Previews: Justice League Poster, Paddington 2, More!

Cinematic delights in this week’s preview of coming attractions include the latest Justice League poster, Paddington 2, Newly Single and more…

Justice League Poster

Here is the latest Justice League poster. The film sees Wonder Woman and Batman be joined by three other heroes, as previewed in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher. The film sees the team face a newly awakened threat. Justice League hits UK screens on 17th November 2017.

Murder on the Orient Express Featurette

This featurette for Murder on the Orient Express looks behind the scenes at the making of the film. An adaptation on the classic Agatha Christie novel, the film features a star-studded assemble cast. Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, Murder on the Orient Express rolls on to UK screens on 3rd November 2017.

Paddington 2 Poster

Hugh Grant looks wonderfully fun in these new Paddington 2 posters. Grant is the most high profile addition to the case of Paddington 2. The sequel to Paddington sees the return of the lovable bear, and the Brown family, in a new adventure. Paddington 2 is out on UK screens on 10th November 2017.

Newly Single Trailer

Above is the trailer for Newly Single. The comedy is about a film director who finds himself on the Los Angeles dating scene after splitting up with his girlfriend. The film is written and directed by Adam Christian Clark, and stars Jennifer Kim and Molly C. Quinn. Newly Single will debut at the Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia on 27th November 2017; its UK release will follow.

Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas Trailer

Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas just might be the longest film title of the year. The film is an animated comedy about an awkward explorer who must rescue his girlfriend from a millionaire looking for King Midas’ necklace. Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas is set for release in early 2018.

Previews: Murder on the Orient Express Poster, More!

A cornucopia of film related goodness in this week’s preview, including the new Murder on the Orient Express poster, Flatliners, Early Man, and more…

Murder on the Orient Express Poster

Here is the brand new Murder on the Orient Express poster. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film is based on the classic Agatha Christie novel. Branagh also stars and has assembled a stellar cast; Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Johnny Depp to name a few. Murder on the Orient Express hits UK screens in November 2017.

Flatliners Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for the new Flatliners film. The film is about a group of medical students who experiment by stopping their hearts temporarily. Starring Ellen Page and Diego Luna, Flatliners will be released in UK cinemas on 29th September 2017.

Early Man Trailer

Early Man is the latest film from Nick Park. The film is about two cavemen who unite their tribe against a mighty enemy. The voice cast features a wealth of British talent, including Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, and Timothy Spall. Early Man is set for release in UK cinemas on 26th January 2018.

Daddy’s Home 2 Trailer

The sequel to Daddy’s Home sees the protagonists’ fathers appear for Christmas vacation. Mel Gibson and John Lithgow join the returning cast, headed by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. Daddy Home 2 will hit the big screen later this year.

Mudbound Trailer

Mudbound has received critical acclaim since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Dee Rees, the film is about an unlikely friendship between a black soldier and a white soldier when they return from war. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, and Jason Mitchell. Mudbound is screening at the BFI London Film Festival in October, and will launch on Netflix and selected cinemas on 17th November 2017.

Previews: Darkest Hour Trailer, Dunkirk, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Darkest Hour trailer, Dunkirk, American Assassin, and more…

Darkest Hour Trailer

Gary Oldman once again proves his chameleon credentials in this new Darkest Hour trailer. Oldman stars as Winston Churchill as he becomes prime minister days before Britain enters World War II. The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James, and is directed by Joe Wright (Pan, Hanna). Darkest Hour is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 12th January 2018.

Dunkirk World Premiere Highlights

Here are the highlights from last night’s world premiere of Dunkirk in London’s Leicester Square. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film stars Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy. Dunkirk will be released in both 70mm and standard presentation on 21st July 2017.

American Assassin Trailer

Here is the second trailer for American Assassin. The presence of Michael Keaton just makes everything better. The film is about a CIA black ops recruit under the training of a Cold War veteran. Keaton is joined by Dylan O’Brien, Taylor Kitsch, and Sanaa Lathan. American Assassin hits UK screens on 15th September 2017.

Atomic Blonde Featurette

This featurette focuses on Atomic Blonde‘s stunt coordination, and Charlize Theron considerable skill in this department. Theron stars as a lethal assassin sent to deliver a priceless dossier in 1980s Berlin. Also starring James McAvoy and John Goodman, Atomic Blonde is out in UK cinemas on 9th August 2017.

Maudie Poster

Here is the poster for Maudie. Based on a true story, the film is about an unlikely romance between a folk artist and a reclusive fish peddler. The film stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, and is directed by Aisling Walsh. Maudie will be released in UK cinemas on 4th August 2017.

Valerian Trailer

Above is the latest look at Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. If nothing else, the film will be a visual feast. Directed by Luc Besson, the film stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. Valerian will hit UK screens on 2nd August 2017.

Previews: Dunkirk Poster, Baby Driver, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Dunkirk poster, plus Baby Driver, American Made, and more…

Dunkirk Poster

Here is the latest Dunkirk poster. Writer-director Christopher Nolan turns his attention to the war movie, after excelling in a number of other genres. The film stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, and Kenneth Branagh. Dunkirk hits cinema and IMAX screens on 21st July 2017.

Baby Driver Clip

This clip sheds light on the central character in Edgar Wright’s upcoming Baby Driver. Starring Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James, the film is about a getaway driver who wishes to leave his criminal life behind. Baby Driver is out in UK cinemas on 28th June 2017.

American Made Trailer

Tom Cruise reunites with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for American Made. The film is based on the real-life exploits of pilot Barry Seal, who is recruited by the CIA to run a covert operation. Also starring Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, and Caleb Landry Jones, American Made is due for release on 25th August 2017.

Goodbye Christopher Robin Poster

Here is the new poster for Goodbye Christopher Robin. The film is based on the family who created one of the world’s most beloved bear, Winnie the Pooh. It revolves around the relationship between writer A.A. Milne and his son Christopher. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, and Kelly Macdonald, Goodbye Christopher Robin will be out in cinemas on 29th September 2017.

Murder on the Orient Express Trailer

This trailer for Murder on the Orient Express looks sumptuous. The film looks to have one of the most star-studded casts of the year, with Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Judi Dench among some of the passengers on the fateful train. Director Kenneth Branagh stars as famous detective Hercule Poirot; comparisons to David Suchet will be inevitable. Based on one of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels, Murder on the Orient Express is set for release on 3rd November 2017.

Cinderella Press Conference

Cinderella Press ConferenceThe Cinderella press conference took place in London last week. Director Kenneth Branagh was joined by producers David Barron and Allison Shearmur, costume designer Sandy Powell, and stars Lily James, Richard Madden, and Holliday Grainger to discuss the latest Disney fairy tale…

On costumes in the film…

Sandy Powell: It was a costume designer’s dream. What really struck me was it was a film about girls. A lot of the main characters were girls, and ok there were male characters too, but it was predominantly women which doesn’t happen that often. It was a dream and I ran with it.

Disney's Cinderella

On adapting the story for a modern audience…

David Barron: When Ken [Branagh] mentioned to me that Disney had been in touch about a live action version of Cinderella, I said: “ooh, interesting”. I thought; how do you do something that is relevant for a contemporary audience, and in its own way faithful to the animated classic. Ken had a very clear vision on how to make this a film for today. This central message of courage and kindness… it just seemed that it would work for today and for a contemporary audience.

On Cinderella‘s influences…

Kenneth Branagh:[To be compared with Powell and Pressburger] is a wonderful compliment, because I revere those guys. A huge personal inspiration, that particular partnership.

Sandy Powell: For me, it was the nineteenth century, all over the nineteenth century, bits of the 1940s and 1950s thrown in for the Stepmother. I was looking at those 1940s actresses like Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and when they were in films made in the 1940s set in the nineteenth century, and I really liked that look for Cate [Blanchett]. For the sisters I went a decade higher to the 1950s fashions, but keeping the nineteenth century look.

Cinderella Lily James

On the character of Cinderella…

Lily James: [She has] this strength can come from within. This dignified strength and grace… that in doing so she finds such joy and happiness in her life regardless of her situation. Even if it’s just talking to little Gus Gus! When I read the script I was just bowled over by the fact that it was such a faithful retelling of the fairy tale without any tricks or twists. It felt really strong. This was a girl I really wanted to play and felt inspired playing.

On the ballroom scene…

Kenneth Branagh: The kind of films that were wonderful to go and visit [for inspiration], apart from Powell and Pressburger were, well we looked at again The Red Shoes, we looked at Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Visconti’s The Leopard. We also looked Cyrano de Bergerac, the Rappeneau film for some wonderful camera work, particularly the sweeping shots that end up on close-ups of our heroine. The Age of Innocence is a Scorsese film that I love for its immersion into a world that you can feel, see, taste and touch and smell. Certainly we went to the classics.

Cinderella is released in UK cinemas on 27th March 2015.

Film Review: Cinderella

CINDERELLA

Kenneth Branagh’s live action version of Cinderella is a visually sumptuous fairy tale. The film’s sentiment might be twee, but it is an entertaining picture.

Ella has a happy childhood with her parents. When her father passes away, Ella must live with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. Despite her misfortune, Ella does not give up hope…

The latest Disney fairy tale to get an update, Cinderella distinguishes itself from other recent Disney films thanks to its protagonist. Director Kenneth Branagh and writer Chris Weitz have a challenge to update the fairy tale to make it relevant to modern audiences. With Disney’s forthright female protagonists of late, Cinderella seems rather anachronistic.

Branagh chooses to keep the title character true to her animation roots. Cinderella here is not feisty or fiercely independent. Instead, the values which the film eschews are kindness and positivity. On the surface, this may feel a little old fashioned. Nevertheless, the film succeeds in promoting these virtues. Cinderella suggests kindness as a strength, even if it a less overt one.

The film does well to flesh out the title character and that of the prince. These characters are given more depth in this version of Cinderella. The light humour in the film sets the right tone, and key sequences are finely executed. Pacing could have been tighter, but overall the film is an enjoyable watch.

The real star of Cinderella is Sandy Powell’s magnificent costumes. These are opulent and appealing. Dante Ferretti’s production design also adds to the spectacle. The ballroom sequence is a dazzling affair, thanks to the costumes, production design and cinematography. Cate Blanchett is wonderfully hammy as the stepmother. Lily James makes a sweet Cinderella, whilst Richard Madden looks the part as Prince Kit.

Cinderella is the perfect fix for those looking for fairy tale escapism. The film is certainly a feast for the eyes.

Cinderella is released in UK cinemas on 27th March 2015 and will be screened alongside new animated short Frozen Fever.

Stuff To Look At

A myriad of trailers this week, including Far From The Madding CrowdCinderellaAloha, and more…

Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd was one of the few books I remember reading at high school. How the names Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak take me back. This adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel comes with good pedigree; it is directed by Thomas Vinterberg and stars Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Michael Sheen. Far From The Madding Crowd is released in UK cinemas on 1st May 2015.

Aloha

Cameron Crowe’s latest Aloha features a stellar cast, including Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, and Rachel McAdams. Bradley Cooper stars as a military contractor who is given the opportunity to return to the site of his greatest triumphs in Hawaii. Aloha is scheduled for release in September 2015.

Cinderella

From the above trailer, it looks as if Cate Blanchett will really shine in Cinderella. As well as, of course, that magnificent-looking slipper. Kenneth Branagh’s update of the classic fairy tale, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, hits UK screens on 27th March 2015.

The Age of Adeline

The premise of The Age of Adeline hinges on an interesting aspect; its protagonist stops ageing at 29 years old. If only that could happen in real life, although granted, it would be a bit odd. Starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford, The Age of Adeline is released on 8th May 2015.

Mommy

Xavier Dolan’s latest offering is receiving a lot of critical praise. Mommy stars Anne Dorval as a widowed mother tasked with the full-time custody of her son, who has ADHD. Mommy is released in UK cinemas on 20th March 2015.

Trainwreck

Here is the first trailer for Trainwreck. Directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer, Trainwreck is about a young woman who doesn’t think monogamy is possible. The comedy will be released on UK screens on 28th August 2015.

Hot Pursuit

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are the unlikely double act in Anne Fletcher’s action comedy Hot Pursuit. Straight-laced cop Witherspoon is tasked with protecting Mafia witness Vergara. Hot Pursuit speeds into UK cinemas on 8th May 2015.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Here is the trailer for Guy Ritchie’s update on 1960s television show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Set against a Cold War backdrop, the film focuses on a CIA agent forced to team up with a KGB operative. Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is set for release on 14th August 2015.

Focus

Upcoming thriller Focus stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Rodrigo Santoro. Veteran con man Nicky takes on novice Jess and teaches her the tricks of the trade. Focus hits UK screens on 27th February 2015.

Stuff To Look At

Here lies the brand new Interstellar trailer, plus Cinderella, Transformers: Age of Extinction, A Million Ways to Die in the West and more…

Interstellar

Here is the latest Interstellar trailer. Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. Interstellar will be released in the UK on 7th November 2014.

Cinderella

Hot on the tails of the upcoming Maleficent, another Disney classic is given the live-action treatment. Starring Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgård and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by Kenneth Branagh, This teaser does not reveal much, except an awfully shiny glass slipper. I always thought glass shoes would be incredibly painful to walk in, yet Cinderella dances the night away in hers. Anyway, Cinderella is set for release on 3rd April 2015.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Here is the latest trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction. The most important thing you will see occurs in the last twenty seconds. Dinobots! Starring Marky Mark, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer, although the humans are decidedly less important than the robots in disguise. Transformers: Age of Extinction hits UK screens on 10th July 2014.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Above is a clip from the upcoming comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. Without context, the clip seems only to offer a glimpse into the character of Albert, played by Seth MacFarlane, who also directs, produces and co-writes the film. A Million Ways to Die in the West is released in cinemas on 30th May 2014.

22 Jump Street

Here is a new clip from 21 Jump Street sequel 22 Jump Street. The film sees Schmidt and Jenko head to college. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum had good chemistry in the first film, which will hopefully be replicated here. 22 Jump Street hits UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I saw this trailer in Imax a few days ago, and it looks mighty impressive on the big screen. The follow-up to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke. I am hoping for flashback sequences of baby Cesar, although great action will do just fine. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is released on 17th July 2014.

Summer of Cinema

Here is a compilation of all the big films that are being released this summer, from the Film Distributors’ Association. I didn’t recognise all of them, but there are some exciting films to come this season. If you can’t get enough of trailer compilations, I suggest you check out this blockbuster one by AMONymous.

Film Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is suitably entertaining action thriller. Nonetheless, it lacks originality and depth.

A former Marine, a young Jack Ryan is headhunted by the CIA. As a covert CIA analyst, Ryan uncovers some unusual stock market activity which leads him on a trail to Moscow…

Many readers and cinemagoers will be familiar with the Jack Ryan character. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit takes him back to the beginning, charting his induction to the CIA and the case which establishes his reputation. The film paints Ryan like a superhero or James Bond figure, and this film is his origins story.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit‘s narrative is by the numbers. There is little inventiveness to distinguish it from other action thrillers. The film lacks complexity; the narrative is too lean to feel substantial. The Russian antagonist is reminiscent of Cold War-era Bond films, and as a result comes across as a bit of a caricature.

There are a number of aspects of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit which are dubious. The film certainly requires a suspension of disbelief. Ryan is extremely adept at the more physically demanding aspects of his role, for example, despite admitting his limited training.

The action sequences are slick thanks to the editing and Kenneth Branagh’s direction. The ending however does lack a little fizz. The film is slick, thanks to its cinematography. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has a glossy sheen; it is a shame the plotting does not quite match the polished visuals.

Chris Pine is suitably cast as the action hero title character. It is a shame that both he and Kevin Costner are not given meatier roles. Branagh hams it up a little as Cherevin.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an entertaining (albeit mindlessly) ride. Audiences expecting more substance might be disappointed by the generic thriller.

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.