Korean director Bong Joon Ho is no stranger to genre having built a career on such films as Memories of Murder (policer/serial killer story), The Host (monster movie), Mother (murder mystery) and Snowpiercer (science-fiction dystopia). In the process, he has firmly established himself as one of the most talented filmmakers working today. He is back this year with another variation on the monster motif: Okja. And based on the first full trailer, it promises to be another stunner:
Okja stars, among others, TIlda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal and See Hyun Ahn. The movie will make its world premiere later this week at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is screening in competition. Netflix will release the movie in limited theaters and home streaming on June 28th.
For a production company that is faulted at times for sticking to a very specific formula, Marvel Studios takes a fair amount of risks. The most obvious of these is a willingness to base big budget movies around B-List characters. However, as Ant-Man demonstrated last year and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, viewers are eager to embrace heroes who previously had little, if any, exposure outside of fan culture. This combined with a mixing of subgenres (science-fiction space opera, heist caper family drama) has helped keep the formula from growing stale. Yes, the standard tropes are still there, but, in the best movies, they blend with more unique elements. This is definitely the case with Doctor Strange, the most recent entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its mixture of technical prowess and strong ensemble acting crafts a film which is equal parts awe-inspiring and humane. Central to the movie’s success, same as Captain America Civil War earlier this year, is the conviction that the spectacle must be anchored with compelling character work.
Continue reading Review of Doctor Strange
The first glimpse of Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange emphasizes Stephen’s initiation into the mystical arts and features a fair bit of Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One.
Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson, opens Friday, November 4th.