From film versions of Shakespeare plays like Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V as well as adaptations of Agatha Christie novels Murder On The Orient Express and the upcoming Death on the Nile, to studio fare like Thor and the live-action Cinderella remake, Kenneth Branagh has dabbled in a plethora of film genres to the point where he has become as prolific a director as he is an actor. This year, he releases a film that’s smaller and more personal to him in Belfast, a film that not only won the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, but also has cemented itself as a prime Oscar contender this awards season despite its flaws thanks to strong performances from its acting ensemble, gorgeous black and white cinematography, and confident direction that tells its story with powerful intimacy and heart.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has made such a prolific name for himself as an impresario in the world of musical theater, that there have been select attempts at bringing his work from the stage to the silver screen; first with Evita in the mid-90s, and the 2004 adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera. Now, after becoming one of the longest running shows on Broadway since its debut in 1981, his arguably most famous musical, Cats, finally gets the big-screen treatment courtesy of Universal Pictures and co-writer/director Tom Hooper. Read more
Artemis Fowl is an upcoming Disney live-action film based on the novel by Eoin Colfer and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Starring Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Nonso Anozie, Tamara Smart and Miranda Raison, the film hits theaters August 9, 2019. Read more
This week it was either Daddy’s Home 2 or Murder on the Orient Express, a choice that pit Mark Wahlberg against Dame Judi Dench for my attentions. You might think that choice would be obvious and had Mr. Wahlberg worn something sleeveless in the trailer, I would have been helpless. But as it happened, Daddy’s Home 2 is a Christmas film, all sweaters and snowsuits, so it’s off to Murder on the Orient Express for me. I’d rather watch Kenneth Branagh than Mel Gibson anyway. Read more
This week I went to go see Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children the new movie directed by Tim Burton. If I’m going to be completely honest, the last movie of Tim Burton’s I 100% liked was The Nightmare Before Christmas and that was only produced by Tim Burton. I still hold out hope, though, that something will come close to rivaling it, but Miss Peregrine was not that film. Which is not to say I didn’t like it. I probably liked Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children much more than it deserves. Read more