Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 10/31/16 – The Halloween spook fest is already raging in Hollywood! Two films new and old now playing at the Chinese and Egyptian Theatres located right on the star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame might whet THT readers’ appetites for more cerebral fare: INFERNO and GHOSTBUSTERS.
Visions of hell both tragic and comic pervade INFERNO and GHOSTBUSTERS, making them ripe for Halloween viewing. Originally scheduled for release in LA on October 14th, INFERNO in fact reached local theaters on Friday, October 28th. And indeed it is full of tricks and treats!
INFERNO debuted in 2013 as the #1 bestselling book in the US. Since that time it has been translated into many world languages.
Tom Hanks re-teams with his DA VINCI CODE director Ron Howard as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon for another round of global adventures in this film based upon the novel by Dan Brown. Hanks’ co-star is Felicity Jones of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING fame playing former child prodigy Sienna Brooks.
The two use clues from Dante’s epic poem and various works of art to track down a virus created by billionaire transhumanist biologist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) to deal with human overpopulation in his own deadly way. The pursuit takes them from the fabled Renaissance palaces of Florence and Venice to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Seek that you may find!
Along the way Langdon and Brooks encounter members of a super-powerful private security firm called the Consortium and a doctor from the World Health Organization named Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen) who once had a romantic relationship with Langdon that they “didn’t take care of.” Once again viewers are treated to endless plot twists and turns set amidst some of the most spectacular scenery Europe has to offer. Salvatore Totino’s photography and Hans Zimmer’s music are suitably mysterious for the Halloween season.
Graphic scenes based upon dreams and equally frightening reality with many shootings and large volumes of blood make the film unsuitable for impressionable children and adults despite its PG-13 rating. INFERNO is a Columbia Pictures and Imagine Entertainment presentation with a running time of 121 minutes.
The Chinese Theatre itself located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard is an architectural treasure bedecked with opulent Asian-style draperies and sculptures. The creators of the intricate designs on its roof laid on their backs like Michelangelo when he painted the Sistine Chapel according to a passing tour guide!
The original Chinese Theatre was recently renovated and equipped with an IMAX screen, making this the world’s largest IMAX theater perfect for viewing vivid action tales such as INFERNO. Try it yourself and see!
Just down the road from the Chinese Theatre is Sid Grauman’s other impeccably preserved jewel, the Egyptian Theatre located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard. On the evening of Sunday, October 30th the Egyptian hosted a 70mm screening of the 1984 comedy/horror classic GHOSTBUSTERS starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver.
Directed by Ivan Reitman and produced by Sony Repertory with a running time of 105 minutes, GHOSTBUSTERS has justly entered into Hollywood legend as a uniquely humorous horror film that is still fun for the whole family. Its comedically intrepid crew of parapsychologists with PhDs out to save the world from various ghosts and goblins and the wiles of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man still earn raves from audiences of all ages.
In this reporter’s opinion SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE veteran Bill Murray did some of his best on-screen work ever in GHOSTBUSTERS. He served up semi-absurdist lines like, “Back off, man–I’m a scientist!” and “Dogs and cats LIVING TOGETHER” with quirky confidence no matter how furiously the ectoplasm started to fly around the Big Apple.
The elegant Sigourney Weaver also stands out as a somewhat severe counterpoint to the sillier male characters who is invaded by an exotic spirit a la THE EXORCIST. Indeed, few sacred icons are left overturned in this comedy classic!
One (wo)man’s feast is another (wo)man’s famine. This reporter was glad to welcome Halloween once again at the opposite poles of tragedy and comedy. New perceptions will no doubt result once the holiday has safely passed!