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.

Film Review: John Wick: Chapter Two

With John Wick: Chapter Two,  director Chad Stahelski returns with a sequel that is more successful than its progenitor.

After winding up some final business, John Wick wants to retire back to his quiet life. However, a face from the past demands John Wick pays his debt in the form of an assassination job…

John Wick: Chapter Two begins with a bang, and rarely lets up. It is a tour de force of ultraviolent action. The film surpasses the 2014 original, in terms of pacing, style and overall entertainment. Whereas John Wick offered an enticing revenge movie, the sequel finesses this formula.

The film is an onslaught of frenzied action which occupies the vast majority of the two-hour running time. The brief respites mostly work to provide exposition and background to the world of John Wick. There is an entertaining montage sequence which shows exactly how Wick gets his gadgets and intel. The stylish tics from the first film reemerge here, and are executed to a greater degree. Lighting is key in several of the action sequences, from the neon lights in Rome to the the futuristic gauze of the subway station.

Action sequences are choreographed exceptionally well. The film is undoubtedly graphic in its violence. However, it is so unrelenting, that it does not have the same impact as a more sparing use of graphic violence. Rather, the film’s action sequences emphasises the movement and flow of combatant figures. Stahelski directs these sequences with a grace more akin to dance choreography.

Keanu Reeves is not stretched in reprising this muted action hero. Ian McShane is more fun as hotel owner Winston, whilst Riccardo Scamarcio plays up his antagonist role. Laurence Fishburne, likewise, seems to enjoy his role. Littered throughout the film are self-deprecating takes, and Fishburne appears to relish in his part of these.

John Wick: Chapter Two is a must-see for action movie fans. This sequel completes the rare task of outperforming the original film. With an opening for a third film, it will be interesting to see whether Stahelski can continue this form.

Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

If Carlsberg made movies… they probably would not be anything like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. However, if Night Nurse made movies…

No longer in possession of the Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself in a bit of bother in London. When he meets Angelina, an old flame from his past, Jack is tricked aboard the ship of the notorious Blackbeard. The aging pirate needs Jack’s help to find the Fountain of Youth, which is also being pursued by Barbossa…

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a mess of a film that isn’t even laughably enjoyable. With a running time of almost two and a half hours, it is likely to leave some audience members in a comatose state. If the narrative was tighter and some scenes trimmed or altogether removed, Rob Marshall’s film would have been much more entertaining. As it stands, the fourth Pirates movie is incredibly dull.

The film features some fun action sequences, but these grow tired quickly as each set piece attempts to outdo the previous one. There are long periods in the film where the pace is very slack. The endless chases lack momentum as they are way too drawn out.

Whereas Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was a bit strange and difficult to get into, On Stranger Tides has more in common with the first two films. However, this instalment comes across as formulaic, offering very little in terms of innovation. Although Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann were fairly boring main characters, their absence is palpable. Their love story is replicated somewhat by Philip and Syrena; a poor substitute. The romantic narrative between preacher and mermaid is poorly executed. In attempting to fill a gap, it comes across as trite and underdeveloped.

The effects and staging are as good as ever. Clearly a lot of money was put into making the film; it is a shame that the end results to not justify the cost. Sound is also well used in the film. The 3D consists really of swords being pointed outwards, not exactly worth the uplift price.

Johnny Depp delivers his usual schtick as Jack Sparrow. His performance is not the problem though. The character, who was such fun in the first movie, is now as tired and uninspired as the narrative. In an attempt to inject new life into the franchise, a few new characters are introduced. Ian McShane is decent as Blackbeard, while Penelope Cruz is noticeably stagnant as Angelica. Her lack of movement was undoubtedly due to her pregnancy at the time of filming, but it really should not have been this obvious.

Sadly it seems likely that there will be at least another Pirates film, if not more. Given its sub-par quality, On Stranger Tides really should kill the franchise, but it probably won’t.