As we get closer and closer to Halloween, the industry is doing its part to help with great holiday-themed content. We got a trailer for Iron Man 3 to either remind the kids of that superhero as a costume idea or to provide fresh suggestions. Who wants to be so antiquated as to go as something based on this year’s movies when you can leap frog into 2013 ideas? Are Mandarin and Iron Patriot hot last-minute costumes now? And then we got the news about Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the Conan franchise, which should give many elderly folks encouragement to dress up as a character they’re way too old for. Come on, grandmas, “sexy ___” outfits are for you too.
Oh, and Cloud Atlas is out this weekend, which may well inspire some last-minute blackface, whiteface, yellowface and zombie Willy Wonka face costumes. Speaking of the film, before we round up this week’s best features, I need to remind you of the latest reviews of new releases (Cloud Atlas, Pusher, Gut, The Thieves). Also this week, we saw new trailers for Holy Motors, the next Die Hard, the remake of Evil Dead and a seemed remake of Kingdom of the Fairies that would make Melies crap himself called Empires of the Deep. And we continued our new weekly recap reviews of TVs The Walking Dead while also reviewing American Horror Story: Asylum and 666 Park Avenue.
Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.
Following a literal teaser on Sunday, the first trailer for the third Iron Man film arrived, and Neil commented mainly on how it looks: ‘Well, that’s a tonal shift. There’s something striking about the final shot, in which we see Stark walking through the snow, towing his broken down Iron Man suit behind him … As Robert Downey Jr.’s voice-over explains, there are plenty of people out there who would like to kill him, which leads to some pretty (spectacularly) massive visuals.”
Our tournament to determine the scariest movie of all time has come to an end, and you have democratically chosen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Cole commented on the results: “You like your horror down and dirty with a little violence against the handicapped and a reminder that your grandparents aren’t really that bad … when it came to a sweet spot that we could call the Horror Golden Era, it’s clearly the 70s leading into the early 80s. It’s perhaps no coincidence that the final competitors were released a year apart from each other.”
In his Overrated/Underpraised column, Nathan compared two 1993 Halloween films, Tim Burton‘s consistently popular The Nightmare Before Christmas and Disney’s Hocus Pocus, which definitely seems to be growing into a cult favorite for a certain generation. Still, he defended the latter over the former: “The witch trio bring the comedy, but they also work as a scary threat. Midler, Najimi, and Parker have great chemistry together, and the way they operate like a single, many-limbed organism is kind of unsettling. Plus, you’ve got zombie attacks, people being burned alive, and, heck, the movie pretty much opens with a little girl getting killed. This may be a Disney movie through and through, but it always remembers to get in the spirit of the Holiday by throwing in some spookiness and scares.”
Following in the footsteps of Sean Connery and Thomas Jane, Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to a role after being replaced in a reboot. And to continue as Conan, he’s going back and terminating (ignoring) the existence of both the remake and the first sequel. Kate commented on the news of this totally recalled series and its next installment, titled The Legend of Conan: “just what sort of Conan film are we in for, now that thirty years have passed since Schwarzenegger first played the character? Well, one that centers on a nearly-dead Conan. That sounds fun!”
Also recommended (from August):
A Guide to the Upcoming Schwarzenegger Resurgence
This week’s Countdown to Skyfall column had Brian exploring the importance of the first 007 installment starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond: “Among many, Bond connoisseur and novice alike, Goldeneye is well-regarded, so assigning it underrated status is wholly inaccurate. However, what does often get overlooked is how critical the success of this one movie was to ensuring the series’ continuation. This oversight is not at all surprising given so much of the film’s importance is rooted in circumstances existing behind-the-scenes. The historical context and production challenges facing Goldeneye placed it into an unenviable and precarious must-win situation; a charge that, thankfully, the filmmakers were well-equipped to meet.”
John Logan Writing James Bond 24 for 2014