reboot

Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

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The final installment of George A. Romero’s original zombie trilogy is given a re-imagining that holds its own in this film from director Hèctor Hérnandez Vicens.

Zoe Parker is a medical school student who has been working at an internship at a center where she is constantly approached by patient Max. Max has an obsession with Zoe, even going as far as tattooing her name on his arm. To celebrate the success of the last day of the internship, Zoe goes to a party where tragedy ensues. When Max attempts to assault Zoe, a cadaver comes to life and bites Max. This leads into the first of what would become a major zombie outbreak with Zoe becoming the only survivor.

Five years have passed and since witnessing the outbreak, Zoe decides to track down a cure for the disease. Zoe’s objective is to head to an abandoned bunker to do her research with the likes of her boyfriend Baca, Baca’s brother Miguel, and others. En route to the bunker, their transportation breaks down. This leads to the group doing what it takes to get to the bunker. When they finally arrive, Zoe learns of a shocking revelation, one that could be the key to finding the cure to stop and finally end the zombie outbreak.

1985’s Day of the Dead would be the final of the original zombie trilogy from the late great George A. Romero. The film has a zombie outbreak with survivalists in a military bunker. While that film would end in a more shocking manner, this reimagining takes that story and adds some major twists and turns that prove to be vital and in fact, from a scientific point of view, brings up a possible realistic manner in terms of finding a cure for the outbreaks.

The script by Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobsen wisely took the core elements of the original film and under the direction of Hèctor Hérnandez Vinces, successfully makes it its own entity. In the original, there are zombies who are made to be docile, notably the character of “Bub”, played by Sherman Howard. In this film, “Bub” is replaced by Max, played by Jonathan Schaech. Max is first seen a creepy fellow who has an obsession with the potential heroine Zoe, played by Sophie Skelton. However, in the scene where he is ready to assault her, he is attacked by a zombie but just when you thought Schaech was making a cameo, he proves to be the pivotal supporting character that proves to be the catalyst for Zoe to do what is necessary to accomplish her mission.

This time around, the insane military officer that thinks all zombies should be dead no matter what is the character of Miguel Salazar, played by Jeff Gum. In an interesting move, the name of the character was also used in the original film as played by Anthony DiLeo Jr. In the original, Miguel was the boyfriend of the lead character, but here the boyfriend role goes to Baca, Miguel’s younger brother, played by Marcus Vanco. Baca is a really sympathetic character and stands by Zoe, even when a small rift is imminent.

In an age where CGI is primarily used, Vinces opts to take the practical effects approach and it becomes a very smart move. This is the piece de resistance as the film does bring a true homage to the Romero classic in terms of the zombie kills. Disembowlments, bites, and just sheer gore is displayed quite well in the film. However, unlike most horror films today, there is a sense of emotion that helps complement the terror that plagues the film.

While a loose 2008 remake didn’t fare well with fans, this 2017 reimagining of Day of the Dead, does bring a sense of emotion and a somewhat realistic scientific twist to the film. If you are curious or want to see a zombie film with an actual story, this may be just for you.

WFG RATING: B+

Saban Films and Millennium Media presents a Campbell/Grobman Films in association with Nu Boyana. Director: Hèctor Hérnandez Vicens. Producers: Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, Boaz Davidson, James Glenn Dudelson, Robert Franklin Dudelson, and Jeff Rice. Writers: Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobson; based on the 1985 film “Day of the Dead” by George A. Romero. Cinematography: Anton Ognianov. Editing: Damien Drago and Ivan Ivanov.

Cast: Sophie Skelton, Jonathan Schaech, Marcus Vanco, Jeff Gum, Mark Rhino Smith, Lillian Blakenship, Shari Watson, Lorina Kamburova, Rachel O’Meara, Cristina Serafini, Luke Cousins, Nathan Cooper, Nick Loeb, Bashar Rahal.

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The “Dead” Returns in Red-Band “Bloodline” Trailer

The living dead returns in the red-band trailer of Day of the Dead: Bloodline.

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In this re-imagining of the 1985 classic by the late George A. Romero, a former med school student is tormented by a dark figure from her past. The only thing is, he’s a half-human, half-zombie hell-bent on destroying her world.

The film stars Jonathan Schaech, Sophie Skelton, Marcus Vanco, and Jeff Gum. The film was directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens from a script by Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobson.

Saban Films has announced that the film will be released in theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on January 5, 2018.

Laurie Strode Returns to New “Halloween”

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This picture can be summed up in four words: Laurie Strode is back!

In an announcement made via Twitter yesterday, Jamie Lee Curtis has signed on to return to her breakout role of Laurie Strode in the new Halloween film, which will be directed by David Gordon Green.

The new film will take away everything beginning with Halloween III: Season of the Witch and continue the events in Haddonfield, Illinois since 1982’s Halloween II, which was written by John Carpenter, who directed the original 1978 slasher film only to serve as writer and producer of the sequel. Carpenter will return to a producer capacity for the new film as well as serve as executive consultant and possibly score the film.

Green not only directs, but co-wrote the script with friend and actor Danny McBride. Curtis is the only official casting to date for the new Halloween, which will begin production this fall for an October 19, 2018 release from Miramax.

H/T: Dark Horizons

Death Note (2017)

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The Japanese manga gets another live-action treatment, this time courtesy of You’re Next helmer Adam Wingard.

Light Turner is a teenager who is somewhat of an outcast, but is intelligent where students pay him to do their work for them. After an attempt to protect cheerleader Mia from resident bully Kenny, Light finds a book called “Death Note”. Reading the book, at first he brushes it off. That is until during detention, he meets Ryuk, a “Shinigami” who tells Light the rules of Death Note. When Light sees Kenny bully another student, he writes Kenny’s name in the book and the method of decapitation. Kenny is killed in front of many onlookers.

Light soon decides to use the book to avenge the death of his mother, who was killed by a top mobster. Soon realizing he has the power to kill criminals simply by writing their name and their method to die, Light decides to take full advantage of this. Eventually forming a relationship with Mia, the two use the Death Note to kill many criminals and use the nickname “Kira” as their moniker. However, a mysterious detective named L has burst on to the scene after an incident in Tokyo leaves twelve clubgoers dead. L teams up with Light’s father, a detective assigned to the Kira case, to find out who Kira is and how they can be stopped.

Based on the popular manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the story of a young man who possesses a book that allows him to kill anyone with a name and face, thus using it to his advantage to kill all criminals, has gained quite a following. Following an anime adaptation, a quadrology of live-action films were made in Japan over the course of a decade. Now comes this Hollywood adaptation of the manga, which actually holds its own in the world of its title.

The screenplay, written by Jeremy Slater, Charles Parlapanides, and Vlas Parlapanides, actually takes the most faithful pieces of the original story and twists it quite a bit, bringing a grounded sense of teen angst. The film’s driving forces are Nat Wolff and Lakeith Stanfield, who play the young Light and detective L respectively. While the L in the original manga has a bit of oddity in both looks and mannerisms, Stanfield’s take on the character brings the mannerism, but holds a look that at times can be very intimidating in today’s society.

As for Wolff, the former child star churns out a performance of Light first as an outcast, then as a “hero” of sorts, to one who slowly questions if what he is doing is right. Yet, there are times when Wolff tries a little too hard and it is clear he is no Tatsuya Fujiwara, who personified Light in the original Japanese live-action films. But the scream when he first sees Ryuk in this one is quite laughable to almost a Wayans Brother-level.

Margaret Qualley is decent as Mia, Light’s love interest who joins him on his newfound mission and gets enthralled in it to the point where even Light has to question her, especially when he flat out refuses to kill his own father when he goes on the news to challenge “Kira”. Using motion-capture technology, Jason Liles brings Ryuk to life with the voice of the great Willem Dafoe, who truly shines when it comes to voiceover work. The only issue is that there isn’t enough between Ryuk and Light, which is a very vital part of the original story. It instead focuses more on Light’s relationships with Mia and his father and his questioning of his actions.

The death scenes start out pretty brutal and gory but then slowly gets tamer and tamer. Yes, there is plenty of bloodshed in the film that leads to L getting involved after the Tokyo club massacre. This is where we see a cameo by producer Masi Oka, who is best known for his role on the hit series Heroes. Paul Nakauchi plays L’s handler Watari, as a way to perhaps keep that diversity going in the film.

Overall, where there are plenty of flaws that faithful fans of the manga and anime that will have them screaming, the Hollywood adaptation of Death Note brings a bit of grounded reality rather than completely make a total remake. It’s not completely bad, but it’s not completely great either. Truly a middle of the road, most likely a one-time watch.

WFG RATING: C-

A Netflix Original Movie in association with LP Entertainment and Vertigo Entertainment. Director: Adam Wingard. Producers: Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Masi Oka, Jason Hoffs, and Ted Sarondos. Writers: Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, and Jeremy Slater; based on the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Cinematography: David Tattersall. Editing: Louis Cioffi.

Cast: Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi, Jason Liles, Willem Dafoe (voice), Masi Oka.

“Spawn” Reboot is a Go!

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It has been long rumored and long developed, but it has been made official.

A reboot of a live-action adaptation of Spawn is truly happening and making his directorial debut will be none other than the man who created the character himself: Todd McFarlane.

McFarlane has completed a script for the film and will be joining forces with Blumhouse Entertainment on the film. Blumhouse, founded by producer Jason Blum, is responsible for films such as Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Split, and Get Out.

A live-action film version was released in 1997 with Mark A.Z. Dippe as director, which starred Michael Jai White as Al Simmons, a former soldier who is betrayed by his own boss and is forced to become Satan’s Hellspawn, until he decides to use his newfound powers for the greater good and for his now widowed wife Wanda, who has now married his best friend.

While the 1997 film earned a PG-13 rating, McFarlane announced that his film would be aiming at a R-rating, much like his original comics.

More as this develops!

H/T: Variety

Ayer Departs from “Scarface” Reboot

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Looks like the updated version of Scarface has hit another roadblock as it was announced that David Ayer has left the film.

Ayer was picked to replace original director Antoine Fuqua, who had to leave the film in order to prepare for The Equalizer II. However, according to sources, the split is caused by all too familiar problem: creative differences.

Ayer’s script, in which the film would be set in Los Angeles’ drug cartel, was considered too dark by the studio. Very strange considering Brian De Palma‘s 1983 take had a bit of darkness to it…remember that chainsaw scene?

Regardless, a new search is on for a director as Diego Luna is still attached to star as Tony Montana. More as this develops…

H/T: Splash Report

del Toro Breaks Silence on “Hellboy” Reboot

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When it was announced that a rebooted sequel to Hellboy would be made with Neil Marshall directing and David Harbour taking over the role from Ron Perlman (above), one question that would be raised is, “What does original film director Guillermo del Toro think?”

del Toro, who directed the 2004 original and its 2008 sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, had rallied for a third film but months ago announced that it wasn’t going to happen. With the announcement of the proposed reboot, Hellboy: Curse of the Blood Queen, del Toro finally broke his silence and has no hard feelings.

“I don’t own Hellboy, Mike [Mignola] does. So, you know, he is the father of the character and if he wants to reboot it, it’s perfectly fine. I got to make two — that’s two more than I thought I would get to make … So you know, as far as I’m concerned god speed and god bless.”

For the director, not all is lost as despite sacrificing his salary, del Toro’s next film, The Shape of Water, is scheduled for release this December and is still running the animated series Trollhunters, currently available on Netflix.

H/T: The Hollywood Reporter

 

Thurber to Run the “Cannonball”?

Time to rev up the gears as the reboot to the 1981 ensemble car race comedy The Cannonball Run has found its director.

Rawson Marshall Thurber (right), who directed the hit comedy Central Intelligence, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, is in talks with Warner Bros. to direct the reboot to the film, which revolves around various shenanigans during a cross-country car race. The original starred Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jackie Chan. The film spawned two sequels in 1984 and 1989, the latter of which was renamed Speed Zone.

Warner Bros. gained the rights from original film writer Brock Yates (who competed in the real Cannonball race in the 70’s), the Hal Needham estate, and Fortune Star Inc.

The film is currently being written by the team of Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Andre Morgan and Alan Gasmer are producing the movie. Albert S. Ruddy and Raymond Chow are the executive producers.

Who would you like to see in the modern-day Cannonball Run? More as this develops…

H/T: Variety

TRAILER: Flatliners

The lines between life and the afterlife become blurred in the trailer to the reboot of 1990 sci-fi drama Flatliners.

In this updated version from Niels Arden Oplev, a group of med students, obsessed by the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment: stopping their hearts for short periods of time. Each triggers a near-death experience, giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife. But as their experiments become increasingly dangerous, they are haunted by the sins of their past, brought on by the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.

Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons play the students this time around, replacing the likes of Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, and Kiefer Sutherland. Sutherland himself appears in the reboot.

The film was written by Ben Ripley from a story by Peter Filardi. Laurence Mark, Michael Douglas, and Peter Safran serve as the film’s producers.

Flatliners is set for a September 29 release date from Columbia Pictures.

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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2017, Disney/Mandeville Films

Director:
Bill Condon
Producers:
David Hoberman
Todd Lieberman
Writers:
Linda Woolverton (original 1991 animated screenplay)
Stephen Chbosky (screenplay)
Evan Spiliotopoulos (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Tobias A. Schliessler
Editing:
Virginia Katz

Cast:
Emma Watson (Belle)
Dan Stevens (The Beast/The Prince)
Luke Evans (Gaston)
Kevin Kline (Maurice)
Josh Gad (LeFou)
Hattie Morahan (Agathe/The Enchantress)
Ewan McGregor (Lumiere)
Ian McKellen (Cogsworth)
Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts)
Nathan Mack (Chip)
Audra McDonald (Madame Garderobe)
Stanley Tucci (Maestro Cadenza)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette)

The 1991 Academy Award-winning Disney film gets a live-action treatment that is just as good as its animated counterpart, with a few new twists and turns that actual mesh well.

When an arrogant prince drew the ire of an old hag during a costume ball, the old hag is revealed to be an enchantress and she turned the prince into a beast and turned all the servants into household objects. The only way the beast could be turned back to normal along with the castle, is to find true love and to ensure it will happen, the enchantress puts a rose in a glass case and the beast must find true love before the last petal falls.

Belle is a young book-loving woman whose father, Maurice, is an inventor. Belle has been the object of affection of Gaston, who has returned from the war and is a very arrogant and cocky fellow. Gaston is always refuted by Belle, but he is still determined. However, a fateful night where Maurice meets the Beast, Belle arrives and offers herself to be the prisoner in place of her father. The Beast agrees and keeps Belle in his castle. Belle and the Beast soon learn that even in their situation, there is a chance for these two to actually fall in love. That’s if the Beast can learn to be tamer and not continue his animalistic ways.

With Disney’s recent takes on turning some of their beloved animated classics into live action features, after the success of Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, and Pete’s Dragon, this latest live action adaptation, of the 1991 Academy Award winning film, is truly one of their best films let alone a live action masterpiece from the Mouse House. The elaborate set pieces are just the beginning and staying true to the musical masterpiece of its animated original, Bill Condon once again shows why he is a top director of this genre of film.

The film’s driving force is the ensemble cast led by Emma Watson as Belle and a mo-cap Dan Stevens, who also provides the voice of the Beast. The CGI looks quite convincing that one may at first think it is Stevens under make-up but surprisingly that’s not the case. Their chemistry is ecstatic in the film from their bickering to love story with the great dance scene that is the highlight of the film.

The cast of eclectic characters within the castle are quite a hoot as well, notably the bickering Cogsworth and Lumiere, played by Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor. In a twist to the story, a new character, Cadenza, is a grand piano voiced by the always great Stanley Tucci. Emma Thompson truly lives up to Angela Lansbury’s legacy in the iconic role of Mrs. Potts, especially when she belts out the titular song.

Luke Evans is quite fun to watch as the arrogant Gaston and seems to be having fun with a role that requires someone of Evans’ “tough guy” role character with Josh Gad as LeFou, whose revelation caused some controversy. However, Gad, like Evans, is having fun with the role and the so-called “controversial scene” literally lasts two seconds, so even if it is considered controversial, it is really no big deal in today’s world. Their rendition of the “Gaston” song is quite fun to enjoy watching. Kevin Kline makes the most of his role as Maurice, even when it is minimal like its animated original.

The live-action version of Disney’s take on Beauty and the Beast truly is as good as its animated original. With some great chemistry between Watson and Stevens and the very great ensemble cast, it is truly a wonderful film for all to enjoy…in other words, “be their guest” and see this film!

WFG RATING: A