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Translating a story from the stage to the screen isn’t nearly as easy as you might think. Turning something inherently theatrical, something specifically designed for an in-person dynamic, demands a delicate and deft touch. Maintaining the direct energy of live theatre while avoiding the necessarily static nature of a stage story requires a lot of stars favorably aligning.

Those stars have largely aligned for Netflix’s “The Boys in the Band.”

The film – adapted from Matt Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 play of the same name – tells the story of a group of gay men living their lives in New York City in the late 1960s. It is a quiet and compelling drama in its own right, though it was Crowley’s portrayal of gay life that marked its true breakthrough.

So many of the necessary pieces fell into place. The director of this version is Joe Mantello, who also served as the director of the 2018 Broadway revival of the play. The cast is also pulled from that production, with each of the cast members reprising their role for the movie. Netflix darling Ryan Murphy was a producer of the revival and key to bringing it to the streaming service. All of this leading to an adaptation that is as loyal to its unique source material as it can possibly be.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 16:04

Checking into ‘Hotel Artemis’

World-building – particularly sci-fi world-building – isn’t easy. Creating a consistent, believable genre landscape is tricky business. And doing it in such a way as to allow for both exciting action and narrative engagement is trickier still.

Drew Pearce knows how tough that can be, having penned scripts for iconic franchises like the MCU (“Iron Man 3”) and “Mission: Impossible” (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”). But creating something original presents its own set of unique challenges.

Pearce marks his directorial debut with one such original script in “Hotel Artemis,” a gritty bit of near-future sci-fi storytelling. The simplest way to describe it is if you wanted to focus on what happened to bad guys that John Wick injured but didn’t kill, only a decade or so in the future. It has that same sort of hinted-at rich and complex underworld, centered around a hospital where criminals can receive treatment for injuries suffered in the execution of their duties. It’s brutally violent and darkly funny with moments of surprising poignancy.

All that, plus Jodie Foster. What’s not to love?

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 11:13

Above and 'Beyond'

Third 'Star Trek' film a solid franchise offering

The reinvention of a beloved pop culture property is never going to be easy. Finding the proper balance between loyalty to preexisting fans and finding ways to welcome new ones has proven to be the downfall of numerous films in recent years.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:28

Heart of Darkness'

Star Trek Into Darkness' raises the bar

There's always a level of risk when a beloved work of popular culture is reworked. Striking the proper balance between loyalty to the source material and creating something fresh is difficult. With the possible exception of Christopher Nolan's work with Batman, no filmmaker has managed to walk that tightrope as deftly as J.J. Abrams has with the world of 'Star Trek.'

The 2009 reboot of the series was handled brilliantly, keeping true to the spirit of the original Trek mythos while still allowing this new crew to follow its own unique path. So there were high hopes for 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' the second installment of this new Trek voyage.

Published in Movies

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