Previews: Ghostbusters First Look, Batman v Superman and More!

Plenty to gaze upon this week, with the Ghostbusters first look image, posters for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Deadpool, and more…

Ghostbusters First Look

Ghostbusters First Look

Here is the Ghostbusters first look image. Little is known about the plot of the film, but the new Ghostbusters don very similar attire to their predecessors. Directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Ghostbusters is set to be released in Summer 2016.

Youth Trailer

Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth is a drama about a retired composer staying at a spa. The film features an enviable cast that includes Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda. Youth, which has already gathered awards nominations, will be released in UK cinemas on 29th January 2016.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Poster

Wonder Woman Poster

This is my favourite of the three posters released for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this week (the others were of the title characters). Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in the upcoming DC film. It will be interesting to see the scope of her role in the film. particularly with the plans for the franchise. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will hit the big screen in March 2015.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Written by J.K. Rowling, the film focuses on the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released in the UK on 18th November 2016.

Deadpool Poster

Deadpool poster

This latest Deadpool poster continues the tongue-in-cheek marketing we have seen so far. Ryan Reynolds reprises his role from X-Men Origins: Wolverine as the anti-hero Wade Wilson. Promising to be closer to the edge than have superhero fare, Deadpool bounds on to cinema screens on 4th February 2016.

Star Trek: Beyond Trailer

The first trailer for Star Trek: Beyond was released earlier this week, overall it seems to be harking back to the original series in some places, albeit on a much grander scale. Little is revealed about the plot, but the cast including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are joined by Idris Elba for this instalment. Star Trek: Beyond hits Uk screens on 22nd July 2016.

X-Men: Apocalypse Poster

X-Men Apocalypse Poster

Following the release of the trailer earlier this week, here is a look at a new poster for X-Men: Apocalypse. After the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the franchise returns with villain Apocalypse. The trailer suggests the film marries this new series of films with the older one, by looks at least. X-Men: Apocalypse is released in cinemas in May 2016.

Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer

Here is the first full trailer for sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. The sequel sees Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox and others reprise their roles from the 1996 blockbuster. With director Roland Emmerich returning to the disaster movie fold, Independence Day: Resurgence will hit UK screens in June 2016.

Film Review: Battle: Los Angeles

As an two-hour long advertisement for the US marines, Battle: Los Angeles is excellent. As a feature film, not so much.

Veteran marine Michael Nantz is ready to retire after a long and distinguished career. The day after he makes his intentions clear, major cities around the world come under attack from an unknown entity. Squad sergeant Nantz and his team must battle against the alien attackers to save Los Angeles…

Jonathan Liebesman’s Battle: Los Angeles features all of the standard conventions of an apocalyptic/alien attack movie. There is little innovation in any aspect of the film. The pacing is uneven; there are several false endings and the film lasts longer than it should. Although the movie centres on an alien attack, little is revealed about the extraterrestrials. Instead, Battle: Los Angeles concentrates on the near relentless action.

Writer Chris Bertolini injects his script with all the usual clichés. At its worse, the film is an embarrassment of cringe-worthy dialogue. Nantz’s speeches to his men are riddled with the overblown sentiment of a Michael Bay film. Likewise, while Bertolini strives for heartfelt with the confabulating of Hector’s father Joe, the result is more nauseating than anything else.

The characters in Battle: Los Angles fulfill the usual archetypes for the style of film. Nantz is at first the reluctant hero, coming into his stride as the film progresses. He is the all-American hero; putting the lives of his team before his own, and saving the civilians at any cost. Within his team, none of the characters particularly stand out. Lockett is the familiar good guy with a chip on his shoulder, while Santos is the token female.

Special effects are pretty decent, although there is minimal detailed footage of the alien invaders. The sound is bombastic; with all the explosions, gunfire and helicopter sounds, there is barely a moment’s peace in Battle: Los Angeles. Camera work combines the rough, hand-held style of Cloverfield with the veneer of a Roland Emmerich movie.

Aaron Eckhart is a talented actor, so it is a mystery as to why he plumped for this script. Elsewhere, performances are fine overall; it is the dialogue rather than the delivery that is the problem. Michelle Rodriguez plays her usual tough girl role, while Ne-Yo’s foray into movies is not much of a test.

The stock heroics, familiar perilous situations, and the little children to rescue are all present in the film. The only thing missing is the dog. Audiences may be better off re-watching Independence Day or any of its ilk as Battle: Los Angeles offers nothing new.

Film Review: Skyline

At a certain point in Skyline, how soon depends on your patience, you will wish the protagonists would just succumb to their fate so this awful film will end. The special effects are decent, but sadly little else is.

Elaine and Jarrod are awoken by strange bright lights shining into the Los Angeles penthouse apartment. People are drawn to these lights, created by an alien presence. The couple and their friends must fight for survival as the human population is being decimated…

Skyline is a mess in all departments, bar the visual effects. Perhaps this is not surprising considering the directors, Colin and Greg Strause, are visual effects veterans (having only previously directed AVPR: Alien vs Predator – Requiem) and it is the first script from both Liam O’Donnell and Joshua Cordes, again with backgrounds in effects. The film was financed independently by the Strause brothers, rather than funded by a major studio. Whilst their independence is admirable, perhaps major studio executives may have spotted what a disaster the film is in time to salvage it.

Skyline is a by-number disaster picture that owes a debt to Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day. Unlike the 1996 film, however, Skyline lacks the pacing and momentum to make it an enjoyable movie. Following the initial attack, subsequent significant events are minimal. The story drags, failing to give viewers any indication of when a climax will arise.

The very ending of the film is quite bizarre, showing a slither of originality hitherto unseen. What precedes is stock disaster movie scenarios; aborted attempts at escape, close brushes with danger and the extermination of survivors all feature in Skyline.

Nevertheless, perhaps the most deplorable aspect of the film is the awful dialogue and acting. Some may find it amusing how poor this is, however it quickly grows tiresome. The dialogue is hackneyed; its sub-standard quality is exemplified by the terrible delivery from most of the cast members.

A flashback sequences at the beginning of the film, which gives some background to the protagonists, attempts to elicit from the audience some concern for these characters later down the line. This fails miserably, as the one-dimensional characters are difficult to engage with. Scottie Thompson and David Zayas, in particular, are entirely unconvincing in their delivery of lines, while it doesn’t seem that Eric Balfour attempts to display emotion.

The special effects appear convincing; with Skyline‘s modest budget being used well in this regard. Michael Watson’s cinematography is also one of the few positives of the movie. Sadly, these are not enough to keep the film afloat.

Skyline seems to be the result of what happens when a group of visual effects designers, with little other experience, decide they also have the prowess to write and direct a feature. Instead of just showing the film within their social circle, Skyline has been granted a wide release. It really should not have been.