Splendor in the Page

Nocturnal Animals (2016) W/D: Tom Ford. DP: Seamus McGarvey. Starring: Amy Adams/Jake Gyllenhaal/Michael Shannon/Aaron Taylor-Johnson/Isla Fisher/Armie Hammer/Ellie Bamber/Karl Glusman/Laura Linney/Michael Shannon/Andrea Riseborough/Robert Aramayo. (Based on the novel Tony & Susan by Austin Wright)  It is rarity in the world of film adaptions to find a film that manages to improve upon a novel with such style as Nocturnal…

A Villainous Catastrophe

Suicide Squad (2016) D/W: David Ayer. DP: Roman Wasyanov. Starring: Will Smith/Margot Robbie/Viola Davis/Jared Leto/Cara Delevigne/Joel Kinnaman/Jai Courtney/Jay Hernandez/Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje/Scott Eastwood/Adam Beach. If you have not been bombarded by the marketing campaign that was the lead up to Suicide Squad I want a holiday to where you live. Psychedelic posters galore there were some smart moves…

One Size Fits All

The BFG (2016) D: Steven Spielberg. DP: Janusz Kaminski. W: Melissa Mathison. (Based on the novel by Roald Dahl). Starring: Mark Rylance/Ruby Barnhill/Penelope Wiltern/Rebecca Hall/Rafe Spall/Bill Hader. A grand premiere in Cannes and a good showing at the box office, The BFG is on its way to becoming a children’s classic film adaptation. This was the…

Ring Around the Rosy

Love & Friendship (2016). D/W: Whit Stillman. DP: Richard Van Oosterhout. Starring: Kate Beckinsale/Xavier Samuel/Morfydd Clark/Emma Greenwell/Justin Edwards/Tom Bennett/Jemma Redgrave/James Fleet/Chloe Sevigny/Stephen Fry. (Based on Jane Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan) Writer and Director Whit Stillman’s newest venture, Love & Friendship, is out in theaters just in time to save us from the comic book…

Savage Beauty

Macbeth (2015). D: Justin Kurzel. DP: Adam Arkapaw. W: Jacob Kosoff, Todd Louiso & Michael Lesslie. Starring: Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard/David Thewlis/Sean Harris/Jack Reynor/Paddy Considine/Elizabeth Debicki. Macbeth or The Scottish Play as it is referred to in theatres is one of Shakespeare’s plays rarely adapted for the screen. This new version, directed by Australian Justin Kurzel,…

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A Tale of Two Jungles

One of my favorite Disney animated features is coming again to the big screen in their live action (meaning CGI) adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. If this will do anything hopefully it will dispel my horrible memories of the 1994 live action version directed by Stephen Sommers. This version will play into our…

Love in the Country

Far From the Madding Crowd (2015). D: Thomas Vinterberg. DP: Charlotte Bruus Christensen. W: David Nicholls. Starring: Carey Mulligan/Matthias Schoenaerts/Michael Sheen/Tom Sturridge/Juno Temple/Jessica Barden/Bradley Hall. (Based on Thomas Hardy’s novel of the same name) Heading into summer we are hit with a barrage of huge films, from budget to scope to locale. Thankfully smaller gems…

A Story in Song

The Last 5 Years (2015). D/W: Richard LaGravenese. DP: Steve Meizler. Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Starring: Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan. Only in one cinema here in London, I sadly ventured into the most touristy area of the city to sit down for The Last 5 Years. Only for the musical enthusiast,…

A Gentlemanly Disguise

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). D: Matthew Vaughn. DP: George Richmond. W: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn. Starring: Colin Firth/Samuel L. Jackson/Mark Strong/Taron Egerton/Michael Caine/Sofia Boutella/Mark Hamill/Sophie Cookson/Jack Davenport. What if the only English spy wasn’t a famous Mr. Bond? The new film Kingsman: The Secret Service answers just that with its own brand of…

The Right Amount of Yes

Wild (2014). D: Jean-Marc Vallée. W: Nick Hornby. DP: Yves Bélanger. Starring: Reese Witherspoon/Laura Dern/Gaby Hoffman/Thomas Sadoski/Keene McRae/Michiel Huisman/Kevin Rankin. (Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of the same name) Setting out on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, beginning at Mojave and ending at the Bridge of the Gods, writer Cheryl Strayed attempted to literally…

Singing Sondheim with Success

Into the Woods (2014). D: Rob Marshall. W: James Lapine. DP: Dion Beebe. Starring: Meryl Streep/Emily Blunt/James Corden/Johnny Depp/Anna Kendrick/Chris Pine/Lilla Crawford/Tracey Ullman/Daniel Huttlestone/Christine Baranski/Billy Magnussen/Mackenzie Mauzy/Lucy Punch/Tammy Blanchard. (Based on Stephen Sondheim’s 1987 musical of the same name) The musical genre has been struggling for a comeback for the last decade. Since 2002’s Oscar…