Previews: The Dead Don’t Die Trailer, MIDSommAR, More!

Plenty of hotly-anticipated movies in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The Dead Don’t Die trailer, Midsommar, Rocketman, and more…

The Dead Don’t Die Trailer

Here is the new The Dead Don’t Die trailer. The film, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive), is about a small town that becomes overrun with zombies. The comedy horror stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Danny Glover, and Tilda Swinton. The Dead Don’t Die hits UK screens on 12th July 2019.

Rocketman Featurette

Here is a new featurette on the costumes for the upcoming Rocketman. The film, a biopic of the early career of Elton John, stars Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, and Jamie Bell. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman is out in UK cinemas on 22nd May 2019.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer

Warning: this trailer contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. The sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place after the events of Endgame. Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, and Zendaya return, and they are joined by Jake Gyllenhaal and Samuel L. Jackson. Spider-Man: Far From Home is set for release on 2nd July 2019.

Midsommar Trailer

Filmmaker Ari Aster follows up last year’s critically acclaimed horror Hereditary with Midsommar. The film is about an American couple who join friends at a festival in a remote Swedish village. Midsommar stars Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, and Jack Reynor. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 5th July 2019.

Crawl Trailer

Above is the trailer for Crawl. The horror thriller is about a young woman who goes looking for her missing father during a massive hurricane. Those with a fear of alligators should look away now. Alexandre Aja directs the film, with Sam Raimi producing. Starring Kaya Scodelario, Crawl is set for release this summer.

Previews: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Trailer, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer, Fahrenheit 11/9, and more…

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Trailer

Here is the latest Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer. The film is produced by The LEGO Movie‘s Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, and features a mix of computer-generated and hand-drawn animation. The cast includes Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is set for release in UK cinemas on 12th December, with previews on the 8th and 9th December 2018.

Fahrenheit 11/9 Trailer

Michael Moore returns with a political documentary on the 2016 US presidential election. Fahrenheit 11/9 sets its sights on the Trump era, with filmmaker Moore asking how America got to this point. Fahrenheit 11/9 will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival, and will be released in UK cinemas on 19th October 2018.

On The Basis Of Sex Trailer

Above is the trailer for On The Basis Of Sex. The film is based on the true story of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who led the fight against gender discrimination. It stars Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer, and is directed by Mimi Leder. On The Basis Of Sex will be released soon.

Sorry To Bother You Trailer

Sorry To Bother You finally has a UK distributor and release date. The film, directed by Boots Riley, the film is about a telemarketer who discovers a magical key which leads to material glory. Starring Lakeith Stansfield and Tessa Thompson, Sorry To Bother You will be screening at the BFI London Film Festival and hits UK screens on 7th December 2018.

Rocket Man Trailer

Here is the first look at Rocket Man, the story of Elton John’s early years. The film stars Taron Egerton as the musician, as well as Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film count Elton John among its executive producers. Rocket Man is set for release in May 2019.

Previews: Detroit Trailer, 6 Days, More!

Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Detroit trailer, Transformers: The Last Knight, 6 Days, and more…

Detroit Trailer

Here is the Detroit trailer. Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film is about the civil unrest that rocked the city in 1967. The film stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, and Jack Reynor. Detroit will be released in UK cinemas later this year.

Transformers: The Last Knight Trailer

Here is the latest Transformers: The Last Knight trailer. The film sees Mark Wahlberg and Josh Duhamel return from the last instalment. They are joined by Anthony Hopkins this time around. From the above trailer, it seems that the world this film is set in is rather different to previous incarnations. Transformers: The Last Knight will hit UK screens on 23rd June 2017.

Atomic Blonde Trailer

So far, all the Atomic Blonde promotion seems to be delivering style in spades. The film stars Charlize Theron as an MI6 agent sent to deliver a priceless dossier. Theron is joined by James McAvoy, John Goodman, and Eddie Marsan. Atomic Blonde will be released in UK cinemas on 11th August 2017.

The Mummy Poster

The Mummy is intended as a reboot of the Universal Monsters series of films which were successful in the 1930s. This film is meant to kick off the series, which will also see the return of famed creatures in a shared universe. This new version of The Mummy certainly has star power; Tom Cruise heads up a cast which includes Sofia Boutella, Courtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe. The Mummy hits UK screens on 9th June 2017.

6 Days Trailer

6 Days is a new action thriller based on true events. The film focuses on the Iranian Embassy siege that took place in London in 1980. The film stars Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, and Abbie Cornish. 6 Days is out at UK cinemas on 4th August 2017.

My Cousin Rachel Trailer

My Cousin Rachel is an adaption of the Daphne du Maurier novel. The film is about a young man who plots revenge against his mysterious cousin, who he believes murdered his guardian. Starring Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, and Holliday Grainger, My Cousin Rachel will be released on UK screens on 9th June 2017.

Unlocked Clip

Here is a clip from upcoming thriller Unlocked. The film is about a CIA agent who must stop a biological attack in London. Noomi Rapace heads up the cast, and is joined by Orlando Bloom, Michael Douglas, Toni Collette, and John Malkovich. Unlocked hits UK cinemas on 5th May 2017.

Previews: Inside Out TV Spot, Maggie Trailer and More

A cornucopia of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Inside Out TV spot, a Terminator Genisys featurette, Maggie trailer and lots more…

Inside Out TV Spot

Here is the latest Inside Out TV spot. The Disney Pixar film has been doing fantastic business in the US, and looks certain to replicate that in the UK with its summer holiday’s release. With the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, Inside Out hits UK screens on 24th July 2015.

Terminator Genisys Featurette

The cast and crew of upcoming Terminator Genisys talk about protagonist Sarah Connor in this new featurette. The famous action heroine is played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, who indicates that there will be nods to the original film in this latest instalment of the franchise. Terminator Genisys is released on 2nd July 2015.

Ant-Man TV Spot

Marvel’s latest super hero to receive the big-screen treatment is Ant-Man. From the above TV spots and earlier trailers, the film looks to offer a fair amount of humour. Starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, Ant-Man launches its way onto the big screen on 17th July 2015.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation poster

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the five instalment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation sees the IMF disbanded, leaving Ethan and his team trying to combat deadly terror attacks. With Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames also returning, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation bursts into cinemas on 30th July 2015.

Maggie Trailer

Arnold Schwarzenegger must once again play the hero in new thriller Maggie. The film is a teenage girl who is infected during a zombie outbreak, and her father’s efforts to protect her. Also starring Abigail Breslin, Maggie is set for release on 24th July 2015.

Ted 2 Trailer

So teddy bears coming to life is something that I dream about. Ted is a little lewd for my tastes, but the first film was enjoyable enoughTed 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane, and brings on board Amanda Seyfried as Ted’s lawyer. Ted 2 hits the big screen on 8th July 2015 in the UK.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Trailer

The trailer for the latest instalment of the Paranormal Activity franchise is here. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension sees a family discover some old VHS tapes which hold a nasty surprise. The conclusion of the horror franchise is scheduled for release on 30th October 2015.

Vacation Poster

Vacation poster

Here is the latest poster for upcoming comedy Vacation. The film is the latest in the National Lampoon franchise, and sees a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) taking his family on a road-trip vacation. Also starring Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth, Vacation is release in UK cinemas on 21st August 2015.

The Secret Life of Pets Trailer

I know what pets to all day; the nap and eat and nap some more. That is to say, they live the life. New animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets takes us behind closed doors. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper and Hannibal Buress, The Secret Life of Pets  is set for release on 24th June 2016.

Fantastic Four Photo Shoot

Here are the stars of the new Fantastic Four film looking dapper. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell star as the superhero quartet in the reboot of the Marvel franchise. Fantastic Four launches its way onto the big screen on 6th August 2015.

Spectre Vlog

Here is the latest blog from the set of new James Bond move Spectre. Director Sam Mendes discusses filming a scene that takes place amidst the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City. Starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz, Spectre will be released on 6th November 2015.

Magic Mike XXL Clip

The marketing for sequel Magic Mike XXL has been wonderful. This latest clip suggests the tongue-in-cheek attitude will continue in the film. Whereas the first film descended into schmaltz, here’s hoping this instalment will keep the tone humorous. The film is, after all, about male entertainers. Magic Mike XXL is released in cinemas on 3rd July 2015.

Film Review: Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac

Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is absorbing, amusing and though-provoking cinema. Behind the rodomontade of controversy, Nymphomaniac is an excellent film.

Seligman finds Joe injured on the streets as he returns to his apartment. Inviting her in to recuperate, self-confessed nymphomaniac Joe begins to tell Seligman her story…

Nymphomaniac Volume I and Volume II are engrossing films best viewed in quick succession. The narrative framing device allows for effective storytelling. Both the storyteller Joe and her listener Seligman are interesting characters. Both bring something compelling to proceedings.

Lars von Trier’s writing in Nymphomaniac is superb. The film works as a straightforward recollection of events. In this way, it is both entertaining and reflective. Notwithstanding, with the addition of other elements, von Trier’s film delivers more. Bringing religion, mythology and mathematics in to embellish the tale adds an extra layer of depth. The interruptions of Seligman (surely a reference to the psychologist rather than a coincidence) are both humorous and insightful.

Much has been made of the prurience of this film, stoked to a certain extent by Nymphomaniac‘s memorable marketing. Whilst the film is very explicit, it is not erotic. The draw here is how the story will unfold. Volume I departs with enough of a hook to reel viewers in for the second part.

Lars von Trier makes the most of nature, as he has done in previous films. Familiar preoccupations of the writer-director are also visible here, with no less potency. Direction is thoughtful, whilst references show a level of sophistication. The use of Rammstein in the film’s opening provides a blistering introduction.

Ultimately, Nymphomaniac is an unequivocally feminist piece. That it uses explicit imagery to tell its story does not negate from the importance or strength of overall message. To a certain extent, the film acts as a riposte to criticism of Antichrist.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is most believable as Joe, as is Stacy Martin as her younger counterpart. Stellan Skarsgård is excellent, whilst Christian Slater and Jamie Bell great. Uma Thurman delivers a star turn in a small role. Shia LaBeouf is less convincing with an erratic accent and hesitant performance.

The protagonists in the film are drawn so well that the shift in these characters is subtle and credible. When the cataclysmic finale arises it is paradoxically shocking and cogent.

Nymphomaniac certainly isn’t for everyone. Nevertheless, the film proves to be provocative and entertaining viewing.

Nymphomaniac Volume I and Volume II are being screened back to back in UK cinemas for one evening only, on Saturday 22nd February 2014.

Film Review: Jumper 3D

Jumper 3D

2008’s Jumper gets a 3D Blu-Ray this month. Whilst not an awful film, it is difficult to see what warranted this release.

As a teenager, David Rice discovers that he has the ability to teleport when he is placed in a precarious situation. Years later he uses his ability to create an impressive lifestyle, but he is not as safe as he thinks…

Doug Liman’s Jumper offers an entertaining enough premise. The film begins well, and creates some momentum. This is squandered by a lacklustre ending however. The film’s conclusion feels anticlimactic. There is a distinct sense that things have been left open for a sequel.

Based on Steven Gould’s story, Jumper does not attempt to explain the phenomenon of teleporting. It is quite refreshing that the film dives into the action without labouring a convoluted explanation. On the flipside however, the film does not give a satisfying reason for the antagonists. Without a reason to hunt the teleporters, these characters appear rather aimless.

Dialogue in Jumper can be a bit cheesy. The characters fulfil various achetypes. There is not enough depth to the main characters to fully engage viewers. The romantic strand could have been better developed. The relationship between David and Millie seems to function only as motivation for impeding danger, instead of an interesting relationship in its own right.

Special effects in Jumper are decent. The 3D conversion, however, is sadly lacking. It is subtle in terms of depth. The film looks too bright, and this gives the effect of a cheap television production rather than a glossy Hollywood movie.

Performances in the film are adequate enough. Hayden Christensen fails to shine in the lead role. Jamie Bell is better, whilst Rachel Bilson is cute but limited with her one-dimensional character.

Jumper is not a particularly memorable sci-fi film. Neither painful nor rewarding viewing.

Jumper is released on 3D Blu-Ray from 5th August 2013.

Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a fantastic adventure film that ticks all the boxes. It is superbly crafted and will entertain audiences of all ages.

Reporter Tintin and his canine companion Snowy are well known for solving mysteries and breaking big stories. When a model boat catches Tintin’s eye at the market, he decides he must have it. Tintin is warned against keeping it by a mysterious stranger. It is later stolen from Tintin’s home, but not before a clue is left in the young reporter’s possession…

The Adventures of Tintin is an adventure film of the highest order. Spielberg’s film combines everything you would want from an adventure: mystery, action, suspense, comedy and exotic locales. In this way it recalls some of Spielberg’s earlier work, such as the Indiana Jones films. There is also a very amusing nod to Jaws.

Spielberg directs the film deftly. The chase scene in Morocco in particular is spectacular, with the panning shots and overall fluid movement. There are some wonderful edits between scenes, with one scene seamlessly enveloping the previous one.

The screenplay by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat is great. Good deal of humour, which should appeal to both adults and children. The chemistry between Tintin and Haddock is most believable, and Thompson and Thompson do a good job of providing the comic relief. Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis do a great job of bringing Tintin and Captain Haddock to life, respectively. Smowy the dog also plays a pivotal role in proceedings. It is nice to see he is always given something to do while the focus is on Tintin; sniffing round the camel while his master speaks to someone, for example.

The animation is superb in The Adventures of Tintin. Unlike some of the other films that have used motion capture, there is a warmth to the characters. The detail is excellent; the strands of Tintin’s hair are incredibly lifelike. The film should give other filmmakers using this technology something to aim for. 3D also works very well in Tintin. It is a film with paying the uplift for to see in 3d on the big screen.

Fans of the books should be satisfied with this adaptation. It references it source material with a few nods, including the cute portrait scene at the beginning. Moreover, this film should bring new fans into the fold as previous knowledge of the stories is not required. From the great opening credits scene to the very last moments, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is immensely entertaining. Highly recommended viewing.

Film Review: The Eagle

The Eagle is a fairly standard sword and sandals tale that eschews grandeur to concentrate on a more personal story. Although the themes seem rather simplistic at times, the film is entertaining nevertheless.

Marcus Aquila’s father was in charge of the Ninth Legion, of which all men vanished along with their gold emblem in the north of Britain. Now a centurion, Aquila is a skilled soldier but carries with him lingering thoughts about his father’s disappearance. When he hears rumours about the eagle’s whereabouts, Aquila travels with his slave Esca across Hadrian’s Wall to try and retrieve it…

The Eagle is less of an epic than a film such as Gladiator; the battle in Kevin MacDonald’s film appears  not as wide-ranging. The focus is squarely on the personal in The Eagle. Aquila is concerned with restoring his father’s honour, and travels with only a slave instead of an army. The film provides no great surprises with its narrative, but there is enough drive and action to entertain audiences.

Jeremy Brock’s screenplay is perfectly suitable for the genre, although the dialogue can be a little hackneyed. Themes in The Eagle are stripped back to basics; the film concentrates on honour and trust. It does not really delve deeper than the surface into these issues. The relationship between Aquila and Esca is built upon these themes. There are definite homoerotic overtones, but these amount to all tease and no pay off, as perhaps is expected.

The battle scenes in the film are graphically violent. It seems that the filmmakers wanted to accentuate the violence of the period. The art direction and cinematography work well, generating a sense of harshness in the landscape that matches the brutality of the violence. The sound design is interesting; for the most part it is good, but veers towards overemphasis in the later battle sequences.

Performances in The Eagle are good overall. Channing Tatum makes a formidable soldier, he is certainly appropriately cast in terms of physique. Jamie Bell adds substance to the film as the slave Esca. He brings a solemnness to the character which is credible. Donald Sutherland plays the wizened old man well as Aquila’s uncle. All the Romans in the film speak with American accents; an unusual choice that is a little distracting at the beginning of the film.

The Eagle is not particularly remarkable or innovative, but it is a decent sword and sandals film. Fans of this genre are unlikely to be too disappointed by this offering.