Shamdasani and Vin Diesel. Executive Producers are Dan Mintz, Louis G. Friedman, YU Dong, Jeffrey Chan, Rita LeBlanc, Buddy Patrick and Matthew Vaughn. The film stars Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell and Guy Pearce.


About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"Spider-Man: Far From Home" Breaks Sony Box Office Record

Spider-Man™: Far From Home Breaks Sony Pictures Record As Highest-Grossing Film In Studio’s Ninety-Five Year History

Never-Before-Seen Extended Cut Featuring New Action Sequence To Be Released Labor Day Weekend

CULVER CITY, Calif. – Columbia PicturesSpider-Man: Far From Home has officially become Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing film of all time, passing the global box office gross of Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/EON Production’s Skyfall. Through Sunday, August 18, 2019, Spider-Man: Far From Home made $376.7 million domestically and $732.9 million internationally for a worldwide cume of $1.109 billion.

Starting Thursday, August 29, 2019, ahead of the holiday weekend, an extended cut of the film featuring approximately four additional minutes of a never-before-seen action sequence will be released in theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The film will also be available in IMAX® and large formats in select locations.

On its path toward this record-breaking milestone, Spider-Man: Far From Home showed incredible power at the global box office.

The film’s North American opening at $185.06 million for the six-day holiday weekend was an all-time opening six-day record for Sony Pictures, the best-ever six-day opening for a Spider-Man film, and the best six-day opening for a film launching over the Fourth of July holiday. On opening day, July 2, the film opened to the biggest Tuesday numbers of all time with $39.3 million.

Spider-Man: Far From Home became the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie overseas and opened at #1 in 65 markets including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The film’s global rollout began on June 28 in China, Hong Kong, and Japan with a $111 million cumulative opening. China debuted to $97.7 million – the seventh-largest opening of all-time for a studio film in the market and Sony Pictures’ second-biggest opening there. Japan opened with $9.4 million – the second-biggest superhero movie launch in the last decade. Hong Kong opened with $3.7 million – the fifth-biggest Friday-to-Sunday opening of all-time, and Sony Pictures’ best-ever opening in the market.


About Spider-Man™: Far From Home
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

Directed by Jon Watts. Written by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers. Based on the MARVEL Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel, Eric Hauserman Carroll, Rachel O’Connor, Stan Lee, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach serve as executive producers. The film stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sony Acquires Film Rights to Image Comics' "A.D.: After Death"

SONY PICKS UP THE FILM RIGHTS TO A.D.: AFTER DEATH

Writer Scott Snyder and illustrator Jeff Lemire's A.D.: AFTER DEATH, a three-part epic series published by Image Comics, has been acquired by Sony in a significant deal in a multi-party bidding war, to be developed into a feature film. Snyder and Lemire will serve as Executive Producers on the project.

Josh Bratman of Immersive Pictures will work alongside Eric Fineman at Columbia to produce the film. Bratman is also developing Lemire and Dustin Nguyen's comic series DESCENDER into a feature film franchise.

A.D. is set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. One man, years after the discovery of the cure, starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality.

A.D. is the first project Snyder and Lemire, longtime friends and both acclaimed and bestselling comic creators in their own right, have worked on together. This is the first project Lemire has illustrated that he has not also written. Book 1 was published November 2016, with Book 2 available December 21, 2016.

Snyder is a New York Times bestselling author and an Eisner and Harvey Award winning writer (AMERICAN VAMPIRE with Stephen King, SWAMP THING, BATMAN). His short story collection, VOODOO HEART, was published by Dial Press in 2006. The collection received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and was a Kirkus Reviews "Hot Debut" of the year. WYTCHES, his creator-owned Image Comics graphic novel series with illustrator Jock, is under option at New Regency with Plan B producing.

Lemire is a New York Times bestselling author and the creator of the acclaimed graphic novels SWEET TOOTH, ESSEX COUNTY, THE UNDERWATER WELDER, and TRILLIUM. Having won the American Library Association’s prestigious Alex Award—recognizing books for adults with specific teen appeal—and having been nominated for multiple Eisner awards and Harvey awards, Lemire currently writes the monthly adventures of MOON KNIGHT (DC Comics), THE X-MEN (Marvel), and his creator-owned ongoing DESCENDER (Image Comics). The rights to Lemire and Emi Lenox's PLUTONA at Image Comics have been acquired by Ken Kao to produce as a feature film. Lemire's graphic novel trilogy ESSEX COUNTY is under option to Canadian production company First Generation Films with Christina Piovesan producing as a TV series.

The deal for A.D.: AFTER DEATH was brokered by Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company, Inc., along with Lemire's attorney Allison Binder of Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher, LLP and Snyder's attorney Lillian Laserson of Laserson Law.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sony Pictures Announces "The Magnificent Seven" for Worldwide IMAX Release

The Magnificent Seven TO BE RELEASED WORLDWIDE IN IMAX® THEATRES

LOS ANGELES – IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fuqua, will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® format. The Magnificent Seven, which Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures present in association with LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures, will be released into IMAX® theatres worldwide coinciding with the film’s general release dates. The Magnificent Seven will be released domestically on September 23, 2016.

"The Magnificent Seven is not only among the most highly anticipated films of the fall, but Antoine Fuqua is delivering the visceral action that is perfect for the IMAX screen," said Rory Bruer, President of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures. "The Magnificent Seven and IMAX are a great complement to each other and will play great to audiences around the world."

"After partnering on The Equalizer, we are excited to work again with the incredibly talented director Antoine Fuqua and the whole team at Sony, as well as our friends at MGM, on this exciting new film, The Magnificent Seven," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "We believe the film’s sweeping visual style and heart-pounding action is the ideal fit for the IMAX presentation and we can’t wait for fans worldwide to enjoy the ride in IMAX."

The IMAX® release of The Magnificent Seven will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Columbia Pictures’ The Magnificent Seven. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua. The screenplay is by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. The producers are Roger Birnbaum and Todd Black.


About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content. In addition, MGM has investments in domestic and international television channels. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2016, there were 1,066 IMAX theatres (952 commercial multiplexes, 17 commercial destinations and 97 institutions) in 68 countries. On Oct. 8, 2015, shares of IMAX China, a subsidiary of IMAX Corp., began trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "HK.1970."

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience® and IMAX ® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fathom Events Calls Original "Ghostbusters" Back to Theaters

Tickets Now Available for Audiences to Celebrate the Nationwide Re-Release of the Original ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984) in Select U.S. Cinemas

Fathom Events and Sony Pictures Entertainment Present This Fan-Favorite Back in Movie Theaters This Summer on June 8 and 12 Only

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tickets are now available for audiences to revisit “Ghostbusters” (1984) in select U.S. cinemas on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 – the anniversary of the original release date – and Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time (both dates). The classic film is being re-released in anticipation of the worldwide release of “Ghostbusters” (2016), starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth in theaters July 15, 2016. These special screenings of the original film include an exclusive sneak peek of the highly-anticipated new “Ghostbusters.”

    .@FathomEvents News: Who you gonna call when the cinema becomes your gateway to 1984 w/ @Ghostbusters 6/8 & 12

Tickets for “Ghostbusters” (1984) can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 830 movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

After a team of underdog scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a university in New York City, they decide to set out on their own and become "ghostbusters," waging a high-tech battle with supernatural spirits taking up residency in New York City. In their paranormal investigations, they stumble upon a gateway to another dimension – a doorway that will release evil upon the city – and the ghostbusters must now save the Big Apple from complete destruction. Released in 1984, the original “Ghostbusters” was directed and produced by Ivan Reitman, written by Aykroyd and Ramis, and starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and Ernie Hudson. Following these special screenings, the classic “Ghostbusters” will go back into the vault until the release of the new film.

“Before the new ‘Ghostbusters’ hits theaters, there’s no better way to get excited than by seeing the original back in its home on the big screen,” Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas said. “Fathom Events is bringing this classic re-release to audiences all across the country, and we are thrilled for fans new and old to see it in its original glory with special added content.”


About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is the event cinema distribution arm of AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), the three largest movie theater circuits in the U.S., and is recognized as the leading distributor of alternative content. It offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events in movie theaters nationwide that include live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, dance and theatre productions such as the Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre Live’s Hamlet, sporting events like FS1 Presents USA v Mexico, concerts with Roger Waters and One Direction, the TCM Presents classic film series and faith-based events such as The Drop Box and Four Blood Moons. Fathom Events also takes audiences behind the scenes and offers unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. In addition, Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 885 locations and 1,348 screens in 181 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). For more information, visit www.fathomevents.com.

About Ghostbusters (2016)
Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This summer, they’re here to save the world! The film is produced by Ivan Reitman and Amy Pascal, and written by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, based on the 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and directed by Ivan Reitman. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on July 15, 2016.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Two Classic Supernatural Comedies Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II Debut on 4K Ultra HD™ June 7

Ultimate Home Theater Experience Features High Dynamic Range and All-New Dolby Atmos Soundtracks

CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Fans will now be able to experience particle beams and ectoplasm like never before when Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II debut June 7, 2016 on next generation 4K Ultra HD disc with High Dynamic Range (HDR) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE). Perfect for Father’s Day gifting, each 4K Ultra HD release will also include the recent anniversary Blu-rays, bursting with all the bonus materials, including previously released legacy content, commentary and the interactive Slimer Mode.

As two of the first Sony 4K Ultra HD disc releases, both films were fully restored from the 35mm original camera negatives, thereby utilizing in 4K the full resolution, detail and color depth inherent in the film. 4K Ultra HD is the perfect way to finally experience these comprehensive restorations at full 4K resolution in the home – it features four times the resolution of high definition, along with High Dynamic Range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays. Additionally, both films have been remixed specifically for the home theater environment with Dolby Atmos® audio, delivering captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

These new 4K Ultra HD releases precede the July 15, 2016 U.S. premiere of Sony Pictures’ highly anticipated new motion picture, Ghostbusters, from director Paul Feig, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.

Also, as part of the excitement surrounding the arrival of the new film, SPHE will release over 50 episodes of the iconic 1980s animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, on DVD July 7 and on Digital, from Ivan Reitman, DiC and Sony Pictures Television.

Both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II are directed and produced by Ivan Reitman (Meatballs, Stripes), and written by Dan Aykroyd (My Girl) and Harold Ramis (Knocked Up). Bill Murray (St. Vincent), Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers), and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) star, along with Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day) and Rick Moranis (Honey I Shrunk the Kids). Ernie Hudson (TV’s “Oz”) and Annie Potts (TV’s “Designing Women”) also star. Ghostbusters is ranked No. 28 on the AFI’s List of America’s Funniest Movies.

SYNOPSES:
Ghostbusters: University parapsychologists Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) lose a research grant when their experiment methodology is proven to be bogus. The team decides to go into business for themselves and open ‘Ghostbusters,’ a ghost removal service. After struggling to get on their feet, they are summoned to investigate the strange happenings in Dana Barrett’s (Weaver) Central Park West apartment. What they discover is that all Manhattan is being besieged by ghosts and other-worldly demons through a portal in her building.

Ghostbusters II: Supernatural superstars Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) spring back into action when the infant son of Dana Barrett (Weaver) becomes the target of a powerful demonic force. Reunited with their industrious secretary Janine (Potts) and the nerdy, near-sighted Louis (Moranis), the ‘heroes of the hereafter’ must put a stop to an enormous underground river ready to rot the roots of the entire Big Apple.

GHOSTBUSTERS & GHOSTBUSTERS II 4K Ultra HD Releases Include:
§  Feature films in 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR)
§  Dolby Atmos soundtracks (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible)*
§  Includes high-def Blu-rays featuring the films and special features

*To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar; however, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

GHOSTBUSTERS Blu-ray Special Features:
§  Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective - Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 1)
§  Poster Art Gallery – Gallery of 1988 artwork
§  Ghostbusters Music Video – Ray Parker, Jr.
§  Slimer Mode – Picture in Picture and Trivia Track
§  Commentary with Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis & Joe Medjuck
§  10 Deleted Scenes
§  1984 Featurette
§  Cast and Crew Featurette
§  SFX Team Featurette
§  Multi-Angles
§  Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
§  Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery Storyboard Comparisons

GHOSTBUSTERS II Blu-ray Special Features:
§  Time Is But A Window: Ghostbusters II and Beyond - Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 2)
§  Deleted Scenes
§  “On Our Own” Music Video – Bobby Brown
§  Theatrical Trailers

GHOSTBUSTERS has a run time of approximately 105 minutes and is rated PG.

GHOSTBUSTERS II has a run time of approximately 108 minutes and is rated PG.


ABOUT SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: "Just One of the Guys" Not Just Another Teen Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 3 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[A version of this review originally appeared on Patreon.]

Just One of the Guys (1985)
Running time:  90 minutes (1 hour, 30 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
DIRECTOR:  Lisa Gottlieb
WRITERS:  Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin; from a story by Dennis Feldman
PRODUCER:  Andrew Fogelson
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  John McPherson (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Tony Lombardo
COMPOSER:  Tom Scott

COMEDY/ROMANCE

Starring:  Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jayne, Toni Hudson, William Zabka, Leigh McCloskey, Sherilyn Fenn, Deborah Goodrich, Ayre Gross, Robert Fieldsteel, Stuart Charno, John Apicella, Kenneth Tigar, Richard Blake, and Tony Brock and Jay Davis

Just One of the Guys is a 1985 comedy and high school romance from director Lisa Gottlieb and writers Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin.  The film focuses on a popular and attractive high school student who disguises herself as a teen boy in order to win a high school journalism contest.

Just One of the Guys introduces high school student, Terry Griffith (Joyce Hyser), of Phoenix, Arizona.  She has it all:  the looks, the popularity, and a college boyfriend who is quite the hunk.  Terry is also an aspiring teenage journalist, but her male teachers at Edwina Pearl High School don't take her newspaper articles seriously, mostly because she is a girl.  In fact, her journalism teacher, Mr. Raymaker (Kenneth Tigar), has chosen articles written by two male students to be entered in a contest that will land one student a summer internship at the Sun-Tribune.

So Terry comes up with an idea that will help her write an article that will earn her respect and hopefully win that summer internship.  With the help of her horny, little brother, Buddy (Billy Jacoby), and her lovelorn best friend, Denise (Toni Hudson), Terry disguises herself as a teen boy and enrolls in rival Sturgis-Wilder High School.  As a student at this new high school, Terry is sure that she can write an article about high school boys as secretly observed by a girl undercover as a boy.  Her mission goes awry when she meets handsome nerd, Rick Morehouse (Clayton Rohner).  Rick becomes her pet project, as she tries to give him a makeover and get him a date to the prom.  But Terry starts to fall in love with Rick.

I pretty much ignored 1980s teen movies that revolve around high school romance, and I had never even heard of Just One of the Guys.  However, a few weeks ago, I found an article on the Yahoo Movies website (https://www.yahoo.com/movies/are-those-what-i-think-they-are-a-revealing-175211213.html) about the 1985 film.  It turns out that 2015 is the 30th anniversary of the film's initial release (specifically April 26, 1985).  Apparently, Just One of the Guys is fondly remembered and has fanbase and something of a cult-following.  In fact, the magazine Entertainment Weekly once included Just One of the Guys in its listing of the “50 Best High School Movies” (at #48).

After reading a few paragraphs of the Yahoo article, I decided to rent Just One of the Guys from Netflix.  I enjoyed the film so much that it once again reminded me that Netflix is essential to my life as a movie-lover.  I won't call it a great movie, but Just One of The Guys is quite good and shouldn't be lost to history.

Just One of the Guys is a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night, which also inspired the 2006 high school comedy, She's the Man.  You don't need to have seen Shakespeare's play in order to enjoy this film.  All you need is the ability to sympathize with Terry Griffith and to see things from her point of view.  As Terry, Joyce Hyser gives a natural performance that sells the absurdity of her role and this movie's conceit.  I found myself willingly suspending disbelief because Hyser made me believe in Terry, her motivations, her plan, and her character.  In the way that Dustin Hoffman made Tootsie worthy of the audience suspension of disbelief, Hyser makes us want to latch onto Terry and buy into the entire act.

I can see why Just One of the Guys has a devoted following after three decades, and is apparently still winning new fans.  It is not a sparkling high school idyll, cool and slick, like those 1980s John Hughes films.  The earthy Just One of the Guys mines comedy gold in the minefield of high school society and in the lives of high school age young people.  It does not romanticize high school, not when it can love the high school years while simultaneously skewering it.  No high school movie list is complete without the surprising Just One of the Guys.

7 of 10
B+

Saturday, November 14, 2015


The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: Denzel Does Good Guy/Dark Side in "The Equalizer"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 27 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux - Support Leroy on Patreon.

The Equalizer (2014)
Running time:  132 minutes (2 hours, 12 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references
DIRECTOR:  Antoine Fuqua
WRITER:  Richard Wenk; (based on the television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim)
PRODUCERS:  Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Tony Eldridge, Mace Neufeld, Alex Siskin, Michael Sloan, Steve Tisch, Denzel Washington, and Richard Wenk
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Mauro Fiore (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: John Refoua
COMPOSER:  Harry Gregson-Williams

ACTION/CRIME/THRILLER

Starring:  Denzel Washington, Martin Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Masters, Johnny Skourtis, David Meunier, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, Alex Veadov, Haley Bennett, James Wilcox, Mike O'Dea, E. Roger Mitchell, and Vladimir Kulich

The Equalizer is a 2014 action movie and crime thriller from director Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington.  The film is based on the television series, “The Equalizer,” which was created by  Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim and was originally broadcast on CBS from 1985 to 1989.  The Equalizer the movie focuses on a man with a mysterious past who helps a young female prostitute, which brings him into conflict with her owners, ultra-violent Russian gangsters.

The Equalizer introduces Robert “Bob” McCall (Denzel Washington), a man who lives quietly in Boston, Massachusetts, where he works at a “Home Mart” hardware store.  McCall spends his nights at the Bridge Diner where he has befriended Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young call girl who also wants to be a pop singer.  She is pimped out by local Russian gangsters that are led by a man named Slavi (David Meunier).

After Slavi beats Teri into a coma, McCall attempts to rescue her from Slavi.  The aftermath of that meeting brings Teddy Rensen (Martin Csokas) to Boston.  Rensen is the enforcer/fixer for Russian mafia leader, Vladimir Pushkin (Vladimir Kulich), but McCall decides to do some fixing of his own.

The Equalizer is a thoroughly satisfying movie... at least to me.  I guess that I should qualify this review by admitting that I am a huge fan of Denzel Washington, whom I consider to be one of the world's best actors of the last three decades.

Since his Oscar-winning turn in 2001's Training Day, Washington has proven to be a capable bad guy.  With 2010's Book of Eli, Washington showed that he could be a bad-ass, kick-ass, action hero with fancy martial arts-styled moves.  Ostensibly the hero in The Equalizer, Washington mixes bad guy with bad-ass in Robert McCall.

The screenplay by Richard Wenk has McCall constantly in peril or makes it seem as if he were in danger even when he is not.  Director Antoine Fuqua plays that for everything he can get out of it.  He makes a crime film that moves like an action movie, and Fuqua makes everything so tense that he fashions a thriller that strengthens the crime and action movie elements.

And Denzel glides through it all with lethal inevitability and assurance, so much so that I have to give special credit to actor Martin Csokas.  He delivers the kind of performance that makes Teddy Rensen an adversary who is a believable threat to Robert McCall.

The Equalizer is a game of death that is hard to stop watching, even if it is light on story and character development (which would have made this movie a classic).  I was a big fan of the original television series, which I have not seen in years, and therefore, remember little of it.  I do remember that the series did delve into character.  Well, the recent announcement of a sequel to this film means that there could be improvement on the character front.  In the meantime, take time to enjoy a slick and stylishly violent movie, The Equalizer.

7 of 10
B+

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Columbia Pictures Begins Production on Film Adaptation of "The 5th Wave"

PRODUCTION BEGINS ON "THE 5TH WAVE"

First Novel in Franchise Series by Rick Yancey Stars Chloë Grace Moretz For Director J Blakeson
Moviegoers Follow the Action on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @5thWaveMovie


Principal photography has commenced on the highly anticipated motion picture The 5th Wave, Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel. The action-adventure film is directed by J Blakeson, with a screenplay by Susannah Grant, based on the book by Rick Yancey. The producers are Tobey Maguire, Graham King, Lynn Harris, and Matthew Plouffe. Denis O’Sullivan and Richard Middleton are the executive producers.

Slated for domestic release on January 29, 2016, The 5th Wave stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Cassie, Nick Robinson as Ben Parish aka "Zombie," Ron Livingston as Dad/Oliver, Maggie Siff as Mom/Lisa, Alex Roe as Evan Walker, Maika Monroe as Ringer, Zackary Arthur as Sam, and Liev Schreiber as Vosch.

In The 5th Wave, set in the present day, four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, 16-year-old Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie meets a young man who may become her final hope.

Throughout photography, fans will have unrivaled access to the production, including a wealth of behind-the-scenes photos, interaction with cast and crew, and on-set updates via social media. "One of the ways Rick Yancey made The 5th Wave so special is that it feels like it’s happening right now – and the characters react as teenagers today would react,”"said Dwight Caines, president, Theatrical Marketing for Sony Pictures. "To stay faithful to that, we are making sure fans are on the inside from Day One."

Moviegoers can stay up-to-date on all things 5th Wave by following the movie and interacting on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @5thWaveMovie.

Blakeson’s production team includes Enrique Chediak as the Director of Photography, Jon Billington as the Production Designer, Paul Rubell as the Editor, and Sharen Davis as the Costume Designer.

The 5th Wave is a phenomenon in young adult literature, with 21 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list, nearly 300,000 hardcover units sold, and 80,000 e-books sold. The novel, which has also had tremendous crossover appeal with adults, was honored with the 2014 Red House Children’s Book Award in the UK. The second book in Yancey’s planned trilogy, The Infinite Sea, was published last month.

Hannah Minghella and Andrea Giannetti will oversee the project for the studio.


About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

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