The Fault in Our Stars will break you. Don’t think for a second that it won’t. If you come out of it saying otherwise then there are only two explanations: you’re lying or you’re a sociopath. Either way, I’m not sure we can be friends. Led by terrific lead turns by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (and solid supporting efforts by Laura Dern and Nat Wolff), director Josh Boone‘s adaptation of the John Green novel disguises a lesson in how much of a cold hard bitch the universe can be as a romantic teen drama. Every sweet moment that Hazel and Gus share (of which there are plenty) has an all-consuming gray cloud overhead. Even the catharsis that comes from pelting your ex’s car with eggs only lasts as long as the inevitability of your own mortality will allow. For all of its borderline grief-inducing moments, The Fault in Our Stars is actually a solid entry in the genre that handles its subject honestly and respectfully. It deserves praise for this even if it does depress the hell out of us along the way.
In addition to more on The Fault in Our Stars, this week’s Top 5 also includes Chronicle director Josh Trank landing a Star Wars spinoff film, Matt’s Edge of Tomorrow review, Scott Derrickson getting the Doctor Strange gig as well as casting rumors surrounding the pic, and Warner Bros. pushing Jupiter Ascending back from next month to February 2015. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Interviews and Review
While it may be difficult to tell from the opening paragraph, I liked The Fault in Our Stars. It’s just tough to be overly enthusiastic about a film this heartwrenching without giving fair warning that it will, in all likelihood, leave you an emotional mess. My thoughts and warnings aside, for more on the film I encourage you to check out Matt’s review and Steve’s video interviews with Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff & author John Green, and Sam Trammell & Laura Dern.
2. Josh Trank to Direct STAR WARS Spinoff Film
A few weeks back we learned that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards would direct one of the Star Wars spinoff movies. Disney and Lucasfilm are wasting no time assembling teams on this batch of films as this week it was announced that Chronicle director Josh Trank (who is currently in production on Fox’s The Fantastic Four reboot) will take the helm of a separate spinoff with an unspecified release date. Because the Internet is a place where no stone goes unturned, this announcement was followed the next day by this Star Wars-inspired short film that Trank made in 2007 titled “Stabbing at Leia’s 22nd Birthday”.
3. EDGE OF TOMORROW Review
I have to admit that I didn’t see the overwhelming positivity surrounding director Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow coming. The film currently sits at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes with just under 200 review to its name and, more importantly to me at least, Matt liked it. While unexpected, I’m thrilled that this summer seems to have given us a great sci-fi actioner and I can’t wait to see Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in action this weekend.
4. Scott Derrickson to Helm DOCTOR STRANGE; Casting Rumors Abound
While I stopped caring about Marvel’s Ant-Man the minute Edgar Wright departed and continued not caring about it the minute Yes Man‘s Peyton Reed took over, the studio tapping Sinister‘s Scott Derrickson to direct Doctor Strange now has me interested in that project. Regardless of the veracity of reports that Marvel is eyeing names like Jared Leto or Tom Hardy & Benedict Cumberbatch to lead the pic, my fondness for Derrickson’s Sinister will keep me looking forward to Doctor Strange for as long as Marvel refrains from pulling the carpet out from under the director.
5. The Wachowski’s Siblings’ JUPITER ASCENDING Delayed Until February 2015
This can’t be good, right? A little over a month from when Warner Bros. was slated to release the Wachowski Siblings’ sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending on July 18th, the studio has pushed its release back to February 6th, 2015. Getting bumped from a mid-summer release to a early February release against arguably tougher box office competition speaks volumes of the studio’s confidence in the film (or lack thereof). Then again, I’m of the opinion that the directors have earned the benefit of the doubt and I plan on seeing Jupiter Ascending whenever Warner Bros. gets around to releasing it.