Hacksaw Ridge is, among other things, a comeback film for Mel Gibson, an Oscar-winning director who also used to be one of the world’s biggest movie stars.
Two quick new items via Deadline, both of which happen to concern Oscar-nominated foreign-film makers who are now going to direct films with a biblical element.
Synopsis. The sons of Jacob prepare to go to Egypt. Jacob dictates a letter to the Egyptian governor, who unbeknownst to him is his son Joseph. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Akhenaten visits Joseph’s house and decrees that Zuleikha must marry Joseph. Joseph speaks to a crowd — many of whom have become technically enslaved to the Pharaoh in exchange for wheat — and declares that everyone in Egypt is free now, except for those who owned slaves and exploited the poor before the famine. Joseph’s brothers arrive and ask him to let Benjamin go back to Canaan. Joseph produces the bill of sale that they signed when they sold him into slavery, and reads it aloud.
Remember The Da Vinci Code? It was all the rage a decade or so ago, what with its sensationalistic claims that Jesus had had a wife and child, and that a secret society had been keeping his descendants hidden for centuries to protect them from the big bad Catholic church. The book spawned a film, and the film spawned a sequel (which was actually based on an earlier book), and then… it all just kind of stopped. Dan Brown wrote a third novel, The Lost Symbol, but the studio never got around to filming it. And then he wrote a fourth novel, Inferno, and now that book has been turned into a film that is landing in theatres after a seven-year gap. And the new film, it turns out, is the most generic and, perhaps not coincidentally, the least potentially offensive of the bunch.
Variety magazine’s chief film critic has seen Doctor Strange, and he calls it “Marvel’s most satisfying entry since ‘Spider-Man 2’ ”. That’s high praise, considering Spider-Man 2 came out four years before Iron Man, and thus four years before the invention of what we now know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Halloween started early at the box office this week thanks to an urban comedy and a scary movie, while a Tom Cruise sequel had a modestly successful opening.