A Cure for Wellness is a weird and wonderful gothic thriller. Gore Verbinski relies on audience familiarity with the tropes of genre in order to bewilder and beguile.
Corporate rising star Lockhart is tasked with a mission to retrieve his company’s CEO from a “wellness centre” in the Swiss Alps. When he arrives, things do not appear to be all they seem, despite the calm atmosphere…
Directed by Gore Verbinski and scripted by Justin Haythe (based on a story by the pair), A Cure for Wellness is a gothic gem. The film offers a premise with enough of a hook to reel viewers in. Little is revealed about the protagonist; the mystery initially centres on Pembroke, the CEO Lockhart is tasked with bringing back. As the film progresses, there are various levels of intrigue, from the constantly updated history of the place, to the background and whereabouts of characters.
From the outset, it is clear that there is something awry with the “wellness centre”. Verbinski tempts with some common genre tropes, and allows viewers to ponder these. The film unfolds at its own pace, offering both visual substance and mystery to keep the audience entertained. Verbinski builds layers on these tropes, dropping hints but keeping viewers guessing over final outcome. The psychological aspects of the genre are writ large in this film. Furthermore, the imagery is striking and memorable. The film’s use of iconography borrows heavily from gothic texts. Fans of this genre will likely enjoy spotting the influences.
From an early shot of the winding road to the centre, the cinematography indicates that the film will be a visual feast. There are some great shots, as well as a restricted colour palette to give a distinctive look. Art direction in the film is fantastic. The score is used appropriately, and the sound design highly effective. Dane DeHaan offers a solid performance as Lockhart. Mia Goth is striking as Hannah, whilst Jason Isaacs makes a decent antagonist.
A Cure for Wellness is a salve for those wanting delicious gothic excess in a contemporary setting. The film is peculiar and outlandish, and very entertaining for this.
Last night the Super Bowl took place. But more relevantly, some of the most anticipated movie trailers aired during the broadcast. Here are the Super Bowl 2017 trailers, ranked in the most subjective of manners…
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.10: Fast & Furious 8
This spot for Fast & Furious 8 displays the all-star cast of this sequel, but may give viewers a sense of déjà vu. The fast cars, the big set pieces; Fast & Furious 8 is definitely in the same mold as its many predecessors. The film is out on UK screens on 14th April 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.9: Ghost in the Shell
This Super Bowl spot for Ghost in the Shell was released a few days ago, so offers little in the way of surprise. The spot is swift and to the point, giving an indication of the style of the film and the setting. Ghost in the Shell hits UK screens on 31st March 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.8: Transformers: The Last Knight
This extended spot for Transformers: The Last Knight begins with the same voiceover as previous trailers for the film. This spot focuses on the spectacle of wide-scale destruction, images of Transformers only feature in the last few seconds. Transformers: The Last Knight hits the big screen in June 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.7: Baywatch
This spot for the Baywatch movie gives the briefest look at the characters in this remake of the television show. Wisely, the focus is on Dwayne Johnson, who plays Mitch Buchanan. Fans of the original show will be hoping for an affectionate but humorous tribute. Baywatch is out in UK cinemas on 31st May 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.6: Logan
This spot for the upcoming Logan shows viewers much of what has already been seen in previous trailers. However, as with previous trailers, the soundtrack game is strong, and the clips look interesting. With Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart reprising their roles, Logan launches on to UK screens on 3rd March 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.5: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
This extended spot for Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (known as Dead Men Tell No Tales in the US) focuses on supporting characters and spectacle, with Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow only making an appearance in the final few seconds. This is a smart move; with the exposure of the actor’s private life, and indeed backlash against recent performances, it is probably best to downplay his role. Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is released in UK cinemas on 26th May 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.4: John Wick: Chapter Two
This spot for John Wick: Chapter Two riffs on its release date competition, Fifty Shades Darker. The focus of this trailer is rapid-fire action, unsurprisingly. It works very well. John Wick: Chapter Two is out on 17th February, with previews on Valentine’s Day.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.3: Life
The tv spot that aired during the Super Bowl 2017 can be seen here. Above is the full international trailer for Life, a sci-fi thriller, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds. The full trailer lulls viewers into a false sense of security, but it seems that Life is a pretty serious film. UK viewers see for themselves when the film hits UK screens on 24th February 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.2: A Cure For Wellness
A Cure for Wellness‘ TV spot takes the form of an American pharmaceutical advert. Given the premise of the film, it is most fitting. Gore Verbinski’s film looks aesthetically pleasing and narratively intriguing. Starring Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth, A Cure for Wellness is released in UK cinemas on 24th February 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers No.1: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
This extended spot for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has everything viewers would hope for from a preview of this film. A great soundtrack, wonderful visuals, a look at the film’s main characters, and sufficient humour. Baby Groot and co will return to UK screens on 28th April 2017.
Super Bowl 2017 Trailers Bonus: Stranger Things
Ok so Stranger Things is not a film, but it is so fantastic that I had to feature it. The first season was a glorious homage to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg (and much more besides), and the second season seems to continue this tradition. This spot does not reveal much about the plot, but the kids are dressed as Ghostbusters. Stranger Things season 2 will be available on Netflix from Halloween.
Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a moving Baywatch poster, The Eyes of My Mother, A Cure for Wellness, and more…
Zac Efron promotes his new film in this moving Baywatch poster. The film, based on the 1990s television show, the film stars Efron, alongside Dwayne Johnson, Priyanka Chopra, and Alexandra Daddario. Baywatch hits the big screen on 31st May 2017.
The Eyes of My Mother
Gothic horror The Eyes of My Mother looks intriguing. The directorial debut of Nicolas Pesce, the film is about a young women whose dark curiosities are triggered following a tragedy in her life. Starring Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, and Clara Wong, The Eyes of My Mother will be released in UK cinemas on 24th march 2017.
A Cure for Wellness Clip
A Cure for Wellness looks rather creepy, if the above clip is anything to go by. The film stars Dane DeHaan as a young executive sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a remote wellness centre. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the film also stars Oscar Isaacs and Mia Goth. A Cure for Wellness will hit UK cinemas on 24th February 2017.
Certain Women Poster
Following Meek’s Cutoff and Night Moves, director Kelly Reichardt’s latest film is Certain Women. The film stars Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart as three women trying to forge there own paths in the plains of the American Northwest. Certain Women is out at UK cinemas on 3rd March 2017.
The Great Wall Featurette
Matt Damon describes The Great Wall as a “full-on battle monster movie” in the above featurette. He also speaks about his character, and the plot of the film. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Zhang Yimou, the film is out at UK cinemas on 17th February 2017.
Wolverine has turned babysitter in this latest X-Men movie. The film sees Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart reprise their roles in a dystopian road movie. James Mangold directs, and the film also stars Dafne Keen. Logan launches onto UK screens on 1st March 2017.
Beauty and the Beast Poster
Emma Watson looks very much the part of Belle in this latest Beauty and the Beast poster. From the images and clips revealed so far, this live-action remake is keeping the visual style of the original animated film. Also starring Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, and Ian McKellan, Beauty and the Beast is out on UK screens on 17th March 2017.
City of Tiny Lights Trailer
City of Tiny Lights very much evokes the look and feel of a neo-noir of decades past. Liz Ahmed stars as a deadbeat private eye whose services are engaged by a high-class prostitute. Also starring Billie Piper, City of Tiny Lights will be released in UK cinemas on 7th April 2017.
The first of this year’s previews of coming attractions include the Rings trailer, a new Blade Runner 2049 image, A Cure for Wellness, and more…
Here is the latest Rings trailer. The film is a new chapter in the horror franchise. From the synopsis, Rings does not appear to be directly linked to the characters from 2002’s The Ring, or its sequel. The cast includes Matilda Lutz, Jonathan Galecki, and Vincent D’Onofrio. Rings will hit UK screens on 3rd February 2017.
Blade Runner 2049 Image
Above is a new Blade Runner 2049 image. Not much has been revealed about the characters yet – is Ana de Armas’ character a replicant? Is Ryan Gosing’s? Who knows. Also starring Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, and Jared Leto, Blade Runner 2049 is due open in UK cinemas on 6th October 2017.
A Cure for Wellness Trailer
A Cure for Wellness has to be one of this year’s most anticipated movies. This trailer reveals a little more about the plot, which concerns a young executive who is sent to retrieve his CEO from a mysterious “wellness” centre. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the film stars Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, and Jason Isaacs. A Cure for Wellness is due for release in UK cinemas in early 2017.
Here is a brand new image from Netflix’s upcoming Mute. Directed by Duncan Jones, the film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, and Justin Theroux. Set in the near future, the film is about a mute bartender and his search for his missing girlfriend. Mute will be released by Netflix in all their territories later this year.
Beauty and the Beast Video
Here is a short video featuring the leads from the upcoming Beauty and the Beast movie. If follows the clip of Emma Watson singing ‘Something There’, which was released a few days ago. Beauty and the Beast also stars Dan Stevens, and features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The film is out in UK cinemas on 17th March 2017.
The LEGO Batman Movie Poster
I am thrilled to see that the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie features Harley Quinn. The film also sees appearances from Robin, The Joker, and Batgirl. Featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, and Jenny Slate, The LEGO Batman Movie will hit UK screens on 10th February 2017.
Patriots Day Trailer
Patriots Day is the latest film from director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Battleship). The film concentrates on the immediate aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Mark Wahlberg heads up a cast that includes John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, and J.K. Simmons. Patriots Day will be released in cinemas on 23rd February 2017.
Here is the first look at Coco, the latest animated film from Disney Pixar. The movie is about a young boy who sets of a chain of events relating to a centuries-old mystery. Coco is directed by Pixar stalwart Lee Unkrick and Adrian Molina, who also wrote the film. Featuring the voices of Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt, Coco is due to be released in UK cinemas in December 2017.
Plenty of great previews this week, including the new Logan trailer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Loving, and more…
Here is the first Logan trailer, the latest film in the X-Men series. The film is set in the future, and sees Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart reprise their roles. Logan is directed by James Mangold, who helmed 2013’s The Wolverine. The film is set for release in cinemas in 2017.
Loving tells the true story of the Richard and Mildred Loving, who fought for their right to live as an interracial couple in late 1950s America. This featurette sees the the cast of the film, including Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, discuss the characters and the wider background. Loving will be released in UK cinemas on 3rd February 2017.
A Cure for Wellness Trailer
This trailer for A Cure for Wellness looks intriguing. The film is a psychological thriller from director Gore Verbinski. A young executive is sent to a remote wellness centre to retrieve his company’s CEO. Starring Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, and Jason Isaacs, A Cure for Wellness is set for release in early 2017.
Collateral Beauty Poster
Here is the latest poster for Collateral Beauty. The film is about an advertising executive, and the group of colleagues who get him to confront his grief. The film features a stellar cast, including Will Smith, Edward Norton, and Helen Mirren. Collateral Beauty will be out in cinemas on 26th December 2016.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer
So for most of this first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it seems as if Marvel are withholding Baby Groot. But, have no fear, they deliver at the very end. The eagerly anticipated sequel sees the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy reunite. Brand new footage of James Gunn’s film can be seen at screenings of Doctor Strange (released on the 25th October). Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 28th April 2017.
The Accountant TV Spot
Here is one of the latest TV spots for The Accountant. The film had its European premiere in London’s Leicester Square this week. The Accountant stars Ben Affleck as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous organisations. The film hits UK screens on 4th November 2016.
Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger is sabotaged by its length. It ticks the boxes of action and adventure, but at a cost.
Native American Warrior Tonto tells the story of how John Reid became the Lone Ranger. An idealistic lawyer, John’s fortune changes when he accompanies his Texas Ranger brother in pursuit of an outlaw…
Had thirty minutes been trimmed, The Lone Ranger would have been a much better film. The false endings add to the film’s duration and hinder the actual climax, which lacks the sense of danger and momentum it should have had.
The Lone Ranger‘s narrative has its issues. The incessant need to link all the elements does not work to the film’s advantage. Although the film functions as an origins story for the title character, this does not meant that it should also act as one for other characters.
The screenwriters attempt to add a historical aspect to the story. This works reasonably well, giving the audience a flavour of the time in which the film is set. Nonetheless, some of the messages that the film conveys are laid on thick.
Verbinski’s film combines a number of genres. Whilst the action is well executed, the romance strand adds little to character depth or plot and should have been omitted. Some of the humour works, other jokes fall flat.
With the pairing of John Reid and Tonto, the film tries to develop a more antagonistic relationship. This is fine, although some of the back and forth could have been removed. The character of Tonto in this incarnation is not as interesting as the writers and Johnny Depp think he is.
Armie Hammer does well in the action hero role. Helena Bonham Carter delivers a good performance in a slight role, despite her high billing. Johnny Depp seems to now think that an unusual accent, strange costume and some odd facial expressions constitutes acting.
It is difficult to see the audience for The Lone Ranger. It is too sanitised for western fans, and paradoxically too violent for young children.
A veritable feast for the eyes this week, with the new teaser trailer for The Lone Ranger, excellent posters from the upcoming Frankenweenie, and more besides…
The Lone Ranger
The teaser trailer for 2013’s The Lone Ranger was released this week. Starring Johnny Depp, directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it is unsurprising that the teaser is reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean. Also starring Armie Hammer as the title character and Helena Bonham Carter, The Lone Ranger is due for release next year.
Frankenweenie will be released in the UK on 17th October 2012, and will open the London Film Festival on 12 October 2012. To promote the release of Tim Burton’s new film, these fantastic retro-style posters have been released. The others can be viewed here. They are entirely in keeping with the style of the stop-motion animated black and white film. To coincide with the release, the exhibition The Art of Frankenweenie will open at the BFI Southbank during the festival.
One of this year’s most anticipated films will be released in the UK on 16th November 2012, with a special run at the Odeon West End from 2nd November 2012. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master has been receiving critical acclaim and recently broke the takings per screen record when it opened in the US. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.
Several images and features from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have been released in the last few weeks. These include new posters featuring the dwarves and new Hobbit-related apps. But what I want to know is where are the Gollum posters and apps? Until this time comes, here is an image from the film to sate Gollum fans. The first film instalment of The Hobbit will be released on 14th December 2012.
Written by Joel and Ethan Coen and directed by Michael Hoffman, Gambit looks like a lot of fun. Starring Colin Firth, Alan Rickman and Cameron Diaz, Gambit is a remake of the 1966 film of the same name. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 21st November 2012.
In an age where almost everything animated appears in 3D, Rango refreshingly does not opt for this route. Although the film is animated and rated PG, it is more likely to appeal to adults and older children rather than younger viewers.
Rango is a lonely chameleon who puts on plays with his toys to entertain himself. When Rango accidentally finds himself in the middle of the desert, he comes across the town of Dirt. Rango takes the opportunity to invent himself as a gun-slinging hero…
Directed by Pirates of the Caribbean‘s Gore Verbinski, Rango is not the typical animated feature. The film does not seem to fit the Pixar/Dreamworks mould of combining adventure, comedy, drama and romance. Instead, Rango is best described as a western. Given its characteristics, this category seems most appropriate. However, like a film such as Back to the Future Part III, Rango will sometimes adhere to conventions, and at other times play on the familiar archetypes present.
Given this western predilection then, it is perhaps unsurprising that Rango is more likely to entertain older audience members than the young children usually targeted by animated features. The film begins rather slowly, which won’t really entice youngsters with a short attention span. Moreover, those expecting a Disneyesque movie may be disappointed by Rango‘s offbeat style.
Although humour is present in Rango, it is a hard push to describe the film as hilarious. The comedy is more self-reflexive, with jokes about performing and genre that are likely to go over the head of some. Elsewhere the humour is quirky, with the film’s narrator becoming involved in the action, for example. The narrative is interrupted on two occasions with sequences that are interesting but bizarre. Nevertheless, they do not help in making Rango enthralling; the film lacks a good narrative.
The animation in Rango is sumptuous. Nickelodeon, ILM and the other production companies have done a fantastic job with the aesthetics. The detail in particular is amazing. Although animation tends to look better in 3D than live action generally, hopefully Rango‘s inevitable success will attest that not every new feature needs to be produced in three dimensions.
Rango features a host of famous names voicing the array of characters. Johnny Depp is suitably cast as Rango, although it is difficult to ever lose sight that it is Johnny Depp voicing the character. Isla Fisher is decent as Beans, as is Abigail Breslin as the very cute Priscilla. Ray Winstone and Bill Nighy meanwhile conform to their usual bad guy roles.
Rango is a fun movie, and something different to the usual big-budget animated fare. However, the film lacks the heart that would take it from enjoyable to amazing.