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Credit: Sony Pictures/MGM/EON Productions

WIRE Buzz: No Time to Die spies new look at Bond; Lady and the Tramp remake fetches reviews

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Nov 4, 2019

Daniel Craig's James Bond is back in action in one of the very first production stills from 007's 25th big-screen outing, No Time to Die. Judging by the image below, MI6's most suave secret agent finds himself in some sort of mechanical room that involves the spooling and unspooling of thick metal cables. Could we be getting another cable car fight a la Moonraker?

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (the first American to helm an Eon-produced Bond picture), No Time to Die opens with the superspy retired from active duty and enjoying a quiet life in Jamaica. He's forced to get back into the espionage game when his good friend, Felix Leiter of the CIA (Jeffrey Wright), shows up and asks for his help in recovering a kidnapped scientist.

The film's main villain is named Safin, and he's played by Mr. Robot's Rami Malek, fresh off his Oscar win portraying Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

"He's the one that really gets under Bond's skin. He's a nasty piece of work," producer Barbara Broccoli told Empire Magazine for the outlet's big 2020 preview issue.

Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Ana de Armas, and Lashana Lynch also co-star.

No Time to Die hits U.S. theaters on April 8, 2020.


 

Disney+ finally goes live next Tuesday, Nov. 12, but critics are starting to reveal their thoughts on some of the platform's original offerings. Up first on the docket is director Charlie Bean's live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp, which stars Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux as the titular canines who fall in love. Reviews, however, seem to agree that the film offers more bark than bite.

"Probably the dullest to date of the live-action (or quasi-live) remakes of beloved Disney animated films, Charlie Bean's Lady and the Tramp further explores the limitations of having real (or digitally realistic) critters stand in for the talking animals of yesteryear. Serving as the marquee offering of the corporation's new Disney+ streaming service, it doesn't bode well for that realm," writes John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter. "Though hardly as disposable as the cheapo sequels Disney churned out during the heyday of VHS and DVD, it is nearly personality-free, suggesting that the studio will save any features with real charm or grandeur for the big screen before offering them to viewers at home."

IGN's Jim Vejvoda was a little more forgiving of the movie, writing: 

"While this live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp never quite convinces you that it was made for any better reason than for the new Disney+ streaming service to cash in on a legacy title, the film itself still manages to be a charming and cute family-friendly time-passer. This is a simple film made for parents to put on for their kids to watch at home. Given that unambitious goal, Lady and the Tramp offers its target audience — as well as dog lovers in general — a pleasing enough diversion."

Josh Spiegel, a reviewer for /FILM, went so far as to dub the release "the best Disney remake of the year," albeit with a large caveat ...

"Lady and the Tramp ‘19 has the unique and not entirely exciting honor of being the best Disney remake of the year, meaning simply that it is the least awful of those films," he wrote. "But it fails to achieve what the best overall Disney remake, the 2016 redo of Pete’s Dragon (which is quite a good movie indeed), does. That film took the premise and title of an older property and made something totally new. While those behind the scenes here do an able enough job of remaking the original, they could have taken the title and premise and made something different and arguably better than the first film."

The remake of Lady and the Tramp also stars Kiersey Clemons, Yvette Nicole Brown, Thomas Mann, Ken Jeong, F. Murray Abraham, Arturo Castro, Adrian Martinez, Sam Elliott, Ashley Jensen, Benedict Wong, and Janelle Monáe.


 

Last week, we got the full trailer for Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher, but Season 1 (which already looks insanely epic in scope) is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Speaking with SFX Magazine, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has big — and we mean BIG — plans for the future if the project is renewed for multiple seasons.

"Second season? I’ve [mapped] it for seven seasons!" she said. "We don’t have a second season yet — God willing we will — but right now it’s just about ‘How do you set up stories that really capture audiences for years at a time?’ The worst thing we could do is put all of our energies just into season one, and not be thinking about where these characters can grow to."

Credit: Netflix

Based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher follows the monster-hunting exploits of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill). Even with plenty of fantastical beasties being dispatched by Geralt, you can always expect the story to come back around to its human characters.

“Yes there are monsters, and yes, there will be a lot of blood — but there’s also a family coming together," added Hissrich. "To me, that really has been the theme of the first season: ‘What makes a family? How does a family find each other? Why are they meant to be together?’ People who may not think they are fantasy fans will come and find that they are.”

Season 1 premieres on Netflix on Dec. 20.


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