Freeze Frame: “Cyrano” (PG-13), “Studio 666” (R)

There have been at least eleven film adaptations of Edmond Rostand’s classic romantic play “Cyrano de Bergerac” and at least eleven others that were inspired by the story. The latest cinematic version is different in a couple of major ways. “Cyrano,” starring Peter Dinklage, is a full-blown musical and the lovestruck main character is self-conscious because he’s a dwarf, not due to his large nose. This well-intentioned movie was directed by Joe Wright, best known for other lush period pieces like “Pride and Prejudice,” “Anna Karenina,” and “Atonement.” It’s an elegantly produced adaptation of Erica Schmidt’s 2018 stage musical play. Dinklage is fine as the poetic soldier, but his singing chops leave something to be desired. Some of the other casting choices are suspect, including Haley Bennett as Roxanne, the object of Cyrano’s unattainable desire. While it’s entertaining enough, “Cyrano” isn’t quite dynamic enough to be truly memorable.


How’d you like to see a grisly, over-the-top horror comedy starring Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters? Sounds like a campy bit of grindhouse fun, right? Unfortunately, aside from a few gory laughs, “Studio 666” is a disappointment. In the story written by Grohl, he and his band mates opt to record their next album at an abandoned Encino mansion. Problem is, it’s haunted by evil spirits and their sessions result in gruesome mayhem. “Studio 666” was directed by BJ McDonnell, whose only previous feature film as director was the 2013 horror movie, “Hatchet III.” Maybe a director like Quentin Tarantino could have found the right wacky tone, but as is, “Studio 666” is mostly a bloody mess.

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