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: Hotel Artemis

Drew Pearce’s crime thriller Hotel Artemis is an entertaining ride.  The film benefits from a good script and a solid cast.

In Los Angeles of the near future, the Nurse runs Hotel Artemis, a member-only emergency treatment centre for criminals. On a night when riots are taking place, she receives several visitors…

The idea behind Hotel Artemis is quite interesting, offering a hospital for criminal members under the guise of a dusty hotel. Immediately parallels will be drawn with John Wick. Pearce’s film distinguishes itself from this by placing emphasis on a number of different narrative strands. Inevitably these come together as the film progresses. 

The main strand follows the Nurse, who has been running the hotel for decades. Her story intersects with that of Nice and Waikiki. The Nurse is given sufficient background as the film progresses. Other characters do not receive the same attention. Nevertheless, this is not too much of a hinderance, with the action concentrating on the events of a single evening. Writer-director Pearce offers a good script. Dialogue is often funny, with some zinging lines.

Apart from the opening gambit at the bank, action is restrained until the final third of the film. At this point, Pearce unleashes the violence that has been building throughout. Action here is stylish, with Nice taking centre stage. Performances in the film are good. Jodie Foster is given the most to do, and she handles this typically well. Sofia Boutella is lively, while Sterling K. Brown is decent, when he is given screen time.

There is always the potential that balancing so many characters will be uneven, and Hotel Artemis suffers from this slightly. There are moments of emotion but these remain on the surface, as action quickly moves to the next scene. Notwithstanding, Drew Pearce has created an enjoyable picture with Hotel Artemis.

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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.

Previews: Ghost In The Shell, The Fits, More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions includes the Ghost in the Shell TV spot, Beauty and the Beast, and more…

Ghost in the Shell TV Spot

Here is the Super Bowl TV spot for Ghost in the Shell. A live-action version of 1995 animated film, it stars Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, and Juliette Binoche. Johansson plays The Major, a cyborg counter-cyberterrorist commander. Ghost in the Shell is out in UK cinemas on 31st March 2017.

The Fits Trailer

The Fits is a portrait of eleven year-old tomboy who assimilates to a dance group. Things are going well until the group is hit by an outbreak of fainting spells. Starring Royalty Hightower, The Fits is released in UK cinemas on 24th February 2017.

Beauty and the Beast Trailer

Here is the final Beauty and the Beast trailer. It shows us a bit more of the film’s supporting characters, such as Luke Evans’ Gaston. What I, and many others I’m sure, want to know is how a live-action ‘Be Our Guest’ is going to be pulled off. Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, Beauty and the Beast is released in cinemas on 17th March 2017.

John Wick: Chapter Two Clip

This clip from the upcoming John Wick: Chapter Two shows us just how the title character manages to avoid the onslaught of bullets. Keanu Reeves returns as the once-retired hitman in this sequel to 2015’s John Wick. John Wick: Chapter Two hits UK screens on 17th February 2017, with special previews on Valentine’s Day.

Previews: Blade Runner 2049 trailer, Dunkirk, More!

Previews of upcoming attractions include the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer, John Wick: Chapter Two, The White King, and more…

Blade Runner 2049 Trailer

Here is the first Blade Runner 2049 trailer. The film sees the return of Harrison Ford as Dekard. He is joined by Ryan Gosling, who plays a new blade runner. Set thirty years after the events of the original film, Blade Runner 2049 is set for release on 6th October 2017.

John Wick: Chapter Two Trailer

Following the success of 2014’s John Wick, sequel John Wick: Chapter Two is coming next year. Keanu Reeves returns as the title character, and is joined by Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, and Common. John Wick: Chapter Two will be released in UK cinemas on 17th February 2017.

Personal Shopper Trailer

After screening at a number of film festivals this year, Oliver Assayas’ Personal Shopper gets a UK cinema release next year. The film stars Kirsten Stewart as a personal shopper and a spiritual medium who tries to make contact with a deceased relative. Personal Shopper will be released in cinemas on 17th March 2017.

Jackie Poster

Jackie Poster

Here is the poster for Jackie. The film stars Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, and focuses on the assassination and aftermath as seen through her eyes. With awards buzz around the central performance, Jackie will be released in UK cinemas on 20th January 2017.

The White King Clip

Based on the novel of the same name, The White King is a dystopian drama set during a fictitious dictatorship. The film stars Jonathan Pryce, Agyness Deyn, and Olivia Williams as this creepy robot. The White King will be released in UK cinemas on 27th January 2017, and on DVD on 30th January.

Dunkirk Trailer

Here is the first proper look at Dunkirk. Director Christopher Nolan has fared well with science fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and comic book movies, and now turns his hand to the war film. The film stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy. Dunkirk will be released in 2017.

Previews: Allied Trailer, John Wick: Chapter Two, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions including the Allied trailer, Moana, John Wick: Chapter Two and more…

Allied Trailer

Brad Pitt has dominated the entertainment news this week, so in good timing the Allied trailer dropped. The film stars Pitt as an intelligence officer who encounters Marion Cotillard’s Resistance fighter. Set in 1942, the film is directed by Robert Zemeckis. Allied will hit UK screens on 25th November 2016.

Moana Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for Disney’s Moana. It is Disney’s first film set in the South Pacific. Moana will be the first mainly CGI-animated movie from directors Ron Clements and John Musker. Moana is set for release in UK cinemas on 2nd December 2016.

John Wick: Chapter Two Poster

John Wick Chapter Two

Here is the first look at John Wick: Chapter Two. The film is a follow up to 2014’s John Wick.  The hitman is forced out retirement by a former associate in this sequel. Starring Keanu Reeves, John Wick: Chapter Two is scheduled for release on 17th February 2017.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Featurette

This featurette for Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children focuses on the vision of director Tim Burton. Stars Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench and others talk about working with the director on this film. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is out in UK cinemas on 29th September 2016.

Passengers Trailer

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star in sci-fi thriller Passengers. By slightly more important than them, there are robots in this film. Passengers is about two passengers being transported to another planet on a spaceship. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 21st December 2016.

Annabelle 2 Teaser Trailer

This teaser trailer, or trailer announcement trailer, for Annabelle 2 does not reveal much, except for the creepiest doll ever. The film is about the doll-maker who is responsible for the monstrous creation, with a nun and some orphans thrown in for good measure. Horror sequel Annabelle 2 will hit UK screens in May 2017.

Film Review: John Wick

John Wick

Director Chad Stahelski’s John Wick is a stylish action thriller with neo noir overtones. The film is entertaining throughout.

Recovering from the death of his wife, former hit man John Wick is slowly starting to recover when his new hope is taken from him. With nothing to lose, John is on a revenge mission…

John Wick is a successful directorial debut from stunt co-ordinator Chad Stahelski. The film works well thanks to its pacing and strong action sequences. John Wick barely offers a respite from the action, and is a better film for it. Stahelski clearly knows the film’s strengths.

The premise of the film is simple, but not much more is required to set up the sequence of action. John Wick is a straightforward revenge tale, but one that engages with a brisk pace and a lack of unnecessary derailments. The humour present in the film is a good tool to acknowledge the absurdity of some of the situations. And yet John Wick endears with its refreshing lack of pretension.

The protagonist’s story is told mostly in flashbacks. The beginning of the film is effective in informing the audience of the present situation without spending too much time on the past. More of an idea of the character of John Wick is given through others rather than the character himself. The protagonist functions as something of a blank slate, allowing supporting characters to build up an impression of him. The antagonist in John Wick is rather caricature, however there is slightly more to him, which is revealed later in the film.

John Wick‘s soundtrack is good, and the art direction gives the film a neo noir feel with its use of colour and artificial lighting. Never known for superb acting, Keanu Reeves is well cast as the the detached hit man.

With its finely executed fight sequences, John Wick is a most enjoyable action movie. Fans of the genre should lap up this offering.