Monthly Archives: October 2017

Cook Off! Trailer

Directed by both Guy Shalem and Cathryn Michon, Cook Off! follows the reality-show shenanigans mix with the cutthroat world of competitive baking in the delectably sly mockumentary.

I am going along with the shows play on words to describe this crazy and nonsensical story as a buffet of quirky contestants prepare for the renowned Van Rookle Farms Cooking Contest. The heat is on to win a one-million-dollar prize.

As the movie follows the contestants and the wily media and celebrity judges descend on a hotel convention area to see which contestants rise, which ones fall, who will reveal their true nature, and who will find love with the contest’s costumed Muffin Man mascot.

I get the impression that we are seeing nothing but improv with the talented cast that includes Cathryn Michon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Gary Anthony Williams, Niecy Nash, Diedrich Bader, Stephen Root, and Sam Pancake. Will the movie be zesty or tasteless?

Perhaps, some viewers will relate the that crazy and give an affectionate nod to ordinary Americans who believe they’re one dollop of spray cheese away from achieving their dreams.

However, this is no British bake off.

The Man Who Invented Christmas Trailer, Poster, Movie Clips, and Featurette

Directed by Bharat Nalluri, The Man Who Invented Christmas follows the magical journey of Charles Dickens, played by Dan Stevens, which led to the development of one of the most classic characters in literature – Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Christopher Plummer. The classic story includes other well-known characters such as Tiny Tim.

Watching this trailer and being a writer, I find myself caught up in the irony of Dickens trying to create one of the most celebrated stories ever.

The movie is based on the book by Les Standiford, who is also a historian and has written several books on poignant times in history.  Nalluri also directed Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day, which did quite well at the box office.

The Man Who Invented Christmas entertains the story of how Charles Dickens mixed real-life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

I am delighted to see Outlander alumni, Scottish actor Bill Paterson, who plays Ned Gowan, Simon Callow, who played Duke of Sandringham, and Annette Badland, who played Mrs. Fritz.

Great little clip, Dickens struggles to concentrate in a household of children.

This looks like a fun movie to see during the holiday season.

It is wonderful to see the process of such a great writer.

Great Featurette, the movie gets under Dicken’s skin.

All the Money in the World Trailer

Directed by Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III, played by Charlie Plummer, and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail, played by Michelle Williams to convince his billionaire grandfather, played by Kevin Spacey, to pay the ransom.

Getty Sr. refuses, and Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor, played by Mark Wahlberg, become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

Watching the movie’s trailer, the acting is superb and the story will drive the movie. I didn’t even recognize Spacey, which is awesome. It looks like he is truly playing a different role than is usual tough guy image.  Michelle Williams as the distraught mother is brilliant. I am sensing Mark Walberg is in a career-defining role.

The story is straight from the headlines and based on a true story. All the Money in the World looks like a winner.

Just Getting Started Trailer

Written and directed by Ron Shelton, who brought us Tin Cup and Bull Durham, Just Getting Started follows Duke Diver, played by Morgan Freeman, Duke is a freewheeling manager of the luxury Palm Springs resort, the Villa Capri.

The story is about Diver who might have a mysterious past. Yet, he is on top in his game because he’s a pro at making sure that life for the high-spirited residents is one big, non-stop party. But the existing state of affairs is challenged when ex-military charmer Leo, played by Tommy Lee Jones, checks in, triggering a competition between Duke and Leo for the top spot of Alpha male, as well as for the affections of the newly-arrived Suzie, played by Rene Russo.

Duke’s past unexpectedly catches up with him, and Leo and Duke put aside their differences and the two men reluctantly team up to stop whoever is trying to kill Duke, and also save the Villa Capri.

Additional cast includes Jane Seymour, George Wallace, Joe Pantoliano, Glenne Headly, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Graham Beckel, and Elizabeth Ashley.

Phantom Thread Trailer

The movie is set in the allure of 1950’s post-war London. When the story follows renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, played Daniel Day-Lewis, and his sister Cyril, played by Lesley Manville, is at the focal point of British fashion. They dress royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock.

Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, played by Vicky Krieps. Krieps looks phenomenal in the trailer. She is known for starring in French and mainly German movies.  She soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Daniel Day-Lewis is a brilliant actor. I heard he is retiring, and this movie may be his last, but I can’t confirm it. Phantom Thread is an odd title for me because what is so mysterious about fashion design? Why does this director have to show so much angst in a life that is successful and charismatic?  Can’t we just happy with our success and enjoy ourselves?

Interesting clip, what do you think Woodcock is thinking?

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Trailer, Clips, and Featurettes

Directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a dark comedy that follow Mildred Hays, played by Frances McDormand, who after months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, makes a bold move, commissioning three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, played by Woody Harrelson. Apparently, Willoughby is the town’s revered chief of police but it such doesn’t look like it in the trailer.

When Willoughby’s second-in-command Officer Dixon, played by Sam Rockwell, an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.

This is a great interview about an actor’s process of being the character.

The trailer is hilarious and fun to watch but I still feel Hays’ pain of losing her daughter without the police doing anything about her murder.

The story begins with Mildred Hayes and the three billboards she rents on Drinkwater Road. “I decided the buyer of the billboards was an aggrieved mother and from there, things almost wrote themselves,” McDonagh recalls. “Mildred was someone strong, determined and raging, yet also broken inside. That was the germination of the story.”

Frances McDormand is awesome to watch in the trailer and clip as a modern, female variant of the classic western hero in a showdown-style performance. “I really latched onto John Wayne in a big way as my physical idea, because I really had no female physical icons to go off of for Mildred,” she explains. “She is more in the tradition of the Spaghetti Western’s mystery man, who comes walking down the center of the street, guns drawn, and blows everybody away — although I think it’s important that the only weapons Mildred ever uses are her wits and a Molotov cocktail.”

“I could see it in her walk and her attitude,” says McDonagh. “I think John Wayne did become a touchstone to a degree for Frances. But I also see Brando and Montgomery Clift in there, too.”

Here is a featurette describing McDonagh.

The Commuter Trailers and Clip

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, The Commuter follows Michael Woolrich, played by Liam Neeson, who is in midst of his daily commute. He is an insurance salesman. A normal type of guy, who is contacted by a mysterious stranger. The stranger forces him to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on the train before the last stop.

The movie has a great cast including Elizabeth McGovern, from Downton Abby, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Sam Neil.

Just watching the trailer,  I will be on the each of my seat watching this movie. Neeson is so good at playing these type of roles. It’s good to see him playing an everyman not some high-skilled gunman who has a daughter who is kidnapped.

The movie clip below shows the intensity of Liam Neeson.

Here is the final trailer.

The domestic trailer doesn’t look all that different. What do you think?

Love Beats Rhymes Trailer

Directed by RZA, Love Beats Rhymes follows a struggling rapper Coco, played by Azealia Banks. She enrolls in a poetry class and thinks her rhymes will impress her teacher, Professor Dixon, played by Jill Scott.

With a twist, Dixon challenges Coco to seek real meaning in her lyrics, setting her on a journey of discovery that takes her through rap clubs and poetry slams, and leading her to find her true voice.  She even finds true love. Lionsgate is calling this an uplifting movie with costars Lucien Laviscount and Common.

The movie looks grainy and unkept. An interesting look that might draw rap enthusiasts.

Goodbye Christopher Robin Trailers, Featurettes, and Interviews

Winnie the Pooh will always be in the soul of children of all ages. There is something about Pooh’s innocence that draws readers to his adventures. Seeing these trailers, featurettes, and interviews, audiences will gain a deeper understanding of the reasons for A.A. Milne stories about these awkward and unique animals in the forest.




Pacific Rim Uprising Trailer

This storyline is nothing new and sounds a bit like Transformers, so I suspect this movie is for the kids at heart. The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.

I am interested in John Boyega of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, who stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, and Scott Eastwood of Fate of Fast and Furious.