News of the Weird: Trailers have arrived for two new
independent sci-fi films that are worth a look. I've already seen
writer-director Gareth Edwards' "Monsters," and can tell you that this is one of
the best genre releases of 2010. Set in Mexico six years after an exploding ... more
spacecraft scattered the seeds of alien life forms over a large swath of that
country, the movie follows two Americans as they attempt to cross the sealed-off
countryside and get back to the U.S. side of the border. Both a love story and a
political commentary, "Monsters" creates a wholly believable and eerie future.
Please see it on VOD on Sept. 24 and in theaters on Oct. 29.
The other film, "Vanishing on 7th Street," is from director Brad Anderson,
who has impressed us with horror ("Session 9") and psychological suspense ("The
Machinist") and now turns to creepy apocalyptic sci-fi. The movie follows a
small group of survivors trying to stay alive after the rest of the world has
disappeared -- and they must somehow avoid darkness to do so. The trailer
debuted at Shock Till You Drop, while the movie premieres at the Toronto
International Film Festival (TIFF) next month.
Speaking of which, the lineup for the "Midnight Madness" portion of TIFF,
which runs Sept. 9-19, is once again intriguing. On tap this year is "The Ward,"
the long-awaited horror return from director John Carpenter; the apocalyptic
vampire flick "Stake Land" from "Mulberry Street" filmmaker Jim Mickle; and
James ("Slither") Gunn's comic book spoof, "Super." Also premiering is
"Insidious," the haunted house flick from original "Saw" director James Wan, and
"Cloverfield" director Matt Reeves' highly anticipated "Let Me In," the American
remake of the 2008 Swedish horror masterpiece "Let the Right One In." For more
info, go to www.tiff.net.
So January Jones has won the role of Emma Frost in "X-Men: First Class" over
Alice Eve ("She's Out of My League"). Eve is certainly a better physical fit for
the voluptuous Frost, although her acting skills remain suspect. Jones knocked
us out in the first season of "Mad Men," but her work in subsequent seasons has
failed to impress. The large (overstuffed?) "X-Men" cast now includes James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender
(Magneto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Rose Byrne
(Moira McTaggert), Jason Flemyng (Azazel), Kevin Bacon (the unnamed villain) and
Oliver Platt (the "Man in Black").