Previews: Star Trek Beyond Featurette, Cafe Society and More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions includes a new Star Trek Beyond featurette, Cafe SocietyLa La Land and more…

Star Trek Beyond Featurette

This new Star Trek Beyond featurette introduces a new character to the franchise, Jaylah. Played by Sofia Boutella, Jaylah is introduced as an ally of Scotty, played by the film’s co-writer Simon Pegg. Justin Lin directs the latest instalment of the series, with J.J. Abrams on board as a producer. Star Trek Beyond hits UK screens on 22nd July 2016.

Cafe Society Trailer

After its debut at Cannes, Woody Allen’s latest feature Cafe Society gets a UK release date. The film is set New York and Hollywood in the 1930s; a perfect backdrop for star Blake Lively’s classic Hollywood glamour. Also starring Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carrell and Kristen Stewart, Cafe Society arrives in UK cinemas on 2nd September 2016.

La La Land Trailer

Here is the first trailer for La La Land. The film has a lot going for it; it is the follow-up from director Damien Chazelle after his brilliant Whiplash. It also reunites Ryan Gosling with Emma Stone after Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad. The pair star as a musician and an aspiring actress who fall in love in Los Angeles. La La Land will be released in early 2017.

Finding Dory Featurette

This featurette for the upcoming Finding Dory reveals the background to the sequel. A follow-up to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory concentrates on Marlin’s sidekick, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. The film hits UK screens on 29th July 2016.

The Shallows Featurette

Will this be as tense as Jaws? There certainly have been some memorable shark films, so it will be interesting to see how The Shallows measures up. Blake Lively discusses her character in this featurette, which includes footage from the film. The Shallows slinks into UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Clip

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a comedy featuring Zac Efron and Adam Devine. After putting an online ad for dates to their sister’s wedding, the brothers get more than they bargained for with Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is out in cinemas on 10th August 2016.

Power Rangers Poster

Power Rangers poster

Here is one of the latest posters for upcoming film Power Rangers. I never watched the show, so I don’t have the “stop remaking everything” attitude to this. The film’s cast includes Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, and Naomi Scott (pictured above). Power Rangers is scheduled for release next year.

Film Review: Gangster Squad

gangster-squad-movie-image-emma-stone-ryan-gosling

Gangster Squad is an entertaining but flawed gangster film. Despite some inconsistencies the film is enjoyable.

In the Los Angeles of 1949 Sgt. John O’Mara is a rare honest cop in a city rife with corruption. With mafia boss Mickey Cohen holding influence in all levels of authority, O’Mara must work covertly with a small group of officers in order to smash his operation…

Gangster Squad is a by the numbers gangster feature with the requisite action, crime and corruption. At the very beginning it seems as if the film is aiming for a noir approach but this is quickly dispelled. Instead it is a more straightforward gangster picture.

The plot, a violent game of cat and mouse, throws up few surprises. The mood of the film is the aspect that may raise eyebrows. At various points the film is humorous, a take on the traditional gangster movie and a serious action film. It is most fun when it takes on the former two personas. The latter, in the final third, is less enjoyable.

Violence in the film is frequent. The dominant message appears to be only violence get beat violence. This is addressed explicitly in the film, but a satisfactory response is never ascertained. There is no more nuanced a message than honest cops are the good guys.

The costumes and sets are great. It is a pity that the camera work does not quite match this aesthetic. The slow motion is unnecessary. If the entire film was comic-like this may have worked. The dialogue is at times pithy, but can descend into delusions of grandeur in the more serious moments. Performances are good overall. Josh Brolin is well cast as honest cop O’Mara while Gosling offers the best delivery. Anthony Mackie is underused as ever, while Sean Penn has fun with his caricature role.

Gangster Squad is never a chore. It is fun and entertaining in spite of some flaws.

Trailer Round-Up

This week is all about the The Expendables 2. Well, not really but the trailer was released this week. Gangster Squad, Brave and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter also feature in this round-up.

The Expendables 2

This film looks amazing. I was one of the people who quite liked the The Expendables, so I am looking forward to this sequel. The Expendables 2 features more of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Chris Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris. Let’s hope the film matches this stellar action cast. The Expedendables 2 is out on 17th August 2012.

Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad is the new film from director Ruben Fleischer. Starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, the film tells the story of the LAPD’s battle with gangsters in the late 1949. The film is being distributed by Warner Bros, who were famed for the gangster movies in the 1930s. Hopefully Gangster Squad will bring back some of that magic. The film is released on 9th November 2012 in the UK.

Brave

Here is an amusing little video to promote Disney’s Brave. The Scottish theme is really being played up in the film’s publicity. Brave will be out in the UK on 17th August 2012, although cinemagoers in Scotland will be able to see the film two weeks before this. Brave will premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival in June, so expect to hear more about the film around that time.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Above is a short featurette about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The film’s UK release date has been brought forward; the film will now open on 20th June 2012, bringing it in line with the US release. Given the premise of the film, it should be a lot of fun to watch Lincoln fight vampires in 3D.