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: Spy

Spy

Paul Feig’s Spy is an entertaining action comedy which works better than the premise might suggest.

Susan Cooper is a desk-bound CIA agent who provides great support to her colleagues. When the CIA need a new face to go undercover, Susan volunteers, plunging herself into a world of danger as she tries to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms dealer…

Writer-director Paul Feig teams up with star Melissa McCarthy once again in this action comedy. Spy takes obvious cues from the James Bond franchise, most of this is worked to humorous effect. However, the film is not so much as spoof of the genre as a comedy sent within the framework of the genre.

Spy does not hit the beats that viewers may expect, and it is a better film for this. Paul Feig’s film is not always laugh-out-loud funny, but it often hits the mark in terms of jokes. Thnkfully the size jokes are eschewed for the most part, to deliver something much funnier. Jason Statham’s character Rick Ford is a parody of the type of role he is often associated with, and a great source of amusement.

Spy‘s plot features the usual twists of an action movie. The film plays on Melissa McCarthy’s Susan as a fish out of water; the protagonist is removed from her comfort zone. Nevertheless, she is drawn as capable rather than the bumbling comedy idiot that she could have been. In fact, female characters in the film are both visible and depicted in positions of authority. Spy does not make a point of doing this, it is not an overt point that female characters dominate key roles. Nevertheless, male characters are not sidelined in the film.

Melissa McCarthy is amusing and amiable as Susan. However, it is Rose Byrne who steals the show with her comedy chops. Jason Statham is also good, whilst Jude Law is well cast as the suave secret agent.

Spy is an improvement on 2013’s The Heat, and bodes well for Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters film. An action comedy that entertains throughout.

Previews: Vacation Trailer, Ant-Man Poster and more

This week’s preview of coming attractions features the Vacation trailer, a Jurassic World featurette, plus Absolutely Anything and Ricki and the Flash…

Vacation Trailer

Above is the red band Vacation trailer. The film is part of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series of films, with Ed Helms taking the role of Rusty Griswold. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprise their roles from the original series, whilst Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth join the cast. Vacation is set for release on 21st August 2015.

Absolutely Anything Trailer

This trailer had me at talking dog. Absolutely Anything is a British comedy about teacher who is given the power to do anything he wishes. Starring Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, and the voice of the late Robin Williams, Absolutely Anything will be released in UK cinemas on 14th August 2015.

Ant-Man Poster

Ant-Man Poster

Here is the latest poster for upcoming superhero movie Ant-Man, which reveals the main cast. Last week it was announced that the character will make his first appearance with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, which is due for release next year. Marvel fans get to see the first appearance of the character when Ant-Man is released in cinemas on 17th July 2015.

Ricki and the Flash Trailer

Ricki and the Flash has considerable talent both in front and behind the screen. Meryl Streep stars as rock star returning home to see her grown up children. Also starring Kevin Kline and Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, the film is directed by Jonathan Demme and is written by Diablo Cody. Ricki and the Flash is due for release this Summer.

Spy Clip

Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, and Jason Statham, action comedy Spy is about a desk bound agent who volunteers to go uncover on a dangerous mission. The film is directed by Paul Feig, who will be helming the new Ghostbusters movie; it will be interesting to see if he can get action and comedy to work in his latest film. Spy is released in UK cinemas on 5th June 2015.

Jurassic World Featurette

In this nostalgia-filled featurette for Jurassic World, cast and crew of the new movie discuss their memories of seeing Jurassic Park. Expectations are high for the upcoming sequel, in which a dinosaur theme park actually opens. Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World hits the big screen on 11th June 2015.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of film previews this week, with Mad Max: Fury RoadSpyPoltergeist and more…

Amy

Above is the teaser trailer for documentary Amy. Filmmaker Asif Kapadia looks at the life of late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. From the footage here, she is depicted as quiet personality, perhaps debunking tabloid representations. Amy is set for release in UK cinemas on 3rd July 2015.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Here is the latest trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. It was announced this morning that six minutes of footage from Mad Max: Road Fury will be shown before screenings of Fast & Furious 7 exclusively at Odeon cinemas from 3rd April. Mad Max: Fury Road will hit the big screen on 14th May 2015.

Spy

Director Paul Feig teams up again with Melissa McCarthy for Spy. Also starring Jason Statham and Jude Law, McCarthy plays a desk-bound CIA agent who goes undercover on a dangerous case. Spy will be released in UK cinemas on 5th June 2015.

Poltergeist

Poltergeist

I have chosen to feature this terrifying-looking poster as I want everyone to experience the same discomfort I felt when first glancing upon it. The Poltergeist remake, which stars Sam Rockwell, is set for release in UK cinemas on 22nd May 2015.

Terminator: Genisys

What this latest TV spot for Terminator: Genisys shows us is that robots age. This latest Terminator film stars Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney and, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It will be interesting to see whether Schwarzenegger can bring back the magic of the first two films. Terminator: Genisys hits the big screen on 3rd July 2015.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Speaking of ageing action heroes… No! The trailer for the latest Mission: Impossible movie is here, and looks as action-packed as ever. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation sees the return of Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner, alongside newcomers Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin. The film is released in UK cinemas on 30th July 2015.

The Falling

Carol Morley’s The Falling is about a fainting epidemic at a girls’ school in the 1960s. Starring Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and newcomer Florence Pugh, The Falling is out in cinemas on 24th April in the UK.

The Expendables 3 Press Conference

The Expendables 3

Last week the cast of The Expendables 3 were in London to discuss making the film, on-set injuries, and the future of the franchise. Heading the cast, Sylvester Stallone was joined by Kellan Lutz, Antonio Banderas, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes and producer Avi Lerner. Here are the highlights…

On injuries sustained…

Antonio Banderas: I think I got an injury the first take I did in the movie. I carried it all the way through the move, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want them to think I was getting older.

Sylvester Stallone: Jason [Statham] actually saw death in the bottom of the Black Sea. He’s very modest about it. He drove a five ton truck sixty feet down into black mud… because I cut the break line. That’s a little reveal, by the way.

Wesley Snipes: I broke a nail…

Stallone: …in someone’s eye.

On violence in The Expendables 3…

Stallone: The idea of PG-13; we wanted to hit a broader audience. And our predecessors, looking at the Bournes and James Bonds, they are pretty violent films. They are extremely graphic without pushing it. When we do the DVD, then you’ll see the next eighty frames and you’ll say ‘oh, there it is’. Also I thought the amount of violence, the amount of warfare in this movie, if it was graphic, after a while it would be too much. Even though I personally enjoy it, I think it would be pushing the envelope. Also it would diminish the humour.

On The Expendabelles…

Stallone: You don’t have to totally depend on actresses per se – you’re going to need a certain kind of physicality to pull that off… With The Expendabelles we have a situation here where we’re in unchartered waters. Are The Expendabelles part of a divorce with Barney, and say Sigourney Weaver as my wife and she inherited half the Expendables. So it’s all these things you are trying to concoct, so when we do it, it doesn’t languish there… it’s actually something that would hold its own.

Avi Lerner: We are right now finalising the script, we have lots of ideas about who is going to be the action movie stars. We are planning to do it the beginning of next year.

On favourite action sequences…

Kellan Lutz: You know honestly, being a part of this movie. To date, I’ve done only a few action movies.

Banderas: Anything that has to do with horses and sword-fighting.

Stallone: Overall, I would say dealing with Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV, that was brutal. He was so unbelievably powerful, it’s hard to describe. The idea of sustaining a fifteen-round fight and you know that it took six months, so it’s really on long stunt. That’s what I am really proud of; I know I can never come close to something like that today.

The Expendables 3 is out in cinemas now.

Film Review: The Expendables 3

Expendables 3

The latest instalment, The Expendables 3 certainly brings star power. Nevertheless, the film is a bit patchy; the narrative and visuals could have done with more work.

Whilst on a mission, Barney Ross and his team of mercenaries take a personal hit. Barney is determined to track down the arms dealer responsible, requiring fresh blood to do so…

Director Patrick Hughes’ The Expendables 3 continues on the same tact as the previous two films. However this instalment lacks some of the humour of The Expendables 2, which was a highlight of that film.

The story in The Expendables 3 is not particlarly compelling. There is a focus on the new characters that protagonist Barney meets. This new breed of mercenaries, however, are not that interesting as characters. Only one of these new characters has a distinct personality, and is a welcome addition to proceedings.

The Expendables 3 would have definitely benefitted from more humour. The second film in this franchise got the balance right between action and comedy. This film reverts to the more serious style of the first film. This is a shame, as the second film was overt in not taking itself too seriously. The Expendables 3 has too many moments where it attempts to bring emotion (with lingering shots and the like). Unfortunately this simply is not there.

The film relies on some action heavy set pieces. Some of the effects in the film are poorly executed. Stock footage is used to a noticable point. The violence does feel as if it has been edited for a lower rating. The action works best with the physical combat, of which some of the new additions show their prowess.

Antonio Banderas is a welcome addition to the cast. Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes seem to be having fun in their roles, while Mel Gibson is well cast. The chemistry between Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham so pushed in all three films still does not generate the laughs that it hopes to.

The Expendables 3 will no doubt satisfy fans of the franchise for its star names and brash action. Any further films need to remember the comedy, and offer a more gripping story.

Stuff To Look At

Some delights for the eyeballs with Frankenweenie, Monsters University, The Expendables 2 and Pitch Perfect.

Frankenweenie

With these images, you are really spoiling us, Disney. Not content with releasing the first image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent at the beginning of the week, Disney have also furnished us with new images from Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. Obviously, I am choosing to share the image of Sparky, the hot piece dog at the centre of the film. Frankenweenie is due for release on 17th October 2012.

Monsters University

I have a terrible confession to make. I have never actually seen Monsters Inc. I know, shoot me down. Many centuries ago, in my brief stint as a ‘Cast Member’ for The Disney Store, we used to sell all kinds of Sully-emblazoned merchandise. Thus, I am aware of the characters and the general happenings of the film, even though I have never watched Monsters Inc. The follow up, prequel Monsters University, is due for release next summer so I have plenty of time to see the original.

The Expendables 2

Of the films out this summer, The Expendables 2 is one I am really looking forward to. With the inclusion of Jason Statham, Jet Li and others, The Expendables 2 is not really an eighties action star reunion. Nevertheless, the film does feature Norris, Stallone, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger and Willis. Not exactly a bad cast. The Expendables 2 is out in cinemas on 16th August and I cannot wait.

Pitch Perfect

What’s this? Another Glee-inspired film about a singing competition? Yes and no. Like Joyful Noise, it is unlikely that the success of Glee did not impact Pitch Perfect being green lit. However, the film seems to have more of an attitude than the television show, so hopefully amusement will trump saccharine sentiment. Pitch Perfect is out in UK cinemas on 19th October 2012.