November came and went and it’s already time for the rush of Christmas shopping, so if your last thirty-some days were a blur, don’t worry! Daniel and I are here to catch you guys up on some big film news that debuted over the last month.
Not only that, we dig into some of the latest box-office news regarding the month of November which saw the release of Terminator: Dark Fate, Doctor Sleep, and Charlie’s Angels followed up with Joker officially crossing the $1 billion mark.
So press that play button and hear some candid thoughts from November’s Monthly Movie News where Daniel and I talk about Kevin Feige’s response to Martin Scorsese’s recent opinion piece, the surprising news of James Dean’s new casting, and whether or not Disney Plus’ first month was worthwhile.
Below are a few highlights from the month:
Feige Responds to Scorsese
Martin Scorsese recently wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times clarifying his thoughts on how Marvel movies “aren’t cinema.”
Kevin Feige, when asked on The Hollywood Reporter’s the Award’s Chatter Podcast to respond to Scorsese’s thoughts that superhero movies are a negative for the world of cinema: “I think that’s not true. I think it’s unfortunate, I think myself and everyone who works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theater full of people.”
Scorsese also wrote in response to the abundance of superhero films, “They are sequels in name but they are remakes in spirit, and everything in them is officially sanctioned because it can’t really be any other way.”
To which Feige responded: “We did Civil War. We had our two most popular characters get into a very serious theological and physical altercation,” Feige says. “We killed half of our characters at the end of [Avengers: Infinity War]. I think it’s fun for us to take our success and use it to take risks and go in different places.”
Feige also points to Angelina Jolie’s The Eternals, currently being shot in the Canary Islands by filmmaker Chloe Zhao and starring characters that few outside of Marvel die-hards have heard of.
“It is a very big movie. It is a very expensive movie. And we are making it because we believe in [Zhao’s] vision and we believe in what those characters can do and we believe we need to continue to grow and evolve and change and push our genre forward,” says Feige. “That’s a risk if I’ve ever heard one.”
Daniel and I are eager to continue this topic from our previous episode of Monthly Movie News where we shared our own personal takes on whether or not Marvel movies are cinema. Ultimately, yes, they are cinema! But, there’s a lot more nuance surrounding the phrase, and we felt it warranted a worthy follow-up.
James Dean Recast
James Dean will “co-star” in the Vietnam era drama Finding Jack based on a novel of the same name by Gareth Crocker and directed by the filmmaking duo of Anton Ernst & Tati Golykh.
“Following a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins the flagging war effort in Vietnam. Lost and lonely, he plans to die in the war. But after stumbling upon a critically injured Lab, Fletcher unexpectedly begins to regain his will to live. When the war ends, Fletcher is forced to abandon his dog. But how do you leave your best friend behind? So together they embark on an adventure against all odds to fight for survival.”
Sounds like a typical period drama, although any keen cinephile will recognize there’s something strange about all of this. If you don’t know, let us help you:
James Dean has been dead since 1955.
Boy, did we have some thoughts about this! Most notably, we discuss whether it’s respectful to ‘resurrect’ an actor with CGI, diminishing their value to that of an icon, and stripping them of their God-given image-bearing quality.
On November 12th, Disney Plus went live in the United States. One day after launch over 10 million people had signed up for the service, which puts into perspective why it was crashing so much. Many users reported problems with the new streaming juggernaut with complaints ranging from programs and features not loading to being unable to login at all. Other launch day issues include shows episodes being out of order (such as Phineas and Ferb and Spider-Man: The Animated Series), some shows being in the wrong aspect ratio (such as The Simpsons, although this will be amended in 2020) and thousands of Disney + accounts getting hacked. Also worth noting that some shows have entire episodes omitted, including the Michael Jackson episode of The Simpsons.
Despite this rocky start, the service seems to be generally well received, with many enjoying the deep library of Disney content, the 30 seasons of The Simpsons, and the much anticipated The Mandalorian.
Join Daniel and I as we discuss our experience with Disney+, whether or not we feel the service is deceptively shallow, and how it compares to the streaming giant that is Netflix.
Monthly Movie News is a podcast/article released at the end of every month and contains a discussion of the month’s most interesting, funniest, or ground-breaking movie-related news.
Daniel Braindead is a producer, and cohost of Cinematic Doctrine. Combining his BA of Biblical Studies, brief study in Journalism, and an overdose of film trivia and film history, Daniel brings clarity and comedy to Trailer Talk and Monthly Movie News. His prowess for cultural understanding and biblical application always brings something new to the table.