Does the second half of Stephen King’s sprawling, epic horror story live up to the promise of 2017’s It? Would it sink or float? After all, “they all float down here,” right? Unfortunately, It Chapter 2 is an overlong, bloated, messy, loud, often silly movie.
When it was released in 2000, Unbreakable was considered a disappointment to many, although comic book enthusiasts immediately gravitated to its subject matter. The years have seen Unbreakable’s stature immeasurably grow in moviegoers’ eyes, and in the recent Glass premiere Samuel L. Jackson talked about the inevitability of a continuation of the Mr. Glass (Jackson) and David Dunn (Bruce Willis) story.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, upon first blush, seems like a straightforward story about the highs and lows of a couple’s (Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy) relationship. First time filmmaker Ned Benson has other more ambitious things on his mind, as his movie is actually separated into three different features.
Most movie fans will see the 122 minute theatrical cut The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them starting September 12. If you’re absolutely entranced by Them, you can also check out the flicks Him and Her when they are both released in select theaters October 10. Both Him and Her (and for that matter Them) have different tones and points of view (Her’s concept originated when Chastain wanted a bit more depth to her character, so Benson wrote a new script which devoted more time to Eleanor’s life).
The project also features wonderful supporting work from Ciarán Hinds as Conor’s celebrity restaurateur father, as well as Isabelle Huppert and William Hurt as Eleanor’s parents. Although each actor have their moments in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, their respective roles should deepen in Him and Her.
Chastain, who’s received Oscar nods for her work in Zero Dark Thirty and The Help, may land her third nomination for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (especially since Weinstein Films know how to mount a high profile awards campaign).
For Jessica Chastain, a huge element of filmmaking is creating a strong bond with the director (she and Eleanor Rigby director Ned Benson have known each other for years, before her star making turns in Tree of Life and The Help).
Click on the Soundcloud bar below as Chastain explains why fighting for movie roles is a gratifying part of her process (she mentions her previous films The Debt and The Help in the clip).
It was a huge opening for X-Men: Days of Future Past, as the film took in over $111 million at the domestic box-office. That’s the fifth best Memorial Day weekend to date, right behind last year’s Fast & Furious 6 ($117 million). The franchise’s next installment, X-Men: Apocalypse is set for a 2016 debut on the same calendar weekend.
One of the many memorable sequences of X-Men: Days of Future Past features a disillusioned Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) getting a few moments with his more mature (and future) self – Professor X (Patrick Stewart). The film’s theme of hope amidst adversity and tragedy is best exemplified in this sequence, and although it’s a dramatically charged moment, Stewart claims he and McAvoy didn’t over analyze the scene.
Click on the media bar to hear Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy talk about working together in X-Men: Days of Future Past on the sequence that, according to Stewart, took just 40 minutes to nail down!
X-Men: Days of Future Past, which features the return of original filmmaker Bryan Singer, opens up a new chapter in the X-Men universe even as it link mutants all along the time continuum. With the addition of The Sentinels, humanity’s very existence is threatened, and it’s up to the mutants to save the day once again.
A hero’s journey is usually never a bed of roses, and some of our favorite X-Men characters may perish in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Tragedy is a part of our lives, and the Marvel Universe has never shied away from such truths.
“You’re seven movies in or something, so you’ve got to stretch not just the audience, you’ve got to stretch the characters in order to give the audience something new,” said McAvoy, who returns as the physically and emotionally Charles Xavier in the narrative . “The point of going back is to show how different people are so the audience can be there for the key turning points in their lives when somebody goes through the crucible and somebody is galvanized. Somebody is formed. Somebody becomes who they will be. You’ve got to hang around for the worst moments because if they don’t kill you – they make you stronger.”
The actor continues with his insightful analysis of X-Men’s themes but actually ends on a humorous note. “What’s interesting about this movie is that lots of people do get killed, they don’t get made stronger,” said McAvoy. “But (it’s) in aid of saving the future and somehow altering the past and all that kind of stuff. And that’s kind of dark and amazing, but ultimately…I don’t know what I’m saying.”
Click on the media bar to hear McAvoy talk about the tragic and hopeful journey that resonates within X-Men: Days of Future Past. Screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg also chimes in during interview to talk about Professor X’s importance in the storyline.
X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23.
Sunday evening’s season finale of The Walking Dead featured the TV spot debut of X-Men: Days of Future Past. It’s great to see Bryan Singer back in the X-Men universe, since he hasn’t worked with Marvel’s favorite mutants since 2003’s X2. Over the past decade, Singer has directed three features (Superman Returns, Valkyrie, Jack the Giant Slayer) with varying success, and one wonders if Singer will bring a completely new vision to the latest film.
It’s a pretty brief clip, but it does bring the point home. Whether it’s the past or the present, these X-Men are fighting to save the world, and as Professor X sagely points out, “Is the future truly set?” I could be wrong, but seventeen seconds into the clip has Magneto leading a group of Sentinels!
Starring Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence, X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!!