Two weeks ago I promised a recap of my time at MondoCon for today’s opening paragraph. As it turns out, I ended up doing a standalone recap of the event earlier in the week which frees up space for a recommendation today. In spite of its lukewarm reception thus far, director Shawn Levy‘s family dramedy This Is Where I Leave You is absolutely worth checking out. Sure, it can be formulaic at times. Yeah, some of the characters’ trials are a touch melodramatic. Still yet, Leave You is an enjoyable pic with great performances across its ensemble cast (especially from Adam Driver and Rose Byrne). It’s the type of mildly grown-up fare that I’d love to see Levy revisit sooner rather than later. If you haven’t already, skip the reviews and check it out for yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Moving on to the reason we’re all here, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and our review of Denzel Washington‘s The Equalizer, Matt’s retrospective look at the work of David Fincher, the first trailer for Michael Mann‘s crime drama Blackhat, our review and interviews for Laika’s The Boxtrolls, and a new trailer for writer/director Jennifer Kent‘s The Babadook because I haven’t yet hyped that film enough. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. Interviews and Review for THE EQUALIZER
Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua’s actioner The Equalizer hits theaters this weekend, marking the duo’s first pairing since 2001’s Oscar winning Training Day. Regardless of whether or not it lives up to the lofty standards set by that film, The Equalizer is on my “need to see” list simply because it looks to feature Denzel doing classic Denzel things. Namely, being a complete and utter badass. For more on the pic, check out Matt’s review and Steve’s TIFF video interviews with Washington & Fuqua and Marton Csokas.
2. A Retrospective Look at the Work of David Fincher
If not my favorite working director today, David Fincher is certainly on my short list. He’s an auteur in every sense of the word and someone whose work I find myself admiring even when I don’t love the final product (i.e. 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). With his latest film Gone Girl opening next weekend/not soon enough, Matt has graced the site with retrospective looks at Fincher’s career that any fan of the filmmaker should not miss. Check out each installment to date below and be on the lookout for more in the coming week: The Work of David Fincher Intro, Alien 3, Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, and Panic Room.
3. First Trailer for Michael Mann’s BLACKHAT
The first trailer for Michael Mann’s cyber crime thriller Blackhat landed online this past week and includes some brilliant colors and a beautiful cover of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Antony and the Johnsons. It also features Chris Hemsworth as the best looking “genius coder” of all-time. Seriously, anyone that looks like this isn’t going to be locked up in a room trying to steal your bank account info. They’re way too preoccupied with all of the steady stream of sexual advances coming their way to focus on such nonsense.
4. THE BOXTROLLS Interviews and Review
Laika’s first two features, 2009’s Coraline and 2012’s ParaNorman, are two of my favorite animated films in recent memory. I love everything about them visually and thematically speaking their devotion to the odd/strange is refreshing. It’s only fitting, then, that I’m very much looking forward to checking out the world that directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi have created in the studio’s latest release, The Boxtrolls. If you share my fondness for Laika, then I recommend checking out Matt’s review of The Boxtrolls, Steve’s video interviews with Sir Ben Kingsley and Elle Fanning, and Sheila’s text interviews with Laika CEO/Lead Animator Travis Knight, Isaac Hempstead Wright (best known for his work on Game of Thrones), Elle Fanning, and Sir Ben Kingsley.
5. New Trailer for THE BABADOOK
If you read the Top 5 with any regularity then you probably know that writer/director Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is among my most anticipated films of 2014. Every person I’ve talked to who has seen the movie already has nothing but glowing things to say about it. Included among those are people who generally aren’t even fans of the horror genre. That type of buzz instills the type of confidence that I need to hype The Babadook up every chance I get. Wonderful trailers like this latest one don’t hurt the cause either.