James Bond 25 Loses Director Danny Boyle

It appears that we have more trouble with Bond 25. Director Danny Boyle has left the project.

Deadline is reporting that Boyle made the decision to leave the project due to creative differences, citing a tweet from the official social media account for the franchise, which reads:

The new installment is currently slated to hit theaters in November of 2019, though this is clearly a date that could change due to a director shuffle.

Personally, I am disheartened to hear this news. I was very excited at the prospect of another auteur filmmaker putting his stamp on the seasoned franchise. I feel like the recent direction of artful directors to the franchise has been a large part of its rejuvenation in the collective culture.

The report goes on to state that Boyle had a very specific idea for his Bond film, utilizing his screenwriting regular John Hodge, and the previous screenplay by Bond alums Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, had been tossed out. It is not currently known if producers will choose to honor Hodge’s script, or that of Purvis and Wade, or even a new writer altogether.

I would imagine that the team behind Bond 25 will likely go with the formula that has worked in Purvis and Wade, assuming that Hodge’s script contributed to the creative differences leading to Boyle’s exit.

So now the question remains: Who will helm Bond 25? The shortlist had previously included a number of different directors who are in various stages of production on other films. I think the studio will want to keep the release date, but now there time is limited. My pick would be Gore Verbinski, known for his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and most recently A Cure for Wellness. I think Verbinski handles action extremely well and can also reel in slower character moments. He also potentially fits this artful approach to the Bond franchise.

So who do you think belongs on Bond 25? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

[31 Days of Horror: The Final Chapter] Day 25 – The Ring (2002)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox

Screenplay: Ehren Kruger

115 mins. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, language and some drug references.

 

I don’t know if you remember (I sure didn’t), but fifteen years back, The Ring was one of the first big films to explore viral marketing. In fact, the first “trailer” for The Ring was just the cursed tape from the movie with no credits or title card. Viewers had to look online for insight or wait with anticipation for a month to find out what the hell was going on.

Seattle journalist Rachel (Naomi Watts, King Kong, TV’s Gypsy) is tasked with uncovering the truth involving her niece’s death. When her investigation brings her to an old shack and a strange videotape with disturbing images, she receives a phone call telling her she is going to die in seven days. Now, in a race against the clock, Rachel and ex-boyfriend Noah (Martin Henderson, Everest, TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) must find the origin of the tape and learn how to keep themselves alive as time slowly runs out.

The Ring is the first in a long string of Western remakes of Asian horror films, and it is arguably the best one. This writer has found that it isn’t really a classic of the genre, but director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, A Cure for Wellness) weaving an expertly crafted experience and Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Ghost in the Shell) turning in a well-written albeit severely bloated screenplay, The Ring holds well.

I think, in addition to the gorgeously-striking visuals on the screen, Verbinski is blessed with a force of nature in lead actress Naomi Watts, who elevates this genre film with a nuanced, layered performance as Rachel. Rachel is flawed, instinctive, smart, and cunning.

My biggest frustration with the film is the ending. I think The Ring ends on a confusing and unexplained note. It doesn’t really tell you what’s going on, and if forces a lot of inference. There was a bookend of scenes with actor Chris Cooper that sounds like it would have helped here, but test audiences didn’t respond well to it, but I think that was a mistake.

The Ring is fine genre horror and very creepy when taking its PG-13 rating into consideration. It’s an entertaining but somewhat crowded narrative and its characters are interesting and engaging. Overall, it’s a staple for many even if I found its ending to be heavily flawed.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of F. Javier Gutierrez’s Rings, click here.

 

For more Almighty Goatman,

[Early Review] Rings (2017)

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Director: F. Javier Gutierrez

Cast: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan

Screenplay: David Loucka, Jacob Estes, Akiva Goldsman

102 mins. Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, thematic elements, some sexuality and brief drug material.

 

It’s been 12 years since American audiences were given another installment in The Ring franchise. Maybe we should’ve waited longer.

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In Rings, we are treated to several teases before a convoluted plot actually begins. Julia (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Summertime, L’Universale) and Holt (Alex Rose, The 5th Wave, Sniper: Legacy) are high school sweethearts, but when Holt goes away to college and subsequently goes missing, Julia tracks him down to a group who passes around a video tape that promises to its viewers that they will die in seven days upon the initial viewing. The cursed must then make a copy of the tape, or in this case, video file and show it to someone else. When Julia is cursed, she does whatever is possible to end the curse without passing it along to someone new. But can she learn the secret of Samara (Bonnie Morgan, Minority Report, The Last Witch Hunter) before it’s too late?

Rings is the third installment of the American version of this franchise, and the best thing I can say about it is this: it isn’t the worst. At least, I think it’s not the worst. I do not remember much of The Ring Two except being bored the entire time. Rings is less terrible but still pretty bad. It’s leads are absolutely dreadful (think The Bye Bye Man dreadful). Even though they aided by the somewhat-capable Johnny Galecki (TV’s The Big Bang Theory, In Time) and the strangely popular franchise Viagra in Vincent D’Onofrio (TV’s Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Magnificent Seven), the film flounders in its attempt to reinvigorate an unwanted franchise. Most fans of even the original American classic from Gore Verbinski pine for its Japanese predecessor, and Rings does little to sway any new fans to its cause.

First of all, the film is poorly edited. There is an opening scene. Then, there is another opening scene. Finally, we meet our actual leads in a third opening scene. The film could have these moments appear less monotonous if it only juggled some of this exposition to later in the film.

Then there’s the issue of the mystery, which seems interesting as it starts to unravel before ultimately turning the story into a mixture of clichés from more recent better films and before too long, Rings becomes a standard slasher flick with no substance.

Finally, there’s the pacing. At around 100 minutes, this movie felt like it would never end. I sat there, wishing I could check the time before realizing I would be asked to leave (pre-screenings do not allow phone usage). Then, I almost thought to do it just to get out of the theater, but I stuck it out for you, readers.

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I won’t even get into all the new images in the actual video tape that look like CG from an early 1990s video game version of The Ring because it just hurts. Rings was supposed to jumpstart a dead franchise. Sadly, it just convinced the world to keep it dead. And it didn’t even take seven days (but it sure felt like it).

 

1.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

 

So have you seen Rings? What did you think? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

First Trailer for Rings Won’t Kill You in Seven Days…I Think

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The American Ring franchise kind of sputtered into nothing some time ago. After director Gore Verbinski gave us the cold, unflinching remake of J-Horror film Ringu back in 2002, the first sequel seemed set to success, but then it sucked. I remember watching it and being horribly underwhelmed.

#crazydeer

But now, over a decade later, Rings, the upcoming third film in the series, has surfaced. A lot has changed in the world of technology in the past decade, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out in the film.

The first trailer, which you can see below, offers an interesting glimpse at the film. I just caught it, and I’m pretty impressed. It plays on the reboot functionality of the film by not connecting specifically to the original (a smart choice) but also focusing on the iconography of the series. It’s been a bit, and I know audiences outside of the norm aren’t chomping at the bit too much for a new Ring movie, so this is an uphill battle. That being said, I think this first trailer is an indicator that Rings might have the muster to stick the landing.

Rings follows a young woman who views the videotape when her boyfriend discovers it. She now has seven days to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

Rings emerges from theater screens on October 28 and is directed by F. Javier Gutierrez.

Are you excited for Rings? What’s your favorite J-Horror remake? Let me know.

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

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