120fps, Alicia Vikander, Ang Lee, Assassin, Ben Affleck, Derek Cianfrance, Drama, Forensic accountant, Gavin O'Connor, Joe Alwyn, Literary adaptation, Michael Fassbender, Movies, Parenthood, Previews, Rachel Weisz, Thriller, Trailers, Vin Diesel, Warfare, Western Australia
NOTE: The current For One Week Only is taking a well-deserved break after its Disney sequel marathon yesterday; it’ll be back tomorrow.
Once he’s reprised his role as Batman in Suicide Squad, Ben Affleck will next be seen in this odd thriller about a maths savant who works as a forensic accountant by day and is a hired assassin by night (of course). Working for the bad guys works out okay, but when Affleck’s character, Christian Wolff, takes on a legitimate client, things take a more deadly turn. It doesn’t help that Christian is also being pursued by the Treasury Department (led by J.K. Simmons). Whether or not this will be any good is open to conjecture, but Warner Bros. have put back its original release date from 29 January to 14 October, suggesting that there’s not the complete confidence in it that you might expect. It does have a great cast, with Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal and John Lithgow in support, and director Gavin O’Connor did a good job in taking over on Jane Got a Gun (2015), so this does have bags of promise at least. Perhaps a bit of finger-crossing is in order, then.
An adaptation of the novel by Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk has a lot to recommend it. It’s the first feature from Ang Lee since Life of Pi (2012), it has a supporting turn from Vin Diesel which should remind people that away from muscle cars and a certain genetically-enhanced murderer he’s a much better actor than he’s given credit for, and has been filmed in 4K, 3D and 120fps. Early footage shown at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas last month was greeted with the kind of superlatives that make this a shoo-in at next year’s round of awards ceremonies. Away from the technical side though, this looks to be an emotional and compelling look at the differences between the realities of war and perceptions reached at home, and features a break-out performance from newcomer Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn.
Another literary adaptation, this time from the novel by M.L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans is the latest from director Derek Cianfrance, who gave us Blue Valentine (2010) and The Place Beyond the Pines (2012). It’s a heartfelt tale of impassioned romance, parental loss, uncontrollable grief, and a gift from the sea that brings with it a painful moral dilemma. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are the couple making a difficult choice in the midst of overwhelming grief, while Rachel Weisz is the widow whose recent loss threatens their regained happiness. The movie looks beautiful thanks to Justin Kurzel’s go-to cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (he also shot the first series of True Detective), and the period settings – post-World War I Western Australia – appear to have been lovingly recreated. If everything turns out as hoped, then this too will be sparring for awards come the beginning of 2017.