New Oz: The Great And Powerful Trailer looks suitably epic

It’s going to be very strange watching Oz: The Great and Powerful after reading Wicked. You may recall that, in Gregory Maguire’s novel set in L Frank Baum’s universe, The Wizard was the bad guy who tricked Dorothy into offing his political rival, “The Witch of the West”. He’s still pretty dubious in this one, but less overtly, um, wicked. Sam Raimi directs, so we should be in for a visual treat, and the trailer certainly hints at the expected rip-roaring rollercoastery stuff. It’s a Disney film, which will rein in Raimi’s habit of grossing out the the audience, though I’m sure he’ll have plenty of opportunities to “punish” his cast. Continue reading

The Midnight Meat Train

I still feel queasy. It’s like with rollercoasters – there’s a very fine line with me between ones that are scary and fun, and ones that are scary and not-fun. This fell for me on the not-fun side, but Him Indoors loved it. It certainly is a well-made film – but did I really need to see so many eyeballs?

Ryuhei Kitamura’s adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story stars Bradley Cooper as a reportage photographer. He’s trying to impress Brooke Shields, who agrees to feature his work in an exhibition if he can come up with some suitably dramatic pictures. His efforts lead him to follow shady Vinnie Jones, and soon he’s convinced that our Vinnie is a serial killer.

It’s all shot in moody blue-grey, and even a small role for Ted Raimi can’t camp it up enough to lift the gloom. It was originally supposed to be directed by Patrick Tatopoulis, the production designer whose work includes Pitch Black and Underworld, so you can see what sort of underlit visual sulk they had in mind. Luckily the near-monochrome filters tone down the blood effects, because this is one of the goriest films I have ever seen. Eyeballs fly everywhere, tongues and other bits go AWOL. It’s really not a film to watch after dinner. Continue reading