The big release of the week is the new adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. You’ve probably seen the trailer, with the scary clown in the storm drain. And that’s just how the movie starts. It’s going up against a whole bunch of smaller films, including two local films, two Japanese live action anime adaptations, and a Sofia Coppola film playing in just two cinemas. It’s a weird week, but I guess that’s what happens when you start dealing with scary clowns.
Dance tandem Ella Cruz and Julian Trono star in a movie about a frustrated actor and his most devoted fan. Viva seems really invested in making these two the next big love team, so prepare to start seeing a lot more of them. It’s interesting to note that this film is being touted pretty heavily as a Joyce Bernal production, perhaps in hopes of getting some of that Kita Kita magic going.
ANG PAMILYANG HINDI LUMULUHA
The first film to get a theatrical release of this year’s Cinemalaya is Mes de Guzman’s Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha, which stars Sharon Cuneta as a woman who feels abandoned by her family. She goes in search of a legendary family that does not weep, who can supposedly grant wishes and bring her good fortune. It’s an odd film that at times feels like an abandoned pilot for a sitcom. It’s kind of interesting, but overall the whole thing feels strangely sloppy.
Opening on Thursday is a new adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel about a town terrorized by an evil force that often takes the shape of a scary clown. In this age of scary clowns, it will be interesting to see what effect the original scary clown still has on a generation inured to their presence. The film, which moves the events of the story to the 80s, has been getting pretty good press. Stephen King has openly praised the film already. But let’s not forget: he hated The Shining.
Sofia Coppola writes and directs a new version of The Beguiled, first brought to cinemas in 1971 as a rather nasty Don Siegel thriller starring Clint Eastwood. It’s a story of an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) who finds himself inside a girls’ boarding school in Virginia in the middle of the American civil war. He applies his considerable charisma on all the girls living in the house, which soon leads to all sorts of trouble. Coppola’s version trades in the luridness for arthouse aesthetics and dark comedy, and it benefits greatly from a terrific cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning. The film is showing in Greenbelt and Trinoma only.
JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE
So we’re getting a Takashi Miike film in theaters. It just so happens that it’s one of his occasional manga/anime adaptations. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the most successful and long-running manga series currently out there, and Miike’s outré sensibilities seem like a perfect fit for the series’ commitment to all things bizarre. The film is running exclusively in select SM Cinemas.
Two live-action manga adaptations in one week! Tokyo Ghoul is about a young man who survives an attack by a flesh-eating ghoul and ends up becoming a half-ghoul. He ends up becoming a fugitive, and learning what it is to be a ghoul in modern society. That ghoul that attacked him, by the way, was his date. And the reason he became a half-ghoul is that surgeons put his date’s organs in him. Ah, Japan. Never change.
Five Navy SEALs station in Bosnia in 1995 decide to go rogue in order to recover a Nazi treasure at the bottom of the lake. This is the latest film from EuropaCorp, Luc Besson’s film outfit. It even bears a writing credit from Besson himself, but that should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the filmmaker’s prolific output. Anyway, the film seems to be positioned as dumb fun with meathead soldiers wreaking havoc all over Bosnia while JK Simmons yells at them.
James Franco plays a bank manager dealing with a robbery in progress. He directs the robbers to a vault in the basement, which turns out to contain something a little more dangerous than just money. It’s a weird premise, and the trailer doesn’t look very promising, to be honest. The most promising thing about it is James Franco’s facial hair, which offers up the potential that he’s secretly a porn star that time traveled from the 70s. Is that the secret behind the vault? Who knows?
This is a Spanish/Canadian animated production that’s about a pet dog left in the care of a fancy dog spa that turns out to be a front for a dog prison. What follows is a presumably a prison break movie starring dogs. There’s a review on its IMDB page that claims that the film is a deep allegory representing the events of World War II and the far-reaching effects of the Nazi regime. We can only hope that it’s all true.
KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL
A lineup of five Korean films will be screening for free at SM Megamall September 7 to September 10, before traveling to various SM Cinemas around the country in the subsequent weeks.
Mike Alcazaren’s Puti takes over for 1st Ko si 3rd starting Friday. It’s sort of a horror film starring Ian Veneracion, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Lauren Young. It premiered in the very first CIneFilipino, which feels like ages ago, despite there only being two editions of that festival.
AT THE UP FILM CENTER
Ron Bryant’s Sinandomeng, from this year’s TOFARM film festival, will be screening tomorrow and Monday. Next Tuesday, there are a couple of screenings of Allan Michael Ibanez and Dexter Paglinawan Hemedez’s 1st Sem. Over the weekend, the UP Film Center is be host to Cine Kabayan, a small program of films focusing on the plight of Filipino migrant workers in Taiwan.
AT THE CINEMATHEQUE CENTRE MANILA
As part of the Korean Film Festival, there will be a screening of How to Steal a Dog on Friday, which will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Kim Seong-ho.