What to see in the evening in December: Arcane, Foundation, Last night in Soho
Last film digest of year turned out to be diverse. A Christmas tale is side by side with depressive surrealism and a universally recognized masterpiece with a loud failure.
About what: The killer-slob Bruce comes to Japan to eliminate an ambitious politician, but after completing the mission he himself turns out to be a victim of a setup. A wounded mercenary ends up in the mountains, where he is pumped out of the kindness of his soul by a tribe of intelligent white monkeys. However, soon mercenaries arrive in the settlement and arrange a bloodbath. The only surviving primate decides to avenge his relatives at all costs… And the ghost of Bruce will help him, who for some reason is bound to the monkey by an unbreakable mystical connection.
What they say: "Hit-Monkey— is the latest Marvel comics project launched before Kevin Feige took personal control of not only the films, but also the company's series. Therefore, it can be seen as a brilliant farewell to the short era of creative freedom that gave us "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", "Daredevil" and "Legion". We will not wait for anything like "Hit-Monkey" from Disney in the coming years: this is a perky animated action movie in the spirit of "Deadpool" with liters of blood, the blackest humor and absurd situations, served in all seriousness. Damn it, here's a monkey in a suit and tie chopping Yakuza to the sarcastic comments of a ghost! And all this is under the Marvel brand.
About what: The distant future. Emperor Cleon has ruled the galaxy undividedly for several centuries, regularly cloning himself, because under him the empire reached unprecedented greatness. However, scientist Gary Seldon makes a disappointing and frighteningly accurate forecast: in just a couple of centuries, human civilization will inevitably collapse and the beginning of an era of chaos. If you prepare in advance, the dark times will last "only" a millennium, but if you let everything take its course, humanity will wander in darkness for at least ten thousand years. Those in power do not want to listen to the thinker and declare him a troublemaker, a provocateur who wants to denigrate the emperor. But it soon turns out that Seldon's predictions are not only true, but also come true much faster than expected.
What they say: Apple clearly made a big bet on the adaptation of Isaac Asimov's works. According to the trailers, it seemed that "The Foundation" would be a "Dune" from the world of TV series, no less. The project budget is not disclosed, but the fact that a lot of money has been invested is visible in almost every frame. Alien landscapes, spaceships, majestic imperial city - everything is drawn at the level of big blockbusters. And the cast is great: only Jared Harris is worth it (it's funny that he again got the role of a scientist whom no one listens to). However, the first season has been fully available for a couple of weeks, and there is no hype. The space operator seemed to be ignored by everything except the thematic media. However, they also met the "Foundation" with great restraint. This is certainly a beautiful and large-scale fiction, but it has enough problems, and the main one is the pace of the narrative. Telling one story, the series cuts it off in mid-sentence and makes a sharp leap for several decades ahead. As a result, already familiar characters either completely disappear from the narrative, or change beyond recognition, and so on several times. However, if this is accepted, then the "Foundation" can surprise and give food for thought.
If you are interested in the proposed series, you can read the "Foundation review" here
About what: The life of a teenager Jake is hard and joyless. Classmates mock him because of his orientation and poverty, his father, widowed, drinks without a break, and the guy's creativity - sculptures from dolls - in their backwoods, for sure, no one will ever appreciate. Just for the next art project, Jake buys an old toy from those that were produced in the 80s at a flea market. At first glance, there is nothing special about her: a blue-eyed red-haired toddler in a cute jumpsuit. But it soon turns out that Chucky himself, aka Charles Lee Ray, a serial killer locked in a rubber body, got into the schoolboy's house. And he has his own plans for the life of the new owner.
What they say: the creator of the killer doll Don Mancini is an example of rare perseverance and loyalty to his cause. From the first "Children's Games" to this day, he has never abandoned his creation to the mercy of fate. In each new project about Chucky, the author acted either as a director or a screenwriter. The only exception was the recent remake, which the studio created without his approval, using a legal loophole. But Mancini did not give up and continued the original plot, which has been going on since 1988, on television.
"Chucky" is not just a sequel, but the quintessence of the entire franchise about a toy maniac. The ideas laid down in the previous parts are being developed, and almost all the iconic characters of the series appear on the screen, and performed by the same actors. Besides, we are finally being shown why Lee Ray got into the habit of killing people at all. In general, the project is not exactly designed for a casual viewer, but long-time fans of Chucky's bloody adventures will surely like it.
About what: Virtuoso fighter Spike Spiegel and former cop Jet Black travel around the galaxy on their spaceship with the musical name "Bebop" (this is, if anything, such a style of jazz) and catch all sorts of trash for money, whether it's robbers, terrorists or just debtors. One is running away from a dark past, the other is just trying to save up for a decent life for himself and his daughter. By the will of fate, they have Faye Valentine on board - another bounty hunter, and at the same time a clever fraudster. Well, Spike is being followed by a ghost from his past - the psychopath Vishez.
What they say: The enchanting failure of the "live" "Death Note" showed Netflix that the adaptations of cult anime should be made at least visually similar to the original sources. In this regard, "Cowboy Bebop" is definitely a step forward. Yes, an African-American Mustafa Zhakir plays a white Jet according to the canon, but he reproduces the character's manners very recognizably. And there are no questions for John Cho, despite his advanced age: quite a decent Spike. But this (as well as the brilliant soundtrack of Yoko Kanno and generally decent special effects) is perhaps the only advantage of the series as an adaptation. Which is quite predictable: the original still looks great and does not need any updates at all. Actually, the proof was the viewing figures, because of which Netflix has already covered the remake after the debut season. However, paradoxically, all this does not mean that the new "Cowboy Bebop" must be bypassed without fail, like a leprosarium. In those moments when the creators do not try to retell the anime plots, but do something of their own, it turns out not the worst comedy thriller in the still unique setting of retro-futurism. Yes, he is as far from the original as Mars on a "Penny", but the level of execution is still several heads higher than most American attempts to transfer manga to their soil.
Last night in Soho
About what: Eloise is an ardent fan of the 60s and a little psychic. After enrolling as a designer, she moves from her native village to a room in London's Soho, where something strange happens to her. Once a girl goes to bed, she is mentally transported back sixty years and sees the world through the eyes of a pretty aspiring singer Sandy. At first, Eloise is delighted, because she got the opportunity to actually live in her favorite era. But the further the dreams go, the clearer it becomes that London half a century ago is not at all such a glamorous place as naive girls might think, and Sandy does not expect anything good. And from her suffering, Eloise is gradually losing her mind.
What they say: Edgar Wright, the director of "A Zombie named Sean", "Scott Pilgrim" and "Kid on the Drive", made his most serious and gloomy film. No, really: there really isn't a single joke for two hours. But there are homages to the "Suspiria" by Dario Argento and the whole genre of giallo in general, a juicy picture, an excellent soundtrack, a non-trivial reading of the hackneyed plot about a haunted house, as well as talented Thomasin Mackenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy. The only thing you can find fault with is that "Last Night in Soho" is completely incompetent as a horror. It is clearly visible at what moments Wright is trying to catch up with suspense, but the lack of experience affects, and therefore the film is capable of scaring at least the most pampered and impressionable audience. But on the other hand, the picture regularly intrigues, and the plot turns a couple of times in completely unexpected directions.
About what: Piltover is a beautiful but cruel place. While in the upper city the rich walk along neat pavements and enjoy the benefits of technological progress, in gloomy slums people breathe poisonous fumes and earn their living by any means. Once the poor tried to raise a riot, but the authorities suppressed it harshly and bloodily. It was then that the sisters Vai and Powder were orphaned and were brought up by the good-natured big man Vander. Now they, along with other street kids, are engaged in petty theft in the elite areas of Piltover. But the girls could not imagine that an unsuccessful raid on the laboratory of a young scientist would launch a chain of events that would forever change not only their fate, but also the fate of the whole world.
What they say: As if you don't know. On Rotten Tomatoes, Arcane boasts 100% of critics and 97% of viewers. It has already been called one of the best, if not the best animated series in history, as well as the most successful video game adaptation. Oh yes: this is, if anything, an adaptation of League of Legends, but to understand the lore and the plot of the show, you don't have to play it at all. That's how it should be! Always! Is it really hard to understand that references for fans of the original are wonderful, but you also need a self-sufficient story with bright characters? Arkane has both, and even framed in a stunning visual. We don't know to which gods the Frenchmen from the Fortiche Production studio sacrificed, but they repaid in full: nothing more beautiful has been released on small screens since the premiere of "Klaus".
A Boy Called Christmas
About what: A long time ago in the distant (by the standards of the British) Finland took and hope ended. The annoyed king on this occasion gathered all the poor people in the palace and instructed them to go to the farthest corners of the country and bring from there something that would make the lives of all people a little brighter. The woodcutter Joel immediately remembered the secret village of the elves, about which his late wife had told him, and, gathering the guys stronger, went in search of the fairy folk. And disappeared… Then he was followed by his son, the red-haired boy Nicholas, whom his mother called a strange word "Christmas" as a child.
What they say: A couple of years ago, Netflix took it as a tradition to release cozy old-fashioned fairy tales on the eve of winter holidays. "A boy called Christmas" is just one of them, and the most beautiful. Snow-capped mountains, dense forests, a magical village - everything was shot very lamp-like and gives off the spirit of the "Chronicles of Narnia". However, it is important to understand that this is not a fantasy, but a fairy tale: it has a lot of conventions, a drop of absurdity and humor, designed primarily for a young audience. This charming farce was played by the most talented actors, including Toby Jones, Jim Broadbent, Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig and the star of "Ghosts of the House on the Hill" Michiel Heisman. And the narrator is Professor McGonagall herself - Maggie Smith. If you are looking for something to watch with the younger ones or you don't mind going back to childhood yourself, "A boy named Christmas" is perfect for a cozy winter evening.
About what: Vain people built the Tower of Babel and thereby angered the deity. As a punishment, it cursed the Earth, and since then it has been festering, giving birth to exceptionally disgusting creatures. Over time, a kind of civilization was born on it — as vile and meaningless as everything around. It is unknown from where and it is unknown why a soldier descended to the cursed lands. He has a card that rapidly crumbles into pieces every time he pulls it out of his bosom. But will it help the wanderer so much if there are dozens of monsters on his way, reveling in their own agony?
What they say: Phil Tippett is one of the main Hollywood specialists in puppet animation and special effects in general. It is his hand that owns the imperial AT-AT walkers from Star Wars and the clumsy ED-209 from Robocop. It was he who created dinosaurs for Jurassic Park and arachnids for Starship Troopers. But even after getting used to digital technology, Tippett wanted to return to wire, plasticine and dolls — to something real. It took him 30 years to create the "Mad God" from the first concepts to the final installation. And the result is impressive… This is, of course, pure art-house: the author's vision, not clouded by any concern for the viewer. The tape resembles the canvases of the surrealist Zdzislaw Beksinsky, the clips of the Slipknot group and the creepy domestic cartoons of the perestroika period. On the screen, all the known vices of humanity receive their most extravagant, most vile, but at the same time the most recognizable embodiment. The shock comes from the realization that someone made all this, collected it, and then pored over each frame. A titanic work, the result of which will be appreciated by only a few fans of the author's animation.
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