Released on VOD a few weeks back, I finally got around to watching directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead‘s horror/sci-fi/romance Spring last night. The film debuted at TIFF in September and Lou Taylor Pucci won the Next Wave Award for Best Actor at Fantastic Fest for his turn as Evan, an American who travels to Italy for a fresh start only to strike up a unique romantic relationship with Nadia Hilker‘s Louise in the process. There’s a lot to like here and, without giving away too much, I’ll do my best to sell you on the Drafthouse Films release below.
Although it’s comfortably rooted in horror/sci-fi, Spring‘s most noteworthy quality is Evan and Louise’s relationship. The romantic chemistry between Pucci and Hilker is palpable and credit needs to be given to Benson’s screenplay for allowing their relationship to develop realistically over the course of the film. There’s an actual courtship, a give and take, between the two that earns an emotional investment in the pair. This type of romance is tough for any film to depict, so seeing it occur in one with as many supernatural tendencies as this one is pleasantly surprising. Before watching Spring, I would have had a hard time giving you a romantic monster movie recommendation off the top of my head. That hole in my film rec repertoire has now been filled which is reason enough for me to encourage you to check it out.
Now that I’ve selected your next date night pic, let’s get to this week’s Top 5.
1. New STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer and More
The above image more or less says it all. I’m not even that emotionally attached to the Star Wars franchise and yet my heart can’t help but swell with happiness when I see Han and Chewie back on screen together. Between the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first poster, and all of our Star Wars Celebration coverage, I imagine fans of the franchise will be able to relate with Matthew McConaughey’s emotional reaction as they’re sifting through everything this past week had to offer.
2. First Teaser Trailer for BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
The finished product is just under a year away from hitting theaters, which means we have plenty of time to debate the merits of this first tease of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That said, I’ll keep my argument simple: it was fine. Nothing more and nothing less. We got a glimpse of how things are going for Supes post Man of Steel, were introduced to Ben Affleck’s Batman, and got a quick look at a potential throwdown in the making between the two. I’m a little curious about Bats’ glowing eyes and seemingly digitized voice, but other than that I think the two minutes matched pretty closely with what I’d expect from a first look. For more, check out 30 images from the trailer here.
3. WONDER WOMAN Changes Directors
While we’re on the topic of DC movies, Wonder Woman made waves this week when we learned that director Michelle MacLaren had left the pic due to creative differences with Warner Bros. After some debate over exactly what “creative differences” meant (action driven vs. character driven or maybe even a tiger sidekick?), the studio moved quickly in handing over the reigns to Monster director Patty Jenkins. I’m confident that Jenkins is up to the task, but now that I know how close I was to seeing a damn tiger sidekick, the thought of not having one is tough to handle.
4. New ANT-MAN Trailer
Marvel released a new trailer for Ant-Man this week and while it looks enjoyable, I can’t stop thinking what might have been had Edgar Wright stayed on board. I realize that line of thinking is completely unfair to the cast and crew that stuck around to make the film but, alas, it’s how I feel. Maybe, just maybe, more jokes like the breaking and entering one between Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd and more self-aware gags like the one near the end of the trailer will help me to appreciate the film for what it is and not what it could have been. Fingers crossed.
5. PAN Set Visit Coverage
Whereas I may not have otherwise been all that interested by a new Peter Pan film, director Joe Wright’s involvement gives Pan instant credibility to the point where I’m willing to give it a shot. The UK filmmaker has a distinctive visual style and I’m interested in seeing how that translates to Neverland. Whether you’re a longtime fan or someone who’s specifically looking forward to seeing Wright’s take on J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale, I think you’ll do well to check out Brendan’s coverage from the film’s set in London: set visit recap including 50 things to know about the film and set interviews with Rooney Mara & Joe Wright; Garret Hedlund; and Levi Miller.