Tulip Fever and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company
Directed by Justin Chadwick
Now THESE are the movies I live for! What makes a good or bad movie even better is if there’s a good story behind it, and this looks like a disaster waiting to happen; what with its troubled production (it’s earliest incarnation was supposed to be filmed in 2004) and the fact that it’s been sitting on Harvey Weinstein’s shelf for almost three years now. Not only that, the premise itself sounds completely absurd (a steamy period romance AND ALSO the explosion of the Dutch tulip market) and the trailers made it look like a muddled mess; probably due to that whole “sitting around for three years” thing. Sometimes a film can rise above a nightmarish film shoot with films like Apocalypse now and even The Shining being great examples of that (even if Shelly Duvall’s treatment on set was pretty freaking grotesque), but other times we get stuff like Waterworld, The Super Mario Bros Movie, or even Food Fight. Does this film manage to come out of all this turmoil as an intact and extremely entertaining film, or should they have never bothered dusting this off in the first place? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows Sophia (Alicia Vikander) who’s agreed to marry Cornellis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) in exchange for her younger sister getting a free trip to American and her getting out of the orphanage. All she has to do is sire him an heir and live a happy domesticated life; provided the dude who more or less bought her doesn’t get bored and throw her out on the streets. Still, even if a baby would have kept him from doing such a thing (at least not right away) she seems completely unable to get pregnant which puts a strain on their “relationship” which I guess you can call it. In walks Jan van Loos (Dane DeHaan) who is painting a portrait for them but manages to fall madly in love with Sophia who eventually reciprocates his feelings. After more than a few bangings behind Sandvoort’s back, trouble starts to brew when Sophia’s maid Maria (Holiday Grainger) gets married and the father (Jack O’Connell) disappears due to some contrived misunderstanding. Now her being pregnant and unmarried is a problem while Sophia being NOT pregnant is a problem as well. I wonder if the two things could somehow come together to come up with a solution! Oh and there’s a Tulip Market bubble that’s going on in the background that I’m sure means something important. Will Sophia be able to give Sandvoort what he wants while also finding a way to escape his clutches? What will happen to their brilliant plan if the REAL father comes back at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME? Are we SURE that Dane Dehaan isn’t just playing Valerian again and this is one of his Time Travel stories?
Wind River and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company
Directed by Taylor Sheridan
It’s always fun to go into a movie COMPLETELY blind; knowing nothing more than the title and MAYBE a poster. While I would never decry trailers which in and of themselves can sometimes be MORE entertaining than the movie their advertising (*cough* Suicide Squad *cough*), they invariable lead to expectations which can be either a good or bad thing for the finished product. This is one that I went in without knowing the slightest bit about it aside from Jeremey Renner’s face and cowboy hat being front and center, so hey! How bad could it be!? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins in the harsh wildness that is Northern Wyoming where we follow Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who’s a US Fish and Wildlife Service agent that serves the Wind River Indian Reservation. During his regular duties of hunting predators in the snot freezing cold, he comes across the body of a local girl named Natalie (Kelsey Chow) who not only froze to death in the snow but seems to have been raped as well. With the help of the local sheriff Ben (Graham Greene) and a rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) the three of them try to do what they can to find out what really happened to the girl and to bring her parents Martin and Annie (Gil Burmingham Annie Hanson) at least some degree of closure. Of course Cory, being a hunter, might have other plans that Jane or even Ben wouldn’t be aware of. Will Cory find the person responsible for the death of Natalie, and does he have a personal connection to this case that could be clouding his judgement? Will Jane survive in this harsh world long enough to realize how much she still needs to learn? Wait, why are we focusing on these two? Something seems a bit off about that…
Burnt and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company
Directed by John Wells
Is Bradley Cooper going to be the next Leonardo DiCaprio? Seriously, the guy has been nominated THRICE for best actor, and lost it every time! Well after the overwhelming success that was American Sniper, the man is back to star in a movie about a guy who’s probably just as intense! Will Mr. Cooper’s foray into food porn and Gordon Ramsey mimicry be just what he needs to clench that Oscar gold that he has been denied for the last three years, or is this yet another missed opportunity for one of Hollywood’s most prominent actors? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the world renowned chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) who is getting back into the game after completely flaming out a couple of years back. The movie isn’t too specific about how he lost everything other than it involved drugs, but he’s been clean for quite some time now and is ready to claw his way back up the ladder. Well… by climb his way up, I mean he bullies a friend of his Tony (Daniel Bruhl) into making him head chef of his already prestigious restaurant, but that’s beside the point! He’s getting back some old friends like Michel (Omar Sy) who he screwed over in the past and wants to make amends with and Max (Riccardo Scamarcio) who just got out of jail for… something. It probably involved beating someone up over food. On top of his old friends who he’s getting to work in his new kitchen, he also has some new talent like David (Sam Keeley) who’s about as naïve as he is talented and Helene (Sienna Miller) who’s as stubborn as she is talented. With this ragtag group of super chefs, Adam plans to prove himself as one of the world’s greatest chefs by winning a prestigious award (three stars in the Michelin Guide book) which has already been won by his rival Reece (Matthew Rhys). Will Adam achieve his goal and finally find redemption for his past transgressions, or has he made too many mistakes that he needs to make up for first? What else must he struggle to learn on the road to recovery? Will Bradley Cooper finally get that Oscar he’s been looking for!?
Oh goody! We’re getting another Quinten Tarantino film! Who wants to bet that it’ll be a very well made throwback to films from his youth that will get half the critics to praise him unendingly and the other half to dismiss him as a stunted artist that’s gotten quite long in the tooth? Personally, I tend to fall into the former category, but I can understand the latter’s frustration with the guy’s output recently. I wouldn’t mind if he goes ahead and does something RADICALLY different from what he’s been doing so far but even if he sticks to the same old tricks, he’s still the undisputed champ of these kinds of films. So with that said, what can we gleam from the first trailer of his latest magnum opus? Let’s find out!!
The trailer begins with Samuel L Jackson sitting on a pile of bodies in the middle of a snowy road as Kurt Russel’s stagecoach approaches, and I guess he joins Kurt Russel for… some reason. They’re both bounty hunters and Kurt Russell has his latest perp handcuffed to him in the form of Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who’s charged with murder and will hang once she’s delivered. From there, the plot isn’t TOO hard to guess, but the trailer makes it kind of hard to understand what is going on. I’m assuming the hateful eight will consist of Kurt Russell (playing John ‘The Hangman’ Ruth), Samuel L Jackson (playing Major Marquis Warren), and the remaining character actors who show up in the trailer, and they’ll all be waiting out a terrible blizzard in this one building. However, Kurt Russell knows for sure that one of them is actually a traitor and is after something (most likely Daisy), so the film will be about praying on one’s paranoia with the characters constantly checking over their shoulders and looking for the rat in the midst.