At the cinema: The show - and films - must go on

At the cinema: The show - and films - must go on

By Jarett Theberge

2 October 2020

Release dates for major films have never been written in stone, but in the COVID-19 world, it's like they're written in air.

Take "Wonder Woman 1984," for example. It was originally scheduled for release in December of last year, but was postponed until June of this year so as not to compete against "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." The continuing COVID-19 pandemic then pushed its release from June to August, then to October and now to Christmas Day.  

One gets the feeling Warner Bros. really needs "Wonder Woman 1984" to do well at the box office — and with good reason. Let’s face it — Marvel rules the cinematic superhero genre and it's not even close. Considering the consistency of quality and general bulldozing of box office records, any film from the DC Universe is playing catch-up from the get-go. With all the flops DC has rolled out ("Suicide Squad," "Batman v Superman"), it can be easy to look past the genuinely good films in their line-up like "Joker" and 2017’s "Wonder Woman." With critics and audiences being kind to Wonder Woman’s silver screen debut, Warner Bros. has doubled down on director Patty Jenkins to give us a well deserved sequel — we'll just have to wait a while longer to see it.

"Wonder Woman 1984" is by no means the only film being delayed in release by COVID-19; studios are making the decision to postpone the release of several other major films. However, now that theatres are back open, we finally get a chance to see some of the new releases that were shown through streaming services while most of the world was in lockdown. "Trolls World Tour" was available with a digital purchase for home viewing back in June, but is now being given the originally planned theatrical release.

Being the sequel to the wildly successful family film "Trolls," "Trolls World Tour" promises to be even more musical than its predecessor as its characters embody different genres of music. It is also sure to be as goofy and fun as the toys on which the franchise is based. The film features music stars such as Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak and George Clinton. Bring the whole family to see it starting 9 October. 
This month also offers some eye candy with Wes Anderson’s latest project, "The French Dispatch." An anthology of three stories, the film is billed as “a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city." Expect the Anderson standard of immaculate set and costume design, and the usual roll call of A-list actors like Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Adrien Brody. Be prepared for pastel colors and wide still shots when "The French Dispatch" opens on 16 October.

Although audiences won't get to see Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman until Christmas, they can see her in another major film release this month — assuming 20th Century Studios sticks to the 23 October release of "Death on the Nile." This follow-up to the 2017 "Murder on the Orient Express" stars Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie's super sleuth, Hercule Poirot, who once again must solve a murder mystery. In addition to Branagh and Gadot, the ensemble cast also features Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Armie Hammer and Russell Brand.

Kids Club
Is "The Nightmare Before Christmas" a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? That's a debate that has captured the imagination of audiences since its debut in 1993. The film follows Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, as he stumbles across a portal to Christmas Town. Jack becomes infatuated with the spirit of Christmas, much to the chagrin of Halloween Town residents, and tries to become the arbiter of both worlds. Camana Bay Cinema has appointed itself arbiter of the long-standing debate, choosing to show it as the Kids Club feature on the morning of 31 October, Halloween day.

Classics at the Cinema
Wes Craven’s filmography of horror would make any filmmaker envious of his golden touch and seamless ability to keep the audience's eyes glued to the screen even if they want to look away. It’s no different for his 1996 smash hit "Scream." It’s graphic. It's intense. It's weirdly hilarious. It's a sleek commentary of the slasher genre as a whole as we follow Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her friends as they evade a killer. After you see it, on 27 October, the phrase “What’s your favorite scary movie?” will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline "The show - and films - must go on."

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