Stuff To Look At

A veritable profusion of cinema-related goodness this week, with the new Tammy trailer, Under The Skin and Miss Piggy…

Tammy

Above is the first Tammy trailer. The comedy stars Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. Apparently, Susan Sarandon plays Melissa McCarthy’s grandmother. I’m not sure how this is possible, given how young Sarandon looks. Perhaps she is aged up. Tammy is due for release in UK cinemas on 4th July 2014.

Under The Skin

Here is the full UK trailer for science-fiction thriller Under The Skin. Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson the film has been receiving critical acclaim at its festival screenings. Under The Skin is released in UK cinemas on 14th march 2014.

The Love Punch

Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson star as an ex-husband and wife whose retirement fund is wiped out when their company is defrauded in The Love Punch. This comedy caper also stars Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. The Love Punch hits UK screens on 18th April 2014.

Muppets Most Wanted

MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Miss Piggy looks resplendent. Her dress is designed by none other than Vivienne Westwood, who has also designed Miss Piggy’s key wardrobe for Muppets Most Wanted. The image above begs the question of whether Miss Piggy marries Kermit in the film. I wholeheartedly approve, particularly if Rowlf provides piano accompaniment. Muppets Most Wanted is released in cinemas on 28th March 2014.

Postman Pat: The Movie

Postman Pat can carry a tune?! This is apparently the case in the upcoming Postman Pat: The Movie. I am more interested, however, in the robots. And Jess of course. And the glimpse of robot Jess. Postman Pat: The Movie hits UK screens on 23rd May 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

This teaser trailer has everything; Optimus Prime getting pumped with bullets, Marky Mark running around looking scared, Dinobots, and, erm, dragons. I’m sure more will be revealed as the release approaches. Transformers: Age of Extinction is due for release on 10th July 2014 in the UK.

The Legend of Hercules

This trailers is giving me shades of Gladiator and 300. Kellan Lutz plays the titular character in The Legend of Hercules. Having previously appeared in Immortals, Lutz is no stranger to ancient myth films. The Legend of Hercules is released in UK cinemas on 28th March 2014.

Yves Saint Laurent

Biopic Yves Saint Laurent looks slick, polished, and endlessly stylish. Pierre Niney stars as the young fashion designer who is catapulted to fame in the late 1950s. Yves Saint Laurent is released in UK cinemas on 21st March 2014.

Non-Stop

Liam Neeson has really carved out a niche as an abrasive but meritorious action hero of late. Non-Stop continues this trend, as the above clip from the movie illustrates. Also starring Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o, Non-Stop hits UK screens on 28th February 2014.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel seems to be ticking all the boxes. Writer-director Wes Anderson is most admirable, and the cast, including the excellent Bill Murray, is enviable. Also, there’s a cat. The Grand Budapest Hotel is released in the UK on 7th March 2014.

Divergent

Based on the best-selling novel, Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet. The sci-fi film is set in a future where people are divided into factions based on their personality. Divergent hits UK screens on 4th April 2014.

G.B.F.

G.B.F. looks like a fun, high school-set comedy. The film is directed by Darren Stein, who helmed late nineties black comedy Jawbreaker. I’m hoping for the same kind of satirical style from G.B.F., which is released in cinemas on 21st March, and is available on demand on 22nd March 2014.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of stuff on upcoming movies this week, including the brand new Anchorman: The Legend Continues trailer, Disney’s Frozen, and more…

Anchorman: The Legend Continues

Here is the latest Anchorman: The Legend Continues trailer. Almost ten years later, one of the funniest comedies of the 2000s gets a sequel. The original cast are joined by a host of other stars, including Harrison Ford, Tina Fey and Sacha Baron Cohen. Anchorman: The Legend Continues hits the big screen on 20th December 2013.

Frozen

Here is the first trailer for Frozen, the latest animated comedy from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The trailer reveals little about the plot, which revolves around a girl trying to find her sister in a kingdom besieged by an eternal winter. Frozen is due for release on 6th December 2013.

The LEGO Movie

The first trailer for The LEGO Movie was released today. Featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Elizabeth Banks, The LEGO Movie will be released in UK cinemas on 14th February 2014.

The Wolf of Wall Street

There was a palpable excitement (at least virtually) when this trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street was released on Monday. There is little not to like in this trailer of Martin Scorsese’s latest film. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill (and a monkey!), The Wolf of Wall Street is out 17th January 2014. I can’t wait.

The Wolverine

Here is the latest trailer for The Wolverine. I wonder if one day Hugh Jackman will become too old to play Wolverine. But for this upcoming film he still looks the part. The Wolverine will be released in 3D on 25th July 2013.

300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire is a prequel to the 2006 hit 300. The film has the same look as its predecessor, even though Zack Snyder is not at the helm for this adventure. 300: Rise of an Empire is due for release in March 2014.

Frances Ha

Here is the trailer for Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, co-written and starring Greta Gerwig. Worthy of the praise it has hitherto received, the film explores the friendships of a dance company apprentice in New York. Frances Ha is released in UK cinemas on 26th July 2013.

Despicable Me 2

Above is a short featurette with Steve Carell exploring the upcoming animated sequel Despicable Me 2. I am kind of relieved that there is a unicorn in this film as well. Despicable Me 2 hits UK screens on 28th June 2013.

Immortals Trailer

Immortals is the new film from director Tarsem Singh. The film appears to be a highly stylised affair, with the striking use of colour and CGI-laden imagery. It could be just another 300, although Immortals boasts a cast which includes Henry Cavill, Frieda Pinto, Stephen Dorff and John Hurt. We will see when the film is released on 11th November 2011.

Film Review: Ironclad

Ironclad is an entertaining picture that combines historical drama with violent war movie. What makes the film refreshing is that it tackles a little-known incident in British history, rather than being a yet another take on a more famous event.

In 13th century England, King John is pushed into signing the Magna Carter. Hiring Danish soldiers, King John wants to reclaim power over his country. Only a small group of Knights Templar stands between him and his goal. They must defend Rochester Castle against an immense assault…

Ironclad follows a fairly familiar chain of events. Even though it is based on a minor historical event, it is clear what the outcome will be. The incidents that lead towards this conclusion are similar to those featured in a sword and sorcery or epic film. At the heart there is the requisite quest for the protagonists. It is apparent that not all of the group will survive the onslaught, yet they are committed to the cause. Given that the film is set in the 13th century, the writers only use the basis of the event to build their story on. Therefore, despite its roots in reality, Ironclad functions much like The Lord of the Rings and other quest-heavy narratives.

Ironclad has the style of a war film, despite its largely uneven battle. There are shades of 300 in the violence depicted, as well as the sombreness of more serious fare such as Saving Private Ryan. Marshall is of the silent hero type, and thus very typical of this style of film. Elsewhere the familiar archetypes are present, with the wise old sage character, and the villain unrelenting in his brutality.

Jonathan English’s direction is frenetic when combined with the editing in the action sequences. No doubt this is to illustrate the chaotic nature of the events, as well as to disguise some of the more graphic violence. Nonetheless, at times this a bit too dizzying and detracts from the overall enjoyment.

Ironclad‘s production values are good, particular the production design and costuming. Despite being an independent picture, Ironclad shares many of the features of a big-budget studio production. Effects blend in, and the film has a very particular look with the dank scenery and palette of greys.

Casting in Ironclad is great, with the extras appearing authentic for the period the film is set. Paul Giamatti is solid as King John, seeming every bit the aggrieved monarch. James Purefoy offers a decent performance as Marshall, however the actor is in danger of being typecast with his numerous roles in period films.

Ironclad is fairly standard in what it offers as a action film based on a historical event. The film is worth a watch, however, as it depicts a period of history that is not often featured in mainstream film, as well as an incident that is merely a footnote to a much more significant event.