Hi Everyone, Steve here with a look at what’s hot, what’s not, what needs reheating and what should really be thrown in the bin in the world of movie news.
NEVER SAY NETFLIX AGAIN
The Cannes Film Festival turns 70 this year and as ever there’s no shortage of controversy.
This year the streamers met the cineastes as Netflix premiered offerings such as eccentric adventure Okja (starring Tilda Swinton, Ahn Seo-hyun and Jake Gyllenhaal) and director Noah Baumbach‘s latest chronicle of angsty entanglement The Meyerowitz Stories (starring Adam Sandler and Emma Thompson).
Usually figures like Swinton and Baumbach are adored at Cannes. Sandler less so. But an association with the streaming giant may have tarnished their image slightly due to a row over Netflix‘s screening policy. The last thing you do is rock up at the Croisette with no intention of showing your film in a French cinema. Yet aside from the glitzy premieres that is exactly what the gigabyte-gorging giant did. Okja was met with boos, partly because of this and partly because it was projected in the wrong aspect ratio.
Universal have introduced the cast for their much-talked-about shared monster movie franchise. The title is “Dark Universe“. The studio haven’t skimped on the A List meatiness as the publicity shot below reveals:
As previously reported, Russell Crowe is Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde, Tom Cruise is random action hero Nick Morton and Sofia Boutella plays the title character in first release The Mummy. Johnny Depp‘s involvement as The Invisible Man is fully confirmed. And look who’s slumped in a chair looking thoughtful: it’s Javier Bardem, who’ll bring Frankenstein’s Monster back to grisly life.
It’s been a rough few years for one of the world’s best-loved horror brands. Dracula Untold with Luke Evans wasn’t a full-blooded success so hopes are being pinned on Dark Universe, though hopefully that pin won’t become a stake through its heart.
Personally I’m not convinced by the idea. Suicide Squad raked in the dollars but proved team ups probably work better with heroes than villains. Shouldn’t Crowe be the rugged lead, with Cruise as the ambitious and driven Jekyll? Do Depp’s fans really want to see a movie where they can’t see his iconic features? It’s like buying a Ferrari then burying it under the driveway! Bardem’s face certainly fits, with all due respect to the star. It’s how they handle the timeless material that counts.
NOBODY DOES IT BETTER
In a terrible week for the UK, some heartbreaking news broke without the attention it would have otherwise received. Sir Roger Moore, mine and a lot of other peoples’ favourite Bond, passed away at 89 after losing a battle with cancer.
The self-deprecating institution ushered in a new era of tongue in cheek escapades for the suave spy, though his career saw him play other famous roles. He made his name in TV versions of Ivanhoe and The Saint, where a cartoon halo would appear cheekily over his head during the intro to every episode. Moore also portrayed Sherlock Holmes and formed a playful partnership with Tony Curtis in chalk ‘n cheese action series The Persuaders.
Moore was well-known and respected for his charity work, particularly with UNICEF. Toward the end of his life he entertained audiences with a tour where he discussed his exploits. He wrote two wry autobiographies and a surprisingly candid account of the making of Live And Let Die, published in an age before PR machines.
Sadly he is the first of the big screen 007s to depart. Pierce Brosnan (whose own tenure reflected Moore’s in many ways) wrote a moving tribute on his Facebook page. Daniel Craig‘s contribution on Instagram was more minimalist but arguably said it all:
Ready for more movie action? Check out our Pirates Of The Caribbean feature.