🍿45: Thirteen Lives
Lots of big movie news this week, along with some fantastic trailers and a feature review of Ron Howard's latest real-life-disaster film.
“The nice thing about being rescued by Italians is that they feed you, make you drink red wine, then you get to dance.”
~ The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013
Ask the audience…
This week we’re asking for a little bit of insight as to what you love about Salty Popcorn.
For almost two years now, the format and sections of this movie micro-zine have stayed more or less the same, which is mostly a result of your dedication as a reader. We’re absolutely chuffed that more than 50% of our subscribers read every issue of SP, but we’re curious to know which part of it you’re most interested in.
So to make your feedback easy to give, we’ve created a poll and all you have to do is click on the section you’re most interested in reading. For any additional feedback you’re willing to provide, be it positive or constructive, let us know in the comments!
Now for the headlines:
Earlier this week, Lady Gaga tweeted a teaser for Joker: Folie à Deux, confirming not just that she’ll play Harley Quinn, but that the film will be released on 4th October 2024. See it here.
Timothée Chalamet also tweeted a teaser for his upcoming teen cannibal film, Bones and All, which sees him working once again with Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino. See it here.
Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan are set to star in Ethan Coen’s upcoming lesbian road trip film, which will also mark Coen’s solo-directorial debut! Read more.
A24 will be producing a documentary on the life and career of Steve Martin, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville set to direct. Read more.
The Lord of the Rings fans will rejoice (or recoil) at the news of yet another instalment of the saga has been confirmed. The animated LOTR: The War of the Rohirrim is destined to reach cinemas in April 2024. Read more.
And finally, Peter Jackson confessed that he considered being hypnotised to forget his Lord of the Rings trilogy so that he could watch it “for the first time”. Read more.
Salty Popcorn is 100% free, but if you enjoy SP, please consider buying us a cinema ticket for just £5 per month - or a bunch of tickets for just £30 per year. Thank you!
Triangle of Sadness
UK: 28 October // USA: 7 October
Writer and director Ruben Östlund won a second Palme d’Or this year with this dark comedy. Triangle of Sadness is set on a luxury cruise for the super-rich, helmed by an unhinged captain (Woody Harrelson). Labelled as “a brilliantly scathing takedown of the wealthy and the beautiful,” this film really appeals to the left-wing anarchist in me.
The Banshees of Inisherin
UK: 21 October // USA: 21 October
Writer and director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) reunites with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for the first time since In Bruges.
Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, lifelong friends Pádraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson), find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship.
Fact of the week
In light of Lady Gaga confirming that she will be starring as Harley Quinn in Joker: Folie à Deux, this week’s fact is dedicated to the renowned bathroom scene of the first film. This was a pivotal moment for Arthur Fleck’s (Joaquin Phoenix) transformation into Joker, but did you know it was largely improvised?
In the original script, Arthur is supposed to run into the bathroom, hide his gun, wash his face and talk to himself in the mirror. But when Director Todd Philips was sent a piece of music by Hildur Guðnadóttir and played it to Phoenix on set, he felt inspired and improvised the dance to that very music.
Apparently, Phoenix had been struggling to get his head around the character and the role until they filmed that scene, and he would often listen to that same piece of music for the remainder of the production.
Review: Thirteen Lives
3.5 (out of 5)
Where to watch:
USA: Amazon Prime
UK: Amazon Prime
Starring Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortenson and Joel Edgerton, Thirteen Lives is based on the true story of the rescue mission in Thailand where a group of boys and their football coach became trapped in a flooded cave network.
The review (NO spoilers):
As far as real-life-disaster films go, Thirteen Lives does a good job of staying grounded while keeping you on the edge of your seat. The fact that the actual cave rescue was fairly recent (and therefore familiar) doesn’t stop one from feeling completely engrossed in the story as it unfolds.
Despite the big Hollywood names, Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen and Joel Edgerton give understated performances, which ensure the divers they’re playing aren’t portrayed as typical Hollywood heroes - and rightfully so.
However, with such a hefty runtime — which goes quickly considering much of it is spent in dark flooded caves — I expected more from the perspective of the trapped boys, how they survived and how their families coped. Instead, the vast majority of the film is focused on the rescue mission itself.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Ron Howard labelled Thirteen Lives as an “ensemble film” and said that “one of the things that the rest of the world doesn’t know very much about is what was really going on from the Thai side of things.”
While Howard does shed some light on the efforts of locals to aid the rescue mission, the emotional heart of this story is the plight of the boys and their football coach. If the audience was given more time with them, there would no doubt be a greater emotional tie to the story but it’s that resonance that’s missing.
Scroll down for The Critic’s Cut and to see what’s in the next issue.
If you liked Thirteen Lives…
2021 | UK: Disney+ // USA: Disney+
The most obvious film to watch here is 2021’s National Geographic documentary The Rescue, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin who also brought us the Oscar-winning documentary, Free Solo.
On the other hand, if you want to escape the cave setting, Thirteen Lives director Ron Howard and writer William Nicholson have both made other real-life-inspired disaster films, including Apollo 13 and Everest, respectively.
In the next issue:
UK: 12 August // USA: 22 July | Watch the Trailer
Triangle of Sadness looks SO good! X
Both trailers of upcoming releases caught my attention. Dark comedies are def my thing, and I've recently seen Gleeson in a brilliant series "State of the Union", loved his character and was really looking forward to seeing him in something else. Thanks for this issue, Salty