Previews: Jurassic World Trailer, Inside Out Clip and more

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Jurassic World trailer, a clip from Inside Out, plus Black Mass, Danny Collins and more…

Jurassic World Trailer

Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the next instalment of his dinosaur franchise. This Jurassic World trailer reveals a little more about the plot of the film and its new dinosaurs. Although genetically-modified dinosaurs may raise eyebrows, the casting of Chris Pratt certainly does appeal following his turn in Guardians of the Galaxy. Jurassic World  will hit UK screens on 11th June 2015.

Black Mass

My, doesn’t Johnny Depp look different? Black Mass focuses on Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and his unlikely alliance with the FBI in the 1970s. The film also stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon. Back Mass is set for release on 25th September 2015.

Mad Max: Fury Road Legacy Trailer

This retro Mad Max: Fury Road trailer is smart marketing. It differentiates the film from other remakes, a key factor in this is the return of director George Miller. Starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road steams into UK cinemas on 14th May 2015.

Inside Out Clip

The more I see of Inside Out, the more I am looking forward to it. Featuring the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, the film focuses on Riley and her fluctuating emotions growing up. Inside Out is screening at Cannes Film Festival this May, and will be released in 24th July 2015.

Danny Collins Trailer

Danny Collins stars Al Pacino as an ageing rock star who goes on a journey to rediscover his family and himself. Based on a true story, the film also stars Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer and Jennifer Garner. Danny Collins will be released on UK screens on 29th May 2015.

Mr Holmes Trailer

Mr Holmes features an older version of the infamous detective than is usually portrayed on screen. Ian McKellan plays Sherlock Holmes as a returned detective, living in his farmhouse, who turns his attention to an unsolved case. Also starring Laura Linney, Mr Holmes is set for release on 19th June 2015.

Man Up Clip

Man Up is a new romantic comedy starring Simon Pegg and Lake Bell. The film is premised on a case of mistaken identity; Pegg’s Jack thinks Bell’s Nancy is his blind date. Also starring Olivia Williams and Rory Kinear, Man Up reaches UK cinemas on 29th May 2015.

Suffragette Trailer

This first trailer for Suffragette offers us a peak at Sarah Gavron’s historical drama. Suffragette is the first feature film to tell the story of British women’s fight for the right to vote at the turn of last century. With an enviable cast that includes Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan, Suffragette is set for release on 30th October 2015.

Summer Blockbuster Montage

Every year, film journalist Amon Warmann creates a montage of the Summer movie blockbusters. This year’s video features Mad Max: Road Fury, Ant-Man, Tomorrowland – A World Beyond and more. Check out his blog here.

Film Review: Beginners

When a subtitled dog isn’t even the best thing about a film, you know you are on to a winner. Mike Mills’ Beginners is a well-crafted film that offers great performances.

After his mother dies, graphic designer Oliver is shocked by his father’s announcement that he is gay. As Oliver comes to terms with this, his father is diagnosed with cancer. Oliver reflects upon his father’s outlook on life as he embarks on a new relationship with actress Anna…

The story of Beginners is told through a series of flashbacks. In addition to this, the film breaks with the story with short interludes that amusingly summarise different periods in Oliver’s family’s life. These seem to reinforce the point that throughout different times in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries things are the same but different. They chart the changing attitude to different types of relationships; the images of people and landscapes seem to highlight the subtlety of these shifts.

Mills’ film is an affecting drama. The tone of Beginners is reflective rather than bleak. Given the themes that are encompassed, it would not have been surprising if the film had been overly sombre. Instead, there is a pensive atmosphere. The execution of the film is fantastic, all the elements come together very well. The script is great; the characters are believable and the dialogue thoughtful and convincing.

The themes in Beginners can be identified with almost universally. The film concerns itself with love, relationships and grief; themes that most will be able to relate to. The film is also about same-sex relationships. This issue is dealt with sensitively and positively. The film has a point to make, but it carefully guides rather than patronising.

In spite of the serious themes, Beginners also features one of the most adorable dogs to have ever appeared on screen. Arthur, the endlessly faithful companion, is very much a character in his own right. The dog is subtitled, adding a quirky factor to the film. Although the emphasis remains on the human characters, Arthur is a welcome addition and could have been featured more prominently.

Christopher Plummer is fantastic as Hal. He is utterly convincing in the role, and has great chemistry with all of his co-stars. Ewan McGregor also offers a great performance as Oliver, effectively conveying the character’s sadness. Mélanie Laurent is immensely watchable as love interest Anna.

Beginners is a great drama made all the more unique by some of the more quirky elements. Although it will not entice everyone, many should find resonance in the film.

Film Review: My Dog Tulip

Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s My Dog Tulip is a charming film that offers as much from its visuals as it does from its narrative. There is a warmth to the film that is likely to be appreciated by all who view it.

Writer J.R. Ackerley, who lives alone, decides to adopt a German shepherd. Tulip is an excitable animal, and not at all house-trained. Over several years, man and dog become firm friends. Their friendship seems even to outweigh their relationships with others…

My Dog Tulip is based on the story by J.R. Ackerley. His narration guides the story, detailing the relationship between man and dog, and speaking for Tulip. This is ultimately very subjective; the character makes requisite assumptions about the dog’s emotions and about what she may be thinking.

The film is both emotional and pensive. Pet-owners will no doubt see parallels with the onscreen relationship between man and dog. Nonetheless, the friendship between the pair is even more fundamental than this. Even those who do not care for animals will be hard pressed not to be moved by My Dog Tulip. The story is thoughtfully told, offering sentiment and humour. The companionship at the heart of the film is something many strive for, albeit perhaps in a different guise. Moreover, most viewers will be able to empathise with Ackerley’s difficulties in forming attachments to other people. It is only through his relationship with Tulip that the writer is able to experience the closeness that many take for granted.

There are several sequences in the film that break the narrative. These are often amusing, where the protagonist’s imaginings about his canine companion come to life. In some of the sequences, for example, Ackerley imagines Tulip in a humanised form, wearing clothes and carrying a handbag. These breakaways serve to highlight the wonderful imagination of Ackerley himself, as well as the Fierlingers in bringing it to life.

The animation is hand-drawn, and has a very unpolished appeal. The style is at odds with the state-of-the-art animation of Pixar etc, and is refreshingly quaint as a result. The lines around Tulip always look more slapdash than the humans in the film, which serve to accentuate the energy of the dog.

Christopher Plummer is well cast as the voice of Ackerley, suitably situating the film it its period setting. The late Lynn Redgrave brings amusement as Nancy, while Isabella Rossellini is instantly recognisable as kindly vet Ms Canvenini.

My Dog Tulip is a wonderfully imaginative animated film that exudes genuine feeling. A must see for animation fans and dog lovers alike.