Film Review: Long Shot

Director Jonathan Levine’s Long Shot is a comedy-drama that never fully convinces. Despite a good start, the film fails to satisfy completely.

A chance encounter reunites Fred, a recently unemployed journalist, and Charlotte, Secretary of State and in the running to be the next President. Charlotte hires Fred as a speechwriter, while he still has feelings for his former babysitter…

Directed by Jonathan Levine (who previously worked with Seth Rogen on The Night Before and 50/50), Long Shot is written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. The premise offers enough to keep viewers engaged. An odd couple pairing with a political backdrop, the film has promise. Unfortunately the direction which the film takes is a little disappointing.

Long Shot works best when it is buoyant and when it is satirical. When the film veers into romcom territory the wheels come off a little. The romance is never compelling when it plays out, although the chemistry between the two leads before this is good. The more serious tone does not sit as well as the first half of the film. Long Shot makes a few well targeted jabs, yet does not take aim at some obvious targets. The result is a little lukewarm; the film prefers to straddle the middle ground, politically speaking.

The emotional aspect of the final quarter of the film does not give the pay off Levine may have hoped. There is not really a sense that Fred is deserving of the risk Charlotte takes to be with him. He is a rather one-dimensional character; the type we have seen Rogen play before. The climax of the film is rather schmaltzy, a sharp departure from the film’s amusing opening. 

Charlize Theron is wonderful in the film. She is great in the film’s comedic moments, and does well to generate chemistry with Rogen. O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Bob Odenkirk stand out among the supporting actors. The film’s soundtrack is most appealing.

Long Shot offers some great moments of levity, but the romance is fails to capture the imagination.

Long Shot is out on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD from 9th September 2019.


Previews: The Addams Family Trailer, Official Secrets, More!

Plenty to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new The Addams Family trailer, The Day Shall Come, The Farewell, and more…

The Addams Family Trailer

Here is the brand new The Addams Family trailer. The animated film is the latest iteration of the creepy family, following the television shows and the 1990s films. This latest movie features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, and Chloe Grace Moretz. The Addams Family hits UK screens on 25th October 2019.

The Day Shall Come Trailer

Above is the new trailer for The Day Shall Come. Directed by Chris Morris (Four Lions), the film is a satire on Homeland Security, based on 100 true stories. It stars Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, and Danielle Brooks. The Day Shall Come will be released in UK cinemas on 11th October 2019.

Official Secrets Poster

Official Secrets is about the 2003 UK-US invasion of Iraq. The film focuses on Katherine Gun, a translator who leaks a classified email. Directed by Gavin Hood, the film stars Kiera Knightley, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, and Ralph Fiennes. Official Secrets will hit UK cinemas on 18th October 2019.

The Farewell Trailer

Lulu Wang’s Sundance smash The Farewell gets a UK release date. Written and directed by Wang, the semi-autobiographical drama is about a US-raised young woman who returns to China to see her ailing grandmother. The film stars Awkwafina and Tzi Ma. The Farewell will be released in UK cinemas on 20th September 2019.

The Third Man Trailer

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Carol Reed’s classic The Third Man gets a 4k re-release. The film, which stars Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, is about a writer who arrives in post-War Vienna to meet his childhood friend. The film will be screened at a special event at Picturehouse Central in London on 1st September 2019 – seventy years to the day of its world premiere. The Third Man returns to UK cinemas for one day only on 29th September 2019.

Previews: Long Shot Clip, Rocketman, Dark Phoenix, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a new Long Shot clip, Rocketman, Dark Phoenix and more…

Long Shot Clip

Here is a brand new Long Shot clip. The film is about a journalist who reunites with his childhood babysitter as she is about to make a presidential run. Directed by Jonathan Levine, the film stars Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. Long Shot will hit UK cinemas on 3rd May 2019.

Rocketman Featurette

This featurette looks at Elton John’s involvement with biopic Rocketman. The film, featuring the music of John, stars Taron Egerton as the musician early in his career. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman will screen at the Cannes Film Festival before being released in UK cinemas on 22nd May 2019.

Fast & Furious: Hobbes & Shaw Trailer

A spin-off of the hugely successful Fast & Furious franchise, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw focuses on two of the favourite characters from later films. The two former enemies partner up to bring down a threat to humanity. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, and Vanessa Kirby, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw is scheduled for release on 2nd August 2019.

Dark Phoenix Trailer

Above is the latest trailer for Dark Phoenix. A continuation of the latest X-Men series, Dark Phoenix concentrates on Jean Grey as she evolves in Phoenix. Regulars Sophie Turner, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and James McAvoy return for the sequel. They are joined by newcomer Jessica Chastain. Dark Phoenix will hit UK screens on 5th June 2019.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Clip

Here is a new clip from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. In this latest episode, assassin Wick has a hefty price tag on his head. Director Chad Stahelski (John Wick and John Wick: Chapter Two) returns for the film, and is joined by Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and Angelica Huston. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will be released in UK cinemas on 15th May 2019.

Playmobil: The Movie Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Playmobil: The Movie. The film is based on the toy line of the same name. The film is about a sister who must rescue her younger brother when he disappears into the Playmobil universe. Featuring Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, and Daniel Radcliffe, Playmobil: The Movie is set for release in UK cinemas on 9th August 2019.

Previews: The Addams Family Trailer, Booksmart, More!

The Addams Family Trailer

A plethora of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The Addams Family trailer, Booksmart, My Spy and more…

The Addams Family trailer is here. This first look at the new animated film gives a taste of the humour we can expect. The voice cast for this latest iteration includes Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, and Chloë Grace Moretz. The Addams Family is set for release on 25th October 2019.

Booksmart Trailer

Booksmart is the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde. The film received critical acclaim on its premiere at SXSW in March. The comedy focuses on two high school friends, played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever. The cast also includes Jason Sudeikis and Lisa Kudrow. Booksmart is due to hit UK screens on 27th May 2019.

My Spy Trailer

Dave Bautista’s latest film is action comedy My Spy. The film is about a hardened CIA operative who is at the mercy of a young girl when sent undercover to surveil her family. The film also stars Ken Jeong and Chloe Coleman. My Spy is coming soon to UK cinemas.

The Corrupted Trailer

Here is the trailer for crime thriller The Corrupted. The film is set in East London, and is about a land grab that occurred following the Olympic Games. The Corrupted stars Sam Claflin, Timothy Spall, and Noel Clarke. The film is set for release on 3rd May 2019.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile Trailer

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile tells the story of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. The film focuses on Bundy and his relationship with single mother Liz. The film’s cast features Zac Efron and Lily Collins. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will be released in UK cinemas and on Sky Cinema on 3rd May 2019.

Previews: Pet Sematary Clip, Long Shot, More!

Plenty of film-related goodness in this preview of coming attractions, including a new Pet Sematary clip, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, Thunder Road and more…

Pet Sematary Clip

Here is a new Pet Sematary clip. The upcoming film is an adaption of the Stephen King novel, which was previously brought to the silver screen in 1989. This new adaptation stars Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz who relocate to rural Maine with their young children. Pet Sematary hits the big screen on 4th April 2019.

Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood Poster

Here is the brand new poster for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood. The film is set in 1969, and focuses on a television star and his stunt double around the time of the Manson murders. The film features an enviable ensemble cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino. One Upon a Time in… Hollywood is set for release on 14th August 2019.

Thunder Road Trailer

Thunder Road, which has been a critical hit at festivals so far, gets a UK release. The film is written and directed by and stars Jim Cummings. Thunder Road is a dark comedy about a police officer who suffers a breakdown following his divorce. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 31st May 2019.

Long Shot Trailer

Long Shot is the latest film from director Jonathan Levine (The Night Before, 50/50). The film is about a journalist who is reunited with his first crush, an accomplished diplomat who is making a run for the presidency. Starring Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan, and O’Shea Jackson Jr., Long Shot hits UK screens on 3rd May 2019.

Spy Cat Trailer

What is this? A film about a special agent cat certainly ticks the boxes! Spy Cat is an adventure comedy about a house cat who must team up with a band of drifters when she is abandoned at a rural petrol station. Spy Cat will exclusively be screened at Vue Cinemas from 26th April 2019.

Previews: The Grinch Trailer, Tully, More!

Lots of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The Grinch trailer, The Strangers: Prey at Night, Tully and more…

The Grinch Trailer

Here is the new The Grinch trailer. The upcoming animation is the latest adaptation of the Dr Seuss’ classic. The 2000 live-action film How The Grinch Stole Christmas was one of the highest grossing movies of its year, so it will be interesting to see how this new version fares. Featuring the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, The Grinch will be released in UK cinemas on 9th November 2018.

The Strangers: Prey at Night Trailer

This trailer for The Strangers: Prey at Night reveals little about the plot but a lot of the genre. The film is about a family holiday that goes wrong with the arrival of some strangers. The horror movie stars Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson. The Strangers: Prey at Night will hit UK screens on 4th May 2018.

Tully Trailer

Above is the second trailer for Tully. The film sees director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody reunite with star Charlize Theron, following 2011’s brilliant Young Adult. The film is about a mother of three young children who is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Also starring Mackenzie Davis and Mark Duplass, Tully will be released on 20th April 2018.

Truth or Dare Trailer

The latest film from producer Jason Blum is based on that time-honoured party game. Truth or Dare is about a group of friends who must play the game, with horrendous consequences. The film stars Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey. Truth or Dare is set for release in UK cinemas on 13th April 2018.

Love, Simon Clip

Above is a clip from the upcoming Love, Simon. It gives a pretty succinct introduction to the title character in the film, which is based on the novel of the same name. The film stars Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, and Josh Duhamel. Love, Simon is out at UK cinemas on 6th April 2018.

Previews: Dark River Poster, Oceans 8, More!

Plenty in this pre-Christmas preview of coming events, including the new Dark River poster, Gringo, Oceans 8, and more…

Dark River Poster

Here is the new Dark River poster. The drama is about fraught relationship between a brother and a sister. Directed by Clio Bernard, the film stars Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, and Sean Bean. Dark River will be released in UK cinemas on 23rd February 2018.

Gringo Trailer

Gringo is a dark comedy about a businessman who finds himself at the mercy of colleagues and local drug lords in Mexico. The film features an all-star cast that includes David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, and Amanda Seyfried. Gringo is directed by Nash Edgerton (brother of Joel), and is set for release on UK screens on 9th March 2018.

Oceans 8 Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Oceans 8. The film features the same big heist set-up as its predecessors, albeit with a brand new cast. Sandra Bullock leads the star-studded cast, and is joined by Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, and Anne Hathaway. Oceans 8 is scheduled for release in June 2018.

Isle of Dogs Poster

Here is the newest poster for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. The stop-motion animated film is about a boy who travels to an island of dogs to find his dog, Spots. The enviable voice cast includes Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Ken Watanabe, and Greta Gerwig. Isle of Dogs will be released in UK cinemas on 30th March 2017.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Trailer

The sequel to the hit 2008 film Mamma Mia! gets a belated sequel. The film is part sequel and part prequel as it focuses on current activity and well as telling the story of Donna when she was younger. Lily James plays the young Donna, and the cast of the original reprise their roles, including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again will be released on 20th July 2018.