Previews: Live By Night Trailer, Doctor Strange, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the Live By Night trailer, Doctor Strange poster, and more…

Live By Night Trailer

Here is the new Live By Night trailer. The film is directed and scripted by, and stars Ben Affleck, based on Dennis Lehane’s novel. Set during the 1920s, Live By Night concentrates on gangster Joe Coughlin and the murky world of prohibition Boston. Also starring Elle Fanning, Bendan Gleeson and Zoe Saldana, Live By Night is set for release on 13th January 2016.

Doctor Strange Poster

Doctor Strange Poster

This new poster for Doctor Strange looks wonderful. Benedict Strange stars as the title character in the latest Marvel movie.Cumberbatch plays an injured surgeon who who meets a mentor on his journey to recovery. Also starring Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams, Doctor Strange hits UK screens on 25th October 2016.

Hidden Figures Featurette

Here is a featurette on the upcoming Hidden Figures. Producer Pharrell Williams talks about why he had to get on board with the film, which is about the black female scientists behind NASA’s space race. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe. Hidden Figures is scheduled for release in 2017.

Collateral Beauty Trailer

Here is the trailer for Collateral Beauty, an ensemble drama. The film is about an advertising executive who experiences a tragedy, and the colleagues who attempt to help him. With a cast that includes Will Smith, Kate Winslet, and Keira Knightley, Collateral Beauty is out in cinemas on Boxing Day, 26th December 2016.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Clip

This clip from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children reveals a little more about the film’s antagonist. Director Tim Burton’s latest film is based on the best-selling novel. Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, and Samuel L. Jackson, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children hits UK screens on 30th September 2016.

Nocturnal Animals Poster

Nocturnal Animals Poster

These Nocturnal Animals posters certainly are striking. Tom Ford writes and directs the film, based on Austin Wright’s Tony and Susan. The film stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michael Shannon. After Ford’s magnificent A Single Man,  hopes are high for this feature. Nocturnal Animals will screen at the BFI London Film Festival in October, and will be released in UK cinemas on 4th November 2016.

Amanda Knox Trailer

Here is a trailer for Netflix’s upcoming documentary Amanda Knox. The film focus on the prime suspect in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Knox has been convicted and acquitted of the crime twice, and this documentary explores events around the case. Amanda Knox will launch globally on Netflix on 30th September 2016.

The Imitation Game Press Conference

The Imitation Game

Today sees the opening of the BFI London Film Festival 2014 with the screening of The Imitation Game. Director Morten Tyldum, screenwriter Graham Moore, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were in London to discuss the film…

On Alan Turing as a figure of history

Benedict Cumberbatch: This has been an extraordinary decade for him [Alan Turing] because of his pardon, because of his centenary, because of exhibitions and books, and now this film. It is part of a momentum to have him at the forefront of the recognition he deserves, as a scientist and as the father of the modern computer age, as a war hero, and as a man who lived an uncompromising life.

Morten Tyldum: When I read the script, I was shocked about how little I knew. You know, why wasn’t he on the cover of history books.

On the character of Alan Turing

Graham Moore: I have been obsessed with the story of Alan Turing since I was a teenager. I was like enough to get to know the story of this tremendous person who accomplished all these things I knew about. As a fan of him, I always wanted to see an Alan Turing movie.

Morten Tyldum: To me, this is a movie about outsiders. It is a movie about somebody who is different, who thinks outside the box. He was an unsung hero who achieved so much. It is about a guy who was ahead of his time.

On opening the London Film Festival

Benedict Cumberbatch: It’s amazing to open the London Film Festival. I have always wanted to spend more time at the LFF, and to be upfront and centre with this film, I couldn’t be more proud of it. To present [The Imitation Game] to London is terrific.

Morten Tydum: It is a great honour. It is great for me to come here and show the film to a British audience.

The Imitation Game opens the BFI London Film Festival on 8th October 2014. See here for a live stream of the red carpet footage.

London Film Festival 2014 – Preview of Coming Attractions

Second Coming

The full programme for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 was announced today, and it is brimming with fascinating artifacts. A total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, are being screening during the twelve day festival, as well as 148 shorts. Opening the London Film Festival 2014 is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The festival closes with David Ayer’s Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. The BFI London Film Festival 2014 runs from 8th-19th October. Here are my picks from the programme…

Men, Women & Children

Following the success of Young Adult and Labor Day, Jason Reitman’s latest film is an adaptation Chad Kultgen’s novel. Focusing on emotional isolation in the digital age, Men, Women & Children features an ensemble cast that includes Jennofer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer. 

Second Coming

Second Coming is Debbie Tucker Green’s directorial debut. The British drama stars Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba as a London-based couple living with their teenage son. Second Coming is one of the film’s shortlisted for the London Film Festival 2014’s First Feature Competition.

Whiplash

Whiplash

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is about the relationship between a musical prodigy and his teacher. Starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the film won the Grend Jury and Audience awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Dear White People

Writer-director Justin Simien’s Dear White People is a satire which tackles the issue of race in contemporary America. Set at an Ivy League college, the film concerns a sole-black fraternity which is to be diversified.

White God

A film about a dog. When young Lili goes to stay with her dad, he is not interested in looking after her pet dog Hagen. Deciding to leave the dog at the side of the road, this sets off a eye-opening series of events in director Kornél Mundruczó’s White Dog.

Tickets for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 go on sale to the public on Thursday 18th September 2014. For the full schedule, and details of events, see here.

Stuff To Look At

A veritable cornucopia of film trailers, images and featurettes this week, including Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Lucy, The Imitation Game and more…

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Here is the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2. A sequel to 2010’s hit comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, this instalment sees three of the four main characters venturing forward in time. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will be released in the UK on 26th December 2014.

Fifty Shades of Grey

The hotly-anticipated trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey is here. Having not read the book, I am unsure whether this is what fans of the novel expect. Starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 13th February 2015.

Lucy

From the above clip, Lucy looks like it will be very entertaining. Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi thriller, from Besson’s own screenplay. Lucy hits the big screen on 22nd August 2014.

The Expendables 3

And with every film, the cast keeps growing. The Expendables 3 sees some familar faces return, along with new additions such as Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford. From the above featurette, it looks as if the cast had a lot of fun making the film. The Expendables 3 powers its way into cinemas on 14th August 2014.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max - Comic Con Signing Art

Here is the latest image from the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, which was debuted at Comic Con this week. Although the thought of another belated sequel could be disappointing, this one is directed by original helmer George Miller and stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Max Max: Fury Road is scheduled for release on 15th May 2015.

The Imitation Game

The first trailer for The Imitation Game was released this week, along with the news that the film will be opening the BFI London Film Festival in October. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game will receive a full release in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014.

Big Hero 6

The more I see of Big Hero 6, the more I am looking forward to the film. Big Hero 6 also reminds me how much I need a robot in my life. The film is due to be released in January 2015.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Here is the latest TV spot for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It looks as if there will be humour in the film, which is appealing. But the real question is, for where is Krang? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out in UK cinemas on 17th October 2014.

Let’s Be Cops

Above is a clip from buddy-cop comedy Let’s Be Cops. Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson star as two friends who dress up as police officers for a costume party and end up being mistaken for the real thing. Let’s Be Cops hits the big screen on 27th August 2014.

Annabelle

Urgh, creepy, creepy, creepy dolls. Annabelle is a spin-off of last year’s horror The Conjuring. The film, which is being produced by horror maestro James Wan, is basically a reminder to never own sinister-looking dolls. Annabelle is set for release on 10th October 2014.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings

So is this what Christian Bale has been growing his beard for? Ridley Scott directs epic Exodus: Gods and Kings.  The film stars Christian Bale as Moses, on his quest to free slaves from their Egyptian ruler. You can watch the trailer here. Exodus: Gods and Kings is released in UK cinemas on 26th December 2014.

Magic in the Moonlight

Woody Allen’s latest Magic in the Moonlight is an appealing proposition.  Set in the 1920s, Colin Firth plays a magician attempting to expose psychic Emma Stone. I cannot wait. Magic in the Moonlight is out in the UK on 19th September 2014.

Horrible Bosses 2

Here is the trailer for comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2. I enjoyed the first film, so am tentatively looking forward to this. Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day return of this instalment, which is scheduled for release on 28th November 2014 in the UK.

Unbroken

Angelina Jolie directs Unbroken, the story of Olympian and war hero Louie Zamperini. With Joel and Ethan Coen among the screenwriters, Unbroken looks to be ticking all the boxes. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 26th December 2014.

Planes 2: Fire and Rescue

The sequel to spin-off Planes, Planes 2: Fire and Rescue sees protagonist Dusty swapping racing for fire fighting. The above clip gives a glimpse of his new team. Planes 2: Fire and Rescue races to the big screen on 8th August 2014.

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm is based on the true story of a sports agent who travels to India to look for a young cricket he can transform into a star baseball player. Starring Jon Hamm, Million Dollar Arm is released in UK cinemas on 29th August 2014.

Stuff To Look At

Film stuffs galore, including the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit trailer, Machete Kills, Into The Woods and more…

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Here is the first Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit trailer. The release of the trailer comes in the same week as the character’s creator, author Tom Clancy, passed away. Starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is out in UK cinemas on 26th December 2013.

Rio 2

Talking animal alert! Rio 2 features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann and Jamie Foxx. Blu, Jewel and their three children venture to the Amazon for a family reunion. Rio 2 is due for release in April 2014.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Here is the latest trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This middle instalment features Orlando Bloom returning as Legolas, but a distinct lack of Gollum in the trailer at least. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out in UK cinemas on 13th December 2013.

Machete Kills

Machete Kills is the follow up to 2010’s Machete. The film features more outlandish casting (including Charlie Sheen) and a more outlandish plot. Machete Kills hits cinemas on 11th October 2013.

Into The Woods

Meryl Streep Into The Woods

Well, Meryl Streep looks different. She plays the Witch in the first image released from Into The Woods. Based on the musical of the same name, Into The Woods is an amalgamation of a number of well-known fairy tales. The film also stars Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine. It is set for a Christmas Day 2014 release in the US.

Frozen

Here is the first full trailer for Disney animation Frozen. With a talking snowman as a sidekick, the film seems perfect for Christmas. Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Idina Menzel provide the voices. Frozen   hits UK screens on 6th December 2013.

Film Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a sufficiently entertaining, if uneven, film. Despite an interesting premise, Lorene Scafaria’s film lets viewers down with its second half.

With an astroid due to hit Earth, people are told to prepare for the end of the world. Dodge finds himself facing this alone after his wife leaves. Wanting to get back to her family, his neighbour Penny accompanies Dodge on his road trip…

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World mixes a number of different elements. The film is part dark comedy, part romance, using the device of a road trip. The premise is an intriguing one; with three weeks until the world ends, characters must decide how to spend their final days on the planet. This concept allows for comedy, as well as the romance angle.

The first half of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is much stronger than the second half. The film begins with the appearance of a black comedy. It functions well in this guise, entertaining viewers with frequent humour. The second half is decidedly more serious. The comedy diminishes, and the focus shifts to a romantic narrative. This feels like a let down, as this half of the film is not as engaging as the first. Seeking a Friend would have been more successful if it had maintained the dark humour instead of opting for the romance.

Performances in the film are good. Steve Carell appears authentic in a role similar to others he has previously played. Keira Knightley is also believable as the ditzy Penny, performing better in this light-hearted role compared to some of the more dramatic parts she has portrayed.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is ultimately a bit disappointing as the saccharine outcome betrays what begins as a decent comedy movie.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from 5th November 2012.

Film Review: Anna Karenina

Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina is an interesting experiment, but not an entirely successful one. The film has some strong attributes, but not enough to make it a truly great adaptation of a literary classic.

Anna Karenina is a married aristocrat who travels to Moscow in order to help her adulterous brother to try to repair his marriage. Meanwhile, Levin is determined to propose to the beautiful young Kitty, although she has eyes for Count Vronsky. When Anna and Vronsky meet, however, it is the start of a tumultuous affair…

What makes Joe Wright’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina different to previous versions is the decision to stage it in a theatre. In is not performed as a play, as the camera is fluid. Rather, the majority of the action takes place in an actual theatre, on stage and backstage, with areas designed to look like particular locations. The staging makes it difficult to get fully involved or emotionally invested, however. It takes a siginificant amount of time to get used to the set up and to stop noticing the theatrics.

The staging perhaps would have worked better as an opening rather than a device to maintain throughout. There are some nice touches, but the opening sequence is a little too disorientating. The film’s downfall is that it does not fully engage viewers. The backstage scenes in particular pulls the audience out of the action. The outside scenes are a stark contrast from the interior staging. But perhaps Wright wished to make a noticeable divergence between the country and the city.

The costuming is excellent in Anna Karenina. The score, likewise, feels a good fit for the film. Wright’s film boasts a great cast and some good performances from the supporting players. Jude Law elicits sympathy as Alexei Karenin, while Matthew Macfadyen is well cast as Oblonsky. Keira Knightley is less impressive, although her performance is by no means awful.

Anna Karenina feels a little overlong in the final third, but is wonderful to look at. Wright’s decision to stage the film in this way is certainly bold, although a tragedy such as Tolstoy’s story should evoke a more emotional response.