Tom Holland

byzantium

From The Company of Wolves to Interview with a Vampire, director Neil Jordan has made some of the most entertaining, if modest, melodramatic treasures of the horror genre. There is a certain moodiness he brings to these worlds, especially if there’s fangs involved, that leads to a unique canvas that’s easy to lose one’s self in, flaws and all. That remains the case for his latest vampire picture, Byzantium, an intimate and yet occasionally grand picture. Jordan milks every gorgeous location at his disposal to tell Clara’s (Gemma Arterton) story. Clara, who grew up during in the Napoleonic Wars, has adjusted easily to her vampire lifestyle, although she’s still trying to figure out how to be a good mother to her unsatisfied daughter, Eleanor (Saorise Ronan). The two have lived as wanderering loners together, never staying in one place for too long. There’s a reason why: vampirism is a brotherhood, making Clara and Eleanor outcasts in the boys club. When Clara turned, she was rejected by her fellow vampires, forcing her to get by on her own. Cutting to modern day, an unknown vampire shows up to chase Clara down, causing her and Eleanor to once again pack up and start a new life. With the help of a bumbling hotel owner, Clara convinces him to allow her and her daughter to stick around in his dwindling family business. Clara, a stripper/prostitute, turns the man’s dying motel into a brothel. For a small portion of the film, Byzantium becomes the Risky Business […]

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Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 10.19.58 PM

J.A. Bayona’s film The Impossible is based on the true story of a Spanish family who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as they were taking a Christmas vacation at a Thailand resort. We know from real life and from the film’s trailer that the whole family survives, and while separated by the disaster, eventually find their way back to each other – so giving that piece of information away in this review isn’t a spoiler, per se. And the film doesn’t hinge on that piece of information, it’s more concerned with the power of each family members’ individual wills to find each other and survive until they do. The film features some great acting performances, though its direction is sometimes a mixed bag of manipulative melodrama and suspenseful moments of dread. Changed from a Spanish to an English family in the film, the Bennetts are a well-off family living in Japan. Henry (Ewan McGregor) is a businessman whose job is perhaps in jeopardy and his wife Maria (Naomi Watts) is a doctor who has taken some time off to raise their three sons, Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast). They try to set all family tensions aside as they take a family vacation to an exclusive resort in Thailand for Christmas. When spending some time poolside one afternoon, the tsunami suddenly strikes, leaving a severely injured Maria with Lucas, and Henry with the youngest two children. The film nearly occurs in two sections: the first […]

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Aural Fixation - Large

It is devastating whenever something tragic and unexpected happens, but when tragedy hits during the holidays, normally a time of celebration and good cheer, the impact seems even greater. As a nation, we know this feeling all too well due to the recent events in Connecticut, but this was sadly not the first time an unthinkable event occurred during a time when people are usually focusing on giving thanks and looking back over the year. In 2004, a deadly tsunami hit the coast of South East Asia, demolishing buildings, land, and people caught in its path. While this kind of natural event is much different than the harm caused by a person, the emotions related to suddenly losing, or being separated from, loved ones become the universal tenants of these awful situations. The images and stories that came out in the wake of this tsunami spoke for themselves, but The Impossible adds a personal touch by taking audiences inside the experience through the real life story of a family who was vacationing over the holidays in Thailand when the unthinkable struck and their lives were forever changed. The idea of a family being physically separated by powers beyond their control is enough to bring out one’s emotions and get your pulse racing which makes the task of a composer, in this case Fernando Velázquez, all the more daunting because music is not necessary to conjure up the emotions being felt and displayed on screen.

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The Impossible

The ocean is a beautiful and terrifying body of nature that can both entice and trap. Anyone who has been caught in a riptide or had an unexpected wave suddenly crash over their heads knows the power of the ocean, and the fear it can cause if it overtakes you. When the tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004, we all saw the devastation that disaster caused to the area and heard about the lives lost and families torn apart because of it. Based on a true story, The Impossible goes a step further and actually takes us into the experience through the eyes of a family on an idyllic vacation that suddenly gets turned on its head. Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) have traveled to Thailand with their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland), Simon (Oaklee Pendergast), and Thomas (Samuel Joslin) to spend the Christmas holiday at a luxurious resort making their biggest question whether they want to swim in the resort’s pool or the nearby ocean. The day after Christmas the entire family is out by the pool, playing and relaxing, when the tsunami hits, proving to be as unexpected as it is relentless.

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Tom Holland and Stephen King

It’s been 16 years since Tom Holland‘s last feature film, Thinner, hit screens. It came at the end of a career of writing work like Class of 1984 and Psycho 2 and directing Fight Night and Fatal Beauty. But now, it’s not the end. According to Deadline Castle Rock, Holland is going to make Stephen King‘s “Ten O’Clock People” his next feature film. Beyond this and Thinner, Holland also adapted King’s “The Langoliers” for TV and appears in The Stand. The story for Ten O’Clock People focuses on a man quitting smoking, who discovers that he (and others trying to kick the habit) are able to see hideous monsters who have disguised themselves and made their way to prominent positions in society. Just like we all knew all along. These Batmen pose a great threat, and it will be interesting to see Holland flesh out King’s short story which is, admittedly, a bit thin. Sorry for the pun. However, it seems as though King is having a filmic re-emergence with many different projects in the works (Dark Tower, Carrie and others). A million years ago, we posted a list of Stephen King short stories that would make great movies, and this wasn’t on there because (while this is incredibly interesting) there are a ton of other stories that would be better suited for the big screen. It’s a head-scratcher, but it’s cool to see Holland back in the saddle.

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Ah, marketing. It’s a funny, fickle thing. Case in point – today’s new international trailer for Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night remake. This look at the film doesn’t serve so much as a tease for the film, hinting at the blood and fire and really bad driving in the film, but as a full-on greatest hits reel. If 3D ticket prices are getting too high for you, you can skip the film altogether and just watch this trailer on a loop for an hour and a half with your sunglasses on. But if you’re even slightly interested in Gillespie’s take on Tom Holland’s 1985 horror flick, maybe resist. Gillespie, who you doll fetishists out there surely know as the director of Lars and the Real Girl, stars Anton Yelchin as regular kid Charley Brewster, who soon learns that his new next door neighbor (Colin Farrell) is guilty of much more than just hideous, Ed Hardy-heavy fashion choices. He may be a vampire, and not one of those romantic, sparkly ones, an actual vampire who likes to kill. I’ve seen the film, and it’s a fairly good time. Fans of the original will notice a multitude of similar beats within its structure, and Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon are clearly gracious to Holland’s story. But it’s worth the price of admission for David Tennant’s performance as Peter Vincent alone, reshaped to imagine the vampire hunter as a Criss Angel-style magician with no powers, no talents, and a serious aversion to any alcohol […]

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