Twixt

Twixt Movie

Francis Ford Coppola is humbly preaching to a crowd of thousands, sharing the gospel of innovation and promising a new era in filmmaking. In his own soft-spoken way, he builds tension for the potential of his new project before pressing The Button. Nothing happens. In pin drop silence, film composer Dan Deacon shouts out, “The future of cinema is here!”, eliciting raucous laughter from a crowd in need of the release. Coppola charmingly plays it off, and the rest of the presentation goes relatively according to a plan that accounts for improvisational errors that can be charmingly played off. It’s 2011, Coppola is sharing his edited-on-the-fly, live cinema concept film Twixt with the world, and if the conversation I had afterward was any indication, the response was mixed. Typical for an experiment, I thought it was an exciting twist of convention from an eternally independent-minded director while my friend thought it was liking watching your war hero grandfather succumb to senility. That was then, and now Coppola is proclaiming that the future which Dan Deacon sarcastically prophesied is still the future of movies we can expect. Or at least one future.

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discs graceland

Welcome back to a slightly revamped version of This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Graceland Marlon Villar (Arnold Reyes) is chauffeur to Manuel Chango (Menggie Cobarrubias), a salaciously corrupt politician in the Philippines who expects obedience and loyalty regardless of his actions. The two men have daughters the same age, and one day while Marlon drives the girls to school they’re stopped in an attempt to kidnap the politician’s daughter. Things go terribly awry, and the confused kidnappers take Marlon’s daughter instead having mistaken her for Chango’s child. Now Marlon’s only hope is for the politician to pay the ransom in the belief that his daughter is in peril, but maintaining the lie may lead to an even bigger tragedy. Writer/director Ron Morales‘ fast-moving and vicious little film is a fantastically economical thriller that wastes no time diving into a sleazy world where children are little more than a commodity and money beats morals nearly every time. It’s a dark and nasty world indeed, but one of the joys of the film is seeing Marlon act as well as we can expect given the situation. He never frustrates or annoys even as his self dug grave gets deeper and deeper. Read my full review here. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, featurette, deleted scenes, booklet]

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This year’s Comic-Con was predictably more quiet than in years past, so when Francis Ford Coppola announced his revolutionary presentation plan for his next film, Twixt, at the project’s panel, it swiftly turned into the hit of the convention (check out Cole’s wrap-up of the panel here for a bevy of other details and information). Coppola’s plan involves taking his film on the road and editing it as he fits for each individual screening, thanks to his own computer set-up and a specialty program. A lauded director using new technology to flip the script on how movies are shown, paired with some gimmicky 3D face masks and a talented cast, it all sounds like damn interesting stuff, right? So why is none of that innovation even hinted at in the film’s first trailer? Probably because a tiny Francis Ford Coppola can’t shrink down and fit inside everyone’s computer and edit the trailer as he sees fit for each individual trailer-watcher. Or can he? Okay, no, he can’t, sorry to get your hopes up.

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On the final big movie day for Comic-Con, Cole, Robert and Jack had their sanity tested and almost passed. Proof of this came at the end of the night when all three ended up delirious in a fancy hotel room watching the Resident Evil movies. What on earth could cause anyone to watch those movies? Exactly. This year’s Con was subdued in a great way. The movie content suffered because of it (in terms of blockbusters and big moments) but it also triumphed because smaller films were able to have their day in the sun. Day One was full of great toys and strange Twilight moments, Day Two had R-rated pizza guys and a Spielbergian explosion, so what did Day Three have in store?

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Above, please take note of the general appearance of Elle Fanning (the one without the beret) as she appears in Francis Ford Coppola’s forthcoming Twixt. This is apparently the kind of thing which shows up in his dreams. Besides stemming from one of Coppola’s night terrors, Twixt tells the story of a hack writer (Val Kilmer) who hits up a smaller town on his book tour, only to get sucked into a murder mystery involving a young girl (Fanning). It’s certainly a fantastical look going on here. Someone smarter will have to tell me whether that’s supposed to be Lolita mixed with Kabuki, but at least Coppola and the make-up design team didn’t make her go Ganguro. [EW]

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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