The recently-released The Great Gatsby trailer has been highly divisive within the fandom, particularly due to the addition of modern elements and an apparent diversion from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. What does the trailer tell us about Baz Luhrmann’s treatment and interpretation of this literary classic, and what can we expect from the forthcoming film?

FITZGERALD VS LUHRMANN

It’s probably best to get this out of the way first. We have all been victim to the feeling of disappointment that inevitably comes when the film adaptations of our favourite books don’t meet our expectations. It is immediatley apparent from the trailer that this is a Baz Luhrmann production – it isn’t Fitzgerald on screen. Anyone going to the cinema expecting a strict retelling of Gatsby is going to be disappointed.

It is going to be over-the-top and it is going to be a spectacle. That is what Baz Luhrmann does, and he does it very well. There has been a fairly strong reaction to the trailer, but it would be practically impossible to translate Fitzgerald’s vision to screen, as his Gatsby is linked so intrinsically to his writing. Best to view the two as separate entities, and enjoy them as such.

MODERN ELEMENTS

Many will disagree, but we loved the trailer music and overly saturated colours. The colours just heightened the viewing experience, and so this is the jazz era – does it matter? Of course, hopefully Luhrmann also includes some era-appropriate music, and not withstanding the fact that trailer music won’t necessarily appear in the film, the tone of the music suited the plot immensely, even if the genre didn’t.

3D AND EFFECTS

We know that Luhrmann decided to film in Sydney instead of on location in New York because so much of the city was going to have to be digitally altered to recreate New York of the 1920s. The skyline was gorgeous, and we’re sure that these broader shots will be where 3D is really featured, as well as in the party scenes. There was something funny about the cars, we can’t decide if they weren’t finished or it was a stylistic choice to make them out of place – either way it was slightly jarring.

VOICE-OVERS AND FLASHBACKS

The opening quote may not have been from Gatsby, but it was still Fitzgerald, so we’ll take it. It was used brilliantly to set up the context of the story; although hopefully this doesn’t mean Maguire will be doing one film-length voice-over to try to fill in the gaps where in the novel, we hear Nick’s thoughts. Overuse of a voice-over will just take the viewer out of the world Luhrmann has created, which would be a shame.

The flashbacks looked out of place just based on the colouring. Maybe in a longer sequence it won’t be as jarring, but as a split-second flash in an otherwise overly bright trailer, it stuck out every time. However, flashbacks mean we will be getting some Gatsby war backstory (and maybe some for Nick too?), and that will be great, just as long as they are used sparingly. Please.

PLOT FOCUS

Based on the trailer, the biggest shift we can see from Fitzgerald’s novel is the focus on the Gatsby-Daisy love story, which seems to essentially be the plot of the film. The book was really about Nick and his interactions with this group of people who happened to be involved in a love-triangle/quadruple/mess; if Luhrmann’s interest lies in making this a love story, we can deal, as long as Nick’s character isn’t sacrificed in the process. It would be a shame to lose all the brilliant wit of the novel for the sake of making Moulin Rouge 2.0.

CASTING

THE WOMEN

Despite any prior misgivings, we are in love with Carey Mulligan’s delicate, wispy Daisy. We hope the sardonic element of her character is also included, but this was a very promising start. Similarly, Elizabeth Debicki was a wonderful surprise, although of course an unknown actress wasn’t going to have been cast without merit. Finally Isla Fisher as Myrtle was fabulous, while we didn’t get to see much of her, what we did had just the right touch of hysteria.

THE MEN

This is the biggest problem with the trailer – Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. We didn’t get to see a huge range of emotions from him in the trailer, mainly just this vaguely worried/irritated face. If this is all he’s got, this will be a disaster. Similarly with Tobey Maguire as Nick – Nick has a great wit, which we have yet to see from Maguire, but hopefully it will be included in the film. Finally, there’s Joel Edgerton as the bullying Tom. He looks the part, let’s just hope he gets a lot angrier in the film than he does in the trailer.

LITERARY ROOTS

METAPHORS AND SYMBOLISM

Without going too English Literature class on you, let’s take a minute to celebrate the inclusion of many of Fitzgerald’s genius metaphors. Essentially, The Great Gatsby is one giant metaphor, but still, it was so exciting to see Owl Eyes, and the looming eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, even if they both end up to be throwaway images. Now let’s just see DiCaprio mooning over that green light. We also hope to see the symbolism of the different classes of people as indicated by the East Egg/West Egg divide. Okay, end of class.

COSTUMES AND LOCATIONS

Oh wow, those costumes. Take a bow Catherine Martin (costume designer), because you are a 1920s genius. Also, Gatsby’s mansion was gorgeous, gaudy, and amazing. The costumes and the settings really anchored the film in the 1920s. Of course, the party scenes were a bit too grandiose, but it’s Baz Luhrmann so that should be expected. If there is one thing Luhrmann does well, it is style. His films always look stunning, even when they have very little, or nothing at all to say.

ANTICIPATION?

Despite the multitude of changes, and being devoted Fitzgerald readers, we are really looking forward to the film release. So maybe it will end up being a bit more of a love story with some Kanye West thrown in. Maybe DiCaprio was a poor choice, or the cars look a bit funny. The first half of the trailer still built up the anticipation of Gatsby’s reveal, and then shifted immediately from the glamourous parties to the more menacing undertones of Gatsby’s life.

This fall into decline was the entire point of Fitzgerald’s novel. He proposed that the wealth and fast-paced lifestyle were symptoms of a deeper problem, a desperate greed, corruption and emptiness that purveyed this decade of history and mirrored the decline of the ‘American Dream’. We hope to see this more fully developed in the film, but from the trailer we do feel like Luhrmann did understand this theme.

In the end, it could be a complete trainwreck, although a beautiful one a la Australia, or it could be a Romeo and Juliet style masterpiece – with Luhrmann it can be hard to tell. The trailer left us feeling hopeful and excited for the final product, and satisfied that despite the many changes, the production team do get what Gatsby is really about.

Now let’s see if they can pull it off.

What were your thoughts on the trailer? Did you like the incorporation of modern elements, or would you have prefered a stricter book-to-film adaptation?

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

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The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

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Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

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Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?