Monthly Preview: November 2013

First off, apologies for the lack of content this past week; things have been kinda stressful in the real world, hopefully I can get the rant machine back on track going into November.

And speaking of November… holy SHIT is this month a desolate wasteland of moviegoing. I can’t recall the last time the options this late in the year were this uninteresting to me. A large part of this is that several movies that were intended to get a release this month have been pushed back to December for one reason or another. But regardless of the reason, the remaining movies slated for November are by and large uninteresting; I had to stretch to even get the list as long as it is now. So, without further ado here’s my guide to the slowest November ever, after the jump.

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Resistance Is Futile? The Studio Assimilation of the Indie World

Some of the more interesting buzz in the film world this week has been about the casting of Jurassic World, the long-awaited last-ditch attempt to save the Jurassic Park franchise. To me (and a lot of people, it seems), one of the most intriguing aspects of the project has been the hiring of Colin Trevorrow, the director of the terrific Safety Not Guaranteed, to helm it. It’s the latest example of a studio turning to an up-and-coming young talent to handle a major franchise film, a list that has recently included the likes of Duncan Jones (Warcraft), Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), and Marc Webb (Amazing Spider-man). However, in discussing this with a friend* I began to think about the topic of indie filmmakers being assimilated into the studio franchise system, and the causes, dangers and benefits of the film industry turning Sundance into a minor league farm system. More after the jump:

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Art Through Angst in Kill Your Darlings

There’s a truly exciting scene early in Kill Your Darlings where Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) frenetically craft their “New Vision”, the start of what would become the Beat Generation. They get high, rip pages out of books and nail them together on the wall in a massive collage, the whole scene rapidly edited along with jazz music. It’s a terrific little sequence that captures the buzz of invention and creativity, that feeling you get when you’ve tapped into something truly special and it just begins tumbling out of you. While I might not have much knowledge or interest in the Beats, I could still appreciate that sensation. It’s the pursuit of that sensation that lies at the heart of Kill Your Darlings, and the arc of Lucien Carr serves as a reminder of the pitfalls and dangers that are part of that pursuit. Spoilers after the jump.

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Rebirth Through Review: My Thoughts on Gravity

After six long years, Alfonso Cuaròn has returned with his much-anticipated Gravity. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, it’s a dazzling, intense ride, following two astronauts trying to survive in Earth’s orbit after their space shuttle is destroyed by satellite debris. This movie has been incredibly hyped and scrutinized due to its lengthy production and the incredibly ambitious effects work that was necessary to make it happen, and understandably so, given that it’s a film that lives and dies by those effects. And while the SFX are indeed incredibly impressive and well-used, I found myself somewhat uncertain about how I felt about the movie and my perception of it. Spoilers (and rambling) after the jump.

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Guillermo del Toro’s “Simpsons” Couch Gag Is Brilliantly Fun

Not really much more to add; this thing just oozes enthusiasm for all things horror and fantasy, and I defy you to not be smiling by the end of it.