TL;DR This Week In Cinema: "Political Correctness Gone Mad"
Welcome to the Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, the folks at A Night Of Horror / Fantastic Planet Film Festival are looking forward to your company!
But that's an article in and of itself (if I play my cards right). Instead we've got a couple of flicks made by people who think political correctness has gone too far - you know, the chronic masturbators who get all pissy when someone calls them a racist.
Fortunately, we've still got Ang Lee, anime and Michael Keaton being a big ol' douche!
BAD SANTA 2
Posting the greenband trailer because I'm of the impression that America's redband trailer editors are massive tryhards. Much like everyone involved in this film.
Yep, it's the film your racist uncle has been waiting 13 years for - the one where a crass old fella like him can comfortably project on to Billy Bob Thornton and vicariously live out his fantasy of fucking Christina Hendricks. Why is she in this again?
Another film in which we go back to those good old days where you could laugh at a black midget in the street and everyone would laugh along with you. Those GOOD OLD DAYS. Who let Mark Latham write a Hollywood film?
tl;dr It's the most wonderful time of the year...
BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK
Visionary director Ang Lee is stuck on a critical rollercoaster, climbing to the great heights of The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Life Of Pi, before diving with Hulk, Taking Woodstock and, sadly, his latest.
19-year-old Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) is back from his tour in Iraq (with Vin Diesel!), and is to be celebrated as a hero in a huge halftime event at a football stadium. We learn through flashback that his time there felt far from glorious.
It's garnered praise for Lee's decision to shoot in 120fps 4K, a bold move that makes the film feel hyper-realistic. Defenders of the plot tend to come from the "our brave troops" kind of mindset, but should not be dismissed out of hand, as Lee is a sensitive emotional director. Most detractors see good intentions jumbled by experimentation and average screenwriting. Can't fault the former!
tl;dr when dat 120FPS kicks in.
Career biography director John Lee Hancock takes up Oscar winner Michael Keaton for the kind of hyper-critical biography that's been slaying awards ceremonies for years. Sounds like someone's hungry for more than a burger.
Still, check out these acting chops: Keaton plays McDonald's "founder" (at least, franchise founder) Ray Kroc alongside Laura Dern and opposite the first McDonald's owners, Dick and Mac McDonald (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch respectively).
Offerman's wounded expression is already making my heart hurt. Still, be a man, Dick.
tl;dr It's 99 Homes for burger flipping.
YOUR NAME (KIMI NO NA WA)
Ignore the kawaii-ness of the trailer - yes, it's a teen romance anime, but it's also surprisingly dense and compelling, managing to sucker you right into its dramatic story (even despite the damselling).
It sucks being a teenage girl in a small town, so Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) dreams of life as a boy in the city. She gets exactly what she wishes for when, for reasons unknown, she begins swapping bodies with Tokyo teen Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) as they sleep.
It's all very endearing and fun, but director Makoto Shinkai (often referred to as the next Miyazaki) hits you for six halfway through with a twist that changes everything. From there, the film really shows its true colours. This ain't just for weebs - see it and FEEL THE FEELS.
tl;dr Young love and epic drama - just another day in anime.
In the same way that Bad Santa 2 represents everything wrong with "raunchy" comedy sequels, the trailer for Peelers makes my skin crawl, and not in the good way.
There's exploitation cinema, there's grand guignol, and then there's this: childish dreck created by marketing execs that hits the key selling points of horror as product with no impact or comic effect. And so we get a trailer that points as loudly as possible to zombies, strippers, and chainsaws.
Remember kids, violence against women is fine as long as they're strippers. Ugh, fuck this film.
tl;dr Looks like you need some better grindhouse.
Vanishing Time seems - in a hopefully non-spoilery way - to share a great deal with Your Name, as it's about the connection between people across time and space.
This Korean fantasy tells the story of 13-year-olds Soo-Rin (Shin Eun-Soo) and Sung-Min (Lee Hyo-Je), who wander off into the mountains and are lost. While Soo-Rin is found the next day, her friends are not, until days later when Sung-Min returns as a 30-year-old man (Gang Dong-Won).
The trailer's sequences of objects frozen in time are captivating, but little else is known about this flick - take a punt!
tl;dr tfw you grow up too quick
And now for THE VERDICT - maybe you only get to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don't wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please...
Perhaps this is me admitting to my Japanophilia, but also, shut up. Go see Your Name because it's great. Or take a leap of faith with Vanishing Time, or put your trust in Ang and SUPPORT OUR TROOPS with Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.
Until next week!